planning trip to Yosemite/Death Valley end of Sept. from Florida in my 1965 Country Squire

Discussion in 'General Station Wagon Discussions' started by 53Plymouth, Jun 26, 2021.

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  1. 53Plymouth

    53Plymouth New Member

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    70k mile car, 352 4v, PS PB AC COM. Have gone thru suspension, brakes, tires, ac+ cooling system upgraded to aluminum radiator, electric fan, 105 amp alternator. Stock motor, never been opened, stock tranny never been opened. Plugs, wires, cap, electric ignition ( no points). Stock carb. Gauges added in place of idiot lights.

    Suggestions for anything else plus extra parts suggestions.
    Central Fl to Atlanta, Atlanta ( pick up my friend)to Amarillo, Amarillo down rt 66 to California.

    Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2021
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  2. Krash Kadillak

    Krash Kadillak Well-Known Member

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    Think about what would be the most likely breakdowns you would have, and plan for those. Seems you have taken care of all the important items already. I'll make some suggestions, but I'm sure you have already addressed most, if not all of them...

    1. Spare tire. (And make sure your jack WORKS.) Throw in a couple blocks of 2x6 wood in the spare area. Gives you a bit more height when jacking up.
    2. Spare Alternator and A/C belts?
    3. Spare fuses
    4. Pack some extra water bottles with you when you're crossing the desert
    5. Might be time to give that Cruise-O-Matic a flush and fill. Stuff in there is 56 years old. See what your mechanic recommends.
    6. Cruise EASY on the highway. Don't have 'Get there-itis'. Cars back in the 60's weren't built to run 80 mph all day like new ones do now. I would think around 400 miles a day should be your limit.
    7. I'm not sure about roaming around Death Valley around that time of year - still VERY hot. I wouldn't do it. Time for Death Valley is in the spring. And watch out for sudden thunderstorms and flash floods - not unheard of in that area. And stay on PAVED roads in the '65 Ford. It's not a 4WD, and you can easily get stuck. Also, don't count on cell phone reception out there - maybe, maybe not.
     
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  3. wagoninsane

    wagoninsane Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a grand adventure! Hope it goes well, without any major incidents. I bought my 65 vista in East St Louis along route 66, of course I cruised it down the road a couple of miles before driving it on the trailer to bring it home to western New York. It is on my "bucket list' to return to old route 66 with the longroof and drive many more miles on it! Have a safe and great road trip!....Longroofs Rule!
     
  4. 53Plymouth

    53Plymouth New Member

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    Great suggestions and a few I did not consider. I had planned to have an alternate in case the heat was just too much to deal with in DV.
    I am planning to change the tranny fluid/filter but you read about not doing this becasue of the hardened seals. I will talk to the mechanic before doing so. Not going to do this myslef anyway.

    Plan is for 300 miles per day at nothing over 70 MPH. I have a few short trips planned before I leave so I believe that I can get a fairly accurate assessment about dependability/gas mileage.

    I'll keep posting a few things as I proceed.

    Thanks
     
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  5. 60Mercman

    60Mercman Well-Known Member

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    I remember back in 2001, the 75th anniversary of Route 66, a car club from Sweden and Norway had their cars shipped to NJ and transported on to Chicago, and they did as much of the route as possible. Oddly enough, New Mexico has the most of original, usable Route 66 left. They had a lay over, and we hosted a reception for them at a quaint hotel on Central. They love huge American late ‘50’s and early ‘60’s cars. Once they got to San Bernardino, containers took the cars home. Usually drive on some section of the route sometime during the week but would love to do a trip like that. We are hosting a group on the route at the ElVado hotel here, (Albuquerque) Redone, but in ‘50’s feel. They’re just doing a Gallup to Tucumcari run in July. Just be careful, as Krash said we do get some interesting weather. Hail is also not uncommon. If you get in the area and need any suggestions, or a good mechanic let me know. Just a PM away. Lol. Good luck and if I see a ‘65 squire running through town with Florida plates I’ll know it’s you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2021
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  6. 53Plymouth

    53Plymouth New Member

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    Great to have a contact in the area. Please if you see us then stop us and say hello. Black 65 Squire. In 2019 I attempted to take my 53 Plymouth Wagon to Mt. Rushmore. I got as far as Ft. Smith, Arkansas and the weather was so horrible with tornados/storms that I stayed there for a few days , then gave up and drove home. You can't fix the weather !

    Thanks
     
  7. kevdupuis

    kevdupuis Membrane

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    Yea. Rt 66 something that's also on my bucket list, it was something I had wanted to do it with my 66 7 Litre before I sold it.
    Good luck and I hope you have a great trip.

    Maybe I'll be able to do it with the Mercedes wagon if things get back to some sense of normality.
     
  8. HotRodRacer

    HotRodRacer Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    The only other items I can think of to add to Krash's list, if you haven't done them, are change the rear-end lube (if it has not been done, like ever) and check the universal joints are good and lube them. Don't want to lose a driveshaft along the way.
     
  9. 53Plymouth

    53Plymouth New Member

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    Good advice as I have not done either.

    Thanks
     
  10. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    We just brought our '66 Monterey home from Washington State, and they were built at that time for 70MPH, but nothing over that. Some of them have 75 and 80 MPH stretches, but with that 352, I think she'll be happy between 65 and 70. The Merc has a 390, and for the power it made, it seemed like it ran out of poop above 70...but then again, the dwell was out of whack. Make sure your brakes are correctly adjusted, especially if you have front drums like the Merc does. Adjust till light drag happens through a full rotation, and that the drag is even between both sides. And make sure your brakes fluid is fresh. I recommend syn DOT3, for the 500+° boiling temperature.
     
  11. Silvertwinkiehobo

    Silvertwinkiehobo "Nothing is foolproof as fools are ingenious."

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    And driving the in-city stretches of Route 66 was very cool. Gallup, NM is where we snapped the pic of the '66 next to an old motel sign. Plenty of older ones around, in both Flagstaff, AZ, and in Gallup. Otherwise, the majority of 66's route follows I-40.
     

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