Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Magical Moments.

I have the day off today,  and I wanted to post something.   After our weekend trip to Madison,  there were many other "moments" that did not manage to make it into the previous posts.   So I decided I would see if I can make this "photo dump" just so I can get them out there.   Nothing really ground breaking,  just "magical."   Enjoy!
A Bridge Over Troubled Water.
The Cotton falls.  Cheryl Says," Pretty Cool."

I'm Dancin'   And Singing in  the rain
Crushing the Competition at the Finish Line

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Subaru Throttle Body.. Revisited!

Another Adventure with the Great Ethan Allen....  This time with a happy ending!

So the actual story begins a few days ago when Cheryl's parents came to visit.   Subie decided to act up and give us a scare;  forcing us to leave him behind and worry for the remainder of the day about his condition.   Turns out,  we had just fueled up and he had stalled (typical lately)  but I somehow managed to do the "secret handshake"  for Subaru.   ( I'm not 100% positive, but it is not impossible.)

Dying to know?   Here it is:
1) Warm up the engine
2) Turn the ignition switch OFF
3) Turn the ignition switch ON
4) Start the engine
5) Drive the vehicle at speeds greater than 12 MPH
6) Stop the vehicle
7) Depress the brake pedal and move the gear selector to "1"
8) Turn the ignition switch to OFF
9) Turn the ignition switch to ON
10) Move the gear selector to "2"
11) Move the gear selector to "1"
12) Move the gear selector to "2"
13) Move the gear selector to "3"
14) Move the gear selector to "D" 
Now examine the AT Oil Temp light again:
If the light's blinking 4 times a second, then the problem is most likely a power supply or ground problem.
If the light's blinking 2 times a second, then the TCM believes all is normal.
If the light's on solid or not on at all, then there's a problem with the light's circuit.

New Idle Control Switch
I do know in my panicked state, I dropped the switch all the way down to 1st gear instead of park. (I was at a stop light when it happened.)  Had I triggered the flashing "Oil Temp" light?   I will never know...but I checked the oil ( which was fine) and I have not been able to trigger that event again.  I did not know that I should have been counting the blinks,   if that was even significant.

VERY dirty Throttle Body. Engine side.
Regardless!   We had a pretty good time with the folks and when we finally got home, there was a part on the door waiting for us.    The Idle Control sensor that Cheryl had ordered several days ago.  I decided to put it in that night ( only two screws!) and BOOM!   Idle and stalling fixed!

Air side,  Still dirty after my first attempt
However,  I still have a sticky pedal for the gas and I wanted to see if I could clean up that dirty Throttle body.  Today was just the thing!

Idle Valve seat.  Still needs work
I managed to get the darn thing off easy enough. This was quite an achievement for me because I did not break anything. No broken hoses or electrical plugs.  With the throttle Body off,  I was able to see the grime that was causing the sticking.

After an hour of scrubbing and wiping.   Much better!

Q-tips and toothbrush for small areas
All that Carbon build up is a serious problem to get off!   I use the cleaner,  but it only "loosens" the carbon for about 5 seconds before it solidifies again.  I took the better part of the afternoon to do the best job I could.  I had to wipe the crud off with a towel before it dried back on the housing.  Rather time consuming.  Spray spray,  Scrub scrub, wipe wipe.  Repeat.

Idle Valve seat looks better now. 

Buff up Hose mounts
In the end, all those years cleaning weapons in the Army paid off.   I used Q-Tips to get the narrow areas and a toothbrush to loosen up the stubborn parts.  Much better!

New Gasket.  In case I need it.

Hidden Location!
Old and New PVC valve.
The unanswered question is:  " How did it get this dirty to begin with?"  Long story short.   PVC for the oil.   This took a bit of work, but I managed to get the darn thing off.   ( A serious story in itself,  but this post is getting too long.)  Replaced that and the hose that leads to the throttle.  Two jobs done!

But does Subie work?   YES!   No more sticky gas pedal,  No more rough idle.  I would like to think I fixed other problems, but I'm just happy Subie does not have that junk blocking up his airways.  And best of all,   I did it myself with out causing further damage.   As the Doctors say:   Do no harm first.

Now onto the Power-steering hoses ( dry rotted) and maybe the Purge Valve Solenoid. ( if I can find it)    Fixing Subie one small part at a time.   Another adventure success!   Yeah Me!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Madtown Half Marathon Complete!

More Bling for the Trophy wall
Ultra!  For An "Ultra" Runner
"No PR for Cheryl, but a solid performance!"  Was the "Official" verdict from all interested parties.  (Just me and Cheryl, really) Her pace was sub 8 minute miles, with hills and rain and crowds to contend with.   Overall:  Not too bad.

Heavy Rains Pre-race
Runners will not be stopped.
We woke at around 4 A.M to the sound of thunder and flashes of lightning.  Cheryl checked her phone to make sure the race was still on.  It was.   Those runners have an "Unhealthy" relationship to running.

Ponchos are Confusing!

