Monday, July 20, 2009

Another hot, hectic day at the Laguna Nation

We are, of course, still at the Route 66 Casino west of Albuquerque. Actually, more accurately, we are at the truck plaza; between blowing smoke, nursing the engine, and having a cop right on my tail, I had pulled Odyssey into the very first space I saw, which is in one of the truck lots.

The casino also has a dedicated RV lot, which is closer to the casino and also a bit away from the incessantly idling trucks as well as the busy gas station. After two nights and more than two full days here, I am now wishing we had driven the extra 500 feet before we yanked the turbo. Last night the truck next to us sounded like a Harrier getting ready for takeoff.

I spent all morning on the phone, trying to nail down either a whole turbo or parts to fix the one we have, and getting more information about potential causes and what other problems might exist. I spent a good part of the afternoon disassembling the bad turbo, both as preparation for possibly installing a new "cartridge" into it, and to have a look at the business end of the turbine, to see if maybe it had ingested a valve or a piston ring, which would be cause for towing to a shop for more extensive work.

As part of the long-distance diagnostic process, we put some photos of the turbo, before and after I tore into it, on-line.

Get the flash player here:

If the photos don't show above this sentence, they can be found here. And a more complete discussion of the whole process is posted as a follow-up to the bus bulletin board threads I already referenced, here and here.

Ultimately, we ended up ordering a remanufactured turbocharger from Stewart & Stevenson, who had one in their Denver location. It should be heading this way by bus, appropriately enough, tonight, and with luck will be in the Albuquerque office tomorrow morning. (UPS red label for the 62-lb turbo would have been $224, by bus it will be closer to $80.)

So we are here at least one more night, and maybe two. At least the buffet drops to $7 tonight with player's card. We did sample it last night for $12, and it was actually a pretty nice buffet. Also, it is supposed to be a couple degrees cooler tomorrow, which ought to make my scooter ride back to town a little more pleasant, and perhaps cost us a tad less generator time. We've been running right around 6 hours of run time per day since we landed here.

I will try to post another update here when we get the turbo back into place. With this multi-day kink in the schedule, I now have no idea where we will head from here when we get under way.

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