Sunday, September 20, 2009

New Hotel, Making Progress on the Pump...

Last night we went to the Best Western Hotel Bar and had many cervezas while we worked on the internet with a good connection. The food there is good, but the hotel and all are a little more expensive than most.

Creel is somewhat of a tourist town and is more expensive than most of the other small towns. The big attraction, of course, is Copper Canyon, which we came here to explore, but are now working on getting our fuel pump problem solved. Most hotels run 800 to 900 pesos per night, or about $80. Since Arno broke down right in front of a hotel, we stayed there last night, but they had no internet. It was a 2 room, 3 bed place were they wanted 800 pesos. I talked them down to 650, and we split it 3 ways.

It had a fireplace only for heat, but was otherwise very comfortable:

Meet my little friend:

He's one of the first things we saw as he was sitting, quite contently, on the John!

Here's our heat for the night, very pleasant:

It was a pleasure meeting Clay, he's on his way to start up a custom boot internet business in Guatemala. Good luck, Clay! Keep us informed.

On the left are Clay's riding "boots," and on the right is his sterno can that he attempt to boil water in, but at high altitude it doesn't produce enough heat to boil water. Fortunately my Jetboil definately does:

Here's the view from the front of our place this morning:

Arno is happier now that we have somewhat of a plan and a handle on the problem:

After getting breakfast, we found the perfect place to stay and work on the bike. We packed up from the semi-expensive place and TOWED Arno's bike with my bike into town to our new hotel where we could work on it.

I had towed a motorcycle before and was surprised how easy it was. It takes very little force to get one rolling, much easier than towing a car with a car. Arno hadn't done it before so was apprehensive. I reminded him that he was to do all the breaking for both of us so we could keep tension on the tow line. It wasn't a pretty tow line as we worked some heavy motorcycle tie downs together, but it worked like a champ:

Arno actually got a video of the tow and will post it later.

We chose to stay at the La Posada De Cree hotel and hostel, located right down town. It is way less expensive, 240 pesos for a 4 person bunk room with shared bathrooms, or 350 pesos for a similar room with an attached bath. We were leaning for the personal room, but when we saw the bunk room and the bathrooms, we both jumped on the low cost as everything is VERY clean and very nice with a lot of rustic charm and wood. The bunk beds are great for storing gear.

The hotel is run by Roger, a very helpful and nice man who has lived all over the states and speaks very good English. He even shuttled Arno around town in his truck and was willing to take him to another distant town if need be. This hotel is just terrific and we basically have the run of the entire place to ourselves. Kitchen, refrigerator, courtyard, computers, good wireless, everything for about $10 per person per night! Heck, a person could stay here for a long time and be very comfortable.

After the tow, we cleared out the kitchen and pushed Arno's bike through it and out onto the patio:

Here's Roger's dog, Magnus, supervising Arno as he removes the fuel pump from his bike.

Thanks to everyone who offered help and technical advice, it was most helpful...

We unpacked the bikes and moved all out gear up to our room:

Within minutes of starting work on the bike, Arno had twisted the large ring off that holds the pump in the fuel tank and was holding the pump in his hand:

Here's a close up shot of the attached fuel gage rheostat that sends information to the fuel gauge. As the float moves up and down, you can see that it moves the rheostat on the quarter circle which changes the electrical resistance:

Here's the opening to the fuel tank where the pump assembly fits in. You can clearly see that he was not out of gas!

So, Arno placed the pump on the ground, took off the leads, and he and I hooked up a wire that Roger provided directly to the pump to test it. It did absolutely NOTHING - it was dead.

Then, later after looking at the microfiche, Arno noted that there is a fuel screen that is supposed to be on the bottom on the fuel pump intake. It wasn't there! So, he went fishing with his hand in his tank and found the screen sitting on the bottom of the tank!

Arno began taking the pump apart and we once inside found that the aperture would not spin at all, it was jammed. Once fully apart we could see that the motor was still in good shape, Arno cleaned it up, but the feed at the top of the motor was plugged with gunk! It must have come from the gas that Arno got from that lady out in the middle of no where, remember her?

So, with contaminated gas and with a screen that had fallen off the pump assembly to the bottom of the tank, little bits of sand and dirt made their way into the pump and clogged it up.

We are now trying to get some compressed air to clear the pump and are confident that if we can clear it we can get it to run again. If so, we'll replace the pump assembly later and run with it, but if we can't get it to work, we'll replace here once we get a new pump.

For now, Nate has a Tecate and is happy, Arno has Dos Equis and is happy, Roger is on his third Tecate and is very happy... Mangus is happy, too, as I was feeding him cookies while typing out this report! I hope my little Apollo isn't too jealous back at home...

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