It's a first for us. We had to leave the motorhome in OH on our way to CT from Louisville.
We left Monday afternoon at about 1:00. Somewhere outside of Columbus I noticed a strange vibration but at a fuel stop everything "looked" fine. Outside of Akron I heard a louder noise, pulled off at a rest stop and again - everything seemed normal. About a mile later I heard a high pitched whine (metal on metal) squeeling belts and a pop, the gauges showed a drop in voltage and a slow rise in water temp....must have thrown a belt.
Pulled off into BP and dumped a lot of coolant everywhere. Obviously not just a belt. Pulled the doghouse, saw the serpentine belt wrapped around everything and the fan sitting at a funny angle. Seems as if we broke the shaft on the water pump.
We decided to pack it in for the night so Suzanne made dinner and got the kids into bed while I removed the brackets and the old pump. The next morning I was at AutoZone at 6:50 waiting for them to open so I could be a new pump. Got the new pump and five hours later everything was re-installed.
I thought in a few minutes we'll test fire it and we'll be off. But when I was tensioning the belt for the hydroboost pump I push a little too hard with a large screw driver that is normally perfect for belt tensioning and I poked a hole in the side of the pump. After the alloted 20 minutes of swearing
I started calling around for a replacement. Turns out these things are hard to get. Three hours driving around in the toad visiting five part stores and no luck. Ended up coming back to the BP and made some temporary repairs to move it across the street to a storage yard (the owner let us park there for the week if we needed the time - very nice guy).
Finally was able to get a pump ordered from AutoZone but since it would not be in until Friday we decided to rent a car for the 6 hour drive to CT. Got here a few hours ago and immediately decided to party.
We're headed back on Saturday and the store manager should have a reman. pump for me, complete with the pulley and hoses switched over and ready to bolt in.
So here are the things I've learned:
1. Changing out a water pump from the top of an engine is a terrible process.
2. Just because you replaced a water pump two years ago as a preventative step does not necessarily improve reliability
3. Don't push on your hydroboost pump with a really big screwdriver.
4. Part guys are nice if you explain how you've managed to strand your family in a BP gas station on your way to a family holiday party.
5. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just can't fix everything.
I have mixed feelings about leaving the Airstream and the VW in Ohio while we wait for a part. On one hand I worry about it but on the other we needed to get out of there and hanging around waiting for a part would not have been the best marriage decision I could have made.
I know in the grand scheme of things it's just a $50 water pump and a $65 hydroboost pump - but man this one was a big mental bummer. In the past when things when wrong we could always coax her into making it the rest of the way. Leaving it behind felt terrible.