After a rough start, the Suddard clan’s trip did get a bit less crazy. Son Tom was able to use a $10 multimeter to help him locate the source of the charging problems: A failing alternator. Unfortunately, the family’s paltry toolkit offered little to aid in a fix, save for a couple of basic hand tools and a spare used alternator. Unable to remove the faulty unit from the car, Tom was forced to use an adjustable wrench and a common screwdriver to crack it in half so he could replace the failing diodes by mating up the (hopefully) good back end of the used alternator. Thankfully, it worked.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2013/06/21/Family-Vacation