Saturday, July 22, 2017

Leaving Coeur d’Alene , Visiting Eve and Bill, Camping in the Woods.

Leaving Coeur d’Alene Casino.

We got up early and met Shirley and Bill for breakfast at 8:00.


After breakfast, Bill drove me to Rockland so I could pick up the MAP sensor that I ordered.
The Napa Store had my part so in short order we were back at the casino.

The Van Lives.

It was about 30 seconds work to install the sensor, and another 5 minutes to bolt the pipe hanger up. Once that was done, I fired the van up. It seems to run good. I am holding my breath as I won’t really know how well it is running until its out on the highway but it’s alive.

Shirley and Bill stopped by the van as they were leaving to say good bye with promises to meet this fall in Quartzsite.

I drove the van to a spot closer to the entrance to the casino and went in to get Patti and our stuff. We loaded up and in short order we were ready to head north again.

A visit with Eve and Bill.


We gassed up at the casino gas station and got on 95 heading north.
About 25 miles north of Coeur d’Alene is Farragut State Park where Bill and Eve are volunteering this summer.
We stopped at the entrance to the park and asked, where to find them. The guy at the entrance  gave us directions to their place.
Fortunately we were able to contact Eve and she met us at their place. It was lunch time so Bill showed up a few minutes later. We visited with them while Bill ate his lunch. After Bill was done with lunch Bob and I went with Bill to the maintenance shop where he is working.
Bob needed to use an air compressor to blow out some stuff from the radiator fins on his van.
I was impressed with the nice shop Bill has to work in. All the tools any man could need.

Bob blew out the radiator in a short time and we were ready to continue our trip.

The Wrong Road

Several years ago my niece Joanne and husband Dave went with us on a trip to Idaho. It was spring time and we wandered around the state for about a week. One of the roads we tried to travel was one that went across the mountains south Lake Pend Oreille.

While we were at E&B’s we discussed the route and they said that we could get on the road by following 45 to Bayview.
We took off heading for Bayview.

When we got there we found out that that wasn’t the road we wanted.
I asked a guy at the local watering hole where the road we wanted was. He told me that we had to go back toward Coeur d’Alene and take Bunco Road east.
We back tracked to 95 and turned south.  After a while we found the Bunco Rd. turnoff and took it heading east.

Lunch in the shade.

We drove up Bunco Road for quite a ways and eventually found a place with a little shade to stop for lunch.


While we were there Patti was playing with the Macro setting on her camera and got this nice shot.


and this one.



After lunch we continued trying to get through the mountains.


We made several wrong turns and had to back track several times but there were some nice views along the way.


You can see the road we are on snaking down into the valley below.


We came to a couple spots with views of the lake.


A good camp spot

Late in the afternoon we were trying to find the correct road when we came down a steep hill along a power line cut.  The road ended at a perfect camp spot. We decided this would be our spot tonight so we pulled back in the trees and camped.


After supper I had to crawl under the van and tighten the exhaust flange bolts again. I put some blue goop on the threads this time. I hope it helps.

Noise in the Woods.

While we were sitting around later in the evening we heard what sounded like an Elk whistling.
Bob thought that it sounded like a human trying to mimic an Elk. As it turned out it was an Elk and we saw several across the canyon from us not far away.

Can you can see two Elk in this picture?


I tried to get some close ups but most are not real clear. I should have let Patti take the pictures as she is better at it.


These Elk spooked and vanished into the woods.

Later we heard some crashing in the woods on our side of the canyon and saw two other Elk skirting out camp inside the tree line

Odds and Ends

There is a nice stream running in the canyon below us.


We also noticed this large nest on the power line tower.


Okay that was our travels on Friday 7/21. We hope to make Eureka, Montana today.  I think we will have to hustle.

The van is running good but now the muffler is falling apart. Eventually I will have to get it replaced.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Coeur d’Alene Casino, 7/20

Bob Arrives.

I was siting in the hotel room around 11:00, reading a book, waiting for Bob to show up.

