Vinnie and the Vacuum

Aug 01, 1998

RAY: Our buddy Vinnie Goombatz decided to do a tune up on his brother's car, and, being the good brother and backyard wrench that he was, even figured he'd change the spark plugs. He knew it was important when removing the plugs not to allow the dirt, grime chunks and other matter that accumulates around the plug over the years to fall into spark plug holes.

Being particularly diligent, he went to the trouble to vacuum the dirt away from the plugs with the official "Click and Clack Power Shop Vac."

But because the space in the cylinder head where the plugs go was so confined, he couldn't do the best job. So he decided to remove the plugs and vacuum the space with them removed.

TOM: Maybe we could get him to be so diligent around my house.

RAY: For a fee. Anyway, the results of Vinnie's decision to vac the plug holes with the plugs removed were absolutely disastrous. Question: What had happened?

RAY: The resulting effect wasn't bad for the car, but for the vacuum it was very, very bad. What happened to Vinnie was that his vac was blown to pieces. What had happened was that on one particular cylinder, the intake valve was in the open position. When he held the vac's suction hose on the spark plug hole of that cylinder, he had unwittingly sucked in a gas-and-air mixture into the cylinder from the carburetor, just as a descending piston would. Except in this case, it went up the vacuum hose and through the catchbag, only to be ignited by the electrical current at the motor's electrode. This sent Vinnie's trusty Electrolux into many airborne pieces. Fortunately, they all missed Vinnie.

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