Monday, June 7, 2010


You know, sometimes I'm my own worst enemy.

We decided to take Highway 93 to Wells, Nevada because yesterday we had to climb some very steep passes and the weather was very hot. I noticed that the engine temperature also reached the hot zone. Not quite to the red but hot none the less.
The over flow bottle was dry so I added water and we continued to Ely.

This morning I checked the bottle and found it was low so I added more water, then I took the cap off the radiator to make sure there was coolant in the radiator and found it to be full.
At the same time I checked the oil level and found it needing oil so I added a quart.

We left Ely around 8:30, I kept an eye on the temperature gauge as we traveled along and it stayed in the normal range. The whole time I could smell coolant and thought that perhaps I had over filled the bottle and as the coolant in the radiator expanded and it possibly was over flowing the over flow bottle. I could not find a place with enough room along the highway to pull over to check it out.
We got to wells and as soon as I pulled onto I-80 the temperature began to rise. By the time we got to the next exit the gauge was almost in the red.
I pulled off and found a spot to park.
I got out and opened the hood. There was coolant everywhere but it was not hot and there wasn't any steam coming out any where.
The bottle was a little over the "Hot Level".
I carefully removed the radiator cap and no steam escaped. I felt the radiator and it was cool to the touch. I looked everywhere and could not see any leakage or steam.
Finally, I started adding water to the radiator, of course when the water reached the bottom of the radiator and encountered the hot engine the filler tube became a geyser as hot water and steam shot out at me. Fortunately I heard it gurgling and got out of the way in time.

Here, I have to regress a bit.
In the morning I used the on-board water supply and pump to take my morning shower.
It worked fine for me but when Patti tried the water, the pump would no longer work.
We only had our drinking water to use for the radiator and only a couple of gallons of that. Therefore I had to crawl under the RV with an empty jug and have Patti open the drain in the fresh water tank and I collect the water in the jug. There was only one problem with that strategy. The drain was directly above the frame on the rig so the water hit the frame and spred out and dripped down in several places. Undaunted I found a short hose in one of the storage bins and managed to hold it against the drain hole and in this way I was able to fill a couple of jugs with water.

The engine was still hot and each time I tried putting water in it it would spit it out again. I finally decided that I needed to have some Coolant to add the radiator so I disconnected the jeep and drove back to Wells to buy coolant. By the time I returned to Plan "B" the engine had cooled down enough for me to fill the radiator. While all this was happening I had time to figure out what the problem was.

Do you know what it was?

Well, in the morning when I checked the radiator level I didn't get the cap back on tight enough and as the coolant expanded in the radiator it just spewed out of the cap until is was all gone. It took 138 miles to empty the radiator.

Any way I got the radiator filled and we got back on the road. I kept an eye on the temperature and it stayed in the low/normal range almost the whole way to Winnemucca except going over couple of passes where it rose to the high/normal mark. We stopped at one rest stop about half way where I checked under the hood and it was nice and dry.

We are now parked in the Wall Mart parking lot in Winnemucca and will leave here tomorrow on the next leg of our adventure. Hopefully we get as far as Klamath Falls Oregon tomorrow.

More later.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes! I'm glad you pulled over and figured it out when you did. AND I'm glad it was something so simple.