Jippy's Story

Twas a moist miserable day. The skies were falling and I was ready to leave the house for King’s and my morning English Muffin. I ran to the 4Runner, got everything turned on and calibrated and dried up the puddle that had dripped in from the leak in the ceiling., hit the starter and the brave engine roared to life and died.


It would start every time but died within 2 seconds. Not good. I sat there and gave this some thought. It must be the fuel pump as the engine was happy for a couple secs and then quit. The fuel pump was out there somewhere, most probably in some part of the 4runner that was in the rain. I couldn’t move the 4runner. I pondered this for a few minutes and decided that this problem could wait for a dryer time to be solved. I shut everything down and went into the house and fixed myself some crummy toast.


After a nice time visiting with Marlene and doing the puzzles and such I got on the internet and inquired as to just where the fuel pump was in the 4runner. It is in the gas tank. Not a convenient place.


Poking further on the internet I find that this failure is somewhat common and is due to a relay  dying. They gave a test you can do from the little test plug in the engine compartment. It was only drizzling at the moment so I sloshed out under the hood with my meter and jumper and found that the fuel pump was OK and indeed it was this relay that had left me stranded. Back on the internet no one seemed to sure just where this relay was located in the 4runner as it seemed to move around from inside the engine compartment to the passenger side kick panel to the drivers side fuse box to the relay box under the dash. Now it is storming again and I don’t feel like searching for this maverick relay. I take Marlene out for a nice lunch.


During lunch I get a great idea. The little test plug has a connection to the fuel pump, I know because I measured the resistance of the pump motor. Upon arriving home, I jumped the little test plug with a paperclip and a clip lead to the battery and indeed the motor roared to life and stayed there.


So at 2:30PM I leave my house to find the transmitter. I could hear two transmitters and they were east of me here in Fontana. It is now raining so hard that the freeway is flooded and speeds are 10-30 MPH but I get east to San Bernardino and get gas. Continuing on east, still in major rain I trace the signal coming from both San Gorgonio and San Jacinto with 10 dB of attenuation.


I get to Whitewater and the signal is not east and getting weaker. I musta gone by it so I reverse and go back to Cabazon and wander North up Bluff road. It is getting stronger the further I go but the bearings are off of both Gorgonio and Jacinto more or less equal. By the end of Bluff road I have 30 dB attenuator in but the bearings are still confused between the two mtns. Cant go any more north here so it must be south. I light off for Hwy 243 and go up toward Idyllwild. At about 5000ft I am in a snow storm and at 5500 it is a blizzard, chains required and two cars have slid off the road on the ice. The signal is weak and still to the south. I decide that if it is up here it can stay up here and I turn around.


I decide to go south but not over the mountain so I trundle off to Hwy 79 and go south on Lambs Canyon toward Hemet/San Jacinto. No signal. It is storming. It is getting dark I get to Gilman Springs road and still have no signal. I decide that it too hard driving in the rain in the dark so I head for home.


It appears that if I had kept going south I would have picked up the signal again and maybe figured out that it was in back of Red Mountain. The loss of 4 hours hunting with the fuel pump cost me daylight. Also earlier I might have gotten over 243 to 74 and back down the mountain in back of Red Mtn.


But the 160 miles I went were interesting and fun even though I didn’t see anyone, find any transmitters or eat anything…