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Well, some of you already know that I DID leave this morning on the crazy road trip from Austin, TX to Sausilito, CA, in my brand new 04 SSR!

When I started the trip this morning at 6am CST, the SSR had about 200 miles on it. After today, it now has 1060 on the odometer!

I spent the first 200 miles this morning (i.e. up to 400 total odoemeter miles) giving the engine lots of frequent short bursts of moderate acceleration that gave it some "load", followed by coasting down to normal speed again, and then repeating every couple of miles. This SHOULD have seated the rings in nicely.

I think it worked.

Because, after that, I used the fuel average mileage computer in the DIC to track my first 3 gas fill ups today*

1st fillup, after 336 trip miles today (during which I did a lot of the above acceleration / coasting. which hurt gas mileage a fair bit): 17.7 mpg based on pump receipt (because I reset the computer after the 200 miles of accel/coast). The DIC showed 18.3, because I had reset it after the first 200 trip miles this morning, once I put the SSR into cruise. Note that this was at 78 indicated miles per hour on the speedometer, as my set crusise control speed!

The 2nd fillup, with the crusie control still set at 78 mph on I-10 gave 19.1 mpg per the DIC, and the pump receipt gave the same result.

The 3rd fillup, still with the same 78 mph cruise speed on I-10, gave 20.0 mpg !!

Bear in mind that these were not "flash" readings, but were each averages over hundreds of miles.

So, the mileage improved from 18.3 to 19.1 to 20.0 as the engine got broken in under this pretty hefty load: 78 mph in rolling hills on an interstate.

Next finding: The odometer and speedometer are BOTH individually accurate to less than a 1/2 percent error (you can't get more accurate than that using 10 miles of mileage markers). The slight error in both is that they are a fraction of 1/2 percent pessimistic (i.e. you are going a tiny bit faster and further than your instruments are indicating), so be careful about crowding the speed limit. I was running at an indicated 3 mph over the posted limit of 75, and was actually doing slighty more than 78.

The sound system is very good, but not as good as in my former Corvette Z02 nor in my former Nissan Altima with the upgraded system.

The engine sound is awesome.

The transmission needs to be reprogrammed for MUCH more "tightness" and precision, probably via an aftermarket microtuner or chip. It 's ridiculously loosy goosy right now.

The seat must be good, because I put 860 miles on the odometer today in about 12.5 hours (do the math - I don't stop very often, stops when they do occur are short, and I AVERAGED 70 mph while doing 78 when actually driving).

Viisibility via both windows and mirrors is GREAT. No blind spots, and total awareness of my surroundings.

VERY smooth engine and very smooth ride considering the low profile tires. By the way, I am running 33 psi in the absence of better reocmmendations from someone knowledgeable.

Well, that's it so far (remember, only 1 day so far!). I won't have Internet connectivity tonight after this posting, but will have ti again Sunday evening, and hopefully every evening after that, so I will try to track and respond to reply postings, but might be a bit slow in doing so if I have trouble getting an Internet connection at any of my stops!

Jim G
 

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Discussion Starter #2
2nd day's observations!

Well, the hotel's high speed wireless works, so here are more findings from the "shakedown road trip".

The gas mileage improved again with the next tankful this morning: 21.0 mpg ! However, the next tankful was bad: 18.6 mpg, after I entered the crowded California freeway system!

The dipstick is best handled with the LEFT hand, and even then, it's crowded, and no room to grab the dipstick before it "pops" out of the dipstick tube and sprays a few droplets of oil onto stuff around it. :nodno

The wiper arms cannot be lifted and left up while cleaning the windshield, and the passenger side can't even be lifted enough to clear the squeegee. Shame on you GM! :nodno

The needles and markings on the guage instruments are GREAT! Very ergonomic and easy to not only see but quickly "grasp the value" without thinking about it. These are WELL designed!!! :party

However, the ANGLE of the instrument panel doesn't work real well with my 5'8" height, unless I raise the seat much higher than I like (seat too high makes me feel like I'm on a flagpole in the wind!). With the seat where I WANT it, I can't see the DIC, the cruise control icon, or even the left hand side of the coolant temperature gauge! :(

The ambidextrous console cupholder is a neat idea, BUT when I pull a bottled ater out of it, the bottle drags the cupholder with it, so the cupholder comes off its mount. Hard to restore at 78 mph . . .

This vehicle sure gets lots of double takes. :yesnod

It would be nice if the timer could read in 10ths of seconds (don't ask. I take the 5th)

Ever tried to mount a tension bar in the bed to keep luggage from flying around? Doesn't work too well because the sides of the bed are not parallel. Therefore, unless you make the bar VERY tight, it slides out when pushed a bit! My solution to this is probably going to be an array of shallow plastic bins or trays, positioned in a pattern of 2 across the bed, and 2 or 3 down the length of the bed i.e either 2x2 = 4 bins or 2x3 = 6 bins covering the bed, and dividing it into compartments so that things stay PUT. I will make them SHALLOW so that I can still carry LONG items(up to the lnegth of the bed).

Jim G
Fairfield Inn, Ontario CA (courtesy of my Marriott Reward points!)
1340 miles from my home in Austin at this point

p.s. Monday I go to San Francisco Bay area, preferably via the coastal roads!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
By the way, I consider the fuel mileage EXCELLENT given:

1. The truck weighs 4750 lb plus fuel plus driver plus my luggage
2. The EPA rating is only 18 for the 04 (19 for the 05)
3. The EPA rating does NOT assume 78 mph cruising!!

Now, where's that supercharger . . .

