Register now to get rid of these ads!

Technical Just how reliable is your hot rod or custom?

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. I've traveled thousands of mile across many states over the years and for the most part I've always been able to go and come back, any problems I encountered I was able to make repairs and get back on the road with the exception of a broken clutch shaft on my old flathead powered '32 4 door at Lake Greenwood on a Sunday and our recent return trip home from the All Deuce Run where the crossfire distributor cap suddenly decided to fire on 4 cylinders and left us sitting on the side of the road, both these resulted in getting a friend to bring a trailer and picking us up.

    After more than 45 years of traveling in old cars I feel like my cars are pretty reliable. HRP
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
  2. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 5,997

    from Oregon

    Well... My '27 T is all new or rebuilt but needs the new lights and wiring harness installed yet .... So I would hope it is perfectly reliable once it is completed.:)
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  3. I have driven the Buick over 20,000 and the ONLY problems have been self induced.

    Jet96, HOTRODPRIMER and nochop like this.
  4. OzyRodder
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 301


    I daily drive my 32 and do longer trips on weekends. Mechanical brakes, 3 speed and all. Henry built them to be driven.

  5. Joe_dirt1
    Joined: May 28, 2019
    Posts: 50


    my old 61 chevy truck had factory 410 gears and 4 spd on the floor....I made the mistake twice to install a hopped up small block that was great in town...but them long hauls on the highway at highway speeds took a toll on the small block twice...blew the engine once and the next motor developed a bad rod knock
    I ended up putting a 308 geared rear end after that
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  6. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 2,622

    from norcal

    So far so good, did run out of gas once. Nothing like almost getting run over by a hiboy while pushing it.......
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  7. ElSolo
    Joined: May 8, 2019
    Posts: 11


    Drove my Roadster from Albany New York thru ,PA,Ohio,KY,TENN,ARK,OKLA,KANS,COLO,UTAH,ID to Boise Idaho in October of 2015 aside from hitting a Bridge pot hole in Maryland highway that felt it ripped my front axle off and the wind in Wyoming trying to BLOW my top off, Luckily I had previously safety wired it and held on to middle most the way!! plus getting really cold on my last leg from Salt lake to Boise at night all went well .. Most people question where what kind of gas mileage do you get and what kind of car is it LOL … I did have the radiator brace attached to top center of the radiator break a couple months after I got home that I attributed to vibration, I had about 13000 miles on it at the time and had travelled to Car shows in Canada,Vermont,Cape Cod,NJ and allover New York prior to this trip. As a side note I did not build this car I made a lot changes to it on engine windshield and top etc to make it more to my liking but has been super reliable and still driving the heck out if and like to give a lot credit to guy in Colorado I originally purchased it from!!

    Attached Files:

    brianf31, phelan9251, Jet96 and 5 others like this.
  8. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,280


    I don't tolerate unreliable cars any more. I just don't have the time for it. It's hard enough to carve out time to go to shows or cruises, time spent sitting on the side of the road isn't in the cards now. I've done a lot of work on the front end to make sure once a car is on the road, it's there for good and I don't have issues to worry about. That often means taking a lot of time to make sure all aspects of the car are sorted and well-thought out from inception, including fuel, braking, exhaust, electrical, and especially cooling. If you do that, there's no reason not to run the cars for long drives and trips without concern.
    Fordor Ron, 1934coupe, Jet96 and 5 others like this.
  9. Mike VV
    Joined: Sep 28, 2010
    Posts: 2,577

    Mike VV
    from SoCal

    Sold it a year or so back, but I put a little over 93,000 on my 59 Lark, 2dr. wagon. 259 with an auto trans.
    It was my daily driver, from 1/4 mile to the store, to 250 miles to a drag race...didn't matter, it WAS my daily driver.

    Only had two problems in those miles. A thermostat stuck closed which required a tow home and a few years later, a freeze/core plug blew out of the block. Not knowing exactly what had happened, I drove it home...with NO water in it (didn't realize that till I got home and it cooled off). Not saying how far..!
    I did change the oil at the same time that the new freeze plug went in.
    I was surprised, no obvious damage occurred.
    I put another 15,000 or so miles on it after the freeze plug problem, before putting a for sale sign on it.

