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Old 02-10-2016, 03:42 PM   #379
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Snow has stopped and temps up into the low 40's. The pile in front of the trailer is slowly settling into a solid ball of ice and the driveway has turned to a slippery slushy hard packed icy mess. Yesterday a neighbor got halfway up and got stuck—she often gets stuck, but usually gets herself out. Not yesterday—she finally let me drive it and after a little sand and snow removal, it was easy to drive it up the grade (just not for her). Some people never learn how to drive in snow. At first I was going to pull it out with the truck, but a Camry doesn't seem to have any hooks and it was too hard to get a chain on the transaxle.

The truck brakes are still not right. I've replaced front brakes (calipers, pads and rotors) and the master cylinder. Bled the brakes the right way, but the pedal is still low. This seems to be a fairly common problem with Tundras. The husband of the neighbor used to work at a Toyota dealer and will ask the service manager if he has any thoughts. The new ceramic pads are noisy, but that also happens frequently. Maybe they take some time to break in. The brakes stop as well or better than the old ones, so that is good.

It is only 3 months to our annual trip to Ouray. Not sure whether I want to repack the wheel bearings myself. It is a pain in the butt job, but I'm not sure anyone around here can do it right. Have to find that out too. All other stuff has to wait until snow has melted.

Gene
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:30 PM   #380
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Gene,

Just started snowing today for the first time since Dec 15th, had a couple 1" dustings but right here on Lake Erie Nada....the Lake Effect usually won't start 'til it gets inland a couple miles.

Last Sno-vember tore our 15yr old Home Depot special apart....

The replacement Ariens only been out twice so far this Season.


How does the brake pedal feel with the engine off? Will the ABS activate on a sudden stop?
A lot of new vehicles have too much,(IMHO) boost, which can play havoc with 'old school' hard pedal.

Bob
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So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 02-11-2016, 11:35 AM   #381
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Bob,

Glad to hear it is snowing there a little. I remember a winter sometime in the early to mid '70's when flowers were blooming in Buffalo in December. A couple of years later ice storms, snow, more snow and a lot more snow. That 199" winter (1976-77) it was in the 60's in the mountains west of Denver and there was no snow. Usually when the jet stream is south here bringing us lots of snow, it goes north in the east. El Niño does that. Snow is melting here now. Seems like old age brings a desire for less cold and snow; it used to be fun.

The pedal is hard when the engine is off, goes down when I drive. It may have something to do with ABS and when I've hit there brakes hard, no ABS noise (maybe I haven't hit them hard enough). I have looked for solutions to that on the internet, but haven't found much of anything helpful. Lots of complaints about a soft pedal after replacing stuff, but no agreement on answers.

Re: Your Ferrari message, I can assure you that even if you don't have a Ferrari, sex does happen. Look at how few people have Ferraris and how many babies are born every year. Maybe she's shoveling too much snow (see the photo above) to be ready for further adventures.

Gene
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Old 02-11-2016, 02:19 PM   #382
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I had the same pedal issue with our previous Burb, was able to get a better pedal feel when I bled with engine off...slow & steady, hold on the floor & count to 10.
>>rt/rear, l/rear, rt/front, l/front....long line to short.

Flushing out the old fluid will most always improve the pedal....I flush every two years. No synthetic fluid unless specified.

Bob
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So when is this..."old enough to know better" supposed to kick in?
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Old 02-11-2016, 03:45 PM   #383
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Originally Posted by Gene View Post
Snow has stopped and temps up into the low 40's. The pile in front of the trailer is slowly settling into a solid ball of ice and the driveway has turned to a slippery slushy hard packed icy mess. Yesterday a neighbor got halfway up and got stuck—she often gets stuck, but usually gets herself out. Not yesterday—she finally let me drive it and after a little sand and snow removal, it was easy to drive it up the grade (just not for her). Some people never learn how to drive in snow. At first I was going to pull it out with the truck, but a Camry doesn't seem to have any hooks and it was too hard to get a chain on the transaxle.

The truck brakes are still not right. I've replaced front brakes (calipers, pads and rotors) and the master cylinder. Bled the brakes the right way, but the pedal is still low. This seems to be a fairly common problem with Tundras. The husband of the neighbor used to work at a Toyota dealer and will ask the service manager if he has any thoughts. The new ceramic pads are noisy, but that also happens frequently. Maybe they take some time to break in. The brakes stop as well or better than the old ones, so that is good.

