Monday, September 19, 2011

Van attempts to murder me...again!

(photo of the laundry and clutter removal chaos)

But I survived!

For those of you who are counting this is the second attempt on my life by the van, although much more subtle this time. 

Friday, my day off, I was leaving a hotel parking lot to go to my mailbox and then to the bank to deposit the cash from selling my car. Initial start-up and trip to mailbox was fine but leaving my mailbox I stated smelling fuel fumes. Some fumes, especially when the tank is full as it bleeds a bit off due to the design, but this was a bit excessive. Initially I thought that the spare fuel tank under my bed had popped it's vent port but upon inspection it had not. I continued to the bank under the assumption that it was just some vapor fumes and that they would go away with airflow.  It did not.

Arriving at the bank, I took a look under the fuel tank area and did not notice any evidence of leaking fuel so I continued onward. As I am getting up I notice gaseous optical distortions emanating from the motor.  Opening the engine bay cover revealed that the fuel supply line (cloth wrapped stuff designed to not rupture) had ruptured and was bleeding all over the engine and exhaust system. Clearly this was an attempt by the van to kill me for it had known that I wanted to drive to the beach this weekend and if I had it would have surely ended in a fiery blaze.  To fix the problem I cut the fuel line and spliced in a tube to bridge the gap. From there I deposited the cash and then drove to the auto store for some new fuel line.

Went to Lowes to return leftover project parts and screws, picked up a new class D fire extinguisher to replace the one in the van that was near empty.

After this near death event I decided to go to REI for some new threads. I purchased a Smartwool merino wool t-shirt (green), a REI brand micro-weight polyester shirt (red, clearance rack) and a pair of trail running shorts (grey, clearance rack).  Everything is amazing, it all feels so light and breathable vs cotton. The Smartwool shirt has magic built into it, it can go from being sweat soaked to perfectly dry in minutes and does not smell. The cotton t-shirt I was wearing to go to REI already needs to be washed after only a few hours of use. Clearly merino wool is FTW.

I've re-laced the hurraches I have to eliminate the between the toe string and need to go for a run in them to see if has made a difference. So far they are significantly more comfortable for just walking around in.

I feel safer parking in parking lots of hotels and stores then on the street, plus the streets are actually more noisy by comparison and have more severe drainage slopes. Paying attention to drainage slope becomes an important skill to have because it directly correlates to sleeping position and comfort.

I think I have run out of propane. The indicator LED for the fridge flame went out this afternoon and I have not had a chance to try and restart it. Guess I need to eat the perishable stuff tonight and get it refilled on sunday. Note: gas was refilled on saturday.

Other important information: It is finally raining.

Doing laundry in the van wouldn't be so bad if all my clothes were quick drying.

Weight reduction is now a goal, I am trying to cut my food supplies in half. Still carrying around entire containers of rice.

Project update:
Purchased GoToobs, cleaned up glove box, sorted out the window cover problem, and installed the tune up kit.
I remembered that I wanted to put on some exhaust pipe wrap to further reduce engine bay heat so on the list it goes.


  1. Wrapped my pipes the other day :). We shall see how good it works.

  2. But you do not have a base line to determine it's effectiveness, plus the new motor has different operating characteristics. How will you know if it is working or not?

    Regardless of the data, wrapping exhaust pipes with the pipe wrap will contain exhaust heat and reduce engine bay temperatures. Just be sure nothing is leaking onto the wrap as it will create hot spots and contaminate the wrap.