240Z: Chassis before blasting

Instead of sanding / wire-wheeling off the whole car and have a chassis whith all kind of materials, colours and patches at the end. Some reader-input got me thinking a bit after my last post about the chassis. I thought myself i “better do it right” instead of trying to save money. So i contacted a local dry-ice blasting company and the plan is to have the complete chassis blasted with dry-ice to remove old bondo, paint and rust and then have it completely painted with epoxy-primer to protect it from rust. Point is that some replaced areas already start to rust again and some unprotected old areas too. Also i like the idea that all old stuff us gone (which needs to go at some point anyway). I like the idea that the bodyshop doesn’t need to spend time on removing that stuff (and me paying for it) and most of it, i like the idea that the whole car will be one colour (primer) instead of a mix of various paint layers in different colours, raw metal and rust. The following pics are mostly for the blasting company to get an idea of how the car looks currently and to get me a rough job for it:

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240Z: Factory Transmissions knowledge, overview, Options and Specs

Ok guys, now it may get a bit techy in this post 🙂 I collected A LOT of information about transmissions over the past few months and finally i put them all together into one single post. Much information is floating around the internet but it’s tricky to puzzle it all together, keep the overview and sort out the wrong information.
Picture below shows F4W71A Transmission, Picture from the 1970 FSM:

This post is focussing on the 1970-1974 240Z and will not include a lot of information about later transmissions or transmissions used in L20/S20 equipped JDM models, nor any other car with the same transmissions. Trust me, it’s complicated enough.
I tried my best to get the information right and have as much information as possible from original documents and manuals by Nissan but even the original documentation sometimes contradicts itself.

UPDATE 2020: I’ve added a lot of new information i’ve gained since the original post and ironed out a few details that were wrong and slightly reworked some sections.
Picture shows different JDM transmissions, scan from the Motorfan S30 special book:
motorfan-transmission-scan-001-kopie

1. Transmission type identification
1.1 Transmission type code
The transmission Model or type code is key to understand what transmission you have, and what is inside. They’re also mentioned in the Manuals and other documentation.
The Type-Code is NOT visible on the transmission anywhere!
I’ve already posted this in the past, but decided to make a better graphic for easy overview.
The chart does not include Automatic transmissions.
240Z factory transmission code key

1.2 Transmission Serial Numbers
Allthough the serial number hasn’t been any important yet in my cases, and it doesn’t lead you to any further information, i still wanted to share with you where to find the SerialNo. Stampos on the transmission housing.
Picture taken from the 1976 S30 Chassis & Body supplement 1 manual:

2. Factory transmissions:
2.1. Overview:

Depending on the country and year, there were different Factory Transmission options. But there are two main groups used in the 240Z:

Early “A-type”  (1970 to late 1971, varying a bit depending on country and Type)
Later “B-Type” (1972 to 1974, also used in later Generation Z’s and other cars)

The “Type-Letter” is refering to the last Letter in the transmission model code.
Early type for example is FS5C71A, later type FS5C71B, and so on, see code chart above.

Within each of these two main Groups, there are similar three subgroups:
Nissan 4-Speed Manual, Nissan 5-speed Manual and JATCO 3-speed Auto. 

I made an overview Including the Type-code for easier understanding (click for full size):
Factory transmission overview
2.2. Transmissions according to Markets:
Which transmission was available in your market? Well – you can find this information in your FSM (Factory Service Manual) but here’s an overview:

USA & Canada (LHD): 4-speed Manual and 3-speed Auto*
Europe (LHD): 5-Speed Manual (, 3-speed auto, in some markets)
UK (Europe RHD): 5-Speed Manual (, 3-speed auto, in some markets)
Australia & Oceania (RHD): 5-Speed Manual, 3-speed Auto
Japan (RHD): 5-Speed Manual, 3-speed Auto (4-speed Manual only with L20)*
*Optional and competition transmissions are not included in this chart

Here is an Example of the 1972-1974 Service manual listing all B-type transmissions according to the dedicated market-model (first row).
For earlier model years, just replace all “B” with “A” in the transmission type code 🙂
B-type transmissions

In The sales brochure of your country you’ll also find the Gearing / acceleration charts. Like the swiss sales brochure shown here:

