Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/2/22 10:52 p.m.
84FSP said:

That's a solid stuffie haul sir!

They fill a pretty big box, but I think it'll be some of our most important cargo

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/3/22 7:44 p.m.

Here's today's update to the GFM:

Two roads.

It's not always "all work and no play". Sure with everything going on, the 4-Runner has a job to do. But just like me she needs to get out and stretch her legs a bit too.

I took the kids swimming last Friday. See, I knew this week was coming and so is their school year... We needed to get out and enjoy summer a bit before it was gone. After all, you only get one childhood. And while there's a perfectly normal and completely PAVED way of getting to the local lake, there's also the way we take:

(See attached youtube video:



Also, I believe this is the time to quip: "two roads diverged in the wood, and we - we took the road less traveled")

And that brings me nicely back to the vehicle maintenance that's going on at the moment. I mentioned that this portion of the "drive" (dual meaning of the word intended) is ours to donate, and one that we're happy to help with, and I mean it. Working on cars is obviously a hobby of mine, and when there's a purpose like this at the other end of the wrench, it only makes it that much more... fulfilling. (Especially when the kids are out helping)

Hardly an “all work, and no play” situation. But listen, because I want to make no mistake about it, I am human and I know that every dollar put here could have gone somewhere else.

I see donations that range from $5 to $200. These come from people from all walks of life, and no matter their situation in the world, there was “somewhere else” where that money could have been used. Somewhere "needed", somewhere saved. But you put it here. So when you see me crossing items off the truck's list, that's me adding what I can back into the pot you created. Sure there are other places I could be spending my time, other places that might even "need" my time. But with so many of you choosing to be here with me, what better place could there be for me than to show you I'm here with you.

So here’s to the fork in the road we were all presented with, and here’s to our path. Here’s to making a difference.


Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/4/22 6:40 p.m.

Today's update (no pictures this time).

New day new opportunity!

An expat page I’m a member of just opened up a F-it Friday! Normally not allowed, they have graciously given all their members about 24 hours to post any sort of blog, drive, or similar event for personal gain. Obviously I shared this GFM!

It’s a group of over 18,000 members so fingers crossed we get some good visibility from it all. If you’re one of the “grumps” from the page, allow me the opportunity to say “welcome!”. I absolutely LOVE it the way the universe comes together to work things out sometimes.

By what I’m reading, the last opportunity like this for this page was 2-years ago, and it comes RIGHT before our last weekend of the drive.

Heck yeah!

Anyways, my week on this shift is coming to an end and I would like to take this opportunity to remind everyone to remind everyone that the donations for this drive will be stopped on the 7th. I’m already putting lists together and should start placing orders for the medical supply portion of this first thing Monday morning. But for now, if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go crack open a cold beer to celebrate this little victory and to give my brain a much needed massage on this early Friday (hey, even awful shifts have their benefits. This one’s is that my Friday ends at 6am!).


Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/6/22 11:46 a.m.

Todays update.  Our GFM is now sitting at $3500 (up from $2700)!!!

The race aint run.

I don’t know why I have to keep re-learning it, but I do.  The race aint run until we cross that finish line.  Last Thursday I found 10,000 Hungarian Forint ($25usd) in our donation box at work that’s been sitting empty for over a week.  $25 may not seem like a huge amount, but in a case where every little bit helps it makes a difference.

Same with our GFM drive on here.  It’s been sitting rather comfortably around $2700, and now grew $800 overnight!!!  Those expats REALLY came through!
We got another phone call today.  A local Dutch resident had two bags of school supplies she wanted to donate, and could we come by to pick them up?

We certainly could!

Birgit (the Dutch resident) has been a regular from day one, and she has never failed to contribute something to everything we’ve done.  There was no way I was going to hot have her in on this one.

The good news just couldn’t stop coming, as another regular (Swedish this time) Susanne mentioned that she talked to the vet who helped get us the EKG machine at wholesale cost.  The vet wanted to let us know that his channels were still open, and we could get some surgical PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) at the same wholesale cost if we were interested.

We certainly are!!!

