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Author Topic: Can I take my bus to Bonneville.  (Read 3264 times)
challenger440
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« on: January 27, 2011, 07:14:43 PM »

Well, what do you think.  I was at Bonneville in 09 and loved it.  But that was in a pickup.  A 4x4 at that.  Can I drive my MC7 on to the salt?  The areas where there has been traffic seems fairly stable but what happens if you drive a bus out there?  Can it be done.   
  How about the bend in the road?  Will I sink out of sight, never to be heard from again? 
Thanks, JM
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John M.
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« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2011, 07:23:41 PM »

Only one way to find out Grin Grin
But don't do it because of my cheesy grin!

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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2011, 07:39:13 PM »

I'll call if I get stuck!.  My understanding is that the salt is only a couple of inches thick.  If you go past that it's mud.  Driving on the raw surface, even in a 4 wheel drive you can feel the truck bog down.  Take your bus out there and kiss it goodbye.  The packed surface seem fairly solid.  The "camping area" is called the "bend in the road".  Looks like  a mix of sand, dirt and salt.  If you could park there and drive onto the salt to watch the racing it would be most excellent.  But being 26 thousand pounds, it spooks me just a little.

If you are a car guy or gal, Bonneville Speed Weeks is a must do.   JM
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John M.
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« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2011, 07:50:44 PM »

That sure sound like a lot of fun! been wanting to do that for a wile. Just need to find a dumb buddy to take his bus and ride along.

Gary
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Gary Seay (location Alaska)
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2011, 07:58:13 PM »

  There is a website about Bonneville that had some nasty pics and some description of a Bus that broke through. The salt appeared to be simular to water and ice, where the you have a hard salt layer on top, with a milky wet slushy mud like salt mix underneath. Once the Bus broke through it turned into a Mess. The wrecker that came out broke through, so they sent a bigger wrecker. That broke through, so they sent another, even larger wrecker. You guessed it. If you drive out there you may want to have a way home in case you lose your rig. After what I seen and read I wouldnt do it. Leave it somewhere close and drive your toad out there.
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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2011, 08:18:46 PM »

JM, you can take your bus on the salt with no problem.  Even if the salt is wet, you will not sink.  It will get rutty and rough if it is wet, but no problem getting stuck.  The big issue is the damage due to the salt.  I took my toter home out a couple of times, but not the bus.  I always have a toad and take it out.  I spray the undercarriage with a corrosion preventative material and then clean it real well when I get home and respray it.  Last year was the first year I used the product and it really seemed to work. 

They will not let you stay on the salt.  All folks must be off at the end of the day.

You can camp either before or after the "bend in the road" with no problem ******UNLESS***** it rains.  If it gets very wet (doesn't take much), you will be stuck until it drys out.  Good thing is that it does not rain all that often.  At the first sign of rain, I pull out and park up on the diagonal road.

We plan to be there for Speed Week this year.  Could be a couple of Eagles and a Prevost.

Jim
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 08:23:56 PM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2011, 08:28:05 PM »


Heres a link to the big dig out. Scroll down a ways to read about it. I forgot it was a motorhome. A Bus would have been a bigger problem....


http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://theglobalguard.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/2-wreckers.jpg&imgrefurl=http://theglobalguard.wordpress.com/&usg=__0j0vykCuxmt9pwDKnWB7IFenIrA=&h=183&w=640&sz=58&hl=en&start=20&sig2=DJHtIxs3bR8L6FcGJqu6Gg&zoom=1&um=1&itbs=1&tbnid=MeY60JVJowk8dM:&tbnh=39&tbnw=137&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dbonneville%2Bsalt%2Bflats%2Bbus%2Bwreckers%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DG%26tbs%3Disch:1&ei=30ZCTdfbFYjpgAfxsq3FAQ
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challenger440
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« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2011, 09:26:41 PM »

Well maybe the Magic Bus will be there as well.  It's only 603 miles from my house. The sound of 1000 Hp screaming past you at 300 mph is unforgetable.  rv-safetyman I sent  you an email.
   
