Monday, July 24, 2006

Day 19 – Not a good day.

Dawned another bright blue sky, cool day. Off we went on the QEW, heading for Port Huron and the USA. About 2 hours out, disaster struck the little black coupe. Smelled a hot smell, was trying to figure out what it was and thunk, the Borg-Warner overdrive shifted itself out of overdrive, permanently. Pulled off and looked under the car, the overdrive box was hot and smoking. Didn’t look good. We let it cool down some and determined that it rotated freely, so topped it off with oil, and did a test drive. Seemed to be okay, did not heat up any more, so we proceeded to Detroit in direct drive.

Mansfield Mass.MAFCA Day 19 006 Meneely's Going thru Ontario Mansfield Mass.MAFCA Meet Day 19 009

Tonight, we (John and Judy and Bob and Pat) are staying in Lincoln Park. We have decided to forego our visit to Greenfield Village (which will give us an extra day to get to Rushmore) and we have revised our route of travel to stay off the interstates, and figured out a way to get around Chicago on secondary roads, since I am not interested in pushing the car too hard on the interstates.

Now that the overdrive has thunked itself, I hear two stories of similar happenings, one from Dave J. and one from Bill R. That’s the bad news, the good news is that it is probably okay to continue in direct drive.

Dave J., Will L. and Ted K. are in Dearborn, and will go to Greenfield Village, etc as planned. Dave is having either an engine or a transmission problem, making a racket under load in 2nd or 3rd gear, but okay in overdrive at 55 mph. He will decide tomorrow whether to make a stop in Bloomington for major repairs. Jack and Don are staying with a cycling buddy somewhere northwest of Detroit. The eastbound group (Bob H. and Ray F.) have made it to Salt Lake City. Stay tuned, life is getting more complicated.

As we crossed over the rivers linking the Great Lakes, we were on some really high bridges and could look down at the freighters. Wow!


Anonymous said...

It's too hot here to do any creative thinking so I thought you should know about the "law" in Wisconsin:
Dumb Wisconsin Laws
You must manually flush all urinals in a building.
Butter substitutes are not allowed to be served in state prisons.
Citizens may not murder their enemies.
Whenever two trains meet at an intersection of said tracks, neither shall proceed until the other has.
As people used to smuggle it in from Illinois, all yellow butter substitute is banned.
At one time, margarine was illegal.
State Law made it illegal to serve apple pie in public restaurants without cheese.
While all cheese making requires a license, Limburger cheese making requires a master cheese maker's license.
It is illegal to kiss on a train.
It is illegal to cut a woman's hair.
Car dealerships cannot sell cars on Sunday.
Pat, hope you weren't planning to get your haircut in Wisconsin!
We will keep our fingers crossed that the little black coupe continues westward without any major problems.

Pat said...

Since Bob always edits what I write, I will just add a few comments here. There were several times today when he said G#*&** D#&**** it Patti, and I wasn’t even driving. It was a day of worry today until we got to Detroit. John and Judy have been great to follow us all the way at a snail’s pace. We have been traveling so long together that we even order the same meals, both guys got liver and onions and when it was time to pay, they conveniently both left their wallets in the room! Take out a US map and find Detroit. It is a very long way from CA. Send good wishes for all the crippled Model A’s tomorrow.

John even bought Rolling Rock beer to cheer up Bob. He even offered to drink mine, what a guy.

Anonymous said...

Bob & Pat,

Sorry to hear about the problems. I hope it goes well at "Jack" speed. Your in good hands with the John and Judy. Take care and we'll keep up with you via the blog and e-mail

Karla, Chris and Will

Anonymous said...

Hey Guys-
Jane and I are sending good thoughts your way. If that's not enough we can send some bailing wire and duct tape too!


Anonymous said...

Friends, and others who just laugh at us,

We left Niagara Falls surreptitiously before 7AM, not wanting to let any storm clouds know where we were going. Two A’s clunked out of town, jumped on the QEW Highway rolling west toward the Great Lakes (HOMES). Clear skies, fairly light traffic, and not a care in the world. Little did we know that storm clouds would be the least of our worries today.

