Archive for DIY – Page 2

External Faucet/Shower Fixture Replacement

A few weeks back, we were using the outside faucet/shower on Lady T while doing some maintenance and the water pump kept coming on every few minutes. We’ve come to realize that anytime you hear the pump growling and there isn’t any water running, it’s time to look for a leak! Doing just that, we shortly discovered a drip coming directly from underneath the external faucet compartment.

This was the first time we had used the faucet for more than a minute or two, so we spent some time figuring out how it was connected to the water system. Eventually, Jay found a leak coming from the faucet connectors to the water pipes. Fortunately, this was only occurring when the pump was on and the faucet was in use.

Jay removed the hoses and tried some plumbers tape but the leak persisted.  The videos below detail the replacement of the faucet fixture we purchased online.

Fresh Water Drain Replacement

Here’s a quick DIY video of Jay replacing the external fresh water valve on Lady T. The original was pretty decrepit so we picked up a new one on the cheap and had it looking like new in no time!


New Power Converter/Charger Installation

A few weeks back, we were doing some work on the Lady and we noticed that the coach battery was low and the entry stair wasn’t working.  We have a cool little portable jumper pack that we travel with so we used that to jump the coach battery and start the generator. We let the generator run for a while and was plugged into shore power most of the day. Unfortunately, we weren’t getting any juice.

After checking a bunch of fuses and testing the relay switch, we figured out that the charger in the coach converter/charger wasn’t working. The converter was absorbing electricity from the generator, which let us run the lights, appliances, etc. but the charger was dead.

The converter is right underneath the bench on my side of the dining table and I remembered on our last camping trip that I could feel a lot of heat coming from the unit. I mentioned it to Jay but we thought that it was just working overtime because of the temp outside. There is a cooling fan in the converter that should have been working but apparently it wasn’t and there was a lot of compacted dust that even a can of compressed air couldn’t shake loose. Realizing that Lady T is 21 years old, we were astounded that the unit lasted as long as it did!

Anyway, we did more research in the forums and decided to go with www.bestconverter.com for our replacement. A lot of folks seemed to be using them and we needed to get this done before the big trip in September! Luckily, we found a direct upgrade kit for the Magnetek 6300 series in our rig and Jay ordered it same day.

The new converter arrived a few days early and Jay got right on it. He installed the new unit within a couple hours and everything is working great now! Check out the video and photos below.

J&J

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Auxiliary Start Switch/Solenoid

To the left of Lady T’s steering wheel, there is a rocker switch on the dashboard that, when flipped on, connects the coach battery to the engine battery. This allows us to jump the coach battery with the truck battery and vice versa. Last year, this switch stopped working so we replaced it right before before our Route 66 trip.

After getting Lady T out of storage this year, Jay tested this switch and it was dead again. We bought a new switch and replaced the existing one but this time, we got a whole lot of nuttin’. Upon further research and some tinkering, Jay discovered that the solenoid that connects the two batteries was burnt out. We searched online and found an OEM replacement on Amazon.

We just installed the new solenoid a couple of weeks ago and after a minor fail, we are now back in business! Have a look at the video and photos of the removal and installation.

J&J

 

Transmission Issues

While traveling cross country last year, we experienced some issues with our transmission. It seemed to be slipping out of gear randomly. I guess we had noticed the issue once or twice before but the trouble became worse when we hit the hot weather. We stopped at a Ford dealership half way across Oklahoma, where they performed a quick inspection, and there were no external signs of a problem. No leaks and the fluid wasn’t burning. As we approached the Sierra Nevada, the issue got so bad that we were not able to accelerate past 30 miles an hour, and we were sure that the transmission would die at any moment.

However, it never happened. We had a few more really rough patches but thankfully, Lady T made the trip home. We had the transmission fluid flushed and filter replaced as soon as we got back but that didn’t remedy the problem. After speaking to a couple of mechanics, it seemed like we would end up paying Ford to diagnose the issue to determine if we needed to rebuild the transmission.

BUT, we decided to hold off just a bit longer to see what else we could find out online. Jay started digging in every forum he came across and eventually exchanged messages with a few people who told us about a Transmission Range Sensor aka the Neutral Safety Switch. Also, several people mentioned that some motorhomes with the Ford E350 chassis have a deeper transmission fluid pan, which requires a different style filter with a longer spout. At this point, we were willing to try anything that would save us the money on a new transmission.

Jay ordered the Transmission Range Sensor and a deep pan filter and we did the work ourselves. Replacing the sensor was the easy part. The tough part was draining and inspecting the filter. The pan that holds the fluid and connects to the transmission has no drain plug and 20 bolts holding it in! After spending a Saturday afternoon, we got the pan drained and inspected the filter. Of course, the pan on Lady T does NOT require a special filter, so the only thing we accomplished was making a big mess!

So far this year, we have driven Lady T to Vermont, NH and Maine and we have not experienced the issue again! We hope that replacing the sensor did the trick but we will continue to monitor it and update as we drive her more and prepare for our month long road trip in September.

Check out the videos and photos below of us changing the sensor and fluids!