: Across the country... with a Maxima... in the snow... in the dark.



Jesda
11-28-05, 05:07 AM
The adjustment from RWD to FWD isn't as easy as I thought it would be. After having a half dozen RWD cars, I've forgotten how to control a FWD car in bad weather, and it isn't the "Just drive it like you normally expect" way that Consumer Reports claims.

First of all, its snowing like a motherfudder here in Wyoming. It snowed all the way from Idaho, and it was especially heavy in Montana and northern WY, slowing me down to 30mph. The high beams on this car dont work either, which basically leaves me wandering in the darkness, looking at reflectors on the shoulder [mostly covered in snow] to keep me on the road. And when a truck passes, I'm completely blinded.

Second, this car has no ABS. I started driving in the snow with an old Sentra without ABS, and learned to pump the brakes. After a series of ABS-equipped cars, I find myself instinctively slamming down on the pedal, forgetting to modulate the brake force appropriately. That sent me swerving a bit down an incline in Bozeman, MT.

Now, the drive wheels. In a RWD car like the Q, you can use the throttle to manage vehicle stability. The rear does one task while the front does another, so you have complete control (in theory) over the direction of the vehicle. In the Maxima, the nose plows directly into whatever's in front of me whether I'm steering or braking. The most I can do is grab the e-brake and hope that I don't turn into 18-wheeler roadkill. Parking is a pain too, because the loss of traction is sudden and I have no precise way of maneuvering the back end.

On the plus side, the SOHC VG30E is a GREAT engine. The most comparable one that comes to mind is the GM 3800 -- lots of torque, a broad powerband, super-smooth and silent operation, and good gas mileage, so far 24.5 mpg. The 3800 would probably do 32mpg+, but the VG doesnt lose its breath at 90mph. The Maxima actually feels quite at home doing 115. Steering tracks well at high speeds (even with worn rack bushings) and braking is super-confident and secure. The suspension on this car could use some work, since it tends to wallow and bob up and down. Its also kind of loud at speeds over 80. Overall, for $1200 with brand new tires, I got a heck of a deal on this car.

For some reason, the steering wheel smells like farts, and not my own (I have a signature odor). Now after ten hours of driving my hands smell like flatulence. *shrug* Time to buy a wheel cover I guess.

Some pics!

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/montana2005/IMG_0729.JPG
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/montana2005/IMG_0727.JPG
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/montana2005/IMG_0728.JPG
Wallace, Idaho. Home of the slowest freaking gas pump on earth. It took almost ten minutes to pump 13 gallons. I asked the lady at the counter if it was pumping molasses.

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/montana2005/IMG_0733.JPG
Basically what Montana looks like. Snow, darkness, and abandoned hardware.

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/montana2005/IMG_0730.JPG
Super 8 calls this an "executive suite" because there's a microwave and slow-as-dirt Internet access.

Travel note: There's a town in Montana called "Lame Deer"

Spyder
11-28-05, 05:20 AM
Ah, you should have hired me to drive that thing across the country for ya! I'da done it for airfare, fuel and food...adventure awaits!

hardrockcamaro@mac.c
11-28-05, 06:14 AM
Roadtrip!

Looks like fun to me.

airbalancer
11-28-05, 07:47 AM
Sounds like a good trip
My would you want your high beams ,if it is snowing out

Night Wolf
11-28-05, 08:10 AM
The adjustment from RWD to FWD isn't as easy as I thought it would be. After having a half dozen RWD cars, I've forgotten how to control a FWD car in bad weather, and it isn't the "Just drive it like you normally expect" way that Consumer Reports claims.


WHAT!?!? Consumer Reports give you misleading information! THIS IS AN OUT RAGE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah, I have no problem with RWD in snow, atleast when your drive wheels spin, you can still maintain vehicle heading.

Wow man, sounds like a blast! I love road trips, I am looking forward to driving the '79 DeVille down to FL next month :)

Boombotz
11-28-05, 08:28 AM
Sounds like fun! I love road trips!