On we ran toward Toronto on nice roads with polite Canadian drivers, skirting the south end of Lake Ontario, through St Catharines, Lincoln, Hamilton, and Burlington and on to London, Ontario. We ate a quick breakfast in Woodstock, where we saw Jack and Don appear out of nowhere from a little side street, proceeding in the opposite direction, like a scene out of the Twilight Zone. We were having such fun and making good time, and then decided to take Hwy 402 through the deep farmlands, passing towns like Adelaide, Strathroy…and then (Patti & Judy were driving) Patti tells Bob she hears something NOT RIGHT going on under the hood. We pull over, because Bob’s hearing ain’t what it used to be, and we rev the engine, look under the car, poke our heads in the engine compartment, check the fan belt. We do all the guy stuff, scratch our heads, and say “nope, definitely nothing wrong here…it was the wind noise or something. Bob gets behind the wheel, and I’m thinking “that’s a pretty nifty way to get him to drive”.

As we approach Warwick (population : 2) Bob & Patti start smelling something hot and burning, and it’s not coming from the truck up ahead. The funniest thing I heard today were the truckers up here talking over the CB…in convoy French! As we roll to a stop, Bob hops out and says “I think I may have lost my overdrive”…sure enough, that Ryan is not only smokin’, it’s cookin’…fried the speedometer cable, it was so hot. After we allow the poor thing to cool down a bit, Bob crawls underneath, pulls the cooked cable out, plugs the hole up and fills it up with gear oil. Spinning the rear wheel, there doesn’t seem to be anything broken inside, but it’s days of overdriving are over.

Plan X goes into effect: we get off 402 and drop down to 39…a very thin wisp of gray line on the map leading to the border crossing at Port Huron. We figure if we can limp over the border, they can at least bury us in our native land…As we wait there for our interview with a surly border guard, who shows up ten cars back in the line on the bridge over troubled waters? Yep…Jack & Don in the tan Roadster. The last 100 miles of our journey, we slouch along at 45 miles an hour. We aren’t looking at the scenery, anymore. We aren’t even talking. We’re driving with our stomachs, but the old coupe gets in to Detroit, dumping some oil in complaint. But she got us here.

Let’s not even discuss Detroit. We’re paring back some of our plans, discarding some sights we were going to see, and planning a route that will keep the coupe slow and happy. Bob & Patti plan on leaving early each day, and we will depart later along the same route, traveling alone until we catch up to them.

If they have trouble or haven’t seen us by noon, they’ll call. And if they should have trouble, in true touring tradition, we’ll leave them behind and get new, improved friends…nah, won’t happen.

Detroit (don’t get me started!)

John & Judy with Bob & Patti and dispersed Model A-ers in the greater metropolitan oasis of De-troit

Bob & Mary B said...

That's the same overdrive that I've got. Borg-Warner. Will be interested to know the details when you find out. I'll help you pull it.(not before you get home,though!)Can't find Detroit on my map, because I cut that city out and threw it away; never to return again.Good Luck!
-Bob B.

Anonymous said...

I will be heading East tommorow will arive O Hara at 7:30 P.M. with a fresh role of bailing wire and two sizes of Duck Tape and a strong 20 foot tow strap --Don`t worry be happy we will get you back to California one way or the other(Wired or taped or towed)Bill Rose

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your O/D problems but pleased to hear you got some pleasant weather. Take your time getting home, San Jose just finished its 9th day in the 90's and 100's but it will cool down some over this week. New record highs is almost every town.
Thank you guys for the birthday cards! Now, every National will mark 2 more years for me.
Mary and I went to dinner last night at the Fish Market and I had my first Maine lobster in over 15 years. Mary almost didn't let me have it when she found out they were alive and would be dropped in boiling water to be prepared for my dinner.
Good luck from here on home, we're looking forward to your smiling (?) faces. Al & Mary

Bob & Mary B said...

Good luck to all you travelers. Bob & I HATED Detroit, and we had to spend time there (in Dec!) while our son was in Grad School at UMichigan Ann Arbor. Ann Arbor is nice, but don't go northeast! If you are now experiencing some under 100 degree days, don't rush to CA! Hope all goes well with the Black Coupe, Patti keep on smiling you will be home in your own bed soon!
Mary B