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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/2/22 12:47 a.m.

While the van was down, I had replaced the aging plastic pressure tank with a shiny aluminum one and also dropped in a GPS speedometer because the cables are amazingly short-lived. This will also correct a speedometer error from my oversize tires. Oh, and I bought new Michelins to replace the aged out Nokians I was running before. It's a good thing I had some time because the first set of Nokian tires shipped to me had production dates from 2015. Serves me right for going to an off-brand warehouse, Tire Rack sent me the good stuff.

Vanagon tires are a pain in the butt to source, they need a high load rating and my chosen size is one that's most commonly available from unknown Chinese manufacturers or, weirdly, in dedicated snow tires. You learn all sorts of things about derating and sidewall strength when shopping. These are cargo van tires and are apparently the good stuff.

And here we are again, ready for install.

I proceeded fairly methodically, but really it was fairly quick because I was just bolting stuff together with little design work. 

$120 worth of fluids. A bargain if they work.

Clever package design with a built-in spout and a surprising blue color for the competition.

I also took the opportunity to relocate the reverse light relay to the chassis instead of on the transmission, as suggested by TurnerX19.

The biggest thing I did was to move the nose of the transmission over a bit. Previously, I had found that one halfshaft was a little on the tight side. This was concerning me that it could be bottoming out and putting a side load on the diff. I discovered that there was a second set of holes for the factory bushing I was using for the nose of the transmission, about 1" over to the driver's side. Why? I have no idea, but they're perfectly spaced and threaded. Maybe they were used on the automatics or something. I shifted the nose over and viola, even spacing to both halfshafts. The drivetrain is no longer perfectly aimed down the centerline of the van but that shouldn't cause a problem with the CV joints and it's not offset by much. No pictures of this.

Then it was just a matter of installing and buttoning up. Got it done, fired up the van and the engine ran poorly with no tach. Found the intake manifold gasket that had slipped out of place, plugged in the connector on the bottom of the instrument cluster that I'd forgotten when doing the speedo install and it ran happily. But the reverse lights were on in all gears.

Started troubleshooting that and eventually found the culprit: an inoperative reverse light switch.

What? This had been working, I know it had. It hadn't been swapped at the transmission place, as it still had my labels and custom connector on it. Weird. Maybe it took some damage during testing. I'll have to source a replacement and just drive without reverse lights until that's done. I'll be driving it again tomorrow!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/2/22 9:21 p.m.

As promised, the van went for a little drive.  Just enough to confirm function, but that's enough to make me feel better about my garage queen. 

The gear noise under load is gone, but there's distinct amount of noise on decel. I need to take another look to see if it's possible to isolate the cables more, but I'm not sure there's much I can do. I may have to cover up my super sexy shifter after all just for noise abatement. Maybe I'll just run it for a bit and see if everything beds. 

But I can drive it again! Yaaaaaay!

Who can't love that dorky face. 

newrider3
newrider3 HalfDork
5/3/22 9:50 a.m.

Thumbs up for Vanagon STi GTI badging smiley

golfduke
golfduke Dork
5/3/22 10:27 a.m.

I love how stupidly cool these things are.  I know it's a different vein, but I've always wanted an 80s toyota 4x4LE minivan because they're equally as, um quirky, looking. 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/3/22 12:31 p.m.

In reply to golfduke :

I'm with you on that.

I did the GTI badging and the red grille surround when I got the van, the STi is new since I put in the high compression engine and the trans. I've seriously considered blacking out the area around the windows like a proper Mk1 GTI.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/3/22 11:04 p.m.

I realized when talking to a friend today that there are no rubber isolators on the cable mountings where the sheaths bolt to the brackets. I don't want a lot of slop, of course, but a little bit of rubber in the right place would probably help a lot. I know what I'm doing tomorrow.

golfduke
golfduke Dork
5/4/22 8:42 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

I realized when talking to a friend today that there are no rubber isolators on the cable mountings where the sheaths bolt to the brackets. I don't want a lot of slop, of course, but a little bit of rubber in the right place would probably help a lot. I know what I'm doing tomorrow.

There's definitely a joke in there, but you know... low hanging fruit and all. 

