Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Install Radio and CB.


Got the two fans working. They are connected to one switch for both of them. This will be nice when we are in traffic or going slow in the heat. No AC in the Van.

New Radio and CB.

After getting the fans working, it was time to install the new radio. That turned out to be pretty easy.
Once the radio was in it was time to install the CB. Again that was no problem.
Here is a picture of them installed.


I am hoping that the steering column arrives today.
I spent the morning working on a mount for the XM radio. I won't install it until shortly before we go because I use that radio at the cabin and I am expecting to get up there before we leave for the Continental Divide.
Around 2:30 UPS dropped off my rebuilt steering column and box. We were about to leave to go to Joanne and Dave's for dinner and some cards around that time so all I was able to get done was to unpack it. Tomorrow I will install it.

Now all I need is the springs and the van will be back on the road in no time.

Okay, that's for now.

Monday, May 29, 2017

Fixed Passenger Door on Van and a New Radio Arrives

Fix the Passenger Door.

On Saturday I removed the passenger door from the van.
I installed the new (old) window regulator and the new window run channel. The window works properly now. I don't know for how long but it works now.

New Radio.

Yesterday (Sunday) the radio I ordered from Amazon arrived. They promised 2 day shipping and delivered on time.

It is a cheap radio as all I need it for is as a amplifier for my XM receiver but it has an auxiliary input, a slot for a SD chip, a USB input and a remote control. Not bad for $23.00.

Repaint and Fix Side Door.

Last year I did some work on one of the side doors on the van. About half of the bottom of the door was rusted away so I had to add some metal to the bottom of the door. There is a large pin that goes into a hole in the edge of the floor when you latch the door. That pin was getting stuck in the door and the door wouldn't latch. I had to slide a piece of metal into the slot where the pin is  to keep it from getting stuck in the door.
I think this should work.
Also, when I had the door off last year I painted it a light tan color. Everyone who has seen it says that that isn't the proper color for the van (Pigpen) as it has always been painted with red oxide primer. Therefore while I had the door off, I painted it with some red oxide primer.
I will put the door on today (Monday) and maybe get the radio installed.

Note: The first repair job on the door didn't work so this morning I did it a little differently.
Here are the pictures.
Here you can see the pin and the part that will keep the pin aligned being inserted.

Here is the finished repair.

I installed the door and the latch seems to be working just fine.

Okay, that's it for now.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Still Working on the Van electricals.

More Wiring Work.

I have been working on the electrical stuff in the van. Mostly just figuring out which wires are necessary and routing those wires through plastic flex conduit.

The conduit on the right has wires from the auxiliary battery. The conduit on the left contains wires connected to the main battery.
It looks a lot neater than what was there before.
Of course the floor mat will cover all that.

Good News.

I got a call from Straight Line Steering yesterday telling me that the steering box is rebuilt and is ready to ship. It will be here next week. The steering box was in pretty bad shape and had to have everything replaced including the column. It ended up costing about $460.00.

Sealed Leak.

I am still working on oil leaks. I removed and replaced the plate that covers the hole where the old fuel pump was removed. I used a new plate and gasket that came with the TBI kit and a lot of silicon sealer. I hope that fixes the leak.

Things are progressing fairly well.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Take the Springs to Get Fixed, Ship the Steering Couumn Out and Some Electrical Work.

Monday Morning.

Steering Column.

The first thing we did Monday morning was to take the steering column for the van to a mail/ package store to ship it to San Jose to get rebuilt.


After that we drove to the Spring works where I dropped off the springs to get them shortened. The technician said that the springs would take a week to ten days to get back.

Patti's Car.

We also dropped Patti's car off at Walt's to get it ready for a trip we will be taking to Idaho Falls, Idaho around the middle of June.

Electrical Work.

We got home around noon and had lunch.
After lunch I started clearing out a bunch of unused wires under the dash of the van. It was a real rats nest of wires under there after many years of adding stuff and after removing some radio or other part and leaving the wires behind.
I was able to find out what wires were being used and which ones had to be removed. By supper time I think I had most of the wires taken care of. There will be more stuff to do there but not until I get a new radio.


When I was at Lorraine's moving sale I picked up a cabinet with 4 drawers in it.
I had to move a bunch of stuff but finally found a place for the cabinet under the bench between the working area of the shop and the laundry area.

All the drawers were divided into bins.
One had wood screws,

 Another had machine and sheet metal screws,

Another had electrical connectors.

The fourth drawer had parts for electrical construction.

The above pictures were taken after I finished organizing and filling the bins.


After breakfast I went out to the shop and started organizing the screws and parts in the new cabinet.
First I went through each drawer and put all like parts together and consolidated some of the bins.
Then I went through all the boxes, jars and cans of electrical connectors that I had in other cabinets and shelves and put them in the appropriate bins.
I did the same thing with the screws and emptied several small jars and boxes of screws into the bins.
I spent a good part of the afternoon going through all my hardware and sorting much of it into the bins.
I hadn't planned to get that involved in organizing the drawers but it actually freed up space else ware for other hardware and parts. Now it will be easier to find the parts I need as they will all be in one place.

