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This is why I got a PX, revision C, part 4

September 20, 2007

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before.

A floor jack is much too bulky for a scooter, but not the scissor jack found in the trunk of just about every new car. The one in the Escape is too large and heavy, but my first new car was a 1980 Honda Civic, which had this little tiny thing that you operated with the car’s lug wrench. Honda Civics of that vintage weighed considerably less than 2000 lbs., so the jack should not only be up to the task of lifting a Vespa PX 150, but I seem to recall it was very light as well.

All I have to do is find one.

I made a list of likely spots gleaned from the phone book that just landed on my front doorstep and headed out. Why not call? Unless you like being put on hold for hours on end, your best bet dealing with purveyors of automobile parts is in person.

I lament the passing of Fitz Auto Wrecking in Woodinville. This was the auto recycler of auto recyclers, with separate yards for Ford, GM, Japanese and European/AMC-Jeep (probably from when Renault owned it). They were computerized before nearly everyone else, and breathtakingly efficient at dismantling vehicles and cataloging every insignificant little bit. If they didn’t have it, it probably didn’t exist. Every one of their main buildings had a big box full of jacks pulled from the trunks of the vehicles they took in.

But Fitz is gone. Let’s face it, given the price of real estate in this part of the world, an auto wrecking yard is certainly the least-lucrative use of a given plot of land. I seem to recall townhouses being built on the sites of the various yards.

So I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find all the places on my list to be closed, too. No townhouses yet, but soon, I imagine.

I knew for sure of one place that was still open: a yard across the street from Bent Bike in Lynnwood, so that’s where I went.

They had a shopping cart full of jacks in the corner, and they didn’t charge me their usual admission fee (this is a pull-it-yourself kinda place). Have at it, said the lady behind the counter.

It would be best to find a jack that’s operated by using the lug wrench, instead of by some spindly little crank. That way, you just use your socket wrench, and at worst you add a socket for the jack to your tool kit.

They had some, but these were gigantic, hulking things that I’m guessing came out of full-size pickup trucks or vans. A couple of Toyota jacks; light, but needing some special (missing) gizmo to operate. No 1980 Honda Civic jacks in here.

I’m leaving tomorrow, so if a tire goes flat, it will simply have to be dealt with in the best way available to me at the time. I’m bringing a blanket. Favicon


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