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About RandyA

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    Major Contributor

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    Mechanicsville, VA - Souix Falls, SD or whever we park.
  • Interests
    Fast cars, electronics, big trucks, RV's, boating and my family.

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  1. RandyA

    IRT canceled? a little off topic

    Yea, that thought crossed my mind. Nothing feminist or sexist was intentionally implied. A little man would have had the same issues with the loads on the truck unless they were totally excused from loading/unloading. Like I said, I'm just too old to fool with loads - bad back, knee and left shoulder on top of turning 72 today. Bah, humbug and thank goodness for Ibuprofen or Toradol. ๐Ÿ˜„
  2. RandyA

    Coolant Lines

    Rocky, until Vern gets back on-line to comment........ AC and Heater are separate systems. Can't put shut-off valves on AC lines. Right at the firewall on the passenger side the heater lines sort of "T" off and a pair run down under the cab to the rear heating radiator. Like Vern noted on his rig, my rear heater core developed a small leak. I put regular ball valves from Lowe's in the lines and cut off the rear heater thinking I would get a new radiator later. Well, that was 9 years ago and I still don't have a new rear heater. I have not needed it even in some of our coldest weather. Of course, I have a 670. Anyone with a 780 size sleeper may need the rear heater. I have also put 12-volt electric solenoid valves in the lines to the front heater. This resulted in a vast improvement in my air conditioning. Rubber A/C air door seals had begun to rot and leak and hot air from the front heater core was crossing over into cold A/C air. Solenoids were easier than tearing apart the dash and replacing seals - also more effective. I can now cut hot coolant flow on or off at will with an inside switch for the heater and when off - the A/C air will frost your nose! Considering the age and mileage on most of our trucks any and all exposed steel lines need frequent inspection. I have replaced all of my exposed steel lines under the truck with 1/2" solder-joint copper that I have made up. Never a problem with putting silicone lines on the copper tube. I just push a little further onto the new 1/2" copper pipe and use two gear clamps rather than one.
  3. RandyA

    IRT canceled? a little off topic

    What was her name..??? Lisa, I think. Little gal that went from blond to brunette to pink. She was a major attraction to many that watched the show. Personally, I wondered how someone as small as she was could handle her loads. I couldn't - but I am just old, not little.๐Ÿ˜
  4. RandyA

    Coolant Lines

    It's not just the transmission cooler lines that rust out. On a Volvo with a Volvo engine (maybe Cummins too?) Under the hood and next to the right front tire, there are steel heater lines that run along the passenger side frame rail. Transmission type makes no difference. Due to their position, they collect road salt and grit. It doesn't take long for these lines to start leaking. Volvo folks might want to keep an eye on these lines too.
  5. RandyA

    Changing batteries

    It is unusual to find batteries discharged to the point that instrumentation would not work but are capable of starting the truck. But, if it resolved your problem I certainly would not argue with you about your success. What I can tell you as a possibility is Volvo's effort to get away from analog switches and regulator circuits in favor of encoded digital signals on common bus lines. Examples we have encountered are the power window controls that rely on the lighting control module to transcribe information, the heater controls, four-way flasher button and a proliferation of other devices embedded under the dash. Unfortunately, the manuals containing schematics give nothing to show what components are potted inside the various control modules - only external connections. Generally speaking, these modules have an internal gate of sorts to protect them from both over and under voltages. It could be that such a circuit design was saying. "10.5 volts? No way I'm letting that guy in. He is not strong enough to fire the base of an NPN transistor so I will work!"......or something like that. Electronics can be a mystery if one does not have the complete circuit and values to study. Sort of like a woman entering a plastic surgeon's office looking wrinkled and harried only to come out the other door a little later with a youthful face reminiscent of a 16-year-old. What goes on inside stays inside. ๐Ÿ˜„ ........ and rickeieio, seeing how those guys still have not learned drive on the right side of the road and put a steering wheel where our cars carry passengers I am not surprised some of them still have a positive ground. It is like this: which VCR format was better, Beta or VHS? Well, Beta was. But VHS became the standard. The best doesn't always win! ๐Ÿ˜•
  6. RandyA

    Changing batteries

    The anomaly here is one that many of us "old timers" have forgotten - and one of which the "newer timers" often have a mistaken understanding. In a direct current circuit such as the ones on our vehicles, the directional flow of electrons is from negative to positive, not positive to negative as often thought. Thus, having the positive post of a battery tied to a vehicle frame made perfect sense to electrical circuit designers of the time. I'll now unplug my electrical trivia channel and return to the original topic. ๐Ÿ˜–
  7. RandyA

    Changing batteries

    On a Volvo VN series truck you will find the majority of cab ground connections under the hood, on the driver side firewall, directly below the windshield. Often several lower gauge wires inside the cab are spliced into a single larger gauge wire before they are attached to this ground bus. If one of the wires in a splice bundle should open for any reason it can be a nightmare trying to find where it is located. Often it is better to just run a new wire to ground from the component than try to find the open. Look at a possible ground fault in a DC circuit like this one. + ---------^^^^^^^------o---------^^^^^^^^--------- +---------^^^^^^^^^-----------o The ^^^^ things represent some 12 VDC component. Horn, dash lights, radio, etc. The + is the positive side of the battery providing power to the component from the fuse pannel. The o represents ground going to the firewall bus or the negative side of the battery. The 1st o is a "common" shared ground for the first and second components like in a splice bundle. The 2nd + represents a 12 VDC positive connection shared by the 2nd and 3rd components. The last o is another ground for the 3rd component. Now, if the ground connection at the 1st o is broken the usual result is the 1st and 2nd components on either side stop working. But, depending on the resistance imposed by the components it is possible for unwanted current to flow through the 3rd ^^^ component to its intact ground creating a series circuit for components 1 and 2 with a significant voltage drop. Either way, the loss of the ground creates a hair pulling and cussing problem. Since the steel chassis and components are prone to corrosion it not uncommon to lose a ground. The pre-referenced cab ground bus on the firewall is usually painted and has "acorn" nuts to reduce the possibility of corrosion. If an in-cab problem appears that you suspect is related to a poor ground the first place to start is with the ground bus on the firewall. Remove and inspect all connections. Clean if necessary. Check continuity and resistance from the bus to the negative side of the batteries. Resistance should be lower than .05 Ohms. If higher, run a new 6 AWG cable from the bus to the battery negative - no need to mess with the OEM bus ground. OK - this is just an EXAMPLE. It is not meant to describe Heavyduty's problem or question. It is an attempt to answer your question. I hope it has helped.
  8. RandyA

