Archive for the ‘Rabbit’ category

Mr. Mom

September 8, 2011

Liz has been out of town since early Monday morning. She had the opportunity to travel to Pennsylvania with our church’s worship team in order to lead worship at a college our senior pastor spoke at. This just left one problem… I had to take care of Charlotte.

All. by. myself.

It actually wasn’t all by myself; my mom watched her two of the three days. I did, however, take Wednesday off of work in order to spend the whole day with miss Charlotte.

God has blessed us greatly with such a good baby. Charlotte ate when she was supposed to, slept when she was supposed to and even woke up when she was supposed to. She was always smiling and rarely fussed unnecessarily. She was rolling over like a pro but she would rather stand (with my help) than do pretty much anything else. She’s makes noises that sound like wailing which I assume is the precursor to talking. Every time I would put her down for a nap, she would talk to me like there was no tomorrow. It was so fun to spend time with her in this way. But, I (and Charlotte) can’t wait for Liz to get home.

Charlotte was great for me (and all the others who watched her) but man am I worn out. She takes a lot of energy out of me and I don’t know how Liz takes care of her while taking such excellent care of the house, dogs and me! I am grateful for the experience and appreciate my loving wife trusting me with such a task. It was fun but man will I be glad when Liz gets home tonight.

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I haven’t bought fuel in 5 weeks

July 21, 2011

If you looked at the trip odometer on my car (a 1982 VW Rabbit that runs on vegetable oil), you’d think I’ve only traveled 26 miles. But this is not true. My trip odometer rolls back to 0 after 999.9 miles. With that in mind you might guess that I’ve traveled 1026 miles on a single tank of diesel. This is also, not true.

My trip odometer just rolled over for the second time, meaning I’ve traveled 2026 miles on less than one tank of diesel (I reset my trip to 0 when I fill up). The kicker is I still have about 1/3 of tank of fuel left. The last time I stopped at a gas station was on June 16th.

Still Truckin’

January 24, 2011

It’s been one year and 20,153 miles since I (with a ton of help) swapped the engine in the rabbit. I can’t believe it’s been a year already (time flies when you’re having fun I guess). Bugs is running better than ever and I haven’t needed to plug it in once this winter. Even when it gets down to the single digits, she starts right up without a fuss.

I’ve stopped running on used motor oil as it was clogging up my injectors. It got me through a lean time (when veggie oil was scarce) but at the moment I have a very steady supply and I’ve developed a bit of a surplus. Maybe if I get a truck it would be worthwhile to figure out how to get the motor oil clean enough to burn without issue but for right now it’s just not worth it.

Bugs hasn’t needed any repairs in several months and as fuel prices continue to slowly climb it becomes very economical for me (still getting around 1100 miles on 10 gallons of diesel). The next big expenditure will be brakes. It shouldn’t be a big deal but I’m sure I’ll have a good story or two to tell.

Keep Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’, Rollin’

June 29, 2010

The spring cleaning fixed my problems with the filters clogging up.  However, I think because of all the extra dirt getting to the engine it clogged my fuel injectors as I was losing a lot of performance (I use that term loosely).  Around the first of June I took out all the injectors, cleaned them up and replaced the injector heat shields which were rather dirty.

Upon refitting the injectors and taking the first drive I immediately noticed an increase in performance (a strong headwind no longer slowed me down).  I’m still running a mix of veggie and motor oil but I’ve increased my veggie oil supply so I’m rolling mostly on it now.  I’m hoping to secure enough of a supply that I can someday own a 1/2 ton pickup with a full crew cab and not run out of oil.

More on that subject later.

Spring Cleaning

March 26, 2010

I’ve been going through fuel filters very quickly ever since I did the engine swap.  I decided that it was time to clean the drum that I heat my oil in.

It took a couple of hours but long story short there was about 2 inches of muck in the bottom of the drum.  I still have to clean the spare tank in the back of the rabbit to complete all of my ‘spring cleaning’.  My goal is to finish cleaning and make a batch of grease tomorrow after work.

Hopefully this will fix my fuel filter problem :/

Finally, a fuel up

March 22, 2010

I fueled up last week for the first time since I’ve been running on grease with the new engine.  I went over 1500 miles on just over 9.2 gallons of diesel.  This gives me an efficiency roughly equivalent to 163 MPG. 

I’m back in business.

Finally… What you’ve all been waiting for

March 9, 2010

So I’m finally getting around to posting some pictures from the engine swap.  I’ll embed the pictures I took, and give links to Facebook albums for the pictures that others took.

The swap in its entirety took the whole weekend.  I started around 4 PM on that Friday and the car didn’t pull out of the barn until 7PM that Sunday.  However, the car was running by 7PM on Saturday night… Sunday was more for buttoning everything up and fixing leaks.

The swap went about as well as it possibly could.  One of the major snafus was that the new water pump had the incorrect hub for the pulley from the engine.  We had to cut the hub off the new pump, beat the hub out of the old pump, heat up the hub and press fit it onto the new pump!  That kept Josh busy for several hours on Friday night and Saturday morning.  One other thing that kept Donnie busy for a few hours was switching out the motor mount on the transmission side.  It was press fitted into the mount… Donnie burned the rubber out of the old one and cut it out of the mount.  A trusty vice and a few hours was all it took to press the new motor mount into the bracket.  There might be a couple of pictures of that event 🙂

On Saturday morning, Bob spent a lot of his time taking apart the shift linkages so that we could clean everything up and replace the bushings.  Once he had all the linkages off the rabbit, we discovered that there were no bushings on the linkages!  We put the new bushings where they were supposed to be and I can’t believe the difference it’s made in the feel of the vehicle.  Shifting is so much tighter which really helps in taming those ponies!

If you told me 3 years ago that I would be performing an engine swap I wouldn’t have believed you.  It was definitely a stressful project but through the help of great friends, the support of a wonderful wife, and entirely because of a great God, it was a complete success.  The rabbit runs better than it ever has.  There is so much more acceleration through each gear, and top end of each gear is a lot higher.  I have been averaging 50 MPG (was only averaging 38 prior to the swap) and have put over 2000 miles on the new engine since the end of January.  I recently switched back to running on vegetable oil (technically, I’ve been running on fuel oil since I’m trying to get rid of it before it gets warm) and have put over 800 miles on less than 5 gallons of diesel.  I’m anxious to start eating through some of the reserve fuel I have in my garage (I don’t know where to store all of it!!) but it looks like I’ll be eating through it slower than I used to (aww shucks… :P).

Thanks again to Josh, Dad, Donnie, Bob, and all those that came out to help (or in Jonathan’s case, just eat our food).  A special thanks to Donnie for letting us dirty up his very clean barn.  Thanks to my wonderful wife Liz for her support and patience for this project and vehicle.

Jonathan’s Photo Album:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/album.php?aid=6192&id=100000599640058

Donnie’s Photo Album:
http://www.facebook.com/#!/album.php?aid=39381&id=1638841109