Thursday, April 30, 2015

Disaster Kitty Bites a Fuel Injector

We now find ourselves parked in the back lot of Little's Diesel Service in Kanab, UT.  We have excellent 4G LTE, power and water.  Here are pictures of how we arrived here.

This is called a landoll, which is a traveling axle trailer.  Landoll is like "kleenex" in that it refers to any traveling axle trailer, but is actually a brand name.  Ours was a Trail-Eze.

The motor home must be backed up onto the landoll, which is not much wider than the RV's wheels.  That would be Jim backing up the bus.  I, personally, can not believe that they let the owners do the backing.  Jim did a really good job of it.

It required backing onto a 6 by 6 to keep the bottom of the RV from hitting the deck.  The tow bar hitch receiver dragged a little, but it was ok.

The trailer wheels move backwards, lifting up the deck.

Jake then chained the bus to the deck.  He had a really long bar providing a lot of leverage on the chain binders.

Here is our home, driving away.  Jake had to exit through the entrance.  He approached the exit at a slightly bad angle and brushed a tree.  Backing up and going left was the good way to go.

That's Mike Little on the left and Jim.  Mike has the Caterpillar diagnostics up on his lap top.  We now know that we have a bad injector.  Hopefully that's all we have, but that won't be known until the engine is taken apart.  Engine work is such a pain, do you know where the access is?  From the bedroom closet. 

Our road side assistance was through Coach Net.  I shall now provide a brief summary of how that went.  Their goal is not to tow, because it's expensive.  The first thing they did was call a local diesel guy.  Coach Net had us call him to set up an appointment.  Local diesel guy told us that he could do nothing for us, and that he had told Coach Net the same thing.  Diesel engines can not be fixed in a RV campground.  Then Coach Net proposed towing us front wheels up.  They were pretty hard over on it.  We kept pushing back asking for all wheels up, and they kept saying no.  We finally told them we'd pay the difference between the cost to tow on a flat bed and front wheels up.  The picture below is NOT what you want.  This requires disconnecting the drive shaft and can cause great damage to your RV.  You can read more on the subject here and here.

After giving up on the idea of fixing the engine in the campground, Coach Net called several towing companies, all of whom said that they would not tow front wheels up, that all wheels had to be up.  This was good for us, since Coach Net agreed to cover the full cost of towing.  Ultimately it all worked out, and the nearest repair shop to Page appears to be a good one. 

It's going to be awhile.  We've decided to replace all 6 injectors.  If one is bad, who knows what the rest of them are doing.  This could have been so much worse.  The day after the engine failure, we were heading out to Bluff, UT.  There is absolutely nothing out there - nothing!  At least it happened in an area where there was some cell coverage and we were able to get the RV off the road and into safe harbor.

The six injectors are coming from three different states.  I don't expect to see them until Tuesday.  After they arrive, the cylinder head comes off, a tiny camera goes into each cylinder to inspect the pistons for any damage.  Cross your fingers that the pistons are unharmed.

So - here we are and here we be for the next while. 


  1. Well.....Kanab isn't the worst place in the world. Since you will have plenty of time, you might as well sign up for volunteers at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Do the tour and then you can help out with the dogs and cats and other animals. We walked a dog on a outing, hung out with the cats and enjoyed lunch in the beautiful lunch patio with views of the canyon. Wishing you best luck on the engine. Is it a Cat or Cummins? Hang in there!

  2. We spent some time yesterday getting info on area hikes from the local BLM and Kanab visitor centers. There are some local trails, but if we are going to ride the MTB's it looks like we'll have to head south of Fredonia toward the North Rim. We have a BLM map of the roads down there. As Allison says, it is a Cat C9, 400 hp. Block is a wet sleeve, so if there is any piston damage, it will not require a shortblock. Fingers crossed.

  3. I followed you to your blog from your comment on mine. I will sign on as a follower on my regular computer later. Good luck getting your engine u an running again. Towing looks tramatic!