It is only 3 months to our annual trip to Ouray. Not sure whether I want to repack the wheel bearings myself. It is a pain in the butt job, but I'm not sure anyone around here can do it right. Have to find that out too. All other stuff has to wait until snow has melted.

Gene

Gene

I'm not as ambitious as you are so I had my mechanic replace brake pads on the Tundra awhile back and I thought the pedal was squishy after it was done, so I went back in and had him bleed them again and it seemed better. Just for what its worth.

Dana
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:34 PM   #384
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Use a Coke bottle.

Hi, you can attach a clear hose to your brake bleeder and stick it in a Coke bottle. [or something similar] Make sure that the bottle has enough brake fluid in it to submerge the end of the hose. Crack open your bleeder and pump slowly. Air bubbles get pushed out and float to the top of the bottle. Any suction will only suck brake fluid. Make sure you don't let your master cylinder go dry. This is an easy one person job. Plastic water bottles are too light and will fall over; Use glass.
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:36 PM   #385
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Hi, so far this year, I only got snow once and I'm guessing it was only about 1/2".
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:57 PM   #386
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Bobs,

I used a vacuum bleeder to bleed everything. I bench bled the master cylinder, but concerned I didn't do it enough. I did not adjust the brake booster pushrod. That seems to be another thing to do. I have searched the internet for clear instructions, but not easy to find anything. They seem to expect you know the information they leave out. I will check for a Haynes or Chilton book on the vehicle and see if they explain it better. Adjusting the rear brakes is sometimes advised, but I think they mean the emergency brake and that is wholly independent of the service brakes. I would have to check the master cylinder for air again if I adjust the pushrod I expect. Brakes used to be a lot easier before dual master cylinders, power brakes, ABS, blah, blah, blah.

I can get into the dealer after hours because I know a guy who knows a guy…. I won't play that card unless I am up against the wall. I may want to play the card another time.

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Old 02-25-2016, 04:14 PM   #387
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We left home last Saturday on our way to Taos, NM. But first, more about Tundra brakes. If you remove the master cylinder, you can't just bleed the brakes at each wheel. There is another bleeder that can only be done with equipment you don't have and the dealer does. And unless you have very small hands and perhaps a Toyota tool for it, you cannot lengthen the push rod (this is the item that moves forward when you press on the brake pedal and pushes the inside of the cylinder to operate the brakes). All that happens is that it spins within a sleeve that you have to hold in place. Apparently the push rod only has to be lengthened very slightly and how to know just how far is not something I have a clear understanding of. I spoke with a tech at the local dealer and will arrange for him to finish the job. Otherwise, I push the truck off a cliff (not while in it). That will be arranged when we return home.

Luckily, we did not have to take I-70 to get to NM. The road was closed more than a week ago by a rockfall of monumental proportions and only in the last few days has been partially opened. We saw more traffic on US 50, but not so much to be a problem. As is usual, as soon as we reached NM, the quality of the roads deteriorated, especially between Tres Piedras (Three Rocks) and Taos. We survived the bad road, however. We arrived in Taos at 6 pm and stayed at a Quality Inn. There are two types of lodging in Taos—very expensive and expensive. Quality Inn is a moderately priced and not all that good chain (part of Choice Inns, or something like that, including Comfort Inns and many more). It was the usual box with two lamps that didn't work and a door lock that required superhuman strength to operate. Otherwise, good for one night.

We had two goals—find two Mexican tin and tile mirrors for our bathroom remodel and find Barb's great great grandfather's grave. I know we picked a special restaurant for dinner, but it had limits. One dining room was a walk outside to another building (imagine being a waiter on a snowy day and going back and forth with food and drink though doors not easy to open). They wanted us to sit at a small table with one chair facing a wall with wires, plugs and a phone on it. We held out for a better table. The guacamole was excellent, the rest was ok. It was called La Cueva (I think it means The Cave and a somewhat apt description).

