ADamn Mechanic

Oregon June 17thish

The air was crisp and filled with moisture. Not the type of moisture you appreciate, but the kind simple and sloshy like a warm tummy after three too many banana pancakes with only sour milk to wash it down. The time was one thirty and the sun was beginning to sip the dew from the grass, and the nearby goats trampled playfully. It was looking to be a nice day.
Joel and Joey were en route to an appointment with the mechanic scheduled to do the veggie oil conversion on the bus. Per usual Joel had come up with another fancy plan in order to fly his team into the future with great furor causing them the be a skosh late, when Adam, a tall man who could only be described as an unkempt hippie, arrived with his half shredded note pad with a few things scribbled on it. He had much to say, and seemed like a savior sent from the heavens. He knew much about the trials and tribulations of running veggie oil. Honestly he seemed extremely knowledgeable.
The afternoon turned quickly into late day with his whimsical stories of veggie conversions past. Joel became anxious with the time left of daylight, but eventually Adam made a molasses styled exit.
It was Thursday and the soonest Adam’s team could get started on the conversion was Monday. This all worked out in the collective minds of team Love, because that would give them time to install many things in the two weeks before they left for their trip. Monday came quickly and a call was made. Adam asked if the valves that were ordered came in the mail yet. They had not.
There is time now for a short lesson in how veggie oil conversions work: you need a tank with a heating coil running through it that is connected to the cooling system so that the veggie oil doesn’t coagulate. After that you run a fuel line from the new tank into a three way valve that splices the normal diesel tank line and in there somewhere is a filter specifically for the veggie oil. Then you must splice the return line from the engine to the diesel tank in order to return the excess veggie oil from the motor back to the veggie tank. The tank must be configured, the filter must be mounted, all of the fuel lines should be replaced with proper fittings that meet the specifications for the psi of the pump you are using.
When Monday came around and Adam said it would be easier to wait till the valves came the team was a little shocked he didn’t want to get any of the other pieces finished. On mid-day Tuesday the valves came. The team rushed to pack the bus with as many essential items as we could in order to “be prepared” in case something happened. No amount of “things” could prepare us for what was due next.The man working with Adam in the shop claimed to know little to nothing about vegetable oil conversions and refused to help Adam other than to grab tools for him once in a great while when Adam was away, pushed under the bus. The valves had been sliced, spliced, riced, miced, christ’d, and whatever else he did under there I have no idea, but we failed to get the bus started after his hands which seemed to be soiled by the darkest suit imaginable handed down to him by lucifer himself in order to try and misplace and toil our adventure.
Looking back I doubt I would have done much different. Adam and Tim are good people just trying to make their way along the only way they know how. Adam seemed to know his stuff, and was quite convincing. All in all it was an amazing learning experience…
Oh! Did I mention they managed to get it started only for the valve he spliced to break – 300$ gone. As I tried vigorously to fix his damages I acquired a tow to Brittney’s brothers friends shop at Atomic Auto – 500$. All of the parts it cost me to bypass the failing system he put in – 150$. Oh! and the 700$ I paid Adam that I will most likely never see again, plus a week and a half working on the bus immediately before the trip. STRESS!!
Now Team Love knows enough about veggie oil conversions to do one for under 500$. And we are much better at managing our stress levels. We are on the road now. We have been running Love on diesel (sad face) and are in Columbia, Maryland. Today we begin the conversion on our own!
Wish us luck!
Moral: if you hire a professional make sure they make a living off what they say they do!

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