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Old 08-10-2019, 11:40 AM   #1
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On the road repair ingenuity

So, I'm a half-competent backyard mechanic and repair person. I can do most mechanical and minor electrical repairs myself. I also pride myself on finding innovative ways to repair broken things... but I have to say I was out-performed on this one.

I noticed that the sewer pipe support strap had rusted through and broken at some point, probably before I even bought the coach, but I only noticed it recently.

So I went to the hardware store and bought a 10' role of galvenized pipe strap, assembled the couple of tools I thought I'd need, raised the van enough to get a creeper under it, and found that the factory had apparently used a TON of Dicor or some other sealant to seal the rust in on the bolt holding the broken strap... no worries... dug it all out and replaced the strap without drama. HOWEVER, while I was under the van I also noticed the vibration-strap on the generator's exhaust pipe. It too had apparently broken at some time in antiquity, which isn't unusual.

I've replaced a couple of those over the years... but what WAS unusual was the "temporary" repair that had been done... again perhaps in antiquity. They'd used wire ties to tie the exhaust pipe back to the support strap. I've seen wire, and galvenized pipe strap (like I used) but using a dozen wire ties was a new one. Innovative as well, and to my surprise, none of them seemed to have been singed at all. So I have to hand it to whoever did it, it was certainly an out-of-the-box idea that stood the test of time!

As I don't have a spare exhaust hangar, and can't get one until after I'm back from this next trip, I too jury-rigged a new hangar strap using standard 3/4" galvanized pipe strap. It'll hold until I can get a new hangar ordered.

Anyway, this was so innovative, I just had to share it.
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Old 08-10-2019, 02:46 PM   #2
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85MH325 - that wire-tie fix is about as wonky of a fix I have ever seen. I would guess it wasnt meant to be permanent because stainless steel tie-wraps or same galva straps you used would've been better. But I agree, resourceful fix maybe that's all they had on the road.

PS: I do carry lots of super long plastic & stainless steel wire ties and extra 15A orange extension cords which can be cut to act as excellent padded ties. Then I can still re-use the remnant by connecting new plug on it. I ought to carry some of the galva strap rolls I have at home.

I also carry a dozen of these bike rack straps I have from home. They are strong and are made for extended exposure to UV. It took years for my friend to have one break after daily exposure to desert sun
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:01 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Alex AVI View Post
85MH325 - that wire-tie fix is about as wonky of a fix I have ever seen. I would guess it wasnt meant to be permanent because stainless steel tie-wraps or same galva straps you used would've been better. But I agree, resourceful fix maybe that's all they had on the road.

PS: I do carry lots of super long plastic & stainless steel wire ties and extra 15A orange extension cords which can be cut to act as excellent padded ties. Then I can still re-use the remnant by connecting new plug on it. I ought to carry some of the galva strap rolls I have at home.

I also carry a dozen of these bike rack straps I have from home. They are strong and are made for extended exposure to UV. It took years for my friend to have one break after daily exposure to desert sun
Where does one get those straps?
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Old 08-10-2019, 05:11 PM   #4
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Where does one get those straps?
GMFL - I got mine from my local bike shop but any place that carries bike racks. I have seen them in Amazon, REI, Performance Bikes, even eBay online. Different manufacturers Thule, Yakima, etc. have different designs & lengths, so just need to figure out which one you like better & how long you want. Personally, I would get the longest coz you can cut them down.That's usually 14-17" for the longest I have seen coz they only made to strap bicycle tubes or handlebars. They work & sized like thick rubber bungee cords with adjustable attachment points.

Works well , last long time, and dont need to read instructions on how to use
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:31 AM   #5
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Paradigm shift:

I am increasingly using wire ties on those elements of the van which do not require nuts and bolts.

It partly goes back to the issue of the entire universe of automotive mechanics being calibrated to male hands, which are, by published references, almost twice the strength of female hands (I think I griped about that on the Maintenance thread, with data).

For instance, I had to remove the protective cover over the propane regulator before leaving Houston, to check the spec. It was held on with two small nuts and bolts, and you can guess how that worked out: LB_3 ended up removing it for me, because I detest struggling where I should not have to struggle due to poor ergonomics. Pet peeve.

I put the protective cover back on myself, but with small wire ties rather than new nuts and bolts. In that application, there's just no need. When the cover eventually must be removed again, I've got wire cutters in my fancy tool kit, and I will just snip them off, no hassle.
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Old 08-11-2019, 05:52 AM   #6
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Good job there, 85MH325!

The crank part in my drivers side door failed the day I set out in June, and when the guy took the door apart to replace it he found it held together with zip ties from a precious fail.

Zip ties and duct tape...essential items for on-the-road emergencies.

Maggie
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:37 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InterBlog View Post
Paradigm shift:

I am increasingly using wire ties on those elements of the van which do not require nuts and bolts.

It partly goes back to the issue of the entire universe of automotive mechanics being calibrated to male hands, which are, by published references, almost twice the strength of female hands (I think I griped about that on the Maintenance thread, with data).

For instance, I had to remove the protective cover over the propane regulator before leaving Houston, to check the spec. It was held on with two small nuts and bolts, and you can guess how that worked out: LB_3 ended up removing it for me, because I detest struggling where I should not have to struggle due to poor ergonomics. Pet peeve.

