Preparing for Departure

    Ooooo-ooo: prudy new tires and wheels!!

    Annnd....we got our first tag! Thanks for nothing "husk."

    My fellow Americans, I ask you: When will we stop selling fatty sharpies to rouge middle schoolers?

    Anyway, we're going to paint it over (white) and paint all our lovely "chrome" (read: sheet metal) accents to match at the same time. We want to get it done today before we leave in an effort to make the bus less scary-looking.

    In addition to getting new tires, we took the bus to Schweitzer's automotive to get the rear differential oil level checked and also have someone look at the transmission. It was acting weird...maybe?...we weren't sure so we thought it might be prudent to have someone look at it. The rear diff thing was Spencer's idea. The guys at Shweitzer's turned out to be very cool. The rear diff was fine (we could have checked it ourselves....oh well...just trying to be cautious this first time around) and the tranny was fine except some anonymous idiot (me) over-filled the fluid. Good to know. =)

    Enough about other people messing with our bus. Back to us monkeys. In addition to painting those less desirable parts of our bus today, we are also going to replace our hood support wire. You can see in the pic here that its just hanging on by a thread...

    Yesterday we replaced our engine temp gauge. Here's the broken one:

    Here's the back of it...turns out that the wire coming into the bottom of it isn't a wire at all...its a tiny tube....filled with ether?!....that can be really nasty if you cut into it. (Thanks for letting me know, friendly Knechts guy!) Guess who came ::this close:: to cutting into it before she knew better? Just goes to show...if you don't know...don't cut it.

    Here's where that ether tube connects into the back of the engine.

    So we bought a replacement gauge at Knechts. The tube and the gauge are all one thing - they can't be disconnected from one another. That means we had to replace the whole thing.

    We struggled for a while to try to get that bushing on the engine undone but eventually gave up...goddamn it was tight and in a *&^%ed up spot...and we didn't have the right sized wrench...(note to self: get complete wrench set NOW) ...luckily there happened to be a house guest staying with Julia's mom who not only had the right wrench but was also stronger than us. Yay.

    But once it was installed, we weren't sure if it was working. Rev the engine as we might, it wasn't moving.

    So we took the bus up over the hill out to Lane Community's sort of a pseudo-freeway to get out there so that was good practice. We topped out at about 30 mph going up that hill. (Seriously.) I see a lot of driving-in-the-slow-lane-with-my-hazards-on in my future.

    We also got to test out the lower gears. Don't ask me why they designed it like this but it's a stretch to reach the gear shifter from the driver's seat. I felt lucky to have such a competent co-pilot next to me because Julia was shifting gears for me like a pro. (Don't forget, its an automatic, folks!)

    Lo and behold, sometime during the drive the engine temp gauge sprung to life. We were hovering around 180 degrees the whole time which seems good to me.

    So once the sketchy parts of our bus are painted over and that little wire is replaced, we'll be good to go. I finally caved to the pressure and agreed to get a pre-paid cellphone for emergencies. (I hold it 3 feet away from me and use it with the speakerphone on....and keep it turned off the rest of the know they can't prove it's dangerous....but they can't prove its safe either!) Also on our to-do list: clean the garage (total disaster area), sort out our tools, load up extra stuff we need to take down to CA for storage, clean cockpit (its covered in a good layer of grease/dust), install the bike rack thingy on the back of the bus, buy a decent CA/Oregon atlas and go food shopping.

    Our estimated time of departure from Eugene is tomorrow or the next day depending on how fast we can get our stuff together.


    A quick word from Julia: We're planning on driving east from Eugene on Hwy 58 and then hook up with hwy 97 so that we can check out Eastern Oregon a bit on the way down (and avoid some of the intense mountain passes on the I-5). That route hooks back up to the 5 around Weed. We want to take our time and do a little tripping around, so if anyone knows of any cool spots to stop on the way down we'd love to hear about it! This will be our first experience taking the rig on the road, finding places to park over night, and hopefully even doing some nature boondocking. Let us know if you have any tips! thanks.Source URL:
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