But let me start from the beginning. As described in the story, I maybe need to give or sell away most of stuff once get going for the ultimate junk car road trip. All that kinds of stuff that can be converted to money, will be converted to money and the rest I shall give away or storage for future needs. Like my '67 daily driver and all of it's spare parts (also fits Signet as they are same models). One idea is to storage all sensitive stuff indoors in my garage and the rest that is not sensitive for fluctuating temperatures and high humidity somewhere else in a second class (read=cheap) storage. A suitable second class storage solution might be a container or a van. I think a van is good, because it's mobile can be easily relocated if ever needed...
Then one day my cousin phone me asking if I'm interested of hes retired '97 Ford transit which surely is immobile with one busted connecting rod bearing and being parked in the woods for over five years or so, but that might, just might, be fixed.
EVERYTHING can be fixed, it's just a matter of how. Even a Ford. And it is no wonder that I'm the savior of all miserable forest corpses. And the price was very attracting indeed (free...) So why not? OK, let's do it!
Well planned, half screwed up!
Explaining the whole project from alfa to omega would take one whole day, so I'm gonna take a short cut here and go right to the thing. So, I went there by train and the idea was to fix that thing somehow and drive home. We had one weekend for the project, so I was getting busy. It had to be made fast and it had to be made cheap. After pulling the van from the woods (my cousin borrowed a tow truck from hes friend that we used to carry the van from nearby forest to my cousins garage, just few tens of kilometers or so) we started to figuring out what we could possibly do to fix it. It didn't take long to realize that there was nothing we could do to save the busted bearing. It could not be replaced because the rod and crank journal were completely busted, I mean really, really busted. To overcome the challenge we were left with only one option. Eliminating the busted cylinder! It sounds weird, but why not? We could take out one piston/rod assembly and remove injector and valve train from that cylinder and drive home with the remaining three mugs!! Ha haa! Why not? It would be extremely fast green-eco-super-van. besides, would be stupid in the fun way:)
But removing one piston is not a brief job. Especially if you are flat broke with no money for new gaskets and other parts you will need to get the engine back together. And the local car parts store didn't even have the parts in stock, so we were kinda forced to find another solution. My idea was to simply cut away the broken rod and somehow attach the piston up in the bore so that it would not hit the rotating parts while engine is running. We soon figured out that we had a pneumatic saw and a MIG-welder. We could cut the rod with the saw and then hit the piston back up and weld the remaining end of the rod to the cylinder wall!!! Yeah, sounds professional and best of all, it sounds cheap and easy!! And down that road we went...
The slideshow below shows the step by step progression. The van were left in the woods with oil pan and some other parts removed for over five years or so, so there was all kinds of debris and rust in the motor, but we didn't care, because we had the vision to reach!
I heard as a word the noise of thunder
But we maid it. Over 600km, we made it!! Fuel consumption being somewhere around 13 Liters per 100Km while producing approximately 20 horsepower is not sweet, but that fuel got to go somewhere and I assume it all went to produce smoke and vibration.
Below is a video of the van at my garage. My buddy is performing final testing over it, but Ford won't give up. It didn't give up, it only generated more vibration and more smoke, but giving up? Never.
(I'm sorry for the horrible sound quality in the video. My phone...)
Yeap. After extremely busy summer I hope I will now have more time and effort to continue with this project. I will, see you later dear readers!!