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Winnipeg to Florida 2018!

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Joined: 13 Aug 2008
Posts: 2801
Location: Winnipeg, Canada

PostPosted: Sat May 05, 2018 1:39 pm    Post subject: Winnipeg to Florida 2018! Reply with quote

Hey everyone,

So we did a Family Road trip from Winnipeg to Orlando/Daytona in April of this year. The old girl (05 Pathy SE 4x4) had 305k kms on it when we left, now well over 310k kms (192k miles).

Before we left, I wanted to install my new set of Airlift 1000s. Its been really cold here, so I didn't get to it until the weekend before we left. Well, I crawled underneath the truck, and first thing I noticed was a broken coil spring on the passenger side. I'm guessing its due to me running without any pressure in my existing Air Lift kit, as I noticed last fall that someone (not me) overinflated it and the air spring deformed and was sticking through the coil. I also noticed now, that my rear shocks are showing some leakage. So my theory is (as these shocks are a good 5 years old, and never showed any signs of leakage before now, Bilstein 4600s), that the Air Lift 1000 kit prevents alot of wear on the suspension in the rear, by limited the shock and articulation of the rear control arms, therefore saving wear on the rear springs (in my case original parts) and the shocks, as well as perhaps the bumpstops and ball joints and suspension links.

Also bought 2 new tires for the rear, as they were pretty much worn out. Cooper Discoverer AT/W, as that is what I am running on the front. $400 for the pair plus install.

Anyways, got the rear springs on, and installed the new Airlift kit. Also checked for leaks, checked the front and rear diff oil condition and level (all good) as well as the transmission and engine oil.

First leg from Home to Council Bluffs, IA. About 9.5hrs. Truck performed with no issues. I have the Superchips Tuner, and it has a Diagnostics Monitor, which I have set for vehicle speed, MAF rate, Engine Temp, and Engine Load. Engine load at 75-80MPH was around 60%, with a MAF lbs/minute rate of about 4.5 to 5.5. Engine temp stuck right around 190-192F. It would creep up to 195F when stopped at a light or in traffic, but that didn't happen very often... Smile

I did check the coolant level the next morning, and ended up adding about 750ml of coolant mixture, as the rad was low. The expansion bottle was a little low as well. I didn't check the coolant for some reason before I left, and I didn't lose anymore coolant during the rest of the trip that I could tell, so I will just chalk this up to evaporation. Its happened before, where I've been a little low, I top up, and monitor very closely and have no issues for the entire summer.

Next leg was Council Bluffs (just outside Omaha) to Clarksville, TN (just before Nashville, about 10hrs). We made good time, and I averaged about 80-85MPH, fuel economy suffered and my MAF reading was closer to 6.5-7.5 lbs/minute.

The next leg was shorter as we stopped in Nashville to check out Cooter's Place, and Opryland and the mall a bit, but then on to Macon, GA. A bit more traffic through Atlanta area, but took the 285 around the busy part and it was pretty good.

The next leg was Macon to Kissimmee (about 5 hours). Once again, a bit more traffic as we get closer to Orlando, and I noticed coming out of GA that the cops were out in force, so we kept the speed down to below 80MPH.

In Kissimmee/Orlando, we did SeaWorld, Magic Kingdom, Aquatica, Busch Gardens (shuttle to Tampa). Expensive week, the SeaWorld and Disney passes came to about $1700 Canadian. Brutal! But fun and worth it. Stayed at the Coral Cay Resort on the far side of Kissimmee, its a compound (gated area) with a bunch of condos. We got a 3 bedroom place about 1200sqft including a nice kitchen and a hot tub in the back screen area all for $620US for the week. We've stayed there before so we kinda knew what we were going to get, it didn't disappoint.

In Kissimmee/Orlando, it was a lot warmer, and I noticed that at idle, the AC doesn't really keep up, but we managed by rolling down windows when sitting for longer periods, and I didn't bother trying to figure it out. I would imagine I'm a little low (or high) on R134A. I had my low pressure side gauge along, and a can of R134A, but it wasn't bad enough for me to bother, as when we were moving on the highway, it blew ice cold air. I also have a feeling my compressor is getting a little inefficient in its old age, so it might not even be a refrigerant issue.

I did notice a 'squeal' sometimes at idle. I posted about it here:

I narrowed this down to the fan clutch. I've had this noise before, with my previous fan clutch, but it was always when it was cold. Now it was during hot weather. So not sure if its a big problem, but thinking it is not. And if I shut down the truck and restart it, the noise would be gone.

After our week in Kissimmee, we drove up to Daytona and stayed at the 'Silver Beach Club'. Its an older resort, but right on the ocean. The suite lacked a lot of furniture, but it had a place for everyone to sleep, a decent fridge and cooking area, nice deck to look at the ocean and the pool, and the people were really nice. Less than $800US for the week too, so can't complain!

Daytona was much more laid back, the only 'activity' we did really was my wife and daughter went parasailing down by Ponce Inlet. The younger kids and I came along on the boat.

The rest of the week was spent hanging out at the beach or the poolside. Very relaxing.

At both places I was able to remove my rooftop carrier and store it out of the way, which was nice in that I didn't need to worry about parkades or vehicle height.

For the ride home we took a different route, cause I didn't want to see all the same stuff again. So this time it was Daytona to Fort Campbell, Fort Campbell to Minneapolis via the west side of Illinois and through Madison, WI and Wisconsin Dells. This was the longest leg of the trip, and took closer to 13hrs due to some accidents (not us fortunately) and bathroom breaks. And people in Wisconsin are horrible drivers! Spent the last night in Holiday Inn in Bloomington, MN.

On the way home, we stopped for some Costco and Sam's club shopping to load up, and I noticed in the parking lot a really nice rusty nail sticking out of my tire. Nice. Right where its not repairable too. Checked a couple tire shops, and nobody carried the Cooper A/TW, so I ended up putting a plug in it, and put my full size spare on for the ride home (about 7 hrs). I thought just in case I have another flat, at least I could use the Cooper with a plug in it to get to the next tire shop.

Got home without issue. Checked my oil this morning, and I didn't lose one drop during the whole trip. Coolant still good, and no other issues I noticed at all.

I spent $1138 CAD on fuel, so about $875 US. Average price of Premium on the way down was $2.95/ga, so about 300 gallons of fuel, over 4700 miles. So average fuel economy was 15.7MPG. I'm going to say this is actually not any worse than I expected, as we were moving pretty fast the whole time.

I know everyone will be asking for pics, you can check them out here:
Terry in Winnipeg

'05 Pathfinder SE Premium 4x4 - 343000kms (213000mi) - weekend warrior, Cortex Superchips on 87 Octane Tune, K&N filtercharger, Airlift 1000, Prodigy Brake controller, 7 pin trailer hookup, Prostart Remote Starter, Cooper Discoverer ATw P265/70/16
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 13, 2018 2:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is an example of so much great stuff that is still hiding on here undiscovered Very Happy
"Rifle first, Rifle last, Rifle always"

2012 V6 4WD, in Grey over Grey
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