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NE Empire Express -South Bend Fun Run


JohnD1956

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Been getting ready for the South Bend fun run. Only 728 miles but it's going to be all highway speeds. Replaced the old/broken transmission cooler lines, the aircleaner and updated my tires for the trip. Also got a replacement radio but that's just icing on the cake. Leaving Tuesday the 16th, with a stop somewhere near West Seneca, and plan to arrive by 6 PM Wednesday. Will be touring with a few others. And looking forward to seeing everyone again.

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Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)
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You're doing good JD - we had good suggestions for the name. My car lost a piece today - it was on there when I left the house. Can't really complain. My cousin and I did the bodywork and paint back in 83 and it was a chore since my grandfather painted the car with shellac, top to bottom, including the windows and tires, to "preserve" it.

Its been awhile since doing any bodywork, and am no expert - got out the mig, pulled out the metal fab tools, drained a beer and went at it. Took all afternoon to make 3 patches (outside front, bottom, inside back) - kinda rusty at this (no pun intended). My welds had good heat but nothing to be proud of - need practice - got alot of grinding to do and some touch ups. One of these days the car needs to get stripped down and repainted as its checking. I also pulled the dash off and fixed some annoying squeaks that started - and adjusted the speedometer spring to get it a little more accurate at highway speed it was off by up to 10 before and the drum would bind a little. Will have it all done in time for the drive - everything else is working good.

Didn't Bobby Allison drop a bumper off a Regal at Daytona one year?

All the other big parts are intact. By staying in front of me you'll be safe. :)

BTW - anyone taking your mid 50s dash top off - put some tape on the speedo cable so the cable retaining ring doesnt slide down and behind the kick pad. Careful not to scratch the paint.

Looking forward to the trip - will email you.

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Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)
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Leaving MA Monday morning the 15th on Rte. 90/80 with an overnight stop somewhere around the Erie, PA, area. Plan to arrive in South Bend Tuesday late afternoon the 16th. Driving the 91 Reatta.

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Guest wildcat465

Murray part number 43-3351, don't let someone talk you into P/N 43-3322. That one would have the plastic tanks, whereas the 3351 is the copper/aluminum style.

Good luck John, looking forward to seeing you next week.

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Thanks Paul, this is the one I had recored in 2004 with a $$$ 4 row core. The radiator shop was optimistic that the core is still solid as are the joints on the seams. This might have been seepage from around the upper hose connection but there was some murky coolant with sediment at the bottom, so I'm having it cleaned and checked while it's already out of the car. I just hope I get it back in time. This place is busy with a lot of commercial work.

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John - make sure you get your priorities right on that trunk space - leave room for luggage after parts and expected swap meet finds are accounted for. :)

Back on schedule here too. Quick patch job, slap on some paint with the el' cheapo purple gun. Freakin compound curve on that dogleg took me to school the hard way. It will have to get cut out and done again sometime. Plus, like any body work, 1 sq inch of visible rust translates to 10x whats really there. See what happens when you rush?

Planning to be on 17W and will join up with you in Erie Tuesday night. If anyone is headin West and wants to join up drop a line.

90 deg huh? That little 12V fan in my car will be workin overtime.

Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)
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Boy was it hot for us non-AC cars! Made the trip from Binghamton to Erie in about 4 hours on Tuesday, averaged 13-14 mpg. Met up with John and the rest of the crew in Erie, then on to South Bend, getting in Wed evening. Thanks to JDs more responsible driving habits leading the Express, got 17 mpg. My car has a pretty new radiator in it with a 180 vs 160 deg stat - stayed right on the N the whole way with no issues. Long idles at toll booths and rest areas were another story - in 95+ deg heat a few minutes of the electric pump was absolutely required to overcome vapor lock and get back up to highway speeds or the engine was fuel starved and started to die - even on 87 octane/89 octane mix. At one point accelerating hard entering the interstate after a stop,the engine gave a gasp and started to surge, the oil pressure was dropping fast, the electric pump was rattling away trying to make up for the lost flow, and Johns red GS400 started to fade into the distance - boy the ethanol wizards got a few choice words from me. Fortunately the pump caught up, the power came back on, a switch of the pitch and the giddyap was back. Cleveland construction on bias tires meant steering required your A+ game - think my next set will be wide white radials. Another beautiful thing - RainX and a rebuilt wiper motor! Vacuum wipers are just so cool when they work right.

Got some good pics of our cars underway and at the rest stop - will post when back at the house.

Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)
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Had a great time at the meet, and did just that. Met, with plenty of nice BCA members and a lot of the wonderful Forum folks. Still on the road at this point. Bringing Serb his "gift" from the breakfast. Learning how to handle that new smarter than me phone but still having trouble with fat fingers on those little keys. I had several posts composed along the way but for what ever reason they did not get posted and I lost em. then once there it was so busy I kept forgetting to try the puters in the business center.

Anyway's we turned out to have a convoy of five when we met up with 4 Bufords at the first rest stop in Ohio.

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He was a day early on his trip but we were very glad to see him and have him join the tour. Tour is a misnomer. 95* and 70- 75 MPH on a crowded highway headed west with the sun in your windshield is a bit hard to bear.

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The GS performed excellent. But stop at a rest area for 10 minutes and you lost all the benefit of the prior hours A/C cooling the stuff in the interior. Was much different on the way home last yesterday. Had to turn the A/C down to stop my ears from freezing. We'll see what today and tomorrow bring.

Others had to leave on their own schedule to return home so solo at this point but looking forward to catching up with everyone and everything when I get back to my own keyboard.

See ya all soon!

Edited by JohnD1956 (see edit history)
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Was terrific meeting everyone - had alot of fun on the drive out, socializing with folks, the breakfast (yes, you can eat most anything on a slice of toast, even vegemite!), and of course the show. Congrats to JD for winning the Buickman award. Drove back in 1 day (had to get to work on Monday) - ave 16.5 mpg and did the trip in a little under 10 hours. The car really ran great and held its own on the highway, even in the heat. Heres some pics from the trip out with us under way and at some rest stops. It was neat running in a group - we had onlookers and "thumbs up" the whole way in. This was my second National and the first I brought my car to - can't wait to get the Empire Express back together and do it again!

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Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)
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Finally wrapped up this trip. Got home ten PM tonight. Had some luck at the casino in Erie, PA, gave it all back at the casino in Canadaigua, NY. Developed a problem after Stevos on Monday AM. Vacuum leak suspected. Will check it out tomorrow. But I can report the A/C works like a deep freezer. Used it the entire 1K trip. Had it down to the lowest setting before introducing heat today. and was really temped to moderate the thing cause my arm was freezing.

Hope everyone else had a good time and trip. For now, I need some sleep...

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Guest shadetree77

Glad you made it home safely John. It was great meeting you and a big THANK YOU for filling in for Lamar at the forum breakfast. That was one of the highlights of my trip.

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