Sunday, June 12, 2011

Unexpected Layover with A Good Ending


We left Woodland Park, CO. on Friday morning with a destination just west of Gunnison, CO. at the Curecanti National Recreation Area on Blue Mesa Reservoir at the Elk Creek Campground. 
Flashback: About 3 weeks ago I took our F-450 into the Ford Dealer in Colorado Springs because it started stalling whenever I’d try to accelerate. The problem was the high pressure oil pump which also helps the fuel injection process somehow. While the service tech was checking me in, he discovered on his computer, that there was a recall for the truck. It took them 2 days to fix the H.P. Oil Pump since it required taking the Cab completely off the chassis. The recall was just a software update.  The service tech didn’t really explain what the software update consisted of and I didn’t really ask for details figuring I probably wouldn’t understand it anyway. 
Just as soon as we pulled out onto the highway, the “Cleaning Exhaust Filter” notification lit up on the dash’s information window.  Didn’t think anything about it as this is a common occurrence while driving. It normally goes off after about 11 miles.  I always monitor my gauges looking for something unusual to occur.  We had driven 30 miles and the Exhaust Filter notification was still on as we approached Wilkerson Pass. So we pulled into the Visitor Center there to check things out.
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Upon getting out of the truck, Miss Carol and I both became aware of an odor of something overheated.  I told Miss Carol we’d just stay here for a while and let things cool down then check to see if the exhaust notice was out once we restart the engine. So she took Sophie and Joe for a walk up along a trail above the visitor center and came upon a spectacular view that we’d not yet seen as we didn’t quite make it over the summit.
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When the truck had cooled down we started it up and the light was still on. It was over 100 miles to a Ford Dealer if we continued west so we decided to backtrack towards Woodland Park and try to get it into the dealer in Colorado Springs on Monday.  After driving about 6 miles we came back into Lake George and spotted an RV Park ( Travel Port Campground) and decided to check it out for an open spot. They accommodated us with a nice spot, told us about their Saturday Pot Luck Dinner, and were extremely friendly.
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Once we got set up and got a satellite connection, I immediately got online and started researching the Ford Powerstroke Forum and the Power Stroke Forum on Yahoo Groups for anything related to the Cleaning Exhaust Filter cycle. It didn’t take me too long to find out that the latest recall that I just had done pertained to the filter cleaning.  All the symptoms that we’d experienced were normal and I had either over-reacted or was overly cautious. 
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So, we decided to stay over the weekend and get a fresh start Monday morning. It’s hard not to be paranoid while towing these big rigs as there are so many things that can go wrong.  We don’t mind the delay as we had an awesome Pot Luck dinner and with a view like this out your picture window………….
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We’ll be leaving in the morning and will have to go up, over, and down Monarch Pass at 11,200 feet elevation with a long 6% grade up and down.  After tomorrow we’ll know for sure if everything is working ok.
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