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Old 06-07-2007, 02:54 AM   #1
AKLGT
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Location: Anchorage
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2012 turbo rollersk8
EvolvedAK's hood ornament

Default The trip, the dyno, the tune... just LONG!

*I reposted this on Legacygt.com and it was too much work to redo the entire thing so you'll have to click on the link!*

** LINK TO PICS!!! **

Well, we made the long long long trek down to WA and OR the last week or so. Driving from Anchorage to Puyallup and then to Portland. The total trip down was just over 2500 miles down and about 2800 miles back (you will see why later).

In my infinite wisdom, I decided we would drive down this time vs fly down. I wanted to take the opportunity to also have the car tuned while in the area (PNW). We started off on the typical Alaskan-Canada Hwy (Alcan) and made it to Whitehorse, YT the first night. a solid 700 miles of driving. taking Derek's advice, we decided to drive down via the Cassiar Highway through BC on the second day and I decided that we would stop in Prince George, exactly 1001 miles in ONE DAY. Let's just say.... NOT happy times. The Milepost said it was 95% paved, but realistically it was 50% paved as a good 5% of the road was extremely loose gravel (you know, the big ass rocks kind) and the other 45% was more like a patched up pot holed infested tarmac, hardly pavement. 450 miles of this crap.... the first 200 was spent between this tarmac junk and gravel up and down winding hills and mountains. Sure the scenery was beautiful, but I live in Alaska where my daily drive consists of the same wildlife and mountains. Once we reached about the halfway point, we see brand new pavement! I thought we died and went to heaven! now, if the highway had been paved like this the entire way, or just started and ended with it, life would have been fantastic and quite enjoyable. it was winding, twisting, craziness driven at 80 mph around hair pin turns and curves. OMG! it was a beautiful and glorious road. however, it still did not make up for the hell of the first half of the road. 17.5 hrs of solid non-stop driving we finally made it to Prince George, BC.

The following day, after such a hellish day of driving, we slept in and had some lunch before heading out for the final day. We drove from Prince George to Puyallup, WA, about 700 miles. Because of the late start, it was much later arrival than originally anticipated, and again, drove through some mountains to Hope where we intersected the Trans Canada Hwy 1. I can't tell you how tired or sick of driving I was by the time we reached Puyallup, WA.

We took a breather the next day and went to the local dealer to get the oil changed. we walked around the lot, looked at the 08 Spec B and hubby's twin STI. I wanted to check out the Saturn dealer to see if they had any Sky's so I could drool more and convince hubby as to why i needed one. They had one but it was being delivered to the owner. Still, I got some pictures, drooled more, and even convinced hubby that they really aren't so bad and quite "mean" looking vs the Solstice. For the price, not bad at all. Next we went to the Mazda dealership I had stopped in last Nov while visiting. I wanted to test drive the Mazdaspeed 3 but they didn't get one in til the next day after I got back. They actually had one on the lot and I harassed one of the salesman to let me take it for a drive. WOW! very very impressive and quite fun. Honestly, if AWD wasn't necessary, I would consider this for the next vehicle, price point is excellent and the performance and handling was great! $24K MSRP?? nice! Phil also drove the car, but much more agressively than I (it was rush hour and i didn't want to actually buy the car that day... no matter, that didn't stop him). But alas, he was equally impressed with it, quite different feeling from our AWD turbos. Instead of feeling pushed, you felt PULLED. We got back to the dealer and picked up my car, then headed back home for visiting with relatives.

Wednesday we got up and headed off to Portland to Rallitek for my front skidplate and install, then on to PDX Tuning for my dyno tune. I had been waiting to do this for awhile and was quite excited. On the way there, my CEL comes on and I flash some wierd code. Never had that one before.... great. We get the hotel, check in, get some lunch then head to Rallitek. By this time, it was already 3:30 pm. It didn't take long for the skidplate, however it was about 4:40 pm or so before we got out the door from talking with Chris and Mark. We hit traffic all the way til we got to PDX about 5:50 pm. The car was hot and screaming at me, CEL flashing, etc. We get the code cleared out and the car on the dyno. I dump in my Torco mixture and we wait for Jarrad to get ready for the tune. He was doing a wiring install that was running behind (and we were behind anyways). I met up with one of the other Legacy members who bought my S-Tech springs and got a chance to chat for a bit. It was interesting watching them hook everything up for the tune and the car harnessed on the dyno and fans going. it was insanely hot in the shop, 86 degrees, record temps outside for Portland this time of year.