3. Optional transmissions and Gearing
In Europe and Japan there were optional competition and racing Gearsets and complete gearboxes available for the Z’s. Here for E.g. JDM “Nissan Sports options”:

P07

In USA however it was a bit different since they never got the 5-speed Manual Box:
– They offered Retrofit-Kits to install the Roadster 2000 (SR311) FS5C71A Transmission to the 240Z
– From 1977-1983 the 280Z FS5C71B Gearbox got available with optional competition Gearsets (and probably as a complete gearbox) which was also used as competition or racing part in the 240Z’s (with optional shifter-kit if used in an 1970-1971 car!)
– Anyhow a few sources mention that at least at some point the Euro / JDM A- and B-Box was also sold officially as an optional part, but i have no prove.
Here’s a Pic of the 1978 USA Datsun 240Z Sports Option catalogue for example:
option tranny parts usa
The Japanese sports transmission manual shows following gearing options including the Rallye Options listed for the FS5C71B type transmission used from 1972 upwards. According to the same book, the FS5C71A type transmission was used until end of 1971.

The early japanese Race & Rallye preparation manual shows following options available for the japanese S30 Variations also in comparison with other cars like the PGC10 skyline and SR311 Fairlady. There is a second (later) release of this manual, which probably also includes the B-type Manual transmissions, but which i don’t have.

See complete list of Factory and optional transmissions / gearsets a bit further down and also next chapter for racing gears.

4. Racing gears
I do not want to include a lot of information about racing cars. There were too many different setups used in the factory and private racing cars used over the years. but since i just  happen to have this picture on hand i thought i’d share it here as well.
The 1970 RAC Rallye car gear setup (at least the speeds). by Autocar Magazine:

Here are the S20 engined Z432-R option gear sets from the september 1970 japanese sports option parts catalogue (including standard gears in the last row)

5. Automatic Transmission
The Automatic transmission is mostly common in American markets, in most other markets the manual transmission equipped cars are the primary sold units.
I found this interesting Text by “Road and Track” Magazine, when they reviewed the 240Z Automtatic car:

From the same 1970 Road and Track magazine, there’s this acceleration chart for the 3-speed Auto transmission:


5.1 A-type Automatic
It took me a while to figure out that the 3N71A unit was actually installed in the Z.

Most european part lists and Manuals only mention the B-type automatic.
However there is evidence that an A-type transmission existed and was installed.

And once i started to dig deeper, i found more information. See also chapter “Date of Changes”
I found this Picture of a 240Z A-type Auto transmissiom manual Online:

And it’s also listed in the 1979 Australian RHD FSM, even if you don’t find it in the Australian Parts-microfiches from the same year strangely.

For comparison. The european LHD FSM (picture taken from my own 1979 microfiche set) does not even mention the A-type Auto-transmission:

6. Differences between 5-speed A-, A- and B-type(s)
First a bit of history. The early 5-Speed “A-Type” Transmission was not developed for the 240Z, but carried over from the Datsun roadster 2000 (SLR311) and probably also used in other older Datsun models.

To fit the L-series motor and the 240Z Specs, the 240Z-Transmission was fitted with a different clutch bell housing, longer mainshaft, tail Extension casing and one of the shift rods is different too.
That’s why the Roadster Gearbox is often refered to as “short tail” and the Z-Gearbox as “Long tail” Fs5C71A Transmission.
The US market got 4-speed non-overdrive gearing, but im not sure if there was an A-type 4-speed maybe used previously in other datsun’s as well..
Here’s a picture of a FS5C71A “short tail” from a Datsun Roadster (From the Roadster FSM)
FS5C71A (roadster2000)

While here is a view of the FS5C71A “Long tail” from the Datsun 240Z (Picture from the Nissan Motorsports schematic Catalogue).

