Wednesday, May 16, 2012

So, I Get This BRAND NEW Set-0-Tires And....


Turns out it's a hole in the hose. Can't get a new one readily, so worse comes to worse, I can try patching it. The electronic mess is half what it was, so hopefully by tomorrow it will be back to normal, at least for straight driving. of course, something had to go wrong!!!

BACKSTORY: In order to work on The Sovereign Afscootistan Conversion Van Of Wonders' engine, one must approach it from inside the car, not under the hood. In the common technicians vernacular, this is known as The Dog House. It's this big ass mound right between the two front seats. In so much as ongoing work was still to be done on it to bring it up to snuff, said Doghouse was loosely set over the engine, just enough to block out noise.

I had a friend significantly hurt their tailbone and neck in a tumble and I offered to help out with anything needed. Offer accepted, I head over to their place. As I am approaching the N.J. Parkway, I notice the engine temp indicator is moving upward. This is generally no big deal, I have a sticky thermostat that is getting changed in the next few days. That's the reason the doghouse is still sitting loosely over the engine. It's happened before and, the more I drive, it clears and then gets normal.

 No biggie, right?

I head on to the Parkway and I see the temp head south. Pop on the radio and begin enjoying the calm of not worrying I'll get a blow out at 70 M.PH., nor slide off the road.

It's around then the hissing begins.

I look at the temp and it's rising...falling...rising...falling.....RISING....PEAKING!!!!

Next thing, I am surround by vaporized, weaponized coolant vapor and can't see much of anything. I open both windows to clear it out and cover my face with a sweatshirt sleeve. My glasses are fogged over, thus they have to go, and I can't see my gauges. Imagine all that steam you see in the picture above, only inside where I am sitting.

Now here's the thing....

I don't want to have to deal with The New Jersey State Police. Not because I don't like them, I am a supporter of law enforcement, but because I don't need a million and one questions with an impending rainstorm looming.

I open the hood, using aforementioned sweatshirt to protect my had as I undo the radiator cap in anticipation of the common gusher of an over heated engine. I open the caps and....


Nary an ounce of fluid to be found.

Middle of the damn Parkway, with an empty, overall displeased, radiator and vehicle.

I begin digging in the van for ANY fluid I could pour in just so I can get to the next exit.

I found:

12 Juice Boxes
1 bottle of Vinegar
2 Half full bottles of window cleaner
1 half bottle of concentrated violet scented cleaner
1 half gallon of Prestone Anti-Freeze.

Started the engine again, temp began to drop, and was back on my way.

A few miles, and it once again is blowing steam all inside the cabin, as heavy as before, if not more so. The weaponized steam smelled like italian dressing on a fruity salad, with a teasing hint of "clean".

We limp to the next exit and I get water to re-fill the rad....running the engine as one is supposed to do when the engine is HOT! Temp heads southward once again, significantly so, and I head back on my way.

This moment of calm was quite short lived. Hissing, heating, yadda yadda yadda. Raining, windows open weaponized steam everywhere, sweatshirt over nose....

Off the Parkway I go. FORTUNATELY, it was an exit I could use. Stopped at first gas station I saw and filled rad again. What I discovered is that:

A: Temp hadn't peaked as much as before.
B: The rad wasn't fully drained.

Answer: Leak in rad hose. (Perhaps)
Result: TONS of steam!!!!!
Result B: HAVOC!

I keep charging ahead.

Kindly note it was an exit I could use...not the one I was most familiar with. Followed the signs and figured I was maybe 10 minutes from destination. Then the van and I could chill, I'd be able to help my friend out, and deal with the issue tomorrow.

I must have been off in lala land or feeling the effects of weaponized rad fluid, because I missed a turn somewhere, thus......

          Welcome To Red Bank New Jersey

Nice town and all. Home to @ThatKevinSmith 's  (Clerks, Cop Out, Chasing Amy) "Jay And Silent Bob's Secret Stash" store and Bon Jovi's "Soul Food" 5 Star charitable restaurant. (Seriously. I know folks who have dined there and they say the food is great! Click the name to learn more)

The problem? The steam is increasing and I am getting stuck in every in-town traffic problem imaginable AND unimaginable! I mean, c'mon...a train smack in the middle of the city?!?!? A slow moving one at that.

I think to myself this is all ultimately manageable and get on with the business of finding my way to the proper route to desired destination.

Well..I learned something new. You know them, there Gremlins" The creatures that get into things and mess stuff up? I learned they don't live in Gremlinville...they reside in weaponized radiator steam!

The red indicator for my alarm system lights up and stays that way. My door locks keep locking and unlocking over and over. When I finally arrive at the location, my lights won't shut off. All that moisture has screwed up many of the electronic systems in the van, and I had to disconnect the battery. EVERYTHING up front is sticky and smells like a fruit salad bathed in a light Italian dressing, whimsically whispering a scent of "clean". It all became so absurd, I simply couldn't help but laugh at all of it, in spite of myself.

I check the internet to see what weather is expected, and see no rain and outside I see the Sun burning through straggling clouds. I open the windows and figure, in the morning, the systems will have dried out and, hopefully, resume normal operation.

Wake up...have coffee...turn on laptop....look out window.

IT RAINED!!!! Seems it rained pretty good.

Aw, phooey!

As of this writing I haven't been outside to begin restoration of Afsccotistan's Ministry Of Transportation's Flagship Vehicle. The effects on my royal lungs, yet to be determined.

Stay tuned.....

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