Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Transfiguration II

We took the bus back up to St. Louis this weekend to finish up some of the interior work we had started and some other odds and ends I had wanted to take care of. As usual the drive to St. Louis was an ordeal. It had been a rainy day that was supposed to clear up, but never did, and as we left the house we were shocked to realize that we had no headlights or windshield wipers. We stuck to the side roads and made it to Cuba through the mist. Once in Cuba we stopped and ate some lunch to hopefully let the rain pass (which the weather said it would be clear in the late afternoon), and while there picked up some RainX to make the most of the drive. Well the rain never stopped and we just pushed on, pulling over frequently to clean off the windshield, and 4 hours after we left Rolla, we made it to St. Louis.

Once in StL, it was a quick stop by the Fish Fry and then to work. Friday night I tried to figure out the lights, but gave up quickly with the intention of reading up on the wiring before I messed with anything else. Diane prepped everything for finishing up her laminate job and we called it an early night.

Saturday was a much more eventful day. With a mission set forward by Diane to finish the laminate, she and Pat set to work at her tediously slow pace. While they worked on that I set to removing the luggage rack to clean off the mold and put on some new seals. Taking the luggage rack turned out to be bad news though, as I came across a mess of rust. Without the time or equipment to properly repair the rust, I gave it a thorough wire brushing and sprayed some rust repair primer on to hopefully retard the formation of rust until I can really get in there and fix it.

Removed Sink Cabinet

Where Sink Cabinet came out from (be a good place for a lounge chair I think)

Uh oh RUST!

Rust Temporarily Repaired

Seals on the luggage rack
Putting seals on the pop-top

Cabinet all laminated up

Diane working the router

Diane routering, Pat cleaning up the edges

Sink hole cut out thanks to Diane's Router work

About 1 am we finally headed home, beat. Diane had finished the laminate, but not gotten a chance to put the headliner back in. I had put on the new seals, sealed the holes left by the AC tubing, and started mounting the front tire mount (turns out the screws they sent were way too long and ran into the defroster tube).

We made it home all in one piece on Sunday. Today I figured out the lights, taught myself some stuff about wiring and reading wiring diagrams properly, so now we have working lights and wipers. I also finished mounting the spare tire. Good times for now.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Oh glorious day!

Isabel getting acquainted with the bus

Well we got the bus back, fully working and working good (well relatively good). We picked it up from B & C on Friday, and it was a beautiful day. Turns out the wiring harness that went from the alternator to the voltage regulator and solenoid was completely fried. So replacing it apparently solved our problems.

It being a beautiful day we headed for the nearest park which was Lane Spring National Forest Recreation Area. We went on a nice hike up to Blossom Rock and once done with the hike, took some time to relax in the large area of the bus I'm going to call the Living Room.

Thats pretty much it, more interior work planned but not completed, more engine adjustments planned but not completed, adventures planned but not completed.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Alternator Troubles

This will be a short post, just a quick update for all you readers out there.

I bought a new alternator. Spent about 6 hours removing the old one, not that it was super complicated, but just about every screw and bolt took some serious beating to get loose. Put in the new one, but didn't test anything before I fully installed it. As I went to hook up the battery thinking I had just fixed all my problems, BAMM! there was a huge spark when I touched the ground strap to the body, which means we had a short somewhere. So this led to removing the alternator again, but it went much faster this time, only about 20 minutes. Once the alternator was off again I checked all the connections and adjusted where I placed the washers of the backing plate, then tested the grounding strap before I installed everything again. After several adjustments and lots of big sparks I got evertyhing installed correctly and put the alternator back in its place.

The moment of truth was next, started up on the first try and SUCCESS no alternator warning light! So off to bed we went with high hopes of driving to STL the next morning. Woke up the next morning chipper and cheery, had a nice breakfast, finished packing and got ready to go. Started up the bus, everything is still fine, backed down the driveway, still fine, put it in first and travelled about 10 feet, alternator warning light comes back on. ARE YOU KIDDING ME! So we drove the Jeep to STL.

I fiddled with the wires some more, and the belt, but no luck, one new alternator down. So I had reached the limits of my knowledge and abilities, which meant it was time to go back to the shop. After being in the shop for 2 weeks we found out today that they fixed him up good, had to replace some wiring that was the root of all my troubles. So if all goes well and stays well, ENGINE TROUBLES ARE OVER.