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  • P2135 and “Limp Mode”

    Posted on October 13th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    During my Cross Country Drive I was having a reoccurring P2135 Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC) accompanied by the car going into “Limp Mode”. When I returned from my trip, I dropped the G8 off at Synergy Motorsports to get things looked at.

    It was determined that the “drive by wire” system used on the throttle of the G8 is “very sensitive”. As I understand it… there are two sensors (A and B) that measure the voltage going from the peddle to the throttle body, and then back. If the voltages going to/from are not the same the car throws the P2135 (TPS/pedal position sensor/switch a/b voltage correlation). Basically, the car goes into “Limp Mode” so there isn’t a chance of a run-away throttle condition (eg. Toyota).

    With the installation of the TVS1900 Magnacharger, there were a few modifications made to the wiring harness under the hood. Some of these changes are done with connectors… and the theory is that one of these connections might be loose, resulting in the DTC. To remove the chance of a loose connection, we removed the connectors and directly wired everything.

    I’ve only driven the G8 a couple hundred miles since the re-wiring, but so I’ve not yet received a DTC. Time will tell if this is the fix, but I’m fairly confident we are on the right path.

  • Cross Country Drive: Wrap-up

    Posted on October 5th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    I’ve spent the last month driving all over the United States, and it was an extremely enjoyable experience. The specifics of the drive are covered in the daily updates, but there are a few topics I’ve been wanting to cover.

    I’m quite proud that over 9218 miles, I did not receive a single ticket! As I spent quite some time driving on back roads (with posted limits well below the “fun” speed), one of my major concerns through-out the drive was receiving a speeding ticket. I also spent many hours driving on perfectly straight interstates just begging for high-speed runs.

    While the Valentine 1 and smart driving couldn’t have hurt, the main reason for no tickets was that I nearly spent all of my time on the interstates driving at the posted speed limit. The easiest way not to get a speeding ticket is just not to speed… and I found it relaxing not to need to worry about LEO’s all the time. Never the less, it was fun finding all their speed traps.

    As I was making the drive, I kept asking myself if there was anything I would have done differently…

    Having made the drive in September, I was constantly taunted by the colorful metamorphosis that was to soon happen.

    Doing the drive through the Appalachians only a few weeks later would have been accompanied in an explosion of color along the roads. Unfortunately it would have also come with cold/rainy weather and loads of tourists (and I’d not have been able to make it to Las Vegas in time for GoatRun).

    Having made the trip with my own car was great, as I’ve not been able to spend as much time driving it as I’d like, but a “sporty” rental car would have had its perks. Being in a rental car would have allowed me to “skip” several of the boring sections by flying. It would have also been nice to “trade-in cars” when I was having the “Limp Mode” issues. Not having to “skip” sections of the planned route due to mechanical problems would have been really nice.

    While I came prepared, I captured very little video footage along the road trip. Most of the time I was driving unfamiliar roads, so I never really know when I’d want to be recording. There were many times where I thought to myself, “That would have made a great video”… but I didn’t want to backtrack just to take one. It also takes a fair amount of time to setup all the video cameras, and when driving so much… adding extra time makes things daunting.

    Despite driving for a month, I felt like I didn’t have enough time to truly “explore” as I was driving. Because of the route, and staying in free hotels, my schedule was fairly strict. My goal was to drive roads, which was accomplished, but there were many interesting sights that I would have liked to have seen if I wasn’t on such a per-determined route/schedule.

    I was really lucky with weather, not having to drive much in the rain, but if the weather had been different it could have thrown a big wrench in my plans. Having additional time in the schedule for delays would have been a great idea… I was really lucky that the one time I was to spend two nights in the same hotel just happened to be the day I was having a package shipped to me.

    In the end, the road trip was a great success. I’m sure some things could have gone a little better, but I’m sure they could have been worse. Now the only thing I need to do is plan for next year and GONE 2012!

