Driving through the alps
After a long year we're back with our cars to have some fun on nice roads with views on views. We are back in the Dolomites.
I think everyone knows why we are only going to the Alps once this year. We have also made a few new modifications to our cars. Last year we added the LSD from BMW. A must have if you have M Performance car like the M1(2)35i, M1(2)40i. Now I have to say it ... I mean the real one with the inline six engine. Early this year I added a tow hook on my M235i to carry my mountain bike, oh not relevant to this story. The M140i got new rimes with Michelin PS4S and some strut mounts to eliminate the understeer. More later about this later, when I take it out for a testdrive ...
The first day we traveled from Germany over Austria to Italy. We went our default route over the Oberjoch, Hahntennjoch and Timmelsjoch to Italy. Unfortunately our hotel we stayed last year was full and we had to find a new one. It was in the valley beside. Again we choose to stay in one Hotel for the whole week as our "base". Make life a little bit more easily. No rush in the morning with getting all our stuff together and put it in the cars. We are staying near the lake Carezza in the Dolomites in South Tyrol, Italy. We didn't find any new photo spot. So we didn't take any photo at all on this day.
Our first route got us up the Gardena Pass, still with a speedlimit of 60 km/h. Well, more time to enjoy the landscape but it is worth a visit. After a quick rinse down of the dirt we drove up the Valparola Pass. Still a classic, first time we had a chance to open up the cars. I really missed it, the LSD is working like a charme. On the top I wanted to take some pictures we found a new spot for us. Which is getting harder and harder each year. I got a new toy and wanted to test ist out.
Got a drone with the wrong color
Next up the Giau Pass another old classic for us. We had no traffic and really could enjoy the drive up. I was pushing the car to the limit and beyond until my chargepipe decided to blow up. A known problem with the N55 Engine. BMW uses a cheap plastic pipe which doesn't like the heat cycles and will break. My engine is stock. No tuning or whatsoever.
It blow up near the top of the pass. We stopped and thought about what we could do. After a few minutes we went for BMW in Bozen. Quick Tip, don't go there, EVER! They ignored us and tried to scam 150 Euro from us for diagnostics without even locking under the hood. Then we tried a other workshops but no luck either. But at least these guys looked at the engine. Unfortunately there was no replacement part available in time. Well, we drove back to the Hotel but we had to drive over some passes. Even with no boost and the check engine light I could overtake a couple of other cars... time for more photos.
Near the hotel on the Nigerpass I saw this spot but it played more out in my head. Still worth to keep the photos.
During the night we found a solution for the chargepipe problem. We went for the next hardware store in Bozen and bought a rubber pipe with new clamps. Then we tried for 2 hours to put it between the throttle body and the broken chargepipe. In the end we managed it and it freaking works. In the process I broke the hose for the return pipe but a few cableties fixed this as well.
We moved forward with our tour and next up was a new one, the Manghen Pass. This is a very tight one. Watch out for incoming traffic and then it will get sketchy ... somehow this is fun. Can recommend this one if you know how wide your car is. Not much possibilities to take some photos.
We moved on further south towards Veneto but it was mostly boring. Small town after small town until we stopped for a break and I saw this photo motive. To be honest one of the best shoots of this trip in my opinion.
Now I wanted to try out another new toy I bought. A GoPro to take some pictures while driving with the camera attached to the outside of the car. Yeah, it didn't work out as planned ... due the wide angle it looks like my car is miles away but it wasn't.
A good investment in a GoPro for four photos at the end. Well, I started a YouTube channel. But not about cars, about mountain biking and it is in German. If you want to take a look... www.youtube.com/channel/UC76eOmEpjGEy_HfB4quS5Gw
Anyway, we drove on towards the Lago del Mis. Around the lake are some nice short tunnels where you can make same noise. The inline six engine sound just awesome. We found this spot. I like these "lost places". Would like to get closer to more of them with the cars.
We had some time to kill and went for the Sella Joch and Pordoijoch. The two we have driven very often, definitely also a recommendation.
The next day our luck with sunny weather ended after 5 years. We had a rain. We hoped to get some sun over the clouds and drive up very high. We choose the Stelvio Pass as our destination for the day. But first the Gavia Pass. I think this picture will explain the road condition very well.
The name on the sign says it all. Complete chaos, very tight roads, potholes everywhere and no guardrails. Ok, on some sections are some small stones as guardrails but I don't think they would do much if you fall down there. But still a pass you have to do if you like adventures. We found one the widest points near the top and took some photos. I testet the drone to the max but it survived the height, wind and rain.
After the Gavia Pass you drive up the Stelvio Pass. I don't think I need to write anything about this one. Everybody should know it. I think it is overhyped for driving. Landscape is nice but thats it
On our way back to the Hotel we drove the Jaufen Pass and the Penserjoch. But there was too much rain and fog to do anything creative with our camera equipment. We called it a day...
... the next day the sun was back und it was very clear thanks to the rain the day before.
We drove back to the Giau Pass, because this one is too much fun. We stopped were I stopped a few days with the broken Chargepipe. I wasn't in mood back then to take some pictures but this day I was. Because our fix is still working strong.
We drove over the Würzjoch, Gardena Pass, Sella Pass and every other pass nearby until we were back at the Giau Pass later that day.
Last spot of the tour was the Passo di Fedaia with the dam. You can drive and park on the dam. With the drone we got a ton of new perspectives. I like it.
Then it was time to testdrive the M140i with the new strut mounts. I noticed it after a few meters on the pass. The car doesn't understeer anymore. It feels total different. You can push the car in corners now ... the car just do it. My car with the default setup is rubbing on the front wheels so much earlier. Damn, I need this too. So this trip got very expensive for me ;)
Overall it was an awesome trip. Would like to do it more often. Maybe we can do it twice next year. Finally, the obligatory consumption picture.