3 Weeks until we enter #vanlife full time, and the projects are not slowing down!
Our second new carburetor arrived on Monday night, and I eagerly installed it on Tuesday morning. After I got it all hooked up and ran it for a few minutes, I was noticing fuel leaking from the filter bolt as well as a section of the fuel line. I panicked when I saw the fuel coming out of the filter, as that was the reason we needed to replace the original carburetor, when I accidentally stripped the threads in that spot. I backed the fuel line off and reinstalled it, then cut a new section of fuel line. Once it was all setup, I let the van idle for about 5 minutes and everything stayed dry...hopefully that solved the issue...
Well we decided to take the van for a test drive, and take a quick bike ride at Winged Deer park. She started right up, drove great! Running strong, smooth, and better than ever gas mileage. When we arrived at the trailhead, I said a quick prayer to the van gods, and shut the engine off.
"Shit" I thought, and probably yelled. The dieseling was back. After our ride we drove it for a bit to do some troubleshooting and gathered the following information:
When we go from a driving gear, to park, once the engine is warm, and turn the ignition off, the engine diesels. If we give the engine a bit of throttle right before/as we turn ignition off, it goes off fine.
If we turn the car on and stay in park and let the engine idle for a bit, it won’t diesel. Nor if we turn the ignition off in gear.
My very car savvy uncle, and he said it sounds like a timing issue, and he agreed to help us get the bugs worked out when we arrive in Michigan about 3 weeks from now.
I lost a bit of sleep over it last night, but I'm confident we'll get it worked out. We needed to move onto a new project anyways.
Last week we ordered a skylight and the necessary equipment to mount it, so that we could remove the AC unit. While the AC unit is a cool feature to have, it only works when the van is hooked up to shore power at a campground, or running off a generator. We plan on doing neither of those 2 things this summer and decided it was in out best interest to remove the 175lb eye sore on our roof.
The hardest part of the whole process was figuring out a way to physically get the unit off the roof. I wasn't kidding when I said it weighed 175lbs. After a few changes of plans, we decided that the best way to unload it was for me to guide it down the ladder, as Allie belayed it off the roof. I'm sure that was a sight to see. Unfortunately, a few pieces of the plastic ferring broke, but it went a lot better than anticipated.
Allie really took the reigns from here and started removing the old padding from the AC unit and cleaning off all of the residue. Before we could put the new skylight in, we had to make sure the fiberglass around the cut out was completely clean and smooth.
Getting the screws into the fiberglass seemed to be a little bit more difficult than necessary. The mounting hardware that came with the kit were flat heads, which if you've ever worked with before, you know they are a nightmare to use with a power drill. Why in god's name the manufacture doesn't use Phillips head screws, I'll never know, but I digress. Instead of drilling the screw right into the fiberglass, we first had to tap a small hole using the drill, and then tighten them down by hand. This turned what should have been a 10 minute project, into about a half hour project.
After we finally got all the hardware installed, we were ready for the LAP Sealant. This was the most satisfying part of the process.
Once again, I accidentally opened Pandora's box. While Allie was working on the skylight, I decided to start peeling away the aluminum foil on the top of the vent fan to see what was happening there. To my dismay, because nothing surprises me on this van anymore, it was just an empty Cool Whip container with foil glued to it. Great, another $65 fix for next week.
The sealant is now curing on the roof, and we have an appointment to get the propane system tested. Next week we're going to also build a rooftop PVC shower system and possibly a cross bar so that we can use our Skybox for storage.
But most importantly, Sunday is Olin's first birthday, and we're excited to celebrate!
Collin has worked his butt off tuning up the carburetor on the van for the last couple weeks. Between breaks in the rain, he has spent several hours working on the idling issues and making sure the carb is getting the right amount of air intake. After several trial start-ups and tweaks, the engine warmed up to a wonderful buzz and Collin said, "Let's take her on a drive!" Olin and Taco hung out with grandpa for a few hours while mom, dad, and Dobby test drove the van up the famous Snake 421. We cruised by South Holston Lake and the van roared up the curvy back roads of Appalachia.
We checked out a trail at the top and cruised down to a fancy car meet-up.
It was a beautiful weekend and we were happy to enjoy the sunshine and explore some new places. Mom snuck in 4 hours underground on a cave trip Saturday night. Then Sunday morning, we welcomed in Easter with bunny pancakes, dinos, and a delicious ham! We took a relaxing nap and ended our holiday weekend with a trip to the Bristol Drive-in. It was amazing. The pictures do more justice than words.
Dogs & Diapers