Friday, May 24, 2013

Mechanical Update: Cumulative

For those of you wondering how Chuck is doing on his longest roadtrip ever; look no further.  Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty.

As you know, Chuck was terrified of Central American roads.  So much so, that he attempted to fake lameness in a Wal-Mart parking lot in OK.  Since then, Chuck has mostly given up on lame attempts to get us to turn back, and is mostly having small problems to keep me on my toes. 

On Mexico’s south-west coast, he developed a spastic turn signal issue, that I finally traced to a cracked solder joint, in the multifunction flasher relay/unit.  When beating on the fuse panel fixes a wiring problem, you know its time for investigation. 
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Here is the dirty little bastard apart.  I had to drop the fuse panel to pull it.
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One free internet to the person who can spot the cracked solder joint on this PCB.

DSC02856 I then got my solder on; well I had to hunt for a outlet first.

A few minutes and some super-glue later, Chuck was street legal once more. 

Somewhere in Guatemala the high-pressure water line under the sink developed a leak.  Can you say wet dishes?  Took me a couple of days to track it down to a nick in the water line under a hose clamp.  Why it waited until the middle of nowhere to spring, I cannot comment.  A roll of paper towels, and an hour on my back had this one beat. 

As explained in Tubo de Escape and Other Capers, on the way to Semuc Champey, we trashed a tire on some hidden debris, 8-ply sidewalls?  Meaningless.  The next day we had some more exhaust carnage.  Much more than we experienced on road construction in the Grand Tetons.   We got this damage partially repaired in Guatemala City, the muffler itself is internally damaged.  We got it patched up in a dirt yard on some Sketchy (yes, sketchy with a capital S) ramps in León, Nicaragua.
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Certainty in the skills of “El Aguila” was not inspired on first site.  However, they had an actual sign, which counts for way more than it should down here. 
 
DSC03930 Chuck gets a lift, the 2nd edition.  No amount of money would convince me to work under there.

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Your friendly neighborhood Nicaraguan muffler dudes. 
At this point there was a guy directly behind us (I kid you not) repairing/assembling/body-working a car with a hammer, chisel, and some sketchy pliers.  It had been in a total-out-worthy head-on collision. I will say that it looked nearly drivable.  

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With the outlet welded up and braced, we were set to go.

We have had this intermittent (read; impossible to replicate for testing) power loss issue.  Usually (but not always) happens when going uphill.  Nearly complete power loss at upper throttle levels, backfiring, and poor idle.  Stop the engine for a few minutes, or a few rough bumps/turns and it goes away.  Might be a wiring issue, could be junk in the fuel tank/filters.  It isn’t bad enough to be fixable.  So until another symptom appears, I am just gonna roll it.  Or maybe I will get bored and starting tearing things apart.  Meh, its way too hot to be that motivated…

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