ramblins from the Ranch
Page Title

While I'm Here --

Thomas t Highwayman's Lair

Major Bummer
10/06/2006 05:07 PM

My SAR rig is imobilized with a damaged differential

After 600,000 + miles -- 4 engines, 3 transmissions, uncountable numbers of Ujoints, axle and wheel bearings -- today -- a rhythmic, continuing, and rapidly growing worse clanking sound, while under power, signalled the end of the line for the faithfull gearbox

Luckily -- it MADE it to the home "20" before expiring
I'd been up in the Crest area picking up a load of firewood and was pulling a FULL trailer

The rig has only come home on a tow ONCE in it's 40 year lifetime with me -- THAT was the time a motor mount broke on accellaration allowing the engine to lift and shear off the oil pressure switch -- CAUGHT that by the sudden drop in oil pressure [ has full guages ] called a tow

EVERY other time something serious has happened, it's happened AT the home "20"

Had a RF spindle break here allowing the front end to fall to the pavement as we pulled out to do a "run" - [ 5 minutes later and I would have been at freeway speed when it happened ] -- with the help of neighbors and *2* wheeled service jacks I was able to back the rig into quarters and spent the next day replacing the spindle

Had a rear Ujoint let go as I came around the corner and reversed into quarters on another occasion. --THIS was incredibly fortuitous timing as I had JUST come from an freeway incident where I'd had to "punch it" for all it was worth to get out of the way of oncoming traffic if it had let go then --

Anyways -- I'm in a funk just now


I'd say it's about time to replace it, 600,000 miles!!!

Or maybe you should just keep replacing every part that breaks, and be getting a 'new' car every 10 or so years


May she rest in peace.
So, are you going to recycle her or turn her into a lawn ornament?


How many miles did the ghostbusters put on it?


Highwayman, do you realize your rig did the equivalent of circling the Earth 24 times???


Time for a big ol' truck with a lift and stuff...



Toms Differentials and (rear ends) in Paramount

Tom built a bullet proof rear end that I raced for 3 seasons at Saugus and 1 at San Bernardino.

PM me if you would like contact info.

Management is doing things right;

Leadership is doing the right things.


well at least you were not in Baja, 450 miles down, on a steep curvy section of the high dessert when your tire and rear 1/2 shaft pass you !

The Highwayman

Well -- "all right then"

Been "marathoning" the "transplant" of a donor rear end from my son's "retired" 56 Ford wagon --
[ identical rear end ] to my 55 Ford SAR rig. Son's 56 has a damaged engine so has been sitting on the main thoughfare beside my "20" functioning as a "roadblock" to keep the idiots from using the parking lane as a traffic lane as school begins and lets out down the road [ keeps the walking kids safer ]

When the rig's diff went Friday -- it -- [ along with the ticket I got several weeks ago for helping someone beside the freeway ] put me into a really depressive state. Decided to go out to dinner, as we hadn't for a while, and arrived at Sam's by the Sea in PB to find my high school buddy [ also a Tom ] there before us. While we were "catching up" [ had been a while ] I told him the story of the "nice" officer who had presented me with the nearly $300 ticket for my providing "assistance" to a stranded motorcyclist.

I hadn't noticed that Sam [ the owner ] was standing behind me listening until a stack of bills was dropped on the table in front of me! $300 Sam said "I want to PAY that ticket FOR you"

Welllllll -- I was SPEECHLESS for a WHILE I know, I KNOW, ME? speechless?

Needless to say, I THANKED Sam -- and if I get a judge that sees the world in "color" instead of strictly "black & white" and DON'T get fined for the "offense" I shall be returning Sam's gracious gift

If I DO get fined -- I'll just be able to smile about it

>>>  a footnote here -- I DID git a judge that sees the world in "COLOR" instead of just "black and white"  :)  officer was THERE as he wanted to watch me suffer for his ticket -- funny thing, *HE* was the one to "suffer" -- judge read the ticket looked @ the "evidence" I presented of the circumstances, looked at the officer and shook her head disbelievingly as she said "Mr Weller, you're free to GO"   i tryed to give back Sam's money -- wouldn't take it -- said to use it for fuel to be out there helpin folks  :)   <<<  


"Transplant" completed late today SAR rig "operational" once again [ noticeably quieter riding since I attended to worn spring bushings, axle bearings, and other "details" as well since it was torn apart ]

To SkiFreak1 -- Heh Yup that's kinda how it's been going

To SkiTopanga -- I DO have a "Ecto1" "whirlygig" on the garage roof

To 395_hellion -- have actually had a couple of folks ask to *RENT* 4RESCUE for Ghostbusters themed partys and Halloween skits [ haven't done it ]

To cheapski -- WOW

To MammothSnowflake -- "BIG ol' LIFTED truck" would be more of a "liability" for me as it wouldn't carry gear as accessibly, nor would it be as "maneuverable" in "close quarters" situations

Butt DAAAAD Thanks!

