The last couple of days we have been getting stuff ready and loaded into the van for a 5 day stay at the cabin.
We will leave for the cabin this morning and won’t be home until next Wednesday.
No Phone, No Internet.
Talk to you next week.
We are going to the cabin for a few days over the 4th of July.
I am taking the ‘on demand camping water heater’ for the shower to the cabin.
Last summer I noticed a gas smell when the the shower was turned on so I made sure to turn the gas off after every use.
A couple of days ago I decided to see if I could find the gas leak.
I got one of those cheep plastic water bottles, put a few drops of dish soap and some water in it, then poked a small hole in the cap.
I’ll use this for a leak detector.
Just squirt the soapy water on the connections and look for bubbles.
I hooked the gas line to the gas input fitting. Then connected the tank and turned on the gas. The first connection I checked of course was the input.
Bingo!! The fitting is leaking where the brass fitting connects to the pot-metal part.
This picture was taken after I tried using Royal Blue Silicone to seal it.
The fact that the brass fitting is bottomed out on the pot-metal part was a clue to what was really wrong.
It looked like this would be an easy fix. All that needs to be done is (Probably) just tighten the fitting.
I tightened the fitting.
It was tight already.
Turned on the gas.
Okay, no problem, I’ll just take the fitting off, clean things up and put some Rector Seal on the threads.
That should stop the leak. Right?
I use blue silicone to seal almost everything on engines and other automotive stuff. It generally works real good so I figured it would seal this fitting.
I took the fitting apart, cleaned it up good and put the blue goop on the threads.
Screwed it on and tightened it up good. Then I took a break for about half an hour.
After the break, I turned on the gas, squirted soapy water on the connection and saw “Bubbles!!!”.
I looked at the pot-metal part and saw that since it was a casting, the threads were also cast into the part. That left a seam going across the threads. Could that be causing the leak?
I cleaned up the threads as much as I could, not wanting to damage them. I tried one more time using the rector seal.
Finally, I realized that the fitting shouldn’t be bottoming out on the front of the pot-metal part. Therefore the brass fitting must be stretched out so I need another fitting.
I looked through my junk but didn’t find anything that would work so I hopped in the van and drove to the closest hardware store.
There, I bought the correct fitting, took it home and installed it. The fitting didn’t screw all the way down to the bottom. It tightened up on the threads the way it is supposed to.
I turned on the gas and squirted the soapy water on the fitting and there were No Bubbles.
Here is the fitting installed correctly, notice the gap between the brass and the pot-metal.
Okay that gas problem is fixed.
I am starting to put stuff in the van for the Continental Divide trip.
One of the things is the cook stove and its cabinet. It fits behind the passenger seat between the engine box and the wall.
I try to cook outside as often as possible but if I do have to cook inside; the seat folds forward out of the way and the wall on the right side of the stove is a thin sheet of stainless steel.
Before I put the stove in, I wanted to clean it up and make sure it worked. The stove has been sitting in the back yard under the awning since I started working on the van and was covered in spider webs and leaves from the grape vine that covers the awning.
I brushed the leaves and spider webs off and took the stove into my shop. I set the stove on the welding table and using a rag, some WD-40, a shop-vac and compressed air I cleaned it up.
I connected the hose to the propane bottle and, turned the burner on and tried to light it.
I bent down and listened to the burner, couldn’t hear anything. I sniffed; nope, no smell.
I tried the other burner with the same result.
What the heck?
Maybe the jets are plugged.
I started to take the burners off but had second thoughts.
Why would both the jets plug at the same time?
Check the regulator.
I disconnected the hose between the regulator and the stove.
Then I took the tank with the regulator connected to it out side where I opened the valve on the tank. Gas just barley leaked out of the regulator. I tapped the regulator to see if that would jar it into working but no help.
I tried turning the adjustment screw in the regulator but that didn’t help either.
I finally decided that the regulator was trashed and started looking in my junk to see if I might have one around some where.
As it turned out the only one I had on hand was on my forge. As I don’t plan to do any blacksmithing anytime soon, I could use that regulator for the stove.
