Wednesday, December 15
Mike W., who I met the first time in 2021 that I had camped near Truth or Consequences (TorC), NM, back in the first half of 2021; fixed a couple of things on the Sammy.
One of the objectives of this particular camping trip had been to have Mike W. supervise me as I replaced the leaking o-ring for the distributor where it mates to the engine case. It's a known problem with Samurais and the online video made it seem simple enough.
I coordinated with Mike and on his day off mind you, he met with me at his home and instead of watching me do the work; he did it all himself! It was like watching a master at work! I was paying so much attention that I failed to take any pictures. Doh.
The only picture I took was to record the position of the distributor's rotor before the distributor shaft was pulled out of the housing:
Mike made it look even simpler than I had thought it to be. A couple of tips here and there as he worked led to me understanding the process much better. Especially the "stabbing" of the distributor shaft into the housing and making sure the rotor is pointed correctly and how to find Top Dead Center (TDC) using the fourth spark plug hole. Apparently you can do it with the first spark plug hole too, just FYI.
I spent more time just chatting with Mike W. than he took to do the actual repair! By the afternoon, I was back at the campsite, just cleaning up the area under the distributor to see if the repair holds up. The area should remain clean, and as I type this on Friday, it has!
Thursday, December 16
Mike W. texted me in the morning saying that Autozone had a good price on a replacement Fan Clutch for the Sammy! I told him to go ahead and order it from their warehouse in El Paso, TX and by 8PM I was back at his home.
I would spend the day doing a motorized trash pickup along Monticello Point road, besides which I'm camping, and ended up policing up three 13 gallon bags full of tin/aluminum cans and glass bottles! Some people are truly pig dogs.
I then drove about 20 miles or so to the Recycling Center/Dump on the southern end of TorC. No fee for recycling but I should have sorted things out better beforehand. Still, it only took a few minutes to do the sorting. I went to the Walmart and did some grocery shopping and then returned to camp.
Once again, Mike W. did all the work while I looked and learned. Not much to report, it's a straight forward job for the most part. The trickiest part, to me, was his removing the existing fan and clutch without removing the fan housing. Very slick.
Here's Mike W. fishing the fan, ever so calmly, once he'd removed the four nuts that secured it and the clutch to the pulley for the alternator.
Re-using the mounting bolts for the fan, here's Mike W. making it look like a walk in the park:
By 8:30 PM we were done! And by we, I mean Mike of course!
Friday, December 17
The last warm-ish day according to the weather forecast before cooler temperatures start this weekend. The plan is to start heading back to Colorado on Sunday I think, we'll see.
I drove the Sammy down Rock Canyon Road and meandered my way to the southern end of the Elephant Butte Lake State Park.
Not many people around and I found a nice spit of rocky sand to pose the Sammy near Lost Canyon section of the state park.
A little further south I found a big beach area where apparently its OK to camp with one's RV. Apparently this is quite the popular spot in the summer where it's almost wall to wall RVs. This late in the fall season, there was only one rig:
The only thing that might stop me from camping here next time I am in the area is that the beach is within line of sight of houses. Not exactly solitude but then again, it's next to water!
Around 3:30 PM, I headed north on NM 1 to see if I could get some good pictures of the foot hills one can see from my campsite:
Heading back to camp, I was too late to capture the distant hills while they were painted by the golden hour's sunlight.
I'm happy to report no issues with either repair done by Mike W. I'm very fortunate to know him and his easy going and patient manner of imparting knowledge about Suzuki Samurais! Thanks Mike!