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Author Topic: Limbo member bails me out  (Read 4735 times)

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Anonymous

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Limbo member bails me out
« on: January 24, 2006, 12:16:30 PM »
I will be joining your organization soon, especially after one of your members got me out of a jam...twice. <br>Last Wednesday I took the train from my hometown of Portland, ME to Ronkonkoma, NY(on Long Island) to buy a 1979 Westy. The owner would have preffered I towed the vehicle home but the $700.00 for the U-Haul seemed steep at the time and the owner did think the car could make it. <br>I went to the DMV there and got a NY "In-Transit Permit" that allows me to drive the vehicle to my home state as long as the car is inspected and I have proof of insurance and the title(which I had). I stayed the night in a hotel and took off the next day for Orient Point so I could take the ferry to New London, CT and avoid the major city traffic around NYC. The ride was great and I was soon motoring up 395 in CT. Just before the MA border  I noticed the alternator light was on. Just after crossing into MA the car started running rough so I took the next exit for Webster, MA. The car started backfiring as I drove down the exit ramp and the last backfire blew the muffler and catalytic converter off as I could hear it dragging. I pushed the car off the road and within minutes several people were checking on me to see if I needed help. The first person, Rob, tried to jump the car to no avail so he headed home to get a tow rope. While he was gone, LIMBO member George Chabot, stopped to see if I needed help. I told him I had a guy coming back to help and he chuckled and said that I didn't quite understand as he owns three vans and does all of his own resto/maintenance work. I said he had some errands to run and gave me his card, telling me to call him if Rob couldn't help. Rob soon returned and towed me to his home in nearby Thompson, CT. It would be dark soon & he had lights and tools there so thought it best to bring the bus there. In his driveway we noticed that the battery and alternator cables were very loose so we tightened them and put a charge on the battery. He was convinced that the alternator was toast so he called a few friends to see if he could find one-which he couldn't do without waiting a day or two. He thought I should call George so I called him and he soon arrived. We let the car charge and went a couple doors down and had a pizza. After supper I was able to start the van and followed George back to his place and backed up to his garage. It was getting later so he thought it best to weld the exhaust back in place so we didn't wake up the neighborhood. After some fabrication on the broken pipe that had broken, George welded on the pipe, the catalytic converter(hollow) and a new muffler that the owner had given me the day before. Next we cleaned the battery terminals and cable connections and George pronounced that he thought there was nothing wrong with the alternator because my headlights ran too strong when I followed him back from Rob's place. George proceeded to inspect the rest of the vehicle and I have since promised him first refusal if I ever want to sell. George graciously offered me to stay the night and fed me breakfast the next morning. He even gave me some parts before I left and told me to call if I had any further trouble. The story does not end there. I drove up through Worcester and was going onto 495 near Marlboro, MA when the gas pedal broke off at the hinge! I pulled onto the shoulder and proceeded up the hwy at idle, hoping to make it to the Berlin/Hudson, MA exit a mile away. Halfway there a state police officer pulled up beside me and asked what the trouble was. I explained and then he asked me where my registration tags were. I pointed out the NY "In-Transit" permit taped to the rear window and he asked me what an "In-Transit" permit was. Now in NY I was made aware that MA does not recognize these permits but I just told him what it was and hoped for the best. He sighed and asked me if I had proof of insurance which I quickly produced for him. He then call AAA for me and went on his way-phew! AAA towed me to the Berlin/Hudson Park & Ride lot just off the exit as the driver thought that the local garage would not be able to help me that late in the week. I called George and told him what happened and then told him to stay there while I checked to see if I could take care of the problem locally. I walked over to the garage and they confirmed that they were too busy to assist right away. However, they pointed out that a VW repair shop called BettlebugIII (www.beetlebugiii.com) was just around the corner. Amazed, I walked over to the VW shop. They were quite busy and if I wanted to stay in town for a couple days they would have gladly helped me out. Instead, I selfishly called George and he gathered some tools and pulled in to the Park & Ride lot an hour later!! I had pulled the fron pan underneath to inspect the throttle cable and it seemed intact. George looked it all over and decided that he did not have the proper equipment to replace the gas pedal. After some chin scratching George reluctantly offered a temporary solution as I was making it clear that I wanted to drive the van home if at all possible. He proceeded to take a spare throttle cable that he had brought and run it from the driver seat back through the van, through at hole in the firewall under the rear bench all the way to the throttle at the motor. He had picked up a golf club(a 5 iron I believe) in the field beside the parking lot and we used that, braced against the passenger seat frame as my throttle. I made a test run to the gas station, filled up with gas and drove home to Portland. I took full advantage of a new friend for which I apologize. George refused to take any payment but I will be sending something soon although it will not be enough to compensate for what he did. Than you George and Mary Chabot for your help and hospitality!
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Red Baron

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Re: Limbo member bails me out
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2006, 07:33:31 PM »
George and Mary are Good people.  Glad it worked out for you.  One thing that you will be getting as a new LiMBO member is a little book called the Transporter Traveler and Tourist directory (TTT).  Its a volunteer list of members who can offer some sort of help when you get into trouble. Be it parts, tools, a space to work on your bus or even just a contact person in the area your at to help find you some help.  ITs a great resourse.  <br><br>Your story is one I've heard many times.  With your permission, I'd love to print it in the LiMBO newsletter.  (I'm the editor).  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Red Baron »

Anonymous

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Re: Limbo member bails me out
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2006, 07:44:43 PM »
George told me about the TTT. I had to promise to join as a condition of his aid. I have sincs re-read it and my writing isn't the best but feel free to print it, I am sure your members will not be suprised at the lengths to which George went. He and Mary are the best. Of course Mary now wants my van so I will have to keep it locked if they come through Portland. ;D<br><br>Peter & Laurie Grant(new LIMBO members - we'll fill out the membership tonight)<br>Portland, Maine
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Red Baron

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Re: Limbo member bails me out
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2006, 10:36:31 PM »
Did you fix your gas pedal?  I have an idea if the part that mounts to the floor had broken off.<br><br>Why not get a small hinge from your local hardware store.  You could mount it to the floor with sheet metal screws and bolt the pedal to it. I would think it should work great. <br><br>Don't worry about your writing.  Mine's not the best and my spelling, forget it, its whorable. =)   It will be great.
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Red Baron »

Anonymous

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Re: Limbo member bails me out
« Reply #4 on: January 25, 2006, 06:31:18 AM »
I have a new pedal on order with the hinge, spring etc. The golf club is still in place if you want a picture for the article. <br><br>George did make me promise to reverse my VW Golf conversion before my first LiMBO event.  ;)
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »

Red Baron

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Re: Limbo member bails me out
« Reply #5 on: January 25, 2006, 11:04:06 PM »
I think you can post a photo right here too.  I'd love to see it.  
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Red Baron »

phil

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Re: Limbo member bails me out
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2006, 11:08:27 PM »
I wanna see the photo too!<br><br>P.S. Great story!<br><br>Phil<br><br>
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by phil »

Anonymous

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Re: Limbo member bails me out
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2006, 09:31:51 AM »
Here is the golf club throttle!<br><br><br>
« Last Edit: December 31, 1969, 07:00:00 PM by Anonymous »


For Westies-at-watkins.org check out Watkins 2019
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