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Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/25/21 12:23 a.m.
Hasbro (Forum Supporter) said:

Should be around Saint Louis, give or take by now.

I ended up on a slightly different path than originally planned. The long road is much slower than I planned. And I kept making wrong turns and not noticing.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯
¯\_(ツ)_/¯ PowerDork
4/25/21 7:13 a.m.

In for updates!  This thing is super cool and driving it home is even cooler.  Route 66 for the remaining section?

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
4/25/21 7:24 a.m.

Also waiting to hear more stories of great success! 

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/25/21 7:25 a.m.

The long road is generally prettier and more interesting!

Looking forward to pictures and stories. 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
4/25/21 7:28 a.m.

Bodywork needs some clear coat. The livery is great otherwise.smiley

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/25/21 5:57 p.m.

All home now! Only one major issue, to be discussed when I get some time to type.

gumby
gumby Dork
4/25/21 6:35 p.m.

Glad to hear it!

AxeHealey
AxeHealey Dork
4/26/21 7:38 a.m.

As a friend with my own multi-colored competition vehicle, I hope you keep the current ... livery ...

Glad the trip was a success!

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/26/21 2:57 p.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:

Stopped for a quick break in the ozark national forest. Pics and more later. Cars running like a top so far, gotta keep moving to keep the drizzle off my head.

So after Gasquatch I left Oklahoma and headed into Arkansas. Ground get a little more hilly but equally beautiful. I was loving all the colors between the greens blues and whites. 

I was zipping along so well and enjoying the drive so much that I started missing turns. I was also going into and out of cell phone reception, and my wife was trying to call me. So I probably lost a lot of time struggling with my phone. 

Note to self - google maps tries very hard to put you on the fastest path at all times. If you want to take the long way home, you need to add a ton of specific destinations to your route. I didn't do that so I wasn't able to just 'set and forget' my maps. This was a mistake. Then again, a couple of the mistakes I made led me to 2 of my favorite sections of road. 

The first national forest I went into was the Ouachita National Forest. This was thick forest, with not huge elevation changes in general, so it was hard to see much from the road. I did see LOTS of eagles and other large birds. I was dodging rain most of the time in the forest, but even when the wipers were needed the rain never got heavy enough to need the top. There were a couple places I wished I had stopped to take photos, but I didn't. 

About now was when I hit my first favorite road of the day. 27 from Rover to Danville (you can see where I missed my planned turn). This was the first part of my trip where average speeds were down in the 30s instead of the 50s. And the elevation really drops going down to Danville. I was still really new to the car and was very conservative, but still this was an engaging and rewarding drive. 

I stayed on 27 until I rejoined my planned route at Dardanelle. Then I went north to 7 to head through Ozark National Forest. 

I had been wishing I stopped for photos more in Ouachita, so I stopped a couple times in Ozark. Here's the first stop. 

I went inside at this stop to use the restroom. When I came out, a big dodge ram had pulled up near me and the woman in the passenger seat yelled "is that your car?" turns out, both she and her husband owned x1/9s in the past. She remembered the pain of changing a water pump in hers by herself. He told me the story of his that he owned in California, shipped it to Europe when he was stationed there, then shipped it back to South Carolina, where it was eventually lost to a falling tree in a hurricane. They were so stoked to hear that I was road tripping home. I was happy to meet some folks who owned xs in the past!

Leaving this stop was where I penned the above quote - and it was true I had to keep moving to keep the drizzle off my head. 

hobiercr
hobiercr SuperDork
4/26/21 3:21 p.m.

Some of the photos in the latest post aren't working (for me at least).

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/26/21 3:32 p.m.

Or me

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/26/21 3:38 p.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:

2pm western grove arkansas, 9.3 gallons.

The second part of the Ozark National Forest the land really started to open up and give way to some really stunning views. I took the following panorama (it doesn't look like it but it is almost 360degrees) maybe a mile or so before I saw a sign that said "the grand canyon of Arkansas", and actually the views were similar if much greener and less dramatic elevation change. 

