Working on the Joy

Its been over a week and a half since I have been able to write a new post. I have felt like I have been letting myself down. The thing is that I have had a lot of things to do and my life is never easy. I had to see to some very stressful things, I will try to explain.

I have a 99 Land Rover Discovery II, In what I thought was good condition. Well I blew a block seal, I thought it was an exhaust issue. I wasn’t that lucky, It turns out to be more than I can afford at $4200.00 repair  that wont happen. So I’m on my way home and quite upset when I realize that I can fix it my self. I have the skills, the tools, the drive to do the job. But It will take some planning.

So I decide to take my vintage 1978 VW Bus out of storage and get to work on getting it ready for the road. I’ve stored it for 9 years. From time to time I started it, changed the…  So I knew it was going to take some work but I have the skills. First things first I put all new breaks in the front. New: rotors, calipers & pads. New emergency brake cables, but I couldn’t seem to get them to adjust right so I would have to take the VW to my old friend Harry. He is a pro. at 25 years in the bis. of auto repair, a friend from high school.

Before I can do this I must get the new license plates. So off I go to the DMV. I order up my new AV (antique/vintage) plates. Of course they are vanity plates, as well they should be. So now I’m legal on the road and its off to see Harry. I have a little problem with old Gas/ fuel, I treat it with “Heat” (to evaporate the water) and a fuel stabilizer and a full belly of new premium fuel. I drive slow, and have to stop and tap the fuel filter because of the bad fuel sitting over the years. I make it to Harry some 25 miles down the road.

Well Harry is really slammed with the paying customers and asked me to come back at the end of the day, no problem. So I tool around the old neighborhood where I grew up. It was a nice spring day, but everyone is at work so I’m left to my old haunts on my own. I stop in the “Java Cafe” where I spent a lot of time in my past. I found myself doing the same thing I use to do, work on song lyrics for a friends music. Accept for one major difference, my Mac Book . We have come a long way from Walkman and writing tablets. I latter meet up with an old friend and we spend the afternoon talking, I really like her and her husband is an old friend too.

I’m off to see Harry at the shop, he puts the VW up on the lift and we get to work on the break cables. When another mechanic comes over and says “I smell fuel”. So I start to do an exam of the fuel lines… I now can smell it too. Of course its 32 years old, it will always have issues. The fuel lines coming off the fuel tank are sweating gas, not good. They have not failed completely they should hold till I get home. We decide that I need new wheel cylinders as the rear brakes wont adjust properly so I still have no emergency brakes. I make it home after a couple of stops with no issues, I love driving the old Bus it is like an old friend. We’ve seen over 20 states in her.

The next day I’m feeling a bit run down, so I decide to just buy the parts I need and do yard work, it is one of my favorite past times and it needs my attention, too. I later take the VW for a spin and wash the 9 years of dust off her, she is slowly coming back to all her glory.

Now it is friday morning and time to start work on the VDub. So long story longer I get to the fuel lines and effect the repair. Though it doesn’t want to hold and the rust has affected the fuel tank as well, Not Good. Its starts to rain and I smell of gas, & I’m frustrated. Fuel starts to trickle then drip then torrent and now I’m trying to catch the spilling fuel and I save it. Well now I have to replace the fuel tank, and it is not a simple job. To make matters worse in my rush to catch the spilling fuel I knocked the wiring off the starter motor and when I tried to fix it my wrench crossed the engine and fried the starter. Simple? bad to worse, I want to cry now.

I go into the house to search the web for a fuel tank, after 2 hours I find one, “used”, in California. That is lucky because some new parts can’t be gotten too easily or cheaply and this is one part I will have to settle for “used” I will have to recondition it with rust preventers… I know on the surface that this all seems like a lot of work and it is. The one thing many of you don’t know is in order to install a new tank you must take out the engine, I knew this was the case when my repair would not hold. So I guess I will be doing an engine over hall on my VDub Porch motor.  with new breaks, fuel lines and starter. I should be able to do it in 4-5 days, time.

Remember I told you that I started out needing to rebuild the land rover motor and I would just pull out VW. Oh how simple it all seemed in my head, but you know the old Bus needed my attention and this means she will be with me for many years to come. We will see how this will all go. Will the old Bus see a few more states? Will I get to make the repairs to the Rover? We just don’t know yet, but we will find out now won’t we.

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Published in: on April 25, 2010 at 9:06 am  Leave a Comment