Sunday, May 17, 2015

day 10 - raise attempt number one.

Today was meant to be roof raise day, but the world had other plans.

Hindrance #1
The night before was the opening night of the last play of the season at the theater where my roof raising assistants and I work, so there was a good bit of staying out late and drinking too much. Saturday morning started well after noon and with a lengthy breakfast. By the time we got to the bus it was quite a bit later in the day than I'd hoped.

Hindrance #2
The bus had no fuel in it! As I believe I've mentioned before, the fuel gauge in the bus is broken. I've got a little notebook on the dash where I can calculate my miles and gallons and figure approximately how much fuel I've got. I hadn't done any calculations since we'd gotten the bus to Berkeley, but I have driven it next to nothing since it got here and we filled it up close enough to Berkeley in our drive down that we figured it should have at least a half a tank left when we got there. I still need to check my calculations in case I was just wildly off, but the current theory is that someone siphoned out the fuel. I'd left the bus parked in one place for close to two weeks and someone probably pegged it as an abandoned vehicle. A locking fuel cap has moved higher up on my priority list. Luckily we found a fuel can at work (It may have been a prop fuel can, not one that was at the shop with the intention of being used for fuel...) and the silent partner ran to the gas station for some diesel. There was some fun troubleshooting with getting the fuel into the bus, as the can did not have a spout.

Hindrance #3
The battery died. After all that trouble (and money) of getting the alternator to work, the battery died. Maybe there was a light on somewhere I missed. First we tried to jump it with the silent partner's truck. Not enough power (the bus is fun and has two batteries so its super powerful.) After consulting the manual and the father the conclusion was I needed to buy a battery charger and just let the batteries sit and charge for a few hours. Luckily at that point someone else from the shop wandered through and told us that the shop does indeed have a battery charger. We strung an extension cord out to the curb and started the bus a-charging. It had to sit for around an hour before it would start, so we took a lunch break. Once the bus started we drove it into the shop.

Once the bus was at least in the shop we were pretty tired and didn't want to keep going. We did pull a bunch of scrap metal and trash out of the bus before we left. The shop recycles scrap metal (for beer money!) so we stuck all of my scrap pipe, sheet metal and bracing on dollies so it could be put aside for them.

Oof what a bus day. Now I know a good bit more about making a bus start!

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