Since my last update I took the van into a local mechanic not too far from me where it was discovered that the van's timing was way out of whack. Not too surprising to me since the van hasn't really been tuned properly in several years and has only really been worked on by backyard mechanics (such as myself) since it was first returned to the road.
The mechanic adjusted the timing and cleaned out the carburetor with some cleaning spray which seemed to get the job done. Stopped most of the back firing issue and made the van a little easier to start. At the very least, this last couple of weeks, I've been able to drive the van around on very short journey's locally with few issues. Total cost of the repair: $49.50
It hasn't fixed the van completely though, as I've noticed through driving it, that it eventually starts to develop back firing issues and the engine gets sluggish. It's also still relatively hard to start the van from a cold start and the engine has no real power until something kicks in and starts to run smoothly. (It's almost like it's running on two cylinders then the other two kick in an it's all good from there).
Consequently I've booked the van in for a proper tune up, service and safety check with my local Ultra Tune who, hopefully, have the proper equipment and skill to really find out what's wrong with it. That's happening in a couple of days from now. The expected cost of which I was quoted is $235.00 but could be more once they give the van a proper look over.
Other things I've done is put two brand new tyres on the back at a cost of $70.00 each. This was because (as you may have seen in a previous video) the rear right tyre developed a slow leak, then the side wall of the tyre split from being left flat for too long.
Initially I replaced the tyre with the spare (which was nearly bald) but after one drive this also developed a slow leak. So I decided to buy two new tyres which would mean I'd have a good spare tyre too.
Finally I bought some glue and grey primer paint to begin fixing a rusted panel down on the bottom corner, just below the passenger door (which you may have also seen in a previous video). The two together cost $21.90. I've still to buy some putty filler to fill in cracks etc. before spraying the primer over.
All up the total spend on the van so far is:
Battery Terminals :$5.90
Timing Fix and Carburetor Clean: $49.50
Tyres (x2): $140.00
Grey Primer and Glue: $21.90
I'll add the total for the tune up at Ultra Tune once I know the final cost.