Joanna and I have spent these past few days working on separate tasks, each with the hope of getting us closer to Oklahoma. She’s been packing her room up, and although there are quite a few boxes stacked in the hallway, it doesn’t look like anything is missing from her room. She makes lots of piles, and moves them around. She seems to be enjoying herself, moving things around, making piles.. She examines every item carefully, and puts it in a pile… It doesn’t really look like she’s made any progress over the last few days, but it doesn’t seem like there’s any hurry for her to pack either.
My days have been primarily consumed with endless stretches of auto repair, punctuated only with frequent trips in the Brenner’s minivan to the auto parts stores. Overall, I find that it can be rather enjoyable when I’m not frustrated. There’s at least a mild sense of accomplishment to be had in auto repair. This feeling is usually brief, and occurs just after the completion of one task but just before the embarkation of a new task. For instance, the truck ate a push rod, which I replaced for $3. But then I noticed fuel pump was leaking, so it got replaced too. Of course, the fuel line was badly rusted and had to be replaced since I destroyed it in the fuel pump replacement. This, in turn, led to an entertaining saga of 4 foot steel lines and a tube bender which ended with an amusing, though functional, connection between fuel pump and carburetor. Yesterday, after getting the truck all back together with its valves all properly adjusted and the rocker arms well lubricated, I proudly listened to the engine idle, hearing nothing amiss. That is, until I heard something a little funny… I couldn’t figure out what, until I noticed the radiator was squirting a stream of water onto the fan. A small leak, but it made me realize that I was definitely correct in thinking a new radiator was needed.
I went for a short drive anyway, up and down Eliza Jordan in the truck. It’s started to grow on me, this truck. It’s got loads of character, and something just feels right when you’re slowly cruising by the countryside in an old truck. The smell of spring mixes with crankcase fumes, and I’m glad that neither of our cars are boring.
The truck needs a fitting name…. any suggestions? I suppose I should get pictures online first… That might help.
Today, Sarah woke us up with information that Robert had found a Radiator shop that would be able to rebuild my radiator. We drove down to what Joanna calls the radiator dungeon, and the guy who was hoisting a radiator over a vat of cleaning acid asked what he could do for us. A welding torch flickered next to him, and the carcasses of more than a few radiators littered the grease-soaked floor. I explained my situation, and after consulting a book he pronounced that he would be able to do it for me. He said he’d have to order the core, and it wouldn’t be there until tomorrow, but he should be able to do it then. After leaving them with the truck keys and my phone number, we returned to the miata.
Without the truck to distract me, I was able to put the new alternator in and reassemble most everything before getting started on the new top. Convertible tops really are not much fun. It’s more of a job for a tailor than an auto mechanic. It’s one of those jobs which, if I ever have the money, I don’t think I’ll hesitate to pay someone else to do. If I get it all in without tearing anything, without any major winkles or water leaks, I think it will probably be a miracle. I’m not sure how I did it last time.
The latest issue with the truck is getting a hitch mounted. U-haul said they don’t have anything in stock, and that they’d have to build me one. It would take them 5-10 days to build and another 5-10 days to ship to the local store. It would cost a minimum of $350. That seems ridiculous. I’m hoping I can find someone who can do better.
It’s starting to look like this truck might not have been the brightest idea I’ve ever had. I’m beginning to wonder if I’ll ever get to Oklahoma, as it seems like it’s getting farther and farther away the closer I try to get.
And to think, the cable guy was supposed to install the internet in our new apartment tomorrow.
And Joanna and I were going to celebrate her birthday in our new apartment.