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OT: Help Me With My Roadtrip

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  • OT: Help Me With My Roadtrip

    Okay, having gone through a recent bit of nastiness in my life, I realized that I needed something to help me take my mind off of all of it, and put those problems behind me. Lo and behold, I discovered something that would help me out a lot. A car that I'd been lusting over for some years now was for sale rather cheaply on eBay, so I bought it. Now, I have to go get it (it's in Denver). Originally I had planned on paying a friend of mine to drive me out there and then I'd follow him back here. However, he's not going to be able to take off work to do this, so it looks like I'm going to have to take the bus out there to get the thing, and then drive it back solo.

    Ideally, nothing will go wrong, but given my luck, something will. So, I'm looking for suggestions from anyone who's made a similar trip, and recommendations for repair shops along the way.

    At present, I'm planning on leaving Nashville on the 16th of this month, which will put me in Denver on the following day. I'm going to then try to leave Denver immediately (depends upon how well I sleep on the bus) and head back, stopping somewhere along the way to sleep (it's a 17 hour drive, and while I could probably do it without stopping, I don't want to push it in a 35 year old car I don't have much experience with), hoping to get back home by the 20th.

  • #2
    First off, I am not going to say anything till you agree to tell us what the car is.
    Now that you have agreed, I will continue.
    My Mother and step father had to leave their motorhome in Dallas, due to his illness and her not being able to drive it.
    I was elected to go after it. I was going to ride with another driver, but he got a call from home and had to leave early, so at the last moment I was out of a ride. Plane at the last moment was too expensive, so I took a bus. Hadn't been on one in 35 years, and hope to not make it on one in at least 35 more. Couldn't sleep, and I can sleep anywhere. Too many stops, other passengers that needed a bath (really bad!!)
    Took way too long to make the short trip out there.
    Look for an alternate mode of transportation if possible. If not, a book and a personal AM/Fm/Cdplayer to make the hours go by faster. Sit as close to the driver as possible to keep other rif-raft in line.
    david from jax
    A serious accident is one that money can't fix.

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    • #3
      The car's a 1969 Chrysler Newport. I had a 1971 in high school and have always regretted getting rid of it.

      Already got the CD player part covered.

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      • #4
        Since I am so poor and never have the money to get away anyways, please send money... uh, no wait, that wasn't it... Oh yea - I meant to say I haven't got much experience traveling. But a friend of mine frequently needs to get back and forth from KC to St. Louis. He is pretty tight with his money, and after looking into it he decided to use Amtrack. It's pretty slow too, and the general public factor is sometimes a nuisance, but in his opinion it's a bit better than the bus. He says it's pretty roomy and not too difficult to sleep.

        It might be worth checking into.

        The only facts I know personally are:
        The trip is about 5 hours by car and 10 by Amtrack.
        The train is always at least 1 hour and up to four hours late (depending on rail construction and freight traffic).

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        • #5
          Just checked and it'd take longer to go by train than it would by bus, plus it's more expensive than even air fare. Bus is only $75.

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          • #6
            A long time ago I bought a 69 MachI. I had looked at it earlier, 2 hours away. I drove down with a friend and payed for it. 15 minutes later while on the freeway, the fuel pump went bad. It would idle but not much more. Finally got off the freeway and found an auto parts store. Replaced the pump and get back on the freeway at 12 am. An hour later, I start to feel a vibration. Stop and look, don't see anything amiss. Later on it got worse. Pull off and see that one tire is starting to come apart.

            I took a spare with me so no big deal. Finally got home at 3 am. Good luck.

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            • #7
              Wow!
              They must have some real rocket surgeons coming up with the better ideas at Amtrack. Hell. At $75 your return trip will cost more than the bus out.

              I just remembered another factoid about them. If you buy a ticket in advance, it is more expensive than just getting one at the gate. Sounds like they're operated by the Federal Government.

              I've heard stories of pleasant bus rides, so they're not always bad. Hopefully yours will be one of those, and your return will be nothing but roses.

              Best of luck on the trip!

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              • #8
                Tuckerfan, firstly treat the whole trip as an adventure, relax and be prepared to spend more time on the road than expected. When you pick up the car give it the once over; get oil and air filter, some good oil and give it a quick service.Replace leads and plugs etc; the old girl may not be accustomed to long trips so treat her with patience and ENJOY. It will be another yarn to recount around the camp fire.
                Ken
                Ken.

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                • #9
                  Back in 1998, I was dispatched to recover a '76 Corvette and drive it home to the owner ("home" being Alaska, the 'Vette being in El Paso.)

                  The car had been sitting for several years (more than three) and at last report had several problems.

                  I hauled with me some 55 pounds of tools, some repair parts, and not much else. I flew down, was picked up by the owners of the place where the car was parked (friends of the owner) and was there four days (in 104آ° weather) before I got it moving under its own power.

                  I rebuilt the carb (I also tried to find a shop that could rebush the throttle shafts, but in two pages of car shops in the yellow pages, only one shop even knew what I was talking about) replaced all the fuel lines (which entailed dropping the gas tank) and the pump, replaced the plugs, cap, rotor and wires, changed the oil and filter, bled the brakes, and inspected as much as I possibly could.

                  I also replaced the battery, took it to a shop and had the chassis lubed (and had the guy on the rack give it a solid eyeball to see if he could catch anything I missed) checked all the lights and whatnot, replaced three tires (dry rot) and gave it a good test drive.

                  Over the course of the trip (somewhere between 4,700 and 5,000 miles) I suffered only one real problem, that being that I hadn't properly secured the new plug wires. One burned through entirely, while two were nearly so, on the headers. I limped through Calgary on five cylinders and when I stopped to get gas on the other side, I popped the hood, saw the problem, and plunked on some of the old wires (which I'd saved.) A couple of zip ties kept it from happening again.

                  At the border, while they were doing a background check on me (or at least running my license through the computer) a tire went flat. The spare was mis-sized, so I stopped in the next town up and got a replacement.

                  Other than that, it was rather uneventful, apart from the fact it was in the ninties or higher until I was well to the North of Edmonton, and the thing's AC, of course, didn't work.

                  However, on arriving home, we discovered that all four U-joints in the rear axle halfshafts were completely smoked- as in threatening to fly out of the car they were so worn. That sort of failure is not an easy roadside repair, even if one has new 'joints, so I count myself lucky.

                  My suggestions: Plan for the worst. Carry as many tools as you can lift. After you pick up the car, grab some essentials- oil, water, coolant, ATF, brake fluid, the works. Give the car a solid servicing before you head out, even if you have to do some of it in a Wal-Mart parking lot and take it to an oil-change place for the rest.

                  Pay close attention as you travel- keep an eye on the oil level, watch out for overheating, for that matter keep an eye on ALL the fluid levels (power steering, brake, ATF, everything.)

                  Spend the coin on having the chassis greased at a lube center. Not only will it help the parts make the trip, but it's a second set of eyes on the hardware.

                  I could write a book on the topic, but suffice to say that you can't be overprepared and you can't have too many tools with you.

                  Doc.
                  Doc's Machine. (Probably not what you expect.)

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                  • #10
                    Corvette halfshafts can be removed at 3 am on the shoulder of the road. Bought the wife a '79 L-88 4 speed in 82. She would walk past it and get in a Chevette every morning for six months because she couldn't drive a stickshift. On an abandoned section of 4 lane one morning, I tried to teach her to drive my '66. She kept stalling it, I kept saying give it some gas... She got upset and gave it some gas. My neck snapped about the time the tack hit 5 grand and the the clutch was dropped. Two black streaks all the way across the intersection till it hit the white crosswalk lines on the other side. Then blam...bang bang bang bang when the halfshaft twisted like a can of biscuits. Had to remove it to get the car home. It limped home on one axle, since it has positraction.
                    (back to the subject...)
                    Bus rides can be fun, depending on the other riders. I drive a bus for the church occasionally and some of those bus rides are a lot of fun.
                    David from jax
                    A serious accident is one that money can't fix.

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                    • #11
                      Just a thought, have you checked on the price of a one way car rental? I have no idea as to the cost, but I think I would exhaust every possibility before traveling by bus. Been there, done that and hated every minute.

                      Car rental would allow more tools and fix up supplies to be carried along plus you won't have to stop every 25 to 30 miles for bus stops.

                      rollin'

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                      • #12
                        <font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Tuckerfan:
                        Just checked and it'd take longer to go by train than it would by bus, plus it's more expensive than even air fare. Bus is only $75.</font>
                        Yabutt they don't let people carry livestock on the train I have rode GreyHound,trust me I know.Plus on the train you can get up,walk around and use something close to a real restroom

                        I just need one more tool,just one!

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                        • #13
                          Hi,

                          Headed to Denver, nice. If you need anything while here in Denver let me know. I live in Englewood, southern part of Denver Metro area. Would be glad to assist and make this end of your trip as easy as possible.
                          My number in Denver is 720-219-9642.

                          Later,
                          Kirk

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                          • #14
                            It sounds like you should plan on towing it back. Can you rent or borrow something to haul it on?
                            MarkT

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                            • #15
                              A long trip in a 35 year old car bought on EBAY sounds like an really brave undertaking.
                              THAT OLD GANG 'O MINE

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