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Old 11-19-2018, 01:22 PM
 
Location: Wasilla, AK
6,005 posts, read 3,244,476 times
Reputation: 12192

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I was in my mid-teens and got our pickup stuck at a creek about three miles out of town. This is in rural Alaska, and there is nothing between me and the town. Nothing except the local garbage dump. Which is the favorite feeding ground for the local grizzly bear population, of which there were a lot of. And there is no avoiding it because it's dark and I don't have a flashlight. And I didn't have a rifle with me because I wasn't expecting to be out of the truck. This is also way before cell phones and even before CB radios became common. So I started hoofing it back to town. I stopped every 30 seconds or so to listen for any sounds that would indicate a bear was nearby. As I passed the dump I was extremely nervous, because you would see bears there all the time. I'm surprised I didn't hear my own heart beating, as it was pounding. I just kept going in the dark, hoping no bear would surprise me. After an hour or so, I made it back to town safely. But I sure was worried the entire way back.
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:12 PM
 
337 posts, read 674,662 times
Reputation: 267
I was in the military, stationed in Arizona. I had to travel to northern Wyoming for a temporary duty assignment. I would be there for 3 months from Sept through Dec. Since it was a lengthy assignment, I took my wife with me. The car I had was a 73 Ford Maverick, which had never been outside the State of Arizona according to the title. That poor car was to get ataste of real winter.




We were released to return home just before Christmas. Everyone was anxious to get out of Powell Wyoming, my wife and I included, so many of us decided to leave at 1 minute after midnight on the day of our release. We had the Maverick loaded up, and I started it to let the engine, as well as the interior, warm up before we hit the road. On that particular night it was probably 20 below zero, or close to it. I went into the motel room where my wife was to give the car a few minutes to warm up. Someone came knocking on the door saying your car is smoking. I looked out, and sure enough steam was pouring out from below the hood of the car. I ran out and turned the engine off. I popped the hood to see what was going on. I then popped the radiator cap, the anti-freeze had turned to slush. This is what had caused the engine to overheat. At that point our night time departure was off. I figured to get a night of sleep, and figure out what to do in the morning.

The next morning I went to check out the car. The owner of the motel suggested that I place a piece of cardboard in front of the radiator. His theory was that would prevent the cold air from blowing through the grill, allowing the car to heat up faster, and the slush in the radiator to melt. So I got a piece of cardboard and put it in front of the radiator, and off we went down the road. Well, the car didn't overheat again, in fact the temperature gauge did not move at all. There was no heat coming from the heater in the car. It was still below zero outside, and not much warmer in the car. It was so cold in the car that ice had formed inside the windshield, and I had to scratch a small hole in the ice just to see out the window to see where I was going, and that hole kept icing over so it was a battle to keep it clear, and not too safe to say the least. It was so cold in the car that a Thermos of hot coffee had frozen and busted the Thermos it was in. My goal was to just get the heck out of Wyoming, and further south to some warmer weather. We made it to Casper Wyoming, and we could just not stand it any longer. I stopped at an auto parts store and told that guy what was up with my car. He said that it could be the heater core, or the thermostat, but he didn't have either in stock. He suggested checking with the Napa store down the road, so off to Napa we went.


At the Napa store they guy told me that the thermostat was probably stuck open and not allowing the engine to heat up. He had a thermostat in stock, so I took it. Now the problem was getting it installed. Hindsight being what it is I should have took the car to a mechanic in town and had them fix it, but I wanted to get out of town (and Wyoming) quickly, plus didn't want to spend money to pay someone to install the thermostat. Big mistake! I tried to install the thermostat myself on the street in front of the Napa store. So here I am in sub-zero temperatures, disconnecting the hose to get to thethermostat, of course getting my hands wet with anti-freeze. I did have gloves on, but they were soaked. Also, with the Ford 302 engine, to get the thermostat out you have to loosen the distributor, so that ends up affecting the timing. Somehow I was able to get the new thermostat installed, but the car wouldn't start, most likely because the timing was off at that point. So we ended up walking to a nearby motel and getting a room for the night.


The next morning I called around town for someone to fix the car, and all the garages were fully booked. We ended up going to a local café to eat breakfast. I got to talking to the waitress to see if she knew anyone who worked on cars, and she told me her ex did. She gave me his number, and I called. He said he could squeeze the car in at his garage, and came and towed it. We had to spend another night in Casper. The next morning the guy called and said the car was ready. I went to pick it up. He had to reset the timing, and said there was a problem with the automatic choke, which he didn't really fix, but got the car running again. That was fine with me as all I really wanted him to do was to get the car running so we could get out of town (and Wyoming). Well, we should have left then and there, but instead went to the café to get lunch before we hit the road. After eating we went back out to get in the car, and it wouldn't start. I ended up running the battery down from cranking it to start it. I had to call the guy out again, and he had to come tow the car back to his garage. After it sit in the garage for a couple of hours he got it started again. Again he told me that there was a problem with the choke which is why it wouldn't start in the cold. I paid the guy, again, and we hit the road. From that point on I never shut the car down until we got to Arizona. When I stopped for gas, I left the car running as I filled the tank. We had to stop at a road side rest that night to take a nap, and I left the car running while we napped. I didn't want to take any chance in turning the car off again. Even after getting back to Arizona that poor car was never the same, the Wyoming winter had taken its toll on that Maverick.





