TDIs on Mt Washington

bassman5066

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Honey Brook PA
TDI
2011 Golf 2 Door TDI (sold back for Dieselgate), 91 Golf 4 Door with 1Z swap
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.

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bassman5066

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Honey Brook PA
TDI
2011 Golf 2 Door TDI (sold back for Dieselgate), 91 Golf 4 Door with 1Z swap
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.

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skoullias

Veteran Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Location
Western Massachusetts
TDI
Previously: 03 2dr 5sp 357,xxx; Current: B5.5V 116,xxx
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

Good Ol' Boy, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
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.
 

bassman5066

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Honey Brook PA
TDI
2011 Golf 2 Door TDI (sold back for Dieselgate), 91 Golf 4 Door with 1Z swap
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

TDIClub Enthusiast, TDI Parts Ninja Vendor , w/Bus
Joined
Sep 24, 2002
Location
Hingham, MA
TDI
2015 Jetta TDI 6spd // 2015 Bettle Conv. 6-Speed
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.
 

n1das

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2002
Location
Nashua, NH, USA
TDI
2014 BMW 535xd ///M-Sport, 2012 BMW X5 Xdrive35d, former 3x TDI owner
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:
 
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VeeDubTDI

Good Ol' Boy, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
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Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
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/files/2010/07/carclubs13web1.pdf
 
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n1das

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2002
Location
Nashua, NH, USA
TDI
2014 BMW 535xd ///M-Sport, 2012 BMW X5 Xdrive35d, former 3x TDI owner
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/files/2010/07/carclubs13web1.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:
 
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n1das

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2002
Location
Nashua, NH, USA
TDI
2014 BMW 535xd ///M-Sport, 2012 BMW X5 Xdrive35d, former 3x TDI owner
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

TDIClub Enthusiast, Pre-Forum Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 20, 1998
Location
Sterling, Massachusetts. USA
TDI
none, 2014 Chevy Volt, 1988 Bolens DGT1700H
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

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Honey Brook PA
TDI
2011 Golf 2 Door TDI (sold back for Dieselgate), 91 Golf 4 Door with 1Z swap
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.

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TheGrove

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
Joined
May 17, 2006
Location
S Central PA (Breezewood)
TDI
2012 Passat SEL Premium Opera Red - Dieselgate Fix, KermaTDI Tune, 2004 Passat GLS Northern Green-RIP
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/files/2010/07/carclubs13web1.pdf
Wish I could make it but committed to a family trip to Maine this year and couldn't get my sister's schedule to match TDIFest:(. Was going to try the drive but we won't be in Maine until around Oct 20 which is the tentative close date for the road.

The neat thing is if you plan on a group they even have group catering available. So you can have a dinner (several menus available) and drive the road as well.
 

bassman5066

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Honey Brook PA
TDI
2011 Golf 2 Door TDI (sold back for Dieselgate), 91 Golf 4 Door with 1Z swap
Had anyone called the Mt Washington auto road to ask about arrangements? If not I can give them a call today.

Sent from my Bosch Motronic ECM via VCDS Version 1.9LVE
 

n1das

TDIClub Enthusiast, Veteran Member
Joined
Jun 11, 2002
Location
Nashua, NH, USA
TDI
2014 BMW 535xd ///M-Sport, 2012 BMW X5 Xdrive35d, former 3x TDI owner
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.
I've driven the Mt. Washington Auto Road many times and I agree, it isn't tough. It can be a bit nerve racking for some if they have never done it before. I have smelled hot brakes on the way down from many drivers who did not heed the warnings about how to drive on the Auto Road. It wasn't a big deal for me but my g/f Lisa was nervous and freaking out along the way the first time she rode with me there. She loves it now.

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.
TDIs were born for driving up the Mt. Washington Auto Road. :cool: I've done it in an 02 Golf, 05 PD JWagen, and 2010 JSW, all with manual transmissions.
I'm looking forward to it. :cool:
 
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VeeDubTDI

Good Ol' Boy, TDIClub Enthusiast
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Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Had anyone called the Mt Washington auto road to ask about arrangements? If not I can give them a call today.

Sent from my Bosch Motronic ECM via VCDS Version 1.9LVE
I am handling that this afternoon.
 