FS5C71A

Also see the following pic, which is the FS5C71A Factory European Spec 5-speed that came with my two early 1972 240Z’s.
P1160981 - Kopie

Then there is the B-Type from the 1972+ 240Z which is a complete redesign of the “A-type” transmissions.
– The biggest difference is the two-piece Bellhousing of the A, while later B-type has a single piece bellhousing.
– Another visual difference are the Cast-fins on the outside of the housings as seen in the pictures above and here:
FS5C71B transmission

Here is a comparison between the A- and B-type from the S30 from the japanese G-works Fairlady Z S30 Magazine vol. 2:
DSC_0492

– The A-type got the infamous so-called “Monkey Motion” rubber mounted shifter-stick while the B-type shifters have a solid cross pin. Later Model C-types are retained in a top cover plate by a circlip (Called “Top Loader” in american trannies):
stickmounts

Here’s a closer look at my restored early A-Type “Monkey motion” Shifter before assembly:

– The gear ratios were different on both A- and B-types (both in 4- and 5-speeds)
– Due to the redesign the Shifter stick position is moved stlightly to the front in the “B-type” (See below).
– There were also other changes, so be careful when swapping transmissions!
– Note that the B-type Transmission was used over a Long time and in several cars after the 240Z, so it got various design-changes in later models which will or will not fit the 240Z. In this post i will not go into that topic!

Here’s a Comparison between the 240Z transmissions, Left to right:
FS5C71A “Long tail” 5speed from the 1970-1971 240Z (non-US)
FS5C71B 5speed from the 1972+ 240Z (non-US)
FS5W71C from Later Datsun / Nissan model cars
3N71B Spline Type 3-speed Automatic (1972+ non-Euro 240Z)
25996

7. Date / Serialnumber of Change
When exactly did those Changes happen?

7.1 Automatic
The American Parts microfiche book states that the 3N71A Type transmission was used up to March 1971, before it was replaced with the 3N71B Type in April 1971:

According to the Japanese Parts microfiches, the A-type Auto transmission was used up to SNR S30-004902

And the first B-type Auto transmission started with Car No S30-004903

7.2 Manual 4-speed
The Japanese parts manual lists the Change from SNr S30-07500 for the Old F4W71A transmission, with the new F4W71B introduced at SNr. S30-07501


The American Manual says the A-type was used up to August 1971 and the B-type introduced from September 1971

7.3 Manual 5-speed

Strangely, the Japanese parts manual does not list a date or SNR for the change of the complete transmission assembly, like in the 4-speed manual or 3-speed auto transmissions. Inbstead they just list a date, until which the gear set from the FS5C71A was used. Namely up to SNr S30-8478 and PS30-514. I highly expect that this SNR is where the complete transmission changed from A-to by type.

Then there is the (pretty surely) wrong information stated in the Japanese sports transmission manual, t hat the B-type was only introduced in 1973:

And the Swiss 1979 Microfiche which doesn’t even name the B-type 5-speed, despite the facts that my two Swiss-spec Z’s both have them and many other’s i know. so this list is clearly incomplete too..

7.4 Center Console
There are two different types of Center consoles. One with the Ashtray in front of the stick  and one behind. Some sources say that’s because of the difference in shifter stick Position in A- and B-transmissions (See above).

I made a picture for comparison:

I cannot confirm above information, since both of my early 1972 cars (built end of 1971) came with the early A-type 5-speed and the later Center console with the ashtray behind the stick (See picture below). This would be a wrong combination according to the sources but i’m pretty sure this was the factory equipment in both of my cars. It seems that the center console was changed indipendently from the transmission but around the same time, but not exactly. At least not in all markets (see information below)P1170175

The european, american and austrialian microfiches state that the console was changed from August 1971

The 1972 Parts manual from Japan just mentions the change in 1972, but also mentions the change introduced at SNr: S30-007501 and PS300501 (Z432). So probably export markets got the new console installed earlier?

8.1. Transmission interchangeability
8.1.1 Datsun Roadster 2000 FS5C71A into 240Z:
In America People used to install the Roadster 2000 FS5C71A transmission to get a 5-speed into their Z. This Retrofit was officially sold by Nissan / NISMO USA.

I was able to find a receipt of someone who bought this swap at a nissan dealer including all the part numbers needed:
FS5C71A Conversion kit reciet1

The following information is from the 1998 american NISMO manual:

8.4.2 A-type with A-type
Swapping an Manual A-type 4-speed to a 5-speed should be a simple thing without any modifications needed since both have similar length and shifter positions.

A 4 vs 4 speed

8.4.3 A-type to B-type
Here you can see a A-type US-spec 4-speed Transmission (front) and a B-type US-spec 4- or 5-speed in the rear. According to the source, both transmissions are within a small fraction of an Inch of each other in total length. The 510 Transmission identification Manual (See Documents below), Says that all 4- and 5-speed both A- and B-types of the 240Z have a total length of 31.5In / 775mm, so this might just be within the tolerances.

