IAC To LA . . Happy Steering!

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Amskeptic
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IAC To LA . . Happy Steering!

Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:31 pm

I am on the road to Los Angeles. Yesterday was a glorious 121* in the Death Valley run from Pahrump to Baker.

It was so hot. . . how hot was it? It was 144* on the pavement, 137* in the dirt along the road, and 121* on the Baker thermometer. There was a headwind too, so I throttled back to 65mph and downshifted early on the mild uphills. Beautiful hot approach to the big valley I photographed last year when taking my dad to Oceanside. Here you can see the Dumont Dunes' light sandy stripe spilling across the valley floor:
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If you look closely here, you can see the little strip of roadway that was the approach shot from last year, I am further up the hill here:
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The car ran beautifully! The steering! The steering! The steering is back!
(Walter at Bus-Boys sent me a new set of torsion arms, so I replaced them under the porch awning in Pahrump (Charlene and Greg, thank-you!) in the 105* heat with paper towels of greasy stickiness stuck to me like toilet paper with confused ants and gusts of sandy wind and dog hair, but the job was easy and I should have photographed it and done a write-up, but . . . it was too hot and I was too filthy to touch the camera. I finished up at 11:00PM and played the piano until 2:30AM (I will post the latest composition when Photobucket stops crashing my ati2dvg driver)

I am so happy to feel the road once more! To return to center after a corner! To only have to pay attention to the wind gusts and not re-centering the wheel laboriously! And it is light once more! No more hairy down hills where the steering wheel just stuck in place mid-corner when I needed the natural caster to tell me how hard the suspension was working! And the ball jopints are still new and not broken-in!

And there is a metaphor here! Don't put off for tomorrow what you can do today! Three years of asinine, annoying, boorishly stubborn, center pin destroying, joy robbing, wooden steering during these amazing and beautiful country strafing adventures, it was my own procrastination that stole the simple pleasures of good hard driving and replaced them with a background anxiety at every mountain downhill run.

Fuel pump behaved too. With the heat control valve thoroughly seated, the new aluminum heaterbox exhaust ducts installed, the heat shield finally in place, this car took the hottest day in the desert against the wind in stride. The ebay cylinder heads with unknown valves did their job with nary a complaint. I am once again convinced that these cars, in stock trim, are friggen bullet-proof:
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I am in-love with my old VW again, and it wasn't even its fault that it was a pain to drive for YEARS. Laaaaaater!
Colin

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BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 89,500 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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zblair
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Post by zblair » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:36 pm

Colin, didja feel the 5.8 earthquake centered in San Bernardino? According to Yahoo, the tremor/aftershocks were felt all the way from downtown L.A. to San Diego...
1971 T2 "Grateful Phred"
1986 300ZX "MC-Z"
2009 Prius "Amesan"

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static
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Post by static » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:39 pm

The steering is back! I am so happy to feel the road once more! To return to center after a corner! To only have to pay attention to the wind gusts and not re-centering the wheel laboriously! And it is light once more! And they are still new and not broken-in!
What, exactly, did you do?
What are "they"?

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:44 pm

zblair wrote:Colin, didja feel the 5.8 earthquake centered in San Bernardino? According to Yahoo, the tremor/aftershocks were felt all the way from downtown L.A. to San Diego...
Heck yeah! Right here at the Barstow Starbucks, the floor started sliding around, we all just went about our business. Man, yer quick thar.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 89,500 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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Amskeptic
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Post by Amskeptic » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:47 pm

static wrote:
The steering is back! I am so happy to feel the road once more! To return to center after a corner! To only have to pay attention to the wind gusts and not re-centering the wheel laboriously! And it is light once more! And they are still new and not broken-in!
What, exactly, did you do?
What are "they"?
I edited to help clue you in. I have been bitching about the Bus-Boys ball joints I installed in October of '05. I even drilled four new zerk fittings and greased them frequently, but to no avail. I HATED THEM (still do).

Walter said, "yeah, we had problems with some of them." Thanks Walter, I KNOW THAT ALREADY.
Colin
BobD - 1978 Bus . . . . . . . . . . .111,130 miles
Chloe - 1970 bus . . . . . . . . . . . 206,787 miles
Naranja - 1977 Westfalia . . . . . 89,500 miles
Pluck - 1973 Squareback . . . . . 55,510 miles
Alexus - 1991 Lexus LS400 . . . 72,113 miles

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chitwnvw
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Post by chitwnvw » Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:57 pm

the heat shield finally in place
=D>

Hmmm, I know the lack of return to center, and until I drove the '75 didn't know that one didn't need to fear for your life in gusty freeway travel. The '73 is no fun in adverse, high-speed conditions.

181 bucks, putting on the to do list right now.

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Birdibus
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Post by Birdibus » Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:22 pm

I live about 6 miles from the epicenter of that quake in Chino Hills. I bolted right quick from my chair, you better believe. It came hard, sharp, and quick, so I knew it was close. I'm already familiar with that faultline from earlier jolts. Nothing fell or broke, though it felt for a moment as though my house would rip apart. The building with the bricks in the alley, if you saw any TV coverage, was about a mile from here. That was the only real damage the helicopter crews could find.

See you soon, Colin!
71 bus, 74 westy

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