Hope that's the solution.  would be an awesome easy/cheap fix. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/4/22 5:44 p.m.

Ran some errands in the van today, we're up to double-digit mileage on this install. And it is getting a little quieter as the metal parts make friends. It's a bit sticky getting into first at times, like the clutch isn't fully releasing. Also, the side gate has a little more friction to it. Not enough to be noticeable when you shift, but if you waggle the lever in neutral it's a bit slow to return. Too much time spent driving cars with vague shifters, I tend to waggle the lever :)

Put the van on the lift to give it a check over. I moved the nose of the trans back to the original location as I think the cable route was a bit tight for the side gate cable, thus the friction. The halfshaft seems to still have some play so I think're good there.

Took at look at how to isolate the cables. There isn't room for a full grommet in my brackets without modification, but I grabbed some rubber gasket material and made myself some washers to go between the bracket and the bolts that lock down the cables. It was a very precise piece of fabrication.

Since I had my head in there, I took a picture of the bracket that holds both cables. Not visible is an arm that attaches it to the top of the trans, that puppy has zero flex. Looks pretty chaotic here, I'll admit. Parking brake lines, shifter cables, brake lines are all going different directions. 

I'm pretty happy with my cable management. Here it is passing through the fuel tank - I believe this was the heater passage on the air-cooled vans and that trough has all sorts of implications on venting and capacity and general weirdness for Vanagon fuel tanks. But check that custom bracket.

I also bled the clutch slave and checked the system for leaks. Didn't find anything damning, unfortunately. I may have to take a little free play out of the pedal but there isn't much. I'm going to have to drive more and evaluate behavior.

On a quick half mile test drive, we have great success! The side gate is friction free again. But more importantly, the sound transmission has dropped dramatically. It's now a quiet background purr on overrun instead of a whine. The cost/benefit ratio of those rubber washers is off the hook :)

Time for more test driving.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/5/22 12:56 a.m.

Highway test!

Runs just fine, as it did before the transmission was removed for inspection. There's an increase in engine noise on the highway, though. I'm thinking my new sound insulation is not as good as the original. I have access to some other products that might solve that, but I'm also going to fix what is clearly a leaky exhaust system. That will be a fun job, as it currently consists almost exclusively of booger welds.

I also heard a deep vibration in 6th at around 2000 rpm under heavy throttle. That suggests there's enough engine movement to lean up against the chassis somewhere. I'll take a look for marks where this might have happened.

First gear engagement seems to be working better, I may have found a tiny bubble when bleeding the clutch and didn't notice. We're definitely moving in the right direction. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/7/22 5:56 p.m.

Test driving continues. I took the van to an autocross to do timing. Park it beside the starting line with the door open so I can talk to the starter, pop the top and open windows for ventilation. Table for timing gear and notes, a fridge with cold drinks, a nice padded seat...most comfortable, especially once the wind came up enough that the EZ-Ups had to be put away :)

But this was not without problems. When I went to move the van, it was dead. Totally electrically dead on the starter system. We've seen this before. Just like last time, I'd been running the house battery system. I grabbed a multimeter and started trying to figure out what was dead. The only thing that seemed to work was the LED on the aux power outlet on the dash.

Finally the multimeter told the tale. I'd been looking at things I'd touched during the transmission swap, because that's exactly what you do. But I'd ignored the fact that I had an Optima battery. 12.5V when I checked voltage...but as soon as I turned the key on, 9V. Goddamn Optimas. The only reason I had one in this vehicle was because it was sitting around in my shop. I'll go pick up an Odyssey PC925 tomorrow and rid myself of this curse once and for all.

Gave it a jump from a Wrangler that was bigger than the van and it fired right up.

When I got home, this was waiting for me. Hopefully it will be a good option to quiet the beast a bit before I get to the muffler. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/8/22 4:42 p.m.

I swapped in a different Optima battery that I had handy and I'll start carrying a jump box as I do some testing. If the problem reappears, I may let the 3 year old yellowtop off the hook. It's on the charger right now to see how it behaves. I did leave the house batteries connected last night with the questionable starting battery and the van started just fine, so more testing is necessary.

