Monthly Archive for October, 2007

Car-ma, the need to be well grounded

WTF! Had to put off working on the car till it was late enough that I wouldn’t get bugged by things wanting candy. I figured all I had to do was replace the liscence lights and I’d be good for safety, so I got that done. The one thing I didn’t check was the horn. Aw F! It don’t work! I’m going to take the morning off tomorrow to go pick up the FX (yes, it came a week earlier than I expected!) and I figured it would be a good time to get the AE86 registered and safetied also. Curses, this one last thing is going to hold things up! Busted out the wiring diagrams and the multimeter again. Trace things to the horn switch. There doesn’t seem to be a ground connection. dscf0457.JPGDamn it, I end up taking apart the steering wheel and bits. The hell? The steering shaft is isolated from ground? How the hell is this supposed to work? Ugh, it’s late, I’m tired, and you get no picture because this f’n computer card reader isn’t working either! At least the card reader works now….

How Much for a Pack of 4 AA Batteries?

Stopped by Servco today to pick up a $40 fuel filter for the FJ80.  While I was there,  I asked about the pricing for the gas struts for the liftgate and the bonnet.  They are starting to get a little weak, but still have a little life left in them.  Bonnet struts were about $70 each, and the liftgate ones were about $125 each!  WTF?!  I guess I’ll be looking for 3rd party struts if the time comes to replace them – either that get a $2 broomstick.

Yaris S frontOn my way out, I wandered through the showroom to browse the new ’08 Toyotas.  They had a Yaris S 3-door with all the packages plus some TRD parts going for $19.5K!  WTF?!  I think a ’08 Scion xD goes for below $16K bone-stock, and that already includes most of the stuff that the add-on Yaris packages include.  Granted, that particular Yaris had an A/T to drive up  the price, but still… Put the TRD wheels on the xD for $2K and you’d end up still saving money and get a 1.8-liter 1ZR-FE and a couple of extra doors to boot!

Continue reading ‘How Much for a Pack of 4 AA Batteries?’


Geeze I feel like such a doofus. Went home early to work on car since I got the title on Friday and want to get it safetied and registered ASAP. Fortunately the factory wiring diagrams have been scanned and available on net. So I printed up relevant pages and pored over it. I started testing voltages and eventually figured out the fuel cutoff relay & ECU wasn’t getting power, which both fed off same place. So next I started tracing continuity of wires. Started eliminating within the interior. Tested that power was getting to the ECU relay, so the problems was somewhere between the ECU relay in the engine bay & the cabin. I pored some more over the diagrams & looked for the designations for connectors as test points. Found one I didn’t recognize, and after hunting around in the engine bay, I finally found it hidden, and unplugged. I’d forgotten to plug it back together! Damn! But I was glad it was something simple. So I plugged it in, connected battery, and went to start it. Cranks, oh, I hear it catching! Uhh, it died. WTF? Try a couple more times, each time the same where it’ll sound like it’ll go for a couple revs, then stop. I look at the diagrams again. Hell, what can it be?! I go to test the voltages at the ECU again, and double doh! I forgot to plug the ECU back in from when I tested earlier! What a doofus! Plugged it in and everythings all good now. So just need to clean things up a bit and replace the liscence plate bulbs and should be good for safety check. Still needs a bunch of issues taken care, one of which is leaky brake master, but it’ll go now! What a relief!

Land of Salt and Torment

Darkness overcomes Dave and CkuckeI was late to the Monday F/R because I was writing crap on some blog and had to stop by the gasoline store so I’d be able to get up St. Louis without running dry.  The crew was sparse – only Ckucke, JT and me, but Pappy swung by the parking lot to make some conversation on his way home to an inconsolably crying child.

It was barely twilight when we got up to the top, but it was nice and cool.  We geared up and rode up to the park.  The weekend rains were all but dried out, so we dropped down through upper and lower dumps, then climbed up agave and did the normal trail out.  Conditions were loose and dusty, especially in the open areas around the hammock-tree and the burnt-out area. Continue reading ‘Land of Salt and Torment’

Snap, Crackle, & Pop

On Tuesday, I put some new SPD cleats on the Northwave Ninja MTB shoes I bought off Ckucke.  I needed a good set of backup shoes for the Sidi Dragon II’s, and the price was right. 

On Friday, I put them on, cranked the Boa laces tight and went for a spin around the neighborhood.  They clicked in fine with no interference from the sole on the pedal body.  The float was without resistance, so there was no contact drag.  They were stiff yet comfortable.  The insides around the arches were a bit more built out, as they rubbed the crankarm if I allowed my heels to move inward while pedaling.  A dual-Boa system like snowboard boots might have been nice so the forefoot and instep could be adjusted independently, but that might be overkill for a MTB shoe.  The fit was firm and encompassing, but if I made the Boa as tight as I would prefer for the instep, the toes became a little on the tight side. Continue reading ‘Snap, Crackle, & Pop’

Black Blood of the Earth…

…or rather Black Sauce of the Sea?

Roy was curious about the “Black Curry” at Coco Ichiban-ya for weeks, so on Thursday, he was peer-pressured (by us) into trying it.  I am not fond of ika-sumi stuff, so there’s no way I’d try it.  The waitress indicated that it was on the salty side, and this was borne out.  I’ll leave it up to you to judge the potential of the flavor by looking at Roy’s reaction to the taste…
Ika-sumi curryAjimi...Reaction

Carma, Polishing Dervish

img_0917.JPGimg_0919.JPGSo after taking off bits, I’ve finally put back new bits. Most of it goes pretty smoothly. The generic hydraulic hose I got for p/s return hose is too small, but the old one looks ok so I reuse it. About ready to run again! But before it get’s too late in the evening, I decide to bust out the random orbit polisher.

Continue reading ‘Carma, Polishing Dervish’

Car-ma Comes to the Persistent

Well, NAPA actually found the correct hose! It’s not quite exact, but looks close enough at the important parts. img_0915.JPGimg_0916.JPGStarted the process of changing the hose. To do that, needed to remove radiator so I drained it. Dude, if you wondered what brand of shoyu was using in the brakes, you’ll wonder what brand latte was running in the radiator! Ok, there’s a tinge of green at the begining, but by the time it was almost all drained…. Continue reading ‘Car-ma Comes to the Persistent’

Old Car-ma is Hard to Find

Uh oh, scarecity of parts for the over twenty year old Corolla is rearing its ugly head. Looking at where the spooge is, I’m pretty sure the power steering lines need replacing. Unfortunately the main pressure lines are discontinued at Toyota parts. Started calling around, Napa found listed, but when I picked up & took home the part, it’s not even close to what I needed. So I have two options, I might be able to take the old lines to a hydraulic shop and see if they can fabricate lines, or I can attempt to convert to manual steering.

At least the throttle cable I needed was in stock at Toyota.

You know, I don’t especially consider this car “old school” but at 20+ years this is inevitable. And it not being a big “classic” car, there isn’t a big inventory of reproduction parts.

Oh, and I took some 3M rubbing compound to the headlight and hood and it’s quite amazing!

Alien Abduction

Monday, weather was crystal clear, this night freeride was just Ckucky, Scat and me. Now by the time we got loaded up and headed up the hill, the light was getting low. Scat was connecting with his inner and outer child riding in the back seat watching a DVD on the screen in Ckucky’s van. By the time we got to the top and started unloading, the sun had set. Geared up, we set out for the park. Scat and I were rocking the newest light from NiteRider, the TriNewt three blazing LED element LiIon light. We’d been told that these are the brightest NiteRider lights and we were curious to see about that since Ckucky has the HID. Continue reading ‘Alien Abduction’