GMC Greater Midwest Classics

Newsletter, March 2011

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NEWS FROM DA’ PREZ !! LUCY WEIDNER
   
Greetings to all of you –
    We hope you are keeping warm and enjoying yourselves.  We have had wonderful adventures from California and down through the Southwest.  We’re beginning to see many signs of spring down here with some of the bushes and trees beginning to bloom!!  We’ve had the chance to experience our first time at Quartzite, AZ, and it was elbow to elbow going through the Big Tent!  In March, Quartzite has a population of 875 and in January it’s 140,000!!  We shared camping areas with the Pacific Cruisers and it was fun being with another group to see how they handle all their club activities.
    After we left there, we joined the Saguaro Jetsetters at Casa Grande, AZ for a Blue Grass Rally.  Blue Grass music is certainly toe tapping!  Another great time talking to members and enjoying good food.  It’s been a huge pleasure to meet and spend time with these two groups.
    One of the things I learned is that there is concern with maintaining and increasing membership and the Western States groups are no different.  They are looking at associating with car show groups so they’ll be trying to hold rallies at the same time as a classic car rally.  They were interested and excited that we were going to do this in July and are anxious to hear how it turns out.  They believe, as we do, that we need to cultivate younger couples with an interest in cars and hot rods as they will be perfect candidates for GMC ownership.
    I recently received information on upcoming rallies.  It involves the upcoming FMCA rally this summer.  I hope we can coordinate with John Smyrski so a “huge” group of us can go to this rally and spend time together down there.  Hope to talk some more about this at the spring rally in Houston, MN.
    FMCA’s 86th Family Reunion and Motorhome Showcase will be held at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin, Aug. 10th – 13th, 2011.  Family parking days will be Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 8th & 9th.  The Alliant Energy Center is located on the Southern edge of Madison, WI. just off the Beltline Highway (Hwy 12 & 18), on John Nolen Drive.  With such a great location, the campus is five minutes from Interstate 90/94 via Hwy 12 & 18; minutes from the Wisconsin State Capitol, Madison’s State Street area and the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus and only 15 minutes from the Dane County Regional Airport.  The Alliant Energy Center is a prime site, situated near three major metro areas – 250 miles from Minneapolis, MN, 145 miles from Chicago, IL and 75 miles from Milwaukee, WI.
    The last rally information is from the GMCMI group and they’ve decided that the 2012 Fall rally will be held in the Amana Colonies on Sept. 22 – 27th, 2012.  Again, I hope we can have some great representation from our Greater Midwest Classics group!  We did have fun last time
    The final item I want to bring up again is changing the date of our dues cycle from the calendar year beginning in January to a fiscal year beginning in July.  I hope it will help us get dues paid in a timely manner so we can get our membership directory out ASAP.  Please share your thoughts about this idea with me and we’ll be discussing it at our Spring Rally.
    We’re looking forward to continuing our journey through this great US of A and enjoy the beautiful country by doing more hiking and riding our bikes.  Gas prices will not deter our travels.  The cheapest gas so far has been $2.83 and the most expensive at $3.45.  The end of our journey will be after the “Spring Rally in Patterson, LA.  We’ve had some extraordinary experiences and some not so good.   Super cold temps in Sierra Vista. AZ made our hot water heater explode and created leaks in the shower and cracked our water pump and lastly, we blew an engine in our Tracker,  but as always with GMC members, Steve & Nancy Ferguson, Hal Kading, and John Sharpe putting us up and helping with repairs, we didn’t miss a step.
    Larry and I look forward to seeing some of you at Patterson, and many of you again in Houston, MN as we celebrate our 20th Anniversary!!  I know that Midge, Howard, and Sandi have something great planned for the celebration!  Until then stay warm, be healthy and safe. Lucy  (and Larry too)

GMCMI – 2011 SPRING CONVENTION
    Patterson Civic Center, Patterson, LA Sunday April 10th to Friday April 15th Check out our web site link or www.gmcmi.com for more information.