An advantage to this particular regulator is that it is adjustable. That might be an advantage on our trip as we will be changing altitude from near sea level to around 12000 feet at some places in the Rocky’s.
I doubt that we will be cooking at 12000 ft but being able to adjust the gas pressure might be useful at upper altitudes.
I connected the regulator to the stove hose, tested it and it worked great.
Okay I got that fixed and the stove is in the van.
The refrigerator was also sitting out back so I went back there and brought it into the shop. On the way, the gas regulator which is on the end of the hose fell to the cement. Of course this bunged up the end of the brass fitting.
While I was inspecting the end I noticed that the “O” ring was dry and cracked. I figured that between the gouges in the end of the fitting and the bad state of the “O” ring, this was probably going to leak. I need another fitting.
Again I dug through my brass fittings and came up with the one I took off the old regulator for the stove before I tossed it.
It was fortunate that the end of the hose had dropped and buggered the end of the fitting. If that hadn’t occurred I never would have seen the spider web and pieces of debris inside the regulator for the fridge.
I was able to dig the stuff out of the regulator with a bent pick and by using a turkey baster, taped on the end of the shop-vac hose, I was able to suck the rest out.
Once I got the regulator cleaned out I hooked it to the propane tank and checked it out. It appears to be working just fine.
Here is the fridge in the van. It’s more like a cooler than a fridge but it’s propane or electric powered. If you put it on max and keep it closed it will freeze everything in it.
Okay, well, that is what I have been playing with the last couple of days. As well as slowly getting things gathered up to go to the cabin for the fourth of July weekend.
Well, the van is mechanically ready to travel. It has 5 new BFG KO2 tires on it, new springs, new steering box, a working throttle body fuel injection, new front brakes and all new ignition parts.
The only thing left to do is to give it a grease job. I will do that next week.
The last couple of days we have been gathering stuff for the Continental Divide trip.
I picked up a water filter at REI. We will carry 9 gallons of water with us in the van but I figured that a water filter/pump would be a good thing to have along.
I used to carry one it the van but couldn’t find it. Now that I bought a new one the old one will probably show up. I hope so as it would be nice to have two.
Back in 2003 Patti and I drove the van to Alaska. We lived in the van for three months up there.
One of the things that made it possible for us to survive in the van in Alaska in the summer was a mosquito netting that I rigged over the bunks.
While preparing for this up coming trip on the Continental Divide, I felt that the mosquitos in the Rocky’s are no less plentiful than the ones in Alaska so some mosquito netting would be a good thing to have.
Again I looked through all my stuff for the old mosquito netting that I took to Alaska and again I came up empty. I know I have it some where.
I ordered some mosquito netting from Walmart and it arrived Thursday.
Friday morning, I installed the mosquito netting.
I had to put a zipper in the netting so we can get into bed easily. Especially the top bunk.
I used hot glue to attach the netting to the zipper
The old tie points that I used in Alaska were still in place so all I had to do was to tie the corners up and make a couple slits in the back to allow for the top bunk wall mount.
That should keep us safe from the mosquitos while we sleep.
The roof over the cab of the van is steel and gets real hot so I needed a head liner of some kind . I decided to glue a piece of carpet to the ceiling in the hope that that will cut down on the heat and noise.
I cut out a piece of the same carpet that I used on the floor of the van to fit the roof of the cab. I drew a line across the center of the roof and another line across the center of the carpet. Then I sprayed 3M 77 contact cement on both surfaces. I waited a while and then Patti and I installed the carpet on the roof. Boy, is that stuff sticky. It was pretty interesting trying to get that piece of carper in the right place. We lined the two lines up as much as possible and tried to smooth the carpet out.
Our alignment was a little off and a couple times the carpet got stuck together or stuck to the wrong spot but after a while we got it put in.
Okay, that is about it for now.
Around 11:30 Tuesday morning, I headed over to Bob’s. I needed to pick up a new spare wheel. The one I have doesn’t fit on the front hubs as it was designed for drum brakes and wont fit over the disk brake calipers on the front.
