…………….I’ll try not to make this too slow or boring but this is an example of exactly what you SHOULD NOT do! Expectations and reality is hard to get together…..please don’t let this happen.
Most of our projects are involved and our Q has to stay in line to get the volume of work done. “In-and-out” projects are difficult to work in but when someone is travelling and has troubles we always want to have time to help out…..here is the story, please follow:
The call came that he needs a new distributer and wanted us to look over the coach. He’s on the road, has owned the coach for 5 years and has stopped at a few shops who have tried several things during his trip. Hey, sounds like a quickey……. Come on in……..date was set then got a call, having troubles getting to us and it will b the next day……ok.
Said the coach ran great from Tampa so maybe there isn’t as big a problem as thought! Cool!
Went to pull it in the bay…..had to flood the carb to get it to start , idled very low and had to be turned off in gear to stop the dieseling…….Wow, not a good first impression!
Timing was so retarded and with very low vacuum there was obviously something going on. We installed a new distributer as the customer wanted and retuned the coach properly. Runs great now.
Checked his power converter….it was toasted…..replaced that.
Started poking around. Customer asked if I could look at the generator….it was not running well. Lifted the generator door and the back battery was sizzling smelling like a dozen rotten eggs. The alternator had been replaced the day before. Main output of the alternator was cut out with a new wire coming up next to the brake master was fed to the isolator….wadded up extra wire tie wrapped in place……the wire had melted together!!!!
Holy Crap Batman there’s something sinister going on here. Fired up our now descent running motor to check voltage. Had 0 at idle, hi idle the voltage jumped to 50 volts than dropped out again! What the heck……is going on?
Now remember , the owner had been struggling to get to us with several different techs getting in there. I can see a bad moon rising on this in-and-out…..they had reservations on the west coast of Florida that night……….stresses were getting hi……..” It ran great all the way here this morning….what had happened” was the repeated comment from the customer.
No good deed goes unpunished…..this guy has a multiple issue problem that he had no idea about…….and he’s owned the coach actually living in it at the present for 5 years…..he is now in a fix and we’re trying to piece this albatross back together!
Disconnected the shorted battery that may have started all the electrical issues….melted converter, fresh alternator putting out 50 volts, low voltage to the distributer the last tech determined was the problem and why the customer wanted a new one.
Replaced the fried alternator and properly wired the output. We installed one of our 2nd design self exciting single wire alternators. If the trigger circuit had been fried that would make things work.
So you can see there are many issues possibly disguising other problems…..and he want to be in Cedar Key that night! Time was running out…..got the electrical issues solved…..generator is a 4000 watt power drawer that needs to be in my “Troll pile”……asked us to check the coach over before leaving…..his 4 rear tires had date codes over 10 years old with heavy weatherchecking!
A fast run to the tire Distuter for some Firestones, laced them up, slapped the donuts on and again, happy trails?
The customer sat out front, motor running for a while programming Google……I was watching to make sure the coach pulled away well ………the motor shut off!!!!! Restarting it was again running like Crap! NOW WHAT! Brought it back into the shop running like a flat rock……..low vacuum, low idle……motor was very hot now……temp was ok but engine compartment heat was hi.
Bottom line on the motor……..his intake is cracked……….drove fine then ran bad……..several mechanics screwed with it………the motor cooled down…..mechanics did stuff…the motor started running good (it was cold) then he would drive it a couple of hours…….the engine would swell up and the intake crack would kill the motor.
Sorry for the diatribe but you can see this coach had been mechanically neglected then was put into service with multiple issues. Customer asked, “What caused all this….it drove fine from Tampa?” Can you feel the stress in the room?
Air ride system with original cracked air bags had Schrader valves…….no air ride…..didn’t want to look at the brakes!
Customer still decided to try and drive the coach back to Tampa………my guess he felt we were doing something to his coach……..what a mess. Please don’t be upset in the future when you call wanting an oil change and I tell you to not make any after plans and figure the coach may have to stay……….
This coach should have never been put on the road! Nothing was checked and the assumption of the customer was his 45 year old (1973) coach was fine and could go………he had not done any major service in 5 years…..what could go wrong!
So he left, gave him my phone number……didn’t get a call……guess he made it home. Sure hope he understood truly where is problem was. On leaving he asked could $10,000 make his coach road worthy? How do I answer that?
Don’t do this to your coach, don’t put yourself in harm’s way relying on a 45 year old machine of any kind without constant maintenance a constant vigulance and have someone who understands the unique issues a GMC help with maintenance.
Ok, you can go back to your normally scheduled programming…………….see you later and please pass this situation on…don’t let you or anyone else do this.