With Boomershoot over, ‘Kurtis’ and I head to Orofino so we can get an early start the next morning home. On the way down the grade, I feel the Blazer giving me problems. Seems the problems are the same as before. WTF? (Whisky Tango Foxtrot?) The Blazer died halfway down the grade, right where the Dworshak Dam turnoff is, so we had a safe spot to turn off at. I panicked, duh, and called Barron. I’m not really sure what I expected him to be able to do… but I had to do something. He showed up with Phil and Scott from RNS. “We have a Code Dworshak… gunblogger in need of assistance!”
Right before they showed up, I called a local auto shop who called a tow truck. The tow truck got us in and then gave us a lift to the Helgemeister hotel or whatever the name is. We don’t know because they closed their office and didn’t answer their after-hours buzzer. We walked over to the Best Western instead.
We ended up being there for 2 days because they had to order a complete distributor. See, when Kim Hansen Chevrolet replaced the cap in Burley, they also broke one of the mount points on the distributor itself.
Finally, the guy got it fixed. It was determined to be the same electrical connection to the injectors. So, off we go. We stopped in Lowell, ID for lunch at a place called Ryan’s. Damn good food. No, it’s not the chain restaurant. This one is some little rinky-dink side of the road diner… but with incredibly palatable food. And a Jackalope.
About 30 miles east of Lowell, ID… we broke down again. Same symptoms. A $350 tow truck ride later, we find ourselves back in Kooskia (pronounced Koos-key for the uninitiated).
Another overnight stay at a tiny motel (the only one in town) and the mechanic has the Blazer and we find the REAL problem. The electrical connection (the same one that was ‘fixed’ twice in the past) feeds into the engine itself. Inside of there, those 2 wires connect to a wiring harness of sorts that clips onto the injector. It looks a bit like the female receiver to a headphone jack with the same type of connection to ensure it holds.
Basically, what had happened was as we were driving, since Idaho has less than optimal roads in the north, the bumping and jarring of normal driving would work the wire OUT of the engine block because that’s where the tension on it equalizes. As it came out, the tension INSIDE of the engine block on that wire caused the wiring harness to rise up ever so slightly. When it did this, the connection would get lost and the car would stall.
The fix? Grab a set of gloves and feed that wire into the engine block as far as it would go. That would push the wiring harness down, back onto the contacts again and good for another few hours.
We left about 2pm or so on Wednesday. It happened twice more on our way out. The first time, simply pushing the wire back in did not fix it… and had me in panic mode. Again. ‘Kurtis’ tried it again and it DID work. Phew, good to go. An hour later it happened yet again. ‘Kurtis’ crammed the wire as far in as he could and it never gave us another problem. I dropped him off at home at about 11pm and I got home at about 11:30 or some such. I forget.
So, Boomershoot was a very literal blast of a time. The trip to and from Boomershoot was a huge (and expensive) bummer… all over a part that costs about $5 at the very very most.
Incredible thanks to Phil, Scott, and Barron who dropped everything to help out even though there wasn’t a lot to help with.
Fellas… next year I’m bringing a treat. You’ll like it.