JM
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John M.
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« Reply #8 on: January 28, 2011, 07:51:06 AM »

Paul, I am not sure what is going on here.  If I say something is black, you will search the internet until you can prove that it is really white.  Do you have firsthand information?

I have been going to Bonneville since 1990.  I have ****never**** seen a problem with sinking on the salt.  Perhaps I need to qualify that a slight bit and say that I have never seen a problem ***if*** you stay in designated areas. 

Indeed, I have a tribute page to The Phoenix LSR truck here:

http://rvsafetysystems.com/The%20Phoenix%20LSR%20Truck.htm

That truck weighed 18K pounds and ran on some pretty narrow tires.  The support equipment for that truck was huge and they never had a problem.

There are tons of very heavy equipment on the salt every year.  Lots of motorhomes and travel trailers.  Lots of huge trailers with very heavy loads.  Never saw one have a problem.

NOW, if you venture off into areas that are not associated with the course and associated areas, all bets are off.  At each end of the long course, it can be a bit touchy.  More than one race car has had a problem.  But the public has no business being in that area.

The salt is very stable.  It is when you get to the edge and the salt is very thin  that the problem occurs.  The soil out there can be terrible when wet.  That is the reason why you have to get out of the camping area at the "bend in the road" when it rains.

John, I got your email.  As I say, do not worry about going on the salt. 

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #9 on: January 28, 2011, 08:01:13 AM »

I been there a couple of times in a bus never had a problem ,one year there was a guy running his GM scenic cruiser with a 3408 engine on the flats an another guy running a BlueBird with a 625 hp 6v92 in it


good luck
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« Reply #10 on: January 28, 2011, 08:29:43 AM »

Paul, I am not sure what is going on here.  If I say something is black, you will search the internet until you can prove that it is really white. 

  Wow. I dont know how to respond here. He asked, I answered before you said anything, wasnt trying to prove anyone right or wrong, just relaying information. I didnt "search the net to prove anyone wrong", I looked up something I already had "first hand" knowledge about. Sorry, I didnt know it was a contest.

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rv_safetyman
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« Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 08:47:57 AM »

Paul, not a contest.  I gave an answer based on years of experience.  Then you show the site where the motorhome and various tow trucks got in terrible trouble.  Not sure where that took place, but was not on the public areas of salt during the race.

The implication is that the public faces this kind of dilemma when they go on the salt.  I don't believe that is the case.  Have been proven wrong before (many times), but I have a ton of experience that says it won't happen.  

One year I took the toterhome on the salt and it was terribly wet.  The road from the end of the asphalt to the pits (several miles long) was in terrible condition.  Lots of standing water and terrible ruts (ruts ran across the direction of travel - there were no big ruts running in the direction of travel), but never saw any problems with folks getting stuck.  To be sure, the salt, when it is wet, can be somewhat slick, but not to the point of not having enough traction to drive safely.

If, somehow the racing and public areas of the salt could get as bad as that shown in the pictures, I assure you they would close the course and the road to the pit.  I have seen some terrible years and I don't ever recall them shutting any of the public areas down.

Clifford, I spent quite a bit of time talking to Greg Bush (owner of the Scenecruiser with the 3408) a couple of years ago and that is a fun bus to talk about.  I think he has a 15 speed in it and the shift tower in the driver area is a real work of art.  I would love to ride in it some day.  Said he just "plays" with the big boys and I don't doubt it.  We used to call cars that looked pretty crude exteriors and big engines "sleepers".  That bus fits the description to a "T".  What a fun toy!!!!

