odin and i took the galaxie 500 out to the norskedalen threshing bee and on the way out we both noted that it was making some mighty peculiar sounds. the fan belt was squeaking every so often and you could hear a sound like something was having trouble turning. i told him that i hoped we made there and back!
sure enough, on our way home a puff of smoke came out from under the hood at the same time the belt started screeching and we could hear an unsettling grinding noise as the alternator light came on.
i pulled over and lifted up the hood. the smoke and grinding sound was coming from the alternator. after a few moments it looked like everything had settled down and i figured the alternator just burned out in some manner or another and i decided to drive it the remaining 10 miles home ( some friends stopped on their way back from the threshing bee and picked up odin and followed me back home ). i figured there was more than enough juice left in the battery to power the way home and everything would be fine. what could possibly go wrong ( hint: most mechanics or car buffs are shaking their heads and sighing at my decision )?!
the good news is that i did make it home. but just barely. just as i pulled up in front of the house, the engine started to overheat and hot radiator fluid came a bubblin’ up out of the overflow valve. hmmmm. how could the alternator going bad make the engine overheat?
well, the screaching noise was the sound of the alternator bearings going bad! and when they seized up soon after i shut the hood after stopping on the side of the road the friction from the resistance ripped apart the drive belt that keeps the fan and water pump turning. hence the overheating!
it looks like i’ll be replacing the alternator and the drive belt soon.
just yesterday i drove the galaxie home from la crosse at 9 pm down winding 2 laner back roads. i’m glad it didn’t happen 30 miles from home in the dark!