On the way I had to stop at the bank to cash a check.
From the bank I stopped by Americas Tire to order new tires for the van. I ordered a set of the new BF Goodrich TA radial all terrain KO2’s. These are the upgrade to the old reliable KO’s which were an excellent off road tire.
The tires will be delivered tomorrow (Wednesday).
At Bob’s we spent some time visiting and discussing all the difficulties that I have encountered with the van lately and vans in general. I am sure glad that the problem is behind me and the van runs good again.
One of the fun things about visiting Bob is that there is usually some ripe fruit in his orchard or at his brothers farm.
We spent some time wandering around the orchard eating plums. There are several varieties of plums in his yard; some are very sweet, some are very tart but they are all fresh and juicy.
After eating my fill of plums we put the spare wheel on the spare mount on the front of the van.
We BS’ed for a while more and around 3:30 I left for home.
Wednesday morning Patti followed me as I drove the van to America’s Tire. We dropped off the van and then went to do some shopping.
Around 1:00 my brother, Sonny stopped by for a visit. We shot the bull with him for a couple hours. It was a nice visit. I hadn’t seen him since last summer.
The van was ready around 3:30 so we went and picked it up. The tires that were on the van were too old to use for a spare so I ordered one more tire. I will pick it up on Thursday. I drove the van back home.
After dropping the van off at our house we drove up to Joanne and Dave’s. After visiting for a while we went out to a Mexican restaurant for supper.
Back at the house we played cads until around 9:00 then Patti and I went home.
It was a good productive couple of days. Although the temperatures are still into the low 100’s.
I was talking to Bob a couple days ago and he suggested that I check the vacuum connections to make sure the vacuum advance was on the right port. We discussed it for a while as I thought that I had the right connection to the advance. The TBI on his van is a little different than mine. It has more vacuum ports so there was a bit of confusion as to which port is which.
Anyway, Yesterday I checked the vacuum connections and sure enough the vacuum advance was connected to the wrong port.
The port that it was connected to has vacuum at idle and no vacuum with when the throttle is depressed.
That is just the opposite from what the vacuum advance needs to operate properly.
I swapped the the vacuum lines and took a ride. The engine ran just great.
Now I can concentrate on other stuff.
By noon the outside temp was already approaching the 90’s It’s going to be a hot sucker again. Time to hang out indoors.
It got to 104°.
Today, I am going to Bob’s to pickup a tire and wheel to use for a spare. The spare wheel that I have will only fit on the rear.
That is a bit inconvenient if a front tire goes flat.
I waned to take a look at the rear brakes on the van so yesterday I pulled the right rear wheel. I found that the brakes were in good shape.
While I was checking the brakes I noticed that the fuel pump and related plumbing were easily accessible.
When Patti and I took the van out for a test drive we noticed that the fuel pressure dropped a little when the throttle was at full.
Looking at the fuel filter and pump setup I decided to shorten the lines to make sure there were no places for air bubbles to accumulate.
After I put the wheel back on I took the van for a ride but it still has the same problem. NEXT???
Around 11:00 my sister, Mary, came by for a visit. After visiting for a while we went out to lunch at “Great China”.
After lunch we drove up to visit with Joanne and Dave.
Joanne’s mom, Georgia, was at their place.
Mary and Georgia were high school friends and hadn’t seen each other for many years. It was a happy reunion.
Okay that’s it for now.
The last few days have been unseasonably warm with afternoon temps in the high 90’s and low 100’s. Therefore I haven’t been able to get a lot done. There are only a couple hours in the morning to work.
I re-torqued the wheel lugs and Installed a small panel under the van.
I took a little drive to the auto parts store to get a piece of fuel line.
I needed to extend the fuel pressure gauge so it could be read by someone sitting in the passenger seat.
The van ran great; the steering works good, no play in the wheel. The ride has improved too (no squawking springs).
Okay, now that the wheels are back on the van it is time to get back to the Acceleration problem.
