Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The bus limped from NYC to US Coach Repair in Berlin, NJ to fix the transmission. I realized just how lucky I was when they took the transmission off and you could see what was happening inside - well what was happening is that gears were turning into piles of metal.
So I was really lucky for two reasons - one, I was actually able to drive into the shop instead of having to be towed. And two, that the gears disintegrating into little metal bits didn't get wedged into any of the other gears and do even more damage.
So, they took the entire tranmission out on a dolly (the thing must weigh 1000 lbs at least) and replaced the planetary gear set. These gears are involved in both overdrive (third gear) of the tranny as well as somehow fundamentally involved its function in the other gears as well. There was basically nothing left of the planetary gears when we got to them. Fortunately US Coach Repair had a replacement part on site and managed to get it in there. These guys are amazing - they know how to fix this old bus, and I am so lucky for it.
Well, finally it came time to put the thing back together - never as simple as taking things apart, right? It took three of the guys and a crow bar to get the thing back on. Kenny, the main guy working on it, my dad, and I then took the bus for a spin down the Atlantic City expressway, and the bus shifted into overdrive for the first time since the night we pulled into Urbana. in October.
Now we are bringing the bus back to parent's place near Valley Forge, outside of Philly. My dad, Ed, and I will work on a bunch of stuff, like getting the passenger seat and stove installed and more secure and doing some other woodwork to finish up some of the things started in Cali but that we never got a chance to complete.
Friday, November 2, 2007
The stations are assembled, and they are really great. As you can see, the heights are adjustable, but they are strong as heck - I was sitting on them and bouncing up and down earlier and everything is really solid. Daniel and my measurements were right on the money, and there is plenty of space behind them at the bottom of the wall to remount the charge controllers and circuit breakers.