Automotive adventures – July 2016

Adventures 2016:
We decided to go to Springfield IL to visit relatives and see the CORSA (Corvair Society of America) convention there in Springfield.
We thought we’d take our 04 VW Beetle on our trip instead of taking my Buick or renting a car.
There were indications that its cam belt had been replaced already, so I didn’t swap it prior to the trip.
Terrible idea.

We got to Oklahoma, about 80 miles short of OKC. (OKC = Oklahoma City)
At 70 mph, the motor shut off.
After coasting to the side, we tried to re-start the car.
The motor spun freely, showing no compression. By the sound of it, there was no point even opening the hood.
We called AAA. (We have extended towing – yay!)
They sent a flatbed to haul it and us to a AAA-approved shop in OKC (NOT a dealer).
I approved installing a good used motor. I specified that the replacement motor would get a new timing belt and new water pump.

We then got a rental car and continued to Springfield.
Of course, that scrubbed our plans to return via Colorado – the extra time and distance through OKC would put us in CO when relatives wouldn’t be there anyway.

The car was “ready” a day later than expected. When it was “ready”, I went to the garage and took it for a test drive. This revealed a blinking oil warning light and an oil leak. (The engine’s rear main seal was leaking.)
One and a half days later, it was supposed to be ready – but a transmission leak (front seal) manifested.
After two more nights (Sat and Sun) in the motel, it was to be ready. At 5PM Monday, the shop once again said it was.
It had run, and they had driven it around the block. However, it didn’t want to re-start. The dash light was on, and its computer showed error codes.
It turned out to be a bad crank sensor on the “good used motor”. They installed the sensor from our blown motor, and the system was happy.
At 6 PM, we finally headed for the airport to return our rental vehicle.
At 7 PM (plus a little) we were on the road for dinner and home.
We finally arrived home late Wed night. Very happy to be home.

Regarding plans for the Toy:
The weather we traversed convinced me to leave A/C compressor on the next motor, and I plan to add side windows.
We had 100 degrees + for days on end – a compelling argument for air conditioning.

We saw a really fun radical custom at the show – a ’66 (or so) Corvair, with functioning doors and all, that also tilts its body forward to expose its supercharged 3.8 Buick motor. All done really nicely. He actually tows his other show car with this one.

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