Home Improvement (1991–1999)
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Birth of a Hot Rod 

At home: Tim's project hot rod is finally in the stage where he can see if it starts up. It doesn't. Tim takes a break. Jill wants him to fix a doorknob, the burner on the stove, the gas ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview:
Lisa (as Pamela Denise Anderson)
David Correia ...
Gene Weygandt ...
Jim Lester


At home: Tim's project hot rod is finally in the stage where he can see if it starts up. It doesn't. Tim takes a break. Jill wants him to fix a doorknob, the burner on the stove, the gas line and the ice dispenser. Tim keeps postponing them all because of the hot rod. Jill declares that she will fix the stove and the ice dispenser. Tim forbids that and promises he will fix everything, "soon". Jill becomes tired of waiting and calls a repairman to fix the stove. Tim does not approve. Then the repairman sees the hot rod and in an instant forgets all about the stove... In Tool Time: It's Lawn Care Week. Tim gives a speech about mowing the lawn and presents several types of grass. Later during the week, they will salute clippers and sprinklers, but first they salute fertilizers. Written by Toni Tapola, Finland

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Comedy | Family





Release Date:

12 May 1993 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Tim tells Gus the repairman that his hot rod engine is a Chevy small block that's been bored out to a 383. It has a 400 crank in it. Putting a crankshaft from a 400-cubic-inch Chevy small block, which has a longer stroke than a 350 ci small block, will bring a 350 up to 383 ci. Therefore, you don't bore a 350 to make it a 383. See more »


Tim: Do you suppose that if this grass were on fire, it'd call Fescue 911?
Al: I don't think so, Tim.
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User Reviews

Don't Touch Another Man's Tools.
15 November 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The time has come...for Tim to start up his hot rod. It's been a long haul, but to hear the roar of that Chevy big-block for the first time will make the whole first half of the rod building process worth it. Unfortunately, the engine refuses to turn over, leaving Tim baffled. His preoccupation with the hot rod has caused Tim to neglect other household repairs, such as the back door, the burner on the stove, and the ice dispenser. But to hear Tim talk, you'd think nothing was wrong with these things and it was all Jill's imagination. He procrastinates about fixing other things to spend every waking moment with that car. But of course, there's one thing he always has time for: Tool Time. It's Lawn Care week as Tim and Al look at three different types of grass, as well as talk about quality fertilizer. Of course, when it comes to his fertilizer, Tim goes right to the horse's mouth...or rather the cow's, as he comes in riding on a steer. At home, since Tim's constant refusal to fix the stove forces Jill to step in and attempt it herself. Tim comes home and nags her about it, even picking on her makeshift tool belt...well, it WAS a frilly apron holding his tools. So finally, Jill threatens to call a repairman. She's gonna request a real beefy hunk of a repairman.

Unfortunately for her, Fabio was not available, so she gets Gus the Handyman to fix the stove. Of course, Tim is none too happy that his wife went behind his back to call a repairman to do the work he was putting off for so long, so he and Jill go out to the garage to bicker over it. It turns out Al recommended him, making Tim even more irate. Eventually, Gus sees Tim's hot rod and is fascinated, as he's a gear-head building his own rod himself. Tim tells of his plight of not getting the engine started, and Gus diagnoses the problem with possibly having the ignition switch wires on backwards. So he blows off Jill's repairs to work on the hot rod with Tim. It's contagious. Should've gotten his hot rod shot. After Gus leaves, Tim has a talk with Wilson, pretty much telling him the whole day was wasted as nothing was accomplished, then he and Jill bicker like little children. Wilson manages to calm them down, citing the reasoning for their behaviors as paternal and maternal instincts: men are expected to work on things that bring them joy and women are meant to do the more quieter tasks. So, after another edition of Tool Time where an expert topiary artist shows off some hedge animals, which take a lot of time to shape and grow, but only takes Tim a few seconds to destroy, Jill finally fixes the door, and Tim has finally fixed the ice dispenser, even attaching a vacuum hose for far reach. But best of all, after some rewiring and cleaning up the carburetors, the hot rod finally starts up! It's been a long haul, but now, the trip was halfway over.

I have to say this is one episode where Tim was at fault, as he was being pretty selfish. However, at the same time, I can relate to him because I, myself, am a bit of a procrastinator and I prefer to work on things I enjoy as opposed to what needs to be done. So if you're a fellow procrastinator, or you live with one and can sympathize with Jill, Bird of a Hot Rod is one to check out. While Tim may have finally gotten it started in this episode, he won't actually get it moving until the end of next season when he stupidly agrees to race his hot rod against Bob Vila's, but that's another story...which I'll be looking at next: The Great Race II: More Power Boogaloo.

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