Monday, August 16, 2010

A 2000+ mile road trip in the Bavaria

With the 1973 Bavaria converted to fuel injection just in time, we set off early on Friday the 16th for a week-long road trip to the Pacific North West and returned safely last night.  The car worked great this time and there were no major issues and the car hardly lost any oil and returned acceptable fuel economy (21 to 24mpg, without an O2 sensor for the time being).

Our first proper stop was Portland, OR where we enjoyed some great beer (including a sampler at the Deschutes location in town) and amazing donuts at Voodoo Donut.  If you haven't been yet and are in town, I highly recommend it and promise that it's worth the wait in line.  The downtown location is usually crowded but there's a second location that's closer to I-5 and has parking.  They've also opened one in Eugene but I haven't stopped in yet.

This trip was, thankfully, the last one for my terrible exhaust system which consisted of beat up and poorly-fitting Stahl headers and a questionable vintage Monza brand aftermarket exhaust.  Our next stop was at my friends Jason and Mira's place near Vancouver, WA where Jason and John (who started Nameless Performance) helped me improve my fuel line routing and install their new stainless steel exhaust system.  That consists of ported factory intake manifolds, stainless downpipes, and stainless exhaust all the way back with a modern muffler and resonator design.  The fit and finish on the parts is absolutely excellent, no more rubbing or wobbling around, and no more rubber donut hangers!  I highly recommend Nameless' exhaust system for your Bavaria or E9 coupe needs, please contact them for details if you're thinking of upgrading or replacing your exhaust system.

We continued North to the beautiful city of Seattle where we explored (mostly on foot) and met up with our friends Eric and Seth.  Seattle has excellent public transit but it was really helpful to have the car as we were able to see more of the surrounding area, including Alki beach, in just a few days.  If the weather is cooperating (which it definitely did that week), I recommend taking a long walk through the Pike Place market, the Belltown area, up and over the Queen Anne area (which has great views of the city) and then back down and over the bridge to the Fremont district which has weird public art that includes a statue of Lenin and a massive troll under a bridge.  We had more excellent beer at Brouwers on 35th there.

After touring Seattle, we drove the Olympic peninsula, which contains what is basically the most northwest point in the lower 48 states.  There's not much going on out there but it's beautiful and the drive is a lot of fun, especially past Lake Crescent, Port Angeles, and the Puget Sound itself.  I'll need to come back and spend more time in just that part of WA state some day.

We put over 2000 miles on the car in that short week and, while it performed great, I was constantly reminded of how bad the front seats are and that I removed the broken AC system a while back, the trip down I-5 back home in 95 degree heat was especially uncomfortable.  It's time to shop for new seats (or have the current ones reupholstered) and now that other issues are dealt with I might spend some time installing new AC components.
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