Last edited by TowBar; 11-19-2018 at 02:23 PM..
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:21 PM
 
Location: Aurora Denveralis
3,401 posts, read 1,162,053 times
Reputation: 4582
Ancient one? Before I was born, my dad insisted on driving the new MG on a long family trip from CA to the upper midwest. It predictably had to be fixed at intervals, and the worst was somewhere in Wyoming or Montana where the entire rear exhaust system fell off. Some bailing wire only held it for a few miles. When they got out of the car the second time, a bracket and strap and bolt of exactly the right size and configuration to re-hang the exhaust and muffler was lying on the ground next to the car. It was still on the MG when my Dad sold it a few years later.
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Old 11-19-2018, 02:59 PM
 
31,027 posts, read 24,469,763 times
Reputation: 17903
back in 1995, give or take a year, i was heading out to grand teton national park for summer work. i was driving a 1970 falcon that i had bought from a friend of mine a couple months earlier. i had loaded up the car with a number of spares that i thought i might need on the trip given how old the car was, and not knowing the condition of certain parts, like the water pump and an alternator. i also grabbed a fuel pump that i was going to use on my mustang, both cars had small block ford engines. i was about three miles from the interstate when the fuel pump died.


so i got to change the fuel pump on the side of the road, in rush hour traffic, with the sun setting. took about a 1/2 hour overall and i was back on the road. the one thing i forgot to put with my tools was a flashlight so i could see what i was doing.
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Midwest
3,821 posts, read 6,772,613 times
Reputation: 5942
Radiator hose.

I was backing my '67 Poncho into the carport when a radiator hose popped. Clearly the Pontiac God was smiling on me that day, I don't know if that would be Jim Wangers (real name) but I DID appreciate it.

Proof:
https://www.autoblog.com/2010/05/27/...is-collection/
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Old 11-19-2018, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Midwest
3,821 posts, read 6,772,613 times
Reputation: 5942
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quietude View Post
Ancient one? Before I was born, my dad insisted on driving the new MG on a long family trip from CA to the upper midwest. It predictably had to be fixed at intervals, and the worst was somewhere in Wyoming or Montana where the entire rear exhaust system fell off. Some bailing wire only held it for a few miles. When they got out of the car the second time, a bracket and strap and bolt of exactly the right size and configuration to re-hang the exhaust and muffler was lying on the ground next to the car. It was still on the MG when my Dad sold it a few years later.
LOL. British car tales. Fun cars, but they had issues.
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Old 11-19-2018, 04:32 PM
 
Location: By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea
54,644 posts, read 38,584,377 times
Reputation: 26971
I blew a transmission on a Norton motorcycle one time and a gear broke off on a piece of shaft, punched a fist sized hole in the transmission case, and went rolling down the street in front of me. It was kinda entertaining in a cartoonish sorta way.
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Old 11-19-2018, 06:40 PM
 
1,281 posts, read 825,457 times
Reputation: 2294
Spring Break trip. On the highway, going 60ish, windows open, felt the back drop with a resounding "clunk."

As we leveled and were slowing down, the left rear wheel - rim and tire intact - passed us on the left.
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Old 11-19-2018, 08:55 PM
 
Location: on the wind
4,414 posts, read 1,665,937 times
Reputation: 15751
Quote:
Originally Posted by WoodburyWoody View Post
Spring Break trip. On the highway, going 60ish, windows open, felt the back drop with a resounding "clunk."

As we leveled and were slowing down, the left rear wheel - rim and tire intact - passed us on the left.
LOL!! My dad and I were sitting in our 70s era Pontiac station wagon (the ones about a block long and a lane wide) at a stoplight at the bottom of a hill. Happened to glance in the rear view mirror just in time to see the entire wheel/rim/tire fall off a garbage truck and come flying down the hill toward us. It ripped the rear bumper off the Pontiac, ricocheted off the curb and another car, leaped and bounded across a parking lot and shattered a strip mall shop's window.

Last edited by Parnassia; 11-19-2018 at 09:08 PM..
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Old 11-19-2018, 10:17 PM
 
Location: Forest bathing
1,222 posts, read 707,867 times
Reputation: 2813
We have a 2008 F250 Superduty. We should have done some research before purchasing it but extended cabs/long bed trucks are uncommon. Besides, our camper was on order and we had to have this style. It only had 35,000+ miles so we thought that this diesel would run well into the 300,000 miles range.

Well, it did, until we were pulling a steep grade, up the loooooong switchback westbound on the North Cascades State Highway. The radiator blew and steam was pouring out so thankfully we were near a pullout. It was a scenic overview of the eastern Cascade Range but a long way from home.

My husband opened the hood and noticed a crack in the radiator along the plastic than joins two sides together iirc. We let the engine cool, retrieved water from our camper, and proceeded. 5 miles later, the temperature gauge was in the red so we pulled over, etc. We did this until we had a cell phone signal. DH wanted to continue. I said why when we have AAA. No, he said we could make it home if we continued on stopping, cooling refilling. We had to stop at a campground to refill our camper’s 38 gallon water tank. Also, DH decided that putting the gear into neutral and coasting would keep the engine from overheating. Omg, the curves going downhill were steep and quick and one mistake you would be in the trees.

Finally, the engine idiot light said that the engine was shutting down, essentially to save itself. We called AAA and they said it would be several hours. Thankfully, we had stopped at a wide pullout next to a house. The owner was concerned so we told him AAA was on its way.

We were towed home, about 50+ miles on the back of a flatbed tow truck. The neighbors were all wondering what happened to us.

Epilogue: we researched radiators and discovered the Mishimoto all aluminum racing radiator. $2000 later we thought we were set. Nope, that manufacturer made a few errors so a free improved replacement was ordered and $1000 later we could travel again. No other problems have occurred except for the black smoke billowing out the back through a neighboring town but our mechanic fixed that. Now, at 90,000+ miles we should be set for awhile.

Wow, some of you have been on some wild adventures, especially the hunting episode. I am glad you all are safe.
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