Trip to Texas

Dec 23, 08:42 AM

Well, I’d like to say that our trip to Texas a few days ago was uneventful, but that would be no where near the truth……

Highway 287, you can pick it up outside of Denver and it will take you all the way to Austin, I think. It definitely goes to Wichita Falls and Sheppard AFB. The towns on that road are about 50 miles apart, at best.

Cruising south, on the way there, a lot north of a big town named Dumas (TX), and a little north of a little bitty town named Stratford, the Lincoln decided it was time to spit a coolant sensor out the top of the intake manifold. It was not the water temp sensor, as the car was still giving me a reading on how hot it was. Problem is, where the coolant sensor left, all the water in the motor seemed to follow….

I pulled over, right near where some BNSF RR workers were waiting on a train and they gave us a case of water, that got me ten miles or so down the road to a Car Quest parts store that had a garage and mechanic. The sensor is pressed in to the manifold (and the manifold is plastic!!!). He fabricated a clamp to hold the sensor down, put in the two gallons of antifreeze that the car needed, dumped in some stop leak, and charged me less than 75 bucks for this repair and about 90 minutes of time. Damn nice guy the owner of that store was……

But wait, the adventure is not over!!!

Once we got to Sheppard, and put Chris in the car with us to go to a place to eat, it seemed that every bump we hit, no matter how small, caused the old girl to bottom out. Damn!! Air suspension finally sprung a leak in one of the suspension bags/bladders that holds the car up. A quick call to the nearest Oreilly’s (formerly Checker Auto Parts) located me a new set of air bladders. But, no where to put them in (the auto hobby shop on Sheppard closed the doors back in September due to budget cuts). The lady at Oreilly’s made a quick phone call to a friend down the road that runs a midnight auto repair joint (actually, a place named M & R Motors) and he got the car in later that day. But first, Kelly (the guy at M & R Motors) told me I was crazy to repair the air suspension and I should just put in some springs (I did that earlier this year with the other Lincoln with a kit made by a place called StrutMasters – their kit cost about $175). Oreilly’s did not have that kit, but Kelly said no kit is needed – just get a set of coil springs made for a Crown Vic. Sure enough, Oreilly’s came through and a few hours later, Kelly had the Lincoln no longer looking like a low-rider in the Barrio (Spanish word for ghetto). To repair the air suspension (which would have had subsequent problems like a pump, or sensors and relays) would have been $250 just for the bladders alone. With the springs ($102 after tax) and labor for Kelly (guess how much he charged —- FIFTY BUCKS!!!), we were on our way for a drop in the bucket.

All I have to say — I have a renewed respect for the people of The Great State of Texas!!!

So, made it home on Friday night and have spent the time trying to find a vehicle (he wants a truck) for Chris. Probably should of bought one in Texas – probably would have had a better deal that what he may find around here. Oh, I was going to give him the old (even though it is 4 years newer, just the one we’ve owned longer) Lincoln to trade in. Guess what happened to it last night when we went to drive it to the dealership to look at a truck? The intake started leaking water where the two halves of the plastic is put together – Kelly in Texas told us to watch for that on the Lincoln intake manifolds. Sure enough…… it’s leaking. Going to bring him to the junk yard tomorrow and take whatever they want to give me. Lots of good parts on it…. …. and 132K for miles.


General Ramblings,