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Day one is in the book!

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Posted 26 October 2014 - 09:00 PM

After adjusting the LF wheel bearing and the steering box, and topping up the trans with a couple ounces of 600W gear lube, we loaded up the cars and headed out from Palace Watson in Salem, OR, at about 11 AM or so.
Just a couple words about our host. Jairus resides with his parents in a terrific house designed by his architect father. I was not able to meet his parents as they were on the coast and could not return as planned Saturday evening due to a powerful storm that battered the Pacific Northwest. (This was the source of the high winds I battled bringing the Model A to his place on Saturday.) His folks are obviously my kind of people based on the antiques and collectibles found in their home, much of which were items I have never seen before (Google "Deluxe Kitchen Queen cabinet" for one example). Unfortunately, I was not able to spend as much time as I would have liked investigating the vast number of interesting items in the house. Hated to miss meeting his folks and I guess this means I'll have to return someday to do that and to get the guided tour of their collections.
It would not have been possible for Jairus to have been a more welcoming and accommodating host. Based solely on our interaction here at Slotblog, I knew he was a nice guy, but that assessment is a rude understatement: Jairus is a great guy and I am honored to be able to call him a friend. He treated us like he owed us money, lots of money... LOL!
We were pleased to accept Jairus' suggestion regarding an alternative route and in fact, I think it worked out perfectly, as it is just about as scenic as the Columbia River Gorge routing we utilized coming to the car and the climbs were very moderate. There were also lots of passing lanes, so I could keep the traffic from backing up behind me (and there was a surprising level of traffic in both directions.) Only got honked at by a PO'd driver a single time and we saw her later at our gas stop: a teenage girl, if you can believe that.
I could not be more pleased with the car. The more miles we covered, the better the engine ran, becoming noticeably quieter as the day went on. I only had to grab second gear one time getting over the Cascades range and the car is just as happy at 50 MPH as it is at 45. I saw 55 or a little better a few times, and all on level road, not downhill.
The steering adjustment worked very well. There is now only about 3/4" of play at the steering wheel rim, which is certainly a level I can live with. Today was again windy, though nowhere near as bad as on Saturday and I now can keep the car in its lane without puckering up the seat upholstery every few minutes. I'm guessing the front wheel alignment is a tad off, as it "tramlines" or follows road imperfections moderately, but again, this isn't so bad that I have to address the problem with it on the journey. On a smooth road it tracks fine.

The brakes do have a moderate pull to the right, but again it is at a level I can live with rather than doing the fiddly Model A brake adjustment procedure on the road. They stop the car well, in relation to other Model As I have driven, which is to say they actually stop the car (LOL!) and do seem to be getting a little better as they get used more.
It was good that we decided to make day one a short run, as when we got to the hotel we noticed a pool of coolant accumulating under the front of the car. Here's a pic that shows the problem:
What looks like a string hanging from the water pump is actually a thin stream of coolant leaking from the water pump packing. This is actually a problem I anticipated, and I brought along the special hooked water pump wrench used to tighten the serrated gland nut you can see on the shaft. Probably should have also brought some water pump packing material too, but if tightening the nut doesn't stop the leak, I'm pretty certain I can acquire some usable packing material at a local plumbing supply or hardware store.
While we did get rained on for a while, it never poured and the pseudo-RainX Jairus sourced for us worked well in lieu of a functioning wiper.

All in all, I'd say today's weather was just about perfect.

  • Jairus, slotbaker, SlowBeas and 2 others like this

Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap

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