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Dave WM

Pikes Peak trip!

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I made is, Orlando FL to Pikes Peak Co in my 75 280z. Left Thursday noon, drove to Phenix City Alabama (about 400 miles). Have family there so stayed the night. Left early about 2am Friday, thru Bham, on hiway 22 to NW AL, then thru a little bit of MS, and then AR. Took a north turn up thru the Ozark mountains toward MO. from Joplin the garmin took me to Wichita KS via rt 400 (2 lane, 180 miles dead of night, yikes). North from Wichita to I-70, then across to CO. Arrived at Pikes Peak about 1PM Saturday.

in AR I lost my brakes (replaced a drum slave cylinder a few weeks ago, did not tighten a line fitting, so I did a McD parking lot fix with help from a passer by to bleed the brakes. The only other casualty was I lost my radio somewhere in KS (not a fuse checked the both). Not a big deal as I prefer to listen to the engine :)

Other than that Dat Boi handled the trip great, but I did find the operational ceiling of the Bosch L jet tronic system. On the way up past the 13 mile shuttle stop (about 11,400 ft) I suddenly lost power and the engine stopped and could not be restarted and run for more than a few seconds. I was on a fairly steep incline, on a section with no guard rails, a steep drop off on one side and a steep wall with a bit of a ditch on the other for shoulders. After a bit of panic (am I going to have to back down this thing) I managed to get the engine to run long enough to make a multipoint turn around on the narrow road. Got the nose down and got back to the shuttle launch area. I took the shuttle to the top.

With hind sight I prob should have removed the air filter before the final accent, maybe that would have helped. My guess is with the thin air, the AFM flap just presents too much of a restriction for the engine to overcome, but that is just a guess. I seem to recall some discussion about a altitude compensation device for the L jet tronic.

Getting down was uneventful since engine braking meant I did not hardly have to use the brakes at all.

I have a lot of video (including the fail, should be interesting to watch. Will post up later and link.

 

 

 

 

 

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Wow!  Great road trip, Dave!

If I recall correctly, the 1975 CA-market Z cars had altitude compensation or sensing devices for emissions.  Strangely enough, my May 1975 Z does not have this device.

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8 minutes ago, SoCalJim said:

Wow!  Great road trip, Dave!

If I recall correctly, the 1975 CA-market Z cars had altitude compensation or sensing devices for emissions.  Strangely enough, my May 1975 Z does not have this device.

Mine is a pretty early one as well (also a CA car), I don't think it has one, not sure where to look. I just got thru doing some reading, seems the issue is too rich a running at above 4k, Did not sound rich to me when it died, more like the fuel pump cut off, sudden loss of power, no rough running etc... I wonder if the altitude compensator was really for 12k and up maybe a whole new set of problems. Guess I could always turbo charge!

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30 minutes ago, Mike said:

Need pics!  Sounds awesome!

working on it, I am video challenged, recorded everything upside down, trying to flip and then download.

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From the video it looks like you made it above tree line which I think is about 11,700 feet on Pikes Peak. When you walked around at the stop place could you feel the altitude? Being from Florida I would think you'd feel it.

Edited by w3wilkes

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11 hours ago, w3wilkes said:

From the video it looks like you made it above tree line which I think is about 11,700 feet on Pikes Peak. When you walked around at the stop place could you feel the altitude? Being from Florida I would think you'd feel it.

I little bit, I started walking around on the trail at the top (14,000), thought about walking down it, but a bit too rocky, after messing with that a bit I could feel it but not much really.

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10 hours ago, SoCalJim said:

Green ‘75 Zs should be good for at least 14,000 feet.  Just sayin...😁

I would like to hear from others that have been to the top to know if they made it no problem. Other than that the car was perfect for the whole trip (about 4,000 miles in just a few days).

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I have a nice video of traveling thru the Ozark mountains including a tunnel pass, will post up later. Been working on the radio, just needed a spritz of contact cleaner on the switch. I tried cycling it several times, but no joy, is not a self cleaning type. I have a LOT of maintenance and other stuff I will get to now, I did not want to do it before since I was not sure when I could get off from work and did not want the Z down in the middle of something. Nothing critical just stuff I want to do, like the dash, bump stops, rear wheel bearings (they seem fine but what the heck), vapor line (rusted shut), etc...

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Posting an image for the front page.  Looks like a scary ride!  I was nervous you would drive to the right while fiddling with the camera.  😉

 

Screenshot 2019-09-21 15.30.18.png

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That is right about where the engine gave out. was tough making that multi point turn to get down. I would have liked to try it again with the filter off, but by then my nerves were shot.

The trip was great, sleep in car, drive  if not sleeping. Stopped at Walmart/McD for food and drink and clean up. Had a great shot of a Cricket pumping crude, next to a cow, next to a solar panel, next to a giant electric turbine wind mill.

So you get your greenhouse gas (cow fart), carbon fossil fuels, off set by carbon credits for wind and solar. all in one little square of land. I cant imagine trying to do his taxes. The windmills in Kansas were a hoot. I drove thru some little hipster town just outside of the pikes peak park. Best part was just being on the road. No phones, no emails, no work issues, just me the z and the road. felt like Kowalaski, just needed Super soul to keep me company.

Edited by Dave WM
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Thanks for the Travelog @Dave WM - Hats Off to you for venturing out on the journey!   Now I'm wondering what inspired the trip to begin with?

Carl B.

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really just wanted to get away from work/phones/email, getting old figured got to get this done sooner that later. Always wanted to do a road trip, and figured it would be a good test of the Datsun to see if I have it in good running condition. 800+ miles per day seemed like a good test. I like old cars that I can understand and are easy to fix, and I don't feel the need for all the modern stuff that new cars have, so less to worry about going wrong on a long trip.

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Dave, what kind of gas mileage did you get?  Did it vary much between your driving through the Southeast and your driving along the front range of the Rockies?  Just curious.

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1 hour ago, SoCalJim said:

Dave, what kind of gas mileage did you get?  Did it vary much between your driving through the Southeast and your driving along the front range of the Rockies?  Just curious.

I really don't know was not paying much attention. I just filled up anytime I got near about 1/3. I can prob get a gross estimate from my visa car bills. If I can do that I will post back. I did use ethanol free when I could get it, but most of the time it was better grades of gas, not that the car needed high octane, I just got it cause I figured it may have less ethanol. I never noticed any difference in the way the car drove.

Edited by Dave WM

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Thanks Dave.  I was just thinking about your car probably not having altitude compensation, same as my car.  Perhaps our cars need it to operate efficiently over a wide range of altitudes.  My first thought about how to see if there was validity to my thought was that maybe it would show up as a noteworthy gas mileage change over a range of altitudes.

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I noticed it idled more smoothly at the base (5000 feet). I have mine set pretty lean at sea level (using the AFM bypass for idle mix). Maybe at 5000 it was running richer (smoother).

I have not been able to find out any info on the effects of operating above 12000. I still don't know if it died rich/lean, it did NOT forward fire (pop thru the AFM, lean) or backfire (thru the muffler, rich). It would just die like it was getting no fuel at all. Like it was running on the start fuel pump run. I thought the AFM was maybe not turning on the pump. If I had a flat pull off I would have messed with the AFM (pulled the filter to AFM boot and get to  the flap with fingers.

Edited by Dave WM

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