Not a Tango, nothing to see here

May 7, 2012

In which I vow to hate Idaho. Mostly.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — antitango @ 9:29 am

Continued from Part 1


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.

Tales of a really crappy Boomershoot drive

Filed under: 2A, guns — Tags: , — antitango @ 8:46 am

Boomershoot was amazing…  the drive to and fro, not so much.

I believe in taking care of my gear.  I drive a ’95 Blazer.  It’s not going to win any awards.  I figure if I take care of my stuff, even my ’95 Blazer, it will take care of me.

Sometimes I’m wrong…


I went to Boomershoot with a coworker who we will call Kurtis.  Kurtis is not his real name.  Duh.  The plan was to finish up work at 3pm on Tuesday, Apr 24th and head out.  From Northern Utah, we were planning on stopping somewhere around Boise or one of the small towns just north of there.  That gave us until about 11pm to drive, giving us plenty of time the following day to finish the trip.

About 3 hours later, we were very close to the junction of I-84 and I-86 towards Boise.  I started feeling a distinct lack of power in the engine when I would give it gas.  It got worse and worse to the point where it started stalling if I let it get to idle speeds.  We tried some basic fixes at Autozone like Fuel Injector cleaner, stuff like that.  When that didn’t work, we set up the camper at a Walmart parking lot in Burley, ID.  By pure luck, we were close enough to the Jack in the Box to leech off of their public Wifi.


On Wednesday, we called around trying to find an auto shop that could get the work done for us.  NONE of the smaller shops could do it.  The Chevy dealer (Kim Hensen Chevrolet) was more than willing to help out.  We literally coasted into the parking lot since once we started it, it wouldn’t go for more than 5 seconds at a pop.  This was at about 8:30am or so.  This took us until about 3pm until they got back to us.  Their waiting room wasn’t too bad.  8 seats, an unplugged TV, and intermittent wifi.  On the good side, they had a sandwich girl that came in to sell foodstuffs and a constant flow of veterans, proudly sporting their vet hats, pins, etc to chat it up with.

Nearest the service center could figure out is that when they redid some wiring near the engine that was feeding the injectors, they got a response.  They tried swapping the distributor cap, the fuel pump, the fuel filter, and the fuel lines and they were getting good fuel pressure.  This led them to believe that the wires to the injectors were corroded since the wiring was done piss-poorly.  Problem fixed!

Let me tell ya….  the drive north out of Boise is amazing.  It’s going through forests and canyons while stone-stepping through tiny towns.  We stopped in Cascade, ID for the night and just got a motel room since it was pissing rain, cold, and I really did not want to set up the camper in that stuff.


The next morning, ‘Kurtis’ sent a text to Joe (AT&T has reception about as well as a quadriplegic can clap) telling him we’d be getting there around 11-12.  We got to the Mecca on around noon amid rain.  Trudged up the hill (wasn’t about to try to leave the gravel road since my 4WD doesn’t engage) and met with Joe.  Since the rain was showing no signs of letting up and it was proving to be a bit cold, I went back down to the Blazer to get my snow pants.  While I was down there, I turned the blazer around…  and got 1 tire stuck on the mud.  I’m glad I keep the e-tool my brother bought me nearby!  15 minutes of self-help and I was good to go.  However…  by that point, I was mud to my knees and soaked, so the snow pants were pretty pointless.

Good thing I was to be inside the Mecca folding boxes.

Now, there’s my trip to Boomershoot.  The return trip in a later post.

On to Part Deux (pronounced ducks)!

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