Posts Tagged Injuries

Fixed… For Good Now!

So, there is something that has always been annoying to me, and that is the plastic skid plate underneath the engine on my Jetta TDI, and not just the plastic skid plate itself, but also the side skirts that the skid plate attaches to. I think I have replaced the skid plate itself 5 times in the past 9 years I have owned the car, and then the plastic side skirts have broken at least 3 times, usually when there have been ice chunks in the road. This doesn’t even count the number of times I have had to mess with the stupid screws that hold the skid plate to the side skirts and the frame, or the little metal thing that holds the screw as well.

This thing is literally the bane of my existence with this car, which I otherwise completely and utterly love more than almost any other vehicle I have ever owned, the only one I love a little bit more is the Valcan 900 motorcycle I bought this year, so maybe it’s just newer which is why I love it a little more right now.

So I recently got my bumper fixed after a moron decided it was a good idea to try to put on his seatbelt with a broken arm while pulling out of the gas station, and thus hit and scratched up my bumper. Yeah, you are gonna pay for it when you do that, even though the scrapes were not a lot, they were enough and I wanted my pound of flesh for his stupidity.

So, I get the car back, and I am cruising down Storrow Drive on my way into Boston and I hear a slightly familiar sound as I go up and down over the undulating roadway that Storrow is.




Yup, I hear the skid plate scraping on the ground.

I stop when I am at my destination and take a look at the problem, and it is not exactly what I suspected, but it is more annoying than I expected. The skid plate was held in place perfectly and was completely attached to the side skirts and frame just as it’s supposed to be. However, the side skirt is broken up at the top where it connects to the frame up by the top of the wheel well.

Oh sure, great, another $200 to spend for the parts and labor to get the skirt replaced, because you can only buy them in pairs and it’s a PITA to do this without a lift.

So, I am done with plastic, it has some great uses but this really is not one of them.

After a massive amount of searching and reading through online forums, specifically ones at,, and, I decided to go to and purchase from them.

I ended up looking things over and bought the combo of the Panzer skid plate and the Full Metal Jacket side skirts. When something is talked about as much as they are on forums, then there has to be some truth to it. I chose the one that has the nice cut out for oil changes, so maybe I will go back to doing my own changes again, or it will just make it nice and easy for whoever I pay to do my oil changes instead of needing to deal with the old plastic plate again.

Now the real challenge set in, the waiting for it to be shipped and arrive. Fortunately, it came in 4 business days, so I got it last Thursday after ordering it the previous Saturday night. I can live with that.

So the installation went pretty easy, I got the installation done in about 3 hours, but in reality, if I had fully read the whole install guide and had all the tools I needed ahead of time, I could have had this wrapped up in 60-75 minutes.  I rolled the car up onto my tire ramps, and then was able to get under the car with little to no problem, I took off the old skid plate, and then easily took off the old side skirts which were practically falling off anyway.

Then it became a little more complicated, I needed to figure out how to use the “rivnuts” that they sent, and how to use the tool they send to get them put in, all in all, it was actually pretty simple, but it did take a couple minutes to sort it out and get comfortable with it.

I didn’t end up needing to purchase many tools to get this done, I used my standard ratchets and was fortunate enough to have an extender bar that was JUUUUUST long enough, although another 2 inches wouldn’t have been horrible.(insert Michael Scott saying “That’s what she said”). I did end up purchasing a 3 pack of ratchet swivel tips to be able to get at a couple of the bolts at weird angles, and also a nice can of grease. Who doesn’t love grease right? I hear it is the word.

So once I got in the rivnuts, I then popped on the mounting arms for the skid plate. These are pretty nice, they attach the skid plate to the upper part of the frame instead of attaching it to the side skirts, this puts less pressure and weight on the side skirts so they won’t break as easily, although with them now being metal instead of plastic, I don’t expect them to break anyway.

Then the side skirts go on, these went on smoothly without too much trouble, a little twisting and turning to get it done, but not much trouble.

Then the skid plate went on, this was a little tougher than the plastic one because it’s about 25 pounds or so instead of the 5 or 6 that the plastic one weighs, but it sure did attach nice and solid with the bolts into the rivnuts, I took it for a spin afterwards and it felt good, and sounded slightly more quiet than the old one, I suspect the way it attaches and the metal itself probably absorbs a bit more of the noise, and probably keeps a little more of the ground noise out from coming through as well.

