Frugal RVing In South States - Ebooks

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Red Deer Revisited

For those following our adventures, we recently fixed up our fairly newly purchased 2001 Dodge Ram Diesel Duelly.

Apparently, for some reason that eludes us, the previous owners had lowered the suspension, and as the alteration didn't show up in the Carfax report, I assume that it was done either at home or by a backyard mechanic. The end result was that the tires' turning radius was decreased, and the the only "give" in the suspension was from the rubber between the metal parts.

And so we had the suspension restored to normal, and then we took the truck to a shop in the North end of Red Deer to install new shocks, and do an alignment. It took longer than usual, but afterall, we had a great visit with our former Oliver neighbours, so no big deal, right?......

Not quite. We left for for Bellevue, a 4 hour (plus lunch stop) trip, tripped around for 11 days, and returned back to Three Hills. All the while, Ken was noting a strange crunching or banging type feel/sound when turning the wheels in slow speed turns. Because of this, the same day we arrived back in Three Hills, he took it back to the wonderful fellows in Trochu for their opinion on the cause.

They joined Ken for a test drive, then checked and found that the bolts that were supposed to secure the idler arm were left dangerously loose. It could have caused us to crash, and when pulling the 36' fifth wheel, the results could have been fatal to more that just us!!

He tightened the loose bolts and immediately called the Red Deer shop, informed them of their grievous error, and demanded that they take the truck back in and redo the alignment properly.

Once we had the job completed, he wanted us to return to the Trochu shop and he would confirm the work was done properly. We showed him the alignment read-out, and then he rechecked the bolts. He was still able to torque the most awkwardly located bolt a quarter turn. Nonetheless, we are completely assured that the job is now done safely, and there was no bill for the redo.

It is frightening to know how the Red Deer shop could neglect such a serious matter. Especially since alignments shouldn't take more than an hour, and they took over 3 hours. One would think a reasonable mechanic would wonder why it wasn't working after the first hour and a quarter, and recheck the earlier job, but I digress....

Even then, they still didn't get it just right, and they noted that to us back when the job was first done. They said they suspected something about the tires.

So we are now driving safely, and breathing better for it. We are holding ground until either Sunday or Monday. Then we will be taking just the cottage ensemble (Mack, camper, bikes, kayaks, and utility trailer) back to Cereal to visit family for a few days.

So that brings us up to date, and I bid you


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