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To Infiniti & Beyond...Taking a Radwood era car on a 7 Day 3,513 mile road trip

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  • To Infiniti & Beyond...Taking a Radwood era car on a 7 Day 3,513 mile road trip

    So I will start by saying that I hardly consider a 1999 Infiniti I30 to be rad but by default it is...just barely. Well the body style of the (A32) Infiniti I30/Nissan Maxima was from 1995-1999.I picked up this car in February of 2014 with 160k miles on it just before getting rid of my beloved 2008 Mitsubishi Galant Ralliart as I was still paying a $30k car payment.. I changed job assignments and took a pretty big hit in income and needed something cheap, reliable and something that I could work on myself if need be. From 160k miles to 208k miles the only thing I needed to do was basic maintenance, a knock sensor, 4 o2 sensors and an alternator. That is it! I would consider this car to be extremely reliable. The only time it ever left me stranded was when I had $3,000 cash on me and I was literally on my way to go buy my 2004 Ford Focus SVT. Maybe it got jealous lol That was the alternator failure. Honestly since it was an extra car I just grabbed and alternator from the cleanest looking I30 at Pick N Pull for $30. It got me back on the road and it's been a couple of years now. Oh I also replaced the fan relay for the AC as it is a common failure item. Over the years I replaced various worn interior items such as the rear leather seat bottom, driver's side seat, center arm rest, floor mats, trunk carpet all from Pick N Pull from cleaner examples. On a recent trip to Pick N Pull while replacing my spare tire cover and trunk carpet I stumbled across another I30 with the Bose stereo and a up to date Sony head unit. I was wondering how they managed to get an aftermarket deck to work with the Bose system. I uninstalled the head unit and saw that there was a PAC interface that made it plug and play. I went ahead and snagged the head unit and interface for $20 and installed it in my car so we could have Bluetooth for the trip so I could get my podcast on.

    Anyway enough of that. My wife and I decided to do a road trip to Fort Worth, Texas from the Bay Area. We were going to rent an RV and bring the dogs with us but that would be extremely costly as most RV rental agencies only give you a limited amount of free miles and then you are charged by the mile thereafter. I figured this would have been around $3,000-$4,000 rental when you factor in the extra miles, junk fee's, generator hour overage fee's, fuel costs from a Ford V10 etc. This did not seem like a practical decision. I decided to take the Infiniti. The car is super reliable but has 208k miles on it. Of our 5 car fleet this car made the most sense to take. The plan was to take some photos of it along the way and do a craigslist ad and sell the car for $1,000. I thought doing a road trip to Texas and back would be a testament to how reliable a $1,000 car was and would help sell the car. I just completed the smog check so she's ready to go. The car does need some attention to the suspension. The inner and outer tie rods have a little play. I had the car checked out prior and they said it would be safe to take it. She was a little loose and sloppy but she made it like a champ. The whole time I have owned this car I never really got more than 22mpg on average but usually more like 20mpg. Right off the bat we made it 4 hours to the first stop in Bakersfield on a half tank. As a whole the car averaged over 28mpg on the entire trip from my tracking. The worst it did was 26mpg and the best it did was 31mpg. I was pretty impressed as we were pretty loaded up with the wifey, two dogs and a trunk full of tools, floor jack, jack stands, every fluid the car took and luggage. Needles to say we were getting our squat on. I only had to top up the trans fluid but I hadn't checked it in a while. On the morning we left I decided to do a tire rotation, change the power steering fluid and coolant. I had to top up the coolant in Bakersfield as I probably had an air pocket. That was the only time it required a top up. I checked each we stopped to make sure all fluid levels were good. Yeah stops were brutal as we have two princess black labs. It would take a really long time to get them to go to the bathroom in a new place. It was brutal as we planned to make this trip in two legs each ways. With the extended princess stops this slowed each of our legs to 15 hours each ;) This completely through off our schedule in addition to us leaving way later than we had intended. It kind of worked out because by the time we were going through the hottest areas it was already well into the evening and cooling off. However this did result in me only being able to get 2.5hrs of sleep before having to get ready before check out time.

