How To Change A Front Axle On A Car
by Rick Senior

I must have been the first person to replace a CV axle because I couldn’t find anyone who had done it before, that I could get some tips from. My background in automotive work goes back a long way. I graduated from automotive mechanics vocational technical school in the summer of 1975. One of my greatest achievements was winning third place in the nationwide plymouth troubleshooting contest in 1978. In 1984 I had my own shop with customers. Enough about me for now, let’s get to the problem at hand. The first thing to do is raise up the side of the car with the bad axle. Make sure you use good working jack stands to hold the weight of the car and have a backup to make sure the car doesn’t fall on you. I let the weight of the car down on the jack stand and then take a little of the weight off of it by jacking the jack back up a little and leaving it. This will insure that both would have to fail at the same time because the pressure is equal. Then take the wheel off and slide it under the car along with the wheel cover and lug nuts. The next step is to remove the brake caliper and pads. Do this by removing the bolts or pins whichever one your car uses and remove the caliper from the rotor. After removing the caliper(don’t remove brake line) tie the caliper back out of your way with a piece of rope or wire. In the center of the rotor you will usually find a cotter pin, which looks like a bobby pin for womens hairdos. Straighten this pin and pull it out with a pair of pliers.(needle nose)Then you will need a big socket that will fit the center nut. The size of the socket depends on the make of the car. Some auto parts stores will rent you a socket for this job, free of charge. All you have to do is put up a deposit that covers replacement. after removing this nut which may be hard to break loose, put it where it won’t get lost. The next step will be to take the tie rod loose from the spindle after you have removed the rotor. Do this by turning the steering wheel(on most cars) in the opposite direction from where you are working. You will see the steering(tie) rod connected to the spindle. there will be a cotter pin which keeps the nut secure. Remove the cotter pin and use a socket or box end wrench to loosen the nut. Don’t take the nut all the way off yet because you may have to beat on the tie rod to break it loose and you don’t need to take a chance on scarring the threads. After you have taken the tie rod loose, you will have to disconnect the ball joint, which is on the bottom inside also. These usually have a bolt and a nut that goes through a clamp like hole which secures the ball joint and the spindle together. After you have removed the bolt, you will probably have to pry down on the control arm to pop it loose. I have had to use a bottle jack under the spindle to push up on it in order to get leverage. After you have disconnected the ball joint, the spindle should slide off of the splined axle. You may not be able to simply pull the axle out of the transmission because most axles snap in and out because of a ring near the inside end of the axle that holds the axle inside the transmission when you go around a sharp curve. So get a heavy duty screwdriver or prybar and go under the car where the axle goes into the transmission and pry it until it snaps out of the transmission. Have a pan ready to catch the fluid that runs out. When installing the new axle be sure it snaps into place(use a wooden mallet) inside the transmission before putting everything back together. Re-install everything in reverse from the way you removed it. This article makes it all sound easy but you will discover that things are very tight, or worn in a way that makes the job harder than it should be. Good Luck! I hope you become an expert at this. Please send feedback.For more articles and stories of general interest,go to:

