“What are we going to do this weekend, Brain?”
“The same thing we do every weekend, Pinky. Try to make the van pass inspection.”
At least the weather cooperated, warm and sunny. I am firmly convinced that if I take my motorcycle out of storage to enjoy this early nice weather, it will cause three feet of snow to fall and my bike to get destroyed by the worst plow guy in the world who “maintains” our parking lots where I live.
I completed 1.5 out of the three remaining tasks I hoped to accomplish. I got the wrong parking brake cable to fix my seized adjuster. It was only $3, not even worth trying to return. I did get the correct ABS sensor, which, as I suspected, had a broken wire. I replaced the old wiring, but wasted a couple of hours trying unsuccessfully to remove the old sensor itself from its place in the hub. Thank you, salty New England roads, for seizing it in place, as well as the brake rotor that I couldn’t remove for better access. These jobs call for bigger hammers than I have available.
It’s not going to win any art awards, but I patched up the gaping hole in the rocker panel under the front passenger door. I trimmed down and riveted an old license plate into place, then smoothed out the edges a bit with Bondo. I still need to finish cleaning up the area, but the hole is patched, which is what counts for inspection, and that’s the only goal I’m working toward right now.
With that, it’s time to find a reputable local mechanic who can do inspections and won’t see the van as a money pit that he can make a huge profit off of because it’s old. I have the new ABS sensor plugged in and wired up, but I had to zip-tie the sensor itself out of the way because I couldn’t get the old one out. Once removed, we can just pop the new sensor in its place and be done. The parking brake cable should be an easy fix for someone who knows what they’re doing and can actually get under the van, and all the other known issues are fixed. I got a recommendation from a guy I know from the local bike nights, so this week I’ll give him a call, figure out how to get the van there and me back home, and brace for impact.
I envy people in states that don’t have to deal with inspections, or New England rust, which caused all three of the problems I fought this weekend. Once legal, though, I can switch my focus to the inside of the van, setting it up the way I want to for part-time van life. And, of course, getting the KLR back on the road will be happening soon, once it looks like we’ll get no further significant snowfall. Years ago we got three feet of snow on April 1, the ultimate April Fool’s prank, so it’s totally possible. That’s why I haven’t taken my snow tires off my WRX yet. Come to think of it, I need new summer tires before I can do that anyway.