Day 59 – August 3, 2001 – While we were looking for options yesterday in Banff, Ben called Jay Klefoth of the Model T Ford Club of America. Jay gave him the name of David Cooley, a member who lived in Kalispell. When we first talked with David, he didn’t feel he would be able to be much help because of some obligations of his own. However, he was able to reach us by cell last night to tell us that he had arranged both a loading dock to allow us to unload the car and a garage in which to work. He came by this morning and led us to the John Deere dealer who was letting us use his loading dock. Then Ross towed the Fordor to the home of Allen and Virginia Riebe who kindly let us use their garage. The Riebe’s are not Model T people but do have antique cars and are in the local club with David. It was noon by the time they were actually able to get started pulling the engine.
Ben credits Ross, Bruce, and Ginger for putting the engine back together. Everybody helped to pull the engine but they worked primarily on the removing and installing the crankshaft of the Fordor. The new crankshaft had arrived just before they left the motel (God bless UPS and Jennifer Pardue!) so there were no delays waiting for the part. Everything went fairly smoothly and they were able to remove the damaged crankshaft and install the new one with little difficulty. Fortunately, since the casting had cracked during testing and not while actually driving, there was no engine damage. That would have been an insurmountable problem in getting the car back on the road. While they worked on the engine, Jennifer riveted new brake linings on the Rocky Mountain brakes on the Fordor and the pick-up. Ben was involved in both projects and some other miscellaneous maintenance that needed to be done. (Nancy did the laundry and tried to catch up the website.)
The good news is that they were done around 8:00 pm and we were able to drive the Fordor to supper to celebrate. The bad news is that it took the whole day and we didn’t get to do any sightseeing in the nearby Glacier National Park. The frequent mechanical problems have be tiresome and frustrating and, since we have motel reservations in a different city almost every night, our schedule doesn’t allow us to simply stay an extra day if we want to. Some of the motels have charged us for cancellations due to breakdowns (even though they probably rented the rooms to someone else). Even if they didn’t charge, calling each consecutive motel and changing the reservation isn’t always possible. They may not have rooms available the next day. So, after a wonderful dinner at the Bulldog Pub, we went to bed planning to leave Kalispell in the morning.