Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Changing the tail light / brake light on Toyota Sienna

Here are some instructions for changing a tail light/brake light on a Toyota Sienna.

Step 1: Remove 2 bolts that fasten the tail light assembly to the body

Step 2: Pull the tail light out sideways from the vehicle to remove.
See the 2 prongs that stick out from the tail light and push into the body of the van in the picture below.

Step 3: Remove the light housing from the tail light assembly by pinching the clip and pulling.

Step 4: Remove the bulb
Push in and twist.

Step 5: Determine bulb type
Printed on the base of the bulb is the type.

In my case I needed a P21/5W.
Alternatively you can look it up at the parts store. I went to Canadian Tire with the bulb in hand and I am glad I did because the parts book listed the wrong type of bulb.
Here it is in its package

Installation is the reverse of removal.
I hope this helps.

Fix Toyota Sienna Mirror - Part 2

Well almost 2 years to the day and I am replacing another mirror on my van. Luckily I followed my own instructions and it only took me about 15 minutes.
If you find yourself in the same situation then see my previous post for an explanation on how to do it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Fishing on the Rideau

Here is a my son catching a bass on the Rideau using his Songe Bob Squarepants rod and a worm.
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Sunday, August 03, 2008

2008 Ottawa Buskerfest

Here are a few scenes from the 2008 Ottawa Busker Festival.
The great Raphael fire eater!!!!!

What goes in... (a nail in this case)....

must come out....

Peter Rabbit makes friends with the audience.

Bike Boy on high.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Fixing 04 Sienna Passenger Side Mirror

A little while ago the passenger side mirror on my 04 Toyota Sienna CE was smashed. I called the dealer to price a new one and was quoted $330.00 + tax and installation (ouch). I decided to find one elsewhere and install it myself. What follows is a series of pictures I hope will help someone else in a similar situation.
First of all I got the details of the mirror from the dealer based on the VIN (there are many variations and using the VIN will obtain the right match). My mirror was power + heated with no auto-dimmer. I called around starting with Canadian Tire who said I should try NAPA Autoparts who then directed me to their supplier CMAX. Their price came to $72!! (incl tax). It took 2 days for them to get it to Ottawa from Toronto.

Here is a picture of my smashed mirror.

Here is a picture of my new mirror out of the box

Let me start with a picture of the final step before unplugging and unbolting the broken mirror. This is were you should end up after following the steps below:

Step 1. Remove Bracket Garnish
From the top, pop out the cover using a flat head screwdriver and pivot it out to remove.

Step 2. Remove Inside Handle Bezel
Pull the door handle open and pop out the bezel (plastic cover)

Step 3. Remove the armrest
A. Open the armrest door and remove the screw inside.

B. Start at the outside end of the armrest and use a flat-head screwdriver pry up the armrest.

Here is a closeup of the clip at the end of the armrest. You have to push it in with the screwdriver to disengage it.

The middle portion of the armrest has a clip that must also be disengaged.

Finally disconnect the electrical connectors.

Here is a close-up of the connector. Push the middle portion of the clip inwards to extract it.

Step 4. Remove the trim board sub-assembly (underneath the armrest)
(3 screws)

Step 5. Remove 2 additional screws that hold on the door panel.
Screw 1 is under the previously remove trim sub-assembly.

Screw 2 is where the door handle is.

Step 6. Remove the door panel clips
There is one screw-type clip at the outer edge of the door.

and 9 pop-type clips around the door.

Step 7. Lift up the door panel to loosen and gain access to the power wires and securing nuts for the mirror. Disconnect the power wires and remove the 3 nuts and the mirror will pull off from the outside of the door.

Installation is the reverse of the removal.

I hope this helps.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Feel the Burn (Tales from a friend)

And now for another installment of "Tales From a Friend".

Sometime ago (about a year) my friend decided to co-habitat with a women he had met and grown fond of. This decision did not come easy to Wilber as he had to give up a house he rented in Manotick at a ridiculously low price. He had decided to move into her house and give up his bachelor lifestyle (not a big sacrifice). What was going to be a big sacrifice was what he had to do with the "valuables" he had accumulated over the years of singlehood.
His collection included a wide range of items from damaged TV tables to framed photographs of car shows. Wilber is not one to part with anything he would deem valuable but necessity is the mother of invention. By decree (girlfriend, moving buddies, etc...) it was decided that most of the stuff had to go.

He decided to donate the more useful items to the local chapter of the neighbourhood services. This organization is a staple in the community and assists people who are in need. It broke his heart to have to part with these treasures but knowing that his life's work would somehow carry on through someone else eased the anxiety and pain that he felt.

Unfortunately the headline in the following day's Ottawa Citizen newspaper read:

Arson suspected in Neighbourhood Services fire.

