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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Studying Hard

Yep, it's that time again.  Tomorrow is the day I have been anxiously awaiting for (not).

This time, I procured a different prescription for the pipe flushing.  It (so far) has been pretty easy to get down...and keep down.  I got some great advice from some of my blog readers on how to make the preparation part a bit more pleasant.  So I've stocked up.

Since I have to fast all day today, green Jello and the chicken broth are all I'm allowed to eat. The Gatorade is to help wash down the prep liquid.  Nothing better than sitting in front of the TV and seeing food commercial after food commercial when you're hungry.

In between the juicy looking burgers and french fry commercials on TV, I ran out and did a couple of errands.

Yesterday, I spent several hours giving the Journey a well deserved washing.  I think I've removed most of the bugs from several of the states we passed through on our Branson trip.  I like to wash the Journey, it gives me great satisfaction to see it gleaming when it's done.

Afterwards, it was off to the storage lot.  When I got to the lot, I went to unhook the Element so I could back the Journey into its parking space.  As I pulled the tow bar pins, I noticed a steady drip coming from the back of the Journey's radiator area.  My first thought was that it was some leftover water dripping from the washing.  Just to be sure, I stuck my hand under the drip, collected a drop on my finger and tasted it.  It was not water, it was antifreeze, which tastes very much like my prep medicine.

Now it was an "All Stop Bell" (Nautical term meaning stop engines).  I crawled underneath the Journey to look for the antifreeze leak.  It didn't take long to find that the hose clamp on the lower radiator hose was loose and it was the source of the drip.  I took some tools from my tool box and tightened the clamp to stop the drip.  Of course, I did not have my camera with me. :c(

The clamp was an original factory clamp and it looked pretty cheesy, not unusual from vehicle manufacturers, it is common that they use lower quality clamps to save money.  I also could see why it was loose.  A couple of weeks back I had the engine antifreeze drained, the cooling system flushed and new antifreeze installed.  I'm sure the Freightliner mechanic that did the job loosened the clamp and pulled the hose away from the radiator to drain the system twice rather than use the tiny radiator drain plug.  The old "Time is Money" syndrome.

The cheesy clamp being loosened, tightened, loosened, tightened, then loosened and tightened again was more than it could take and it failed to hold tight.  I'm just glad it held tight enough to get me through the 2000 plus miles we drove on out Branson trip. 

I checked the coolant level in the radiator tank and saw it was down quite a bit.  So today, I headed over to the Freightliner service center and talked to the service manager.  As I had already figured, he did not own up to the issue, so I just went over to the parts department and bought two gallons of antifreeze.  I had checked to see which antifreeze they had installed, there are two types and you can't mix them. Then it was off to Lowe's and spent a whopping $1.38 and bought a new, heavy duty hose clamp which I'm going to replace the original clamp with.  Yes, you know I bought a couple more clamps as spares.

I know that you can overheat a diesel engine by lugging it when going up steep hills, instead of downshifting to lower gears to keep the engine spinning faster and blowing more air through the radiator to keep the engine cool.  I was watching my temperature gauge religiously and it remained normal, so I don't think I lost too much coolant.

I'm glad I caught the leak, I'd hate to think of sitting on the side of the road with an overheated engine.

Now if I can just keep myself from overheating as I study for my procedure tomorrow, all will be well.  :c)

Thanks for visiting and feel free to leave a comment.


  1. Round two is upon you! Hope this round goes easier! :)

    Say, since it gives you such a sense of accomplishment, could you PLEASE wash my Adventurer? We Winnebago types have to stick together, you know? :)

  2. Loved the last pic. Hope all goes well. Sure am glad you found the leak and got the new clamp before you headed out on another journey.

  3. And after you wash Judy's Adventurer, you can wash ours! Just think....this time tomorrow your test will be recorded in the grade book!

  4. And, after you wash everyone else's rig, hop on over here and wash ours. Oh ... we have some vehicles, a boat a couple ATVs and the list goes on. We'll certainly keep you busy.

  5. Good luck tomorrow, Paul! Glad you gave yourself something else to think about besides your plumbing :)

  6. Our rig is next in line?

    Seeing as you are doing such a good job and all...... heh heh

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard

  7. Lets hope the Doc is not going to use any cheesey inspection gear:)

  8. I've been thinking of you all day wondering if today or tomorrow was the BIG day. Hang in there, it will be over quickly. I can't wait to see your next post for the "rest of the story".

  9. Oh YUCK, the prep meds taste like anti-freeze?? Sure hope this one's the charm for you. I'm not doing it until they all have the pill.

  10. Good luck on your procedure. Can't wait to here how it 'came out'. Ha!

  11. I like a shiny rig too, but this washing it thing must be a man thing; Mui enjoys doing it himself too. Good luck with the prep and the procedure.

  12. Before you know it, it will all be a distant memory. Go somewhere good to eat tomorrow after!

  13. Best of luck with round 2. Having gone through it this past summer, I have but one thing to say... enjoy the versed (Midazolam -- used to produce sleepiness or drowsiness and to relieve anxiety before surgery or certain procedures. Midazolam is also given to produce amnesia (loss of memory) so that the patient will not remember any discomfort or undesirable effects that may occur after a surgery or procedure.)

    Our Best to you...

  14. Good luck with round 2...Stu has his prep next Sunday and procedure Monday afternoon.