I assessed my options and decided that once Cheyenne was walked and thus relaxed, this was as good a spot as any for a flat tire. I was parked on a flat firm piece of ground such was one might find most places in Flatistan, land of no hills, the sun was shining as it does in Florida, the breeze was blowing and it was in all respects a perfect day for some physical labor in the open.
Too bad the labor was a flat tire but I used to be a boy scout before they became homophobes so I was prepared. This is not a good time to discover the doughnut is flat but if mine had been I carry an electric pump in my trunk which is surprisingly useful as it makes it easy to check tire pressures and stuff when you have a spare moment. It has also saved me when my spare was flat in the trunk.
While I was bent double in the trunk removing the well screwed down doughnut I heard a kerfuffle outside and found my dog in a high state of nerves as she was being solicited by a Key deer. Rangers think the deer are scared of Cheyenne when the reverse is actually true. She retreated with a worried look on her face as the curious deer approached her with lust in his eyes. My sudden appearance from the bowels of the broken car scared the deer and Cheyenne took up a protective stance, sort of, nearby.
I applied foot to tool and slowly loosened the wheel nuts.
Then I applied the well greased jack to the dimple in the under carriage and slowly levitated the Fusion.
As I did so, as though to mock me the culprit leered at me from between the rubber treads:
With the old tire well off the ground I finished loosening the nuts and exposed the secret parts of the car to sunlight. Had I been a smoker this might have been the moment.
As it was I stuck the doughnut on, rigid with it's 90 pounds of pressure.
And honked down on the wheel nuts in the approved cross hatch style.
Supposedly doing it that way keeps the wheel flush against the tire and prevents wobble.
Replacing the jack is a total class A bitch. I would pay good money for five minutes in a dark room with a rubber hose with the cretin at Ford who designed the wheel jack holder. The pin seen above has to be inserted after the jack has been lowered into place. When the folded jack is place the hole the pin screws into becomes invisible. Duh!
Fumble-curse-fumble-curse. There has to be a place in hell for the "engineer" who designed this arrangement. A lifetime later I was putting the useless tire into the trunk when the actual cause of my derangement made itself known. Two screws in one flat! Grrr.
The doughnut spare tire used to irritate me but in the modern era with long lasting tires and tubeless compounds that resist flats and only seem to lose air slowly when they do get punctured, the miniature spare tire has come to seem a good idea to me. It takes up no space, is easy to handle and happily gets very little use
Driving around with a honking great wheel in the trunk is a pain in the backside, as is my preference for doing manual labor without gloves.
But the job was done, Cheyenne was walked and,
it was still a perfect day today.
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