Friday, May 30, 2008

Moving forward.

So it is 2008. I've changed allot in the past two years and there is allot of change still to come. Its good. Its allot of things. Exciting, scary, fun, confusing, and about 100 other feelings. I'm getting ready to live in a van. Yes, you heard right. I'm going to live in a van.

Why am I going to live in a van? Allot of reasons. Some of which I don't even know yet. But I do have allot of good reasons. I'll talk about "the why" later. I'll also go more in depth with "the how" eventually too... I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.

I've already got one. Its a 1989 Ford E-150 with a raised roof and pretty sweet captains chairs. I got it from a man named Ricky Dean for $1750. Only 74000 miles, but needs some work (which I plan on doing myself). The exterior is in great shape because it has been garaged most of its life. Really pretty. Brand new tires. Mr. Ricky Dean was the second or third owner. He bought it from a sweet old widow who had bought the van in 1994 when she and her husband had retired. After her husband died she rarely drove it, so it has been sitting for a good portion of its life. That's both a good thing and a bad thing. The van has very little miles for its age but when cars sit for a long time the things somehow forget how to work right.

So last Friday night I drove the van home from Burlington, about an hour and a half away from Charlotte. After about 15 miles on the highway it was overheating really bad. Gas station. Steam spewing from around the radiator. Waited for it to cool down then filled it up with a 1 liter bottle of water and about 10 trips to the men's room to refill the bottle. Despite being on stress inducing steroids for my poison ivy, I managed to stay calm and not worry too much. I was more tired than anything and it had been a long day. I just wanted to get home and sleep. I was really achy.
The van started up fine, ran fine for about 15 miles and then the same problem. Rest stop. No steam from the radiator this time. I let it cool then checked the coolant level. Still full. hmmm. Checked the oil. About a quart and a half low. Not sure if it was burning oil but the tailpipe wasn't smoking or anything like that. Ricky Dean didn't know when the last time the oil had been changed. So I got on the highway and got off at the next exit to top off the oil.
It was a really sketchy gas station, no working restrooms (though that's not saying much in relation to gas stations in general). There were lots of sketchy people walking around. Sketch guy walks from sketchy car and comes up to me asking for gas money. I felt bad for him but it was a "no can do" at 2am in sketchville. I got two quarts of oil and then got the hell out of there. Still tired and achy.
The engine stayed happy the rest of the way home. It probably hadn't been driven that far in a long time and just needed some kinks worked out. List of first things to do: getting the oil changed, flushing the trans fluid, checking out the coolant system and hoses, new spark plugs. After I get all the mechanical things in order I'll go all "Christopher Lowell" interior designer on the van and make the inside nice and homey.

So that is what has been going on so far. I just got the new tag on today and found out that insurance is going to be really cheap, that is a relief.

I'll take it to the shop this week and have everything checked over and get the fluids flushed and filled. If it doesn't need anything major I will have a killer van for the money. We will see.

1 comment:

The Traveler said...

Charlotte, NC? I will be there I think in about 2 or 3 weeks! Or at least quite a bit near there. Thanks for the hose comment on my page. I would just patch it if I could, but it isn't a hole in the hose. It is really stretched and warped where it connects to the end of a pipe. Where the hose clamps go around it, they won't fit snugly since the hose is in such rough shape. I'll just try new hose clamps first, but yeah, then I think I will do what you suggested and go to an auto parts store. What a pain though. I have to take everything out of my bed area to get to the engine and get the hose off. Ugh.