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Event Coverage Lessons from a Break Down.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, May 15, 2014.

  1. Gman0046
    Joined: Jul 24, 2005
    Posts: 6,260


    In regards to oldcurmdgeon's post about the steering link almost coming loose, I had a similar experience. Many years ago I had a very stout Flathead in a little roadster that weighed nothing. On the way home one night I pushed that little car pretty hard probably to 80-90 MPH and then parked it in our garage. The next day I backed it into the street, drove it less then 100 feet and the right front wheel came off.
    I can't tell you how many times over the years I've wondered why that wheel did not come off the night before. I guess the Good Lord had other plans for me.
  2. Several years ago we had another mishap on the road..oddly enough it was also in the Smoky Mountains.

    Ladyhrp and I met up with my pal Dave to go to Pigeon Forge around 10:30Am Wednesday morning and the drive to Cherokee,North Carolina was uneventful until we stopped there to top off the tank before heading over the mountain.

    We cranked up and pulled out of the station and all of a sudden the truck started missing,,,Damn!

    I pulled back in to the station and lifted the hood,,noting jumped out as wrong,,cranked it again and it acted the same,,so I played with the timing and it ran a little bit better but still had a miss so in my on simple way of thinking I had fouled a plug,,so we preceded on our way winding back and fourth through the mountains and eventually arrived at the motel.

    We decided to let it cool off and go find a set of plugs.

    With the new plugs in hand Dave and I started replacing them and noticed the R45 AC plugs that I just bought and the R45 AC plugs in the truck are entirely different and because the new plugs were about 1/2" longer they wouldn't fit.

    After we check to see if we were getting fire we decided to see if I had good compression on all cylinders,,nope,,double damn!!!

    We removed the valve cover only to discover a broken exhaust valve spring,,it's almost 9:30 PM and Randy (the late Deuce Roadster) took 004.jpg me to Advance Auto and we lucked out and found a spring and a valve spring compressor,,got back to the motel and it was raining and getting late so we postponed trying to do a parking lot repair until Thursday morning,,,guess who didn't sleep worth a crap Wednesday night!:rolleyes:

    Thursday morning we awoke to rain again,,We didn't have a way to put air to the spark plug hole to hold the valve but my pal Deuce Roadster had a plan,,,Rope!,,huh? I'm not really happy right now but I ain't gonna hang myself!

    We pushed the truck under the covered entrance at the motel as Randy explained that we would the piston @ dead bottom center ( it's lowest point ). Then remove the #4 exhaust rocker arm and push rod. Then feed in the rope and then rotate the crankshaft ... by using the harmonic balancer bolt. When the #4 piston was at almost top dead center ... the crankshaft would not move any higher ...
    Randy knew that the valve COULD NOT DROP ... So then the spring retainers could be removed... then the spring. Reverse the procedure and I was up and start stuffing rope in on top of the piston and that would keep the valve from dropping,,,about this time Barry ratrodO showed up and helped out.

    After about 45 minutes the job was done and I was a happy camper again,,:D

    Randy said he had learned that trick from a old timer many years ago.

    Luck was on my side,,,I was fortunate I didn't drop a valve that could have wiped out my engine and having good friends like Dave,Randy and Barry for help are what makes problems on the road mush easier to live with and add levity to the story's in the future. HRP
    Last edited: May 15, 2014
    SanDiegoHighwayman likes this.
  3. randy
    Joined: Nov 15, 2003
    Posts: 679


    Taking this thing down to Santa Maria on its maiden voyage with my old man in 8 days. Gotta pack on some shake down miles this week between all the reassembly left to do...[​IMG]
  4. Mad-Lad
    Joined: Jul 2, 2005
    Posts: 734

    from California

    Great post!
    I clearly remember taking tons of pictures of the '39 and talking with you about the trouble it gave on the way down. I'm going to have to do some digging and see if I can find some pictures.

    My buddy and I were just talking earlier today about Paso and the "thrash for Paso" we did a few years in a row. Good times!!
  5. love these type of stories as it brings back memories!
    SanDiegoHighwayman likes this.
  6. Always fun going out on the road with an old car. No matter how many spare parts you bring, what you DON'T bring will break. Or the one tool that you need will be at home. And of course holiday weekends are when they are going to happen.

    I always try to sort the car out for a month prior to going on a trip. Keep an eye on everything in that month and if the car isn't 100%, plan B may be in order.

