To the new readers who have just stumbled here from the vast depths of the internet; Welcome to the great intermission between adventures.
It has been several months since we sold Chuck, it was sad to see him go, but we must continue; spurred ever onward by the relentless and dogged flow of time.
NEWS!We have found Chuck's replacement! The as-of-yet unnamed van is a 2004 Dodge Sprinter, here are the vitals.
Origin: Manufactured by Mercedes-Benz in Germany in late 2003
Drivetrain: 2.7L Inline-5 CDI (Common Rail Direct Injected) Turbo-Diesel | 154HP and 243lb-ft | ULSD and LSD fuels | 5-speed automatic transmission
Body: Arctic White | 140" wheelbase | super high roof (72" interior hegiht) | 5 doors
Equipment: Base Cargo | A/C | Manual locks and windows | 2 seats | rubber and plywood floors
Condition: Good | 105,000 miles | fleet maintained | a few dents and scratches
We flew to Orlando Florida to pick it up and drove back to Tulsa over 2 days. Besides some comfort issues the trip was uneventful (except for a bit of drama at the outset).
When we were first inspecting the van, I noticed that the turbo resonator was completely split! This is a common failure point which results in low power and/or limp home mode (LHM). Thankfully I had a roll of duct tape and the 2 tools required to change this part.
After applying a copious amount of 3M industrial duck-tape the van was mobile once more.
|The resonator as we found it.|
|Some dirty hands for scale.|
|3M High Temp adhesive tape (great stuff!).|
|A really hot abandoned Florida parking lot.|
We then proceeded to drive the van to a Freightliner dealer who had the part in stock!
Then it was off to Walmart for a open space to park and swap. Two bolts, a box of baby wipes, a well burned back and several clamps later, we were ready to roll! Only a couple hours later than desired. Not a bad delay all things considered.
|Did I mention hot parking lots?|
|And we're off!|
The rest of the drive was about 21 hours of uneventful-ness. Although figuring out the climate control system was a bit of a challenge. Something about European cars maybe?
We have been daily driving this van for several weeks now, and no issues to report (except really cold A/C). The plan as it sits, is to finish up some maintenance items, and a few minor fixes. Then we will set upon doing upgrades. Air suspension seats, cruise control, and power locks are at the top of the list.
Then, let the up-fitting commence! Just thinking about the epic pile of hardware we will need is making me drool... The final product will be something like Chuck, but so much more. Giving a couple of engineers a blank slate, is a very bad idea (especially for the budget). I hope to keep a somewhat detailed log of our build out progress. The conversion clock is ticking, with approximately 18 months to completion, its going to be tight.
Until next time; make your plans big and keep your ideas grand.