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-   -   TDIs on Mt Washington (http://forums.tdiclub.com/showthread.php?t=391349)

bassman5066 July 31st, 2013 08:55

TDIs on Mt Washington
 
I'm heading up there from Quakertown, PA on Friday morning and probably hitting up the fest on Sat and Sun. I'm staying over in Lancaster, NH till the following Wednesday, and was planning on taking my TDI (91 Golf) to the top of Mt Washington on one of the days I'm up there. Then the idea of a cruise with lots of TDIs to the top of the mountain came up, so I was wondering if anyone else is interested in going to the top and snapping some great pics of our cars while up there. Mt Washington is the largest mountain in the Northeast, and is about an hour from where TDIfest is taking place. Nothing is set in stone yet, except the fact that me, my girlfriend, and my 91 Golf will be going to the top of the mountain. I'm trying to gauge interest in this and pick a day we can get a lot of cars together. Let me know what you think.

Sent from my Bosch Motronic ECM via VCDS Version 1.9LVE

bassman5066 July 31st, 2013 10:18

If I get 10 or so cars who would like to drive up on the same day, I was thinking about having some decals made up saying something like "This TDI climbed Mt Washington" and pass them around at the top of the mountain.

Sent from my Bosch Motronic ECM via VCDS Version 1.9LVE

skoullias July 31st, 2013 11:24

I could be convinced. The climb was also mentioned on the '13 fest thread, potentially renting out the road for a few hours.

Where is the scavenger hunt going to take place (or, would that spoil what is supposed to be a surprise)?

VeeDubTDI July 31st, 2013 20:53

We are looking into the possibility of doing a group drive on the Mt. Washington Auto Road on Saturday evening. Stay tuned... :)

PS - not sure if that would replace or be in addition to some sort of scavenger hunt (perhaps geocaching)... Still working out the details.

loosecannon July 31st, 2013 21:10

As mentioned in the other thread, biohazardtj and I are in

bassman5066 August 1st, 2013 05:45

Great. Saturday evening sounds good to me. I'm staying at a house on a large piece of property in Lancaster NH so we can have a little G2G with some beer and possibly BBQ after the drive. I would really like to have those stickers I mentioned made so I'm gonna need some notice to get them done in time and will be needing a head count to get enough.

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cevans August 1st, 2013 08:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI (Post 4256298)
We are looking into the possibility of doing a group drive on the Mt. Washington Auto Road on Saturday evening. Stay tuned... :)

That would be cool.

d.david August 1st, 2013 09:12

Cool, I'm up for the cruise...

n1das August 1st, 2013 16:58

Quote:

Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI (Post 4256298)
We are looking into the possibility of doing a group drive on the Mt. Washington Auto Road on Saturday evening. Stay tuned... :)

PS - not sure if that would replace or be in addition to some sort of scavenger hunt (perhaps geocaching)... Still working out the details.

IMPORTANT(!): IIRC, the Mt. Washington Auto Road closes and locks up around 4 or 5 PM in the afternoon. The road is private property. Have you made special arrangements with the Mt. Washington Auto Road people to be open after-hours? If not, the group drive needs to happen in the early MORNING.

It would be about an hour drive to the mountain from TDIfest, then probably a half hour or so to get organized at the gate, then it's an 8 mile ride up the mountain at 15-20 MPH all the way up in first gear, taking about half an hour.

During the climb, keeping the engine RPMs in the 2500-3000 RPM range in first gear works best. If another car is behind you and wants to go faster, pull over at the nearest turnout area (plenty along the way) and let them pass. Also cars coming down the mountain are required to yield to cars coming up the mountain when encountering each other in the narrow spots. First gear is required to climb efficiently and 15-20 MPH is the recommended speed by the Auto Road and puts the engine in the 2500-3000 RPM range. Staying in this range avoids the risk of turbo surge at high altitude and keeps EGTs under control. When you get to the parking lot at the top, leave your TDI idling for several minutes with the cabin heat cranked and fan on high because the engine will be thoroughly heat soaked at the end of the climb.

For people who have never driven up Mt. Washington before, the drive is not for the faint of heart or if you have a fear of heights. The Mt. Washington Auto Road is steep, narrow, winding mountain road with steep dropoffs in some areas and no guardrails. The road alternates between paved and dirt road sections in a few areas. Then there's changing weather conditions that factor into it. There's a short but serious climb (18% grade) at the top to enter the parking lots at the top. The drive can be somewhat nerve racking the first time you do it. Some people may not appreciate the driving experience. There's a big warning sign at the entrance that talks to this. Fear not, TDIs were born to climb these kind of hills due to the TDI's torque characteristics. The drive overall is a beautiful drive and a drive like no other.

