Changing wheels, can't see the forest for the trees

My upstairs window has a good view of the driveway and garage across the street. My neighbor runs a yard service. He has a 1 ton dump truck for the big stuff and a 1/2 ton pickup for his light duty stuff. It appears he has a pair of tires–already mounted on wheels–for the back of his 1/2 ton.

He chocked the front wheels, jacked up the rear end, placed jack stands under the axle, and then wheeled his portable compressor out of the garage. Went back in and rummaged around for an extension cord, plugged in the compressor and let it build pressure. Went back in the garage and came out with an impact and an air hose. Air hose is stiff and tangled up, had to uncoil it and straighten it out across the lawn. Quick connect on the impact didn’t fit the hose, had to change fittings. Finally got going, removing one side of lug nuts emptied out his little compressor, had to wait a few more to loosen the other side. Put the wheels on, spent 10 minutes rolling up the air hose and extension cord and putting the compressor back in the garage.

All told, over 30 minutes spent (not counting jacking up and lowering the truck) when doing the lugs by hand might have taken 5.

His yard looks 10 times better than mine though.

Partial bump, just to get it up on top of the pages of Korean stuff again.

I am kinda guilty of doing the same thing. If I can automate something I’m likely to do it even though it may take more time. If I gotta pick some branches up around, I’ll probably get the lawn mower and hook the cart up and drive around instead of just walking it. I guess when you’ve got it you gotta flaunt it.

I have an air compressor but have never used it to power a wrench. A long handled cross wrench works just fine for me.

Leave the compressor plugged in inside the garage and always charged with air. Buy a longer air hose. Then the impact wrench is ready whenever he is. He has the tools, just doesn’t know how to arrange things to use them efficiently.

So what?
My suggestion: plant a big tree between your house and his house so you’ll no longer be tempted to invade his privacy.

For the record, I use my impact wrench to remove my lug nuts to prevent straining my bad back.
And I very highly value my privacy.

I’ll go out of my way just because I like the sound of my rattle gun :wink:

I use Mustangman’s approach. It’s far easier/cheaper to lengthen the air hose than the electric cable…

Oh, I don’t know that what you do in your driveway in plain view of the whole world to see would be considered doing something in private, would it?

If I can automate something I'm likely to do it even though it may take more time.

I’m pretty much a nerd (try to contain your shock, everyone), and I have a lot of programmer friends. I’m very familiar with this mentality, and share it. A chore suddenly becomes fun when you’re busy inventing ways to automate the process.

This can bite you, though. I had a data entry job back in college where a company was switching over from old records entered on a 70’s era mainframe to new records stored in a (then) modern database. My job was to pull up a file on the mainframe and print it out, then enter the data into the new form.

I spent about a day designing a macro to automatically copy and paste the relevant information from the mainframe terminal window into the new database. Then spent the rest of the week just watching it burn through the records at warp speed. Done by noon Friday.

“Well, thanks, we had no idea you’d be able to do it so fast. We planned on having you do this for the whole summer and don’t have any more work for you, have a nice life.” So too much automation can result in you getting yourself fired.

This approach is probably why I have a bizarre Y-shaped PVC pipe setup on the wall in my garage with a funnel on each of the two top legs and a milk carton underneath. Instead of going to all the trouble of cleaning out my funnels when I do oil changes/etc, I just drop 'em on the top opening of the PVC monstrosity and let 'em drain into the milk carton. The other side of the Y has a big flare adapter on it where the oil filter gets inserted to drain. It’s usually the first thing someone who visits notices, usually with a “what the hell is THAT” comment. :wink:

Hmmm, that reminds me, I’ve got a salt chute from the garage to the water softener in the basement. Then all I have to do to load the softer is dump the bag in the chute-no carrying heavy bags down the stairs. Yeah its all kosher for fire safety with concrete and metal cover.

This reminds me of a friendly neighborhood barbecue rivalry that a neighbor of mine and I once had. He hated propane grills with a passion and wouldn’t barbecue anything without charcoal. I tried to explain to him how the barbecue process worked but he would have none of it. As we all know, or most of us anyway, the barbecue flavor comes into play when meat drippings fall down on hot coals, charcoal briquets, steel or volcanic rocks and the smoke rises to flavor the meat. There is absolutely no flavor in charcoal but my neighbor always swore there was.

I could light my propane grill and it would be smoking hot after just 10 minutes. It took my neighbor 20 minutes just to get his charcoal stacked properly. He then insisted on waiting another 5 minutes to let his charcoal lighter sink in. By the time his charcoal was ready for the steaks…my friends/family had already enjoyed a delicious steak dinner and our dessert was a distant memory. I’m not opposed to using charcoal but propane is cheaper and easier to use. Steaks don’t care where the heat comes from once they are on the grill so I don’t understand my neighbor’s position. It must be that he is sentimental or it’s a tradition in his family to use charcoal.

