Thursday, July 18, 2013

Geocaching in the Dunes

Coming off of working for 7 days straight. So I haven't been able to do a whole lot of anything lately. I had today off, and I'm back to work tomorrow for a day before I get the weekend off. I'm getting burnt out on everything. At work, the motorhome, everything. I finally had to request some vacation time at work. I had a different plan but I just need some time off now.

More on all that later maybe. For now, today. I had the day off so I drove up to a beach I've never been to on Lake Michigan and did some geocaching. This particular beach had three multicaches (more than one stage) and the final one you could only do after you got the GPS coordinates from the first two. It was hot (92 or so?) and the dunes are steep. These caches had me going up and down steep ridges all day. My legs are jelly tonight.  The third one I had to give up on. I couldn't find the clue to get to the 4th stage. Overall it was a great time with some crazy hides.

I'm just burnt out on everything. I don't really know what my next move is. And that makes me even more burnt out.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Up, running, and out of gas

Well, the motorhome is back together and running. It's not the amazing success I had hoped for. It almost seems to run the same as it did before. Which I had decided would probably be 'good enough' before I decided to rip everything apart so I guess now I decide it's good enough again?

I actually started it up for the first time on Sunday night. Started on the first try. Today I gave it an oil change and took it for a drive to the gas station. It smoked a lot at the beginning but I'm hoping that's just left over from before all the big repairs.. As that is one of the reasons why I decided to replace the heads in the first place. Time will tell.

The motorhome actually died on me on the way to the gas station. It started stuttering and almost feeling like the transmission was slipping bad. Not long after that, the steering went hard and I realized the engine had shut off. This would have been a great photo opportunity but sadly when I'm sitting on the side of the road I'm not yet to the point where I think to take a picture (or make a YouTube video).

I called my mom to bring me some gas. I sure was hoping I was just out of gas. I knew I was getting close, that's why I was going to the gas station, after all. Luckily, a little bit of the good stuff in the tank and I was off the rest of the way to the gas station. Very happy about that, I was envisioning the worst and getting ready to call Progressive to cash in on a little towing benefit.

There's some doubt in my mind now about what to do next. I should probably just start driving it and see where it goes from there. I just wish it ran a smidge better than it does. In the spirit of honesty I do consider selling it and bagging this whole plan. While I KNOW that I would never regret actually getting out on the road and living life, a big part of me is getting tired of spending money and feeling like I'm getting no where. It sure would be nice to be putting more money in the bank. Just get a nice small car with decent MPG and go to work everyday, yeah?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Set back #37

Or something, I'm not actually counting the set backs. Thursday after work I was able to get (mostly) everything hooked back up and came to the point where I could fill the engine back up with coolant. Not long after I had most of the coolant in was when I noticed the 4 bolts on the ends of the exhaust manifolds were leaking coolant slowly. Crap. Also a slow line of coolant was forming around the thermostat housing gasket.

I went to a bad place that night. Feeling like a failure and like this whole project was turning into a giant, expensive mess.

I regrouped. Researched, talked to guys at work. Tonight after work I drained all the coolant again, took those four bolts out, and put some sealant on the threads. They have to sit for 24 hours to fully cure and then after that I can try adding coolant again to see what happens. I'm really hoping my leak is fixed after this. I'm feeling better about it all at this point, but there's still the potential for major failure.

Also checked out the thermostat gasket tonight. It's junk. I put the gasket on top of the thermostat instead of underneath, so when I tightened everything down the edge of the thermostat cut a line through the gasket. No big deal. A new gasket is less than $1.00 and I already have the coolant drained anyway.

The 24 hour mark on that thread sealant doesn't come until 8pm tomorrow so it's likely I won't be putting coolant in again until TUESDAY. No biggie. I've waited this long already on this project.

Right now I'm thinking I might possibly be able to get the Y Pipe hooked back up to the exhaust manifolds tomorrow, and also get that oil change out of the way. Then, all I'd be waiting for would be to add coolant before the big, scary moment. Trying to start it back up.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Progress Finally Continues!

Yesterday shortly after I arrived at work my new remanufactured heads showed up. About a week later than the company originally said, but oh well. I just happened to have today off of work so it worked out more or less.

One of my pretty new heads! Everything seems to be the same as the ones I took off of there, so that's a good thing. The day started off rainy and didn't clear up until around 1:30pm so I got a late start on the project. Like usual.
First up was to clean up any dirt that had fallen into the cylinders during all of this, so I got out the shop vac and got out everything that I could. Then at the last minute I decided to take the AC compressor off since it wasn't hooked up or working at all anyway. That opened up a good sized space on the front of the engine. I had been thinking about maybe fixing the AC eventually but only one vehicle I've owned has ever had working AC, so I'll just make do without.
I haven't run into any real problems yet. Of course everything takes longer than I think it will and the most simple tasks usually end up being incredibly tedious and time consuming. Case in point, replacing the radiator and bypass hose. The screws on the hose clamps were in impossible locations and I had to reach in while bending down underneath the steering wheel. 

Both heads have been installed
Exhaust manifolds are on and so is the intake manifold.
In the picture above the intake isn't bolted down all the way yet. It is now, as I type this. There were numerous brackets that went under some of those bolt heads and I had to take a look at all the pictures I took to remember exactly what went where. Thankfully, I took good pictures. 
I didn't manage to get it all back together today. I got close, but in the end I didn't make it. I think I have even less to do than I think I do, but I know it's still a couple of good hours work. Carb needs to go back on, brake booster vacuum line, need to reconnect the exhaust pipes to the exhaust manifolds. There's one bolt for the alternator that screws into the side of the head that I can't get to line up properly and thread in. Spark plugs need to go in, figure out which wire goes to which plug. I'm probably forgetting something but then just fill it up with coolant again and give it an oil change!  Then, finally, I will be able to have the old moment of truth when I try to start it back up.
Not sure when I'll work on it next. Back to work tomorrow until the weekend. Thursday I go in earlier than usual and get out early because of Independence Day so I might be able to get things wrapped up Thursday afternoon.