Trans Change Shifter dif Type A Type BTrany 001

You can see the Centerline of the “A”-Shifter in the foreground (line #3) sits about 2.25 inchehs behind the Center line of the B-type Transmission (rear, line #1).
Line #2 is the rear end of both transmissions.
Trans Change Shifter dif 001
To install a Later B-type five Speed, which was sold as Competition Part in US at one Point in a car that was initially equipped with an A-type (four Speed) Transmission, Nissan sold the “Shifter Kit” (Part number 99996-E3030) as seen on the B-type Transmission in the back. It’s basically a bent stick where the original one is straight. The Shifter kit is not available anymore (Courtesy Nissan Information to my request in 2016) but i guess you can just bend the original stick. Also a different propeller shaft is needed.
See also this information from the 1998 Transmission manual:

The shifter sticks are not interchangeable between A and B-type and 4- and 5-speeds.

8.4.4 Later Datsun / Nissan transmission swaps
There are possibilities to swap to a huge array of different Datsun / Nissan Transmissions, but to not make it more complicated for the Moment, i will make a separate post about this Topic later.

9. Transmission / gearing overview
I made an overview based on existing overviews and doublechecked everything with FSM’s, schematics, competition catalogues, E-Fast database, Original Micro-fiches and so on for hours. however sometimes some data was not 100% clear. anyhow i think this is the most complete overview about 240z Transmissions and (later) Options.

Note that this list is not 100% complete since there were also optional single gears to choose and 4-speed optional gears which i didn’t include in the list.
Also note that the part number for the same part may be different in different markets or may have changed over the time.
Transmission overview 240z
Click here to download the full PDF file (Free)

If text is coloured in a certain colour this means the “source” with the same text-colour mentioned this data, while all the other sources mentioned the black text. Sometimes it’s obviously a typographic Error but in some cases im not sure.

Also note that there are several other Datsun / Nissan 71A/B Transmissions and Gear kits wich will fit the original transmission and / or L-Series motor but not listed above since they were used in different cars. The list above only contains transmissinos wich were used by factory or sold as option through nissan for the 240Z / Fairlady S30 in different markets.

10. Brass “Warner” vs Servo “Porsche” style steel Synchros
There are both Porsche style steel servo synchros and Warner style Brass synchros. What’s the difference? I  have no own experiences but i found following information online:

– The porsche type reacts slower than the warner type
– Porsche type shifts smoother than Warner type
– Porsche type snycros dislike being “speed shifted” (probably due to lower reaction times)
– Warner type is great for drag racing (Fast shifting possible due to fast reaction times)
Since all “competition” transmissions came with porsche synchros despite having slower reaction times, i guess they can handle slightly more power and / or last longer under heavy usage compared to brass synchros. Otherwise it would not make a lot of sense to have these in “competition” (or non-US standard) gearboxes.
synchro_types

11. Clutch throw out bearing collars / sleeves
Upon request i added this information. I found it here:

http://www.classiczcars.com/topic/53029-could-it-be-a-slipping-clutch/

A lot of people refer to the collar by the transmission, but that can be misleading. Its better to go by the year. Datsun changed the pressure plate the same time they changed the 71A to the 71B transmission. After that its all over the place. You can get a 71B 4 speed with thre different collars, just depends if its in a 240Z, 280Z or a 2+2.

The to drawing below show how you can get confused by using the transmission to determine collar height. The second drawing show the same, but per model Zed.

12. Speedometer Pinion Gear
Update 19.04.2017: I was looking myself for the correct speedometer pinion gear and figured out this part was missing yet. So here we go. I made a nice overview for you:

Picture from Zparts.com showing all the gears:

13. Transmission crossmembers
Update 02.02.2018: I Discovered there are totally three types of transmission crossmembers for the 240Z. Thought this might be useful to know as well, so check out the details in a separate post i made here with additional informations about the bushings: http://www.jdmjunkies.ch/wordpress/2018-02-04/240z-new-custom-made-transmission-crossmember-bushings/

14. Shift patterns
I found this picture in the Nissan Sports transmission manual, showing various shift patterns. Not all of these were used in the S30 chassis, but might still be useful in some cases:

15. Fluids
Coming soon

16. Optional / Competition / NISMO / Racing Parts
In the 1998 NISMO Catalogue i found a set of Aluminum bushings for the A-type Transmission:

And they offered also a set of stiffer Polyurethane Bushings for the B-type Transmission mount:

17. Original Documentation
There are a big range of original Service manuals and some not so obvious manuals available in various market versions for the different transmissions. Aside from the standard FSM and Parts manuals of course, which should always be the starting point.

