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A Grand Adventure by tbone42
Started on: 06-25-2014 02:47 AM
Replies: 7 (187 views)
Last post by: Gall757 on 06-27-2014 11:40 AM
tbone42
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Report this Post06-25-2014 02:47 AM Click Here to See the Profile for tbone42Send a Private Message to tbone42Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
T bone Special has 63k miles on it. Time to take it on a trip.

The plan was head west to see as much of the cool stuff I wanted to see for a long time.. and use Denver as my first big destination and jumping off point.

I took a lot of time, got new tires and packed her tight for a week or a little more on the road. Put on new shocks and struts, new tie rod ends and changed my plugs and wires. Then I hit the road.

My Tach started doing a little jump here and there especially in 5th. I figured it was a loose drive belt and replaced it on the road.

First destination was my Dad's house for a family reunion. These people are hurting, we have lost many recently and unfortunately just found out 2 weeks ago my Dad has lung cancer.. which his mom died from. There is also hope and joy, my 2nd cousin Dale has a great new wife and a lovely daughter.. she was a real bright spot on what is turning into a smaller, sadder affair. Got there in about 5 hours on Friday.

Dad helped me bleed the clutch, hoping that or the belt would do the trick on the jumping tach. His wife took some pictures, and a sad thought passed that this would probably indeed be the last time we will be turning wrenches together.. maybe ever.

After the reunion I said my goodbyes and got on the road. I went from NW Indiana through Illinois and Iowas to mid Nebraska by about 1am. Stayed at the Days Inn, and got back on the road at 11. Took it all the way through to a little place called Silverton in Colorado at the end of day 3. Stayed the night at a transient flop run by people who barely spoke English. The place was a sty, and the bugs freaked me out. I got the hell out of there early and got back on the road. I hit downtown Denver at 1:30 local mountain time.

And at a red light, on the Speer bridge right downtown, the tbone special sputtered out in 90+ degree weather. No restart, and the guy behind me is honking like I had a magic wand that I wasn't using and he wanted to know why. A couple local construction guys helped me push it into a no-parking zone that at least let traffic flow while I got to work. Sweat began to flow and I began to panic. Then I looked up and saw a Marijuana dispensary.

An hour later, the car had cooled off and thankfully not been ticketed. It started right up and I backed it into a convenient parking lot for $10 and set about exploring downtown in earnest. Ate some Chipotle and drank some starbucks. Watched people. Then some rain clouds rolled in and I decided it was time to find a new hotel or motel. Car started right up, but was a bit sputtery in stop n go traffic. On the highway it generally gave me no issues. I headed north to Brighton and regathered my composure at a starbucks while looking for a hotel on line.

I settled on a motel 6 that was unfortunately 13 miles back towards Denver. Got in the car in a driving rain and got it to the Motel 6.. which sputtered out as soon as I got in a parking space. The rooms in this place were really nicely remodeled, it was the best value for rate I have found for all my stays.

Got the room and headed over to wal mart... did an oil change in the parking lot. While in there I noticed my aftermarket AC belt was rubbing against that magnetic probe tube by the timing marks. Well, now I know what has been shredding my AC belts. I went right back in Wal Mart, bought a dremmel (my 3rd one..) and went back outside. Plugged it into a DC converter I have with me, and it just reached. Cut it off (mostly) and the belt is no longer scraping anything. Then I am happy.

Went back to the motel, did some facebook updating then passed out trying to play WoW. Woke to nightmares of medical professionals complaining about my poor dental and ear hygiene.

I have a decent morning and get ready to move on. The car keep sputtering out and dying wherever I go until I get on the highway so I decide to just drive and watch/listen to what is happening. The watchword up here for old carbureated cars is "vapor lock".. stories of symptoms of boiling gas in fuel lines, etc. I even go so far as to buy some silver heat reflecting tape and wrap ALL my fuel lines that are exposed with it so it looks all space age. Just temporary until I can get out of this elevation.

