Today I gave the Humblebee a well-deserved cleaning after a 13 day, 3100km, relatively uneventful run through the San Juans, Oregon and Northern California Coasts and back up through the center. It was a BLAST! She ran like a well-tuned top, from the seashore to the torturous Highway 36 from Hydesville (just south of Furtuna) to Redding. 4 hours of 45 - 50 MPH driving up and over mountains, through slalom curves, switchbacks and every other manner of driving awesomeness you can think off!
Before we left, took out the fine tooth comb and went through everything. Even replaced the spindle assemblies (a VERY worthy investment), wheel bearings, brakes, etc. As I say, it ran like a champ and we had excellent performance and confidence. For the most part we did all but maybe 150 miles on the backroads and avoided I-5. Still, cruising at 65 - 70 mph was effortless.
After Hwy 36 and Redding we stayed the night in southern Oregon on our way yo Portland then home. Leaving the next morning I noticed and intermittent squeaking had suddenly begun to get worse. We pulled over and suspected it was a result of a loosened tailpipe which was quickly wired tight and off we went. Within a few short miles it was evident that the problem had not been solved and actually gotten worse.
Pulling into the back lot of a lonely country tavern I jucked the car up and pulled off the front wheel. The hub was sloppy so, Uh-oh! Popping off the grease cap, the outer wheel bearing essentially fell out into my hand.
Being as we were in the middle of nowehere, 80 miles from Portland it was a bit unnerving for Miss Paula, but she held up like a trooper. I cursed myself because I had returned a spare set of wheel bearings and seals the week before we left. Nonetheless, with a little help from AAA (BCAA here in BC), a comfy slide deck with a freindly young man showed up and drove us the 80 miles to our hotel in Portland.
The next morning we walked about 10 short blocks to an O'reilly's Auto parts store, picked up the bearing, a few tools and supplies I did not have and returned to the hotel. We were ready to rock and roll within an hour, so it was all good. (God I love the easy of repairing a B!)
All in all, it was a wonderful trip and the first of hopefully many cross-country touring drives. Maybe we'll do the Kootenays, Calgary and the Rockies before the summer is up! :) (She's ready for a little camping too!.)
O'reilly's had the correct shims,to set end play on the bearings? Or did you get away with reusing the old ones?
We have a star and meteor shower cruise coming up MGCCNWC.com August 12, 6:30pm come on down and enjoy the meteor shower over Mt. Rainier. (tu)