Here you get a short overview and some are available as download:

Datsun FS5C71A transmission service manual (From Roadster 2000 SR311 Manual, will also works for 240Z 5-speed except a few design changes):
FS5C71A transmission service manual (Roadster 2000)

Nissan Motorsports schematic catalog (99996-M8015), which includes an english
FS5C71A / F5C71B Parts exploded view / Partslist:

Read more about it and download it here:
https://www.jdmjunkies.ch/wordpress/2016-05-14/240z-nissan-motorsports-schematic-catalog-99996-m8015/

Datsun / Jatco 3N71A Automatic transmission Manual:
Datsun – Service Manual – Full Automatic Transmission – 3N71A

Nissan Japan Sports transmission Manual 1973

See full story and download here: https://www.jdmjunkies.ch/wordpress/2018-10-23/240z-nissan-sports-and-rallye-transmission-manual/

Japanese race and rally preparation Manual (picture shows early version):

“Five and dime” 510 Magazine Volume 11, Issue 4, Datsun / Nissan Transmission identification guide (See Pages 04-09 for a lot ofinformation):
Five and Dime vol11 issue 04 (Nissan Transmission Identification)

Datsun FS5C71A transmission Rebuild Manual by Rising Sun Racing (1987):
FS5C71A Rebuild Manual by Rising Sun Racing (1987)

18. Spareparts
Spareparts – especially for the early manual 5-speed are hard to find these dase, but below you find some adresses that still sell some parts:

http://www.swmotorsport.com.au
http://www.drivetrain.com/parts_catalog/manual_transmission_part…
http://www.datsunparts.com/Transmission-Kits-and-Packages
Those japanese Vintage skyline and S30 specialists are definitely worth a visit.
here’s a flyer from Transmission specialist Vintagecraft-e-za, as an example:

Some parts like new bushings for the early A-type five speed transmission i found on ebay:

19. Useful Links
An overview about different nissan / Datsun transmissions and gearing:
http://www.gracieland.org/cars/techtalk/gearing2.html
http://www.zhome.com/ZCMnL/tech/GearRatios.html

20. Thanks for reading
I thank anyone who provided some information for this Post.
If you find any mistakes and can prove it with an official document, please let me know so i can update this post with the correct Information!

Posted in 240Z Knowledge posts, 240Z Project | 25 Comments

OTHER: Cars in the Neighbourhood

Ever since we moved to this small little famers village with 300 people living here, i’m surprised with how many gearheads live here in the neighbourhood. While i haven’t really gotten to talk with all of them, i snapped some shots while walking by, and thought i’ll make a little post.
One of our neighbours has a historic tractor collection. Pre-war single-piston machinery. Unfortunately i wasnt able to take pictures yet but once i get to talk with him i’ll snap a few if he allows me to.
What surprised me a bit more is that down the road, one guy owns some heavy modified show trucks. Not exactly what you expect behind some barn doors. I’m not sure if he uses them for business too or just for show, but they’re cool nevertheless and i don’t think i’ve ever seen a serious show truck in switzerland at all…

Then there are Subies. The subaru is jokingly known as the “Farmers Porsche” over here and there are many of them and that’s nothing wrong at all. One of our neighbours seem to come home with a range of them changing every now and them. but my favourite so far is the one with the rallye team livery:

One of my other neighbours owns two Chevy Camaros. which is probably nothing special in America, but over here those are enthusiast cars which you don’t se tooo often. I mean they’re not rare exactly, but still a car that stands out and something i didn’t expect to see…

One of our neighbours was an electric car pioneer, owning one now for i guess more than 20 years. They were a station of what i think was an all electric car rallye through switzerland. so the other day around 12 electric cars stopped here for a break and recharge, before they continued further. From quite normal ones:

To more exotic “cars” like those twikes:

I guess there is more hidden in those garages. I’ll try to get a more in-depth update in future.

