Ed on the Ridge
FBBO Gold Member
- Local time
- 2:54 PM
- May 14, 2011
- Reaction score
- On the Ridge, TN
I only have one thing to add:OK folks: As promised, here are some "statistics" and thoughts on the car.
It is a 1973 Road Runner. It has a 340 stroked to 416 cubic inches, 9.4:1 compression, aluminum heads, Thermoquad carburetor and headers. Transmission is a 727 with a recent performance rebuild. The car also has a Gear Vendor's Overdrive with .78:1 overdrive. Rear is a 3.55 Sure Grip with 275/60R15 tires. Front tires are 235/60/R15.
Car was cleaned up, painted and partially restored in the 90s (limited funds), then driven for 7 years in rain, snow, etc. when my son had it. The car had thrown a rod out the side of the block, and then sat for 5 years. At that point I decided to use it for a cross country trip.
Things done before the trip
Repairs during the trip
- I built a new engine for it, then a transmission, then bought a new Gear Vendor O/D and installed that.
- Worked like mad to address a driveline vibration. Significant shims in the rear addressed 95% of the vibration.
- A/C was not working, but we found a hole in the condenser. Tried to roughly braze the hole shut, but did no other A/C repair other than charging the A/C.
- Replaced all brake pads as well as rear wheel cylinders.
- Replaced all front end wear parts, then had car aligned.
- Swapped out a too small 600 CFM Edelbrock carb for a 850 CFM Thermoquad essentially 2 days before the trip.
- Fixed two rust holes into the cabin. Holes were in front wheel wells between the inner and out wheelhouses.
- Small miscellaneous repairs for things like washer bottle, heater control cable, etc. I made sure all systems worked.
Date Issue Parts needed Cost to fix Comments 5/3/2022 Hard Starting unknown $ - Not fixed, tried insulating line, no change 5/5/2022 Frozen RF Caliper New caliper $ 199.12 Also bought belts and fluids 5/9/2022 Glass fuel filter Metal fuel filter $ 14.83 to avoid fuel spill 5/11/2022 Failed master cylinder New master cylinder $ 82.65 5/11/2022 Failed rear tire Two new tires $ 456.89 5/15/2022 Jumped out of O/D None $ - Not fixed, only did occasionally. Wiring? 5/17/2022 No spark Coil and/or ECU $ - Existing parts 5/19/2022 No spark Coil and/or ECU $ - Existing parts - unsure of issue - wiring? 5/22/2022 No spark Failed coil; no resistor in-line $ 69.00 5/22/2022 No spark Approx. 50 mile tow $ - Have AAA Premier 5/26/2022 Front tire wear Alignment $ 125.87 5/27/2022 Chip in windshield Windshield chip repair kit $ 18.99 To keep any cracks from spreading 5/28/2022 Exhaust Leak 2 nuts, bolts and washers $ 6.00 Header collector bolts came loose 6/3/2022 A/C Charge R134a Freon $ 36.75 California charge of $10 for a can added Total repair costs: $ 1,010.10
Some of my own thoughts on the car and its performance (in no order)
Overall, I am extremely pleased with the way the car performed. It handled driving through a blow torch hot desert, as well as starting when the temperature was 28 degrees one morning. It handled any roads we threw at it. It drove in sun and rain, with A/C as well as the defrosters on. It got filthy inside and out. Through it all, it just kept chugging along.
- We did NOT baby this car at all. When the speed limit was 80 MPH, we cruised at the mid to upper 80's. The engine and driveline are awesome. The engine was built for cruising, not for 1/4 mile drag strip driving. It has TONS of torque at any RPM, and accelerates very easily at any speed without fuss. Highway cruising was a breeze. On top of all this, it runs just fine on 87 octane gas. I couldn't be happier with the engine and transmission.
- The .78 overdrive is too little. At around 75 MPH the RPM is about 3000. This car has tons or torque and could easily push the car along at highway speeds with engine RPM in the 1800's. A steeper overdrive (or a different rear) would have been nice and likely would have increased fuel economy a lot.
- We drove on some seriously nasty roads. The 13 miles to Chaco Canyon in NM are some of the roughest roads you can imagine - serious washboard, plus holes, divots, etc. The car handled it all.
- You will see above that we had several instances of "no spark". I am convinced there is some wiring gremlin and once I mess around with parts under the hood I "fix" it. The Electronic Ignition is a simple system - there is no reason we should have had all these issues. I think there could be a wire that has some issues - I will need to play with this.
- The fact that the car was hard starting was a pain in the butt, plus embarrassing as well. I will start a separate thread on this. Now that I am home, I want to spend the time to find and fix this issue.
- The A/C worked for 1.5 weeks after we left, then quit. When we charged it again, it only held for a day. So something starting leaking more severely than when we left. I decided to leave it alone and fix it when I got home, so most driving on hot days was windows down!
- Hey: Remember how everyone talks about old tires and the issues using them? My rear tires were 10 years old, and I figured I would wear them out on this trip. But they failed and left me stranded. Want reliable tires? Use fresh tires.
I wouldn't worry about going out for another 10,000 mile ride. I'd replace my front tires, really fix the A/C, fix the hard starting as well as find the ignition gremlin, and then I'd take it anywhere without worry!
The RoadKill Runner performed!!!