The house phone rang. It was Bill saying that Bob was here and was waiting at my van.

A Short Discussion.

We sat down at Bob’s van and we talked over the symptoms my van was exhibiting.
After talking it over for a short time we decided that we had  plan of attack.

Loose Exhaust Pipe.

First Bob wanted to do a good inspection of the TBI installation and van’s engine in general.
While he was under the van he noticed that the exhaust pipe was very loose at the manifold.
I crawled under the van and tightened the nuts. One of the nuts had worked it’s way almost to the end of the bolt. The interesting thing is that I tightened that nut up before we left home because it was almost off the bolt. I will have to get another nut so I can double nut it.

I tightened the nut as much as I could  but the tail pipe was still wobbly. We decided that it needed another hanger.

Bob theorized that the loose exhaust was causing the O2 sensor to give a false reading.

We started the van and it still had the check engine light.

The Map Sensor.

Bob’s van has the same MAP sensor so the next thing we did was to swap sensors.
When we started the engine with Bob’s sensor on it, the check engine light was out and the engine ran smooth.
I knew that damn sensor was bad.

The Napa store.

I got directions from Bill, how to get to the Napa Store in Rockland.
Then off Bob and I went in my van with Bob’s MAP sensor installed.
The van ran smooth and had good power.
We got to the Napa store and showed the guy behind the counter the part and gave him as much information as we had including a part number that was in the TBI manual. He looked on the computer and couldn’t find the part.
Eventually he pulled out one of his older parts book. In this older book he came up with a picture of the part and a part number that worked.
He checked the computer and said there was one sensor in Spokane.
I asked if he would order the part and he did.
It is supposed to be at his store after 8:00 tomorrow morning.

I also bought a tailpipe hanger to fix the wobbly tailpipe.

Back at the Casino.

We headed back to the casino. The van was running so good I was almost giddy. I just hope it lasts.

When we got back to the casino, Bob had to fix something to eat.
I left him and told him that he could use our shower and Wi-Fi.
I went back to our room and hung out until Bob showed up.
After BS’ing for a short time I headed to the casino to find Patti and some lunch.
I found Patti at the video Blackjack table and we went in search of Shirley and Bill. After a short search we found them.
We asked them if the were ready to eat some lunch and they were so we went to a small snack bar where we could get sandwiches, etc.
After lunch we realized that it was already 4:00. We decided that, that would have to be our supper.

After eating, I went with Patti back to the Blackjack table where she played for just a short time. We went back to our room where I took a short nap.

Tail Pipe

After my nap, I went to the van to try and install the Pipe hanger.

I needed to borrow a bolt from Bob to connect the hanger to the cross frame. We found a nut and bolt in his bag of nuts and bolts.
Unfortunately the bolt was metric and I don’t have any metric tools with me. Some of the threads on the bolt were bad so I wasn’t able to tighten it up all the way.
I’ll pick a nut and bolt for that up tomorrow when I get the sensor

While I was working to get the hanger installed, I noticed that the Muffler was rotating around the tail pipe so I will need to get a new muffler at some point. It should be okay for a while with the new hanger holding things up.

Back at the Room.

Bob and I went back to the room and sat around shooting the breeze until he eventually headed back to his van.

After he left, I started this post so I guess that pretty much brings us up to the minute.

Coeur d’Alene Casino, 7/19

Checking the Van

After lunch Bill and I went out to the van so I could try some things. Of course I didn’t learn anything specific but I did find out that the power connection was apparently ok. If it wasn’t the engine will not start.

Looking for Some Parts.

Bob suggested that I get some twist lock wire nut’s in case we have to fix a bad connection.
Bill and I went driving around and went to two towns. One had a Napa store but they didn’t have any wire nut’s. I asked if there was a hardware store around and the guy in the store told us that in the next town was a hardware store.
Okay off we go then.

We drove to the next town which was only about 5 miles away. We drove through town a couple of times and saw no hardware store.
Eventually I told bill to pull in at a small grocery store where I went in to ask where the hardware store was.