    As reliable as any other, old car or not.

  10. burl
    Joined: Nov 28, 2007
    Posts: 770

    from Minnesota

    Well I think they more reliable then we give them credit.
    Couple of years ago I had a goal to get this project out to Colorado for the hot rod hill climb.Last year didn't work out so I worked pretty hard all this year to get a car ready for the event.Its a mix and match of parts but I thought it would workout.So about a week before the event I get the car running and driving but its making so much noise im thinking no way.We drop the pan and tighten up the bearings and it gets a little better.Right up until a day before we are supposed to load and head out I tell my friend that I don't think its a good idea to take this car,i had not even driven it more than about 5 miles.My buddy says don't worry so much it will all be fine.He was absolutely right.Car ran great after a little tuning.We did the reliability run with out any issues made it up to 10,600 feet and drove the oh my god road.Even had it up to 64 on the freeway.So yah I think the are pretty reliable hrhc 2019.jpg hrhc 2019-1.jpg
    phelan9251, Jet96, 1947knuck and 8 others like this.
  11. Deuce Daddy Don
    Joined: Apr 27, 2008
    Posts: 5,309

    Deuce Daddy Don

    Well,------After 300,000 miles since 1968, I would say that only problem I had was replacing an axle bearing coming home from the 1972 NSRA Nats in Detroit, Mi.
    Cosmo49, Jet96, 1935streetrod and 4 others like this.
  12. 34Larry
    Joined: Apr 25, 2011
    Posts: 1,652


    Well knocking on wood as I answer HRP.
    Two days after buying it one steering knuckle left me sitting in my neighborhood about a mile away. That was in Nov. of 95 and I had on touched any thing on it yet. After getting it rebuilt and almost done in 2016 and on the road again, I've had three cases of it quitting and needing worked on. However (2) of those were right in my drive which took some time to find and fix, and one case of the tranny failing but still making it back in the garage, which was a topic for me here this summer.
    (Now still knocking and leaving the scene)
    AHotRod and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  13. Bandit Billy
    Joined: Sep 16, 2014
    Posts: 8,705

    Bandit Billy

    My truck is uber reliable, everyday I go out to the garage I can rely on the fact that it's sitting there in pieces waiting for me to work on it. Hasn't let me down yet.
  14. I drive it everyday, that's why I have it....
    Blues4U, Roothawg, 65pacecar and 9 others like this.
  15. Happydaze
    Joined: Aug 21, 2009
    Posts: 1,278


    Sounds like a kiss of death question, so I won't answer for fear of upsetting things!

    hotrodharry2 and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  16. squirrel
    Joined: Sep 23, 2004
    Posts: 50,907


    1980, broke the rear end in my pickup at the drag strip, had to pull it home with a chain.

    2017, broke the transmission in my pickup in the next state over, had to haul it home on a stretcher.

    Other than that, they've always got me home.
    Blues4U, LOU WELLS, Jet96 and 3 others like this.
  17. Jim, there is not a doubt in my mind you don't drive them hard and watch the odometer rack up the big numbers, what amazes me is some of the lemons you undertake long distance trips and never seem to have any problem that would side line most. HRP
  18. adam401
    Joined: Dec 27, 2007
    Posts: 2,755


    I'm hoping my latest car will be reliable. Ive been putting a lot of work in to head the problems off at the pass.
    My previous cars were, to be honest thrown together. Im getting too old for that.
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  19. TagMan
    Joined: Dec 12, 2002
    Posts: 6,198


    I average about 2,000 to 3,000 miles a year on my old car's for the last 50-years and only had one "catastrophic breakdown that required me to rent a car, drive home and get my truck to tow the car back home and that was in a '37 Chevy coupe with a 216 6cyl. Damn babbited bearing came apart on a rod - seems they didn't like 65-70 mph for prolonged periods of time.
    Swapped the engine out for a 235 and ran it for another 20-years.
    Jet96, AHotRod and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  20. < DD, 95,000 mi. in 12 yrs. :cool:
    Yes it's had problems, mostly of my own doings.
    Jet96, AHotRod and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  21. error404
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 337

    from CA

    I've only had my 33 Chevy pickup for almost 2 months now, but I've already put almost 3000 miles on it, I've been driving it every day and will do so until the rain starts this winter, then I'll park it and start doing more major work on it.

