The Adventures of Me & My Shadow #16 in MD, VA & DE 6/17/98
From Maryland, Hi Everyone! Here it is 6/11/98 and not many adventures to tell you about. The price of fuel is back down below a buck a gallon but I'm not burning very much. I am getting some things done on the motorhome but it is time consuming and going slower than I would like. The temperature is still below my comfort zone, with rain off and on. It's getting hard to find good oranges and the price for them is out of sight, I hope there will be a good supply in the Headley's neighbors yard when I get down in Florida this winter. I'll have to ask Dick to bring a bag of them to me at the Navy reunion next month in Texas, maybe I can find some in Texas.
I serviced the transmission (changed the fluid & filter) then road tested it and found and fixed some small oil leaks. Also added some more heat shields around the headers to lower the engine compartment temperature a little more. Lubricated the distributor and some more places that never get the attention needed. Adjusted the carburetor (I haven't been happy with it since the engine rebuild) it starts & runs better now. When I first got the motorhome the fuel selector valve was not working, the new one lasted about two years and stopped again. Because I had rigged it so I burned fuel from the front tank first instead of the rear tank it was not a big problem. When the front tank got low I would just put the brakes on and that would move fuel from the rear tank to the front one. When I first got the motorhome back in 89 one of the first things I did to it was, to install a driving computer that measures fuel flow and tells me how many miles per gallon I'm getting. I was told that it would not work, it would cause vapor lock problems with the fuel. Well that was nine years ago. It still works and I have never had any vapor lock problems. I have done a lot of things to make sure I never have vapor lock problems. One of those things I did to prevent vapor lock was to remove the engine driven fuel pump and install an electric fuel pump. Now in my 60 years as a mechanic I have installed a lot of electric fuel pumps but only one pump stands out in my mind for never failing and needing to be replaced. It just happens to be a small cheap pump that I ordered from J. C. Whitney. I ordered two of them for the motorhome as I thought one of them would not pump enough fuel for the 455 engine. I installed one of them and it worked fine so I have been hauling the other one around as a spare for nine years. When I decided to do something about that bad fuel tank selector valve I said to my self, why not get that extra electric pump out and install a pump for each tank and forget the fuel tank selector valve? It works great! I have a four position switch so I can run the front pump, the rear pump, both pumps or turn them off. For safety reasons I have them wired through an oil pressure switch, this will shut them off if the engine stops for any reason and if I lose oil pressure it will shut the engine down. A mercury switch will stop the pumps in the event of a collision or rollover. It also provides an anti theft device as when I start the engine I have to push a momentary switch to turn the pump on till I get oil pressure or the engine will shut down as soon as the carburetor runs out of fuel. For those of you who drive motorhomes I will work on drawing a diagram for the system. Let me know if you are interested.
6/13/98 I got tired of working on the motorhome and decided to take it for a spin. My daughter had sent me an e-mail message about having more mail to pick up including my new Virginia license plates that read "MY SHADO", my great grandson Christian was having a 5th birthday party (just had my granddaughters Rebekah's 12th birthday) and I wanted to test the new fresh air vent I had just installed in the cockpit floor (a 4" duct that comes up under the brake pedal) so I headed south. I had made some louvers for the duct to direct the air to the rear but did not yet have them fastened down. When I got up to 35 MPH I could feel the air on my face, it was wonderful. I got on the highway and when I got up to 50 MPH and the louvers lifted off so I will have to fasten them down, I'll have to keep my seat belt fastened after I get the louvers fastened down and get up to 75 MPH or it might lift me out of the drivers seat. Best of all NO NOISE. I already have one ready to install on the right hand floorboard so I'll be able to move a lot of air.
I am also working on an electric parking brake actuator that should be finished soon. I have a windshield sun visor to install also. I also want to do some work on the entrance door but it looks like some things will have to wait. I am studying the day time head lights and plan to rig some on the GMC, they will have to be automatic, on and off with the engine. Some stretches of roads here in Maryland require headlights on in the daytime. I can see the time coming when they will be required everywhere and I hate dead batteries. There is just too many other things to do and I'm just too slow.
I'll soon have to head down to VA Beach and I have some places to visit on the way to the Navy reunion in Corpus Christi, TX the last part of July then in August its back to Sioux Falls, SD to get my defibrillator checked then up to Edmonton, AB Canada before checking into Hope, BC for the Western States GMC convention. I'll have some time to kill before the International GMC convention in NC in October. It sounds like I'll have to look out for hurricanes this year in Florida.
6/17/98 Time to get this letter off. I now have the electric parking brake actuator installed, will get an in-line fuse for it today so I can wire it. Also am just about done with the vent for my shadow's side. I also stopped by PeP Boys and got a daylight driving light kit for $30.00, found out how it works. It is a high speed strobe for the Low beam lights, it cuts the amperage down and makes the lamps last longer. Instructions say to wire it to the ignition switch so it comes on as soon as you turn the key, I'm going to wire it to the alternator out-put so it won't come on till the engine is running, and if I loose the alternator it won't be a load on the battery. I'll keep you posted.
Till next time, Dallas, or Dad if it fits.

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