Does not bode well…

We haven’t posted in a few days because we’ve been busy having fun. Until tonight.

Yes, that is Red Beard on the tow truck. We are all fine. Stressed out, but safe.

Our good friend Julie visited us in Portland this weekend. We had so much fun, but we’ll have to wait to tell you all about it. After visiting the Columbia River Gorge we headed back to Portland to take her to the airport. We were about 20 miles away, on I-84 when we all heard a terrible sound. A huge, freight-train rattle sound that made us pull over immediately.

Jason looked and saw nothing. It wasn’t even a tiny bit hot.  We turned over the engine, it sounded the same. Major banging from inside the engine case.  Not good.  We had a friendly Vanagon Westy driver pull over to help (also a pro mechanic – a nice coincidence.)  Rod bearing is the early conclusion – after only ~2000 miles.  Discount rebuilt engines are apparently not the way to go.

Meanwhile, the 3 of us are in the van on a small shoulder with huge trucks whizzing by. It was a little stressful to say the least. Kudos to Julie for dealing with this, her missed flight and work. She already thought we were nuts, and now she’s got first-hand experience.

IMG_3227 IMG_3235

Geico Roadside Service? Yeah, apparently that got canceled when we sold our other car. Put that on the to-do list for this week. They were nice enough to connect us with a towing company though. Vinnie was able to pick us up within about half an hour, take us to a motel, and store the van until we can figure out what to do.

We don’t know precisely what went wrong with it yet, but we’re fairly certain we need a new engine. The case is not cracked but… it’s done.

When we finally got into our hotel and turned on our computer we had so many nice emails and comments we were instantly feeling better. Thanks to everyone for their support on our adventure so far.

So, any advice from those around Portland? We’re currently in Gresham scratching our heads.  Know anyone who sells reliable VW engines that don’t also cost a fortune? Got space for Jason to work on the van?

Thanks, and hopefully we’ll know more soon.


10 thoughts on “Does not bode well…

  • September 13, 2009 at 11:08 PM

    My brother lives in the Gresham area and I’m sure he’d let you work on your van at his place. I can contact him and see if he’s up for it, if you haven’t any other leads. E-mail at the above address and I’ll send him this link as well.

  • September 14, 2009 at 2:18 AM

    I am soooo sorry to hear that Red Beard pooped the bed, I’m glad that you all are OK. You can try posting here,

    Lots of great VW folks from the Portland area post there and could help you out with parts and such. And I know it’s expensive but it may be wise to look at a new engine.

    Please let me know if there is anything I can help you out with. Take care and keep smiling!!


  • September 14, 2009 at 9:43 AM

    Check in at IAC. Try Bill Trafton’s shop at 155thish and Stark.503-253-4621 or Halsey Imports at 72ish and Halsey 503-256-0182.

    Good luck

  • September 14, 2009 at 10:29 AM

    Oh NO! I hope you’ll be able to get back on the road soon…

  • September 14, 2009 at 10:49 AM

    Hey! I sort of have space, but it’s the public street in front of my house. It’s not too busy, but you can work on the van without too much stress. I’m in NE Portland…let me know if you need anything else…
    — Rich

  • September 14, 2009 at 1:00 PM

    So sorry to hear of your troubles. Portland is such a beautiful area to be stuck in. If you get the chance try the Voodoo donut shop and check out the rose garden.

    Best of luck

  • September 14, 2009 at 4:47 PM

    thank goodness i was wearing my new slice t-shirt when we broke down! it looks GREAT in the picture above = ). miss you already … thanks for getting me out of work today. and who says i think you’re nuts?!?

  • September 14, 2009 at 5:13 PM

    Hey kids, sorry to hear about the bus, I snicker because I recall all the times my old bus left me on the side of the road (well, never 2000 miles from home). I like to say “I swear by and I swear at my VW”.
    Anyway, if you have trouble locating parts, Ill offer my help, I live back here in the bay area, and am close to at least 3 VW part suppliers near me, that I can think of (Buggy haus, that place in San Carlos? and a few others). Anyway, I get a really good deal on overnight shipping, so Let me know if theres somthing I can do.

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