Fleet Meadow

This is why you should have spare parts

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“Hey honey, lets go for a ride,” I said to my wife. I had finally goten my ‘51 Meadowbrook to not overheat and to travel at highway speeds for at least short distances without a problem. So I wanted to show her how it drove. She didn’t bring her phone or purse and we headed out. We drove 20 minutes with no problem so I got on the highway. We are driving and everything is good until I hear this strange ticking in the engine bay and the headlights dimmed. I looked at the gauges and the temp was pegged past hot and the battery was discharging. So we pulled off the highway to a convenience store and I got out. The belt had separated and fallen off. I put it back on and we started the 20 minute drive home. It was 9:05pm so no stores were open for a new belt. So we got half a mile and the battery started discharging again and the temp pegged. We pulled over and the belt had ripped more. So I tried a shoe lace since I had nothing in the car. That got another 1/10 mile. I tried some wire I had in the trunk. Another 1/10 mile. So I drove about 5 minutes and shut it off. Luckily these Dodge engines are so strong and it kept full power. If I didn’t have the gauges I wouldn’t have known there was a problem by how it was acting. Long story short, a little over an hour and several stops later we got home. Not my proudest moment driving the car but I’m still very impressed with how it handled. But it definitely speaks for having spare parts in the trunk. 

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Edited by Medd448
Added picture of car (see edit history)
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Good McGiver attempts.  When I would take out my 37 Dodge with a trunk full of spare parts my wife would question my claims of its road worthy ness.  Never hurts to be prepared!

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I also take spare parts for extended trips [I know my cars are newer but still]. I find what I take I don't need which makes for cheap insurance.

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Or put on a new belt when the old one gets cracked, frayed or worn. I'm not a great believer in carrying spare parts. If the old one is dubious just put the new one on and be done with it.

 

Also, you need to join the Auto Club and carry a cell phone. Advice I give to every old car owner.

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While you are under the hood replacing the fan belt check the rad hoses, heater hoses, fuel lines, vacuum lines in fact all rubber parts under the hood. There is a good chance they are softened and bulging or mummified and cracking. I have gone to town and replaced every rubber part under the hood of an old car, it is a lot of work but only needs to be done every 25 years.

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3 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Also, you need to join the Auto Club and carry a cell phone. Advice I give to every old car owner.

 

Good advice for young car owners as well.  

 

 

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<<So I tried a shoe lace since I had nothing in the car. That got another 1/10 mile. I tried some wire I had in the trunk. Another 1/10 mile.>>

 

Back during my mis-spent youth a buddy of mine made a VW fan belt out of his girlfriend's pantyhose.  It actually worked.

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In 1980 or so, was picked up from the airstrip in Kimbe, West New Britain, and on the way the belt fell apart in the Kombi. Pantyhose was the repair. No problem.

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I have also used a date's pantyhose. Her mom later noticed they were missing -

explanation ensued!

 

Whenever I do maintenance, I keep the recently removed items in a small box in the trunk.

That way the spares are available - just in case. 

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20 hours ago, Medd448 said:

“Hey honey, lets go for a ride,” I said to my wife. 

 

 

That's cool that she'll do that. My wife would rather stay home with our 3 dogs and 3 cats than go anywhere in an old car with me. Nice Plymouth by the way.... :)

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I get to have two blondes ride in the back seat whenever I go for a drive. My wife doesn’t even get jealous. 

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I had the kids in my station wagon when my starter began exhibiting heat soaked symptoms when leaving the supermarket.  The kids were one and two then and losing patients fast. I went back into the store and bought good sized bag of frozen peas, climbed under the car and packed it in. 3 minutes later we’re on the road!!! Guess what we ate for dinner?!