New Tires for Patti's car.

When the car was in for service, Walt mentioned that the tires were pretty bad off.
Wednesday we took her car to America's Tire and got four new tires.

Okay that was the last couple of days.  

Monday, May 22, 2017

Removed the Van's Springs and Steering Column.

Replace the Ignition Coil.

On Friday I installed the ignition coil. Once that was in I took the van for a ride.
The problem is still there.
Well at least now I know that the ignition system is good.
I have decided to stop working on the TBI problem for a while as I have a lot of other things to do on the van in the time we leave for the Continental Divide Adventure.

Removed the Vans Front Springs.

As long as I have had this van it has had a problem with the front springs hitting the frame when you drive over big bumps.

It has gotten to the point that the spring eye on the passengers side of the van has worn through the place where it hits.

Over the years I have figured out why the spring eye hits the frame. It is because the springs are too long.
I mentioned that to Bob last year and after checking it out he decided to have the front springs on his van shortened by 1-1/2".
That made all the difference.

Saturday Morning:

I got up early Saturday morning and started removing the front springs. I wanted to get it done early as it was supposed to get hot today and there is no shade where I have to work.

It took me until around 12:30 to get the springs off.


A Moving Sale.

Patti was at our friend, Lorraine's. Lorraine is selling her house and downsizing. She is having a moving sale to day.
After eating lunch I went over to Lorraine's and hung out there for the rest of the afternoon.
I should have stayed home since I ended up buying some stuff from Lorraine that I don't have room for.  Oh well, I'll figure something out.

The Steering Column.

The steering on the van has been getting looser and looser. There is a lot of free play in the wheel. Also when you turn the wheel it growls like maybe the ball bearings are worn out. I rebuilt the steering box about 25 years ago but I must have not done a good job because it is already worn out. 
I have decided to send the box and column out to be rebuilt professionally.

Sunday morning after breakfast Patti went back to Lorraine's to help her with her sale.
After Patti left I started removing the steering column.

The first thing I did was to remove the pitmen arm. I have to remove
the large nut at the upper end of the arm and use a special puller to get the arm off.

Here is the pitmen arm removed and hanging on the end of the drag link.

Next, I disconnected the shift linkage.

The Floor Plate.

The next thing I had to do was to remove a floor plate at the bottom of the column.

The floor plate was the worst part of the job as some of the 1/4" screws that hold the plate down were rusted and I had a hard time getting them out.
I tried to drill out one of the screws but it was harder than my drill bit so I had to grind off the screw head off.
Once I had the plate off, I undid the clamp holding the column to the dash.

It was a struggle getting the column  and steering box out of the hole, what with the weight and all the obstacles that kept grabbing the box but eventually I got it out.

Here is the column and box on my welding table.

Here it is all stripped down for shipping to Straight Line steering in San Jose.

I got this all done by about 1:00 and took the rest of the day off.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Got the Van Back From the Shop

Getting the Van.

The last few days have been kind of slow since the van has been in the shop. We took it on Monday and yesterday I couldn't stand it any longer so in the morning Patti and I went to the shop and I asked about the van.
I was told that the mechanic had been working on it for a while. The owner took me back to where the guy was working on the van. I talked to the mechanic for a while. He told me that as far as he could tell the TBI system was working correctly. His suggestion was that he thought that the ignition coil might be breaking down at high rpm. Or the tac signal from the coil that goes to the computer might be bad.

Ordered a New Coil.

On the way home from the shop I stopped at an auto parts to see if I could get a new coil.
The guys at the store tried to find the correct coil but the pictures they had weren't very eliminating.
As it turned out I went home and removed the coil from the van and went back to the auto parts store.
Now that I had a sample we didn't have any trouble finding the correct coil on their computer.
The only problem was that they didn't have the coil in stock so I had to order one.
I will pick up the coil today.

After the Coil. 

Once I get the new coil installed, I'll take the van for a test ride. Whether the coil fixes the problem or not I will have to start working on the other issues with the van.
I will remove the springs and take them to the "Spring Works" to have them shortened. While the springs are off I will remove the steering box/column and send it out to get rebuilt.
These are the most important mechanical things I have to do before we leave for the Continental Divide Trail.

Okay, That's it for now.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Having a Pro Look at The Van


I Give Up.

I have given up trying to find out what is wrong with the TBI in the van .
I am running out of time to get it fixed as I have a bunch of other work to do on the van by the time we leave for our trip on the Continental Divide Trail.
Therefore I decided to take it to a shop that I use occasionally. I am having the mechanic there see if he can find out what the problem is.

