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Garage Commandments


How a Car Should Be Put Together


FOR SALE: Old VW bus, runs good. Missing seat and steering wheel.
Ideal for the person who who has lost his ass and don't know which way to turn.

Thanks to: Thom Fitzpatrick


Here's how to run a weber progressive with a vacuum advance distributor

Storing heads and cases

Unusual NOS metric torque wrench information

Tire treads and bus maintenance

So what are shuffle pins anyway?

Vanagon to Golf 4-cyl gas conversions

Should I insure my bus?  Read this thread and make your decision...

A dissertation on glass

How do I go about filling an empty(?) brake system?

Refrigerator tips and tricks

Sun visor information

Big nuts and small nuts

Wasserboxer repair tips

Missing problem

Converting from 6 volt to 12 volt

And you thought motor oil was motor oil?

Storing your motor for an extended period of time?

Axle supports need periodic tightening


How to load a canoe on top of your bus

  Your gas gauge acting up?

  Sticky cylinders?


How to drive a Vanagon home on three

Professional restoration?

Sage advise from the Holcomb/Bowman - brakes, seals, housings, bearings, gaskets...

Points vs. electronic ignition

Octane booster

VW Transporter Manual: 1950-1962

How to fix your calipers

Where can I get my speedo repaired?

Westfalia information

Fix your Rabbit with a Bus

Grounded lights

G4-rated gear lube

Compression issues?

Replacing your door seals?

A transmission oil discussion...

Safety tips

Need camping heat?

002 M-codes

Wiring diagram to fix the flasher on a 72 Westy

Converting to carburetion on a Type 4?

Need a new lock?

Can I put a TDI drive train into a Eurovan?

Commandments Of The Garage - By Matt Farr

1.The garage shall be forever kept as the sacred realm of the Man.   No lacy curtains nor gingham privacy panels shall be allowed on the windows of the sacred garage.

2.The garage shall not be cleaned, except in cases of extreme need, such as when a pair of holy Vise-Grip locking pliers hath gone missing.

3.Sawdust, grease, and oil are the holy sacraments of the garage, and thus must never be disposed of in haste or with malice.

4.Honor thy rags.

5.Complaineth not when the Man's Friends cometh over to work on a four-wheel-drive vehicle on a Thursday night until 2:00 a.m. Be thee grateful that the Man and his Friends are not attending stimulating performances of voluptuous harlots at Shotgun Willies on this evening. 

6.Thou shalt not remove the beer bottles from the front yard before work in the garage hath yet been completed. Yea, the front yard must be considered an extension of the garage when the garage door remaineth in an upright and horizontal position.

7.Honor the Man and his Friends at all times, even when one of these Friends dropeth a heavy steel truck wheel in the driveway at 12:30 a.m., awakening thyself and wrathful neighbors who calleth to complain.

8.Storeth not antique doll houses in the garage.

9.Thou shalt not ask the Man to bring in the groceries when you see that his hands are greasy, or that he is underneath a car working on the evil U-joint.

10.Adjust not the volume of music that playeth in the garage. Impose not your questionable music tastes on those who savor the druidic chant of Rage Against The Machine at 11 p.m.

11.Borroweth not the hammer of the Man which hangeth in position on the blessed pegboard. If thou breakest this commandment, at least have the courtesy to place the hammer back in correct position on the blessed pegboard. No, putting it on the workbench isn't good enough how wouldst the man know to looketh there?

12.Tools of the garage shouldst remain in the garage at all times, excepting when the Man shall use them for home repair, in which case the sacred tools must remain wherever the Man leaves them, verily including even the kitchen counter and the upstairs hallway.

13.Leaveth not the tools of the Man on the back porch, lest they become rusty from rain.

14.Loaneth not the tools of the Man to your fishy work friends who hath not earned tools of their own.

15.Pulleth not your car into the garage whilst a repair doth transpire in the other bay. The space is needed for many great deliberations and ritual beer drinking. Considereth any snow removal that may be required from your vehicle the next morning as a small penance to pay in comparison to the bloody knuckles, hangover, and bodily suffering borne by the Man.

