I felt kind of desperate because the air leaking at the valves and distributor was still an issue and pressure could not build up in the system. I tried what I had at hand to help with the tightness, but it naturally did not work as expected. I needed to replace the banjo and racord bolt system because the ports were old and deformed, just what needed to let the air flow through the sealing washers. New valves were expensive, at least those of known brand, and difficult to get from local dealers.
At the same time, I had a lot of trouble trying to find a replacement for the 3/2 gear shifting air valve. According to the official dealer there were no more available. Hmm…
I found one, Mexican made, pretty similar but just looking at it made me pretty suspicious. The guy asked Euro 160 for the valve, and that convinced me to walk away from the store, hands empty.
I googled under different angles and, after a few tries, finally found a spare in Temuco, a city 1100 km south from San Felipe. The guy at the phone asked only Euro 56 for it. Good. I payed and just waited for the valve to arrive in a few days.
I went to Santiago for other purposes in the middle of the week and profited to visit a store where I finally found the millimetric elbows I needed to replace the banjos.
Unfortunately they had not the M10x1.0 measure for the manual valves so I just got a lot of M12x1,5 brass, pretty expensive fittings with which I arrived home just in time to have dinner with Carmen.
Did I mention that I like a lot riding the R 1200 Adventure as well? The wider fairing protects you from the winds and the cold air, but keeps the hot air from the engine and the exhaust in the turbulence behind and under you, though, making the ride pretty hot during the warm hours of the day.
You can image how bad I wanted to install the new fittings, and you also know that I had to wait quite a few before stepping again on the workshop. Anyway, at some point I put the new fittings on the air distributor under the cabin and they looked pretty good.
I got the portable compressor and fed the circuit to make a test and looked for the leaks I knew were going to persist. And they did, as you can see, but only at the banjos’ connections.
Bubbles were still forming with the last amount of air that scaped fom the circuit when the new gear shift valve appeared. Not the original brand, but pretty good looking.
Without thinking it too much I removed the old piece and installed the new one at its place. The original valve had a blocked pin in the open position, despite my efforts for cleaning and fixing it.
Eddie occupied the portable compressor so the truck needed its own air supply. I excluded the circuit for the manual valves of the cabin and pressed the start button, full of confidence in the crispy and quick response of the mighty V8, but this time it coughed a few times and then just nothing, only the useless efforts of the starter. Bo.
I thought it was just a matter of fuel level. Sixty liters were barely enough to submerge the tip of the fuel sender in the tank so I bought twenty more liters of diesel and poured them into the tank. I pressed a few times the feeder pump of the injection pump and just a few seconds after the engine started like nothing had happened.
Among the screams and yells of protest because of the exhaust gases, the pressure started to build up and the gears shifted pretty solidly. I could not shift to reverse, though. Hmm…
Well, there was another issue to address to. At least the gear shift valve worked without air leaks.
Also, I could not get enough pressure in the secondary brake circuit though it was okay a couple of days before. I checked the whole circuit again looking for leaks but could not find one significant enough to explain the problem.
Thanks to the eBay world, again. If it was not for it I could not get the little pieces that are not longer available locally, like the pretty rare washer that went into the articulation of the accelerator. Good.
That day I had little wins to celebrate and issues to be worried about. I had not enough air pressure in the seconday brake circuit nor pressure to free the truck from the maxi brakes so even if I was able to bleed and make the hydraulic brake pump work I wouldn’t be able to take the Merkabah for a ride.
Before going home, and only for the fun of it, I installed the front grille and the front cover. That way the truck looked almost like it was near completion. Dream on, Pairoa.
And it was Saturday, again. At midday I went to the shop ready to spend a few hours working on the Merkabah, not sure of the results of the efforts to put in it as I was running short of resources to fix the many problems the project was facing at that moment.
I needed to approach the brake issue from another perspective, but meanwhile I purposedly looked for the license plate of the truck that was still bolted to the original front grille in a corner, covered by dust and dog’s hair.