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Road Trip - L.A. to Jackson Hole UPDATE: I am cursed. I'M BAACCK...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Skigirl, Aug 24, 2005.

  1. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Driving the rig to Jackson Hole, WY from Los Angeles, leaving 5 AM or so, today (Wednesday). Not stopping in Barstow, no matter what. Well, unless I need to use the library to post a HELLPPP! message :rolleyes: (Searching my old posts will give you the details on my last misadventure in Barstow. It wasn't pretty, but it waas pretty funny). Will pre-emptively wave to Blazen91 as I drive by Hesperia, (or get towed to his house if the rig craps out).

    Staying overnight in Eden, UT, then to on to Jackson early Thursday AM. Driving back to L.A. Sunday or Monday. Hosting a conference for my clients, so only fun will be the drive up. Hoping it's fun, anyway.

    Just a heads up to those kindly folk along the way in case something goes awry... so you can duck and get out of the way :D
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2005
  2. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    This could get interesting! :wink1:
     
  3. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    I am cursed.

    Yea. Well. It did. I am cursed. The truck is cursed. I am also now stranded in St. George, UT. :doah: Barely made it past Barstow. Thought I was home free. Uh. No. Truck started surging then balking, like there was only intermittent gas. But only at high RPMs and under load (like going up grades). Got progressively worse, I stopped a few times to see what I could see. No loose vacuum hoses. Gas was kinda squirting into the chamber in the carb, but hard to see. 90 degrees outside.

    Surged and bucked my way into Vegas. Found a very nice shop. They thought it was the fuel pump. Sounded good to me. 3 hours later (5 PM, the shop is closing), they finish the truck, we drive it up and donw the street gunning it. Sounded good. Off I go.

    30 minutes later, it's back, but worse. Now surging and bucking under load or not. Going up grades at 45 mph. Finally, 50 miles out of Vegas, it bucks, surges and dies. In the middle of the desert. In summer. I am cursed.

    I am hosting a client conference in Jackson Hole, starting officially Friday, but I've made commitments with clients for Thursday afternoon on.

    After much debate, I have the truck towed 50 miles to St. George. Only because the closest town doesn't have rental cars, and St. George has cars and an airport in case I need to fly to Jackson. They probably fly there via Miami...

    Chomp (the truck) is now in a GM service lot, towed there in the middle of the night. I need to be there by 7:30 AM to make sure they get to my stuff before the other cars sitting there. If they can't fix it and test it by 2 PM, I'll either need to drive a rental car to Jackson (9-10 hours from here) or throw lots of money at a plane ticket. Then pick the truck up for the drive home next week. Ka-ching.

    It's Barstow all over again, but without the library card.

    Can't wait to see when I try to drive to Moab, much less DO anything in Moab. :rolleyes:
     
  4. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Well if you are ever up this way and your truck breaks down nearer to Jackson let me know we can help ya out :D
     
  5. 6.2LTrailblazer84

    6.2LTrailblazer84 1/2 ton status

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    Does your truck have a 700R4? And if so does it shift hard?
     
  6. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Good Lord!

    Well, I guess all I can say (and not something you'll want to hear) is welcome to the club. :thumb:

    I've had a lot of....ahem, ADVENTURES on the roads of this great land of ours. It's never a good time to break down, but you must learn to "embrace the suck" when things happen.... ultimately you get a great story out of it.

    Take pictures, laugh at yourself and the situation (if possible) and find catharsis by sharing your stories with all of us at CK5.......that's what I do!! :usaflag:
     
  7. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Ugh! Seems like a dark cloud always follows you across the desert! :doah:

    Did the guys that replaced the fuel pump also replace the fuel filter?

    Or perhaps the tank isn't venting properly. Try loosening the gas cap so air can get into the tank as the fuel flows out.
     
  8. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks guys. Yes, I live for the story - and it's unfortunate that I have so many :crazy: :haha:

    I have a TH400 to 203. No shifting probs at all. I have 2 fuel filters, one stock and an inline. Both are brand new - less than 300 miles on them.

    I should know in a few hours what the problem is - the shop tells me they can have me fixed up by 2 PM. Would be great if it were true. I'll road test it thoroughly before I get going again, before the shop closes for the day.

    Hoping to make Salt Lake by 7 PM, then Jackson by 1 AM. Stopping in to see friends (one is a mechanic) in SLC.

