Saturday, November 5, 2011

Furthur - the Return

I know its been a while and I apologize for that.  I've been covering a second job at work, so I'm basically working all the time these days.  Fortunately, a replacement has been selected, so I'll be returning to having only one job again soon.  Today, I'll talk about the adventure I had on the drive home.

out the passenger side while waiting
We rolled out of the campground earlier than I really expected - around 10.  After 3 days of late nights, music and dancing, I figured we'd sleep in later.  Since the bus doesn't have much in terms of curtains right now, the morning sun got me up pretty early.  So, after quick-charging our cell phones, slugging some coffee and grubbing some cold cereal, Ed (in Belle) and I (in Hapy) headed north through Coburn and onto I-5 North.
With my currently limited top-speed, Ed eventually grew impatient, passed and disappeared through my windscreen.  Since he had a much longer drive over to the Oregon Coast before wheeling home, I totally expected him to split.  It was shortly after we parted ways that things started to get interesting.

out the windscreen while waiting
One advantage to not having a stereo is being able to get very attuned to what your engine sounds like when its running well.  It also gives you very early clues when things are starting to go wrong.  It started with a little sputter.  Like the engine missed or something.  We kept on cruising, but now I was on high alert.  Another sputter... and then another... and then... I could hear the engine starting to die.  So, I popped it out of gear, let the engine fail and rolled slowly below the speed limit, into the breakdown lane and then eventually to a stop.  Fortunately, I found myself in a very wide breakdown area.  I had an idea of what went wrong, so I went around back to confirm.  When I broke camp, I put most of my stuff on the floor in the passenger area rather than the rear deck.  This made engine access easy.

My initial guess was proven accurate seconds after I opened the engine lid: the clear primary fuel filter I put between the tank and the stock filter was completely dry. 
Hah.  I jumped back into the driver seat and checked my milage, and I should have half a tank.  Curious.  So, I pulled the filler cap and waited for a break in traffic.  When one arrived, I rocked the bus and put my ear to the filler hole: splash-splash.  So... not fuel-less?  So, the tank has foreign matter in it blocking the outlet.  Drat!  Not something I can fix roadside, so AAA gets the call.

Towed Again
tucking him home
AAA was responsive, but I had to wait an hour while a flat-bed truck became available.  It seems I was not the only northbound microbus that got a AAA call.  Funny.  While I waited, I messed around with some of my interior electrical, and got the poptop dome light to work.  Sweet!  Anyway, Dave the driver was very careful and did a great job hoisting my bus onto his truck.  The drive back to Beaqverton was not nearly as climactic as the drive south was.  Between the completely different weather (now cloudy with spitting rain) and hte different means, I was a little down.  Dave was able to arrange his truck such that he was able to perfectly tuck the bus into his sleeping spot in my garage.

So ends the adventure of attending Furthur.  I did take a peek at the clear filter a few days after getting home and it had some fuel in it, further supporting the floaties-in-the-tank theory.  Since the return, I've taken steps to fix this, and I'll post what those steps were next time around.  As always, thanks for following along.

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