Fezzik ran great across the desert. 75-80mph. Cruise control. Air conditioning running full blast. Not so much as a hiccup. Until just outside Phoenix, when that damned misfire returned. Sort of.
About a mile before the rest area exit, P told us her stuffed animal had to go potty. I asked if she needed to go too. The answer was an emphatic “No!” I remember thinking, if I hadn’t been so sleep deprived (I haven’t got better than six hours sleep in a night in over a week), I’d do the Good Guy Dad thing and pull in so the bright pink and green puppy could go potty.
You can imagine the simmering rage when, just as we were passing the rest area–literally moving left to clear merging traffic back onto the highway–the cry came out from the backseat… “I have to go potty.”
This sort of thing had happened half a dozen times over the weekend. Being a little over an hour from home, I was tempted to let her piss her pants and learn a lesson, but Good Guy Dad knew better.
I punched it and moved left to pass a line of big trucks. 75… 80… 85… 90… misfire… CEL.
We caught the next exit in Tolleson, and while the girls went inside to pee, I pulled Adam’s MUT-II diagnostic tool from the back of the truck and pulled the code. P0300–random misfire.
It wasn’t P0303–cylinder 3 misfire, but it was a misfire. Another goddamned misfire.
Back on the highway, the CEL came right back. It wasn’t misfiring, as far as I could tell, but it was down on power and barely able to maintain 75mph into town. When I checked the code back home in the driveway, the code was now P0125–low coolant temp.
I didn’t even bother unpacking the truck. I cleared the code and let Fezzik sit all day the next day. And I’ll live with the randomly shrieking brakes until Saturday. I’m getting too old for this shit.
It was uncharacteristically hot for SoCal this weekend. Brutally hot. Combined with slowly creeping up a rough, steep road, it was a real test of cooling system design.
We weren’t 15 minutes into the climb when my temp gauge started moving north of it’s usual haunt, just below the halfway mark. With no apparent place to pull over or let people by, I was starting to freak out.
But then I saw Josh pulled over around the next bend, hood open, engine revving to 2500rpm to get some coolant and airflow through his radiator. And then it was Phil, in the Evo, doing likewise, around the next bend.
The only ones without cooling system worries were the guys with fully built trucks running lower gears and electric fans. And they weren’t about to leave anyone behind.
A small storm cloud teased cooling rain that would never happen. Half a dozen hang- and paragliders circled slowly and silently above.
It took us at least two hours to make the five mile drive up to the summit. I stopped four times to let Fezzik cool down. One of those times, I sat for 20 minutes waiting to make sure the transmission temps came back down, too.
In the end, we all made it to the top. Spending the evening around an LED campfire, getting to know each other better. It was wonderful. And, even more wonderful, Fezzik’s misfire was nowhere to be found on the hellish crawl to the top.
Oh! And I already have an electric radiator fan and updated transfer case lever ready to go in the garage. Excellent.
I easily put 30 hours of work into Fezzik in the six days leading up to MOD. This was supposed to be Buyer’s Guide time. At least, some of it, anyway.
Instead, I fired up InDesign a little after 9PM the night before we left for SoCal. Four hours before my alarm was set to go off (with time to pack for the weekend), I finally finished the very simple landing page and MailChimp automation to deliver it.
Josh walked down the street from MOD to get a few printed at Kinko’s Friday night–after parking at MOD.
We more than doubled their subscriber list, and started talking about how we might use the upcoming, monthly newsletter to curate a sort of Adventure Driven De’Zine experience with it.