Sunday, February 23, 2014

Oil Leak

So after many hours of poking around up top and below the car, I think I've narrowed the problem down to 2 areas where leaks are probably originating from. The first is the oil cooler which is located underneath the oil filter meaning that I'll need to do some fancy unbolting to get to the location. The bad thing is that on this car, I'll have to essentially remove the exhaust system all the way up to the exhaust manifold in order to get enough room to get to the oil cooler. The picture above shows where the leaking oil is leaking hitting one part of the exhaust from up top. That whole pipe snakes below the car to the muffler and has to be removed, as well as the large metal piece to the left going up, and also an unseen turtle-shaped part that is even higher.

The second leak/problem area is the turbo. This is a shot of the intake of the turbo which is not supposed to have oil leaking down. The pipe is only supposed to contain air from the intake. I learned that there are 2 tubes that can contain "some" oil that lead to this location. The origins of these tubes are the blow-off valve and the PCV valve. On this car the PCV valve was fairly dry and blow off valve pipe was wet with oil. All this means bad.

This next picture shows that oil is being ejected from the turbo and is spewing through the intercooler system. Most of the pipes have oil in them and yeah it's disconcerting that all of these pipes are only supposed to contain a whole shitload of air.

All of this means that my turbo is either broken or leaking and/or both. Either way the seals in it are definitely shot and it will need to be rebuilt or replaced. Since this car is so old I guess you can't just buy a new turbo at the closest parts store, which led me to research a whole another set of automotive information with regards to turbochargers. If your car is new, you buy a brand new turbo which costs a lot of money $1-2k+ just for the part. You can also buy a kit for $80-$130 and try to rebuild it yourself, but if you have no idea what you're doing, it could be more trouble than it's worth. Last option is to send it out to a shop that specializes in rebuilds, which will cost $300-$800 not including shipping. These shops supposedly do a bunch of fancy diagnostics and balancing which I don't totally understand, but yeah all those extra tasks are things that an average guy with a rebuild kit would not be doing and I have no idea how important all of the extras are. All in all pretty fucked up options. Do you know what I think? I think turbos can go to hell.

I used to think that they were pretty cool since turbos take the spinning mechanism from exhaust gases and turns that energy into pressure to push more air through to the intake system which produces more power, but if the damn part is this much to replace AND the fact that it has so much piping and a device called an intercooler which is a radiator for air, I see a waste of space and lack of efficiency. I guess I could totally blame the old owner of the car since I wonder what the average failure rate of a turbo is during regular driving...but still it has been an annoying ride and continues to be that way until I can get that turbo into my hands.

I just bought a bunch of more tools to try to get the exhaust off so yeah, the adventure continues.

SMB Share Creation Error

Server: Physical
OS: Windows 2008
Feature: File Server Cluster (2 Node)

Error: New SMB shared folder cannot be created. The object already exists.

Story: Once this occurred after a failover for patching. All of the hundreds of other shares re-appeared fine but for some reason a single SMB share did not reappear.

Symptoms: No share in listing. Folder location's NTFS permissions were all messed up and were listed as access denied. Had to take ownership to access. Folder location was listed as not being shared out. No odd event logs.

Attempt: When you try to re-share out the folder you'll get the main error as seen above.

Optional Attempt: If it was during a downtime or if the file server was not in production I would've probably tried to fail over again and see if it would magically reappear, but I didn't have the luxury.

Solution: I found the solution buried in this thread, but in a nutshell you have to go to regkey: HKLM\Cluster\Resources. Then wander around until you find the name of your share in the listing (In the area you will see all shares listed out). After you find it, just delete the listing at the root folder. Next try to go back to the original folder share it out. It worked immediately for me. No reboot necessary.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thor: The Dark World (Action 2013)

Everyone likes Thor, but he didn't seem to have too many lines in this movie. What I noticed with this film was that there was a lot of action and plot movement, but the main characters were kinda just there. They didn't carry the story along and it seemed like quite the opposite, where the story just so happened to have characters involved.

