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Author Topic: The bus is home! *pix*
MacManKrisK

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 955

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted April 06, 2008 19:21      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Yes, the bus is home and I have quite a story to tell you about that.

Sprocket and I went to Midland yesterday to get my bus and bring it back home to Ypsilanti. I made Sprocket drive up there, so I could "rest" for the trip back with the bus... but really I just wanted to make sure he treated my car nice. [Smile]

We got there about 12:30 and no one was home. There was a note on the window that said: "Uncle Kris, you know how to break in, the keys are in the ignition. Thanks again for letting me borrow it. Peace." So I broke in (the details of that are a secret!), jumped in, and fired her up. Sprocket got in and we drove next door to my cousin Lynn's house. He'd stored the bus for me for the winter, so I paid him for the use of his space and we BSed for a good 45 minutes. Lynn's quite a character....

We went back to my sister's and Sprocket got in my Buick and we took off and headed toward Jam. I don't know what to say about Jam, MI, except that there's no place like it. When I turned the corner into the parking lot at the Jam Store, I noticed the needle on the gas gauge moved about 1/16" so I knew there was a decent amount of gas left and I could drive for a while before we filled up.

The basic route here, for anyone that's interested (MoMan?), is "get on M-52, drive south." We drove to St. Charles and filled up with gas... she only took about 7 gallons, so it wasn't even close to empty. We also decided it'd be a good place to stop for lunch, so we went to Tony's: Home of the Giant Steak Sandwich. It's one of those cool little local chains. I put $1 worth of quarters in the jukebox and got a whole 7 songs.. and it was an old vinyl jukebox too! You just don't see those anymore. [Smile]

Stopped in Perry because I had to pee (too much coffee!). Walked into the gas station and this older gentleman asks me, "what year is it?" I always use the same line: "It's a '78, it's one of the new ones." Turns out he had a '58, back in the day. Cool guy, I would've chatted longer, but I had to pee! 45 minutes later, we stopped in Stockbridge for the same reason. It was here that I asked Sprocket, "wanna' switch?" Of course he obliged the idea, and I was okay with it as we were only 45 miles from home.

We took off down the road (after I put it in reverse for him so he could back out of the parking spot... heh), and we were crusin' along until all of the sudden I hear this *POP* noise and then the bus stalls. We pulled to the shoulder and got out.

I fiddled and fuddled, tried to get it started again, but it just wouldn't start. I started jiggling plug wires and, lo and behold, plug wire #2 breaks apart in my hand. The wire came right off of the connector that plugs onto the spark plug. They just don't make plug wires like they used to.. you can't get 5 years out of them anymore! [Razz]

We start attempting to call parts stores, but we are in the middle of a dead zone, so it was quite the challenge. In between Stockbridge and Chelsea, there is *NOTHING*, well, at least nothing that's open. To keep this long story from getting painfully longer, I'll just say that we wound up having to go to AutoZone all the way back here in Ypsilanti (about 30 miles one-way!). Of course they didn't have the wires I needed, but I talked the guy into just selling me a generic plug and a generic plug wire that would fit it.

We get back to the bus, still on the side of M-52, hazard flashers still flashing. Get the stuff on it, the new plug wire and everything and hop in and fire it up. It starts, it runs a bit, the alternator belt squeals like a MoFo, it misses a little and then dies again. Thing is, it kept starting, which was a change from before... but it was the same thing, time and again.. starts, runs a little, alt. belt squeals, then it chugs and dies... lather, rinse, repeat. I wound up doing an emergency timing adjustment, which got it running steady (weird?!), and off we went down the road. It was running like a top.. nice and smooth... the hills were like they weren't even there. It ran great.. right up until it stalled.

Yup. Stalled. Dead. No warning, just "ratta, tatta, ratta, tatta".... then nothing. I flick on the hazards and coast to the side (again!). This time I go to start it and it just whirs around... the starter is doing fine, but there's just no fire in the engine. I pulled out "The Idiot Book" and turned to the "Volkswagen Stops or Doesn't Start" chapter. I walked through the procedure to check the ignition system... "clip the test lead on the power wire that comes from the igntion key to terminal 15 on the coil... attach the other end to the wire that goes to the distributor.. now turn the engine over by hand with a wrench.. did the light come on? good, your condensor is good and your points are opening."

After some fairly extensive testing (and a cigarette), we determined that my coil is bad. I called my Dad, Sprocket called his Dad, and all four of us agreed that the symptoms seemed to fit the diagnosis.

After some lengthy consultation, Sprocket and I wound up using my Buick to tow my bus to a car pool lot that's right were M-52 and I-94 meet. It was quite a ride, in the dark, but we got it there, parked it and left it for the night.

