Log in

No account? Create an account

In the shop once again...

Necobus is back in the shop for brakes again. This time the power ABS control unit is getting replaced. This sort of repair needs a computer to do a proper flush/bleed, so I can;t do it in the driveway properly.

Generator ready & weekend update

I managed to get the generator for the RV ready to go into the necobus . It got a new starter, new controller module, new air filter, and Foxxfyre changed the oil, and did the final testing. It now fires up and runs smoothly.

Foxxie also cleaned out the holding tanks,a nd the fresh water system, and verified that the pump works. Once the propane system is tested, and charged,assuming everything works, we'll have heat, and hot water too.

This week, the Propane and brakes get done, and by the weekend the generator should be installed. If all this happens as planned the RV will be ready for it's voyage.

In the mean time, the trees have been trimmed to give Necobus a proper parking space. Once there I can install hookups for water, power,and sewer. I'll need to use a macerator pump, but it should work out well. It'll just involve a lot of digging under the deck to install the drain pipe. That'll be a big undertaking for after vacation.


Street Legal!

Aaaannd... The generator is WORKING!!!

It needs some parts still, but it was able to turn over and run today. Once the parts come in it can be cleaned up, and reassembled into the RV.

Dedication & Recognition

A lot of people have stepped forward to bring the Necobus back to life. I recognize that there are more people contributing than are going to Burning Man, and that the Necobus has really turned into a community project. I'm not sure how to recognize all of the people other than to invite them to leave their mark.

With this recognition in mind, I invite anyone who has contributed work on Necobus to sign their name on it. I haven;t figured out a good place yet, but I am thinking right on the door, in permanent sharpie marker.

I have also considered maybe picking an interior panel that way it cannot be defaced by time, nature, or hoodlums.


Quickie post on tonight's progress

Chairo and Chad came by this evening to help out. Bleeding the brakes with 3 people is a snap!

Brakes bled. ABS still complains but they work a TON better, and the fluid is no longer dark. Looks like we may need to have a brake shop deal with properly bleeding the ABS. It may involve using a computer and ODB to selectively activate the valves in the ABS pump for bleeding.

Generator is free. Broken free. the starter could not crank it, but when I applied some leverage to the crank on the fan side, the motor made a light "crack" sound and spun normally. It gets good compression, but not measured yet. The spark plug is TRASH, but we did get spark from the ignition, and the plug.

The generator had so much playa dust in the foam filter it was embarrassing. It is painfully obvious the intake was never ever ever cleaned on this thing. generator maintenance after burning man or any such conditions will REQUIRE complete removal of the generator for cleaning as there is no way to get to this filter or any other part of the generator beside the carb filter without removal.

Chad's gonna pick up a spark plug and carb cleaner tomorrow, and then go with Chairo to do the smog ritual. Then I'll go to eh DMV and dot the paperwork if it passes OK. Gonna try to get some generator work done tomorrow after I get home.

Chairo has time during the week to drive it around after registration is done to get propane pressure tested, and other camper check-out tasks.

I have to order a generator control module to replace the hacked off one that is on it.



In The next two weeks:

1. Brakes (hopefully tonight)

2. Smog (hopefully tomorrow)

3. Go to DMV, and pay $1000 or $1200, get registration stickers

4. Fill propane, and check for leaks, check propane appliances for leaks, and proper function (And fix a list of broken stuff we discover there if need be)

5. Sanitize fresh water supply

6. Check function of all pumps, grey, and black water tanks

Then MAYBE it'll be ready for a trip.


Discouraged by the service offerings I am finding, I am going to have a crack at repairing the generator at home. I ordered a service manual on line last night, and the vendor has already sent me a tracking number! So, armed with the actual troubleshooting and repair guide, I'm going to try it at home.

Generator removal.

As with everything on this R.V, hidden "surprises" lurk around every corner. The generator took more work than it should have to remove. Someone had removed the QD connectors on the control wires, and any other QD's. The wires feeding AC out were frayed, and the conduit exposing wire, and the junction box cover was missing leaving the wire junctions exposed, and filled with road grime.

When I checked oil on the generator, the dipstick was dry,. Disturbing that it might be vapor locked or something, but when I put the tip stick back in it was full, so releasing pressure on the case caused oil to drain from "somewhere"... I drained the oil, and a lot of sludge came with it. This might be original oil, or really OLD oil.

This generator has been to Burning Man. I wore all black clothes today, and I am now "gray" from head to toe, covered in chalky white playa dust that was embedded in the generator housing. When I say playa dust gets everywhere, I mean it. There are places you just can;t easily clean it out of.

Rather than learning a bunch and putting a lot of time into the generator, I may just drop it off at an Onan authorized service center to see if they can bring it back to life. It's likely going to need to be torn down quite a bit just to get the motor isolated enough to try and crank it over. Unfortunately, time is running out, and as much as I am curious, and wanna dig into this, I may just have to pay a professional.

