Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lost Hills

Oil Cans

We are at the Pilot truck stop just east of Lost Hills, California (map). This was as far as we got after a very late start out of Bakersfield yesterday. We spent Tuesday night parked on the street across from the hotel where our friends were quartered (map). There are four hotels right there, and we managed to snag free WiFi, which let us keep the dish stowed as a stealth measure. The four of us took a taxi to dinner at La Mina, an old standby of ours.

After bidding farewell in the morning, we rolled over to Delaney & Ahlf, just two miles north, to have them look at our oil leak. I ended up having to remove both inside hatches as well as the door inside the radiator bay. Unfortunately, the news is not good: it looks like we are leaking fairly copiously at the end plate gasket. The only real fix for that is to pull the power train, separate the block from the end plate, and replace the gasket. That's probably a $10,000 project, and I can buy a lot of 40-weight for that kind of money, so it looks like we will just live with it.

What we will do, though, at the next possible opportunity, is to have the alternator removed in order to tighten the three end-plate bolts that are behind it. That will be a full day and probably ten Benjamins, but now that the gasket is leaking, it's a sure bet those bolts are loose. If they back out as far as the gear train, we'll be needing a whole new engine. Tightening the bolts may also reduce the rate of leakage around the gasket.

By the time we wrapped up at D&A it was past 3. We had to stop at Lowe's on the way out of town to pick up fire-dam for the turbo hatch that I removed, and we very nearly just decided to stay right there at the Wal-Mart, which is next to an Olive Garden, for the night. I wanted to at least get a few miles under our wheels, though, so we came here instead.

This morning I sealed up the turbo hatch and fixed one or two minor problems inside the bus, so we are again getting a somewhat late start. However, I expect to be in Monterey this evening.

Photo by MarilynJane, used under a Creative Commons license.


  1. Sean,
    Being as you were in Bakersfield needing work done you should have contacted fellow busnut Don Fairchild. He is a former D & F man & owns and operates a company based in Bakersfield called;
    Clean Cam Technology Systems
    6300 Seven Seas Avenue
    Bakersfield, CA 93308
    (888) 473-3626

    I can assure you Don is more reasonable on his rates and quite experienced on the issue you have.

    Have a great day!
    Bryce Gaston aka "BK"

  2. Bryce,

    Thanks. I knew Don was in town but I thought he was just selling his kits and other parts, not doing any service. We figured we might need either a pit or a lift, too (though we didn't), and I did not think Don had that.

    In any case, D&A is quite reasonable (but overbooked), unlike Valley Power just down the street, who is the area Detroit distributor.


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