On our last run Susanne organized boxes upon boxes of latex and surgical grade gloves, multiple liters of virucide, and other things that vets use that are also used by hospitals.  And it looks like this time we’ll be able to do it all again!  (Thanks Susanne!).  Best of all it comes at a SUPER low cost for the quantity of goodies we’ll be able to bring.

And that’s just it.  Tomorrow night I’m going to close donations, but that doesn’t mean this is over.  I’ll still be making updates as things progress, and if history is any indication then I’m willing to bet I’ll be back on here saying “the race aint run…” again before we’re through.

Thanks everyone.  For your support, your donations, but most of all for sticking through this with us all the way until the end.  



DarkMonohue HalfDork
8/6/22 1:17 p.m.

Bill, you said you're going to close donations tomorrow night. Does that mean you're closing collections for a particular effort or are you shuttering the GFM account entirely? I'm hoping to see a blurb in our company newsletter about this whole ordeal, including a link to the GFM page, sometime soon, but I don't know how soon that is. Feels like waiting for Christmas. 

AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter)
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
8/6/22 8:34 p.m.

I'll continue to spread the word as long as you're still open for relief.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/8/22 12:01 p.m.
DarkMonohue said:

Bill, you said you're going to close donations tomorrow night. Does that mean you're closing collections for a particular effort or are you shuttering the GFM account entirely? I'm hoping to see a blurb in our company newsletter about this whole ordeal, including a link to the GFM page, sometime soon, but I don't know how soon that is. Feels like waiting for Christmas. 

I just closed the GFM for donations but the account is still open and I'm going to continue to update it.  I just checked and I CAN reopen it if you thought the article was going to publish this week.  Otherwise I'm afraid I wouldn't be able to complete the order in time as there's a bit of delay in turnaround here.  Of course the paypal option is still open for us here at GRM and we can always make use of it.

I do appreciate all of your guys's help on this one.  It'll be my last into Ukraine until possibly December.  I've got a team event taking me (and the truck) to Africa in October, but am hoping to lay the groundwork to do an angel tree gift delivery for the children in the hospital after that.

Here's todays update from the GFM account for any who were interested.  I called it "Start Walkin'"

Wow!  It absolutely killed me to do it (as I LOVE a strong finish) but a deadline is a deadline and I had to stop the donations.  You guys are amazing and our little fundraiser grew more than $1000 over the course of the weekend!

But alas, I did have to put the lid on the jar.  It’s not over by any means and please continue to look here for updates as things progress.  It’s just time for us to stop talking and start walking.  To that end, I went out to finish up our school supply shopping.

With the remaining money we received locally, we were able to get everything on our list for every kid on our list.  That was GREAT.  Now kids (33 of them) range in age from 1-year old to about 17-years-old so not every kid has the same needs.  However, I didn’t want to be the one to be responsible for someone not getting something, so everyone will have the option to grab at least one of everything that was sent to us.  Pens, pencils, folders, notebooks, water colors, and even crayons.

In addition to those requested items, we also got notebook holders, scissors (safety, and normal), rulers, protractors, and other similar “school” items.

Good times.

Now I’ve turned my attention to the purchase of medical supplies, and wouldn’t you know?  The guy at the medical supply store, with whom I’ve been working all these months, is on vacation!  It’s not the end of the world, it’s just that he was a super nice and super helpful guy.  See, the hospital in Dnipro sent me two requests, the first was for a specific “Continuous Passive Motion” machine (CPM), and the other was for a cerebral spinal fluid shunt system (CSF), and I can find neither for sale on the local internet.

Normally I’d go to “my guy” but hey, everyone needs a vacation. So instead I’m going to branch out to a larger town about an hour away and see if I have better luck there.  If that falls through, then I’ll use previous order lists to create a “best of” order sheet for the children’s hospital.

So here we go, and fingers crossed.  To give you guys out there a quick rundown of what we’re working with, here’s a quick by the numers:

Roughly 200,000 forint ($520.00 USD) donated locally (all spent on school supplies).

Nearly $4000 donated through the Go Fund Me

One EKG machine donated by members of my family.

