18 April 2012
We’re plowing through the necessary steps of getting on the road headed east. I’ve got a new prescription for eye glasses and Celia will get hers in a few days. Celia is done with the internist and has her replacement prescriptions. So with us nearly ready, it was time to get the truck to the doctor too…
While we were wintering in Arizona we got Ford’s newest Power Control Module firmware installed (factory recall); the high pressure fuel pump replaced (warranty); and a new engine wiring harness installed (warranty). But after all this free warranty work, the Banks tuner was not working properly. Each time the dealer tried reconnecting the Banks system, the truck didn’t run right and started throwing codes (error messages).
|Our truck in the service bay|
So the time had come to go see the New Mexico diesel and Banks expert in Cedar Crest. Spear’s Auto Center helped friends Mike & Susan get their Banks-equipped 2003 Ford diesel (7.3 liter) running better than it had in the 8 years they’d owned it. Scott Spear listened to my tale of woe to get a few clues, reconnected the Banks harness & modules, and guess what? It didn’t run right and started throwing codes. [ Sound familiar?! ]
One short call later to Banks Tech Support and Scott had a few ideas of where to look. Off he went again into the bowels of our truck and, sure enough, pin 39 of the Banks harness wasn’t seated properly… the source of the problem. Possibly a pin that hadn’t been seated properly when the harness was first built. It’s something I’ve dealt with in an earlier life, but we’ll never know. Took another 1/2 hour of contortion and liberal use of magnifying glass and elbow grease, and Scott had it fixed. Yee haw!
|That’s Scott on the phone in the back|
Now the truck seems to run great and we’re still getting good mileage. What it does with a load (the trailer) is still a mystery, but that day will be here soon enough.
When all was said and done, I felt really good about going out of the way to see Scott and his dad Gary at Spear’s Auto Center. It was well worth the extra miles and was money well spent. These guys are good and they’re Banks dealers. In our case, that’s a big deal. We still have a few months or 14,000 miles of warranty left, but in another 14,000 miles (or July, the month the warranty was activated in 2007) I’ll probably talk to them about what else they can do to improve our fuel consumption.
|A customer’s car… in for service.|
Btw, I was told these Ford diesels need to be fed a diet supplement of diesel conditioner to keep injectors operating properly. They said most diesel conditioners (a chemical product added to the tank before pumping in the diesel, so you have to estimate how much fuel you’re going to pump) should be OK although they weren’t so sure about the Power Service product WalMart sells. But conditioner from Racor, MotorCraft, AMSoil and a few others is supposed to be good. I chose Racor instead of the Power Service conditioner I’d used previously (it had started developing a whitish sediment…??) and bought enough to get us to the east coast and back.
Of eyeglasses and cameras
I’ve been having a hard time using the viewfinder on my new Sony NEX-7. The eyecup is pretty stiff and mashes the lens of the glasses against my eye. The alternate is to remove the glasses or use the 3″ screen on the camera back which washes out in sunlight. A few days ago I found a listing for Hoodman PhotoFrames. These titanium frames (I wonder if they’re really titanium or if that’s the color?) allow you to have your optometrist install lenses with your prescription, either clear or colored. When it’s time to shoot, just flip the lens up out of the way and hold the camera to the eye… no eyeglasses in the way of the too-stiff eyecup. Sounds good, but we’ll see just how good!