So she has a bit of a vacuum leak....


As we have mentioned a few times in this journey, the motor has problems. During the parade people even noticed a little bit of a "popping" noise from the exhaust. Looking back at the parade we're stunned that it even ran as well as it did but after this day, the stunned look on our faces became more and more visible.


Over the Christmas break we'd gone into the museum shop and started it a few times to keep it running and were always amazed how easy it was. Remember it wasn't that long ago that it was seized up and the thoughts of it even starting were a dream at best.


Terry's Automotive decided they wanted to take a look at it and wow are we ever glad that Terry did! Time to diagnose a potential vacuum leak.



Step One: Compression Test

The day started with something that we needed to do from day one. A compression test. We checked all the cylinders and discovered that 3 were in need of some very serious attention.


To be very honest, Mike and I began to realize very very fast that a new motor was very much a possibility. This motor has had two lifetimes of fire service through it and although it brought us this far, it may not have much more to give.


Worst case scenario, the rings were done. Basically this was staring us in the face.


Then Terry took off the valve covers...



Um guys, you have bent push rods....

We had bent push rods. I don't even begin to understand a lot about motors, but to see two mechanics look at each other with stunned looks on their faces was priceless.


For you guys who do know about push rods, you know that we basically were running the fire truck with HALF A MOTOR. It should not have worked as well as it did. Some were bent. Some were even broken in half.

A straight push rod and another not so much

The good news out of all of this? This is fixable! We may still have a motor we can work with!

However, how does a person find parts for a motor that's this old?

Terry and the Terry's Automotive team did just that! In a few days we'll have new ones.



We sure didn't think we'd be at this point....

So this photo is how the motor sits today. It looks far worse than it really is and the guys repeatedly commented on how good of shape we really are in. In a few days, things will be looking a lot better.


So once again the truck surprised us. So now that we're a beautiful heated shop, what does one decide to do with the time?



Further down the rabbit hole...

Mike has always wanted to check the fluids. Understand that we really wanted to avoid getting this deep into the truck before the Christmas parade because once you go down this "rabbit hole" you never know where you will end up.


We decided to change the transmission fluid, the gearbox fluid, and even do the oil again.


Trust me when I say this, the transmission fluid looked like mud coming out. That is not good. I can't even begin to state how we once again couldn't understand how this truck ran for us.


Terry and Mike going through the "bible"

So where are we today? Well we now have no working engine. We do however have all new fluids, and even the windshield wiper works! In a few days the engine will be better than ever and the team is once again back on track looking toward another parade and another big step into coming back in all her glory.


A huge thanks to Terry's Automotive and the team for all the work and we look forward to sharing a ton of new stories and hope you, the reader, enjoy following along with us on this journey.


Stay tuned.

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