The Day I Drowned and Lived
By: Rick Allen

It was a hot summer afternoon, my best friend David and I were walking home from school. We only had a couple of weeks of school left before being dismissed for the summer. We were both elated at the prospects of swimming and fishing, though neither of us knew how to swim. After all, we were only nine. Both of our mothers were very protective of us. David was the baby of his family. He had came along kind of late in his parents lives.
David lived next door to the school, which was about two hundred yards,door to door. As we approached his house he volunteered to walk half way home with me. I always walked through the woods behind his house and across his property for about a half a mile and then another half mile to my house. I was happy to have him walk with me. As we walked down the path toward my house, we came upon a pond. The pond was dark and murky. It was where the cattle came to drink. David’s father had recently sold his cattle and that gave the pond a chance to settle down and clear up a little. The pond was enticing to us because we were anxious to swim. We must have thought swimming was an ability that everyone was born with. Even though it was a cattle pond, it looked good to us.
As we were standing there looking at the water, David spoke up. “Hey Ricky, let’s go swimming!”
But I don’t know how to swim, I said. “It’s easy,”he replied.” Watch me.” He took off all his clothes except his white jockey underwear. He got into the water and began slapping and flailing his fists against the water. He was kicking and splashing and yelling: “See! it’s not hard, come on in.”
I started to take my clothes off and began to think about what my mom would do to me if she found out. “I can’t get my clothes wet, I said. I’ll get into big trouble.” I took off all of my clothes, even my underwear. I waded into the pond and found and old rotten tree stump about six feet long floating near some cattails. I thought, hey this is neat, I can ride this. My four foot frame was standing a little more than waist deep in water but I was nearly knee deep in mud. I took hold of one of the rotten root stems of the log and pulled myself up. As I did this, the the log just took off toward the center of the pond and that’s when it rolled and at that time it felt like the water just reached up and swallowed me whole. I had no air in my lungs because the cold water had taken my breath away. I tried to breath but only inhaled cold nasty water. I started fighting. The cold deep water had me in it’s grasp. I wanted to scream but I was absorbed by the water. I came close to the surface face up. I could see the sky through the water. I thought about my mother. Boy! she’s gonna be mad at me? I remember being scared and alone as I sank for the second time. I had lost most of my strength but I kept on kicking and trying to think of how I could get out of this mess. I even became mad at myself for being here. That must have been my first experience with my adrenalin. I felt a burst of power and stopped trying to breath because I felt that it was never going to happen. Besides, all that I could pull into my lungs was water, cold nasty cow pee mixed with murky nasty water. When I came back near the surface, I told myself that I had to turn over and get my feet on the ground. As I was going down for the third time, I seemed to gain the strength to roll over, and when I did, my feet sank into the bottom and I could not move my feet. I was lying face down at and angle and couldn’t get to the surface. My lungs screamed for air, my body screamed for oxygen. I was reaching and grabbing hold of anything within my reach. Suddenly, something white came into view. I reached for it and took hold and that’s when a hand grabbed me by the arm and pulled. It was David, my best friend. My head came out of the water but there was no air. David pulled me toward the bank. I tried to climb but the bank was slippery. I lay there for a few seconds unable to get any air at all. It was like all the air had been sucked out of the universe. I was about to lose consciousness. Although it was a sunny afternoon, everything was turning gray. I need to get home, I thought. Mama will know what to do about this. I don’t know how I gained the strength to stand but as I was climbing and David was pulling me it suddenly felt like someone gave me a shove and I fell on my stomach with a sounding thud. It looked like at least a gallon of water just shot out of me. Air, precious air came back to me. As I lay there thinking this could be the end for me, David spoke to me and asked: “Are you alright Ricky?” I said, yeah David, I just swallowed all the water. I raised my head and looked around. Everything was still a little foggy but was clearing up. All I could think about was my mother and how angry she would be if she knew I had done this. My chest hurt, my head hurt, I was hurting all over. I felt sick at my stomach. Probably from all that filthy water I drank. I got to my feet and put my clothes on. I told David that I would see him later and I headed down the path to my house. I wore my hair in a crew cut in those days so it was dry by the time I walked the half mile home. My mother didn’t expect a thing. I couldn’t eat my supper that night because I just didn’t have any appetite. I made up some lame excuse for not being hungry. I felt strange all evening. That night as it was getting dark and we were all sitting on the porch, I got a chill, even though everyone else was fanning themselves. That night my mother had to take me to the doctor to get a shot of penicillin after discovering that I was running a high fever. After getting home and into bed, I dreamed that all my friends and I were in a boat on a dark murky pond using grappling hooks to drag the pond looking for me.
By the time I was twelve, I was one of the best swimmers in my boy scout troop. I quickly earned merit badges for swimming, lifesaving, rowing and canoing. My mother never found out until eight years later when she was about to sign me into the army at the ripe old age of seventeen. Until this day, David is my hero.

How to Trap Quail


How to Trap Quail


I learned to trap quail a long time ago when I was just a boy growing up in Tennessee.

I was poor and could not afford a gun and my dog didn’t know how to hunt quail. A man who worked at a natural gas sub-station near our farm, approached me one day and asked me if I ever hunted quail. I told him I wouldn’t know how, even if I had a gun. Quail are too fast, I told him. At that time he began to teach me to trap quail. The southern bob white that lived on our farm, traveled in coveys of 15 to 20 birds. The method learned here, will let you capture a covey this size all at once.quail-trap-001

The first thing you will need to do is get yourself a wooden box. If you don’t have one big enough just lying around, maybe you can build one. The box needs to be about 3ft by 4ft by 18in in height.(see illustration) Cut a square hole in the bottom, bigger than your hand.(approx. 4in.x6 in) Cover the hole with a screened trap door and attach hinges so that you may be able to open and close it. The next step is to find a place where quail hangout. This will be in a deserted field or on a power line where quail have been spotted. Take along some feed to bait your trap, such as crushed feed corn or bird seed.

Find a good location that will be easily accessible but not in danger of being run over by passing ATV’s or other vehicles. Place the open side of the box to the ground with the trap door facing up. Sprinkle some feed all around inside the box, preferably several ounces, for the quail to eat while waiting for your return. Also, you need to dig a small trench leading up to the box and dig a hole about the size of your fist under the edge of the box. Sprinkle some seed all around the box, covering a large area about a 20ft. radius. Be sure to put some in the trench in order to entice the quail into entering the box.

You are probably thinking. What is going to keep the quail inside the box after they have entered? Good question! Now I’ll reveal a secret about quail. Quail are guided by the light. They always look up to the light and and follow it. This is just their nature.

Once they have eaten the feed, they will look for a way to leave. All they will know to do is look up to where the screened trap door is. They will also be nice and plump from eating the seed and it will be hard for them to go back out the way they came in. Quail are also family oriented. One or two will not escape and leave the others behind. They always travel in groups.

When checking your trap, be sure to approach the side where the hole is and lay a rock over the hole to cover it before you start trying to retrieve the quail from the trap door. The rest you can figure out for yourself. (Bon Apatit)







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