After our three day rest stop in Bakersfield’s Orange Grove RV Park, we broke camp and made the last mad dash towards San Francisco. Thanks to advice received from members of the Bus Nuts discussion board, I had located a bus mechanic just 10 miles up the road from Rosemarie’s sister’s house, where we would be staying during our Bay Area stop. David, at Bay Cities Diesel, works on a lot of diesel buses, but usually not one as old as The Big Kahuna, and given how much business he has already I don’t think he would have agreed to take on the work at all without the referral from Geoff at Bus Nuts. As it is he only agreed to work on the alternator and power steering leak, and to try to contract out the transmission problem.
As of yesterday, April 10th, he had found and sealed the power steering leak, which included having to bleed the system to get all the air out. One of his guys had also begun work on the alternator, confirming that it is indeed an electrical problem and not the batteries, with voltage readings fluctuating all over the place. Like many electrical problems, the challenge is figuring out the exact bad component in a complicated system. Finally, he located a vintage bus specialist 90 miles north that has agreed to work on the transmission, but is not sure when he can get to it. Since Rose and I are leaving town for over a week tomorrow, he even agreed to get a driver to take the bus up to the transmission shop if they are ready for it before we return.
While here we have had a great visit with Rosie’s sister and her family, and a chance to visit my college roommate, Charles, and his wife Leanna, down at Stanford University where he now influences the minds of our bright young things.