33 children receiving school supplies

30-35 children receiving medical supplies

49 stuffed animals on hand for the children in the hospital

9 soccer balls on hand for the refugee children (with 3ea air pumps)

Chocolate bars (milka) for all the kids in the hospital (purchased from a previous run)

And we’re already planning another possible trip to Dnipro in December

Good times.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/8/22 12:02 p.m.
AngryCorvair (Forum Supporter) said:

I'll continue to spread the word as long as you're still open for relief.

Seriously, thank you.  I've seen your posts on facebook but wasn't sure if it was "weird" for me to be reacting to them  laugh

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/8/22 4:29 p.m.

Real quick:  Going back to that steering rack.  Looks like no updates over the weekend.  I went ahead and requested a quote from the $100 car-part yard.

Anyone want to give me a quick run up of what to expect when I get this beast?  What does rebuilding one of these entail?

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/9/22 1:48 p.m.

Holy smokes, I forgot our Monday GRM budget update!



Ok, so I only used the red to draw your attention to the fact that these items were closed.  We actually did REALLY well.

First, our GFM skyrocketed over the weekend, and shot up by $1210.00!!!  I thought that was pretty awesome.  Also awesome was the fact that we were able to buy everything on the "school supply" list.  As mentioned beore, this is mostly "notebook/pen/pencil/markers/paint" territory, but we expanded on that a bit and bought rulers, crayons, scissors, and things like activity books for the children too young to be in school yet.  We even had a few backpacks donated!

Our kisgorbo budget is right about on track.  We're about half funded and nowhere near half-way through the month.  Good stuff!

Otherwise, we're in the chapter of this effort that always has me worried.  I've got a deadline and other people's money and I've got to spend all of one before I get to the other.  oof.

Things locally haven't been what you would call "stable".  Hungary has been using their tax money to artificially keep prices low and I'm mentioning that for two reasons:

1) Private fuel stations (like Shell, etc) are closing down, and the lines at the Hungarian stations (MOL) back out into the road.

2) The exchange rate for the Hungarian forint has been all OVER the place.

Because of those two, shipping times to get things here have been less than predictable. 

And with all of that combined, I can say with some certainty that I have anywhere between 500,000huf and 1,000,000huf of medical items on order (depending on the exchange rate, and shipping costs), and they should be here between "later this week" and August 17th.

Don't get me wrong, I have backup plans to spend any money in accordance with what was outlined in the GFM, but MAN do I hate waiting in uncertainty...

Here goes.  laugh

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/10/22 9:32 a.m.

Ok, time for a truck update.  Being back on a normal schedule means playing a lot of "catchup" but I had some free time in the garage today and made good use of it.

First up, that fuel pump. 

The issue here was I was noticing on very hot days, under lots of load, the fuel pump would act as if it was slurping fuel (think:  bog bog bog bog bog catch bog bog bog....), or it wouldn't restart after a stop.  I decided to fix it now by replacing the fuel pump and sprung for the most expensive one on RockAuto (a Dlephi unit) in an attempt to ensure that the components that came with it would not be dissolved when submerged in the tank.

Here's how the old one looked coming out:


The first sign that someone had been in there were those orange zip ties...  and if this vehicle's history is any indication, someone being in there is NOT going to be a good thing...

Check it out (electrical tape submerged in the tank)



Corrosion on the outside of the connector:



Poorly soldered wires:




Obviously incorrectly sized unit (old unit left, new unit right)



Ok, a lot needs done here but at least I'm learning things and ordered every conceivable component I'd need to do this (fuel sock, a kit that came with all the seals, etc)...

And speaking of "correct components", I really wanted to be sure that whatever I sunk in that tank would be up to the task of not dissolving in the gasoline.  For that, I had aviation grade nylon wire, and aviation grade terminal lugs.  I've used both in aircraft fuel tanks, and both are rated to be submerged in JP-8 or Jet A-1.  Now as to how that holds up with gasoline?  well.... I'll just have to take my chances:



I'm also using "environmental heat shrink".  I'm not sure it's submersion rated, but it's got that goo that seals everything up when you melt it, so I have some confidence (well, at least I'm more confident in it than I am in electrical tape)



All in all, that should keep us from crossing our streams.  I really cant believe I was driving around with an electrical system in that condition, that was submerged in an explosive environment...  I swear to Bob that "P.O.S." really means "Previous Owner's Sins"...  Everything that's gone wrong with this truck was rooted at the far end of the wrench, but I digress.  I got everything back together and stuffed back where it goes.  I did have a bit of an issue with the return hard-line as I tried to blow through it but felt a lot of resistance...

