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Jim & Wilma

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About Jim & Wilma

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    Backpacking, canoeing, camping and misc shop projects

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  1. Jim & Wilma


    Don’t remember ever paying someone to work on any of my vehicle brakes over the years or change oil for that matter. That changed with our HDT. I routinely inspect our brakes but also include them in our annual shop maintenance when we have the oil changed. The mechanics experience along with pit/lift inspection access, is worth the small expense, IMHO. I also “play the game” of seeing how little I have use the brakes. The Volvo I-shift stalk makes that remarkably easy, once you figure out how to use it.
  2. We value the ability to go to providers of our choice and have elected for a Plan G supplement versus an Advantage plan.
  3. Brad, I’m just guessing that the temp sensor is an RTD. An RTD’s resistance varies somewhat proportional to temperature. The ones I’ve worked with on other systems, were in the 100 ohm range. Measuring the RTD with a DVM on ohms setting should give a relatively low resistance reading. If you’re feeling particular industrious, you could remove the sensor and measure the varying resistance as you heat it in a pan of water on the stove.
  4. Jim & Wilma

    Water hose help!

    I follow a few discussions on this forum, this being one of them. I think most/all would agree with me, this discussion has little in common with heavy duty trucks. So why is it here with so many interested? What the HDT forum does have is a “select” group of folks with great depth of experiences and the ability to express themselves in a fashion we’re hard pressed to find anywhere else. If I had to choose one forum among all ALL the various other Escapees or Facebook forums, it’d be an easy decision for me. Sorry for hijacking this thread, really.
  5. Jim & Wilma


    Yep, I’ve considered just adding extensions for that reason. Screwing the TST on the outside tire stem, through wheel access hole, is a test in dexterity and patience. I’ve found that closing my eyes and seeking inner peace works best. I do cheat though and have removed the TST anti-theft outer shell.
  6. Jim & Wilma


    We have considered putting Crossfires on our duals. I’m currently unconvinced of their value and would like to hear any testimonials or theory of how they help. I have found our dual tire pressures remain remarkably stable and track together through change in temperature. We do monitor each tire with the TST 507 TPMS. I’m not clear on what problem the Crossfires would solve that couldn’t be as effectively solved by responding to loss of pressure from an individual tire. On the other hand, I’m aware of a least a couple folks that had problems with their systems, one of which was a consequence of inadequately securing the Crossfire. I would definitely pay attention to the best methods of installing these should that be your decision.
  7. My thoughts up to this point: First, I want to say that I, and most folks on this forum, appreciate learning of hitch anomalies. I also appreciate a thoughtful discussion. Second, David made clear there are many factors that may have contributed to this failure. It’s premature to conclude the primary root cause and final corrective actions. Third, I believe it’s reasonable conclude that a hitch failure of this type could result in catastrophic consequences. Fourth, if I owned a hitch with this configuration: I would inspect the hitch prior to each drive with emphasis on indicators related to these known anomalies I would contact the manufacturer requesting any advisories concerning my hitch
  8. 1. I use the HHRV resource guide. For those of use with older trucks it can be of particular value. 2. I use my iPad most often to access the internet, followed by windows laptop. thanks Mark for your efforts . . . Jim
  9. Jim & Wilma

    smart issue

    Got it fixed, though I definitely started giving the switch some thought. Smiles. See this new thread for the repair.
  10. If you have a Smart 453, you might want to take a minute and read this - may come in handy some day. Our 2017 Smart ignition key would not rotate to the off position and was stuck in the accessory position. This occurred after the car sat for a couple weeks and battery voltage was too low to start. We bought a new group 47 battery and the car is starting, holding a charge and running well but the ignition key could not be removed. For a couple days I disconnected the battery ground to save the battery. Today, I dug into the ignition switch assembly, first by removing the upper and lower shrouds covering the steering column. There are two torx T20 screws holding each cover. In the first picture below, you can see the exposed blue locking solenoid which is just below the ignition switch and also held by two T20 screws. The black rubber cap is a dust cover on the back side of the solenoid plunger. The material was easily pliable, sticky and "held" the solenoid plunger from operating. I made a red replacement cap from what I think was an old air line protective boot I had. Everything went back together easily and life is good again. Couple side notes/thoughts: Our shifter was also temporarily locked in Park. There's a yellow release lever buried under the shifter which will unlock it. Not sure why it locked (or wouldn't unlock) but it was definitely related to the battery low voltage problem. Others have had this issue too. I suspect the solenoid's black rubber boot was a problem waiting to happen and was pushed over the edge by the weak battery. I'm guessing the low voltage caused an increase in current with resulting increase in IxR heating of the solenoid coil and further softening of the black boot. The Smart battery is NOT a common size and nearest battery was a couple hundred miles away or a few days by mail. The group 47 battery (flooded lead acid, not AGM) is very close to the same size. A feature of the Smart's Italian made battery is it has a vent port which attaches to a tube that runs to the battery tray. I guess this keep any venting electrolyte gas/liquid from collecting on the battery top and accelerating terminal corrosion. Nice but not necessary, in my opinion.
  11. Jim & Wilma

    smart issue

    The dreaded locked shifter and and stuck key got us! Happened last week after we ignored the Smart for a couple weeks while we drove the Jeep. Battery voltage was way down. Charged the battery and found the yellow tab. Was able to drive and load the car but key won’t release from the column and “accessory” stays on. Made our trip to Illinois and got a new battery today. Fixed the battery issue and car still drives but key won’t remove. Any suggestions on how to remove the key and turn off “accessory”? In meantime, I'm carrying a 10mm combination wrench to lift the battery negative when parked. Not an altogether totally objectionable process for me. But I don’t think Wilma is too thrilled to carry her own 10mm wrench. Any suggestions?
  12. Jim & Wilma

    Almost a bad day

    We pulled into Smokey Hills RV yesterday to spend a couple days with our friends Dan & Freda and Mark & Bonnie. After unhitching, our Volvo D13 started making a rather loud rattling noise and Dan noted a large puddle of oil. Not good!We opened the hood and found the compressor shaking rather severely. Wasted no time shutting off the engine. Dan was quick to spot that two of the compressor studs had no nuts holding the compressor. Dan crawled under Ruby and amazingly found one of the nuts stuck between a couple hoses and the frame.A quick trip to the hardware store and we had some new grade 8 M12-1.75 nuts. After a bit of contortion, got the compressor secured, now including jam nuts. Started up Ruby and all appears normal though I imagine the flywheel and compressor gear teeth saw "some" wear. If we hadn't stopped when we did, it could have been a bad day. We’re thankful to have good friends.
  13. A good clean welding ground near the weld Is best practice. What you want to avoid is an alternate ground path through a sensitive piece of equipment. There are several ground connections on our trucks but the battery itself isn’t a ground so I don’t understand the value of disconnecting from the batteries. Maybe somebody can provide a technical explanation. Having said this, I also don’t see any harm in disconnecting the battery either.
  14. Carl, If you have space, you could install a manual transfer switch. Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B009TNX1KA/ref=dp_cerb_1 Instead of generator input, you’d wire to your inverter output. I did something similar but instead used interlocking circuit breakers in my inverter sub panel. Came in handy once though I’ll admit I did it more out “entertainment” than a great time saver. I probably spent 8 hours researching and installing to save an hour or two bypassing the inverter with jumpers/wire nuts. Of course, I’d still do it again, just because.
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