Feb 12 - 16 San Pedrito Beach


Past President DSBC 2004 -2018
Staff member
Our numbers have shrunk by two, John H and Irene J have packed up and are already heading North. They have commitments for early March back at home. So its just the four of us now, Vern Sharon Jake and myself.



We had a bit of a scare on our trip into El Pescadero for water, we have to fill the main tank of the MH about 10-11 days so I spend the few pesos and fill it with purified water for a station in town

When we pull into the water station there is great billows of smoke coming from the engine compartment, not a good sign. I go back to shut the motor off but the key has no effect.
After a few minutes the engine shuts itself down and smoke clears so I can take a better look at what happened. Originally I thought a pulley bearing seized but it turned out that I have a bunch of burned wiring. Something shorted........this is not a good situation

Disconnected the batteries and started following burnt wires Time 1230 pm Feb 14

Here is a wiring harness that goes to the shut off solenoid, not much left here

DSCN3749 by Tom Timmerman, on Flickr

DSCN3750 by Tom Timmerman, on Flickr

And here is a line to the starter motor

DSCN3755 by Tom Timmerman, on Flickr

Tried testing starter motor in place but just not enough room, decided we had to pull the starter to test, thats a pretty big job

Vern used his Dodge 3500 to pull the MH away from the Water Store to a semi vacant lot across the street. Its flat and out of the way

DSCN3763 by Tom Timmerman, on Flickr

We started making phone calls and my 1st thought was Lars Olsson Islandswede here on the DSBC forum, if you did not read earlier post Lars and is wife have a winter home here. Lars dropped everything he was doing (Thank You Lars) and came out to assess the situation. What is the difficulty of the repair and do we tow or find a Mechanic.

Lars contacted the local tow truck guy, Isidro, and he came out right away. Super nice guy but he did not have a tow truck big enough, however he did know a mechanic that might be able to fix the problem, more phone calls made. Isidro recommended this mechanic, Alfonso. Alfonso also lived right across the street to the MH.

Alfonso and his son working on the MH. His company Taller SurfCamp Tune Up Phone 613 11 66 554 El Pescadero BCS

DSCN3761 by Tom Timmerman, on Flickr

Alfonso could not start until the next morning, so it a night in El Pescadero in a Vacant Lot.

Was expecting a busy night but it was pretty quiet after about 930pm, however just about every car that went down this road needed a muffler. Lots of locals came by and offered help, which we gratefully declined but it was nice for the offers

DSCN3764 by Tom Timmerman, on Flickr

800 am The Next Day

Alfonso showed up right on time, he removed the starter and we determined it needed further bench testing, turns out Alfonso has a automotive electrician buddy and took the starter to him.

about 30 minutes later Alfonso returned with the starter solenoid in his hand, something went wrong and the thing shorted out and now was junk. With my best spanglish I asked if he could find a new solenoid? More phone calls make and several other locals showed up, lots of discussion and it was decided that Vern and Alfonso would travel up to Todos Santos (about 12kms away) and check out the local auto parts store. Vern said he had never been in a store with so many parts that you could not walk around. So what would the chances of this guy having a starter solenoid for a 20 year old cummins? You guessed it, they had one and it was only 900 pesos (46 USD) Hows that for luck, or was it just good contacts?

So Alfonso reassembled the starter and installed

Now it was time to chase down and replace burnt wires. We did find another failed electrical part, the fuel shut off solenoid

DSCN3760 by Tom Timmerman, on Flickr

This was bad as even Alfonso had know idea where to get on of these.

So we did a little testing and came up with a Mexican Fix (Alfonso's words, not mine) seems that only 1/2 of the solenoid has failed, the hold open or run still works, we just had to come up with a mechanical way to engage the start mode. and we did just that with a piece of rope that now runs into the bedroom. I turn the ignition to ON then go to the bedroom and pull on the rope which engages the start mode of the solenoid. I return and start engine as normal. Engine turns off as normal. Sweeeeeeet, its fixed

Time out Friday 130pm 25 hours from the smokie start of this small Baja Adventure

Parts 900 pesos
Mechanic Labour 800 pesos

I still have to find Isidro and will give him 500 pesos for his time and knowledge as without him I would be looking at a huge towing bill to La Paz or Cabo
And of course there is Lars, perhaps a good bottle of wine

So all totaled the repair will come in at about 150 dollars, damn good value if you ask me, and I get a story to tell.

Thank You
Alfonso, Isidro and Lars

Tom Timmerman


Administrator / BFF in the blue jacket
That's a great adventure Tom. I pity those mechanics working in the sand / dirt. With all those 'ropes' in the bedroom, hope you pull on the right one...


Man that’s grass roots old school fix... I got a guy, knows a guy finds, a guy, gets it done guy ! After that how does the water taste ?


Super Moderator
The Baja gods love you. Great story and the good karma will go far with everyone who help you out.