|liftoff from home|
Tuesday started with loading up camping gear and bikes (2 on a rear strap-on rack, one in the cabin). The load-up was not terribly interesting, other than I forgot all the little things that used to go without mention before. Things forgotten: dish towels, body soap & shampoo, extra towels, for example. There were plenty of other things, but we didn't leave our positive attitudes, our extra coolant, bag of how-to-fix-it books, toolbox of ratchets, screwdrivers and wrenches. This proved very important later. From the house, we went straight to Fred Meyers for last minute "oh, yeah, we need that" stuff, like a solar lantern, ice, propane and of course fuel and air for the tires. It was a little surreal to order diesel. The guy looked at me a little funny and said "you mean regular". "No," I say with a grin. "I mean #2 diesel". I then photographed the fill up like a total geek.
|yes, I meant Diesel :)|
As I mentioned in my last post, the boys and I gave thanks to each of you who have helped us on this journey when we turned onto Roy Rogers Road towards Sherwood. The drive through the highland cow country of Washing ton County was beautiful, and the engine temp finally reached the magic 185* mark. It held there, then climbed some more. By 190*, I had flipped the fan switch, and the temp dropped back down to 185*, at which point, I turned the fans back off again. This cycle repeated a few times as we entered Sherwood. That is, until we reached 99W and I suddenly saw white smoke billowing. "Houston, we have a problem". I flipped the fans and the smoke cleared, but I knew something was wrong. I made the turn onto 99W and into the next parking lot: one for a NAPA. What luck!
|hose on ground not so good.|
One Small Step For Van
While shooting the breeze with the guys at NAPA, I described my engineering failure: there are no barbs on my coupling, so it would just be a matter of time before this happened again. They leaped to the phones, calling different parts suppliers until they found a company in Tualatin that had 1-1/4" double-barbed couplers. "2 please," I say. NAPA went an got them for me from them within 30 minutes. During that 30 minute wait, we walked next door to the Safeway and had lunch. Perfect. No sooner had we returned, the couplers arrived. They were installed, coolant fed into the bottle, system bled and we were ready to roll within an hour. Knowing more air bubbles would appear, we pulled out of the NAPA parking lot.
|new double-barbed couplers|
One Giant Step for Van-Kind
After being parked for 2 days, there were no fresh fluids under the bus before we left the campground. The coolant bottle was a touch low, so I topped him off again. I expect a few more air bubbles to appear before its all done, but I think the worst is past. The under-mount radiator has proven effective, and the TDI engine has proven to be an effective power plant for a microbus. As many have pointed out along the way "that transaxle isn't well suited to that engine". Very true. At 3k RPM, the bus is moving around 45mph in 4th gear with 14" tires. I have a set of 15" rims that I plan to use for tires in the future, but I'm sure a re-geared transaxle is in the future. That's a $1500+ statement.... and it reminds me that no bus or project vehicle is ever finished. Just some portion of it is. Today, the engine transplant project is complete. Tomorrow, some other project will begin, but for today at least I dance and sing in celebration that my bus lives again.
|true satisfaction. greetings from Champoeg State Park|