Traveling on the Al-Can Highway . . .

We were up at 7am, later than usual, since we didn’t have much to do to get on the road. In fact we didn’t even put out the satellite dish last night, but just listened to music on our Amazon Echo.



We had a nice site that I just treated as pull-in, easy due to how the power pedestals were configured.

Hi-Lo RV Site

Of course we had to have another breakfast at the Hi-Lo Café once again, especially since it was right up the hill and we had the free tokens for coffee that we got when we checked in the RV park.

Since we both had leftovers from yesterday’s breakfast, we decided to go smaller this time.

So rather than the full waffle, we got their 1/2 waffle combos.

Hi-Lo 2nd Breakfast

Still delicious, just less of it. And no leftovers to try and fit in the fridge.

The first time we ate at the Hi-Lo in 2011, I noticed this logo on their coffee cups.

Hi-Lo Al-Can Hwy Mug

When I ask about it, they said it’s true. US97 begins in Weed and runs all the way up to the Canadian border where it becomes PH97. Then PH97 runs up to Dawson Creek where it picks up the Al-Can name. The Al-Can stays US97 until it becomes PH1 as it passes from British Columbia into the Yukon Territory right before Watson Lake..

So I think they make a pretty good case.



Back at the rig we were pulling out of the park by 9:15, Jan following me in the truck so we could hook up on a side street.

Driving through the park, everything was fine and I had speedometer readings on both the dashboard and the Silverleaf.

That is, until I hit a bump. Then the problem was back.

Bummer!

Jan, as before, said other things.

So I just circled back around through town and right back into our space at the park. Looks like I was going to have to change out the sensor after all.

After I got shore power hooked up and the slide out, I walked up the hill to the office and told her that we were either back for an hour or so, or a day or so until we could get towed to Redding. She said no problem.

I did see this really nice 1949 Oldsmobile coupe parked by the office.

Hi-Lo 1949 Oldsmobile 1

Hi-Lo 1949 Oldsmobile 2

The emblem on the rear deck indicates that the original buyer paid the almost $200 extra cost for the optional HydraMatic automatic transmission,more than10% of the vehicle’s cost.



To make it a little easier to work under the rig I raised it up on the rear levelers as high as I could, giving me plenty of room. Next up I put a call into Jay, the Allison Tech Support guy, to ask him a question.

“When I pull this sensor out, am I going to have 150° Transynd pouring out on my  head?”

He said, “Good question. I don’t know. Let me check.”  And when he came back, he said, “No problem. It’s dry in there.”

Glad to know that I don’t have to worry about that.

Gathering all my needed tools, I was under the rig at 10:10 and done at 10:45.

Allison Speed Sensor Connector 1

The only slowdown was that I had to come out from under the rig to get my 18” cheater pipe from the truck to break the bolt loose.

Allison Speed Sensor Replacement 1

Pulling the old one out, I smeared a little oil from the O-ring on the old one to the new one, stuck it in, and then tighten the bolt back in place.

Allison Speed Sensor Replacement 2

So now for the big test. Either on to Bend, OR, or towed to Redding, CA in disgrace.

After I got cleaned up, we were pulling out of the park by 11:30 with Jan again following me in the truck. I told her that if it was working, I was going to make several loops (about 1/2 mile each) around the town. If the problem returned I would just pull back into the RV park.

Otherwise I would go round and round a few times until I was satisfied, and then pull back into the large parking lot where we were parked yesterday when we drove the truck to Redding for the part. Then we would hitch up there and get on US97 for Bend.

And even though I was deliberately hitting bumps, the problem never returned. And it never returned during our 4 hour trip up to Bend, 195 miles north. Smooth as silk.

We got in to the Bend/Sunriver Thousand Trails about 3:30, parked the rig in the big lot, and drove the truck around looking for a site. We found a nice one with 50 amp and water, and what I though was a good satellite shot. But no luck on that front so far.

Bend-Sunriver TT Site D24

The last time we were here in 2013 all these front sites had sewer hookups, but no longer. The caps are sealed at the sites, and the literature says several times that there are no sewer sites available. Guess they must have had problems with their septic system.

Wrapping up, I found it really funny that all of the techs I talked during this recent unpleasantness were amazed that I was actually working on this problem without hooking it up to a diagnostic computer first.