"Do I still get a tax receipt?"

Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Canadian War Musem

I took some time off from the kids last weekend to visit the new Canadian War Museum on the anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge. I must say I came away very impressed.

The external view of the building looks like a ship that has flipped upside-down and is interesting but not particularity attractive. The inside however is fantastic. The permanent exhibits are extremely well done and take you through Canada's history of war from early aboriginal warfare right up to the present role in Afghanistan.
At the time of my visit there were 2 special exhibits on:
Afghanistan: A Glimpse of War
Canada Under Attack: 1942 - 1944

CUA tells the story of German U boats foray into the Gulf of the St. Lawrence during WWII.

Twenty-three ships were sunk and 375 lives lost in the battles.

Canada also had to deal with German spies on our shores.

Werner von Janowski

Alfred Langbein

These, along with the many other displays, made this exhibit well worth a look.

"Afghanistan: A Glimpse of War" shows Canada's involvement in the war in Afghanistan. The exhibit begins with a display portraying the events of 9/11 and moves on to Canada's role in military and humanitarian efforts.

One display that caught my eye was this sniper rifle below.

Further along in the exhibit was a glass wall where people posted their comments. See the red post-it note on the lower left...

Here is what it said:

I saw this gentleman sitting alone looking quite reflective to me. I had to wonder if he had lost someone over there.

This shot of him was through the broken windshield of a Canadian military vehicle that was destroyed by an IED.

After spending several hours in these 2 exhibits I realized I had very little time left for the permanent exhibits. I did go through them but did not give them the attention they deserve. I will be going back the next chance I get.

5 stars.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Shopping Cart (tales from a friend)

I am sure everyone is aware of the Costco chain of stores, formerly known as the Price Club. You know that when you go there you require a giant shopping cart just to pick up a package of Certs. Well the other day my friend, lets call him Wilber, was in there doing some last minute Easter shopping.

In Christian religions Easter is the most important holiday on the Calendar. I always thought that a little strange since without Christmas there would be no Easter. Anyhow Easter Sunday is always a hit with most people because of the chocolate and everyone is usually in a good mood.

Flash back to Wilber walking though the Costco cartless. Suddenly it dawns on him he will need some wheels to haul the giant chocolate bunny out of the store. He looks around and, like the reappearance of the Lord Himself, Wilber sees a free shopping cart sitting in the aisle. He grabs it and begins loading it with his stuff. Suddenly he hears a man speaking in an elevated and aggravated tone:
"Hey, you took my cart!"
Well knowing he was the culprit, in his mind he prepared an apology as he turned around.
"I didn't touch your cart!"
Huh, why would Wilber say such a thing?
"Listen man, give me my cart back or else!"
It turns out that the altercation Wilber thought he was facing was actually one he was witnessing. Knowing that he was the cause but not knowing how to intervene Wilber slinked away from the scene as the 2 men rained blows down on one another. As security ran by him to quell the riot Wilber rushed to the cash with his bunny.

HAPPY EASTER (daddy's been incarcerated).

Monday, April 02, 2007

Automatic for the People (tales from a friend, new series)

I am starting a new series today called "Tales From a Friend" which will tell the story of some humorous events that have occurred to
a friend of mine.

Automatic for the People
A great album from REM? Read on...

You no doubt have seen the proliferation of those automatic faucets in movie theatres and public washrooms around the city. Many people, mostly those with obsessive compulsive disorder or those who work with public health, consider them a godsend, as did my friend until he had a sleepover with his kid at the "playland".

It was put on by the Beavers (very little boy scouts) as an overnight event for kids and parents to celebrate another successful year. Armed with a change of clothes in case the excitement got too intense or if too much water was consumed prior to bed my friend and his son were ready for anything. Anything, that is, except for the superfluousness of modern society.
It was late in the night when the kids finally stopped running around in order to get ready for bed. "Did you wash your hands?" "Did you brush your teeth?" "Did you go pee?" The answer always came back as "YES, YES, YES". During this interrogation it went unnoticed that my friend had thrown his kit bag on the sink next to the one he was using to disinfect his kid. As he proceeded with the finishing touches with his son the boy turned to him and asked him why he was filling up his bag with water. "NOOOOOO!", "CRAP!" "SON OF A *****!"
Next time mom will pack an extra set of sleep clothes for dad and encase them in a ziplock bag.
Not much REM sleep that night.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Web Radio Can Read Your Mind

After reading an article in the Globe and Mail on Web radio I decided to give Pandora and Last.fm a try. These sites are incredible. Simply indicate your favorite group or song and the site goes through a series of sample cuts to nail down your taste in music. It is a far cry from your basic FM station streaming feed. Great for parties. Check it out for yourself.