Spyder
11-28-05, 01:34 PM
Ah, if I wasn't on my way out the door to school right now, I'd give ya'll some road trip stories...I'm still a youngin', but I've got some good ones...it all started with a 15 year old hitting the road from north of Sacramento to Louisville, taking a week off of his drivers training course to do so, and completing the one way trip in 42 hours...I can go into details later, but alas, I don't have the time this morning.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-28-05, 01:48 PM
Wait so Jesda, what exactly were you doing?

JC316
11-28-05, 02:00 PM
What's snow precious eh? What's snow? I have driven on ice before and I don't want to do it again. Even with traction assist and ABS on my Mark VIII I was slipping and sliding. I can't stand rear drive cars on ice, my sister was sideways on 635 in Mesquite, due to a 90 T-bird. Same with my old 88 silverado, 230HP, 300ftlbs of torque, 3.73 towing gears, and a very stiff gas pedal, you can imagine. If it even threatens to be icy, my seville is going to be the car I take.

powerglide
11-28-05, 02:06 PM
Sounds like you're having quite an adventure!
You'll get used to the front drive soon enough...enjoy and drive safe!

slk230mb
11-28-05, 02:40 PM
Looks like good times Jesda.

powerglide- wasn't last nights family guy hilarious.

powerglide
11-28-05, 02:48 PM
Looks like good times Jesda.
powerglide- wasn't last nights family guy hilarious.

OMG I laughed my ass off.....I was waiting for someone to recognize my signature tag line!

http://www.dailyraider.com/tv/northbynorthquahog/honeymooners.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-28-05, 03:39 PM
yeah that was quite the family guy last night!

Pow right in the kisser!
Pow right in the kisser!
Pow right in the kisser!

Jesda
11-28-05, 10:08 PM
ARGH!!! We didnt get further than 350 miles before they closed down I-90 through South Dakota, so here I am stuck in Rapid City SD. Last time I was here was 2001 with a 1995 Mazda 626, and holy CRAP has this place grown [rapidly... ha ha!]. I dont quite understand why so many people live here, since its in the middle of the Black Hills surrounded by nothingness and some caves. They have every shopping place you can imagine, a good-sized mall, even a convention center.
Anyway, the highway was closed apparently due to quarter-mile visibility. Later in the evening, that warning was changed to zero visibility. The wind is INSANE and snow drifts are enough blind you; the endless string of overturned vehicles is proof.
When I was running from the car to the entrance of the Ramada Inn with my bags in hand, a gust of wind knocked me to the side, lunging my left shoulder into a brick wall, leaving what will be a big bruise in the morning. I'll sue! They should rubberize the building!
Here's pics and captions:
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0734.jpg
Some barren part of Wyoming. HOLY FARKING CRAP ITS COLD. I was going to get pics of myself standing in front of the "scenic viewpoint" but I couldnt tolerate being outside any longer.
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0738.jpg
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0739.jpg
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0740.jpg
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0741.jpg
I had a meeting with The Bobs.
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0742.jpg
The trunk is surprisingly huge.
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0743.jpg
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0745.jpg
The damn cig lighter won't work! I hear clicks and pops on the radio when I plug something in. The wires in the back of it are all there and connected. The fuses all look good. Argh!
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0746.jpg
Since I can't use my XM tuner, I have to download and burn more music tonight [good thing I bought an MP3-capable head unit], after I finish downloading Sunday's episode of Family Guy. The Ramada Inn's broadband wireless is quite nice.
For the easily amused, a progress map is attached. Hell, this entire thread is for the easily amused.
http://q45.org/gallery/d/314-1/roadtrip.jpg
I really like this car. It'll make an awesome commuter when I get it home. I'm ready for a Seville though.

Jesda
11-28-05, 10:09 PM
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0735.jpg
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0736.jpg
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/rapidcity2005/IMG_0737.jpg

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-28-05, 10:36 PM
Ooh thats nice, is that an SE or a GXE?

reminds me of my friend's white '93 SE

ben72227
11-28-05, 11:09 PM
Remind me again why you dumped the Q to get an older Maxima???

