Author Topic: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country  (Read 25130 times)

Offline MiniDave

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #50 on: January 05, 2017, 12:34:33 PM »
Cold? In Texas?????   ;D

It's 6* here today....... ::)

I'll take my car up to school to do the alignment and suspension work, the rest will have to wait till it warms up a bit more.....

Obligatory cars in the snow pic from this morning......
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 12:49:31 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline BruceK

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #51 on: January 05, 2017, 01:10:15 PM »
Cold? In Texas?????   ;D

It's 6* here today....... ::)

I can't beat your 6 degrees, but it was 28 degrees here last night, and it will be 19 degrees overnight tonight.   Too cold for me to work in an unheated garage.   

Wonder if I could talk my wife into letting me bring my Mini into the nice, warm house...

Looks like it would fit in the living room right under a recliner.

1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline MPlayle

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #52 on: January 05, 2017, 07:33:59 PM »
I have one segment to still preview on the routes.  I am hoping for a chance to get that done soon.

I'm looking forward to meeting everyone there.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #53 on: January 08, 2017, 10:33:01 AM »
We got down to -6* before Canada closed the door and it started warming up again - now we're into the teens!

Looks like a solid turnout - 4 from the KC area - Don Ipock with his Vtec P'up, John Styers with his '66 Cooper S, Susan McKensie with her hot rod '62 Mini (big HP 1380!), and me with my Racing Green '89 are all coming for sure, Bruce from Dallas, WillieB from Atlanta, Justin from Kilgore with Buzz, my old Clubman Estate and Dan if he can make his schedule work.

DMulder is considering, Dooder's engine in his 66 is being rebuilt but if done in time he could possibly go, Stan in Lawrence is trying to finish his in time.......plus of course our host MPlayle....

So I count 8 real sures, a couple maybe if's, and a few I'd like too if's......

Going to be a fun trip meeting everyone and doing our Mini thing!  4.gif
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 03:29:40 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MPlayle

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #54 on: January 08, 2017, 06:51:44 PM »
Copying some information from a side track on my Moke thread to here for keeping folks advised.

Quote
From Moke thread:

Life and being caregiver for my mom has been taking most of my time.  She has not been doing very well this winter.  Her cancer is in remission, but the toll of the chemo treatments left her frail, topped off with dad's rapid passing in August and all the stress of getting his military, VA , and Social Security benefits and the various financial stuff dealt with has really weakened her.  This week has not been one of her better ones - I am spending the next few nights over to watch over her.  Also been working out arrangements for a new apartment for me that will accommodate both of us so she won't be in her condo alone - that happens mid February.

I've put in a request to one of my brothers for relief for the March drives.  We'll see how it goes.


My brother was down this weekend and confirmed he will be down to cover looking after our mom the week of the drives so I may have the break.  My mom and I will be moving into a new apartment together in mid/late February so I can better look after her.



Offline Willie_B

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Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #55 on: January 08, 2017, 08:31:34 PM »
I love it when a plan comes together.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #56 on: January 09, 2017, 03:27:44 PM »
I'm building a flat tow bar for Susan next week or so, she's going to tow her Mini down with her Veloster. I think John will trailer or flat tow his too.....

As Tim Gunn says "make it work!"   ;D
 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2017, 03:31:03 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MiniDave

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #57 on: January 14, 2017, 11:25:03 AM »
Today I mounted my towbar on the green Mini.

Normally I'd want to take it off once I reach my destination, but this thing fits so well and is unobtrusive enough that I think I'll just leave it on, both till we head to Texas and on the drives.

I'm debating on whether to build one like Dan's for Susan's Mini or just to duplicate this one, the difference is Dan's fits into the lic plate brackets and mine goes over them.....mine will work on either round nose or Clubman front ends, Dan's will only work on round nose front ends as the lic plate brackets are in different places.


« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 11:27:22 AM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline 94touring

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #58 on: January 14, 2017, 11:56:02 AM »
Very good 4.gif. Only thing I will say is the closer you get it to the car (behind the plate) the more stable it becomes.  We do have a prototype cross member in the shop for this very thing.  Might be of interest to you.  Justin intended/intends to make a batch to resale.  We just need a test car for fitting.

