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PostPosted: July 17th, 2017, 5:39 am 
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Location: Northern NJ
Each nice weekend I spend a couple of hours a day under the Chinook, cleaning up the undercarriage. I clean off oil with a degreaser, wire brush or sand off any surface rust, spray rust conversion treatment, then use high temperature / rust proofing paint to keep it protected.

I figure getting it cleaned up helps me keep an eye on things (like a new small trans fluid leak), plus I think it helps when taking something in for repair if it looks like it's been taken care of ;)

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It started with wanting to check and paint the propane tank, which looked like a rusted mess... but turned out to have just slight surface rust and was perfectly okay. Instead of white, it got painted silver, btw.

Then while working on the shocks, I started doing the same with the driveshaft, exhaust and frame. The driveshaft I painted engine light grey, the exhaust pipes and mufflers got a shiny aluminum, and the rest got a combination of shiny black for suspension, flat black for frame, and BBQ grill dark grey for thinner cross members.

--
This past couple of weekends, I've also done the fiberglass shell's bottom in beige, and started marking things like the water tank drains in blue, and the propane gas lines in yellow Plasti-Dip, using Navy / public service style pipe color coding.
Attachment:
File comment: Propane line
undercarriage-gas.jpg
undercarriage-gas.jpg [ 36.79 KiB | Viewed 270 times ]

The next owner will find it very easy to trace out various parts of this Chinook!

And I've discovered a LOT about where important lines are routed underneath.

Next up, marking wires with a label maker! (Which I recently did inside the refrigerator access panel.).

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1994 Concourse, wood & heated tile floor, tin ceiling, custom lighting


Last edited by kdarling on July 18th, 2017, 3:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: July 17th, 2017, 7:37 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
Very tidy!

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PostPosted: July 17th, 2017, 7:38 am 
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Location: Northern Virginia
Sounds like a great idea. How are you getting underneath? Are you jacking it up? I can only get my head and top part of my chest under there.

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PostPosted: July 17th, 2017, 10:44 am 
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Posts: 113
Nice job :) It definitely pays to be familiar with all aspects of the rig.

I would add a periodic inspection under the doghouse can be revealing. I normally neglect this area but recently pack rat droppings appeared inside the engine bay on top of my battery and fuse box. Their infestation can cause serious wiring damage, particularly for vehicles sitting idle any length of time.

So I popped the doghouse and took a closer look with a strong flashlight. It was not pretty! The V of the engine block obviously had become home base for the varmints who had stashed a pile of mesquite beans, leaves, cactus and assorted detritus there in just a few days after our last trip.

I used an extension on a shop vacuum then pressure hose to decontaminate the area. Pack rats leave a chemical trail that must be eliminated and there are many dubious folk remedies to keep them at bay. My string lights and open hood were ineffective but naphthalene (old fashioned moth balls) worked for a while. The more permanent solution was a hair-trigger Victor snap trap baited with peanut butter, but this gets messy and tedious dealing with large numbers of rats.

Anyway, sorry to digress but perhaps my latest experience reinforces the wisdom here of detailed inspections above, below and inside the most unlikely places.

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"The Blue Chook" 2002 Concourse Dinette on 2001 E-350 chassis w V10


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PostPosted: July 17th, 2017, 10:53 pm 
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Location: Northern NJ
I'm slim enough to slide under pretty well, but I still sometimes drive it up on leveling blocks front and/or back to give me a couple extra inches clearance. (Oh what I would do for a drive-over concrete pit like at oil change places!)

The blocks make it high enough that I can almost sit upright underneath next to the driveshaft on the driver's (non exhaust) side. A utility light or lantern helps a lot, btw.

Ted - excellent point about checking under the doghouse. Guess that's next on the list! Just a pain removing the wood console and all my wires :lol:

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PostPosted: July 18th, 2017, 9:02 am 
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Joined: July 31st, 2014, 1:01 am
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Location: 1999 Concourse
At one point I looked at a 2005 RV -- not a Chinook, but based on the Ford cutaway so exactly the same "above the waist." I really liked it but the deal killer was an absolutely immovable mouse smell. Where was the nest? Yup, inside the doghouse there is a deep "well," IIRC just ahead of the transmission bell housing (probably the same one Rokrover mentions). They had made a HUGE nest there. But even after it was eliminated and the area bleached, scrubbed, exorcised, you-name-it, the smell remained. And of course was exacerbated every time the engine heated up. Gross!

(These were friends, and I was staying in the area, so we had weeks to try to get rid of it before I made my buy/no-buy decision.)

I have thought about putting some barbed wire or something in that depression. If anyone has any bright ideas I'm all ears, as I have not yet done anything about it.

And on a side note, there is a flat "platform" on the 97-and-up rigs just behind the driver's side headlight and down low. Squirrels and things love that as a nesting platform. And it's nearly impossible to reach with a hand (but not with a shop vac...). That's another place that needs bird spikes or barbed wire....

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PostPosted: August 3rd, 2017, 5:38 pm 
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Yeah, the only way to get rid of mouse smell is to keep using that spray called "Nature's Miracle" until its enzymes finally neutralize the mouse urine.

Back to the undercarriage... marking the 110v shore line was interesting, the way it goes around the outside on mine just to go back inside by the generator and switch.

Also interesting was following the generator gas line. I'm learning a lot. We should create our own detailed map of various Chinook models and their wiring etc.

Anyway, now I felt the need to create a color legend underneath the middle floor, for repairmen and the next owner. So I ordered a custom plastic stencil from an eBay supplier. About $14 with first class postage.
Attachment:
legend_stencil.jpg
legend_stencil.jpg [ 1.6 MiB | Viewed 160 times ]

The tan is the fiberglass bottom of the coach. I painted a black background yesterday and let it dry overnight. This afternoon I made a mask to allow me to spray paint each line:
Attachment:
legend.jpg
legend.jpg [ 2.91 MiB | Viewed 160 times ]

Hmm. Looks like I'll have to touch up a few letters.

And yeah, perhaps I've gone off the deep end now :lol: ... But boy, my undercarriage layout is now easy to figure out !

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PostPosted: August 10th, 2017, 12:41 pm 
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As mentioned in another thread, I ordered 100 zip tie tags off eBay the other day to help with labeling things. Cost about $13.
Attachment:
tags-colors.jpg
tags-colors.jpg [ 27.56 KiB | Viewed 125 times ]

Along with a $14 Dymo electronic label maker:
Attachment:
label-maker.jpg
label-maker.jpg [ 17.79 KiB | Viewed 125 times ]

Here's what the wires on my house battery (94 = single one under hood) look like now:
Attachment:
tags.jpg
tags.jpg [ 2.15 MiB | Viewed 126 times ]

I plan on labeling all the usually unknown wires and hoses and/or ones that I have to look up each time in a manual (like the wires for the fridge control).

I just wish a PO had already done all this :lol: . Would've saved me tons of guesswork.

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