    Reliability is one of the key things I try to keep in mind with my vehicles. I like DRIVING my vehicles, haha! I want the ability to jump in it and go for a road trip without wondering "will it make it?". I've mentioned before, but in my 46 Willys (jeep) I've driven it on many long trips, even across the US and back for almost a 6000 mile trip. That was the first vehicle that I really "built" myself, and it gives me alot of pride to drive around in it.

    I probably put alot more miles on my old vehicles than most people do. If I'm going somewhere, I'd rather take an old vehicle. It makes the trip fun and more memorable.
  22. cheap-n-dirty
    Joined: Jan 28, 2002
    Posts: 819


    my 32 roadster in the 5 years it has been on the road it is dead reliable. it is now at 15,000 miles
    Firebird drags 009.JPG
    my 32 pickup had over 250,000 miles and was reliable except when it dropped a valve in the sb ford at 210,000 miles.
    richards camera 007.jpg
  23. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 8,477


    With my old hobby cars as an adult only 1 flatbed ride home for my wife's 51 Buick. Years ago when I was a kid street racing many chain tows home, various driveline failures, lots of practice, got pretty good at it. Several Flatbed rides for late model cars, suvs, trucks, most under warranty yet. I have not had the best of luck with new vehicles of any American brand, I do not abuse anything, do all recommended maintenance, been saying for years, when problems arise, not many Mr Goodwrench men I've come across in general. I do not put the miles on like some I'm reading here, none of my hobby cars are a daily driver and fortunate to have a few cars, 2000/3000 miles per season/car is about it.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2019
    AHotRod and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  24. rockable
    Joined: Dec 21, 2009
    Posts: 3,786


    Since I do all my own mechanical work, I check my cars out thoroughly and, most would say, I am compulsive about them. I am because I do not like being on the side of the road and, in those rare instances when that occurs, I'm pissed.
    wicarnut and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  25. KoolKat-57
    Joined: Feb 22, 2010
    Posts: 3,043

    from Dublin, OH

    I've put 44,000 miles on my '57 Pontiac
    Couple of thousand on the Deuce in the short time I've owned it IMG_0010.jpg IMG_0012.jpg Just normal repairs as needed.
  26. dana barlow
    Joined: May 30, 2006
    Posts: 4,688

    dana barlow
    from Miami Fla.
    1. Y-blocks

    Depends more on me,I think,more on if I'm keeping up with my old hot rod. Needs 292Y rebuild but still running,just not as well,2 low cly near 50lbs. that makes it harder to start. The cost of new pistons/rings/bearings /gaskets/bore,just an't coming together yet,nor has it for last 5 years,when I put new set of stock rings in. 001 (4).JPG
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2019
    Jet96, KoolKat-57, 1947knuck and 3 others like this.
  27. bill gruendeman
    Joined: Jun 18, 2019
    Posts: 610

    bill gruendeman

    I did a 4000 miles road trip on newer build (3000 mile when we left) should not be a big deal, other than I built the car! Only problem was a stuck brake light switch. Now with over 20000 miles trouble free miles.
  28. 2935ford
    Joined: Jan 6, 2006
    Posts: 3,729


    Let's put it this way.
    Every time I go out I expect something to go wrong and if it doesn't, well, it makes for a good day If it does, I just deal with it and carry on! :)
    Jet96, dana barlow, AHotRod and 2 others like this.
  29. Reliable???

    Never drove any of my heaps more than 11 miles each way to my work....had the brakes lock up on the AD style truck once...never could figure it out....let stuff cool off and it worked fine...

    I use to hear my dad talk about driving his older cars all over the country and Europe too....I envy him now for being so nonchalant about driving like he was a different world back in the 1950s as compared to nowadays...

    And you guys that drive your old are my heros for sure...

    AHotRod and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  30. Well HRP I really love the feeling when 1500 miles from home in an ol Flathead I built myself. I usually pat the dashboard and say "thanks ol friend ya done it again" in the last 20 years only on the hook once and that was about 20 miles from home............. still love this pic from Bonny........
    Blues4U, Dave29, Jet96 and 6 others like this.

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!


Copyright © 1995-2021 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.