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A long time ago, when my kids were quite young, we went for a ride in the model T I had at that time..  I hadn't had the thing running for very long, and not all the bugs had been shaken out. We got about a block from home, when the original choke spring let go. The suction closed the choke and killed the engine. Since the T hadn't been made tour ready yet, I had no bailing wire (a big mistake, all T drivers must carry bailing wire), nor anything else that would work easily (short of stripping out light wires or other destructive options not practical only a block from home.). A quick moment of thought and I figured a rubber band would do the trick. After all, on nearly all the sidewalks of suburbia are thousands of newspaper rubber bands. However, on that block, on that day, none were to be found. So, while the wife and three kids sat in the thing, I ran home to get a rubber band, It did the the job, and home we went. Within about a month, I had most of the bugs shaken out, tools and bailing wire in place. Yet, for about a year, our youngest would not ride in the T unless I first showed him a rubber band!

 

As for more practical advice. Had others not already mentioned the pantyhose (or old nylons) trick, it would have been the first thing I would have mentioned. Another piece of advice. Remember. Most cars during daylight hours can be driven for hours on a healthy well charged battery (there are however many variables in that). So, with the loss of a fan belt. in many cases, the generator is not a significant issue. It is the water pump that is usually most needed to limp home.

I one time lost the belt that ran the water pump on a '70s vehicle that had two fan belts running different things. I don't recall the specifics of what was run by which belt, but a simple reroute got the water pump going again. The belt was offset a bit, but no harm done in those few miles. A quick side trip to a parts house, and a few minutes in their parking lot had all accessories spinning again.

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Back before lawyers I remember pulling into a FLAPS that had a machine shop and replacing a growling GM 10-bolt axle bearing (67 GP 'vert) in the parking lot.

 

Now when I clean out my garage (been here for thutty odd yars) it is like Christmas, find whole transmissions I forgot about.

 

Always liked J. Pat O'Malley's line in the Gumball Rally  about his wife. I have an SLK.

 

ps around here rubber bands are cat toys and rarely found.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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If the belt on my car broke like that I wouldn't tell anyone.

 

I don't carry much of anything but the keys and enough money to keep me from going to dangerous places. I was trying to think of a similar incident, but can't remember any.

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BTW I consider AAA Premier with a 200 miles tow a cheap investment.

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2 hours ago, padgett said:

BTW I consider AAA Premier with a 200 miles tow a cheap investment.

 

Yep also a fan of AAA Premier. That and a cell phone is my first line of defense.  I do keep a tool box and an assortment of nuts bolts, screws wire, duct tape and bailing wire for obvious quick fixes. I once fixed a broken accelerator cable on a FC170 Willys with a bungie cord (helps to have the engine next to you in the cab), to get me home.

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Medd448, that sure is a lot like my old Dodge.  It and a Chevy truck came with a house we bought back in the early 90s.  The guy I sold it to was going to put an industrial Hemi in it out of an old aircraft service cart, ha !  No idea if he did or where it's at now. Neat old cars.  The folks that had this one had bought it new and just quit driving it when they got too old.  Keep yours on the road, looks good.

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Yours has better looking hubcaps. I bought mine from a guy and his wife in farm country. They had planned to rat rod it. Unfortunately the passenger side windshield cracked when I was replacing the weatherstripping but it had the last inspection sticker, NJ 1973. Had to replace a stuck valve and it fired right up. 

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On 5/10/2018 at 10:39 PM, nick8086 said:

This is why you should have spare parts:

 

You can not find them any more..

 

Some other areas on those older Mopar vehicles are hard to get parts for, but the engine and its accessories are not on that list. Chrysler had variations of that L-Head 6 engine in production for about 40 years. Normal wear and tear parts (gaskets, belts, hoses, ignition parts, thermostat, etc.) are all readily available at your local auto supply. They may have to order from the local warehouse, but if you can't get them the same day you can probably get them the next day. So there is no reason to have marginal parts under the hood.

 

I carry a small tool kit, some extra light bulbs, etc. And, of course, my cell phone and AAA card. But even for medium distance trips (<200 miles) I don't usually bother carrying spare parts. If a part has given me any reason to doubt its serviceability, then it is replaced or rebuilt. I expect the same type of dependability on the road with my old Plymouth as with my new car for that reason.

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