On more transmission related issues, here's what the new sound insulation looks like.

I popped the metal retainers out and pulled out the Reflectix. The fact that it wasn't glued in made that pretty easy, and I'm quite comfortable working around the trans by this point. It's a very familiar place. I left the Cool-It in place because it is well and truly glued on.

Laying out the existing pads on the new stuff for cutting.

Quick and easy install! There's adhesive on the back of the new DEI insulation, but I only used it on the piece that's purely horizontal to keep it from sagging. It would be difficult to cleanly install it on the vertical, and it's better held by the retainers. Looks sexy, it'll get a road test soon.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/12/22 1:05 p.m.

Hey, how's that new sound insulation working out? 

I don't know. I got the van fitted with the new battery (which was an old Optima used for bench testing) and CLUNK goes the starter. Fair enough, there's a reason it got demoted to bench use. So I picked up a new Odyssey PC925L (in stock at Autozone!), built mounting brackets and CLUNK.

We shall now pause for an expression of frustration. And then we commence to start chasing what is obviously some sort of big short. The good news is that I had a consistent failure, which is much better than an intermittent one. And it was in my shop, which is the best possible place for this.

First, I disconnected both house batteries to make sure the battery combiner wasn't doing something weird. I also turned off the solar. There's only one way to turn off a solar panel. I mean, I could have unplugged it, but the rug was right there...

With that done, I started chasing power. I have the Bentley wiring diagram but it's only about 4 pages, does not include a diagram of fuses or relay locations and of course it was only accurate when this was not a camper and had not been subjected to nearly 40 years of modifications including a significant engine swap. This is what the stock fusebox looks like - some of this wiring is exposed permanently and the majority of it is stock other than the big solid color wires on the left. It's amazing, this does not look like a wiring harness designed and built by professionals. Apparently it got a significant redesign in 1986.

Visible in this picture is an auxiliary relay for the headlights, installed by a PO and labeled by myself. The grey "24" relay is not shown in the wiring diagram but it's pretty important when it comes to energizing various circuits. It's just identified by a label that says "X relay" under the trace in the diagram. So much fun.

Eventually I chased it down to one major circuit - I had 12v on the B+ circuits until I energized it, then suddenly the available voltage dropped to about a volt. But nothing was catching on fire and the fuses weren't popping, so it wasn't a short.

So I turned my attention to grounds, which hadn't changed with the transmission swap even though the rule is "what did you just do that caused this?" But one thing that had happened during the swap was time. Could there have been a slightly sketchy ground that got worse with corrosion? The battery to chassis ground was the main culprit given the way the system was working. It may have been good enough to feed 12v to a circuit with no draw, but as soon as the main IG circuit fired up it was insufficient? Seems unlikely given the multiple ground paths, but I had to check. I used a jumper cable as a temporary ground from the battery to the hatch latch and the voltage drop vanished. That's a ridiculous problem, how the heck did it manifest the way it did? Regardless, my engine bay now looks like a Honda from the Fast and Furious era as I may have gone a little over the top in dealing with the problem.

So the van is on "only travel to safe locations" watch for the time being, and I'll keep a jump box in it just in case. Fingers crossed that I found the problem, but the way it immediately woke up when I added that jumper cable makes me feel hopeful. I really want to find out how that sound insulation works!

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/27/22 5:55 p.m.

The driving program has been expanded and the van has been given a clean bill of health to explore without restriction. An interstate test has shown that the new sound deadening made a significant difference, so that's a big thumbs up. There's a new muffler on the bench that will be going in soon anyhow, because they're not supposed to have as many holes as the current one does.

Unfortunately, I changed to a GPS-based speedometer while the trans was getting checked out. My previous speedo had some error in it due to my slightly oversize tires. This means that I'm not going to be able to tell what effect the transmission had on fuel economy unless it's REALLY obvious, as the old speedo would have been underreporting distance traveled. Based on my earlier speed measurements, I should increase my previous mileage and economy by 6%.

I can say the van is really fun to drive with this trans, it's quite sporty feeling and that new gear between 3rd and 4th is everything I'd hoped it would be. I'm taking the van on errands simply for the fun factor.