  • Post-GoatRun

    Posted on October 4th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Since I only had 2 hours of driving today, I decided to really sleep in this morning. I checked-out of my hotel just before noon and set-off on the road without eating breakfast (or would it be lunch at that point?).

    After last night’s “Limp Mode” fiasco, I didn’t want to take any chances today. Generally, the G8 does OK the first time it is started… and only starts to have problems after stopping. Because of this, I decided to drive all the way home without turning-off the car.

    I also took some extra measures to make sure I’d make it home… the entire way I was talking to the G8. I talked to her (all cars are female), providing encouraging words, promising that I would take good care of her once we made it home… get the oil changed, a nice car wash, etc. Apparently this tactic worked, as I made it all the way home without going into limp mode once!

    Entering the San Francisco Bay Area, I decided rather than just sticking to I-580 that I would take the scenic route along Altamont Pass Rd. Quite fittingly, this route is part of the old Lincoln Highway (“the first named automobile road that crossed the United States”). Along the way I decided to stop briefly and take the last photos of my road trip.

    Having spent so much time away from California, it was quite refreshing to see the golden rolling hills again.

    The remainder of my drive was uneventful, and I pulled into my parking garage to finish my trip in the same place it began. Total distance traveled… 9281 miles!

  • GoatRun: Day 4

    Posted on October 3rd, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Today was the final day of GoatRun 2011, and started out with the traditional brunch at the Bellagio. I packed-up my car, checked out of the hotel, and headed over to the Bellagio. I arrived a little early, so decided to take some photos.

    One of the great things about the brunch at the Bellagio is that we have a reserved parking area on the top of their structure. With all the GTO’s and G8’s lined-up, it is quite a sight.

    The Brunch was incredible, as always, and I’m sure I ate way more than I should have! I’d have to say that my favorite part was the eggs benedict with a side of prime rib (and horseradish)… ‘drool!

    Normally a few of the NorCal GOATs members try to get together for the return trip to the Bay Area. This year a couple people are staying a few extra days, and a couple others needed to do some repair work on a GTO. I really wanted to drive with everyone else, but I decided to get on the road early… and it really was a good thing I wasn’t part of a larger group.

    During GoatRun my car has been behaving very well, only going into “Limp Mode” on the trip to my hotel in the evenings. I was really afraid that I was going to have issue on the cruise, but I made it with no problems…

    … well, that was not the case with my drive home. I set-off from the Bellagio and made it two blocks before my first DTC. I was able to clear it out and get moving again, but only a few minutes later I received another DTC… This would be the theme for the rest of the day…

    I had a 546 mile drive to make, and every 10-25 miles the G8 was going into Limp Mode. Sometimes it would make it farther, other times it wouldn’t make it a mile. While I had to pull-off the interstate quite a few times, I was also able to recover without stopping the car.

    By the time I was driving through the Fresno area the sun had set, and the car was going limp every 3-5 minutes. I never needed to pull off the road (thankfully), but I just couldn’t take it any more. I pulled-off at a hotel I’d stayed at before in Madera, Ca and decided to call it a night.

    Despite getting a good night sleep last night, driving over 400 miles with an unhappy car took a toll on me… I was exhausted!

    Hopefully tomorrow my drive will be less stressful… I’m only 135 miles from home!

  • GoatRun: Day 3

    Posted on October 2nd, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    This morning I woke-up early enough to get to the Palace Station for the breakfast buffet with a few NorCal GOAT members. Last night I went to bed around midnight, and thought that I had done a good job of staying awake, but this morning I looked on Facebook and saw all sorts of “evidence” of the crazy activities that went on after I had went to sleep!

    The past three years I’ve stayed at my own hotel, because they are free, but I think next year I’m going to have to stay with the rest of the group. There are so many activities that happen spur of the moment, and I know I’m missing out on some of the fun that GoatRun has to offer.

    After breakfast, there wasn’t much going on until later in the afternoon. I didn’t want to go back to my hotel and miss any of the action, so headed to the parking garage to take a few photos.

    In the afternoon a group of us headed to Fast Lap for some indoor go karting!

