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    Restoring antique autos. Studebaker owner
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  1. AC could make ice cubes after replacing Expansion valve, compressor, and dryer. I finally found dryer hiding out above transmission! Just the place I would have put it. NOT !! For those who may search in the future: Compressor mfg by Eagle Products PN 20-09978-AM. $167 Dryer mfg by Parker PN 085098-00 $17.95 Expansion valve mfg.Volvo. by PN 176568 $26 Labor and parts from AC shop $280 Removal and installation of compressor and valve done by me in about 3 hours. Jon
  2. Rich, Thanks for "clickey". I'm familiar with auto layouts and this seems to follow that. Attached pic shows expansion valve, but no dryer to be found. I suspect I'll find dryer under chassis. Likely place would be at a splice in hose. I didn't see it anywhere near the condenser either. New expansion valve installed. I proactively installed a new compressor and as soon as I find dryer location I'll be ready for charge. Jon
  3. For my first attempt at posting, it looks like I found the right category for my issue. Thanks to all. You have confirmed what my mechanic deduced. My concern with dryer location is it was suggested that anytime the AC system is opened, the dryer be replaced. I have the expansion valve and dryer on order. I'll be crawling under today in search for the dryer. Jon 2002 Monaco Windsor 36' PS I've been a member since January and read this forum daily. Many problems have been solved just by reading others posts. Collectively you folks are an encyclopedia of knowledge and have made my 1st year of ownership fun and within budget.
  4. Dash AC will not produce cold air. After a vacuum check and recharge, my mechanic suspects the dryer. (Low side pressure is negative vs specs at +30) I have searched manuals and the chassis itself but can't find it.
  5. FL 4-13-15 As we near the end of our winter get away we decided to spend a few days unwinding. Yesterday we took a drive over the mountain to Culpepper VA. It was another beautiful blue sky day. The views from the mountain were spectacular. The balance of the day was spent at our CG enjoying the 70 degree weather. Today we traveled over the mountain again to have lunch with another Bradford neighbors. The Marshall's were in Virginia visiting Judy's sister Karen and her husband Mike. When we found that out we just had to have a get together. After a few stops at restaurants that were still closed for the season, we managed to find a Pub in Sperryville. All had a light lunch and 2 hours of nonstop conversation. Tomorrow will be spent getting Gracie ready for a 4 week rest in PA until we return for a wedding and finally bring her back to NH for the summer. Did anyone find the deer in the pictures with my last Blog?
  6. FL 4-10-15 Lately the days have just whizzed by. Friday we took a long drive to see Thomas Jeffersons Monticello. I suspect it gets fewer visitors than Mount Vernon due to the location. However, it certainly is worth the effort. Much like Biltmore, Monticello is well hidden. Even after you park your car, purchase a ticket, and board the shuttle bus, the main building is nowhere in site. After climbing a steep winding road it finally presents itself. Make one wonder why a farmer choose the top of a ridge to open fields. The main house visit is by accompaniment of a tour guide only and another NO pictures rule. While we waited for our time slot for the house, we took in the slave tour. This was quite educational. Our guide took us through history from their arrival at Monticello to Jeffersons death. Several learned trades as opposed to being field hands or House maids. It was a real eye opener for me. I and many others in our group wondered how Jefferson who wrote "All men are created equal" could not only exclude them but in fact own nearly 150. Our guide had been asked this many times but history gives no answer, only speculation. Shortly after that tour completed it was our turn for the house tour. This guide was also excellent. I learned many interesting things about Jefferson as a person. One of which was the fact that he designed Monticello and most of the materials like bricks and furniture were constructed on site. I urge you to see this place for yourself. 4-11-15 We woke up to a beautiful blue sky day and decided it was a perfect day for a trip on the Skyline Drive. We made it through 65 of its 150 miles taking over 4 hours. It seemed their was a lookout on every curve and none could be passed up. The views were amazing! As evening set in the deer started roaming about. We must have spotted over 20. We pulled over just as the sun began to set and witnessed an incredible end to our day. 4-12-15 Today I was determined to make it to DC to view the cherry blossoms at their peak. It was an 86 mile one way trip with the last 15 miles taking us over 2 hours. Only to find that Ohio Ave. (that encircles the tidal basin where all the Japanese cherry trees are) was closed for the day. Traffic and throngs of people made it nearly impossible to get through the city. I had hoped to drive the circle, take a few pics. and get out. Well, that didn't happen. We were fortunate to leave that mess before dark set in. I've been in many cites during rush hour and none came even close to this. It was total grid lock! It's likely that so many pedestrians would have made it difficult even if I had taken the Metro and I doubt I would have lasted to walk. In short, today was a disaster.
