Time to get some mechanical stuff sorted out. The bus is in the shop right now to get an overall inspection of condition and get a few specifics fixed. Mainly, they diagnosed my overheating problem as thermostat and viscous fan drive malfunction. Also my front wheel bearings are loose. They also found various oil leaks and proposed a $2,500 workup.
Yikes! I decided to just get the overheating and bearings taken care of - that alone, plus the diagnostics is going to be over $1,000. The oil leaks seem like something I can easily do myself. I could probably do the thermo stuff too, but just want that done right away so the bus is reliable. And I think I'm getting a bit lazy as I get older.
I also ordered a bunch of WVO components, including two fuel selection solenoids (Golden Fuels GV10), 3-way switch, a flat plate heat exchanger (Plantdrive) and a Hotfox coolant heated fuel pickup for the tank. I also scored a used 125 gallon rectangular aluminum fuel tank at a boat yard. I already had a Racor 12v heated fuel filter/water seperator and some heater hose. So I just need to make a few modifications to the tank and I'll be ready to install my WVO system! I'm very excited about that!
I think I've got about $1,200 into the WVO system so far, and anticipate that any further expenses (various hardware, tubing, and welding services to make a mount for the tank) will still not put me over $1,500 total for the system. That's not bad at all considering the quality of the resulting system and the size of the fuel tank. I've got a surplus of about 300 gallons of WVO that I'm looking forward to burning soon. That alone will nearly pay for the system!
I'll be sure to take some pics when I'm putting the WVO system together. Not much other progress on the bus really, except I also bought a Champion 3,500/4,000 watt gas generator on sale at Cabela's. I'll need to get someone to fabricate a box for that to sit in underneath the bus. It came with a wheel kit and handle to wheel it around, so I want to mount it in such a way that I can easily pull it out and roll it off to wherever I may need to use it. It weighs about 100lbs, so two people could easily pull it out and put it back in, and if I had some sort of ramps, I could probably pull it in and out by myself without risk of throwing my back out.
Edit: I also got a "hard start capacitor" to put into my 15,000 BTU AC to reduce the amps demanded during the startup surge. The generator was really bogging down during startup. I'll report back once the capacitor is installed and let y'all know if it worked.
At some point I will need to total up what I've spent on this bus. My goal was to come in under $10,000. So long as I accomplish that, I'll be happy.