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31  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: MICHELIN TIRE RECALL on: December 18, 2013, 02:11:21 pm
Our 2013 also has OO9X all around.
32  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Time for a new computer but what? on: November 18, 2013, 08:28:55 am
For travel, you will need a laptop computer.  For serious photography, you will need to get a top of the line computer.

I do a lot of photography, shoot in raw and edit in aperture and/or lightroom.  I use photoshop rarely.  I have a 2010 macbook pro w/ 8 gigs ram and it got so slow I had to find another option.  I upgraded to a SSD and it's like having a new computer.  If you are going to be editing large photos, you are going to at least need a MBP w/ 8 gigs and a fast HD or its windows equivalent.  Apple is very proud of their products and the price tags reflect the pride.  The downside to using a laptop for photography is calibrating the screen.  If you tilt it a 1/4" everything changes.  My thoughts anyway . Mark
33  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Drive line vibration diagnosis on: November 15, 2013, 02:25:06 pm
Holly & John, Panhandle Driveline owned/operated by William.  He answers the phone unless he's working on a job.   His shop is fairly new and I don't think he is very busy right now.  Since you are coming from out of town, you should talk to him for scheduling to get in and out asap. The shop located in Milton, FL about 3 miles north of I10 inside a mini storage unit.  He is set up for cars/pickups and doesn't have a way to lift RV's so he will either have to work under your PC or send it 'up the road' to an automotive shop to have the driveline dropped.  He chose to crawl under mine and do it himself.   I would guess that he will want to tweak the angles so he will likely want to remove/install the driveline himself.

There is not much going on in Milton, but if you are here, you should consider a day or two at either Ft. Pickens national seashore campground or further east towards Grayton Beach in Santa Rosa.  I have never stayed at either so I can't comment on the campgrounds themselves, but we used to boat to Ft. Pickens frequently.  Pickens has been a fort since colonial times up through WWII as well as a federal prison (housed Geronimo for a time).  The Santa Rosa area includes Seaside where the Truman Show was filmed.  Both have beautiful beaches, but the beautiful (and more wealthy) people spend their time on the Santa Rosa beaches.  Seaside is a quaint little town that has a Mayberry feel where everything is perfect (hence where the Truman Show was filmed), but it comes with a hefty price tag.  Maybe you should visit both.

Ron, thanks for the 'like'.  I can't begin to tell you how much I have benefited from your tips, suggestions, and you sharing information.  I'm happy to make a small contribution.  My next project is sound dampening. Mark
34  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Drive line vibration diagnosis on: November 15, 2013, 08:56:49 am
Captain's Log, Stardate 11/15.  I took the PC back to the driveline shop Monday after the owner bought some new parts to extend his balancing analyzer so it would hold the entire driveline.  He called me yesterday and said it was much improved, come and get it.  I did.  The damage was about $225.  On the way home, I drove it from speeds of 1 mph to 72 mph and all the vibration and noise is gone.  "Much improved" was an understatement.  It's fixed.  Hurray.  It took 7 trips to various shops, but it's now fixed and I can find something else to complain about!  For those on Facebook, do a search for Panhandle Driveline and you can see a video of the PC shaft on his machine spinning quite fast.  Oh, the fix was a rebalance job after the first rebalance job (and after Ford's original balance job).  He found a high spot at the second joint he couldn't see by balancing 2 shafts at a time.  He had to put all three on the machine.  Then he tweaked the angles by putting 2, 1 degree shims after the transmission and 3 shims before the axle.  I'm pleased and think for all the time the mechanic spent on it, I got out with good work a very fair price.  Mark
35  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Noisy converter? on: November 06, 2013, 10:11:38 am
I thought mine cycled on a lot and the manufacturer's info said it was so quiet I would probably not hear it. 

One man's quiet is another man's 1st row rock concert seat.  I find the converter fan is a restless beast cycling at what I would think should be low peak current draw times.  We try to ignore it. 
36  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: How i do Ham Radio with the 2350 on: November 02, 2013, 10:29:49 pm
What kind of screwdriver are you using and how did you ground it?  Where did you run the coax w/o drilling holes?  Is that a tuner under the radio or the control for the screwdriver?  Is that a ft100d?  I don't do much ham radio anymore since the advent of reliable cell communications, but would like to put a HF unit in my PC in the event we have an emergency that takes down cell service.  Looking for mounting points, all I find is a lot of fiberglass!  Mark
37  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Pin hole in the Sani Con hose on: November 01, 2013, 02:40:02 pm
Working off Sparky's comments, I think I have a solution.  I found the hole was about 1/2" from where the hose attaches to the pump.  I cut the hose just beyond the hole.  I still wanted to use the connector on the end so I pulled on the hose metal reinforcement and yanked it out of the connector leaving the remains of the hose.  Next I took a razor blade and reamed out the rest of the hose.  Then I pushed the good section of the hose back in and snugged it down with a hose clamp and reinstalled on the PC.  I'll thoroughly test it tonight and see if it holds up.  I certainly don't want it to come apart while pumping poo poo.

