As usual, that July was very hot on the Grapevine, and shortly after we started up the grade heading home, we heard a terrible racket from the engine, and I could feel vibration in the shift lever. I had no choice but to immediately pull over and then … and then … I wasn’t sure what to do then. Where this happened there was at least at a little place where I had a few feet of room on the right shoulder to keep from getting obliterated by the semi trucks barreling past. The only course of action seemed to be to crawl under the car to see what I could see. The air temperature was about 110 degrees, and under the car it was much hotter. I was sure I could fry bacon on any metal parts I was looking at.
After crawling under the car on the hot gravel and asphalt, I saw what I took to be the transmission and drive shaft assembly. There was a large round assembly attached at the left end of a metal case, and a smaller round assembly attached to the right end. I noticed that the right, smaller end was missing most of the bolts that should have been holding the assembly together, and the whole right round part was rotated slightly down. My recent engineering college degree seemed to be telling me … “that ain’t right”. What to do … I noticed that the left hand larger round assembly had a whole bunch of bolts (maybe twice as many as the smaller round thing) that all looked snugly attached and they seemed to be the same size as the missing ones on the right. … You don’t suppose … So I removed a couple of the bolts on the left and somehow got the right hand assembly pushed back up where it looked like it belonged and replaced the 2 bolts I stole from the front, cinched it down to hold it it place, … son-of-a-gun, it worked … I am convinced that some of Gods angels are mechanics. We drove home with no problems.
I am ashamed to say I never replaced any of the “stolen” bolts. I drove the TR3 around that way for a year with no trouble at all and later sold it to a guy I worked with, and he never had any trouble either. And I still can’t believe how naive I was.