Jim G
 

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JimGnitecki said:
By the way, I consider the fuel mileage EXCELLENT given:

1. The truck weighs 4750 lb plus fuel plus driver plus my luggage
2. The EPA rating is only 18 for the 04 (19 for the 05)
3. The EPA rating does NOT assume 78 mph cruising!!

Now, where's that supercharger . . .

Jim G
Great Run!! You'll love the coastal route!!

The wiper thing, I noticed that! Magnason is supposed to be on top of the supercharger- but what ive been waiting to hear...........

How has the route into Cali been? Did you get some curves and carving going?? Not even a little?? The urge to hug the turn?

Having done the MI to CA trip and back a few times via I80 - my favorite has always been the UTAH area and the entry to CA!!
 
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Great Information Good Luck!!

Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. Have you been on any bumpy roads yet? Like to hear how she performs over the bumps. Good Luck!!! :smash
 

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Discussion Starter #6
no bumpy roads yet (all Interstate 10), but I should find some tomorrow (Monday) as I go up the coast!

I am not expecting great behavior on either bumpy roads or very twisty ones. Vehicles that weigh 4750 lb are just, well, "trucks", to be blunt about it.

You don't buy an SSR for its handling . . . :)

Yeah, I know that you can apparently generate 0.82g of cornering traction, but you have to WORK to get the vehicle to go round that corner. A vehicles that handles well is EFFORTLESS in cornering.

My current standards for comparison are my two Ducati motorcycles. One of them even has carbon fiber wheels and all carbon fiber bodywork, and weighs a solid 15% less than a stock one. THAT bike handles!

Jim G
 

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Thanks Jim. Your "Road Report" is a good representation of what our trucks can do. I am averaging similar MPG's and (like you) having fun doing it!

Drive on!
 

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I am not expecting great behavior on either bumpy roads or very twisty ones. Vehicles that weigh 4750 lb are just, well, "trucks", to be blunt about it.

You don't buy an SSR for its handling . . . :)

Jim G[/QUOTE]

Oh Jim I think you will be amazed at the SSR's handling in curves. I lives for sharp turns and winding roads The SSR handles them beautifully. The bumps well that is a different story, very stiff not even like a p/u truck.
 

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Handling

Well I guess comparing an S-10 pickup to my SSR is a stretch, but I traded the S-10 for the SSR and I feel like I'm in heaven. Much better ride all around. It handles well, accelerates well and is smooth over the bumps. It is very comfortable to me. :)
 

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Jim:

Enjoy your trip... obviously you have a great wife! I think you are living what many of us dream about... Traveling in our SSR's.

Please keep up the daily diary... it is very interesting.
 

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For that mileage are you running super or regular? :cool :cool
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Today's report:

I have been running 91 octane (I do in ALL my vehcles. for the superior additives package and resistance to detonation under load).

Yesterday I went from Ontario CA to Sausilito via I-5 to 166, 166 west to 101 and then Hwy 1, all the way up to the Golden Gate bridge! What a ride!!

I got luvky. Although Hwy 1 south of ig Sur is posted at 55, I got behind a law enforcement vehicle that was boogying, and just followed him at a very satisfying rate!

Yes, the SSR DOES go around corners - at one point, I actually stayed with a Miata and Merceded SLK230 for a half hour, BUT while they were obviously jus having fun doing it, I had to WORK to do it. No matter how good the wheels, tires, and suspension are, te combination of 4750 lb and a shortened SUV chassis just don't compute as a "handling" platform!

Gas mileage was again outstanding though. Even though I was "having fun", I actually AVERAGED 20.4 mpg for 337 miles between fillups. That's oustanding for a 4740 lb vehicle being driven like a sportscar.

The instrumentation continues to stand out as being exceptionally well designed. EVERYTHING is so intuitive and "in the right place", at least for me. I am very impressed with it.

The transmission / torque converter calibration continue to trouble me. The driveline just seems too "sloppy" when you apply throttle. Too much engine rpm windup and sound without sufficient response. It's not that there isn't eough power (there really is), its just that it feels like the engine is revving and making noise all out of proportion to the actual mechanical vehicle response. Maybe the converter settings need to be "tighter" than they are, and the shift points more crisp?

The headlights are OUTSTANDING compared to any I have used on a production car, and I've driven a LOT of cars. I know they are not as good as the hi-tech expensive new type (can't remember the name), but they are very good for Halogens.

Jim G
 

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Jim - It sounds like you are really having a good time on the trip!


The transmission / torque converter performance sound like it is performing like my '03 did. The new 4L65E in the '05 feels more like a performance shift. You might check into one of the plug in tuners, I think some of them allow you to adjust the shift point and firmness.

Be careful out there on the road and keep us posted.

2005 SSR Silver
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Our other cars: 2005 SL65 Pewter / 2005 G55 Graphite / 2005 SRT-10 Viper Yellow / 2004 Gallardo Yellow / 2004 NSX Black / 2004 Z06 Machine Silver / 2004 NSX Black / 2004 H2 White / 2002 Candy Red Prowler + 2001 Orange Prowler + 2001 Silver Prowler / 2002 35th Anniversary Camaro SS Convertible / 1970 Black Chevy SWB Pick up / 1969 Garnet Red Camaro SS 350 / 1969 Chevelle SS 396 / 1969 Impala SS 427 / 1968 Chevy Step Side Truck L98/700r4 / 1967 Hugger Orange Camaro 400 / 1955 Yellow Chevrolet Truck / 1934 Ford Sedan / 1930 Ford Hiboy Coupe 302 5spd
 

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Wow Steve when do you find the time to drive all those cars? Which do you like better the Viper or the Z06?
 
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