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Lessons learned driving from AB to MO

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Chris_T, Jan 7, 2003.

  1. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    Just thought I'd give you all the benefit of my experience driving from Edmonton AB to Mid-Missouri. I was back home visiting for the holidays and drove my '72 Blazer back to MO.

    1. I'm stupid. This will become evident in #2.

    2. Adjustable shocks are well worth it - if you remember to use them. I picked up my Blazer from the lot I had it stored at and drove 90 mins or so to the lake to get my hard top. Put it on, drove around for a week, loaded it up and drove home. What I forgot is that I had the shocks set the way I liked it for driving in the summer without the top. RS900s - I think it was 3 on the front and 2 or 3 on the rear. Usually I crank it up a notch when I install the hardtop, but I forgot. Finally it occured to me that with all the extra weight from my tools and tires in the back I might want to adjust the shocks. Did I remember this in Alberta or Saskatchewan in the snow and freezing rain? Nope. Didn't think of it 'til I drove through Iowa (I think it was the roads in Council Bluffs) - pulled over, cranked the front and rear up and it was like a whole new truck! Less wandering, better control. Why didn't I think of that 1500 miles earlier? (refer to no. 1) I'm even thinking of putting them on my 94 Sierra that I occassionally tow with.

    3. Factory lighting sucks. Luckily I knew this and bought a set of Bosch replacement housings with H4 bulbs (didn't get them from Santa as I'd hoped). This is easily one of the best mods I've made to my truck as far as simplicity of install and value since they well exceeded my expectations. For $90 CDN you can't go wrong. Probably kept me from hitting a doe in Manitoba

    4. Winter tires really work. It snowed in Edmonton 3 days before I left and while driving with my Dad on my 35" MT's (slipping and sliding on the snow and ice covered streets) he gave me back some 235/75R15 Bridgestone winter Duelers I had on an 84 pickup I used to have. I put them on the Blazer and drove back on them. I've raved about these tires before, but I had no idea how good they were until I drove through snow in Alberta and freezing rain in Saskatchewan without incident. Didn't even lock the hubs. What really did it was when I stepped out of the truck in Brandon, MB and slipped on the ice and fell on my ass in a parking lot. I had no idea it was that slippery because the tires were so good. Almost wish it was icier here in Columbia so I could get some use out of them on my pickup.

    5. Gas mileage is a myth. This is something I like to tell myself every time I have to fill up my tank (refer to No. 1), but in an odd coincidence, my mileage on the 235s was about the same as on the 35's on the highway with 4.56's - probably a coincidental tradeoff between lower rpm's with the 35's and less drag/resistance with the higher rpms on the 235's. In both cases it was around 12 mpg.

    And the miscelaneous:

    An army parka makes excellent sound deadeninng material if your T-case rattles.

    A.M. radio is much better in Canada - if you don't mind listening to the CBC in the hinterlands

    That -45 C washer fluid with Teflon really does work better, plus it smells like a car wash

    If the rear hatch on your Blazer doesn't open, the customs guys won't give you grief

    You can live on caffeine, gatorade and beef jerky for at least two days

    In the morning my gas tank is bigger than my bladder, but if you partake in the above traveller's diet, by mid afternoon you may want to stop with 3/4's of a tank left to fill up and use the facilities.

    That really isn't a leisurely two day drive (refer to no 1.) 16 hours or so Edmonton to Winnipeg and then another 16 to 18 from Winnipeg to Columbia. I had planned on making it in three, four with really bad weather, but pushed on both days. Those last two hours were killer.

    There's hope for the future. At a truck stop in one of the Dakotas a young kid said to his dad. "Dad that truck looks funny with those wheels" (6/8" lift with 235/75R15's) - Now there's a future K5'er !
     
  2. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    You can live on caffeine, gatorade and beef jerky for at least two days

    [/ QUOTE ]

    I lived on that exact diet for 6 days when I drove from Vancouver BC to Austin Texas and back with my 81 Jimmy. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif 5000 miles in 6 days beats you up pretty good though.

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    1. I'm stupid.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Me too...

    Sounds like a cool trip though/forums/images/graemlins/thumb.gif

    Rene
     
  3. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    We must never, ever travel together. You may be stupid, but I set the standard.
     
  4. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    That sounds like a challenge! How about coast-to-coast, keeping a log of the dumb things each of us does (or didn't do).
     
  5. Skigirl

    Skigirl 1/2 ton status

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    /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif

    I don't need coast to coast - I could probably tie you just driving an hour away! I'm afraid a coast to coast might be something like "Castaway" on land for me. Where's Wilson???? /forums/images/graemlins/rotfl.gif
     
  6. Grim-Reaper

    Grim-Reaper 3/4 ton status Author

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    12 mpg on a first Gen on 35's? That's amazing. I get 12 on our stock 79 with 31's. I get 9 on my 75 with 35's and a locker. Course I did have a problem with a fouled plug when I checked it so it may get a little better hitting solid on all 8.
     
  7. tRustyK5

    tRustyK5 Big meanie Staff Member Super Moderator GMOTM Winner Author

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    I averaged 12.5 on 35's all the way to Texas...mileage on the way back towing the other Blazer was horrific once I started heading west. With no head wind I was getting nearly 10 mpg, with the headwind it dropped to under 5 through most of Kansas/forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif/forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif

    Rene
     
  8. Z3PR

    Z3PR Banned

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    I find it funny you would think of the shocks in Council Bluffs, Ia. I grew up in Co. Bluffs/Omaha. So I know just how bad the streets are around there !!!!!!
     
  9. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    My mileage improved after I swapped the TH350 for a 700 and the 3.73s for 4.56. It's a combination of the extra gearing to get going and the OD for the highway, I think
     
  10. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    Add me to the stupid list. I just got back from a trip driving from Phoenix, AZ to N. Alabama and back. Went out on I40 2 days before Christmas, right in the middle of the big ice storm that covered I40 from Flagstaff to the East side of Oklahoma. Nearly 900 miles of ice (except around big cities where the plowed/salted). Drove straight out in one shot with no stops except food and fuel. Let me tell you it was exhausting driving in snow and ice that far when your not used to it. Then all the way back the same, but on I10 which is longer, but avoided the remmants of the ice...
     
  11. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    I got over 17 mpg in 2WD, roughly 16 or so in 4WD... /forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif And that's with a 7000 lb rig + well over 1500 load. Gotta love that Duramax and 33" ATs!
     
  12. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    You shouldn't have added the second post. I was much more impressed until I realized it was in a cushy '02 /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

    Or maybe I'm just real jealous! /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  13. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    /forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif
     
  14. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    Exactly. You're smiling and I think my lower back is still sore after that excursion
     
  15. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

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    And you would/should be smilling when contemplating the difference in our insurance and monthly payments... /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
     
  16. Chris_T

    Chris_T 1/2 ton status

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    Too true!
     

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