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No matter how good your tires are, there’s going to be time when you get one that goes flat. It can happen for any number of reasons and at any time, so it’s always wise to be prepared and ensure you car’s trunk has a spare tire, and importantly, the correct tools to change over the tires.

Check the sidewall of your tires, to know whether they are directional. Directional ones usually rotate in one direction on the road. Placement of tires depends highly on the drive train of your vehicle. Move them to their new positions.

With the head bolts all out I lift the head from the block. Sure enough, there is a burned area on the head gasket allowing compressed gases to escape into the cooling system and coolant to intrude into the combustion chamber. This explains the steam in the exhaust and bubbles in the radiator. The gasket serves a dual purpose. It confines the compression to the cylinder. And it confines the circulating coolant from the combustion chamber. This way the coolant can do its job of absorbing heat and the head and combustion chamber can go about there job of providing horsepower without the two processes meeting in the middle with less than satisfying results.

Since I had previously set the engine at top dead center before removing the distributor, I have no trouble at all placing the distributor in and having the rotor button align with the mark on the casing. Had I not done this procedure, I may have found myself yanking on a wrench at the harmonic balancer trying the find a sweet spot that would allow the distributor to fall in at exactly the right spot. Sometimes experience and foresight can save you loads of trouble.

If you are working with a carbon-fiber frame and/or seat post, use a Best Torque Wrench Under 100 to set the height to the manufacturer’s specification, or have a mechanic at the shop tighten this properly. Adjust your seat position.

However, if you don’t have breakdown cover and you get a flat tire, you either have to pay out to get someone to come and change the tire for you, or you do it yourself. It can seem a bit daunting, but all cars come with a spare tire and the equipment needed to change the tire, so it can be done. Only problem is how do you do it?

I hope this gave you a different view of some items seen at the 2006 Shot Show. I know it’s not complete. There was so much to see and it’s not possible to see it all in any detail. I can only encourage you to attend a future show if the opportunity presents itself.