Before we got to the real work, we got this picture for the Library's READ poster series. The end result would have "READ" printed really big above me. I hate being photographed, and especially hate being posed for photographs, so we might have to try again when I'm in better light and a better mood.
Another thing we wanted to take care of was our filthy filthy fuel filter. It was sludgier than the photo lets on and after I got it off, I was amazed that it hadn't yet stranded us someplace. (Any such stranding would've been temporary as we carry a back-up filter in the glove box.) It even had a big chunk of rust partly blocking the inlet side. We'll have to seriously consider stripping and refinishing the inside of Ludwig's gas tank the next time the engine is out. Mmmmm: muriatic acid.
On to the serious business. To get at the motor we had to remove the parcel tray and the glove box. Ludwig's glove box was salvaged from a 1977 passenger van in a junkyard in Lincoln, incidentally. The boot from the alternator to the fan housing was also taken out of that bus.
Surprise! It's a terrific mess of wires and loose connections almost too gruesome to contemplate. For her seventh birthday we'll teach Esmé about electricity, give her a multimeter and a schematic, and make her clean it all up.
The culprit (the gray cylinder at center). Actually, the story gets very embarrassing here. I happened to look at the fuse box while I was down there and noticed a blown fuse. Guess which fuse was blown? Of course. With a new fuse there, the wipers ran. Ooops. But they ran slowly, friends, very slowly. And then it all came back to me, as though I'd just eaten a petite madeleine with some tea: on an ice fishing trip in February '07, an unexpected heavy wet snow found me up near Kalispell with quite sluggishly running wipers. All at once they abandoned their task, and I looked at the fuse. Blown. I suspected then that the load had been too great for the frail motor, and that the fuse had sacrificed itself for the greater good. My mental note to replace the fuse must've been sent to the round file as I didn't think about it again until well into this affair.
Melissa and I agreed however that the freshly-fused motor was still much much too pokey to be of any real use. Really: if it ran well we'd've let it be; replacing the motor isn't something you'd do just for fun, believe me. Out it came.
The whole project didn't turn out to be quite the nightmare I'd envisioned, so with a little time left to spare, I gave E some navigator lessons. She flunked her first test by failing to properly belt herself in and leaving her door open. At least she looks penitent about it.
As you can see, the new motor works swimmingly. We ended up using the newer one as it looked exactly the same as the bum one and their part numbers were closer as well. And most importantly, all the wires were the same colors. Look out rain and snow, here we come....
(this post is dedicated to Peter--thanks again for the motor!)