Friday, June 14, 2013

Good News, Bad News

Good news, bad news has been the way of everything the last couple days it seems.

Earlier this week I ordered the new exhaust parts for the motorhome, and also the new master cylinder. Unfortunately, the muffler got 'left behind' and didn't arrive with everything else. It will arrive tomorrow, and I got a small refund for the situation.

The above picture is of my new master cylinder for the brakes. If you've never changed one it's really quite easy. Disconnect the two lines going in, and then there's two bolts holding it the the big black thing (power booster) next to it. If you don't have a power booster you would have to a little more with the linkage to the brake pedal but still not hard! And then bleed the brakes to get any air out of the lines.

Thankfully, I diagnosed that one right the first time. And my brakes are now fixed. They used to stop, but when at an intersection my brake pedal would lose pressure and sink to the floor after about 15 seconds. No more. I've actually sat with the motorhome in Drive for 10 minutes and the brake pedal applied (while diagnosing something else) and the brake pedal stayed firm the entire time. I also took it for a drive again and it was nice not to have to repump the brakes at stop signs.

My dad and I finally compression tested all the cylinders today too. I've been afraid to do it, for the very reason that happened. Two of the cylinders have way lower pressure than the others. That's a bad thing. As for the fix, I'm still looking into what I might need to do. Might be my first major-ish engine work. Either way, it distracted me from my big goal of doing exhaust work today and I ended up pulling the valve covers off. The valve cover gaskets have been leaking and I had replacements for them to put on anyway. I didn't see any problems that stood out. Above picture is my driver's side valve cover. And the inside is below.


I cleaned it up quite a bit, but not great. The picture is before cleaning. No after pictures. Second picture is the old gasket. Very hard. brittle, and was pretty much in two pieces before I even tried to get it out. I've actually never removed a valve cover myself before, but again a very easy project. 5 small bolts per cover. Main thing is to not over tighten when reinstalling.

That's what's hiding under the valve cover. Otherwise, I didn't get anything done with the exhaust like I had planned. I did work on it, but ended the day with no major accomplishments. The bolts from the manifold to the pipe are proving difficult to get out. The first one was super easy and gave me false hope. The muffler and tailpipe weren't separating either. In the end I think I'll be cutting everything off. Just need to figure out what kind of cutting device I can get in there to cut the bolts off from the manifold/pipe. Small space.
I'll probably be putting 'real' work into the engine now, but it's also an option to just ignore the issue and keep driving it as is. Could last a long time. Might fail tomorrow.
Somehow I've become better at posting YouTube videos than I am at taking pictures and keeping updates here. I never would have thought that would happen, and I'm doing my best to keep both going and informative. The downside is that some things are being mentioned one place and not the other. As always, you can see my most recent YouTube videos over on the right side of the page.

Today slightly feels like I hit a major setback with the compression issues, but I'm still more excited than ever and feel like it can't possibly be too much longer before this stops being about vehicle repair and more about the actual goal of living in a motorhome!

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