Friday, April 1, 2022

Hello Mr. Jello....

8:03 am - Friday - April 1st - Elks Backyard, CA - 56° F, humidity 79%, wind 4 mph out of the south by southwest.....heavily overcast today with a forecast high of 75° F.  On this date in 2017 we were walking around the lovely town of Solvang, CA and stopped in at a local coffee shop to.....↴ 

I called Joel's Automotive around 4 pm on Wednesday to see if the VW was ready to be retrieved, and was advised all the work had been completed, so I arranged to pick it up Thursday morning.  So, how do I pick up the VW when I am 19 miles away, and have no other transportation?  Well, I ride my bike, that's how.  I know I can ride 19 miles, because I've just done it this week twice.  Of all the days to ride 19 miles to Montclair, Thursday would not have been my first choice as it was heavily overcast, and at 8:50 am when I began my ride it was still hovering just below 60° F.....brrrrr.  The only doubt in my mind was riding 19 miles for the second consecutive day in a would I feel at the end?  

The last two times I rode the PET I just rode to Rochester in Rancho Cucamonga and turned around.  My elevation gain over the 9 miles to Rochester was around 188', but I knew the trail kept climbing all the way to Amethyst, but how high that was I did not it turned out I gained just 239' in elevation to Amethyst before I began my descent down to Joel's Automotive.  I arrived at Joel's at about 10:30 am after almost 1 hour and 40 minutes of riding, and my legs were tired....I don't think I'm up to doing back to back 19 mile days.  On this one way ride I covered 18.91 miles burning around 1100 caloric units while averaging around 12.1 mph over the entire distance......

.....within 10 minutes I took care of the invoices for both the Newell and VW (I had the oil, coolant, and filters changed, and then had them install those rear rotors and pads I had attempted to install back in late February) cost for both vehicles was just over $1,300 (almost $800 for the Newell), which was about 60% labor as I supplied the coolant for the Newell, and the rotors and pads for the VW, but the 24 quarts (6 gallons) of Delo 100 motor oil for the Newell were expensive....$320....more than I paid for the 12 gallons of the coolant concentrate ($184 shipped), and 12 gallons of distilled water ($12) combined.

While I was talking to Joel he mentioned he was concerned about the condition of the Newell radiator.  He explained that on Tuesday he noticed discoloration (see below) in the center of the radiator indicating the radiator may be getting clogged, or about to fail.....

....whoa!  I was not counting on that, but when your mechanic, whom you trust, expresses concern you take notice.  He suggested I take the above picture to a commercial truck radiator shop in Fontana called Continental Radiator Service, and have Sal take a look at it, so that is what I did.  Continental is located on Valley between Cherry and Sierra in Fontana....not that far from the Elks Lodge.  Valley is just a block above Interstate 10.....

.....once there I spoke with Sal, showed him the picture, and he agreed that there is a problem which needs investigated, so I made an appointment for Monday, April 4th, to be at his shop with the Newell at 8 am.  If the radiator just needs to be 'rodded' it will take two days (about 8 hours of that is just getting it out of the Newell, and reinstalling it), but if it needs to be re-cored, then it could be 3-4 days.  Whether it just needs rodding, or needs to be re-cored, they must remove it to do either.   That thing must weigh around 3-400 pounds, and there is no way I can do it.  At any rate, Sal said TLE and I could stay there in the Newell while the work is being done, so that is what we will do.  Once the radiator is taken care of we will begin our trek north to our summer job, and we hope that day will be Wednesday.

The Newell radiator was re-cored about 15 years ago, about a year before we bought it, so I am hoping it will just need to be rodded to clear out any scale build up that's occurred over the intervening years.  Since it is not leaking Sal says it probably just needs to be rodded, and that is what I am hoping....we shall see what we shall see.....stay  This could be the most money I've spent on Newell maintenance in a single year.  My maintenance costs have run about $1,000 per year, pretty low compared to other Newell owners I know, so we've been pretty lucky over the years that all we've had to do is essentially replace the tires every 7 years, change the oil/filters and coolant every 10,000 miles.  I did have to replace the rear brake drums and shoes 3 years ago, which cost around $2,600, but that's the biggest Newell invoice I've had to pay in 14 years.....the radiator may top that if it must be re-cored.

After getting home, and relating the developments to TLE I had some lunch, and took a longish nap....riding almost 40 miles over two days tuckered me out. TLE prepared meatloaf for dinner.....I love meatloaf night as I know I'll be getting a meatloaf sandwich within a couple of days, and I really love her meatloaf sandwiches....yum!

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