Here's the recent post which discussed "effect of mods on value" which got me to thinking over the past few days ......
So I've been collecting a few thoughts and reflections and ruminations based on the past few weeks of doing something I've never done in 40 years: drive two very different 2002's which have: a) performance goodies; and carburetors.
In mid-January I started driving the "silver loaner" 2002 when my '74tii went back into the shop for some 500-miles-on-a-new-engine tunes and tweaks and fixits. I had the silver loaner for 3-1/2 weeks and became very attached. It had "super duper" suspension and big tires and handled like no 2002 I've ever ridden in or driven. Performance when adding more throttle was "right now" which was/is something my tii doesn't do. Zooming through Carbon Canyon was a very new & different experience.
Then I got my '74tii back and sadly had to give up the silver loaner. Le and I were chatting about it, I drooled a lot, and he just kept giving me the smirky smile one gives to a total newbie when trying to describe what cannot be described, only experienced.
For me, it was a true life lesson in what can be done to a 2002 when some mods/changes/upgrades are done ..... I had no idea. I've certainly read about such things, but have no personal experience since I'm a dedicated "keep it stock" kinda guy.
SO .... a couple of days later the '74tii's alternator crapped out. So back to the shop, and I was then given the "black loaner" 2002 for the 4 days it took to sort out the alternator.
Le told me, again with the smirky smile, that I would find this loaner to be "slightly different" than the silver loaner. As I discovered, that was to be a bit of massive understatement.
The black 2002 loaner spoiled me rotten. I found myself not wanting to give it back. Le said it has similar tires but less suspension stuff, bigger carburetor, other engine goodies, and a 5-speed. He estimated the horsepower was the same as my '74tii (~130), but the big difference to me was the amazing torque-y-ness of the loaner. It seemed as if you could loaf along in 5th gear at 30mph, then step on the gas and all of a sudden without hesitation you're at 70mph without breaking a sweat, and still in 5th gear.
Zooming through Carbon Canyon with all that torque-y was a whole new exhilarating experience in an "ultimate driving machine." Those of you who have driven that road know of the two very tight 180-degree climbing turns when heading west from Chino Hills. The black loaner just loafed along as if we were going downhill, not steeply uphill. Simply amazing to me.
This past Sunday morning I drove to Ontario to retrieve my '74tii and had to give up the black loaner ...... and that hurt. First thing I said to Le was, "I want to buy this thing !!" and got the eye-rolling smirky smile that me as a carburetor newbie deserved to get.
So on that Sunday morning with the black loaner experience fresh in my mind, I jumped into my now-fixed '74tii and headed for the 60 Fwy East. A completely different and much more "sedate" driving experience as I headed for Galleano Winery.
Le had explained to me that his carbureted versions were set-up to have a much more steep "on it right now" powerband which started at a lower rpm. Different from a tii KF response which is very linear, hence a more steady, even, and smooth pull when one steps on the throttle.
And with that new knowledge I then experienced the tii KF response on the 60 East. Without pushing it I was easily up to 65mph, a nice steady acceleration, and was now more into the KF powerband. I eased over a lane and stepped on it hard .... and there I was, smooth as silk, very suddenly at 80mph and continuing to accelerate. No "jump" like the black loaner, but I was there "instantly" without knowing I was there. I was quite surprised to be going that fast so quickly and so smoothly. I had of course been doing that for years, but I had no basis for comparison, no experience to understand the difference between a KF and a carburetor.
Later, when using the on-ramp going West, I hit the gas hard in 3rd gear to 5,500+rpm and the tii just pulled and pulled and pulled. Strong and steady, I was past 85mph and didn't realize it .... not a torque-y "right now" pull, but steady and strong and linear. Very different from either loaner.
So to close this out, and hearken back to the thread about "mods versus value" ...... I discovered an entirely new side to the carbureted 2002. We know how well 2002's perform when in stock trim: incredible handling, good power, amazingly fun to drive. But I'm thinking it's not about "value" ..... it's about adding a few mods/upgrades and then discovering a whole new world of driving experience. I certainly did.
p.s. the silver loaner, followed by the black loaner .....