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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings: After buying a 1976 Alfetta GTV on eBay, we decided to "recover" it from Seattle back to our home in Connecticut and make a mini-vacation out of the trans-continental trip.

OK, we are probably a little bit looney. Nevertheless, we are underway. After buying the GTV in Feburary, I had it picked up by the fine folk at Group 2 in Seattle to have them do a quick once-over and help me judge the practicality of the trip, vs just shipping it back east on a truck.

Well, they ended up doing a bit of work prior to our picking it up Friday June 6th, after our flight from NYC. So far, so good. Thankfully the brakes were done over, as was the steering rack and front end ball joints. Our trip off the Cascades and off the Columbia Plateau put both of them to heavy use!

I am a bit embarrassed by the amount of blue smoke at times, but I quickly learned to forgo all engine braking to keep the pump action to a minimum. Surprisingly, the actual oil consumption has been minimal over the first 463 miles, probably less than a quart. My first task at home will to be to pull the twin-cam and give it a well-deserved overhaul.

The trip will allow us to do some great sightseeing across the northwest - an area we have not yet visited. We visited snowy and cloudy Mt. Rainier, crossed over the Cascade divide at the Chinook Pass, passed down onto the central Washington plateau, and visited pretty downtown Walla Walla. Next up is the Snake River (we are currently in Lewiston, ID), then on to Big Sky Montana (yes, there is such a town), Yellowstone, Mt. Rushmore, then hightail back to Connecticut. There is a possibility we might hook up with the Pre-AROC Convention tour in Wisconsin, but I have made no plans since the timing is too loose.

Fuel consumption has been about 20 Gal so far - 23 MPG, with much of the timing running at 35 up and down the Cascades.

I have a set of pics at .Mac Web Gallery which I will update should we have the pleasure of continuing this odyssey successfully.

Here are a few teasers:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Update - Made it into Missoula!

Greetings:

Another day of fun running across Idaho into Montana. We took the long road, down US 95 across the rolling plains of the Nez Perce Reservation, then back north on marvelous Rt 13 as it drops down a few thousand feet into Kooskia. US 25 runs east from there for 100 miles along the Clearwater and Lochas Rivers. And I do mean ALONG. What a kick. This is listed as a "Wild and Scenic River Corridor". For 70 of those miles there is nothing but road, river, rapids and mountains. I didn't mention guardrail, as there is precious little of that. Thanks to the fine handling of the Alfetta, the twisties were dwelt with easily. US 25 leaves Idaho as it crests the Lolo pass at 5300 ft, and then drops down to Missoula.

The Alfetta continues to run strong when pulling. The GoTech EFI seems to dislike a neutral throttle, creating a bit of a drivability issue when fethering the throttle as often required in these mountainous roads.

Here are a few more pics:
 

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you guys are very fortunate to have such an adventure! My associate HEAVY METAL (postname) and myself had the EXTREME pleasure of piloting two GORGEOUS alfetta gtv6 coupes across this beautiful country in february of 2002, and it remains second only to the birth of my beautiful son as the DEFINING MOMENT of my twenties. We started in los angeles, where we purchased the cars, rust free second gen models, from a gentleman who used to play percussion for stevie wonder and war, and who is still a cat on the scene. After making the scene in venice beach, hollywood and an extended day in long beach, we rested up in san diego, then started our move east, which included:seeing the grand canyon, first time for both of us;some VERY hairy driving over the continental divide, an odyssey on its own;and a visit with the rare and elusive TOM ZAT,alfaguru and legend at his almost-canadian compound;did anybody buy that one-off 164 wagon of his? Anyway, we drove thru chicago at 85 mph in the middle of rush hour,blew an engine in upstate new york, and towed that one from there. In other words, everything went EXACTLY according to "plan", right? We made last call at the alehouse that night, and the power trio on stage was gracious enough to let me rip some hendrix, LITERALLY; i broke the bridge on a '69 fender mustang. As i said, its been a number of years now, but the little details still come floating to the surface every time I think of how amazing an experience that was...enjoy it!
 

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Michael,

Forget my earlier e-mail to you, I'll follow your progress reports here on the BB. Be sure to attend the AROC-CT Sunday brunch next month so we can have a verbal description of your experiences.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Crossing Montana in the Snow and Sun

Greetings:

It was snowing in Missoula when we stepped out this morning! The roadbeds are above freezing, so the snow falling during the day did not present a traction issue for us. We travelled uneventfully today from Missoula to Big Sky Montana, a distance of 240 miles. I popped in the 2nd quart of oil during our gas stop in Belgrade. Gas consumption remains good, as do the brakes, steering and heater. Yes, we needed the heater as the temperature was in the 30's all day. Glad I had that fixed. A PO had bypassed the heater because of leaks, and I found a replacement at DiFatta Brothers and had Group 2 install it.

This was our first run across a 75MPH interstate, and the Alfetta represented itself well. The limiting factor in our velocity today was when flutter began to appear across the top of both door frames. The spedo doesn't work (Group 2 couldn't locate a cable on short notice), and neither does the Tach (GoTech converter required), so I don't really know how fast we were going. This evening I attempted to get a new 12V feed wired for our GPS, but no luck yet (cigarette lighter was not connected). These things fall under the term "sorted out", which the Alfetta is a bit light on.

The forecast for Yellowstone is for 1-3 " of additional snow tomorrow, with temperatures in the 30s. Guess we need to find some of those hot springs.

Photo here is from Historic Uptown Butte, MT. In the background looms the Berkeley Pit, a former open pit copper mine which is now a Superfund site.
 

