If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Another...

Well, that doesn’t look good, does it?

The day was going along very smoothly, our roads were all very good, smooth sailing all the way. I was very pleased with the overdrive as it performed perfectly,  so much so, I began to think another long distance road trip might be possible, but not across country. I think I’ve had my fill of cross country road trips.

Our destination today was Graham, TX, but about 45 miles out, Phiona quit running. I slowly coaxed her along, sometimes the engine seemed engaged but then it was just coasting as I brought her to the side of the road. Since the started turned over the motor, it had to be fuel related. It was near time to refuel, but I was confident the next town, Jacksboro would be our next refuel stop. Having had this happen in the past I was quite sure it was vapor lock, so we raised the hood to let in cooler air (it was in the upper 80’s, maybe 90’s today). It was very windy all the time we were in Texas, so the wind, I think, hastened the cool down. 

Within minutes of pulling off the road, two fellows stopped and offered help. Since it apperred to be fuel related they said they would go ahead to Jacksboro for fuel. They were hardly out of sight when another young man stopped to offer assistance and he went back to the previous town for gas. Then another neighbor stopped and offered help, then another, and then another. Two of those were neighbors who offered to return in an hour to check up on our situation. All were enthralled with Phiona and were all too happy to spend time chatting with me. What the heck I had no where else to go, and I was very taken by everyone’s generosity, helpfulness, and graciousness. I am humbled by the kindness of these fine Texans.

Once we had added the gasoline, it took a little coaxing with starting fluid to start up the engine again. But it did start and stayed running. The two guys then offered to follow us the 45 miles to Graham where we are staying tonight. They offered that we buy no ethanol gasoline at a station that sold it. But I opted to continue using unleaded. After that, I pulled aside to look underneath the car to check the overdrive and transmission fluid levels, both of which were full. A call to Glenn, the mechanic in Circleville, OH, to get his opinion, and he thought Lloyd Young, the 86 year old who sold the unit to me would have an idea why it stopped working. Lloyd called me and  offered that it had to be electrical and asked me to check a fuse. The fuse was blown that controls two solenoids, a light mounted on my steering column indicated the solenoid is working and engages the overdrive.. Replacing the blown fuse, then, at least, made the indicator light shine, which should mean the solenoid is working. But by then it was dark, I was at the end of my wits and just plain tired. A test drive in the morning may reveal if the overdrive will function - or not. It is also possible the little rod inside the overdrive that prevented the unit from engaging when it was installed last week in Circelville might have become stuck again, possibly because of the heat and that it may have expanded causing it to hang up. I hope that by cooling down overnight, it might slide in and out again and allow the overdrive to slip into gear. This is not something that is easily accessible and may need to wait until I am home in Phoenix.

The good news is that we are not dead in the water. The transmission is fully operational and we may need to just rely of it to complete this journey. 

Tomorrow is another day, and I will still try to keep swimming.

But, yes, I am disappointed and frustrated.

kdonald940@cox.net © Donald E. Kline 2012