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Smoke - N - Blues
Racer converted to a cruiser
Run Off The Road
Jodee
12/19/2011, Santequin, Utah

On December 16th we purchased a Ford F350 dully and on Monday December 19th after getting it registered we were headed back down to Columbus NM.

The weather was cold slight fog and occasional snow flurrys. We were driving in the left lane heading south when a Ford Explores pulling a trailer with a mule in it started to jack knife into our lane and forced us off the road. Russ tried to bring the truck back on the road and could not so he steered it off into the median at 65 miles per hour heading southeast. (Luckly the median was a wide natural weeded median and not a cement one.) I saw the snow pole hit the truck on my side and slide under the truck the next obsticle is a 55 gallon barrel sitting in front of a concrete piller that was connected to a bridge.

Russ is an excellent driver. While flying across the median he was steering and slowly slowing the truck down to make the turn around the barrel. Which he did without touching the North bound traffic lanes. We went around the barrel on the east side of the meridan and stopped facing southwest.

If he could not have slowed the truck down enough to turn around the barrel we would have ended up facing east in the north bound traffic lanes and at that time there were two 18 wheelers one in each lane.

I know God was looking out for us that day, if he wasn't we would not be here.


The Ford Explorer was able to get under control and pulled over about a mile or two down the road and waited for us. We have to thank him for being honest and admitting he was at fault.

We called our insurance while at the scene and they gave us a repair facility in El Paso. Now that is the major agenda.

Just When You Think
Jodee
12/01/2011, Columbus, NM

We made a trip home for my brothers wedding and while there we purchased a Ford F350 dully. The Chevy is for sale and we have a deposit on it. We no longer have 4 wheel drive.

We decided to take the "Thing aka Trouble" to the back side of the Tres Hermanas to find the mines. Everything is going good. We have the fur buts and lunch with us. This is going to be a long ride.

We are on the back side of the Tres Hermanas and decided to go through the cut to get a view of Columbus. I am driving and I am not as good as Mr. Russ. We are climbing up some rocky cow trail and the thing flat out dies.

I am thinking "GREAT" this will be a LONG LONG LONG walk out and how do we get the "thing" back home without 4 wheel drive. Russ decided to have lunch and wait to see if it would start.

After lunch Russ tried it and it started. He shut it down and we pushed it back down the incline to a place where he could turn it around. We put the kids back in their place and secured the cooler, and prayed that it would continue to run until we put it to bed in the back of the truck.

IT DID!!!!

Now it sounds like a low battery or an alternator issue. The battery could not hold a charge. We purchased a new AGM battery from Auto Zone in Demming before we headed out to Gage, NM.

New Name "Trouble"
Jodee
10/10/2011, Columbus, NM

Now Russ decided that it has to do with the wiring. He started checking the connections. Found one that was not making a good connection, so he took of the mickey mouse connector and hard wired it.

He says "I think I found it"

By this time I am at a wait and see. Everytime he has fixed it he has said "I think I found it".

So out we go again and again we get towed back. So he then decided to hard wire all connections by passing the connectors. This time he found a few melted connectors on the inside of the connector.

By hard wiring all of them we feel like he has fixed it. And sure enough we went on a couple of trips and came home under its own power. YEAH....


Broken Thing Again
Jodee
10/05/2011, Columbus, NM

It appears that it is overheating. Russ pulls both fans and one does not work quite as well as the other. Back on the phone with the dealer and a new fan is on the way.

Russ installs the new fan and we are running again. This next trip will not be so far that we need to tow it. We have built up a little mistrust in the reliability. Ya Think!!!

Russ takes it out and I stay home waiting for a call. He brings it back under its own power and picks up the dogs to take them to the ball park to run. He gets a quarter of the way and the Thing is not sounding right. He makes it back home.

More troubleshooting.

Broken Thing
Jodee
10/03/2011, Columbus, NM

Today Russ is checking out the Thing to find out what was wrong. He thinks he has an idea. He calls the dealer and they give him the phone number for TJ Sports in El Paso. Russ talks to Chad and they discuss what is wrong. Now back to the dealer to have warranty parts sent.

In about 3-4 days the parts came. Russ installed them and we are back in business.

Ride number two was just out of town on dirt roads heading east towards El Paso. Found a little spot to check out the climbing abilities but the ground was too soft. Back on the dirt road and headed back home. Yes you guessed it. It just flat out died about four blocks from home. I called dad to bring rope so we can tow it. Yes Russ was in the thing and dad and I were in the car. We get it back home and push it under the awning.

Tres Hermanas Ride
Jodee
10/02/2011, Columbus, NM

We took the "Thing" out of the bed of the truck for a ride. Tres Hermanas is the destination. We loaded up the fur buts and a 6 pack cooler with snacks and drinks for us and the dogs and off we go. Everything was going good up until it died. Yes, it died. Russ check it out and it would not start. Now it is about a four mile walk out with dogs in tow. Taco does great in the sun and loved the walk. Lucy on the other hand does not do well in the sun. You can tell how she is doing by watching her tail. Yes that's righ her tail. She starts out with the tail straight up and then it slowly lowers until it is completly down. When it gets to about half mast I pick her up. We are constantly giving her water. Give her water and her tail goes straight up and is good for another 10 minutes or less. This is how it went for four miles. It is a good thing I had my cell phone. When I had signal I called Mom and dad to come to pick us up. The four mile hike out was to where mom and dad was to pick us up. Then is was about another 10 minute ride back to the trailer to pick up the truck. It is also a good thing that we had a GPS to mark the location of the "thing".

We jump into the truck and drive to the "Thing" and hook up a bridle to tow the thing home. I drove the truck and Russ was in the thing. In order to stay off the main road and not get a ticket for towing without a hitch we went through hill and dale and even had to use the 4 wheel drive. It took a long time to get her home but we made it.

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Smoke-N-Blues at Moro Bay, CA
Who: Capt. Russ Fields, Co-Capt. Jodee Fields, Taco & Lucy guard dogs.
Port: Sparks, NV
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