Happy Bus

Ignacio and family save the day… again.

The leaking transmission was not getting any better and every time I looked under the bus and saw the drips I got more and more nervous. If we don’t fix it now, I can’t see anywhere on the map in the next 5000 km that we will be able to.  Fortunately, we didn’t even have to ask – Ignacio told us to come over and fix it – he’d even have the beer and BBQ waiting.

In the morning, I climbed into the pit and Juan helped me get down to the leaking differential seal – new territory for me. While we were down there, of course, we found plenty of other things to take care of too. One CV boot with a hole in it and the other three were badly cracked. Time to replace all four. This also means pulling everything apart, cleaning, and re-greasing too.

I’d been hearing a little clickety-clack from the back recently and assumed there was something up with the wheel bearings again. After looking at the CV bearings, I think I probably found the source – not pretty. Back in the U.S., everything would immediately be replaced with new parts. Here, you tend to get more life out things. The executive decision was to put them back in and keep going. Juan assured me we would make it Patagonia with no problems (I don’t remember him saying if we would make it back). We’ll put this on our list of things to check in Buenos Aires.

The seal was another issue altogether. It’s not available down here – this is no Brazilian tranny. We took it around to a few shops and one guys measured it with calipers and gave us something as close as he could get. Off by a millimeter. We took it back to the shop and put it on the lathe and then installed with a little RTV. Should be fine. A quick seal replacement turned into a long greasy day – time for large hunks of meat and beer!

After the asadita, Bode wasn’t feeling well, so he and Angela slept in the bus while I hung out with the fam.  The big yearly teleton was on TV – a huge affair hosted by the Sabado Gigante guy. It was sort of like their version of the Jerry Lewis Telethon. Far more entertaining than any telethon I’ve seen – mainly because it gave me an introduction to all of the popular entertainers – with bonus commentary from the family.

I wasn’t log before the aguardiente came out (a home-flavored moonshine of sorts with cherries, and some unidentified berry). I even briefly demonstrated my limited ability to croon in Spanish. A poor showing for sure, but at least I’ve picked up enough to embarrass myself.

9 thoughts on “Happy Bus

  • December 9, 2011 at 7:19 AM

    Lordy lordy that cv joint looks terrible! Did you flip them around? I’m told if you do (and if you keep them happy with grease of course), even ones as rotten as yours look could give tens of thousands more miles.

    wheel A—-B transx C—-D wheel


    wheel C—-D transx A—-B wheel


  • December 9, 2011 at 5:13 PM

    I think everyone is missing the most important question here: When did Jason start sporting the beret?

  • December 10, 2011 at 7:44 AM

    Is that a coat hanger Ignacio is welding with? Awesome. Reminds me of the old split window bus cross country trip days when farmers and back yard mechanics would help keep you on your long strange trip.

    There was some recent discussion on the Vanagon list about how much silica the K&N-type air filters allow to pass through. It would surely help your engine longevity if you could fabricate some kind of oil bath filter for your dual carbs. When you were rebuilding your engine, I searched for oil bath air filters that would fit your application. Found some in Australia made of unobtainium, apparently, that were 40 or 50 years old. I passed. If you had the old air cleaner, which I’m sure you don’t, I’d bet an enterprising back-yard mechanic could fabricate something with hoses and brackets that would work.

  • December 10, 2011 at 9:15 AM

    Cheers to embarrassing oneself in a foreign country.

  • December 10, 2011 at 9:58 AM

    Mitch- I didn’t really pay attention to what i was doing. I probably should have re-arranged all the bad parts into one CV, so I would only have to watch/replace that one when it finally dies. Maybe next time. I figure this is one part you can literally use until it disintegrates with no major collateral damage.

    And, I’ll have to think about your re-arranging scheme. Seems to me that they would still be operating at the same angles and torques…

  • December 10, 2011 at 10:03 AM

    Jad – If i turn the groovy hat backwards, it looks like a beret. C’est la vie. Need something to keep the grease out of the hair, right?

    Tom – you should see the result… oil-breather intakes for my carb filter holders.

  • December 11, 2011 at 5:15 AM

    Jad- Make that, if he turns his ONLY hat backwards, it looks like a beanie 😉

  • December 12, 2011 at 6:38 AM

    No, the way I understand it, switching them around like this

    wheel A–B transx C–D
    wheel D–C transx B–A

    would be futile, wearing them exactly as they’d been worn.

    In any case, the advice is not original to me; take instead the word of one Colin K. (aka, amskeptic), whose original 1973 cv joints looked as bad as yours, yet flipping (and an eye on the grease) allowed him over 500,000 miles on them:


  • December 12, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    so bad bode was sick… we had a great time with you guys!
    we hope te see you once again

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