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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Brake Line Is Replaced and we are Towing our Sassy Tracker HOME!

Steve has decided to tow the Tracker around for the rest of our vacation and bring it back to Wisconsin with us.  Once there, we will look around for an engine and take care of it there. Whew!  (that was the option I was hoping he would take) 

He has figured the transmission and trans axle are okay, just the engine has blown a bearing.  It was like we were trying to "pull start" our manual shifting car for about a mile or so and that did the job on it.  So here is our Tracker with it's broken little heart..... 

Also, in hindsight (which is ALWAYS 20/20!)  we know we both checked the shift lever configuration set up before we left, and it was exactly as the owner's manual states, the gear in 2nd and the transaxle in N.  But thinking back to the three big speedbumps at the park as we exited, the second one is a doozy....  even Merikay and Craig commented on it being a big one.  Well, perhaps that big BUMP over it was enough to push the transaxle shift into gear and cause the trouble.  We said we heard a big THUD....  hmmmmm  oh well, we know we ruined it and we know we have to fix it.  Sigh. 

Back to the motorhome repair.. that is more important at this date and time!

Our rusted leaking brake line was temporarily patched by Steve yesterday to get us down here to: Emergency Truck Repair in Caballo Lake, NM.    It's a one man business by the name of Harold, who has a LOT of the local business going in and out of here.  We were so lucky he was able to make us up a new brake line.  Plus, he is also a native Michigander guy!!!!

He has a hurt shoulder and can't do the installation work himself, but he can at least fabricate the part for us. See, the problem is that the brake lines are a flexible type, 36 inches long, and need to be specially fabricated brake lines for a long-defunct chassis company on our 19 year old motorhome!   (Magnum chassis manufactured by Safari when it was out in Oregon)  And he did it!  Great guy!!!!   

Here is a pic of the extra one for the passenger side:

We got the new brake line fabricated from Harold this morning, and Steve set to removing the old rusted fittings from the old line and installing the new line in it's place. 

In the meantime, Harold had to lock up shop and leave for a doc appt.  We were out in the parking lot working on it with our front end up on blocks and the front hydraulic leveler for added stability. Steve used all his own tools too, so Harold could lock up his shop and go.   

So once we were done testing the new line, we didn't know how much to pay.. or WHO to pay because there wasn't anyone around!   

Harold thought he would only be gone 1 or 2 hours. He said that when he came back he would make up a duplicate line for our passenger side for Steve to change out later on.  It was 5:30 before Harold got back to the shop. 

There.. Harold is back, the new line is in, the duplicate line is made and we are good to go for under $100.00  WHEEEEEE  Thank you Travel Gods for putting Steve in the right spot to meet with the right guy who can make up these special brake lines!!!!

He and Steve confabulated a while over the Tracker Situation... and he came up with some alternatives to check first before tossing in the towel on it.  So we will see.....  as for now, it will be towed home to Wisconsin. 

Plus, Harold said since it's dark now, we can spend another night in his lot if we want.  There is a good western on tv and I just finished making supper.  We leave in the morning for Deming, NM. 

Another day in the adventure of our vacation! 


  1. Everything is working out That is good. Wonder if you could leave the Tracker and pick it up on the way home. I'm sure with Steve's expertise, it is much cheaper to fix it than buy another one and not know what you are getting.

    Enjoy your trip to Deming. I remember spending the night at the Walmart in Deming on the way out here. They actually had a guy patrolling the parking lot to keep everyone safe. Thought that was considerate of them.

  2. If you ssubtract the cost of two nights in the park this really becomes a bargain. I just know Steve will come up with a low cost solution to the tracker.

  3. Somebody "up there" was looking after you when he arranged all the pieces to come together; finding the right guy to do the work, and if you had to have the breakdown, having it in such a convenient place. Sure glad all worked out for you.

  4. Very good going Karen! I hope that the brakes are good from now on, and that the Tracker (heals itself) isn't going to be such a bear!

  5. This will be a story to tell, that's for sure! I'm glad it's all settled, and you can continue on with your vacation. If you guys need to have a car for a special sightseeing event, you can rent a car for the day. OR... just go from campground to campground and relax! Make a list of all the places you'll see when you come back next year! :)

  6. What great news! Such nice people on the road. I hope Demming will not be as windy as it is here in Carlsbad. I've heard it can be windier at Demming. We'll be in Las Cruses Sunday for a week.

  7. Your brake line problem sounded much like the one we had in Mexico. We were very lucky that we were able to get a Mexican mechanic to come out and make the repairs and he also fabricated a new brake line for us. It is nice when you can find the right person in the right spot.

    Sorry to hear about your little Tracker.


  8. Glad to hear that things worked out so well with the brake lines. Too bad about the Tracker but perhaps a silver lining will still appear.


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