If you use a pvc pipe, you will probably need to go from the 1" nominal diameter to 3/4" to get the hose to go over the pipe.  I have every size around the house but 3/4".

PC uses sheet metal screws to hold the gasket where the hose runs through the fiberglass and they do have sharp pointy ends.  However, the hose shouldn't ever come in contact with the screws if care is taken during installation. 

The hose failure appears to be a manufacturing defect.  Mark
38  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: PC 2350 Fuel Mileage on: November 01, 2013, 08:36:45 am
I've put about 3000 miles on our 2552 and the mileage ranges from about 7.8 to 9.5.  In stop and go driving, it's much worse.  It seems that once you get over 55, the gas mileage drops very, very quickly.  However, going 50 to 55, we never seem to get to where we are going.  I usually cruise between 62 and 65 mph.  According to the scan gauge, I get about 18-20 mpg going downhill and about 5 to 6 going uphill.  I'm trying to figure out how to arrange our trips so we are always going downhill.  Mark
39  Main Forum / General Discussion / Pin hole in the Sani Con hose on: October 27, 2013, 02:51:11 pm
Right where the sani con hose comes out of the pump and makes a 180 degree turn and goes into the sani con housing where the rest of the hose is stored, I have a very small pin hole leak that sprays yuck a surprisingly long way.  There is quite a bit of pressure on that hose.  Has anyone tried to patch one of these hoses?  I'm sure it would have to patched from the inside.  I guess sani con would be the contact for a replacement hose?  I thought about shortening the hose by about 4-6" to get passed the leak, but I'm not sure how the hose is connected to the fitting.  Thanks, Mark
40  Main Forum / General Discussion / Broken latch-Where to buy on: October 27, 2013, 02:44:34 pm
I somehow broke a latch on one of the doors above the passenger seat.  I have 2 types in the RV:  One is a pinch style and the other is a rotating clip.  I broke the one with a clip.  Can I buy these at a hardware store or do I need to order it from PC?  Thanks, Mark
41  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Drilling into the closet on: October 27, 2013, 02:40:31 pm
Thanks for the tips!  I got the shelves in.  It ain't pretty (luckily it's behind a door), but they survived our first trip and the shelves are worth their weight in gold.  Mark
42  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Drive line vibration diagnosis on: October 27, 2013, 10:54:52 am
Update:  From annoying to downright bad.  I took the PC in on Monday and told the mechanic I needed it back for a weekend trip by Thursday.  No problem.  Well, nothing is e z.  On Wed. afternoon I called and he said he was done but it needed some tweaking.  I asked if he could get the tweaking done by Thursday noon and he said that would be plenty of time.  I called Thursday at noon and he said he wasn't finished but come and get it.  Not finished, why?  Well, it seems this is an unruly beast that doesn't conform to normal driveline criteria.  The Ford driveline was designed to angle down from the transmission and up from the axle.  This driveline angles down, then up, and then down.  He told me to take it on my trip and he would resume work next week.  He had calls into his folks to find a fix and he would have the answers next week. 

We took the PC on a 280 mile RT and it was quite a bit worse than when I took it in.  Markedly worse.  The vibration now starts at 35mph and gets terrible at 45 and then 'drones' out at 55 and then from there is about the same as it was before. 

Here is what he did:  The mechanic balanced each shaft and as Kermit thought, the back Ford shaft was the worst, but I noticed new weights welded on all three shafts when I crawled under there.  Then he balanced the first two shafts together and the rear two shafts together.  They were balanced at 2250 rpm which is my 'sweet spot' of 62 mph where I get decent (a relative term) gas mileage and still eventually get to where I'm going.  He replaced the u joints with 'lifetime' lubrication (without asking me.  Hmmm.) claiming otherwise the bearings would never get lubricated due to oversight.  He counterpoised the high spots with the low spots on the front and rear to smooth out the driveline.  He measured the angles at each coupler and next used shims to tweak the smoothest (or in my case the least roughest) rotation.

The offset angle the Ford guy warned me about is normal according to this guy because Ford offsets the driveline in the event of a rear end crash that reached the axle, the driveline will push out at this point preventing transmission and engine damage.  However, this really isn't an issue in an RV due to the overhang.

