Emily Chung: Mummy Mechanic


Arts & Craft Time: Auto Shop Style!

A Real Piston Cup

Having a mom (or dad) with an auto repair shop has its benefits. My two boys (ages 4 & 6) love playing with cars and we've had many pieces broken off their toy cars. They'd come running to me because they knew I fix cars at work, wanting me to repair their toys. Try explaining that it's difficult repairing plastic! Poor Guido got the vice treatment when one of his forks broke:

Guido in the shop vice





Sad to say but even our heavy duty glue couldn't keep Guido in one piece beyond a few weeks.

When it came time for my son's 5th birthday, I wanted to give him something really special. So I asked my lead tech, Jay, if he could fabricate our own version of the Piston Cup from Disney's Cars. Never one to turn down a challenge, Jay agreed to make the Piston Cup and even designed the podium so we could place Lightning McQueen and the rest of the gang on it. It was good timing as we had an engine lying around from an replacement we did for a client's Suzuki Aerio. It took a bit of time and planning to do... out came the piston, weld a few spots, shape and rivet sheet metal and voilà: 

Disney's Piston Cup & Jay's version

It was awesome! Both of our boys were so excited and it was a one-of-a-kind gift. So what did we do with the rest of the engine? Jay turned it into a mockup so we could have something to point to when explaining repairs to clients. It also came in handy when we were asked to do a webisode for Yummy Mummy TV (watch it here) where we talk with other moms about key parts of the engine.

Engine mockup

And you can see which cylinder is missing the piston (one piston to the left with the valves, next cylinder (green) is empty—piston pulled out):

Just some of the fun that we get to do, having a repair shop and being in the trade!