After driving up the river roads all the way from south of Minneapolis, we cruised into the small town of Grand Rapids MN.
Upon entering the town, we crossed the dwindling Mississippi River again…
… and then got to downtown really fast.
We parked at a nearby gas station to get some deodorant and dinner, and checked the oil again. Sure enough, all the fixes we did to the engine in Mosinee and Brainard did not fix the problem. We still had an oil consumption issue. We pulled off the doghouse and made a call to Hypermax.
Hypermax seemed very fixated on the turbo drain tube. There is a flexible tube (shown under the turbo in the image above), that allows all the oil used to lubricate the rotation of the turbine to return to the crankcase. Hypermax insisted that our tube didn’t have enough flow, either by not having enough holes in the valley pan or by the tube butting up against the bottom plate. Both would allow the oil to back up to the bearing surfaces, and force a mist of oil into the intake, consuming the engine oil.
We spent the good part of the afternoon disassembling the turbo tube there and bending it up in a “Z” shape that would ensure the flow would not be butted up against the valley pan, especially since we had personally awled the holes in the pan ourselves when we did the engine rebuild back in 2018.
We had to make a decision. Try to push on to the Headwaters, or find a place to rest for the night. We elected to do both, but with the understanding that if our latest fix to the oil consumption problem didn’t work, then we’d just stay the night in Grand Rapids and make a more direct route back to Mosinee to abort the trip down to Louisiana.