Friday, April 13, 2012

Dropped tank

6AM - Dropped Tank
Yesterday evening we were telling you the story about MsTioga's dropped grey water tank. Below is the continuation of that story.

Yesterday's story left off when we discovered that two of the three steel straps that secured MsTioga's grey water tank had broken. The tank was being held up by only that one remaining strap. Very likely, we would have lost our grey water tank completely if we had been filling that tank as we used to. But, because of the odor coming from the tank, we had been emptying the tank almost daily. So the tank was very light with hardly any water in it.

Looking for a muffler shop
We decided to find a muffler shop to do the repairs. Muffler shops, we have found, usually have wonderful welders. So, we drove around Querétaro looking for a muffler shop. Man-O-Man, MsTioga drove all over Querétaro and could not find a muffler shop. We followed directions from several people, but those directions led to streets not good for Tioga to drive.

Finally, we came upon one of the AutoZone stores in Querétaro and went in there to buy some lithium grease. While at the check out stand we asked the assistant store manager if he knew of a muffler shop nearby. "Yes. There is a muffler shop a short distance up the highway!"

Javier's Muffler Shop
Javier is a funny guy. Short, stocky. Loves to tell jokes. In fact he told me that he could not repair my RV because they often blow up during welding. Then with he big smile he said, "No, just joking". Javier must be a very good businessman. After a five year job at his brother's muffler shop here in Querétaro, Javier opened his own shop. He now owns four muffler shops!

I jacked up MsTioga's rear end using Mr. Leveler's jacks, and Javier and I crawled underneath to look at what needed to be repaired. Javier told me that he could do the welding. But the dropped grey water tank was not in position. Before welding, the tank had to be jacked into place. Also, very important that the disconnected shower drain pipe be forced back into its place in the water tank's opening.

Inside MsTioga we have a 12 ton hydraulic jack. I got some boards that had been conveniently discarded in a vacant lot next door to the muffler shop. One of those boards was the perfect size! This board was about 2" thick, and its length extended a bit more than the length of the tank. Also from the vacant lot came small boards upon which the hydraulic jack could sit. A perfect setup!

Alfredo does most of the welding at the muffler shop. He and I worked together underneath MsTioga to setup the hydraulic jack and lift the dropped grey water tank into position. After the tank was jacked up a little bit, I was able to put my hand in above the tank and force the separated shower drain pipe back into its mating pipe on the tank's top. Then we jacked the water tank up until the back of the tank was in proper position.

Alfredo brought some 1" wide x 1/8" thick steel pieces out from the shop. These straps were bent and cut so that they made a perfect sized support bracket. Then Alfredo using a wire feed welding machine, welded the rear bracket to the grey water tank's bottom steel support angle.

After the rear of the tank was properly supported by the new bracket, we dropped the hydraulic jack and moved the jack to the front of the grey water tank. Then jacked the grey water tank back into position again. Alfredo then welded the second bracket in place.

Muffler was loose too!
While I was underneath MsTioga preparing for the grey water tank repairs, I noticed that Tioga's tail pipe was loose. Wow! I guess that doing inspections of MsTioga's under carriage components is an essential part of her maintenance program!!

Alfredo welded the loose tail pipe to the bolt that used to secure another one of Tioga's steel straps. Apparently that strap had also broken.

It cost 200 pesos for this welding work [$16US]. And I gave Alfredo a tip of 20 pesos for his help.
Tank jacked into position

Alfredo doing the welding

12 Noon - What is MsTioga doing now?
When you view the pic below, you may wonder what MsTioga is doing at the Goodyear shop in Querétaro?

We are not able to write about that now. Have to wait until tomorrow to tell you that story. But we can give you some hints:
  • Front wheel spindle pins
  • Shock absorbers
MsTioga in another shop! Wow!