Again, Maych ran fine
until we started hitting the stop lights in Beatrice. I managed
to get him restarted at the first couple of lights but I finally
admitted defeat and pulled into a parking lot at a local business that
was closed for the day. I tried to start him a few times with no
luck and decided it would be best to just catch a ride to where they
were serving lunch for us and let him (and me) cool off a bit.
Besides, Josh and I were getting hungry.
By the time we got to the lunch site
there were about 400 people ahead of us. There's always a big
crowd at these lunches but it usually moves real fast. Today, the
line moved at a pace even a snail would think was slow. While
standing in line I spotted my friend Dave at the head of the line.
I decided to go ask him what he thought the problem with Maych
might be. Dave's a real gear-head and had helped me overhaul
engine so I figured he might have an answer. I told him the story
and he thought I was probably correct about it being vapor lock.
Because he was going to finish eating a long time before Josh and I, he
volunteered to drive back into town and see if Maych would
start. If he could get it started he would drive in back here for
Josh and I finally got to eat after
standing in line over 1 1/2 hours. The problem was, somebody had
given the caterer the wrong head count and they ran completely out of
food. They had to go to the local Wal-Mart and clean their deli
out of roasted chicken to feed us. I know events of this size can
be a nightmare to plan and a few snafus are likely to occur, but given
the trouble I was having with Maych, I was a little heated
by the time Josh and I finished our lunch. I think I even
contemplated not going on the tour the next year.
I cooled down some when Dave told me
he got Maych started and he had drove him back to the
lunch site. He said he had put some pipe insulation between the
fuel line and the heater hose and maybe that would do the trick until we
got back home, but just in case he was going to follow behind me for the
rest of the tour.
Well, we didn't even make it out of
the lunch parking lot before Maych died again and
wouldn't start. Dave, being the gear head he is, pulled out
his tool box (he never leaves home without it) and we began troubleshooting
the problem. First, we disconnected the fuel line at the carburetor and
checked the fuel filter. It seemed to be fine. Then I cranked
Maych as Dave held a rag under the open end of the fuel line.
Sure enough, there was no fuel being pumped to the carburetor. I
then told Dave the story about the trouble I had with the electric fuel
pump and how I had disconnected it when we got to Lincoln and was now
running on the mechanical pump. He suggested we bypass the
electric fuel pump altogether and run the fuel line straight from the
fuel tank to the mechanical pump. Sounded like a plan, but we
would have to find a parts house open to by some fuel line and clamps.
While Dave and I ran to the parts
store, Josh and some other folks that had stopped to help stayed with
Maych . That's the one thing about traveling with a
bunch of car nuts -- there's always several guys and gals willing to
work on your vehicle if you break down. In fact, I think a lot of
them would rather work on these vehicles than drive on the tour -- and
God bless them for it!!
When Dave and I got back from the
parts store, Josh ran up to me and said one of the guys had already done
the work and Maych was running fine. It seems
one of the guys that stopped to help just happened to have some spare
fuel line (doesn't everybody) and bypassed the electric fuel pump while
we were gone.
I was hoping this fixed the problem,
but I decided to take the most direct route back to the motel in Lincoln
rather that continue on the rest of the afternoon's tour. Dave
said he'd seen about all of this part of Nebraska he wanted and agreed
to follow me back to Lincoln just in case.
We got back to the motel with no
further problems, so I'm guessing we fixed the problem. Evidently
when the electric fuel pump failed it wasn't letting fuel flow through
it, or at least not very much fuel. It let through enough full to
run at road speeds but not enough to keep it going at slow speeds or at
We spent the rest of the afternoon at
the motel and Josh was happy because it gave him extra swimming pool
time. The rest of the tour pulled in a couple of hours later and I
shared our "adventure" with a few of them over a couple of cold ones.