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Steam in the Boat the PDQSHIP Story (long)
Well, 2600 miles logged since Monday last, quite an adventure, to say the
least. All in all, a very stressfull, active and totally great time.......
Checked out of Chicago city limits at 4:30pm Monday for the straight drive to
Colo. Springs to pick up Carole by 7:00am TUES, heck only 1100 miles, no
worries..... Till half way between Des Moines and Council Bluffs IA (The
reference to the middle of nowhere comes to mind), the "professionals" at my
local Jiffy Lube decided that 29 lb/ft of torque on the oil drain plug must
be excessive..... So, with 35 degrees below zero (standing temp) the plug
slowly backed out of the hole and spewed liquid brown all over the subframe
of my toy..... Till the smoke started to fill the cockpit and interrupt
the skippers "Iowa Nap"..... 3:00am, Texaco closing, managed to grab 12
bottles of oil before cash out, and went about the trace of my erl
prollum..... Checked the filter the oil feed and return lines, as well as
those cooler lines, all dry....... Grabbed the drain plug to see if they
forgot the gasket, and six turns later the plug was finger tight......
Bummer, and by this time, the turbo oil seals had gone from 35 below to
really hot and back, so 4 quarts lasted about 15 miles at a stretch.....
Managed to limp to Council Bluffs to assess my options...... On the horn
at 8:00 getting a ride for Carole, a post to y'all thru Mike Spiers, and a
plan of attack to still make Steamboat by Friday nite..... Got the car to a
very friendly dealer in Omaha (no names THE will suffice), who nicely
patronized me for 3 hours, until a threat of my "audi" connections got some
action. The mechanic they gave the job to had been there 18yrs (repeated
many times), and basically wanted nothing to do with my MODIFIED car.....
Arguing the point that the only non audi spec design was the Turbo to IC
hose got me nowhere..... I was TOLD that I had a NF or NZ motor that was
higher compression than the MC, so no wonder the car was blowing oil.......
I rather threateningly indicated that if this mechanic and mr Swift wanted
to make that claim, no prollum, just write which "mod" motor I had on the
receipt, and I was on my way (and the wrath that will ensue if someone was
blowing smoke up my ass)..... Gee, really, I do have the MC after all,
hows about that.... I WANT my car outa here now!
Managed to get the 3 lifters that were stuck open to reseal on my time, and
decided at that point to navigate my ship in friendlier waters of Boulder
(Lawson, Jerritts et. al), and do my fixins there..... Got to denver with
little incident, and with boost in the 6 pound range putt-putted around town
till Thursday, when the big investigation was to start as to the damage, with
Dr. Jiffy giving the instructions on tests to perform.... WRONG, I was told
that basically I must have been dreaming, and NO work would be authorized
untill I talked to Jiffy Sr...... So, I decide I'm driving the car, no
question and continue my journey to Steamboat...... Sr calls while I was at
a friends in Longmont, the upshot was some reference to expensive, stuff it,
and Judge Wapner by yours truly..... To Steamboat we go......
We arrived at the Comfort Inn late afternoon Friday, and forgot that nite
skiing in Steamboat would require another couple Gigs of electric, so we went
to the track instead. Immediately in my element, I managed to hop right into
the codrivers seat of Ned's "cammed" 4kq for some lapping...... Great fun,
and learned the track pretty quickly (1 mile- 8 turns).....
Saturday morning was ski time for Carole (her first), and I immediately
headed for the powder of Mt Werner..... Got enough skiing in in 4 hours to
last the weekend, threw the boots on and whipped to the afternoon
school...... Saw a very Bizzax kind of video on why skid and the advantages
of these gummy-bears..... Of all the drivers only Lawson, myself, and one
other were the heretics of the Blizzax crowd..... Thank goodness the temp
was below zero, so I knew we could hold our own.....
Saturday afternoon, I hooked up with a David Yamamoto (soon to be here he
says) who had a v6 90Q (Blizzax) with lots of "rally" type questions on the
q, told him to stick with me...... 2 probes, 2 explorers, 2 escorts + 2 dr
escorts for sat afternoon class....... The 4dr escort proved to be the
rally winner in my book, very predictable and tossable..... The Explorer
came in close second for me, cuz for a big pig, it did the snow and ice
SUNDAY!!! the day I was psyched for..... And in the first time in 4 years
PDQ lets me down in the start department, had to hike to the track and con a
student to come give me a jump...... That being done, I promised Carole
that I would ride with her, some others I would ride with them, drive theirs,
help etc..... So I had 6 solid hours on the track either driving or
kibitzing..... Carole did an excellent job of following my directions, and
with a couple more days would really start dancing the Q, she loved the boost
squirts (I did get the balls to dial it back up to about 13-14lbs) on the
straight..... The ice proved to be quite challenging, but I was convinced
that some real smart driving would keep my P210's in contention.......
Salvation..... 2:00pm they started to go counter clockwise on the track
and I found 6 of 8 lines, and had fun on the other two trying to get dialed
in..... Scott Davis, with his Haltec/Garrett equipped 20v urq was the only
car powermatched to my machine, and his GEN II Blizzacks and home court
advantage got me THIS year.... But still managed to get a couple of
85-90mph runs on the main straight and 60 on the short rear before locking
the brakes for the ice turns...... 2-1-8 was basically a big sweeper, and I
found that a 60mph bounce off the bank on exiting 1 gave the best results for
speed..... At the end, I took Kevin Linville (84urq) Chad and Celeste Clark
(Bro-Sis 5ktq) for the bonzai prorally runs at the course...... The extra
weight actually helped plant the rear, and I know from the grin on Celestes
face, and power chatter by Chad, that a good time was had by all.......
Banks? Trimmed some, but no smacks, spoiler, ego and driving lites intact
for the whole day..... Prolly gave up too many trix on how to drive the
quattro system, but the basic rule was to run Center diffs on the whole
track, and dis/engage the rear end diffs mid turns for the hole shots to the
straights...... Carole said that Kevin looked a little "rigid" the first
time I did the bank-bounce at turn 1 exit, 60mph shifting toward 3rd, but I'm
sure by the 5th time he knew I use them as a rule </:~)_? Bruce Bell and
his son Eban were great net "hosts" and I know Eban got some great shots for
the D'Amato Files, looking forward to seeing them.....
Lots of fun, definitely a yearly quest for us, minus maybe the Jiffy Lube
part..... Left a balmy Denver yesterday at noon (60 degrees) and retrekked
the route to Chitown in 16 hours flat..... On to the Wapner battles
tomorrow, keep y'all posted on my efforts...... If I missed any details on
the fun (did I say it was a blast?) let me know.....
Scott & Carole
Skipper and first mate of PDQSHIP
Special thanks to Mike Spiers, Bruce and Eban Bell, Dave Lawson, and Carl
Jerritts for making us feel amongst friends no matter what "plan B" was to