16.Closeth the trash can at all time, lest the stinking odor of cat poop foul the air.

17.Covet not the eleven Phillips head screwdrivers on the Man's pegboard, and cast not thy insults on the Man's need for additional screwdrivers in the future. Each screwdriver serves a unique, substitution-impossible purpose.

18.Thou shalt not remove the multitude of straightened, oddly-formed, spray-paint-encrusted coat hangers dangling from the garage ceiling. Resist the temptation to dispose of these humble tools, and your rewards shall include a freshly painted iron planter as soon as the Man finishes working on his four-wheel-drive vehicle, of course.

19.Maintaineth a minimum of six yo-yo's (retracting tape rulers), or findeth not one when needed.

20.A man's worth shall be measured by the number of cans of partially used spray paint on his shelves. However, the Man will never have the right color for the job at hand.

21.Obey the Flat Surface Rule. Always put down the tool you are using on the nearest flat surface. Then look for it elsewhere stopeth for a beer when discouraged.

22.Respect the large piece of cardboard against the garage wall.  The Man useth it to lay on when he is under the car.  Touch it not, lest lightning strike thee dead.

23.I sayeth to you: No sweeter sound ever shall be heard than thy own air impact wrench in thy own garage.

24.Thou shalt love the smell of grease as thou loveth thyself.

25.Take not the name of GOJO Creme Formula hand cleaner in vain, especially in the fruity lemon scent.

For more humorous writing by Matt Farr, visit

Each car maker has a philosophy about How a Car Should Be Put Together. Let's take a single case...
Let us say there is a single hypothetical panel in a hypothetical car.  As a baseline, a totally unbiased (and therefore, Martian) engineer examines this cover and determines that it should be held in place with five Phillips head (cross head) screws.

JAPAN: The Japanese would hold it down with exactly five .05c screws.  Boring, reliable, soulless, exactly what is needed.

UNITED STATES: For a long time, a US car's panel would be held on with three screws. This has changed, and now not only does it have five screws, all floor workers must have a communal decision as to how many screws it needs, and have the ability to stop the line entirely should a single screw be a funny color.

GREAT BRITIAN: As with the US, previously this car's panel would be held on with three screws. Additionally, these screws would be flathead style and made of Britishinium Metal, a mysterious alloy that can rust sitting under six inches of oil. Nowadays all the car companies have been sold to the US or Germany, so see those entries.

FRANCE: Only Americans would be so obnoxious as to think how a panel is held on is important. Unions and employee pride are of far more concern. Please come with us to strike for ten more weeks paid vacation.

GERMANY: Every panel on every car is held on with precisely ten aircraft grade titanium/tungsten alloy nuts and bolts torqued to precisely 15.402 lbs-ft. Replacements are sold only in sets of 20, and typically cost $350US. A German mechanic will explain to you, in graphic detail, exactly what would happen should you use a "lower quality" nut or bolt.

RUSSIA: Owing to parts shortages, each panel is welded in place.  A cutter costs 8,000,000,000,000,000 rubles (about $12.15 US), and the official wait is approximately 28 months. However, a stranger named "Igor" will sell you a cutter right away for $40 US (cash only). You notice PROPERTY OF SOVIET ARMY scratched out on the side.

ITALY (Goes Fast approach): The Italian is somewhat different. If the panel has something to do with making the car Go Fast, it will be just like Germany's entry, with the addition that every bolt head will have a beautiful logo cast into it. 

ITALY (Everything Else): The Italian panel has no screws at all.  Rather, it is held in with a very clever arrangement of grommets, snap rings, and C-clips so that it seems to be part of the Car.  However, due to lack of testing, the rubber in the grommets rots in a few years, and since the panel can only be removed with special tool AR001.2399943.011034444.2.1.1, the rubber is hardly ever replaced and so tends to rattle. Enthusiasts of this car will have endless debates on the value of this panel, some will remove it, some will maintain it religiously, and at least one author will write a book telling you how to make a tool that will work out of a '73 GMC lug wrench.

SWEDEN: The panel in a Swedish car is held on with 25 screws.  Curiously, one has to put the car in reverse in order to remove it.

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This page was last updated 09/04/2007