Jarrad starts the tune and doing some pulls. You can hear the car screaming at me, giving me the finger because it's so freaking hot and it wants its beautiful 60 degree happy temps and dense cool air. I look at the dyno, it reads really low (or to me) 228 whp. that can't be right... Jarrad confirms it's correct and he just wants to get a few base lines to know where to start. He says we should be up to about 250-260 or so by the end of the tune, so he hopes if all things go well. Of course, they didn't. after about 30 mins or so, we see some smoke coming off the intercooler and some wierd sounds. I'm freaking out! holy crap!! then some banging, however it turned out the ginormous fan on top of the intercooler to help cool it took a dump and one of the fan blades decided to eat itself and detonate on the car. *phew* but not so good for the fan since it was dead. My car, being extremely unhappy with me continued to give me the big finger. I had exhaust codes, tranny codes, and whatever else it wanted to throw at me. Most of all, it would NOT boost at more than 17 psi vs 21 psi here. That's a lot of power that we could not tap into. Jarrad was still able to do the tune, but being able to actually see the power capabilities of my car was just not in the cards. We got it up to 238 whp boosting at 16 psi but the car just didn't want to go any more. Jarrad decided to stop beating on the car since we did have to drive it back. he also reminded me that the dyno's don't like 5eats so numbers will always seem low... Of course, if we had an awd dyno in AK, with the cooler and denser air, no humidity and back to happy times, I would imagine to see the car boost back at 21 psi (which it did on the way back home as we got closer and cooler temps through the mtns) and have a hell of a lot more power. I wouldn't be surprised to see a good 20 whp difference between our temps/air here than there (at least on that day). So, though we got the tune done and the car pulls rather well, I was quite disappointed to not be able to see what it could do for power. Back to the butt dyno and I suppose I won't ever know unless we get an AWD dyno here.

so lessons learned about dyno tuning: don't drive your car 2500 miles in 4 days, sit in stop and go traffic for 3 hrs prior to the tune, then slap the car on the dyno in record breaking hot temps, expect the car to actually PERFORM well, and then get mad when it doesn't. To do it again, I should have driving to Portland the previous day and let the car sit for the day to keep the engine temps low.

after the tune, we got a ride in Jarrad's 450 whp LGT. holy crap! wow! ya, it pulls. then took mine out for a spin around the block.. it surprisingly didn't seem so quick or pull as hard as it used to. LOL

We drove back to Puyallup the next day and I then got ready for the wedding festivities (why we were actually there). I took my mom out shopping and running some errands in the afternoon so Phil could do some checking on the car and making sure everything was fine. Later that evening, I drove up to Lynnwood to pick up my best friend at her hotel and stopped by the mall to take some pics of the Clearwire Kiosk (work related) then to Renton to see the bride to be. After our little party and pow wow, drove her back to Lynnwood and back home. It was another long day of driving and stops and starts.

Friday was the bridal shower in Renton so I drove my mom in her (new to her) 05 Cadillac STS sedan. also, WOW. the car wanted to go with just a slight touch of the gas. beautiful car no doubt. We then stopped in at Southcenter for more kiosk pics. After finishing that up, I met Phil back at the house to pick him up and head to Seattle for rehearsal and dinner. Again, another long driving day, almost 150 miles.