This morning, Sprocket and I took a car dolly (did I mention that Sprocket has some awesome connections) and his gf's truck out to the parking lot. The bus fired right up this morning (for you see, it had cooled off overnight), so I drove it up on the dolly. Here's the pix:

From the rear:
 -

From the front:
 -

The panoramic view of the whole thing:
 -

And the bus, looking a little sad [cry baby] :
 -

We towed it back to my place like that. I took the coil, points and condenser, cap and rotor, and plugs and wires off of it. Tomorrow I'm getting all new of all of those (for only $91 and change.. including sales tax) up in Auburn Hills. If all goes well, I can have it up and running before I need to go to class tomorrow.

I think my bus's breaking down, is really just it's way of saying it missed me and it wanted me to spend some time with it. A little passive/aggressive, perhaps.. but she needs some TLC, and I'm willing to give it to her.

--------------------
"Buy low, sell high
get rich and you still die"


Posts: 2331 | From: Southwest Michigan, USA | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sprocket
Mini Geek
Member # 10210

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted April 06, 2008 19:53      Profile for Sprocket   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ok so yeah he didn't directly mention that my brother was going to come out and tow it but oh well not that big of a deal to him. But to me = BIG DEAL!!!! So thanks Jon and Dad and Mr. Kehrer and to whom ever i may have bugged yesterday! And today wasnt so bad! But i would like to say a few things about today that MacManKrisK left out.

The first thing that he forgot to tell you all is that taking a welding and torch class can come in handy when you are in a pinch. See my brother's car dolly (Jon) has a master lock on it. But none of us could find the keys for it. So i had no choice but to torch the lock off and i did a pretty darn good job doing it if i do say so myself. (MacManKrisK will back me up on this one), and if he wont my dad will and you dont want to mess with him.

Second thing is that when we left the car pool lot. We started down the road and got gas and headed home. A couple miles from Ypsilanti, i see this charcoal grill on the side of the road. And i say "Aww man if i had room i would have stopped and picked it up!" and MacManKrisK says "DUDE I HAVE THE BUS!!!!!" So i pulled off the road as best as i could and walked the 25 yards back to the grill and rolled it back to the bus and loaded it up and hit the road again. I truly am a redneck geek who listens to a little rap and hip hop and rock but mostly country!

Peace yo
Word to your mother!!!!

Posts: 79 | From: Ypsilanti | Registered: Aug 2007  |  IP: Logged
YaYawoman

Solid Nitrozanium SuperFan!
Member # 4505

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted April 06, 2008 20:08      Profile for YaYawoman     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
All's well that ends well. Although if this was your bus saying I missed you, I would hate to see a hissy fit.
Posts: 765 | From: virginia | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
MacManKrisK

Gold Hearted SuperFan!
Member # 955

Member Rated:
5
Icon 7 posted April 07, 2008 18:04      Profile for MacManKrisK     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Happy times again. [Smile]

First, many many thanks again to Sprocket for all the help and the tow.

I got up at 7:30 this morning to drive up to Parts Place up in Auburn Hills. It's about an hour drive, usually, but it took me about two hours because I decided to "beat the traffic" and take an alternate route. I got lost... in fact... I got *so* lost that I actually had to stop and ask for directions.

Anyway, I got back from Auburn Hills at about 11:30. My Piano class starts at 12:30, so I had just enough time to get everything in. I worked backwards; started with the plugs, then the plug wires, then the rotor and cap, and then the coil.

Let me digress here to toot my own horn, and point out that a Sharpie is a VERY GOOD thing to have on hand. Before I took off my old distributor cap, I made a point to label the Front and Rear (Front points toward the Front of the vehicle), and to number each of the connections with a sharpie. Then before I put the new cap on, I labeled it to match the old one.. so no guess work. 90 seconds of work last night probably saved me about 15 minutes of swearing and cursing today. [Big Grin]

New Bosch Premium Plugs, new Bosch Premium plug wires, new Bosch rotor, new Bosch cap, and a new Bosch Premium Blue Coil. There's just something that feels good about having the same parts on it that it came equipped with from the factory (VW used all Bosch electronics). Anyway, the new coil is doing it's job beautifully. With a minimum of fiddling about with idle speed and spark timing, she's running smooth, even, and powerful (well, powerful for a 67HP engine [Razz] ).

I went out for a bit of a cruise this afternoon with the windows down and the vent windows open. It was a gorgeous day! [Big Grin]

--------------------
"Buy low, sell high
get rich and you still die"


Posts: 2331 | From: Southwest Michigan, USA | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged


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