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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Durability Run

This past week my copilot Chris Forrer and I set out to drive my type65 coupe 2823 miles from NY to LA. I sought help and guidance from Mark Dougherty who along with his son Brendan prepped my car.

My coupe is outfitted with a carbed 306 cu in, tko, irs. It was previously modified with undercar exhaust and dropped driver floor ( to allow 2 additional inches). In preparation for the trip passenger floor was dropped, tko transmission modified by Hanlon, rear gear change to 3.27, front to back bolt check, auxiliary fuel tank (37 gallons total) along with multiple other mods to stay dry, and to keep it quiet on the inside.





The end of Sept. the Doughertys were gracious hosts and allowed my to stay at their place while my car underwent final prep. On 9/26 I departed for NY and picked up my copilot at La Guardia and prepared for early departure the next am from Red Ball Garage.



We set off in the early am and pushed the go pedal. Driver changes were swift, fuel stops were choreographed. The auxiliary fuel tank worked like a charm and allowed for pumping the 15 gallons of reserve fuel into the 22 gallon fuel cell to limit total gas stops.

The coupe ran strong until Terre Haute Indiana. We were slowed by a faulty cooling fan wiring, and missing hood latch bolts. After a quick repair we were back on the road.



We blew through IL, MO, and into Kansas. Electing to take the Northern route, to avoid passing our hometown of Springfield. We thought an extra 20+ miles would not add that much to the trip (more on that later).
Into Kansas and cruising along we had our first encounter with the LAW. Fortunately he informed us of our absence of rear running lights and allowed us to exit at the next exit with instructions to fix it or drive during the day. Unfortunately the fix cost us 2 hours. The cause was the newly installed headlight switch, that replaced the always working LUCAS switch that had a bad reputation. Lucas switches now don't seem that bad.

The Wayne Presley VCP tuned coupe ran strong until we hit elevation. We motored up the mountain side while being passed by Toyota Corollas. My coupe was gutless at altitude.

Exiting the mountains into Utah we enjoyed the unpopulated country side and made up some lost time. At an unscheduled fuel stop we enjoyed a gas station hotdog and jumped back into the car. It was my turn to drive and we belted in, and I turned the key. The next thing I remember was seeing smoke rolling along the roof. My copilot announced his exit and I quickly followed. After throwing the kill switch, we pushed the car away from the pumps.



After quite a bit of time we traced the problem to a questionable wire. We disabled the aux fuel pump and made sure everything was safe and pressed on feeling tired and defeated.

My copilot tried to rest and after his short nap I announced defeat. We were now over our goal and finishing was too risky for us and our fellow drivers with whom we shared the road. Fatigue had overcome us. I admitted defeat, while my copilot coined to the term "timed out". He wouldn't admit failure. We had traveled over 2500 miles in 43 hours. 325 miles short of our goal. The coupe powered thru these miles with nothing more than a shorted out wiring on the cooling fan, loose hood latch, faulty headlight switch and an electrical snafu with the aux fuel pump ( the cause is yet to be determined).

After spending some time in Las Vegas with the wife, We flew home coupeless. Before leaving Mark D. swooped in and took my keys. We changed out the seats and he motored away to MO (1400 miles away). In a way I sensed he felt responsible for me having "timed out". His insight and expertise allowed me to campaign the coupe over 2500 miles in just over 40 hours with nothing more than a few electrical problems, that I feel were just plain bad luck. Before leaving Mark offered up "standing behind his work" as he called it. Instead of returning the coupe to MO, the plan was changed to taking it back to his shop in PA. So all in all the coupe has now traveled 5000 miles in a weeks time. These were not easy miles. I tend to think Mark may have enjoyed himself a little on his journey back home.




Sorry Mark, Bob told me of your U turn and subsequent burn out right in front of the Law just after you shot this pic.

A special thanks to Mark D. and his family for their hard work, graciousness, and their friendship. The coupe is now back at his shop in PA, in preparation for a future "Durability Run".

Im not saying I would attempt this again but if I were..... I would leave at night, East coast traffic along with construction was heavier than expected. We would travel the southern route thru OK. I discounted how much the Mountains would add to our overall time. This would allow for some smooth night time traveling through the west and arriving in LA in time for lunch.

Thanks for letting me share my story. Now get out and drive.
 

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Wow ! What a great story and accomplishment. I'm sure your write up only captured the highlights of your trip. Memories that will stay with you for a long time.
 

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Wonderful story and great writing, perhaps a short story for "Car and Driver" or "Road and Track" or other magazine is in order. Your feat is an inspiration to us all. Thanks!
 

