As you can tell from the title, we have had an unexpected adventure. The situation is resolved as I write, but l’ll tell the tale chronologically.
Before we left Boise we had an intermittent noise in the truck engine and took it in to be checked out. They couldn’t reproduce the noise so we departed Boise Monday morning after Randy’s treatment. Destination was Elkhart, Indiana and back by August 15.
The noise got worse and more consistent as we pulled the trailer to Idaho Falls. We were visiting Idaho Falls because it was a reasonable day’s travel from Boise, Garcia’s Mexican Restaurant is there, as is the Museum of Idaho.
We have been to the Museum of Idaho twice before, weekend trips from Boise, to see traveling exhibits on Egyptology and the Titanic. This time the exhibit was about Space Voyage, one of Randy’s passions.
Randy found the exhibit very interesting but it was mostly beyond me since space travel is not one of my passions. I found some low tech tidbits that interested me such as the last minute save on the first lunar landing. With only 30 seconds of fuel remaining and ignoring alarms, Neil Armstrong took manual control of the Eagle to avoid crashing into a lunar boulder field, and barely made it to the “Sea of Tranquility.” (Randy already knew that.) Salt and pepper are a liquid in space because the solid particles float around causing problems for astronauts and equipment. Earth’s gravity escape velocity is 25,000 miles per hour.
We look comfortably plump in these infrared scans! I don’t know why.
Following our museum visit and lunch at Garcia’s, Randy took the truck to a Ford diesel mechanic AGAIN. The mechanic thought the problem was either the turbocharger or exhaust manifolds. Saying neither would damage the engine in the short term, we kept on toward Boulder, Wyoming to see cousins Marilyn and Lynn and their new cabin.
We had a nice time with Marilyn and Lynn and their cabin is beautiful.
Back to our adventure… During our first day in Boulder the truck noise got worse. The Check Engine light came on and we decided Randy should take the truck to Rock Springs, 90 minutes south, to get it diagnosed and fixed.
We were concerned about pulling the trailer given the truck situation so the trailer, Elko and I stayed at the very nice RV Park in Boulder.
The service department in Rock Springs worked us in and looked at our truck Thursday morning. They were uncertain if the problem was only the exhaust manifolds or the manifolds and the turbocharger. They began manifold work right away but could not determine the state of the turbocharger until that work was done. If it was just the manifolds they could be done on Friday, if it was both we would been staying around until Tuesday.
Both of those scenarios were better than getting stranded on the side of the road if the truck broke down who knows where with us needing to get a tow for both the truck and the trailer.
The Ford dealership loaned Randy a truck so we had transportation back and forth to the cabin and back and forth to Rock Springs. Randy has been very pleased with their service. As I write Friday afternoon, Randy is on the way back from Rock Springs with our truck, the fourth 90 minute trip he has taken in 2 days.
Unfortunately, our extended warranty was well over the mileage expiration (not the date expiration we were planning on) so this repair is on our own dime – or dollar – or thousands of dollars. $2162 to be precise – $1500 in labor, and miscellaneous other charges, to replace $26 in gaskets! But, it is presumably fixed and we can be on our way tomorrow with just slight changes to our route and schedule.
Unfortunately for Randy, the first 90 minutes are again south through Rock Springs!