Monday, March 15, 2010

Another Long Weekend (Working on the Van)

Well it was yet another long weekend for me as I worked to get my van ready formy trip to the southern latitudes. As of this weekend, I have exactly 5 months until I hit the road, not much time for something that is going through a total overhaul.

We started saturday morning with getting the van off the jacks to get the rear wheels off to start mounting my airbag kit (thanks to those for the awesome recomendations). Well, we quickly found out the lug nuts were seized so I ran her over to a shop to have em busted loose. He had to bump the air gun to 1kft/lbs but we got em off without busting anything. Got her home and started dry fitting the airbag on the drivers side... no bueno. Exhaust pipe passed within 1/2 an inch of the bag and causing some concern from my stepdad and I... so bags delayed until exhaust is worked out. We removed all lug nuts and lubed them with axle greese to prevent future seizing.

We then turned out attention to the stuck window on passenger side as it would only go down half way before a horrible buzzing sound and same going back up. We quickly discovered the gears were stripped in the motor so I picked up are placement ($42 bux lifetime warrenty) and got her working great, especially after the silicon spray in the window tracks. The we fixed the power door lock too!

Sunday I tackled the heater control valve that was leaking a serious amount of coolant. I had suspicions that the heater core under the dash was out anyways from the strong antifreeze smells when heat was on, so I totally bypassed my heating system and just hooked the return line back up to the radiator (evenrear heat was bypassed)... problem solved for free! I took off down the road and thats when she started dying again... CRAP! I couldnt get her restarted and I assumed I was out of gas (after replacing the fuel pump, I only put 5 gallons or so back in and I had done some driving on that) so we dropped in 2 gallons.Problem is.. she started WAY too fast for a car out of gas, usually they take a few cranks. Nope she fired right up. So... I swung by the parts place and bought the last piece of a full tune up, the ignition coil, $20 bux... worth the piece of mind. Dropped it in, got to a gas station, 10 more gallons of premium with a fuel treatment and she is running fine.

This project is slowly moving forward but I feel like for every 3 steps forward I take 1 back (better than 2 and 1 right?? ahaha). I plan to take her out west before I hit the road so I can really test her limits, Im thinking Taos or something, good 2K miles round trip from me. I need to see what is going to break before I can trust her again.

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