Coming down the mountain requires staying in first gear and staying off the brakes, touching them only occasionally when needed. A technique I found works is to come almost to a complete stop right before a sharp turn then let the car gradually speed up again on its own while idling in first gear. If another car is behind you wanting to come down faster than you, pull over at one of the turnouts along the way and let them pass. The last time I was coming down the road, I let somebody in a Honda Pilot go by me and I could definitely smell their VERY HOT brakes as they went by. If it were at night I probably could have seen them glowing red-hot in the dark.

When you finally get to the bottom and get out onto Route 16 again, you need to get on the power and accelerate at WOT for several seconds. Your TDI may smoke a lot but it is needed to get rid of oil accumulated in the intercooler and exhaust system after 8 miles of engine braking while coming down the mountain.

It's best to get up there in early morning. If it's clear day at the summit you can look across Maine and see the Atlantic Ocean on the horizon. If clear enough and sunlight is just right, you can see the glitter of sunlight reflecting off the ocean waves. Looking to the north, you can see up into Canada. Looking west, you can see across Vermont and into New York. You can see much of New Hampshire looking to the south but a few nighboring mountains get in the way. On a crystal clear day (very rare) you can see the Adirondack Mountains in New York 130 miles away, the furthest points visible from the summit.

Just my $0.02 FWIW from having driven the Mt.Washington Auto Road several times. :cool:

I'm interested in the drive and looking forward to it. :cool:

VeeDubTDI August 1st, 2013 17:09

I went up the road around Memorial Day... first gear is ridiculous unless you have some massive turbo lag. I did it in 2nd and 3rd going up, and 1st and 2nd coming down (DSG with the small Passat turbo). But I digress - it's an awesome road and the 1st gear recommendation is good, especially when multiple people are going up the road together... don't want anyone getting too carried away. ;)

The idea here would be to make special arrangements with them to stay open after their normal hours so that we have the place to ourselves. They offer group discounts... more info to follow. :)

http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/file...lubs13web1.pdf

n1das August 1st, 2013 17:36

Quote:

Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI (Post 4257132)
I went up the road around Memorial Day... first gear is ridiculous unless you have some massive turbo lag. I did it in 2nd and 3rd going up, and 1st and 2nd coming down (DSG with the small Passat turbo). But I digress - it's an awesome road and the 1st gear recommendation is good, especially when multiple people are going up the road together... don't want anyone getting too carried away. ;)

The idea here would be to make special arrangements with them to stay open after their normal hours so that we have the place to ourselves. They offer group discounts... more info to follow. :)

http://mtwashingtonautoroad.com/file...lubs13web1.pdf

OK Cool.

The DSG behavior is a little different. The 1st gear recommendation is from the Auto Road rules on the envelope given at the gate plus my own experience doing the climb w/manual transmissions in my 02 Golf, 05 ATD PD JWagen, and 2010 JSW. I've tried zipping up in 2nd at the lower elevations and all was good but found it better to stay in first gear as I got up to the higher elevations where it was required to go a bit slower. The first time I did the drive with Lisa riding along, she was a bit spooked at the steep dropoffs in some areas near the edge of the road.

Hopefully I will be able to do the drive in my 2014 BMW 535xd if arrives in time. :cool:

VeeDubTDI August 1st, 2013 17:42

Taking the BMW up the road sounds sweet!!

n1das August 1st, 2013 17:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by VeeDubTDI (Post 4257155)
Taking the BMW up the road sounds sweet!!

Arrival at the port in NJ is scheduled for next Thursday 8/8. Then it's probably a week or two until it arrives at Tulley BMW in Nashua NH. The build happened faster than expected due to the "Priority 1 - Customer -SOLD" status on the order. Hopefully it also gets expedited delivery to NH too.

The plan is to take the BMW provided I get it in time for the 'Fest. :cool:

Lug_Nut August 1st, 2013 19:36

N1DAS, I've driven it once, and that was in a 1978 Renault I bought for $500. You (the auto road owners) make it sound tough, it isn't. Altitude and turbo surge issues are nearly non-issues due to the height barely reaching 6,000 feet. There must be a lot of dead turbo diesels in Durango...:rolleyes:

It was coming DOWN that was the issue with very wet, probably original, brake fluid boiling enough to cause a continuous cycle of the rears dragging and heating up more and causing more vapor expansion and more dragging.

bassman5066 August 1st, 2013 21:17

n1Das, thank you for the good useful info. I agree, you do make it sound like quite the task but everything you said sounds spot on. As you said, I am confident our little TDIs will make it up just fine. This type of drive is where an EGT gauge comes in handy.

So, unless we speak with the owners to rent some time on the road after hours, I suppose Saturday evening is out? As I said, I'll be up that way till Wednesday, so its whenever everyone else is going to be there.

Sent from my Bosch Motronic ECM via VCDS Version 1.9LVE


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