Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

The old girl wouldn’t start or take a jump, so I had it towed and installed a powerful new battery. Now she runs great and I can count on her to start all winter. I also bolted in the board to fill the gap between the tonneau cover and tool box.IMG_0198

The board matches well and looks like it actually belongs there. This weekend I will seal it with some good clear caulk.


I finally got around to grabbing a can of touch-up paint for the Duraliner and sprayed over some bare spots on the tailgate. I also painted over some white stains that I’m assuming came from paint or some other caustic agent.





While I had the paint out, I taped off and sprayed the old gray bumper hitch receiver.


Then I sprayed the two remaining lower brackets from the old truck bed camper that was on this truck. I’m now using them as a step up to get into the truck bed.


I have still had some intermittent stalling issues, so I decided to replace the key tumbler in the ignition since it was loose and sloppy. Lastly, I replaced all of the spark plug wires. While I was doing that, I replaced a cracked spark plug. Last time it was in the shop, the mechanic replaced another broken plug. After finishing up, it started and ran great when Owen and I took it for a shakedown run. When I have some more time, I think replacing all of the plugs might be a good idea.


The old, broken spark plug

Had time to glue on the missing EFI logo and glue the drooping headliner back in place this weekend.

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A shakedown run to Chicago with the truck revealed that the stalling issue was not in fact completely solved by the new fuel relay switch. It was running really well around town but would stall every half hour or so while on the freeway. I took it to the garage for further diagnosis and they were able to hook it up to the computer.

It returned a code 31, which means that the EGR valve was sticking. They replaced this, and also found a cracked spark plug. (I should have replaced all the plugs myself. If only I had more time!) While it was in the shop, I also had them replace the valve cover gaskets (no more burning oil smell in the cab!) and check the brakes. My friendly mechanic Steve replaced the front worn brake pads and rotors, and also cleaned and repacked the wheel bearings.

This cost quite a bit, so I’ll have to wait until the savings account builds up again before I do the remaining work, including:

  1. Replacing the slider window
  2. Shocks all the way around
  3. Converting or recharging the R12 A/C system (Can’t find a place to refill this!)
  4. Glue on the EFI logo I ordered on Ebay
  5. A cover for the bed
  6. Touch-up on the Duraliner
  7. New mud flaps
  8. New running boards

Got the truck back from the garage after they did some tests and diagnoses. It turns out the fuel relay switch was bad. It has been running great since I got it back. I also had them replace the thermostat which was sticking, which also required a flush and fill for the radiator, which was good as well. Lastly, I had them replace the upper and lower ball joints, which were almost completely shot.

Still need to go back and have them replace the valve cover gaskets, as she is leaking oil there and you can smell it a bit after running for a while. Thought about doing it myself, but I don’t know when I’ll have the time. I also had them check the brakes, which are okay for now, but I’ll need to have the drums replaced as I can feel that they are slightly warped. I also got a quote to replace the slider window, as it doesn’t seal or lock properly. That is on the list for completion by the end of June.

Once all of the vital mechanical issues are sorted out, I’d like to recharge the AC and see if I can get it working again. The compressor spins, which is a good sign. The fan blows and the AC button lights up when it’s depressed. I just don’t get cold air. Hopefully it just needs refrigerant. I did test the cruise control last week, which still works!

Other needs are a re-gluing of the headliner, for which I have purchased some special spray-on glue, and a touch up of the bed Duraliner on the tailgate area. I yanked the old seat cover, which had holes, and replaced it with a new horse-blanket style bench seat in medium blue. There is also a new front license plate (Diamond-plate Detroit old english “D”).

More updates to follow as things unfold…

Truck Updates

Posted: May 19, 2015 in Uncategorized


I joined the Ford Truck Enthusiasts forum and posted about my stalling issues. It was suggested that I might have a problem with the Fuel Pressure Regulator or ignition coil. The fuel filter fix didn’t stop the problem but the engine definitely runs better. The garage I usually go to told me, “if you don’t have a fault code or a check engine light, I can’t help you.” That’s when I went to the new place and told them to put in a new fuel filter, hoping that would solve the problem. While they were under the car they told me I needed new upper and lower ball joints (true) and a new distributor cap and rotor (not true–these were just replaced.) This didn’t instill trust in me.

So, I went to yet another new place (name withheld) and talked in person to one of the guys there and they agreed to take in the truck for a couple of days and see if they can track down the problem. He didn’t feel that it was fuel related, but rather electrical in nature, which hopefully won’t cost much to fix and will be easy to diagnose.

In the meantime, I did some cosmetic work this weekend, replacing a burned out reverse light, polishing up some chrome and trying a new product called Wipe Clean that restores the look of the interior plastic dash and trim. It worked pretty good, eliminating some discoloration and scratches, as well as some sun fading.

I also melted off the old rearview mirror button and installed a new one to attach the new mirror to. This worked great and now I have a fully functioning rearview mirror. I still need to find out how I can fix the slider window, as it does not seal properly and no longer has the locking mechanism. Might be worth a call to an auto glass place.

This coming Tuesday I’m dropping Old Blue off at the new garage to have them diagnose (hopefully) the stalling issue. Oh yeah, and lastly, I took out the old bed liner that didn’t fit right. After getting it out, I found a tag that said it was for a Ford F250-350 model year 1995 or newer. No wonder it didn’t fit. I hacked it up into little pieces with my new reciprocating saw and will put it out with the trash. Luckily, underneath the liner the truck bed had been coated with bed liner and looks pretty good.

