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Death Valley '07

Old 03-21-2007, 10:38 AM
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Hey Ryan, sorry to hear about the punk vandals. Did you get everything taken care of? I actually logged onto yotatech friday evening at PSR (if you can believe that) and read about the incident.

And yes, this year's trip was faster and smoother with the new setup. I can't imagine how nice yours must feel at speed.
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Old 03-21-2007, 10:47 AM
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I actually got the check for what was stolen already. Doesn't really cover much since my GF had a lot of her clothes stolen and those aren't covered by my insurance.

The police took longer than the insurance company! It's crazy how far PSR has come since last year from what it sounds. I had told Lance earlier Friday that I was gonna make it out there on Saturday night, but the GF was really stressed about how ☺☺☺☺ty our "vacation" was going so I changed the plans at the last minute. Death Valley will always be there, ya know.

I can't believe Lance shredded that same tire AGAIN. As usual a small army is needed for Lance to change a tire out on the trail LOL
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Old 03-21-2007, 02:20 PM
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Yeah, it seems to take a murder these days to get the Police to even a write report. We were sorry you couldn't make it but we'll be sure to catch up again out there.

I edited my post above and added text and photos...

Ken
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:39 PM
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Originally Posted by paddlenbike View Post
Somewhere on the Goler Wash/Warm Springs Canyon route we hit a pretty healthy speed:

Are you sure that wasn't how fast Brian was going up that rocky hill climb?
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Old 03-21-2007, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by slosurfer View Post
Are you sure that wasn't how fast Brian was going up that rocky hill climb?
LOL. He may have me beat on that one.

Has Jack recovered?
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Old 03-21-2007, 07:26 PM
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Jack is fully recovered, he actually stayed awake for much of the drive back. He was awake when I pulled into the driveway at 3am. Thankfully he slept in. I am really glad I was able to have a day to recover before going back to work. What did you guys end up doing Tues. morning? Also, did the new alternator fix Dean's problem?
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:08 PM
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I thought Jack was a great sport.

Dean, Tim and I ran to Pahrump and were back in just over 2 hours. It took Dean about 45 minutes to have the truck up and running again. His ScanGauge was showing full battery voltage when we separated.

Tuesday morning we did a short hike in Mosaic Canyon--Audrey and Julie liked the slot canyons like the Grotto hike we had done the day before, so we figured they would like to see what Mosaic had to offer. We had plans to run the Darwin Loop on our way out, but Scott developed the same pinging/CEL problem I encountered earlier in the trip, so we decided our MAFs had as much dirt as they could handle and we headed home. My CEL light turned off in Pahrump, NV and I bet Scott his would turn off on the way home, and eventually it did. 3rd and 4th gen 4Runners have hotwire MAFs that need to be cleaned after about four days of following other trucks through the desert, otherwise they trigger a CEL. The 3vz-e's flapper door AFM could care less.
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Old 03-21-2007, 08:16 PM
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I hear you about the dust, I didn't get any CEL, but I had no power going up to the charcoal kilns. Apparently Lance and Dean had the same problems, you should have seen me and Dean crawling up that dirt road. I was worried that I did something to my tranny till I caught up to Dean. I blew out my filter before heading home and it helped. I need to get a toyota filter to throw in for these trips, they can be blown out easier than my K&N.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:08 PM
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I brought my TrueFlow airfilter cleaning solution and the spray-on filter oil, but accidently left the electrical contact cleaner for the MAF at home. My chances of passing Lance and getting to the front of the pack are slim-to-none, so I will be sure to have the above items with me for future DV trips.
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Old 03-21-2007, 09:21 PM
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I was going to bring my cleaning solution and oil, but a cleaned and oiled K&N will let in too much dust if used in a dusty situation right away. They need some dust on them to effectively filter the finer dust. I think the trueflows work better though. That is why I am thinking of just getting a paper filter for my offroad adventures, I can blow it off easily using my co2 tank and then throw the K&N in for the ride home or when I get home. I actually was gaining on Lance at one point, but then he dropped it a gear and took off again. Oh well, the 4runner may not be quick, but it does a great job of getting me and my stuff where I need to go, kind of like a mule.
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Old 03-22-2007, 07:44 AM
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BruceTS is absolutely convinced that a TrueFlow airfilter filters the air better than an OEM one. Regardless, our MAFs get dirty after a few days in the desert, so all of the filters are passing dirt. Perhaps our engines will only make it to 340,000 miles rather than 350,000.

If your 3.0 ever drops, that would be a good excuse to drop in a TRD supercharged Tundra 5.7L V8.
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Old 03-22-2007, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by slosurfer View Post
Are you sure that wasn't how fast Brian was going up that rocky hill climb?
i didnt bother to look

mark and i were racing a jet from china flats on the way home...we lost, but made it back in around 4 hours
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Old 03-23-2007, 07:57 AM
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I think everyone else is holding out...
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Old 03-23-2007, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by paddlenbike View Post
I think everyone else is holding out...
Sorry... can't FTP from work, and that seems to be where I've been since I got back. Almost got it all ready to go though. The write-up I was doing is looking to be over 5 pages, so I'll just post a link to it when I get it up.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:13 AM
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Hi guys! Tim and I had a great time traveling with you guys, in spite of my breakdown. Thanks for all of your help, especially Lance and Ken. All of you guys were great to hang out with.