Jim
« Last Edit: January 28, 2011, 08:55:19 AM by rv_safetyman » Logged

Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
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CrabbyMilton
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« Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 09:20:25 AM »

Bonneville. No you can't. GM no longer has the PONTIAC division. Sorry, I could nto resist that one.
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4905 doc
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« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 10:08:18 AM »

never mind all that, just let me know how fast that bus runs the flying mile
 Grin Grin Grin Grin Grin
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« Reply #14 on: January 28, 2011, 11:11:35 AM »

Go & have fun!
If you get stuck, you know to NOT let a cowboy in a yellow wrecker try to pull you out!  Grin

Looked like what could have been a simple recovery was made into a horrible mess by wrecker operators who would not stop when things didn't go well. 

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« Reply #15 on: January 28, 2011, 11:14:34 AM »

Wow, I  simply can't believe that someone has not commented about Eagles/Rust/Salt.  We are such easy targets. Cheesy

A couple of years ago I posted on landracing.com (great site) asking how to minimize the affect of the salt on the car.  The thread is here:

http://www.landracing.com/forum/index.php/topic,5708.0.html

I ended up using Salt-X ( http://saltx.com/saltx_prod_saltx.htm ).  Seemed to work very well.  I sprayed it on a couple of times before I went and a couple of times when I got home.  

I have tired other schemes including spraying the undercarriage with linseed oil and then driving on a dirt road (one of many recommendations by the big boys over the years).  Did not seem to work all that well for me.

The big issue is if the salt is wet.  It tends to cake up in places you did not know exist and then it is a problem.  Not much you can do about that.  I always prayed for lots of rain on the trip home and it never happened in all the years. Angry  

We are on a well and septic system.  Our water rights are inside domestic use only and I can't put the sprinkler under the car.  That does seem to be a consensus recommendation.

Jim

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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
85 Eagle 10/Series 60/Eaton AutoShift 10 speed transmission
Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
Bus Project details: http://beltguy.com/Bus_Project/busproject.htm
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« Reply #16 on: January 28, 2011, 12:06:38 PM »

Several years ago on a TV series called American Hot Rod with Boyd Coddington had a show on running a roadster built for his wife at Bonneville. They got their MH & cartrailer stuck. It took at least two tow trucks to get them out so I guess it all depends on the route you take. Good luck.
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« Reply #17 on: January 28, 2011, 01:56:21 PM »

I don't know how many ways I can say this.  If you stay where they tell you to you will not have a problem

If someone who has direct experience (read, not a keyboard jockey) has actually experienced or been a witness to a stuck condition, then I will be glad to back off my position.

You don't, by any chance, think that a reality show would make the episode a bit more spicy by staging a being stuck session do you? Undecided

The Salt is very sacred to the racers.  They have made a huge effort to work with the mining folks and the government to prevent total destruction of this wonderful phenomena.  They would not allow terrible destruction of the Salt if the conditions turned bad.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #18 on: January 28, 2011, 03:33:17 PM »

 I gave an answer based on years of experience.  Then you show the site where the motorhome and various tow trucks got in terrible trouble.  Not sure where that took place, but was not on the public areas of salt during the race.Jim


  I think you have things a bit bass ackwards here sir. First, in the other about the Bus fire, you tried to make an a$$ out of me over my suggestion we utilise the water we carry on board to provide foam using liquid detergent to fight a fire. I simply tried to explain my beliefs, without ever saying one condescending word to anyone.

  Now were over here and you have your undies in a bunch again?  He asked, I answered. And I answered well before you did. Sorry I didnt have my crystal ball polished up to know your about to speak. As far as the link I put up, I posted that while you were posting, so again, it was nothing personal on my end. If you want to make it something personal I cant help you. As for me, I will continue the free exchange of information without becoming personal, as that is why I believe we are all here.

  As for the salt flats, I cant imagine anyone going out there in this day and age not looking it up on the Web. And wouldnt you know, the salt flats are run by the USFRA, and they have their own web site. Could it be, that I actually could have read about that escapade years ago, on that very website, and remembered it? Shame on me for passing along knowledge of something I remembered and how it related to a Bus.