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240Z: Chassis stripping part 1

While the Z is at my place, my Bodyshop gave me some homework: To completely strip the chassis from all the seam sealer, undercoating, bondo and paint so that it’s easier for him to remove old welds and weld new stuff… started by removing the biggest chunks in the front inner fender area with a spatula. but after an hour i realized i need a faster solution.

After a bit of research, i found this tihng called Turbo-Igel (Turbo Hedgehog). The name comes from the “hook” style spikes that remind of a hedgehog

This thing works absolutely brilliantly and isnt really agressive to the metal due to it’s unique shape.

The problem is, after 10 minutes the effect really starts to weaken since the hooks get dull. but you still can u se it totally for about 30minutes at a maximum speed of 3500 rpm. then all the hooks are gone 🙂

With two disks i managed to get this much done in approx. 2 hours of work:

Well and while the car got cleaner, i got dirtier 🙂

And i removed approx 3-4 kgs of Bondo / Paint, underbody coating, seam sealer etc..

Still a lot to do. for me and the bodyshop. can you see all those terribly cheap repair attempts from previus owner? And rusty spots? And dents where there shouldn’t be?
Well… i’ve come too far to stop now, i gues 🙂

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240Z: Project state update 2020

As a regular reader you may have noticed the lack of real updates on the Z project over the last few years. My Teacher in primary school always told me “do one thing by the time, but that well” and ever since, i’ve stuck with it. When i do something, i fully concentrate and dedicate myself to it. So when i get the feeling that i have different priorities that need my attention, then i will put a project aside and “forget” about it. That was what unfortunately happened with the Z, when i had the great oppurtunity to organize an incredibly nice wedding with my now-wife and build an absolutely great dream-home to us.
Approx 1,5 years after all this was done, i can say that most of the small stuff that was leftover from these projects are done now and even with corona, short-term work and the new management school which i started, i have the feeling that finally i have some “free” time to spend on my cars again. Actually i already spent a few evenings with the Z again this week. So you can expect some updates on this blog soon.
Unfortunately i lost track of all those small things i was working on for the car, so i really have to bring myself into the project again. There will always be hurdles like missing money or time, but the project was never dead and i still have a strong plan to finnish it at some point. I’ve ordered parts, and slowly getting back into the project again. So i really hope there are more regular updates again soon.
here’s a picture of chassis number one, which i bought almost exactly 10 years ago and which brought me into the Z-restoration thing and quickly escalated into the huge restauration project i have now. but it’s still fun and i love to tinker with it (allthough i’m on chassis number two now), with the goal to finally enjoy the fruits of labour at one point. Let’s just hope that gasoline powered cars have not been banned by then 🙂

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240Z: Looking for inner rear Fender LH & Air vent Channel LH

I’m still looking for two (prefereable NOS) panels to complete the 240Z Chassis.
IF you have those parts and are willing to sell, or if you know somebody, please contact me by any possible way!! thanks in Advance.
1) The Front air Channel LH. Nissan Part No: 64151-E4100 superseded by 64151-N4501

2) The rear inner fender LH: 76713-E4150 Superseded by 76713-N3450

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ATENZA: Photoshoot 2020

Ever since i installed the new optional / Mazdaspeed Roof spoiler, i wanted to grab my camera and take some nice pictures. Well it didn’t really happen until yesterday. I decided to give it a quick wash and checked out some locations.
Decided the local Quarrel was the perfect spot at sundown. I then selected three of the best pictures and made them a bit more clean and expressive, using my simple and very limited photoshop skills.
Here we go, i hope you enjoy them as much as i do 🙂

Posted in Atenza GJ / Mazda 6 | Leave a comment

TRIP: Grand Tour of Switzerland pt. 4/4 – Montreux – Gruyere – Estavayer le lac- Neuchâtel – Schaffhausen

Before i return back to normal operation with more car related blog posts, i’d like to share the fourth and last installment of our Roadtrip. We start where the last post ended (in beautiful Montreux) and slowly move back homewards, with a few stopovers in between.
Our first stop was where we actually wanted to stop at Day 1 of our tour, but then changed plans (See last post). Gruyere:

Gruyere is a beautiful little village on top of a hill with an attached historic castle, surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery…

The world famous castle is extremely well preserved and definitely worth a visit:

