We've been learning a lot about mechanics and vehicle maintenance in the past three days. The most recent adventure under the bus was the solenoid, which stopped working when we hit the Roanoke Rapids Food Lion. If you consider the time we spent in the parking lot asking people for help a fair survey, it's safe to say that South of DC the percentage of people who understand the vehicles they drive increases, significantly. We learned so much about the innards of Loki in the matter of a few hours of hearing out speculators as to what they thought could be wrong. My uncle Smokey answered his phone and gave me a very detailed picture of how an alternator works when we thought it might be that. Ultimately, it was the solenoid.
When Jeff, Max and Jay finally ran across the street to Autozone to see if anyone knew anything or if they could try trickle charging the batteries there for a couple of hours, a kind employee told them "you go right outside and aks my husband in that truck over there. He's a diesel mechanic." The guy soon had Max contorted around the engine plunging
some piece on a spring in to the starter with a screwdriver and moving a
miniwrench in between two pieces of metal that should have been flush
but had corroded to the point we had to
force conductive material between them to connect the electric to the
starter. Sparks flying, the occasional whirring noise and then she
We are going to take the corroded part out today and
sand it smooth then put it back and there shouldn't be the same issue
again. But this is how we have been starting the bus up for the last
two days. Jeff and I have been spotting Max...when his shirt comes untucked someone has to grab it out of the way of this
belt that spins real fast when the engine starts and Jeff always makes sure
his crotch and legs are clear. But the wrench got stuck when we were
trying to get out of Eno River State Park (the wrench got too hot and
stuck a little), and he got a little tunnel vision and used his lower
body for leverage to try to yank it and got WAY too close to that belt.
I was directly behind him, so to me it looked like HE was stuck and I
imagined he'd hit the belt and passed out or something. Jeff thought so
and grabbed his hips straight up and away from the machine and Max
emerged with the wrench looking fine but a little surprised. I felt nauseous. But all was actually fine.