Now, Ye're Sookin' Diesel!

Today, thanks to the joys of not working Mondays I had a whole day at my disposal to start working on Herman. Priority number one being of course - the nailing of the fuel problem. Elsewhere the entire country was grinding to a halt due to some unseasonal snow showers, but in Manchester, the show would go on.

Having charged his battery up overnight, I managed to get him running again from his jerrican drip-feed and left the engine running in this way to warm up for a half hour or so. Then I shut it off and proceeded to sook away on the pipe from the fuel tank like the proverbial ‘two-bit hooker’. After a lot of mighty lung action, I eventually felt the welcome playful splash of diesel agin the back of my mouth and praised the ‘lawd’ that there wasnae a serious blockage in the fuel line - just a helluva lot of air!

Running 'on the drip' from a jerrican
Running 'on the drip' from a jerrican

It was now time to see if Herman’s lungs were as up to the job as mine. So I connected the fuel line back to the intake on the fuel filter and started the engine once more. Again, to my relief, it started fairly easily, although it was running pretty roughly and I could see [through the transparent section of piping leading into the diesel pump] that a helluva lot of air was being sucked into the pump along with the fuel. In fact it took about ten or twenty minutes for the bubbles to gradually disappear from the feed pipe. There must have been one major airlock in the fuel line somewhere! However, when the air had cleared out of the fuel line, Herman once again purred along merrily like there had never been anything wrong.

I left the engine running for at least an hour, just to clear the custard and I also threw a load of Redex into the tank to help things along. While Herman was chugging away, I had a look around to make a mental note of what other jobs needed sorting. Next priority will be the electrics. At the moment I havenae any window wipers, which - given the fact I live in Manchester with its enthusiastic rainfall - is quite a biggie.

I ripped out the old radio and found the reason it -like the windscreen wipers - didnae work was because it wasnae actually connected and the plug on the van aerial didnae fit the socket on the back of the radio. When I did connect the radio, it asked me for a PIN no. so I decided to bin it. The radio wasnae the original factory fitted one, so some eejit had wired it into the existing wiring loom - apparently using a machete in the process! - for there were loads of wires hacked off and other ones cut in half with new leads taped into them. After a bit of tracing with my circuit tester, I found out what should and shouldnae be there, ripped out all the Frankenstein wiring and rejoined all the original cut cables to how they would have been in the first place. If I’m going to be sorting out an electrical problem, I’d at least like to start my investigations from the original wiring and not some electrical spaghetti that’s evolved over the years!

With the wiring restored to as near factory condition as I could get it, I started investigating the non-functioning window wipers. I ran a lead directly to the window wiper motor and it kicked into action straight away. So thankfully, the wiper motor itself is OK. My circuit tester reported no breaks in the cabling between the motor and the windscreen wiper switch on the steering column. So the problem must lie with the windscreen wiper switch itself. Unfortunately, as this is on the steering column, access to the switch’s innards necessitates removal of the steering wheel. I didnae have a socket big enough for the job, so that’ll have to wait til I can buy one.

Today, I also did my first bit of driving since the day that will live in infamy, when I turned Herman round in his parking place, for easier access to the signwritten side of him. If the rain holds off we can start getting that crappy lettering off tomorrow.

T'was a bit unseasonably festive for the time of year!
T'was a bit unseasonably festive for the time of year!