I put the protective cover back on myself, but with small wire ties rather than new nuts and bolts. In that application, there's just no need. When the cover eventually must be removed again, I've got wire cutters in my fancy tool kit, and I will just snip them off, no hassle.
Quite frankly, I use a bazillion wire ties on things as well... where it's merely a matter of holding something together, and neither aesthetics nor brute bolt-down force are at issue.

I thought that putting flammable materials in a supporting structure in contact with a hot exhaust pipe was just a little flaky. I mean, it's fine if it's a temporary repair and you're just trying to get it home, YOU know about it, and YOU don't run YOUR genset until it's properly repaired, but this was an OLD repair... and I've got a number of hours on the genset now with zip-ties holding the exhaust pipe! Amazingly, none of them were melted or even singed.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:39 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Good job there, 85MH325!

The crank part in my drivers side door failed the day I set out in June, and when the guy took the door apart to replace it he found it held together with zip ties from a precious fail.

Zip ties and duct tape...essential items for on-the-road emergencies.

Maggie
In my early years, it was baling wire. Then "safety wire" (as it was known in the Navy) and duct tape. NOW it's zip ties and various colors of duct tape! BTW, I know now from personal experience that white duct tape will extend the life of a $100 Penguin AC cover at least four years after it begins cracking. The experiment continues, I'm sure, but on a B-Van I sold in June... so I can't follow it any longer.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:59 AM   #9
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My dad still uses waxed nylon string to tie wires and misc. things together. Learned that back in the day before zip ties.
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Old 08-11-2019, 10:05 AM   #10
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On the road repair ingenuity

Also known as lacing cord. Came in various colors, usually waxed, and either round or flat.

Somewhat of a lost technique, but I have a big spool of waxed lacing cord in flat and black, and still remember how to use it.

Nothing quite so tidy and neat as a well-laced wire bundle. (Or quite so hard to take apart, repair or modify, and then re-lace it!)

Tie-wraps are very quick, but not as tidy, and the little lock thingie is a bunch fatter than a lacing cord with proper knots in it.
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Old 08-11-2019, 08:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lily&Me View Post
Good job there, 85MH325!

The crank part in my drivers side door failed the day I set out in June, and when the guy took the door apart to replace it he found it held together with zip ties from a precious fail.

Zip ties and duct tape...essential items for on-the-road emergencies.

Maggie
I would add bailing wire to your list of invaluable repair materials.
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Old 08-11-2019, 09:00 PM   #12
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Duct tape has previously been mentioned. But I'd like to add that it helps if it is of heavy duty variety, especially when it come to tear strength and adhesive bond.

Gorilla tape got us home when the windshield rubber decided to detach on the driver's side (at 70 mph), and once more when the leading edge of a tank heater pad decided to let go (caught it on camp pre-departure check when it had just started).

Permanently fixed both items when we got home, but not because the Gorilla tape had failed.
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Old 08-12-2019, 07:55 PM   #13
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Permanently fixed both items when we got home, but not because the Gorilla tape had failed.
ROWIEBOWOE - I can understand aesthetic reason for fixing up the windshield even though Gorilla did not fail. But why fix the heater pad when Gorilla did better job than OEM adhesive? My OEM adhesive on grey tank heater pad started peeling off on 2 months after we bought AI. Used 3M 10lb. clear doublesided while in campground, still stuck on there, I leaving it be
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Old 08-13-2019, 06:30 AM   #14
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Interesting repair #2 Sewer hose storage tube

So, since I bought my '04 T1N Interstate, I've only dumped the tanks twice. The coach came with a new hose with fittings including a back-fill, back-flush device that actually works better than I'd expected. However, the whole apparatus was, of course, way too large to fit the OEM hose compartment.

The hose compartment is the door-in-the-sidewall with a tube behind it, not the PVC chassis hang-under.

So, as I'm planning a trip and need all the storage compartments inside for cargo, I decided to put a standard dump hose in the compartment and leave the fancy flush-thingy in the shed. I put the hose in the compartment and it went in as designed for a couple of feet, and then promptly just snaked onto the driveway! I crawled under the van to find that the aluminum dryer vent hose tube that normally holds the sewer dump hose had just rotted; a large hole opened and the tube just fell out, end first.

Fortunately, I still had the rear tires on leveling blocks from crawling under it to replace the strapping on the sewage dump tube and the generator exaust, so that was a step I didn't need to do.

The door assembly is removed with ten screws. There's a metal strap that holds the tube up to the chassis. The old tube just disintegrated as I pulled it out. It has a plastic cap on the far end, held to the tube by three pop rivets. At the door end, the tube was held to the door assembly by four pop rivets and duct tape.

It was a straight-forward replacement job that took about an hour start to finish. The only catch is that the tube snakes around the shower pan drain and some wiring, and doesn't make a straight-shot into the undercarriage. The strap has to be loosened to get the new tube in without damage. Once in, however, the sewer hose slid right in!

And so now, the sewer hose storage dilemma is resolved and I have a couple of cubic feet of in-cabin storage back as well. The fancy back-flush hose assembly can live in the shed until I need to clean the tank again.
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