Posts Tagged VW bus
Posted on September 16, 2014 by jason
From Playa Rosarito, we made the short trip down to Ensenada. We started out down the toll road, but were turned around half-way to Ensenada – it was closed. A sign would have been nice. I haven’t totally forgotten what it’s like to drive around Mexico, but it’s all coming back now. I’ve missed it.
We had plans of getting a little farther than Ensenada, but the idiot light came on just as we were leaving town. Uh oh.
I pulled over immediately and everything looked obviously okay. That’s bad. After a little poking around, I figured it had to be the oil pump. I really didn’t know how it could have broken – it’s never happened to me before – but it was the only thing that made sense. I pulled the sensor and turned the engine over a few times and nothing came out.
I drove it a few kilometers back to town – stopping often to cool off and re-check everything – and the light wasn’t going off. We found a now-closed camp site and pulled in and parked for the night. We figured somebody would either come kick us out or collect money. Either way, we weren’t going far.
After the engine cooled, I dug in and got the oil pump out. The end of the gear was as mangled and the end of the crank was pretty beat up too. This also didn’t make much sense until I realized that the pump shaft was the wrong size. The whole thing was customized when I had to replace it in Buenos Aires, so maybe I should be surprised it lasted that long? We’re feeling lucky it did, and went out in a town and not halfway down Baja.
After lots of deliberating and 2 days of searching around Ensenada and being offered the wrong size oil pump multiple times (and told it would work fine), I found Autoparts Mike. This is the place to go for all things VW in Ensenada. There is nobody there named Mike.
The new pump went in without a hitch and we’re back in business. Our few days here gave me an opportunity to meet Lorenzo – a local character that told me lots of stories I won’t forget too soon – and that can’t be reprinted here. The campsite – it’s been closed for over a year for not paying taxes. Still, the owner was happy to collect a few bucks and let us stay.
We also got to meet Margo and Tony. They were next door and saw the bus and thought it looked familiar… then wandered over and said “Are you Bode?” They just started reading the blog recently and had gone back to the beginning to read the whole thing. Based on their reading, we were in Portland and Bode was still 4. “You’re so big now!”
Posted on July 22, 2014 by jason
It turns out the best way to get to the Utah border from here is to drive north to Kremmling, then cut down an unpaved road that takes you back down to the interstate near Edwards. That way, you don’t have to cross the Continental Divide again.
It was a beauty of a drive.
Somewhere before Bond, we came across a big river rafting outfit with tons of campers, teepees and revelers. One big party full of river rats.
It’s good to be back on the road.
Posted on July 11, 2014 by jason
We started our day at 4 AM – we had big plans. Today we were finally getting back on the road!
The first half involved flying to Denver and it was completely smooth. Then, a $100 taxi ride to the mechanic to pick up the bus.
The bus has been here about 3 months. Our return today was no surprise.
Still, there was nobody there – just a needy cat. I let myself in while Angela and Bode plopped down on our bags to wait. I figured I could just go get the bus and pull it around front.
Our bus was in the back alright. Up on jacks. No engine. No brakes.
So much for that idea of hopping in the bus and getting back on the road. At least we’ve got rainbows.
Posted on February 25, 2014 by jason
We’ve a had a string of recent visitors and more coming, so things are a bit more lively than normal around here.
Sean, Becki and baby Knox came up from Denver last week and peppered us with questions about living on the road in a VW, solar system design and the like. Really nice folks.
They’ve got a ’76 bus and are planning on a 6 month or so road trip to the West Coast. Since he can work remotely, they’re pretty open to the possibilities. Hmm… I wonder if it will go longer than planned. Nah… that never happens.
They don’t have a name for the bus yet, but suggestions are welcomed. Good luck, guys!
Posted on January 2, 2014 by jason
The other day we had a knock at the door and the delivery guy was dropping off a big box. From São Paulo.
Inside was a personalized VW bus doormat, a nice note, and a copy of a magazine with a VW advertisement where we’re listed as heirs of the last VW bus to roll off the line. Pretty cool!
Legal! Muito Obrigado, VW do Brasil!
Posted on December 14, 2013 by jason
Now that it’s warmed up a bit (but still below freezing), I can fix a few car issues. For one, the car now starts. Above 15F seems to be the sweet spot. Below that, it’s not going to start. This could make for a long winter, so we’re stocking the freezer with food and learning the local bus routes.
But, I did manage to fix something. I wired around the bad headlight dimmer relay. This had prevented the lights from working at all, so at least we now have headlights if needed.
The stamp on the relay case seems to indicate that this is the original ~43 year old part. Considering it’s age, it’s an impressive bit of engineering, but was bound to go out sooner or later. A new relay is on my Christmas list.
« Older Entries