It was also about here that I took my second detour from my planned route. After Sand Gap I stayed on 7 instead of turning on 123. It was ok however because one of my best friends has a dog named Jasper so I figured I would stop there for a quick photo op and then get back to the route. As it turns out, 74 from Jasper to Piercetown ended up being another favorite section for me. The elevation changes both up and down were incredible. Like so steep up that the x wouldn't really accelerate in 3rd! Combine that with the twisties and this is really a road to enjoy. A couple of places the road went next to sheer rock cliffs, so you get to enjoy the reverb of your own engine sound too. And finally, the traffic. I bet I saw 2 other vehicles on the entire stretch. 

Here I am in Jasper - which turns out to be one of the more touristy little towns. Most little towns on the map are one or two buildings and a few houses, usually with a sign with a population in the low 3 digits. I don't think the population of Jasper was much more, but it definitely had a few restaurants and BnBs, a lot more activity than most other places.

 

Around Piercetown I was starting to get down to about 1/4 of a tank indicated. Since I'm not familiar with the car and I always distrust the accuracy of old fuel gauges, I decided to stop for gas at the next place I saw. Next town was called Hasty. No Gas. Then Yardelle. No Gas. Gulp. I was starting to get nervous. 

Luckily, Western Grove was 3rd and they DID have a gas station. That's where I typed the quoted text. And it was here that a woman pulled up (quite a bit closer than I was comfortable with for the speed she was going) right next to me in her pickup truck. She asked me if this car were a Triumph TR7. No - but admittedly very close. We got to chatting about it, and she had owned a TR7 a long time ago. After that, she also owned a supercharged MR2. No joke. 

So, my only logical conclusion is that sports car owners are out there everywhere, but you've got to be driving one to pull them out of the woodwork. 

It was 2pm. I wanted to get to Colombia MO by 8pm. I had a big route decision to make. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/26/21 3:39 p.m.
hobiercr said:

Some of the photos in the latest post aren't working (for me at least).

hmmm, I'm copying and pasting from google images. Let me see if I can fix. 

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
4/26/21 4:12 p.m.

Only the panorama and the maps appear for me. No quotes either.

Slippery
Slippery UberDork
4/26/21 5:01 p.m.

Same. No pics here. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/27/21 9:46 a.m.
Robbie (Forum Supporter) said:
hobiercr said:

Some of the photos in the latest post aren't working (for me at least).

hmmm, I'm copying and pasting from google images. Let me see if I can fix. 

Ok, hopefully photos are all fixed. Let me know

hobiercr
hobiercr SuperDork
4/27/21 10:00 a.m.

Seems to be good now! On with the story.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/27/21 10:21 a.m.

Continuing on from Western Grove, I mentioned I had a decision to make. I could leave the gas station and go right, which would be north toward Branson MO. This would be the fast way to my destination for the night. 

Or, I could go left to stay on the plan and take a LOT longer. 

I decided to go left, and what a good decision it was. This led me to my final favorite section of road on the drive!

This section of 235 from Pindall to Yellville is absolutely sublime. First of all the road surface is basically perfect (much of the drive, actually was very very nice roads, right up until the end). Here's an idea:

  

Next the views are very nice as the trees thin out and the rolling hills and valleys come into view. I didn't take any photos because I was having so much fun, but this random screenshot from street view should give an idea of the landscape. 

After not too long I had reached Mountain Home and crossed Norfolk Lake:

I made it to about Viola before I bailed on the slow route. Honestly I felt like I would be able to enjoy about 2 more hours of driving that day, but looking at either 4 more hours for the "fast way" or 5-6 more for the planned route, I finally pulled the plug. This took me straight north up MO 63 instead of going through Mark Twain as I originally planned. I joined back to my planned route in Rolla. 

 

63 was a nice drive but clearly more of a highway or trucking route. Lots more traffic, multiple lanes each way, just stick it in 5th and drive. At one point I was going up a hill straight at a church, but the road turned just in time. 

