Monday, April 9, 2007

Fixing the Fuso

In French they call it “bricoler”.
In the Dutch language “knutselen”
Words sounding nice.
In English we can call it “doing small jobs”.

Today Santek Trailers from Riverside, California, offered the privilege to do a small job on the Fuso Santek expedition vehicle.
Fixing the vent system of the water tanks.

Responds of fervent and loyal blogreaders to the diagram published yesterday made the plan of action different.
Of the three vent hoses per tank two were blocked completely.
And only one was routed to the vent opening of the filling station.
There, a split was mounted receiving the two hoses coming from each tank and bringing them to the vent opening of the filling station.
The reasoning behind going for this plan of action is that when filling the water tanks the water is coming from one hose only.
So, venting logically can be handled by one hose also.
Taking out water from the tanks is by one hose also, therefore venting should be sufficient having one hose available for this purpose.

This morning the hardware store “El Arco” was visited and it was in the garden irrigation department that necessary parts were found.

In fact, “El Arco” was visited 4 times during doing the small job for getting parts that turned out to be needed.
Fortunately European friend Andreas made his bicycle available to make the visits to “El Arco” as swift as an athlete applying for the Olympic Games in Peking soon.

It was a difficult job.
Laying down under the Fuso Santek reaching up high to get the hoses connected and in the right position.

It was realised that this small job could only be successful when having the right state of mind.
Taking apart a motorcycle and putting it back together as a Zen experience.

However, when it is not going as it should, easily temper rises and words are uttered a decent blog would never publish.
The temperament of this photographer is far from a state of Zen when having to fix things.
“What the hell am I doing underneath this truck to begin with?”
“Why the f**k does this screw not wish to enter that hole, eh?”

Full of shame it was remembered how some years ago the plan came to mind to fish in the ocean.
A fishing pole and line and all the other items needed were purchased and back at the ocean fishing was tried.
But the line got stuck followed by what seemed one thousand other problems and in the end the frustration fed by the temperament ran so high that the fishing pole was thrown into the Pacific Ocean.
That is being impulsive, what artists are supposed to be, but not when they try to fish.
Next day a search was performed to see if the fishing pole had washed ashore because it was realised that throwing angrily the fishing equipment into the Pacific Ocean was not bringing any fish onto the plate of the hungry artist.
The fishing pole was never found.

So, today it was a constant struggle between being an artist and having to be a mechanic and although the project was successfully accomplished, because pride and honour cannot be squandered, it feels like having been Mr. Hyde, the bad alter ego of Dr. Jekyll.

The big test was filling the tanks.
Would the air be able now to escape?
Would the See Level monitor show both tanks would fill to maximum capacity?

Mr. Hyde did a good job.

Now we must see what happens when the Fuso Santek starts moving.
Will the vent hoses fill with water and block venting?
Or will the water stream back into the tank?

What is all so interesting about this anyway, the photographer asks?
He saw something today he is much more intrigued by.
Look at this.


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Anonymous said...


The hoses and fittings you show in your photo about re-routing the water tank vents are made for irrigation. In the USA, drinking water hoses and fittings are marked for drinking water. The irrigation grade piping will often leach chemicals into the water and give it an offensive taste, and may be detrimental to your long term health.


Anonymous said...

Great job Michel!..I think you should try fishing again. Nothing is more relaxing then fishing and catching your dinner. Who knows it may even calm you down enough to catch and KEEP a mate.

Anonymous said...

Michel, as a retired mechanic, not artist (my wife is that), I can understand the frustrations involved in dealing with mechanical beasts. When you drop the nut you are trying to put on the bolt 14 times, you somehow have to pick it up the 15th time for "success". Words which normally are not uttered by the artist part have to be shouted to the mechanic part to make the parts do as they are supposed to. Sometimes even then they take the bit in their mouth and act like a crazy horse and buck into the sunset. Have faith, you will persevere, after all you have to survive to photograph the next day. Steve and Carol

Anonymous said...

Just to say thank you for sharing, I have been reading, with interest, your blog for awhile as I am from Baja, living now in San Antonio TX. I enjoy camping (have a truck and fully SC camper know) Have been reading Jorge and Tioga too.
Keep up the good work and thanks again
Eli Torres