Monday, April 16, 2012

3rd alternative

5AM - A 3rd Alternative
Yesterday's blog post wrote about two alternatives for my hernia repair. However, there is a 3rd Alternative which was suggested by my friend Pete and his wife, Jimena.

Here is a list of my two alternatives posted yesterday with my 3rd alternative added on:

Alternatives:
  1. Hernia repair in Mexico: There are board certified surgeons in Queretaro who do laparoscopic surgery. I could make arrangements for my hernia repair with one of these surgeons and live in MsTioga during my recovery. Or, stay in a hotel for my recovery period.
  2. Hernia repair in the USA: My hernia repair in December, 2010 was done by a surgeon in Walnut Creek, California. I would fly to Walnut Creek for my surgery, and stay in a hotel during my recovery.
  3. Hernia repair in Tequisquiapan, Mexico: My friends Pete and Jimena have a Tequisquiapan friend who is a doctor who built a hospital in the City of Tequisquiapan. Jimena had an operation at this hospital recently. Jimena's doctor/friend, brought in a recommended surgeon who traveled from Querétaro to the hospital in Tequisquiapan and performed the surgery right here in town! I could do the same thing for my hernia repair!
This 3rd Alternative seems to be the best of the three. I would have my friends close to me, to give their support. BTW, my current hernia is not giving me problems all of the time. Only once in awhile. So, I have time to do my hernia repair. 

6AM - MsTioga sways a lot
Tioga is at the Goodyear Shop here in the City of Querétaro to do several things. One of those things has been a very long lasting problem that has never been resolved. That problem is swaying!

When Tioga exits a gas station, for example, and does NOT pass thru the driveway perfectly straight, she will sway. This swaying is actually rocking side-to-side a terrible amount. I mean a whole lot of rocking too! Enough to send things inside the cabinets flying out!

This rocking is a an accelerating force. If Tioga rocks to one side and back to the other side and stops, the rocking is not too bad. But if Tioga rocks to one side, back to the other side, and then there is a 3rd rocking, oh my! Look out!! I will be picking stuff that flew out of the cabinets for 5 minutes!

I have been trying to resolve this rocking issue for many years. I've noticed that huge trucks don't have this problem. Huge buses don't have this rocking problem. So, this rocking issue has nothing to do with the size or weight of the vehicle.

I NEVER had a suspension expert give MsTioga a test drive and actually on purpose cause this terrible rocking to happen while this test drive is taking place. After MsTioga's suspension work is completed today, I intend to have that test drive happen.

After that test drive, it could be that MsTioga and I will be at the Goodyear Shop a bit more time to get this rocking fixed, once and for all.

8AM - Serious about building my Mexican home!
I must be getting pretty serious about building my Mexican home! New Mavicita and I were busy capturing pics of the shower in my hotel room this morning.

I particularly liked the design of the shower floor. The floor is recessed about 1". No "tiny wall" at the shower entrance, to step over. Also, the walls of the shower are glass. The door is glass too. And the door has heavy duty but nice looking stainless hinges.
Jorge at breakfast
Fiesta Americana Hotel, Querétaro

10AM - At the Goodyear Shop
I'm posting to you from inside MsTioga who remains where you saw her last week at the Goodyear Shop. The axle and suspension parts that need work were sent over to a specialty shop last week. Those parts have not yet been returned to the Goodyear Shop. The new shock absorbers for Tioga, front and rear, have not arrived at the Goodyear Shop yet either.

I had a very long and nice talk with my Goodyear service adviser this morning. In Spanish too! You would have been proud of me if you could have listened in on that conversation.

I explained exactly how Tioga drove over speed bumps, and how passing over speed bumps at an angle would cause Tioga to rock side to side violently. I further explained that when Goodyear completed Tioga's suspension work, that he and I would go off to put Tioga thru a test. This test will determine if Tioga's suspension is acceptable to me. Or not acceptable to me.

If the suspension is NOT acceptable, I will be remaining here at the Goodyear Shop, living inside MsTioga until the suspension is acceptable. I do not plan on paying for anything, until MsTioga drives as she is supposed to drive.

