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Old 10-10-2018, 05:11 PM   #1
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Alaska

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ID:	324910Those who have driven the Alaska Highway will recognize this photo as the license plate forest in Watson Lake, Yukon, the official start of the highway. Nancy and I just proved that it can be driven in an old, somewhat neglected 345 with over 100k on the original drivetrain. We averaged 6.5 mpg on a carburetor that needs help. Our only breakdowns were a dead miss that was resolved with new plugs and wires at a campground in Whitefish, MT, and a bearing cap that fell off of one of the tag wheels and was put back in place by a mechanic at Teslin, YT. The road is tough on front ends, lots of frost heaves that catch you by surprise. It was a spectacular drive. Weather ranged from cool to cold, the scenery is on a whole different scale from anything I have seen. The 345 is in storage near Anchorage, we plan to go back after next Labor Day with a new carb plus some other parts, finish our land tour itinerary, and bring it back south on the ferry to Bellingham.
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:46 PM   #2
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That is absolutely fantastically incredibly AWESOME!!!!! Good on ya BOTH! Takes a great deal of guts and sense of adventure to make that trip in one of these old rigs, hats off to you guys for sure!
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Old 10-10-2018, 11:44 PM   #3
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Never give up. We did the trip a couple of years back in our 280 diesel and loved every mile. Yeah the frost heaves are tough, I'm pretty sure we launched the front end on a couple of them. On the way back we headed over to Jasper, down through the Icefields, Banff to Glacier and back to Washington. These old silver beasts will go wherever you point them. Just sit back and let them go.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:01 AM   #4
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FWIW, the highway starts in Dawson Creek, BC.
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Old 10-11-2018, 05:51 AM   #5
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Very cool! Glad you made it. Hoping to get there in 2020..
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Old 10-11-2018, 07:25 AM   #6
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Awesome!!
The previous owners of our rig took it all the way up to Fairbanks and back, who knows, maybe we'll repeat the trip in the same rig someday
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Old 10-14-2018, 02:11 PM   #7
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Hey,
Boy, you are brave. We're there a lot of trucks? I've been told, it's gravel, and the odds of taking out a windsheild are pretty good. Bo and Luke duke launched a perfectly good 68 charger, and came out unscathed, so doing it with 35.5 feet of AS is very cool. I launched a 100 ft long mountain double oil tanker unit, while in the oil fields of North Dakota. That was interesting. We're there a lot of bugs. I heard the flys are really bad. We may do that road someday with our 325. Great story.DJ
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Old 10-14-2018, 03:34 PM   #8
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Not brave, Nancy had her heart set on the trip and I just resigned myself to the possibility of having to walk away from the 345. There were a bunch of trucks, but we didnít get any damage from gravel. The road is paved the whole way. Lots of potholes, repairs in progress, and frost heaves to slow you down or rattle your fillings. The 345 has heavy front springs and no front air bags, so I paid for every bump. The trucks would just pass me and seem to fly over the bad spots that slowed me down, must be an air suspension thing. Most of the road damage was well marked to warn you in Canada, not so much in Alaska. I guess it was too late in the year for bugs, didnít notice any. It really is a bucket list-worthy trip, I made way too many five point u-turns on the highway so that we could get a picture of a critter or scenery.
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Old 10-14-2018, 05:23 PM   #9
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5 point turns with big rigs around, impressive, most impressive( said in your best Darth Vador voice). We re going to have to do that road I believe.
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Old 10-14-2018, 07:59 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davejay View Post
5 point turns with big rigs around, impressive, most impressive( said in your best Darth Vador voice). We re going to have to do that road I believe.


Not as impressive as it sounds. Maybe it was just because it was late in the season, but we drove for some really long stretches without seeing another vehicle. It was routine to see a mile or more of clear road in front and behind.
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Old 10-14-2018, 08:51 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Waipio Rim View Post
Not brave, Nancy had her heart set on the trip and I just resigned myself to the possibility of having to walk away from the 345. There were a bunch of trucks, but we didnít get any damage from gravel. The road is paved the whole way. Lots of potholes, repairs in progress, and frost heaves to slow you down or rattle your fillings. The 345 has heavy front springs and no front air bags, so I paid for every bump. The trucks would just pass me and seem to fly over the bad spots that slowed me down, must be an air suspension thing. Most of the road damage was well marked to warn you in Canada, not so much in Alaska. I guess it was too late in the year for bugs, didnít notice any. It really is a bucket list-worthy trip, I made way too many five point u-turns on the highway so that we could get a picture of a critter or scenery.
When did you start on the Canada part of the trip. The later start might be better?
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Old 10-14-2018, 09:44 PM   #12
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We crossed into Canada from Montana via Hwy. 93 on Sunday, Sept. 23. For some reason the crowd was ridiculously heavy on that day at Lake Louise near Banff. After that the people thinned out fast.
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Old 10-14-2018, 10:46 PM   #13
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Very Impressive. Now I have a new bucket list addition for our 345.
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