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120 mile road trip 65 Gran Sport


phoemsen
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The longest trip since restoration. There had been a few 60 mile trips and the shorter ones to town for gas, etc. I don't know why I was concerned about breakdowns, it ran flawlessly. There is a very scenic highway up to our National Park, narrow, no shoulders, but smooth pavement and lots of gentle turns and some hills. It was the perfect day to do a good shake down trip. It was a little smoky - forest fires to the east of us. My rough calculations revealed about 9 miles per US gallon. Hopefully that improves as it gets broken in. There were no WOT accelerations, I drove like there was a raw egg between my foot and the pedal. I expected better fuel economy, my last (identical) unrestored 65 Riv GS achieved about 12 MPG and that was driving it home from upstate NY to Saskatchewan ( in January 99 ). All in all, it was a great day!

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Great looking automobile. Ive had my 63 401 nailhead completely rebuilt and satisfied with performance. My calculations jive with your 9-10 miles per gallon. Restoration can mean something different to each person. Ive “ restored” my 63 over the past 5 years to my satisfaction. Here is what caused road trip detours after restoration 1. Leaking new radiator, heater core failure, radiator fan blade shattered, vacuum brake booster failure, Speedo cable dripping oil on my left foot, gas tank and fuel lines contaminated. I should rethink my own definition of restoration and think more of deferred maintenance catch up as opposed to restoration. Ive kept as close to stock as humanly possible.

You have a good looking car.

Turbinator

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When I first got my 63 Riviera I was only getting 9-10 mpg no matter how or where it was driven as Aaron65 said about his 63 T-bird. This was the case when I took my first big road trip to Colorado Springs in 2014 for the ROA Convention with my brother-in-law. This was a 2200 mile round trip for us. Premium was in the high $3-low $4. range at the time. That was an eye opener at the time and tested my commitment for taking road trips. The trip was a blast and the car drove beautifully and as many have said that was just part of the old car experience. 

 

A year later the fuel pump gave out as my wife and I were driving back from an event at a near-by town. The fuel pump was replaced and my gas mileage dramatically improved. My brother-in-law and I take a road trip somewhere every summer and we have enjoyed the benefit of that increased mileage. Less money and fewer stops. Since that fuel pump replacement I consistently get 15.5-16.5 mpg on the highway. This was confirmed again as my brother and I took the trip to Missouri for the BCA Heartland regional. 

 

Bill

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Constant fear of just such things keep the Riv & I close to home. (As a result I've put less than 3,000 mi on her in the last 30 yrs). There is an excellent monthly car show about twenty mi. from home that requires a drive through some of the scariest urban, & then rural, landscapes in the area. You absolutely could not leave your Riv unattended, nor would you want to sit with it while you wait for rescue. Sadly, I usually go as a spectator. Fortunately I have several local road trip routes laid out which keep me close to home but the Riv still gets regular exercise. As for MPG, I get less than 10, & that's w just one carb. & can someone explain why a new fuel pump would reduce mileage? could the pressure from the old one be too high? If so, that may be my problem. After I recently replaced my tank & fuel lines I removed the hose at the carb inlet & put a jar under it to flush the line & was shocked to see it fill a quart mason jar in about 3 or 4 sec. 

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1 hour ago, RIVNIK said:

Constant fear of just such things keep the Riv & I close to home. (As a result I've put less than 3,000 mi on her in the last 30 yrs). There is an excellent monthly car show about twenty mi. from home that requires a drive through some of the scariest urban, & then rural, landscapes in the area. You absolutely could not leave your Riv unattended, nor would you want to sit with it while you wait for rescue. Sadly, I usually go as a spectator. Fortunately I have several local road trip routes laid out which keep me close to home but the Riv still gets regular exercise. As for MPG, I get less than 10, & that's w just one carb. & can someone explain why a new fuel pump would reduce mileage? could the pressure from the old one be too high? If so, that may be my problem. After I recently replaced my tank & fuel lines I removed the hose at the carb inlet & put a jar under it to flush the line & was shocked to see it fill a quart mason jar in about 3 or 4 sec. 

 

Drew,

 

When my car was getting poor mileage I looked in the chassis manual for possible causes. There are some obvious ones but, one of the causes listed was a bad fuel pump which was exerting too much pressure. The Nailhead is one of those engines that will gobble as much fuel as you give it and not miss a beat. My replacement was one from NAPA and has performed flawlessly for 7 years now.

 

Bill

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One of the only things I can say about fuel mileage is your right foot. Anticipating hills & such & controlleing the throttle pressure to match.  The most I ever got with my '64 Riv.was about close to 20 in the flatlands of Kentucky.  Average on a trip is 15-16. Arond town, depending on how much fooling around I do, can be 10-12.

Even with the 3.90 gears I can get around 14-15 cruising on the highway.

IF your consistently getting poor mileage somethings wrong. Carburation, ignition timimg not set up to optimal specs & a pandoras box full of other things. Problem is not many know how to handle the proper diagnostic tools to be able t figure it out. AND, IF you have to take it to a shop can cost a bit of $$$.

Just my two cents worth.

 

Tom T.

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56 minutes ago, cjp69 said:

Wow, beautiful 65!  I didn't read what you wrote, couldn't take my eyes off the car!  😀

Thanks, Chris. My guy did an amazing job on the paint, he is truly an artist. The paint job is over 10 years old and I have never waxed it. It probably helps that it doesn't get outside very often!