Offline MiniDave

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #59 on: January 14, 2017, 01:27:13 PM »
That's why (at BruceK's suggestion) I welded the whole mess together, it's solid as a rock. I also used Grade 8, 1/2" bolts to attach it to the car, and those are welded into the bar too.

It worked a treat when we towed WillieB's car down from Omaha, and that was about 180 miles.

But when I do Susan's I may revert to your design, since it will most probably only be used on her car.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 01:28:45 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline BruceK

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #60 on: January 14, 2017, 01:34:03 PM »
Very good 4.gif. Only thing I will say is the closer you get it to the car (behind the plate) the more stable it becomes. 
Yeah.  When I had a Moke I shortened the on-car piece quite a lot since with the front of a Moke you are dealing with a completely flat-face design and there is no need to extend out for license brackets or for body curvature.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline MPlayle

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #61 on: January 14, 2017, 06:03:29 PM »
I've been debating between a tow bar or a small trailer for my Moke.  Considering one of the "DropTail" brand trailers.

http://www.droptailtrailers.com


Offline BruceK

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #62 on: January 14, 2017, 08:41:32 PM »
I've been debating between a tow bar or a small trailer for my Moke.  Considering one of the "DropTail" brand trailers.

I recommend a tow bar.  Much simpler and much cheaper too. 

Last Summer, before heading to the Mini Meet in San Diego, I was calculating how many miles I've flat towed a Mini over the years.  It was about 7,000 miles at that time going to various Mini Meets back in the 80s and 90s.  Then, by going to/from the Mini Meet I added at least another 3,200 miles to my total.

So I've got over 10K miles flat towing.  And never had a problem.   And my first tow vehicle was a '87 Mitsubishi Mirage Turbo (not much more than 100hp/165 lbs ft of torque), and my latest is my '02 Cooper S with 163hp (actually a little more since I have a supercharger pulley on it).   My point is that it really doesn't take much of a tow vehicle to tow a Mini.  Even a small hatchback will do just fine.

The only negative at all with flat towing a Mini is you can't back up.  But by staying observant as you pull in to each location means you won't have too.  Besides, backing a trailer is no picnic either.


Here's a photo of my cars and MiniDave in exciting Pecos, Texas on the way home.


« Last Edit: January 14, 2017, 08:44:10 PM by BruceK »
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline MPlayle

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #63 on: January 14, 2017, 09:04:50 PM »
I've had a 50-50 experience rate with flat towing a Mini behind a MINI.  The first was a Moke and it towed from Austin, TX to Denver, CO and back fine. (I went up to the British Conclave show.)

The bad was towing a Saloon from Austin to Fort Worth.  The failure was due to not having a rigid cross piece between the arms of the tow bar and too much spacing of the tow bar mounts away from the front panel of the Mini.  The grade-8 bolts experienced too much flex and one sheared and the other bent badly.  Fortunately, I was in an empty parking lot going very slow as I was stopping to check the condition of the rig on a "gut feeling" that something did not seem right.

My tow car currently is my 2016 MINI Clubman.  I already have the hitch and wiring installed.


Offline BruceK

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #64 on: January 14, 2017, 10:01:47 PM »
Michael, I can understand how that experience would give you some concerns.

My towbar is nearly 30 years old, originally purchased from MiniCity back when they were the primary Mini parts supplier in the US.   

I thought it was pretty well-made, but I loaned to a fellow Mini enthusiast who was a recent immigrant to the US from Germany.  He was German in the true sense, and very much a perfectionist.  He took one look at my towbar and told me he could improve it.  He welded in cross-bracing, enclosed the angle iron, and even put a goose-neck on it, explaining that it would help the towbar remain level, instead of reaching up to the tow vehicle. 

In short, it is a bit over-engineered.



1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline 94touring

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #65 on: January 14, 2017, 10:25:08 PM »
Now I want to make one  77.gif

Offline MPlayle

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #66 on: January 15, 2017, 09:17:31 AM »
If I had just the Moke, I would be much more inclined to go with flat towing and save the trailer costs.  However, I still have the sidecar rig and had wanted to start taking it to some further away British car/bike shows and trailering would be much kinder on me than riding it there and back.

