Sunday, March 19, 2017

New River & Cave Creek Arizona

Odometer 54605
New River, AZ

Off on a new adventure!  We have been in Ajo for four months, and we have enjoyed every day we have spent here this winter.  That said, we are looking forward to new adventures, starting with a trip up to the Cave Creek area of Arizona.  Joan and I have good friends that have invited us up to stay at an RV dock next to their home

Our friends Ralph and Anne have several Model T  Fords and are keen on teaching me (Jeff) how drive, service,and maintain them.  Saturday we went on a tour of the local area in Ralph and Ann's Model T touring car, top down, and wind in the face.  The weather for it was just perfect- 70's to 80's, not a cloud in the sky!

Members of a local Model T club gather for a Sunday morning run
As you might imagine the Phoenix area is large enough to ensure that there are many willing and eager Model T owners that would be ready to rally on a sunny and warm weekend afternoon.

Joan and I get a practice ride in one of Ralph and Ann's classic touring cars
Unbelievably, we were allowed to take out this precious 1915 Touring car to practice on the roads and highways around New River, and Anthem.  The T has a set of 3 floor pedals and the throttle is a small lever on the steering column.  The left pedal of the 3 is the combination clutch and gear shifter.  Press the left pedal to the floor and the car is in first gear, in the middle range the car is in neutral, and let the pedal all the way up for second gear.  The middle pedal is only used for reverse gear, and the right hand pedal is the brake.

A rest stop at our turn-around point 
The next day we drove the 1910 "mother-in-law" Model T shown on the right in the photo above.  The car got it's name from the solo seat set to the rear of the car outside the protection of the folding roof!  Chloe the 10 year old that rode with us this time was lucky enough to enjoy warm weather and blue skies.  Our average speed today was about 35-40 mph, but the T's are capable of more speed.  What they aren't capable of, is stopping quickly.  The T's brake bands act on the transmission (like a drive shaft brake) and only stop the rear wheels.  Staying under 40 makes the stopping a lot less dramatic, and reduces the need for panic stops.
We stop to admire "Elvis" the famous local dromedary
 Our route was calculated to take us by a local mammalian star attraction, specifically Elvis the local dromedary.  The Conrads who bought Elvis in Yuma, said they have always liked the idea of owning a camel.   When Elvis' mother became ill and could not nurse him, his owner was looking for someone to care for him and be willing to bottle feed him.  Elvis is very friendly and loves getting treats of hay, carrots, or wheat bread.  Today though, he was most interested in his salt block

Wrenching on a 1915 Touring car

I get to help with the maintenance as well as the glamour job of driving.  Ralph has a well equipped shop which includes a car hoist which makes the small chores easier and a lot more fun.

Here we are replacing a pair of springs on the Rocky Mountain brakes that have been added to this 1915 T.  The Rocky Mountain brake is an additional brake that allows the foot brake to use the outside of the parking brake drums on the rear wheels.  A constricting set of brake bands close around the parking brake drums which house the normal internally expanding brake shoes operated by the hand brake for parking.

Author is installing new radiator hose on '38 Ford pickup

Ralph and I decided to replace the belts and hoses on his favorite shop truck, a 1938 Ford that has been hopped up with a Corvette engine.
A rod like this one is a composite of many different car families; Chevy engine, Pontiac rear end and suspension, and of course a Ford chassis and bodywork.  This makes it challenging when ordering replacement parts.  We also replaced the pinion seal and fashioned a new retainer for the brake reservoir.

My favorite project though is rebuilding a replacement carburetor for the 1919 pickup that is stored in Port Orford.  More on that in my next post.

Joan and I are excited about shopping at places like Costco and Fry's again.  We took a run over to Costco and stocked up on some essentials (like artichoke hearts, olives, vegetable ravioli, dry cell batteries, etc) and I got to shop at the local Harbor Freight store.

We also are enjoying the warmth of the hospitality extended to us by our hosts and their friends.  We have afternoon cocktails on the shady porch each afternoon, and quite often throw in together for a group meal as we watch the sun set in the western sky.

Your Traveling Friends,

Jeff and Joan

No comments:

Post a Comment