I needed to go to Walmart for a couple of things so I had Patti come with me. While I drove she watched the fuel pressure gauge.
We got pretty consistent readings.
The normal fuel pressure runs at 12 psi.
Whenever I punched it and got into the flat spot the fuel pressure dropped to 11.5 psi. At first I didn’t think that a 1/2 psi was enough to make a difference in the running of the engine but it was consistent. Every time I hit the flat spot the fuel pressure read 11.5. It would appear that the fuel delivery system is faulty. I’m not sure what I will have to do to fix the problem.
Today I am going to take a look at the rear brakes. I hope they are in good shape so I won’t have to replace them. I’ve got enough other stuff to do.
Okay, that’s it for now.
The first thing I did yesterday morning was to tighten the spring bolts. I tightened them as tight as I could get them with an 20” breaker bar. After I drive the van for a while I will tighten the bolts again.
The next job was to install the brakes. I had a bit of trouble with the bolts that hold the calipers on. The threads on the passenger side bolts were buggered up. I don’t know how they got buggered. To fix the problem I had to use a thread chaser on the bolts and it was necessary to run a tap through the bolt holes.
Once the holes were fixed the brakes went on just fine.
The drivers side brakes went on with out a hitch.
The next thing to do was to hook up the steering.
First I tried to hook the pitmen arm to the output of the steering box without disconnecting the arm from the drag link.
I fought with that for a while but eventually decided that the drag link had to be disconnected from the pitmen arm. Once I did that it was a lot easier to get the steering together.
Once the steering was connected all that was left was to put the tires back on.
There are a couple things to finish up today then I’ll take it for a ride to see how the springs and the brakes work.
We got home from Idaho around 2:00. Once we got the car unloaded we decided to go out for lunch.
While we on our way to lunch we stopped at The Spring Works to see if the springs for the van were ready.
The guy at the spring store told me that the springs had just arrived but they had to put them together. You have to understand that I ordered the spring work almost a month ago. It doesn’t take a month to make two springs.
Anyway, I ended up picking the springs up yesterday around 9:00am.
I needed new bushings where the shackle connects to the frame so the guy at Spring Works went through his spare parts and came up with some bushings. The bushings were a little big on the outside and a little small on the inside so it was a struggle getting the springs on. After a lot of sweat and bad language, I finally got the springs on.
Today I plan to finish tightening the springs, connect the steering, connect the shocks, install new brake pads and the tires.
With any kind of luck I’ll get this all done today.
We had the complimentary breakfast at the Model T some time before 7:00am and were on the road by 7:45.
After yesterdays storm it was real nice to have good weather today. Of course the after effects of the storm made the trip nicely scenic.
Just west of Winnemucca.
About half way between Winnemucca and Reno.
A lot of the interstate highway in Nevada and Idaho have an 80 mph. speed limit. If you are in the right car you can make pretty good time. We made it from Winnemucca, NV to Santa Rosa, CA. in 6.5 hours. That’s the best time I have ever made that trip.
In the van or the motor home it takes around 8 hours.
We had a great time in Idaho visiting with Jo Ann, Dave, Diane and Johnie. We are looking forward to seeing them again this winter in Arizona.
Friday morning Dave and I went to visit Dave’s son, Lynn. We spent a while at his place then went to the North Highway Café for lunch. Just as we were pulling into the parking lot, Jo Ann and Patti were pulling out to continue their shopping.
Watch the Roast.
After lunch, Dave and I went back to their house.
Around 2:00 Jo Ann and Patti came home.
Jo Ann put a roast in the oven, told Dave and I to keep an eye on it then Patti and Jo Ann left for more shopping.
They were getting stuff for Dave’s birthday party on Sunday
Johnie and Diane Arrive.
Johnie (Jo Ann’s nephew) and Diane his wife were due to arrive from North Carolina at the airport at 6:00pm.
Dave and I went to the airport to pick them up. It was raining pretty hard by the time they came in. The rain continued through the night and off and on during the next day.