    I must say that, while I’ve done some of the “kiddy karts”, this was a totally new experience for me. Just how serious is it? You have to wear a helmet, gloves, and a neck brace! The karts are gas powered, and much faster than any that I’d driven before.

    The first session out I had a very slow kart (which wasn’t helped by my added mass), so I spent most of my time trying to keep out of everyone’s way. The second session they gave me a much faster kart… and I was immediately able to take 3 seconds (10%) off my lap time. This new kart was a blast to drive, but it didn’t take long for my arms to get really tired (there is no power steering in these things), and my lap times started to slip. While I was one of the slower people on track, I still had a total blast!

    After the Go Karts there was a poker tournament scheduled, but I didn’t feeling like loosing my money… so, I headed back to the Palace Station for some lunch, then visited the casino’s sports betting area.

    Unfortunately (for me) they allow smoking in the casino, so it wasn’t the most refreshing area, but I had fun. I wasn’t placing any bets, but it was really cool to watch everyone else get into their sports. I was mostly watching the NHRA event, but when the Jets vs. Ravens game cam on things got really exciting. Half the room had Jets fans, the other Ravens fans, and with every play one side or the other would be cheering. At one point the Ravens recovered a fumble for a touchdown, and on the ensuing kickoff the Jets ran it back 105 yards for a touchdown… the place was going nuts!

    In the evening all of the NorCal GOATs headed out to the Hofbräuhaus for the traditional Sunday GoatRun dinner. While I’d love to share all the details… “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!”. All I can say is that someone bought me a shot… resulting in some paddling… and me officially having “The Numbest Butt”!

    While most of the gang headed for a wild night on The Strip, I decided to be an “old man” and head back to my hotel to get some sleep. Tomorrow is a long day of driving, and I want to make sure I have enough energy to make it home safely.

  • GoatRun: Day 2

    Posted on October 1st, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    The first official event of the day wasn’t until the afternoon, but there were a few other activities going on in the morning. The first was a breakfast at the Palace Station buffet, but I decided to sleep in. The second event was an Adam’s Polishes detail clinic. I stopped by to pick-up a 1 gallon refill of All Purpose Cleaner to replenish my supply (I used all of mine getting the bugs off the the G8).

    After filling-up on gas, I headed to the Palace Station to prepare for the GoatRun cruise! While I was relaxing, several other owners came out and started prepping their cars.

    At 1:30pm all of the GTO (and G8) owners gathered in the parking lot and headed out from Las Vegas towards the Lake Mead and The Valley of Fire.

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    The cruise route this year was awesome. Last year I was a little disappointed, but that was totally not the case this year. Not only was the scenery incredible, the roads were a bunch of fun too!

    The roads was fairly empty of other vehicles, so we were able to move quickly along the route. Because the area requires paying a fee, everyone had to stop at the main gate. As people paid, they set-out on the road… it almost felt like a time trial where they space-out the cars… like they wanted us to drive fast!

    Most of the curves on the route were sweepers, and with the space between cars, everyone was able to cruise at a nice pace. It was really great to do some “spirited” driving, but at times I had to hold-back a little due to flexing of my Carbon Fiber Hood (again, I’m not going to speed test this thing).

    After the first part of the drive everyone pulled-over to take a breather, regroup, and to take some photos.

    For the second section of the cruise I found myself behind another heavily modified G8. Both of our cars have engine mods and completely modified suspensions. I know my car is a well balanced machine, but it really stands out when driving with others who also have fast cars. While I wasn’t pushing as hard on the straights, I was able to carry much more speed through the corners… there were many times where I would let the other G8 “run away” from me, only to dive into a curve (without even touching the brakes) closing right-up on his bumper. I was really impressed how well my G8 was able to take the corners… even at 1/4 mile trap speeds, the turns were no problem!

