The Real Paul Jones

Accept no substitutes

Date: 8/1/2006

A visit to rPath and a PT Saga

Tucker and I took a trip to Raleigh for the ribbon cutting, eating and drinking and talking and celebrating of rPath‘s new space near I-40 and NC 55. Erik Troan (CTO) and Billy Marshall (CEO) have really grown an impressive company and have some wonderful folks working with them including Michael K Johnson, Nathan Thomas and more folks I met tonight for the first time.

Representative Brad Miller of the 13th District was there to help cut the ribbon and to congratulate rPath for having been chosen to receive a $100K Small Business Innovation Research grant from the Department of Energy.

The afternoon temperature was over 100 degrees. The drive over was about 30 minutes at 65 mph. As soon as we pulled off the Interstate, the PT stalled. After about 5 minutes, I could start it again and get to rPath World Headquarters.

On the return, we drove around Cary a little. All was fine. We got on the highway. Sure enough we made it off the ramp and to the first stoplight where — the PT stalled. After 2 minutes, I could restart it only to have it fail soon after. Then after 2 more minutes, I could start it again. By using the handbrake at the next light, I kept the rpms up over 1500 and kept the car working til we got the rest of the way home.

Some how appropriate that RPMs were involved after visiting Erik Troan the inventor of the RPM (Red Hat Package Manager).

But grrrr. We now know that these things don’t fix the PT stalling when hot and driven fast problem: anything in the 60K mile tuneup, cleaning the throttle housing etc, firmware upgrade, power steering pressure sensor, fuel pump, EGR (exhaust gas recovery), and multi-switch and shift cable (these last two not really a candidates)..

PT gets EGR update

So after my crash test dummy experience, I get a call from the dealer. Seems that when the tech was removing the old EGR setup for a replacement, he noticed that one of the shift cables was worn to the point that it had no bushings. If that failed, I could no long shift! Better replace that (+$300).
So now we have had a 60K miles redo, a cleansing of the throttle housing etc, a new firmware upgrade, a new fuel pump, a new power steering pressure sensor, a new EGR setup and a new shift cable.
Will that solve the stalling while hot problem?
We’ll likely get some feedback this afternoon when I drive over to Rawlee in the 100+ degree weather. The perfect test case — and a scary one.

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