Silencing the roar.

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If you thought we've forgotten about our first love, Penny Bus (as Sadie calls her), in the wake of our recent orange-rimmed purchase, you're wrong!   We have been patiently waiting for some parts to arrive for what turned out to be the best replacement of our year-long relationship with our yellow love.  
Her new muffler and gaskets arrived last week!  Something that might not be exciting on most vehicles is quite the opposite for Penny.  For those of you who don't live in Cheyenne and have not experienced her firsthand, describing her noise like a rabid thundercloud rolling down the street is being kind.  Miss Penny was loud and was prone to backfires about every block or so.  I mean not conspicuous in the least, right?
Jason was positive that the new muffler would quiet her and pretty sure that the lack of pressure from the gaping rusty hole in the old one was the cause of the incessant firecracker noises, so we set off to prove him right...
We, of course, brought along our little blonde helper, complete with her new tool belt to help Jason with her Penny.  She was also excited to help out Grandpa on his Jeep while Penny got her new muffler, although was not too excited about the loud grinding and sparks that were going on in that arena!
A few twists of the wrench and the old muffler was off the back of Penny, clearly showcasing the wear and tear that was causing her street battle cry.  

While all this was going on I was tasked with the only job that the boys would allow me, the pregnant one, to do in the shop...scrape the shipping labels off the new muffler.  I know, you are impressed.  Here's a shot of me and the belly completing this obviously arduous task...
We were even joined by a faux fox family, courtesy of Sadie getting bored in the shop and going out to help Grandma in the garden.  She needed to make sure that we were staying on task in her absence.  Such a 3-year-old slave driver.
Soon the tailpipe was attached, the gaskets mounted and the whole shebang was attached to Penny's rear. Now the moment of truth...the key was turned and she hummed to life, quieter then ever before.  OMG we have a bus that sounds reliable!  The looking reliable part will come later.  Excitement wasn't even the word.  

After our success Penny's day was not quite finished.  Now that the engine cylinders had the proper back pressure from the pretty new muffler, the timing of the engine needed to be set properly.    Jason busted out the timing light, but quickly found that these older vehicles are much easier timed by ear.  He and Sadie set to work.  
After using a handy measuring device printed off the computer he successfully found 29 degrees BTDC (before top dead center) and worked on lining up that mark with the center of the crank case.  
He made a few adjustments and judged her almost perfect!  There are still a few little things to be adjusted out, but we are eagerly awaiting new tie rods, rear wheel bearings and cv boots in the mail this week to be installed this coming weekend.  After those are put on she will be deemed camp ready.  I can't wait! 
Check back in for more of these smiling cheeks helping to install the new parts next week :)

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