Monday, January 16, 2017

The 600000 Mile Intake Manifold Gasket Replacement

Having attained the 600,000 mile milestone with my vehicle a few months ago and additionally never having opened the engine for any maintenance or repairs (and it still runs great), I figured this finally would be a good time to replace some internal engine gaskets.  Furthermore, over the last 50,000 miles, I occasionally noticed a very small pool of coolant sometimes accumulating under the back-side of the engine.  After eliminating any heater hoses or freeze-plugs as the source of the leaked coolant, a mechanic friend verified that the rear of the intake manifold was in fact showing signs of leaking (as the intake manifold on this engine maintains a water-jacket for cooling or whatever).  So, as I said, I figured 600,000 miles was long enough to wait to open the engine to replace some gaskets. 

The photos show some of the carbon build-up internal to the top-side of the engine.  What can I say?  Often driving the vehicle off-road in the sand when I first purchased it, I nevertheless probably only changed the motor oil a handful of times during the first 100,000 miles – if that often.  Regardless, knock on wood (and all), the engine still runs fantastically well and even better than before the gasket change!

Here’s to the next 600,000 miles!    :) 

Adam Trotter, P.E.  (January, 2017)

600,000 Miles to Idyllwild, Cal.

When in Southern California and seeking to get-away from the hustle and bustle of the urban/suburban sprawl, a drive to Idyllwild, Cal. can fulfill any such yearning!  Go and check-it-out for yourself to learn how unique and special is the town of Idyllwild. (See:

Idyllwild is a fun place to visit.  Even the ride up into the mountains to get there can be exhilarating.  Idyllwild has interesting events throughout the year and many great trails upon which to hike, good restaurants at which to eat, and even interesting and fun places at which to stay/lodge. 

Worth noting, I had been overdue and meaning to create this blog entry for the last couple of years.  However, a couple of months ago, my vehicle was poised to surpass the 600,000 mile point.  So I decided to take my own advice and take a special drive to Idyllwild to attain this exceptional mile-marker for my vehicle.  I was fortunate to have such a fun drive to such an interesting place available to me to commemorate this historic event for my wheels.

AVT (January, 2017)

PS.  The photos are from a couple of years ago during the late fall time of year.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Have Fun! Visit Santa Barbara, California!

When one is looking to get away to a fun and unique place, a trip to Santa Barbara, California, never fails to fulfill that desire.  Santa Barbara is a fantastic place with beautiful scenery, fantastic climate, and friendly people.  There is plenty to do in the Santa Barbara region, from shopping and wine tasting to numerous festivals and events throughout the year.  The photos shown above were taken at the Santa Barbara Mission during its annual Chalk-Art Festival, for anyone who is wondering.   For other festivals and events in Santa Barbara, check out the City’s websites ( ,; or just search Santa Barbara Festivals on the internet (such as: ).  

Whenever one is looking to get away, I would always recommend a journey to Santa Barbara!  If you should need a tour guide, feel free to contact me.  I’m nearly always available to visit Santa Barbara!  :)

Adam Trotter (June, 2016)

U2- California (There Is No End to Love) (Official-Unofficial) Music Video

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

LA Freeways! Dig It..., and Drive!

When you’re looking for some real fun, go out and zoom-around the Los Angeles (“LA”) Freeway System in Southern California!  There are plenty of routes through interesting terrain/scenery, landmarks, suburbs, and urban areas. All these routes can be traveled in big loops as well.  I usually prefer to take it slow and easy and also prefer to drive in the evening or night time (b/c less traffic).  But if you’re more the gamer-type, you can zoom-around however you prefer – like a video game in real-life and there will be other jockeys out there playin’ too (give it a few minutes and you will see).  But watch-out for the trucks, occasional narrow lanes and slow-moving traffic, and be aware that traffic-jams are possible at any place and at any time.  For myself…, again, I prefer to just take it easy and have fun driving around – it’s safer and cheaper on gas too!  Believe it or not, zooming-around the LA Freeways is one of my favorite ways to pass the time!

Don’t forget how the roads around here like to play games with the tourists and non-locals in that one often never knows what side of the road the exit-ramp off the freeway is located, what side of the road the on-ramp to the freeway is located, and/or how the exit-ramp for any given street doesn’t necessarily drop you on to that street – you may have to take a right or left turn at the end of the exit-ramp to get to the named street of the exit, and how the laughs continue in that any given lane might become an exit-only or turning-only lane.  But if you have out-of-state license plates or are obviously driving a rental car, the locals usually will cut you some slack, contrary to what others might say.  Whatever you do, however, don’t go too slow and impede traffic, especially in the ‘car-pool’ lanes. Because if you do impede traffic too badly or subjectively go too slow – even with no traffic, it’s likely even the Cal. Highway Patrol will get mad at you!!  (See: To Slay a ‘Law’ – Papachristou Style. VC 22400; located at:  .)

As a driver on these roadways it’s best to properly behave and always be in control of one’s vehicle as well.  Because, with all that being said above, also remember there are plenty of black-and-whites out there too. That is, cars painted with white doors and black fenders and typically adorned with lots o’external multi-colored lights of red, blue and yellow. Hopefully also a moot point, but any damage you do – albeit reckless or otherwise, be an adult about it all and face-the-music and make it right if at all possible – should such ever happen!

And, hey…, even when the worst thing happens and you get stuck in a bumper-to-bumper traffic-jam that’s more than 25 miles on-end , you can people-watch with all the other folks in the other cars alongside you and remind yourself that you must be in the right place, ‘cause all these other folks are there with you too!  :)  Have fun (and don’t hurt anyone, please)!

AVT  (May, 2015)

PS.  (Addendum Date: August, 2015.) ‘Cause, I mean…, not even the most creative video game designer would ever even think to design a pit-fall into his/her car-driving video game of the scenario that if the wild-fire jumps the freeway and you happen to be driving at that place where any fire jumps the freeway on which you are driving, you then get stuck in traffic-jam in the middle of the fire and smoke on the freeway, your car in the video-game then burns, and:  YOU LOSE!!!  (But should any video game companies be looking for new, wild, and creative ideas:  HERE I AM!  Don’t all of you video game companies and big-wigs come knocking-down my door at the same time, mind you.)  :)      (See: “Dozens of cars set ablaze as wildfire jumps California freeway”, located at: ; “Wildfire Burns Cars On California Freeway, Fire on the highway”, located at:;  and, “Wildfire sweeps across California freeway, burns cars”, located at: .)


Also see: 

Driving in Los Angeles

California Highways; The History of Southern California Freeway Development; (Part 2 - 1950s)

Los Angeles and Orange County Traffic Solutions.  

To Slay a ‘Law’ – Papachristou Style. VC 22400

Can you dig it? (The Monkees) 

California Dreamin - Mamas & The Papas

California Love HD (2pac feat. Dr.Dre)

The Eagles Hotel California

California (There Is No End To Love) U2