Random AMVIV/Vegas Thoughts

  • It was 381 miles from our house to the Palace Station Hotel. We saw no other MINIs for the entire drive until we got to the hotel parking structure when, of course we saw plenty
  • Most interesting licence plate of the trip – BUGGERY on a (seemingly) disabled VW Beetle outside the hotel; maybe I should write the Nevada DMV and tell them what it really means
  • The Palace Station was a nice hotel but really lousy for people (ok, trashily-dressed chicks) watching. Maybe its better when not inundated with MINI geeks, though?
  • Did my fastest speed yet in Carrie whilst there – 105 in a 45 mph zone in the Death Valley park. Despite lots of warnings to keep to the speed limit in the park (min $300 fine) the group flew through it and 105 was only just keeping up. It was cool, but not cool.

Back From AMVIV

Had a good time in Vegas, enjoyed Phantom of the Opera, had a great run to Death Valley and won a few dollars on the machines. As with AMVIV I the social events didn’t really work out if you weren’t already part of a group but I was with Teri so that didn’t matter to me at all. Sadly we didn’t win anything in the raffle (I think we were the only ones!) but I did buy a couple of MINI trinkets for myself.

For much of the weekend, Carrie was absolutely filthy. Our route took us through a huge storm on the Arizona border and flooded many of the washes that Route 95 goes through – the result, lots of water splashed up onto the bonnet. This was not helped by an oncoming lorry going through one wash at the same time sending water way over the top of the car. I did get the car washed on the Saturday after the Poker Run (and man we had a lousy hand, but it was a great drive around the Strip) so she looked great for the drive home.

Whilst there I got the dial faces replaced with charcoal grey ones. I was originally going for the black but when we looked at the charcoal it looked a better fit with the dashboard. Watching Ralph from Helix13 install it was a bit nerve wracking at times – that plastic makes some noise when being popped – but I like the new look very much. Some pictures:

Whilst I was there I saw a side stripe that I really liked if I could get it done in a different colour scheme. Essentially its a swirling 2 check wide checkerboard design that I think would look good in black/maroon or black/clear. I might talk to the local decal shop and see what they can do. I took a picture they can copy from.

The difference between this AMVIV and the first one was huge. Sin City MINI were superbly organised in everything that went on and I was very impressed. With 420+ MINIs present it could have been a disaster. I think there’s a good chance we’ll return next year.

Vegas, Baby

Finishing up some already-late features on my web application, then I’ll soon be driving home to sleep and then Vegas in the morning. Hope to see some of you there. Look for us on the Death Valley Run, the Strip Cruise (ooh, now that sounds like a fun vacation!), the Poker Run and hanging around at the Banquet, maybe a mixer or two. Also, I am tentatively scheduled for a Saturday 10am install at Helix13 for the charcoal custom dial face. Drive safe y’all.

The Heat Returns

The heat is back in Brawley-town, 98F indicated on the OBC this afternoon. In weather like that you need those windows closed fast and I’m pleased to say that the auto-up circuit is back in the auto. I am so pleased I was able to get it back in one piece.

But heat means I need air and Carrie doesn’t do a/c very well. A big problem, I think, is that the driver side vents blow directly into the steering wheel and the indicator/wiper stalks making it so I don’t get the benefit. Maybe I should move the steering wheel up or down a bit and see if that helps. The volume of air isn’t too bad when moving on the freeway but slow traffic in town can quickly lead to over heating (me, not the car). Closing the passenger side vents definitely helps but I don’t always remember to do that.

AMVIV is almost here, we’re leaving on Thursday for Vegas. Sadly our route doesn’t meet up with any of the clubs’ so we’ll be solo probably the whole way there. We have tickets for Phantom Thursday night and then we’ll join everyone for the Death Valley run on Friday. Looking forward to spending some time away.

Custom Dial Faces

One of the vendors at AMVIV is Cockpit Specialties which makes custom dial faces like the ones you see below. I think this might look pretty sweet in Carrie though at $149 I’m not sure its worth it. Their web site says it should take 1 to 2 hours for a novice to install but when I looked I saw too many things that said ‘danger’ for me to want to try. I wonder if they’ll be doing installs at the event….

Wind Deflector “Install”

Earlier I wrote that selling my Jeep gave me some cash for a new head unit but I changed my mind and bought the wind deflector instead. I’d had always balked at it because it’s damn expensive and seems like it should have come with the car, but everyone says it makes a huge difference. If you want one, ebay is the place to get it. I got mine shipped for $70 less than the pre-tax price at Brecht.

Installing it is easy, snaps right in and out. I haven’t tried it out yet though – last weekend the winds were howling and the top was firmly in the upright position. I think it will be great on the Death Valley run at AMVIV.

Pictures after the jump. Continue reading “Wind Deflector “Install””

I Hate Brecht MINI

I’ve left 4 voicemails and sent one email and no reply from Brecht about my missing window-up circuit. I suppose I have to assume it is gone. Tomorrow I will send a fax care of the service manager to voice my frustration.

Funny thing is, last week I thought about writing a letter congratulating them on a well-run ship.

Post Service Thoughts

I’m not sure now that the climate control backlight was every broken. The other night I turned the dashboard lighting down to the level I like and the climate control went dark again. My first thought was that I’d broken it again but turning the dash lights up illuminated the climate control too. Hmm…

An unexpected consequence of the replacement is that my auto-up circuit isn’t working any more. I’ve not taken a look inside yet to see what happened but if the technician disconnected the circuit I hope he left it in there for me to reconnect. I tried re-enabling it per Ian’s instructions and nothing happened.

My next service is currently set for 46,500 miles and these figures tend to go out rather than in so I am a little concerned that I won’t get the next oil change for free. Sometime before then I have to get a new top to replace the one that the regular MINI convertible wear where the hinges are.

Finally, I still owe you a mini review of the ’07 I had as a loaner. Also, I bought the wind deflector last week off eBay and will post some pictures of that just as soon as the camera is recharged.