LOWER CONTROL ARM – NEAR DISASTER   
By Larry Weidner
    In early September, just before going to DuQuoin, IL, I was doing some maintenance on the gas tanks.  Just a year earlier, I had removed the upper and lower arms to replace the bushings, repair the shock mounts and do an alignment.  If you have done a bushing replacement, you know that the nut that goes on the bolt holding the control arm to the frame is a grade 8 crimping style nut.  I was shocked to find that the front bolt that holds the driver side lower control arm to the frame had lost it’s nut and backed  it’s way out until only a couple of threads were holding it.  The nut had lost it’s crimping tension, worked loose, dropped into the frame (where I found it laying) and the bolt then backed it’s way out.  I was breathless thinking of what might have happened if it had come out while on the road.  I checked the one on the passenger side to find that the nut was still on the bolt, but had loosened a couple of turns.  I had to release the tension on the torsion bar to move the arm into position so that I could get the front bolt back in where it belongs.  The rear control arm bolts were tight.  I then used Red Locktight on the nut to keep it in place.  I have since found out from Dave Lenzi that the nut should be replaced at each use, or at a minimum, use locktight with further application as the nut will lose it’s crimping tension.
    I bring all of this to the groups attention so that if you have replaced the control arm bushings or for any reason have removed the lower control arms, you should probably check the bolt for tightness and remove the nut for locktight or replacement.  I will be going to Fastenall today to see if I can get a new set of grade 8 nuts.  PLEASE check your lower control arm bolts NOW.
    Larry wrote the above article for the GMC Net Forum which was picked up and published by the GMCMI newsletter.

A MESSAGE FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT – YVONNE MILLER
    It’s soon time to get the GMC on the road again.  Let’s hope the snow will be melted by then and spring has arrived.
SPRING RALLY: HOUSTON,MN
Rally Masters: Howard & Midge Glenna and Sandi Renk.
    Dates:  May 12th (early arrival),13th, 14th, & 15th, 2011.
   
Where: Cushion’s Peak Campground, 18696 MN 16 (Hwy) Houston, MN 55943
Reservations due:  May 1st. Please make your own reservations.  Call 507-896-7325.  Leave a message and they will get back to you.  The owners are teachers so it may be a while before they return the call.     Please give them a credit card number to hold the reservation.  At the time of check in you may then pay with a credit card, check or cash.  Also let them know you are part of the Greater Midwest Classics club. Cost is $21.38 per night.
   
DIRECTIONS:  Go East (or West) on I 90 to Highway 43.  Go south on 43 to Rushford, then East on Highway 16 about 8 miles to the campground.  Entrance to the campground is just East of mile marker 266.  Watch for our GMC Club sign. This area is noted for its bike trails.  There are bike rentals in the area.
   
RALLY SCHEDULE
        Friday, May 13th
           
9:00 am Tour of Northland lefse plant
          6:00 pm Pot Luck dinner.  Bring your own plates, utensils, meat and a dish                         to share.
        Saturday, May 14th
           
8:00 am Breakfast in a bag plus donuts. Bring a cup of fruit to share, coffee provided.
           
9:00 am Business meeting followed by:  Tech sessions & Sharing time
            Afternoon, (tentative) tour of Sandi’s brother’s round barn
            6:00 pm  Catered Dinner
        Sunday, May 15th
              8:00 am Yogurt, granola and coffee; Rally ends.  (Leave at your own pace)NOTE: This year is the 20th Anniversary of our club.  Please bring pictures and other mementos of the past 20 years to share with our members.
    See you in May.  It’s always great to visit with each other and to get caught up.
2011 RALLIES
    2011 SPRING RALLY:  Will be held May 12, 13, 14, & 15, 2011 at Cushions Peak in Houston, Minnesota. Rally Masters will be Howard & Midge Glenna and Sandi Renk.
   
2011 SUMMER RALLY:  Will be held July 14, 15, 16, & 17, 2011 at the Redwood City Park in Redwood Falls Minnesota.  John Parker will be the Rally Master.
   
2011 FALL RALLY: We are looking at a Rolling Rally after the GMCMI Convention in Goshen, Indiana.  We have a committee working on the “rolling” rally.
   
All things are subject to change depending on how life goes.  If anyone has a great place for us to visit and have a rally, please let me know, nothing is set in stone!
Thanks; Yvonne Miller, Vice President
    Editor:  You can contact me in Harpers Ferry, by phone:-563-586-2554 or cell 319-240-2460
    Midge Glenna is sunshine lady so send her the name of anyone needing a little sunshine and Midge will send them a card.  Her phone # is:  715/426-5650.
    Notice for paying dues, for change of mailing address, or Email changes:  Please notify Treasurer, Larry Johnson, 14451 Highway 23, Cold Spring, MN 56320-4613 ph. 320-685-3457
   
The Midwest Classics website is www.gmcmidwestclassics.org It has great information about our GMC club and how to join.  Visit it often and share with perspective members.  Bob Drewes has done an excellent job with our web site.  News, photos, For Sale items, Rally’s etc..
    Bob Drewes has a part roll of what appears to be the original headliner material.  It is an off-white color, foam back with the small holes in the finished side.  This is from Don McGrath and is free to anyone in the club to have.  He will bring it to the rally if anyone is interested.
    Check out Hensley’s GMC Motorhome Airbag Solution option on this Utube video site: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPmD78GNMR8