Tonight I did a dumb thing, I went in to Advance auto parts. This kid
asks if he can help me. I figure sure, what the hell. I ask for header bolts
for a 77 305. He says "I don't think there is such a thing."
Seeing smoke coming from my ears he asks someone else who tells him
where they are at. I follow the kid over to the spot in the isle, and he
says "what do header bolts look like?" I grabbed a pack and said "Tell me if
these fit a small block chevy."
I saw the paper catalog hanging from the shelf, I wanted to see if he
was smart enough to read it. He says "I have no way to know what any of that
is." I swear I almost pimp slapped the boy.
I wouldn't have went to advanced for header bolts, execpt it's friday
night, it was 8PM and all the real parts stores had been closed for hours. I
have forgot to purchase them the last 15 times I have been to a real parts
store. So I paid $6 for china made Mr Gasket brand header bolts.
Atleast I got my free headers bolted to the 305 in my 77 C-10. If I can
remember to, Im going to get a few other parts to replace what has been
pillaged, so I can get the puppy to move under her own steam.
Maybe im just getting too old. For some reason I expect people that
work in parts stores to know what they are selling, where it is at, how to
make sure it's the proper item, and to know whats good and whats junk.
77 C-10 305/TH400/3.73's/9 leafs per side: $75
Hooker Compititon Headers with 1& 5/8's primary tubes: Free
Mr. Gasket Ultra Seal Hader Gaskets: $8.50
Mr. Gasket China made header bolts: 6.00
Being able to have less then $200 in it and drive the truck past the morons
house I got it from: Priceless.
I agree Charles, places I go to up here near Toronto are ones I ve
painstakingly checked out.. most of the ones I frequent for my firebird are
actually run by or have parts people that have forgotten more about muscle
cars than most. Guys that have taken apart or rebuilt entire cars back in
those times. Most are quite willing and often eager to pass on what they
know.. I know I ve learned a ton from these guys which is why I keep going
back to repay them for their hospitality.
I always get a kick when I go to buy parts for my '71 and '73 T/A and when the
little ricer punk behind the counter asks the engine size I have to tell him
its a 7.5L 455 ci :-)
When I had the tires mounted on my new Rally II rims there was some chink
ricer boy running the store and he asked me why I went with such heavy rims.
All I could do was smile and tell him that with 350HP and 500ft-lbs torque it
Now my old pickup, like many, is a strange configuration of parts sorta like
Johnny Cash's Cadillac. I have a card I carry in my wallet to keep track of
what year what part is. (distributor, water pump, accessory drive pulleys,
tranny, diff, etc.) Now the fun thing to do is go into Advance or O'Rielly
and try and get a part. You say, "I need a distributor cap for a 69 Chevy
327". They ask what car is it? You try and tell them it doesn't matter.
They insist on asking what car it is. At this point you tell them it's a
1960 Ford pickup. The look on their face is priceless. Some will even try
to convince you that you don't really want that Chevy part for a Ford truck.
Of course if you just want the part without the entertainment you go to a
REAL parts store like the local NAPA jobber.
Had a buddy in high school that had a '64 Chevy short box, with a 440
Chrysler under the hood, limited slip rear end, torque flite tranny. Fun
I needed a pan gasket for a 300-I6 Ford a while back. I honestly did not
know what year the engine was because it was a transplant, but ALL 300's use
the same gasket. I tried to tell the pimply faced parts "man" that it did
not matter what year, but he persisted. So I gave him a year! When I got the
box in my hand I showed the application on the box. It covered all years to
I like REAL parts stores, even if I end up paying more. The problem is,
I will do work late at night, after my businesspartners are done with the
lift. After 6PM all the real parts stores around here are closed. That
leaves Auto-Zone & Advance. Auto-Zone has a 24 hour store. Which is totally
useless from 3AM till 4:30AM as their computers go down for system updates.
Not even the managers know how to use paper catalogs.
I used to have a buddy that had 2 jobs. He worked first shift at Johns
Auto Parts (A real parts house), then second shift for 5 hours at Auto-Zone.
One evening I had the steering column coupler get really lose on ym 1988
4x4 S-10 Blazer (4.3V6/auto). I had grew up calling the part a rag joint. It
was around 7 in the evening when I needed the part, after calling around for
45 minutes and getting told it was either a junk yard or dealer item, I had
a brite idea. I called the Auto-Zone my buddy worked at, and asked for him.
I said "Hey Greg ya'll sell any Rag Joints?" He replied "Hell Yea old
son. I done seen a box of them collecting dust on a shelf. They call them
something else in the parts books and computer."
So since I had a suspension & steering parts paper catalog handy, I
flipped thru it and found "Steering Column coupler". I gave greg the part
numbers from my catalog. He cross referanced them to the Auto-Zone part
number. Then he went back, grabed me one, and set it up front for me.
I was in and out of Auto-Zone in less then 5 minutes, cause we jawwed
for 4 minutes.
Around here a lot of the older small parts houses, like Johns, and KOI
still even let you smoke in them.
Probably still wondering what that big engine looks like....<grin>
Well, catch ya later,
1985 Blue Camaro 2.8L w/ T-tops
1988 Blue Firebird Formula 5.0L w/ T-tops (Up for sale on Autotrader.com)
Still looking for an '82 T/A 5.0L w/ T-tops
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