Wednesday, March 23, 2005

6AM - Working on MsTioga's Engine.
This morning I will try to fix MsTioga's engine. There is hardly any way to see inside the engine compartment from the front, while standing outside. So, I am going to remove the shroud from the inside, and see if it is possible to find the vacuum leak.

Again I want to thank all the many wonderful readers who wrote suggestions for fixing this problem that MsTioga is having with her engine!!

The terrible weather cleared up!
Last nite, there were rain clouds, and the wind was horrible. MsTioga rocked like crazy. This morning, there is not one cloud in the sky, and the wind is gone!!

8AM - Could not find the vacuum leak.
I took off the inside engine cover. Also, the air filter assembly in the engine compartment. With the air filter gone, I had a pretty good view of the top of the engine. However, although I could hear the vacuum leak, I could not find it. When I stopped the engine, I could hear something unloading air. The truth is that I do not of sufficient experience to know what to look for.

Putting the air filter back together again.
Reassembling the air filter was a bit of a struggle. Everything has to be reassembled in a certain order, or it won't go back together! I got a kick out of working on the engine, even though I failed to find the vacuum leak.

Shorted out the power line for Mr. DeLorme's front monitor and backup camera.
The former owner of MsTioga, had a CB, and rigged up a 12 volt DC power line to run it. I used that line to supply 12 volts to the monitor and camera. Somehow this morning, I shorted out this line. So now I have no power to this equipment until I run a new line.

Now to take a look at the bright side!
MsTioga's engine does run. I was able to reassemble the engine. The weather is beautiful. I am camped in a lovely place.

I am going to make a great breakfast, an omelette, bacon, sausage and a fruit bowl. Things are not perfect, but they are pretty darned good.

Things are good at Panamint Camp!

10AM - Rewired the Backup Camera and DeLorme Monitor!
After a wonderful breakfast, a new circuit to supply 12 volt DC power to the backup camera and DeLorme monitor was run. In this electrical circuit, an inline fuse for the DeLorme monitor was added.

Onboard MsTioga, we have an enormous quantity of various electric and other supplies, in order to maintain our equipment!

1PM - MsTioga is in worse shape than yesterday!
We have been on the road for three hours, and reached the Town of Trona, about 50 miles south of our Panamint Camp. It took us three hours to travel 50 miles. There was one mountain pass on the way when MsTioga only would be moving at two or three miles per hour!! Pressing on the gas made us go slower, instead of faster. Wow! But MsTioga never quit!!

The first town that we came to, was Trona. We stopped at Trona Auto Repair to see what could be done. The owner of this repair shop told us that we had a bad catalytic converter, and called a shop that he recommended to do the work. This shop was T&T Alignment in Ridgecrest.

2PM - Replacing MsTioga's catalytic converter.
T&T Alignment is just across the road from the giant China Lake Naval Air Station. They had a replacement catalytic converter, and began work on MsTioga at about 3PM. A little before 5PM, the converter was installed. MsTioga is now her old perky self again!

The Team is soooooo lucky. We could have had serious engine damage. We wondered if the problem was a blown head gasket. We wondered if driving would make things worse. We wondered about MsTioga stalling out, right in the middle of the desert. But all the while, we had faith that everything would turn out all right. And it did!

6PM - Nite Camped in Ridgecrest, California.
We have made our Nite Camp, in an alley in Ridgecrest. Everybody on The Team is tranquil for the first time in two days. Having a sick MsTioga is not a happy thing.


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