I found at times that taking the gas cap off has helped. Also has removing the air filter or loosening the air cleaner lid. When it dumps on me, the best move is to open the deck and air cleaner assembly for 10 min and then it always starts back up. If I can rest it in the shade, I do.

It got a bit worse today. I decided to start making for home... I wanted to go to Wyoming and maybe even Montana, but she's starting to turn into a basket case. Today I took 34 East through Akron and Yuma.. the scenery was breathtaking. I also died four times on the road.. each time after more tach jumping again. Even died once at full speed and this idiot pulls the key. Good thing the brakes work and nobody was around. Each time I made little adjustments removing air filter, opening gas cap, etc... and each time it started right back up. I am now in a motel in a little town called Wray. I just ate a bad gas station burrito, no good restaurants were open by the time I got into town. I passed the motel on accident, had to turn around and sputtered bad. I hacked and sputtered all the way into the motel checkin.. then it died. I got it to start again and got it over to my room.

So here I am, on my own "Zen and the art of Fiero Maintenance" with a vengeance. Man versus the machine the whole dang trip, really. I hope man wins. Tomorrow I walk over to the nearby NAPA and try a fuel filter, also gonna get a wix air filter.. I already threw that crappy FRAM one out. Hope the filter works.. it is unfortunate that almost all gasoline out here is Ethanol blend... the Special has never had corn before. I believe that is not helping matters, even if it was not completely causing it. I get better results when air is getting into the box... altitude is likely helping choke me out too. I am sitting at 4000 feet, and it was 5200 feet in Denver for a car that usually hangs out in the Miami Valley.

Only other things I can think of are unfortunately fuel pump which I have no ability to change on the road. I believe all my heat shielding is in place EXCEPT the little one that covers the trans mount.. I replaced with a dickman poly mount I bought second hand at a good price.. and couldn't get the shield back on.

A few questions.. would header wrap help on my manifold snake pipe and converter? Would it HURT?

I have two spare ICMs with me, but I will see how the fuel filter works first. Reporting from the road..

Tbone


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[This message has been edited by tbone42 (edited 06-25-2014).]

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Report this Post06-25-2014 08:55 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Tony KaniaSend a Private Message to Tony KaniaEdit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Thanks for the read. Sorry about the issues. Family included. Wish I could help ya. Safe travels my friend...
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Report this Post06-25-2014 09:24 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Nice to read a new post from you....good luck on your travels, and swap out that ICM before you start to regret your experience.
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tbone42
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Report this Post06-25-2014 12:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tbone42Send a Private Message to tbone42Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
No regrets here. I went over to NAPA and got the fuel filter. Early results are very favorable but I just won't know until I get out and drive it for a while. I let it sit a long time at idle, which would not have happened yesterday.

If I have to, I will do the ICM next.

On my way! Reporting from the road

Tbone
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Report this Post06-26-2014 02:15 PM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Id lean twards Fuel filter too. The tach jump I dont know, grounds?
Hang in there, these things are alot more fun when you have a travel companion.
At least you have Fiero friends across the country
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tbone42
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Report this Post06-26-2014 11:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tbone42Send a Private Message to tbone42Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Sputtering and dieing: Definitely the fuel filter.

Tach Jumping: Not sure what it was... I replaced the ICM, but I did my cap and rotor as well while I was in there.. bad corrosion on both and also the spinny thing was real rusty on the diz, may need to clean it up or replace it. Anyhow, I did over a thousand miles after that an no more issues.

I DID have an issue in Kansas City last night, however. I was 7 miles away from Arthur Bryant's BBQ and they closed in 25 minutes. Suddenly, I notice temp and battery indicators going off everywhere and my engine starts smoking. I get it off the road and into a gas station parking lot. Its super hot outside, even at night, and I decide to go in and get a cold drink. When I come out, there is a puddle of antifreeze under the Fiero.

Shoot... now what?!