Mach2Man -- THAT doesn't sound like it was a lot of fun WHEW! I DID have a hubcap come flying past me like a frizbee when my work trailer blew and shredded a tire in a snowstorm on the mountain E-B I-8 in 96 [ nother story ]

The rig has "Phoenix" tailights -- 60 Dodge Phoenix -- maybe why it keeps coming back

"It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life, that we cannot sincerely help another without helping ourselves in the bargain" The San Diego Highwayman @ Http://www.chainsbysnowbird.com

Sierra Lady

Sam is the man! See, there's always a silver lining somewhere. It's your good karma, Highwayman.


The Highwayman

Well THANK you MLady


06-11-2006, 05:48 PM
The San Diego Highwayman
Weekend Wanderer Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: San Diego
Posts: 7

on the road "to" Vegas


As the "Highwayman" -- "playing" on the local freeways -- I had made several "assists" this day --
ONE of them was on the I-8 WB between 70th St - Lake Murray and the College Ave exchanges.

I pulled up behind an older Datsun pickup on the RS and steaming -- gal had the hood up and had already located the problem -- a small bypass hose had blown -- well, I carry bulk lengths of hose of that sort for situations like this so we proceeded to effect the repair togeather -- shoulder was wide and unobstructed so I pulled the rig up beside her truck for better access to my tools -- she mentioned she had called her husband prior to my arrival -- as I got out from moving the rig, I glanced back up the road, and there,walking on the shoulder coming towards us, was a man, a little shorter then I and a little stockier, with long hair, a mustache, dark complected [ but not Hispanic ] looked to be in his 40s maybe.

As he came up to us, I asked the gal if she knew him but she didn't. At this point her husband arrived and I went to talk with the walker. He asked me if I knew how to get to Las Vegas? I said "well, yes but I'm kinda busy right now if you'll wait over there where it's safe I'll talk to you in a couple of minutes." -- went back to work completing the repair with the help of the woman's husband -- filled the radiator -- ran the engine for a bit to check for leaks or overheat damage [ none luckily ] and instructed them how to "launch" safely back into the traffic flow -- [ both did ]

THEN -- I turned to the fellow who had waited patiently for my attention and noticed that he was carrying only a large, old fashioned, red Bible and a bottle of water and wore no jacket and only lightweight clothes.

He again stated that he needed to get to Las Vegas and could I get him there? -- I said that I could give him a lift off the freeway and to the train station. He said that he didn't have any money and showed me a wallet that had a Nevada ID in it and nothing else [ and NO -- I don't remember the name on it, but it WAS his picture ]

Well, to get him off the freeway, and out of harm's way and a possible ticket from the CHP I decided to give him a lift to a safer place.

As he got in next to Shela [ my search dog and "shotgun" rider ] she GRINNED at him and moved over without my having to tell her to.

He began to talk of his travels, and having just come from Cuba as I "launched" back into traffic and tried to figure out what I was going to be able to do for him -- I momentarialy got the urge to tAKE him to Vegas before "sanity" returned and I figured to drop him at the Fairmont exit where he could walk safely.

But no -- he pointed to the 15 north exchange and said "that's the way to Vegas please"

So, I took the 15 north and swung off at Friar's Road and pulled to the curb where he could cross to the other side to catch a ride in the right direction safely.

As he got out of the rig, I handed him a McDonald's $5 gift cert book, some of my "survival rations" from the rig's stock, and, as the skys were looking threatening, one of my "trash bag" ponchos I carry for accident victims. As I turned to leave, he put down what he was carrying and reached out with both arms and hugged me and said "thank you Thomas"

I hadn't told him my name!

I drove up the road to the first light [ short distance ] made a right to swing a u turn to come back and reenter the freeway -- He was GONE -- He was only out of my sight for a moment as I turned.

THEN -- I thought back to when I'd first seen him approaching us on the freeway shoulder -- he HADN'T come from the 70th St - Lake Murray exchange because I'd have SEEN him as I passed before I stopped to help the little lady!!

Got home, told the wife, she said "Tom , tomorrow's Easter."

Last edited by The San Diego Highwayman : 06-13-2006 at 08:25 AM.