I still have to fix the broken reverse light switch and may eventually build a reverse lockout, but there's no rush on the latter. So we'll call this build thread done unless I resurrect it for something catastrophic and/or a cool update. Thanks for saving those around me from my incessant prattling about my project.

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
5/28/22 2:42 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Hey, how's that new sound insulation working out? 

I don't know. I got the van fitted with the new battery (which was an old Optima used for bench testing) and CLUNK goes the starter. Fair enough, there's a reason it got demoted to bench use. So I picked up a new Odyssey PC925L (in stock at Autozone!), built mounting brackets and CLUNK.

We shall now pause for an expression of frustration. And then we commence to start chasing what is obviously some sort of big short. The good news is that I had a consistent failure, which is much better than an intermittent one. And it was in my shop, which is the best possible place for this.

First, I disconnected both house batteries to make sure the battery combiner wasn't doing something weird. I also turned off the solar. There's only one way to turn off a solar panel. I mean, I could have unplugged it, but the rug was right there...

With that done, I started chasing power. I have the Bentley wiring diagram but it's only about 4 pages, does not include a diagram of fuses or relay locations and of course it was only accurate when this was not a camper and had not been subjected to nearly 40 years of modifications including a significant engine swap. This is what the stock fusebox looks like - some of this wiring is exposed permanently and the majority of it is stock other than the big solid color wires on the left. It's amazing, this does not look like a wiring harness designed and built by professionals. Apparently it got a significant redesign in 1986.

Visible in this picture is an auxiliary relay for the headlights, installed by a PO and labeled by myself. The grey "24" relay is not shown in the wiring diagram but it's pretty important when it comes to energizing various circuits. It's just identified by a label that says "X relay" under the trace in the diagram. So much fun.

Eventually I chased it down to one major circuit - I had 12v on the B+ circuits until I energized it, then suddenly the available voltage dropped to about a volt. But nothing was catching on fire and the fuses weren't popping, so it wasn't a short.

So I turned my attention to grounds, which hadn't changed with the transmission swap even though the rule is "what did you just do that caused this?" But one thing that had happened during the swap was time. Could there have been a slightly sketchy ground that got worse with corrosion? The battery to chassis ground was the main culprit given the way the system was working. It may have been good enough to feed 12v to a circuit with no draw, but as soon as the main IG circuit fired up it was insufficient? Seems unlikely given the multiple ground paths, but I had to check. I used a jumper cable as a temporary ground from the battery to the hatch latch and the voltage drop vanished. That's a ridiculous problem, how the heck did it manifest the way it did? Regardless, my engine bay now looks like a Honda from the Fast and Furious era as I may have gone a little over the top in dealing with the problem.

So the van is on "only travel to safe locations" watch for the time being, and I'll keep a jump box in it just in case. Fingers crossed that I found the problem, but the way it immediately woke up when I added that jumper cable makes me feel hopeful. I really want to find out how that sound insulation works!

The following is a user on some of the UK VW Mk1 Golf Forum's signature, and just to mention, when some one has an electrical problem, he is the guy to ask:

What do Divorces, Great Coffee, and Car Electrics all have in common?

They all start with GOOD Grounds

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
5/28/22 8:13 p.m.

Yeah, and I have written tech tips for Grassroots Motorsports magazine that have emphasized grounds as a common source of problems. But you don't usually expect them to happen spontaneously on a vehicle that's stored for a few months in an air conditioned garage in a low humidity environment and has never had a ground problem before. 

StripesSA1
StripesSA1 Reader
5/30/22 12:24 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Yeah, and I have written tech tips for Grassroots Motorsports magazine that have emphasized grounds as a common source of problems. But you don't usually expect them to happen spontaneously on a vehicle that's stored for a few months in an air conditioned garage in a low humidity environment and has never had a ground problem before. 

I know what you mean. 

I had an 76 Beetle, my daily at that time, that just one morning, flat out refused to turn over.

That evening me and my dad checked all the wires, after confirming the battery was still good. Turned out the standard braided earth wire corroded through at the terminal that connects to the body/pan.

