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Friday, January 13, 2017

It's 'Jake' with me.....

8:32 am - Mountain Time - Friday - 52º F, 64% humidity, wind 7 mph from east southeast.......partly cloudy.....forecast high is 64º F.  

We were up by 7 am Thursday getting the Newell ready for its 63 mile one way jaunt over to Mesa, AZ and 'All Aboard America' for its much anticipated servicing and repair of its Jake Brake (click on link for explanation of what this is)......simply put, it is an 'exhaust inhibitor', or 'exhaust brake'.  Our plan was to be ready to roll by 9 am and we were......TLE stayed behind and Tom 'followed' me (I used 'followed' advisedly), but somehow arrived at 'All Aboard America' about 15 minutes before I did.....😏.....it took me about one hour and 20 minutes to make the drive through Phoenix mid morning traffic.....not too bad.   My mechanic, Leo, was ready for me and ushered me into the bay immediately upon my arrival.....within minutes the Newell was 6 feet off the ground........


.......in all I had a complete service......they lubed the drive train, checked the brakes (rear brakes have about 40% left, and front brakes about 80% left...the front one must have been relined sometime before I bought the coach in 2008), added a couple of quarts of gear oil to the differential, replaced 23 gallons of coolant, drained out 24 quarts of 40 wt oil, then replaced it with 24 quarts of Chevron Delo 100, replaced the fuel filters and oil filter, checked the condition of the 8 air bags and U-joints, and did a visual inspection of the steering gear.....by this time the engine had cooled enough to begin troubleshooting the Jake Brake situation.  Within a few minutes Leo found that one of the wires had become disconnected, and that appeared to be the cause.  I say 'appeared', because Leo had me start up the coach and rev it with the 'Jake Brake' switch in the 'on' position to see if he could hear it kick in as the engine de-accelerated.  After revving the engine several time he didn't believe he could hear the ubiquitous 'Jake Brake' sound.....shoot!

Tom and I decided to leave for a couple of hours to get lunch and run some errands, and by the time we returned Leo had most of the muffler disconnected from the turbo so he could get at the 'Jake Brake' wiring more easily, and was now testing the circuits for each 'Jake'......we could hear each of the solenoids 'clicking' inside the valve covers as he applied power, so they seem to be working properly, nevertheless, he was still not convinced they were actually engaging the 'Jake Brake'.  

By this time it was after 2 pm and the Phoenix rush hour begins about 3 pm so we decided to leave the coach with Leo overnight and head for home.  Our plan had been to be out the coach for a couple of nights if not longer anyway, but I was sure hoping we could take the coach home the same day.....it was not to be.

Tom and I were home sometime after 5 pm after a quick stop at a local Harbor Freight we arrived back at the Wittmann homestead sometime after 4 pm.....a very long day for me.  After taking a short nap we had dinner, then watched some TV serials before heading to bed.

In all it was a good day with a lot of preventative maintenance being accomplished on the Newell.....I feel better having been able to see the condition of my brakes, and the entire undercarriage.  The condition of our 35 year old coach is good, and there are no serious issues which require immediate attention.  The rear brakes will need relining within the next 2 years, and the drums may have to be replaced, but the front brakes and drumbs look great.  Once the 'Jake Brake' is fixed it will take a lot of use off our brakes again, and that is the main benefit of the 'Jake Brake'......it reduces brake wear significantly.

Thanks for stopping by!

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