View Full Version : Road Trip

Webb Sledge
08-01-2004, 12:08 AM
If you were going to take a 300+ mile trip in a british car, what are some things you would be sure were in working order before you left, and what are some things you would take along with you?

Dave Russell
08-01-2004, 12:57 AM
I would make sure that ALL things are in working order & take no parts.

Geo Hahn
08-01-2004, 01:17 AM
Not to be flippant, but I would be sure everything is in working order.

As for what to take along, some say take enough parts and tools to be ready for anything. Some say don't bother either because they have faith in the car or they never seem to have the part/tool they need.

I like to be prepared so I tend to take a lot. I have fixed problems along the road more times than I can remember and have often been able to help another LBC driver get going again. I take --

Complete ignition system (coil, dizzy, plugs, wires)
Electric fuel pump & fuel line
Mechanical fuel pump
Water pump
Water pump pulley-puller
Generator (with pulley mounted)
Voltage regulator
Fan belt and complete set of hoses
Hose clamps
Sheets of gasket material (cork and paper)
Spare taillight bulb
More oil
Brake fluid
Starting fluid
Conatiner of Alumaseal
Tubes of Hylomar, JB Weld & form-a-gasket
The usual tools (1/4 & 1/2 socket sets, wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers, etc.)
Clamping hose pliers (2)
Tow strap
4 feet of nylon rope
Multimeters, digital & analog
Tape, electrical & duct
Assorted wire including a long jumper wire w/aligator clips
Mechanix gloves
Rubber gloves (several pairs)

That's what comes to mind w/o looking in the boot. Helps to have a luggage rack for the suitcase.

Obviously for shorter drives (within 100 miles of home) I take much less as I could have it towed home rather than attempt replacing the water pump along the road for example.

08-01-2004, 01:32 AM
The most important things to bring:
1)CELL PHONE (yes, it can save you when nothing else can!)
2)A few quarts of oil
3)At least one jug of antifreeze and water (or at least just water.) You might not have an radiator overfill, so when hot, the coolant spills out completely.
4)Duct tape
5)A complete set of tools, which includes metric and SAE wrenches, socket set, screwdrivers, spark plug socket.
6)Fuses -- if you blow or break the wrong fuse, you could be stranded.
7)A set of points/cond/dist cover and rotor
8)Set of plugs, in case you discover a bad oil leak which totally fouls your plugs
9)A spare fuel pump isn't a bad idea, since they have been known to go.
10)ATF fluid for the carbs.
11)Quarters for a pay phone.
12)Flash light and spare batteries

08-01-2004, 09:58 AM
I've always found that a AAA Gold membership is a healthy incantation - Sorta like when I bought a 4 wheel drive Jimmy in anticipation of needing it when the roads were bad - Never did snow after that until I sold the **** thing, then it was the coming of the second ice age.Same with an AAA membership - seems as long as I have one nothing ever breaks down - but let it lapse and the Gremlins on high immediately turn their "Break Down Generator" on you.

But seriously, If you've been over your car and done some comprehensive repairs or maintenance you can rule out a few things - If your radiator/heater hoses are new there's little chance they'll blow on a 300 mile trip - same with water pumps, etc. But Sammy and George have mentioned a few which ARE worth having such as a Cell phone, a set of ignition components, extra oil, coolant, etc.
I guess it all depends on how much faith you have in your ability to judge your auto's overall condition and how much upgrading since day 1 you have done.

In one of your earlier threads you mentioned that you may need to do some seal work to the engine because of oil leaks and whatnot - I'd consider fixing that before making any extended journeys. With oil leaks the danger comes in when everything get nice and hot and the oil thins out and leaks a bit faster - everybody knows what happens when you run an engine low on oil - It may not neccessarily break you down right then, but there may be bearing damage, etc. down the line which can be costly to repair.

One further suggestion - whatever you do you should include a small cooler filled with cold drinks and maybe some sandwiches or snacks so you can be comfortable in case something nasty does occur and you're waiting for the engine to cool enough to work on, or you're waiting for assistance to arrive.
Lastly - common sense is the most important thing to take along on the trip - It'll save you every time!

