Day… 7, or the Night of Uncooperative Electrons.

June 29, 2012

This will be a short one, because I’m only getting to start it at 11:50.

We rolled out this morning, brimming with confidence! …not really. We did have a few ideas, and they did pay off, but not as well as I’d like. Nick is still perfectly happy to blame the larger errors on the car, as usual.

As for the car, it acted up again by COMPLETELY giving up on starting. Completely. Hammer, rocking, shaking, rolling (no, wait, we didn’t do that) could not get our starter to spin. We eventually gave up, and went with push starts since we have a manual and the car weighs 12 ounces. The problem was that, because we were loathe to start the car, we almost never stopped it, just letting it idle. That didn’t help the heat, and it ate up MUCH more fuel than usual, so we had to stop for gas on a non-fuel stop, and then start the car again, which made us even later. That meant flying down the 100° highway at a significant pace. VERY significant one might say. Nearing top speed kind of significant. In an air-cooled car.

Predictably, it ended somewhat badly. When we finally got the the start (on time!) the car was SO hot, the oil light was pulsing at idle, because the oil had thinned. We made the executive decision to hold our start, shut off the car, and add some more oil to cool it down. Unfortunately, it meant we started late. And we had to do a reverse pop start, which is a tricky proposition at the best of times. And because we started late, all the coolness we had added went away as we had to run wide open to make up time.

There were some interesting moments, though. We missed a turn because it was nearly immediate after the previous and Nick was too busy writing math to notice (we were trying to make up for the late start). After turning the car around, the car behind us which we’d only just passed had also missed the turn and was bearing down on us from the other direction, and the car behind THEM had just hit the previous turn. I said “Well, we can’t just wait for this traffic jam to clear” and simply carried my speed through the left-hander. The road we were coming from sloped down. The road we were turning on was flat. This created a dip. We (literally)


over it. At 35. That was exciting.

Our times improved (I don’t honestly remember the legs), the total was :51. We should be able to do a little better, though. Problem was, our starter was well and truly dead, so we ended up following the Fredettes to a local garage via a local person whose name I have shamefully forgotten, where we switched the new starter in (glad we got that), while Jeff and Eric Fredette put in a new rear u-joint.

The new starter didn’t work. Same problem. So an hour later, after MUCH troubleshooting and electric confuserating, we pulled the new starter out again to bench test it, and it basically worked. The only thing I did differently when putting it back in was choose the other of the two linked blade terminals. I don’t know if the 12V kick on the bench made it happy or the new terminal had better contact, but it started starting. So far tonight, it started to keep starting. …or something like that.

Anyway, we got two “aces” today. Not what you’re thinking, though… I have yet to put up a picture, but the middle windows in our car have signs that read “HAVE YOU SEEN: *picture of the Ace of Spades* Missing since June 22”. I’ll put up a pick tomorrow, but at the finish today, Corky gave us the four aces out of a deck. Of course, we stuck them on the doors like any ace. As I’ve said to lots of people about them: They’re not real, but they’re correct.

Anyway, off to sleep. I fear I may have to have another Frappucino tomorrow….

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