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Event Coverage Lessons from a Break Down.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Jive-Bomber, May 15, 2014.

  1. Jive-Bomber
    Joined: Aug 21, 2001
    Posts: 3,322


    Jive-Bomber submitted a new blog post:

    Lessons from a Break Down.


    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
    themoose likes this.
  2. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 19,213

    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    God, I love that car... You need to post some updated shots. I've only seen a few since the chop.
    HEMI32 likes this.
  3. olcurmdgeon
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,107


    Jive-bomber, that lesson about long trip with newly finished car is a tough one to learn. Back in the 80s I was lucky to find a '33 5W that was all in pieces in Manchester, NH. Had to drive around town to pick up all the pieces here and there on a snowmobile trailer. Over the winter we put it back together, small block, auto, in primer. My buddy and I decide we are going to York, PA with it that June. We were literally bolting on the running boards the Thursday before we left. On Friday after work we took off from Exeter, NH in the rain. Got down in Connecticut and it was raining so hard I had trouble seeing to drive. So we slowed down and got off the highway to a motel. I went to turn right into the motel and the car wouldn't turn. I had to back up, go forward, back up and eventually made the turn and parked at the motel. An inspection underneath soon revealed the ugly story. The jam nuts on the drag link had not been set and the steering arm had been unscrewing itself, growing longer. As it was, we probably had two or three threads holding that link to the steering arm as we hurtled along at 65 mph in the pouring rain. Dick sat on the curb of the parking lot for a half hour, his head in his hands and never said a word! Guess the Good Lord wanted to keep a couple of knuckle heads around a while longer. We finished the trip down to York and back with only one other issue, the brass brake fitting on the rear end impacted the rumble seat floor and cracked, requiring a junk yard search at the NYS/PA line for a replacement. I have never again taken a newly finished ride on a long trip, opting for sufficient debugging local trips first. By the way, your car is super looking.
  4. Cliche as hell , but, It is the journey, not the destination
    Good story.
    M1Lover likes this.

  5. aplayer
    Joined: Dec 2, 2006
    Posts: 148


    Honestly I love these stories. I was driving years ago to meet my dad in Illinois in my Chevelle when one of the bolts on the alternator bracket broke, and the alternator fell off, hanging by the wires. I pulled off I-70, found enough things in the trunk to fix it, cut a 10mm socket in half to use as a bushing and hit the road again with the alternator zip-tied to the master cylinder to take some of the vibration out of it. Found an all-night truck-repair shop that night and fixed it right.
  6. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,132

    from Central IL

    Great story! I am about to do this tomorrow (200 miles to the Rust Revival))
    in a car I haven't driven past my driveway yet. Pray for me!
  7. There's a solution to every problem, and at the end of the day, there's always a way to make it to your destination.
    I learned that one the hard way last Sunday... And yes, the trailer was a bit too wide for the flatbed.
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,727


    A box of cigars is always in my roadtrip supplies. When I break down, first thing I do is pull out a cigar, sit on the running board and smoke it. That takes 'bout a hour. It gives me time to abandon my first panic solutions to the problem (like calling AAA) and allows me to formulate a more reasoned approach. You can usually figure the best solution in an hour's time, any more is overthinking it.
  9. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,635

    dirty old man

    Subscribe so I can come back and find this thread later when I have time to type out a couple of good stories on this subject. In 60 years of driving, lots of it in old cars, I've had quite a few adventures along this line.
  10. tommy
    Joined: Mar 3, 2001
    Posts: 14,758

    Member Emeritus

    the ones with a breakdown are always the most memorable. The uneventful cruises all seem to run together. Most of us have been there done that and can relate to the embarrassing feeling. You will always remember that one.
  11. Paso,,,, First time in my 40 pickup tripower crapped out, limpped to Buellton, got a room, the next morning, went to the NAPA and bought a whole 4 barrel setup and swapped it in the hotel parking lot,,,Next time up staying at 'the barracks' lost the Z bar bolt, with the help of welding vendors, I made one and drove home with somewhat of a clutch with only 3rd and 4th,,, and then there was the trip to LSRU and Fort Stockton,,,,,,,,,,
  12. Jeff Norwell
    Joined: Aug 20, 2003
    Posts: 13,027