What we did was, we got a 35mm2 arc wire cable, crimped on a new eye-lug for the body, and a new negative clamp for the battery. Then I cleaned a pan area that had 8mm captive nut, and added a serrated washer under the terminals head, and a spring washer between the terminal and the bolt.

After that, with the bolt protruding at the back, I cleaned the captive nut surface, and repeated the process, just with a nylock nut this time round, with the wire going to the chassis to gearbox earth strap's stud. Also replaced that strap with a 35mm2 arc wire cable.

And for just good measure, I replaced the positive wire to the starter solenoid with a 35mm2.

When you hit the start switch, that starter screamed like a banshee.

When I had to replace my FOX's starter, I also replaced all of the standard stuff with 35mm2. 

Vapor
Vapor
9/7/22 4:52 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Hi Keith!

Great detailed write up. How are things going so far with the transmission conversion? Did you have any issues with gear oil seeping/purging out the vent hole on the transmission?

Fellow Westy owner here with a '87 2WD manual, all original, looking to follow your conversion with a Subaru engine, modern FA turbo engine + 6spd. Did you consider the TY85 variant? My plans would hopefully include towing in the future, heaviest being a track S2000 on a lightweight trailer if that isn't too crazy of an idea, the former and latter ;)

Ardy

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/7/22 5:11 p.m.

Everything is continuing as you'd hope. Just putting in miles. No long trips yet but we do have a 250 mile trip coming up in a couple of weeks that includes some mountain passes. 

I've not had any indication of gear oil escaping. I did move the vent hole per the Subarugears instructions, although for some reason my memory is telling me I actually put it somewhere else for some reason.  Regardless, everything is remaining bone dry.

The TY85 was not an option when I started this project, so it wasn't considered. I suspect my cable-shifted split case will remain a bit of a unicorn now that the STi transmissions are supported by Subarugears.

I'd probably want some brake and suspension upgrades before towing 3000 lbs. That's a pretty hefty load for a Vanagon that weighs about 3500 lbs.

Vapor
Vapor New Reader
9/7/22 8:20 p.m.

Stoked for the speedy reply! Todd at Subarugears said he doesn't support the TY85 6spd series yet...but it probably wouldn't fit anyways.

Tack on an extra 1,000lbs to my van, it's a Westy + factory AC with the Rocky Mountain bumpers and other items when fully loaded. Brakes all around and suspension are on my list before the conversion. 

Would you do the same transmission conversion again now or have some words of wisdom of doing it differently? Skip the 6spd for the simpler 5spd setup with factory LSD using off the shelf shifter parts? Run the same spec final drive or something different? I'm running 215/65 16 all season tires with off roading limited to fireroads for remote dry campsites, and hope to comfortably drive 80mph highways in the states at elevation and up mountain grades where everyone is going maybe faster. Fuel economy is priority. It'll be interesting getting the FA20DiT in the van but *should be doable. 

The thought of building a modest extension to the lower center section of the dashboard to support an OEM 6spd shifter mechanism came to mind, with a couple cup holders and using custom shifter cables like your setup...

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/7/22 8:47 p.m.

I chose the 6 speed specifically due to the gearing choices, and nothing has made me reconsider that. I don't consider my camper to be a serious off-roader so I chose not to install an LSD. If I'm looking at the sort of terrain that will require an LSD, I'm looking for an alternate route. Fire roads won't require an LSD, for example.

Not having to rework the shift mechanism would have certainly made this a lot easier, as would have the existence of mounting brackets for the 5-speed. It's my opinion that Subarugears doesn't really support this particular swap, they just make a R&P for it.

If you want maximum fuel economy, try to find out what sort of RPM the engine runs in the donor vehicle on the highway. That'll be its most efficient rev range, and then you can work backwards to figure your final drive. If you can keep it out of boost on the highway, that will help a lot.

I considered the console-mounted shifter as well.

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/19/22 11:17 a.m.

Trip update! This was the first real test for the transmission other than me bombing around town and out to work. The trip was Grand Junction to Telluride and back with a little bit of meandering. That means some sections of 65-70 mph two-lane, some slower twisty roads, a 9000' pass with associated long climbs and descents (minimum altitude of about 4800') and a distance of about 300 miles round trip. Strong headwinds a few times. We were packed with a couple of paddleboards on the roof for extra drag.

