Kalispell, MT to Whitefish Mountain Resort and the MTFCA National Tour
Miles Driven Today:
24 miles
Total Miles of Trip:  
3,180 miles
Hours on the Road:  
Started At:  
11:00 am
Stopped for the Day:  
4:00 pm
    Well, now's the time when we have to decide.  Do we make ourselves look good or do we tell the truth?  

   After the drive from Eureka to Kalispell yesterday, and the problems we had with the battery not starting the car, Ben put it on the charger.  This morning he checked the car pretty thoroughly, including adding additional oil, and we set out for Whitefish and Big Mountain.  We had a 3:00pm check-in time in our cabin on Big Mountain which gave us a little time to shop in town, buy a few groceries, and start up the 9% grade that is Big Mountain
Driving it Home
Montana Majestic Mountain T Tour
On The Road Again
Yellowstone then Home
Runs great...
  ....Drive it home.
Runs great...
      ....Drive it home.
Did you hear that noise? What could that have been?
Day 37 - Friday, July 30, 2010
Getting to Anchorage
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July 30.pdf
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Road.  We had gone nearly 5 miles up the mountain when, without warning, the engine started a loud knocking sound. Ben pulled over immediately on the narrow slanting shoulder and checked everything he could see.  We crawled up a little further, to a flatter pulloff, and started calling for help.

    Clearly, something bad had happened and it sounded like a rod bearing had gone out.  While waiting for AAA, a pickup pulled up and Dick Whited of nearby Columbia Falls, a volunteer with the tour, offered to help.  With the Warford transmission and Rocky Mountain brakes, we could actually tow our Model T.  (DON’T try this in a stock T.)  At the top, we ran into Russ Grunwald from Ft. Worth, whose rental unit had an enclosed garage that he was willing for us to use to work on the T.  When dropping the inspection plate off the bottom of the engine, it became immediately apparent that the engine had no oil in it and the No. 2 rod had melted out the babbitt.

    Since we had driven only 24 miles since Ben checked and added oil, the big question was - "What happened to the oil?".  Also, there were questions about what else may have been damaged.  Was the No. 1 rod okay?  It is normally the one to go when an engine loses oil.  What about the main bearings?  What about the cylinder walls?  They, too, sometimes get damaged when an engine runs without oil.

   So far, Ben has determined everything except the No. 2 rod babbitt appears to be in good shape.  We have already been able to arrange for some replacements rods from two sources.  Ford and More in Spokane, WA is machining a rod to the specifications for our crankshaft as this is being written and will bring it to Whitefish on Sunday morning.  If all goes as planned we will have the car running Sunday evening and be able to drive on the regularly scheduled tour on Monday. Ross Lilleker of Lilleker Antique Auto Restoration also has two rods that fit the specifications for our engine and is sending them out to us as a backup plan.  They will arrive on Tuesday.

   So now we’re down to “truth and comsequences”.  When Ben checked the oil in the morning he did so with the Akuret Oil Gauge but also opened the upper petcock to see how they compared.  The Akuret Oil Gauge showed that the level was right at the low end of the “OK” range and the upper petcock dripped very slightly so both indicators matched and it needed oil.  However, as Ben was adding a quart of oil, he got interrupted for about twenty minutes.  When he went back to the car, the oil can had finished draining so he took it out, put the oil filler cap on and shut the hood.  What he discovered after the breakdown was that he did not close the upper petcock.  Embarrassing as is to admit, this pain is self inflicted.

    Russ Grunweld, who was there helping Ben when he discovered the open petcock valve offered, “I won’t tell if you don’t tell.” to save Ben from embarrassment.   But in the interest of the hobby, we feel that it is beneficial to learn from other people’s mistakes instead of having to always create our own learning experiences.  Now, you don’t need to do this yourself to learn that if you leave the upper oil petcock open, it will be a very bad learning experience.  Ben will never forget this and, hopefully, you will not either.
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Can’t tell much here but we are in trouble.
Ben calling AAA in Texas and trying to make them  understand wh
Leaving the grocery at the bottom of Big Mountain.  See the bag