3/17/2009

Hello all, John here again.

It’s sunny and hot here. I had to break down and turn on the A/C since it was getting close to 90 in here even with the fans on.

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Back of MH with the Oil draining...

I did the most of the rest of the camper service today, and no that didn’t include an “engine change” but an oil change. I drained the oil first, and of course spent 20 minutes trying to find the filter wrench I bought specifically for the camper oil filter since the one for the Ford is just a hair bit too small. Finally found it buried in my truck toolbox… Ugh. While it was draining, I lubed the slack’s on the brakes and of fought like hell on the driver’s side one since someone at Freightliner Custom Chassis must have thought it was funny to put the zerk in backwards. I was going to pull the slack off and try to flip the zerk around. but I was way not that ambitious today (just like the last time I did this). So, as like last time, I swore, hit my head, and bruised my knuckles several times before I got grease in to it. The good news was everything looks pretty good brake and suspension wise. I did find an access panel for the water tank loose, so I tightened that up. It sure would be a lot easier to have access to a Pit or Lift, crawling around on my back with near zero clearance is not fun.

So, after refilling the crankcase and spinning on a new filter I was going to swap out the secondary fuel filter. I looked at the one I got from Fort Worth Freightliner, and it isn’t have the plastic bowl. Damnit, I knew I should have checked, as one part comes as a “Kit” with the bowl, and the other is just the filter. It was in a box, so I never thought to look, as all the other filters were just plastic wrapped. I want to replace the bowl for a couple reasons, one, I want a spare, when water does get in fuel, this particular separator style is known for it’s ability to freeze and crack that plastic bowl. Don’t want to be on the highway without one, and secondly, the one that is on there is most likely been on there since new, and plastic gets brittle, especially when in contact with fuel. I didn’t replace it last time since the cat dealer in Saint Louis didn’t have one in stock and I didn’t want to wait (more like run all the way out to them) for it to be ordered, and of course I forgot about it. So, I had to drop off that application at O’riely I got yesterday and I needed to get some fuel for the truck and some fuel to pre-fill the other fuel filter before putting it back on, so it was a good time to take a break. I dropped off the application with the manager, and didn’t get much of a response, I made sure she knew I was “Family” discreetly since it was pretty obvious she was, and I also had loads of auto parts experience, so we will see if she calls. The Good news was that Wix also makes a replacement bowl for that filter, so I ordered it from her, and it will be in tomorrow. I then got fuel and headed back to finish up.

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Engine cover open, dirty from Quartzsite...

This is the Part I HATE about this rig. I have to remove the engine cover to get at the Primary Fuel Filter. Really it is the ONLY thing on a service I can’t get to without pulling it up. And it is a pain in the ass, majorly. First, I can get all the crap out from under the bed. Then, remove the mattress. Finally, disconnect the gas shocks, rig a way to hold the bed platform up, and remove the two separate, bolted down covers. Of course by now it is 100 degrees in here, and I am hot, dirty and really crabby, so it wasn’t going well.

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Fuel Filter housing and primer pump before changing.

Got it ready to go, and couldn’t budge the filter, go find a wrench. Got it off, and carefully escorted it outside as not to drip any diesel on the carpet… Drained in in with the waste oil, and got the new filter to fill it. Again, carefully walking it back inside (Have you ever tried to put on and take off shoes with a full fuel filter in your hands?) as not to spill any, of course dodging the mounds of crap, mattress, and engine covers laying all over, and spun it back on. Since I had it open I figured I would be pissed at myself if I didn’t take the opportunity to clean up the engine from the top, so I went out and got my bug sprayer and filled with the degreaser, and stuck the hose in through the window. It’s all sparkly now…

Ok, Now who in their right mind designs something that ass backward? $50.00 in parts could have easily extended that filter and primer pump to the back of the unit and would have been a snap to change. Yes, it gave me the opportunity to inspect everything under there, which I certainly wouldn’t have opened that if I didn’t have to, but the fact is changing that one piddly filter took me longer than it took to grease the entire camper, change the generator, camper, and trucks oil, and grease the truck. Argh!

That all being said it is a good job done that doesn’t have to be done for another 5,000 miles. Tomorrow I will swap the Water Separator. I also ordered an air filter, Buck found a really cheap place to get Farr Eco (now Donaldson) filters, it is https://www.rvchassisparts.com/Welcome.asp . I shouldn’t say “Cheap” but it is much less than anyone else, the air filter is $63.95 plus shipping… So, I got that sent here, so when it comes I have another project. I have been putting that off for quite a while, and am hoping it results in a bit higher fuel mileage. My restriction gauge is almost to the 25 mark, so it is more than time to change it.

I got everything buttoned back up, and ran the vacuum cleaner for a bit, and all is hopefully well. I still need to get rid of my 10 gallons of waste oil, and the filters… Tomorrow’s another day!

Derek is Home now, so time to eat. I made a ham and cheese pasta cassarole…

Have a good night!

John

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