Day 2 (Wednesday, July 18)
The morning dawned bright and early. Since our tow truck driver had told us that the repair shop opened around 8, we were up and waiting for him by 10 til. On the way over, a local stray kitty befriended Wayne and tried to convince him to take it with us, but he was pretty unswayed. We waited and waited and waited, and even walked down to a local gas station to see what time the shop opened. “He should be there by now” was the only answer we got. When Jim finally did show up around 9, he had us push the truck in and started looking at it right away.
After poking and prodding for around 3 hours (and numerous comments about those “damn zipperheads” who made the truck), he finally narrowed it down to 2 causes working in combination: bad gas – causing the stall and easy to fix with an additive – and a shorted out starter relay – possibly due to the heavy rain. Interestingly enough, this was the exact same prognosis Greg of the quick looksee last night had. The only problem was that nobody had the correct starter relay for the truck. The local AutoZone had a 5-prong relay, but the truck needed a 6-pronger. Jim made quite a number of calls, but nobody had the part. Apparently it needed to come directly from an dealer, and the closest ones (in St. Louis) didn't have them.
So he proposed a temporary 'solution.' Whenever we had to start the truck, Wayne would open the hood, jam a length of wire hooked up to a 30 amp fuse into the starter, and wait for me to crank the starter. It was kind of a humorous way to drive south, especially when we stalled in a Burger King drive through! We stopped all the way down to Dallas at major cities, looking for someone who had the part, but all in vain.
When we hit the outskirts of Dallas, it was around 9:30, and we decided that this would really be our last good chance to find the relay. So we found a hotel that was, as luck would have it, just around the corner from an "Import Car Part Store," so we thought that was a good sign. We got some "Rajin' Cajun" dinner, and then turned in, deep in the heart of Texas.