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Great to see another coupe doing an endurance trip. I bet it also drew a lot of attention along the way. These trips are good for proving what works and will show weak spots. Simple fixes and then wont be a problem next time.

I did a long trip this summer (6,000 miles in 11 days) and had problems with a rebuilt T5 - now I have a new TKO600.

I'd appreciate some details on the extended gas tank. How do you control it and how does it fit?

Next year, you should plan for the London Cobra Show and then a couple days at Mid-Ohio for track days - my trip for next year, and suggesting a bunch of coupes on the track would be cool.

Regards, Mike
 

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Mike,

Wow, what a trip! Brock Yates would be proud of you! R.I.P., Brock.

Regarding the Dougherty family ... great people and true professionals. I'm happy to call them friends!

Mike Jones, you are killing me "a bunch of coupes on the track at Mid-Ohio next year at the LCS" . I won't have one yet but will enjoy following them around the track, if I can keep up with them!

Garry
 

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Mike
thanks for the write up
The trip home was great.
I left Vegas 8 am monday morning on the 3rd.
I was in no rush So I stopped and made a few adjustments to the coupe.
pedal height, left to right and seat.
Since I am slightly larger than the average coupe driver these were quite important adjustments.
I stopped overnight in a little town. Tucumcari NM. Had dinner at the local Sonic and slept at a little motel on RT 66.
great time.
I was in springfield the next day by 5pm
the coupe ran awesome the whole way. Mike and I checked a couple things on the coupe while in Springfield getting ready for my big push the next day.

I dropped Mike off at work at 8:30 am on the 5th. and was on the road. BobSTL called to see how Mike had done and we decided to make a small detour in St.louis and let him see Mikes coupe. ( he wanted to hear just how quiet mikes coupe really is )
After a short ride and once over the entire car. I was back on the road.
Sorry Bob not really a burnout but yes a tire chirp.
Now was the time to really log some miles. not much more to report other than I arrived home at about 1:30 am on the 6th 1,100 miles later in a day.
It took me a full 24 hrs to recover from that push my body was not happy with me.

After some recovery time I had time to reflect on my trip in Mikes coupe.

1) The added 2" of headroom in the coupe is great that extra room to move around makes a huge difference in seat positioning.

2) Mikes coupe has the under car exhaust which is great but it shows where the other noises are coming from.
a) rear wheel wells we had to dyna matt them, then I covered them in carpeting inside of the wheel well huge difference again.
b) window rattles gotta do something about that
c) rear dif. solid mounted. with the reduced noise in The coupe you can hear the noise the gears make transferred through the roll cage. going to install rubber bushings
D) mufflers have a drone will try a different brand.

3) Cruise control if you are going to do that much seat time, you need it.
my legs cramped up because of the lack of movement.

4) need better headlights the new painless brand switch failed ( loose terminals inside )
and not bright enough on unlit roads

5) I am still baffled as to why the aux fuel sender ground wire to the battery ground burned up. This is currently under investigation. Aux. fuel pump(still works), and aux. sender(still works ) shared a ground directly to the battery. the fuel pump was off and the ground wire burned from the battery NEG. terminal 6" to a junction.

6) need to seal doors to body better we dynamatted them and carpeted the insides made block off plates for the front door frame openings, but you still get alot of air around the outside of the door itself.

Thats all for now Still a great journey, and an awesome chapter for mikes coupe book.
 

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Man, I felt super successful when I drove to Santa Cruz and back. About 3 hours total!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Repeat durability run in '18

Honestly with all the changes this coupe is just as comfortable as a production car. Mark is going to make some additional changes in preparation for big bend open road challenge in spring of 17. Then in 18 I'm going to finish what I started. Plan is for another ny-la run, taking the southern route. No aux fuel tank, my bladder can't wait that long in between fuel ups. If any one is interested I have some ideas on making it enjoyable for all, with respect to drive times. I think it would be a blast to have a few cars making the run.

More pics tonight.
Moen
 

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Honestly with all the changes this coupe is just as comfortable as a production car. .....
This car is incredibly quiet and smooth.
The fact that someone can talk, and be easily heard on a phone from inside the car is proof of that.

Mike, great job!
 

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Got Room !

Great trip. Next time go the southern route, spend some time, great scenery. They film all around here.

I had my headlight switch go out years ago. Tried to find a better one, ended up with the same 4 buck switch. Anyone know of a better choice?

I'm on the north side of the mountain that ABQ NM is on the west side of. Have 3 bedrooms open most times. I had to change my name from Blue Horse to Hawk5114 after 10 years.

Not my idea. You maybe able to talk Cathy into giving up her spot in the garage for a night or two. Ask Trout about the roads around here.

Blue Horse >:)
 
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