“Hardware store”? The man said. “Why, we haven’t had a hardware store here for several years.”

I thanked the guy and got back in Bills car.
“Lets go home, we are getting nowhere here.” I said.
We went back to the Casino.

Troubleshooting the Van

I went back to the room and hung out for a while.
I spent my time reading the manual.
After a while I figured that I kind of knew what to do to trouble shoot the problem.
I went to the van and started working my way through the procedure. After some initial steps the manual says to jumper pin B&C on the cable to the MAP sensor. The only problem it that there are no markings on the plug to tell which one is A, B, or C.
I ran the test twice. I figured that the center connector was “B”. I jumped from the center to one side and got an error code that said that the MAP sensor was bad.
From the center to the other side gave me a error code that said that the computer was bad. There were other tests but not knowing which connectors are which I don’t know what to do.
So of course I still have no idea what is really wrong.

Bob Called.

Around 7:30 pm  Bob called. He was in La Grand, Oregon and said that he would probably get here late tonight 7/19 or some time tomorrow 7/20.
Probably tomorrow.

Okay that is the update for today.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Coeur d’Alene Casino 7/18

Leaving Plymouth.

We hung around the camp in Plymouth until around 12:30. We didn’t want to get to the Coeur d’Alene Casino too early as we were planning to spend the next three night’s in the van in the casino parking lot.

When we left the park in Plymouth the check engine light was on steady. I decided to ignore it and see how it ran. It ran okay. It went up and down hills with no problem. It cruised with no decelerating and accelerating. I was even able to pass on the freeway.
The down side to this is that the fuel consumption almost doubled. It went from 10 mpg to 6.5 mpg. Not good.
This morning I looked at the error code’s The old code 45 is still there and there is a code 34 which is a MAP related code. I don’t know why the fuel consumption is so bad. I was thinking that the computer stopped trying to control the fuel flow and is just dumping fuel into the throttle body.

As we drove north on I-82 we went through some of my least favorite country. It is pretty desolate out here.


Eventually you get to where the miles and miles of grain fields start.


We drove along for miles and miles with not much else to look at. Eventually we came to the Pasco/ Kennewick area.
At Covington we took highway 26 east. At Colfax we took 272/6 to US 95 where we turned north and drove to the Coeur d’Alene Casino.

As we got closer to Idaho, the land began to turn green and there were trees. A nice relief for the eyes.


There was a lot of road work so we spent a lot of time sitting in the van in the sun.


Finally at the Casino.

It took us about 5 hours to get to the casino. By then we were hot and exhausted. A couple of hours before we got here we decided that if they had any rooms available we were going to get a room for the next couple of days. The prospect of AC and showers is a strong motivator.
We were fortunate as we were able to get a room for the whole 3 nights.

Tuesday Morning 7/19.

Shirley and Bill showed up around 11:30.
We went with them so they could get some lunch. While we were at the restaurant I got a call from Bob.

He is heading our way and should be here tonight or tomorrow morning. Hopefully between us we can figure out this TBI problem and we can continue the trip.

More tomorrow.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Monday 7/18 ride from Redmond, OR to Plymouth, WA.

Leaving Redmond Oregon.

Around 9:30 we said good bye to Samantha and headed north on 97.


Following the Columbia River.

We followed 97 to Biggs, OR where we got onto I-84 heading east along the Columbia River.
The first dam we came to was the John Day Dam.

We also saw some barges on the river.



After about 5 hours of travel we came to Umatilla, OR  just across the river from Plymouth. Plymouth has no services so we stopped in Umatilla for gas.

Plymouth RV park.

One of the reasons we like to stop here is that the RV park has the only available shade for about 100 miles in all directions and it is always hot when we are here.


With the motor home it isn’t a problem because it has AC. The van doesn't.

The Van.

