As its turned out a silver lining of collecting 2 stints and being told to “slow down” is I now have that time we’ve always said we couldn’t find for more comprehensive testing after extensive work on a coach. You say it sounds crazy but it’s like if you were late for a big meeting you may end up looking great…..with 2 different color socks………its that kind of duhhhhh stiff. Still the crew of a ship does the shakedown still the ship builders here can motor around the block a little so that’s what my new “Wal-Mart Greeter” job does for us…..and I always DO like to see a smile when walking into any store…..I just think Sam Wall recognized the importance of strong eye contact, a firm handshake a smile and a concerted interest in what you came there for. I respect folks like that…..
Anyway, it was a high pleasure yesterday to drive test an old friend now close to ready to make a 3rd family happy!
A software engineer for NASA cherished this coach over a decade almost 2Gtarnishing this 78 with all sorts of technical stuff and love. He and his wife were 3 peas in a pod in this coach…..but as everything times change and Sam being the stealth eyed missile man he was knew his baby needed someone to take over care and feeding duties soon. The coach changed owners to another soul looking for a mate. The straightening out and humanizing the Frankenstein layer while awesome now could make sense to more folks than rocket scientists……. The coach served its new owner well but once again things changed and a new steward had to be found…….it was in a couple from Belgium so in the middle of its rehab to its new world…..I get to test drive the mechanical before the new owners fly in for holiday and meet the new member of their family…..good stuff! Thanks everyone for your devotion to the coach (no name as yet……never got one) and for the chance for me to make this drive……first off is to fuel up looking for leaks and how fast the fuel can filli pump in $20 worth at high volume to see what happensloils like out increased tank venting through increasing exhaust vent flow works……a new bandaids we’ve discovered when working with the 2 original fuel tank arrangements.
Here are the accessible corner and side ports on the new 53 gallon single tanks were proving upHere you can see the only “top” fitting is the screw down (no slip rings that……slip) wonder port we actually add after the the tank fabrication……but back to the rocketsled ride….my guess this coach will end up with a single tank but for now we still have only our test tank on the road gathering data. More on this later
With a known quantity of fuel for the test….actually the gauge DID move @1/4 tank which is @ right…….let me describe the assets in hitting the road with………
One of MY roller cam 403 motors, Manny trans w/355 gears. Of course aluminum rims and a Quad bag rear suspension, FiTech fuel injection, headers, aluminum intake, Senden rotary dash AC compressor an gorgeous MacDaddy dash, our cool steering wheel, an RC wireless controlled cruise control system I WISH I could still get, new windshields, our contoured seats…..a 77-78 dash AC that blows cold……oh yeah, electric mirrors ….basically the drivers kitchen sinkI tell you as I investigate this new learning real time computer engine management fuel injection systems the more I like the quicker, higher revving 403 motors with upgraded gear ratios…….for today’s driving it turns out to be a really good combination. Here’s a quick pic of my 60mph gauge scanthe bottom left is an ancient AFR gauge filling the hole…in the power band of our cam profile, a solid 40psi oil…180 temp…..solid vacuum over 12″ means the motor is just barely working…..voltage right out of the alternator 14…..the FiTech volt reading is showing the .8 volt isolator drop….life is goodthe FiTech screen says sitting at idle, my air to fuel ratio (AFR) is 13.8……14.1 is perfection, its up and down but no way could a GOOD mechanic tune a carb that close! We’re idling using 3.3% of the injector capacity. Having the coach from a traffic light the most I could suck was 17%….plenty of room to play! This drive is just plain fun!sshould have washed the window…..bad preflight preparation!……But I can not only keep up with traffic but if someone isn’t paying attention I can pull them from the light making a gut who cares need to sit up and pay attention! Oh wait…..I don’t do that! No sir…not me!except for that Audi I dusted pulling a light…..it just felt right! He was winding out first and when I hit 2nd I pulled him for a brief no ent……..meant nothing…but to me it did. Meant I wasn’t the slowest think in that pack of vehicles…….I wasn’t the pig! BOom….That’s a huge feel driving one of these……in the south we say “if ya feel a lilt froggy u can jump”. Yup, that’s it “Froggy”…not Fergy, not floppy or foggy but Groggy…..this thing will jump! I am lovi g this 30 mile round trip to my secret spot…..oh yeah, late model On an pumping and a control panel telling you all sorts of thingstmakes a good half a beer to take it all in! Yes sir, this is a real road rocket!and with my trust travel partners….a bag of peanuts to pour into my cold Coke…. Fuel and I’m ready to drive! Yeah man,do it and you’ll want to do it more often…..especially when you get your machine to this condition…..”warp factor 2 there Scotty and don’t give me anything about those Dilithium Crystals…..punch it Sulu…….Oh yeah, I forgot….being a 78, the Electro-Level II air ride system being toast this has one of the Electro-Manual systems we installed. Its totally manual using air valves but unlike the one on the Tail Gayer I added an electric switch function to engage the original pneumatic height control valves that are still available. A really neat set up that was fun to design and build……….
But the 30 mile test is over….ok, I’ll buy it….what are the payments?!!!! A little paint …the roof has already been refinished in white and FroggyIS that rocket I always knew it could be….
Sorry….8am…I need to drive to Brooksvell for a Honda generator and to our alt. Guts for more of those single wire alternator………see ya later