    How far away is Idaho Falls? (And thanks for the offer of help)

    Greg - the last time I was stranded in Barstow, I had a friend with me who, at one point said, "I thought you said this would be a fun trip", to which I replied, "No, I said it would be an adventure. Who says adventures are fun?" Somehow the humor was lost on her. But what a story it was. This one's not as dramatic, and I'm hoping to keep it that way. Already got the story out of it, so my job here is done... :D :D

    Wonder if there's anything fun to do in St. George with a itty bitty rental car... :wink1:
     
  9. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    I don't like Barstow either......this is how it looked last time I was there:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha: :haha:

    Yep, that's how Barstow looked when I was there too. Amazing how it never changes. Well, except we didn't have chairs. Or shade. Or cute guys to look at. But we had margueritas, so we didn't need anything else.

    Oh, and I had a troll for a mechanic whose butt crack went from his knees to his neck (at least it seemed that was all you could see of the guy from the rear) instead of nice CK5ers...

    Yep, Barstow never changes!
     
  11. Burt4x4

    Burt4x4 3/4 ton status

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    Hey I remember that :doah:
    I am sitting in the chair closest to the front. Greg made me drink too much the night before and I almost broke my foot so I couldn't stand. We were in Vegas the night before this pic was taken and I 'fell' and brused my heal real bad, blue bad. But like Greg said now we have stories to tell so hang in there and best of luck to ya :D ;)
     
  12. HarryH3

    HarryH3 1 ton status Author

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    Hmm, does it run OK when it cools down? Sounds like ya might be having some vapor locking out there in the heat. :(
     
  13. dyeager535

    dyeager535 1 ton status Premium Member

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    I had a similar experience it sounds like.

    Mine almost always started losing power when I tried to accelerate hard for a fairly long period, like passing someone on the freeway. The time it finally died on me, the surging/bucking started as I was climbing a pretty steep grade at 60MPH. Started acting like it was running out of fuel. Slowly it got worse and worse, and I couldn't keep up the speed. Eventually it just died. When it did that, backed it over to the side of the road, and checked the accelerator pump shot. Sure enough, no fuel in the carb, it was dry.

    My experience with fuel pumps previously was that they might give you a couple warning stalls, but after it dies, it dies.

    Whatever it was, it's my belief that it was in the carb. For whatever reason the float was sticking and it was starved of fuel. Fix? Turned it nose down, coasted about two miles with the tranny in second and the key in run. Eventually it compression started. :) Never had a problem after that. :confused:
     
  14. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    Idaho Falls is about 90 miles away from Jackson Hole. I know poeple from Driggs(just over the mountain to jackson) to Salt lake city Just let me know if you have any problems with anything I will pm you a cell phone number. :D
     
  15. dave_90_blazer

    dave_90_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    i had a similar prob, not enough fuel volume, kept sucking the bowl dry
     
  16. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    Hi guys - sorry for no post and in advance for this too long one- I haven't had access to the net for a while.

    So here's what finally happened:

    After the truck was towed 50 miles to St. George, I was first in line for the shop. 1 hour sleep - my 3rd day of no sleep. They thought it vapor locked too, so we put in an electric pump. Got finished about 2 PM Thursday. Took it for a road test - seemed fine. I left. Got 25 miles out of town and the problem came back like nothing had been done.

    I turned around and drove back, kicking and bucking, to St. George. Had to still be a fuel issue. I made the mechanic drive the truck himself so he could see what was happening. He did, and agreed it was a fuel issue. I told them to go thru the whole fuel system and fix whatever they find. We found:

    1. Totally messed up, black, ugly sock in the gas tank. The tank itself was clean. Replaced the sock, cleaned the tank anyway.

    2. Cleaned out the fuel lines

    3. The mechanic in L.A. that supposedly replaced the carb fuel filter hadn't. It was clogged. But the inline I wanted them to replace in L.A. had been and was fine.

    We ran out of time - I couldn't wait another day, and they closed shop at 6 PM. I asked what else could possibly be wrong and they said maybe the carb float, tho not likely as the problem was intermittent. Just in case, I bought a new float and a carb rebuild kit. Thought I could probably find a mecahnic off hours if I was stranded, but not the parts.

    I leave St. George at 6 PM. 30 miles out, the problem comes back, but not as bad. I'm doing 45-50 uphill, and normal speeds downhill. The long grades are a long, annoying, tough haul. But I'm determined to make it to Salt Lake, as I have a mechanic friend there.

