Problem found!

Good news- I think we’ve found the problem and we don’t need a new engine. Just a cylinder head and a piston(?). Jason is on his way to Vancouver, WA to get the parts. I’ll let Jason update this post and let you know what it was, since I really haven’t a clue.

My job was merely watching Wall E and playing knights with Bode…and trying to keep him out of the tools.

Many thanks to everyone for your advice and offers.  We found some incredible folks, Christen and Amanda, who lent us their workshop space, their VW knowledge and even bought us lunch.

This journey has introduced us to some amazing people. We are now in karma debt and looking forward to paying back.

13 thoughts on “Problem found!

  • September 14, 2009 at 5:57 PM

    We’re sure glad you’re safe & don’t need a new motor! Hope Jason doesn’t have to do too much wrenching & you’re on the road again soon. Be anxious to hear what happened.

    BTW, we check in everyday, even before looking at emails. Guess that tells you something 🙂

    Take care!


  • September 14, 2009 at 9:17 PM

    You’ve been gone a month already!!!!!!!!

  • September 14, 2009 at 10:19 PM

    i had a feeling it was a cylinder. ; )

  • September 15, 2009 at 5:35 AM

    If you need heads and a rod, which is a connecting rod and piston , you might want to do yourself a favor, if it’s within your budget and you plan on keeping the van and maybe traveling afar…hint-hint….get an engine, or more than likely it’s going to pop again…I know…it happened to me, and I’m in the auto business…..a band-aid is only a temporary fix…..

  • September 15, 2009 at 6:13 AM

    I have to agree with Russ, I know it is probably not in the budget at this point but a new engine would be the right move. I wish someone would post a good VW person in that area for you I know somebody knows somebody for you! Come On People!!!

  • September 15, 2009 at 7:37 AM

    Hey Guys!

    Call me / email me and I’ll get you the number to one of the old Crocket hoodlems that mooved to Portland. I think you might have me them some years ago. He bought a Vanagain at a yard sale and then turbo-ed the thing. After spending a couple of years in a van I’ve never gone that fast! He’s a nut and they’re great.

    If you had to break down anywhere, I think you picked about the best spot in the country. It’s good luck really.

  • September 15, 2009 at 10:32 AM

    That is so good to hear. I’m glad you guys will once again be like Willie Nelson. On the road again!

  • September 15, 2009 at 10:41 AM

    Hi Angela, Jason, and Bode.

    I have been following your trip each day, and I really enjoy it. I have been to most of the places that your trip encompasses. I have owned several VW’s. My first one was a VW Beetle before we were married, and I took it places that I would never take it now. A friend who also had a VW Beetle would occasionally get his or mine stuck somewhere and had to get towed out. I had to replace a cylinder head myself once and I know how much of a challenge it can be. After we were married with two kids, we bought a VW van and again took off on camping trips to Oregon and Washington. I am 65 now and I no longer drive older air-cooled VW’s.

    We used to live in Oakland.

    Good Luck!

    Mark in Fremont

  • September 15, 2009 at 1:53 PM

    I lost a piston & cylinder once on a pretty fresh rebuilt type 1 vw engine. The circlip came out of the wristpin. I replaced the bad cylinder, with teflon buttons this time, and the engine is still running after more then ten years. I’ve put many hard miles on it since then. The whole repair cost me about $150 plus my time.

    I can’t wait to hear how your repair goes.


    Doug in Alameda

  • September 15, 2009 at 5:52 PM

    I have a tired 1600 shortblock from my bus. I wouldn’t take a long voyage with it, but it may get you home. It was pretty worn out with high endplay. No flywheel or heads. If you’re planning on continuing your voyage then I’d recommend a better engine. Good luck!

  • September 15, 2009 at 6:43 PM

    Glad to hear your moving on soon. We can’t wait to hear about yournext adventure.

    Good luck

  • September 15, 2009 at 10:55 PM

    just discovered your site. i live in portland. my hubby and i have had a few vw vans. future reference … Fix Um Haus in St Johns is a great place to get VW work done. Marcelle and Rich – good guys. are u needing a place to crash for a spell? we have a big house.

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