See how dark that left headlight is? That means the reflective backing has come off and it needs to be replaced.

Okay, here’s a gimmie project that will take no time at all and will keep you safe out on the road. If your old headlights are weak—replace them! In Ohio, humans are probably outnumbered by deer. For real: the deer here are probably only controlled by vehicular deer-slaughter. It’s a way of life, a rite of passage. While good headlights aren’t the silver bullet for deer slaying, they may prevent you from, well, deer-slaying. 

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Pecan floors, baby!

Here’s a little peek at my hardwood floor.

I don’t know why, but I really wanted hardwood floors. Please don’t message me with your wisdom about my choice—how the wood might change over time or how much it weighs. I did my due diligence and made my decisions. I love my floor.  It makes the bus feel like a home and it looks spectacular. (And, for all the people clutching their pearls over the weight, it really isn’t that heavy. Besides, I’d rather have the weight on the floor than up top.)

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Engine rebuild (Part II)

Bandera, Texas

Note: This engine failed inside of its warranty. The builder, Randy, did not honor his warranty and we were out $5,000. I would not recommend him.

Leaving Ohio in early April is a drab affair—stick season as they say in New England about the landscape. Brown and branchy and still somewhat barren. Winter is gone, but spring isn’t quite here. The midwestern writer, Kurt Vonnegut, once called this interval “unlocking.” 

What things unlocked as we trucked southward?

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The re-built 2.1 engine block (Part I)

The old longblock from Adie. Trading in the old block usually lowers the price about $300.

Note: This engine failed inside of its warranty. The builder, Randy, did not honor his warranty and we were out $5,000. I would not recommend him.

This is where the adventure begins, the heart and soul of the aircooled bus. 1979 was the final year for the aircooled engine and last year of the “hippy” body style of the bus. Afterward, the buses went to a watercooled design with more angular bodies and a black, recessed front grill.

One would think that by 1979, VW would have had the engine design down, that it would be flawless, a machine whose errors had been honed into negligible glitches. One would be wrong.

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The black & blue bramble

You hear a writer say, “I know a place” and you instantly know that they’re trying to get drunk or laid. Well, my friends, I know a place and I often take Miracle there. It’s called Blue Toad Cidery in Massie’s Mill, Virginia (Miracle’s note: It worked.).

I started going to Blue Toad a few years ago because my buddy, Dustin, is a bad influence and we’d go there and get flights of cider.

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Sound proofing

We all love the sound of tires rolling on the road, but do the tires really need to feel like they are right next to your head? And the engine—it’s all the way in the back, but it sounds like I am sitting right on top of it. The giant metal breadbox of the VW is a container for road noise unless you do something about it. 

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