Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

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Amskeptic
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Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jun 21, 2014 9:51 am

. . . already.

Many many many times, I have driven across the country. When I was young, it was some point of pride to do it as quickly as possible. I come from Contempt For The Heartland stock. I used to brag it up how I drove from Sandy Hook Connecticut to Shamrock Texas in 26 hours or something, then straight to LA in another 24.

I am very glad to no longer need to do that, to rush past the day. Yet, even in a relatively lackadaisical VW bus, seeing that Welcome To California sign hits me with that old sense of here already? accomplishment. I have traversed this great country once again, the engine is singing (thumping like hell in the heat, try) back there, and has been for not for days but weeks on end. I am glad to know much more about this country now than when I was a twenty-something blasting in a BMW.

Woke up here on a crisp 60* morning outside of Sedona.

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This was a late night suspension-exercising back-it-up-until-it felt-level parking job:

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Only a bay window VW bus can give us such a remarkable display of suspension articulation:

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Cactus had a family reunion with some prickly relatives:

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I got in a morning shave without tourists from Queens NY this time:

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I knew that this beautiful crisp morning was gonna change but quick. I was only 125 miles from Phoenix, and they were calling for 108*. What is the preparatory chore when you are about to descend into the frying pan from the howling haboob of two days prior? Optimize cooling, that's what:

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Came down 89A through Jerome AZ. "Down" is a misnomer. It was actually a down from Flagstaff mountains to a valley then up up up to Jerome and up up up past Jerome. Here is the view from Jerome's Town Hall, where employees trudged into work seemingly oblivious to this amazing perch on the side of the mountain:

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The poor BobD really got a thrashing with 4,500 rpm shifts from 2nd to 3rd back to 2nd up to 3rd:

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See how far down the valley the last picture was?

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We took a breather at the pass:

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This was the "into the frying pan descent", you have to try it, it is unseemly to ratchet from 75* to 100* in a matter of minutes:

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It was an edgy mean landscape of jaggedy peaks and beat sheds and mobile homes and it was getting hot in a hurry:

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I will post the video here, if it turned out, it was beautiful and riveting. The poor cows (six dots under the middle high tension tower) only got dusted:

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Here is the stage of the Epic Battle Against Soaring Head Temps, both mine and the car's:

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I did not know it was 110* on the way to Blythe. I did know that we had an insistent headwind and a blinking 430* CHT gauge. I dorked and dorked with the AFM, I reduced the timing a good 5*, and finally got a steady 400* at 65 mph cooling to 385* on downhills and maybe 406* on uphills. The recipe? As ever, lots o $4.19/gallon 87 octane. We are currently enjoying 14.5 mpg. It is the only solution thus far.

Remember 72Hardtop's chart of fuel ratio and exhuast gas temperatures. The temperatures peak at the stochiometric ratio of 14.7, the most efficient combustion. The best power occurs around 12.5 ish. That is rich. The temps drop off on either side of the curve. Well, of course I tried uber-"luftwagon-ish" lean, and was enjoying a nice 17:1 lean cruise with modest head temps at 20 mpg, but guess what? The AFM richens the mixture as you need to work, and BobD would richen right into the stochiometric exhaust valve killing furnace at modest load. I can't seem to get the engine in the lean area at low load and switch up fast enough to seriously rich for the hills. Right now, I am just staying in the rich area so I am sort-of rich at light load to eye-watering rich at full load. Will experiment more today as I drive to Indio / Palm Desert the hottest place in the country today on the longest day of the year.
Colin

(remember the good ol days?)
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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by Jivermo » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:08 am

That Jerome is some joint. I stayed there for two days in the old company surgeon's house. It really is perched there on the mountain. It amazes me what lengths men will go to in order to remove precious things from the earth. I did see a bus there, as well as a '46 Hudson pickup. What a road!

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by glasseye » Sat Jun 21, 2014 4:44 pm

I bought Frito in Phoenix and his first road trip with 9800 miles on the clock was Phoenix-Flagstaff. That is one brutal grade in 117*F. He still whines to me about that run.

I, too, marvel at the articulate suspension of the BobD, leveling his Jurassic ass on that desert floor. :cheers:

Onward!

Peterlovintheitinerary.
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Sat Jun 21, 2014 10:21 pm

glasseye wrote: Onward!
Peterlovintheitinerary.
Almost couldn't. Today, I got stuck when the BobD broke through the desert floor crust as I was making a turn way out from anywhere. The car just bogged right down and killed the engine. Hardly any wheel spin happened, engine was about two inches from the sand. It was already 103*. No shade anywhere. These late model buses don't have the stump-puller 1st gear to allow a little m-o-d-u-l-a-t-i-o-n. This was a real predicament. Should I walk instantly toward civilization and maybe get there, or should I try to work this car out of the sand? I opted to stay. Found a piece of metal and a plastic inner fender liner. Unbolted a "natural gas pipeline" sign to use as a shovel. Really hot. Shovelled the sand away from the tires and jammed the metal against the left rear tire. Damn, that is a steep ramp to get back up to the surface. Crammed the plastic inner fender liner against the right rear wheel after digging it out. Wildly thirsty, I drank a gallon of water in the hour it took to make sixteen 3 foot roads out of the road sign, piece of metal and plastic fender liner. I had to get the rear end up out of the trenches created by the tires breaking through, yes, but I also had to direct the front wheels in an arc to miss the savagely rusty barb wire ex-fence pretty much five feet in front of me. You do NOT ask a stuck car to also steer at full lock, that adds trouble onto trouble, but I felt there was no choice. I also had no choice but to treat that clutch to some major slippage today, the engine was totally worthless under 3,000 rpm and I needed to provide a serious dose of carefully applied torque to get the tires onto the metal/plastic temporary "road" surfaces without spinning and without driving off of them and just breaking through into loose sand again.