At some point along here I was pulled over for no front plate. Luckily, I had my ducks in a row with insurance and title and the very professional Bill of Sale that Doug did for us (IF I do bill of sale, I usually make them nowhere near as professionally). The officer gave me a warning since I had just bought the car and was driving it home. I think he just wanted a closer look at the fiat... laugh

I pulled into singleslammer's driveway just after 8 right as the sun was completely disappearing. The last hour was a little rough as my legs were starting to go to sleep. At the time, I was very glad to have chosen the detour. But I really want to get back to try 19 through the Mark Twain National Forest at some point in the future. 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/27/21 2:50 p.m.

alright, now onto the problem. Dun dun dun...

As I rolled in, Singleslammer and his wife came outside to greet me. It had been too long since I'd seen them both, and I was very happy to get out of the car. Before going inside however, I wanted to get the top on the car just in case of any incliment weather overnight. So singleslammer and I futzed around with the top abit. very quickly, we realized that with the top on the way we thought it should be, the passenger door would not shut, because the window was a bit too high. Hmmm. Earlier in the day I had noticed that the passenger window was rubbing on the B pillar a bit too. Still I thought the issue was I just wasn't putting the top on right. Since I wasn't driving, I just let it sit there for the night. 

Next morning, we came out to swing over to a park for some 'GRM cars and kids' with Alex and Allen (i believe) and one other guy I didn't catch the name of. We put the top back into the frunk but then noticed the passenger door would no longer shut because the window was too high. Hmmm. After a little poking at window switches, I was only able to get the window to move UP a bit. Ooops. Now the window was way too high up and back for the door to shut. It wasn't even close.  Yeah, the window should be fully to the right of the B pillar.

Needless to say, this really took some wind out of my sails. Singleslammer and I quickly dug into diagnosing the issue, including plugging the working driver side switch into the passenger side harness (no workie) and pushing on the window to see if we could manually make it go down a bit (also, no workie). 

Then I popped the door car off and started looking around inside. These windows are articulated by an intricate pulley system and cables rather than the more common scissor mechanism. I found 3 cables, and all were looseish, and none got any tighter when we pushed down on the window. It really seemed as if something were physically blocking the window. About this time, Singleslammer grabbed a battery and some jumper wire with the idea to jumper the motor directly and see if we could get it to go down. I declined, because it really felt like something physical blocking the window and I didn't want to burn out the motor. 

In the end, I duct taped the door sort of shut, and we took off to the park. 

The weather was beautiful and we took a very nice road to the park, with me in the x following singleslammer and his family in his fiesta ST. I wasn't able to enjoy the drive much though, as I was worried about the door and window sitch. Didn't want the door to fly open as I was driving, and by now I had a lot more loose stuff rumbling around the cabin. I also probably wouldve been able to enjoy the other grmers more at the park, but I was now pretty worried about the 6 hour drive home with a broken wing. Sorry guys. 

Anyway, at the park I checked the oil and added some, said my goodbyes, and chose to stick to interstates on the final leg to minimize time to home. 

hobiercr
hobiercr SuperDork
4/27/21 3:13 p.m.

I'm not going to verbalize where my mind immediately went on this. Nope, not sayin a thing.

TurnerX19
TurnerX19 UltraDork
4/27/21 3:39 p.m.

Makes me glad mine has hand crank windows. They still fail frequently though.

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/28/21 10:22 a.m.

OK, let's finish out the drive. Yes, 6 hours of modern american interstate in a fiat x1/9 with the door taped shut. 

I put my headphones in with some podcasts going and drove home with little issue. 

Here's a little sightseeing in IL:

and, yep:

 

As I approached Chicago, the weather really turned. While I had earned myself a sunburned nose (despite buying and applying sunscreen at a gas station near St. Louis) in southern IL, up 'north' the weather was about 40. And looking like thunderstorms. 

And I couldn't fit the top because of window issues. yikes. 

Needless to say, I was puckering a bit for the final 90 minutes of the drive. Am I going to stay ahead of that thunderhead? Which way is the wind blowing? I had to crank the heat in the little fiat to try and stay warm with the top off - though I didn't need to stop and put on my extra clothes and jacket. All that said, it turned out that I didn't need to worry, since I eventually made it home dry and without having shattered the window of the x. The roads in an around Chicago are awful, and with the window resting on the body of the car in a essentially loose door every single expansion crack was cringe inducing. 

