No Juice -> No Go
|Lower Bowl Lift|
Ski Bowl Night skiing
#$%& Leaking Again
Sunday, the weather gods continued to smile. The spits of rain broke in mid-afternoon, so I re-connected the battery, wrestled the door open and fired up the bus. We drove around a little bit and then over to the BioDiesel-selling Chevron on Allen & Murray. The computer started beeping at the intersection triggering that familiar "oh crap, we're out of coolant again" feeling. We hobbled into the parking area and I killed the engine. The overflow bottle was empty again, and there was evidence of coolant having sprayed on the rear (first front-is-front reference) of the fuel tank. Coolant was draining out with verve. I wrestled with it a bit, thought I had it fixed and watched more fresh coolant drain when I tested my theory. Great. At least it was a nice day, the lot was flat and I had ready-access to water (I was next to the air/water thing).
Pardon the Interruption
Interrupting the story for a second, but when I was at the Air/Water thing re-filling my water bottle, there was this odd couple putting air in their Smart car. The guy was trying to figure out how to work the air thing, and the woman asks him if he'd gotten a pressure reading on the tire, and he turned to her and said "if you would just shut up, maybe I would". I was aghast; I mean I'm standing right there, and then made the mistake of making eye contact with the woman. Her face said "this happens all the time, he's an asshole". Wow, the crap some folks put up with. I just took my water back to my bus, grateful I don't have to sit in that Smart car with that asshole.
Front is Front
After singeing my fingers and my left wrist a bit, I sat on the slider door entrance and thought a bit. I changed the o-ring, so that's not it. The C-clip is in good shape; not bent. The flange was new, and the engine hasn't gotten warm enough to warp things. I remembered that the C-clip is usually pushed on from below when the TDI engine is in a stock car. In my Jetta, for example, there's lots of room under the flange, but almost none from above. I figured this was why it was installed that way. So, I had been putting mine in from the top. In "front is front" form, I decided that "bottom was bottom" and I should try the C-clip from underneath. Considering that the lower edge of the flange sits less than 1/2 inch above the fuel tank deck, there is very little maneuvering room. Still, I was able to get the C-clip in with a minimum of swearing and burning.
Drive It Like You Stole It
Wanting to get away from the bad vibes of a-hole, I put everything away, and quick-started / killed the engine to clear the air bubbles. I checked the coolant level, and I was off. I drove like I assumed it was fixed: pushed the RPM's into the low 3000's before shifting, etc. If you don't test drive it like you're going to drive it... its not a valid test, now is it? Anyway, I got home and circled the block before turning into the apartment complex. No beeping from the computer. Temperature steadily climbed, but it wasn't at all erratic (which happens where there's air near the sensor). So, I parked the bus outside the garage, killed the engine and opened the garage door.
While doing my opener wrestling stuff, I watched the bus for leaks. Nuttin. I fired him up, parked him and closed up the garage again. Still no drips. Hmm.. Now, the final test: how's the coolant level. I looked at the bottle, and it looked low, so I started to open the bottle.... I heard a sucking sound and the coolant rose up to the full line. The system was so sealed that the vacuum/pressure created by the coolant pump was holding. I think we're finally fixed, and this time, I have reason to believe its for keeps.
As always, thanks for following along. Now that he's road-worthy again, I will drive him to work a few times this week to get the gear oil into the tranny and prove the fix. Then, maybe next weekend to Mt Hood? I suppose, if I leave early enough, we can get to Timberline before the lot fills.. Regardless, it feels great to even consider it again. I guess it does matter which way you put the C-clip in. Bottom is bottom. Front is front.