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Old 08-06-2008, 07:06 PM   #1
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Moby Dick does Florida

Sitting in the hotel on St. Pete's Beach. Things finally calmed down enough to browse.

Left town with Moby Dick and Baby Dick (foster child. U-haul sports trailer being returned to its home in Florida) Monday an hour and a half late.

Last minute car crisis was alignment that turned out to be ball joint that necesitated an alignment anyway. But it tightened up the steering a bunch and made maneuvering much more manageable.

Gross weight probably over 6,000 lbs. Tune up didn't do squat at that weight. I just have to assume that the tune-up, injector rebuild and O2 sensor etc. kept it from being worse. I was getting 0-60 mph in almost a minute (because every entrence ramp is uphill.) I suspect that there is still an engine problem because it sounds like it misses at power. Went over the Appalacians (sp?) at 40 mph. We'll leave the trailer, one freshly minted freshman and about half a ton of stuff a spoiled girl needs to start college behind. So we'll compare the trip out to the trip back at a much lighter weight.

Following trucks was pointless. I saw no difference on ScanGauge, and the truckers have become paranoid about anybody behind them. I was pulling up behind one truck very slowly. Wasn't actively following. He pulled over into the left lane and stayed there until I passed him. jerk.

The technique I came up with was Power Limited. I would run speed limit on cruise control level and down hills. On upgrades, I disengaged the cruise control and manually limited the throttle to 30 tps (not sure what units they're actually using) Interestingly, the 30 tps almost always matched the big trucks as they slowed down going uphill. I got real good at disengaging the cruise control at 30 tps and catching the gas pedal without having the throttle move. However, mileage was still just over 20 mpg. On the last leg going into Tampa at midnight of the second day I raised the throttle position limit to 40 tps because I was really tired. This dropped the mileage to less than 20 mpg (estimated) but I didn't care anymore. Curse of the pox on anybody pushing a 55 mph speed limit.

Still need to calculate gas receipts for actuals.

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Old 08-10-2008, 07:31 PM   #2
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and what else could go wrong?

MD was broken into and ScanGauge stolen. Florida hospitality I guess. I couldn't do the power limited driving method on the way back because I couldn't track throttle position. Set cruise control on 70 and rolled.

Oh, well. Cest la vie

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Old 08-11-2008, 02:45 AM   #3
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That sucks Lots of tourist trap areas are terrible for car crime.
I remember The RoadWarrior..To understand who he was, you have to go back to another time..the world was powered by the black fuel & the desert sprouted great cities..Gone now, swept away..two mighty warrior tribes went to war & touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel, they were nothing..thundering machines sputtered & stopped..Only those mobile enough to scavenge, brutal enough to pillage would survive. The gangs took over the highways, ready to wage war for a tank of juice
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Old 08-11-2008, 03:44 AM   #4
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Sorry to hear your SG was stolen... Probably by some crackhead that didn't know what it was, just thought it looked expensive.


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Old 08-11-2008, 07:44 PM   #5
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I don't think Moby is going to tow a trailer again. After we got to St. Pete's, the transmission started acting up. Bump shift would be the way I would describe it. Did it 2-3 times and then stopped. Had no problem on the return trip or since. Ran like a champ actually. But I'm hesitant to push it that hard again. Caravans are not known for their robust transmissions.

This is unrelated to mileage, but it's an odd story. Started hearing odd sounds in the back during the trip down. Like a loose panel or something. Drove 1,014 miles home. Reset trip odometer. 15.3 miles after getting home, the upper bolt on the left rear shock fell off while doing about 5 mph pulling up to a light. (Yeah, that would have been my fault) The car pole vaulted over the shock and I dragged it 1/2 mile home. I imagined that happening on some of the winding highways doing 70 mph in traffic or in mountains during the trip. Or that we were doing 60 mph 30 seconds before. Maybe there was some Karma payback for the theft. I dunno. It's been a strange trip.

Back to business.
I think there is a way to power limit the cruise control. If the vacuum control wire is opened when the desired TPS position is reached, the engine will not be able to increase power beyond that point. The computer will probably complain if it can't sense the load of the solenoid, so a dummy load would have to be added. Hopefully, the computer will just assume that the engine has reached maximum power when the speed starts to fall off and it can't accelerate anymore.

Being able to keep from downshifting on hills might make a 1-2 mpg difference over the St. Louis - St. Petersburg run or about 10% difference. (1,014 miles, 15+ hours ET) That could be 10-20 gallons saved. I said Moby wouldn't make the Florida run again after the last trip in October and we know how that went. So I may think about preparing for the next trip. But I'll check the shock bolts first.
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