The Project Truck

Posted: May 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Bought a 1987 Ford F150 pickup truck with a 5.0 liter fuel injected V-8 302 engine and started to fix it up. So far I’ve:

  1. Replaced the broken manual window cranks.
  2. Washed the entire thing.
  3. Armor All’d the dash and some of the exterior vinyl.
  4. Replaced the hazy rearview mirror.
  5. Windexed the inside of the windshield.
  6. Pulled the old plastic bed liner.
  7. Removed the top clamps that were on it for the truck camper.
  8. Put in new floor mats and a cup holder/organizer on the floor.
  9. Had M&W Tire put a new fuel filter on it for me.

Everything runs great except it was stalling occasionally. I’ve put premium gas in it and also ran STP fuel line cleaner and fuel injector cleaner through it to see if that helps. The new fuel filter should alleviate the stalling issue also. If not, I’ll have to do some more troubleshooting.

While it was at M&W they let me know that it needed new upper and lower ball joints, a distributor cap and rotor, plugs and new plug wires, as well as a new valve cover gasket. I’ll try to tackle the tune-up items myself as I have time and update the progress here.

Is my child ready for Mite hockey?

Posted: February 11, 2014 in Uncategorized



Knowing what age to start your child in Mite hockey can be a difficult decision. Here’s some questions you can ask yourself that will help you assess your child’s ability to play at the Mite level:

1) Has he or she participated in a learn to skate or learn to play hockey program? If not, that should be the first step. Most kids start skating at age four or five. The only way to find out if your child is ready to start learning how to skate is to enroll him or her in a local program. Some kids will take to skating right away. Others may need to wait until they are a little older and try again if they get easily frustrated or haven’t developed the proper coordination yet.

2) Can he stay on his feet? If your son or daughter spends more time flat on the ice than standing up, keep him or her in a learn to skate program a little bit longer until they can stay on their feet confidently.

3) Can she stop? If your child cannot stop, they should wait to move up to the Mite level until he or she has learned at least a basic one-foot or wedge stop; preferably a basic hockey stop on at least one side.

4) Can he or she stick handle? Your child doesn’t need to be Sydney Crosby, but they have to at least be able to move the puck around on their forehand or backhand, make turns, stop with the puck and shoot the puck in the general direction of the net. At the Mite level, a young skater should also be able to attempt a proper pass.

These steps do not need to be mastered and by no means should discourage anyone from starting their child playing the great sport of Mite hockey. A good coach will work to develop all of these skills in each of his Mite players over the course of the season. What you want to ultimately avoid as a parent is moving up your child to Mites before he or she is ready, setting him or her up for frustration if they cannot keep up with the other players.

Casino Capabilities

Posted: February 18, 2013 in Gambling, Uncategorized

UPPER LAKE, Calif. – Looking for something to do Memorial Day Weekend? The long awaited Running Creek Casino will open to the public at 4 p.m. on Friday, May 25 at 635 E. Highway 20 in Upper Lake, California, located in the beautiful resort area of Clear Lake. The region has long been a mecca for campers, hikers, nature lovers and watersports enthusiasts—and now boasts a new casino property as one of the area attractions. The 33,000 square foot casino is an enterprise of the Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake, and houses 349 of the hottest slot machines and six popular table games. In addition to gaming, Running Creek Casino features the Hot Springs Express restaurant, offering quick, made to order menu selections such as burgers, sandwiches and salads. A second dining option is Wildfire, a 65-seat full service restaurant with patio dining featuring quality American cuisine and a wood burning pizza oven. Running Creek’s On the Rocks is a full service bar that highlights a variety of cocktails, beers and wines by the glass, as well as an array of appetizers to compliment any drink selection. Other amenities include the Running Rewards player’s club and multiple meeting rooms.

“The road has been long and the obstacles too numerous to count, but we are finally here, excited and proud to open the doors to the public,” said Tribal Chairperson Sherry Treppa. “We want this establishment to be more than just a gambling hall. Our vision is for visitors and local residents to see this as a place to come for dining and entertainment, as well as a local meeting place for Lake County clubs and organizations. We know there are other casino properties in the area to choose from, but we want to differentiate ourselves by offering more in terms of customer service, cleanliness, and hospitality.”

Running Creek’s official grand opening is set for Friday, June 1, but the Tribe and project management team made the decision in response to popular demand to open the casino on May 25, just in time for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Private ceremonies for the Tribe, local dignitaries, and VIP guests will take place in the morning, with the doors opening to the public for gaming and dining at 4 p.m. The casino will then continue to stay open 24 hours per day, seven days per week.

“I am proud to represent THIS Tribe whose eternal hope and unrelenting determination not only brought this project to fruition in Lake County, but did so in a cooperative, respectful and professional manner.  The Tribe could not be more pleased about the new jobs we have created in our community through this project and the positive economic impact Running Creek will provide for area businesses,” said Treppa. “This business venture will bring the Tribe one step closer to economic self-sufficiency. Moreover, it will enable us to engage in additional business enterprises in the future.”


The Habematolel Pomo of Upper Lake are a federally recognized tribe historically located in Upper Lake California. In 2008, they were able to place 11.24 acres near their historic tribal lands into trust, which allowed them to create a gaming enterprise. The casino construction project began in 2004 and was approved by the Department of the Interior in August of 2011, as well as through a state compact signed in March of 2011 by Gov. Jerry Brown.,,,

Running Creek Casino, 635 E. Hwy 20, Upper Lake, CA 95485

(707) 275-9209