Sticking a wire in there and trying to clean things out only served to plug it further.  In the end, it took some brake clean and 110psi from the compressor but I blew whatever was in there out.  It looks like it was just corrosion (dust that was orange in color).

Next up was the PCV valve.  I replaced this because of....  Shoot, it's been a busy month...  OH!  the oil leak that eventually went away.  Ok, so I punched the old one clean through and stuck a filter on the end.  The oil leak went away sometime after but I'm not 100% sure that corelation implies causation here as the effects weren't immediate.  Still though, I'd like the emissions systems on this thing to be as attached as possible, so on a new one goes.



Except I tore the top of the grommet out of the valve cover during the removal...

No worries though, as I had ordered a new one.  I just had to dig the old one out and...




Robert's your father's brother.  Op check good.

Let's see what else is still on the list:


Ok, that exhaust leak I can smell but not hear.  That tells me it's post muffler.  I've got some stainless pipe and a flow-master 50-series that should work for this thing if need be. Hopefully it's just something I can re-hang or patch up to get the exhaust gasses out from under the truck (I'm now convinced that it is the exhaust and not the PCV that's been filling my cabin with fumes when I roll windows down).

The diff oil levels just need to be checked.  No reason to suspect any issues there.

Drums out of round:  I'm convinced this is rooted in that inspection station "adjusting my brakes".  The drums must have overheated, but I don't think I'll get them off to have them turned before I go.  I don't have spares for them yet and don't want to risk needing new ones if saaaaay, the machine shop turns them thinner than spec or something (Murphy's law, and all that).

The charcoal canister might actually be a "gas cap" issue.  the history on that one is the last gas cap I bought was "universal" in nature and required me to screw it in until it clicked a whole bunch, and then back it out half a turn.  If I didn't back it off to open the vent then the charcoal canister would puke fuel everywhere.  Today I installed the proper gas cap for this vehicle (vented only to vacuum) and am hoping this thing doesn't puke anymore fuel through its evap system.  If it does, then troubleshooting will follow.

The Multifunction Switch is nothing major, but gets to be annoying.  What happens is on long drives the high-beams come on by themselves for a few seconds and then click off when I panic and move the switch around.  I've had the multifunction switch apart for an issue where the high-beams would turn the headlights completely off when selected.  I got everything cleaned and working but maybe I left something loose in there.  More to follow, but I will say it is very embarrassing when they flick on and off on the highway as people think I'm flashing to pass (and let's be honest, this thing couldn't pass unless we were heading downhill, with a tailwind, and the other driver let me).

aaaaand the 12v sockets.  Total non issue.  This is more for an upcoming run to Africa.  We want more 12 outlets for nav units, sat phone charging, etc.  Probably not something I'm going to get to before Ukraine.

Good times.

84FSP UberDork
8/10/22 10:33 a.m.

Does that odometer ready 356K?  Very impressive.  I got 263K out of my 86 Yota truck.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/10/22 10:53 a.m.

In reply to 84FSP :

Sure does!  But those are klick-o-meters, and not miles so they only count for about .6 of that count (google tells me it's 226,800 miles).  My previous Toyota 4x4 (a 1987) currently has over 320,000 miles and is owned by a good friend of mine in Texas.

84FSP UberDork
8/10/22 10:55 a.m.

Lol wasn't sure where it came from as I assume it wasn't a Hungarian Market sale.


Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/10/22 12:03 p.m.
84FSP said:

Lol wasn't sure where it came from as I assume it wasn't a Hungarian Market sale.


no, noooo.  Originally purchased in Switzerland.  I'm not sure when she made her way this far east but she certainly didn't have an easy life once she did, that's for sure. laugh

84FSP UberDork
8/11/22 8:26 a.m.

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

Can you imagine how expensive that truck must have been to buy and own in Switzerland?

