Friday, October 29, 2004

Back at Home (on the Road)

Today, after a week living in the jeep, we came back to Rapid City to pick up our RV from the truck repair place. Of course, it wasn't totally completed.

Here's the outline. While driving through the Badlands (lots of up hill and down hill), I noticed that the strange noise I had been hearing was much louder -- a grinding noise coming from the rear of the vehicle. It occurred every time the RV was being slowed by downshifting. Since we were soon going to cross the Rocky Mountains, I gave in to the caution and took it to a truck repair center.

The differential was wearing out. This wasn't surprising, since the U-joint had gone out during the return from California on the previous RV trip. I suspected the U-joint had damaged the differential.

During the test drive, they determined that the transmission wasn't going into first gear. They opened things up. At 115,000 miles or so, Mary Ann and I agreed that it was time for a new one.

So, with two major repairs and a handfill of little things; oxygen sensor, brake pads, etc. It was going to take several days. Mary Ann and I packed the Jeep and headed for Colorado. After Breckenridge and Estes Park, we called and after a shipping delay, we got the word that the parts had arrived and we headed back towards Rapid City.

Half-way back, we called again. Differential and transmission were working, but front bearings and the radiatior were giving problems. Another day's delay. After a side trip to the Badlands, we finally arrived back in Rapid City.

Oops, old corrosion, damaged the oil cooler lines. But rather than delay another few days until parts could be ordered, we decided to plug the optional oil cooler system and get that repaired in another city.

Tomorrow, hopefully, we will be on the road again.

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