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Full Version: Broke down...again, any ideas?
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This is an if I told you you'd think I was lying situation if ever there was one. I was dead set on spending my birthday on the road, seeing the ocean, visiting Astoria and so from Seattle I went, me, my son, and my girlfriend in our 98 Pathfinder towing a smaller trailer.

Made it to Astoria and the Goonies house, next up, Cannon Beach. We hang out there for awhile and when we go to leave the transmission on the Pathfinder is shot. We're in a one horse town with no cars for sale so I head down to Tillamock to look, found a 1988 F-250 for $700, extended, 460, cap on the top, figure it will get us to Portland where we can find something else.

While in Portland, front brake seizes, smoking, boiling brake fluid, I get it resolved enough to get back to base. I post it for sale (with all issues disclosed) and off we go to find something else. Manage to find a really nice 4x4 Jimmy, well cared for, low miles, very good price, YES! So we leave Portland and 15 miles down the road, master cylinder goes out, ouch. I get a new one, bench bleed it, toss it in, bleed all four corners and, we're off again! Next morning wake up in Eugene with eyes on Ashland, the very first pass into Grant Pass and boom, radiator gone! It actually exploded while I was under the hood, shoot how fluid about a foot from my face. With a $120 tow to get us off I-5 and a 54 mile trip to an Autozone as well as a few hours of my time, I get it fixed.

From there we making it to Redding, from Redding to Sacramento, we're leaving Sacramento on our way to Salinas and half way into that my wheel bearing on the 1997 Chevy P30 step van completely goes out, arrrrg, major failure!

So, here we sit, someplace outside of Berkley, broken down for the last few days as I wait for part to come in and painstakingly attempt to clean up the threads and spindle on the step van. Today it becomes clear that this spindle is done for, now my issue is, if I had a spindle/knuckle sitting here I would be on the road in an hour or two but I can't find one for a 97 P30 with an i-beam front axle to save my life. Does anybody have or know of one they can send this way or, know of a place I could get one at a fair price?

Any thoughts or ideas are more than welcomed, I'm 870 miles from my front door and 1,250 hours into this adventure, I'm honestly worn out from it, broke, need a shower and I just want to get home so I'm looking for any nuggets, insights or wisdoms that might help me along or get me back on the road again.
Sorry, no help here more than a bump but wow, from what you describe you have just endured a dog's age of road trouble compressed into a single trip. It's gonna get better, it has to.

All the best!
I'd probably take a Greyhound home and regroup. There's only so much crap a person should have to endure! Tongue
I'd be calling every junk yard in a 50 mile radius. There are plenty. You are not in east bumblescrew, but barely outside one very populated and expensive zone.
Sorry, I didn't proof before posting and it only allows edits for 5 minutes (what the heck is the deal with that). We have two vehicles, the P30 and the Jimmy pulling a 6x10 trailer just to clarify. Also, the fluid shot, it didn't shoot and it was more "hot" than "how".

Taking a Greyhound home isn't an option just yet, I can either fix this, have somebody rideshare my truck up here scrap the Utilimaster and take that back with all my stuff, buy a van here and scrap the Utilimaster or something else I have yet to think of. I have put a lot of effort into this thing and while it may not be what I'm looking for after learning what I need better and what does and doesn't work on the road/in real life, I would like to hang onto it and know it's just going to be something I never take more than about 250 miles from home. I like the truck, it's in good shape, I would like to get it home and go from there.

I think the 30 van is the G30 which is not the same as the P30 but thank you for posting the info and looking into it further.

SW I think you're right, the knuckle is easy at this point, it's just finding one that's been tough. I have called a ton of places, the best I have found is a place that said they can get one from Workhorse for $520 and it will take a week, they're also 75 miles away. Arrrrrg, $520 and a 150 miles round trip isn't all that in the budget for me right now, I have to be able to find/do better than that.

On the bright side, I cooked brownies in my toaster over today, that was damn nice and some much needed comfort food. Sadly, I parked in a spot that is really shaded, so my solar isn't getting what it needs each day, I'm at 70% right now and the best I got up to was 82% for the day, at least I'm not baking in the sun with a fully charged bank.
Have you tried Rockauto?

They have everything at decent prices, and can next day the parts
That is a very bad run of 'luck'. No one sells a good horse, but so many brake problems and a wheel bearing? I was in the automotive business for 35 years and never heard of anything CLOSE to what you have been dealing with back to back. I would take time out for a prayer.
I'm so glad you're not me! I'd have to call a mechanic for each one of those break-downs, quadrupling the cost. And that's only IF I was able to find an honest and knowledgeable mechanic.

I hope your navigators are showing you a whole lot of love and appreciation.

I really admire your tenacity! One day you'll laugh!
Most "recycle" parts yards are on a national data base and can find any part if one is available. They also have interchange lists.
You asked for other suggestions? You need a premium towing plan? Considering all the money spent, maybe a new truck, leave the used behind.
What exactly do you mean when you say the "spindle is done for"? Could you take it to a machine shop and have it machined, re-threaded, or whatever?
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