    About 2.5 hours into the drive, at another long, steep grade I get sick of babying it and floor it - it sputters and then something pops and the truck starts running like a dream. I fly the rest of the way, getting into Eden, UT at 1 AM.

    Leave the next day for Jackson - no probs. Work the conference. Still no sleep - I've had an hour or two a night for 6 days. Pretty beat. Drive back to Salt Lake Sunday evening to spend the night with the same friends, then leave Monday mid-day for the 11 hour drive home.

    It's back. Buckin and starved for fuel. By Nephi ( maybe an hour from Salt Lake), it's 3:30 PM and I know I am not going to make it home like this. I pull into a shop in Nephi. I know it's the carb - there's nothing else left. They pull it off and sure enough there's sand in it. Don't know how it got there.

    They can't rebuild it today - not enough time. I have to get back, so I tell them to get another one. The only one they can find is an Edlebrock Performer. Supposed to be a bolt on replacement. It is, kind of... I tell them to go for it and bribe the mechanic to stay after closing to finish the job. He does and off I go at 6 PM.

    There are many long steep grades on I-15 between Los Angeles and Salt Lake, the steepest and longest are 7% grade and for more than a couple miles - there's a few of those. The rest are 4 - 6%, but 4 or 5 of those go for 5 or more miles. The truck's running great until I hit the first grade, about 40 miles north of the I-70 interchange. Lost power much worse than with the other carb, I had to drop it into 2nd from drive to make it, and there was a bit of a loping, missing kind of thing. Happened again on the grade just north of the I-70 interchange.

    Then everything seemed to level out and I had no more problems. Stopped for gas untold times, stopped to eat once, drove until 4 AM L.A. time and made it home.

    It was F**CKING HOT the whole way home - brutal from Cedar City to the Cajon Pass, even as late as 2 AM it had to been still over 90. I left the AC off for most of the trip to not tax the engine too much, in light of recent events. I would have paid anyone $100 for a shower by the time I got to Vegas.

    But the truck ran cool - the B & M tranny cooler and getting the rad boiled out made a huge diff in temps. Never went above 205, not matter how I took those steep grades - probably a dozen in all.

    Anyway, sorry for the small novel.

    2000 miles, 6 days, one 50 mile tow, 3 mechanics, 4 trips to the shop = $2000. Sleeping, AND in my own bed = priceless.
     
  17. Greg72

    Greg72 "Might As Well..." Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Amazing adventure!


    ......and I won't ask what you did for the "bribe" :D


    Sleeping in your own bed after a long trip is the best feeling there is. :thumb:
     
  18. Roz

    Roz 1/2 ton status

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    nothing yet as to why its acting up? im having similar prob. please let us know if u figure it out!! :D
     
  19. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    No idea on the very last thing (after the new carb), but as the problem disappeared after the second long grade, I think I'm just going to test on steep grades around here to see if I can get it to recur. Then... well, I don't know what then. The Edlebrock is preset at the factory so there isn't much to adjust. Everything was cleaned out, so maybe it's not fuel. Maybe the new carb changes some other things like ignition. But as the problem was so intermittent, that may not be it either.

    Let's see what the other guys think.

    But on the fuel issue, it wasn't just one thing. It was a little of everything. Fuel filters (gas tank, carb and inline), mechanical fuel pump (mine was leaking a little), vapor lock (solved by installing the electric fuel pump), crap in carb, potentially crap in the fuel lines - oh, and one of the fuel hoses from the gas tank was a bit collapsed (I replaced that too).

    I think it would just be easier to start at the gas tank and go through the whole system, either doing maintenance or replacement of anything that's not quite right, and replacing any rubber. It deteriorates over time. It takes all the guesswork out opf what might be wrong now and in the future. Then at least you can eliminate the entire system as a potential reason for whatever is happening.
     
  20. blazinzuk

    blazinzuk Buzzbox voodoo Premium Member GMOTM Winner

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    How many tanks of gas although this is unlikely , water in the fuel system? possible delivery problem with the fuel pump (yah both the electric and the stock) they probably used a cheap electric didn't they Those have never lasted me very long it seems mostly when it was under load so either it was getting too much gas or to little. I am making an assumption the mechanics checked for broken leaking hoses and also timeing
     

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