Monday, May 14, 2012

Vandwelling Update - Post Marathon and the Van's reaction to my return

I have returned from my vacation. Lots of fun and it was great to see the family/extended family.

The marathon went well and I did not get injured apart from extreme soreness. Now I can drive around and proudly show off a 26.2 sticker.

The Van decided to change its' strategy, instead of attempting to kill me it decided to try to break down and leave me stranded. Maybe it was a sign that I am not supposed to keep working in Houston, the van didn't want to take me to work on Monday. Regardless of its intentions, this is what happened:
I am cruising along the highway when I suddenly start to slow down. I can't accelerate anymore but I still have enough power to make it to an exit. Once at the light I can't accelerate and can barely creep forward to an abandoned parking lot where it stops running. Attempts to restart are futile. Hmm... feels like a fuel issue.
I disconnect the fuel line at the motor and stick it into a jar and crank the motor over to see how much the pump is putting out. Not much comes out which confirms that I do have a fuel issue. I bypass the fuel filter and try again. This time I am getting little squirts of fuel but not a steady stream. Maybe the tank is low or the pump is fatigued? Gauge reads 1/4 but I put in the emergency 2 gallons of fuel that I keep stored under my bed and then whack the pump with a hammer a few times. This time the pump started pumping out a normal stream of fuel. I hooked the fuel line back up to the engine and drove away.

If the pump is going bad, it will cost me 150, if the filter is clogged it will cost 10, if the fuel level sender is faulty it will cost 50. I think I have a spare fuel filter and I already purchased a new sender last year because the gauge wasn't working when I purchased the van and when I went to replace it, it turned out that it had simply been disconnected. I will change the filter first, assuming I have one. Next, Ill drive around till it is almost empty, if I run out of fuel before the gauge reads empty then I know that the sender is bad and I can change that out too but if nothing happens then I will keep going and save up some cash to buy a new pump.
Maybe I will test the pressure and volume output of the pump this week and see if I can rule it out.

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