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OK... YOU ARE OFFICIALLY NUTS! Welcome to the club!
If you happen into Rock Creek WY... look up Pam's BBQ. (Pam is from Memphis... so you will experience an out of region fabulous experience! THE BEST!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Into Yellowstone

Greetings: Our Alfetta Recovery has brought us safely to Grant's Village in Yellowstone. Today's excursion was relatively short, from Big Sky (highly recommend Buck's T-4 Lodge), continuing on 191 winding along the Gallatin River, through the village of West Yellowstone (nice shops - needed gloves) and headed into Yellowstone at the Western Gate. The snow was really falling and accumulating, but the road was mostly wet. Surrealistic scene in mid June...

We took in some of the geyser areas, and were pelted with wind, snow and fog. I do believe we saw some blue water under the fog. Lunch at Old Faithful Lodge was followed by an exhibition of the main attraction - right on schedule, as expected.

Kathy got some nice pics of the Buffalo wandering across the roads. Would not want to collect one of those in the Alfetta! (or would it be the buffalo collecting the Alfetta?) Speaking of Buffalo, Ted Turner is widely known for his serious "collection" of American Bison. He has a 113,000 acre ranch in Gallatin Gateway, which we drove through yesterday on our scenic ride up the Gallatin River gorge to Big Sky.

Tomorrow is expected to be warmer and drier, and each following day improving. After a tour of the eastern areas of Yellowstone tomorrow, we are off to Cody, WY. Not named after Bill Cody - named BY him. I had planed to travel the Beartooth Highway, know as one of the most scenic roads in America, but an avalanche June 1 closed it at the Montana border.
 

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man, those pictures of a snow covered alfetta REALLY takes me back; My trip was with heavy metal, so of course we drove the cars OVER the continental divide IN FEBRUARY, love a challenge, right? Well, i must say that these are mighty impressive pix...think i'll have to dig up some of mine...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You want more snow pictures?

Greetings: While it may seem that we are documenting a record-breaking cold snap in the NorthWest, this is really about our drive back to CT. Today's experiences and pictures from Yellowstone, won't do anything to set the record straight, however.

The twin-cam continues to pull strong and smooth across the rev range, but it continues to stumble badly on neutral throttle. Brakes are holding up fine as we continue to rely on them heavily in this mountain terrain.

This morning we traveled north along the gentle Yellowstone to the "Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone" and visited the Upper and Lower Falls (the turbulent Yellowstone). The views really capped our visit, as they are the "classic" Yellowstone vistas. Thankfully the weather cooperated and the snow/fog dissipated so we could enjoy the view.

Because the north-eastern exit was still closed, we had to return down the Yellowstone (pic 1) to the and leave the park by the Eastern entrance. US Rt 14 passes over the Sylvan pass (pic 2), and down (DOWN!) into the Wapity Valley along the Shoshone river. The Alfetta continues to enjoy these twisty two-lane roads which seem so common in the Northwest.

The Buffalo Bill Dam is jammed into the tight slot just as the Shoshone passes into the Big Horn Basin, and we visited the nice visitor center there. When this concrete dam was finished in 1910 it was the tallest dam in the world, at 325 ft. Consider this: the dam is only 200 ft across at the top! Good spot for a tall dam.

After a night in Cody, WY, we will ride the Alfetta to eastern Wyoming. The first leg, US 14A, snakes up the incredibly steep western scarp of the Big Horn Mountains in one of the most amazing set of switchbacks anywhere.

A note on the pictures: my iPhone produces reasonable renderings of high-contrast scenes, just fine for the BB posts. We also are capturing images on an EOS 30D and an Olympus Stylus (mostly for video). We will deal with those higher res images on our return. The web presentation is using Apple's iPhoto sharing to the .mac site <http://gallery.mac.com/cintos#100043>
 

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Thanks for the photos and Travel Log. More of us should do this as well! Thank you. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Weather A+ - Alfetta getting failing grade

Greetings:

Sun and gentle warmth today as we traveled from Cody, WY, to our current location in Custer, SD.

The Alfetta GTV continues to pull strong and smooth under power, and continues to stumble on neutral throttle.

That's the good news. The bad news came after stopping the I90 service area located where the Gun Powder River crosses on it's way up to the Yellowstone.

The Alfetta would not start. Turning the ignition key was met with silence except for the hum of the fuel pump, Yesterday morning we had a scare when the starter solenoid stuck twice after spending the very cold night in Yellowstone's Grant Village parking lot. After getting through that, though, we must have started successfully 50 times. Lots of stops along the road yesterday and today prior to the "silence". With the help of a good samaritan, and Kathy also pushing, we popped the clutch in 2nd and she fired up.

We drove on east to Moorecroft, where we stopped for gas and hoped it would fire up - no go. Another aided push start, and we traveled here to Custer, SD. parked high in the lot, I pulled the air intake assembly to get a better look at the starter. The starter has juice, and I can spin the starter by jumping down to the solenoid output. The solenoid lead will pull current, but not pull in the solenoid. Fried.

Any suggestions? Looks like the solenoid is only held on by a 10mm bolt and nut, plus the power wires. Where can I find one on Saturday in Custer, SD? The current unit looks really clean and bright, and the entire starter assembly looks new.

I'm going to post this on the 116 technical site, also.
 

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Try smacking it with a broom handle or such... guaranteed to work on an old Ford... might work...
 

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Michael -
I too am envious of you and Kathy. Wish we had known your schedule and we might have given you a real NWARC sendoff from Seattle. The club meeting was Tuesday, so you just missed that.
The route you have selected is wonderful - too bad the Beartooth was closed. It's one of the most fantastic roads in North America.
Good luck on the rest of your adventures. I'll look forward to reading them as I wing my way toward the convention. Hope we'll see you and the Alfetta there.
 
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