Next step:  The mechanic is ordering an extension for his balancing machine so he can put the entire shaft (I think he said 118") on it and spin the whole thing.  He will consult with driveline suppliers and give them the lengths/angles and get their input.  I called Kermit (he is in Atlanta?) to get his input.  The mechanic is leaning towards an e z but expensive fix of replacing the rear 2 shafts with a single piece 5" aluminum shaft (The stock is 3" steel [or did he say 3 1/2"?] which he thinks is marginal for the load).  With two pieces, the angles will be 'normal' and you remove a variable (coupler) from the mix.  Mark


43  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Question on propane furnace on: October 27, 2013, 10:26:50 am
We traveled to an agility trial in the metropolis of Fern Mississippi this weekend (population 6 maybe?).  We stayed at the trial arena that provided power and water hookups.  The forecast was a low of 42 and winds gusting to 15-20.  I bought an oscillating Lasko heater from Walmart (about $50) b/f we left based on recommendations from other rv forums.  It even has a remote, but I learned too late that the remote doesn't come with batteries!  Anyway we set it at 64 degrees at night and it did a nice job of warming about half of the 2552.  We had a north wind and were parked facing north.  I had the passenger seat turned around and was sitting in it and noticed I kept getting a draft hitting my right shoulder.  I checked to see if the windows were open (they weren't) and discovered the ventilation controls were set on vent and the cold air was blowing in through the dash vents!  I closed them and we were fine.
44  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Drive line vibration diagnosis on: October 22, 2013, 04:19:29 pm
Warning:  long post.  Read last paragraph if you are in a hurry.

Captain's log:  Stardate 10/22/13.  Work continues on fixing the vibration.  I drove the RV home after the Ford dealership diagnosed an out of line drive system and they attempted a repair by shimming the 2nd coupler 3 shims towards the ground.  I couldn't feel any improvement, but wasn't any worse.

I contacted Earl and sent him the thoughts of the Ford folks and pictures of the driveline taken by the Ford service manager.  Earl replied stating he forwarded my email to Kermit.  Kermit emailed me a couple of days later and said he couldn't find me in the warranty system.  I emailed back and said I wasn't filing a warranty claim and it was known to me before I purchased the rv that the warranty didn't transfer.  I was simply looking for information on whether the Ford service manager was right and how to fix my rv. 

Kermit called me 2 days later and said he disagreed with the service manager.  The driveline is offset by design towards the passenger side because the engine is offset towards the passenger side and so is the rear axle.  Kermit thought the problem was likely an unbalanced driveshaft and he suspected the rear driveshaft because that is where he had experienced problems in the past.  According to Kermit, before the chassis is extended, the driveshaft may not be "in spec" but it's not a problem until the chassis is extended.  Once extended, little problems are magnified.  He said the company doing the extension has years of experience and has their part of the extension perfected.  They rarely make mistakes.  The extender uses the Ford driveshafts and add one for the length of the extended chassis.  He recommended finding a driveline balancing company and see if they could find the problem and suggest they start with the rear shaft.

I located a driveline balancing company in the next town and took the rv to him yesterday.  The owner's credentials are 17 yrs of driveline experience working for Ford dealerships in the area.  He claims to be a Ford's master driveline technician, the highest level that Ford certifies.  He seems to know his stuff.  He hooked up his analysis equipment and found a driveshaft vibration.  However, he doesn't know which shaft is out of balance.  The shaft coming out of the tranny is an aftermarket shaft and the rest of the line is Ford (actually Spicer, a supplier to Ford). 

He asked if it was possible the driveline was under warranty by PC or Ford.  I know PC won't cover it, but I called the Ford guy and asked him.  His response was maybe.  His concern about a warranty claim was Ford would want to know if the driveline was balanced as a whole or by its individual parts and was the extender certified by Ford to be covered under the Ford family umbrella.   The deal about balancing by part is that Ford balances the entire unit and the splines must match exactly or you can get an out of balance driveline.  Care must be taken to line everything up just the way Ford tested it or Ford wouldn't warrant it.  And even if it is out of balance, Ford may balk paying a claim anyway if the extender isn't certified, Ford doesn't pull the shaft out and verify it, blah blah blah.  He said he sees a lot of finger pointing between Ford and RV manufacturers and the customer is usually the one that ends up paying.  This is the fourth time I've had it in a shop for fixing and I'm growing weary.  So I called the driveline guy back and said just fix it. 

I asked him how he was going to approach balancing the system.  This is my understanding:  He will pull the 3 section shaft and spin each part and correct any balance issue with the 3 shafts.  Then he will connect the first two and balance them together (messing with spline alignment) and get it as good as he can noting any 'high' spot.  Then he will do the same on the rear two noting any 'low' spot.  Finally he will put it back together with the high spot on the 1 and 2 matching the low spot on 2 and 3.  Then he will test drive it and it should be fixed.  I can only hope!  Sorry for the very long post.  Mark

 
45  Main Forum / General Discussion / Re: Drilling into the closet on: October 21, 2013, 10:15:47 am
Great idea, thanks!  Putting shelves in these closets is testing my limited carpentry skills.  Almost everything curves and curves at different rates.
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