Bringing Our Home on Wheels Back to Life – A New Engine for Luna

van life breakdown vanlife repatriation

After our ordeal of breaking down in Southern Germany and eventually getting the van recovered to the UK, we were just about in a position financially to have the engine replaced. It isn’t all fun and games travelling in a van; a van life breakdown can be painful.

Our old engine had overheated and seized, possibly caused by something as trivial as a radiator hose coming off and the engine losing all of its water. In Germany we did not believe the mechanics who took a 30 second glance at our engine and simply said “broken” but after the van being recovered all the way back to the UK and us getting several more opinions we realised that sadly it really was broken.

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Our only option therefore was to get the entire engine replaced. We phoned around a few places getting many ridiculous quotes for the labour. The engines are fairly inexpensive but the labour quotes were massive! Eventually we found a place that specialised in Ford Transit breaking and asked if they had an engine. They did. They would also swap them over for us for only £250 (about £1000 less than our best quote).

Luna had to be recovered from where it had been sat for a few months since being recovered and taken to the Transit specialist in Stoke. The van looked way too big for the recovery truck and the driver got pulled over for using his phone five minutes down the road. Not a good start.

Over the next week we waited patiently and gave them the odd phone call to check on progress. We were told that the engine had been swapped but we needed a new radiator as this had caused the initial malfunction. Fair enough. We also got the clutch changed and timing belt as these are both worth doing when a new engine is put into your van.

We got a call saying the van was done and went over to collect it. Sure enough she was cured and drove almost as if she had never died. We drove her back home and everything seemed ok. Its good to have her back.


Now to pass the MOT and get back on the road again!


1 Comment

  1. Wonderful. Since I last visited your blog I have an even deeper appreciation of van life, spending weeks around the South Island of New Zealand. Between campers and everything in between this place is optimal for mobile forms of lodging. Perfect for it.


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