Re-installing it, it will get a QD fuel line with a petcock, forklift DC power QD's a twist-lock AC line, and a molex remote control cable connector. That will take more time, but will aide future possible removals for maintenance or upgrades.

LEDs are installed.

I just finished installing all of the LED interior lights, marker lights, and tail lights, as well as replacing and repairing the broken marker lights.

More stuff to check off the list.

I still need to order the amber front turn signal LED lamps, and a blinker flasher module that works with the lower impedance LED circuit.  I also need a tube type LED lamp for the dome light, and all the dash lights I have to order.

Exhaust fixed, finally!

Shitty WeldTo the left are the before pictures of the pipe.

As folks arrived last night I was in the midst of getting the pipe out.   I ended up shearing off the cat studs, but the manifold studs came out fine.
New manifold studs at Ford were $10 each..  The cat studs were a new challenge.  

After removing the pipe, grinding the welds off the sensors was short work, revealing the threads of the bungs were in good shape.  However you could see daylight inside the pipe through holes int eh crappy welding.  A quick call to tugrik  to set up an appointment for his welder was in order!

We opted to do as little as possible to clean this mess up before we left for San Jose because I was mostly concerned about cracking that weld job apart.  The seam of the initial crack in the pipe went all the way around on the inside, and looked like there was possibly poor penetration.  The last thing I wanted was to have ti crack apart in transit, and not be able to reassemble the custom bent pipe not to be able to bolt it up to the manifolds properly.

We took a break to run to the auto parts store in Scotts Valley before they closed, and then dinner.  We needed to pick up a new exhaust gasket, some hardware, what bolts we could fine, anti seize compound and P.B. Blaster to loosen the remaining studs.  The press-fit studs in the catalytic converter were proving to be a challenge to remove.  We devised a tool, and needed parts to make the tool , since the store had not the proper tool.  I decided to err on the safe side, and bought the other two sensors, opting to replace all of the HO2S units.  I wanted to make SURE this was DONE.  The service manual we had was listing the service life of these sensors to about 60K miles for this model year and earlier, and 100K miles for newer models.  It just seemed like if I didn't replace these now I would be doing it soon anyway.  It was late, and daylight had faded, so we got dinner and a movie in Scotts Valley before we called it a night.

Late nights and movies had us off to a late start, but The folks at the shop were behind, too, so it was not a big deal.  We spent some time at City Diner enjoying the malts, and each other's company until the folks arrived at the shop.  City Diner was a really great little place with a 50's movie star motif complete with an old 16mm film projector , and news film canisters behind our table.   The strawberry malt was decadent to me. Then it was time to head to the shop.

Once at the shop, tugrik , dustykat , revar , and inaki  seemed to spring into action.   I kind of felt like a fifth wheel as they went busily to work grinding the old weld down, and prepping for the new one.  As the old weld came off the metal under looked so full of holes it resembled a metallic pattern of alpine lace Swiss cheese.  This was probably going to take a while.  

Groggyfox, and I headed to the Ford dealership to track down the last few bits of hardware.  The manifold studs were $10 each!  But once you see the part you see why.  It's not something you can get at you local hardware store.   They had the studs, but not the nuts in stock.  After $50 at Ford, it was off to OSH to track down new nuts and bolts for the catalytic flange end, and nuts for the manifold studs. 

As we walked into OSH, some woman on a bicycle rode past the tow of us and said "may the force be with you" 


Did we look like Jedi or something?

Once we got inside OSH, we realized just hwo special those manifold studs were.  The best we can approximate is that they are a 7/16th by 13 thread pitch.  OSH only has even thread pitches, so we could not find any that matched!   At this point I started praying that the four original nuts were still someplace to be found in the driveway to be recycled.  Luckily they were.When we returned to the shop, the welding was done!  Dustykat made short work of it, and it looked great!  

casidhe  even got to learn how to weld on some scrap metal, and had created some sort of metal artwork piece. 

We raced back to my place to finish yanking the cat studs, and get it bolted back on.  After a couple hours of cussing, and frustration I went in the house to consult the webbernets on how to ge tthose last studs out so we could bolt this up and get it done.  While I was looking, casidhe used brute forcec, and knocked them out with a hammer.  All was good in the world, and within minutes we had the whole thing bolted up and installed.  Humblewolf made a quick run to get some last minute pipe clamps, and we were DONE in time for dinner!  So, we drove the RV, with dranga , humblewolf , casidhe , groggyfox , akseawolf , and myself to Capitola for slices at the new Pizza My Heart.  The whole trip down and back, no check engine light, so I am now finally confident that this could actually pass smog testing!

-- badwox