Sunday, June 08, 2008

It's not easy being a genius sometimes

A couple of weeks ago, the back window in my Jeep decided it had lost the will to stay up any more. This was a sad moment for me.

I knew what the problem was. It had happened before to the other back window, at which time I took it to the dealer and had them fix it for free since it was still under warranty. It's the regulator. It broke.

Now that the Jeep is no longer under warranty, these silly repairs are not my favorite thing. I just don't want to spend the money on things that aren't essential to keeping the Jeep running for a long, long time.

However, keeping the window up, while not entirely essential to keeping the Jeep running, is quite essential to, say, keep rain and random people out of the Jeep. So, this means I had to fix the window.

As a temporary fix, I needed to get the window to at least stay up until I could get it completely fixed. Now that I'm an expert in taking off the inside of the doors in the Jeep to replace speakers, I decided I could take the door apart and figure out some contraption to keep the window up.

What I like about these challenges is that it is a chance for me to put my genius IQ and a little bit of common sense to good use to solve a problem. It also gives me the opportunity to hurt myself in new ways. Like my dad has so wisely taught me, always keep bandaids in the tool kit.

After a few attempts, the following combination of items worked to keep the window up so well that I could push on it from the outside and it still stayed up:

  • One Bungee cord
  • duct tape
  • Three zip ties
  • Super glue
Part genius, Part Macgyver. That's me.

So, I managed to keep the window up for the time being. And I also managed one huge bruise on my left arm, and a series of cuts and bruises on my right arm. All in a good day's work.

Then I got online to find out if I can purchase a window regulator. I really don't want to pay someone to fix the window. Sadly, I could not find one that was the correct part for my Jeep. But, I did find instructions online about how to replace the window regulator.

I then consulted the man from whom I've inherited my do-it-myself genes: my dad. He felt like this was something we could handle. This would save me some money, and of course, give me a new skill that I did not have before: Window Regulator Replacement.

So, yesterday was the day. I ordered the part from the dealer and we were ready to go. I figured I'd first attempt to undo the bungee cord, duct tape, zip ties, and super glue that was holding the window in place before my dad came over to help. I'm all for efficiency. And with my tiny, girly hands, I could get in there and undo everything without wasting his time.

Remembering my injuries from a couple of weeks ago, this time I suited up for my mechanical endeavor ahead of time to save my arms from further damage. And by "suited up", I mean "free wristbands that I got from running a few relays with my relay team a few years ago":

I felt that it was really important to look the part of Genius Mechanic Girl while I did the work.

Then I attacked the door and was finally able to undo my Macgyver fix-it job (I was a tad worried that I wouldn't be able to undo it - especially the super glue part - and then I'd probably have to just buy a whole new door . . . or just get a new Jeep) But I managed to undo everything fairly easily, and pretty soon my door looked like this:

It's kinda hard to see, but you're looking at the guts of my Jeep door.

So, by then I was having so much fun and feeling pretty confident that I'd at least gotten the door back to its broken state, I decided to see how far I could get with the next steps: getting the old regulator out, then putting the new one in.

Turns out, the hardest part was getting the old one out. Once I got it out, things looked like this:

That contraption in the upper left on the ground is the regulator. And yeah, that black thing on the ground is the outside panel of my door, cup holder and all.

At this point, things are a little frightening if you think about this in terms of the simple mechanics that my door is now in three pieces, and no one is watching me do this or making sure I'm not doing something really, really stupid without adult supervision.

However, I was still feeling an extreme sense of accomplishment at having gotten this far on my own, my wristbands were working marvelously, and I decided I'd keep forging ahead and try to get the new regulator even though my dad hadn't gotten there to help, yet.

So, I did it. I put the new one in, hooked it up, and tested it out. See, I'm dumb enough to have done projects like these before where I put everything back together without testing it first, only to find that I didn't hook it up right and the thing doesn't work.

But IT TOTALLY WORKED. And yes, I just sat there and made it go up and down and up and down a few times, just for fun.

Holy cow, I just pulled the guts out of my door and put new ones in, and it worked. I'm like a surgeon, only not with people.

I closed everything up just in time for my dad to call and say he was on his way soon. Don't worry, we had another project to do.

But y'all, I totally fixed my window all by myself.

And after all was put back in place, there was only one tiny random piece leftover that I'm pretty sure never served a purpose in the first place:

I guess I'll find out if it was important if my door falls off or something.

Next on the agenda was putting a giant net over my giant fig tree, which was quite an adventure that required the genius IQs of both me and my dad, a lot of string, some scissors, duct tape (seriously, it really does help in almost any situation) and a softball.

Yes, a softball.

Turns out, we needed about three more nets to fully cover the tree. It is seriously the world's largest fig tree. The guy at Home Depot when I bought the net thought I was ridiculous to buy the biggest net they had for just a fig tree.

He seriously underestimated the girth of my fig tree.

But whatever. We got one net up there and it should keep the birds off of at least some of the figs this year.

We will have figs, and I will eat them in my Jeep while I make the window go up and down.

It will be super fun.


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