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Detroit to Alaska Adventure!
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Wheelie Pete
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Joined: October 06, 2005
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Location: Detroit Rock City
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey thanks again for all the advice and well wishes - if I accidentally miss any of your questions just PM me!

Great day today! Check out the interior pics - I'll have more tomorrow. I was really impressed with how well it turned out!!

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Once I was done with that - I took it for a wash.
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I dont know how many of you have taken an old bus through car wash, but I don't recommend it. I think there was more water on the inside than on the outside!

Next I was driving through Detroit around 3rd and MLK, and I ran across this poor guy just lying in the road.
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I dont know what happened but looked like he just had a heart attack. I stopped the bus and called 911.

These nice people stopped and pulled him to the side of the road, and tried to wake him up by slapping him and pouring water down his neck.

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Cops showed up within 5 minutes. I didn't wait for the ambulance. What a show of Can do Detroit. They're all survivors down there.

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cdennisg
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good on you for trying to help that guy. Looks like he may be in a world of hurt.


You'll be within a few hours of me when you are on the West side of Glacier. If you need anything, I'll do my best to help.

Have a good trip, we will all be enjoying it with you.
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Riff Raff
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BTW
To make things smoother at the border, make sure to bring documentation that Frankie's vaccinations are up to date and leave the handgun at home.
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Eric&Barb
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2014 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bus looks great!
Would dump the coil over shocks though. Have seen those tear off the upper rear shock mounts right off the body....
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the advice on the coilovers. Any idea of the driving they were doing??

Also, i'm thinking of bringing my canoe. Any thoughts on that??
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pyrOman
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I second the motion on the shocks. Not necessarily beacuse they are coil overs (I use them too!) but that bushing came off because it is shot! If you did not "fix" it with a fresh bushing, it will desintegrate soon enough. Better to invest NOW than halfway into the trip, possibly in the middle of nowhere! Other than that, best of luck on your trip! Cool
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Last edited by pyrOman on Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:21 am; edited 1 time in total
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Big Bill
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes on the canoe, I sure there are a bunch of beautiful lakes where youre heading. Even if you dont use the canoe it would look great on top of your bus. Good luck with your trip, I will be following your progress. Smile
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scottvw
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Safe travels....keep us posted on your progress. Good Luck!!!!
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

pyrOman wrote:
I second the motion on the shocks. Not necessarily beacuse they are coil overs (I use them too!) but that bushing came off because it is shot! If you did not "fix" it with a fresh bushing, it will desintegrate soon enough. Better to invest NOW than halfway into the trip, possibly in the middle of nowhere! Other than that, best of luck on your trip! Cool


Thanks - the shocks only have a few hundred miles on them - the inner steel bushing was too long on the front shock. This caused misalignment in the front shock(s). I cut the steel bushing down, reinstalled the steel/ rubber bushing and it all looks good. I'll ensure to inspect them regularly!


I have a few thing to wrap up before I leave and I'm hoping to leave tomorrow a.m. I have a few loose wires under the dash to reinstall / clean up. Front mirrors to install and a few other minor things. The order of importance - dependability, safety, then cops. Hah!
Somethings will have to wait for the road!
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mannys66
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

safe travels, this has the makings of an epic travel thread, Can't wait for the updates to start coming in.
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Eric&Barb
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wheelie Pete wrote:
Thanks for the advice on the coilovers. Any idea of the driving they were doing??

Also, i'm thinking of bringing my canoe. Any thoughts on that??


In town driving and highway, no off roading.

Take the canoe!
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d-rick
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like an awesome trip! I would like to do the same one day myself.
& Yes on the canoe
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2014 8:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well another day is wrapped up without leaving but hopefully all that changes tomorrow!

Another busy day! I was only able to put on 50 or 60 miles yesterday but my long time friend and former employer invited me and the bus to his shop to have an impromptu inspection! The guy I'm talking about is Chris "Munk" Braden from Munk's Motors in waterford, Mi!

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Not only did he invite me over, but he personally performed a quick and thorough inspection - ensured me on everything I was hesitant / doubtful about, and he found a handful of things that needed adjusting / tightening. He gave me a bunch of tools - and put me to work! I tightened the center pin nut, adjusted the brake rod, adjusted the link pins, adjusted the steering, and re-filled the steering box! The steering is tight as ever and no longer feels like it's going to fly off the road! Thanks Chris!! After this he personally took it for a ride and told me engine needed a little tuning -
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He put his best tech on it, and now it runs better than ever!

