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artur1808 New Reader
2/28/16 8:41 p.m.

In need of a new DD and inspired by the "Maverick does Route 66" thread, I've decided to do something similar. The reason this will be "less adventurous" is that I am in search of a reasonably reliable/intact car that I can daily after I make this trip. Since I live in Michigan and all of our cars are slowly shedding their bodywork, going to California for a new DD seems like a good excuse for a road trip.

Thing is, the trip isn't happening for a few weeks (looking to fly out March 18th or 19th). The reason I've started this thread so early is I'm hoping to get some input from you folks. Any suggestions for sights, hotels, or food along the way are welcome. Also worth noting is that I don't have a car picked out yet. Needless to say that I'm doing some of my most thorough craigslist searching, but its tough to get optimistic about anything when I'm still a few weeks out.

BoxheadTim UltimaDork
2/28/16 9:02 p.m.

I'd extend the search to at least the lower half of the West Coast, probably the whole set of coastal states. None of this area seems to suffer from overly corroded vehicles, but they get less sunburnt as you go further North.

artur1808 New Reader
2/29/16 6:41 a.m.

I was hoping to, but LA is one of the few hard-set destinations on the route. It seemed like the logical starting point as far as following Route 66, and I was hoping to visit a friend that's in the area. So I'd like to find something within a couple of hours of LA and start the trip from there.

artur1808 New Reader
3/7/16 11:44 a.m.

Slight change of plans.

I impulse bought fidelity101's Mazda 6 wagon that was in the Open Classifieds for my new daily driver. So it looks like this Route 66 just got more interesting as my budget for a car has dropped significantly.

On a related note, if anyone needs a challenge priced car brought over from LA to the SE Michigan area, let me know. Since I don't have the space for another vehicle right now, the plan is to sell whatever I've bought once I get back to MI.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Dork
3/7/16 1:29 p.m.

How would you rate your mechanical aptitude? Whatever the answer may be, I'd pick something that you don't see in MI due to rust. I'd go for old and carbureted (and I did!) but only because I know I can fix most things wrong with that type of vehicle with minimal to no supplies. Toyota pickups are still everywhere out there and have disintegrated almost everywhere else by now if you want the "bulletproof" answer, and should sell easily.

artur1808 New Reader
3/8/16 7:11 a.m.

I like to think I'm relatively competent, but maybe not quite up to GRM standards based on some of the builds here.

The idea of something old and carburated is definitely appealing for the sake of simplicity. Unfortunately, my experience with carburetors is limited at best. Guess I better start reading up.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Dork
3/8/16 7:53 a.m.

"relatively competent" is probably plenty to wing it with something old that you've never seen before. Here are some options that I found which are making me jealous already:
Big Ugly Caddy
Toyota w/ Camper
World's Cleanest Festiva
Caddy near LAX
Clean Early Civic
Mercedes Diesel (Expert Mode Option)
SLOW Tempest
Baja Bug
720 Pickup

I don't know your local market, but a number of those would be worth about double in my area. Especially the Z car, Civic, and trucks.

artur1808 New Reader
3/20/16 11:46 a.m.

Alright boys and girls, I just bought my first ever pickup truck. 82 Ford F-150, 351w, 4 speed, 50 shades of brown option.

Immediately started missing on the drive back to where I am staying in LA. was making a terrible ticking sound and when I opened up the distributor, one of the tabs on the rotor had broken and was making contact with the cap every rotation. Unfortunately this truck has the Duraspark system and no one seems to have parts for it. I bent the tabs as a band-aid fix but am going to spend some time calling all parts stores in the stores along my route trying to find parts.

Since someone on here will be more well versed in small block fords, anyone know of interchangeable ignition parts?

artur1808 New Reader
3/21/16 12:38 a.m.

Status update #1:

Finally found ignition parts. Seems to be running much smoother. Also losing trans fluid at an alarming rate. But we made it to our first overnight stop of Ventura, CA. This one is really just as a way to get out of the city so we don't have to fight Monday morning traffic.

In other news, I convinced my co-driver to buy a car of his own so I finally have an excuse to use walkie-talkies. His 85 Mercedes 300d is unsurprisingly less exciting than the truck.

Pictures to follow tomorrow once i learn how to upload things on mobile.

TRoglodyte SuperDork
3/21/16 6:13 a.m.

Have you tried Transmission stop leak for fluid loss? Look for the on the road assist list, it may come in handy!

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
3/21/16 7:37 a.m.

In case you didn't see it, our adventure (also inspired by the Maverick) a few months ago:


I have some experience with both Mercedes diesels and Ford V8s, so I'll be following this and help out if I can.