The van cruises happily at 65-70, with engine RPM just under 3000 at 65. In fact, I had to pay attention to my speed to avoid unwanted attention in the 65 mph limit. The engine is obviously just getting into the meat of the powerband here, it's less eager to hold 55 in 6th. Climbing the hills, it's still a big square box that weighs a couple of tons so there's only so much 165 hp can do - on the long climb up to Dallas Divide, I had the van in 3rd turning over 4000 rpm and got passed by a couple of Subarus with the same engine. The new 4th gear did prove to be useful on some of those but not as much as I'd expected, probably mostly due to how steep that climb is. Going back up on the return we were able to use 4th and 5th - it's not as steep on that side.

There's still some noise transmission through the cables, which has given the van some added character with little whirrs on decel when the ring gear isn't being driven. It's not obnoxious, just different and I found it entertaining. There is some (less entertaining) constant whirr when booting along in top gear that had me wondering about adding a bit of mass to the shift lever, or maybe a little more isolation for the cables. It's not the quietest vehicle at 70 mph but it IS a van converted to a camper nearly 40 years ago. Can't complain about the quality of the shift, though, it's very precise and mechanical feeling.

The headline news, however, was the fuel economy. Lifetime average of the bus is about 17 mpg with a range of 16-22 (ish) depending on the use. I think those 22 mpg fills were mostly slow two-lanes near Yellowstone. We haven't taken it to Telluride much if memory serves, but a trip to Crested Butte a few years ago was similar in terms of speed and topography and it was pretty close to 16 mpg. We filled up yesterday on the way home before the last high speed section and saw 20.7 mpg. But don't forget I changed to a GPS speedometer that now reports an accurate speed/distance, while the old one was around 6% optimistic. That means it's the equivalent of 21.9 mpg by the old speedo, or the old 16 mpg number was equivalent to 15 mpg on the new speedo. In other words, fuel economy looks like it might be up by 30% or more. I'm going to keep monitoring this (of course) but that's really promising. I think it was mostly due to the new top gear, engine speed is down by 20% and it seems to maintain 65-75 mph with fairly light throttle openings. Makes me think I've put the engine right into a good efficiency range.

The brakes (subject of another thread) felt really good on the high speed night descent of the steep part of Dallas Divide. I sized the calipers to be similar to stock in order to give a nice firm pedal instead of oversizing the pistons for extra pad pressure, and having that hard pedal underfoot felt good.

So yeah. Call this success. I'll be keeping tabs to make sure it's not some weird outlier, but I like where it's going.

Gratuitous Westy shot. I did catch at least one person taking a picture of the van on the road, people do love a Westy.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/19/22 11:54 a.m.

Going back through this thread, I came across this picture.

The upper cable has the rubber bushing that came with the shifter (I think). The lower one has one of my adapters. I've added a thin rubber bushing - basically a washer - between the adapter and the nuts since this test fit. But that's a significantly lower amount of isolation. I might throw some more rubber in the system and see. I don't want a mushy shift but it would be nice to get rid of the transmitted gear noise at 70 mph and the more I think about it the less I think some flex in the cable mount matters.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
9/20/22 6:56 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

. Climbing the hills, it's still a big square box that weighs a couple of tons so there's only so much 165 hp can do - on the long climb up to Dallas Divide, I had the van in 3rd turning over 4000 rpm and got passed by a couple of Subarus with the same engine. The new 4th gear did prove to be useful on some of those but not as much as I'd expected, probably mostly due to how steep that climb is.

I also realized that at this point, the third gear rampage to maintain 55 mph up a steep hill, was also at nearly 9000' elevation so my engine power was down by more than 25%. Maybe that was part of why it didn't want to pull 4th :)

Been too long since I was up in the high country obviously.

I also realized that I have an app on my phone that gives real-time fuel efficiency data via OBD-II. It's probably calibrated all wrong, but it should give decent data on relative consumption. I can run down the highway in 5th and then repeat in 6th and see how much of a difference the new cruiser gear makes, percentage-wise.

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