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Nov 9 & 10 - Florida now, California next!


Nov 9th & 10th 2016 Ivan

Total miles 1094 Miles Today 68

Left the camp ground at day light around 7 am while I drove out I was hearing some noise in the clutch drum, had me a little worried I just tighten up the clutch yesterday.

Had 5 miles down to Folkston, FL to pick up 301 south. Dave park his truck and decided to ride bike and said he will ride back later in the day to pick up his truck.

We got to the Florida state line and had a picture opt it was an exciting morning.

When I went to leave my clutch lock up and I kept hearing noise like a loose bolt floating in there. I back up and it left loose but continue to make noise so I pulled over and took the clutch plates out called Steve our Mechanic. Dave soon arrived and we realize it was in back of the clutch housing so we put the plates back in and adjusted the clutch and again it made some noise was annoying, so I stuff some ear plugs in.

The tractor was running great I was just worried when I stop at a red light. There were very few, got below Interstate 10 on 301 and I sure had a lot of truck traffic I kept staring in my mirror making sure they were moving over to the other lane while they were traveling 65 MPH.

Lot of them would blow their air horn and of course Johnabilt would respond like wise.

Pulled in to a Pilot truck stop other side of the interstate and it was full of trucks Johnabilt parked back with the big rigs and was standing proud in no time we had drivers coming over, Dave came by on his bike we were having trouble getting away to get a bite to eat.

They all knew it was a Peterbilt cab of course there were a lot of Pete’s in the lot.

Got a sandwich at subway and I told Dave if he doesn’t mind I think I will eat mind on the way had another 26 miles to Starke, FL where we are planning on stopping at the KOA campground this will pass the time for me since it’s going to take me over two hours to get there.

The noise seem to have stopped and I am putting down 301 watching truck traffic in my mirror while sitting on the edge of my seat.

It’s a four lane while I am talking to Steve about my clutch problem. I see to state Troopers on the Medium strip with their radar. Told Steve I better get off the phone they are really eyeing me up.

I am putting down the highway just like that I see them both turning around and coming after me I am only going 14 mph it didn’t take them long to catch after.

They passed me went ahead and put there lights on and headed in the ditch jumped out and motion me to pull in.

First thing I thought are they going to make me get off of 301. I didn’t know what to expect.

I pulled in as I got out they walked over and the one officer was already taking a video the other one said what is this all about and we are sorry but we were sitting there on the medium strip and saw you go by and we couldn’t help ourselves we had to come after and stop you.

They didn’t mind having their pictures taken and wonder if it was ok to take more pictures of the tractor. We had a chat and they both mention this is the coolest thing they ever saw.

Before they left me they said May God bless you and be safe.

Again some of our finest out protecting us, every state has been so supported

Thank you Florida.

Had a nice surprise Dave’s sister and her friend are on the way to Florida and stop in to say Hi.

Didn’t tell you the other day coming down through Georgia someone ask me where I was from and when I said Pa they said, they won’t hold that against me. I guess they meant being a Yankee.

Dave and I found a shop that has a wheel puller so we are unhooking Johnabilt and taking him down and hoping there is something we can repair on the clutch.


Nov 10th Ivan

20166 miles to the shop

Up early knowing this is the day we will find out what the noise is in the clutch housing. I am a little up tight just the unknown what we might find, sure sounds like there is a bolt or nut floating around inside and it doesn’t sound good.

Soon after nine, Dave and I unhooked the camper and he rode his bike and I putted down 301, 6 miles to a trucking garage called Mid State Power Systems Inc. They were very gracious helping us when they had a very busy week. The owner Ken Aprile said he appreciates what we are doing and wants to be able to help our Veterans.

Seem strange running down without the camper towed behind, again a lot of truck traffic and it seem they weren’t as ready to move over to the other lane with me just running the tractor. I felt safer with the camper in tow with all the strobe lights up on top.

We got down at their shop and Ken came out and said I have the right guy to work on this. Bob comes out and takes a look at the clutch with the cover off and the first thing he says wow that clutch is built just like the older Harley’s clutch. I fixed many of them, now I am feeling reassured.

He starting taking it apart with Steve Koser on the phone Steve and the Waterloo Boys Southeastern Two cylinder club have been so helpful making this trip a success.

We got it all apart and here a leg snap off called dog and a pin loose that is what is making all the noise in the clutch housing.

We were talking about getting it welded but decide since it was apart it would be better to put a new one in.

Steve and Ervin Martin put their heads together and Steve found one over in the Waterloo Shop and headed over and got the part and sent it off this afternoon, overnight by UPS so we are hoping to have Johnabilt back together to take off Sat morning towards Ocala, Fl.

Bob the Mechanic did an excellent job marking everything as he took it apart. Dave and I wanted to help but couldn’t because of their insurance so we stood by and held our breath.

Came back to the camper seem strange not having Johnabilt hook up hook to the camper.

Hoping we will have everything back together and I have time to wash Johnabilt and be ready to take off at daylight on Sat morning.

I felt safe leaving Johnabilt they have high 6ft fence all around and a pad lock gate.

So Johnabilt is having some out patient surgery and hopefully won’t be to sore to be back on the road Sat morning.

Before we left this morning Dave change a tire on his bike and help install my new Microwave as you recall my other one blew out number of weeks ago.


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