Lucas Trans Fix is actually worthwhile, give it a shot on the leaking trans. Is it leaking from the tailshaft end, pan, or ???

The 351 I think is the same ignition system as the 302.

artur1808 New Reader
3/21/16 9:40 a.m.

I appreciate all the support, I'll definitely give the Lucas products a shot. We are waiting for the local Harbor Freight to open right now. The leak is from the input shaft seal.

artur1808 New Reader
3/21/16 9:41 a.m.

Here comes a picture upload attempt:

 photo 3B78C2D4-0148-4A63-8381-0BA747EE37F3.jpg

If it goes through, that was in Santa Monica last night as we set off.

TRoglodyte SuperDork
3/21/16 10:35 a.m.

Buying a tow strap at HF ? Proposed route?

artur1808 New Reader
3/21/16 12:32 p.m.

Proposed route:

 photo 4DB53CD5-D54F-4D43-81B1-C570ADE140D9.jpg

We are heading up the coast today, hitting sequoia national forest tomorrow, then joining onto Route 66

The_Jed PowerDork
3/21/16 12:58 p.m.

Do you have a rough timeline laid out? I'd like to say "hi" or treat you guys to lunch when you swing through central Illinois.

That is, assuming I'm not stuck at work.

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
3/21/16 1:25 p.m.

If you have the time, I highly recommend parking your steeds in Williams, AZ and riding the Grand Canyon Railway up to see the big hole in the ground. Get seats on the old style Pullman cars (they're the cheapest). It really is a fine, relaxing way to see the countryside, and they sell beer on the train, too.

petegossett PowerDork
3/21/16 8:32 p.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote: If you have the time, I highly recommend parking your steeds in Williams, AZ and riding the Grand Canyon Railway up to see the big hole in the ground. Get seats on the old style Pullman cars (they're the cheapest). It really is a fine, relaxing way to see the countryside, and they sell beer on the train, too.

Spend a night or 2 in Williams, it's cool town with some nice restaurants and shops, but not too touristy.

smokindav New Reader
3/21/16 11:02 p.m.

I'm sorry I can't stop laughing. Don't take this personally, but you flew out to La, the car Mecca, and decided to drive home in a brown Ford F150. You lose, sir. You lose. :)

artur1808 wrote: Here comes a picture upload attempt:  photo 3B78C2D4-0148-4A63-8381-0BA747EE37F3.jpg If it goes through, that was in Santa Monica last night as we set off.
artur1808 New Reader
3/21/16 11:10 p.m.

Both cars survived Highway 1 and we arrived in Monterey. Even scooped up some Miata parts in Morro Bay. I'll post a more detailed report when I get a chance. Trans fluid is still disappearing quickly, but I am topping it off every time we stop long enough for the exhaust to cool down a bit. I've already got a terrible sunburn, so I'm trying to avoid getting burned on exhaust.

The plan was to try to park at the Grand Canyon overnight, but we will definitely look into parking in Williams. We have been swayed by beer before.

We are staying in Tulsa Friday night, so central Illinois would be on Saturday. (Assuming all goes to plan)

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
3/22/16 6:50 a.m.

In reply to artur1808:

Williams will likely be cheaper. We stayed the night there (not on our 66 trip, but when we went out to Arizona a couple of years ago for a visit), forget the name of the motel but it was relatively cheap, and clean. Most of the places there are decent. The Grand Canyon Hotel is supposedly very nice.

If you eat in Williams, I very much do NOT recommend the Pine Country Restaurant. Its just a generic family restaurant with canned food- nothing special. There's better diners in town.

volvoclearinghouse SuperDork
3/22/16 6:52 a.m.

In reply to smokindav:

Just think how much he'll be able to sell that truck for once he gets home to Michigan, though. I bet he doubles his money.

artur1808 New Reader
3/22/16 12:40 p.m.

We have actually just been sleeping in the bed of the truck the last couple nights, so the cost of overnight stays just depends on parking. We have been able to tuck the truck away in hotel parking lots the last two nights without much issue.

I do already have two cars taking up space at home, so I wasn't too picky about getting a nice car. I've never owned a truck before so it seemed like an okay choice. Should sell fairly easily in MI.

 photo 3B7BCF91-BF34-44E1-A2BA-DA96B5E3AEEF.jpg

Just finished our morning ritual of topping off fluids in both cars and are going to head out for the day. Trans leak seems to have slowed, if not stopped. But the oil leak has been amplified.

artur1808 New Reader
3/22/16 4:04 p.m.

The addition (and retention) of trans fluid, combined with some flat roads means the truck is now getting about 18mpg

TRoglodyte SuperDork
3/22/16 4:07 p.m.

How is the MB doing?

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