Saturday, July 26, 2008

Car Craft Summer Nationals!! Day 1

Well, another fine sunny day today. I got the GTO washed up this morning and headed out to the State Fair grounds... with a couple stops on the way.

First is to fill up the fuel tank. One thing about this GTO is the fuel filler is down behind the rear liscence plate, so you need to crouch down to fill it up, and we have had several instances with this setup to say the least. Early on in the car's life fuel would spill out the back anytime it accelerated hard, that was fixed with a short rubber hose and a golf tee... (photos coming later to elighten you on this subject...)

Now when I fill up the car I use the air suspension to raise the rear up as high as possible to keep a minimal amount of fuel from spilling on the ground when the pump shuts off. There was one time I was not physically holding the fuel nozzle and when it shut off it ejected from the car and flopped on the ground like a dead snake. Talk about a humorus moment.

So the tank is full, now it's on the freeway to get to the fairgrounds!

Well my tank was getting low, so a quick stop at Arby's got me a #12 with no bacon or onion. I sat there just pondering the day and as I'm almost done with the meal in walks and sits down near me a Mennonite family that was eating at Arbys. I felt a strong pull to introduce myself and talk to the father. As I stopped to ask him where he was from he opened up and started talking. I ended up pulling up a chair and he asked me about the car and I asked him about his life. They are a horse and buggy family similar to the Amish folks, but they have electricity and phones.

Their farm was about 200 acres and they primarily milk cows. He had two older boys, a younger boy and 3 girls all younger. The family was all well dressed and they came into town to spend a day at the zoo, which for them I'd imagine was a huge deal.

I think the most interesting thing about it was that I was having a bad mood and when they walked in it really blessed me seeing a family like that sit down next to me. After we had been talking a while I told him that my sons would love to see a farm, and I was invited out to come see them sometime. I'm excited for that roadtrip to go see a different way of life. Looking at the father's hands I could tell he was a hard worker, and was a good provider for his family.

Onto the car show now! I got to the fairgrounds and after I registered and got in to find a parking spot I noticed that the air suspension pumps were running a bit slow... ( I had been airing the car up while driving, so the pumps kick on based upon demand) and as I looked at the voltage gauge on the dash it was below 12V! Revving up the motor didn't help any, so I just took it easy and found a spot to park the car to conserve the battery power. I knew I'd need all the power just to get the car to the autoparts emporium for a new alternator.

After much of the day at the show was over, a few guys stopped by that worked for Checker Auto and they called their store and found me a new alternator with a 10% discount, which was great, but I did try calling Kevin Oeste from V8TV to ask where he got the alternator that was on the car in the first place.... Autozone! I found one 3 miles from the fairgrounds, and armed with his phone # Maria at Autozone was able to find the original purchase date was only 2 months ago so it was still under warranty! The removal and replacment in the car took all of 10 min, and that included the time spent talking with a few other patrons of Autozone in the meantime.

I'm back up to 14V with the engine running so all is good now!

Tomorro is 'nother big day at the show - so more good news to come1

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