So I was up in ny visiting my brother and getting some work done on his new house.
I left on sat around noon and I had to be back to go pick up three new hives worth of bees on mon in lynchburg about a hour and a half from me.
Well on the jersy turnpike about 30 mi from the delaware bridge my motor cuts out. Nothing dead. I know from how it happened it had to be electrical. No spark. I call AAA and they transfer me to the NJ turnpike authority cause they don't let just anyone tow from the turnpike. The tow truck comes and can only to me to their yard unless I want to pay cash. Then I have to call AAA to pick me up from there and bring me to a mechanic. I had already in their yard trouble shot it and figured it was the ignition module.
So this guy tows me to the PEP boys in Woodbury NJ. I go in and buy a ingition module tool. Get one of the two bolts out and the second won't come out. I finally have to chiesel it out so I can get to the second bolt. It was a different size head, darn. I go into pep boys and they don't have one. I walk 2 miles to a auto zone and get one ($27) walk back and put it in ($buy about $30 of tools). By now the pep boys has closed. Doesn't start. So I am thinking the trigger module inside the distributor. but for that you have to pull the distributor and take the shaft out and it's dark out around 8:30 and I'm in a parking lot with few tools.
So I figure let's get something to eat and we walk to the first restaurant we see, neema's. Go in sit in their bar and order a beer ($10 2 beers). THey have 2 old guys (70's?) singing "L is for the way you look at me" Badly. I know that if I have to listen to that for very long I am going to go to jail tonight. So we walk down the street some more (8:30 and EVERY @$(@$^ THING IN THIS TOWN IS CLOSED!) till we come upon Charlie Brown's, Good steak house I have been to them before. Have a very good meal ($90), 20 oz T-bone and talking to the waitress , she tells us her husband is a mechanic. I get on the phone with him and he'll look at it tonight! cool. I just have to wait for him to get there until his wife gets home from work. He shows up and starts checking things pulls the cap on the distributor and guess what when I crank the engine the distributor is not turning. Not good. He pulls the distributor and looks to see if the gear came off the end of the shaft. It's still there. Worse news. That means that the timing gear has let go. Ford in their infinite wisdom used a metal gear and a plastic gear to make the engine run a little quieter.
Well here I am in NJ and at least the pep boys does mechanical work on sundays. We get a room and ($15 for cab ride $93 for room) and try to sleep, I leave a wake up call so I can get the cab back to the pep boys and get it in first thing. Get up and take a cab back to pep boys ($14?). The service manager tells me it's $450 to do the timing gears. ok what choice do I have. Plus a $80 diagnostic fee and $60 to replace the distributor. OK when can you do it? well we have to wait for ford to open tomorrow. I call the guy who tried to help me the night before and he calls around and finds the part at the auto zone, so this time I call a cab go to the auto zone and get the gears and the gasket ($50) go back to the pep boys give them to them. take the cab back to the motel ($25) and get another room cause the truck won't be ready till mon morning. ($93) lay around the motel reading and watching tv. Around 3:30 pep boys calls and say the plastic timing gear that exploded sent many small pieces into the oil pan. So they have to drop the oil pan and clean it out so the pieces don't end up in the oil pump ($305)and they are going to try and have the truck today but not sure if they can, what the hell, I already bought the room. No word from them.
About 5 oclock then we walked a mile to Helen's greentree restaurant. Ever just walk into a place and get the feeling you're not going to enjoy the food? But they had beer and were the only place in walking distance. We order and get beers and some potato skins ($15). Who the puts american cheese on potato skins? ask if they sell beer to go and get a six pack ($6) and go back to the room get some italian delivery ($25). It's actually pretty good. More tv and reading. wake up the next morn and call pep boys at around 10, should be done by lunch. We go down to the FREE (There is something free in woodbury nj) breakfast. English muffins and bagel and fruit and cerial, cool a couple of english muffins some melon and orange 3 cups of coffee and I'm good. Go up to the room, shower and go check out. (I forgot to mention that I am hauling about 200lbs of tools with me cause I am not trusting that they will be there when I go back to my truck.) Get another cab ($15) and back to pep boys. The truck is ready it's about 12:30 and I am on the road. I had 3/4 of a tank of gas when my truck ceased to function. I now have less than half ($10 worth of gas evarorated).
Anyway back on the road, about 4 hours later we get home and am getting ready to drive 1.5 hours to pick up my bees and I have a message that says the have been delayed until the 18th. I would have stayed in ny longer gotten more work done the gear would have exploded up there where I have friends and places to stay and mechanics I can trust. But did I check my answering machine messages?