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DaleS

Gillespie Dam Brigde

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Hey Dave, I didn't notice the old motel, but I'll check it out next year.

 

Have fun here.

 

Dale

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Auto or manual tranny? How many miles were on it when it blew?

$3500...yikes! I guess the days of replacing a tranny for $600, like I did in 1992 on a 1982 Plymouth Gran Fury (slant six engine) are long gone...

 

Manual. There's a known flaw in the manual transmissions from the first year or two of the car that makes them all crap out. Mine died at about 75,000 miles. I would have been fine with a used or rebuilt xmission, but those are hard to come by as Matrixes have proved to be otherwise hardy cars with few in junkyards yet. So I ended up with a brand new xmission from Toyota.

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Manual. There's a known flaw in the manual transmissions from the first year or two of the car that makes them all crap out. Mine died at about 75,000 miles. I would have been fine with a used or rebuilt xmission, but those are hard to come by as Matrixes have proved to be otherwise hardy cars with few in junkyards yet. So I ended up with a brand new xmission from Toyota.

Wow. I knew nothing about this but a little searching turns up plenty of stories. Apparently it's a bearing issue and affects 2003 & 2004 5-speeds. 65000-75000 miles seems the most common range but 30000 is not unheard of. At the other end, at least one guy got to 149000 miles before failure.

 

Just a couple of hours after reading the bad news here, I got a message through an automobile e-group pointing to a report on the 10 most ticketed cars. The Matrix is #10.

 

My Vibe has 73000 miles on it. I've received one speeding and one parking ticket in the last ten years and it was the Vibe in both cases. :o

I'm doomed and just this morning didn't even have an inkling. :(

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Wow. I knew nothing about this but a little searching turns up plenty of stories. Apparently it's a bearing issue and affects 2003 & 2004 5-speeds. 65000-75000 miles seems the most common range

 

My Vibe has 73000 miles on it. I've received one speeding and one parking ticket in the last ten years and it was the Vibe in both cases. :o

I'm doomed and just this morning didn't even have an inkling. :(

 

Denny,

 

Would it help to put it is second and leave it there? I'm thinking you can probably start in second, and while it will be tough on gas at higher speeds, you can buy a lot of gas for $3500! :rolleyes::lol:

 

Or, since a 2003 Vibe has a market value right around $6,500, you could sell it now, put the $3500 into a CD and still have the money to buy my Hyundai!. :lol::huh: Like I said before, I need a new car anyway. :rolleyes:

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Manual. There's a known flaw in the manual transmissions from the first year or two of the car that makes them all crap out. Mine died at about 75,000 miles. I would have been fine with a used or rebuilt xmission, but those are hard to come by as Matrixes have proved to be otherwise hardy cars with few in junkyards yet. So I ended up with a brand new xmission from Toyota.

 

Whew! Glad my Vibe's an automatic! I don't think there's too many out there with 'sticks'. I remember when I was car shopping that both of the local dealers had about 10 automatics for every 5-speed.

 

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I love driving a manual transmission, so I seek them out. Anyone driving a manual-transmission Matrix or Vibe, the clue is that you'll start hearing a scraping noise and it will get louder over time. Mine scraped that way for something like 18 months. My mechanic told me he thought it was a bad throwout bearing and that I was ok to drive it until it got loud enough to really bother me, but he didn't know about The Flaw that made the tranny expire one day (when I was 75 miles from home). He said that once he learned about The Flaw that acting on it sooner would not have made much difference -- I was going to need a new tranny, period.

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I got a message through an automobile e-group pointing to a report on the 10 most ticketed cars. The Matrix is #10.

We've had our 2003 Matrix since 2002 and it has yet to get tagged for any violations. Hopefully I can keep it "under the radar", so to speak.

 

It's an automatic (for my wife's sake--I prefer a manual), so we haven't had transmission issues, but the 'check engine' light for the catalytic converter and oxygen sensors became a problem after 90K. We got the sensor replaced that they recommended, but that kept the light off for only a couple of weeks. So I've been driving around with a 'check engine' light off and on for about 2 years now. The car has always run fine, though, except for that golden glare off of the dashboard.

 

Chris

 

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Quick update: My 80 road jaunt has unfortunately been postponed. I was all set to hit the road this morning when, upon checking my tires, I found that one of the sidewalls is developing a crack. When I bought the Miata last April I figured I could get about another year out of the tires, but I guess I'll have to replace them a bit sooner than that.

And it was a perfect late winter day for a 'top-down' cruise, too! Topped out about 70 this afternoon and stayed mostly overcast, so less chance of back-of-the-neck sunburn. Oh well...

Edited by mga707

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Quick update: My 80 road jaunt has unfortunately been postponed. I was all set to hit the road this morning when, upon checking my tires, I found that one of the sidewalls is developing a crack. When I bought the Miata last April I figured I could get about another year out of the tires, but I guess I'll have to replace them a bit sooner than that.

