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My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Miranda Strickland!!!

Miranda Strickland (#3535) has received a certificate of achievement in Make it Easy for earning a Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert Level Grease Chicks Merit Badge!

“Well, I am actually applying for all three levels at once. It started with me doing a tuneup with my husband and my mentor on my OLD truck (’04 Trailblazer) as well as the oil change.

But, Memorial Day was a bad day for folks in my area. Several people lost their homes or businesses, or had damage. Others of us lost our vehicles. I was blessed, however, and a family friend traded me my Trailblazer (severe water damage and all) for a 1974 Chevy C10 pickup. Now, most would not call it a fair trade, but it really was. The truck is awesome!

I have been keeping an eye on fluid levels and gas mileage (which is how we figured out the carburetor needed a rebuild) and changed out a headlight, tail light lens, assisted in pulling spark plugs and, as I have an oil leak at the moment, I have been keeping an eye on my oil levels and refilling as needed. (New gaskets will be another project.)

Once I got it, we discovered I had a few more problems than originally anticipated. This included the Master Cylinder (which had been replaced less than a month prior to my taking the truck) blowing out. We pulled the cap off and found the front chamber empty. We pulled the back wheels off to check the brakes, but they were clean. My husband had me put the wheels back on (I’d never used an impact driver before … it was fun!) and my mentor (the shop foreman at the shop where we got the truck) inspected the front brakes and all the connections. We determined that the system likely had not been bled properly before, and so the master cylinder blew, which meant getting a new one installed. I did not get to assist in that, but they walked me through the steps and even let me fill the old master cylinder with fluid to see if it was leaking. It wasn’t after that, but it also wasn’t working. I also sat in as they installed the new Morosa valve covers and the gasket material.

My third “expert” level project (plugs, brakes/wheels) was last Sunday at the shop, assisting my mentor with rebuilding the Quadrajet carburetor. I did the cleaning, part of tearing it down, part of reinstalling and listening/watching carefully as he explained everything that was wrong with it. He seemed very impressed with how much I understood!

The truck still needs a lot of work. New gaskets, all new wiring, new battery cables, new hood, new mirrors, etc. It’s not truly finished, but these old vehicles are not cake walks.

I learned with my previous vehicle, however, that NO vehicle is a cake walk. Let me tell you, being 5’4″ and trying to pull plugs from an Inline 6 is NOT an easy task.

I have discovered that I am actually pretty good at mechanic work and have been in school to be a motorcycle tech for a little over a year. With the experience I have gained over the past month and a half, I have decided to start looking for a job in the field!”


  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Wow, Miranda, what a great learning quest you have been on! It is fantastic that it has lead you to more schooling and now the possibilities of employment too. Congratulations on all of your hard work and I hope you are able to find work in your new field of expertise. I just have one question? Will you be the only tech all aproned up MaryJanesFarm style?

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