Saturday was the wedding so I was up at the butt crack of dawn and heading to our 6:00 am hair appointment. On the way, I see one of Seattle's finest and don't think anything of it. Sure enough, there go the lights and he pulls me over. It's 5:50 am and I am half awake. He informs me it's his "nice guy stop of the day" and wanted to give me a warning that the rear license cover is tinted and therefore illegal. OK, but I'm from Alaska, so sure. He bids me farewell and away I go. As soon as I get there, I go out and take off the cover. Whatever. We get our hair done, makeup and all the other fun things that come along with being in the wedding party. We arrive at the location and prepare to get ready more. as always, the bride looked gorgeous! We were just there to make her look better. It was a nice wedding, extremely hot and we were outdoors. With a strapless dress, we all got sunburned standing out in the sun (imagine that). It was a great time, I got to see my two best friends, one of whom I haven't seen since my own wedding almost 3 years ago and the other in April. We got home surprisingly early, and had my best friend and my brother come over for dinner. We got the car ready to go, hotels booked and itinerary for the drive back ready to go.

We decided to go back up the Alcan the entire way vs the Cassiar. Even though it was longer distance, it was a shorter drive due to straighter and more paved roads. So the next morning, we got up early and got on the road by 9 am. First stop was Beaver Creek, BC, mile 0 of the Alaska Hwy, 883 miles from Puyallup. Next day we drove to Whithorse again, 864 miles approx. Then the third day we made our way back home to Anchorage and finished off the 700 miles. We drove just under 6000 miles in 10 days and killed my warranty just after crossing the Alaska border.
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Last edited by AKLGT; 06-07-2007 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:06 AM   #2
02redwagone
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That was a great read! Talk about drama with a car. Cant wait for the pics.
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:08 AM   #3
AKLGT
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my car hates me right now. but after seeing the guy's times at the track tonight, i'm going to beat on her more this weekend: autox and then drag.
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:21 AM   #4
Jaylyons1
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good to have ya back. Im hoping to have mine fixed soon. After reading a thread I found from 04, Im thinking it could possible be a coil pack gone bad, but not sure. Process of elimination!
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:25 AM   #5
AKLGT
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ya, i was pretty confident we'd be about 250-260 and the 5EAT reads almost a consistent 20 whp UNDER it's 5MT counterparts, so I'd be right under my 300 whp goal. oh well, guess I won't know.
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:30 AM   #6
Jaylyons1
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well.. sounds to me like ya just have to get a little more out of it.. ya know, to be absolutely sure you are at your goal
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Old 06-07-2007, 03:44 AM   #7
MikeyMike
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Sounds like you had a crazy trip... Glad you and legasti made it back ok. Sorry your numbers weren't what you'd hoped. Can you come out to the track with AWDBST, Ralph and myself this coming wednesday. My drag racing debut.
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Old 06-07-2007, 04:22 AM   #8
07_BluRex
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Can't wait to see pics! Yeah, the Cassiar is bad. A few years ago a family friend had his oil pan punctured on that road and had to stay in BC for a few more weeks to get a new crate engine put in his van. I would never drive that road in anything less than a 4x4 truck.
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Old 06-07-2007, 06:09 AM   #9
Hometown Baller
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKLGT View Post
ya, i was pretty confident we'd be about 250-260 and the 5EAT reads almost a consistent 20 whp UNDER it's 5MT counterparts, so I'd be right under my 300 whp goal. oh well, guess I won't know.
Your trip sounds like fun especially the "Mr Niceguy go back to the Alaska and stay in your igloo good cop"

Not to hijack the thread or try to sound smart. Could it the loss be attributed to drivetrain loss considering a automatic 5EAT vs manual 5MT?
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Old 06-07-2007, 10:15 AM   #10
Mavrik
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driveline loss and the fact that the automatic has traction control. it works against the vehicle when doing a dyno test because power is constantly shifting from wheel to wheel.

yeah hope, the legasti and I made it back in one piece. Never again will we drive down there to "save" money on airline tickets...

her cel wasn't flashing, it was came on steady with a p1312 exhaust temp code. The cruise light flashed but thats normal.
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:37 PM   #11
AKLGT
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yes, sorry... the CEL was NOT flashing it was on and of course the cruise light started flashing as always and became inoperable. I was using the cruise at the time, so it really caught me off guard.

