So today we [me and the MRS.] go to a small town celebration with tractor show about an hour away.
The general public got to vote on their favorite tractor and 1st and 2nd place had a ton of family there [locals] so the ballot box was rigged to say the least. I won third place and the official handing out trophys told me that in non-family voting I won hands down. I go to meet other tractor people and talk tractors - not get a trophy so I'm OK with it. Didn't even know it was a judged show until I got there.
I took the Case replica I built a few years back in the back of my 1984 Dodge Rampage. That was a load.
We are headed home and hear a clank. Can't figure what it is and just figure its an object that was laying in the road. Stopped at an antique shop and a produce stand and the Rampage started fine both times. Back on the road running along about 60MPH and not paying much attention the MRS suddenly asked "is the temp gauge right on this thing?"
I look at the gauge.....
The gauge is pegged.
I slam the clutch pedal to the firewall and kill the ignition allowing the truck to coast without hitting the brakes. Once we were slow enough to impede traffic I move to the shoulder and stop. We are miles from a house or town but have a good wide paved shoulder.
I pop the hood and get out. Small puddles of antifreeze are dripping here and there. Opening the hood I hear boiling - this is bad.
Overflow reservoir is full with very slight boiling. HMMMMM,
I figure the thermostat is stuck so I grab a wrench from behind the seat and thump on the thermostat housing not knowing if I'm doing anything or if that is even the problem. Couple of minutes go by and I figure I'd start the engine to circulate the water some and see if the gauge drops any.
Engine won't turn good enough to start.
I'm thinkin' CRAP! its so hot its locking up!
NOW I'm getting nervous.......
Walk back to the front and start going over a mental checklist. Guess what? The alternator belt is just hanging and guess what.... it runs the water pump too. I was so concerned with the temp gauge I didn't even think to look at the volt gauge. Notice the alternator is just hanging lose so ah-ha,... that belt adjuster falling off was the sound we heard. Its a wonder we didn't lose the belt too.
I get down and reach just in front of the passenger side front wheel and start spinning the water pump pulley by hand. Now I know the water in the radiator is much cooler because it hasn't been circulating. At least not very much.
I crank the water pump for about two minutes and holler for the MRS to turn the key to ON. Now whats the temp gauge doing? She says its down in the middle like normal.
I can breathe easy now!
I got what I need to make this work!
Grab an extra ratchet strap and a good bungee cord from behind the seat and tell the MRS to dig out the jumper box [that I almost didn't bring!!!!] I tell her we'll be rolling in two minutes.
The rubber bungee was a pretty stout one - new with no weather cracks so I hooked it on the alternator and pulled it as tight as my weakling arms would go. Found a place to hook the other end and checked the belt tension.
Hooked up the [fully charged] jumper box and hit the key.
The 2.2 Chrysler roars to life with THE most awful belt squalling you can imagine.
Double check that everything electrical was off and tried to accelerate the engine slowly trying to get the belt to hook up. The battery is so dead that the voltage regulator is full whammy so its not going to stop squealing any time soon. Put the tools away and decide to get moving hoping the belt lasts 5-7 miles to the nearest town where I know the auto parts store will have a correct belt in stock just in case we burn this belt completely off.
Keeping the RPMs low to minimize the squeal - we roll.
We have enough battery to fire the ignition to town but for some reason seem to really need the water pump to be turning.
About two miles later the squeal stops, the volt gauge climbs to about 14, and we cruise on home safely.
ALL BECAUSE THE MRS KEEPS AN EYE ON THINGS when I don't.
SHE'S A KEEPER!!!!!!!