I’m off on a short pre-roadtrip roadtrip, having apparently survived the month of November essentially at home in the (sometimes) snowy north country. It has not been an easy task – reading about the Bayfield Bunch, John & Brenda, Rick & Paulette, all bragging about the sunny warm weather, the heat, the swimming pools, the horses in the desert, the stars, and campfires down in Arizona. Nevertheless, I will soon be headed down to join them – after this short tour to Saskatchewan.
Temperatures did drop down to –31C one night, which was kind of cool. Much to my surprise, my diesel truck started the next morning, without even being plugged in! We received a bit of snow on a couple of occasions, but chinooks shortly after have melted most of it. Today is +10C with strong winds, so the last of the snow is melting fast.
Hello GMC truck designers. What on earth were you thinking? Don’t they have random drug testing there?
Hint: If you own a 2008 GMC diesel pickup with dual batteries, and your driver’s side headlight burns out – just sell the truck is all I’m saying!
Remember the old days when there were four screws holding a metal rim that secured your headlight in place? It was awkward seeing and getting the screwdriver in there to remove them, and you always lost at least one screw in the dirt or dark! So I was very impressed when I saw the arrangement on my 2003(?) Chev 3/4 ton at work. The whole headlight assembly could be removed without tools by simply removing one pin! A headlight or signal light could be changed in less than a minute, did I mention – without tools! Jump ahead to this week. I noticed that my driver’s side headlight was not attracting any moths! I went to Canadian Tire and found my $18 bulb among all the other $9 ones. I opened the hood, and looked for the handy pin to release the headlight assembly. Nope, looks like it’s been re-designed and I’d have to remove a small bolt or two to get it out. That didn’t work at all; the bolts I removed were clearly holding nothing! Perhaps the assembly might have been frozen in place? I read the very helpful owners manual that said simply ‘twist the bulb to remove from the socket’. Ya right. If GM wrote space exploration manuals, I’m sure it would say, ‘Land on moon, then go for spacewalk’!
I stopped in at the local GM dealer to see what I was missing. They were very nice and printed out FOUR pages of diagrams and instructions for two separate, theories I’ll call them, on how to approach this mission! One involved going in through the wheel well, AND removing the grille. The other involved removing the auxiliary battery and the windshield washer tank. The wheel well hypothesis involved removal of a number of those pop out connectors that always break when you remove them, and the grille removal surgery involved more pages of printout that I was not privy to, so I opted for the more direct ‘battery’ approach. I disconnected the battery cables without creating fire, then was pleased to see that the battery was restrained by only one well-placed bolt! Actually getting the battery out of it’s snug little home pretty much necessitated the removal of a radiator hose. I wondered how much fluid would leak out?
Instead, by crushing my finger and thumb simultaneously, while verbalizing my thoughts about GM design engineers, and once again avoiding any sparks, flames or acid baths, I got the battery liberated. Removing the battery did not improve the access to the tactical objective at all. I still had to remove the windshield washer fluid reservoir – which was held securely in place by the battery support base plate –which was very well attached by 8 (eight) bolts of varying lengths! After all this was done, I did my best impression of a midget contortionist and got the bulb out while still retaining partial skin cover on my first and third knuckles. Meanwhile, Hailey supervised the operation, and was very helpful, but she had to cover her ears a few times when I expressed my opinions on GM design.
Eventually, I got things back into place, crushed a new finger getting the battery in, cleaned up and stored all the tools away. Then I got out all the tools again – and re-connected the battery. Sure hope I never have to add air to the tires – or something complicated.
Hailey has been a little less eager to get outside and go hunting these days. We’ll both be glad to get down to the desert sun and dry sand.
There was a tall crane in town the other day – they were installing a new Roger’s cell phone tower. I don’t think it is tall enough to provide any better coverage to Dogpound (!), or to my place out in the sticks.
So that’s about it. After a three day trip to Saskatchewan, I’ll be pulling off the truck camper, hooking up the 5th wheel, and heading south as soon as I can pack up and have suitable road condtions to the left coast! Hopefully by next weekend – Yahoo!
Warm weather, here we come!