Let’s catch up on a few things

Let’s catch up on a few things. First of all, it is difficult to write this blog when we are not on the road – after all, it was intended to be a travelogue! Secondly, things have been quite hectic and writing this post always seems to be a bit low on the priority list. So the following are a few things that have been going on. Family. We have been catching up on spending time with our girls and their families. We have had some quality time with the two youngest granddaughters. Two of the grandsons called to ask if I would take them to the junkyard (is the Pope Catholic?). We had a great time at a wrecking yard that specializes in cars out of the ’40s and ’50s. We made a great day of it. We have had to stay in touch with one family via phone, because of schedules and various bouts with colds/flue/etc. We did have a really fun lunch with our daughters to celebrate their birthdays. It was just like the old days – just the five of us. We still love to get together with all the family, but this was a very special day. Work. I have been very upset with our web hosting company (Earthlink). I finally decided that we had to migrate all of our personal and business web sites to another service. We chose Go Daddy. They seem to be a good service with domestic support. We have been able to reduce our monthly cost by about $50. The project was huge. I have had to set up a new credit card processing company and rebuild the e-store for rvsafetysystems.com. Rebuilding the e-store will take a lot of time and will take place over the next few months. Earthlink support for web hosting was not bad at first (several years ago) but is now staffed by offshore folks who barely speak English and don’t have a clue. Worse yet they don’t care. For the past several years, they have occasionally lost some of our email. Fortunately we have it backed up with a different service. Bus. Those of you following our engine problems will recall that we had a problem with the engine that got progressively worse. In July, the problem became bad enough that we had to park the bus. I removed the engine and took it to the local Detroit Diesel dealer. What should have been an $8K rebuild ended up being quoted at $15K. That was way more than we could scrape together. I bought a recently rebuilt engine and then attempted to get my engine back from the dealer. The wanted $2K for about 4 hours labor to tear the engine down. The following was a post I made on one of the bus bulletin boards – it details the most recent events. The Shepherd engine saga continues. Stewart Stevenson is no longer holding my engine for ransom!!! Those of you following the horror story about my Series 60 engine problem, will recall that I bought another used engine in Ogden UT. This engine has 200k on a documented DDC dealer rebuild. However, I needed to get my engine back from SS. I had taken it down there expecting to pay for “Step 1” or “Step 2” rebuild. The damage turned out to be worse and the final estimate was over 15K. I then tried to get the engine back, but they wanted almost $2K for the tear down and inspection. In truth they had started work on the engine and were trying to recoup some of their costs. I have been negotiating with them for the past couple of months. Finally, I made a proposal that they keep the block and head as a core (thus they could benefit from their work) and I would get almost all of the other equipment (ECM, turbo, air compressor, shallow pan, clutch/flywheel, etc) plus all of my special fabricated parts. They agreed and said that they would call it even. I was amazed at their offer. Maybe the branch manager got tired of my emails and phone calls. So, I ended up with $2-3K in parts and no bill to pay! The turbo, ECM and air compressor were new when I installed the engine, so I really wanted to keep them. Now, I have all of my parts and the FUN??? begins. Getting all the wiring and accessory parts assembled will be a bit of a challenge. The accessory configuration of the two engines was quite different as was the ECM “cab” wiring. Plus it has been so long that I have forgotten where some of the bus electrical and plumbing connections go. Nobody said this hobby was for the faint of heart. Since I made that post, I have been able to work with the dealer to obtain all of the sensors from the engine (as backup). I am installing the parts and getting ready to stuff the engine back in. Hopefully it will be back in the bus later this week. That catches us up on the big events since my last post.

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