Breakdowns-cars and people

June 11: Departing today for Pingliang, near Kongtong Mountian, 330 km. Only part of this will be on highways, the last 100 km will be secondary roads. If these are anything like our earlier experience it will be a challenge. We can expect to compete with trucks, bicycles, mule drawn carts and electric scooters. Then throw in a few sheep herds and shepherds.

Cars are ready to run today but who knows what we can expect. After working nearly all day cleaning or replacing most everything, Clay says he still has two valves that are sticking.  Jack ran into problems at the end of the day yesterday when he started up just to make sure all was well. He had a valve tapping noise and discovered somehow a screw had worked loose from the carburetor and was injested the engine. Will this cause a problem on this next run?

Stewball seems ready, just this morning, Ed has changed the air intake flapper valves to draw in only outside air and not the heated engine air. Maybe this will keep the engine running cooler.

The bad news today really isn’t these annoying car problems. Tom will go home. His leg is infected from a broken blister on his foot. At a minimum this would require IV antibiotics and a prolonged stay in Xi’an. The other option is to fly home. He has opted to have one more treatment at the hospital and fly home.  Just so you know. Tom is not driving a car. He drove the support vehicle for the Studebaker in the US and is continuing the trip riding in one of the support vans through Asia and Europe. We are all really sorry he must go, he had so looked forward to this part of the trip. We will make sure we take photos for him and send lots of postcards.

From the road to Paris,


About ejhowle23

Authors and adventurers, participated in the World Race 2011, an automobile rally from New York to Paris, crossing three continents and 14,000 land miles. Following much the same route as the setting for our debut novel, The Long Road to Paris. This blog describes our own adventures and challenges. And now you can follow our Bahamas sailing adventure that provides the setting for our second novel, Night Watch. Our rally, the African Safari Challenge, crossed five countries in South Africa in May 2014 and in 2015 we participated in the second Trans-American rally this time from Nova Scotia to San Francisco. Spring of 2016 we travelled 28 days around Australia with friends from previous rallies and in the fall participated in our most exhausting rally through Argentina, Chili and Peru- the Rally of the Incas. We were awarded the Against All Odds award. We're still not sure if this was for us or our car. Stewball never broke down and we hardly did. We will soon take on Iceland as a self-drive tour and in the fall of 2017 we will participate in the Odyssey Italia and then back to Africa for a do-over (almost) of the Africa Safari Challenge.
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4 Responses to Breakdowns-cars and people

  1. dan pierce says:

    For extra cooling in an over 90 degree situation with a vw all you need is about a 4 inch 5/8 hose (like heater hose) install the hose on the hook on the engine lid, now when you close the lid it will prop open about 3 inches or so. I run a temp gage and saw my temps go down 30 degrees. Good luck and good travels!


  2. Carla says:

    I’m sorry for your friend 😦 That must be a big disappointment.
    And for Janet, I’m early but: HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! for tomorrow. Celebrate in the Chines fashion (have no idea what that’s like).

  3. TBC says:

    So sorry to hear about Tom. That’s too bad, as I know he was fun to be around. We hope Ed’s malaise has disappeared, and glad to hear Stewball is behaving.

    At least if it gets hot again, you’ll know what to do.

    Take care, and stay safe and healthy,

    TBC and Arnie

  4. crhowle says:

    Sorry about friend, Tom. He must be very disappointed about this bad luck with his leg and the blister. Hope all goes well for you today. Still reading up on your posts. Hang in there. Love to you both!

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