And it was a perfect late winter day for a 'top-down' cruise, too! Topped out about 70 this afternoon and stayed mostly overcast, so less chance of back-of-the-neck sunburn. Oh well...

 

mga707,

 

Gees, you are breaking my heart! 70 degrees and no wheels! It has been raining all day here and even with tires with no cracks in the sidewall, I was inside all day. Well we both have next week....

 

Cheers!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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Well, I finally did the delayed US80/89 road trip north from Tucson today. Weather was clear and sunny, mid-80s, with quite a bit of wind. Did not go all the way to the old stretch between Gila Bend and Buckeye, however, which of course would have included the titular bridge of this thread. Have to save that for another trip up to PHX when I have more time to spare.

What we did do today was to take I-10 to Picacho, then exit on AZ87 north through Coolidge (by the original 'Big House'--the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument), then followed AZ287 east to Florence, where I joined what had been US80/89.

After strolling around downtown Florence for awhile (it was quite dead on a Sunday noon), we headed down old 80/89 (now signed as the second iteration of AZ79--the original state route 79 was constructed in the 1950s as part of a more direct route between Phoenix and Flagstaff. The original 79 ran from Cordes Junction up to Flagstaff and is now part of I-17, having lost it's state designation long ago. So, the "AZ79" moniker was available for reuse. But I digress...).

And yes, we of course stopped at the Tom Mix memorial marker, just north of the Tom Mix Wash where the unfortunate Mr. Mix lost his life back in October 1940.

What was new there since my last visit was the addition of three metal ramadas, each shading two picnic tables. The memorial is now the centerpiece of a full-blown roadside picnic area.

I shot two photos of the marker, fully intended to post them here, only to be stymied by the inability to upload my IPhotos to this site. It keeps informing me that my uploads are two big, no matter how small I attempt to size them. Finally, I gave up in frustration. (Note: I later added the photos to the gallery. They uploaded there with no problem!)

Anyway, the Tom Mix memorial marker is still 'alive and well' on the southbound side of old US80/89--the Pinal Pioneer Parkway--southeast of Florence, AZ!

Edited by mga707

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Mga707,

 

Sounds like a fun trip! I thought about your intended trip when I read a magazine the other day that had the story of a trip in the early 20’s that included the Borderland Trail (the name of the road you were on). Not much detail, but an interesting name.

 

Regarding the photos…you should be able to upload them to the gallery, but if you want then in the post (as I do) you need to imbed in your post a link to the photo.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

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Regarding the photos…you should be able to upload them to the gallery, but if you want then in the post (as I do) you need to imbed in your post a link to the photo.

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

This will probably sound stupid, but I just checked out the gallery (first time). Did not see any way to post pictures on there, though. What did I miss?

 

Never mind, I just figure it out. If anyone's interested, I just added two photos of the Tom Mix memorial marker to the gallery.

Edited by mga707

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Mga707

 

Even though you didn’t make it all the way to the dam and bridge this trip, I thought you and others, including Dale, might enjoy this little blurb from a 1924 AAA magazine concerning driving across the dam before the bridge was built.

 

ARGDam.jpg

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

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Mga707

 

Even though you didn’t make it all the way to the dam and bridge this trip, I thought you and others, including Dale, might enjoy this little blurb from a 1924 AAA magazine concerning driving across the dam before the bridge was built.

 

ARGDam.jpg

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Wow! That is really neat! Wonder how many early motorists hit that water, found it deeper than they expected, and stalled out?

Of course, most '20s cars had higher ground clearance than today, didn't they? Still, I'll bet someone with a couple of horses could've made some $$ pulling stalled motorists (or those too timid to even try) across the dam apron through the water!

 

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Wow! That is really neat! Wonder how many early motorists hit that water, found it deeper than they expected, and stalled out?

Of course, most '20s cars had higher ground clearance than today, didn't they? Still, I'll bet someone with a couple of horses could've made some $$ pulling stalled motorists (or those too timid to even try) across the dam apron through the water!

 

Yah, the more you read and learn about auto travel in the old days, the more fun it is to learn and see more…and you are lucky to have some great old roads in your ”back yard.”

 

I’m assuming that drivers could see the difference between 6 inches and nearly four feet of water! But no wonder they built the bridge!

 

When I lived in Tucson back in the 1970’s, I recall some of the washes in town were crossed on cement lined fords. That was no problem when they were dry, but as you know, the difference between dry and flood in Arizona can be a matter of an hour, if not minutes.

 

I recall crossing a ford in Tucson with a little trickle of water on the way to a mall one afternoon, and when I returned an hour later there was a car in the middle of the ford in deep rushing water, and there was a woman in top! She was saved, but I never crossed there after that when it was wet. Do they still have those things, or are the washes in town all bridged now?