This is watershed time for MsTioga's suspension!

2PM - The latest news!
Friends of MsTioga! Here is the latest news about what is going on with Tioga's suspension:
  • The king-pins have been rebuilt and returned to Goodyear. The king-pins are located on one end of the I-beam suspension. On the other end of the I-beam, there is a bushing with a rubber mounting. I am insisting that both of these bushings with the rubber mountings be replaced. We will post a pic of both I-beams so that you will know what we are writing about.
  • MsTioga and I now want only the Bilstein HD shocks that have been designed for motorhomes. 
Here at the Goodyear Shop, there is confusion about which Bilstein shock to buy. I looked these Bilstein number up on the internet. But I would like you to confirm that I have the correct Bilstein part numbers.

Below are the Bilstein part numbers that I have determined are the correct shocks to buy.
MsTioga is: Ford, 1991, Econoline, E350, 7.5 liter gasoline engine
  • Front shocks: Bilstein #24-184656
  • Rear shocks: Bilstein #24-184663
What all of this boils down to:
MsTioga's king-pin rebuild will be completed today. However, we need to buy and have installed kBilstein shocks that are specifically designed for motorhomes.

These special designed Bilstein shocks are not available here in Mexico [according to the Goodyear people]. So, I am going to order these Bilsteins myself from the USA and have them shipped to me in Mexico.

So, when MsTioga drives away from the Goodyear Shop, she will be on her old KYB shocks that she had before the king-pin rebuild.

3PM - The shocks are ordered!
We received confirmation that the Bilstein shocks are the correct ones for MsTioga.
  • Front shocks: Bilstein #24-184656
  • Rear shocks: Bilstein #24-184663
A set of four shocks cost $347. These shocks will be shipped FedEx to our freight forwarder who will then ship the set of four shocks to us.

Our freight forwarder will send the shocks to the FedEx depot here in Queretaro: c/o George Lehrer. I will pick up this first shipment from the USA myself.

We ordered these Bilsteins from:
Don's Sport Vehicles [link]

8PM - What's going on right now?
Pedro, the mechanic at the Goodyear Shop who has been working on MsTioga, completed his work around 6:30pm. The king-pin overall is finished. All of the suspension parts are now re-installed into Tioga.

However, there was not enough time for the Goodyear Shop to do the front wheel alignment!

MsTioga cannot drive with her front wheels completely out of alignment. After the king-pin overhaul, Tioga's front wheels are now completely mis-aligned.

So, the TiogaRV Team is "sleeping over" in one of the bays of the Goodyear Shop. It is a little noisy here in this location right next to the big highway. If you click on our Nite Camp Location link below, you may be able to see exactly where MsTioga is parked right now.

9PM - Pedro the mechanic
Tioga and I would like to tell you a bit about Pedro the mechanic who has been working on MsTioga for the past few days.

I have been visiting on the shop floor of the Goodyear Shop at least a few hours each day. I've found Pedro to be a thorough, fast and extremely competent mechanic. He and I talk a lot together. I have gotten to like Pedro.

At the end of the work day [9am to 7pm], Pedro cleans every one of his many wrenches and tools. Then he very carefully accounts for every tool [to make sure none our missing], and then stores his tools into a cabinet which he locks up for the nite.

I asked Pedro if all the mechanics clean and store their tools as he does. He told me that many of his fellow mechanics do not take care of their tools as he does. Pedro has been working at Goodyear for about four years. He receives medical insurance paid by his employer.
Pedro installing a bushing into one of Tioga's I-beams

Pics of my hotel shower!
This morning just before I left my hotel room, New Mavicta and I captured some pics of the shower in our room. Why would I take pics of my hotel room shower?

I must be getting pretty serious about building a home in Mexico! I really liked this shower. The way the floor is recessed below the bathroom's floor. The little corner seat in the shower. I liked the glass shower walls.
Recessed shower floor and other shower details

Shower corner seat and recessed soap shelf


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