Gate City Corvette Club
Cruise to Weirs Beach
Sunday, November 2, 2003
This HAD to be the last cruise of the year!
The usual meeting place:
Macy's in Bedford, NH
This wasn't in the plan... or in the forecast!
The rain started about 15 minutes after we left Macy's.
By the way, that's NH International Speedway out there beyond the wipers.
A nice lunch at Hart's Turkey Farm in Meredith.
After lunch, the NH crowd headed back South,
and I turned East back to Maine.
The Rest Of The Story...
On the way home, another thing not in the plan came into play. I occasionally got a "LOW COOLANT" indication on the DIC. I didn't pay much mind to it - the temperature stayed normal. I just cleared the display and motored on. I stopped at Gary's house for a social visit, parking in front of his garage door. I shut the engine off, and just as I got out, steam erupted around the sides of the hood. I popped the hood, and there was antifreeze everywhere! Mind you, here I was 282 miles into this Sunday cruise, and this happens at a buddy's house, and I'm sitting probably not more than 6 feet from his 4-post lift. It can't get much better than that!
We determined that the water pump seal had gone south. Looking it up in his service manual, it appeared to be a relatively simple job: 6 bolts and a few hose clamps. All accessible from above. This I could do at home. So, we topped off the water (leaving the cap loose to prevent any pressure in the system), filled a couple jugs to take along, and I drove the remaining 40 miles home without having to add any more water. There I got out the hose and rinsed off the engine, underneath and the exterior to get rid of the antifreeze, and parked it in the garage.
After brewing some coffee, I called Bill Nichols, the GM Powertrain Engineer who had started the ball rolling to get my transmission replaced by GM back in August. I explained what had happened, and asked if he might be able to cause a new water pump to mysteriously appear on my doorstep. He said he could probably get that to happen, and we just caught up on what we had been doing since we last saw each other at Carlisle.
Later in the week, I stopped in at Strong Chevrolet in Damariscotta, ME, another one of my sponsors. Betsy Mahan, the owner, agreed to have their shop replace the pump when I get the replacement.
A lot of great people out there!
So ends 2003...