 

Enjoyed your new photos in the gallery!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

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mga707, glad to hear about your trip. The pictures did bring back memories. Sounds like fun but I could tell it had been awhile since you were at the Tom Mix site. Those covered picnic tables were there when I stopped by in 2003! :D

 

And it's really good to see this thread get back on topic. Being able to start with the dam, then cover Tom Mix signal whistles. Ralston cereal, side curtains, crank starts, and busted transmissions, before returning to the dam must mean it's a good dam thread. Of course, there's now a risk that it will branch off on picnic tables.

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When I lived in Tucson back in the 1970’s, I recall some of the washes in town were crossed on cement lined fords. That was no problem when they were dry, but as you know, the difference between dry and flood in Arizona can be a matter of an hour, if not minutes.

 

I recall crossing a ford in Tucson with a little trickle of water on the way to a mall one afternoon, and when I returned an hour later there was a car in the middle of the ford in deep rushing water, and there was a woman in top! She was saved, but I never crossed there after that when it was wet. Do they still have those things, or are the washes in town all bridged now?

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Yes, there are still plenty of streets that have unbridged wash (arroyo) crossings. Invariably during the summer monsoons, someone will drive into one and get stuck, and have to be rescued. On rare instances someone is not so lucky and is swept away and drowned.

For quite a few years now there has been a state "Stupid Motorist Law" that makes one responsible for the cost of one's rescue if one is stupid enough to go around a road barricades, enter a flooded wash crossing, and get stuck!

 

The old dam picture got me to thinking about dams in the state (AZ) that one can still drive across. Of course there is Hoover, but that time is growing short with the construction of the monster bridge crossing that will bypass the dam. Construction is running a bit behind--there was a bad construction accident with at least one fatality that pushed the completion date back--but I think the new bridge is still scheduled for a 2010 completion.

I believe the road over Davis Dam between Laughlin (NV) and Bullhead City (AZ) has been closed to traffic as well. A bridge replaced that crossing also.

You could drive over Roosevelt Dam on Arizona SR188, just off the famous Apache Trail (AZ88) until about 1990 or so, on a one lane roadway no less!

A very attractive bridge replaced that crossing, and then the dam was heightened and the roadway over the top removed.

I think that leaves Parker Dam on the Colorado between AZ and CA as the only drivable dam with no plan for a bridge replacement.

 

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Yes, there are still plenty of streets that have unbridged wash (arroyo) crossings. Invariably during the summer monsoons, someone will drive into one and get stuck, and have to be rescued. On rare instances someone is not so lucky and is swept away and drowned.

For quite a few years now there has been a state "Stupid Motorist Law" that makes one responsible for the cost of one's rescue if one is stupid enough to go around a road barricades, enter a flooded wash crossing, and get stuck!

 

The old dam picture got me to thinking about dams in the state (AZ) that one can still drive across. Of course there is Hoover, but that time is growing short with the construction of the monster bridge crossing that will bypass the dam. Construction is running a bit behind--there was a bad construction accident with at least one fatality that pushed the completion date back--but I think the new bridge is still scheduled for a 2010 completion.

I believe the road over Davis Dam between Laughlin (NV) and Bullhead City (AZ) has been closed to traffic as well. A bridge replaced that crossing also.

You could drive over Roosevelt Dam on Arizona SR188, just off the famous Apache Trail (AZ88) until about 1990 or so, on a one lane roadway no less!

A very attractive bridge replaced that crossing, and then the dam was heightened and the roadway over the top removed.

I think that leaves Parker Dam on the Colorado between AZ and CA as the only drivable dam with no plan for a bridge replacement.

 

Mga707,

 

Very interesting and maybe something worth looking into….roads across dams. I guess it was sort of an obvious route in many cases in the old days.

 

We were across Hoover Dam a couple of years ago, and that bridge you mention is mind blowing, almost unbelievable.

 

I don’t want Denny to gently “scold” me about staying on topic, so I think I will steal your thought and do a fresh thread on roads over dams….with credit to you for the idea! ;)

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

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I finally did the old US 80 road trip across the 1927 Gillespie Dam Bridge today. That certainly is a neat old bridge. I hope it stays open to vehicular traffic. We stopped on both ends and I walked onto the bridge, searching in vain for some sort of a 'data plate' or construction information marker.

The Gila River under the bridge was flowing quite nicely today, and their were people out fishing up by the 'broken' Gillespie Dam. The spring snowmelt from the White Mountains is coming down the Salt River and into the Gila, as the upstream I-10 Gila crossing between PHX and TUS was it's usual dry self!

When I have the time I'll try to post some pictures in the gallery, but I think I may go out to the (much closer to my SE Tucson home base) old Cienega Creek bridge (1921 vintage, IIRC) on the old US80 segment between Tucson and Benson and snap some photos of that bridge as well. The two old 80 bridges make a nice pair!

Edited by mga707

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I've just added my old US 80 bridge pictures to the Gallery. Both the 1927 Gillespie Dam bridge and the 1921 Cienega Creek bridge. One picture would not upload, and one I inadvertently duplicated. Anyone know if there is any way to delete a dupe from the gallery?

Anyway, hope you like them.

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