Tuesday, September 2, 2008

It's Alive!

After a week and a half of turning wrenches, reading manuals, spraying high temperature paint, cleaning parts, asking questions online, removing gunk from my hair and getting all the doorknobs in the house covered with dirty grease (yuk!), our 1986 Westy camper runs just fine.

This vehicle sat in our Errorzona RV storage lot next to out 27 foot motor home for about a year and a half. The mice moved in and left their calling cards everywhere. They didn't chew on the wires (that I know of) and when I discovered their presence, I left them a couple of box lunches (MousePruf). The bait was all gone when I returned 2 weeks later and the boxes themselves chewed up. So I left a couple more. I found their little mummified bodies curled up next to each other in a cabinet filled with shredded insulation (awwww...) when I cleaned out the van.

The 1st Mate and I jumped into the Westy and took off for Algodones Beach for a test drive. The van passed with flying colors (except maybe the temp gauge showed it warming up to 2/3 of the way, but it's 100 degrees today) and my joy has no bounds, 1st Mate grinned until her face hurt and I owe it all to my higher power and the guys and girls on the Vanagon and Westy discussion group (click on the title above to go there) on the internet... and to the 1st Mate who allowed me to turn our carport into a mechanic's workshop.

I had decided to clean and paint all the parts I could as I dismantled the motor, (like I had done with the diesel on BLISS, our Morgan 33 sailboat) and I'm glad I did. It makes things easier to see and work on when it's not all that same dirty grease covered with dust color. I'm pleased with the way it came out, but the proof will be in how long it runs before it breaks.

Now I have the "garage" to clean, and put away all the tools, and get out to the GREEN FLASH with my machete and a weed eater. The boat is living in a jungle after all the monsoon rains. You know, a sailor's work is never done. Thank God.


1st Mate said...

Definitely the one high point in an otherwise bumpy day. Congratulations, Capt, you done good! Now about the brakes on the Ford...

Rambunctious Rambles said...

Hola MxSailor --
Congrats Man -- A yeoman job well done. Now for 1st mate's brakes on the Ford.

So many buses in my past:
1st bus - 1969 pop-top camper. Sold.
2nd bus - 1973 bus. Crashed.
3rd bus - 1972 bus. Just died, it did. And then there was a squareback after that.
No more air-cooled VW's for me, but so much fun at the time. Nothing like cruising down Hwy 1 to Esalen with a full load of friends in a bus. The fumes were very powerful back in those days and the concerts were also.

I have been reading The Green Flash for a while and have you linked in my new blog Beto's Rambunctious Rambles, in the Sonora section.
If you know of a blog to include in my list, please shoot me an email with the URL.

Abrazos -- Beto

rob said...

Where in heavens name do you get all your energy and inspiration? what a role model you make! :o))when I grow up I want to be just like you (I`m 65 by the way)

MxSailor said...

Hi Beto- I've added you to my Blog List. We still have a 1971 VW van, that is less trouble than the 86 Vanagon... but there's less to it!

That's the nicest thing anyone's said to me. Thank you. Problem is I have this brain that hardly ever sits still, and I'm a sucker for any kind of project where I might learn a new skill. The energy comes from the local custom of siesta during the hottest part of the day. After a nice nap and an iced cappuccino, I'm listo!