We had an oil change/service stop scheduled in Niagara, but Brian pushed it ahead to today because we were clearly putting the Sprinter through more than your average driving conditions.
The check engine light had been going on and off over the past couple of weeks, causing vague concern.
Turns out the swirl valve* is on the fritz big time, and it was due to fully die at any minute, rendering the van completely immobile.
To fix it requires about 8.5 hours of labor, meaning it’ll be in the shop until tomorrow night.
Brian, having dealt with epic breakdowns in tight situations (Dragon Wagon 1.0 just about exploding outside of Nashville on our way to DragonCon 2009 comes to mind), pulled some serious magic securing a rental van so we can get ourselves and some of our merch/gear to the show tomorrow.
I won’t get into all the details, but it was only by bypassing the normal outlets and skirting the hemming and hawwing that was about to go into the rental process that Brian made it all happen.
We didn’t find out about this problem until 5:40. There was a 20-minute window in which the rental could have been secured, and now we can play the show tomorrow.
No one else I know would’ve pulled it off. Dude’s a leader.
Anyway, please keep the Sprinter in your prayers, and hope for a speedy recovery. For if it doesn’t get fixed by tomorrow night, things get a whole lot more complicated. (Bear in mind Wednesday being the 4th, having a 12-hour drive to St. Louis for Thursday’s show, and so on, and so on…)
We haven’t found a suitable name for the van yet, but I think Dallas just might be it.
*By the way, yes a “swirl valve” is a real thing, a diesel engine thing. For a second there I thought it was like the Johnson rod in Seinfeld, some made up shit.