The next morning, after eating at the motel (a little better than usual "free" breakfast), we started north where the tourist shops are cheaper for the same trinkets you can get near the plaza. We found the mirror section and in a fairly short time found two distinctive and identical mirrors that not only were the right size for the bathroom, but looked good too. Since they are encased in bubble wrap, no photos, yet. Retail (a fake price so they can advertise "50% off") was $400 for two. After some vigorous discussion, I got the "half" price down another $20 and it came out to $180 for two, not $400 "retail". Task one successfully completed.

Then back south to Kit Carson Memorial Park where we found a church and someone there told us where the old cemetery was, now a state park. It is the home of early white settlers and quite small. It was also quite muddy if you strayed off the concrete paths—and we had to to reach Barb's family plot (not sure you can still use it, may check on that someday). Not far from the Kit Carson plot, an area about a dozen feet square, we found the grave topped by a small memorial. It had been toppled at some point and mortared back together, but was otherwise in good shape, especially since he has been dead 121 years. The inscription was repeated on three sides—one in English, one in German, one in Spanish. I have heard him referred to as Karl (his name in Germany), Carl (his name where he first landed, Boston) and Carlos (his name in Taos), but here he was Charles. Other members of the family were also buried there, the last interments maybe 40 years ago. The cemetery is not all that well maintained, but this is New Mexico where everything seems a little run down.

Carlos (or whatever, but the family almost always calls him that) came to the US in the 1850's, joined the army and was sent to Taos before the Civil War. He must have been in his 30's by then. He apparently learned to be a butcher somewhere along the line and eventually opened a shop near the Kit Carson House. He bought the land from Carson's wife, Josefina. Later he bought a ranch across the mountains near Wagon Mound, NM, to supply his shop. The ranch is still in the family as is some land in Taos. Unfortunately, none of that is something Barb will inherit or we would be driving a Rolls Royce to tow a trailer. Because of her family toots in Taos, the town is always somewhat different for us than the usual tourist stop.

Task two completed, we started for Santa Fe. More to come….

Gene
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Old 02-25-2016, 04:49 PM   #388
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Perhaps 10 miles north of Santa Fe is the Poajaque reservation complete with casino and hotel. But across the highway is the Roadrunner Cafe. it is next to the Roadrunner RV Park, a basic parking lot somewhat a bargain compared to Santa Fe CG prices. They share a name, but not an owner. Inside a mildly rundown building is a great place to eat.

Rundown is part of New Mexico's culture with uneven adobe walls, surface wiring (often not to any known electrical code), ristras and other cultural necessities, mismatched wall and ceiling surfaces and almost always, a tile floor or an ancient wood one. Chairs may not match and tables won't either. But it is the food and not the amenities that matter. We stop here whenever we are coming through and the food is very good. We had our usual huevos rancheros. Excellent chile and you get either tortillas or sopaipillas with it. One of us orders one, the other, the other, so we can each have a tortilla and a sopaipilla. As well fortified as any Hobbit with second breakfast and elevensies together, we arrived at Ft. Marcy Condos.

Because it is the slow season, we were upgraded to a two bedroom that had been recently remodeled. We are fairly close to the Plaza, but the prices are much less here, especially if you are willing to negotiate. Parking is cramped, but we manage.

We've been coming to Santa Fe for 25 or more years and have seen most or more of it. We don't have to look at maps and know how to find parking spaces (I credit my years in NYC for being able to spot a parking space a block away). We try one or two new restaurants every time we are here and will never sample them all. Some have gone out of business (we'll miss Cafe Cafe, closed since last year) and new ones pop up. Tecolote (Owl), a local favorite, was closed last year while moving and now is on St. Michael's in a fairly new building. It is much bigger and has lost some charm from the somewhat rundown former location, but the huevos rancheros are still good (Roadrunner is better though). St. Michael's is a major street, but there is a San Miguel that is less important. Same name, different languages, different streets.

