Gear Stick Tooleytale Mk2 (03/09/2003)

I knew it, I damn well knew it!
Following on from my Gearstick Tooleytale:-
Upon further investigation before towing my car up to Wickham, it was discovered that one of the linkages connecting the gear stick to the gearbox was hanging off.

This was replaced with the judicious use of a large screwdriver and hammer. However, it was considered prudent to get it looked at by an 'expert' just in case...

I managed to successfully poodle over the top of Portsdown Hill and down dale all the way to Wickham pretty much in 2nd gear all the way.

As the guy at the garage couldn't look at it till Monday, this left me car-less for the entire weekend.
Monday dawned, and I get a call from the mechanic telling me that he has the car up on the ramps. He pointed out that the gear linkages were knackered (surprise, surprise) and all 3 of them need replacing as a kit.

Sounded not too bad...he quoted £78 parts, labour and VAT.
Result...OK...sorted..., "I'll pick the car up tomorrow then" I chirpily replied.
The following day he wasn't quite so confident. A problem occurred trying to track down the principle linkage (the one that broke to start with)

He had to get a longer one, and cut it down to size then re-weld it back together. (more expense)
BUT, it wouldn't arrive till later on in the afternoon. While it was immobile, he noticed that the front brake pads need replacing.

£39 plus labour + VAT. OK, fit them and get it over with.

Oh, and by the way the drop links were knackered as well.
£78 plus labour and VAT. OK, fit them and get it over with.

Oh, and by the way the front tyres are looking a bit thin...NOW JUST HOLD ON A COTTON PICKING MINUTE!!!

So, just as my wallet was going into cardiac arrest I had another phone call.
He said "Do you want the bad news, the worse news, or the really shit news?"

For God sake, what now?

He then proceeds to tell me the bad news, which is that not only is the nylon bush knackered in the gear coupling, but the steel ball that it fits on to is shot as well.

OK, what's the worse news?
The gearbox may have to come out to replace it!
WHAT!!! Oh my God!
So what's the really shit news?
The new linkage which he has just spent half a day knocking up, at my great expense I hasten to add, won't stay on the old ball.

That was it, I really lost the plot then.
"So how do you intend to get my car back on the road" I asked in a really sarcastic voice.
Long silence...followed by an even longer silence.
"Don't know" he squeaked.
To cut a long story short, Bottle Tops! Believe it or not, the only thing currently holding my gear linkage together at present is the sum total of two foil milk bottle tops which the mechanic wrapped around the steel ball before forcing my new link over the top.

Total bill for yesterdays shenanigans...£238
Guarantees that it won't happen again at any time...none!
What's my name? DAVE TOOLEY
Would you like my luck?

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