Bits and Pieces 32

It was a bit of tribulation upgrading the tower from Xubuntu 16.04 to 18.04. But it’s working now and I’m looking forward to feature updates that should fix some of the nagging deficiencies. I think the new laptop will stay with 16.04 awhile until Dell comes up with firmware packages to match the newer version. That appears to be a function of when Dell’s techs get around to installing it as default on newer equipment.

I’ve restarted my heavy workout in the park. Of course, that means I’ve modified all the exercises that resemble the motion of a push-up. The right shoulder now makes quite a bit of noise, but after five months off, it hurts a lot less now. To be honest, my body missed the vigorous exercise. I strained a couple of muscles that haven’t been used to the challenge.

The Volvo is acting naughty. I went through the procedures for cleaning the mass airflow sensor (MAF) and the throttle body (ETM). They were very dirty and needed cleaning, but the improvement was marginal. It still runs with some hesitation, and seems to be “seeking” the proper RPM level at idle. It was bucking during hill climbs. There’s no way I can afford to replace the ETM; it’s hundreds of dollars plus requires a special computer to make the system accept the new part. If I can’t get it to smooth out, I can only drive it locally and that means no photography of distant landscapes.

On the other hand, the proliferation of new bike trails around the county is very heartening.

About Ed Hurst

Disabled Veteran, prophet of God's Laws, Bible History teacher, wannabe writer, volunteer computer technician, cyclist, Social Science researcher
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7 Responses to Bits and Pieces 32

  1. Iain says:

    Ok Ed, something I can help with. If you’re MAF sensor and throttle body are that dirty, it’s likely you’re fuel injectors are partially clogged. There are some cleaners that actually work; Gumout Regane formula, Gumout features prominently with Regane in small letters under it. Use, and this is important, two bottles in one tank of gas. This will clear the crud allowing fuel to atomize again. The next is Seafoam it comes in a bottle for pouring and a spray can. There are videos on YouTube, the one with old Ford Ranger pick up is a good one. And, there is Marvel Mystery Oil which works very well to clean ancient cruddy oil deposits from cylinder heads and clears oil return passages. Add 1 quart when you need to add one, run vehicle for 100 miles or so and then change the oil*. I’ve always gotten good results in my beaters. Also check for vacuum leaks, this can be done by hand, with a stethoscope or with carburetor cleaner (very carefully). Sometimes the rubber cracks at the connection points. A change in idle sound indicates that you’ve found your leak, also check the air intake piping for splits, cracks and leaks. I fix these by thoroughly cleaning the offending area and then wrapping the hose in Gorilla brand black duct tape, it’s well worth the extra $.
    * On engines that have rarely had oil changes you may have to repeat the process more than once.
    PS. This should have been the first thing I wrote. PRAY, I don’t know how many times the Lord has intervened to get me and my family home safe.
    I hope it helps.


  2. Ed Hurst says:

    Good advice, Iain. The Volvo has precious few vacuum lines; it’s all electronic. I’m not in a position to mess with the oil at all because we aren’t allowed to change it ourselves in the parking lot where I live now, but I did take care of that stuff right after we first got it four years ago. And I have been using Seafoam every other tank for a couple of years now. It so happens this problem comes and goes randomly, which indicates at least part of it is electronic. Some sensor somewhere is loose or there’s an intermittent short that I can’t find. What I really need is an OBD attached to it, but everyone around here wants too much money for that. The ones at places like Autozone won’t tell me anything useful because they can’t actually talk to Volvos. It takes those expensive ones. Thanks, though. I’m praying for sure.


  3. Iain says:

    I’ve got an extra OBD2 code reader, it works on any vehicle 1996 up. It’s yours if you want it. You will have to go online to find the code meanings specific for Volvo. It could be loose or poor ground seeing that it’s intermittent. Bad grounds are frequently the cause of electrical issues as vehicles age because the body is the return path for current in automobiles.


  4. Ed Hurst says:

    Thanks, Iain. Hang onto it for now. I’m looking into the ground, since that’s been a problem before.


  5. Jay DiNitto says:

    I don’t know nothin’ about cars, so I’m no help.

    I’d like to know more about your workout though. You’ve posted about it before, right, when you used to do them?


  6. Ed Hurst says:

    Yes. In previous posts I outlined the workout. Just imagine now that I do the bench-press movement with far less resistance. Getting away from that angle in either direction, up or down, relieves the problem, so I can still do bar dips and some overhead presses.


  7. Ed Hurst says:

    Final result: I noticed there were two vacuum hoses attached to the intake manifold. I traced them out to see if I could determine what function they performed. Then when I touched them, the almost crumbled in my fingers from dry rot. Probably original equipment — 18 years and 200K miles. So I replaced them and, so far, it seems to have solved the problem. Road test Friday.


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