    I have to say that the best compliments I received were when the owners/drivers of the cars I was following told me that they felt they were holding me up. I told them not to feel bad, as I was having a great time (heck, it wasn’t like they were going slow). It was awesome to know that when others were pushing their cars to the limits, I still had a bunch left on the table!

    The end point of the cruise put us at the location where the car show, BBQ dinner, and other events would take place. Everyone lined-up and started to check-out all of the cars.

    Like always I was really impressed with what I saw others had done to their cars. Many of them I’d seen only a year before… but everyone brings out their best for GoatRun!

    The NorCal GOATs really cleaned-up at the car show awards ceremony! We took home “Best in Show”, “Best Exhaust”, “Best Engine Bay”, and I came away with the “Numbest Butt” award (aka. who drove the farthest to GoatRun)…

    There was some debate about the “rules” for this award, but no one could come close to the 8,499 miles that I drove from my home to GoatRun. Even just considering the distance from my farthest East location (Virginia) or where I was officially heading to GoatRun (Tennessee), I had the competition beat (the next farthest was from Missouri, via San Diego).

    After the car show, one of the GTO owners put on an incredible fireworks show. I’m not talking about a few sparklers and bottle rockets… this was a FIREWORKS SHOW! There were all sorts of things being shot-up into the air, and it rivaled several of the shows I’ve seen put on by cities for the 4th of July. Definitely impressive!

    The last activity for the day was the raffle drawing for various GTO related accessories. I wasn’t really paying attention, but it turns out I won something… an “Air Splitter” from West Coast Speed! I guess I’ll need to find a deserving member of the NorCal GOATs to take it off my hands.

    I really have to say that I was extremely impressed with the way today went… especially with how I felt after the cruise at last year’s GoatRun. Big props go out to everyone who put in the work to make the day’s events happen!

  • GoatRun: Day 1

    Posted on September 30th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Today was the first day of GoatRun 2011!

    While I would have loved to make the drive to Las Vegas from the Bay Area with the NorCal GOATS, I was in Flagstaff, Arizona. I had planned on taking a twisty route to Las Vegas, but after looking at how long it would have taken to drive… I decided to take the direct route.

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    The drive was short, and before long I found myself entering the Las Vegas area. I checked into my hotel and then headed-out to wash the G8. I found a self-wash and was able to get over 6000 miles worth of road grime off the car. I ate some lunch, took a shower, and cooled down a little before heading over to the Palace Station for the GoatRun Meet-N-Greet.

    It was really great to see people again… after a month of going from hotel to hotel, it was nice to be social. I had a good time talking with the various GTO and G8 owners, and I can’t wait for the rest of the weekend!

  • Pre-GoatRun: Day 6

    Posted on September 29th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Last night while looking at my planned routes for today and tomorrow, I found that I was doing almost 2 hours of unnecessary driving. I decided to change the route that I drove today, and I’m really glad that I did it.

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    Arizona doesn’t follow daylight savings time, so I found myself with an extra hour of daylight. Rather than hitting the road early, I decided to sleep-in a little. By the time I got on the road there was a fair amount of traffic, but it wasn’t that big of a deal.

    The majority of my drive was on US-191. This road is also known as “The Coronado Trail” and “The Devil’s Highway” (since it was once US-666). US-191 is claimed by some as “the curviest road in the Nation”, and I have to say that it is a contender…

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    I’ve read great reviews of this US-191, and most of them start off with “make sure you have gas”. I was getting a little worried as I drove towards Clifton, as my GPS wasn’t showing any gas stations, but there turned-out to be a Shell Station for me to top-off at.

    With a full tank of gas I headed out of Clifton and up towards the Morenci Copper Mine. The climb up the hill was slowed by a fuel tanker, but I didn’t want to pass him and risk the bad karma. It was actually quite enjoyable to take it slow for a little while and admire the view.

    While not “natural” beauty, the mine was very scenic. It was also really cool to see all the equipment… like massive dump trucks! It was also kinda cool to have to turn off my cell phone so that I didn’t risk setting-off any explosions.

