So I mentioned that last weekend we worked on the Westy (she has a name! Stay tuned for the big reveal!). We were up at my grandparents’ cottage and had beautiful sunny weather – it was the perfect day for working outside.
Except there were bugs.
Specifically, black flies. I’m fine with mosquitoes, since they don’t tend to love me as much as they love others. But black flies?! I seem to be gourmet eats for those little buggers. They just love to swarm around me and get in my hair and under my clothes – blech!
This guy was kinda cute though:
If the thought of black flies crawling all over you doesn’t make you squirm, our first order of business in VW repairs will. We set about extricating the lovely little mess inside the driver’s side vent. We managed to get the vent taken apart, after much grunting, teeth gnashing, and cursing the cryptic mechanic’s manual. Once inside, we discovered that even after all of the vacuuming and blowing, there was still a huge mess deep down inside, where the vacuum couldn’t reach.
This is the vacuum after the third time of vacuuming the vent – can you see the pile of nest and almonds?:
So, you might recall that Steve is quite allergic to nuts. Wonderful husband that he is, he did start out cleaning the vent. He got his hand right in there and started pulling all that lovely stuff out. But it was making him all sneezy and miserable. So I stepped up.
It turns out my hands were smaller and nimbler anyway, so I could reach pretty far down the vent tube and get all that was inside – fluffy nest stuff, nuts, seeds, and…shudder…feces. Whatever was living inside there (squirrel? mouse? little gremlin?), it had made itself quite at home. My only consolation was that it seemed like quite an old nest, so it was all dried up stuff and very easily brushed/washed off my hands afterwards. Which, of course, I proceeded to do immediately after I got my hand out of there!
On the way home from the cottage, 4 almonds flew out of the vent. We’re hoping that’s the last of it! We’ve driven it since then and nothing came out.
Our next order of business would have been the back leak – the mystery leak that we were having trouble diagnosing. Well, it’s even more of a mystery now because it seems to have solved itself! We had cleared off some debris (leaves, dirt, random electrical tape) from the sealant around the back hatch and maybe that fixed the problem. We’ve had a couple good downpours, and no back leak – yay!
We thought we were done in terms of repair, but while at the cottage we managed to jam the back hatch so that it refused to open. This week we were able to fiddle with it from the inside, after consulting the aforementioned cryptic mechanic’s manual, and it popped open after 15 minutes of trial and error poking 🙂
Our project for this past weekend was to install the auxiliary battery. We got these instructions off ebay and bought all the necessary materials from Walmart and Canadian Tire (battery, battery cables, inverter). Having never worked with electrical stuff, I was pretty useless. I started out helping Steve by reading the instructions, but whimped out in the freezing, pouring rain weather and came inside to bake cookies and cinnamon buns instead 🙂 Steve cut and soldered wires together, attached various cables together and configured them with the battery and inverter and ta-da! second battery! Ask him if you want a more detailed explanation than that….you’re not getting one from me! 😛
So with the second battery we never have to worry about draining the main vehicle battery when charging the various technology we will be bringing along with us. Also, if we somehow did drain our main battery (ie. if we left the lights on or the radio on), we can jump start it with jumper cables from our second battery. Yay!
Unless some other random leak springs up or little animal decides to burrow inside, our Westfalia is road-trip ready! As for its inhabitants…well…we haven’t started organizing, let alone packing, yet. Hmm…better get on that.