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Ken's Kar Shoppe

Last week when I went to fill up the car with gas, the station attendant told me it looked like my radiator was leaking. I smiled, thanked him, and went on my way. When I got home I told JC of my interaction but we didn't see any leakage and continued on with our lives. On Tuesday JC picked me up from campus and on our way home the car started beeping and the temperature gauge spiked. We checked under the hood - believe it our not the coolant reservoir was empty (despite having recently filled it). I called Dad's Car Talk and was reprimanded and given different scenarios of what could be wrong with the car. 

A few days later JC filled the coolant reservoir and drove around for two miles to check how it held up. The temperature gauge started to go up and when he got back half the coolant dumped. 
interpretation = we had a problem

So I called Ken's Car Talk and gave the above story. He offered to stop by with a pit crew to diagnose the situation. 
prognosis = hole in the lower hose

Ken came over early the next day, we filled the reservoir up with water and limped our way over to his car shop. It was decided that we (as in Ken and JC - I mainly watched) would get under the hood to make sure that the hose was the problem. But there was a road block. Apparently, somewhere along the car's +102,000 miles the front part of the body had been bent in, shifting the radiator back a few inches. This made it difficult to get to the hose. It was also noted that the lower hose, due to the shift in the radiator, was rubbing against a metal piece (thus creating a hole). In order to prevent any future problems after inserting a new hose (and mainly to get the old one out) some auto-body maintenance was ordered.

We pulled the car up behind the West Fala, hooked it up to the hitch and cranked away.
result = radiator back in place, access to the hose, and no more rubbing

Proving the many practical uses of a Westy
 The hose proved difficult to get out. Partly due to it's positioning, partly due to the clamps securing the hose in place. In the end, several different wrenches were used, a dremel that sent sparks flying, and a pocket knife.
Here are some of my favorite Ken quotes that occurred during this time:
Not only am I not ASC certified, I don't know what ASC means.
Fun, fun, fun until my daddy took my neon away.
Ken: You get what you paid for.
Me: Well, I paid in brownies...
Ken: So you'll get something tasty.

Happy boys are dirty boys
 The hole was big enough to stick a finger through.
The culprit
After we got the hose out we stopped by AutoZone, they didn't have the part in stock, so we headed over to Napa where we got a new hose and clamps to secure it (because the old clamps were sawed in half by the dremel). We went back to Ken's car shop to put the hose back in.

For roughly $18.50 and 3 hours of manual labor (never mind it being cold) we got our car fixed. We had expected to do all the work ourselves with slight supervision from Ken. However, he did most of the work, teaching us as he went, and didn't even make us clean up. I highly recommend his car shop for any way-laid and naive driver.

Now here's hoping we'll make it to Medford on Monday.