08-01-2004, 04:18 PM
Just came back from the nationals in Va. round trip 3000miles, the only problem was a stinking non-lucas switch to operate the electric fan. Say what you will about the Prince of darkness , my generater has 30000 miles on it!!

08-02-2004, 12:43 PM
Webb, I did a 1000 miler three years ago in a '65 Sprite, taking nothing with me except two quarts of oil and a bottle of brake fluid. All three were unopened at the end of the trip.
I spent the better part of a day before leaving making sure everything was operating properly, and, as always, proper preparation was the key.
This was a three day run through the twisties of northern California, up to the Oregon border, then over to the coast and down the coast to home, so the entire trip consisted of "spirited driving".
Be prepared, and go for it.

Webb Sledge
08-02-2004, 04:52 PM
That's encouraging. I've heard from Eric (bigbadblueTR6) and MD that they both made the 3000+ VTR trip without any problems. And then what Jeff said. I always like to hear stuff that's better than I was expecting.

08-02-2004, 09:45 PM
I take bottled water, a pillow and a blanket. that's it.

08-02-2004, 11:56 PM
cell phone - to call for "assistance"
bailing wire - to hold parts on
bubblegum - to chew while waiting for the tow truck

#1 - a few moments to enjoy the ride

enjoy your journey, and the one with the car too!


Geo Hahn
08-03-2004, 02:12 PM
That's encouraging...they both made the 3000+ VTR trip without any problems...

[/ QUOTE ]

I have certainly made thousand mile drives w/o a problem -- and have had the fuel pump fail on a trip to the grocery.

These parts, whether original, NOS or the repros available, are not bulletproof and if you really drive the car they will occasionaly let you down without warning. It's your choice what happens when they do -- phone AAA or fix the problem and go on.

Both are reasonable strategies. Hoping it never happens is probably unreasonable.

Because most of my travel is in the somewhat desolate southwest where cellphones don't work and the next town of any size might be 100 miles away -- I choose to be as self-sufficent as possible. I have spares for all the usual parts anyway so I carry them in the boot rather than have them on the shelf in the garage.

Interesting that most don't carry many tools and parts... guess this is just something that each of us has to decide for ourself.

08-04-2004, 12:31 AM

Here is what I take with me when I hit the road in the spit.
Set of racheting wrenches,
Set of normal wrenches,
Several screwdrivers,
Couple of qaurts of oil,
Gallon of water,
Spare points & Condenser,
Spare Tire,
Jumper Cables.
I have found that this list covers pretty much everything you may need. I usually leave my cell at home cause I HATE it.

Mark Jones
08-04-2004, 08:10 AM
I did 1,700 miles in mine 3 days after I bought it (I drove it home). I took a socket set, wrenches, screwdrivers vice grips, 2L of oil, cell phone, CAA card, and NAMGBR membership book. Only the last 3 items were of any use when the carb's float started taking on gas. A 60 mile tow, 2 hours at a repair shop, a few quid, and I was on my way again. My feeling is unless something comes loose you probably won't be able to repair it. Points an condenser are a good idea though i my opinion.

08-07-2004, 04:32 PM
My wife and I just got back from the 2004 VTR National Convention logging over 4700 trouble free miles in my Stag, that is right, /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/driving.gif A STAG!!
I took a small bag of tools, mainly the ones I had last used making sure things were in good shape, an axle Half shaft that I did not get time to install before the departure (installed in 45 minutes in a hotel parking lot before bed), a lot of snacks and water to drink and my wife to hand them to me. A cell phone with a charger and good towing insurance are musts.
The trip out was three days of 600 miles a day, then logging almost 1000 miles of misc. trips around Virginia and Pennsylvania before three more 600 mile days back to Colorado. /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thirsty.gif

Point is as others have well stated, make sure your car is roadworthy to make the round trip. That one thing bugging you that needed replacement before leaving will probably bite you for neglecting it. Nothing beats regular routine maintenance, service, and knowing your car from bumper to bumper.

So plan on your next road trip to Triumphest 2004 in Lake Tahoe 30 September - 3 October, and VTR 2005 in Rockford Illinois 26-30 July 2005. Make your car road worthy for a road trip! /ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cheers.gif