The sidecar rig is for sale.  If it goes soon, I will likely go with a flat-towing the Moke.


Offline MiniDave

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #67 on: January 15, 2017, 12:08:13 PM »
That new Clubby will haul it just fine.

I towed my 3K# boat with my '83 Audi 5000 automatic - all 115 HP of it - of course it was just across town to the boat ramp, not across the country, and there were no mountains involved. Shoot I even hauled it down to the ramp once behind my VW Rabbit pickup - but that was scary as the boat tended to "drive" the truck, especially around corners!

Point being, like Bruce says, it doesn't take a lot of HP, as long as you're not pulling mountains.

We used to haul my race Sprite all over the Midwest on a trailer behind a 122 Volvo wagon.....just don't get in a hurry......but once up to speed it rolled right along.

I'll be flat towing my green Mini behind my '09 Clubman S this spring....at least that's the plan.
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline MPlayle

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #68 on: January 15, 2017, 01:21:25 PM »
When I towed the previous Moke to Colorado, it was behind a 2002 MINI Cooper-S.  It handled the mountains just fine.  Got some strange looks from other traffic, but did just fine.  I did not use a cross support on the Moke as the tow bar mounts were just barely in front of the front panel on short bolts (1/2" grade-8 bolts).

The towing of the Saloon when the tow bar broke loose was with the same tow vehicle (2002 MCS).  I am convinced it failed due to how I had it installed on the classic Mini - insufficient cross-support and too long mounting bolts to put the tow bar in front of the plate brackets.

I'm not worried about the 2016 Clubman flat-towing the Moke.  I was going to "dual purpose" the trailer - carry either the bike/sidecar rig or the Moke.

If I do a tow bar on the current Moke, it will include a cross brace/support even if I got away without on the first Moke.

Offline BruceK

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #69 on: January 16, 2017, 02:27:02 PM »
Thought I'd add a few more photos of the Hill Country.
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville

Offline MPlayle

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #70 on: January 16, 2017, 03:27:23 PM »
I've been using Google's satellite and Earth views to recheck the one route and it turns out part is still unpaved.  That route will be scrapped and a replacement is being determined.

I am looking at replacing the bad route with one that will include the Willow City Loop that Bruce mentioned.

The "Stonehenge" that Bruce showed a picture of is on one of the planned routes (and will be a planned stop).  It got moved in recent years as the property it was originally built on got sold.  The nearby town's art council relocated it to a town park. 


Offline John Gervais

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Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #71 on: January 16, 2017, 05:01:24 PM »
Cool!  That looks like a really great ride!
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Offline Buzz Clubman

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #72 on: January 20, 2017, 01:15:44 PM »
Hey Guys,

Just wanted to chime in here and say I have penciled this in on my calendar. I'm Justin, the adopter of Dave's 80' Clubman Estate. Hard to believe I have had him almost a year. We'll celebrate our anniversary right before this Drive.

I say penciled in, only because I have this one thing looming that may affect my plans. I did make my room reservation this morning, so that is one step closer.

I live in East Texas (Kilgore), so it's about 6 hours for me. Planning to arrive on Monday.

Buzz and I have been itching for another road trip, after our successful 5400 mile journey during MTTS last summer.

Fingers crossed that everything on my agenda falls into place so we CAN make it.


Justin

Offline MiniDave

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #73 on: January 20, 2017, 01:47:22 PM »
Make it so, Justin!   77.gif

Hope to see you both there, I'd love to say hi to Buzz again!    19.gif

Looks like my friend Don with the Vtec P'up is waffling, may have to shore him up again, but we're running out of time.....

I'll be building a tow bar for Susan the next few weeks, so she'll be ready for the epic drive too.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2017, 01:49:00 PM by MiniDave »
1989 Cooper Racing Green
2009 Clubman S
1969 Jaguar XK-E FHC
2004 Audi Allroad 2.7 TT

Offline BruceK

Re: Definite - "Spring Drive" in Texas Hill Country
« Reply #74 on: January 20, 2017, 09:19:09 PM »
Hi Justin! 

It would be great to have you and Buzz on the Spring Drive(s).   
1988 Austin Mini
2002 MINI Cooper S
2007 Triumph Bonneville