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Sit Rep: The Free Ferd shall ride at dawn! (Or thereabouts)

Illustration for article titled Sit Rep: The Free Ferd shall ride at dawn! (Or thereabouts)

I was pretty bummed last week when the Free Ferd was rejected by the fun police. In talking afterwards with SpecsGTP, who is letting me store the truck at his place (and who I consider half-owner of the truck), he was defiant. He more or less said to hell with the SCCA, we’ll save our money and our entry fees, and have fun without them. He had a good point, but while I wasn’t going to make any decisions while I was upset, I wasn’t sure I wanted to register and insure a vehicle we would only use a couple times a year. Maybe it would be best to sell and trade the beast afterall.

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Not to be outdone, my man went ahead and paid for the insurance himself, and reminded me that the plates on the truck were good until September 1st this year. We had plenty of time to have some fun and then make a decision.

We took a ride in the truck last week to look at a scooter for him, which he didn’t buy for a few good reasons. During that trip we christened the Free Ferd the Thingamajig. The Thingamajig wormed its way into our hearts some that day.

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Tall-Bill (same guy) then took the Thingamajig up to Michigan for the weekend. While up there, a rusty brake line blew in the rear. He patched it together and made it home with a soft brake pedal, but the brakes were going to need to be bled. Odds that the bleeder screws were going to crack loose for us? Pretty much nil.

We dealt with that yesterday. By we, I mean he did the real work, and I handed him tools and pushed the brake pedal when it was time. No joy with the bleeder screws. Thankfully the rear drums came off surprisingly easily, and then it was off to Napa for a pair of wheel cylinders, and another brake line for the other side of the rear end.

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Those installed, it was time to bleed the brakes. At this point the right side wheel cylinder ... brand new part mind you ... completely shit itself out both ends. Napa of course didn’t have another one, so I headed to Advanced Auto where they sold me a Car Quest branded part. Thankfully that one worked.

With the brakes bled, we took it for a test drive, and all was well. We decided not to bleed the fronts, because we figured the less we took apart the better. The pedal felt good, and the brakes worked great.

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I brought the Thingamajig home last night to prep it for this weekend’s trip. I’ll tell you about that in a bit. Anyways, another problem with this truck, is the driver’s side power window motor only works when it wants to work. Thankfully, the original owner had purchased a replacement motor and switch. I installed those today, and now we can put the windows up and down willy-nilly. It’s so fawn-say!

One funny thing, the new window switch works backwards. You press up to put the windows down, and down to put the windows up. The switches can only be put together one way. And it’s both windows that work backwards on that switch. The passenger side window works normally when you use the passenger side switch. What can I say? The Thingmajig has personality!

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It also leaks a lot of oil, and power steering fluid. And it burns some oil. And possibly some coolant. And it has a bit of a rod-knock. So, I’m bringing all of the fluids. All. Of. Them.

Illustration for article titled Sit Rep: The Free Ferd shall ride at dawn! (Or thereabouts)
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Now, for the trip. We were going to go back-roads bombing with Birddog and his ‘78 C10 around his place in Iowa. Then an awesome John Player’s Special Yamaha Riva 180 came up for sale up north of the Cheddar-Curtain. Both Birddog and SpecsGTP are in need of a scooter for IdiotFest this year, so plans were changed.

Specs has some real-life shit to deal with this weekend, so unfortunately he’ll be sitting this one out. My buddy Fry-guy (or whatever he changed his name here to ... cg-guy?) is riding shotgun with me in the Thingamajig. We’re rolling out O-dark-thirty tomorrow morning, and meeting Birddog in Monroe, WI. From there we’re going to take as many back roads as we can and wind our way up towards Sturgeon Bay to meet the seller, another Opponaut, Pat Pfeiffer.

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Birddog has first dibs on the scooter, because he’ll actually be there. If he passes, I’ll be buying it on behalf of The Ass in the Hat (aka Tall-Bill, aka SpecsGTP). Then we’ll wind our way south on Sunday.

Fun will be had.  Dinosaur juice will be consumed.  Shenanigans will ensue.  I can’t wait!  

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