  If you pay to get into the flats to watch, you pay USFRA. If you race, you register with USFRA. If you get your motorhome stuck driving on the salt in the area that USFRA has control over, they put it up on their website.

 http://saltflats.com/

 Scroll down to Bonneville Technical information, there is a link to the event I posted.

  I sure didnt mean to irritate anyone by posting that information. But some days you just cant win. As for me, I would be very careful driving off road anywhere in a heavy and fragile vehicle. But y'all can do what ya want. I'm outta this discussion.
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« Reply #19 on: January 28, 2011, 05:11:08 PM »

Paul, I looked at the time stamps on our posts and it does not appear that we were typing at the same time.  However, I would be glad to acknowledge that your post was not aimed at proving me wrong (was a bad assumption on my part) and apologize for accusing you of trying to prove me wrong.

The fact remains, that I based my answer on my experience of over 100 days on the Salt over  a period of 20 years.

Just a point of clarification (not it has all that much to do with the original question).  There are three Bonneville events for cars/bikes and one for bikes only.  Of the three car/bike events two are run under SCTA (Southern California Timing association) and one under USFRA rules.  Speed Week and the World Finals are SCTA-BNI events and World of Speed is USFRA.  Again, that does not change the condition of the salt or any tendency of the racers/spectators to have problems.

Paul, I went back and read the Prevost thread and I did not find any personal attack on you.  I did challenge anyone to a objective test of dish washer soap vs a trade name commercial fire suppressing material.  The biggest issue I see is that one technology (dish washer soap) has not undergone rigorous testing while virtually every surfactant/foam material has reams of test data.  If the dish washer soap does not work well in a bad fire, then folks who have followed that advise will suffer possible bad consequences. 

I do not have any first hand experience with dish washing soap. That is why I offered to perform a head to head test under extreme conditions.  I will furnish the magnesium and the Cold Fire.  Not sure where we could do the testing.

I try to be very careful when I post to make sure I have first hand experience or verifiable, authoritative, sources.  I always give a link to my sources so that folks have the opportunity to challenge the details.  All I ask is that folks who challenge this kind of data use the same quality of data.  If they do, it makes learning a great experience.  If it is just thrown out as an opinion, that is fine as long as it is presented as such.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
Evergreen, CO
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« Reply #20 on: January 28, 2011, 05:17:26 PM »

Don't you just love GOOGLE we been going there for over 30 years and never encountered any problems man have I been lucky

 
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« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2011, 07:02:56 PM »

well..... here is a pic of my brother and I.  I'm pretty sure that if I took my bus out there it would still be there next year.  It was a lot like driving on packed snow.  My feeling is that if you dropped the clutch you'd sink. 

The second pic is from the pits.  Looks like maybe a 40 footer sitting there.  No one got stuck while I was there.  But I thought it would be prudent to ask.  So if ol Magic is airworthy by then, with luck, I'll be there. Maybe i'll throw in some rope just for insurance.  jm
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John M.
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« Reply #22 on: January 28, 2011, 07:23:39 PM »

I been there a couple of times in a bus never had a problem ,one year there was a guy running his GM scenic cruiser with a 3408 engine on the flats an another guy running a BlueBird with a 625 hp 6v92 in it


good luck

The guy with that Scenic (PD4501-104) that was mentioned is Greg Bush From Tulsa, OK. I'm pretty sure he has been out on the salt many times with that bus. I have another Scenic buddy from Iowa who goes to the flats every year also. Big motorcycle guys. They love their 4501s because they can haul bikes in the baggage bins.

Tom McNally
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« Reply #23 on: January 28, 2011, 08:02:07 PM »

John, the salt is so weird.  The first time I went, I rode in in the back of a van and could not see out.  When I stepped out, I thought I was going to slip and fall on my a**.  It just looks like snow/ice and it looks fragile. 

