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I plan on driving my '67 from Denver, CO, to basically Charlotte, NC. It's approximately 1,600 miles. I haven't planned the trip in detail yet, but I plan on dropping off my mustang at my father's home sometime later this year until I am able to relocate.

The mustang is in pretty decent condition and has a strong-running inline 6 w/ 3 speed transmission. I probably won't be able to keep up with traffic at 75/80 MPH, but she can keep a steady 60-65 MPH. I am not so much concerned with time.

My main concern is the trip from Denver to Kansas City, as it is a barren wasteland, for lack of better terminology. I would hate to be stranded in the middle of Kansas. I plan on bringing plenty of food, water, a gas can, a bottle of antifreeze, a quart of oil and a spare V-belt.
I am also concerned about theft. Obviously, this trip will likely last 4-5 days. I thought about getting a removable grant steering wheel and a second cell phone that I can hide (for tracking purposes).

Once I get passed Kansas City/St. Louis, I can rely on my old man to come rescue me if necessary.

I recently put on front disc brakes and plan on swapping the rear with an 8.8 Explorer (I just need to find a friend who has a MIG welder).

Has anyone done this trip before? Any recommendations?
 

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I have made the trip twice. Once from California to Michigan and then back. Both times were pre cell phone days. It was a little un-nerving when you see signs that say "next services 105 miles".

Along with what you listed, a well stocked tool box, duct/Gorilla tape and bailing wire...and for the modern world, zip ties. :) Make sure your spare tire is in good shape and that your lug nuts are not too tight.

I have a Club steering wheel lock for theft deterrence. One can also pull the rotor out of the distributor pretty easily as well.

The worst I had happen was on my trip back to California when I had some vapor lock when crossing the Rockies in the summer.
 

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I agree Kansas seems to be a wasteland but all the little towns have good honest mechanics and a Napa. We have done this trip or similar a couple of times in our 67. This years trip is Denver to Myrtle Beach. I always carry tools, oil ,coolant and such and so far (knock on wood) my tools have only worked on other cars. A good spare tire and jack are handy to have if/when you need them.

As for theft; Lock the hood closed, install a kill switch somewhere and choose parking carefully. Nothing will help if they come with a pick or roll on wrecker.
 

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I have driven across country a lot, sometimes from coast-to-coast and have never had any real problems. 430,000+ miles since I got my 64. AAA premium- 200 mile tow range, some spare parts, but like they said, NAPA and others are all over. You can also look up local mustang clubs, as they will come out and help if needed. I once did Ft Lauderdale-LA in 4 days, 15,000 miles on the 2004 Pony Drive- 29 states, Canada & Mexico, and LA to OKC on RT 66 last April. The previous Sept., we did Savannah-CO, UT, AZ, NM, WY and back in 3 weeks. Never carried a spare because it takes up too much room. Make sure the car is thoroughly checked out before you leave. A few basic spare parts and a good tool box may come in handy.
 

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As a kid in the Model A Club with my dad in the 1960s they went everywhere. But they always carried the National Club Member Roster list with them. If you broke down you looked up the closest member and they came with the parts and tools to get you going again.. One Model A lost a generator in Trona, the gateway to Death Valley. A roster member in Trona gave him another generator. On the same trip Another Model A hit a wild burro in the dark on the switch back road dropping down into Death Valley. Shoved the radiator back into the fan and the burro ran off. The member roster list did not helped out that Model A owner at all.

I'm sure by now your getting sick of me saying I worked on phone company vehicles for 30-year's. My job was not to make the vehicles perfect, there was not enough time for that. My job was to make sure they were safe and the parts would last until the next service, which could be six-months and thousands of miles from now. Just one person in the entire garage, at night. Nobody in the entire yard to talk to but a Opossum that came by once in awhile. Me and 157 vehicles, many with auxiliary equipment like aerial booms generators. I literally repaired 100% of the vehicle unless it was under warranty. I was not allowed to have more than 1% of my 157 vehicles out of service at any one time. I filled out pages of checklists and then signed them guaranteeing that every checkmark had been performed and would make it to the next service. A big aerial boom truck could have eight pages of stuff to checkoff and you were allowed about four-hours for the inspection.

If I was looking at your Mustang and making sure it was safe and promising you it would make it six more months without doing anything but checking the oil every 1000 miles this is what I would do.

The number one thing that will leave you sitting on the side of the road is a tire. Even brand new tires. You must carry a spare, jack and lug wrench and make sure the spare has air in it. Every used old Ford I ever bought they were missing??? Make sure your spare is aired up. Make sure the tires are all aired up. While I had it up on the rack I'd spin all the tires and look for nails and I pull of them out. If they leak I'd pull the tire off the rim and patch it from the inside. But if your on the road and have a slow leak you can drive to somewhere that has air and then pull the nail. You can carry a little kit that allows you to plug the hole from the outside. Air it up and you will be on your way again. Also I looked for cracked tires. If they are cracking its time to get rid of them. I mounted, balanced and patched all the tires there, thousands of tires in 30-year's. Another thing I would do is spin the tire and look for lumps or crooked treads which are signs the tire is coming a part. I would catch a lot of them big bulges that would have lasted a week.

While its up in the air I'd grab the u-joints and check them for play. Grab the front wheels and check the steering and suspension for play. Look for loose bolts, rotting muffler hangers, broken motor mounts, large leaks, clutch adjustment, loose shocks cracked fuel hoses at the tank and pump. Lower the vehicle down halfway and pull all four wheels and inspect the brakes. Peel back the boots on the wheel cylinders to see if they are starting to seep. Pack the front wheel bearings every 30,000 miles. They will last over 100,000 miles if you pack them every 30,000 miles with expensive good quality grease (the red stuff).


