The Blue Van

We are driving a 1993 Ford Club Wagon.  We have a 7.3 liter Diesel motor and a www.quigley4× system.  The Blue Van spent it’s early years on the North Slope in Prudoe Bay.  It was owned by British Petroleum and ferried workers around to various job sites or escorted oversized loads up and down the Haul Road (Dalton Highway).  We bought the van just before Sylvia was born; we no longer fit into a minivan.  The van had 77,000 miles on it and had a new engine installed at 65,000 miles.  Before Big Trip I, we had installed a new E4OD heavy duty transmission, a new transfer case, a new starter, new brake pads, a new vacuum pump and a new brake booster.  These weren’t necessarily for the trip, just stuff the van needed.  From September 1, 2010 to June 1, 2011, The Blue Van hauled all of us and our camper trailer 29,758.5 miles (we never reset the tripometer) from Fairbanks to Key West and back.  It was the trip of a lifetime.  Little did we know at the time we would be attempting something like it again.  After Big Trip I, The Blue Van needed a lot of attention.  This summer (2012) we have done a lot of work to the van.  Installed new were

  • tie rod ends
  • front and rear axle seals
  • front and rear wheel bearings
  • front and rear brake pads
  • front axle u-joints
  • front and rear driveshaft u-joints
  • rear seal on transfer case
  • flex-plate
  • rear differential yoke and pinion seal
Other repairs included
  • rebuild oil cooler
  • re-install oil pan gasket
  • fix transfer case shift linkage
  • repair mounting brackets for front differential
  • rebuild injector return lines

The camper trailer

We bought the camper sight unseen off Craigslist.  We knew it had some water damage and needed repair.  The trailer was in Puyallup, Washington.  We bought it in January of 2009, but couldn’t get down to pick it up until that July.  Once we got it back to Fairbanks, we started getting it ready for Big Trip I. The front bedroom had to be rebuilt. New studs were installed in the roof and walls. The exterior sheeting was removed and the rubber roofing was peeled back. There were a few small holes in the roof and the seals were leaking a little along the edges. All this was repaired. Then new paneling was installed in the front room. Off we go!

One Response

  1. Ready set go

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