8:38 am - Wednesday - March 30th - Elks Backyard, CA - 53° F, humidity, 77% humidity, wind 2 mph out of the south by southwest.....crystal clear, blue, sunny skies today with a forecast high of 72° F. On this date in 2014 TLE and I were sipping brews at Oak Creek Brewing Company in Sedona, AZ......↴
Have I ever mentioned how much I hate early mornings? I'm sure I have. Tuesday was one of those days, of necessity, that we were up by 6 am in order to be on the road before 8 am on our way to keep our 9 am appointment at Joel's Automotive to have our oil and coolant changed in the Newell. There is something slightly unsettling about having to disconnect your home's utilities, move it 18 miles across town for a 'few' hours, wait in your home in a parking lot while your home is serviced, only to return later in the day to where you woke up, and reverse the whole process that began that morning.
Getting a vehicle serviced while you wait on premises is like sitting in the waiting room at the doctor's office. You have an appointment for a specific time, but you are never seen by the doctor at the previously agreed to time. When you arrive you are hoping all goes smoothly, and you are in and out within a reasonable period of time, but it rarely, if ever, goes that way. You find yourself continually glancing at your watch thinking a lot of time has passed, but the big hand has only moved 5 minutes. Time seems to stand still. It's one thing if you live in a fixed location from which you drive your vehicle to the shop for service, then return to your home and carry on with life until you get a call later in the day, or the next day, advising you can come pick up your vehicle. When your home is also your vehicle, and you have no where else to be, you are stuck wherever your home is parked at the time, and all activity is constrained by that fact.
I wanted to be there for pretty much every step of the way as this Newell is our 'baby', and I want to be sure everything is done as I requested. There is really only one person I trust completely with our Newell, and that is Leo at All Aboard America. He really knows his stuff, and we have always just dropped off the Newell at his shop, and headed out to spend the day junking, having lunch, or whatever. We know he knows what he is doing, and trust him to do what needs to be done.....all he does is work on buses every day, five days a week....sometimes more. So, even though I trust Joel's Automotive, this is not what they do every day, or even every month, so my need to be there for the whole process pretty much meant I had to 'BE THERE' on site to supervise the process.
We arrived, due to heavy traffic, around 8:45 am, parked in the area to which we were directed, and then began the waiting game. Naturally, time had to be allowed for the engine to cool down so the oil and coolant could be drained without scalding anyone, however, it wasn't until about 11 am that the work began....the big Detroit Diesel 6v92 does take a lot of time to cool down. So, as you can see, we've now been sitting inside for over 2 hours waiting for the work to begin. I spent time finishing a book I had started while we were still in the Anza Borrego Desert, which kept my mind occupied, but I kept finding myself drifting outside to see what was happening.
Draining 22, or 23 gallons of coolant out of the Newell radiator is not a fast process.....it takes over an hour. By noon time the coolant flow was down to a trickle, and the guy working on the Newell was going to lunch, so we did the same. We drove a few blocks to the local In 'N Out Burger to have lunch, and were back before 1 pm. The next step in the coolant changing process was to refill the cooling system with water, run the engine for about 20 minutes, and then empty the system again.....so another hour+ goes by during which Ricky (our technician) drained the oil, removed the old oil filter, and installed the new filter. He couldn't pour the new oil in yet as the oil delivered was the wrong oil, so we had to wait for the delivery guy to return to the store, and bring the correct oil.....it's not always easy to find Chevron Delo 100 40 weight oil, and more often than not people will try to sell you the multi grade (10w - 40), which is a NO NO for two stroke engines. I usually have to order the Delo 100 thru West Marine, and have it shipped to wherever I am at the time....you can't just walk into Napa, or Autozone and pick up 6 gallons of Chevron Delo 100 40 weight.....they don't carry it.
At any rate the correct oil finally arrives around 3 pm, and Ricky pours in the required 22 quarts, so we're set as far as the oil change goes, but we still have to pour in the new Power Cool coolant. By the time we (I helped Ricky) mixed the concentrate 50/50 with distilled water, and finished pouring it into the Newell cooling system it was after 4 pm. There are always air pockets in the system, and it takes a while to 'burp' all the air out of the system, so by the time we were satisfied we had poured in all we could get in at the time it was almost 5 pm, and time to close the shop. From previous experience I know it will take time for all the air to work its way out of the system, and I have plenty of extra coolant to add as that happens.
By the time we arrived back at the Elks Lodge, and had hooked our utilities up it was 6 pm, the sun was setting, and we were tired. What a long day....from the time we left until the time we returned over 10 hours had elapsed, but now we are ready to travel, and good for another 10,000 miles!
Thanks for stopping by!
When you shop Amazon, please use our link (below) to access their website.......we will appreciate every purchase you make using our Amazon Affiliate link, and remember, using our link will not add one penny to your purchase, plus we will receive a small commission which over the course of a year adds up to enough to buy a tank of diesel for which we thank you very much!