Well I meant to get on the road by 4pm a week ago friday. I didn’t get on till 5. Turns out that was a blessing in disguise.
So I’m driving, trying to make up time when I notice my battery light is on. What the hell. Keep driving. Pull over. Phone crazed clay.
Car seems fine...turn car off...turn car on. Warning light goes away. Continue. Warning light comes back. Call crazed clay. Discuss.
Suspect alternator, continue to next town. Think headlights are getting dimmer. Realize you always complain about this car’s dim headlights. Suggest it’s your imagination.
Continue. Arrive in town (Edson), pull into Cambodian Tire.
Call crazed clay again. Crazed agrees to come get me should I get stranded. Wonder why warning light turns off when stopped.
It’s getting dark now. But Hinton is only like 86 kms (50 miles) from Edson. Continue, against better judgement. I want to get home and see my girlfriend damn it.
It’s 8 hours total, and I’m already more than 2 hours along.
Road getting difficult to see. Realize lights getting dimmer. Use wipers. Wipers barely move. Head lights fading fast. Fuck.
We aren’t making it to Hinton, it’s pitch black and I barely have any lights. Wonder when car will lose power.
Turn on emergency flashers to encourage car following to go around, because if I lose power I don’t want them slamming into me.
Examine highway for safe place to pull over. Headlights shut off completely. Flashers shut off completely.
High beams do nothing....find a intersecting range road. Pull onto range road. Pull over.
Realize I’m boned.
Examine location on google maps. See that I’m only twenty kms from Hinton. Phone tow truck company in Hinton. No longer a company owner retired.
Write down number he suggests. Phone that number. That number is some random woman in Grande Prairie (like 6 hours away).
Phone crazed. Tell crazed he’d better come and get me, because I can’t go any further.
Phone tow truck company in Edson “where are you”...on some range road east of Obed summit. (Somewheres in the circle) As you can see...there is a lot near Obed.
Not sure where, there;s no signs and pitch black. Suggest Obed Mountain road as location. It’s close anyways if not exact.
Wait for tow truck. See tow truck drive by on highway. Fuuuck. 10 minutes later the same tow truck comes back.
Oh good!!!! He went to Obed Mountain road...apparently I was on the road before that one.
Hook up car. Get in truck. No idea where to drop car in Edson. Tell clay to meet me at canadian tire in Edson.
Half hour later, get back to Edson. Pay $275 to be dropped off at exact parking lot where I was hours earlier debating whether I should continue.
Crazed shows up. Oh good! Pay bill. Get annoyed that I had to pay kilometerage not only back, but also out.
Crazed is too tired to drive now. So I drive the ST. It is glorious.
Go to mcdonalds. Order coffee. Cashier suggests coffee costs .55 cents. Become confused.
Pay 55 cents for a coffee. Get on highway 16 east bound now. Have a lot of fun hooning the fiesta St back to town.
Missed a lot of shifts though. Pattern different from my 5 speed Cavalier.
Get back to Edmonton. It is after midnight. Walk to mcdonalds. Mcdonalds closed. Walk home.
Collapse into bed. The car is still in Edson. And I’m two hours away with no car. Say “fuck” a lot.
Sleep. Wake up. Phone cambodian tire.
(Apologies to CB who would get harassed by me at canadian tire while working there...ha!)
They have an alternator.
They also don’t work weekends. Phone clay. Make plans. Swap clay’s st for Jc’s orange dart.
Get breakfast. Go to local cambodian tire for ratchet set. Go to junkyard. Remove two alternators, and get one out by cutting out rad hose.
Realize cannot cut rad hose on own car.
That is a problem for future clay and boss. Remove two alternators. It’s actually kid of tough.
They are well buried in the engine bay. Get some fuses. Get a turn signal bulb since mine is burnt out also.
Drive the two hours to Edson in the orange dart.
Get some lunch. Go to Canadian Tire Edson, yay the car is still there! I left the keys with it in case canadian tire wanted to work on it this morning.
Then again it is pretty hard to steal a car with a bad alternator. You won’t get far.
Start to remove alternator. Lie in mud puddle under car to loosen one of the three bolts. Losen lots of rust right into own face. Joy.
Lady comes by, tells us they will give you cardboard if you want to work not in the mud puddle. Go get cardboard. Get told cannot work on car in lot.
Suggest I just wanted to look under neath it.
Employee suggests we cannot get oil everywhere that is why.
Explain alternator, so probably no more oil than usual leaking. Get cardboard.
See old alternator on the ground. Clay had dropped it out when I was inside. YES!
Put in new alternator. Get in mud puddle again. Cardboard barely helps. Put in bottom bolt, while clay puts in top.
Connect battery also. YAY! New alternator is in. Try to feed serpentine belt around the main crank, the tensioner and the alternator pulley.
Fail a third time.
Try to figure out how to put ratchet into area about one inch big where noone can see to adjust tensioner pulley. Can not do.
Clay suggests getting rope. We get rope from canadian tire and reattach the clip used for hoisting the engine that we had removed earlier so we could get the alternator out.
We wrap it around the tensioner pulley. I go underneath car, cannot feed belt. Clay goes under neath car, feeds the belt.
I pull on the rope and we finally get it all belted up. We button the car back up (we had taken off the air box and stuff for better access).
The moment of truth....IT WORKS!! It idles a little rough, but it is working. Figure might as well replace broken turn signal. Replace it. That works too now.
Drive two hours back to town. Encounter a prius with hood vents. Wonder wtf.
Make it home. Total time spent 22 hours including like 10 hours and 1200 kms of driving by all involved.
Thank God we have a friend like a clay.