Thursday, May 19, 2005

It's been a couple of days since I posted, so I thought I would update everyone.

The engine is mostly back together now, and they will be ready to light it off sometime tomorrow morning. They started Tuesday, putting the new cylinder kits in. The heads, blower, and turbo had magically been rebuilt (I guess sometime on Monday), and the rebuilt heads were on by the end of the day Tuesday. Yesterday they got the blower, turbo, and most of the plumbing back in place, including grinding out the part of the bedroom framing that was rubbing on the blower intake.

At some point yesterday, I threw a wrench into the works by reminding them that the exhaust pipe was crushed, something that I believe happened at the Grand Canyon Caverns when the suspension settled -- looks like there was a rock or something right under the exhaust pipe, and the whole coach came down on it. The resulting restriction in the exhaust is enough to cause back-pressure related problems, and I wanted to get it fixed before we fired up the motor all nice and rebuilt. I had tried mostly unsucessfully to bend it back out myself with a crowbar, and even Williams was not very successful. As usual, it's a custom part for this bus, a round-into-rectangular job, and, for reasons unclear to all of us, they made it out of some really heavy-gauge steel. Not heavy enough to support the bus, but not light enough to fix with normal torch-it-and-bend-it technique either.

So as long at the muffler was still uncoupled from the turbo, they dropped the whole muffler/exhaust assembly out the bottom of the bus, and their tow-truck-driver/welder guy, whose name is also Sean, spent a couple hours with it this morning. An amusing side note is that Sean spends most of his time out in the field, and he's only in the shop when he needs to weld something, or whatever, and yesterday he comes in to weld and says "hey, who took the power outlet for the welder?" Turns out the outlet Virgil had me remove was really there for whatever welder they use for aluminum, which gets very occasional use. I tried to get parts today to put the welder outlet back in along side the new RV outlet, but the required pieces are out of Home Depot's league.

The other wrench I threw into the works is that I had bought a fancy fuel/water separator filter framistat from some guy in Canada, which I had him send to our friend in Tucson, on the theory that we would pick it up when we went through there, and have some shop install it during some future engine maintenance. When we arrived here, we asked our friend to reship it to us here, and yesterday I got it and handed it to them to install. Of course, this turns out to be non-trivial, requiring brackets to be made and fuel fittings to be changed, which cost some additional time today.

Virgil is keeping separate track of the muffler and fuel separator work, along with the new injectors, and any work we end up doing on the DDEC unit, since none of those things is related to the dirt ingestion problem, and we want to have a clean invoice for just the rebuild work.

The patched-up exhaust and the fuel filter are in place now, and almost everything else is back together. They have a few more wires to reconnect, and we can fire it up. Until everything is checked out, they've asked me to keep the access hatch in the bedroom open. I ran out to Home Depot today to get a tube of firestop caulk so I can seal the hatch back up when we're all done (the same trip where I tried to get parts to reinstall the welder outlet). As for repairing the carpet, I will probably just staple it as best I can, and have the people who originally installed it fix it up for us when we get back to Washington.

With luck, everything will work tomorrow when we start it up. And if that luck holds, the DDEC issues will be resolved in a couple of hours. Which is to say, we are still hoping to be done and out of here sometime tomorrow, and on our way north to San Jose by the end of the day.

No comments:

Post a Comment

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!