Sunday, September 4, 2016

When Problems Lead to a Good Day

I really wanted to hit the last cruise of the season at the Sycamore yesterday, but it wasn't in the cards. Would have been nice, but not a big deal in the grand scheme of things that we couldn't get there.

As she sat yesterday morning

Here's the upside: The issue that revealed itself on Friday may be keeping us off the road just a little longer, but it led to a great new connection yesterday. Funny how these things happen...

Rob came over on Friday, we got the linkage figured out after a little trial and error, and now she shifts like butter. The problem comes when we get to 3rd gear. The motor bogs down big time, like we're not getting enough gas and she's getting ready to stall. Also seemed to be running rough, like the timing is off. Of course, my limited mechanical knowledge had me scratching my head, not sure what to do next.

A couple hours later, my better half and I are out having dinner and watching friends play music when I get a text from Rob. He explained the issue to a custom/restoration/repair pro he knows, whose shop just happens to be a mile or so down the road. He agreed to take a look, and I figured even if I've only got two gears that will get me there and back, so off I went yesterday morning.

Jason was speaking with a client when I walked into his shop, so I took a couple minutes to enjoy the scenery. Among the projects he has going are a '69 Firebird, an early Mustang coupe he's turning into a fastback, and a gorgeous '40 Chevy truck. The high quality of his work was evident immediately. I knew right away that beyond taking care of my current issue, he will be working on my truck whenever I can spare the cha-ching. As everyone with a project like mine knows, there's always something to be done.

Jason spent probably a half hour with me, going over the truck and making recommendations. Biggest thing is a carb rebuild, which makes sense because the engine sat for so long. As he explained, things go bad with long periods of inactivity. Jason will do the rebuild, which is above my skill level. He also pointed out some things that I can handle myself, like different plugs, new gaskets for the water pump and thermostat and changing to the 40-50 weight oil that these engines originally ran on, with a zinc additive.

For those who do social media, here is the Facebook page for Jason's business. Check out the pics, give the page a like and share with friends. It's good stuff!

And for the old schoolers, here's the business card:

For the record, these mentions of Jason's business are completely unsolicited by him. I just think he's a nice guy who does great work that more people should know about. Looking forward to working with him. Can't believe I've lived in this town for 16 years and just met him yesterday!

Now, about that ride home...

Everything was fine until I came to our hill. About a third of the way up, the engine sputtered to a stop like she was out of gas and wouldn't restart. Managed to roll backwards into someone's driveway, got going back down the hill and popped the clutch to get it running again. Since both ends of our hill connect to the lake road, I figured I'd try the other side, which isn't quite as steep. On the way there she stalled again, on another slight uphill. Wasn't looking good for the other side, but got running again and tried anyway. Same result. Then it hit me: What about going up in reverse? So there I was with the truck, exactly as it appears in the picture above, going up Carmen Hill in reverse. It seemed to be working and I was pretty proud of myself, until she quit again. Luckily, a nice stranger named Joe rolled up just then in his truck, and got me the last half mile or so home with the heavy duty chain he happened to have with him. Pretty cool that he just happens to be another Steelers fan. Thanks again, Joe!

Now sitting on the level driveway, the truck started up again and got parked. I figured that was enough excitement for one day. It may not have been perfect, but ultimately it was a good one.

Thanks for stopping by. See y'all down the road!


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