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Old 07-18-2014, 05:45 PM   #701
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Re: Hal The Van

Glad to hear you are back on the road. That engine should be good for many more miles of camping fun.

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Current van: 2002 Ford E350 extended body camper with Colorado Camper Van pop top and Agile Offroad 4WD conversion.
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Old 08-02-2014, 10:55 PM   #702
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Re: Hal The Van

Thanks guys. The story continues.

So I get back from the camping weekend and call the garage that had just replaced the engine and told them about the engine codes. They said they would call me back. After a couple days and not hearing anything I just drove the van down and dropped it off. Next day I get a call from the garage owner. He hems and haws a bit then tells me that one possible reason for the codes is problems with the catalytic converters. They've tested mine and both have failed. New ones are around $800 each.

Did you ever have one of those moments of absolute clarity where you can actually see into the future? I had one right then and I'm betting some of you who have been in a similar situation have had one too. I'm going to spend a lot of money on this and it's not going fix the problem with the codes.

To be clear, I've no doubt the converters need replaced. The whole exhaust system had me worried for a while. Having dropped around $4500 on the new engine It just hurt to spend another big chunk of change. I really had no confidence that this would clear the codes and would have made a good bet that they had just hooked up something wrong on the engine rebuild.

There's a British saying, "In for Penny, in for a Pound." I was definitely already in for a penny so might as well go for the Pound. Told him to go ahead and replace the complete exhaust system.

Back up on the rack.

Notice the bulge between the muffler and the "Y". It's a flexible fitting that the old exhaust didn't have.

One of the old catalytic converters was so far gone it rattled.
Pick up the van after it's done and pay the bill.

Catalytic converter assy. $870.61
Catalytic converter $845.75
clamp $15
hanger $7.90
exhaust pipe $141.95
muffler $137.14
Tail pipe $103.95
Oxygen Sensor X 2 $167.96
Oxygen Sensor X 2 $167.12
Supplies $194.42
Labor $320
Subtotal $2971.80
Tax $178.31
Total $3,150.11

Bet you already know how the rest of this goes. Start the van and drive downtown for some carryout. Get the carryout and hop back into the van and guess what. The engine codes are back. Wasn't surprised. Disappointed but not surprised.

Drop the van off the next morning. The entire conversation went like this. "Codes are back."

Took them a few more days but after a couple false leads, they got it figured out. A couple vacuum lines on the engine had been hooked up wrong. One added benefit is I got the emergency brakes fixed for free.

So I bring Hal home to this.

Say "Hello" to my new barn. You know all those tools I've been collecting as this build has progressed? Well the mill I had delivered via huge tow truck caused the garage to reach critical mass. Had to do something. Hence the barn. I had the builder do a modification to the original plans so Hal could fit inside.

There's not enough room in the barn for both the van and and everything I want to put in there but I can use it to work on Hal off the street. With the barn being built, and me paying for it, at the same time as all this was going on with Hal it sometimes felt as if I was just hemorrhaging cash.

That being said, van does run real nice now and I'm back to using it for trips again.

And on the bright side, when I bought the van in 2009 it only cost me $2500 while the Penthouse I had SMB install cost $5000. So for once the van is now officially worth more than the Penthouse top.

Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
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Old 08-03-2014, 03:21 AM   #703
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Re: Hal The Van

Sometimes in life we've all encountered similar times, when nothing seems to our way. We wake up each morning almost dreadfully wondering "what next?" Soon enough though it all passes and thing turn back around, life is good once more.

You've been through a lot lately but also got a lot more accomplished, mainly because there was no choice not continuing onward---that's what we have to do as responsible adults.

Hal is back to good health, your tool archive/storage/shop also ready for another project----time to enjoy all this extra time you'll have now.

Thanks for updating us WV----a happy ending to this latest bit.
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Old 08-03-2014, 08:15 AM   #704
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Re: Hal The Van

Ouch. Love the building though!