We had a very good roast beef supper and a great reunion with Johnie and Diane.
The ladies were planning another shopping expedition so Dave, Johnie and I got in Dave’s Jeep and took a ride.
We drove east along the Snake River then turned south into the hills.
After winding around the hills for a while we came to the Bone Store.
This is the rebuilt Bone Store.
There is a Story Here.
Back in 1937, the first son of Wendell and Grace Rushton was borne on June 11th.
He was the first grandson of David Alan and Martha Ann Rushton.
David Alan was shearing sheep on their ranch in the mountains. When our Dave arrived his father road out to the ranch to tell the new grandfather of his grandson’s arrival.
When David Alan got the news he called a halt to the shearing and the whole crew mounted up and headed for the Bone Store to tip a beer or two in celebration.
The Bone Store was old even then.
We stopped in for a pop to commemorate that 80 year old event.
Cruising Through the Mountains.
After spending a little time at the Bone Store we continued our ride through the beautiful rolling country.
Eventually we dropped down to the Snake River and followed it to the Palisades Dam.
Here is the Dam and the outflow.
The Snake River is very high and muddy at this time.
Fall Creek Falls.
After crossing below the dam we continued along the road and passed Fall Creek Falls which drops into the Snake River.
This is our first view of the falls.
Eventually we got closer and could see the whole falls.
We stopped at a diner in Swan Valley for lunch.
This is a view of Swan Valley.
We got back to Dave’s house around 4:00 and found that the ladies had made reservations for supper at the Texas Road House.
Some how the waitress found out that tomorrow was Dave’s Birthday and of course she was obliged to humiliate him.
Of course Dave being a good sport went along with the game. They had him mount a saddle and we all Yee-hawwed.
Sunday, Dave’s Birthday Party.
At around 11:00 we went to the “Chuck-A-Rama” Buffett.
JoAnn had rented a room there from 11:00 to 1:00.
Dave and his cousin Dorothy at age 5.
Who would have thought, looking at that angelic five year old face, what a mischievous little boy lurked within that tiny body.
Once everyone arrived and we had eaten food, it was time for telling funny stories from Dave’s youth.
The Infamous Iona Chicken Lynching of 1944.
This is one of my favorite Dave stories.
At about the age when the above photo was taken Dave and a couple of his minions were playing cowboys and robbers. They decided that the neighbors chickens were the robbers.
The boys rounded up three of the desperadoes and proceeded to hang the thieves without a trial.
Unfortunately the neighbor saw what was happening and went to Dave’s mom and said; “Do you know what your boy is doing over at my place?”
“No, what is he doing?” Mom replied.
“He’s hanging my chickens!”
“What?!!” Mom cried. “I’ll tan his hide!”
So, after a server tongue lashing and no doubt a bit of willow punctuation. The Boys were made to pay $3.00 for each of the lynched hens. Of course $3.00 in 1944 was a sizable sum for a five year old boy to come up with. No doubt Dave had to work long and hard to come up with the money.
Here is Dave and cousin Dorothy as they are today.
There were a lot more stories told but there isn’t room here for all of them.
Dave and his living siblings: Ann, Nada and John.
Dave and his grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Dave and his two children; Lynn and Suzanne.
And of course Dave and Jo Ann.
It was a fun party.
Monday Morning Heading Home.
We said our goodbye's to Jo, Dave, Johnie and Diane and got on the road about 8:45. The weather is windy with rain and hail and very dark sky's.
We made it to Jackpot, Nevada by lunch time and stopped at Cactus Pete's to eat.
After lunch we topped off the tank and headed south toward Wells, NV.
We could see fresh snow accumulating on the mountains.
At Wells we turned west on I-80.
Somewhere between Elko and Winnemucca the snow was falling along the highway.
We got to Winnemucca around 4:00 PST. That’s far enough for one day.
We are staying at the Model “T” Casino/Hotel.
By tomorrow the weather is supposed to be better so we should be home in the afternoon.
Okay I guess that pretty much catches us up for now.
