The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by flamin' ace, Sep 10, 2014.
I am driving my 56 buick wagon like an old man till I get used to it.WAIT I AM AN OLD MAN lol.Bruce.
try and get your dad and/or mom involved, as stated safety first and be sure to check the brake hoses, repair leaks, good cooling system. and at 55mph you should be able to go any where without problems just don't do any dumb shit.
Carry a spare fan (generator and water pump) belt. If some HAMBers were a bit rough on you, it's because they can tell you're a real car guy and don't want to see you hurt. The truth is dead is permanent and we want you to enjoy life and your truck and hang with us on the HAMB. Good luck.
Make it stop
Make it go
Make it pretty
Always in that order.
Why, you ask ????
Ill go from the bottom up.
If its all pretty but not correct you then need to tear into your "pretty" and that's waisted time and effort.
In the process of making it "go" - & that includes all meaning each and every single components of the vehicle working as they should. In order to do that you will need numerous test drives. To test drive it you need brakes.
That brings us to make it stop coming first.
Now for your own edification "drivability" has nothing to do with completing the vehicle. A stock 59 ford will never be more than that, but it shouldn't be less either. Drivability refers to mostly tuning issues that cause stalling, lack of performance, erratic engine behavior, intermittent problems.
Now go tell your folks you learned something.
Many folks have driven plenty of health safe and accident free miles in 59 ford trucks. There's no problem with the vehicles, it is what it is and that's the idea. Problems arise when the operator acts or treats or thinks is something it's not.
perfect vehicle to learn driving skills.....it won't shift for you, it won't warn you of an obstacle in the road, you have to work the lights, wipers, etc...no traction control or anti lock....take the time to drive the thing safely and you will become a good driver.
follow the advise about the maintenance and modifications above and you will be fine
If it was mine the first thing I would do is go thru the brakes and make sure they work perfect.
Next check the front suspension and steering for wear. Repair or replace any parts worn beyond service spec. Buy a new set of 4 shock absorbers, and have a front end alignment done.
You will be surprised how easy it steers and how well it drives and how nice it rides if you do just these things.
Tires, you know if they are good, not weather cracked or worn out, and if they are properly balanced. If they won't balance it might be the wheels are bent a little, they can be straightened by a well equipped tire store.
Make sure the engine is running its best, tune it up, change oil, and don't forget to check or change the lube in the trans and rear axle and do a complete chassis lubrication.
Now check all the lights work perfect, including headlight aiming.
While you are under the hood check for cracked or worn fan belts, mummified fuel line hose, bulgy rad hoses, heater hoses, check all the rubber parts under the hood.
Blow out the rad with compressed air from behind, or vacuum from in front, to remove dead bugs and dirt.
All this will take you a few evenings and saturdays of work. But should cost well under $500 including a few beverages.
Once you have gone over your truck in this fashion you should be able to drive with confidence pretty much anywhere you want to go.
You don't tell us what engine, trans etc. but even the slowest six cylinder should maintain 55 with no trouble.
I had a 59 Ford six cylinder 3 speed pickup and did what I stated above, and drove it every day for a couple of years.
There were 2 odd things it did. One was, the manifold bolts would work loose and need to be tightened up every 2 or 3 months. I guess I should have replaced them but never did.
The other thing was the vacuum wipers. I didn't like the way they stalled out when I stepped on the gas so I bought a double decker fuel pump with build in vacuum pump. This cost $55 but the wipers worked great.
There is one other nicety which is to have all the springs rearched, cleaned of rust and dirt, and new bushings and sliders installed. This may cost $200 or $300 bucks to have done at a spring shop but will help smooth out the ride.
I mention this last, because it may be nice to have, but if you are on a budget there are other things that come first.
Seat belts are a good idea. Do the above maintenance, get it running and driving real nice, and take your dad for a drive or let him drive it. If he knows the steering, brakes, motor, etc are all working perfect it may take a load off his mind.
Oh ya, a quiet exhaust system is important if you want to calm down the parents.
When I @ 16 yo, rolled my 58 Chevy in 64 -- ya, thatun was MY fault bein a ignorant inexperienced teenager
[ w an ex town cop car ] I came outta it ok -- SEAT BELT!
When my 2door 56 Ford wagon show car was wrecked in 69 - hit both front AND rear -- my wife and I cam outta it ok -- just bruises -- SEAT BELTS AND SHOULDER HARNESES!
When my "Beulah" was destroyed August 2011 -- BOTH Shela [ my highwayhound ] and I came outta it OK just bruised ALSO both of us wearin seat belts AND safety harneses -- not fer THEM, She woulda been THRU the windshield and *I* woulda have had at LEAST a broken left arm, AND a broken heart --
thanks guys this info is soo helpful. the brakes have been redone and it stops just fine, yes, I realize its not gonna drive like my little 90' chevy beretta, and that makes me want to drive it that much more. yes I realize that ill have to do 2mph around tight corners cause any rear wheel drive super wide, super heavy, vintage car will go flying off corners. i have seatbelts that do need to be installed. i will get my steering in check, and i don't give two shits how it looks right now as long as its driving. it handles like a barge and i love that. but the only way to get used to it, and work out the driving kinks, and get it to steer straight, and get it to stop, and to get it to run smooth is to drive it, see whats wrong, and work it out. but my parent wont let me do that because its not drivable. that's what they have to figure out.
first of all, f-1, thats a horrific story, i do hear stuf like this all the time. but he broke the golden rule: NEVER take corners quickly, no matter what youre driving. im edgy taking my little 5oz beretta round corners like that. and thats how it awlays ends. of course not to try to justify street racing.
i doubt ill be darting between stoplights in this thing, cause i have no clue whats gonna fall off/explode when i try to take off in it. plus ill get my ass whopped by all my friends anyway so whats the point? but most of all a crash is the last thing i want to happen. the only thing worse than me getting injured/killed in this thing is someone else getting injured/killed cause i hit them on accident. relax fellas. safety's first, second, and third here
overall this whole deal is a big ol' mess and its gonna take hard work, money and agreements to get this thing going. you guys think its tough building a hotrod sometimes, ill tell ya what, building a hotrod as a teenager is rewarding but SUCKS.
also btw i know it seems like im bashing my parents pretty hard here, but i gotta say, i have some frickin' awesome parents. wouldn't trade em for anything. this is just a new thing to them so its rough going. every time its brought up there's an argument. which is NOT a common thing in my house, so ill be on the road in this thing soon, were just all gonna have to come to an agreement. which so far is yielding no progress.
and for those of you who don't know highway 90 is an ancient, old school, four lane 55 mph highway thats got old restaurants, auto shops, and just neat little places all along the way, old cars are hidden everywhere, and eventually it opens up right on bilouxi beach, aka the PERFECT place to drive your hotrod, kustom, whatever. id take it over the interstate in any car on any day. thats the way to cruisin the coast' so its really not a bad first trip. and itll be the only big trip i make in this truck once i start driving it. the rest will be nice easy round town cruisin'
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