Nov 4, 2011

P0172 & P0175 Running Rich - Jaguar XJ8

Since late in the summer I had been having an intermittent problem with my 1999 Jaguar XJ8 running rich on idle.  This would cause the 'restricted performance' light to come on along with the check engine light, and my scanner would show the codes P0172 and P0175 - running rich on both banks.  

For those who are unaware, running rich means that your car isn't getting the right air to fuel ratio and is getting too much fuel or not enough air.  On the other side of things, running lean means your car isn't getting enough fuel or too much air.  

The way these codes would present themselves only when I was idling and then disappear lead me to believe that there was an incompatibility with my TPS sensor because I had worked on it in the summer and transplanted the part from a salvaged throttle body.  It turns out that wasn't the case however.  As I started to get the codes more frequently I began doing more cleaning experiments with my electrical connections, focusing largely on the mass air flow sensor (or MAF sensor).  It always seemed like the cleaning had a temporary effect, but the problem would return in the same way.

The way in which the codes were presenting themselves consistently helped me rule out that the MAF sensor had actually gone bad, but a bit of research about it helped me pinpoint the problem.  What I discovered is that there wasn't a solid enough connection between the pins of the MAF and the connector.  I took the MAF out and then slightly bent the pins so that they'd be pressing harder against the connector.  My Jag seemed to cough and wheeze a few times after this as it seemed to be recalibrating or working out a new ratio.  You could smell that the car was running really rich when it started still, however the running rich codes had stopped popping up.

After a few days the car was back to normal without incident and was able to idle without throwing codes anymore.  It was such a simple and straightforward fix that it only readdresses some of my biggest frustrations with this car and the necessity to keep the components under the hood as clean as possible.  In any case, bending the pins on the MAF sensor worked!

I've highlighted where the mass air flow sensor is located above. It is only held in with a couple of screws and you can use electrical contact cleaner on the wires, but be careful not to touch them directly as they are very sensitive. The pins for the connector can be cleaned with a toothbrush and I bent them using a kitchen knife.

Nov 2, 2011

The Sundance Kid in Wyoming

sundance kid wyomingOn a drive back from Devil's Tower in Wyoming, we noticed the town of Sundance on our map. With so many of the surrounding towns playing up their wild west history, it was on a whim that we decided to stop and see if the location had any relation to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance KidSure enough when we pulled into town, right along main street, there was a small monument depicting Harry A. Longabaugh, AKA the "Sundance Kid" behind bars. As the plaque noted, it was the time he spent in jail in Sundance, Wyoming that inspired Mr. Longabaugh's nickname.     

sundance kid wyoming

Nov 1, 2011

Bringing a Portfolio Back to Life

Here we go again.  It doesn't seem like very long ago that I took my first shot at creating a separate portfolio site to highlight all of my online ventures.  I launched a site at the beginning of 2010 and after months of upkeep and rearranging, the project fizzled out by the end of the year.  So what's changed?

Even though the portfolio didn't quite work out the first time, it didn't stop this blog or my ambitions from growing.  My online video views have continued to increase, I launched Jeeves and the Jaguar this year, and my content has become more diverse as Editing Luke evolved largely on whims.  The challenge for me then has been about how do I sum all of this up? Where do I send people? How do I promote myself? How do I take this to the next step?

When I considered all of these things I realized that what I really wanted was a portfolio again.  Editing Luke or my YouTube channel seem like obvious places to direct to, but if I'm honest, there's so much content on both that they're not always focused enough to be strategic. A portfolio has that luxury and I can feature content with goals in mind. I can also work business cards into the mix to then direct contacts and friends to my portfolio as a hub. The plan therefore is simplicity.

The new site has already been designed so this project isn't far from completion.  More updates will be available shortly.