Saturday, January 24, 2009

A familiar stretch of road

We are at the Wal-Mart in Greensboro, North Carolina (map). Amusingly, the satellite imagery shows us parked smack in the middle of the Carolina Circle Mall, which used to occupy this site until sometime in 2005.

We had our warmest day yesterday since leaving Florida, with temps ranging from the 50s into the 60s. We left Richmond by way of the Powhite Parkway, where I was disappointed to see that our E-ZPass transponder again did not register. I assume that the tolls will catch up with us after the plate photos are processed.

From there we had a pleasant drive down US-360 to Danville, where, as last time, I could not get the Wreck of the Old 97 out of my head. From Danville we again headed south on US-29, stopping for more water at the North Carolina visitor center just over the state line. We neglected to ask if overnight stays are permitted, as we were not ready to stop. But it sure looks like the trucks spend the night there.

We will continue today on more or less that same route -- some combination of US-29 and I-85 to Charlotte. As last time, we'll be on this route all the way to Atlanta -- ironically, we were on our way to an airport that time, too. This trip, however, we will continue southwest to Montgomery.

Yesterday I received the oil analysis from the sample I drew in Florida. Once again, the oil is showing high silicon levels -- 28 ppm -- yet no real wear metals. As with the last sample, the report indicated that this might mean the silcon is not dirt, but maybe from gasket material or additives of some sort. Except we changed out the oil at the last sample, which also read 29 ppm of silicon.

This sample also shows a very high level of copper, which the last sample did not. That's normally bearing wear, but only when accompanied by tin and lead, and there was no significant tin or lead in the sample. I'm stumped. Having dirted the engine out twice now, even a hint of silicon makes me nervous, and I am trying to figure out what my next diagnostic step should be to track this down.


  1. Glad to have you come through our part of the country. From your route at one point you were only a handful of miles from us. Had I known it, you could have stayed in our driveway free of charge. I'd have enjoyed chatting about your lifestyle but because of my cold, I'd have stayed clear of you so not to share any germs. Enjoy the rest of your travels and I'll enjoying reading them until we are on the road ourselves. Happy Trails to you. Wentzi

  2. Sean,
    I have heard of K/N filters passing dust (more than paper filters) which shows up in the oil. I would try a paper filter and see if that helps.



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