Our business task here was to consign two Navajo rugs to a store on the plaza. Native Jackets has been in an indoor mall opposite the Governor's Palace for many years and has an excellent selection of rugs. We arranged for these two to be sold there as we have no wall space for them. One is about a century old and well woven with three crosses and two symbols of Spider Woman, the traditional story about how Navajos learned to weave. The other is a Klagetoh eye dazzler from the 1930's. Both are designs I have never seen except for some elements of the overall design. We hope someone else will soon enjoy them. Those may buy us a new fridge (thermostat is failing) and freezer and maybe a stove too. One was in a Scottsdale gallery a dozen years ago, but was priced too high. Some of these galleries accept lots of consignments so they have a large selection in which they have invested no money, price them too high and hope for a windfall. This store owner is more committed to selling them and will price them reasonably. Since we found them and got them at really good prices, we can't lose money.

More to come. I hope spell checker hasn't messed up too many words, especially the Spanish ones.

Gene
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Old 02-25-2016, 05:29 PM   #389
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I am surprised Trip Advisor is still operating as it is very difficult to use its website. I suffer through it, but I wonder how many do? The reviews are fairly accurate, though usually more positive than many places deserve (watch out for a town where No. 1 is Olive Garden or a burger joint). Anyway, since I can't remember where we've eaten, I use it to remind me. What was No. 1 yesterday may be No. 5 today, but life is dynamic.

Monday morning we had breakfast at Tia (Aunt) Sophia's, another local place. It was quite good. The usual huevos rancheros. We met our former realtor there and had a delightful, but hurried meal. She had to get to a meeting at her office, Santa Fe Properties. Kristin Rowley is a former college professor and artist who likes selling real estate. She showed us a gazillion houses several years ago when we were thinking of moving to Santa Fe. She neither looks like the typical real estate agent or talks like one. We recommend her. We've become friends and see her every time we are in town. We'll have dinner with her tonight. Breakfast was worth going back for, but on another trip.

Afterwards we got supplies at Trader Joe's and then went to Chocolate Mavin. The lunch there is ok (don't sit upstairs where it can be very hot), but the cookies are wonderful. Chocolate piñon cookies are so good the box won't last much longer. Andiamo was a lunch choice yesterday and one plate was really good (pasta primavera) and a small pizza was quite ordinary. We followed that with the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum. We had been there about 10 years ago and I was disappointed because it seemed there were not many of her paintings there.

This time there were not too many of her paintings, but a lot about her life. That was very interesting. There were many photos of her, especially at the Ghost Ranch. What surprised me was how much she looked like my grandmothers—hair pulled back in a bun, thin and old. Of course there were some photos of her when she was young (some nudes taken by her future husband were included), but even when she was young she looked older and pretty serious. I guess her paintings are all over the world in museums and private collections and it is hard for this museum to borrow them often. Learning more about her was worth the admission and the paintings were a bonus. I now understand more about her place in impressionism and see how she influenced another artist friend of ours.

We've been eating in our suite a lot and enjoying relaxing, sleeping late, watching election insanity and taking naps. We go to La Choza tonight (we'll miss part of tonight's bloodbath debate). I am told we've been there before. I don't know whether Barb has a better memory for restaurants or she's making it up. For breakfast either La Plazuela at La Fonda, or a new place which I can't remember. La Fonda has free parking, so that may win out. I can only eat huevos rancheros three times in one week, so it'll have to be something else. We love southwest food, but there can be too much of it; besides, Barb cooks better than a lot of these restaurants.

Then, off to Pueblo and a trip to Costco with her parents. Home on Sunday and back to remodeling and thinking about trailer travel time.

Gene

PS: Barb was looking for playing cards yesterday for some reason and we were in a store where they had a deck with "52 positions". Use your imagination. She did not buy them as they were more suitable for 25 year olds.
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:07 PM   #390
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Gene, you all are having much-too-much fun in the dead of winter. I'm sure you'll find a way to "soldier on".

Enjoy!

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Old 02-29-2016, 07:46 PM   #391
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Gene, if you get down to Espanola try El Paragua Restaurant. I happened onto the place, and was pleasantly surprised. It was some of the best Southwestern food I have had. The ambiance is very pleasant. It's well worth driving a few miles.

http://www.elparagua.com/

Don
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Old 02-29-2016, 07:57 PM   #392
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Great report Gene,
It has been over 30 years since I have been to Santa Fe. My wife has never been there.

So we are planning a trip in the next 60 days.

I remember eating in a Mexican restaurant that was in a former train station??????? It seems like it was across the river from Old Town.

Still there? if it is, any good?
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