Greetings from Camp Parking Lot

Well, we’re at Camp Parking Lot again but at least it’s a different one.

Waiting for service!

Waiting for service!

The Allison ECU (electronic control unit) declared itself brain-dead. And of course there’s a story.

When we cranked up yesterday it blinked and beeped and continued blinking and beeping for about half an hour until it warmed up enough to work normally. The code readout said 69-32, which means “replace ECU.”  Since our experience has been that once it warmed up it would work fine the rest of the day, we proceeded on our errands and appointments and boogied on down the road to the nearest shop that had a clue what I was talking about, going 75 miles down to Norcross.

Our neighbor!

Our neighbor!

About two-thirds of this 75 miles was running with the heavy trucks, something we’ve never done much, and I felt oddly comfortable. Most of them are regulated to 65 miles per hour; that speed is just below lightspeed for me, so I could just line up with them and go with no jockeying for position or fast passing. I could ride along three feet from a big rig and my only concern was all those little cars we might perhaps squash.

Since the shop, Peach State Truck Center, starts at 7:30 a.m. we got up an hour before zero-dark-thirty and  waited a couple of hours for someone to get to us. A  guy came out with a computer and hunted around for a socket to plug it into. I said there’s probably not one and he couldn’t find one so he went back inside. Momentarily he came back with his supervisor who was determined to plug the computer into the diagnostic port.

Did I mention that The Queen’s Barge is 21 years old? We’re just above steam age; there is no diagnostic port. Actually the engine has no electronics at all.

So both guys went away and came back later to confirm that my initial diagnosis, “replace ECU” was correct according to the built-in diagnosis capability of the Allison ECU. In short, the computer declared itself  T.U.

By the way, when I tried to show the first tech what was happening it fired up and worked perfectly. We can only figure that direct sun on the dash for a couple of  hours was enough to warm it up, so yes of course it worked at the shop.

More to come.


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