Look at the incredible size of this fireplace:

Every room offers so much to see… with all the incredible details so well preserved or restored…

In one of the castle’s outside buildings there’s also the H.R. Giger museum (of Alien Movie design fame). Unfortunately i wasn’t allowed to take pictures inside. But if you Like H.R. Giger and the Alien movies. THIS is the place to go. It hosts world’s biggest collection of H.R. Giger Art including a lot of original movie set stuff. The only thing i could take a picture from is the “Birthmachine” Sculpture hung outside the Museum. On the other side there’s also a Giger Themed bar with incredible design, but it was still closed early in the morning…

We decided to eat brunch in gruyere. I mean it’s the place where world famous “gruyere” cheese comes from after all. So you defintely should get a cheese plate and a glass of local white wine, while here 🙂

We then hit the road again and stopped at Estavayer le lac. a small town at the Lake Neuchatel. It is famous for the street art exhibitions and you can get a free map at the tourist office, bringing you to all the cool art pieces and guiding you around the town (approx 1-2 hours). This piece was a huge beautifully made embroidery on a house wall…

This one was made of hundreds of handmade steel origimi birds..

And this piece was hand-carved into a wooden barn door…

After we’d seen all the beautiful art, we moved to our Goal for the day: Neuchatel. After checking in we wen’t directly to the hotels rooftop bar, which is probably one of the best rooftop bar views you can have in switzerland:

With the Yacht marina (one of them) and the Port directly below:

Later we went for a swim in the lake and a little walk in the sunset

Before we returned to the hotel for an incredible dinner with a beautiful breeze and view. Who needs the sea when you have this just two hours from home?

The next day we spent sight-seeing in Montreux.

I really love this place with the youthful vibe and lots of historic buildings, but also lot of hip places to go and tons of great food…

As you may realize now: Switzerland has historic castles in every damn corner 🙂

Like Estavayer, Neuchatel is also known for the street art to be seen everywhere, and i just love this stuff..
 

Unfortunately we had to return home then, because i had to go to management school on saturday. but not before enjoying the silence with a fancy drink at a nice, hidden little beach bar…

Thats it. hope you enjoyed the tour with us. Now let’s get back to the greasy and oily car wrenching posts again 🙂

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TRIP: Grand Tour of Switzerland pt. 3/4 – Schaffhausen – Jaunpass – Col du pillon – Montreux

This is the third installment of our tour through switzerland will show you a different area of switzerland. Rather than continueing through the mountain passes. we decided to go to the “Lake area” of the french speaking part of switzerland which i’ve never really explored before.. Well that was the plan at least.
We decided to take the more comfortable wifey’s Mazda 3 (Aka Axela) this time.

We took the Autobahn directly to the area of Gruyere, where we wanted to visit the Caillier chocolate factory. Due to COVID-19 only the guestshop was open and the factory tours limited, so we decided to check out some other tourist attractions instead.

But there was heavy rain and lots of people. So we thought about continuing to our far goal for that day, Montreux, directly. but that would mean we already would be there quite early, with not much to do in the terrible weather. Luckily we took a wrong turn at some point, and when i saw the Sign “Jaunpass” I realized, we just found accidently a detour to Montreux through some places i know – via the famous “Jaunpass”. Well, the desicion was easy. off we go 🙂

The jaunpass is a less known, smaller mountain Pass between the Alps of Berne and Fribourg. But it’s a lovely road and not very crowded, especially on rainy days like this one was…

After going through the Simmental-valley (of simmental beef fame) direction Zweisimmen, we continued to the fancy “rich and famous” village of gstaad:

Where we stopped for a bit of sight-seeing and some nice coffee and cake

Before we went back to on the road direction Montreux at the lake of geneva.