    Jeff Norwell
    Staff Member

    AAA/CAA is your best friend
  13. Growing up in Sioux Falls a bunch of us would go to Anoka, MN every year and this guy and his car would break down every time, first year he was snapping grade 8 bolts that the shocks were connected to, (this why I won't use grade 8 bolts on moving parts). Heading to Oklahoma City for the Nationals and the same owner decided he didn't want to break down on a big trip so he put his car on a trailer and the tow vehicle broke down more then any of the cars. That guy was putting thousands of miles on his car driving it daily but once it hit the highway it was a pile.
  14. czuch
    Joined: Sep 23, 2008
    Posts: 2,688

    from vail az

    I've been on a few test drives that have turned into Health walks.
    bengeltiger, LEADDIN and tb33anda3rd like this.
  15. Automotive Stud
    Joined: Sep 26, 2004
    Posts: 4,100

    Automotive Stud

    No matter how prepared you think you are or how many trouble free miles you have under your belt, you just never know when driving an old car. On the way home from the Rodder's Journal Revival in October we lost spark on I-95. Fortunately it was in an area where I could pull off. Brought an extra distributor, coil, test light, ect... but wound up not having the right connectors to swap the coil and wound up riding on a rollback home. Thought we had it straighted out at home only to have another problem with it last week. Hopefully we'll get it straightened out sooner rather than later so we can make the trip this fall, hopefully less eventfully.

    Attached Files:

  16. This is a timely post for me

    I have a 1700 mile round trip to Billetproof in Washington and back to Montana planned at the end of June...

    I'm looking forward to the social forums being back up, a couple HAMB connections along the route are worth their weight in GOLD.
  17. I do the same thing hahaha.

    No matter how reliable you're car is it helps to have as many spare parts and tools that you can fit in the back. Even if it's not you're car I have been able to pass on spare parts and tools to other gearheads along the way. Other guys have done the same for me. Always carry spares because you never know what you may encounter.
  18. 29AVEE8
    Joined: Jun 28, 2008
    Posts: 1,384


    No matter how well prepared you are, and no matter how well you maintain them, they all can suffer mechanical ills. At least when it happens in this case you have a gorgeous Merc. to work on. That car can break down on me anytime.
  19. LAROKE
    Joined: Sep 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,727


    On my first roadtrip in my stock '55 Chevy truck, I carried a spare of everything I could think of in the pickup bed. It was enough to ward off Murphy and give me over 5,000 troublefree miles by the time I got back home 23 days later. Here's a link to the supplies list -
  20. enloe
    Joined: May 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,567

    from east , tn.

    My son and I are about to do this in our 61 Chevy about 230 miles each way to the Hot Rod Reunion in Bowling Green. So far the farthest it has been is about 75 or 80 miles. We are very excited my son is 10 and he is looking forward to our annual "GUY TRIP"
  21. SanDiegoHighwayman
    Joined: Jun 26, 2012
    Posts: 951


  22. olcurmdgeon
    Joined: Dec 15, 2007
    Posts: 2,107


    another cautionary tale from our '48 Chev coupe. I used to use those clear glass gas filters that had a center core of pot metal (?) that held the two metal ends together with internal coarse threads that pulled the end caps tight on the glass sleeve. We were getting on the Mass Pike in Worcester, MA, early 80s as we had just moved here from MN, and going down the on ramp I see droplets coming out of the louvers on the hood. Don't know why but I pulled over to the shoulder and told the wife and kids to run. Had I assumed that was coolant from a radiator hose leak it could have been a disaster. It was raw gas from one of those cheap fuel filters as the threads had stripped from over tightening (?) allowing the filter to come partially apart. Amazingly nothing caught fire, how only the Good Lord knows. Scared the crap out of the wife. Had a small piece of 3/8 steel tubing in my trunk parts box and with two hose clamps we were soon on our way after giving a lot of thanks for the outcome. Now I use the stainless steel ones with threaded end caps, much more substantial.
  23. If you drive them evidently you are going to sit on the side of the road at some time or another,whether you have just finished the build or your ride has proven it is a serious road warrior.

