Al - you're sooo right. I noticed that he didn't ground his rig. We were nuts about grounding our little 2,000 gallon fuel trucks before hooking up to a plane. At least once a year we'd hear about some poor guy that got burned because a static charge ignited the fuel vapors between the nozzle and the wing.
Dennis - I bought the "lifetime warrantee" starter from AutoZone ($55). Didn't really have a choice as they were the only guys open and I needed to get on the road. What exactly where they thinking running the exhaust RIGHT THERE? I give it a year before it goes. That old 454 starts up on the first crank now.
I knew the old one was on its way out but was in denial. Here's the blow by blow of departure day - mostly because I think it’s funny [now]:
12:00 - announce to staff I'm leaving at 3:00 to get to our customer in St. Louis - I still need to pack, get LP and about 20 - 30 gallons of water on board.
2:40 - Customer in PA has a failed process and I'm the only one who knows how it works.
4:15 – Customer is fixed. Remind my assistant that we need to train someone else on this process.
4:20 – Announce “now I'm leaving - no really”.
5:30 - Walk out the door.
5:40 - Batteries on, walk around check, start the RV, no air pressure. What? I just replaced the valve. Co-worker comes out to check on me. Do you hear that noise? What noise? Sounds like air leaking.
6:00 - Pull [newly installed] "check valve" and realize when I said "check valve" at Grainger he thought "relief valve" Oops. Curse myself for not checking getting this up to pressure sooner as I think it opened at about 80 psi.
6:10 - Start calling truck places. Three no’s; got a yes at number four.
6:20 - Drive across town show up at GMC trucks - oops not in stock, he begins calling around.
6:30 - Drive another five minutes to the other place that does have one in stock. Purchase new Bendix check valve for $17.50 (Happy again)
6:40 - Since I'm near my house now, I stop in, pack, eat a "standing dinner" kiss the kids and wife - I'll get water along the way.
7:40 - Back at the office. Figure I'll get the valve installed and be out of here by 8:00 I'l be fine.
8:00 - OK, we have air. Leave the key on to build up pressure while I go in and map the route and check for a FlyingJ along the way for LP and water.
8:20 - Get in ready to go - won't start - drained coach battery. Work the frozen locker open where I keep the jumper cables and have jumped the house batteries into the coach battery. (I've been working the battery all week with my air pressure woes)
8:30 - Engine cranks then stops then cranks then SNAP - WHIIRRRRRR. Ooops, Back under the AS.
8:35- Find a piece of the starter gear. Back into the office and start calling and searching online for starters.
8:40 - The guy at AutoZone say's they are open until ten and he has one in stock.
9:20 - Arrive at AutZone with the old starter - basically I shattered the gear off. BTW - AutoZone is about 1 mile from the store where I got the Bendix - just for fun I think
9:30 Back at the RV. Pull the flywheel cover, recover the missing piece of the starter, check the flywheel for damage (I was lucky), install the new starter, bolt everything back up.
10:05 - Start the AS. Breathe
10:15 - Pull out for St. Louis.
Does this always happen when you absolutely need to leave and be somewhere? Seems like these old gals "know" and try to mess with you. But - as I put her back in her spot today I still looked back on my way into the office. She may be old and tired with a lot of broken gizmos...but...well ya know.
You already heard the bag story and the smoke from the generator is of enough concern that it's worthy a seperate post.