Hot dizzy and nauseous, I realized that I am no spring chicken like the last time I had to do crazy exertions in the desert heat. This was a real moment of "think carefully and act cautiously". Once I made it onto a surface that would support the car, I had to decide which berm to break through. Some road grader had built "curbing" about a foot high along the road where I was poised to return. The broken down berm was at the edge of where some other person had gotten stuck (and paid forward his/her fender liner) trying to bust over the berm. The road surface was all broken through there. The fresh run of berm (all one foot high of it) was along an intact part of the road. I tried to break it down with my feet, but it was pretty tough and I was damn close to passing out here at noon outside of Indio. I decided we had to choose the road surface that was intact and blast the foot high berm at speed diagonally. I did not have much room at all between the barb wire and the natural gas pipeline signpost.

The final shove required a clutch-slipping start and a fast twist of the steering wheel. Everything in the interior got thrown when I hit that berm diagonally, but the BobD was totally into it "you want to play?" I did a good slew on the "road" and built up speed for the damaged part mentioned above. The sand pit stole my momentum quickly, but we made it to the other side where I built up a good 30 mph to plow through any other soft spots. Then in celebratory relief, I threw the car into a power slide as I came up to the cow guard that introduced real pavement leading to the entrance ramp to Interstate 10. Man, I was glad to get up to speed and hang my head out the window. Close call. These Michelins are too worn down to play Chloe-Shod-With-Maxxis-Mudders games.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by Bleyseng » Sun Jun 22, 2014 6:10 am

Jeez, nothing like fun in the sun! Would LSD helped in this case of stuckness or was it just too far buried in the sand?

So it seems like you are saying to retard the timing a little bit say 5 degrees to drive in Hot, Hilly conditions to lower the CHTs?
Geoff
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by glasseye » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:08 am

A harrowing tale for those of us who venture offroad for our overnight accommodations. As the driver of a front-engine van, notorious for getting stuck due to the total lack of weight on the traction wheels, I'm extrasupercautious.

I got stuck once in a level parking lot on a foot-square patch of ice in one of my Asstros. I put the vehicle in gear, took my foot off the brake and, still at throttle-off idle, the wheel on the ice commenced a lazy rotation. I was going nowhere until I sourced a couple of handfulls of sand from a vacant lot nearby.

Gotta love the resourcefulness in using a sign as a shovel.
Gotta love the "paying it forward" of the fender shroud from previous stuckees.

More excellent material for The Book. :cheers:
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by airkooledchris » Sun Jun 22, 2014 8:32 am

Smittybilt Element Ramp's would have been worth their weight in gold. That and Chloe's Maxxis Meats of course....

Scary story, glad it worked out for both you and the BobD in the end. Nice to hear that all of that hard work was rewarded with success.
1979 California Transporter

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Xelmon
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by Xelmon » Sun Jun 22, 2014 10:56 am

+1! That must have been nerve-wrecking to say the least. =|

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by hambone » Sun Jun 22, 2014 5:26 pm

Man UP Time, man it sucks. Glad you're safe. It all comes down to how much you can keep the panic down...
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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by glasseye » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:15 am

hambone wrote: It all comes down to how much you can keep the panic down...
How &$%# true. I need you hovering over my shoulder with that sage advice when bad stuff happens out there.
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by Amskeptic » Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:48 am

glasseye wrote:
hambone wrote: It all comes down to how much you can keep the panic down...
How &$%# true. I need you hovering over my shoulder with that sage advice when bad stuff happens out there.
Aw you guys . . . I was merely thinking what piteous posture shall I adopt as I expire.
Sitting against the hubcap? Naw, too relaxed.
Praying to Mecca tip-over . . . better.
Splayed out in front of the rear tire as my own Smittysunsmote element ramp? I like that.

"What the hell was he thinking?"
"How do you know its a he?"
"Well, I don't know, actually, those are pretty short shorts."
"Just like a broad, it figures, you're supposed to dress up to protect yourself in the sun, not dress down."
"Darwin!"
"Yeah, let's get out here. Put the bones in the bag."
:sunny:
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . . 112,660 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,845 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 112,885 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . . 55,570 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 78,899 miles

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Re: Itinerant Air-Cooled Now In California . . .

Post by glasseye » Mon Jun 23, 2014 3:20 pm

=D>
"This war will pay for itself."
Paul Wolfowitz, speaking of Iraq.

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