F12 trip Chicago to Berkeley - Page 2 - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums

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post #16 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 08:08 PM Thread Starter
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Got to Denver at 6:40 today, dodging rain and tornados. Took BORING I-80 and I-76, but back roads with dodgy brakes didn't seem like the best plan with so many miles to cover.

There was in fact a tornado warning for the Denver area today, and two touched down as we came south on I-76 into Keensburg. We pulled off for a biology break at a little store and everyone was out taking pics of the wall of black clouds to the west, mixed with dust from the incredible wind. Looked like the end of the world. Drove through 30-40 minutes of rain and hail, not too bad actually, with Rain-X now our best friend, as wipers did not respond to prayers or hitting. Our timing was good, 20 minutes after we parked at Matt's house the heavens opened and the streets were literally flooded to overflowing in a half hour. That would not have been fun to drive in.

Brakes behaved themselves, we worked 'em good, as I said above, with pliers and WD-40, and basically drove all the way from Lincoln NE to Denver without using them, planning our stops and gearing down at meal and gas stops. We assured ourselves several times that we had a good pedal and good brake response if needed, which we did. Heavy traffic in Denver at Mile High stadium for the Broncos game, so it was stop and go on I-25. Brakes got warm but did not bind. Will probably exercise them more tomorrow AM.

In the rain the roof leaks a little, and the rusty hole behind the driver's side tire admits a ton of water to the floor area, so we had to shuffle our priceless valuables around in the back. Note in one picture how Matt's "Italian gorilla" arms (he's ethnically Irish, German, Polish) can reach out and touch the spinning tire, which he inadvertently did at 90 KPH yesterday. Let that be a lesson to all you F12 drivers. I don't think you can do that in a VW bus, but in all honesty, have not tried.

Many more fun conversations today and "what is thats". The SAIA driver loved it, was born and raised in Richmond/Albany right near me, and we had a good time talking gas mileage on his truck versus ours. His is essentially new and has 198,000 miles on it. We're figuring more like 33 MPG out of our blue rocket ship.

Meeting Scott and maybe Karen in Lakewood tomorrow on a parts run. Plus I have a 1600 in Matt's shed to bring, and there's a Giulia Super in town I might look at. Life's too short!

Andrew
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post #17 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 08:13 PM Thread Starter
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Forgot to say, check out the pic of the "roll cage" behind seats. Think that'd help in a rollover? Oh wait, it's meant to keep the stuff in the back from hitting the occupants in the head. There are no tiedowns on the floor, so we'll strap the 1600 to it. I was surprised to see this thing has a headliners, if abbreviated, and it's pretty nice.

Also more road/truck pics. We got appreciative toots from truckers a lot, and occasional not so appreciative. It's a high-pressure race track on I-80 between the coasts, a ton of trucks working very hard to get where they're going. The can be very aggressive. We did what we could.

Andrew
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post #18 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-03-2013, 08:31 PM
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Great following this thread, Andrew. Keep on truckin'!!!! 8-)

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post #19 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 07:08 PM Thread Starter
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I just lost a big post somehow. Not going to type it again. In Rock Springs WY now, van doing well, got passed by everything including this Wasserboxer today on I-25 just south of the Wyoming border, he flashed me a "hang loose" sign. Bikers and midwest truckers like the van, western truckers need to reduce their meth dose as I got flipped off, honked at, and kamikaze buzzed today. That's not fun. Regardless, doing well.

Picked up some stuff from Scott W, wish I'd taken a picture of his loot and him admiring the remarkable rust on the F-12. Oh well.

Crossing the Rockies on I-80 is like 3000 ft lower than I-70, at about 8600 ft. You could barely call it mountainous compared to the Eisenhower tunnel and the climb to it form both sides. See pics of the speedo steady on 90 KPH, the crossing of Sherman summit, and the inexplicable statue of Lincoln at the rest stop there. Cross the continental divide somewhat wester, about 1500 ft lower. That's an interesting bit of geography.

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post #20 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-04-2013, 09:14 PM
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The staue of Lincoln is there because you were on part of the original Lincoln highway, one of the first trans-continental routes.

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post #21 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 07:26 AM
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Hi Andrew,
Thanks for taking the time to stop and smell the storage shed!

Love the van! Maybe by the time another one (or this one) comes up for sale, my wife will have warmed up to the idea. I'll keep working on her...

