Leaky Radiator

Honda Element

Well, before I purchased the vehicle I took it to a mechanic for and overall evaluation and he gave it a clean bill of health.  Sadly, that same day when I got home, Jerry called me to tell me that there were a few spots of what appeared to be coolant on the spot where I had parked the element.  Sure enough, after closer inspection I saw where there was dripping from the bottom radiator hose area.  I replaced the hose but the leak continued, so I replaced the radiator with a new one and the leak stopped.  Cost me $180 at NAPA and took me several hours.  While the face/bumper was off, I:

  • took the opportunity to make a few cosmetic corrections (sanded and primed small rust spots.
  • added a front camera that I already had,
  • added an air horn which I took off my motorcycle.
  • added I light bar which I integrated into the grill $44 at Amazon

    Autofeel LED Light Bar, 30 inch 20000LM 9000K Spot and Flood Beam Combo Triple Row Light Off Road Fog & Driving Light Bars.


Car Camping

Honda Element

After thinking about the pros and cons, I broke down and bought a Honda Element to convert into a mini camper.  I got the idea after my last road trip when I had to sleep one night in a Walmart parking lot because I was tired and could not find a campsite to pitch a tent.  I’ve seen lots of videos on camper vans, but I can not afford a van right now and I am not comfortable driving a large vehicle.

The Honda Element seems like the ideal size but finding a decent one is tough since they stopped production in 2011.  I wanted it to be:

  • a manual transmission,
  • all wheel drive,
  • under 100,000 miles,
  • free of accidents,
  • free of rust,
  • between 2006 and 2008 (2006 got a small boost in horse power and other refinements.  And 2008 was the last year model with a sunroof or skylight like Honda calls it),
  • and under $5K

Finding an Element that meet the above requirements was a challenge.  I finally found a 2007 EX model for $5,500 and 121,000 miles.  It has some dings and dents but overall seems like good deal.

I will use this blog to log all the tweaks, modifications and corrections that I make to the element.


Road Trips

No hiking today.

Work is frustrating with the international youth. It seems that it is very hard for them to get fired and they know it. I have repeat offenders (loud voices, music, drunkenness, etc.) and nothing happens.

My sleep deprivation is also taking its toll.

If I do not find a hiking partner soon I think I will blow off this clam bake. I did not come here for the work, I came to enjoy the park and I am doing very little of that.