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Memphis here we come...


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Posted 07 November 2014 - 09:29 AM

Except for the flat tire we discovered first thing in the morning, yesterday doesn't have to lot to remember. Still no impressive fall color, which continues to surprise me. Don't know whether there's just not going to be any bright color or whether it just hasn't appeared yet.
 
Thanks to Jairus Watson, who made sure the spare was properly inflated (it wasn't) when we were going over the car at his place in Salem, OR, all we had to do was mount the spare in place of the flat left rear tire. Then we had to find a shop that could install one of the two spare 19-inch tubes I'd brought along so we'd have a good spare again. Didn't want to traverse the wilds of Arkansas without a good spare tire.
 
Doug Azary called the president of the local Model A club, who recommended one tire place but when I called them, they passed me along to Dino's Tire & Wheel in Tulsa.
 
dinos.JPG
 
Sure enough, when we showed up with the flat and the tube in hand, their employee Duane Ketcherside knocked out the job in less than ten minutes. I didn't snap a pic of them, but right next to the tire machine Duane used to dismount and remount the tire was a stack of four rusty mid-'20s Buick wire wheels in for some work. Old wheels and tires seem familiar to these guys.
 
tire.JPG
 
We left the spare wheel and tire on the ground, but in following me during the day's run, Geoff noticed that the spare wheel has a small bit of a wobble, and the original wheel didn't, so we're going to put the repaired tire and wheel back on the ground and put the spare back on the holder before we take off this morning.
 
The weather continues to favor us, though the one aspect of it we have battled intermittently throughout the trip returned yesterday: strong winds. For the first half of the journey from Broken Arrow, OK, to Conway, AR, the car was moved around quite a bit by gusty winds, though with Joe Wylie's chassis work this was just a minor annoyance.
 
As I have mentioned before, some of the noises I've been hearing have had me a little concerned. One in particular, a moderate tapping from the engine, had me fearing a rod was getting loose. But I noticed that some days the tapping was more pronounced than on other days, so I got to thinking whether it might be spark knock in a single cylinder, as the rhythm indicated it couldn't have been in multiple cylinders. So I knocked the spark lever up just a smidgen to retard the timing ever so slightly. And, wonder of wonders, the tapping went away almost completely. I was speaking to a good friend in the auto business last night and he remarked that on a trip of this length, I would probably be getting a whole range of local fuel blends based on altitude and temperature and that this might account for the tapping (or spark knock, if that is what it is) coming and going. In any event, I'm really relieved to have my worries about a loose rod largely assuaged.
 
As we went further into Arkansas, the traffic on I-40 picked up substantially. The interstates aren't really the best routes for a car of this age and speed, but they have the benefit of four (or more) lanes so traffic doesn't get bottled up behind me, like it does on two-lane roads, which requires me to pull over on a regular basis to let it by. Traffic on I-40 was often so heavy that cars would back up behind me in the slow lane because there were so many cars in the fast lane that it was difficult for those behind me to pull out to pass.
 
We had hoped to make Little Rock yesterday, but the tire problem delayed our start and we didn't have enough daylight to get to that far. So we didn't stop except for gas and restrooms, which is why I didn't take many pics yesterday. We did drive about 20 mins after dark, accompanied by what looked to be a full moon coming over the horizon, to reach Conway, AR, about 30 miles north of Little Rock.
 
The end of our journey is now in sight. Memphis is about 160 miles east of Conway and that's an easy distance for us. Our destination for Saturday night is Mt. Juliet, TN, northeast of Nashville, where we will stay the night with one of my high school pals and his lovely wife. Memphis to Mt. Juliet is about 235 miles, so we may go through Memphis and a little farther east before stopping tonight, just to make for a shorter run on Saturday. For comparison, yesterday's run from Broken Arrow to Conway was right at 230 miles.
 
The fuel mileage on the last fill-up computed to 17.8 MPG over a 125.8 mile run, which is the best mileage we've seen on the trip. 
 
BTW, Doug Azary sent me a few more pics he took at A-C-D Co, which I have added to the report for yesterday.


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Gregory Wells

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