Campbellonh

Veteran Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
Location
New Hampshire
TDI
formerly:Passat, 96, white and 10 Jetta, white gold
You guys all have fun. I must be a "faint of heart" person, because I've done it once and don't want to again. The car loved it, handled the steepness and terrain just fine, but I thought I was going to throw up by the time I got to the top, seriously thought about having someone else drive my car down (and I am always very reluctant to let anyone else drive my car). To top it off the top of the mountain was completely encase in clouds and we didn't get to see anything. That's my 2 cents warning to anyone else who has issues with narrow roads and steep drop-offs with no guard rails. I'll find some fun roads that are less petrifying for anyone who isn't up to the Auto Road venture.
 

TDIDaveNH

Left Lane Coal Roller at Large
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Location
North Conway, NH
TDI
'97 Passat x3
Aww come on Cindy, it's great fun- I went this past June 23rd on a vintage Honda 3-wheeler. It's not THAT bad....and I made it down too;)
 

bassman5066

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Honey Brook PA
TDI
2011 Golf 2 Door TDI (sold back for Dieselgate), 91 Golf 4 Door with 1Z swap
I am handling that this afternoon.
Great, I'm sure you know more about the scheduling of events for the show than I do so hopefully we can pick a day when we get the most people to show up.

So looks like we definitely have some interest in making the trip so I may call my local vinyl shop to see what it would cost to get some stickers made up specific to our TDIs going up said mountain. If anyone wants one let me know, I will only charge you what it costs me to get them made, but you wont receive them till your car makes it to the top ;). I wanna do custom ones because I'm not a fan of the big bumper stickers that they give out on the mountain and it would be also cool to have ones that mention TDIs.

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VeeDubTDI

Good Ol' Boy, TDIClub Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
TDI
‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
Something using the Auto Road logo and TDIFest 2013 below it would be cool.
 

bassman5066

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Honey Brook PA
TDI
2011 Golf 2 Door TDI (sold back for Dieselgate), 91 Golf 4 Door with 1Z swap
Something using the Auto Road logo and TDIFest 2013 below it would be cool.
I was already thinking it saying TDIfest but the auto road logo is an even better idea.

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onlyinabeetle

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Joined
Oct 6, 2004
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wrentham
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C'mon guys by car it has to be easy!!! I did the hike up and back it only took 8 hours!! LOL I even got a shirt that says "this body climbed Mt. Washington" (just ask me how walking the next 2 days was haha)
 

Sootman

Veteran Member
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Jan 30, 2003
Location
Maine Coast
TDI
2011 Golf TDI
I've climbed it a bunch of times on foot but never had the pleasure of a drive up and down. Count me IN!
 

bassman5066

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Honey Brook PA
TDI
2011 Golf 2 Door TDI (sold back for Dieselgate), 91 Golf 4 Door with 1Z swap
Yea a friend of mine was mentioning the hike and the variety of easier-hard trails they have available. I go up to NH often for snowboarding, as my girlfriends grandfather owns the house in Lancaster were staying at, but this is my first time going up when its warm. I saw that TDIfest was about an hour away and there's an excuse for taking a vacation. I don't think I'll hike up this year but that is certainly on my to do list.

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VeeDubTDI

Good Ol' Boy, TDIClub Enthusiast
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Jul 2, 2000
Location
Springfield, VA
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‘18 Tesla Model 3D+, ‘14 Cadillac ELR, ‘13 Fiat 500e
I've climbed it a bunch of times on foot but never had the pleasure of a drive up and down. Count me IN!
I'm pretty surprised by that, actually. I figured you would have been all over that road! :D

I've sent an email and left a voicemail for the Auto Road group sales lady - hoping to hear back from her on Monday regarding a sunset group drive and foot at the top of the mountain. :cool:
 

bassman5066

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 8, 2011
Location
Honey Brook PA
TDI
2011 Golf 2 Door TDI (sold back for Dieselgate), 91 Golf 4 Door with 1Z swap
Will be working on the sticker design this week and meeting with ghd vinyl place on Friday. I'll post up some examples as soon as I can.

Sent from my Bosch Motronic ECM via VCDS Version 1.9LVE
 
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