Posted by: lianadevine | 30 September 2007

He Said, She Said

Well, after all the miles we have put on our bus I guess we can’t complain that it finally let us down. We are stranded in Vancouver WA with a broken tranny. Yes, the one that was just rebuilt. Apparently the output shaft was bent and the preload on the new bearing was too high so the bearing spun on the shaft and now the shaft is NFG. We found out when we stopped at a rest stop and saw oil on the back window of the bus. When going outside to inspect, the back of the bus and the Thing were covered in gear oil. When we tried to add oil it was coming out pretty quickly. We unhooked the Thing and Leanne drove it while I limped the bus 55 miles to our friends Todd and Becky’s place. If this had to happen it could not have happened at a better place. Todd has a machine shop in his back yard where he manufactures transmission parts for race cars, 5 acres for Spike to wander and endless hospitality. We are trying to research parts or a different tranny, but with no luck so far. In between searching and waiting for calls and emails I help Todd with things like working on his new shop. It’s one that would make all us guys jealous. 30.000 Sq Ft. The front end will be office then machine shop then vintage Volkswagen used parts warehouse/wrecking yard.

We also play with things around the acreage, fixing the back hoe and the log splitter. Leanne and Becky are looking at all the quilting stuff that Becky bought from a relative. They are thinking of starting a new project. Weather has been good up until today. It has been raining all day.

The Tranny Comes Out



It was a little nerve-wracking driving the Thing on the I-5. I haven’t really mastered the manual shifting, and the speedometer doesn’t work, but we were past the major intersections of Seattle and had the walkie-talkies for communicating between the vehicles. In retrospect, it was fine, but I’m not sure I’m ready for Mexican roads yet.

Huguette and Gary were expecting us Sunday afternoon, so we called them as soon as we arrived at Todd’s and went over to their house for dinner. We had a great visit, and assured them we would be around for “a few days” so we would get together again later in the week.

Now a week has gone by, and like the recent rain, the waiting seems endless. But such is life, so I’ve been filling the days with girl-stuff: bus-work, laundry, cat-walking, grocery shopping, baking and even fabric shopping. Becky has been so accommodating in taking me around to stores, so it will be my pleasure to return the favour and help her with a new quilt project.

Huguette and Gary came for dinner on Friday. After the ratatouille and ribs, Calvin showed them photos of his trip to China while I made dessert. (Speaking of photos, we have figured out how to add some photos to our sidebar, so look there for more visuals as we go)

We are really enjoying spending time with “our landlords” Todd and Becky – even making plans for the coming week. We’ll celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving with them next weekend…I’m sure we’ll still be here.




  1. Hello guys!

    Well – all part of the experience and more personality development ‘stuff’ – patience and all will come together – very neat that you get to visit with friends as a bonus. This site is great – very easy to review etc.etc. for this ‘nontecky’ person – well done!
    Hope your resourcefulness is not called on too often – have fun – Annette

  2. Glad to hear the tranny is out, not so glad to hear you are still looking for parts. Can’t you and Todd just transform some VW parts?? You know, use the heavy duty parts out of a type 3 tranny.

    Good luck with all, Bailey says hi to spike…..

    Hi back from Spike

  3. Wow! The beginnings of your trek have been anything but dull!

    The tranny problems remind me of something similar that happened to my sister and me a number of years ago. We were headed to Mesa Verde (Colorado) and my sis’ car “didn’t feel right” just before we arrived in Flagstaff, Arizona. We had it checked out and were told that everything was OK, so we headed on to a side trip to the Hopi mesa area and then, in the middle of nowhere, it became obvious that there was a problem. We eventually made it to a body shop in eastern Arizona, only to find that the problem was the transition (What a surprise!) and that we would have to go to Gallup, NM for repairs. We limped into Gallup, where the car died while parked in front of a transmission shop . . . which was closed (since it was the weekend). Fortunately, there was a motel nearby, so we checked in and arranged for the car to be towed to the only transmission shop that was open. A few days later, everything was OK, but Gallup is NOT a good place to be stranded!

  4. The tranny comes out, brings back a memory of a red truck brand new clutch and a lot of mud smoke and fun and explaining that to your dad.

    Hey have fun

  5. Hi Guys. Anything we can do back at the homefront to get you up and running again. The blog is great, keep it coming.

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