First Long Ride on the Autobahn

21 06 2012

We finally managed to get Taiga Lily out for her first longer ride on the Autobahn. High time as, for one reason or the other, the new engine, already delivered and installed in January 2011, was not really heavily used since then. It urgently needed to be driven in on a longer trip where it could warm up and run for several hours. So last weekend the whole young family plus uncle Matti plus Leon dog wonder hopped on the bus and we went the 470 km from Berlin to Marburg to give the grandparents a chance to see our baby daughter’s latest developments. She just turned 9 months a week before.
I was a bit worried that some new trouble could show up, so we deliberately did not start on Friday evening but waited till Saturday morning. This way any break down could at least be dealt with in day light. But all went well, and after 7-8 hours and a mostly rainy trip with several coffee breaks and dog walking stops we arrived in Marburg in the late afternoon. To drive the new engine in, we kept accelerating slowly from 80 km/h to 110 or 115 km/h and then slowly decelerated again back down to 80 km/h. Must have been quite weird for anyone driving behind us, but then nobody drives that slowly anymore nowadays. The night before I had finally installed a power point under the dashboard so that we could run a smart phone with a GPS based speedo app. Turned out the old VW speedometer is almost correct, generally only 2 to 2.5 km/h faster than the GPS-derived speed.

Tank stop at Königslutter, just after the former inner-German border.

Checking the speedo with a GPS app.

Recovering in the sun in Marburg.

Stopover at a petrol station on the way back, near Magdeburg.

Seeing that the ride would take so long, we had taken the following Monday off. So after a wonderful and very sunny family weekend we started the long way back on Monday afternoon. Again accelerating and decelerating all the way, this time occasionally pulling her up to 120 km/h. The way back was fantastic summer weather all the way. Not ideal because so far none of the windows in the back can be opened. Before any future longer trip in summer I need to build in a louvered window. I bought one second hand already some time ago for the window opposite the sliding door. Better even to also add a sliding window in the back behind the sliding door. Petrol consumption was at 12.5 l/100km. I understand this is ok for this old engine (70 h.p. 2000 ccm CJ motor). With the additional oil cooler, the engine temperature usually stayed at a friendly 80 and 100°C and never went beyond 105°C. At the end of the trip it actually felt already as if the engine was running more willingly and smoothly up from 80 to 120 km/h, so this whole driving-her-in business may have already worked. Time from 80 to 120 km/h was 70 sec, with relaxed acceleration to treat the new old engine gently. I am happy that all went so well.


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