Update from Birmingham, Alabama

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Yesterday’s radiator patch worked… for a day. We had patched the radiator with a thinner layer of quicksteel, dumped in a bottle of really nasty-looking radiator stop leak we borrowed from the kind folks at Automobile Magazine, and set out on a southerly route through Atlanta, bypassing the hills just west of Asheville.

Though we had no real idea what was going on, we suspected that the thermal cycles of heating and cooling the the radiator were causing our patches to fail. To keep the radiator as intact as possible, we kept the motor running all day, drove at low speeds low — between 45-60mph — and ran the heater at full blast to give the radiator as much assistance as possible. Combined with the southern heat and midday sun, this had the unfortunate side effect of turning our Dart into a rolling sauna and bathing us in our own sweat. About four hours in, Adam turned to me (I was dehydrated!! – A) and said, “Maybe next year we should get a white car so it’s not as hot.”

In my book, any car that doesn’t require us to run the heater at full blast would be just fine.

With trucks, campers and small children on tricycles whizzing by, we nursed the Dart/sauna along for a little over 400 miles, arriving tired and very sweaty, but with a leak-free radiator(!!!! – A ), to the hotel in Gadsden, Alabama in time for beers and the impromptu fireworks display.

But we weren’t quite out of the woods. This morning, after a 10-minute drive to the starting point we once again noticed a stream of defiant coolant spurting from under the area we had patched yesterday. Arrgh. So we scuffed up the patch a little bit, glommed a little more quicksteel on top, and hit the road. As of this post, we’re just south of Birmingham, the radiiator looks dry, and the engine temp is high but manageable. We’re optimistic (and sweaty! – A). See you all in New Orleans.

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2 Responses to “Update from Birmingham, Alabama”

  1. nonsense bird Says:

    this is a clever ruse, reeves. we both know, regardless of the color of the car or the radiator setting, you would be stewing in your own sweat anyway.

  2. Uncle Paul Says:

    Dave–I just logged on today to the blog…I have laughed and laughed. What a kick! You are part comedian! An unforgettable experience and to a worthy end.

    Smiling in Pasadena….

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