    Last September I had a alternator bracket fail on the "Ranch Wagon" while happily driving through the Great Smokey Mountains,,the steel bladed fan barely contacted the alternator as I eased of to the side of a narrow two lane road.

    Seeing it was something I couldn't repair on top of the mountain I removed the belt and alternator and proceeded the next 40 or so miles on the battery.

    Necessity being the mother of invention a trip to the hardware store,a couple of bolts,a hacksaw and a length of 1" angle iron and my pal Dave and I was able to fabricate a temporary fix that I was able to enjoy the weekend and get back home. HRP
    tommy likes this.
  24. I remember your trials that year Jay. It is always some risk with a new car. But if you have built it, then you also know how things are put together and you can usually get it fixed. Have some of the std repair or wear items with you in a basic tool kit and you can usually get back on the road. Or at least limp to the next town where you can get the real needed parts. Not always fun, and sometimes causes delays you were not counting on and get to the destination late. But always have the memories for future BS sessions.
  25. johnybsic
    Joined: Oct 8, 2009
    Posts: 612

    from las vegas

    I've had a few. Now i really travel prepared as can be, Funny thing is most of the time i use my stuff to help other folks out! and im completley happy with that. Heres my tip, ALWAYS bring along a roll of Fusion or "F4 tape" and a tube or two of quick steel. that along with a good toox box and fluids crate had more than saved my ass on the road, 4 wheeling as well.
    SanDiegoHighwayman likes this.
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 330


    When we go on trips in spite of all the checks something is bound to happen sooner or later. You know from the start that there is a fix of some kind be it a homemade part, presidential solution or AAA. We all just laugh, have another beer/wine and tell each other that we are just building another memory. These memories seem to be more fun every time we tell about our breakdown.
  27. These older ones used to break down when they were new !

    Traditionally there were mechanics on duty at every gas station.
  28. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 27,363


    I'd think that there are more of us who have a breakdown story for our fun vehicle's first serious road trip trip than those who don;t.
    I first redid my 48 to be able to take it to the NSRA street Rod Nationals in Tulsa in 1973. the truck was a pretty reliable brush painted beater that I bought in march of 1973 for 75.00 in McGregor, Tx and drove to work the next day with ragged 16 inch tires and a 192 chevy II motor under the hood. I did body work, sanded and painted and had it upholstered in a total of 3 months and swapped front hubs and rear axle and the trans in the week before the nats.
    The first 100 miles was pretty uneventful until we started getting the filters plugged up with gold paint because my painter didn't cover the gas filler. Got that fairly well solved and It died crossing the Red River and Club member BoB Davis of Waco came to the rescue with coil. on up the road and pulling into Marrieta the trans threw out a cloud of smoke as the rear seal had gone out and the yoke welded it's self to the output shaft. A trip to a wrecking yard produced a trans with a good tailshaft and we did the swap in the middle of the wrecking yard and took the trans back and stabbed it and were on the road an hour later.
    Three days of having a blast together at the first event we had gone to as participants we boogied home without a problem except my wife's feet got sunburned on the bottom because she had them sticking out the window.

    From that experience and a few others I'd have to believe that a lot of parts that tend to work fine day in day out on short runs during daily driving and even on short weekend jaunts may get over stressed or overheated on long road trips especially in hot weather. Add to that our collective and compulsive "have to meet the deadline to get to the big event", mentality that a lot of us subscribe to or used to subscribe to in years past. That hose clamp that doesn't get tightened, drag bolt that doesn't get tightened or even the timing that didn't get set after a point and condenser change before a 2500 mile road trip towing a trailer. Those things that if we had been at a more relaxed pace we wouldn't have missed.
  29. hotrodladycrusr
    Joined: Sep 20, 2002
    Posts: 20,746


    Breakdowns.....where to start. o_O
    but 9 in a one day trip has got to be a record.:D
    LEADDIN and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  30. Davyj
    Joined: Jul 11, 2011
    Posts: 442


    That is why they call it " fun with old cars" Years back, I had a 48 Chev pick up, the first few days on the road, it would go about 3 blocks and stall out. Ended up being the condensor. when it would get warm it would fail, cool off and be fine. threw an HEI in and solved the problem.............but it was fun sorting it out.

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