    SanDiegoHighwayman likes this.
  7. jbrittonjr
    Joined: Sep 10, 2009
    Posts: 105


    I carry a pair of Vice Grips and a cheap screwdriver in my car & trucks just for such occasions. Before cellular telephones became so inexpensive I also carried a roll of quarters for pay phone use.
    SanDiegoHighwayman likes this.
  8. SanDiegoHighwayman
    Joined: Jun 26, 2012
    Posts: 951


    prior to 10 August 2011 [ when she was WRECKED by a SID on the NB I-5 to NB SR163 transistion ] my Beulah had only come home on a tow ONCE in her 40+ year career -- and that was when she broke a left motor mount on heavy accelleration to launch out into fast movin traffic [ after helpin someone ] from the RS of SB I-5 JNO Imperial Ave -- engine raised up [ unbeknownst to me ] snapping off the oil pressure sender switch beside the mount -- luckily I'd only traveled a short distance to arrive at my intended destination -- where I took care of business and returned to find a HUGE pool of oil under Beulah! :( ONLY time she was EVER towed :) camera full 120.jpg camera full 123.jpg
    jbrittonjr likes this.
  9. I've had plenty of breakdowns over the years. Honestly I've never found them fun in the least. It takes around five years or so to tell the breakdown story and remember it in a fun, "Hey remember when we ...?" story.
  10. Ahh.. The good ol' days of Paso!

    I wouldn't mind dealing with a breakdown if it mean going to that show again!

    The ironic thing for me (not complaining) is that every time I would go to Paso or any show that was miles from home, I would always load my trunk with hundreds of pounds worth of stuff like tools, a small floor jack,flashlights,gloves,zip ties,tape,extra belts,points,coils,front wheel bearings,fuel pump, etc. just "in case" something happend, but, I would always find my self on the side of the road offering someone else that broke down a hand.
    SanDiegoHighwayman likes this.
  11. aceuh
    Joined: Apr 17, 2008
    Posts: 1,361


    I know a flat tire probably doesn't hold a candle to a lot of these stories... but... Considering I had almost taken my spare out to make some more room in the trunk the previous week... yea! I was coming back from Nashville Good-guys yesterday when I had a tread seperation/ blowout while running about 70mph on the interstate. I never thought I'd have a blowout, the tires looked and rode like new. My Cadillac has an onboard compressor for the airride, and my tank has an airchuck so I can fill any of my tires with a nycoil hose. I had kind of adopted the attitude that along with a plug kit I should be able to solve any tire problems without having a spare... aside from a blowout.


    So... I pop the trunk, retrieve my coveralls and gloves (cut me some slack... the caddy has a white interior I don't want to ruin ;) ) then I begin relocating everything else from the trunk to the interior so I can get out the spare. Then I start thinking... Does this spare even fit my car? Does the original bumper jack still work? Will this jack handle/ lug wrench fit the lugnuts on this car? All these things are questions I would of prefered to have know the answer to before I was on the side of the interstate with a flat. Fortunately... aside from having to air up the spare it all went pretty well... aside from the paranoia of driving a 20' long Cadillac on a space saver spare...



    I kept the speed down for the rest of the trip. She did fine.

    And I got up this morning and went and bought 4 new whitewalls.
    So... watch those old tires and air up your spare!
  12. 1oldtimer
    Joined: Aug 21, 2003
    Posts: 8,034


    I always carry a tool box in each car, sometimes it kinda fun to break least it makes for good stories later. NICE merc, still trying to save up for a black one....or even one I can paint black :). That's me on my friends running board, somewhere on the way home from Viva in 1998. Fuel filter was clogging for the 3rd time, had to take a breather.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 17, 2014
  13. I have had many small breakdowns going to Paso in years past, none serious. I have had none to remember since WCK moved to Santa Maria, and I am looking forward to the 500+ mile rt drive this coming week.
    The lesson of driving just a bit further with each trip to break in a new car is a good way to go. I had a significant setback on my current build, just back on the road, with a breakdown less than ten miles from my shop last Monday. …but it also helped me find a much more serious safety problem that could have occurred if un-noticed in time. It will lead to correcting a number of smaller problems that are better to resolve now than later.
  14. flamingokid
    Joined: Jan 5, 2005
    Posts: 2,200


    I've always believed in road testing the bejesus out of things before I take a road trip.I'd rather have the breakdowns close to home where the parts supply exists.
    SanDiegoHighwayman likes this.
  15. 9 break downs in one day.....I would have literally cried, then left the car on the side of the road and reported it stolen....
  16. Ah, without the hard luck there'd be a lot less learning. Without 'em I wouldn't get the chance to enjoy time with my son, as we both learn just how stupid I can be :)


    Thanks for your post -- love that car of yours!
    bajabob likes this.
  17. Breakdowns are a part of it ! Like a lot of things it goes better with good friends. I take everything I can think of but you never know what "opportunity" as my Dad always called it, you will face. It's all good as long as no one gets hurt.

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