There are several routes, but we decided to take another mountain pass – The “Col du Pillon” 

The rain changed from heavy to medium and let us enjoy the beauty of haze in the mountains:

To be honest, this is one of the best driving roads i’ve ever been. Much less crowded then the Furka and grimsel pass and so much fun to drive… Since the scenery is a bit less stunning (but still incredible) it let’s you focus on driving, rather than enjoying the view. It’s just one of those perfect roads…

At the end of the pass you will arrive in Aigle. Check out the lizard of stone in the Serpentines where you drive down between the vinyards….
The lizard is the famous “aigle de murailles” white-wine brand symbol, coming from this area…

At the bottom you’ll find the beautiful “cheateaux d’aigle” castle

We just stopped for a few pictures before following the road along the lake of geneva direction Montreux:

As soon as we arrived, weather started to get a bit nicer so we were able to check out the City of montreux a bit. I just love it with all those historic hotels and houses along the beautiful green and flowery riviera, you can feel how glamorous this place once was, and still is… 

Montreux is probably most famous for the annual Montreux Jazz festival (where deep purple’s “smoke on the water” came to life as a fire in the nearby casino started while they were recording close to it)

But they also have a lot of public art installations

One of the most famous one probably beeing the Freddy mercury statue:

The next day we decided to check out the  “Chaeteux du Pillon” castle which is incredible well preserved with an important influence in the swiss history…

After that, we took one of the restored old steamboats on lake geneva for a two hour roundtrip, which stopped at places like Villeneuve, Port-valais, Vevey, etc…

They served incredible nice food inside the beautiful boats cuisine:

After returning back on land, the clouds finally disappeared and we were able to enjoy sunny side of life at the riviera with some ice-cream, coffee, drinks, live music and views…

Since the jazz festival got cancelled this year, they had a free public art exhibition called “Silent shores” at the beach walk, which i personally really enjoyed..

After a few drinks we went back to the hotel to enjoy the attached famous restaurant with some great dinner

And a great sunset from the terrace …

The next morning we got greeted with a clear blue sky, glowing mounain tops, and a great view of the valaisanne alps behind the lake of geneva.

After breakfast, we took some last views and breaths from our hotel balcony before packing up our things and continuing our roadtrip.  

See the last part of our trip here soon…

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TRIP: Grand Tour of Switzerland pt. 2/4 (Zermatt – Grimsel – Brünig – Schaffhausen)

So for Part two of our journey we decided to take a slightly different route home and visit some nice places along the way.
After taking the train back from Zermatt to Täsch we re-united with the EK9 and started to drive back through the Valleys direction Furkapass.

After meeting these cool moped guys making a similar roadtrip on their Puch’s and Piaggo’s at a local Cheese-shop (I recommend buying some local cheese, which there are shops sprinkled and advertised along the roads)

We decided to fuel up before heading back into the Mountain tops…

But rather continuing back over the Furka-pass again. We took Another direction halfway up. This time: Welcom to the Grimsel Mounain pass:

See the serpentines..?

Along the way we had to stop to let the old Furka steam railway (which is now a tourist ride) pass, which was a nice view with all the waving happy tourists enjoying their holidays.

The drive was really fun, but since it’s a bit shorter than the Furka-pass you’ll have more bikers and caravans on this pass. Check out this video of me driving. Don’t expect any crazy maneuvres. it’s a public road after all, but the view, while pushing the honda through thin mountain air at quite a noise level is definitely worth a thing 🙂 (Watch with sound and wait for VTEC kickin’ in, yo!). It looks much slower in the video then it actually was 😛

It’s just great. especially when you arrive on top at one of the two restaurants.

Where you’d have an incredible view over the lakes on top of the world:

We stopped a bit further down to take some pictures with the grimsel dams in the background:

If you look close you can see the winding road down to the left…

A few hours later down the road (i decided to enjoy the drive instead of taking photos) we made a stop to check out the lovely Aareschlucht (Aare river canyon) which is a nice walk, especially with the hot summer weather we had: It is a several kilometer long walk on a wooden path in the canyon above the river and definitely worth a visit.

After that, we continued towards Meyringen / Interlaken and then went over the Brünig Mointain pass. it’s a short one with lots of traffic, trucks and other stuff you don’t want to have. but still it’s a fun and also a direct link towards home 🙂

I definitely recommend having a nice swiss plate at the top of the pass in this restaurant with a great view down the valley and the Brünig Pass.

We then decided to go back home to enjoy our national day with our friends and families. But instead of just taking the Autobahn we decided to take all the side-roads and continued a bit through germany over the “Küssaberg”, which is another short mountain pass and a shortcut towards home again. Well it’s more of a hill than a mountain but it’s a really nice road…
After the National Day, we hit the road again for Part two of the trip. Pead soon in part 3 and 4 of the story on this Blog here 🙂

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