More Time to Explore
7 Mar 2019
|Well, I left this story last Wednesday, February 27, with the head gasket replacement still in progress. On Friday, March 1, the big job was completed and Dean, the mechanic, took it out for a test drive. On his return he smelled diesel. Back at the shop they discovered leaks in three of the four injector hoses. No, they didn't have the parts and were searching for them. Got a call near 5 p.m. saying hoses had been located and that the engine was all prepped for their installation which would occur when the parts arrived Monday morning. At least another 3 day wait.
That plan seemed to work, though, and late Monday, I picked up the truck with its new head gasket, unhappily added another $1200 to the bill for injector hoses and other miscellaneous hoses and tubes that were decaying and cracking, and drove the truck back to Dave and Theresa's.
Tuesday, March 5, the three of us planned to meet Trap and Jan in Laughlin, Nevada for lunch and some fun playing the slots for a bit, then head east over the hill to Kingman, returning finally back home to Lake Havasu. We figured that would be a good test run for my truck and all its new innards.
That plan, unfortunately, didn't work so well. While the five of us were having a much too brief Subway sandwich lunch at a park overlooking the Colorado River in Laughlin, I noticed a leak coming from under the truck. As it was already afternoon, I panicked, bid a quick farewell to Trap and Jan and then Dave, Theresa and I headed south to Havasu. I returned the truck to the shop and they found a bolt that needed tightening. It was buried deep in the engine, but it was found, tightened and leak-proofed while I waited.
On Wednesday, March 6, and looking forward to hopefully our last test drive, Theresa, Dave and I decided to return to Oatman (my favorite donkey town) and come in from the east side this time. I knew there would be great views from that direction and indeed there were. Got some great shots. We stopped at the only 'road stop' on that leg of the old Rte. 66 and had some good laughs. Pictures tell the story. We enjoyed lunch in that wonderful little western town before heading back home.
On I-40 near our turnoff onto 95 south a semi was on my tail and when I gunned it I saw a huge puff of black exhaust behind me. From there on, every time I gunned the engine or just increased my acceleration, black exhaust would fill my rear view mirror. The shop didn't seem very concerned when I called and told me to bring it in the next day and they'd check it. I said, no, I would be bringing it in right then.
They plugged it to a computer, test drove it, made a big black spot on their pavement playing with the accelerator, and then as the closing hour neared and no solution had been determined, they told me to bring it back first thing in the morning.
Oh, the deep breaths I have taken over these past 40 plus days.
I did. At 7:30 Thursday, March 7, my truck was back at their shop. Dean drove me back to Theresa and Dave's and since snow was predicted on the Tehachapis on Friday, it sure looked like Saturday would be the first opportunity to hook up and get on the road again.
Dean said he'd give me a call in 3 or 4 hours. I went back to bed.