Monday, June 11, 2012

Road closed due to fire

not actual photo of lenny's fire!
Less than 2 weeks from our date to leave and the engine has caught fire.  After the backyard mechanic we've paid to remove and install the engine connected the fuel injection vacuum hoses all wrong, we towed the Bus back to our house to put in new hoses we bought, plus the clamps that he never put in.  That solved our engine rough idle, and began the initial break in process.  Revving at 2500 RPMs we got to 3 minutes of the 15 needed before Trey yelled "turn it off! Fire!!" he ran inside for an extinguisher (we misplaced ours last week!) and I ran over to the hose, yanked it over to the Bus and put out the small fire near the distributor.
Now we feel like we are back to square one.  Just a few wires are burnt, but the damage is minimal.  We are lucky to have supportive family who are able to help us financially and emotionally, and help us get the Bus to a mechanic to have it on the road for good.  We hope to find a local mechanic tomorrow who knows VWs well, so far we haven't found such a person and we have searched for 7 months... The option to sell has also crossed our minds.  Maybe we will find resolution tomorrow, we hate to come this far just to give up, but we are also becoming over-burdened by our troubles.  Regardless we plan to depart from South Carolina in less than 2 weeks, bus or no bus.


  1. I am sorry to hear that your new engine did not fair well. I hope you can find a mechanic that can help get your bus on the road.


  2. I work for a VW dealer in the Seattle area and have been following your progress as you restore your van. I was very sorry to see this mornings picture. It is indeed hard to find a technician that is good and willing to work on the older vans. Unfortunately they are retiring faster that they are being replaced. I hope you are able to find someone and keep your van up and running. The fuel line for your van was 5.5X3 on the metric scale. If they used bulk fuel line and no hose clamps a line may have come off or leaked under pressure. Can you see where the fire originated? Part number for the fuel line is currently N90099603 or N90099601. Good luck.