If the story of day one was the unrelenting heat, then day two is quite notable for the the lack of high temperatures. The rain swept into Phoenix as myself, my brother, and the Z all slumbered. This means that the ground was given a relaxing spritz, and the air was a lot cooler. Sure, this was at 8 am and I was ready for the heat to come roaring in by 10, but it never happened.
What did happen, however, was the discovery of some pretty amazing roads.
To get to Albuquerque from Phoenix requires us to traverse a few smaller highways and byways before we jump on Interstate 40 for a large portion of the trip. This means we wound up pushing the Datsun down Arizona State Route’s 60, 277, and 377 before joining up with the rest of the slogging east-to-west traffic. These smaller thoroughfares are one and two-lane roads that meander up, over, and back down the hilly portions of the state. At one point we were as high as 7,500 feet above sea level.
Once I first laid eyes on the rising elevation, I began to worry about the carb-related hiccup I mentioned during the day one portion of the trip. I figured out how to avoid it though, and the answer is a pretty simple one. I push my foot flat to the floor. The Z then responds with a steady climb, and I can easily keep up or pass most of the traffic I run into. Another great bit of info surrounding these roads, however, is that traffic is wonderfully light… most likely because we’re covering them on a Sunday. The few other travelers or locals that I came across were quickly dispatched into the distance because the passing zones were many and offered great visibility.
It is on these roads that the true character of the 240Z begins to emerge. This car loves fast sweepers, big bends, and high-speed s-curves. I’m dealing with a sports car that enjoys pretending it’s a grand tourer, and I’m OK with that considering how many more miles I have ahead of me.
The stretch from Phoenix to Albuquerque was longer than the initial California to Arizona leg, but the driving is getting easier. Still, more hiccups are arising, and the issue stems from the SU-carbs under the hood. I don’t know how to tune them, but they could use some quick attention from someone who knows what to do. The idle tends to fall once the day of driving is over, which is the opposite of what you’d expect, and there are random stumbles under certain throttle loads. It’s not enough to cause concern, it just means the carbs need a quick tune.
Another item of concern stemmed from user error, um, error. We ran into a bit of rain on day two, so I turned on the exterior lights. While stopping for lunch, I forgot to turn them off. When it was time to leave, I fired up the car and it was being a bit picky about getting going. Also, the Amp gauge was reading a high positive, which was certainly new. I called Tim to ask a few question, then called him back when I realized that the alternator was just feeding back the juice that I had started to drain by leaving the lights on. A few miles of driving, and the Amp gauge was back to normal. This car really is running like a forty-year-old champ, with the only stumbles being the carb (an assumed notion) and the Amp gauge (my fault).
Ready for a peak at the day two drive? Check out the quick video we shot and stitched together while bleary-eyed at the hotel. Next stop, Oklahoma City!