Monday, April 13, 2009

Vacuum Pump

The vacuum pump should be an easy part to change out.
Nothing but 3 bolts, a belt and a hose.

But it's being a bitch.

The pulley won't come off the spindle of the old pump. I tried a two jaw puller, I tried a pulley puller/installer. I brought it to Auto Zone and they tried.
It must be frozen on there with rust. So I decided to drench it in PB Blaster and let it sit overnight with pressure from a puller on it.
If I can't break it free tomorrow, I'll be searching for parts.

I did get a lot of packing done today. It really is amazing how much stuff I can fit in my shelves and cargo holds. And since recent ecapades in the van have made it abundantly clear that I need curtains, I made some today.

There's 2 curtains on a rod between the cabin and cockpit/front seats, and I used my leftover Reflectix shiny bubble wrap to make black-out curtains for the side and rear windows. In addition to privacy, they will insulate the windows. I didn't want the shiny Reflectix to show on the outside; that would make it obvious that someone sleeps in the van.

We're going for incognito here.

I bought some black fabric Saturday, and after busting out the sewing machine, I encased the Reflectix panels in black fabric.
The Reflectix is sort of stiff, so by screwing picture hanger brackets in strategic spots around each window to hold it in, I can easily take the panels out for driving.
With the new black out curtains, it just looks like a dark van from the outside.
I was quite pleased with the result.
Curtains are a good security measure too. Not much stuff will be visible on the inside anyway,(it's in the cargo holds) but I still feel like it makes my ugly old van less of a target.

I leave a week from today. The panic is starting to set in; I haven't eaten anything all day. Too busy running around getting organized and cleaning.

"Just a few more weary days and then I'll fly away..."
-Allison Krause


  1. Thats a great privacy screen you made there. One of my former coworkers made a screen for his work van, as it took too long to cool the cab in the summer. The screen made it much quicker. The tools in the back didn't seem to care either way, lol.

    He did though get pulled over, and get a warning from local LEO. The screen (made of clear plastic) hindered the view and might cause an accident (according to LEO). But after inspection, decided not enough - no ticket.

    But something to ponder while on the road.

  2. Thanks for the tip. The front curtains are flexible fabric and can be pulled back out of the way when I am driving. I would probably only have the van in 'private' mode when sleeping or parked for a while.

  3. You definitely don't want people seeing in. If it's blacked out enough that you can be lit up inside and on the computer without anyone seeing any light from the outside, it's even better.

    You'll be fine. Don't forget to breathe...

  4. I'm really liking the way this whole job on the van has turned out! You did good...

  5. The pulley on the vacuum pump looks similar to the pulley on a power steering pump. Replacement pumps come without a pulley, and you have to have a machine shop that has the special tool remove the pulley and press it onto the new pump--this might be similar. Hope that helps,

    ~~ Walt

  6. Nomad, unfortunately my computer is not mobile. It's an older PC stashed in the bottom cargo hold of the van.
    As much as I would like to blog from the road, I don't have a laptop or wireless device.
    I can tell stories once I get to WA, as I'll have computer access there. If I break down or get stuck I promise to find a library and post...
    But I'm about to disappear for around 10 days or so.

    Hermit Jim, thanks. There seems to be some kind of momentum pushing me forward. She's still ugly on the outside; the vacuum pump set me back. Hope I still have your blessings across Texas.

    Walt, thanks so much for the advice. That's probably what I have to do. I bought a new pulley from Ford, and when I asked how much to press it on the pump, they said around $70. I might try installing it with the pulley puller/installer I have, or I might find a machine shop other than the Ford dealer. I didn't like his attitude, and dealers are notorious for ripping you off.

    Thanks for visiting, all.