Linda was up and out the door at 6:15 AM. I got up an hour later, got dressed to work, and had the last banana-nut muffin and a glass of orange juice to wash down my vitamins. I turned on the fireplace and settled in to do a search for Chevron Delo 100 conventional SAE 40 motor oil. O’Reilly’s Auto Parts had it listed online and available in some of their stores locally but not the ones closest to me. I called the store in Howell and Ron checked the warehouse. The inventory showed 32 ‘units’ but he said they were packaged with three one-gallon bottles to a box. I needed 8 gallons to change the oil in the bus’s DD8V92TA engine so I ordered 3 boxes.
I thought I had heard a heavy truck earlier as I was getting dressed but did not investigate. Around 8:30 AM I heard another one and eventually the gravel hauler pulled into sight. That meant Phil was already here so I put on my coat and hat (it was chilly outside) and grabbed my camera. Phil had already spread out some of the construction fabric and the gravel hauler was backing in to the third driveway entrance to dump a load of 21AA road gravel. He pulled out, unhooked the rear trailer, backed in with the front trailer, and dumped a second load. The sun was up but low in the sky. It was brilliant, lighting up the fall colors against darker gray skies to the west but blue skies and white clouds overhead, so I snapped a few photos.
The gravel hauler reconnected his rear trailer, drove down the street, and turned around by backing his double trailer into the road that leads to the court. Phil had told me the driver was incredibly skilled but I was impressed watching me maneuver his tractor-trailer train. After he was gone I helped Phil (a little bit) position some of the construction fabric. The gravel train was due back in an hour with another load so Phil started up his Takeuchi front loader and started moving the large pile of gravel into place. I took a couple more photographs and then went inside to have granola for breakfast. I did not feel like making coffee so I had some Stash China Black tea with soy creamer. While the water was heating I turned up the thermostats in the bus and the garage.
While I was chatting with Phil he mentioned that he gets all of the things he needs to maintain his Peterbuilt truck and other equipment from Southwest Brake on Haas Lake Road off of Grand River Avenue. That is certainly closer than driving to W. W. Williams in Dearborn so I checked it out. I talked to Jack but he could not tell me if they had the filters I needed without part numbers to cross reference. While I was at it I Googled W. W. Williams and checked the distance to their Dearborn and Saginaw locations, which were 53 and 63 miles respectively. I also checked the website for A & L Systems in Redford, which is where I get the replacement elements for the Racor fuel filter / water separators. Before I went to any of these places, however, I checked my existing supply of filters as I try to keep these on hand.
The gravel train returned at 10:05 AM and unloaded two more trailer loads of material. I checked my stock of filters and appeared to have an oil filter, a spin on fuel filter, and two filter elements for the Racor fuel filter / water separator, but I wasn’t sure. I spent the rest of the morning checking websites and making phone calls to track down the ones that I needed.
W. W. Williams in Dearborn had the oil filter and secondary fuel filter based on our engine serial number. That’s pretty cool, and I have confidence that these relatively inexpensive, but critical, parts are the right ones for our engine and the best quality available. They could not identify the spin on coolant filter or the air filter, however. The air cleaner assembly is apparently determined by the vehicle manufacturer and the two coolant filters on our bus are threaded on to a manifold that is not part of the engine. I let Chuck know that I might be going to W. W. Williams this afternoon and he asked me to pick up 8 gallons of Detroit Diesel PowerGuard 40 weight oil for him, which I agreed to do.
I had a box in the tub where the filters were stored for a NAPA 4070 Coolant Filter / Conditioner. I found it on NAPA’s online store but it turns out that Brighton Ford is also a NAPA store so I ordered it from them for pickup tomorrow morning. They did not have the 6623 (546623) air filter and could not get one for pickup tomorrow. Their price was higher than I recalled paying for the last one, and I did not need it right away, so I did not order it.
My last call was to A & L Systems, a small company that carries specialty products for heavy trucks and construction equipment. I got our T. F. Hudgins Spinner II centrifugal oil cleaner from them but they are also a Racor dealer so I get the Racor fuel filter / water separator products from them as well. John helped me figure out what I already had, which included two replacement elements for the large water separator on the main engine that also serves as the primary fuel filter. The NAPA 2276 turned out to be the air filter for the generator. I did not ask about the filter / separator for the Aqua-Hot as I am not going to have Joe change it (I can do it myself when I have time).
At 12:30 PM I chatted briefly with Phil to let him know I was leaving. He figured he would be done placing and compacting the stone before I got back. I think he was also going to level out some of the sand he placed at the west end of the yard but I wasn’t sure about that. He still needs to bring in topsoil to fill in and grade both sides of the driveway and the low areas at the west end of the yard, but he needs the west end to dry out first.
I drove to W. W. Williams in southeast Dearborn. I bought two secondary fuel filters and two oil filters for me, and eight gallons of Detroit Diesel PowerGuard SAE 40 oil for Chuck. I then drove home. It was just under an hour each way plus my time there, so it was a big chunk out of my day, but I did not have a choice as I needed to have the filters on hand by the time Joe got here.
Phil was, in fact, gone when I got back around 3 PM. It appeared that he had finished spreading the gravel out, leveled the parking area, and driven over it with his track loader to compact it. The track loader leaves ruts from the tracks so I drove up and down the driveway many times with my car to compact them and even out the surface. It was mostly for cosmetic purposes, but it looked better and that made me feel better. I took the filters into the garage and then used one of our metal toothed rakes to even out a few remaining ridges in the gravel. When I was done I texted Chuck that I had his oil.
Linda called a little before 4 PM while I was working with the rake to let me know she had left the bakery and was stopping at Meijer’s to pick up something for dinner. I suggested we go out to dinner instead and she quickly agreed. I figured she would be at least an hour getting home with Friday rush hour traffic so I took a shower and put on my going-out clothes. Traffic was heavy, as I expected, and she was tired, so it was long, hard drive home for her, as I expected. We spent over half an hour considering our limited restaurant options without coming to a decision when Linda got a text message from Diane about walking tomorrow morning. Linda texted back to see if they wanted to have dinner at Camelia’s, the little Mexican place near their house. It took a phone call to confirm and finalize the arrangements but we agreed to meet them there at 7:30 PM.
Camelia’s is a nice little Mexican restaurant and we had a good meal over good conversation with old (long-time) friends. Linda and Diane had Margaritas while John and I had draft beers (Dos Equis, of course). Linda and I split an order of vegetarian fajitas. They were smoking hot, literally, when they came to the table and very tasty. We lingered at the restaurant until 9:30 PM. John and Diane invited us to their house, which is near the restaurant, for tea but we deferred as we were tired, had a half hour drive to get home, and had to be up at 7 AM to drive to South Lyon for breakfast with our fellow amateur radio operators.
We got home a little after 10 PM and went straight to bed. We caught a few minutes of weather and then went to sleep.