Don A

Getting home 1000 miles with NO clutch

I went on the 2014 Hot rod Power Tour in my 1993 Monster conversion Miata. A very close friend of 36 years rode with me.

We left Concord (Charlotte area) North Carolina on Sunday, the first travel day, for Knoxville, Tennessee. First day, things were fine. Air conditioning worked, cruise control worked, 5.0 Ford engine humming; we were in "hog heaven" pulling our little woody single wheel trailer.

The second travel day we headed to Charleston, W.V. Things were fine that day, just like the first day.

The third day we drove to Norwalk, Oh. Things were just as good as they had been the first two days. The fourth day we went to Crown Point, Indiana, and things were good that day, too.

THEN we headed to Bettandorf, Iowa. As were about ten miles from the venue at a casino on the Mississippi river, the hydraulic clutch linkage went away on my buddy, who happened to be driving at the time. We pulled into a parts house parking lot, where a poor guy in a '55 Chevrolet was fighting a destroyed front wheel bearing on his straight axel, and got the car up on a curb to try to adjust the clutch. Very little change.

The fifth day we managed to get to Wisconsin Dells, Wi. scared we wouldn't be able to get back to South Georgia..

After we got our Long Haulers plaques on Saturday morning, we got on the interstate highway and headed South East.

We stopped for lunch in Bloomington, ll, and the hydraulics went completely away. NO clutch at all. This was, by this time, Saturday afternoon, and pretty much everything had closed. The choice was to TRY it, or wait until Monday. We decided to go for it. Approximately 1000 miles from home.

Now for what I have to consider a series of miracles. We would put the five speed into first gear with the engine off. Then we'd start the engine and get up enough speed to shift through the gears, all the way into overdrive, click on the cruise, and drive about 200 miles to a gas stop. NEVER had to back up, even once, and we were able to find pull through everything. We stopped in Corbin, Ky. for a much needed rest, got up on Sunday morning (Fathers Day), drove FORWARD out of the hotel parking lot. We did get home, never having to try to use reverse, and with no apparent damage to synchronizers.

Now to put in both new hydraulics AND a new clutch. The joys of hot rods

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