So Thursday was cruise night, so I wanted to take my Darts; it was the first time my 72's gone and I wanted my 75 to be up there with For Sale signs on it. But on the way we went to a park to take some pictures of the two cars together.
I'll be the first to admit I'm no photographer...
And of course I had to pretend I was in a Whitesnake video:
Then the fun started....Doris, the black one, decided that I hadn't fixed the hot start problem I thought I had fixed. The starter gets heat soak and then it'll spin over but the starter is drawing so much voltage that the ignition system -ignition coil and plug wires- don't get enough power to start the car. So we break out the jumper cables and I fire up Juular (the red one) to jump Doris off. Doesn't work at first so decide to wait a few minutes to try again. Five or so minutes later we try again. No dice. Wait again...
Juular's been running this whole time and decides to run hot. This car's never run hot before; I may not have owned her long but I have driven the hell out of her in that time frame. So I shut her off. The puke tank off the radiator has a relief hole at the top and she's shooting steam and coolant out of that hole. I leave the hood open and me and my buddy are just standing there watching it vent, a good ways away, when all of a sudden BOOM! The fitting where the hose from the radiator goes in the tank pops off, shooting really hot coolant all over the place, including both of our's faces. Luckily we both turned our heads fast enough to not coolant in our eyes, but it was damn close. Thankfully we weren't seriously burned but I'll admit, it scared the shit out of me.
After letting them both cool off awhile, we get em both fired up and head for a car wash on the way to the cruise. The whole way there Juular's making this really weird whining noise she's never made before. So we hose Doris off real quick and I tell my buddy to go on and roll to the cruise; I needed to let Juular cool off some more before spraying down her engine bay to wash off the coolant. After awhile I spray everything down and fire her up to see if she's still making that sound. Of course, she is. I can't tell if it's the water pump or the alternator so I shut her off and grabbed the pulley on the alternator. It moves about a quarter of an inch and squeaks. Ok, time to find an alternator.
About a block and a half away from the car wash was an O'Reilly's so I swing in to see if they might perchance have an alternator. Being that 72 Darts didn't come factory with 440s, I have them look up the alternator for a 72 Charger 440 and bingo, it's the right one and they have it in stock. And of course, this being the first time she's acted up on me it's also the first time I haven't brought a set of tools with me while driving her. So buy some cheap tools and the alternator and head to the cruise.
I've never seen that cruise so packed. It was an abnormally cool evening for Memphis in July so everyone was out. And I'm the only one wrenching on their car at the show. But I slap the new alternator on, complete with original style pulley (I have March Performance single groove pulleys, stock has double grooves) and proceed to have a fun night at the cruise, in spite of all the drama with getting there. Unfortunately I didn't get pics while I was there but there were over 50 cars there, easy.
Anyways, I still had a lot of fun that night and just consider the whole breaking down and fixing it at a cruise a very important and fun part of hot rodding. It's the keep going in spite of adversity spirit that I love of hot rodding and car culture in general.
And to the one or two people who actually read this whole story, thanks for reading!