Monday, July 9, 2012

Choo-choo me home

We are at the Choo-Choo Express Garage near Chattanooga, Tennessee (map). Technically, we are just over the state line, in Rossville, Georgia. Most of our readers will recognize this as the shop where we had our engine removed just over one year ago to replace a leaking gasket, and to which we returned just four months later to replace our wheel bearings.

The shop here is therefore familiar with Odyssey, they have a favorable shop rate, and they do good work. Since Chattanooga is very nearly on the most direct route from Florence to Durham, and we had a few extra days, we decided to stop here to have them look at a couple new oil leaks we have developed over the last year.

We arrived Friday afternoon after a pleasant drive from Monte Sano State Park on US-72, which is mostly divided freeway along that section. I wanted to arrive before the shop closed for the weekend, to sync up with the mechanic and make certain they'd be able to get us in today. When we arrived, we were amused to find a familiar bus, the Flxible Starliner shown above, belonging to our friends Ben and Karen. They are living in a Prevost while the Starliner is being converted; you can read more about it on this web site.

We have a 20-amp power outlet here, which has been enough to keep one and occasionally two air conditioners running in the relentless heat -- it has been over the century mark all weekend. We went out for dinner Saturday and Sunday evenings at some of our old haunts, and we even went for massages on Saturday at a familiar place that sends us coupons in email.

Keeping up with oil leaks on an old Detroit is a never-ending proposition, so I was a little apprehensive coming in. I knew most of the drips were coming from the air dryer, which led me to believe that perhaps the remanufactured compressor that Choo Choo installed last year was bad. We're over the pit now, and mechanic Joel believes that the dryer simply needs to be serviced. and that the oil we are seeing is leftover from the old compressor that we removed. The dryer service is overdue anyway, so fixing this issue won't cost anything extra.

The other minor seepage is coming from the camshaft end seal, which is an easy fix but requires moving the fuel filter assembly out of the way. Assuming we can find all the parts, we should be done here by the end of the day tomorrow. That's good, because it is a nine-hour drive from here to Durham, NC, where we are scheduled to meet up with our niece and her mom on Thursday. The air dryer cartridge is the long pole in the tent; we are trying to get it sent next-day.

From here, US-64 will take us over the Smoky Mountains and northeast along the eastern side of Great Smoky Mountain National Park before meeting up with I-40, which will take us all the way into the Research Triangle area. There are more interesting routes than the Interstate, but with less than two days to do the whole 420 miles, we're going to stick to the easy route.

1 comment:

  1. Think of your Greensboro Red Cross friends as you pass by on I-40 towards Durham! I enjoyed working with you back in August or September of 2010, I believe. I cannot remember what the hurricane was that brought you to us. I've been reading your blog off and on ever since. Chan - KJ4ADX


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