The plot wandered around from the different realms of Thor's universe and it concentrated a lot on Earth because it's cheaper for the production company. It had a bunch of special effects, a few jokes here and there, and not a lot of acting. It wasn't all that great, just average. Most of the Iron Man films as well as The Avengers were much better.
Rating - C

Friday, February 14, 2014

The Book Thief (Drama 2013)

This movie was OK. It was a fairly light drama set in Germany during WWII. It had a lot of embedded themes relating to growing up for the main character, but that's about it. It seemed pretty short and a lot of side characters really didn't have a purpose for being there. I've seen better movies of this genre so it wasn't anything to write home about.
Rating - C

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Toy

I've always been a fan of cars, but I've never bought something so impractical in my life. This is a Toyota MR2 and that means that it's older than the first car I ever owned. On top of that it's a stick, which I generally hate, but I thought that I might like it with a car that wasn't a Subie since there's something fishy with Subie transmissions in my book. Next, the car has a T-Top which means that it can be made into a convertible, something that I will never use. It has no back seat and is a mid-engine sports car meaning that it's very cramped, both inside and within the engine bay. So yeah, quite impracticable, but the price won me over and it has a turbo...that and it does look sexy even for a 20 year old automobile. I bought it because it was a "barn find" that only had 62k on the odometer and boy was it cheap. But like all hobbies, there are many expensive pitfalls that you make and hopefully you eventually learn from them. Since the goal of this car is for me to learn how to do stuff, I'll start off by listing a few things that I've run into.

  • This car couldn't get started when I first got it. When this happens and you try everything you can from testing the ignition, compression, air, and gas, you'll have to get it towed. My first mistake was towing it to the dealership. They pulled some pretty sketchy stuff and I ended up paying 3x more than what I was planning on paying. It's much better to bring it to a mildly reputable independent shop and tell them exactly what you want. In my case I just wanted the car to run...I didn't want anything cleaned up or totally revamped. Unfortunately I got a whole lot more than I wanted, and all that came with a hefty bill. So lesson learned, Fuck the dealership. But if you ever have to do business with one, make sure to slowly spell out every little thing that they will be doing to the car and get everything in writing with regards to estimates, hidden costs, small parts, etc. It eats up more time to handle it thoroughly, but remember that they are there to fuck you over any way possible after they get a hold of your car.
  • So if a prospective purchasable car doesn't start and you will need to get it towed, auto-axe 1k from the price because although it will most likely not cost that much to get it running, it will be costly: anywhere from $200 up and you don't want any initial repairs to eat into your "good" deal.
  • Initially I looked at older model cars with low miles because of the lower insurance, cheaper price, and because I thought that it would be a good overall buy. The engine had low use, it wasn't out in the sun so there wouldn't be paint damage or cracks in the dash, and all I would essentially need to do would be to change out all the fluids, maybe a few parts, and I would be good to go. Did this happen? No. What I didn't know was that engines have a shit-ton of gaskets which keep all the oil and coolant inside of the engine and system. These have a fixed life span, and after 10+ years, they will eventually start leaking. Good thing is that a gasket is cheap, like $10-$30. Bad thing is that many of these parts are located deep within the know the stuff you see real mechanics with specialized tools doing. This is a much different task than me just screwing off in the garage. So yeah good thing is that I can do some of these repairs and wing it, but a lot of the major stuff I just don't have the tools and honestly I don't know what the fuck I'm doing. One can only trust a service manual so much...
  • I have also discovered why this thing called a timing belt sucks so much ass and why it's so expensive to replace. Timing belts make a car's whole system run by transferring needed rotational power to many needed parts of the car. Older cars have these belts which need to be replaced every 60k, 90k, or 100k, depending on the car. Newer cars have timing chains that are supposed to last for the "life of the engine" which isn't all that true, but it does mean that as long as an engine wasn't abused and was maintained regularly, you really shouldn't need to replace it until the engine requires a full rebuild around 200k or so. The belt itself is cheap, but it's all about the labor involved to get to the damn thing. This belt, at least on the MR2 is insane to get have to remove SO many damn parts and then on top of that you barely have any room to work. This will be a goal of mine with this car, but oh boy...know that if I ever get a real car again, it will not have a timing belt.
So yeah here starts my mini-adventure as I delve into automobile maintenance and servicing using only the Internet and my wits.

