We had made the decision to drop out of the rally for the day to get to Duluth early. My sister and brother-in-law were meeting us there for a bit of the afternoon, dinner and the evening. They had booked the same hotel as the rally.
Apparently Stewball didn’t like our plan. On the rally we have two support vehicles with excellent, dedicated mechanics who follow behind. Today, we were on our own. All was well until we stopped for gas somewhere in the western part of Michigan’s UP. The car wouldn’t start. We had just changed drivers and I assumed it was me. No so, the battery was not being charged. The young attendant gave us a push and we were on our way- for a while. Ed was afraid to turn the car off so we ate lunch in the car with it running. He wanted to get into Duluth so we would have help figuring out the Why behind this.
Then as we approached Ironwood, the engine to falter. As we slowed to make a turn, it quit. We pushed it off into a side road by a realtor’s office. She very graciously called the local garage. They had the battery we needed but we had to unload everything
from the back since that is where the battery is before the guy came and put it in. This would get us to Duluth. Ed drove the rest of the way thinking about what was wrong. He was certain it was the generator. The battery wasn’t being charged and had finally run down. He carried a spare generator, one of our many spare parts.
We arrived at the hotel in drizzling rain. The mechanics were far behind so we had an early dinner with my sister and Ed headed back to the car. Replacing the generator is a big, time-consuming job. What Andy (our favorite mechanic) discovered was one of the terminals to the generator had been over-tightened when a new one was put on after our rally in Africa. The terminal had broken off and was lying in the engine compartment.
Several hours of work and we were back in operation. The only remaining problem was the engine hood had to come off for access and getting it back on Andy said to Ed. “It’s time for you to go to bed. We’ll finish up. You don’t want to hear what we will say while getting this in place.”
They did get it on, but without the spring to hold it up, so for the rest of the trip, I will hold it up each time Ed checks or adds oil.
Next time we will consult Stewball before we change plans.