Ahhh! I left out the most exciting story of our vehicle repairs. Prior to going to the family reunion, Annie’s Generator light came on and stayed on. Belt tight ….. check, wiring ok…. check. Now we have two choices, voltage regulator or generator. As always, start with the cheapest solution first. So down to the Bug Stop to pick up a voltage regulator. The one on Annie is filthy and looks original. It is still the old regulator with moving parts.
I pull it out and put in the modern regulator. Hold my breath, turn the key, and………dang it! Generator light still on. Dilemma, Family Reunion that we are hosting is coming up fast. We need Annie to transport five people and all the decorations, food, luggage, and other stuff to Crockett, Texas. I could replace the generator, putting myself in a real time crushing bind to get the job done. Or I can trade cash for services to The Bug Stop and have them replace it for a hassle free and quicker fix. Bug Stop it is.
So Matthew climbs in the bus with me and Cat follows in Jeep-Jeep. We crank up Annie and away we go!. We are about 3 minutes out when all of a sudden, the engine starts reeving up high. Is the accelerator pedal stuck? This has happened in the past but I thought I fixed that didn’t I? A quick tug upward on the pedal with my foot confirms the pedal is not stuck. Pop Annie into neutral and it’s still reeving fast. So I quickly pull over into a nearby shopping center parking lot and pull under a shade tree just in case I need to do some work.
I shut off the engine and hop out to go back and take a look. As I’m getting out, Cat has pulled up behind me, is getting out of the car and is saying, ” Is there supposed to be smoke coming out of the side vents.?” I rush back and see smoke. Thinking the engine has overheated due to the high reeving, I reach down and lift the engine door, just as Cat is saying, “Careful, it might be on fire.” Too late now as I am already pulling the door up. Now I’m hoping my eye brows and mustache don’t get burned off.
Holy Back Draft Batman! There is a small fire on the top and back of the carburetor near all the wiring! I rush to retrieve the fire extinguisher that I keep under the back bench seat. Cat yells, “You want me to put water on it?” I reply, “NO! It might be a fuel fire!” I sling open the side door, flip up the seat and proceed to toss all the junk that had been accumulating over the years on to the floor. AHHHH!!! WHERE’S THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER??!!! Oh! It must be in the closet! More Junk tossing. NO FIRE EXTINGUISHER! Cat asks, “What do you want me to do?” I say, “Get Matthew out of the car!” Matt hears this and immediately exits as Cat assists. He quickly goes back to Jeep-Jeep and gets in as per Cat’s instructions. Meanwhile back at the ranch, I tear off the jump seat cushion to check there, but still no fire extinguisher!!!! All I can think is, “Where the heck is that extinguisher that I know I have carried since I got Annie back in 2005?” then I’m thinking, “OK. Gotta call 911 but she’s gonna burn before they can get here. Poor Annie’s gonna burn. Crap!!!”
Then I hear this sweet voice from Cat, “Fire’s out”
I walked to the back and sure enough, it’s out. “How’d you do that baby?” Cat replies, “Well, I had a bottle of water. You couldn’t find the extinguisher, the fire was still relatively small, and I didn’t want Annie to burn. So I figured, what the heck. So I tossed a small amount on the fire to see what it would do. The fire got smaller so I dumped the rest of the water bottle on it and it went out.”
Oh Honey! You are fantastic!!! My wife the heroic fire fighter!
Upon examination, the fire had left some crispy wires and the accelerator return spring was stretched out. Now I’m thinking, where the heck is that extinguisher? We called for a tow truck and pulled Jeep-Jeep in the shade to wait. Cat told me that while I was examining the damage, she went back to Matthew and praised him for his quick response and obedience. Matthew was like, well Ok, what’s the big deal? Cat then explained the bus had caught fire. Matt immediately said, “FIRE?!!!” Turns out he had no idea what was going on, he was just doing what he was told. LOL…
As we were waiting for the tow truck, I went back to the bus to roll up the windows and secure everything for the tow. As I was rolling up the driver’s door window, I just happened to glance to the storage area behind the driver’s seat. What did I happen to see? The dadgum fire extinguisher!!!!! GEEEEZZZZ!!
Now I remember! A while back I was digging through all the junk under the back seat looking for a tool or something and I saw the extinguisher. I thought, “Ya know. I need to move that someplace where I can get to it quickly. Because if the bus ever caught fire, I would have to dig through all this junk just to find it and by that time, it might be too late. It needs to be somewhere close so I can get to it quickly from the driver’s seat.” So I moved it to the little storage slot behind the driver’s seat. DUHHHH!! A lot of good that did.
So Annie was loaded up and taken to the Bug Stop. As it turns out, the fire was caused by a small crack in the fuel line. Although it sounded bad, it wasn’t that bad. All they had to do was replace some wires, the condenser, a slightly melted fuel filter, fuel line, and the return spring. As for the original problem? The Generator was fine, it just needed some new brushes.
Now for the fire extinguisher issue. The one I had was a small kitchen fire extinguisher and probably really wouldn’t help that much in a real fire situation. So when Annie came home, she was outfitted with a real fire extinguisher.
As you can see, there will be no more mad searching for the extinguisher in the future. However, let’s hope it will never need to be used.
See, I told you this was the best story of our vehicle repairs! Thanks Cat and Michael for reminding me to include it.