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Saturday adventure-long but good
I started the day with the fire alarm going off at 5:30am this
morning in the condo complex I live in Weehawken, NJ just across the
water from NYC. No fire, thank god! Since I was up, I took my BMW
'72 2002tii to get a bath at a local hand car wash place. The car
desperately need it after the three day driver school at Summit Point,
WV(great track). I would have washed the car myself but there is no
hose connection in the condo complex where residents can wash cars.
After the wash, I drove home and waxed the car. Boy it looks great!
In the afternoon, I jump in the old reliable '87 Audi 4KQ to meet a
friend in NYC. As I was going through Lincoln Tunnel, in front of me,
a Bridge and Tunnel Authority(BTA) truck was dropping off guards at
booth inside of the tunnel(what a terrible place to work). As the
truck dropped off the second guard and pulled away, I gently place my
foot on the gas pedal. NO GAS PEDAL!!!!!, Where did it go? This is
my worst nightmare to get stuck in side of the Lincoln Tunnel. As a
daily commuter through the Tunnel to NYC on bus, we always cry and
bitch when cars break down and stop traffic. Now it is ME who stops
all traffic. Panic, no, be calm, check engine, it idles at 900rpm,
GOOD sign, clutch works, GREAT sign. I shift into first and rolled
the car next to the guard booth inside of the tunnel. The guard came
out and ask what happened. Me:"Gas pedal is dead, flat against the
floor." Guard: "Can you drive to the end of tunnel?" At this point,
I was able to see the light at end of the Tunnel on the NYC side,
funny situation. Me:"No, I don't think so. It is uphill." Guard:"OK,
I will radio a truck to push you out." He then get out of the booth
and stop all traffic on both lanes. I can now feel all the eyes
staring at me, hear all the people bitching, my wallet getting
lighter. Two minutes later(longest two minutes ever), I see a pair
of headlight heading towards me. it must be Jesus coming to save me.
Well, the truck did an U turn inside of the Tunnel and got behind me
and I slowly rolled backward towards the truck's bumper. The truck
started to push, THANK GOD! Finally got out of the Tunnel and parked
my car. I thank the driver(Billy) of tow truck with tears in my eyes.
OK, no real tears but lots of gratitude.
Open the hood, hmmm, the car is idling fine, gas pedal flat against
the floor board, not good. Think, think! check throttle cable, it
is connected. Got under the dash, looking for the connection to the
pedal, no where to be seen. Found a foam bushing in pieces, ok, this
it cause. Finally I found the plastic piece with a "nail shape
needle" sticking out. This must be it. Hook it back on, cool, car
throttle works again. But how do I keep it from sliding out?
Another BTA guard(Richie) came out and ask if I needed help. Me:"Yes,
do you have anything that I can use to fabricate a bushing?" He got
down on his knees, went under the steering wheel and tried to
understand exactly what I meant. Richie got up," OK, I see what you
mean, let's go to my tool box and see what we can do." Richie and I
spend over an hour look for materials, sawing, cutting bushings,
drill holes, making a mess in the locker room and fabricated a
bushing with limited material and tools. I got under the car, pushed
it through the needle and put a clip around to stop it from sliding
out. It works! WOW, I just saved myself probably $200-300 bucks.
Guard Billy came over with a BTA card with a raffle number on it for
a emergency kit. I LOVE BTA :) and thier great sense of humor.
Guard Richie checked out the work and gave it two thumbs up. I then
thank Richie, Billy for their generous hospitality and Richie's
wonderful ingenuity and sense of humor for making me smile at the
worst situation. Called my friend and continued my journey! No
problems all day in NYC and got home OK as well.
I want to let digest members know how much I appreciate the help from
the BTA staff, especially Richie. They are like fireman, mechanic
all in one. They are the guys/gals who station outside of the Tunnel
with yellow emergency trucks. They are not known unless you break
down inside of the tunnel. Other digest members who live in the tri-
state area, please take a good look at them next time when you go
through the tunnels. There is no need to fear for getting stuck
inside of the tunnel because we are well protected by these guys/gals.
That was my Saturday. How was yours?