Van Troubles (Yeah, I know...) - OT


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Apr 18, 2013 - 10:31am PT

It's a pattern from you. It might just be bad luck but that doesn't change the fact that this happens everytime you travel anywhere. If you broadcast your problems in life publically expect some people to respond in a negative way. In my mind it basically boils down to this:

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Albert Einstein
patrick compton

Trad climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 10:42am PT
I love it that she is trying to fix a $1000 van and people keep telling her to buy a Tacoma.

Wouldn't a leak have been detected by the pressure test which had been done?

Not a pin hole size leak. This may have already been covered, but I've used Barr's leaks for small coolant leaks and if the hole is small enough, it will work instantly.


Mountain climber
Anchorage AK, Reno NV
Apr 18, 2013 - 10:56am PT
It really shocks me that some folks on a climbing board of all things are being so rude as to kick someone while down. She is not asking much from us just some good advice. She makes her way selling the occasional items fairly. I simply see nothing to dislike about this. So many people want to live the life and there is a price to pay for it. Car problems are just part of the deal and not one to look down on.

I don't get it. Advice to buy 50thousand dollar new setups or at least 10K used ones in order to avoid the occasional $50 car problem? LOL

I have lived most my life with crappy cheap old vehicles. Much worse than this van. I even lived out of some of them for months during my early climbing years. Those were adventurous and good times with many breakdowns along the way lol.

I have become fairly proficient at fixing vehicles due to this. I have not contributed to this current thread because the best advice has already been given and we need to see what happens once some things are checked out.

Social climber
Mountain View, CA / Calgary, AB
Apr 18, 2013 - 11:45am PT
As for finding a reputable mechanic near you: look up customer reviews on Google maps and yelp.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 18, 2013 - 11:53am PT
What's the good word Hapi?
Big Mike

Trad climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:01pm PT
Hey!! You guys need a new punching bag. I got a couple of threads, why not pick on the cripple for awhile?? I can take it.

Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
And every fool knows, a dog needs a home, and...
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:18pm PT
Hope you got your van figgered out there, happi.


Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 12:48pm PT
Plugged Radiator -he is calling for quotes now. Has made 3 calls so far, and explains it is conversion van, heavy duty, and such. So am waiting to see what he comes up with.

Edit: They showed me the radiator - hopefully what they showed described is accurate information... They shined a light at the cores at top of radiator and I could see what looked like whitish and darker colors corrosion, like calcium deposits. The centers of cores were very thin, maybe 1/32 of an inch, and he said that they should be spotless and wide open centers. He shined the light on some further away and they looked almost completely corroded closed.

Trad climber
Portland, Or
Apr 18, 2013 - 12:54pm PT
Good news. I hope the quote is reasonable.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 12:59pm PT

Social climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
Please don't leave Flag without doing some local cragging- lots of fun stuff!

How is a climber asking about a fix for a rig off topic??

Trad climber
Portland, Or
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:08pm PT
For new van radaiator and labor, $400 seems reasonable

Trad climber
Nedsterdam CO
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:13pm PT
Yeah, I've been sorta waiting to hear clogged core. $400 installed is a deal.

Bon Voyage Happi! Say hello to the Trapps for me.
patrick compton

Trad climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:17pm PT
Not hard to do a DIY chemical flush yourself. Then, if that isn't enough to clear it, you can drop $400.

I have done a similiar job on a 79 F150 in the parking lot of Autozone in under 30 minutes.

I sound like a broken record but seriously, whatever course you take, put in a $4 bottle of Barr's leaks in the new fluid. It will save you against this sort of thing in the future.

Trad climber
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 18, 2013 - 01:25pm PT
Thanks for that vote of confidence Bobinc and Eval.

So....I need to sell some more gear... The link where I listed is here:

As well - and I KNOW I will get some shite for this one... I sell really quite nice hair accessories and beaded jewelry.
 Talisman Studios, ponytail holder (and some earrings/necklaces) made form Vintage buttons and beads, at
 Talisman Too, beaded jewelry with a romantic aesthetic, at

I have made a coupon code which can be applied, for 25% off on orders over $10. The Coupon Code is TRAVEL25, and you enter it during the check out time.


Social climber
Apr 18, 2013 - 01:58pm PT
1. I don't believe for a second that people are picking on OP just because she's female. Itinerants and mechanically challenged folks come in both genders.

2. I do think it's time that OP takes responsibility for her bad choices. If you persist in traveling thousands of miles in a junker, sh#t is going to happen and it's generally not going to be good sh#t.

3. Continuing to do the same thing over and over and expecting different results does not make you a cool dirt bag. It makes you a tiny step above a bag lady. The difference is your shopping cart has a motor, albeit not a very reliable one.

Please tell me you will now stay in one place long enough to earn enough to support yourself and the dog, and pay for reliable transportation.

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:07pm PT
Holy crap, I don't know who you are Happigirl, or why everyone is picking on you - but the people on this forum suck. I live in Yosemite and probably 60% of my friends live in vans. And you bet all of them break down all of the time between bishop, the creek etc. We're constantly calling each other and raiding forums trying to figure out what the hell is wrong with our rigs. Use any resource you have when you need help, your friends should understand this. And no way we're ever going to settle down and get real jobs to support ourselves or whatever... I think the above poster is someone's mom using their account.

As far as the self flush goes, I agree with it. I just bought some chemical flush from napa for like fifteen bucks. It's super simple. Drain your old coolant, poor the chemical flush in and then fill the rest of rad with water. Run the engine with heater on for 20 mins, drain, cool repeat with water and you might clear all of that gunk up for fifteen bucks. Your rig has 65k on it. For a 1990 that means it has sat for a long time, so it makes sense that it's all gunked up. My '87 has 35k miles on it and still has the original radiator... but you bet I had to chemical flush it.

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:43pm PT
Any #4 camalots?

Mountain climber
In the middle of the ocean
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:44pm PT

HG good luck with everything. Please write some more once you get on the road again and are having a good time.


Social climber
So Cal
Apr 18, 2013 - 02:54pm PT
Hey Terrie,

missed running into you this season.

When all this started back when I was suspecting a partialy clogged radiator.

As previously mentioned try the flush first.

You can have the mechanic do it and then check the core visualy again to see how effective it was.

The flush should be done anyway to clear all the gunk out of the block and plumbing so it all doesn't end up in your new radiator.
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