I figure it out quick. Alternator/Water pump borke. (CHEAP ASS ONE FROM THE FIERO STORE, NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER GET A FIERO STORE ALTERNATOR BELT) Consider yourself warned. Their belts do not have that sewn on Kevlar on the back.. and so they suck. Shame on you, TFS, for selling me that POS that left me stranded in the middle of the hood. The car needs to cool off but I can replace the belt. I buy some antifreeze to add, because since the water pump was not working, all my coolant backed up into the overflow bottle and about half a gallon came out around the lid.

Which means... I can fix everything, no need for a tow truck. Thankfully. It takes a while in the dark, but I get the belt on (and cut and burn the hell out of my right arm to boot) and add the coolant. But now I have no "backup" belt, and I wont drive anywhere without one.. and autoparts places all just closed.

Ok, so its getting late and I need a hotel/motel. Unfortunately my phone is almost dead. So I call my wife and put her on the job, bless her she's up til 1245 am helping me. We find this place called "The Capri Hotel" in downtown...the motel is ok, good amenities. However, while my car is parked and I am asleep. some dickless hood-rat pried the hood ornament off the nose of my car. (Which was PERFECT btw) The whole area was just inundated with people on the street, even late at night. It reminded me a bit of Gary, Indiana on Broadway where at ANY time, day or night, you will see tons of people on the street.

Now I'm mad, because you can never get an original ornament in perfect or new shape without a small fortune. All the other damage and repairs did not phase me, but I kinda lost it over the hood ornament. Nobody to blow up on, so I grumbled a lot and put my stuff in the car and hit the road.

I drive a few hours under heavy monitoring (every other exit I stop and check) until I get to St. Louis. I stop at Bogart's Smokehouse for lunch since I got no BBQ in KC. Bogarts is supposedly the best in St. Louis, possibly the state. It was delicious, but I have had better. Their applesauce, however, was some of the greatest food I have eaten of any kind. Wow.

Got a to go for my wife, packed it in a cooler, and hit the road. What came next was an 8 hour cruise over the Mississippi, through Illinois and Indiana, and finally home to SW Ohio. No significant issues followed, of course every noise and smell in those 8 hours were suspect. I was exhausted to the point of crying, and when I saw the "You are now entering Ohio" I began to cry my eyes out. I just wanted to go home, I had seen enough this time to know next time: Rental . BUt I survived.. man beat the machine, but machine gave me everything I could handle.

On the way home, I played "Ohio Grown" by Ekoostik Hookah.. I feel the song was written just for me. Here are the words:

Ohio Grown - By Dave Katz

"East of the Colorado,
The rainbow will lead the way.
Behind me, I see the mountains.
Many miles I’ve roamed,
Been travelin’ alone,
I get the feeling now I’m goin’ home.

East of the Great Missouri,
The moonlight will lead the way.
Behind me, I see the prairie.
My eyelids feel like stone,
No time to rest my bones.
I get the feeling now I’m almost home.

The sounds of the forest,
The trickle of the stream,
The sunset on the water,
As I’m livin’ my daydream.
In the pond the shepherds will play.
I remember it that way.

East of the Mississippi,
The sunrise will lead the way.
Yonder, I see the flatlands.
I haven’t far to go,
I yearn for what I know,
I headed back to settle on Ohio because I’m Ohio grown.
I miss the rolling hillsides on the land I call my own.
I get the feeling now I’m nearly home."

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Report this Post06-27-2014 08:59 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 2.5Send a Private Message to 2.5Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Belts and a fuel filter right... that aint so bad really..its the unknown and timing of it all.
Glad to hear you are back safe. Next time ya road trip ya gotta bring somebody along its alot more fun IMO, and if catastrophe stirkes you can take turns driving when tired, or have them hold a pry bar tight while you wrench! Have them to vent at when some loser kipes a hood emblem. etc..
I sold my nice in the box emblem (84) last year or you'd get a deal.
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Report this Post06-27-2014 11:40 AM Click Here to See the Profile for Gall757Send a Private Message to Gall757Edit/Delete MessageReply w/QuoteDirect Link to This Post
Look at it this way: You just got all the kinks ironed out of your car, and now it's good to go again! There is something about trips in rental cars that is not so much fun.....and they are NOT perfect either!
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