Here are a couple of pictures I took of your cool ride.

Good luck and "Speed Safely". OK, so maybe you will not be speeding all that much, but if you do.

Scott
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post #22 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 07:23 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks Scott.
Big push today, went to bed early, got up at 4 and left Rock Springs Wy in the dark. I'm an early bird, so it's fine with me. Seeing the sun come up in your rearview is pretty cool.

Made it in 15 hours including time changes to Lovelock, NV, including some screwing around and more stops than I probably should have made. But you have to stay sane, and the ol' body objects after too many hours in the saddle, especially with no tunes, AC, or entertainment other than the persistent Perkins rattle and the passing scenery.

Van did just find, kept it at 90 KPH, backed off a few once it got hot (was supposed to be in mid 90s today from SLC through Nevada. I'd say it felt a bit below that, but yes it was hot. Van did not object, boil over, or illuminate its generatore, temperatura acqua, or olio lights. No gauges except gas and speedo.

I probably can claim to have the first-ever F12 on the salt at Bonneville. Stopped there and did an inadvertent FWD burnout in the salt. Alas, Speed Week is next week. A few sightseers and stragglers like me were around, but nothing really happening. SCTA has a few trailers and whatnot in town, so starting this weekend it should be big. I've been a couple times, cannot recommend it highly enough.

Passed and repassed all day a big guy on a Harley bagger who waved each and every time, and a nice older couple bringing a 32 chopped Ford hotrod, with matching trailer, from Denver to Reno. They were in the same Denver tornaod torrent there that I was, the hotrod is about 3" off the ground and they got wet. I wish I'd taken a pic of them.

Nice sunset over the F12 in Rock Springs, yesterday. Also, a pic of the F12 by a nice stream in Coalville, UT, where I'd like to go back. Plus some folks go ballooning in Park City on a Monday morning instead of going to work. Must be nice.

Andrew
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post #23 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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I just mapped it; it's 610 miles today. Will launch for home in the AM, it's less than 300 miles.

When I drove the 1300 TI back from Boston in 2009, I did a similarly nuts day, inadvertently, from central Kansas to Wendover in one leap, starting at 3:30 AM. I have rarely been as spacey as I was that day, particularly over Sherman summit. I don't even recall saluting Mr. Lincoln. I did stop in Laramie and nap for a half hour on that trip til someone parked right next to me in the MacDonald's parking lot and cranked his stereo. But that power-nap was enough to bring me back from having out-of-body experiences.

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post #24 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 07:56 PM
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Andrew, it's great to hear you and the Furgone are still hanging in there, especially that the van is still doing well. I too, had a hard time putting on big miles in one day due to needing too many stops and breaks, with my top being 835 on my final day driving the van back. Thanks for keeping all us keyboard roadtrippers updated!

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post #25 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 08:40 PM
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Loving these updates. They're bringing back lots of memories. I bought a TI in Florida in August of 2008 with the intent of driving it home to CA, and had to outrun hurricane Gustav as it approached the Gulf Coast. I think I did about 900 miles, from Ocala, Fl to Longview, Tx, the day it was to make landfall. Not only was I not hampered by a Perkins diesel, but the TI was running on a hopped up 2 liter and 4.10 rear end so I made good if not entirely legal time. I was glad/lucky to get a room that night though, as the hotels were filling up fast with folks fleeing from the hurricane. Andrew, at least you'd have the option of sleeping (with some modicum of privacy) in the F12.

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post #26 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-05-2013, 09:17 PM
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Andrew,
Thanks for the updates. Such a great adventure.

I can't help but mention that one of my brothers lives in Coalville UT. Small world!

I think your idea of starting a "I drove it home" thread is great. It appears many people here have a story of buying a car and driving it home. This is a great story to start it out with. Hint Hint.......

Keep the rubber side down!
Scott

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post #27 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 06:15 AM
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. . . some folks go ballooning in Park City on a Monday morning instead of going to work. Must be nice. .
Oh, I don't know. A cross-country trip in the F12 sounds like a very enjoyable way to spend the workweek. Very much enjoying your trip through this thread. Thanks for that.

Curious as to the speed limit though. Why 90KPH? And why so precisely? Gas mileage? Noise? Tires? Mechanical issues?
Certainly the F12 is capable of much more, no? Perhaps this was discussed in the other F12 thread.

