Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Only way to be sure.

I staid $2500 worth in the shop in Santa Fe.

Good people....they TRIED...very hard.

I got four new "lift axel" tires.....(also known as a Push or Tag axel...dunno why), Got the radiator steamed cleaned out. Complete Oil/Filter Change and greased.

But...the mechanic could NOT find the problem.

Couldn't find what EXACTLY....caused the truck to shut down.

We tried. We went so far as for him to plug in his diagnostic thingie into the gizzards of the truck....then hop in the sleeper. The I drove off...with him in it....and TRIED to make the truck burp.

Best I could do was make it hic-up. Very short hiccup. Didn't even register on his diagnostic thingie.

We drove up and down the interstate for thirty or so miles. Fifty mabye. Up and down hill...accelerate HARD.....decelarate hard...


So....I paid the man and left sometime around three O'

Hated to do that for two reasons. One....we hadn't REALLY fixed the problem...we weren't SURE.

Two....rush hour in Albert Turkey (never could spell that town's name...) NM.

Left anyway.

Everything is cool.....started to rain a little thru Albert Turkey...

Got to Belen....truck died.


Very disturbing.

So I called several people......and I tried (most) all of their advice.

This involved wrench work....which wonder of wonder (since I hadn't gone thru Wyoming
recently)...I still had. I disconnected this fuel line and that fuel line....I cranked the Motor and fuel shot eveywhere. YUP... fuel pump works.

I did just about everything me and several other people is two or three states could come up with.

Nothing worked.

Soooooooo...I called Road Service.

We had a little problem with that....getting road service to come out I's a technical thing. If I was a cynic (which I am...but I don't like to admit to it much) I'd say it was an office worker thing.....vs a "get your hands dirty worker" thing.

But nevermind....the guy showed up...eventually. At this time it's really, really dark....I'd been on the shoulder of the road maybe four...five hours. It was so late that there was mostly just truck traffic now...and not much of that. Even the coyote's were tired and not singing so much anymore.

The Road Service guy thought he knew what the problem he started unbolting "stuff" and removing...replaceing.....and rebolting. (he'd stopped at the KW shop and brought "parts")

Nope...didn't start.


Reluctantly he come to the conclusion that he couldn't fix it.

I paid the man....$425...seeya.

Called a wrecker. Waited another few hours....the wrecker showed up.

Now this is a new experience to me.....and I'm fascinated. (and tired...and aggravated...but fascinated)

Multiple problems for the tow-man. He overcome em all.

First problem. I have this moose-gaurd bumper on front of my truck. Not many trucks this far south have it. (common as dirt north of 90). He had to figger a way to get his "hoist" under the bumper without bending things.

He involved a winch...and getting the front tires of my truck up on blocks.

Next he hooked up an airline to my "wet-tank" there would be air to the truck/trailer suspension...brakes....etc.

It turns out that one of the truck airtanks always has water in matter what. So he calls it the "wet-tank". News to me.

Then he had to disconnect the drive shaft. Ruin the transmission if he didn't he said.


For reasons I didn't fully understand couldn't do that with my truck. Something about the angle of the dangle. (of the drive line)

So he pulled an axel accomplished the same thing. THEN he bolted a cover over where the axel came out. So all the oil wouldn't leak out.

Then he ran another line...electric this time.

Finally.... it's time to go.

We both climbed in to the wrecker....he disengaged the brakes and started to pull off.....and was kinda amazed at how heavy I was.

Way heavy.

50,000 lbs. Empty.

A good load. Not unsurmountable....he was good for eighty...but a load.

Soooooo....I got a ride back to the Cat-House in Albert Turkey. I dozed some on the way back.

Wagner Cat.

More good folks.

Did you know that a wrecker driver can BACK around a corner....hooked to my truck and trailer? We were maybe a hundred and sixty foot long....all told...TWO points of articulation. I wouldna thought so...but he could...and did.

Then we unhooked the truck from the trailer....pulled IT out and backed up.

........and unhooked.

It's about three or four in the morning about now.

Pay the man....($625)...he leaves and I go to bed.

Later that morning about 6 or so I wake up. The truck shop opens at seven and I have some coffee in me before I dealt with people....also cigars.

The steering wheel "spinner" knob was in the wrong place...(I use the steering wheel as a table) thinking....I tried to start the truck.

It did.

Ain't this a hell of a deal?

Long Story Short.

After the axel was re-installed...I put the truck in the shop...they worked on it alllllll day....and late at night...and part of the next day.

I got a motel.....about 3 pm (hmmmmmm....this is sounding familiar?) all was done (pay the man....$5,000...had a LOT done...only way to be sure) in the truck and left.

I got as far as Belen ....truck died.

It restarted...I turned around and came back.

They (cat shop guys) worked on it some more. Put it on a Dyno this time. REALLY got mean with the old gal. Trying to replicate the problem you see. Even hung gauges .fuel pressure. gauge....other stuff....could NOT make it die....truck worked about 9pm I left (no extra pay...thank gawd)

I got four miles.....truck died.

I steered for the shoulder...didn't even TRY to restart....just parked on the shoulder.

Then I called and the guy who was working on it last came out to look.

Other than almost getting run over by cars things went well. He determined what the problem HAD to be based on what he observed "on the scene"...

So ...........started the truck and went back to the only died about five times on the way back.

Runs fine back at the shop. I unhooked the trailer and the trucks in the service bay.

I'm back in the motel.

We've and the guys at the cat-house. It's time to get serious. I told the senior mechanic...the guy who's mostly been working on it (42 years experience he said) that my philosophy was that if a quarter inch chain was good enough....I'd use a half inch.

Only way to be sure.

He looked at me kinda weird...and said something about NOT using 00 guauge wire in the rebuild.

Cause that's what he's gonna do. He's gonna jerk the applicable section of wiring....and totally rewire it. Bigger connectors.

Only Way to Be sure.
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