Thursday, February 06, 2014

13 Assassins (Foreign Japanese Action 2010)

Yeah this movie was OK, but it was pretty average for a Samurai action flick. Usually this means that there's a decent plot, but it'll have a slow-moving one that takes forever to get to the final battle. After you reach that final battle, you'll see one too many deaths of numerous enemy mobs and then all of the heroes usually die except for one or two peeps. This film fit that mold to the tee. Not really worth it in my humble opinion.
Rating - C

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Rush (Drama 2013)

Pretty good for a racing movie. It centered around the concepts of rivalry and competition between the two main characters, while loosely following a plot that was based on real people.

In reality the story wasn't all that exciting since the majority of the film had countless scenes of F1 cars whizzing by, but the main theme of the movie played through. Although not bad, it was quite forgettable.
Rating - C

Saturday, February 01, 2014

Xenon HID Headlight Kit sold by

So a long while back in my original Prius review, I had commented that the headlights on the car sucked pretty bad and that I missed the Xenons that the Infiniti had. Well I found some time, researched a bit, and discovered that there were many companies out there that sold kits. Many eons ago when I had Mr. Civic, I had purchased some white-bluish bulbs for around $20 and promptly got pulled over because of them. There seems to be a huge difference between replacing bulbs and actually having lights that look like they belong on a luxury class automobile. Long story short, it has to do with the gas inside of the bulb and the electricity needed to light up the gas in order to produce a certain "legal" color.

HID kits come with Xenon HID bulbs, wiring harnesses, and two metal electronic boxes called ballasts that are connected between the power and the bulbs. They behave much like the Saab and Infiniti did by flickering on and then staying solidly on. Although there are pretty cheap kits on Amazon, I paid double for a kit sold through The store had a pretty convincing YouTube video so I gave them an A for effort.

So I ordered the kit and within a week it arrived. The whole thing was a bolt-on set as in you only have to plug-and-play; no splicing of wires or messing with an added connection to the battery. It took an hour or so the first time, but now I can set one up in under 15 min. But unfortunately I did hit a snag. After I got everything setup, one side's ballast gave off this god-awful buzzing sound and the light was flickering.

I ended up emailing (They didn't respond within 24 hours so don't use this communication mechanism) and then calling the company, and the rep/owner person sent me out a replacement ballast including a free return shipping label; all USPS priority mail so not bad. Good thing was that the new ballast worked fine and everything has been kosher since.

Although the pics look more blue than white, they really are quite white in real life. I got the 4300K bulbs, but I think some of the other bulbs they sold would've made it more blue which was not the color scheme I was looking for.

Overall the light spread is umpteen times better such that I can actually see at night time as well as when it's raining. I'm glad that the price of these kits have plummeted down to reasonable prices. Would I buy from XenonSupply again? Maybe, but I would also probably read up on the cheaper alternatives and how good their support is. Since these kits are more/less a commodity item with the same set of warranties for the bulbs and ballasts, it really does boil down to support and the ability to get a replacement if need be.

Arisen, Book Four - Maximum Violence By Michael Stephen Fuchs and Glynn James (Book 2013)

So the story continues on with this 4th book. I had thought that it would end with this one but it seems to be dragging on. I'll be honest and say that the series should really conclude soon since I barely remember what happened in the first book anymore.

Although the writing and plot are still good and action-packed, having a zombie apoc story putt putt along through x number of books is silly. Just get to some conclusion and movie on.
Rating - Mid