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/11/22 10:01 a.m.
84FSP said:

In reply to Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) :

Can you imagine how expensive that truck must have been to buy and own in Switzerland?

Oof.  You know, I wonder sometimes.  That there's why I don't get too too aggervated when I see bodge jobs like the fuel pump.  No one out here has anywhere near the resources we do, and the correct parts are, more often than not, not available at all.  It really says a lot about the build quality with how much bodge this thing has lived through cheeky

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/11/22 10:13 a.m.

Guys, Mayor Kozma's third magazine is on it's way:

But Much MUCH more importantly, there was an update from Kisgorbo that was posted by a close acquaintance of Mayor Kozma to my local "Ukrainian Refugee Support" FB page, and I thought you would like to see it:

(I deleted the bank and telephone info but can provide it to any of our regulars on here who might want to donate or call directly to Mayor Kozma)

Please see below update from Mr. Gábor Kozma, Mayor of Kisgörbő.

First, I would like to thank you for your commitment and support on behalf of our refugees at Kisgörbő School Shelter. Some of them are with us for six months already, and to be honest, a lot has happened since they arrived. For about two months, we have had a permanent number of refugees, but in the last four weeks, another three mothers with three children arrived.

Unfortunately, the number of incoming refugees is not decreasing but increasing. Currently, there are 12 adult females and 8 children at the shelter. No male refugee at all.

Starting in August, we organize kindergarten for the younger kids, and from September three school-age children (ages 8, 13, 13) must start primary school on a mandatory basis. Imagine, after these traumatic times, skipping more than half of the school year, now they need to fit into another culture, school, and country. We are also starting Hungarian language classes for adults to make their life a bit easier in Hungary.

How to help?

Bank information for donations

Kisgörbő Község Önkormányzata Támogatói számla


International IBAN:

SWIFT code:


Volunteer, whenever, however you can at Kisgörbő. Gábor and his team would love your volunteer support at Kisgörbő as well, any time during the upcoming weeks.

Contact information for volunteers and donations.

Location: Kisgörbő Village Center, Kisgörbő Arany János utca 8.

Tel (HUN/ENG):

Tel (HUN/GER):

Facebook: Kisgörbő község hivatalos oldala

Gábor Kozma, mayor of Kisgörbő

#kisgörbő #schoolshelter











84FSP UberDork
8/11/22 7:37 p.m.

Really heavy stuff but I have to see the bright side here.  Folks in an unbearable position getting to have at least a bit of normal.  Keep it up and we'll keep the cash coming.

java230 PowerDork
8/12/22 8:21 p.m.

Thanks for everything you do Bill!

bmw88rider UberDork
8/12/22 10:00 p.m.

Thanks Bill for everything. With the current economy, I put my business venture to the side and accepted a real job again starting in a few weeks. Are we still taking donations through Paypal? 



Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/13/22 10:11 a.m.

Thanks guys!  I'll be honest, seeing those birthday cakes hit kinda hard.  It was something I hadn't thought about at all...  

In reply to bmw88rider :

We are, sir!  We're collecting for our monthly 500,000huf donation to the shelter, and any extra will go to Ira at the Ukrainian school in Budapest.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/13/22 10:32 a.m.

Packing day today.  31 kids, in 21 families.  All bags packed based off of age and gender.  Of course the Hungarlings were on hand to offer guidance (we dont use that, we use this.  We dont need that until x-grade, etc).














Ready for delivery.

Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter)
Hungary Bill (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
8/14/22 1:18 p.m.
84FSP said:

Sorry to hear about your father Bill.  He would be proud of what you and your family are doing for those less fortunate.  

The run sounds like quite the adventure, we're all glad you are home safe and sound.

I saw lots and lots of Ukranian Flags in Italy, France, and Germany on the recent trip.  Also got plenty of "Slava Ukraine's" for my Wolverines Tshirt.

DUDE!!!!  You did it!!! Thank you so much, I am 100% wearing it on this next trip!


84FSP UberDork
8/14/22 2:05 p.m.

Boom!  Had been patiently tracking the shipment!  It gets a lot of Slava Ukraine attention!

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