about the talking fish

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Writer. Wheelman. Occasional DIY mechanic. Walking collection of hang-ups. Hopeless romantic. Old-school. Analog soul in a digital world. I am all of these things and more.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Maybe I should be a mechanic...

Ever since I got my car, scratch damage and all, I've always wanted to address the blemishes it sprouted on its rear end. One of these was the cracked right rear taillamp, obviously held together by a repair job of glue. Not only that, but I also wanted to increase my car's visibility at night by adding to the lit surface area of my car's rear end. The lower third of the stock taillamps remains unlit at night and just acts as a dim reflector.

My friend Jobert from Jazz-City United just so happened to get rid of his "rare" LED taillamps for the pre-facelift Jazz. He wanted to update his Jazz's rear end to look like the facelifted version, so I bought his old units for a song. I got the pair for PhP5,500---cheaper than buying just one non-LED taillamp from Honda itself.

A few months ago, I had downloaded the Fit/Jazz electronic shop manual thanks to a link provided by the Jazz-City United crew. I thought it would be a waste not to use it, so the taillamp install became my very first DIY job on my car.

So off I went, screwdriver in hand, dismantling the rear bumper of the car, then proceeding to dismount the stock taillamps. Due to not having the right wrenches, one of the surprisingly soft taillamp mounting nuts (which I had to reuse for the LED ones) gave in under the force of my hand on the open-end wrench I used. At this point I was afraid I'd turned DIY from "do it yourself" to "destroy it yourself." Luckily, Jobert offered me a hand with his tools the next day, and with his sockets and tighter wrenches the stripped nut finally loosened.

It took a little longer than expected, but now that familiarity has set in, I figure I could do the whole job in under two hours. My fingers ached and my thighs got tired after the lengthened install, but they couldn't remove my pride from my work, installing taillamps that will never burn out and will shine much brighter than ever before.

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