After replacing the heads on the Westy and still having a van that ran terrible, I was completely convinced the used computer I purchased must be the problem. I gave Fuel Injection Corp in Tracy, the same company that rebuilt my airflow meter, the go ahead to rebuild the old computer. It was going to take a week so I also asked online if anyone had a computer I could try to verify I didn't still have some further diagnosis waiting for me.
That's when Nick responded. He's an active member of the group Vanagon Owners on Facebook. He was a solid hour drive south of Treasure Island, but had three different computers I could try. So Jacqui and I loaded up in the Westy and made a painfully slow drive south.
The drive turned out to be a one on one battle between me and the gas pedal. With semi-trucks and cars flying by us while I was white knuckling the steering wheel, I started to question whether I had made a good decision trying to make this drive. If I gave our little Westy any more than an eighth throttle she would fall on her face and begin to slow. This meant even the slightest incline slowed us to a measly, stressful, crawl of 40mph. The hazard lights became my best friend.
Somehow, slowly, we made it to Nick. I had mixed emotions as he handed the computer to me. Ultimately, I was terrified It wasn't going to fix the problem, and then I'd be completely lost on what to do next. Self torture came in the form of 'what if' scenarios.
I plugged in the computer, fired up Penny, shifter her into first then paused to take a deep breath. I pulled out of the parking spot, gave her some heavy throttle and within 15 feet I had my answer. Horn honking, arms waving and a giant grin on my face gave Jacqui and Nick the confirmation that it worked. Nick was nice enough to even sell us that little computer, so now we have two including the one rebuilt by Fuel Injection Corp.
With the Westy finally running right it was time for a mad rush of last minute repairs, packing, and an emergency trip to the junkyard in the pouring rain for a side view mirror.
Then, in the blink of an eye, it was my birthday. Jacqui managed to surprise me by getting our shop mates and a bunch of old friends together at the local watering whole. Julien and Tu even brought a birthday cake that read, "Happy Birthday Dick."
Needless to say, I was touched by the kind words of the birthday cake.
More last minute projects and a trip to the junkyard.
The following morning, with only the slightest post-birthday headache, we finally said goodbye and hit the open road. First stop, Joshua Tree National Park!