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Last 2011 Itinerary Post

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:19 pm
by Amskeptic
I am 3.2 miles from the storage unit where the TBRRD shall take a well-deserved rest. The odometer will stop at 95795 miles and the road aura will die down as it takes on the storage sleep that now hangs in the BobD, little spider webs will tether it to the floor and a layer of dust will settle over the glass.

But right now, it is tinking in the parking lot looking pretty sassy with its new tires freshly re-re-realigned and the steering sorted out not 20 miles ago in a closed strip mall parking lot. See, this guy steps on my wrong foot, speed-walking over to me from his just pulled-in Lexus RX-470.
"I need your phillips screwdriver."
(oh really?) "Uh, OK."
"Good, we'll call it even, because you are not supposed to park here."
"I don't want to park here."
"I own this property. So what is wrong with your van?"
"Steering wheel fell off. I'm not going anywhere." I held it up to him.
"It FELL off?"
"Not totally, but the drag link did." I put the steering wheel on and spun it from lock to lock while the tires remained stationary.
"Holy cow, you lost your steering right here?"
" 'fraid so."
"Nice looking van, is it a VW? What did you pay for it, if I may ask?"
"Eighty thousand dollars??"
" 'fraid so, and it doesn't even steer."
He went off to use my phillips screwdriver on some real estate signs, but looked back twice in complete pained disbelief at my terrible misfortune.

Meanwhile, I had to get back to concentrating on straightening out this botched steering. These new Airkooledchris tires, big ol' things, are beautifully easy to steer and they make a nice counterpoint howl to the generator's shriek on the highway, very nice. I look forward to seeing what they'll do off-road next summer.

At left lock, however, the right tire was ripping into the stabilizer bar and right lock just wasn't get the turning radius thing. Looking at the tie rods, I saw that the right tie rod had way too many threads sticking out of the turn buckle, and the left tie rod had barely two. Two full turns IN on the right tie rod and two full turns OUT on the left tie rod gave me perfectly equal distances between the tires and the stabilizer bar at their respective full locks whilst maintaining the toe-in.

But now, the drag link adjustment was off, and the steering wheel was some 90* off. (I just had it off a day ago to fix the cancelling tab) To heck with all the insane index mark attempts previously vandalized upon the steering shaft, I am doing this according to the book! With the drag link popped off, I ran the box through its full range of travel and divided by two. That is the center for an early box. Steering wheel was clearly out of position (that means my off-road excursions all across the country were BAD for the steering box), so I removed it and lightly placed it back on for any last trim adjustment later.

Found out that the reason for the grossly mal-adjusted tie rods was that someone .... (?) ..... installed the drag link without ever even realizing (?) that it is an adjustable item? Had to crank that sucker out four full turns to meet the pitman arm at exactly mid-position for the steering box with the wheels at due straight ahead.

Got everything buttoned up and off the jack. Mrs. Lexus RX-470 comes over with the phillips screwdriver. Her eyes burn with unasked questions about my steerless eighty thousand dollar "van".
"Where would you like me to put this?" she calls to me under the car.
"Put it directly on the pitman arm puller next to the micrometer, thanx."
Her feet tentatively wander under the sliding door sill and I hear the screwdriver drop (there is no pitman arm puller up there, and no micrometer either).

Mr. Lexus Sign Builder yells over, "are you going to be able to fix it? We have an open house in fifteen minutes."
"I think I got it, but move your Lexus just in case," I yell back.
As I turn on the ignition, the dual horns blare, scaring the hell out of Mrs. Lexus (sorry, the horn wire was jammed down the steering shaft so I could remove the nut earlier, oops ... hey, for eighty thousand dollars, I better have dual horns)

Drive the bus down the parking lot and found that everything accidentally is in very good alignment, spokes are horizontal, car tracks straight, steering box resistance is right under hand, excellent. Pull out onto the road and the steering box does its patented skip, now the steering wheel is tilted right. Jerk the car left, and the steering box skips back to centered. Perfect.

This car has kicked my butt, yaah ... but we're friends.


Re: Last 2011 Itinerary Post

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:00 pm
by ruckman101
Some of the strongest friendships are between those who have shared trials and tribulations.


Re: Last 2011 Itinerary Post

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 4:29 pm
by hambone
Next you drive a rustbucket on your itinerary with a 205,000 mile engine and bald tires. Imagine the adventure...

Re: Last 2011 Itinerary Post

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:53 pm
by thenexttownshend
Theres nothing better then messing with people like that. That is a very nice looking bus. You had to have a fuel fill door didnt you? Will you be setting the gas cap gasket at the correct humidity of 38.7625% during storage?

Looking foward to a 2012 itinerary. Perhaps a half day.

Re: Last 2011 Itinerary Post

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 6:49 pm
by Elwood
Injoyed the heck out of this post Colin, had you installed newer box from Irvine?

also noticed new avitar :salute: cool view I have painted many of times on too many things and have lost the beauty of my perspective 0f my surroundings.

Just tring to survive on what we can give and not take for our talents.

Hope to hire you again in future.


Re: Last 2011 Itinerary Post

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2011 9:21 pm
by bajaman72
80 grand bit had me cryin!! Did she even pay that for her Lexuswithglowinthedarkgauges ??

"Patented Skip" of the steering box... Thank You, I'm assuming it's ok? It's scares me (sometimes) but i'm getting used to it (mabey)

Re: Last 2011 Itinerary Post

Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 11:51 am
by James Dwan
You should have told her you were there for the open house :joker: