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Old 05-08-2014, 12:43 PM   #1
Admiral
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Default Long-Distance Driving

I'm hoping to have my '36 sedan roadworthy by the summer. I've built it to be a driver and tried to make it as reliable as possible. I was curious if the Ford Barn community had an tips for touring or long-distance driving. Is there anything special to be aware of with these old cars? I'm sure a little common sense goes a looooong way. I plan on keeping a tool box in the trunk with some spare parts like points, a condenser and a couple spark plugs, oh, and of course extra oil as well. Any other suggestions for a flathead V8 road trip?

Old Henry, you're an expert in this area! You'd probably drive to Jupiter and back if a two-track went there and you could get fuel along the way.



Thanks!

- Craig
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

We enjoy extended road trips in our Flatheads as well, I would suggest that you bring along a EFV8 Club roster of members, just in case you find yourself needing assistance in an unfamiliar location, as well as a cell phone and AAA card. I'd also bring a gallon or two of water. Hope you enjoy your journeys and post photos, etc. here on the FordBarn.
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:27 PM   #3
Old Henry
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

The main thing to remember on a long road trip is that, no matter what happens or what goes wrong, you're going to have a blast and are not going to die. Before my first long distance road trip I considered the worse case scenario to decide whether the trip would be worth it. The worse case scenario is that the car dies and, in spite of all of my spare parts, tools, and knowledge, I can not get it going again and have to have it towed to a place to store it (if it's further than 300 miles from home which my AAA will tow it), leave it there, take a bus home, rent a trailer and go back and get it. Once I accepted the slight risk of that worse case scenario I was good to go. In my thousands of miles of road trips I've never had that worse case scenario and only called AAA once to tow to a garage to warm up to get started last winter.

To try to prevent the worse case scenario I try to leave on the trip without any known defects that could kill the car. That doesn't mean the car has to be perfect, just no known critical issues. Of course I keep the car totally maintained per the attached maintenance list and check everything before I leave. I also have the following in the trunk:

My list pretty much tells the story of everything I've had fail that I wouldn't want to be without if it did again.

PARTS:
Condenser
Hose Clamps
Fan belts
16 gauge wire
Bulbs
Spare Inner Tube (Needed two on the Pike's Peak trip)
Selection of carb jets (mostly for Pike's Peak)
High Tension coil wire to test coil
Coil
Fuel pump


TOOLS:
My entire tool box plus:
Test light
Multimeter
16 ga. jumper wires (with alligator clips on each end)
Remote Starter Switch
Timing Light
Tow Strap
Jumper Cables
Fender Covers (for working on engine)
California Duster
Fire Extinguisher
Electric Tire Pump?Starter Battery combo

SUPPLIES;
Quart of oil
CD2 Lead Additive
2 gals. water
2 gals. gas

All of that stuff is kept in an army surplus metal ammo box to keep from just spreading throughout the trunk.

AND: Most important of all: AAA Plus (tows 300 miles) fully paid up!

We're doing our most challenging trip this Saturday driving the 90 mile railroad bed of the transcontinental railroad from Promontory Point where we'll participate in the 145th anniversary re-enactment of the golden spike ceremony, then west to the where that abandoned section of the railroad meets the current railroad that was moved to cross the Great Salt Lake in 1904. Plenty of risk, particularly of old railroad spikes popping the tires. We'll see.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Ford Maintenance Schedule.PDF (583.2 KB, 62 views)
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:30 PM   #4
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

Bring a full set of replacement plugs, as the new alcoholic gasoline will ruin them and you don't want to be sitting on the side of the highway cleaning and gapping a full set of plugs.

And, whenever you have the chance, buy REAL gas instead of the ethanol blend.
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:25 PM   #5
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

Might be a good idea to throw in a jack & a blocks of wood. I didn't see where anyone mentioned a spare tire although Old Henry did mention some inner tubes. Maybe a good book while waiting on AAA,hope you don't it but you never know. OH yeah don't forget you blasted cell phone.
Take lots of pictures & notes.
Happy motoring
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Old 05-08-2014, 02:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by alchemy View Post
Bring a full set of replacement plugs, as the new alcoholic gasoline will ruin them and you don't want to be sitting on the side of the highway cleaning and gapping a full set of plugs.

And, whenever you have the chance, buy REAL gas instead of the ethanol blend.
I guess that's why I see hundreds and hundreds of cars on the side of the road, cleaning plugs. Must be a result of putting millions of miles on while using 'alcoholic gasoline'.
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:08 PM   #7
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

I would bring my laptop. With all of the free "Wi-Fi" sites on restaurants, etc., you should be able to get online without a lot of trouble. I've seen plenty of "cries for help" (especially on the "H.A.M.B.") over the years that got good response.
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Old 05-08-2014, 03:42 PM   #8
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

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Originally Posted by 34PKUP View Post
I guess that's why I see hundreds and hundreds of cars on the side of the road, cleaning plugs. Must be a result of putting millions of miles on while using 'alcoholic gasoline'.
LOL!

I took a long trip last year (3,500 miles) and had a list more extensive than Old Henry's. I had to cross some very remote areas. In the end I only used my tools to fix other people's vehicles... Like Old Henry says, what's the worst that can happen? Slap down the plastic and make the problem go away!

I'd add to O.H.s list:
-- Hose repair tape
-- electrical tape
-- mechanic's wire (couple feet)
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:20 PM   #9
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

That's an art form, packing all that equipment, etc. into the trunk of a Sedan, as they are not too deep...
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

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Originally Posted by 34PKUP View Post
I guess that's why I see hundreds and hundreds of cars on the side of the road, cleaning plugs. Must be a result of putting millions of miles on while using 'alcoholic gasoline'.
Now, I can just visualize that picture!
...And an enterprising service tech making the rounds with a vintage Spark Plug Cleaning Machine!
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Old 05-08-2014, 06:57 PM   #11
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

bendix spring & bolt. can brake flued . fan belt flash light bible & brush up on your praying.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:19 PM   #12
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

Ha - try packing all the spare parts, tools, oil, antifreeze, full gasket set, and so much more in the trunk of my avatar! Did it last year on a 5500 mile trip and over 3 weeks on the road with another Fordbarner, Chuck Lesard, and like it has been said - we mostly used my parts and tools to help others out! But, Murphy's law - if you have it you won't need it ....

If you or someone you know is a member of the NSRA, they have a Fellow Pages and there are plenty of guys listed in it all over the country. Just another source to call for help on if you need it .... if you do not have an accessory plug in your vehicle they can be very, very helpful/handy when the chips are down!
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

Join the Early Ford V/8 club and take the rooster along with you. If you need a part or help most members are pleased to help. On long cross country trips take all the parts you can carry. If you have them you won't need them. Fix the car right in the first place and it will run for years. I did my 39 convertible 32 years ago and put about 125,000 miles on it with a few minor repairs but no major ones. It still runs and sounds perfect. I can jump in it tomorrow and go on a 1,000 or 2,000 mile trip. The only thing I would have to do is change the oil. I have a Columbia 2 speed rear with 3:78 gears and drive 10 hours straight at 65 to 75 MPH. Get the cooling so it runs at 180, I think that's a key to longevity along with good oil pressure. I had the 39 out today and it was 92 and it ran between 178 and 182 the entire time. You also need to be able to fill the radiator up into the filler neck and have it stay there. G.M.
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

There's some great advice here! I'm already a member of the Early Ford V8 Club (Dearborn Regional Group No. 67) so that's one thing out of the way. I think I'll build a custom toolbox that will fit in part of the luggage area to hold the recommended necessities, though it'll have to be small since my car's only a flatback.

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Originally Posted by G.M. View Post
Join the Early Ford V/8 club and take the rooster along with you. If you need a part or help most members are pleased to help. On long cross country trips take all the parts you can carry. If you have them you won't need them. Fix the car right in the first place and it will run for years. I did my 39 convertible 32 years ago and put about 125,000 miles on it with a few minor repairs but no major ones. It still runs and sounds perfect. I can jump in it tomorrow and go on a 1,000 or 2,000 mile trip. The only thing I would have to do is change the oil. I have a Columbia 2 speed rear with 3:78 gears and drive 10 hours straight at 65 to 75 MPH. Get the cooling so it runs at 180, I think that's a key to longevity along with good oil pressure. I had the 39 out today and it was 92 and it ran between 178 and 182 the entire time. You also need to be able to fill the radiator up into the filler neck and have it stay there. G.M.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TomT/Williamsburg View Post
Ha - try packing all the spare parts, tools, oil, antifreeze, full gasket set, and so much more in the trunk of my avatar! Did it last year on a 5500 mile trip and over 3 weeks on the road with another Fordbarner, Chuck Lesard, and like it has been said - we mostly used my parts and tools to help others out! But, Murphy's law - if you have it you won't need it ....

If you or someone you know is a member of the NSRA, they have a Fellow Pages and there are plenty of guys listed in it all over the country. Just another source to call for help on if you need it .... if you do not have an accessory plug in your vehicle they can be very, very helpful/handy when the chips are down!
It's amazing how reliable these old cars are with you guys putting thousands of miles on them in such brief periods of time, though 125,000 in three decades is just as impressive. I often forget these things were designed to be driven all over God's country in all weather conditions on horrible dirt roads with questionable maintenance; they had to be pretty rugged.

When it's all said and done every nut, bolt, bracket, fastener, panel, piece, part and assembly will have been torn down and repaired as required or replaced if necessary. The only things I haven't personally handled are the steering box, fuel pump, re-lined brake shoes and reassembly of the engine. It should be like a brand-new 80-year-old car! That ought to be a weird feeling!
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:55 PM   #15
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

Here are some "Cool Tips for Hot Trips" I posted 4 years ago: https://www.fordbarn.com/forum/showthread.php?t=74987
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:06 PM   #16
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

You might want to consider on of those window swamp cooler gadgets. It can get pretty warm out west in the desert.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 34PKUP View Post
I guess that's why I see hundreds and hundreds of cars on the side of the road, cleaning plugs. Must be a result of putting millions of miles on while using 'alcoholic gasoline'.
Just speaking from my experience. I use the cheap stuff (ethanol blend) in my new car, but when it gets used in the flathead it forms white-ish grunge on the plugs.
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:04 AM   #18
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You might want to consider on of those window swamp cooler gadgets. It can get pretty warm out west in the desert.
Those Swamp Coolers work well in arid (desert) climates, but don't do well in humid areas... Ask me how I know...
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Old 05-09-2014, 08:10 AM   #19
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

Ok, so we've covered hot-weather driving but what about cold? Any special tips for those chilly fall days? I just finished rebuilding my aftermarket "HaDees Junior" heater. It was a BEAR to fix; it leaked, the air vent was bad, the connecting pipes were totally rusted, the electric motor was shot. And then I had issues with pipe fittings. But it's finally done and looks pretty good hanging from the firewall, extraneous wires notwithstanding.



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Old 05-09-2014, 08:15 AM   #20
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Default Re: Long-Distance Driving

Here's a link to a listing of gas stations all across the country that have non-ethanol gasoline available. It is broken down by state.

http://pure-gas.org/

Good luck on getting your '36 on the road and good luck on your extended trip.
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