 

Peter.

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I often wonder if the MPG issues are from all the ethanol in gas now. My 92 corvette only gets 13mpg, and I go easy on it. Everything in tune, passes smog easily. My 67 mustang only got about 9mpg with a 302, but it was 3.55 gears and I wasn't easy on it.

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On 10/8/2021 at 7:26 AM, Riviera63 said:

My replacement was one from NAPA and has performed flawlessly for 7 years now.

Bill, P/N for that NAPA pump handy? Would that have a fixed 3/8" barb inlet and 1/8"-27 NPT outlet for a brass 90 degree elbow with a 5/16" barb? The pumps I have inspected on the counter all have a fixed 5/16 inlet.

I want to change my fuel pump for reliability and to peek at my Timing Chain with the nylon coated Cam Sprocket.

My Nailhead is still running lousy and hard on fuel. Done many changes, no silver bullet as of yet. Afraid to open the secondaries with 1 torque converter nut stripped-off, sloppy timing chain, and that 5-Blade fan shattering. I had a tough time locating a replacement fan shroud when a tow truck broke mine in the early 90's.

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On 10/7/2021 at 8:37 AM, phoemsen said:

My rough calculations revealed about 9 miles per US gallon.

Beautiful GS you have there Phemsen!

 

Well, these aren't economy cars, that's for sure!

 

In 2014 we drove or '65 Gran Sport from Vancouver BC to Monterey, California about 2,200 miles total to attend the ROA Annual Meet.  It was a great trip, but not without some 'events'.  On the way down I ran her out of gas along a long stretch of I-5 in Oregon where there are no gas stations for a long stretch.  Wife was NOT happy, as I had told her we'd have enough fuel as we passed the "Next gas 72 miles" sign!   🤬.

 

The next day the starter crapped out near Ashland...  Ordered a new starter from NAPA, which arrived the next day.  The mechanic removed the old starter and when he went to install the new one he discovered it was the WRONG part!   NAPA gladly exchanged the starter because the part was wrongly cataloged in their system.  But, I had to eat the labor cost to install the starter twice!  The rest of the trip went without a hitch.

 

Anyhow, because I had wrongly calculated how far the car would go when I ran out of gas, I decided to track its fuel mileage for the rest of the trip. The very best I got was 16 MPG.  Now that is a 'cheater' figure because I deliberately popped the transmission into Neutral on hills, etc. to maximize the mileage.  Driving 'normally' (no neutral coasting or other tricks) got me about 12-13 MPG highway, and 10-11 MPG in city driving.   Having a 3:42 rear ratio isn't exactly conducive to great mileage.  But it sure is fun when you want to go fast!  😃

 

 

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We had a brand new 1966 Riviera back in the day. It routinely got 13 MPG on the road, running premium. Best I ever got was driving at night (65 MPH speed limit), on a slight downhill run from West Texas to Central Texas, and feathering the throttle a little on purpose, just to see what it would do. It was 15 MPG on that tank. 

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Dealt with my fuel system last spring including a repaired fuel tank with certification plate soldered-on. Anyway, a replacement fuel pickup/sender had to be trial fitted 6 or 8 times, flipping the tank over each time. Shop manual says to leave a couple of gallons reserve at empty. If I did that, the gauge would never reach full. With bending that float arm (which was too long), I managed to fine tune a full swing from dead empty to absolute full.

Key thing to note, empty on my Riv translates to fumes, no reserve!

Maybe the replacement pickup is matched to repro fuel tanks?

Would like to know how much worse mpg the Dynaflow has as compared to the Turbo-400 which has considerable losses as well?

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Yeah, todays cat pee they call gasoline does  get worse mileage than the older non ethonal fuel by 2-4MPG. So add that to your MPG now & it's better.

Like I've stated earlier I would normally get 15-16MPG with the 3.90 rear gears keeping my cruising RPM's down to around 3000. 2850 was 60MPH.

 

Tom T.

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I never drive more than 200 miles between fill ups with my modern cars. The old cars is a regular summer time Sunday afternoon of topping them off after a drive through town.

 

I have just started driving my '05 Chevy Avalanche on a regular basis. Today I topped that one off after 110 miles. Got 15.2 MPG. Not bad for a 6,000 pounder. $3.50 per gallon. That's $0.25 per mile. Keep them full and suck a lot through them. Makes them run a lot better and you shouldn't need filters.

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On 10/8/2021 at 7:26 AM, Riviera63 said:

There are some obvious ones but, one of the causes listed was a bad fuel pump which was exerting too much pressure.

Bill, does your '63 have AC and that 1/4" fuel return line? I want to change my fuel pump for reliability. Better fuel economy would be nice but, not hopeful.

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4 hours ago, XframeFX said:

Bill, does your '63 have AC and that 1/4" fuel return line? I want to change my fuel pump for reliability. Better fuel economy would be nice but, not hopeful.

 

John,

 

I looked and could not find the receipt for my fuel pump. NAPA does have a couple listed on their website but, whether either of them is the same one as I got I don't know. I have a fuel pump that I purchased from Carquest that I carry on long trips. I will look at that.

 

Yes, my car is an AC car and has the return line.

 

Bill

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