    The road headed into the mountains of the Apache National Forest, and as a result the speed limit bounced between 25 and 35 mph. Like yesterday, I decided to ignore the speed limits and drive as a pace I felt was appropriate. Given the complete lack of guardrails, I kept things fairly calm (for the most part).

    I say “for the most part” because I had no choice but to use 2nd gear in most of the tighter corners. The high altitude (over 9000 ft) really made the G8 work hard during spirited driving. Fortunately the weather today was perfect (mid-70’s), but even with a transmission cooler I was getting trans temperatures of 212°F (normal is ~185°F). I can only imagine what it would have been like with >100°F temperatures!

    I was extremely happy with the way the G8 was able to handle the roads. Even the tightest corners were no problem… and the sweepers were a total blast. Climbing the mountain required a bit more throttle than I was use to, but there was still more than enough power to break the rear wheels loose in 2nd gear. The Baer brakes had no problem slowing me down on the descent… with zero fade. Even pushing things a little harder than some might advise, I never felt like the G8 was being pushed beyond the limits.

    For over 100 miles I was twisting and turning through the mountains, and only had THREE slower cars on the road. The first two didn’t hold me up, but after the third wouldn’t let me by… I pulled-over to take a few photographs.

    I’ve driven some extremely twisty roads on this road trip… and “The Devil’s Highway” was right up there with the best of them. If the speed limit was a little higher, it could seriously contend for my favorite road in the Country!

    Tomorrow I make the drive into Las Vegas… GoatRun here I come!

  • Pre-GoatRun: Day 5

    Posted on September 28th, 2011 tcorzett 2 comments

    Yesterday I ended-up driving much of the route that I had planned to drive today, so last night I had to do some quick thinking and plan out where I was going to drive today.

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    I left my hotel at my normal time (~8:30am) in the morning, and promptly found myself sitting in traffic on the Interstate. Normally this would make me unhappy, but it allowed for some time to check-out the hot air balloons that were dotting the horizon.

    This weekend is the annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, so the city is all setup for ballooners. It would have been cool to stick around to see some of the crazy balloons (they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes… including SpongeBob), but I need to get to Las Vegas for GoatRun!

    While much of my day was spent driving on the interstate or other uninteresting roads, one section was very entertaining.

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    This section of New Mexico 152 was a real blast to drive. I first need to say that the 25 mph speed limit was a total joke… so I didn’t follow it! I didn’t go crazy, but I drove the road at a comfortable pace. I could feel the car straining a little from the high elevation… at over one-and-a-half MILES above sea level, even with a supercharger, I could feel the car was a little down on power.

    The corners were mostly sweepers, but there were a few 15 mph and 10 mph hairpins mixed in. I ran a few of the tighter turns in 2nd gear and loved how the car exploded out of the corners… however, because of the low speed limit I spent most of my time in 3rd gear.

    For the most part I had an empty road, but a couple times I needed to slow down for large dumb animals (a deer, a steer, and a goober in a Toyota). My favorite part of the road was the length… compared to many of the roads I drove in the Appalachian Mountains, it was two or three times longer… and took almost 30 minutes to complete.

    After driving out of the mountains I crossed into Arizona and headed towards my hotel for the night. I spent quite some time driving around looking for a place to take some photos, and eventually found an acceptable location.

    With today’s drive, I’ve traveled in all of the states that I will be for this trip…

    I’m a little disappointed that I left some gaps in my map, but I didn’t plan my route to “check-off states”. In the future I would really like to take a driving trip up into the Pacific North West and across into the Dakotas… maybe for GONE 2012!

    Tomorrow I’m planning on driving a few twisty roads, and many scenic ones. I might make some small changes to the planned route (and potentially where I’m sleeping) to make Friday’s drive into Las Vegas a little more manageable, but I’ve not yet decided.

  • Pre-GoatRun: Day 4

    Posted on September 27th, 2011 tcorzett No comments

    Can someone tell me why I woke-up before sunrise today? I guess 7am comes early in Texas! I really have no clue why I got up so early… as last night I decided that I was going to take the “direct” route to Los Alamos, rather than the more “scenic” one I had originally planned.

