Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pre Disney World maintenance to the Goshen Coach

Well we just got back from Walt Disney World a few weeks back and it was such a whirlwind getting the Goshen Coach and RV ready to go not to mention us that I fell behind on logging my service records here for the truck.  This post is a bit delayed, and may not serve any purpose to anyone else other than myself but seeing as how I need to keep my records updated here goes!

So I grabbed the fuel log book out of the truck just now to get the mileages and dates to keep everything straight.  This is the service records for our 2000 Ford E350 7.3L Powerstroke Diesel cutaway wheelchair enabled Goshen Coach.

Mileage at time of service: 146,767     3/12/2013

Changed oil and oil filter (Motorcraft FL-1995). Refilled with Rotella T 15W40
Added approx 1 quart of 90W gear lube to rear differential
lubed chassis
Aired up all 6 tires to 80psi
Topped off coolant with about 3/4 gallon of straight antifreeze (no water added)
Other fluids checked.
Replaced the 2 air filters with new Motorcraft FA-1618 (F5UZ-9601-A)
I installed hose clamps on the T going to the MAP sensor and my aftermarket Turbo Boost gauge as it kept blowing apart at about 20 psi (This finally did the trick and I actually had a working boost gauge finally!)

I've been asked in the past what kind of mileage this rig gets. We ran 2,151 miles during this trip to Florida and back, burned 216.883 gallons of diesel costing $859.40 ($3.96 avg per gallon) giving us 9.92 MPG Fully Loaded at about 20,000 lbs truck and trailer. (see for a photo of our rig).  Interestingly enough, our truck pulls just 1mpg more at most unloaded.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Our Goshen Coach's 2,000 mile trip to Walt Disney World

We just got back from Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL a week ago and I'm finally rested up and ready to catch up on my posts.

Our 2000 Ford E350 7.3L Powerstroke Turbo Diesel powered Goshen Coach Wheelchair van has pulled us down and back up racking up a bit over 2,000 miles with only minimal irritants.  We blasted from here non stop (except for fuel and sunflower seeds, and pecan logs at every Stuckey's we passed) and when we pulled off and into the Florida Welcome Center off I75 for our free orange juice, the check engine light came on and the truck died while rolling in!  After a few moments of panic I cycled the ignition off and back on and turned it over and she fired back up, and hasn't repeated this since.

So we make it and set up at Fort Wilderness Campground and leaving Illinois running the heat we were now in Sunny Orlando and had to fire up the a/c on the coach, which as expected runs cold and does it's thing, but when I stepped out of the truck I could hear the death rattles of at least 1 of the 3 condenser fans on the Carrier Transicold CM-3 Condenser that the folks at Goshen Coach cut into the side of the truck just behind the drivers door. Previously I had one fail seized up which caused what's called a locked rotor short which took out the fuse to all 3 fans. Now this caused the gas in the system to heat up and heat up and this took out the a/c Compressor. So, I keep a close watch listening for the fans to make sure they are running everytime I use the a/c and they hold up and even now back home are still rattling but their/its time is short on this earth and needs replacing (see previous post for part numbers etc)

We spend 2 weeks at Disney World and have a big time, and unfortunately every vacation has to wrap down and it's time to roll back up the road. So it's the Saturday before Easter Sunday and we hitch up and drive up the road, across the Florida Turnpike, hit I75 and roll on up into the Paines Prairie region and BAM a tire explodes on the rv. I get out and investigate it on the side of the road, discover since it's got twin axles the rim is off the ground on the blown tire, so I get back in and cruise at a low speed up to the first exit which is the Paines Prairie rest area and dig out the spare (which fortunately has air in it, unfortunately is pretty beat up) So in pit stop fashion and grab my tools and jack and 10 minutes later tools are back put away. Well now I consider the 700 mile trip running with no spare on a substandard tire and that's out of the question it's getting pretty late on a Saturday Night before Easter Sunday, so I decide we will cruise a few more miles and go camp out in my Brother's back yard, and wait out the holiday and try and procure 2 fresh tires for the rolling wheels and move the good old tire off the rolling wheel and onto the spare rim giving me a good spare tire.

We sit at my brother and watch the weather in Illinois and upon deciding that the last freezing night at home just happened we pull out the next day, much to my brother's excitement, and drive the final 720 miles of the trip flat out straight through back home without any further incidents.

Well we are back home and I just ordered fresh air filters for the motor, and I'm working on procuring the Carrier Transicold condeser fan.  The rig ran good and strong and got us round trip and back home without much fuss, we had a grand time, got to visit with lots of family and play at Disney World.

I look forward to hearing from anyone else who is travelling with a wheelchair and what obstacles they've overcome in maintaining a living lifestyle.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Braun Millenium Lift

Well I took the truck to Superior Van and Mobility in Evansville, Indiana about a week ago to get our Braun Millenium Lift all spruced up. And although I hated the 5 hour round trip drive they did a good fast job and got me back on the road in under 2 hours.

Our lift was manufactured in 2000 on our Ford E350 7.3 Powerstroke Diesel Cutaway Goshen Coach Van. And being that our truck was ex municipal fleet it had a lot of wear and tear to say the least!  Anyway, the lifts are fairly simple I just didn't feel up to handling the task of tracking down the parts and restoring it.  They replaced the 2 limit switches which control the stopping points of the lift. They replaced the up/down switch which mine was cracked and intermittently worked. and they replaced the bypass hoses on the hydraulic cylinders which were old and cracked.  I was at a loss on why I was continually finding a puddle of hydraulic fluid in the floor of my truck from time to time, until they showed me that one of the bypass hoses had fallen off.

Well that's one of the major problems checked off on our todo list!

Now for some fun nitpicking items, intermittent wipers are too intermittent, cruise control doesn't work, and recently the front heating/air fan is intermittent! and ofcourse (I don't know if you've dealt with one of these ex fleet goshen coaches or not but they are built with like 1" square steel tubing in the roof area and where this joins the E350 cab at the top of the windshield mine likes to just rip the living daylights out of it's welds!  So I need to get my van body rewelded back to my truck body!

Anyway this is all I have for today. other then to say it was 18 degrees that day I had to fire up the truck to go to Evansville and after 3 attempts the diesel did fire up.  For monetary reasons I gave up fuel additives about a year ago and I don't plug my truck in, but man was it cold that day!  If you read some of my older posts you'll find out that I have previously replaced the glow plugs and the injectors, the one thing that I know doesn't work is the preheater in the intake manifold, but since I cut my teeth so to speak on a 1996 F350 International Powerstroke Diesel which didn't have that heater you might understand why it hasn't been on my priority list.

Leave me some comments about your experiences, I'd love to hear from some of you on what you've done and been through!