Sunday, March 3, 2013

That Familiar Feel of Snow

You may be happy to know that my blog hasn't been the only thing I've neglected over the last couple of months.  Today, for the first time in over a month, the family and I hit Mount Hood.  I'll touch on that and the latest page in the saga of my Jetta.  No bus news today.  I was going to test drive him this weekend, but I focused on other things instead.  If I have a dry and uneventful morning this week, I'll drive him to work as a test flight.

Flash Lives
Poor Man's Ramp
First, some context.  The symptoms were simple: little power, hard starting, seemingly no turbo and black exhaust.  For codes, I was getting a P1556: low or inconsistent boost.  Yep, the turbo wasn't kicking in properly.  Now, based on the days when the turbo wasn't kicking in on the bus, I knew the sound of a turbo firing up, but not boosting.  That was the sound I was hearing.  On Saturday, I prepared to get the Jetta (Flash) operating right.  Since I'm without a place to work on it, I set up on the street, using the poor-boy's ramp: the curb.  Once the engine is running, crank the wheel all the way so that the back of the front tire is facing the curb.  Then back-up.  Simple.  I slid under Flash and verified the connections from the turbo to the intercooler were good.  From the top-side, though, things were sideways.  The hard-pipe coming out of the intercooler was loose and grinding against the coolant pump.  We have our problem.  I drove it to Johnny, showed him the evidence, and he fixed it.  He did my rear brake pads too, and didn't charge me for either.  Thanks, Johnny.  Flash runs awesome.  Now, I need a pair of tires, and he's ready for another 40k+ miles.

C resting mid-Molly's
I hit Timberline with my boys and Boo today.  She couldn't slide, needing to grade student work unfortunately.  Turned out C had left his boots at his mom's house anyway, so he went in Boo's (they have the same size feet).  The snow was hard-packed with about 1/2 an inch of puff on top.  It was fast, but the crashes were painful.  I only spilled a couple of times (once on my helmet-protected skull, trying to follow C off a jump).  It really was what my mood needed, though.  There is nothing like a day of playing with your kids.

I Know that Feeling
We left the mountain in a bit of a rush.  T & C were due back at their mom's, so they left in the lead car while Boo and I arranged the ski equipment into the larger carry-car.  As we made our way off the mountain, we discovered an ice-patch.  Ahh... I haven't lost traction on slide-y stuff in years.  Funny how the old skills kick in, though.  Total calm, turn into the skid and lightly tap the brakes.  We righted our descent.  No side-rail impacts, no nerves even, really.  Oddly enough, the car behind us didn't hit the ice, nor were they deterred in their close traveling distance.  Bah!

That's it for tonight.  Have a great week, and thanks for following along.  I'll try to get back to this posting with a couple pictures...

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