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Old 04-09-2015, 09:24 PM   #1
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Broken Down in North Carolina

Put in a smooth 500 miles today from NYC. Pulled into Rocky Mount, NC and, after making a few turns, the E350 bucked, then started squealing, dead in the water. Luckily, I was able to glide off the main road. Even trying to start it was futile, just wouldn't engage. I called AAA. After 10 mins, the engine started and I was able to drive - with whining and clattering - to a hotel. I'll call for the tow in the morning. No way I want to drive on this. They will take it to a AAA place in Fayetteville, which is on my route - I am heading to Florida - but I'm posting her on the off chance that somebody knows a good mechanic in Rocky Mount?

I'm thinking it's the transmission, but who knows? It'll be a Friday, so that's another issue. Could have been worse, though. At least I was not on the highway and managed to get to a motel.

UGH.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:41 PM   #2
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Re: Broken Down in North Carolina

Bummer. I know exactly how it feels. We lost the rear main seal on the engine on a trip two years ago. A day and a half later we were on our way again. Hopefully it is something simple.
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Old 04-10-2015, 10:30 AM   #3
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Re: Broken Down in North Carolina

cracked flex plate. part should come in on Monday. I guess I will be shooting photos around Rocky Mount over the weekend. All in all, it could have been much worse.
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Old 04-10-2015, 03:28 PM   #4
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Re: Broken Down in North Carolina

So, I'm googling around - I have a lot of time on my hands at the moment - on why flex plates crack. Most "experts" on the web say the usual - metal fatigue, randomness, etc. ONE "expert" said "if you don't find out why it failed, it will fail again."

Does anybody here have any informed opinions on this? Just curious.
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Old 04-10-2015, 04:29 PM   #5
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Re: Broken Down in North Carolina

A couple of guesses:

- Material defect in the steel it was made from.

- Manufacturing defect. Can take years to fail.

- Damaged last time trans was out. Dropped or dinged or ?

I wouldn't worry about it.

I've been stranded several times with my van:

- Injector, 5 days warranty

- EGR Valve, 1 day, $600

- Injector, 5 days, $1900

- Cam sensor, 1 day, $350

- Injector, 1 day, $2250 Canadian

- Cam sensor wiring, 1 day, $300 (possible root cause of cam sensor problem above)

It always sucks, but nobody got hurt and it only cost some time and money. AAA has had to pay for the above tows. 50 miles (three times), 2 miles, 200 miles. They may be more upset than I was.

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Old 04-10-2015, 07:01 PM   #6
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Re: Broken Down in North Carolina

If you can, rent a cheap car this weekend and go explore. On a trip, time has value and spending it surfing net when you could be out exploring is a shame! :-)
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:01 PM   #7
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Re: Broken Down in North Carolina

Mike, thanks. I always value your posts, especially on mechanical stuff. I'm not going to sweat it. When I had the Mighty Wagoneer, every trip was measured in breakdowns and flatbedding. Only thing that ticked me off this time was when the AAA Carolinas person told me that they would not tow me because I was considered commercial. I said "because it says 'Super Duty' on the truck?" and she said "Yes." That struck me as ridiculous. I called my New York AAA club person and got a similar run-around, told them that I had paid for their service for years and was wondering why. She then said "if the equipment we send can carry you, we'll tow you." Another less-than-satisfactory answer. Anyway, I came in under my own steam, clanking and banging. 99,000 absolutely trouble-free miles up until now. Anyway, my biggest problem remains worrying about things.

And yes, I rented a little crappy car and have been driving around with my cameras, which I'll probably do the whole weekend. I don't really know how to sit still.
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Old 04-10-2015, 08:33 PM   #8
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Re: Broken Down in North Carolina

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomadcat
...Only thing that ticked me off this time was when the AAA Carolinas person told me that they would not tow me because I was considered commercial. I said "because it says 'Super Duty' on the truck?" and she said "Yes." That struck me as ridiculous. I called my New York AAA club person and got a similar run-around, told them that I had paid for their service for years and was wondering why. She then said "if the equipment we send can carry you, we'll tow you." ...
Maybe look into Good Sam instead. I used to carry both, but I upgraded my AAA to include RV coverage and dropped my Good Sam. I never had issues with either though.


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Old 04-10-2015, 09:34 PM   #9
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Re: Broken Down in North Carolina

Quote:
I don't really know how to sit still.
A friend at work says he does not idle well. Seems more appropriate in this context.
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Old 04-10-2015, 09:47 PM   #10
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Re: Broken Down in North Carolina

Herb, I think I will look into upgrading my AAA. I used to have good Sam until I tried to get into one of their parks a few years ago and they would not let me in because they said I had no city water connection. I ditched them. Clearly, the pattern emerges of me getting resentments against these people.

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