Andrew reminds me often that he is not a mechanic.
He says he is “only an engineer” — as if his paid career is trivial. However, the definition of the word ‘engineer’ means someone who designs, builds, and maintains things . . . and ‘things’ are what I’m asking him to complete at home.
Yet, he retorts back that he is not a carpenter or plumber or exterminator or even my doctor.
He is lying though. I say this because he built me the most sturdy eight-foot tall bookcase, a four-foot tall frame containing a massive world map that he mounted, and an eight-foot tall cat tree for our kitten, just to name a few; he’s also repaired our sinks, toilet, and shower when they were spewing water in places and ways that they were not supposed to spew; he’s killed so many bugs that I’m convinced the world is a brighter place; and he’s advised me steady and true on more health matters than I can (or should) write.
I’ve backdated this post so I’m writing it three weeks into owning our Cortez and here, Andrew has already replaced wires and pipes; fitted a new starter motor, brake cylinders, and brake shoes; and he’s angle grinded heavy metal while sparks (read: flames and fire) were cascading down his chest.
Essentially what I’m saying is he is my hero.
And he’s my mechanic, despite what he or anyone else says because when it comes to Andrew, I’m of the firm belief that if he simply puts his mind to it, he can do it. I mean heck, he’s proven that so far.
Before we get into all that Andrew has done — and taught me on — on our Cortez, I wanted to start at the beginning with, what we call, our motorhome’s first inspection.
When I told my mom this, she was confused. “How did you get it to a mechanic?” she asked, knowing the brakes didn’t work.
“No, mama,” I told her. “Andrew looked it over.”
The was a pause. “Saying a ‘first inspection’ makes it sound as if a mechanic did it,” she said.
Well a mechanic did, everyone. His name is Andrew.
Therefore, below is the running list of what Mechanic Andrew uncovered in our first inspection.
Full Exterior Inspection
- Dead starter motor
- Corroded engine wires
- Faulty brakes
- Cracked two window panes
- Brittle and gaping, disintegrating, or missing window and doors seals
- No underseal on undercarriage
- Exhaust hanging by wire
- Damaged body panels
- Damaged paint
- Cracked front grill
- Cracked or missing bathroom vents
- Fuel hose does not meet the filler neck
- Missing headlight bulbs
- Faulty door handles
- Missing wiper blades
- Ill-fitting engine covers
- Missing support brackets on mirror arms
- Faded chromework and bolts
- Full clean
Full Interior Inspection
- Faulty gauges
- Outdated electrical system
- Faulty heater and air conditioner
- Knackered water system
- Poor insulation and walls
- Buckling ceiling
- Faulty interior lights
- Outdated living area, kitchen, sleeping area, and bathroom
In addition to this, I wanted to track our progress so below you’ll find important dates and upcoming plans.
What We Have Achieved
- Monday, July 22: Cortez arrived from California on a flatbed semi
- Saturday and Sunday, July 27-28: Starter motor work; Cortez starts for the first time
- Monday, July 29 — Sunday, August 4 (off and on for four days): Brake shoe replacement for both front brakes; wheel brake cylinder replacement for all brakes
What We Have Planned Next:
- Bleed the brakes
- Full engine service
- Remove broken window panes and install new glass
- Fit new window seals throughout
- Fit new door seals throughout
- Rust treatment
For more specifics on our overhaul, visit the above links, which will take you to the full posts, and these links: our master plan and our breakdown of costs. We also have updates on Instagram and YouTube (including the video of our first inspection). All of these will be updated continuously.
Again, thanks for your support — We feel like we’re in this crazy adventure together so you give us another reason to smile!