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Automotive class gets under the hood

Students learn to repair head gasket.
Angel Carpenter

Blue Mountain Eagle

Published on April 13, 2018 4:18PM

Grant Union High School students in Jason Miller’s automotive class stand together with their teacher, including, from left, Cauy Weaver, Dillon Maley, Drew Lusco (above), Hadley Boethin (lower), Elijah Humbird, Josh Carpenter and Clara Carr, with Miller at right. Luke Claughton and Caleb Rand, also in the class, were working under a vehicle to remove its head gasket.

The Eagle/Angel Carpenter

Grant Union High School students in Jason Miller’s automotive class stand together with their teacher, including, from left, Cauy Weaver, Dillon Maley, Drew Lusco (above), Hadley Boethin (lower), Elijah Humbird, Josh Carpenter and Clara Carr, with Miller at right. Luke Claughton and Caleb Rand, also in the class, were working under a vehicle to remove its head gasket.

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Automotive teacher Jason Miller speaks with two students under an SUV the class is working on, senior Josh Carpenter at right.

The Eagle/Angel Carpenter

Automotive teacher Jason Miller speaks with two students under an SUV the class is working on, senior Josh Carpenter at right.

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Grant Union student Luke Claughton is under a Toyota Highlander in automotive class, working to remove a head gasket.

The Eagle/Angel Carpenter

Grant Union student Luke Claughton is under a Toyota Highlander in automotive class, working to remove a head gasket.

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Students in Grant Union’s automotive shop visit before heading out to their next class of the day.

The Eagle/Angel Carpenter

Students in Grant Union’s automotive shop visit before heading out to their next class of the day.

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Luke Claughton and Caleb Rand work on a Toyota SUV in Jason Miller’s automotive class at Grant Union.

The Eagle/Angel Carpenter

Luke Claughton and Caleb Rand work on a Toyota SUV in Jason Miller’s automotive class at Grant Union.

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Grant Union students, from left, Josh Carpenter, Drew Lusco, Clara Carr and Cauy Weaver visit while learning about mechanical repairs for a Toyota Hilander in their automotive class.

The Eagle/Angel Carpenter

Grant Union students, from left, Josh Carpenter, Drew Lusco, Clara Carr and Cauy Weaver visit while learning about mechanical repairs for a Toyota Hilander in their automotive class.

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A bright orange sign in the Grant Union Junior-Senior High School shop classroom reads “Putting America Back To Work.”

Eleven students in Jason Miller’s automotive class have been using some elbow grease for their latest project — replacing the head gasket of a 2002 Toyota Highlander.

“It’s a common problem, especially with high-mileage vehicles,” Miller said.

All the students took turns under the Toyota attempting to remove a final bolt, including Luke Claughton.

“The difficulty is the bottom bolt is near the brackets,” Miller said, adding it makes it a tight area to work in.

Once it’s removed the class planned to either plane the warped part or replace it.

Claughton said he has experience working on different types of vehicles.

“Motorcycles, cars, four-wheelers — a little of everything,” he said.

Bank of Eastern Oregon donated the Toyota to the class, and Doug’s Auto Repair & Towing donated the tow to the school.

Caleb Rand was also under the vehicle lending a hand to Claughton. Rand said he’s learned some mechanic skills from his dad.

“He teaches me how to take stuff apart, and I hand him the tools he needs,” he said.

Miller said this is the first time in several years the class has been offered.

He said Measure 98 was a bill that gave Oregon schools incentive to improve their Career Technical Education.

“I’m taking the class to learn how to diagnose vehicles,” said Dillon Maley. “It’s been a fun experience learning all the new skills.”

Freshman Clara Carr said she’s learned to change oil and tires.

Next up, the class planned to learn to change a fuel filter and put a new engine in a Jeep.

“They’re motivated,” Miller said. “It’s a good group, and I’d like to see it continue.”











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