Hodakaguy's 4wd Sprinter Build - Pic Heavy!

Spent the weekend at the Hood River OR Antique Fly-In......soooooo much fun!

I decided to take the R51/3 in tow and my father got to try out his new to him Scout Camper. My uncle followed us down in his Van and a friend tagged along in his van as well.

The weather was absolutely amazing...sunshine, clear skies & 80 deg temps. There was a large turn out this year and we met so many amazing people! Gave a lot of people rides in the sidecar and drooled over soooo many cool planes on the field. The museum here is a must see, one of the best I've been to with a TON of classic aircraft, cars, motorcycles and all kinds of other historic artifacts.

Setting up camp and unloading toys. My son had a blast cruising around the field on the 69 Z50.




Man...what a view. This was early Friday morning. We arrived early so we could get one of the front camp spots next to the planes.



With camp set up I took the BMW just down the road to DIY van and picked up a Maxxfan that we will install in my dad's Camper. Two web straps and the aluminum rack on the back of the Steib worked perfectly to get the fan back to camp :)



Hanging out at camp


One of the volunteers talked me into letting him try out the bike, it was cool seeing it off the bike.


This fine gentleman stopped by to chat about the Tom Thumb minibike and we ended up talking for a good couple hrs. He is Desmond Doss Jr, Son of Desmond Doss. He is a really great guy and I enjoyed swapping stories. He had two firsts while he was at the event...I gave him his first side car ride, and my son asked him for an autograph on a plastic whimsical PBY wing....he said that's the first time someone ever asked him to sign a PBY LOL.




Kiddo Heading out for a ride on the Z50 with one of his Grandpa's.


First outing with my fathers Scout Camper. We recently sold my dad's Revel as it hurt my dad's neck and back to drive. He can drive the truck for days without issue so we decided to get him something to put on the truck. The Scout is light weight, well insulated and he doesn't have to lift the top like a FWC. It worked great!



Dawn Patrol! This biplane was up early Saturday morning waking up the campers and getting everyone stirring. It worked great as everyone was milling around shortly after. I was already up enjoying the beautiful weather and breathtaking scenery, I snapped this photo as he flew in front of Mt. Hood.


Love this Gyro!


Bike out in the sun burning off the morning dew.


Great company.


So many awesome aircraft to take in.


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Checking out the restoration shop at the museum.


I purchased my son a ride on the 1929 FORD Tri-motor and grandpa went with him. Lifetime memories. :)




A Morgan 3 wheeler showed up, I love these cars! Had to get a pic of my 3 wheeler next to the Morgan.




A father/son team was using their Urals to shuttle people around the event...my son loved it!



Inside the museum. The detail on this scale Semi is amazing. I can't imagine the work that went into this!




Just your typical 51 Ford with a 998 CI engine!




Can't wait till next year!


A little maintenance.

My wife was driving the van around town in 90 deg weather recently and when she got home she said "there was an alarm that came on saying Coolant Temp on the Scangauge while she was at a stop light with the AC running". I set an alarm of 220 deg F on the scangauge and it had tripped. 220 is still a safe operating temp for the van (manual says it can go all the way up to 250 deg F...you dont want this as bad things can and will happen) but it's hotter than it normally runs and something isn't right. Time to investigate......

Coolant level is fine, belt in good cond, let's check the fan clutch. The fan clutch is a hydraulic unit with an electric clutch that can lock the fan up when the engine gets hot or the AC is running to pull more air and provide more cooling. If the clutch is weak the fan won't be able to pull enough air and the vehicle can run hot. To test the fan clutch I took a thin piece of cardboard and with the engine running carefully let it click across the edge of the fan blades like a playing card across bicycle spokes. If the clutch is working correctly it should provide a nice steady consistent clicking with the drag of the cardboard. If the clutch is bad the fan will slow to a stop and can easily be held in a stopped position with little effort. Well mine quickly slowed to a stop and just sat there....yep lools like it's time for a fan clutch.

I didn't document the removal process but took all of 10 minutes to have the fan out of the van. Installing the new unit was just as quick.

The offending defunk fan/clutch unit.


A quick call to the local Mercedes dealer and $300 later a new assembly is in hand!


With the new unit installed it was time for a road test. The outside temp was still 90 Deg F. I left the house and drove across town...took this picture at a stop light with the engine running....back to normal!


