‘Maybe we should get a fire extinguisher…’

September 10, 2010

Ahhh, good old rusty.

She is back from the mechanic, and I think we are lucky to still have her this time.

So remember when we broke down on the 4th of July?  That was the alternator.  My back is still not real good, so I had a kid from craigslist come out to the house and put in a new alternator.  I assumed, and I guess I still believe he did a good job, but some problems started after that.  I didn’t think it was a big deal, but pretty much every time I started the car I would get a couple of hic – ups while accelerating.  It wasn’t all the time, and I couldn’t figure out why it was happening so I ignored it.  Finally the bus bucked and died one time.  I pulled into Hanoford and smelled a burnt rubber smell.  The bus started up about 5 minutes later, but the battery light was back on.  I drove home and parked the bus.

Fortunately I was picking up my winter car that night.  I bought a ’98 jetta glx.  After last winter and moving so my commute is longer, I decided a car with heat would be nice.  The jetta isn’t perfect, but it is a lot of fun to drive.

Back to the bus.  It sat for a couple of weeks while I looked for a new mechanic.  I finally found one that I could trust and dropped the bus off.  I explained the problems and he started looking at it.  Apparently there were some major electrical issues.  The main load carrying wires from the batter, alternator and starter were totally fried.  Electric arcs were jumping off the bare wires and shorting to the frame randomly and causing the bus to hic-up and finally die.  It would have been real easy for the something to catch on fire with that kind of uncontrolled electricity.

Mike, the new mechanic replaced all the wires and got the electrical system back up to snuff.  He looked the bus over and gave us a couple more things that need to be looked at, future posts I’m sure.  The bus is back on the road and driving in time for the wedding.

After seeing the burnt up wires, it’s time to mount the fire extinguisher in the bus.  It would be a shame to watch this old girl burn on the side of the road.  We plan on having her around a long time.

5 Responses to “‘Maybe we should get a fire extinguisher…’”

  1. Angelika said

    I loved your blog, I may just render this with paint!

  2. Betsy said

    After seeing the picture, I think that a fire extinguisher in every vehicle is a good idea!

  3. vwdesire said


    I have now bought one because my wiper motor starts burning when it get heavy use. Just imagine a ball of flames shooting out of the steering wheel.

  4. wimkoelman said

    I made a link to your blog on the VW Camper Site in the tab VW Camper Sites & Blogs (URL:http://wimkoelman.wordpress.com/vw-camper-sites-blogs-2/). A backlink will be very appreciated.



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