  7. FL 4-9-15 We left enchanting Asheville NC Tuesday morning. I felt brave after reading a few reviews concerning I 26 to Tennessee and off we went. Yes, there are at least three 6 or 7 degree grades to negotiate. Gracie's 350 Cummins did just fine, even with the Burb in tow. Two of those grades slowed us down to 35 mph but we still made them. Water and Trans. temperature Both stayed in the normal range and between the Exhaust brake and the Burb's brakes at work downhill, I was able to keep Gracie within +or- 45 mph. Once we hooked up with 81 north I set the cruise control at 60 and other than a few downpours, made it to a rest area just north of Lexington on schedule. Considering it was almost 5 PM we chose to stay there for the night. That wasn't one of my better ideas. When trucks were not coming or going, trains were with zealous engineers pulling on the whistle. I always get what I pay for! Yesterday was a short but challenging drive. During the last 10 miles we found ourselves climbing and descending a two lane mountain road complete with 10 plus degree grades and those wonderful switchbacks. Just to add to the excitement, the fog was so thick I could barely see my own windshield wipers. Another passing grade for Gracie and her driver. Our destination was the Outlander RV park in Luray VA. When we pulled up to the office we were greeted by a closed sign. No wonder they had not returned Ruth's voicemail left as we were leaving the rest stop. As we were formulating a plan B, a man arrived on his four wheeler. He introduced himself as the owner and assured us they were open year round, but his office assistant had called in sick that day. With Kelly's guidance we were shown to our site and soon ready to hook up. This is a lovely setting of grass and bordering corn fields. The camp ground is bounded on one side with the Shenandoah River and beautiful rolling hills and mountains on the others. The balance of our day was spent grocery shopping and doing laundry. Tomorrow begins another site seeing adventure. 4-10 took us to Luray Caverns just a few miles from our CG. I know these are underground, but it always amazes me that you never see them coming. As we pulled into the parking lot I say to my self "where is it?" Not even a mound or other hint. We found the ticket booth inside a building with the gift shop. It also contained the cavern entrance. Through the door and down a long flight of stairs and there it was. After seeing the cavern in Flordia, I knew what to expect but had no idea the scale would be so grand. This place was awesome! Except for the uphill climb and the 50 plus steps to exit. Sure gave the knees a work out. After a small lunch we wondered over to the auto museum. Yah, I've seen a lot of these but you never know what you may find. This place was a treasure trove of prewar automobile excellence! So many fine specimens. Those I had only read about or ever heard of for that matter. Most of the displays were either older restorations or marvelous preservations. We were told as we were leaving all but two were good enough to drive. I can't believe I saw a Rolls Royce Woody and an early Benz in the same place. Today was a good day.
  8. FL 4-6-15 Today was a return to Biltmore. We just had to see the gardens before we left. It's early spring here so blooms were limited. However the landscape itself is worth the trip in any season. Rolling hills, winding paths and majestic trees all blend together for visual overload. A large conservatory anchors the entire maze of gardens. Inside were hundreds of species of plants and flowers, most in full bloom! Several areas had striking arrangements with benches, making the perfect picture spot. Even though it rained off and on, the resulting overcast skies seemed to make all the colors more vivid. Time flew by as we accomplished our walking limit for the day. As the rain became steadier, we returned to the Burb. I think we took every turn possible on the way out, avoiding the direct route so we could see more of the Estate. Ruth and I took over 100 photos today nearly making up for yesterday's deficit. Did you find Melvin? We found a Gecko inside the Burb today. No telling how long it's been a stowaway. Maybe Oscar can catch it. I couldn't. It's now up under the dash somewhere!
  9. FL 4-5-15 Quite a bit has happened since my last writing. After 2 days of rest we moved from Lexington SC to Asheville NC on Friday April 3rd. The drive was of little note until the last 10 miles or so. For some reason it's always those last few miles in the day that present the most stress. As we entered metro Asheville the traffic really picked up. We didn't see any reason other than heavy volume. The slower speed itself isn't much of an issue until it comes time to exit left or right in four lanes when no one is willing to yield. Once we reached our final exit, and turned onto a narrow side street, we heard the screech of fire truck sirens. A quick look in the mirrors showed them approaching from the rear. As is proper, I moved to the right as the truck got closer. The sirens got more aggressive as I realized they could not pass me. With no other option I hopped the curb. The truck did the same as they passed nearly touching mirrors with us. Less than a block later they stopped in front of a residence. Since I now could not pass them I stayed put. Good thing as a minute later an ambulance passed by my left side soon followed by a police car. Smaller vehicles stopped behind me trickled past as opposing traffic permitted. Turns out it was some sort of medical emergency. In about 10 minutes the ambulance left and so could we. A few minutes later we arrived at Bear Creak CG. This park sits atop a hill with a steep but manageable approach. Reminded us of our own driveway. Ruth did a fine job of guiding me as I back into our site in spite of the leaning fence and a 30 foot cliff to the rear. Time for a CC and ginger! Yesterday was a chilly 55 degrees with a stiff, at times, wind. However, the nearly clear blue sky's called out for a drive on the Blue Ridge Mountain trail. That turned out to be a banner idea! Although we only drove about 50 miles of its well over 400 mile length we were nearly overwhelmed with eye candy. Perhaps the foliage would have been even prettier with the loral in full bloom, but summers leaves would also have obstructed the unending view. This is one of those sites that require ones physical presence to fully appreciate. We took many photos but I suspect they will serve only as reminders of this day more than inspire others. Once we reached the highest elevation east of the Mississippi at 6578 feet, we turned back. Even though we were retracing our steps, the views were all different and no less spellbinding. As we returned to Asheville there was still plenty of daylight left in our day so we decided to find one of the 4 or 5 Mast General stores in the area. Garmin led us to Hendersenville NC. The Main Street facades are well preserved from the pre war days and quite attractive. Many specialty shops surrounded the General store. Inside the store was a wide variety of wares ranging from candies like Bit-oh-honey to socks with directions to make your own Melvin. It took us over an hour to make our way through and select a few gifts for our family and friends. Today, Easter morning, greeted us with another blue sky day. Time to see the jewel of Asheville, Biltmore Estate, country home (grand Chateau) of George and Edith Vanderbilt, circa 1893. It all begins with an arched entrance to a nearly three mile drive through beautiful wood land to the parking area. The road gently twists through wooded areas, stone arch bridges and pastures. Each bend heightens ones anticipation of viewing this magnificent home for the first time. The senses must wait a bit more though. After parking, a shuttle takes you the final mile. Oh, what splendor when it finally comes into view. Even the shuttle ride was made enjoyable by the smiling faces of young children on their way to an Easter egg hunt provided on the front yard of the estate. Ruth and I inquired of two youngsters seated near us if the Easter bunny had visited their home this morning. Several children on the shuttle shared their excitement and discoveries with us. As we stepped out of the shuttle the mere size of the structure amazed us. Once we got our wits about us we began to carefully view every detail of the building from its massive doors to the finest detail of the carved limestone. A large poster at the entrance reminded us that costumes from Downton Abbey were on display. A double treat for the eyes today! We picked up our audio aides and began our tour. Each room we entered was described in finite detail by our audio device. Flowers were everywhere. At my first opportunity I inquired of a staff member if they were real or silk. The short answer was real, but the explanation of their care and origin took a few minutes. Upon entering the second room we spotted the first of many costumes from Downton Abby. From that point on it was like experiencing a remake of the PBS series while enjoying the furnishings and architecture of a grand manor of the same period. Ruth and I both were nearly overwhelmed with all of it. Our only disappointment was the ban on photography. The expected hour and a half tour took us over four hours. We saw the grand dinning room with its three side by side fire places and forty foot vaulted ceiling, the master bed room, the library, turn of the century bathrooms with running hot water, guest bed rooms, the bowling alley, and even all three kitchens. By the time we exited the home we were tired and in awe. Next we strolled over to the pastry shop and had a treat while we rested and shared our favorite rooms with each other. A walk through the gift shop and the purchase of a DVD cured our lack of photographs. The day ended with a drive back out to the real world via another winding road through the spacious and beautiful grounds. A few days can not do this area justice. So much to see and do. We will return and spend 10 days or more. The scenery is beautiful with rolling hills and mountain ranges everywhere you look. The village of Asheville is quaint and historic with grand architecture.
