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Old 10-26-2010, 05:46 PM   #21
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

Spending a night in a dealer's lot is not fun. But, you will have to admit it is alot better than finding out your van was broken into while you were in a motel.

Good luck with the repairs.

Mike
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Old 10-26-2010, 09:59 PM   #22
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dead in Death Valley

Reminds me of a Baja trip in my bulletproof 1972 IH Travelall circa 1987. After traveling two days to get into my pit for a Baja 1000 race, my truck quit running in the middle of the night about 30 off road miles west of Mulaje in one of the most primitive canyons on earth. You know how dark a Baja night is with no moon?

Thankfully that 390 ci gas motor and the electrical system was simple. I had headlights and brake lights, so it had to be an electrical failure because it quit running just like that. Before poking around under the hood, I looked under that beautiful steel dash (no plastic, no padding!) to find one of the three wires to the ignition switch had shorted onto the push-pull cable for one of the three gas tanks.

I clipped and stripped two of the ignition wires together to complete the circuit, then turned the key to get the starter to fire. Bingo! My wife still thinks I'm a mechanical genius.

Unfortunately the government has dictated our fate and now our mechanical systems are tamper proof because we can't be trusted. We brought this crap on ourselves.

I love the elegance and complex engineering of new vehicles but I've always kept a pre-smog, naturally aspirated four-by as my off road toy...just because.
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Old 10-27-2010, 12:28 PM   #23
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

Here's the latest development. Ford determined that the PCM (Primary Control Module) (edit 10/31 POWERTRAIN Control Module) needed to be replaced, but the part had to be ordered and would take two days to get and install the part to see if that fixes the problem. They are not saying that the Ravelco has anything to do with it, but they will be very suspicious if it happens again. Ford rented us a car, we emptied the van into the rental and drove home last night. Now I wait until they get the new PCM and see what happens.

So far, the towing, repairs and rental car are all covered by Ford under the warranty. I suppose this is one argument for buying new instead of used. Once I get the van back, I will have Ravelco verify that the installation has been done correctly. Aside from that, is there anything else I should do to try and assure that everything electrical is connected properly?

The next scheduled trip is the off-road driving class with Badlands in November at Hungry Valley one day and Mojave the next day. I'll be able to give it a good shaking with lots of other people around this time. Hopefully that will be enough of a test to restore my trust.

Here is the first towing attempt:


Then this happened. Two broken hydrolic cylinders:


Then we got to drive to Pahrump, NV and get this beast:


Here we are driving in reverse at 2 mph to keep from overheating for 1.75 miles for the second time that day!


Don't worry, this was just a lift from the tow bar to get blocks under the back wheels so that the lift had enough clearance to prevent damaging the differential. I stopped taking towing pictures after this, but once we were on pavement, we dropped the van, picked it up again from the front axle and disconnected the drive shaft. The only damage was that the center mount for the steering dampener got pushed up a bit by the lift.


Our cozy campsite the next morning
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:18 PM   #24
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

FWIW, I've had my Ravelco installed for over three years without any problems whatsoever, but I can understand the Ford dealer's suspicion/concern.

Stuck in Vegas. That could get expensive for a number of reasons.

I still think I had the best tow truck ever, but then again I wasn't off pavement, unless you count the shoulder of the road.




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Old 10-27-2010, 01:35 PM   #25
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

.
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Old 10-27-2010, 02:18 PM   #26
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

Quote:
Originally Posted by BroncoHauler
Stuck in Vegas. That could get expensive for a number of reasons.
Luckily, we don't gamble, unless you count driving down unfamiliar dirt roads, in which case I think my luck ran out already.

Steve
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:18 PM   #27
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

What happened when the cylinders broke? Did the bed slam down?
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Old 10-27-2010, 03:25 PM   #28
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

Jage, you said the engine wouldn't turn over if a tail light was out?

How does a burned out tailight affect The Van's electrical system?

And as long as I'm asking dumb questions, I've looked for the fuel cutoff switch that's supposed to be somewhere in the passenger side footwell, but I'll be damned if I can find it. Is it behind something?

I have a 2005 Ford SMB.

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Old 10-27-2010, 03:44 PM   #29
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

Quote:
Originally Posted by WVvan
What happened when the cylinders broke? Did the bed slam down?
My back was turned at the time and I only heard it happen. The driver said that the back end of the bed was only about 8 inches off the ground and that the van didn't move at all when it came down.

Steve
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Old 10-27-2010, 04:22 PM   #30
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Re: My SMB is dead in Death Valley

Herb, I agree that your tow is much nicer looking than mine. However, mine was incredibly effective considering it was up and over a mountain pass (winding roads with steep inclines and declines). Also, our dogs were not too happy to be trapped in the van for over 1.5 hours during the tow, especially getting pulled onto the flat bed.

Steve, good to hear that you are at least in comfortable surroundings. I've had the Ravelco for over 2.5 years and I've never had a problem as well.

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