Here are the victory pictures - the good side:

And the taped-shut side:

The duct tape was pretty impressive by the way.

 

Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter)
Dusterbd13-michael (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/28/21 10:26 a.m.

That color scheme on the side actually looks pretty neat. You should recreate it, just better. 

 

Any idea what broke in the window?

 

And what brand of duct tape? Im buying some!

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia SuperDork
4/28/21 10:43 a.m.

Great story , 

there is an X-one-9  in a front yard of a million dollar house  that I pass on the way to the store , 

been there for years , grass growing up it etc , 

Robbie (Forum Supporter)
Robbie (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
4/28/21 10:55 a.m.

And, let's do one post here about the actual impressions of the car!

1. The car is awesome to drive overall. Very connected (manual everything), but not harsh or darty. Very composed and competent chassis. 

2. The engine wants to rev. Not only is that the spirit of the engine itself, there is also an angle or something else at play with the throttle return spring where the pedal effort actually gets lighter as you push further down. So when you get deeper into the pedal and higher in the rev range it really feels as if the car is pulling the pedal down for you. I'm not sure it's supposed to feel like that, but it does. 

3. Highway cruising is effortless, but feels like you are beating the crap out of the engine. If the tach is accurate (and it seems a bit high to me, but might be accurate) then 70-75 mph is like 4000-4500 rpm. That just feels high for extended stretches. The engine also makes plenty of power for highway crushing at this speed, but you really can feel it come on cam. If you get down to about 50 mph the engine has noticeably less pluck in 5th. Fortunately, the driver is in full control of selecting the appropriate gear. 

4. Car really isn't too loud. I think the entire exhaust is custom, but really not bad. Only thing I wish were different were the initial takeoff. In a car like this, you use a lot of throttle through first and second to keep up with modern traffic, and that means the exhaust is loud. Once up to speed and throttle levels off, so does the noise. 

5. Cabin is really quite comfortable with the top off. Genuinely a fun drive, even going straight. Not too much wind to beat you up or tire you out like a full convertible. 

6. There is an aftermarket steering wheel, that I'm pretty sure is smaller than stock. and it is right in the way of the gauges. Very annoying for someone who is obsessed with checking my gauges. I don't know if you can see in the pics but the wheel has a couple markings "MAEMO" and "MONZA" - cheap knockoff? Here's my view of the gauges:

7. Speaking of gauges, I had a few observations while driving. First, for the first 90 or so minutes of my drive, I was really convinced the gas gauge might be broken. It's not. Next was the volt gauge all the way to the left. I don['t know why it took me so long, but I didn't connect 2 and 2 that the volts go down when the headlights are on. That threw me for a bit of a loop for most of the first day. The backwards tach is kinda cool, but I can't see it at all with the steering wheel. And finally, the small bone is that I wish the speedo and tach needles were thinner. The just look sort of clunky with all the fine hashes along the outside but a needle that points to 3-4 of them. Also they are slightly warped, maybe from sun. Here's the full cluster - btw, I'm not moving in this pic, the speedo doesn't 'zero' very well. And this is idle, which doesn't sound like 2k rpm to me. 

8. Other controls. The shifter has long throws but is mostly easy to use. A few times I shifted from 4th to 3rd when I was looking for 5th. That gets a little exciting. You really need to get over to get 5th. But that makes sense since 5th wouldn't really be used on a track in this car, where the 3-4-3 would likely be common. I did get a grind going 2-3 if I wasn't patient. I read that this is common in the x. Pedals are also nicely placed, and if the clutch were a bit more left it would be perfect. I didn't perfect my heel-toe on this trip (mostly because I wasn't able to be fully confident in the shifter position) but I got close. 

9. HVAC. When it started to get cold on my drive in IL, I at one point opened up one vent and got an instant blast with crushed leaves and twigs. haha. Seems that the heat works well and the vents are mostly intact and functional but I have no idea what the 'blue' lever does. Wipers have 4 positions: Fast, slow, off, and off. I guess the intermittent could use a looksee. 

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