I'll do my best to work on the pics today while i'm sitting at the kiosk...
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Old 06-07-2007, 12:40 PM   #12
AKLGT
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hometown Baller View Post
Your trip sounds like fun especially the "Mr Niceguy go back to the Alaska and stay in your igloo good cop"

Not to hijack the thread or try to sound smart. Could it the loss be attributed to drivetrain loss considering a automatic 5EAT vs manual 5MT?
the auto tranny does lose more at the drivetrain, however they also consistently read about 20 whp under a 5mt with the same mods. then, get them on the street and from the posts from other tuners, they "feel" the same. I know it does have a little to do with the torque converter, you get a wierd little loop thing on the dyno depending on what graph you're looking at.
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Old 06-07-2007, 06:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AKLGT View Post
*taking Derek's advice, we decided to drive down via the Cassiar Highway through BC
Who is this Derek that you speak of, and why have you decided to let him live j/k

I'm sorry I didn't know your route!!! I NEVER travel the stewart-cassiar road!!

Warning to all don't do it! LOL

The Fraiser Valley is beautiful if you get the chance!! Hell's gate is fun to cross as well!!
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:11 PM   #14
Mavrik
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the Hell's Gate area near Hope BC is pretty cool. For some reason it seemed to take longer going through to seattle then on the return trip. Yeah we listened to Derek who drove the road about 2 years ago... Much has changed since then. I would recommend that way if your planning on driving late into the night towards Vancouver simply because there are more civilized open places late at night. The ALCAN is pretty deserted after 9pm.
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:30 PM   #15
kyleblix
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Wow, quite a story. glad to have you guys back in town. I'll have to get a ride in the legasti now that it's all tuned up.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:10 PM   #16
Alaskan_awd
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Wow that was crazy.

On another note, the Pontiac Solstice is the same as a SKY and is a little cheaper.

Solstice = SKY
and
Solstice GXP = SKY Redline
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:33 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaskan_awd View Post
Wow that was crazy.

On another note, the Pontiac Solstice is the same as a SKY and is a little cheaper.

Solstice = SKY
and
Solstice GXP = SKY Redline
i know. i don't like it as well as the Sky.
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Old 06-07-2007, 08:43 PM   #18
AKSubie
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Sounds like a fun trip. At least it wasnt like my brothers first trip up though, he blew a head gasket on his 91 Legacy just outside Fort Nelson. Lets just say he and friend toured the town for a good week and change as they waited on parts.
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:08 PM   #19
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i posted the same thing but added pics on legacy gt.com. too much work to do it again, so you're gonna have to clicky the linky for pics and vids.

http://legacygt.com/forums/showthread.php?t=63546
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Old 06-07-2007, 11:54 PM   #20
The Iglooman
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To be honest....I drove the road this past week (the Alcan) and I thought the part between Whitehorse and the border was absolutely horrible. Worst frost heaves ever. I can't imagine having to drive the Cassiar if its as bad as you say it was. Luckily I was far enough east that driving it didn't make much sense.

BTW I am probably going to finally get a cell phone because all my friends say I need one. You're at the Northway Mall right Hope? Are there any AKIC deals?

-Andrew
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:03 AM   #21
AKLGT
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well, imagine that crappy road from Destruction bay to the border... just more winding twisting, and larger rocks.

i have a kiosk in northway, but PM me for more info. I can give you the best deals at my dimond location.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:17 AM   #22
The Iglooman
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PM sent.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:24 AM   #23
Mavrik
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I thought the road between Glenn Allen and the border was about as bad if not worse then the road between the border and destruction bay.
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Old 06-08-2007, 12:26 AM   #24
AKLGT
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i didn't think it was that bad. the road b/w sutton and Glennallen also sucked, but that was due to them repaving the entire hwy it seemed. lots of construction this time of year to go and fix all the frost heaves from winter.
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Old 06-08-2007, 05:07 AM   #25
mvm42699
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Wow! what an adventure! Well, to some degree. Always wanted drive from AK to Seattle. Just wondering, what was required to get through the Canandian border? Cools Pics BTW.
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