  10. FL 3-31-15 Well five days have passed by in a hurry since we left Savannah. We are now in a suburb of Columbia SC in the town of Lexington. The name of our CG is the Barnyard, but don't be confused by the name. This is at the top of our list for having all the amenities important to us. The lots are very spacious and level pull throughs with gravel landings and concrete table areas. Lots of grass and a few ornamental tress occupy the rest of the area. Very quiet and very clean. When we walk Oscar we stroll by a small pond where several geese reside. The laundry is spotless and all the machines actually work. We'll be back here for sure. Friday was a travel day, Saturday I walked over to a large flea market adjacent to our CG. There was plenty to see, but nothing came home with me. Later in the day Ruth and I went to Mass then returned to Gracie for a quiet evening watching the TV. Sunday came and went before we knew it. Today we woke to a perfect blue sky day forecasted to reach 75 degrees. No way we were letting that go to waste. We got into the Burb and took off for a day of site seeing in Columbia. Our first stop was the River Walk. Not quite what we expected but exactly as described by its name. A gentle walk along a canal with sparce landscaping. More like a jogging trail. None the less we had a pleasant walk and Oscar was treated like a Rock Star. We were inundated by a grammar school outing and Oscar was the Star of the day! Next we drove by the State house for a photo and then to a couple historical homes. One was Woodrow Wilsons childhood home. That was a history lesson for me. I didn't even know SC was his home state! Since Oscar had been so good, I treated him to a walk around the biggest fire hydrant I have ever seen. By late afternoon we were back at the CG. Current weather forecast looks terrific for the rest of this week. I think tomorrow I'm looking forward to a lawn chair day. Ahhh! Life is Good! Note: last photo is W. Wilsons childhood home, the other is the Hampton-Preston home built in 1818.
  11. FL 3-26-15 Today we woke to a weather report for 80 degree temps. Without hesitation we began to plan our day. First a 20 minute drive to Fort McAllister state park to check out the camping facilities. This is a very well preserved area with large trees and spacious camp sites. Big rigs and fifth wheelers do NOT fit in all sites and the park is frequently booked. We knew that yesterday when we attempted to reserve a spot. As with most State parks the campsites only provide electric and sewer hook ups with a dump site nearby. Limited access is protected by a locked gate over a mile from the actual entrance. With that mission accomplished, we headed for downtown Savannah. Second on our list was finding Paula Dean's restaurant. With the help of Garmin that was easy. Parking was quite a bit more difficult. No doubt the locals have it figured out. But us tourists need better signage. We eventually managed to get a parking space on a side street several blocks away. However, considering the nice weather the walk was good for us. We really enjoyed the beautiful spring weather. Savannah has beautiful green spaces in the inner city, azaleas are in full bloom and the old buildings many surrounded in wrought iron ornate fencing are stately to see. All making the walk very pleasant. We both agree, Savannah is a gem! So much history still standing, as it was spared being burned by Sherman. Must return another day, not nearly enough time to see all there is in this area. Once we arrived at the restaurant Ruth was over whelmed with the gadgets and souvenirs on display. It took several times in front of each display before she could decide on the appropriate gifts for the cooks in our family. The cashier carefully wrapped the items in bubble wrap insuring their safe trip home. Only then did we make our way to the hostess station for lunch. Big mistake! Not only should we have done that upon our arrival, we should have made reservation yesterday. Yes that's possible if you want to insure a seating time. Our parking meter was ticking down to zero so we couldn't wait the hour plus to be seated. On the way back to the car Ruth remembered seeing a Mexican restaurant as we were looking for a parking spot. O'lay, we found it in the next block. About half the tables were empty as we entered. No waiting! We were shown to our seats and handed menus. 40 minutes later the bill was paid and the short walk back to the Burb got us their with 3 minutes remaining on the meter. At 2:50PM we had just enough time to skip town before rush hour traffic. Tomorrow is a moving day. We are headed for Barnyard CG near Columbia SC. Let's hope it doesn't live up to its name.
