Saturday, December 29, 2012

MINI Leak Search Continues With Boroscope

[caption id="attachment_1009" align="alignleft" width="320"]Boroscope camera w/ 4 LED lights Boroscope camera w/ 4 LED lights[/caption]

I think most of my updates on this project have been via Facebook and Twitter, so about time I got something here on my blog. Last summer, shortly before the THMMC Blue Ridge Parkway Tour, the MINI WUF threw a CEL and I had a brief spat of rough running. Took the MINI in to Flow MINI of Raleigh. They diagnosed the problem as a broken timing chain guide rail. Since I was far out of warranty at 108,000 miles, had to pay for a whole new timing chain "cartridge" myself. The cartridge includes all the parts to replace the whole timing chain assembly - the chain, guides, sprockets, tensioner, etc.

In the course of completing that repair, they apparently discovered that was not getting things back to running normal, so they ended up doing the walnut shell carbon blasting. Got the MINI back, but it was still throwing the CEL. Took it back in, and the second time they ended up replacing the throttle body. That didn't fix it either, so I ended up having to take a loaner on the BRP Tour. Flow MINI ended up replacing the valve cover and that seemed to finally fix things. In the course of all that work, they also flashed my computer to update it (had been at least two years since I'd had the MINI in to the dealer for any work) which resulted in my losing the ability to use the key fob's remote transmitter to raise and lower the windows. The one-touch operation of the sunroof kept working though. They had also diagnosed a slow leak in my turbo oil feed line, but not bad enough it had to be addressed right away.

Creating routes for GPX files with Basecamp

Over the course of the past couple months I've had some folks ask me how I go about making the gpx files that we distribute for the Tar Heel MINI Motoring Club runs and rallies. I use a combination of Google Maps and Garmin's software, Basecamp (not to be confused with the project management platform that goes by the same name). Garmin had a software product called MapSource that I used until this past year. However, they decided to retire the MapSource product and focus their development efforts on the Basecamp product. I'm not real sure what the purpose was other than a guess that the underlying code is somehow easier to maintain across multiple platforms.