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Oct 232017

Western States GMC owners are Tech Savvy. Oh, we may not be technologically advanced in the proper rebuilding of a Quadrajet carburetor nor do we feel comfortable discussing sprag clutches in a transmission. But the good news is, we are a little like the Borg on Star Trek: The Next Generation; we have a collective mind. We find that the knowledge each of us, when shared makes us fairly smart.

Like the Borg stories, we also realize that when it comes to the GMC, “resistance is futile.” When our GMC is running right, we love it. Sitting up front, watching the scenery through the big windows, we feel like Queens and Kings. When it is sitting beside the road, refusing to go, we hate the beast and wonder if we shouldn’t just call Uber and leave it sitting for the next poor soul. Alas, resistance is futile.

In our Paso Robles Tech Sessions, there were some astute things said. One statement that resonated through out the room was when a relatively new owner said, “When I am setting out in my GMC I have anxiety.” Heads bobbed throughout the room. I said, “Duh.” The good news is that some of that anxiety is excitement. It is an adventure and we have a great time. Only one coach, scheduled to come to Paso Robles didn’t make it, and hopefully, it was a simple, if not convenient problem.

Luckily, there are folks brave enough to stand up and tell others “Here is how you can do that.” Are any of us sure.? Well, sorta sure, because we have done it and we made it to the rally. Is it right? Probably not 100% but it is the best we can do. Jim Kanomata gave us some tips on towing. He even told us you could push a GMC with a van if your wife is a brave soul. He and Grace had signals as to whether to stop or keep going, all done with stop lights. (Remember, Grace could see nothing but the GMC!)

Manny dazzled the group with “Sawsall”. His first picture was of him cutting the side of a GMC with a sawsall. We all know Manny has what sometimes seem superman skills. But, with his Manny smile he assured us that for around $2000+ or so, doing our own work, a slide out can be put in our coach. Amazing.

We talked about Electronic Fuel Injection and vapor lock and gas pumps and Fuel Command Centers. Most were hoping that their current setup was going to get them home. And they did!

George Banovich gave an unscheduled lesson in changing a tie-rod end; mainly because one of his broke off in front of the registration area. (Yeah, it broke off.) Examination showed that it had been cracked for years. Hmmm. (I am thinking about changing mine. There is no way the naked eye would have seen the crack.)

Rick Flanagan gave us an inside look at the engineering of GMC parts–– Reaction arms, Quadbags and Seat Belts. His CAD drawings were like watching a movie as he moved, turned and manipulated drawings on the screen.

One of my favorites is the open forum. This is the time when the Western States folks show their love of coaches and willingness to help. In our conversation, we made sure the first time folks understood that it is not all horror stories. With apologies to Robert Frost: These old rigs have miles to go before they sleep, and miles to go before they sleep.