<VV> A Corvair adventure (part 3)

Daniel Monasterio dmonasterio@megared.net.mx
Tue, 3 Aug 2004 19:33:08 -0500


     Early on Sunday I tried to left Lexington as quick as possible but my
dumb car got lost again for a full hour till I finally found        I-64W road
to Saint Louis, MO. Continued driving to Columbia, MO (I-70W) without
     Monday, once again on I-70W to Kansas City, then Omaha, Sioux Falls
(I-29N), took I-90W to Mitchell, SD and stopped to overnight at the rest area
on mile 168, near from Belvidere, SD. No troubbles except for some tire
vibration on I-90W road over 60 MPH, I thougt on unbalanced tires.
    Tuesday, entered to Rapid City, SD by 9 AM to get all tires balanced,
done. Took I-90W again but the problem persisted so, I decided to live with it
but, suddenly, it died in Wyoming at a change on pavement surface. It
resurrected sometimes on other roads but didn't concern me any more as, by
then, I was confident with my tires and learned somethings about US roads. All
the way thru the states, from East to West and North to South, I found several
kinds of pavement surfaces, rumbling ones, silent ones and others with
different noises, most good ones but, before learning it, made me to stop
several times to check the tires, suspension powertrain and wheel bearings.
Overnighted at a rest area near from Bozeman, Montana.
    Wednesday started as one more nice day till I heard the known noise of a
ripped belt while the alternator light became on. Stopped, took the spare belt
(has been "nicely folded" by about a year), took off the ripped one, installed
the new one and continued driving till the next town, where I got a new spare
belt at NAPA's. Some 50 miles ahead I noticed that head and oil temperatures
have increased past 450: F and 300: F, respectively, and the alt. light was
on, again. Shutted off the engine and continue driving (downhill) till the
next exit. The new belt (right size) had flipped off, reinstalled it but,
after a few seconds it flipped off again. Tried two more times without
success. Decided to put the new one... it didn't fit (same lenght but wider).
After several minutes wasted on negative thoughts and concerns, I started
walking to the end of that road exit, saw a car aproaching by the crossing
road, made signs and at stoping, I asked to the driver about the closest auto
parts store, he said: "There is a NAPA at Osburn, we are heading there to
clear a check at the bank behind the store, want to come with us ?". Three
miles after I was at NAPA's getting another belt then, came back with the same
guys, said thanks and started working. Guess what ? the belt was close but
didn't fit. Well, finally I got the right one (the only one at that NAPA
store), installed it, started the engine, checked for abnormalities, all was
right again.
    Osburn, Idaho, small town but great people.
    Lesson 1, never fold a belt again (as Bob Helt wrote in his book), now I
know why.
    Lesson 2, put an audible alarm in paralel with the alternator light so,
you will be warned inmediately after a belt failure. Why ? at latitudes like
Northern US and Canada the sunlight travels at lower angles than on places
like Mexico so, at certain hours on mornings and evenings, the dashboard
becomes barely visible and the not so brilliant idiot light can`t be seen
quickly when turning on.
    Overnighted at Cle Elum, WA. and next day drove without any troubble thru
Seattle where I left I-90W entering I-5N to Blaine where left the US and
entered BC to Surrey, by noon, to my daughter's home and where my
grandchildren were waiting for a ride on "little granpa's special car".

    End of part 3