Around 9:30 Wednesday morning we topped off the gas and left Jackpot on the last leg of our trip to Idaho Falls.
The ride to Idaho Falls was uneventful and by 1PM we were at Jo Ann and Dave’s place.
It was a great reunion and we visited for the rest of the day.
This morning Patti and Jo went to Fort Hall to the casino there. After that they were going to stop at Walmart and there is a Cabela's in Idaho Falls so they were going to stop there to see if Patti can buy some new flannel sheets for the bunks in the van.
Dave and I went to the big Army Surplus store in Idaho Falls.
I was looking for a new web belt, a hat, some cast iron lids for some of my skillets at home and a mosquito netting for the bunks in the van.
Unfortunately they didn’t have the netting I was looking for but I saw some on line at the Walmart site. I figure I can get that when I get home.
I did find two cast iron lids and two belts. I couldn’t find a hat I liked however.
We stopped at a second hand store just to take a look to see what they had. It was a big store with lots of stuff but we didn’t find any thing that we couldn’t live without so we got out of there without spending any cash.
We stopped for lunch at a truck stop. Then we headed for home.
On the way home we stopped at the biggest wrecking yard in Idaho Falls to see if just maybe they would have a window regulator for the drivers side door on the van. As I suspected, they didn’t have one.
From here we headed back to J & D’s house.
It’s around 2:10 as I write this. The ladies are on the way home from there last stop (Cabela’s).
I wonder if Patti found the sheets that we saw on their web site.
I hope so.
If not we will have to stop at the Cabela’s in Boomtown, Nevada on the way home to see if they have the sheets.
Patti and Jo came home around 5:00. there were no sheets at Cabela’s and no mosquito netting at Walmart.
After a bit, Jo and I fixed taco’s for supper.
After supper we watch the Western Channel on Dish until bed time.
Okay that pretty much catches us up for today.
I went out to find some cheap carpet for the van yesterday. I went to Friedman Bros. No cheap carpet. I went to Pep-Boys, no carpet at all.
Pep-Boys is close to Home Depot so I went over there to see if they had some cheap carpet. Way in the back of the store there was a flat bed cart with a pile of various carpets on it. I dug through the pile and found two 6X8 pieces of indoor outdoor carpet for about $20.00 per role.
The color is a bit light but there is enough carpet to cover the floor and ceiling and other places.
Around 4:30, Joanne and Dave came by. We went to El Charro for supper. After supper we went home and visited until around 8:00 when Joanne and Dave left.
It is 6:51 Tuesday Morning as I write this. We will be leaving here for Idaho by 8:00. We will be gone for 8 days.
Hopefully all my parts for the van will be delivered by the time we get home.
I will be posting when I can so hang in there.
I have replaced every thing on the ignition system except the sparkplugs so Friday morning I bought a set of plugs and installed them. I don’t think they will make any difference but at least now I will know that everything in the ignition is good.
I was trying to figure out what to do about a radiator overflow bottle when Dave showed up. We visited for an hour or so then he left and I went back to the overflow bottle project.
Around 2:00 Bob stopped by for a visit. We discussed the problem that I am having with the TBI. We decided that we needed to get the springs on so we can take it for a ride with a fuel pressure gauge hooked up to the engine so we can see what the fuel pressure is doing when the engine flattens out. Of course we will have to wait until I get the springs. They are not ready yet.
After bob left I rigged a fuel pressure gauge up to the TBI with a “T” and a couple of pieces of 5/16'” fuel line so we can watch it while we are driving.
These old vehicles like the van do not have any overflow bottle for the radiator. They just dump the coolant on the ground. There isn’t much room for a bottle in the engine compartment. I found just one spot on the right side of the engine in a corner by the radiator.
The bottle sits on a small brace for the radiator and is held in place by a very long zip tie. I don’t think it is large enough for all the overflow but will at least capture most of the fluid.
Tuesday morning we are leaving for a trip to Idaho Falls. We will be gone until the 15th of June.
Our friend Dave R. is turning 80 on the 11th of June and we are going to his Party.