What a Difference a Week Makes . . .

This time last week we had days in the 50-60’s and nights in the 30’s, really nice. But now we’re seeing days in the high80’s and nights in the 60’s. Summer is here.




I called the park office this morning to extend our stay here until Saturday the 10th of June. Then I went through our schedule and updated it, pushing every thing back 4 days,  which still leaves us a few days of padding before we have to be back at the Colorado River TT on the 25th of June.

Later in the early afternoon I went outside to begin the change-out of the starter solenoid of our rig’s generator. When I started working on this problem, I was surprised to find that Cummins/Onan does not make the diesel engines in the generator. They’re actually 3 cylinder diesel engines made by Kubota.

Kubota Tag

Since all I had to do to swap out the solenoid was to remove the two nuts and pull it off after removing the 3 wires, and then install the new one in its place. I figured it would be easy peezy.

Wrong!

Yeah, the removal went just fine, and only took a couple of minutes.

Generator Solenoid Removed

But before I installed the new one, I wanted to check out the position of the yoke inside the starter, the part that the solenoid hooks into.




Here’s the yoke in the new starter.

New Generator Solenoid Yoke

And  here’s the pin on the end of the solenoid that fits into the yoke.

New Generator Solenoid Pin

The solenoid pin is easier to fit into the yoke if it’s pulled forward, so I used my phone to take a photo of the yoke, and here’s what I found.

Generater Solenoid Burnt Yoke

I’m not sue why, but the left fork of the yoke was blackened and a little melted. So after thinking for a few minutes, my solenoid replacement had morphed into a full starter/solenoid change-out.



Still easy peezy, right? I mean it’s two bolts and off it comes, right?

Nope!

The top bolt was no problem, so after loosening it I started on the bottom one. And there things came to a halt. I could just barely feel the bottom bolt head with my fingers, and when I tried to fit my ratchet into place the handle was too long to allow it to ratchet due to hitting the frame rail.

So I I tried my 12mm box end, which was short enough to move, but with the time it took me to get the box end wrench seated back on the bolt head, and the small amount I could move it, I needed a better way.

So checking Lowes.com, I  found that the local store stocked a stubby 3/8 inch ratchet.

Stubby Ratchet

And since it was now almost 4pm, we were off to the Lowes in RC for a wrench and then on to HuHot Mongolian Grill for an early dinner.

Back at the rig, I was able to get the starter off without a lot more work and was now ready to install the new starter. I left the solenoid off because it looked like it would be a little easier to get the bolts started that hold the starter in place. And it was.

But unfortunately it also meant that I didn’t have enough clearance to get the pin on the solenoid seated in the slot of the yoke. So now the starter was going to come back out, the solenoid installed, and the starter put back on.

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But since the sun was going down, that’s a chore for tomorrow.



Thought for the Day:

Government is at best a necessary evil, at worst a millstone around the neck of the citizenry.

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4 Responses to What a Difference a Week Makes . . .

  1. Tom Cheshire says:

    I find that whenever you work on any engine it’s best to keep this in mind. Expect the unexpected and be prepared to do more than what it appears to need repairing. After that that it’s easy and I finally call a mechanic.😈

  2. Since you are not a Fulltime Mechanic it’s easy to see that you wouldn’t always have the right tool. It’s also easy to see why it would take you that long to make the repair but Hey You’re Retired take your time and do it right.

    How close to the exhaust manifold was that Starter Fork? Might need to install a heat shield.

    Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It’s about time.

    • gregwhite says:

      Rick,

      I use to have a stubby ratchet but I think my son ended up with it somewhere along the way.

      I tried to work on this in Bend OR, but the 40 degree days with snow and the 20 degree nights weren’t very conducive.

      That’s what’s strange. The starter is nowhere near the exhaust, and only the left fork is blackened and melted. There is no blackening anywhere else inside the starter.

      Thanks for reading our blog.

      Greg

  3. Linda in NE says:

    Nothing is ever as easy as you think it will be!

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