Lunch - Beatrice, Ne

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 Maych's original 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 me.

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 idle.

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.


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