Friday, December 3, 2010

I got pretty burned out on both blogging and working on the bus for a while there. Some combination of a recent club meeting, Big Blue’s drivers being back (with baby in tow!), having built up a little money in the VW account (we quite seriously do have a bank account specifically for VW stuff), and having just written a post for our club’s site about our bus has reminded me that—hey, blogging is fun! And hey, VWs are fun! And hey, not ALL of our disposable income is going toward our VWs right now (makes me like them more…knock on wood) and that’s fun!

When last I wrote, we were spending every night in the garage (way too much time) trying to get our bus roadworthy for “Oktoberfest”—a picnic our club has annually the second Sunday in October. We were making great strides and the Friday before the event, we threw in a 1500SP mystery motor. After a substantial amount of cranking, the thing actually started!! It was a satisfactory feeling indeed. I’ll leave portions of this story for another day but, to make a long story short, our friend Bethany helped us out with some troubles we were experiencing with our brakes on Saturday and we were ready to roll (well, kind of—it was a rough ride and we were having some shift rod problems).

Saturday afternoon, we took the bus for a “victory lap”. We took one lap around the block, then decided we were up for a second lap, during which—CRASH PFWAP BUMP SCRRREEEEEECH. My heart jumped into my head and I was confident that the engine had fallen out of the car. In retrospect, that would have been better than what actually happened. At some point during our many brake/e-brake adjustments, someone (we never determined who) left the lug bolts loose on the left rear wheel. Ugh, it still makes me sick. When the fourth bolt popped off, the wheel came crashing down. The sight was absolutely sickening. It was like when you see a squirrel get hit by a car—it is pathetic and nauseating and makes you feel like the world may never be happy again (okay, maybe that’s just me and the members of PETA, but hopefully you catch my drift).

The good news was that a) we were only traveling about 10 mph when the wheel fell, and b) the bus was so low that the wheel couldn’t actually fall all the way off the brake drum. So, basically, the tire hit the top of the wheel well, bending the $#!^ out of the panel and separating the tray from the wheel well, and the drum stayed inside the wheel, causing damage, but probably far less damage than if we had been running stock height with narrow tires.

I ran back to the house and brought the jack back to the bus. We jacked the bus up, pushed it down the alley back to the driveway, closed the garage door, turned around and walked away.

At this point, we’ve recovered enough that I’m actually excited to get out in the garage again. Finally.