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    Since I visited the Cadillac Ranch last night, I figured I’d skip it this morning. I had debated going to Home Depot to buy a few cans of spray paint, but I wasn’t feeling like walking in the mud to tag some cars.

    I headed out across Texas and quickly found myself in New Mexico. The scenery was nice, and so too was the 75mph speed limit!

    I had skipped-out on breakfast this morning and didn’t refuel last night… so it didn’t take long for both me and the G8 to get hungry. I pulled into a great travel stop (a Shell station with a Subway), but was really disappointed to only see 90 Octane on the pump. Given my car has a tune that is optimized for at least 91 Octane, I didn’t know what to do.

    I was running on fumes, so had to get some gas… and hoped that 90 Octane wouldn’t be problematic. I looked in the mini-mart for some “octane booster”, but didn’t come across any. I did some quick searching online about what to do in this situation, and I guess the high elevation helps with knocking… Fortunately I didn’t have any issues, and the G8 wasn’t even pulling any timing (even at WOT).

    Just after stopping for gas, the G8 decided to go into “Limp Mode” again (it wasn’t related to the gas). I was on Interstate-40 so threw on the hazard lights and crawled to a stop on the side of the road. I’m getting better at pulling off the road quickly (I didn’t bottom out or anything), but I’m tired of this.

    Today was definitely not the day that I had planned. The main reason for driving to Los Alamos was to visit “The Black Hole“, so on my way I decided to give them a call to check how late they are open tonight (and if they are open tomorrow). Well, turns out they are closed for “inventory”… Bummer!

    Without much reason to spend the night in Los Alamos, I stopped into a hotel in Santa Fe and tried to figure out an alternative plan. There were a few roads up by Los Alamos that I had planned on driving tomorrow, but it was still fairly early in the day… so I set out to drive the roads (and then sleep in Albuquerque).

    I went out to my car to cancel my hotel reservation in Los Alamos, and while sitting there I received another series of DTCs. I was parked, so didn’t need to drive off the road, but it was a bit difficult to clear everything out and get running properly. Then, not far down the road, the car again went into limp mode… this time while sitting at a stop light! I was able to limp across the intersection to a safe stopping place, but this stuff is getting a little crazy. Fortunately I didn’t receive any other DTCs for the rest of the day.

    The drive up to Los Alamos was very scenic, with the road winding through several deep canyons. After spending the past few weeks driving through areas of the country that were covered in forests, it was great to see the open views of the Southwest. One thing that I never get enough of are the rich colors of the rocks.

    Having grown-up around the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, I was interested in checking out the area around the Los Alamos National Laboratory (I know, I’m a total nerd). The road that I was trying to drive looked like it took me through the main gate to the laboratory. In Livermore you need a badge to get past the main gate, so I thought I was stuck! I drove around trying to find an alternate route, and almost even considered driving back the way I had come, but figured I’d at least go to the gate and ask directions… Well, it turned out just anyone could go through the “gate”!

    After looking like a fool, I made the drive up into the Jemez Mountains. This area really reminded me of the forests in the Sierras. A really unique thing about this area is that it has recently burned by a large forest fire. Many of the trees were black towards the bottom, but you could see the living branches at the top… it was very interesting.

    While driving through the twists and turns of the mountain forest, I was surprised to find myself entering what looked like the grasslands of Middle America. Turns out, I had found my way into the Valles Caldera.

    The drive back down from the mountains made my afternoon. There were all sorts of scenic views to be taken-in while driving down the twisty road. The turns were mostly sweepers, and the speed limit was quite low, but it was much better than sitting on the interstate! I’m really glad that I decided to make the trip up to Los Alamos, rather than just heading to a hotel early.

    Since I drove almost half of tomorrow’s drive, today, I really don’t know what I’m going to do in the morning. The only thing I know is that I’ll be working my way closer to Las Vegas!