Melanie has snuck off to go try and throw some boiling water out of the back door…normally this would be pointless, but as we are in Minnesota and this morning’s balmy temperature is -26C, she is hoping it will freeze in mid-air. (I just heard her giggle now, so hopefully that means she didn’t herself turn into an icicle.) We had a debate as to whether this constitutes freezing, evaporation, sublimation, etc – which I think I lost.
It IS freezing here, which makes me thankful that Dad’s garage is heated, because right now the phase I’m in is car modification. Yesterday, for the first time in my entire life, I used a wrench in the context of an automobile. No, it wasn’t to beat out any frustrations! I relocated a windshield washer bottle to a different part of the engine area – making room for a second battery tray.
I got into this car wrenching business out of necessity. Basically, if we wanted cold drinks during the bulk of our trip, or to keep camping food at a safe temperature, we’d need a fridge – and thus some modifications to the car to support it. There are forums on the internet with very detailed how-tos and all that, so I convinced myself it would be easy and fun even though I have zero experience in the car department.
What I did have experience in, and started with, was buying stuff. It’s very easy to sit back in Switzerland and point, click, ship a bunch of boxes with parts to your new location – even arguably easy to buy a car and ship it to the point of your departure. But to actually make all these purchases useful – that’s the challenge. To learn at the same time as doing – at the same time hopefully not screwing your car or your trip timing up!
It was partially successful, in the sense that the bottle is properly in the new location, and I was successful at making the wiring modifications. Not 100pct successful in that there isn’t any fluid coming out of the nozzles any more. Dad and I stood out there like a proper Clarkson and May (which is which?) poking and prodding – in the meta, an extremely entertaining picture.
But, since I am treating this quite professionally, at 5:30 yesterday I quit and had a beer, satisfied in my efforts. (The amount of grease I got to wash off my hands was also very satisfying.) I will be cracking on today! Worst case, might need a new washer fluid pump and diverter. Best case, I can stick a needle into the nozzles to clear some age-old detritus.
Further modifications include the second battery tray (and another prerequisite relocation), the complete electrical system and fuse box that will be hung off of this second system, plus a new stereo and speakers (CD players are so 1995 – I’m told!). There’s also some weirdo old stuff like a trailer brake controller that I need to take out.
Verdict: so far, this is fun and entertaining. Check back with me in two weeks, though.
(Five hundred words before breakfast – now there’s a thing I also didn’t know I was capable of!)