The van ran crappy the whole trip. It accelerates ok but now it won’t cruse.  It will go along nicely for a while then it will start to shudder and loose speed. As you slowly depress the accelerator it slows down even more; then it will burst forward and accelerate.
Most of the time it is either decelerating or accelerating.
Then sometimes it will smooth out and run pretty good for a few minutes.
The check engine light comes on for short periods of time. When the check engine light comes on the engine tends to smooth out and run almost good.
From what I can determine the error codes point to either the MAP sensor or the computer as the problem. I hate to do it but I think that I am going to just buy a MAP sensor to see if it fixes the problem. They are over $100 so I am hesitant without knowing that the old one is actually bad. I have no means to test the sensor at this point.

I have decided that if we can’t fix the problem by the 24th of July, that is the day we are to start the actual Continental Divide trip,
I am going to pullout and probably tow the van home.

Now I am wishing that I would have left the carburetor system in the van. It may have been smelly (boiling gas in the carb when stopped) but it ran great.

Okay, that’s it for now.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Work on the Van. Pizza and Cards.

Work on the Van.

Yesterday I worked on the van for a couple hours in the morning.
There were some error codes but they were intermittent so they didn’t come back. They will come back though.
I still don’t have a clue what is going on.
I did notice that a couple of times coming down the highway when the check engine light was on, the van actually ran a little better. WTF?

Pizza and Cards.

Around 4:30 we went over to Sue and Mike’s for Pizza and cards.
We played Shanghai Rummy again. The game is starting to make some kind of sense. I actually won last night’s game. Miracles will never cease.

While we were there we took some pictures.

Samantha, Sue and Mike.


Samantha and us.


Thanks Sue and Mike for your hospitality.

Today 7/17/17

We will leave Redmond, OR today around 10:00. Our next destination is Plymouth, Washington. We plan to spend the night there and then continue on to the Coeur d’Alene Casino.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

The 2nd leg of our trip to Eureka, Montana.

Leaving Kathi and Bob’s.

We got up early and around 8:30 we said good by to Kathy, Bob and their grandson, Lucas.
We had a very nice visit; Thanks Kathi and Bob.

Heading North

We drove north from Glendale, OR to The 7 Feathers Casino where we stopped to gas up.
From there we continued north to Roseburg, OR where we turned east on Hwy.138.
The highway follows the Umpqua River and is a nice scenic ride.


The Van.

The van is running a little better than it was when we got here but still isn’t running right. There are still hesitations and stumbles when accelerating but it has enough power to climb over the mountains between I-5 and Hwy. 97. I guess that will have to do until we get to Redmond OR.  I will see what I can do for it when we get there.

Arrive in Redmond, OR.

We made it to Samantha’s place by around 2PM.
Samantha is our granddaughter and lives in Redmond so we plan to spend a couple days here.
We visited with Samantha and I took a little nap.

The heat and the stress of the drive (with the van not running so good) wiped me out.

Sue and Mike.

Sue and Mike are Samantha’s other grandparents and live here in Redmond. Patti and Sue talked on the phone and it was decided that we should meet them at a restaurant called Madeline’s.

Supper at Madeline’s

Patti, Samantha and I got in the van and drove to the restaurant. Sue and Mike were there already.
I wasn’t very impressed with Madeline’s; we were there for an hour before we got our food. I wasn’t very hungry so Patti and I shared some fish and chips.
3 small pieces of what looked like frozen Fish Sticks that were over cooked.
It was supposed to be Halibut.
I don’t know if it was or not, but if it was, it was the worst piece of Halibut that I have ever eaten.
I don’t know about the other meals, although Samantha’s steak looked okay.
I am afraid that Madeline’s won’t get my endorsement.

Cards at Sue and Mikes.

After supper we went to Sue and Mike’s to play cards.
They introduced us to a game they call ‘Shanghai Rummy’.


It is an interesting game that takes a lot of planning and thought.
I Lost!
We left Sue and Mike’s around 10:00 and went back to Samantha’s.

Today: Sunday.

Today I am going to see if I can figure out what’s going on with the TBI. Wish me luck!