  12. FL 3-24-15 Sunday past we left Flordia and began our slow trek north. Our first stop over is Savannah GA. We made it to our destination, Richmond Hills KOA. This is a fairly nice CG with the exception of the sandy sites. Here comes the mess inside our motorhome. By the time we were settled in and hooked up, the rain began and continued through Monday. So we didn't venture out until today. Our plan was to get into the historic district and take a trolley tour. Mission accomplished! Although the seats on the trolley were designed for those who have successfully completed a 5 year session of "Weight Watchers", we squeezed in and enjoyed the tour. Our Conductor was very knowledgeable of Savannah's history from its founding until Tom hanks was in town to film Forest Gump. We passed by many interesting buildings and at least 10 of Savannah's 24 squares. Eye candy was abundant. Beautiful Gothic style churches, Victorian homes, giant oak trees surrounded by azaleas in full bloom, and horse drawn carriages. The ride down River street brought back 15 year old memories for Ruth and I. One of our stops was the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist. It's facade was striking and the interior was marvelous. Photos just will not do it justice. When we returned to our CG to rescue Oscar from his afternoon in Gracie, we walked over to the rather large pond to watch the Swans, Geese, and a few ducks. Their was at least 20 Swans. Some paddling about, a few on shore, and a couple feeding at the grain buckets left out for them. It was easy to get some awesome pictures.
  13. FL 3-21-15 Today was another beautiful 86 degree blue sky day. My sister in law Linda and her husband John stopped by our campsite for a visit today. Seems like anytime one of us heads for Flordia the other one shows up. We spent the afternoon gabbing away and then went out for an early supper so they would have time to catch their flight home today. We have been here at Clerbrook RV resort in Clermont ( spelled correctly both times) for the past two days. A very nice place! Three large complexes separated by a golf course. Each area has its own community center, pool and laundry facility. The sites are spacious, reasonably level, and quiet. Our interaction with the staff was always pleasant. We discovered they have great seasonal rates, activities going on every day and night, and don't forget it's only 27 miles to Disney from here. Tomorrow we break camp and begin our journey north. First stop is Savahanna GA. We plan to stay four days and see the sites. Maybe more if warm weather hasn't worked its way north. Not sure what path we will take after that, but plan to be home in NH by May 1, provided the ice is gone from our lake. Sorry, no pictures today. Nothing worth grabbing the camera for, except John and Linda and I forgot to snap their pic.
  14. FL 3-18-15 The last couple days I had very little to write about. We are at Alliance Coach having a few minor repairs done. Thing is it takes time to schedule your turn and not all repairs are straight forward due to the complexity of these things. The past 2 days we spent our time exploring the countryside. This area is full of horse ranches and I'm not talking 10 acres! They go on for miles. The pastures are beautiful, the homestead is Southern Fork worthy, and the horses are of all varieties. Don't ask me which ones. I know I haven't seen any Clydesdales but there are many different breeds in the area. Yesterday we checked out a Sate park that boasted of river tubing. We found it but we also found a sign saying "closed for the season". At least we know where to go if we decide to stay later in the future. Today we drove to Tarpon Springs to visit with a distant cousin of Ruth. They connected through genealogy research. Sharon and Bob live in midstate New York, but are down here for the winter. Through Facebook they discovered we were only 60 miles away from each other. Road trip. It was wonderful to spend time with them. We did lunch gabbed a lot and took a "locals" tour of the best beaches and neighborhoods. What a great day. Not much in the picture department but lots of new memories of a very pleasant day. While we are on the subject, my sister-in-law and her husband from Pennsylvania are also vacationing about 60 miles SE of us. We have plans to spend Saturday with them. No matter where we go it's easy to find something to do. While we were gone today Gracie went to the beauty parlor for a wash and wax. She had so much Texas dirt on her she began to look like the Beverly Hillbillies owned her. We got back after dark and couldn't see the change over, but when the Burbs headlights hit her I did see shines wheels and tires. I went straight to the fridge to grab some fresh pineapple chunks I had prepared yesterday. Great, the $@(;/#%^~ light burned out. Upon further inspection I discovered no power. Could not turn it on. After about 20 minutes of troubleshooting I discovered a circuit board had been fried. If it wasn't caused by the power washer blasting through the outside vented access panel it would still be an odd coinsedance. Guess we're here for another day. PS Ever wonder wher Palm trees come from? Look at this picture.
  15. Get her ready and gas up the Ford. I still have plenty of camping to do when we get back. Can't wait to tell all our adventure stories by the camp fire.
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