The WarCamp Line - September 2001

  No Pain - No Gain

Bondmobile needs a wash

I woke up early and realized that it was Saturday morning. As usual, I went out to the garage for my first cup of coffee. I was dressed in a ratty old pair of shorts, no shave, shower or for that matter nothing except me and my coffee. Itís a nice time of day to get your thoughts together since itís so quiet. After a half cup of coffee I began to look at the Bondmobile. Man, was it a mess! It had rained for two solid weeks and I donít think that it had ever looked quiet so bad. Well, almost. It was real bad that time Dave ĎMoFastí Meaux, Gary ĎWild Maní Johnson and I did the Sunny Beaches pre-drive down that dirt road.  Gary, Warren and Alex pose for the camera on that dirty road

No, this was worse. I got another cup of coffee and looked her over again. Well, thatís why we have Saturdays, perfect time to do the car. I wondered, ĎWhat time is it?" It was dark outside. No matter, I could close the garage doors and do the inside of the car. Surely with the garage doors and windows closed, the neighbors couldnít hear my vacuum.

I decided that this would be a Class 3 cleaning. Fairly aggressive but not radical. Just for your info, a Class 1 is the most basic cleaning. Quick wash and dry, check engine fluids and youíre off in less than an hour. For a Class 2 you add a brief interior vacuum and wipe down. Class 4 adds leather treatment to the interior, polish to the rear window, more under car and wheel well cleaning and a bit of engine compartment stuff. Class 5, well, Iíve never done a Class 5 but thatís what I think those Concourse people do (editorial note:  yes Warren, this is the kind that results in sore fingernails!).

Never mind all that. I dropped the garage doors, closed the windows and went to work. The Bondmobile was so bad that I didnít want to lower the top to do the interior, it probably would scratch the rear window even with the window blanket. I set about pulling out all the loose stuff and even went ahead and emptied the center console and door pockets. I wonít put more than a half a box of Kleenex in the glove box so that was no problem.

Now I started with the vacuum but no sooner got started than I realized that it was still too dark to see it good so I got out the trouble lights [Man, thatís a good name for those. You never use them unless there is Ö trouble.] I put one on the side, one hanging from the garage door operator through the windshield and had a third that I moved around inside. Now I could see everything! With all that light it really made it easy to get way under the seats and behind the pedals. In fact, now I could see that I really did need to do some cleaning around those pedals, I hadnít noticed that spot before.

Well, there was plenty of time now so in I went. I must say I was starting to get into this. Those pedals really did shine and there is nothing like a little success to really get you going. Something I hadnít done in a long time was to pull off the shift boot, pop out the windows and hazard switches. All kind of gunk gets down those little cracks and Iím sure that in time they would probably fail as the crud builds up. With all those lights, it would be real easy to see it all so in I went.

Just as I expected, full of stuff. Normally Iíd just pull out my air compressor and blow it out but it was still early and I knew that the compressor going off would have the neighbors throwing fireballs on me. So I got out my little can of compressed air that I use on the computer and worked it out with a little 409. Good job! A little more vacuum and I was done there. I had another coffee (or two) then emptied the trunk and gave it a good vacuuming even though it really didnít need it.

Dash work was going just as well. I shined it up and then used some leather treatment on the leather part of the doors. By now I was a bit tired and real hot from the lights and stuffy garage so I had another coffee and thought about it. With all the heat on the seats from the lights, it would be a good time to go ahead and do the full leather treatment. When I finished my coffee thatís just what I did. With all those lights it really looked good. No spot was left undone. Front, back, top and bottom. I even worked a little in that hard to get area between the console and the seat. That finished the inside (except of course the windows.)

Now it was starting to get a little light outside. ĎPerfect timing,í I thought, ĎI can wash and dry outside before any direct sun hits the Bondmobile.í I opened the garage doors and windows (man, you could really feel the heat from the lights rush out when I did that) then I pushed her out so that nobody would get pulled from their sleep. Pushing her out of the garage was easy since it was going a little down hill but I really had to push hard to get her in my wash spot. I must have pulled a back muscle or something because it got really sore. My hands were already stiff from all the rubbing on the interior. No problem. By now there was enough caffeine in me to fight off tigers.

I got out my new, custom-made hose, bucket, Zymol wash, and all those sponges and brushes. I checked my towel stock and they were all clean, folded and ready to go. A couple of things to note here. I work at a chemical plant and we have all kinds of hoses there. Big hoses, small hoses and those that will contain methylethyldeath at 200 degrees C while under 500 psi. Well, I had my hose supplier make me an industrial strength water hose. Heavy-duty hose rated at a 200 psi operating pressure with a tough skin. The ends are made from machined brass and you could drive a X5 over it without a wrinkle. Cost Ė 30 bucks.

Towels. Iíve tried them all but Iíll only use ones from one of the automotive specialty shops. Unlike the hose, the towels are expensive but they absolutely won't leave swirl marks. Well, at least if you use them right. Another thing, I wash them myself and never, never, never let Girlfriendís fabric softener get close to them! I never use them around something oily, it might not come out.

Anyway I started washing after another cup of coffee. It was a fresh pot Ďcause I had finished the first one. Washing was easy. The cool outside became a bit cold after the extreme heat inside the garage and that didnít seem to help either my back or my tennis elbow(s). By the time I finished washing, the sun was up and baby really was looking good even though I was a little more than a little sore from it all.

I got all the little hard to get to spots and really got worked up in the wheel wells. I think I might get into the Wheel Well Hall of Fame. Plenty of rinsing with my new hose, which I noticed, was quite a bit heavier than my last one. The wheels were really a mess so I got after them with a passion. I had another cup of coffee while doing the final rinse and began to think about treating the top with Starbrite. [Note: Like the leather treatment, Starbrite is normally only done on a Class 4 wash but what the hey, I was on a roll.]

Drying is an art form. Iíd like to see it made into an Olympic sport. The entire wash process isnít worth squat without a really good drying. You canít go slow or it will leave those little water spots but if you go too fast you donít get a good job. I did it by the book. Start with the windows, 1st towel gets most of the water and the 2nd towel does the finish work. Donít mix up the towels. Iíll normally use 3 or 4 towels but today I went through 4 before I got to the door panels and engine compartment. While bent over to get the wheels I got a bad cramp in one of my calves so I stopped for another coffee.

Thatís about the time people started waking up. I caught my breath and had another cup of coffee with them and went right back to do the engine compartment. They all scattered here. They claim that I try to suck them into helping, then I pick at them for not doing it the right way. Donít know why.

Anyway, the engine area was really bad but hey, it was only 9:00, and if I finished the car, Iíd have to fix that plumbing leak in the guest bath or something. This way, the termites might even send me a thank you note. I used some Simple Green on hoses and belts and even thought it was doing a good job, all that bending over was really beginning to get to me. Not to bother, I opened the fuse box and started to clean them with.................


Hi, this is Pat, Warrenís girlfriend. He asked me to finish this up. He got a back cramp and sat down and couldnít get up. Itís like all of his body is frozen or something. I helped him upstairs into bed but he canít get to sleep because of all that coffee. Also, I really donít understand what he is saying about the sun on the car and such. Anyway, my daughter ran over his new ugly hose so he canít play with his car anymore anyway.

Well, Iím off to Wal-Mart and I think Iíll take his car (it really does look cute) even though he would never park it in one of those parking lots. I canít imagine why. Bye Bye




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Posted:  Saturday, May 11, 2002