After six weeks of working, waiting, working more, waiting more, buying parts, unscrewing bolts, gashing fingers, gnashing teeth, forgetting which bolts go where, and giving up all hope in the possibility of resurrection, my van starteth!
Aug. 18th, in a mad effort to brave a ridiculous rainstorm and make it to the last show, the homecoming show of the “Daniel Hart” summer tour, I drove my van into the flooded intersection of Gaston and Garland, causing it to stop henceforth in every way, right in the middle of a growing lake of brown swampy muck.
A fire truck showed up right as the water threatened to rise into the van and three firemen, seemingly unamazed by my stupidity, pushed us to safety. We eventually made it to the show and finished the tour intact, and then I headed to China for solo tour two days later. The van, however, did not recover so easily.
The van had to be towed back to our house, as it refused to start again. As you probably know, water and automobile engines don’t mix. When I returned from China, Bobby (who knows considerably more about cars than I do) and I set to work on finding out if water actually did make it as far as the engine. If that was true, the chances of my van starting again were, as Bobby informed me, about the same as my chances of fathering a bastard child with Betty White.
First order of business was to remove the air filter and the spark plugs and flush out any potential water in those places. Air filter? Wet. First spark plug? Wet. Other spark plugs? Impossible to reach without taking apart every conceivable thing under that hood which could be taken apart. And so, after two weekends of bolts and nuts that wouldn’t unscrew without considerable blood, mosquitoes and humiliation/utter frustration, we ended up with this:
We dumped and flushed water out of every place we could find it, and last weekend, we finally put the whole thing back together. Bobby said to me, “Well, Daniel, let’s give it a shot. If we did everything right, then it should start back up.” Bobby pulled up his 4-Runner, we hooked his battery up to mine, I got behind the wheel, and put the keys in the ignition.
Wednesday, I added more gas and re-rechecked all the connections. I floored that gas pedal with all my strength: rururururur. I felt this anger welling up inside me and, with nowhere else to put it, I slammed my foot down on the accelerator twice, as hard as I could. To my amazement, I heard: rurururu-ROOOR-rurur in response. So I did it again, twice, fast, as hard as I could: rurururu-ROOOR-rurur. So I slammed that pedal down 15 times in a row, fast and furious.