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Friday, August 12, 2016

The waiting is the hardest part...

So it's friday night. We hit the road on Sunday morning. I'm hoping to be on the road as the sun rises. That's the most spiritually connected time, to be behind the wheel of a classic car. I can't explain's clean and cool...and as light gradually breaks, the engine takes on its familiar rhythm at cooler temperatures. That's where its happiest.

I've gathered together way too many parts, tools, fluids, and gear, for this trip. I've always said that loading an old car up with 200lbs of greasy junk, ruins the romance of a great road trip... but this is 5600+ miles we're talking about. And even though I know every nut and bolt on the F Bomb, I don't want to leave some small piece behind, that might save me from a day or two of repair time/waiting for parts, while out on the highway. I've got everything from a used clutch disk to a ball joint splitter in my rubbermaid totes. Gear oil, brake fluid, coolant, even a spare radiator. My biggest concerns are high temperatures, fuel mixture in the mountains, and poor quality fuel. She needs to run on 93, with the current factory timing settings. Anything less and I'll have to dial back the ignition timing.

Tomorrow I'm spending a few hours with the car on a lift at work, laying my eyeballs on every nut and bolt under the car. Checking fluids one last time, and touching every bit of fuel line, to check for weak spots. Nearly everything at risk, has already been replaced about 5 years ago... but I'll feel better knowing I've looked at it again. Fresh ignition points, re-set the timing, and it's GO time. Of course I have mundane tasks ahead, like laundry, buying ice and water, and spending some cherished time with my father, before I head to bed on that final eveining. I know I won't be able to sleep a wink... but that's OK.

Our goal is to stay with old friends in Ames Iowa, on the first day. Slogging across Ohio and through Chicago's potential traffic snags. This is the part of the drive I want to get through as quickly as possible. From there, it's off to Denver, where more old friends await us. After Denver, we'll take a leisurely drive to Los Gatos spanning three days. The route from Denver to California is unknown. We'll make a decision eventually. For those of you in to data, here's the stats on the car:

1972 BMW 2002tii.
10:1 compression
stock engine, bottom end rebuilt last winter
4 speed transmission
3.64:1 differential, freshly re-sealed
new, genuine BMW radiator
electric aux 12” cooling fan plus stock 400mm fan
Bilstein HD shocks
all new bushings, ball joints
stainless exhaust
no radio / stereo

…I mean it *HAS* a radio, but no speakers. I take comfort in knowing the shy and feeble little green light will slowly come on, if I rotate the dial on the left. That's all I really need. 

Edit: Oh! And here's a photo of the current console, complete with the gifted speaker grill featuring a karmic road trip gift, from a great local 2002er, hanging from the knob!

All other elements of the car remain stock and "as original", with the exception of Recaro E21 sport seats.

4800 rpm all day...every day...for 12 days. 


  1. Hey, where is the speaker cover I gifted to you? It should be there with a speaker from a Chevy Nova!

    1. I've updated it, to include a current photo of the speaker cover! I can't hear a blessed thing over the wind noise anyway. the cover is just for show. :-)

  2. Make sure that you bring money for tickets, if you intend on a 90 mph pace....

  3. Replies
    1. Nothing BUT wind noise. A/C makes them slower and heavier. Ain't got time for that! :)

  4. See? Now I can say a "part" of me went to Monterrey!

  5. Have a great trip Paul, and I hope to see you in Monterey

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