Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Day 26

It doesn't look like it's going to be a simple fix with the truck. I had asked the service advisor yesterday why the mechanic thought it was a clutch problem and not simply the hydraulic master/slave cylinder. This morning he had the answer. The hydraulic system is still under pressure i.e. no leaks. Some Internet research of my own last night explained how a slipping clutch couldn't really be felt until it really failed but could generate enough heat for the friction material to stick to the flywheel and pressure plate. The slipping would occur under heavy load such as towing uphill. Pressing the clutch pedal several times in succession will sometimes free the clutch disc. This is exactly what I had observed while on the numerous grades last week. At the top of one pass, I thought I smelled burning brakes. I had assumed that it was one of the tractor trailer rigs that I had passed. That smell was probably from the clutch slipping.

So, we will probably be in Redding for a while. I've been calling the dealer a couple of times per day to get an update. Tomorrow morning, the mechanic is scheduled to pull the transmission.

A brief tank/valve update. The black tank valve that is buried in the underbelly of the 5th wheel does leak. But the good news is that the tank is not clogged and the valve does sort of open and close. At the suggestion of Ken from Keller-RV, I will just be using the valve on the exit pipe for dumping the black tank. The grey tank valve works fine and that will be used to flush the plumbing and hose after the black tank is drained. This does somewhat limit our boondocking ability and RV park procedures. Not optimal but it'll work. And I'll just plan on changing out the leaking valves when I get back home. Just about all of the screws holding the plastic underbelly in place are rusted in place.

The awning has a stretcher/support in the middle due to its length. After some googling I found an installation guide so I know how to use it. While travelling, it supports the middle of the roller and when deployed, it help stretch out the awning fabric in the middle of its span. The awning is around 20 feet long. Which is long for a roll up awning. 

14 comments:

  1. Richard that is so frustrating. Hopefully when they get it back together you'll have a stronger clutch

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    1. Well, it is what it is. No problems would be preferable but nothing mechanical is perfect. Maybe that's something I picked up from riding the Ural. Since it is a dealer doing the work I'm expecting stock. Maybe Dodge has learned something over the last 12 years. The 2005 that I have was the first year for the dual-mass flywheel assembly and since then the engine output has only increased.

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  2. I hope the issue will get fixed soon, Richard. Redding might not be the worst place to be stuck in, but I am guessing that you are eager to get going.

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    1. Yep, not the worst place to be "stuck" in but I'd rather be on the road again.

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  3. While I am glad they are getting your truck issues sorted out, it is sad that your trip plans have been interrupted for so long.

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    1. Tomorrow's post is about flexibility. It is nice not to be on a strict timeline.

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  4. Hope it's just a matter of replacing the clutch plates!

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  5. So what is the fix?? I'm on pinterhooks! Hey, does the RV door have a little wheel to run along the awning to keep from tearing it? It just like a little pulley wheel mounted at an angle at the outer corner of the door. Works great.

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    1. I still think it's hydraulic and that's what they are looking into again. The mechanic had taken a long test drive yesterday but it seemed fine. I mentioned again what it was doing and when it happened and the service writer finally thinks it's hydraulic as well. The Dodge uses a sealed hydraulic system (unfortunately) but if there is moisture in the fluid it could bubble under high temperatures. The clutch slave cylinder is somewhere near the exhaust down pipe and I was seeing exhaust temperatures of 900°F on some of the long grades and that was when it was happening.

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    2. Thank you for the suggestion on the little rollers for the door. I was just thinking about picking one of those up.

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    3. Any way to fab a heat shield for the clutch slave cylinder or no room? Are you saying a thorough bleed of the hydraulic system involved would solve this?

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    4. Possibly. Or maybe a heat shield that used to be there is missing. I think that if it was moisture in the fluid the whole "sealed" system would be replaced. But that's just st my thought. I haven't talked to them this morning.

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  6. Wow, frustrating, but two things we've learned on our RV trips: "stuff is gonna happen" and being flexible is key! Glad you are able to be flexible in your plans!

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