2010 Chevy AWD home build
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Old 11-18-2014, 11:04 AM   #705
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Re: Hal The Van

I'm about to start my build on a 2009 passenger EB, what I'm wondering is, now that you've had your floor in for a while is there any down side to the way you did it? More specifically, have you noticed any condensation between the rubber mat and the steel floor and how did it work for soundproofing? Also, did the insulation board hold up and does it squeak? Thanks for the detailed write up, I only wish I'd come across it sooner, as in before I "went to town" and gathered up materials for this project. Glad to see Hal is healthy again.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:17 PM   #706
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Re: Hal The Van

I'm quite happy with how the floor has stood up. I had to check back at the dates and it's been over four years since it was laid and haven't had a lick of trouble. I was worried the foam layer would compress over time but that's not been the case.

Not seen any sign of a condensation problem. The idea for the rubber layer was sound absorption but that was in theory. In practice the van has so much stuff in it making noise in the back, drawers, food, microwave turntable, loose jars in the fridge, tools in the basement, penthouse rattle, on and on, that road noise isn't a problem.

No floor squeak either.

If I was to do it again would I use the rubber layer first? I'm not really sure. It worked out really well. The rubber layer and the foam layer seem to have compressed together to fill the ridges that run down the length of the floor so that the plywood layer, which remember is only 1/2" not the 3/4" that some people put down, shows no deformations.

On the down side the rubber layer is heavy. But then again, so is 3/4" plywood so maybe it all evens out.
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
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Old 11-18-2014, 02:30 PM   #707
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Re: Hal The Van

Originally Posted by WVvan

it sometimes felt as if I was just hemorrhaging cash.
sooo funny... and not so funny

'95 SMB E350 Quigley 7.3
... If you have to ask, you'll never understand...
"... torpedo'd, because we don't generally cotton to bullshit around here." -jage
"... do they ooch apart in the night?" -Dia
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:07 PM   #708
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Re: Hal The Van

Once everything was fixed I spent just about every weekend out in the van getting my money back. Always wanted to bike the entire length of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal but at 184 miles long I never seemed to have the time. Well I made the time. Actually did it twice.

Started at it's end in Cumberland Md and worked my way towards D.C. I'd park the van and ride along the canal 15 - 20 miles then turn around and head back. Spend the night in the van, sometime in stealth mode, and then the next day drive to next best access point for the canal.
Then bike to whatever point I'd left it off the day before and then do another 15 - 20 miles. Rinse. Repeat. Did this each weekend until I finished it off by biking from Great Falls of the Potomac

(click to enlarge)

to the Canal beginning in Georgetown. So here I was at Mile Marker 0. The end of my journey and there wasn't a soul around to take my picture. Bummer. So here's a picture of my bike instead.

While I'm standing here, a little history lesson. When mentioning the C&O Canal a lot of people will say they've never heard of it. I tell them that EVERYONE has heard of it they just don't know it. Here's what I mean.

This is a picture of where the canal ends/begins at the Potomac River. That's Lincoln Center in the background. See the wooden grate across the mouth of the canal?

That's the remains of the one of the various wooden gates that would separate the canal water from the river water. They called them water gates.

Here's a picture of a hotel that was built right next to this part of the canal. The hotel was named "The Watergate". Get it?

Like I said, everyone's heard of the C&O Canal.
Open the pod bay doors Hal.

Once I exit Hal, this is what I do.
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Old 11-19-2014, 10:46 AM   #709
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Re: Hal The Van

Awesome adventure, but wow on that seat angle! I admit, that is the most aggressive forward tilt I have ever seen on a bike seat!
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Old 11-19-2014, 11:38 AM   #710
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Re: Hal The Van

Originally Posted by prally
Awesome adventure, but wow on that seat angle! I admit, that is the most aggressive forward tilt I have ever seen on a bike seat!
some of us need extra room for "cargo"

2009 E250 RB 5.4L "SilVan"
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