Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ceiling, bearings, leaks

Just another update. I have finally, FINALLY, after two years, put my ceiling in. It's all there now: dropped ceiling, LED lights embedded in, electrical buried in conduit above it, and pink fiberglass insulation stuffed in the plenum. It was ridiculously, mindlessly simple and straightforward-- took me a couple hours including cleaning everything up. That's it-- I'd been procrastinating for years, and it took me a few hours to do.

Now it's quiet in here. REALLY quiet. What a joy! It's like being inside a house, or the body of a really well-insulated modern car. It's very pleasant, home-like. I can still hear what's going on around me, but it's not deafening anymore. The beer-can-thin sheet aluminum just wasn't any kind of insulation; it was like literally living out on the street. At least now it's quiet, and warmer. At last, I have a home.

I had a little emergency last week with my rear bearings. They were destroyed, and burnt up, from driving around on bent rear wheels. That little disaster cost me $700! I have to stop jumping curbs when making tight turns, or just parking stupidly. I'm now shopping for used wheels and some newer used tires. Hopefully very soon-- before I destroy my new $700 bearings. Ouch. One step forwards, three steps backwards: that's how my life goes. I'm OK with that now.

I also finally received the correct metal fuel return lines in the mail from GreaseWorks, as well as Viton short supply hoses, and put them in! Very expensive, but they at least are the correct hoses for biodiesel now. The fuel leaks appear to be over-- for the time being at least, and possibly for good. I had to do that job in the pouring rain and with a bad flu, but it had to get done.

I mounted a little plastic tupperware underneath the inspection cover, to catch drips and leaks. So far so good. There is still some kind of leak dribbling down, but it appears at this time to be oil, not fuel. Possibly from just a poorly-sealing oil pan gasket, or maybe it's from the turbo, I dunno, but it's minor and I'll deal with it when I deal with it.

The engine runs MUCH better now, since there is no longer melted-rubber sludge circulating through the fuel system. Actually, there still is, and I am going to ruin one more fuel filter between now and when that all gets cleaned out. But it idles evenly and has a lot more power. Once I run my tank low again, I have to drain the tank yet again and clean out all that sludge-- hopefully for the last time. The challenge will be coordinating all that with the rainy weather; crawling around on the ground under the fuel tank is very unpleasant in a rainstorm.

The only remaining rubber that I have to replace which contacts biodiesel, are the injector seals. I have all the tools and parts to do that job; now I just need to block out the time and summon the courage to do it.

I purchased the proper coolant to replace all my current coolant, as well as SCA test strips and the correct DC4 pH additive. Before I do that job, first of all I have to find a place to dump the old coolant, but also I've got to track down why my heater doesn't work. If it's a simple matter of reattaching a flap open/close wire, that's great. If I have to pull the heater core, I might as well wait to change the coolant at the same time. The hoses leading to the heater appear to be warm, so I hope that means that it's not plugged.

I'm also going to replace my transmission fluid and filter, but that's waiting until some of the more high-priority stuff is done. This is all basic maintenance I should have done two years ago, and I'm just getting to now. Buying a used vehicle that has been poorly-maintained or unmaintained is a bad idea in the first place, but if I do ever do such a thing again, I'm personally, myself, changing all the fluids and filters immediately upon buying it, not counting on some shop to do it or not.

I'm also eager to move my bed to its new position and put in my sink and counter, and mount my cabinets. I expect these to be fairly easy jobs, and they will make my life infinitely more pleasant. I've got to take care of the wheels first, though.