Loose turn signal switch housing – A quick fix

Every time our bus goes in for her annual safety inspection, I wonder what quirk of this 40+ year-old vehicle might trigger the dreaded pink sticker of failure.  Let’s face it, after so many years parts and pieces do not always work as they should and while we owners often find ways to live with these imperfections, safety code says the part or piece must work as intended.  So far, knock on wood, Moby passes her inspection each year, but I give some credit to the inspectors at our garage and their acknowledgment of Moby’s age.

As a prime example, the turn signal switch is a bit finicky and has been that way since we got the bus.  Now when I say finicky, I do not mean the signals sometimes work and sometimes not.  The switch is very reliable in working the lights which is what probably saved us each inspection to date.  The problem is the switch housing and the fact it no longer mounts to the steering column properly.  Because of this, the housing Continue reading

Hitting the road in 2017

A few weeks ago, before spring blossomed across Virginia, we took advantage of some free time during the weekend and hit the road in Moby.  Not a major trip, just really an excuse to get in the bus and go, we headed out for a family lunch in Culpeper, Virginia.  The day was a bit on the cloudy side, but it was good to be bussin’ again after the winter break.  We also took advantage of the drive to have some fun with a GoPro camera Martha gave me for Christmas.  Now, after a few weeks of learning (and some procrastination), I present my first video project and, hopefully, begin a new presentation format for this blog.

VW sighting- hightop

Today’s activities including visiting our county’s fine arts festival.  The first day to hit a high of 80 degrees F, it was no wonder we encountered many motorcycles and old cars out on the road.  The road upon which we headed home after the festival traveled under the main highway before meeting the entrance ramp.  The ramp followed an incline up to meet the highway and as we progressed up the hill, I noticed the distinctive hightop of a VW bus.  Martha (who was driving at the time) did an excellent job of maneuvering into position for a few pictures.  Turns out to be an interesting bus.  It is an early bay (68-70 based on the hubcap and side reflector styles) hightop camper – at least at first glance.  The chrome trim on around the middle screams deluxe transporter.  Upon further investigation of my pictures, I could not find the electrical hookup connection typical of VW campers.  After a quick search of internet photos showed every hightop camper to have the hookup (and no chrome trim), I am thinking this is a DIY deluxe sunroof to hightop conversion.

hightop (1)

I’m digging the flowers 🙂

hightop (2)

No sign of the electrical hookups on the driver side.  The caution signs surrounding the phrase “Slow moving vehicle”.

hightop (3)

Parting shot

Roadside emergencies (Flat tire)

In June of 2014, Moby developed a flat front tire on the driver side while en route to to Maryland.  The cause, as it turned out, was a faulty valve stem that cracked where it passed through the tire rim.  Then last summer, on the way home from Assateague, MD, the front passenger tire lost its air less than 15 miles from home on our return journey.  The cause?  Again, a faulty valve stem that broke in the same place as the first.  I never encountered valve stem failure before, not even heard of it in fact, but I certainly understand that all parts fail sometimes, even those that seem to encounter so little stress.  The first flat I chalked up to this type of failure; just a possible defect in the part, perhaps something struck the valve, or I was a little overzealous in cleaning around it when washing the bus.  But to have two fail on the same vehicle?  That seemed a bit odd.

The guy at the tire shop informed me that in many cases, when new tires are installed, the stems never get changed and eventually succumb to dry rot.  It is possible that this Continue reading