However, think about the cars you saw running and the fact that you could hear them spin their tires.  Folks do it on almost every run and if the salt were that fragile, there would be huge grooves in the course.

Every time I go, I just stand in awe and marvel at what a fantastic place it is.  You probably saw the photographers on the starting line on ladders so they could get the long shots - since you can actually see the cars disappear due to the curvature of the earth.

One year I went, they were doing the inspections at the old air base.  I walked through all the close-by hangers and you could have filmed a WWII movie with a little white wash and some new glass.  If you go, drive around that area.  The big hanger on the east end is where they worked on the Enola Gay.  There is a ton of history there.  I have not been to the barracks in the past few years, but they were in reasonable condition the last time I saw them.  The museum at the base is very small - they said that they could not get any funding because young folks consider the bombing as a terrible inhumane act.   Undecided

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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Somewhere between a tin tent and a finished product
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« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2011, 02:38:19 AM »

I've lived in Utah for 40 years and have yet to go to Bonneville. I'm thinking I might try to actually make a serious attempt this year. Won't take the bus though just the car since I'm close.

We're heading out to Wendover on the 4th in a week for the Foghat and Blue Oyster Cult concert, maybe I'll scope out the hangers a little.
 
They keep threatening to fix up the hangers, expand the museum and stuff out at the airfield but I never really see much getting done which is a shame, it was sort of the area 51 of it's day for special mission training etc. I'd volunteer my labor if they'd ever get serious about doing anything.
I've flown in and out of the airport there dozens of times, I used to love flying in for
a buffet lunch and then back to Salt Lake just in time to work.
There is an air show every year late summer, forget the date but it's always fun to drive out for it. Not as many warbirds as in the past though.

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« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2011, 02:41:26 AM »

Hey, I take it you are a Mopar man?
'68 Charger and '70 GTX here.


Well, what do you think.  I was at Bonneville in 09 and loved it.  But that was in a pickup.  A 4x4 at that.  Can I drive my MC7 on to the salt?  The areas where there has been traffic seems fairly stable but what happens if you drive a bus out there?  Can it be done.   
  How about the bend in the road?  Will I sink out of sight, never to be heard from again? 
Thanks, JM
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« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2011, 10:50:18 AM »

Palladin, yeah I'm a Mopar guy.  Challengers are my favorites.  Had a 70 with a transplanted 440/6pak that I drag raced for a couple of years back in the late 70's early 80's.  11:17 @ 122mph was the best I ran in that car.  Now I own a Challenger with an 8v71 in it. Muscle cars outgrew  my wallet.  Still love cars though.  JM
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« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2011, 04:01:15 PM »

My first was a '70 440 Challenger 'vert.  Of course we sold it and what do you think it would be worth now?
Yeah, could buy two new ones though I'd rather have that original '70 Challenger and I'd take a hard top this time too.
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« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2011, 08:02:28 PM »

Well don't get me started.  I could have bought a 70 440 Superbird, Petty blue 4spd for $1000. in 1974.  Had a 70 original 440/6pak 'Cuda in my garage for 6 months, guy wanted 3,500. for it with a spare 6 pak motor.  . Sigh.  One of my brothers has a 2011 Challenger RT.  Goes like crazy, goes around corners and stops.  Way better car than any of my old mopars, Who would have thought.  jm
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« Reply #29 on: January 31, 2011, 06:11:00 AM »

New Challenger may seem nice, but they will never produce the memories of true 60/70s muscle cars. Even Dodge can not reproduce that particular place in time. Try as they might. I doubt seriously there will be near the amount of interest in these modern vehicles in 40-50 years that still remain cult-like strong for original muscle cars. Just one opinion !

Tom
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PD4501-1001
PD4104-3462
PD3751-686

If you know of the whereabouts of a PD4501 Scenicruiser - I would like to add the serial number to my registry of surviving Scenics.  www.tomsgarageonline.com
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