This is a perfect example of why I love the Scangauge. Monitoring vitals allows you to find and fix issues before they become a bigger problem. Without the Scangauge I would have had no indication or idea that anything was out of the normal. Money well spent!

Always look & listen to what your vehicle is trying to tell you!

Recently I installed a new fan/clutch assembly and afterwards was listening closely to the engine as it was idling, giving everything a good looking over. I could hear a very faint growly noise that would come and go, coming somewhere out of the front of the engine. Experience tells me it sounds like a dry bearing, most likely coming from a belt idler pulley. Time to order some parts.

With new belts, idler pulleys and a new tensioner assembly in hand it was time to swap some parts and see if I can locate the bearing noise.

Original belts in place. It's always good to snap several pictures before removing the belts so you remember orientation upon installing the new belts. Here I've already removed the fan/clutch assembly for greater access to the belts. I changed belts on my uncles sprinter without removing the fan but it's a pain to do it that way.


Once the belts were removed I could spin the idler pulleys. The upper most Idler pulley spun easily but was making a dry bearing growly noise. This pulley will have to be removed, I will replace the other idler pulley and tensioner as well for good measure along with both belts.

Upper bearing with belt still installed.


Using a strap wrench to hold the fan drive pulley while I remove the bolts, then remove the pulley to access the idler pulley.



To remove the idler pulley you have to pop off the plastic cover on the front on the pulley to access the anchor bolt. A small screw driver works great.



Once off the van the upper idler bearing feels rough while spinning it on your finger, the lower idler was still nice and smooth although it still got replaced. This pulley is originally flat and smooth, you can see how the belt has worn grooves into the pulley over time.



New parts going back in.








New belts and parts Installed.


Keeping an eye on your vehicle and performing preventive maintenance at home when the weather is nice, your on your own schedule and you have time to get the parts is way better than dealing with a broken down van on the road.


Storage Organization.

For the past 4 years I've been running Overland Gear Guy storage organizers in my overhead Adventure Wagon Mule bags. The Mule bags are absolutly awesome but they are just giant open caverns and hard to keep anything organized in by themselves. The Overland Gear Guy organizers work great to store our cooking supplies, first aid supplies, cleaning supplies etc. When I need something I know what bag it's stored in and just need to unzip the Mule bag and grab whatever organizer I'm after. Althought they have worked great for this kind of gear It's still not perfect. The Overland Gear Guy organizers are completly open themselves so when you zip them open you just have one big storage area, again hard to keep smaller items organized as they just roll around inside the bag. The organizers are also a bit small and don't use all the space available in the Mule Bags. That said I love these organizers for the items we carry in them and they will remain an assenisial piece of our kit, build quality is top notch.

Adventure Wagon Mule Bags (Install details on page 15 of this build thread): https://adventurewagon.com/products/mule-bags-soft-overhead-storage-lockers

Here's a link to the Overland Gear Guy Mule Bag Organziers: https://overlandgearguy.com/products/mule-bag-divider-pouch

And a few pics of the Mule Organizers in action.




This organizer holds my critical coffee supplies.



First Aid.



Cooking Supplies.



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I recently discovered another organizer from the LastUSBagCompany that looked like it would work perfectly to store our clothing in the Mule Bags. I've been running their seat back organizers for years (See page 27) and my orginal unit still looks like new. They call these organizers storage cubes and there are a couple things I like about them. First their size is bigger and fits the space of the Mule bags better, second when you zip them open they are divided into two halves. This allows you to organize the items in the bags better for quicker access when you need them. We ordered up 6 of the large units and 6 of the small/medium units to give them a try. Just like the Overland Gear Guy units these units are very well made.

LastUSBagCompany Storage Cubes: https://lusboutdoors.com/shop/large-nylon-storage-cube-13-2x13-2x7-2/

In action.




Divided Storage









Just returned from a family road trip through NV. We had a great time chasing history, hunting ghost towns and soaking in all of the amazing views. We also jumped into CA a bit to check out the ghost town of Cerro Gordo. Soooo much to explore out there!

Waaaaaaay to many pics to post here. I have all the pics posted and arranged by day on my Facebook travel Page, feel free to join and follow along: https://m.facebook.com/groups/765075118271516/?ref=share&mibextid=IwceVr

Here's a few pics from the trip.









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