Cheryl smirks at the "unprotected"
It rained pretty hard for the ride to the start line.   It was so bad, we chose to stop and pick up a couple of Ponchos.  I even broke out the umbrella buried in the back trunk for extra protection.   The rain kept the crowds down.... or at least in their cars until about 10 minutes before the race.   We took that opportunity to hit the port-o-jons.

Before the rain stops.

Entering the Gate

Luckily, the rain trickled down to almost nothing when the gun finally went off.

10 minutes before the gun goes off.

Find Cheryl in this Picture...
 I almost missed Cheryl as she stepped behind a couple of tall guys near the front.

I had a second opportunity at mile one, but she was moving "So Fast!" that I only caught this Blur of an image.
Follow the Beers!

Mile one Blurs by!

And finally I managed to catch her at the finish.  Overall female:  She came in 19th.  (out of 794 females)  Several women from her age group happened to be way in front if her. (so probably no age group award)   Her overall time was 1:42:08.  Again,  Not her best,  but fairly consistent with this year's times.
Cheryl runs! While Guy checks Email
Time for Victory Pics!

After posing for a few "after race pictures"  Cheryl grabbed some loot and headed for the beer tent.  One thin can of Michalob  Light with a Veggy Sandwich from Panera.   Totally a runner's breakfast.

Look at all the LOOT!
Cheryl scores the Runner's Breakfast

Cheryl's Moment of "Zen".
Zazzle Buttons!

Zazzle Notebook
Cheryl inspired Business card.
So after a moment of Zen,   We drove back to the Hotel and cleaned up.

 Upon arrival home,  Cheryl was rewarded when she received her order from Zazzle.  One Notebook,   some buttons and a business card.   With a little luck, we will be able to use them later this summer.   Time will tell.

Hope everyone is having a fun Sunday this weekend.   I forgot that it is Memorial Day Weekend.   I see all the American Flags on the graves of the fallen or past heroes.  I like that.  As a Veteran,  it's cool to think I will get one someday ( hopefully not for a VERY long time).

 Even though my contribution to the safety of this nation was minimal at best.   I could explain that the Terrorist knew better than to attack while I was on the job....  But I'll save that story for another blog post.  Cheers!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

A Mad Dash For Madtown Half Marathon

Cheryl doing a Crazy, Angry, Mad, Dash for MadTown
Not sure why it is called "Mad".   Could it be Mad as in Anger?  Or Mad as in Crazy?   What ever the reason,  we traveled to Madison Wisconsin for the event.
Foggy Morning in Iowa

Makes for Fun Driving.
 The morning was rather foggy in Iowa,  With a chance of rain on race day.   We prepared for it, but it also says it will be warmish.   Perhaps the rain will keep Cheryl cool enough to have a good run.

Not a lot of People
Cheryl is next in Line.
The Expo was a two day affair, but it seemed to lack the crowd other Madison races seem to draw.   Perhaps it is because of the STATE FAIR going on here this weekend.   I'm sure glad we are going to avoid that part of town.  Fairs are CRAZY busy.
Cheryl shows off her personalized bib.

Cheryl picked up her packet and we milled around for a sec, enjoying the lack of people bumping into us.

Do I need another Hoodie?

A few Photo Ops.    Cheryl trying on clothes.

Cheryl says her Name should be here.
If only she could reach.
  Pointing out where her Name should have been.

Looking information about the race that we might have to know tomorrow.   Looks like a fairly standard race.

Something was telling us our next move
Time to go shopping. 
Afterwards,  we received a signal from the universe that we should see if we can find some Wisconsin Beer.   We Stopped in a Brennan's.   A Place we know from last time.   They have an awesome beer selection.

Finding the right Beer.

Checking out our HUGE room

And trying on the Race Shirt.
Finally,  we arrived at our room.   They upgraded us to a KING SIZED room....  one that is almost as large as our entire apartment.   I'm not sure what we need all this space for, but it is nice that they thought of us for such a thing.

Pizza hut to the Rescue!
This Crust Yum!
After a quick stop at Pizza Hut,   We went for a walk around the area.   I was enchanted with the Cottonwood tufts snowing down on us.   Japan might have their Spring Cherry Blossoms....but here in Wisconsin,  they have Cottonwood.

This reminds me of the HUGE Cottonwood tree we had in our yard back (in Michigan)  when I was in grade school.   The neighbors hated it because the cotton would clog their pool's filter.   It was a sad day when Dad took it down.   My mother hated having a tree that large between the garage and house.   Mom got her way and Dad was forced to take it down.   I doubt that made the neighbors like us any better.

So back in our room now, Sampling the beer and gearing up for tomorrow.   Cheryl is hoping to have a "good" run,   meaning she is hoping to get a PR.   If the weather holds up ( cool,  maybe a little rain....Low humidity)   maybe she might actually pull it off.   We shall see.   In the mean time,  I'm sampling Scuttlebutt Tripel Seven Belgian Style Ale.   A wonderful "wet dish towel" flavor to it.   I'll be sipping this one while I retire for the remainder of the evening.  Thanks for stopping in!


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