    Changing batteries

    OK, stop and think about it for a few minutes. If I understand correctly everything worked fine before you changed batteries - right? So, what did you do changing batteries that could now be different? Fuses are there to protect a circuit or device and sometimes they do fatigue over time and blow without a fault in the circuit. But, in your case, it is unlikely that you would simply blow a fuse since the current has to come from the other side of the fuse that melts it. Unless...... and this is the bad part........ unless you got a set of wires on backward (reverse polarity) or there is a ground loop through another circuit or device that current followed before you attached its dedicated ground wire (less probable but it happens). In any event, if you do find a blown fuse know that this is not normal when a battery swap is made unless something is hooked up wrong. If you find a blown fuse, don't just pop in another one until you find out what created the increase in current that made it blow to start with. Even the short duration of time it takes to blow a fuse when there is an overcurrent fault can damage sensitive components on a circuit board. Repeatedly replacing and blowing fuses without first finding the fault can further damage the circuit. As for the "smaller" wire lugs not making a good electrical connection the problem often found there is not where the lug fastens to the battery but where the wire crimps onto the lug. Oxidation and corrosion, especially at "on battery" connections can form at the wire to lug crimp that insulates the connection or even eats the wire up so there is no connection. Simple movement when changing out a battery can be the "straw that broke the camels back" when this happens.
  9. RandyA


    5.3L or 6.2L? Either way, it should give you no trouble catching up to a Kenworth.
  10. RandyA

    Changing batteries

    I keep an assortment of colored zip ties. When I changed batteries I put a red tie on all positive cables and another color on negative. I then counted the number of cables/wires to each battery buss bar and wrote the count on a pad as I am prone to forget. After I thought I had everything back together correctly I discovered I was one cable short on the positive buss. I started looking for it and discovered It had fallen down the back and was hiding next to an air tank. You might want to look for a "lost" wire or cable.
  11. RandyA

    2001 Truck

    Yea, I do remember something like that now. But, I was totally serious about the Ivory soap trick. It does work, the soap will fill a small hole that gas will not readily dissolve and stop a leak (as long as you don't drive in the rain). Chewing gum, putty and a propane torch with acid core solder don't work quite as well. โ˜ ๏ธ
  12. RandyA

    How-to Sharpen a Drill Bit

    IMHO, the DD is worth every penny spent. I have had mine for at least 15 years. I now only use Cobalt bits, which are more expensive. They get dull too and the DD will quickly bring their sharp edge back. I have the second adapter that allows me to sharpen up to 3/4" bits. I also have several other drill bit sharpening jigs that attach to my bench grinder - but the wheel on the bench grinder needs to be kept in really good shape. My grinder wheels can take a beating making for an imperfect bit tip. The DD is so fast and easy owning one to me is well worth its cost.
  13. RandyA

    2001 Truck

    Just a little tidbit to keep somewhere in your craw: White Teflon pipe thread sealing tape works well to temporarily stop a low-pressure fuel line leak or fuel fitting leak. Just wrap multiple layers in the affected area. Unlike other tapes, it has NO adhesive to dissolve and is self-fusing. It is not damaged by gas or diesel fuel. Tightly wrapping some aluminum foil over the Teflon tape keeps it from unraveling. Writing the above made me remember rubbing a bar of Ivory soap over pinhole leaks in a rusted '62 VW bus gas tank. It worked - it would stop the leak (for a day or two anyway).
  14. RandyA

    A Bittersweet Farewell

    Mike and Christin๏ปฟe, Reading between the lines, it sounds like you have settled in a brick and sticks without wheels. I hope it is one where you don't have to mow grass, weed flower beds, paint walls, clean gutters, shovel snow, rake leaves and pay property taxes. I am sure it was a difficult decision to make - that is making the lifestyle switch. May good fortune and happiness follow you. I hope you will still visit the forum and let us know how life is treating you as you make the change.
  15. RandyA

    Battery Bargain

    Two of my four starting/system batteries in the Volvo checked bad. I had expected this as they were six years old. I pulled all four of them out, loaded them in the back of the LGT and headed to our local Volvo dealer in Ashland, VA. I was delighted to discover new Exide group 31, 950 CCA batteries were $65 each with my old battery cores. The cores were worth $39 each - why I don't know. They would only accept similar group 31 cores. I looked back in my records to find the cost of my 2012 purchase of the batteries I traded in. In 2012 I paid $75 each for them at the same dealership. The cores were valued at $31. It was nice to find something priced less than the cost six years prior. Just as a reference, I had to replace the accessory battery in my LGT about a month ago due to a dead cell. I was lucky, they were one week shy of the three-year free replacement warranty so the nice auto parts guy replaced both the bad starting and good accessory battery for free so the set would match. Those batteries were listed as $151 each with a $12 core value. Two batteries for the LGT would have been $302, four batteries for the Volvo were only $260. Go figure.