Sadly, I did not take any really good pictures like I probably should have of the process, I have a couple from the iPhone, but they aren’t anything remarkable. It looks pretty much like all the stock pictures from over at Dieselgeek if you go check it out, they have some decent videos too.

Also, I did the install using the PDF version of the install guide on my iPad instead of having it printed out, and it was very nice, easy to zoom in on pics and such to make sure I was getting everything in the right spots.

Also, no major injuries occurred during the process. I got real dirty with grease and grime, and somehow my butt really hurts, I think the combination of using my muscles to wiggle in and out from under the car for 3 hours in combination with having ZERO padding on my ass to begin with contributed to that. Also, my arms and wrists got pretty sore in the process as well, holding them up and cranking on the ratchets to get the rivnuts in and then to get the bolts in took some time, and the angles didn’t help, definitely not things my wrists and arms are used to doing on a regular basis.

This is a video that shows Jim at DieselGeek installing the rivnuts.


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Foot Update

As I mentioned on Twitter earlier, I am both relieved and slightly disappointed this morning.

My foot is slightly sore, only mildly swollen, and it has not turned any funky colors.

So it’s good that my injury doesn’t appear to be anything close to serious nor long term, I was kind of looking forward to a really funky colored foot this morning.

Even better, it appears as though this won’t have any effect on me being able to play in the double header on Sunday. One thing that does slightly scare me is that I might actually be called in to pitch part of the double header, not sure how that’s gonna go though. I’m just glad I won’t be in the batters box!

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Not a good day for feet!!

Originally uploaded by Nedster78

So this is a photo of my foot…

If you look closely you can see a nice big bump forming about halfway up the top of my foot… it’s light blue with some dark red specks all over it… but that is tough to see on a photo taken with a blackberry.

How it happened.

As many people who know me are aware, I am in the process of some major work being done in my yard in a massive landscaping project I took on last year that started out just as me widening my driveway and it has expanded so much further.

I built a wall out of used railroad ties, however the city had some issues with it and I have had some permit problems and had received a stop work order from the town.

Yadda Yadda Yadda… I now have a permit and can continue building my wall.

Well I decided to change the design of my wall through the process, so I have to take down the wall I had partially built in order to put in the new wall that was approved by the city to be built.

My roommate is going to help me, but tonight I was alone and went out to do some demolition of the wall. I am using the new 5ft pry bar I bought to separate the ties from one another. They are about 9 inches thick, 8 feet long, and are attached to one another with 12 inch galvanized steel nails, they weigh variably from about 300-350 pounds each.

I pry a few off no problem, then I go to pry off another one, and this is where it got interesting, I got 2 of the nails out and was down the end with one final push to get the last nail out and have the tie come down.

Well the tie rolled towards me, so I stepped back out of the way so that it it wouldn’t land on my feet. One problem however was the pry bar, it was in my hand and the tie fell and hit it. When it hit the pry bar it knocked it out of my hand.

Pry bar then managed to hit my foot, normally not a problem, except that the railroad tie was still on top of it, and was falling. While the tie was not on my foot, we can all remember physics class from high school and how all that stuff works.

So the accelerated weight of the railroad tie, was distributed along the length of the whole pry bar, but the problem was that my foot created only 1 of 2 points of contact for the pry bar. One end on my foot, and one end on the ground, unfortunately for me, my foot hurts more than the ground does.

So it hurt, and it hurt a lot. I yelled out a string of profanity that would probably make Quentin Tarantino blush.

Oh a light hearted note, my middle aged neighbor was standing at his garage, drinking his Busch Light after blowing any debris off his driveway. He looked at me, I looked at him and he raised his can as a hello and then pushed his electric garage door opener to close his garage, with him inside. So much for helpful neighbors, glad I didn’t cut a hand off or something with the chainsaw!

I am currently using the 2 sock and duct tape method to keep ice on it. One light weight sock to keep the bag of ice off my direct skin, and then a second larger sock to hold the ice in place, with the duct tape around it to put a little pressure to keep the ice firmly in place and applying cold to the foot.

I’ll repost a photo later if I get some nice funky colors that appear later.

I will be out working on my wall this weekend either way, only thing this really does is put my double header baseball games on Sunday in question… I hope I can play!


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