And Ken, you were right about that e-fan. Little did you know that your statement was ominous foreshadowing: we broke down again in Saline Valley, and it was due to the e-fan...

After we split off from you guys, we headed up into the Saline Valley on our own, stopped at Buckhorn Cabin, and climbed the Lippencott Grade to snap some photos of the Racetrack. As we watched storm clouds forming, we headed back down the grade to continue up Saline Valley.

On our way north, we experienced the heinous washboard that I'm sure added 50,000 miles (or more) to my truck. Even at 60mph, it was unbelievable. By the time we reached the intersection where you can head over to the Hot Springs, the truck had developed a disconcerting suspension popping noise. While trying to diagnose it, I had manually shut off the e-fan to hear the noise better. In my distraction, I forgot to turn it back on. I failed to pay attention to my temperature gauge, and the next thing I know, the engine quits and steam is pouring out of the hood!

I opened the hood, and Tim looks down at the radiator and notices that the top tank is split wide open from end to end! The radiator had literally exploded.

I looked down at it and said, "That's it. We're totally f*d" and I actually cried.

Continued...
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:26 AM
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Fortunately, just a few minutes later, a couple of guys in a Jeep heading south stopped and offered some help- duct tape and some water. They suggested that we head back to the springs to get help from the "ranger". Thinking we would get help from the "ranger", we filled up the engine and radiator with water we still had, and limped up to the springs, keeping an eye on the water temp, which hovered around 206. Whenever it hit 213, we pulled over and added more.

We eventually made it up to the Hot Springs, and asked the "ranger" (who actually is not a ranger at all, but just the "caretaker"- sort of like the guy who lives in Ballarat) for help. For a "donation" he let me use his satellite phone to call home and explain our predicament. There were a few other people there, doing what they do at the springs, and one of them (who was fortunately not yet doing what they do at the springs) was planning to leave the next morning, so we considered getting a ride from him and leaving my disabled truck at the springs. But we were both sort of uncomfortable with the thought of spending 4+ hours with this guy in his truck.

It was already getting dark out, storm clouds were building, and the wind, lightning, thunder were picking up, so we opted to make camp there, staying inside the truck, and considered our options.

When we awoke in the morning, around 6:45, all of the mountains around the area were dusted with snow. We decided that we would fill up all of our water containers (9 gallons worth) at the springs, and try to limp our way to Big Pine, 50 miles away, adding water as necessary.

I used the sat-phone again and called home to explain our plan, and that we would make contact again when we reached civilization.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:44 AM
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We started up and drove north, making our way little by little, stopping for water refills every 3-5 miles. The ambient temperature was in the high 30's/low 40's for most of the trip, which definitely helped keep the engine temp low for longer. However, twice along the way, the engine wouldn't start, which REALLY freaked us out, but it just turned out that the MAF had gotten wet from all of the water spraying around the engine compartment. I dried it off and we were on our way again. The e-fan controller eventually shorted out as well, so I had to connect it directly to the battery to keep the fan going.

After using all but 1 gallon of water, we finally reached pavement around 12:30pm, and coasted the 10 miles down to Big Pine with the engine off.

My wife had located and purchased a new radiator for me in San Jose, so Tim and I decided the best course of action would be to head up to Bishop to find a rental car to drive home.

We called AAA for a tow to Bishop, rented a car and got home on Wednesday night around 10pm. I packed up some extra tools and the necessary parts, and early Thursday morning, drove back to Bishop, arriving around 3pm. Installing the new radiator took about 2 hours, and we drove the truck all the way back home without incident, arriving in San Jose at 12:30am.

Last edited by XPLORx4; 03-23-2007 at 04:59 PM.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:49 AM
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Today I am going to clean up the truck and assess any additional potential damage. Hopefully I didn't warp the heads or blow a gasket.

When I have a chance, I'll post some pics.

And Ken- you'll be happy to know that I'm keeping the stock engine fan from now on.

Last edited by XPLORx4; 03-23-2007 at 10:50 AM.
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Old 03-23-2007, 10:58 AM
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Oh man... we should have stuck around and just done the Darwin loop with you. A couple clogged air filters are nothing compared to *that* adventure! Ye gods. Glad you made it out more or less intact!
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Old 03-23-2007, 11:40 AM
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I had some hestitation about parting ways at Darwin Falls, particularly knowing that you would be covering a lot of ground in a remote part of the park in the middle of the week. When your first post popped up, I assumed the worst, that the engine seized, glad to hear that is not the case.

Trips like this can be very discouraging, but going back to the stock fan will address 100% of the problems I have seen with your truck. Everything else seems to work great!

And I agree, I think Saline Valley Rd took about 60,000 miles of life out of my truck. I went to start the 4Runner last night and it would barely turn over. Opened the hood and the battery had liquid all over it. Apparently 7-year old Toyota batteries do not like intense vibration. I have two rattles to track down too, nothing that sounds too serious.

Wish we could have been there to help Dean. We had fun wheeling with you and hope to do-so again in the near future.

Ken
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