    I am amazed at how smooth the roads are as soon as you exit California. The gas prices are also WAY cheaper as well. The cheapest gas we saw was at Amarillo, TX at $2.24 per gallon. This is compared to $4.35 per gallon at a Chevron in Newberry Springs, CA. Actually EVERYTHING is cheaper outside of California! Even eating out. I was expecting a $50-$60 lunch bill at a place we ate at in Fort Worth, TX and it was only $37. The one thing I did notice in Texas was how accepting many restaurants and hotels were to animals. I never really found it to be much of an issue in California but over there they were arms wide open. We went to the Fixer Upper's Magnolia Market at the Silos in Waco and you were even allowed to bring your pets in the store. I opted not to as everything was pretty expensive. Anyway the car worked as it should. I never had any doubts that it wouldn't. She now sits with just over 212k miles. I would totally do this trip again but this time maybe in a LS400 or similar lol
    04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
    85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
    99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

  • #2
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    04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
    85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
    99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

    Comment


    • #3
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      Once you exit California you quickly realize that about 99% of the cars on the road keep left and only use the left lane to pass. I saw this U-Haul truck towing a BMW Z4. He was just sitting in the left lane and everyone had to pass on the right. As we got closer I noticed he had California plates lol According to my iPhone this was in Prewitt, New Mexico.
      04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
      85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
      99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

      Comment


      • #4
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        One of the first stops out of California was a Truck Stop in Arizona. I didn't realize until I tagged location of the pic in Instagram that it was a Truck Stop/Whorehouse combo :eek:
        Last edited by DaveLC2; 08-13-2019, 11:31 PM.
        04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
        85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
        99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

        Comment


        • #5
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          This place in Albuquerque, New Mexico was super yummy! I wish we had them in the Bay Area.
          04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
          85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
          99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

          Comment


          • #6
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            04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
            85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
            99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

            Comment


            • #7
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              I saw this Corvette Carbon 65 in Grapevine, TX. I didn't know it existed prior to seeing it. I see helmets are not required in Texas when riding. Seems sketchy not having any protection if you go down. Although people don't seem to drive nearly as crazy as they do in California.
              04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
              85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
              99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

              Comment


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                So smart phones have made me lazy with using an actual camera. The ease of uploading photos instantly make it hard to justify shooting non-crucial important events events with a DSLR. I hear newer ones have built in WiFi. You definitely sacrifice low light image quality although some smarts are super impressive now. These images are from my Nikon D90.

                04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
                85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
                99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

                Comment


                • #9
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                  04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
                  85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
                  99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

                  Comment


                  • #10
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                    04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
                    85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
                    99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

                    Comment


                    • #11
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                      Yeah the struggle was real with the heat. I am not used to that kind of heat. It apparently wasn't even that hot too. The week after we left was well over 100 with humidity.

                      04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
                      85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
                      99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

                      Comment


                      • #12
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                        On the way back home there was a lot of Radwood going on in the parking lot of Geronimo near Holbrook, AZ. Five of the 7 cars in the parking lot were Radwood era. One was Malaise and one was slightly newer but still about 15yrs old. The last pic here reminded me of the Pink Floyd Animals album cover.

                        04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
                        85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
                        99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

                        Comment


                        • #13
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                          So in the top pic you can see the teal 4dr Chevy Cavalier. The last I30 pic shows 3,513 miles worth of dead bugs.The last two pics are of the cheapest gas on our trip and me after filling up my work vehicle on California prices. The quantity of the fill ups are nearly identical but the prices are WAY different. Welcome back to California lol
                          04 Ford Focus SVT - daily driver
                          85 Chevrolet El Camino w/turbo swap - fun car
                          99 Infiniti I30 former daily driver - collecting dust

                          Comment

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