Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Camping trip to NE Washington

Got a lot of miles on the EV this past weekend (~1k).  The EV is running great and pulling nicely on the highway and dominating on the hills.  Still reaching for 30mpg but not quite there yet: a disappointing 26.5 on the first leg and a moderately better 28.6 on the second leg (still have to fill up to figure out the mileage on the last leg).  These numbers are at an average speed of ~70-75mph with about 50% AC use.
Our first stop was along the Columbia in eastern Oregon at a sweet little oasis in the desert (Arlington).  Pulled up right next to Justin's Pilot Car which seemed somewhat apropos.

Hanging out on the beach with our good friend Mark.

After a long day of driving and a late night spent searching for a campground, out of desperation we settled on Potholes CG which was somewhat aptly named for things in the nuisance category:  this place was a mosquito-ridden haven.

My children Ronja and Camilla playing with my good friend Mark at the base of Grand Coulee dam.  Approx 420 miles from Corvallis.

Our final campspot, Kamloops Island campground--very sweet spot on the Kettle River close to the confluence with the Columbia.

My kids riding the legendary blue moose in Kettle Falls.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

First mileage report on 93 EV TDI: 27 MPG mixed city/hwy driving

Filled up my tank today and here's the numbers:
511.0 miles on the tank
18.8 gal to fill (filled w/B20)
27.18 MPG

This was my first fill-up since putting some miles on the van.  About 100 miles of this were towing a trailer on the HWY fluctuating between 55-65mph, another ~100 miles city driving around town, and the rest on our trip to the coast last weekend.  Overall I'm very pleased at these numbers since I'm still breaking in a new engine and am purposefully never using cruise and constantly varying the speed as I drive.  I suspect to get into the low 30's once it's fully broken in and hope to get into the 35mpg range on long highway trips. 

Sure beats the 17.4mpg that I was getting before!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ecola State Park trip report

This past weekend my family and I took our newly minted TDI eurovan up to the northern Oregon coast and had a great time in the Cannon Beach area. We had a great time camping with friends and yes, we had a great time driving as well.  Ecola State Park northern trail system is not to be missed.

I'm still taking it very easy on the new engine and kept the speeds below 60mph. No issues to speak of and still on the first tank of fuel (closing in on 500 miles) so no MPG numbers to report just yet.

I did break one of my non-automotive cardinal rules twice on this trip: Never drive past the Tillamook Cheese Factory without stopping, but family needs demanded such derelictions of avarice.


Sunday, June 6, 2010

Woodburn Report

Had a great day yesterday at the Woodburn swap meet.  After weeks of unbridled rain it all stopped yesterday and the sun came out all day making for a very nice day in the Willamette Valley.

The TDI Eurovan performed flawlessly with no codes, and had no trouble pulling the trailer full of VW parts.  And I must say the Rhein wheels look awfully nice on the Eurovan....

Once we got on the road I couldn't resist taking some pics en route:

This is the Passat TDI cluster in my Eurovan.  With the upgraded 5th gear from the TDI 02A transmission (.756) the engine turns right around 3000RPM at 60mph.

Once we landed it was time to pop the top and start spreading out a bit.

We also had John's pimped out TDI Vanagon on display so there was a whole lot of cool TDI conversion work to show off all day.

Once our parts were spread out on the ground it sort of looked like a heap of junk in neat little piles.  But that's the common thread of a swap meet and sometimes you find a diamond in the rough.

Once we were all set up we had a cozy spread between our two display rigs.
Lots of vintage VWs up at Woodburn.  Some very cool old buses restored to the nines and lots of Beetles in all manner of configurations.

I can just see the Beach Boys rolling down the strip in this cruiser....

Pimped out vintage Westy with period camping accouterments.

By around 1pm the swap meet crowd was dwindling and we made a bunch of free signs and were giving most of our parts away.  My goal was to not come home with anything that I brought up there and I was almost entirely successful thanks in large part to this cool VW guy named James:
James came by our booth early in the day and was looking at some A1 diesel parts and expressing interest in a bunch of other stuff.  I told him to come back by later with his pickup truck and we'll give him everything we have left, and that's what we did.  James was so thankful he forced a 20 spot in my hand and I wished him luck with his VW pursuits.  I recounted to him that I was once in his shoes and that was how I got my start some 10-yrs ago when I bought up a bunch of parts from a VW shop in Portland going out of business.  So the VW A1/A2 diesel torch was passed on to the next generation--and I didn't have to bring all that junk back home!

By 3pm our booth was looking very spartan and that made me very happy.  We made one last sign  "Alles Frei" and went for a walk around the grounds to take it all in one final time.

We closed out the day with one final pic of me next to my TDI Eurovan, finished packing up and then hit the road heading south.

The score of the day was a sweet set of 16" B5 Passat alloy wheels with 5x112 bolt pattern (and you probably know why ;-).  I got the whole set for $75, and only one center cap is missing.  I also picked up a small Miller Tig welder for $50, and John found the front lwr skirt to complete the front fiberglass bumper which I'm going to put on my Vanagon.

All told we came back with very little, made a few bucks, and had a great day carousing with lots of other VW nut jobs.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

NW Bug Run this Sat.

We will be attending the NW Bug Run swap meet this Sat. up in Woodburn, OR. The TDI Eurovan will be making its debut there, and we'll also have a sweet tricked out 85 TDI Vanagon on display, so if you want to come check it out look for us in the swap meet.

Here's some info on the event:


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Driving down the road

Hell ya!  Today we drove the Eurovan out of the shop under TDI power.  The engine is running like a top, is noticeably quiet in the Eurovan and powers the EV down the road like nobody's business.  To top it all off the TDI front badge from a B4 TDI clipped right into the grill with no mods.  Again, gotta love VWs....