Fire on the highway

03/29/2006 03:16 PM

Stopped today on the WB I-8 to assist a stranded motorist who turned out to be a minister. Couldn't help him with his problem that was a faulty repair from a shop where he'd just picked up his car, so, as I'm preparing to leave, I wished him well and he blessed me for stopping and stated he'd say a prayer for my safety as I "play on the freeway"

Well, as I reversed to a point where I could "launch" safely back into traffic I smelled something funny then as I "launched" the engine stumbled unexpecteadly a couple of times before finally smoothing out to a steady roar. Once merged with the flow of traffic again I thought I detected an odd smell once or twice but attributed it to passing vehicles.

On arrival at my destination in Kensington I reversed into a parking space to the accompaniment of an odd whining sound I'd never heard before every time I put it into reverse the sound issued forth and I thought with disgust "there goes my transmission"

Made the homeward bound trip gingerly, hoping to NOT see anyone in trouble along the way, made it, and inspected vehicle on arrival.

Holy $&it! the switched lead to the backup lights [ that also activates some of my rearfacing strobes ] had shorted to the steering gearbox -- [ old original wiring from 55 ] and set a FIRE under my hood as I had backed away from the minister's car [ it was THAT I smelled at the time ] then, when I "launched" the fire was blown out by the air flow but by that time had damaged a couple of spark plug wires -- causing the momentary "stumble". the "whine" when I reversed at Kensington was the starter trying to engage as the wiring had been damaged and fused somewhat by the fire.

Have spent the rest of the morning repairing the damage

Sure GLAD the minister said that prayer for me

when seconds COUNT!

08/18/2006 04:38 PM

This mornin, 11:30 am, I'm headed to get myself slicked up by my long time barber up in La Mesa.

WB I-8 on the RS there's a small white SUV w it's hazards on -- I pull up behind and walk up to the pass side window to see what's up. 2 WFA's w 2 small kids in the back seat.

They've been hit & run and they got a partial plate # on the SV and they're waiting for a CHP unit to arrive to make a report.

Minor damage, no injuries, and vehicle totally driveable.

I suggested that they file a counter report at the station because every second they're sitting there waiting they're in "life threatening" danger!

They opted to FOLLOW my advice and as they safely "launched" into the #4 lane I proceded to, as well, just behind them --

AS -- *I* "launched" I was startled to find my rear view totally obscured by the mass of an 18 wheeler that had "drifted" from the 3 lane all the way over so that it was running half on the shoulder and half on the 4 lane DIRECTLY behind me and rapidly gaining!!! Wellllllllll I PUNCHED the pedal to the metal and managed -- [ without JATO ] to accellerate away from the lumbering beheamoth. Then -- as I watched -- the numbskull was fiddling with his cell phone and a clipboard as he meandered from side to side

I dropped back beside his tractor on the driver's side, GOT his attention w my AIR horns and "read him from the book" on my PA about his potentially "homicidal" behaviour. When last I saw him he was drivin the straight and narrow

If I do nuthin else for a week I'm GOOD and HIGH

4 people STILL alive [ 5 countin ME ]

Holy crap, Highwayman. I guess guardian angels have their own guardian angels too, eh? They were working overtime today.

As someone who's often riding on the side of the road with not much more than my underwear, I can identify with that feeling. It's one of the reasons I strongly advise people to ride with a rear view mirror. At least, if you see it coming, you have the chance to bail out.

I'm curious ... how did you manage to talk to the trucker, Ch 19? And did the WFAs see what happened when you pulled away?


08/18/2006 05:28 PM


How come this insane stuff always happens to you?


Biker -- PA = Public Address it's LOUD so i have to be carefull what I say

Don't know if THEY saw what happened as they were ahead of me -- if they DID -- I'll bet they're counting their lucky stars that semi would have pulverized them

mammoth snoflake -- just lucky I guess sure was TODAY anyways


Early on the morning of December 25, 1996, I was headed up
Interstate 8 to Mount Laguna, in a snowstorm, towing a HEAVY work
Approching the Japatul turnoff, I dramatically lost power with a
LOUD grinding and banging! I initally thought I'd blown my engine
until a hubcap came flying by my window like a frizbee!
As I angled my smoking, grinding rig to the right shoulder, I
was dismayed and contemplated the job it was going to be to change
the tire. The spare was stowed under the rear of the trailer and it
takes 2 jacks to lift it due to the weight.
I was depressed about the situation as I hiked up the road to
retrieve the lost hubcap. But as I returned to my rig, I noticed a
70s model Chevy pickup had pulled up behind it.
The driver got out, introduced himself, assisted me in changing
the blown tire, and when I asked what I owed him, he LAUGHED!
It turned out that 9 years before, HE had run out of gas in a
snowstorm on the mountain and I had stopped to help him!
Did I mention that December 25 is my birthday?



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