I've known Chris for 20 years, and we had dinner during the test drive to catch up. During dinner he said to me, "Pete you're a lot smarter than you were 20 years ago" I said, " what do you mean?" To which he replied, "You actually listen to advice now." Hah. We all have room to grow!

When we were done with the test drive and tuning, he insisted I pay the for the services rendered. I have no problem with that! How much did it cost??? Let's say it wasn't much!!
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What a great guy and professional shop!- if you're ever in waterford -stop in and say hi - I'm sure they'll fix your problem!

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Thanks Munks!!!


Last edited by Wheelie Pete on Sun Jun 08, 2014 7:20 am; edited 2 times in total
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deadkombi
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just lowered my bus and did a straight axle conversion. When I see yours I wish I didn't and went on a cool adventure like you're about to. Have a great trip. Cheers mate!
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slowfasty
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 7:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

What a fantastic adventure! My brother and I often fantasize about driving the Alaska highway... Doing it in a split bus is sure to be a unforgettable experience. Best of luck!

I live very near Glacier... Feel free to drop by if you need anything. [email protected]

Cheers!
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mtnbus
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 9:08 am    Post subject: alaska Reply with quote

Dreamy trip.
Stay on the back roads !

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wcfvw69
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get so jealous when I see adventurous folks like yourself, doing these great trips. What a great trip you have in front of you. As the others have said, please continue to update this thread w/copious amounts of pictures and details of the trip. Very Happy
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Wheelie Pete
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 10:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Busy day today - lots of things to get done and lots of fun friends stopping by to say their farewells, and I was even able to get lunch at Buddy's Pizza with my family and my cousin whom was visiting from Slovakia!

First thing were the front mirrors - the job was way easier than I imagined, and I wish I would have done them sooner - but at least they're done!
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Next a new friend Neil came over and dropped a package off that I promised I would deliver to his daughter in Coldfoot, AK. It was great meeting with Neil - I only met him a few times and I'm looking forward to seeing him at all the future VW shows! I just hope he wasn't offended when I asked him if there were any special brownies in the box I'm dropping off to his daughter! (I don't want to get stopped at the border!)

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Laurel stopped by too! She said she was glad I was going and to have fun on the trip. However, she said my next trip of sailing around the world would not happen. She said no way, and that she wouldn't let it. Fun Governor. Hah I love her to death -in fact she invited me to visit her and her husband in Minneapolis. She said she will be back there by Sunday. That should be my first or second stop!

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Next was the installation of the power inverter. I installed a 2000 watt inverter to run things like a fridge, coffee pot, and electric hot plate. I hooked it all up and plugged in the fridge. Works! Cold beer for the trip....errrrrr.....once I'm stopped of course!

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However, as soon as I plugged in the hot plate OR coffee pot OR heater (1000 watt each) the power inverter would give the max draw limit and shut down. I understand if the power inverter can only handle 1800 or maybe even 1700watts, but the inability to do so is not good. I have it hooked to a brand new optima battery, and the only thing I can think of is the low charge on the battery (I didnt charge it before I hooked it up) is causing the max draw limit on the inverter. I hooked it up to a charger over night, and I'll try again in the morning.

My friend Jamie that sewed up the interior came by and dropped off the awning for the bus. I dont' have a picture of it set up, but I should have one tomorrow. She also dropped off a screwdriver that we used when we were installing the interior a few days ago. It looks one of us left the screw driver on the front fender of her jeep, and it stayed there for a day or two until she notice it on the fender. It should have fallen off!

Hopefully I'll hit the road tomorrow -and I realize I've been saying that for the last few days.....

The only things left are valve adjustment, battery isolation diode, and packing....... hopefully tomorrow hopefully tomorrow hopefully tomorrow.

I did figure out my initial route - I'm going to take the I94 cannonball run expressway to Minneapolis, then highways to Glacier national park then up to Calgary and so on...

Thanks for reading!


Last edited by Wheelie Pete on Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:34 am; edited 2 times in total
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patban82
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 06, 2014 11:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What parts of Alaska will you be going too? I been to Skagway, Ketchikan and Juneau. Very beautiful. Have an awesome trip. Take lots of pictures!!!
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Eric&Barb
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2014 4:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get rid of the hot plate, coffee pot, and heater.

Get a Coleman stove that uses white gas.

If you need to heat up a cup of water while on the road, check out the 12 volt heaters at a truck stop or RV supply place.

You stock heater should work fine while you are moving. If not find out why.

If you absolutely need a heater when stopped get a portable propane powered one, but keep in mind that they use air so you have to have at least one window open when running. So really best not use when sleeping. Plus if vented into the interior propane makes a lot of moisture.
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