Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Heater core

Heater core bad!
We had a Team Meeting this morning about MsTioga's heater core.  Some doubts had been posted in ShoutBox about repetitive failures of our heater core.  Then we received an email from our good friend John Porter who reminded us that heater core failure may be caused by electrolysis! [link] Can you imagine that?

When we re-read the story linked above, the last bit of advice was:
"The final word, plain and simple, is do not ground the heater core. If the heater core is grounded, a path is provided for electrolysis to pass through the heater core, which would allow any stray voltage to use the coolant as the ground path".

As you may see in the pic below, our heater core has a ground which we have pointed to with a red arrow.

Everybody on the TiogaRV Team believes that MsTioga's current heater is bad too, because we operated the core with the dastardly ground cable attached.  When we return to the USA, we will replace this core.
MsTioga's heater core
Red arrow shows ground cable

9AM - MsTioga goes to the shop!
It is time to replace MsTioga's engine coolant, change her motor oil and get a lube job.  There is a little refacciones store [auto parts store] here in the Pueblo of Aticama.  We are buying the new engine coolant at this store.  A husband and wife own this store, and have offered to find a mechanic to do the work.

12 Noon - Making things work in Mexico
It is fascinating for  me to watch mechanics in Mexico.  The mechanics here find a way to do everything.  Even when the tools and parts to do the job are not available!

Some time ago, a mechanic cross threaded  MsTioga's oil pan plug bolt.  I knew that there was a problem with that bolt, but did not know what the problem was.  Today the mechanic showed me what was what.  Because of many cross threads, the oil pan plug's female thread was now oversize.  We tried many replacements bolts, but they all leaked when used.  Finally, we went to a bike shop looking for a bolt that would fit and found a brass one that did the job.  We put an O-ring under the bolt's head to seal off the oil.  And it worked!

Engine coolant and oil filter cost $360 pesos [$30US].  Oil cost $24US.  The two mechanics cost $150 pesos [$12.50US].
MsTioga in the shop
Aticama, Nayarit, Mexivo