Saturday, 31 August 2013

Good progress but no distance....

Started out with lots of excitement, the flying/road trip was really happening at last.  The aircraft was ready, except for the tailwheel, and I already had all parts required to fix that.

Erie airfield is close to the interstate highway I-25 which heads north, so was easy to get out of town and on the way.  Stopped at a gas station a few miles up the road near Longford to top up with fuel.  A vibration and clatter underneath had been bugging me for awhile.  Sounded exactly like a universal joint, but every time that I crawled underneath, they felt tight and solid.  But I had always checked in 'Park', and this time tried 'Neutral', and then found LOTS of freeplay....  So it needed work right now....  Asked a fella distributing water for the drinking fountains in the gas station, and he recommended a mechanic called 'Hands On', nearby.  It was the perfect workshop, down a backstreet and only working to local customers.  A very straight arrow and as honest as could be sort of fella.  We hit it off right away and he made space to do my job today.  Turned out that the U-joint was so worn that it would have collapsed sometime very soon, probably along the remote highways in outback Wyoming....  So I was really lucky to get it fixed now!  (But I do remember that he did say he had difficulty getting one of the circlips to fit properly; more on that to come...)  I was so impressed with his approach to work that I asked if he could do the shock absorbers as well.  He fitted them in as well, and now I have new front shocks and airlifts in the back for towing.  I knew that I was going to have to do that sometime anyhow, so it was good to get it done now.  Took all day, but time well spent....

Camped at Longford Walmart.  A very quiet Walmart lot.  Bought a couple of plastic storage containers to help organize the van.  All is going really well.

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