BTY, while in Montana, did you happen to go through Missoula???:sneaky:

Jesda
11-28-05, 11:47 PM
I sold the Q due to the cost of ownership. The Maxima, which I bought from a friend, will be a winter car (I was in Spokane for a funeral and thanksgiving anyway), and come spring I'll get myself another luxury sedan. Not sure if I went through Missoula. If I did, I didnt see it thanks to the snow. :(

fast66
11-29-05, 01:26 AM
OMG I laughed my ass off.....I was waiting for someone to recognize my signature tag line!
http://www.dailyraider.com/tv/northbynorthquahog/honeymooners.jpg

I saw it this sunday, POW RIGHT IN THE KISSER!

powerglide
11-29-05, 01:56 AM
I knew you wouldn't have missed it fast66!!

:histeric: BTW my friend lent me the Stewie's Untold Story DVD. If you havent already, I think its worth a watch...especially the uncensored version!

thu
11-29-05, 02:34 AM
Hay Jesda,

I'm down in Cheyenne. I know what you mean regarding the weather. It's windier than heck and 20*F. Wind hit 55, 60MPH tonight. It's been this way
for about four days straight.

I've been to the Black Hills area several times - lovely area.

Have a safe journey home.

Cheers,
T

fast66
11-29-05, 02:42 AM
I saw it, great movie. I love the show


POW RIGHT IN THE KISSER

Night Wolf
11-29-05, 07:29 AM
Wait, so why again are you making this trip and whats it for?

Jesda
11-29-05, 07:32 AM
Wait, so why again are you making this trip and whats it for?


The Maxima, which I bought from a friend, will be a winter car (I was in Spokane for a funeral and thanksgiving anyway), and come spring I'll get myself another luxury sedan.

:)


Oh yeah, my favorite line from that episode:
"I was getting even for that time I tried to jump into the General Lee and you put the windows up." --Brian

That was PRICELESS, a treat for loyal fans.

Night Wolf
11-29-05, 07:34 AM
gotcha... so you just bought the car and driving it back.... nice!

how many miles total?

Jesda
11-29-05, 07:56 AM
181k.

Oh yeah... I-90 is STILL CLOSED! Now its closed ALL THE WAY TO MINNESOTA! I guess I'll enroll at Black Hills State University and start a new life.

Ahh, what an adventure, sort of.

I~LUV~Caddys8792
11-29-05, 11:16 AM
From what I've heard, those SOHC 3.0 Nissan motors can take a lot of miles

thu
11-29-05, 11:33 AM
181k.

Oh yeah... I-90 is STILL CLOSED! Now its closed ALL THE WAY TO MINNESOTA! I guess I'll enroll at Black Hills State University and start a new life.

Ahh, what an adventure, sort of.

Rapid City is slated for snow today, ending this afternoon, high 32*F. Wind from the South at 10 to 15. More snow tomorrow morning and continuing snow throughout the day.

Be safe, man.

T

JC316
11-30-05, 12:43 AM
It's sunny and in the high 60's low 70's here in Texas :lildevil: . Texas decided to skip winter and go directly to spring.

davesdeville
11-30-05, 05:08 AM
You have NO idea about winter road trip adventures in a used car you just bought on the other side of the country.

Been cuffed and thrown in the back seat of a Crown Vic yet? Had 2 freakin blowouts yet that bent the rim each time? Slid into a ditch yet? Couldn't get a hotel room because of some douchebag at the hotel counter yet? Couldn't find the other motel because there was so much freakin snow everywhere yet, then almost run out of gas looking and think you're gonna die because there's noone around and it's -10* outside YET?

I think my eye twitch is coming back remembering that god forsaken trip.

Playdrv4me
11-30-05, 05:53 AM
It's sunny and in the high 60's low 70's here in Texas :lildevil: . Texas decided to skip winter and go directly to spring.

Screw that... I think Ill go to the beach this Friday!! :histeric: 80's!

Playdrv4me
11-30-05, 05:54 AM
You have NO idea about winter road trip adventures in a used car you just bought on the other side of the country.

Been cuffed and thrown in the back seat of a Crown Vic yet? Had 2 freakin blowouts yet that bent the rim each time? Slid into a ditch yet? Couldn't get a hotel room because of some douchebag at the hotel counter yet? Couldn't find the other motel because there was so much freakin snow everywhere yet, then almost run out of gas looking and think you're gonna die because there's noone around and it's -10* outside YET?

I think my eye twitch is coming back remembering that god forsaken trip.

