Sorting Out Some “Vintage-ness”

Pat and Dan Assume The Position!

As with most of the BB issues we have faced, this one was easily rectified with Pat’s (a willing and expert host’s) assistance and more than a bit of wrenching. But also as usual, the fan problem looked simple but turned out NOT!  

And, what a surprise; I was part of the problem!!

I had not fully under-stood how to tighten the belt – thought it could not be tightened so needed to be replaced. Since it needed to be replaced, we were going to put a double-belt on, which both Peter and Pat thought should have been the case to begin with.

Clutch Bracket, Repaired!

However, in removing the belt, we discovered a bracket holding the fan clutch had completely separated, and the clutch was being held ONLY by the wires that activate it.

This WOULD HAVE FAILED, probably pretty soon. And when it failed, the now-loose wires could have caught in something and/or started arcing and caused a fire. YIKES.

Had we just tightened the belt and gone on our way, we would not have discovered the “real” and hidden problem!

FORTUNATELY, Pat is as adept with a welder as Peter, so the bracket (and the slightly-frayed wire) was quickly repaired.

As we reassembled everything, we installed new, Heavy-Duty belts and retensioned all of them. And we installed a second belt for the Fan.

The local auto parts store actually had the right bearing in stock, and they were open on Sunday!!!

Pat decided the Fan Bearing was a little “grindy” so we replaced it. We even added a manual fan switch – both Peter and Pat were surprised we did not have one and it was an easy add with everything disassembled. I even found that there was a pre-drilled hole in the dash, covered by vinyl only, for such a switch.

Could it have been forgotten at the factory?

While I did a lot of the actual “work” on these repairs, Pat got pretty dirty, too. And, Pat’s expertise was on full display. For example, reinstalling the bearing for the Fan. Getting the old one out was no problem – bang it with a hammer! But doing the same for installation would likely damage the new bearing. Pat’s solution: Put the bearing in the freezer and heat the fan. The contraction of the bearing and the expansion of the socket caused the thing to drop right into place, and then stay put when temps equalized.

During our work, one evening we were offered a homemade chili dinner prepared by Pat’s friend Kelly. YUM! We took Pat and Kelly to Sunday brunch at a local place overlooking one of Olympia’s marinas. Then the next night we took a break and went to a Sports bar to watch the Cubs.

We should have joined the club so as to dull the disappointment.

This sports bar was interesting. LOTS of cars in the lot, but no one in the bar. Turns out the bar has a “Private Club” upstairs. There you can smoke (tobacco or Marijuana…the latter being legal in Washington State) and drink. THAT was where all the people were! Unfortunately the Cubs lost…we should have joined the club so as to dull the disappointment.

From Olympia we headed South – with the fan purring along. Well, Roaring…nothing purrs on the bus. Destination (Eventually) the SF Bay Area with Approx. 10 days to get there and hoping to avoid the awful fires in Sonoma and Napa. It seems we have been stalked by fire all summer. In fact, it seems our visits to California are always coincident with events of biblical proportions. Last spring it was torrential rain and flooding. This fall, Fire. Frogs next?

I am somewhat happy that we have no first-born…the natural plague-progression.

2 thoughts on “Sorting Out Some “Vintage-ness”

  • So, if you ever have a fully equipped workshop you’ll absolutely have to have a freezer! Large enough for bearings but not displacing the ice cream….

    • It appears i will not need a fully equipped workshop, because so far i have always been within range of a fellow bluebirder who does.

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