Sunday, October 12, 2014

Murphy strikes again!

We have a routine we use when we get ready to leave.  We start the coach to let the air suspension build up and as it is I go outside and unhook the sewer, water, and electric.  Usually about the time I finish that the coach is fully up on its air and I give Jan a signal and she brings in each slide while I watch, then with all slides in I do a final walk around, get in the driver's seat while Jan goes back to the tow bar.  I ease forward while she watches to make sure all looks right, that we aren't skidding tires, the tow bar is fully locked, and for anything else unusual.  So yesterday morning in the midst of this she signals all is not well.  Turns out we have a leak from under the motorhome.  Some background, when we were pulling out of Amazing Creations in Oregon, we noticed a leak that seemed a bit substantial, we stopped and luckily were still in their parking lot, even more fortuitous the shop next door is a truck repair place.  We went into Amazing Creation and asked Bobbie about them, he assured us they were good guys and took me over to see what they could do.  Almost immediately we had a mechanic crawled under the rear of our motorhome, announced we had a loose fitting, tightened it, the owner said no charge and we were off!  Boy it's nice when it works like that.

Well, fast forward 8 days and 740 miles, and our leak is back!  We shut down, raise the rear of the coach, I crawl under and sure enough it is quite wet and leaking from what looks like a PTO on the side of the transmission.  Don't ask me what it does, I do know PTO stands for Power Take Off, but what it specifically does in this application escapes me, but it sure isn't supposed to leak.  And since Murphy is involved it is also Saturday morning and we have 400+ miles planned.  AHHHHH, life on the road, but we are pretty much fancy free right now.

I look closer after I clean it up and it appears that a bolt is missing, and it is leaking from a gasket which is between a pump?? and the PTO.  Made us wonder about our mechanic a few days previously.  Okay, I call a truck service place that is open on the weekend, but they are too busy to take us, I call another place and talk to the mobile tech and he says it would be a lot better and cheaper to try to replace the bolt myself as they have a 2 hr minimum on the weekend.  Cool, I can do that.  So the "diesel mechanic", Jan crawls under, and we determine the bolt size to be somewhere between a 3/8" and a 1/2" and maybe an inch long.  Look through my "stuff", no luck and off I go to Lowes and buy everything in all those sizes.  Come back, crawl under, and find out the bolt only goes in a little bit?!?, NO YOU CAN'T SEE IN THE HOLE.  So we wiggle the phone up there and take a bunch of pictures, and it appears that the bolt BROKE off.  No good!

So I manage to get an appointment on Monday at a shop, but this will now impact our trip, so I call the mobile tech back and we discuss what I think it is.  He says he can come to me, but it might be better if I could meet him at the shop, which he will open up in 15 minutes or so!  Man o Man are we living right, huh?  So off we go and true to his word he is there waiting for us, opens a door and we back in.  He crawls under and thinks I am right until he probes around a bit more and finds there never was a bolt in there at all.  And it is not leaking at the moment, of course right?  So we fire it up, shift gears a bit, turn the wheel a bit and get it to leak.  Good in this case, hard to fix something that doesn't appear broken:-)

Bottom line.  He found out the gasket was bad, they called in the parts man, and they had the gasket, all fixed under the 2 hour minimum, and off we went.  A very good result from a messed up day.  Turned out the PTO must be fairly generic and probably numerous engines and transmissions use the same one, so there are bolt holes that are used or not used determined by the application.  So now we are leak free and making our way across Nevada eastbound and down.

Oh and we went back to another section of the redwood forest before we left California and will leave you with 3 more pictures.
Another perspective on how big these trees are

Pretty huge root area on this fallen giant

Towering way, way above us!


Sandy Smith said...

Murphy was an optimist.

Bill said...

You must know a different Murphy than we know:-)

gary said...

discovered your blog a few weeks ago. Enjoy your writing style and had a few chuckles about your leak. Best part is you got it fixed. Looking forwards to your adventures and hopefully not many mishaps.

Bill said...

Thank you, Gary. Welcome aboard!