Drama! :stirpot:

Night Wolf
11-30-05, 07:40 AM
You have NO idea about winter road trip adventures in a used car you just bought on the other side of the country.

Been cuffed and thrown in the back seat of a Crown Vic yet? Had 2 freakin blowouts yet that bent the rim each time? Slid into a ditch yet? Couldn't get a hotel room because of some douchebag at the hotel counter yet? Couldn't find the other motel because there was so much freakin snow everywhere yet, then almost run out of gas looking and think you're gonna die because there's noone around and it's -10* outside YET?

I think my eye twitch is coming back remembering that god forsaken trip.

pffff, the New England area isn't THAT bad :)

Jesda
11-30-05, 01:05 PM
That was NASTY.
Video: http://articles.news.aol.com/n...90017 (http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20051127203209990017)

I had no idea how bad the storm was until I saw newspaper headlines and the morning aftermath.

When I ran into the storm in Montana, it took the form of blindingly thick and heavy snow. I couldnt see much in front of me, and couldnt tell where the shoulder and lanes were. I thought that was bad, but apparently it got worse. Initial interstate closure warnings just said there were severe snow drifts. There was nothing mentioned about the dozen-car pileups, the freezing rain, ice, and glass-like road surfaces.

1/3 of South Dakota was left without power. I met a guy in Mt Vernon SD who told me he went without it for a day and a half, keeping the fire going at his house. The governor said I-90 was opening at noon, but a portion of the slow-moving storm was still hovering over the east side of the state. Unfortunately, going 80mph, I slammed right into the tail end of it.

As I moved eastward past Wall Drug, I noticed a dozen or more downed power lines. Most of the gas stations weren't functioning either, which posed a problem as my tank was very very close to empty. I had to decide if I wanted to find a bigger town and hope for electricity, or camp out at a gas station with everyone else and wait. Lucky for me, I took a chance and pulled into the Mt Vernon SD gas station about 30 minutes after they got power.

At the EXACT SAME time, tornados were tearing through Kansas City. So even if I had beaten the snow storm up north, I'd have encountered twisters down south. Damned either way.

Pics: [56k? You have no excuse.]

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/sdstorm2005/IMG_0747.JPG
Leaving Rapid City, everything looks great.

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/sdstorm2005/IMG_0749.JPG
The weather in Wall was nice too, if a bit chilly.

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/sdstorm2005/IMG_0752.JPG
Here's the problem. This is the first major gas station outside of Wall, if I recall correctly, and there was no power at all. A bunch of cars and rigs were parked there waiting for electricity to be restored.

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/sdstorm2005/IMG_0753.JPG
Meanwhile, I have a predicament. [Note gas gauge.] Do I travel onward and find a station or give up and hunker down in a cold convenience store with everyone else?
I have male pride! I'll keep driving!

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/sdstorm2005/IMG_0754.JPG
http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/sdstorm2005/IMG_0755.JPG
Downed power lines ominously covered in thick ice.

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/sdstorm2005/IMG_0756.JPG
Lucky for me, the microscopic town of Mt Vernon SD just got power a half hour before I arrived.

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/sdstorm2005/IMG_0757.JPG
The nozzle was frozen solid to the pump, requiring me to punch the farking hell out of it to break it loose. Then, after all that, the activation lever was frozen in the down position. A few good smacks and some scraping finally got it to move.

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/sdstorm2005/IMG_0760.JPG
That's supposed to be Omaha. Take my word for it.

http://q.spilky.com/nicothread/sdstorm2005/IMG_0762.JPG
Thats the end of a bizarre journey. I made it from Rapid City to St Louis in one shot (took 15 hours). If I had left Spokane a few hours earlier, I would have missed the ice storm but driven right into the middle of a tornado.

The Maxima will park outside to honor the Q, and hopefully a rainstorm will wash it.

Playdrv4me
11-30-05, 02:26 PM
AWESOME!

I LOVE ROADTRIPS! I dont have any stories that cool but Ive had some good times nonetheless.... Nothing makes a roadtrip more interesting than BFE towns!

thu
11-30-05, 03:46 PM
Interesting Chronicle! Thanks for the roadtrip updates.