Sunday, August 19, 2007

Various updates...

We are at a Wal-Mart in Little Rock, Arkansas (map). Careful readers will note that we had intended to continue on US64 all the way to Tennessee, and US64 does not go through Little Rock.

This morning I crawled under the bus to see if I could isolate the fluid leak on the transmission. Unfortunately, fluid was everywhere, and I did not see any obvious damage or anything loose. I also removed the hatch above the tranny, in the bedroom, and did not find anything obvious from that angle either. Louise started the coach and shifted into forward and reverse with no spurting fluid. Hmm... seems this only happens when the tranny is hot.

We buttoned everything back up, deciding that, at this level, we could probably make it to the Allison dealer in Memphis to have it checked professionally. I did put a quart or so of TranSynd in to replace what we lost backing in.

Last night's stop was so lovely that we stayed until past noon today, catching up on email and news after we were done fiddling with the tranny. Today's good news was that the windshield repair is holding, so far, and actually looks pretty good, considering the original extent of the damage.

When we finally got under way, though, we barely made it two blocks before we got a Check Transmission light, and grounding the diagnostic lead revealed a Code 12 (which can be, among other things, low fluid). I emptied the rest of the open TranSynd jug, about a quart, into the tranny, and cleared the codes. We got back on the road, and I pulled over when I was certain the unit was hot. No codes, good fluid level, and we were dripping about one drop of fluid every ten seconds or so. Even at $40 a gallon, it still seemed like, at this rate, we could make Memphis on US64 without too much trauma.

We made it as far as Russellville, where we pulled in to Wal-Mart just to get some routine supplies. Here I noticed we were now dripping at an alarming rate, and in forward gear. I picked up some sorbents in the store, and we made the decision to proceed direct to Little Rock, the closest Allison dealer, on the freeway, where the tranny could stay locked up and not have to shift for most of the run. As a side note, the Russellville store is the largest and nicest Wal-Mart I've ever seen. I saw merchandise in there I've never seen at any other Wal-Mart (for example, yellow diesel jerry-cans).

We proceeded directly to United Engine here in Little Rock. Unfortunately, there was not a really good spot there to park overnight (their parking lots are all gated off), so we came here to this Wal-Mart just a half mile or so away. We'll pull up stakes first thing in the morning and try to make it over to United when they open at 8am. I have my fingers crossed that they will be able to take us as a drive-in tomorrow. We don't want to drive any further in this condition, so we'll be waiting here regardless.

Once they get us in, we'll have them find and repair the transmission leak, of course, but we will also have them diagnose the remaining fuel delivery issue, which I still have not overcome. We'll also ask them to change the oil, as the in-frame rebuild is now broken in, and the break-in oil needs to come out. Incidentally, Odyssey rolled past the 100,000 mile mark a couple days ago.

In other news, we are very concerned about Opal. Friday night she started coughing sporadically, and it continued all night. She seemed mostly OK yesterday, with only the occasional cough, but it started up again last night and she has coughed on and off throughout today. She also seems really low-energy. Louise is concerned that these are symptoms of heart disease in older dogs, so, while Odyssey gets a checkup tomorrow, so will Opal. We found a vet just a mile from here, and we're hoping (as with Odyssey) that the vet will be able to squeeze us in.

I expect to be off-line tomorrow while we are in the shop. And I have my fingers crossed that we don't get a call from the Red Cross while we are down for maintenance (although the forecast track for Dean now has it passing south of the US, so I think we might be OK).

1 comment:

  1. Come on you guys deserve better than that....Here`s removing any hex you ever had...May all your journeys be trouble free...


Share your comments on this post! We currently allow anyone to comment without registering. If you choose to use the "anonymous" option, please add your name or nickname to the bottom of your comment, within the main comment box. Getting feedback signed simply "anonymous" is kind of like having strangers shout things at us on the street: a bit disconcerting. Thanks!