Hot Dogs and Cards.

Around 4:00 we went to Joanne and Dave's for hot dogs and Cards.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Still Working on the Van and Seeking Profecional Help.


Thursday was Patti's birthday so we went out to dinner at the Washoe House; an old road house that dates back to the 19th century.

Joanne, Dave and our friend, Lorraine, joined us.


I called Howell Industries on Friday and talked to Troy, the technician and after a while he suggested that I make sure that the ignition system was in good shape. He also suggested that I disconnect the throttle position censer and take a ride. The engine ran worse. He also suggested that I try disconnection the O2 sensor and see what that does. The engine ran worse.
Near the end of our conversation he mentioned that we may have to get someone to put it on a reader to find out what is going on.


Saturday morning I went to the auto parts store and bought ignition wires, distributer cap, rotor and ignition module. I installed them and took a ride. Still have the same problem.

Supper With My Kids.

Saturday evening we went to supper with Gabriella, Felice and Felice's room mate Marci.

We went to a Vietnamese restaurant. Patti and I had never eaten Vietnamese  food. It was a lot like Chinese food. Not bad.


Did some work on the van and goofed off a lot.


Today, I am going to take the van to a repair shop and see if they can figure out what is going on.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Four Days at The Cabin

I am having an issue with Live Writer at the moment so that is why I haven't posted anything for a while.
I have given up on Live Writer for now so am back to using Blogger. It is a lot slower and doesn't have some of the nice features of Live Writer but it will work.
Patti and I came home from the cabin on Wednesday and when I tried to post the blog I got an error message  and haven't found any way yet to solve the problem.
Only now have I decided to try and do a post on blogger.

So, Here is Our Trip to The Cabin.


Patti and I headed for the cabin Sunday morning.
I wanted to drive the van so I could collect more data for the technician so maybe he can tell me why the engine doesn't like to accelerate.

I found that at 60 mph the engine runs at around 2500 rpm.
At that speed and rpm, if I push the accelerator to wide open  the engine
sounds like it is starving for fuel and won't accelerate. If I depress the throttle slowly and not go into full throttle, it will accelerate gradually.
As long as I don't have to push it, the Van runs good.   I am concerned about what will happen when we are at high altitude climbing the Rocky Mountains and I have to have my foot in it.
Anyway the van ran good all the way to the cabin with only a couple of hiccups.

The Road is Better.

When we turned onto the main dirt road going to the cabin we noticed that the grader guy had been there since the last visit. He had the road pretty smoothed out and the pot hold filled in. As long as the rains let up it will probably last through the summer. They didn’t do anything to the slide yet but there is enough room to get through just fine.
We arrived at the cabin at 11:45

When we got out of the van at the cabin, Patti noticed oils spots on the back doors of the van.


A Quick Look for Leaks.

I took a quick look in the engine compartment to see of I could see any leaks. I did see some fresh oil near the left front corner of the valve cover so I tightened the bolts on the valve cover.

Moved rug.

The last time I came up to the cabin, I brought up the large rug that Lorraine gave us and put it in the dining hall for safe keeping.
The first thing Patti and I did was to put the rug in the van and moved it to the front of the cabin.

Emptied cabin.

We took everything that was on the floor in the cabin and put it outside and on the porch.

Once the cabin was empty Patti swept the floor out real good and she was pooped.

 At this point it was time for lunch.

Installing the Rug.

Here is the empty cabin. 12' X 16'.

Here is the rug, 10'6" X 13'

We had to unroll the rug so that we could roll it back up the long way. That way we could unroll it inside the cabin and it would be in the right direction.

We laid the rug out and I started by cutting out around the woodstove.

There were four legs that had to be cut around.

Two around the counter legs…

and two around the cook stove legs.

Here is the rug installed.

We were moved back in by 5:00.

Chicken for Supper.

On the way up here this morning we stopped at Safeway and bought a rotisserie chicken. That way I didn’t have to cook.


Goofed Off Day.

I was pretty pooped from yesterday so we mostly goofed off today.

Checked for Oil Leaks.

I crawled under the van to see if I could find any more oil leaks. I did see some dampness around the plate that covers the old fuel pump hole. I was able to tighten one of the bolts holding it on. The other one was tight. I also noticed some oil near a bolt that holds  one of the side covers on. I was able to also tighten that.
None of the leaks that I found were very bad, I hope tightening them takes care of the leak.


We noticed several alligator lizards running around on the porch.

Watched a Tree Fall.

We were sitting in the cabin having lunch and we could hear some of what sounded like thrashing around in the woods past the dining hall.

We were watching to see if  was some kind of large animal would come out of the woods there.
All of a sudden a tall skinny tree fell into the clearing not far from the front of the dining hall.

Here is the tree as seen from the porch of the cabin.

Here is the tree, looking at it to show the length. I am standing near the tip and Patti is near the base.