Happy travels,
Gerry

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post #28 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 02:01 PM Thread Starter
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90 KPH feels about right. I'm listening to the vehicle and it seems strained to go faster. Plus I needed it (I'm back in Berkeley) to make it, so wanted to be conservative. It certainly has more in it, but it's geared like 5.50 in the diff, plus fourth is an underdrive, plus it's a diesel. If just felt like the right speed. Now that I'm home, I'm more willing to cane it, after changing oil and filters, etc.

Got back to Berkeley this AM about 11, left Lovelock at 4. Seven hours for 301 miles, minimal stops, but worst roads of the trip through Sacramento and Yolo counties on I-80. Ouch. Total mileage about 2225 overall, haven't figured gas mileage yet. We added a pint of oil at Vince's before we left, another pint in Lincoln NE, and that's it. So a pint of oil used in 2200 miles. I'd call that good. It burned that, didn't leak it. There was like one small nickel-sized puddle per day after driving. I think the engine is very solid.

Again, cresting Donner, had only one or two places with grades of 5-6% where I could not accelerate in fourth, and never dropped below 85 KPH. Donner is 7200 ft, as you'll see in the pic below.

Stopped at three different gas stations today that discriminate under the ADA (Americans With Diesels Act) by selling only gasoline and I had to look elsewhere. Two in Sparks, one in Davis. Harumph.

This thing manages to feel like an Alfa. The steering box looks related to Giulietta and early Giulia boxes, and I bet money the tie rod ends are the same. The brake master cylinder is Giulia TI, the calipers are Mercedes, the clutch hydraulics are 1750 Berlina. It even has a padded three-spoke sporty wheel. The suspension is firm but supple, and the shocks are good. It drives about as sportily as possible for something like this.

In the dash pic, note the sporty wheel, height adjustment for the wheel, Jaeger instrument binnacle which looks designed by the same person who did the 2000 GTV, and two things I bet your Alfa doesn't have, a Glow Plug pushbutton, and a Fuel Cutoff pull knob/cable. Turning off the ignition doesn't do squat; if you don't cut off the fuel it'll run til it's dry. The fuel delivery pump, amazingly, is mechanical, so cutting of the electricity does not stop the engine.

Home with its German cousin. 90% of people on the road that it was a VW, but a few knowledgeable knew what it wasn't, but now what it was.

Andrew
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post #29 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 03:36 PM Thread Starter
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By way of parts-bin assembly, a fair amount of stuff on this came from other models. As mentioned, brake MC is Giulia TI, clutch hydraulics are 1750 Berlina, gas cap is regular 101/105 with a "Diesel" sticker on it, tie rods ends look normal Alfa, heater unit is a little-modified Giulia unit, as is its control, sun visors are right out of a period 2000 Berlina, mounted 90* different, preventing them from swinging to the side. Front grille is 2000 Berlina, little door for radiator cap is a 105/115 fuel door, including the quirky little spring. Rear license light "shelf" is from a late 2000 Berlina. Brake MC reservoir looks to be a standard ATE parts-bin piece. Lug wrench is 22mm, right out of an early 105 car or late 101. Hubcaps are modeled on the plastic Giulia ones with checker flag motif, but attach with a chrome center bolt, no tangs or clips. Front parking lights are US 1750/2000 Berlina/Spider/GTV. Headlights are same as Giulia sedan, include small city lights. Side markers are out of someone's parts bin, not sure who. Much of the wiper setup is early GTV with later-style arms, parallel rather than clap-hands. Both door latch pieces, including rear cargo door, are late GTV/Berlina, as are inner door and window winders. Pedal covers are regular 105. Light and wiper controls are similar to 105, not identical. Mufflers are original Alfa and look like they were just taken off a 105 car. Rubber hanger is in fact identical, as I bolted one on that I brought. Shifter shows different PN from 105 stuff, but it sure looks and feels the same, and the boot is identical. It's just that it leans forward, not backward (it sprouts from the floor behind you).

Even the seats sort of look and feel like a Giulietta Spider, though they're not identical.

I have two parts books, one early and one late, but both are gas, not diesel. But lots of other-series part numbers show up in them.

Andrew

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post #30 of 83 (permalink) Old 08-06-2013, 03:38 PM
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Glad you made it back with no issues. Now what's the plan? Is there one?

1968 Euro-spec 1750 GTV (under restoration)
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