“How will you know what’s really wrong with it?”

As I said yesterday, I was very, very happy to hear it was a sensor problem. Sensor problems are easy. 95% of the time it’s one of two things – bad connector/wiring and a bad sensor. That’s it.

And I always play the odds.

Passport America, Save 50% on Campsites

In addition, I really wanted to keep the rig out of the shop. The one time our rig was in the shop was in 2012 when we were coming into Los Cruces, NM and the engine just quit running.

Towed into a Rush Truck Center, I was already down $500 just in diagnostic costs by the time they found the actual problem. That turned out to be a sensor on the fuel line feeding into the fuel injection system. Another sensor.

Then it was another $200 to actually fix the problem. But in the meantime they’re finding a lot of other stuff that “really needs to taken care of.” And some of it I did do.

But if I had done everything they suggested it would have been a little over 7 grand. As it was, my bill was almost $3000.00.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a little less hectic.


Thought for the Day:

If all the world is a stage, I would like to request better lighting and makeup.

gsfdgsdfg

11 Responses to Traveling on the Al-Can Highway . . .

  1. Snowbird says:

    Only curious, what don’t you have a set of diagnostic software and connection hardware?  New packages are pricie, but you wouldn’t need the latest generation.

    • gregwhite says:

      Snowbird,

      My Silverleaf computer interface has a function that lets me directly read the Cummins engine codes with a click of the mouse. But I had no codes relating to the transmission problem.

      And the specialized software/hardware to connect to the Allison transmission is $3200.00

      No thanks.

      Greg

  2. Mary Burge says:

    Congratulations! We are so jealous of your abilities. Your blogs since you departed the Houston area , have been absolutely entertaining . First thing this morning I just had to kmow if you guys made it to Bend. When I was growing up my Mom listened to radio shows like The Shadow and the anticipation of the next twist really hooked me and your journeys have reminded me.
    Additionally, we have been to some of these places you are traveling, reading about them and seeing the pictures brings up fond memories.
    If you get a chance, there is a very good restaurant/bakery by the name of Sparrow that is worth a trip to Bend.

    • gregwhite says:

      Mary,

      Thanks for the kind words. It means a lot ot me.

      We’ve checked out Sparrow on Yelp and we’ll definitely be going.

      Jan says twice.

      Greg

  3. Cat Lady says:

    Well, I’ve read the Comments and I still don’t see Nick’s “I Told You So”…ah, well, iit’s still early. I’m with Jan. Breaking down gets old quick. It’s good that you can repair things relatively easy. Must be a little redneck in the gene pool? My hubby used to MacGyver stuff, too. Nowadays, he whips out my credit card so fast that I’ve suggested he sell all the tools he’s collected over the years. From his reaction, you’d think I’d kicked the puppy so I guess that’s not going to happen. I’ve strongly suggested he outlive me; otherwise, I’m going to have a Craftsman sell right along side his casket at the wake. I’m sure to find buyers, don’t you think? Glad ya’ll are enjoying yourselves. Safe travels.

  4. Nick Russell says:

    I told you so! 🙂

    • gregwhite says:

      Nick,

      No, you don’t get to say the full “I told you so.” That was based on my having to do the repair at the side of the road, which I didn’t.

      Plus by the time I would have gotten around to it after supper it would have been getting dark enough that I would have needed lights under the rig.

      I did tell you that you were right, that it wasn’t really fixed. But telling you that you were right isn’t same as an “I told you so.”

      Not even close.

  5. You knew Nick was going to say that.

    Just glad you are back on the road and don’t have to worry about that problem happening again for a while.

    Would it be worth the cost to purchase a Code Reader. Probably $50.00 at Harbor Freight unless their on sale.

    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

    • gregwhite says:

      Rick,

      Nick doesn’t get to say “I told you so.” That was based on my having to do the repair at the side of the road, which I didn’t. Plus by the time I would have gotten around to it after supper it would have been getting dark enough that I would have needed lights under the rig.

      My Silverleaf computer interface has a function that lets me directly read the Cummins engine codes with a click of the mouse. But I had no codes relating to the transmission problem.

      And the software/hardware to connect to the Allison transmission is $3200.00

      No thanks.

      Greg

  6. Davy says:

    Glad you are going again, Greg. I am thankful it was a Relatively easy fix.

    Davy

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