Like TSM, I use an impact gun not because it is faster, but to save my back. I put them back on lightly then finish with a ratcheting click type torque wrench. I used to use a beam type but bending over to read it while torquing it also hurts my back.

Ase, would you want someone secretly watching what you do in your own driveway from a second story window and critiquing it in a public forum? I wouldn’t.

I have a battery powered Impact wrench. One of the best tools I ever bought.

@“the same mountainbike” I think that what people do out in the street is public domain and is there to be seen by anybody and everybody who happens to wander by. There’s no privacy to things that are done out in public.

There’s nothing secretive going on here. I can’t help what I see when I glance out the window any more than you can. My living room, dining room, and front porch look directly at my neighbor’s house. The upstairs has the same view, just from higher up. I’m not going to sit in a dark house with the blinds drawn for fear of what I might see outside.

I can see the need for an impact to change a couple of tires if you’ve got back troubles, but for a physically healthy and capable guy who can load a California Trimmer into his truck by himself, spending half an hour to work on 12 lug nuts when it could have been done in 5 just seems silly.

As for critiquing, I expect it happens regularly. I’m sure that when I mow the lawn on a hot summer day the neighbors complain about the fat guy with no shirt on.

Doing something in broad daylight in full view of everyone that is present does not mean they’re being spied on by the neighbors.

If a Fed Ex driver goes by and sees the guy wrestling wheels is he spying on him? No.

I agree that exercise was a colossal waste of time. I’d just hit it with a 4-way and get the misery over with. The less time I spend wrestling wheels and tires and/or waiting the better.

Not much privacy in doing something in your driveway or garage if you live on a street like this.

Man that dang clover. I’ve got patches too that are killers to get rid of.

I’m a propane guy too. Don’t like cooking and all the prep and the hat and apron etc. that some guys like to do. Turn the gas on, roast the meat, and eat. Then shut the gas off and all is well. We had to replace ours this year and I was surprised that it doesn’t use the lava rocks any more. You have to use a wood cooker or something for the flavor. Never ever thought to check.

I suspect though that the neighbors aren’t too keen on folks working on their cars in the driveway though. I’ve never done much driveway work-just too hot or too cold, but figure I’m in the public domain there. I didn’t mind watching my neighbor and figured she was in the public domain, but then the split so its pretty quiet over there.

Ha ha ha. Now a neighbor has the minivan backed into the driveway and is using the garden hose to wash off the baby seat on the front lawn. Obviously had some sort of diaper malfunction or technicolor yawn happen. Won’t these people do anything in private?

Many of my neighbors, and I too, do work in the driveway. I just feel very uncomfortable with someone watching the process from their second floor window. Gives me the spooks. I have to wonder what else they’re watching from behind their curtains.

I welcome neighbors/friends coming over while I’m working. I can use the moral support and often the guidance. And in some cases, like when I need someone to hold the serp belt tensioner while I thread the new belt on, I need the extra hand. And I have a young neighbor who comes over to learn. His grandfather and grandmother are close friends. I’m even postponing a job, replacing my valvecover gasket, until he’s home… I’ve invited him to come join me. He wants to learn about cars and perhaps I can show him some things. If nothing else, I plan to emphasize getting the proper documents, making sure you have the proper tools, and proper torqueing. Once I pop the valvecover, I’ll also be able to show him some things about the camshafts, as well as where the oil goes when you add some. I don’t think he’s ever seen a camshaft.

But if someone wants to watch, let him do so openly. Let him come over and say “hi”. I don’t like people lurking out of sight.

Would it be better if I watched from my dining room, or my front porch? We don’t even have curtains in the upstairs room, and the downstairs shades are almost always open. I hate subdued light. I’m not watching anything specific, just what happens to be in my line of sight. Anyone walking his dog can look up and see me sitting here in front of the computer. And we can also look out and see the kids playing in the street. Nice family neighborhood.

Maybe it’s because I work on cars for a living, but the last thing I ever want when I’m trying to do something is someone to come over and shoot the breeze. It makes everything take 3 times longer, makes me distracted and makes it easy for mistakes to happen.

Having said that, the neighbors all know that if they need a hand unloading that fridge or a jump start or need to borrow an extension cord a helping hand is right here. And they would do the same for me.

Except the guy across the cul-de-sac who won’t let the kids play baseball in the street for fear of a ball hitting his house. I guess every neighborhood has a guy like that.