Excited to get to Yosemite, we woke up early, had breakfast and hit the road. It is 409km from Chico to Yosemite. I stopped at a small Autozone on the way through one of the small towns to grab some replacement fuel filters after the day before, but they only had ¼” filters in stock. Not being able to find the filter I wanted decided to just keep the fuel level high hoping that some of the debris in the tank would be floating on the surface of the fuel.
3 hours later we hit a really steep grade out of Groveland. It was a 2nd gear climb the whole way on a 106 degree day, though the car seamed to do it with ease and the temperature only got to ¾ gauge for a small time. After the climb we entered the small town of Groveland, car was still driving fine with no warning signs of what was to come. 5 minutes later as we were just at the western fringe of the town we lost power again.
I pulled over in front of a store and started looking around the engine. No fuel getting the to fuel filters (although I had ¾ of a tank of fuel). I tried to suck fuel from the fuel tank via the fuel pump line but got nothing. I called John and he suggested that the screen in the tank was completely blocked and blowing it out may get me running, although it would need replacing or cleaning. I managed to find a local painter with an air compressor who was willing to help, I blew air from the fuel lines back to the tank, then stuffed a rag in the fuel filler tube and compressed the tank to see if fuel pass through the screen to the fuel pump. None of these efforts helped.
We called a tow truck, found a mechanic with a good reputation a few towns away and hired a rental car. The gentlemen at Rich’s Auto Repair in Sonora got the car running while we headed to Yosemite (not wanting to miss any of the trip). John and Roger at Rich’s Auto found what John Benton said they would, a deteriorated screen and debris in the tank, it also had one blocked fuel filter. After replacing the filters and cleaning the screen the car is running well again. We picked it up after our 2 nights in Yosemite Valley and drove towards highway 1.
In the end, the issue cost us 6 hours and a few dollars, but we didn’t let it get in the way of us seeing Yosemite which was incredible, so no regrets.