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Big Sky 2015 Tour - Going to Montana/Idaho

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  • 3 months later...

Our trip found a sudden end today.


So far it was going very well, small group with only three cars. Nice roads, interesting scenery going from Idaho Falls through Yellowstone (busy!) , Beartooth Highway (fabulous and nobody there), the Montana backcountry (Crazy Mountains, Lewis and Clark NF), Bozeman, through Glacier NP and to Whitefish.

Only problem is the record heat wave (since 1939) over 100 deg but hey, we are from California.


However, on our way to Nelson, BC while passing another car, my engine suddenly lost power and while coasting to a stop made some really ugly noise. A quick check showed no external problems but removing the spark plugs we found one that was a bit smashed and very oily. Further investigation with a flashlight showed a valve stem across the piston surface. Not sure what happened but maybe the guide fell out or the spring broke, losing the retainers. The valves were rather new and better quality ones.


Although in the middle of nowhere we found a AAA flatbe that took us to Coer d'Alene and fortunately got a Uhaul with car trailer that will get us back to Idaho Falls tomorrow.


Oh, well. Could have been worse and driving in that heat is any way not that great.

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Thanks for making my place a stop. I hope you enjoyed your time here before heading off into the heat.




Hey Dave, it was good meeting you and talking cars and bicycles (for me, learning about bicycles)!


Thanks all for the commiseration...could have been worse indeed with bear encounters or going off the cliff on Beartooth Highway. That vertical impact would have made Xcarguy envious.


Actually I was very lucky in a way. The incident happened in the middle of nowhere some 30 miles east of Bonners Ferry, Idaho without cell phone access. But when I came to a stop there was a driveway leading to a house with tree shade, a very nice old woman who let us use her landline phone and gave us water and ice cream. 2 hours later we had the AAA tow truck, another 3 hours later we just came in time to the Uhaul station to pick up the car hauler and we even found a hotel in spite of the Ironman weekend. Today we trailered the 480 miles with the Uhaul back to Idaho Falls where our own trailer was stored. So I guess all lined up so far. Two more trailer days and we should be home.


I will probably not try to repair my engine or even put the spare Silvertop Zetec engine in that I have. I have a lead to a new Zetec SVT engine and will see to adapt that.

Does anybody need

a) a broken silvertop Zetec (sometimes called ZX1) with Kent Stage 2 cams, ported/shaved head, bored and slightly oversized pistons? Exact damage to head or piston still to be assessed. RWHP was 170 with Jenvey TBs which I would keep.


b) a very good condition used stock engine of same vintage (1996 Ford Contour), completely disassembled, bagged, tagged and wax preserved?


Please PM if interested.

Edited by slomove
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