We didn’t do anything to the tree today.

Worked on an Old Chair.

Some time ago we bought an old chair for the cabin from Salvation Army. It is kind of a neat old chair but a while back some one leaned back on it and it made some loud snapping noises.

When we emptied the cabin we left the chair out so I could try and find out what the snapping noise was all about.
It turned out that two of the stays came out of their holes in the legs, also one side of the seat had delaminated.  I had to use a couple of long screws to fix that.
I didn’t have any glue to re-glue the stays so I used an old school repair that I have seen on many old chairs.
Bailing wire!!

I wrapped a piece of wire around the two legs that the stays had come out of. With Patti’s help, I put the ends of the stays into their holes and tightened the wire by twisting.

The Mosquitos were so thick while we were working on the chair that after a short time we decided to quit for the day.


Split firewood.

After Breakfast I split some firewood for this evening.

Limbed Tree.

Once Patti was up and going we started working on the tree.
We limbed it out.

While I cut the limbs, Patti disposed off the brush.

I cut it from the rotten stump.

Pulled Tree Out of Woods.

Once I had the stump separated from the tree I hooked the van to it with a chain and pulled it out of the woods.

After Lunch.

We cut up and stacked the tree.

I decided to cut the pieces a little long so they would be good for the fire pit. We stacked some of the wood by the dining hall steps…

and another stack by the edge of the forest.

We took the rest of the day off as it was getting very hot.


Before breakfast I split some more firewood.

Patti and I had a large country breakfast this morning.
After breakfast we went back to work fixing the old chair.

We started on the second pair of legs.

Once the wire was tight I inserted a stick in the loop to keep the wire from loosening.

While we were working on the legs we found that there were some places on the seat that had become delaminated and one of the bows for the back was broken.
I screwed the delaminated parts together and put a long screw into the bottom of the back bow to hold it in place.

One of the stays was cracked so I attempted to wrap it with wire to keep it together.

Going Home.

Once the chair was fixed we put it behind the table where it belongs and started packing up to go home.
We left the cabin around 2:30 and got home around 4:45. Lots of stop and go traffic nearing Santa Rosa.

It was a great 4 days at the cabin.
Now I have to get back to fixing the van.

Okay, That was our trip to the cabin. I hope you enjoyed it.

Working on the Van.

Since we got home I have been trying to get this problem solved with the TBI in the van.
I got a new fuel pressure gauge and tested the fuel pressure. The readings turned out to be close to what I had suspected with the old gauge; 12 psi in put and under 2 psi return.
I called the technician at Howell and talked to him for a while. He suggested that I make sure that all the ignition system was good; and gave me a couple more trouble shooting ideas.

This morning (Saturday) I went to the auto parts store and purchased distributer cap, rotter, plug wires and ignition module.
I went home, replaced everything and took the van for a ride . NO Change. :O(

Oil leak.

I haven't found the oil leak yet. I have found a lot of places I think it could be coming from and tightened the bolts but no success yet.


Saturday, May 6, 2017

Still Trying to Get the TBI to Work Properly


Still Not Working.

The problems that I have been having with the TBI are persisting. The engine runs great. I can drive around town just fine, I can drive on the freeway at speeds in excess of 70 mph. The engine only gives me trouble when I punch it. Then it will accelerate until it gets to a certain rpm and then is goes flat.

What I Have Done.

So far I have checked and tightened all vacuum connections including the manifolds.

I checked the fuel pressure, unfortunately I initially hooked the pressure gauge direct to the fuel pump. When I turned the ignition on the pump started and slammed the gauge needle against the stop and bent the needle.


Now it is out of calibration by at least 2.5 psi. I will have to get another fuel pressure gauge.

I checked and set the timing. I ran into problems when I couldn’t find the timing mark but fixed that. I watched as I increased the engine.

Called a Technician.

I called tech support and talked to Troy. At that time there were two issues.

The check engine light was coming on and giving a error 45. Running too rich.
Troy told me to try restricting the flow by putting a hose clamp on the fuel line. I tried a clamp on the input line and tightened it down. I went for a ride and the check engine light went on again (same error).

Next, I took the clamp off the input and put it on the return line. I tightened the clamp until the engine faltered then backed off until the engine smoothed out and a little more.
I took another ride. I drove about 25 miles

Okay that part is taken care of.

More Gauges.

I need to compile a bunch of data for the next time I call tech support. Therefore yesterday, I bought a small tachometer and installed it on the dash.


I will need to get another fuel pressure gauge so I can get accurate pressure readings.
That way the next time I call the tech I will have some numbers to work with.

Taking a Break.

I have had enough of this engine stuff so Patti and I are going up to the cabin for a couple of days for a break.
We are going to drive the van as there is some long stuff that I want to take up there and the van runs good enough for that.

Talk to you later.