Saturday, July 20, 2013

Back from having fallen off the edge

So, yeah, its been 4 months of silence.  Now, I'm back in a somewhat stable space again, and I can take on the bus and the blog.  I didn't exactly fall off the edge of the Earth, but it probably seemed that way.  4 months ago, I wrote about a theory about the leak, but I wasn't able to really test that theory until today.  I'll touch on that and provide a whirlwind tour of my last 4 months.  First, the leak....

Dude, You Crushed It
ALH TDI cooling diagram
As you may remember, I've been suffering some coolant leak problems since I swapped Justin's engine harness out for mine.  We thought it was the coolant temperature sensor.  At this point, I think that actually was the original leak source.  I actually got it fixed last Labor Day when I last pulled the engine to trade out the old tranny for the new high-geared one.  Unfortunately, I believe that was when I damaged the coolant hard line that runs over the top of the bell-housing (part #11 in drawing).  In a stock install, this line is not in harm's way at all.  In fact, I'm not sure why they did that rather than just use rubber lines with junctions, but there was probably a penny saved in there somewhere.  Anyway,  In the bus, this hard line runs very close to the frame to which the trans-axle is mounted.  Adding insult to injury, the hard line has a bracket as part of it which needs to be attached to the front of the block,sharing a bolt through the outlet flange.  Its not obvious in the picture, but its the bolt that is referenced just above the #12 in the picture.  Anyway, it wasn't connected, so I thought the leak was being caused by that not being connected, and the lines allowed to flop around.  It's possible the hard line damage was caused by this.  Its also possible that I crushed the line, popping a little hole in it, when I did that Labor Day install.  Groovy.
Boo has to work tomorrow morning, so I'll start attacking the problem.  I plan to drain the coolant down below that level (assuming the leak hasn't done it for me), cut the hard line above the junctions and route rubber in its place.  I'll need to prevent the rubber from rubbing against things, but after examining the coolant schematic, there just isn't another explanation for why its leaking now.  The #20 and related bits are gone, replaced instead with just a simple heater circuit.  Hmm..

Move ah move ah
Shortly after that last post, Boo and I had finally had it with the condo, the idiots on the HOA board and the self-serving nature that same board spent the budget.  The last straw was after we attended a board meeting about nonsense, but the published minutes described decisions which were never discussed.  Crazy.  Representative government my ass.  So, we hit the rental papers, found and landed a house within a couple weeks.  The current occupants weren't ready to leave for a few weeks, but that gave us the time to rapid-pack 2 families worth of stuff while trying to helicopter boys to lacrosse practices and such.  It was a good time Spring.  We moved in early May.  Immediately following the move-in, we set our eyes on getting the condo ready for someone else.  We followed the Navy axiom of "if it moves, oil it; if it doesn't, paint it".  Needless to say, we pushed 1080 square feet of paint, replaced a ton of broken or worn down stuff, etc.  To be totally fair, 95% of the work was done by Boo.  W(Sh)e finished on Wednesday.  It looks amazing.  Now, we can really address the sea of boxes stacked up in our living room.
On move day, the garage (like any move) became the default staging area for stuff when we started running out of time.  After a Saturday of digging, I had room for the bus.  I am still digging out, but I was able to crack into the bus today.  I don't know where most of my parts or tools are, exactly, but that won't stop me from getting in there with a saw anyway.

That's it for today.  Now that we've moved, school's ended, the condo is done, etc, I expect I'll be back to updating more often.  Its nice to be back for sure.  Tomorrow, I'll get that hard line cut out of the deal and see if I can get a test drive in this next week...


steve said...

I have no words i just to say that your blog is very nice and intersting as i am off topic reader but i love to read different blogs i just suggest if you have given some more photos so its easily understand.

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Unknown said...

Hi, my family is wanting to go on a bus tour this summer. Do you know of the best bus rates?? Or maybe of a website or something that could help me to check out different prices and things? Thanks!

PdxPaulie said...

Thanks, Steve. I will try to take and post more pictures. You're quite right; pictures definitely help.

PdxPaulie said...

Sorry, Shelley, I don't. I am aware of a place in Australia where you can rent a camper-kombi. I swear I saw something similar on Hawaii, but I'm not aware of anything like that within the continental US. Not sure where you are, but if you find some options, please let me know. Sounds like a blast!