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Detroit to Alaska Adventure!
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:27 am    Post subject: Detroit to Alaska Adventure! Reply with quote

Good morning - Today is June 1st, my name is Pete and I thought I would share with you my latest travel adventure!

I quit my job in march, and decided to drive my bus to Alaska!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The bus had a few leaks, and a slow motor - so I took it all apart - and it's almost back together again! I'm leaving on Wednesday (Thursday at the latest) and in the spirit of a previous thread, I hope to arrive at the arctic circle in time for the summer solstice. (14 days driving - 270 miles per day)

I didn't want to start this thread until the bus was actually running - but I got the motor in and running last Thursday, so I feel like the trip will actually be a success!

Not much is left mechanically - Tightened up the front shocks, adjust the front wheel bearings, and possibly adjust the steering gear box - everything else is new or rebuilt. Not much should go wrong! Hah!

Here it is in the garage

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


I think this was just after the new front windows were installed.

Thanks for reading!


Last edited by Wheelie Pete on Tue Jun 03, 2014 9:49 pm; edited 2 times in total
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zozo
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best of luck on your journey. Enjoy!
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hoagy86
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

sweet good luck
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twistedbug
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 7:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

take at least 2 spare tires, since you just put the motor back together, go drive the shit out of it before you leave. good luck, don't eat the yellow snow
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nshaddox
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

whoa, that sounds like an awesome trip. bring a bunch of spare parts. take a lot of pictures. you'll have to tell me about the trip when you get back to detroit!
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BarryL Premium Member
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buy 100% DEET: a couple small bottles.

Imagine you break and are semi stranded for 3-4 days. Make sure you can be alive and comfortable for that.

Bring bucks to pay for long tow(s).

There are mostly long sections of road that you will drive all day and only be further but not to any new town. There are lakes you will drive and be by for the entire day.

Most important are "frost heaves" everywhere: huge sections of the road that pitch up and are axle/shock/steering busters. The road crews will work a section of highway for miles and miles. They call the seasons "winter, fixing the roads, and winter".

I've had to let (a)moose, caribou, deer, and little animals pass in front.

Good luck and it sounds like you will be prepared with parts and tools. Those tires will get nauseating with the sound, in my opinion, but will come into play if in muddy tracks.

Often times if you see a bus or truck coming it's best to pull over and wait it out.
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turkis-deluxe
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like a great journey!! Enjoy the trip and be safe.

What part of Alaska are you heading to? I'll be in Sitka from starting June 17th for almost 8 days so if you're in the area around then let me know.
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 01, 2014 8:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the props / advice and well wishes!

Neil - I'll definitely let you know about the trip when I return!

Mr Turkis Deluxe - Hopefully I'll be in Fairbanks on Jun 18th and then towards Anchorage by the 28th. I'll be driving up the Alaskan Highway prior to the 18th.

Here's the progress today -

One of the bushings came out of the coil over shock - so I reinstalled it with a proper washer. I shortened the shock bushing to get better shock alignment and I installed washers all around! I also tightened up the front wheel bearings and refit -the refrigerator cabinet -

these projects always take more time than you think - however we all know if we don't have time to do it right the first time....there's always time to do it over!!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

That's my future brother in law helping - great guy - I'm really glad he's marrying my sister. Hopefully he'll be just as helpful after they're married! (grin)

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That's my dog frankie - I'm trying to teach her to fetch tools, but she keeps mixing up the 13mm combination with the 12mm flair. She's not much help but she's great for moral support and told me she was not afraid of bears......

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here's the cabinet installed - the mini fridge will fit right in that cubby
hole. I'll more pics of it when installed.

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Here's the bus today - I have one more shock to do tomorrow, a few hup cap clips to install and then it will be back on the road!
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2014 10:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was able to reclip the spare tire rims by myself with help from the proper tool and a 2x4 (thanks to Munk's motor) for the clip anvil tool!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

Had the spares mounted - G78-15 Bias Ply - I may actually throw these on the front and use the snow tires for the rear - then have two more snow tires on top for spares.
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Finally got it all put together - bumpers, tires, blah blah blah, and took for an inaugural spin around the block around 11:30p.m. It ran great considering it had two year old gas!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.

It just felt great to get it out of the garage and back on the road

Not much left before I hit the road. Torque the lug nuts, hub caps, one brake light, and new mirrors! I also may sync the carbs but they sound pretty good already! Also - I had a new interior stitched up. That should come in tomorrow!

I was originally going to leave tomorrow - but I'll probably leave thursday or friday at the latest.
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Riff Raff
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good luck on the journey. That's a long haul
If you come through Calgary, or if you have any problems within a couple hundred km radius of Calgary, hit me up.
403.540.1871
Keith
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Riff Raff wrote:
Good luck on the journey. That's a long haul
If you come through Calgary, or if you have any problems within a couple hundred km radius of Calgary, hit me up.
403.540.1871
Keith


Thanks Kieth - I'll be cutting through Glacier national park then North through Calgary!
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Clara Premium Member
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:40 am    Post subject: Re: Detroit to Alaska Adventure! Reply with quote

Wheelie Pete wrote:
Good morning - Today is June 1st, my name is Pete and I thought I would share with you my latest travel adventure!

I quit my job in march, and decided to drive my bus to Alaska!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


The bus had a few leaks, and a slow motor - so I took it all apart - and it's almost back together again! I'm leaving on Wednesday (Thursday at the latest) and in the spirit of a previous thread, I hope to arrive at the arctic circle in time for the summer solstice. (14 days driving - 270 miles per day)


Sweet Riviera! Don't forget to grease the suspension!
Sounds like an epic adventure! Post up every few days with pictures if possible. Smile
Popcorn
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Interior just arrived!! In it goes! Next will be lug nuts, hub caps, and a bath!


Thanks Clara - Suspension is already greased!
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velvetgreen
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a fantastic trip, am sure lots of people wish that they had the cajones to do what you are doing so good on you!

I have heard that the Alaska Hwy is gravel when it gravel is kicked up by passing cars/trucks it plays havoc with headlights, front windshields etc. Not sure if this is still the case but thought I would mention it. Enjoy!
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volkswagenator
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 10:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

<Sigh> Damn I wish I had time to make such a trip. As far back as I can remember, my dad has long expressed interest in driving the Alaska highway, and I too harbor that wanderlust.

Alas, dad gave me his '63 Standard, the same car we used to travel all over the Western U.S. in while I was growing up, but now I have a young family and full time work that precludes the possibility of any extended road trips. So I finally have the old girl running again and road worthy, but with no time to actually hit the open road. Sad

Anyway, well wishes for a safe trip from another envious would-be explorer! Pull over next to one of those lakes some evening and have a cold one for us, eh! Smile
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durfeec
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would not mix bias ply and radial tires unless in a pinch. I've never driven on bias plys but I cannot imagine they act the same as a radial.
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mtb7001
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thats gonna be a sweet adventure SIR ! Those were days I will never forget. My mom Annabelle graduated college at the age of 45 and bought a new 72 bus then she and I hit the road to Alaska.
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Here she is after a recent ride in my bus "tin can Annie".
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Pacmanfever
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Frankie doesn't look like she'd be scared of much of anything! Be safe and post updates for those of us dreaming behind keyboards. We'll live the journey vicariously through you.
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StockNazi
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like an awesome trip.. enjoy and be safe.
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Manfred58sc
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's the way to live!!! Happy trails
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