Saturday, September 13, 2008

The U-bolts

The box that I live in is attached to the van that I drive, via a half-dozen U-Bolts wedged to the van's frame via a bunch of long peices of 2x6 lumber.

The documentation on the box says to torque those U-Bolts every few months. I'd been procrastinating from doing that, because I didn't have the right size socket. Well last week I was under the vehicle checking stuff, and noticed that the bolts were loose enough that some of the wood had worked its way out! Yikes!

The danger there was that if the wood fell out, the box could collapse suddenly a few inches, and flip the whole van on its side! Scary stuff.

So I bought a bottle jack, loosened the U-bolts, jacked up the box somewhat, managed to slam the wood a bit further into place, and then correctly torqued the U-Bolts back down again. A couple of the split washers were crushed, and I bought some flat washers to replace them.

Over the next week or two, I have to do a better job (with a friend's help and equipment) of jacking up the box, and then really get those peices of wood into the right place, and then torque the bolts back down again.

As the rainy season soon approaches, my priorities will be checking all my fuel hoses for leaks or rubber disintigration, then correctly torqing my U-bolts, and then re-caulking the van box's connection to the cab. Sometime in parallel to that I may also finally Kool Seal primer/elastometric up the damaged corner of the box, which leaks a bit still.

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