Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Will it Run?

IMG_0272On Sunday during the birthday party at Linzy's parents place, the conversation turned to the 1972 Winnebago Brave that is sunk into the ground out near their garage. There is some debate as to exactly when it was last operational, but all parties put the date somewhere around 15 years ago. At one point Larry was talking about doing something with the Winnie, and I was teasing him that it wouldn't even start anymore.

He, and the other people in the room, insisted that in fact it would. Being a carbureted vehicle and all, if nothing else pouring gas directly into the carburetor would be sufficient to get it running. I scoffed and stood my ground, and eventually a bet was proposed. One dollar from me that it wouldn't start, even with a new battery and gas straight in the carb. I offered the deal to all comers, but no one would take me up on it.

Later that night, I had put my dollar on the TV stand to try to drum up some takers, and I got Lonny's interest piqued as well. He was also confident it would start. Eventually despite no one wanting to take my money, Lonny and I went out to try to get it started.
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The engine turned out to be basically inside the cab, covered by a thin carpet and plastic cover. The hole in the roof was blocked by the bunk bed, so the engine was actually in much better shape then I was expecting. So we hooked up Grandma's Oldsmobile Cutlass that is parked right next to the Winnie to give it a jump.

After a while Larry couldn't resist either, and came to help. Eventually we decided the Olds' battery wasn't up to snuff, and so switched it out for Larry's truck. That got things closer and the Winnie's engine started turning over, but never quite caught. In the end we had to stop because all of the attempted starts were melting the jumper cables, which must not have had a good connection.
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No one had been willing to take me up on the bet, but Lonny and I declared it a draw regardless, since while the engine was clearly close to starting it never actually got going long enough for us to say 'it's going'. It turned out to be kind of fun, if a bit pointless.

The dead jumper cable, melted to the negative battery cable
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The effort wasn't a total loss, as Lonny found a usable strainer abandoned in the Winnie.
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