Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Another week, and we even got a few things done

We celebrated another anniversary for us, 46 years!  A toast with some really fine Bourbon, a nice dinner, and just really enjoying life.
Happy Anniversary to us!
We drove up to Silverton before the town closes up for the winter, and got to enjoy some beautiful fall colors.

We had lunch, walked around the town, really winding down at this time of year, bunch of shops already closed.  Then up and over Molas Pass to Andrews Lake to hike around it and have coffee.
Andrews Lake

A great day

Engineer Mt

Gorgeous!  Little Molas Lake
Then the next day we wanted to get up to Kennebec Pass before the weather closes it for the winter.  It's very high, over 11,000' and the road is incredibly rough, and it was the first road we found last year to be closed for snow.  We packed a lunch and headed up.
Not a bad view for lunch
It was quite windy and cold, so we ventured out and around but did not go for a hike.

We replaced our trusty propane fire pit while we were here, for some reason, maybe age, over 4 years old, and leaving it outside all winter long in Florida may have impacted it, but the flame just wasn't coming up to snuff, even after a good cleaning.  So after a bit of research we replaced it with a new one, and we have to say the new one is awesome!

Our nice view from our site, although we haven't been able
to enjoy it as much as we'd like.  The wind funnels down through and chills us to the bone.
In fact, next year we will probably try a different site just for the wind.
Now, I don't want you to think it's all play here, we did have to address a few items on our coach, surprise, surprise.  I have gone on and on about our hydraulic pump problems this year, and another symptom has been making itself known, even before our travails, but I convinced myself it was an anomaly.  Our cooling fan is driven by the infamous hydraulic pump, but controlled by a wax valve that is mounted into the radiator.  It is considered a simple and for the most part failsafe approach to controlling the fan speed, although like anything they fail.  Part of my mistake was attaching all that was happening to the errant hydraulic pump.  I had noticed on several occasions while fueling with the coach at high idle, the cooling fan was screaming, and when we knocked it back down to normal idle, it slowed appreciably.  But I called it a fluke, this even went back to last year once I thought about it.  Then the icing on the cake was when we traveled in tandem with Karen from Montrose to Durango, she said it looked like I was a dust machine, right from the get go leaving Montrose, even when the engine was still cool, and then when we entered the campground in Durango, she said she could hardly see us for all the dust we were throwing up.  Let me explain.  The wax valve is designed to control the fan speed as I said.  It actually has a specific wax that melts with heat.  It starts to melt at 185df and by design it melts completely at 199df, and as it melts it ports more and more hydraulic fluid to the fan causing it to run faster and faster until at 199df it is running at full speed.  It is apparent our valve has failed and is causing the fan to spin at top speed as soon as the rpm comes up enough to fully power the hydraulic pump, in other words it is stuck open.
The wax valve.
It is screwed into the radiator, and you can see the two
hydraulic lines coming in and out
Kind of like the pump, it is not easy to find the valve.  The normal source is in England where the valve is made, but due to our recent address change they weren't able to send it.  But we did find several places here in America that have or could get the valve.  One was incredibly expensive, out of line really, another wanted a 10 day lead time, but we finally found one in Illinois, Legacy Hydraulics that had it and could send it in 2 days!  So we are waiting on the valve and will install it here in Durango.

One other project has been waiting on us all summer long.  That is the slide seal on the bottom of our rear passenger side slide.  To review, we had that seal replaced in 2016 in Oregon.  The place we had it done said they had an improved method, that instead of pushing on another bulb seal that had metal teeth to hold it in, they used a flexible rubber flap that had its own adhesive.  Unfortunately, that repair didn't last, the rubber used cracked with use and finally started to fall off in chunks, so in early 2018, with the help of our friend Harold, we replaced the seal again with a rubber material that was supposed to be much more flexible and able to withstand the in and out of the slide.  And I have to say, Harold and I really thought we had solved the seal problem with all our attention to detail.
Harold and I getting the jack in place with Scott's supervision

We even screwed it in

If I do say so, we did a great job
BUT, it didn't work, by May of this year, it had broken and split in many places.  By late summer 75% of it was missing, we had to do something about it, and when the 20df weather moved in to Durango, and that cold air was blowing right in under our slide, the time had come.  So Jan, the diesel mechanic and I replaced what was left with an original push on metal teethed bulb seal.
Getting ready to jack up the slide 

A few pieces of the old seal:-)

Pushing it on

We didn't feel it was secure enough so we decided to
caulk it in several places both inside and outside
As we were working on the seal from inside, I noticed the roller mounts were tilted.  How I never saw this before when I broke one off and had our good friend Jack reweld it, I don't know.  But the whole reason I broke it was trying to raise the slide up a bit and didn't realize the roller was as high as it would go.  There is a lip of steel at the top edge of the opening where the roller assembly mounts, and the way it was done the assembly actually was tilting out causing the roller to be lower than its should be.  So off to the hardware store we went to find some kind of metal shim.  Sure enough we found some metal plates that after a bit of modification looked like they would work.
It's not easy to see in this picture, but you can just make out
the black piece of steel edging right at the top of the bracket
that is tilting the whole thing toward me,
lowering the effective height of the roller

Our modified shims

Installed making the bracket perpendicular as it should have been
Raising the roller
Now I have to admit we haven't moved the slide yet.  We wanted the caulking to dry completely and I want to lubricate the seal with a lot of silicone spray to try to keep the seal from rolling when moving it.  We'll see, but we both think it will work way better than the other attempts at repair.

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