Isuzu Trek Infoletter #32, May 2013
1994 2400, Bruce Matlack, (matlackwindsurfing at gmail.com). Remember to replace "at" with @ in the email addresses.
Magic Bed: I lube the bed rails with spray silicone whenever I spy rust or they start making a clunking noise. So far so good - if anyone has a better solution I'd like to know about it.
Tires: Had a blow-out on right rear inside on my way down to the Keys from Anna Maria-- scared the hell out of me, rode 16 miles on one tire until I could reach help. My own fault for running on thin rubber. The only tires available on a Sunday afternoon were Firestones- keeping fingers crossed that they are OK.
Microwave: Ditched the original one so I could have one of lower wattage that the inverter could handle, so went down to a garage sale and got an 800-watt unit.
TV: Ditched the original TV and now use space for linens for the bed instead of having to walk to the rear of the coach to fetch what is needed. I plan on a light-weight wood door to finish it off, with an original oil painting by my friend here (Robert Johnson). If one is into TV, I don't see why attaching a flat screen to the outside of a more substantial wood drop door would not work fine.
Inverter: I cleaned mine via instructions in earlier newsletters and can report success- no more AC power failing when weather is damp.
Heater: A neat portable gas propane heater that shuts off when not enough oxygen is present or if it falls over, made by SunRite, model #223400-10007549. It heats a porcelain tile plate from a common little stove gas bottle which fits nicely inside it. Seems pretty efficient to me.
Hot water: I tapped all the rust loose in the feeder pipe to the burner, then flushed all out with the hose nozzle. It seems to work fine now.
2400 Isuzu - 122,500 miles of which I have put on 50,000
Thanks, Bruce, for the input.
Editor Note - Earlier Bruce passed along some interesting information about the use of spray dusters. Seems he had a flash fire while cleaning some electronics. That prompted me to look at the duster I have in our RV; sure enough it is FLAMABLE and all it needs is a spark to set it off. I will be a lot more careful how I use it now.
Engine Change, Linda Dahle (ldahle3 at gmail.com)
Hi Ken, Thanks for doing the newsletter. On December 27, 2012, I was driving across Texas when my engine blew. Sounds like the first line of an adventure novel, doesn't it? Well it was an adventure all right, one that started a year before. My Trek is a 1994 model 2830 with the queen bed in rear, with 108,000 miles. I bought it in 2003 with 49,000 miles from a dealer.
I had spoken to several mechanics about the two things happening with the engine. The coolant reservoir with antifreeze would be down near empty every two or three months. The engine would run hot but then cool back down. No one was interested in checking into why this was happening. I bought a new thermostat and talked about checking for leaks; the mechanics would look at it, drive it and say it seems okay. When the engine ran hot in December, I was watching to see if it would come back down. It did not.
I stopped and filled the reservoir with coolant and water. The engine cooled down. As I started down the road it went from running hot to burying the needle at hot, and white smoke came out of the exhaust. I called for a tow. Coach Net to the rescue. The only place interested in even looking at it was 85 miles back in Waco or another 85 to Dallas. The next morning the shop I was towed to refused to touch it! Too old, too hard. The shop in Dallas said they would take it apart and try to have the head repaired and work on it a piece at a time. It would take a minimum of 6 weeks and they wanted me to pay as the work progressed with no guarantees. That was International Trucks, Dallas.
I used my last free tow to get to an RV park in Waco as I was out of propane, water and patience. The month of January, I learned the hard cold facts of the repair business. Everyone would like to help, but few can help. Those who have done the job before seem to be retired now. These days things are just changed out for new and you pay dearly. I had considered junking it at 13 cents a pound; they will haul it away and send you a check. I tried shopping for a newer RV, but found either they need all the upgrades that I already have or they have unknown things like how long the engine, rear end, and other things will last.
Finally, I went to the Kenworth Semi-Truck repair facility in Waco and begged. They said that they would look into it. The first ray of cooperation. What we found: a very small heater hose half-way down the front of the engine had a leak. Also, there was the possibility the thermostat may have stuck now and then, the water pump may have been failing or coolant may have been entering the engine and burning off. Then, when the temperature got too hot there was an oil ring failure. Apparently that engine, according to Jaspar, is known for fissures and cracks on the head.
(Editor - link to web info I found