There is very little to go wrong with a an early Mustang. If the car runs good now your not going to loose an engine trans or rear end unless they run out of oil. They "usually make all kinds of bad sounds for awhile before they completely fail. The things that will go bad are anything on the outside of the engine that a belt spins like a water pump or alternator. If the water pump is not beginning to leak out of the little weep hole and there is no play in the shaft its good to go. The alternator if its quiet will probably not fail unless the brushes are worn down and there is no way to check them with out taking the alternator a part. The older points type voltage regulators went bad all time, the replacement electronic ones are pretty good.

Next is the cooling system. Hoses that are spongy and swollen are time bombs waiting to explode, Heater hoses that are rock hard need to go. Look down inside the radiator and see how clean the tubes are. From the outside check the tubes where they solder to the tanks for signs of corrosion. That's a sign the tubes are about to corrode through. Take a look at the freeze plugs to make sure they are not corroding though. If you are unfortunate to spring a leak loosen the radiator cap but leave it on so the system cannot build pressure. That will slow the leak down and you can drive pretty far if the leak is not to big. If you think you have a thermostat fail and stick shut you can pull the upper hose and through the thermostat housing opening, if you have a straight shot, you can punch out the center of the thermostat with a large screwdriver. I had to do it in the middle of no where on a phone truck once. That way you do not disturb the gasket since you don't have a new one with you. As long as you carry a couple extra gallons of water you will be back on the road again.

The next two high failure items are the fuel system and the ignition system. You need to know you have a gas tank that is clean inside, no rust. New fuel filter. You need to replace the fuel pump if its old. They usually start leaking out the top vent hole before they fail. So if its not leaking it will probably get you there. If its ten-year's old I'd get rid of it anyway. Carburetors if they are working good have a 99% chance of still working good 2000 miles later. Check it for leaks. They usually develop problems when they dry out and the gaskets and rubber parts crack from not being driven, so if its running good now it should be alright. There really was not that many carburetor problems back when these cars were driven daily. Grab the carb and shake it. The Ford 300 6 cyls we had in the vans had to have there base nuts tightens about once a year.

The ignition system. My dad bought a new '65 6 cyl Mustang. He did his own maintenance he new enough to change points, replace clutches and do brake jobs. He always carried an ignition point's file which bailed us out once. The points ground out from not being changed and he was able to file off the buildup and restore the point gap. He always carried a apart set of point's, condenser and rotor but we were able to get going by filing the points. One time we went into the grocery store and came out and the engine cranked but did not start. The rotor had broke in half while sitting in the parking lot??? He popped the spare rotor in and we were on our way home. I never saw that happen again on any other car and why it broke after it was parked was pretty strange?? He kept that car for thirteen-year's and round 120,000 miles and not once did it ever have to be towed because he had the point's file and the spare rotor. If you tune up an engine make a list of the tools it took to do it so you can take them with you on a long road trip and always put the old ignition parts in the trunk for emergency spares. The coils on these cars are so old that it would be a good idea to replace it if it has never been done. My dad's Mustang was only 13-year's old. When your talking about electrical that are now fifty-plus-year's old there are no guarantee they are going to work today and not fail tomorrow. If your starter goes out you can almost always get it to crank a few more times if you have someone try to crank it while you smack it with a hammer

The battery. If the battery is more than 48 months old get rid of it no matter how many months its suppose to be good for. Your not going to save much by squeezing another year out of it which at that time its liable to go dead on you. Not worth it. At work if they were four year's old when I serviced the vehicle I replaced them. I had an entire cabinet of Interstate batteries at my disposal. Good batteries, I don't know if thy still are but thy were the best ten-year's ago.

If it has manual brakes you can look under the dash behind the pedal and see if its leaking from the back seal.

All of this inspection, plus checking fluid levels, lube, air filter and an oil change would take me about one-hour without replacing any parts. You can do so much so fast on a hoist.
 

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I grew up in KC and lived in Denver several years, so I’m very familiar with the drive you speak of. I think eastern Colorado is the sketchiest part - there’s NOTHING basically from Goodland to Limon outside of Burlington.

That being said, you’ll be on a heavily travelled interstate, so you’ll be able to get help if need be even if you aren’t right by a town. There‘s a travel stop with mechanics every 30-50 miles basically. Get AAA, make sure the car is ready, and go for it.

Another option is mapping out a route that follows along closely with 70 but stays off it. That might make for a more enjoyable drive than being blasted past by cars and semis all the time. Might be more scenic and will definitely go through more towns too.
 
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I picked up a '73 F100 that I had never even seen until I was handed the key in Bellevue, WA and drove it 2400 miles to Central Texas back at the end of October. You think western Kansas is bare, have you ever driven from Mountain Home, ID to Elko, NV? 200 miles of nothing except for one tiny town (Owyhee, NV) on an Indian reservation. No gas, no cell phone reception, nothing! And I didn't have a screwdriver, pliers, baling wire- nothing! And I was the happiest guy alive!
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If you get in trouble, send us a smoke signal. I bet a VMFr will help.
 
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Haha, I appreciate all of the comments. Fate is fate; if I happen to break down, I suppose it was meant to be.

It should be quite the trip. I'll have to post pictures once I take that leap, though there isn't much to see until you hit Kansas City.
 

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Put me down as an emergency contact (or for restaurant recommendations) in Saint Louis.
 

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Back in "the day"... you know, when they built these cars... there were a couple million of them going all over creation... some people driving from one coast to the other or from Florida to Alaska.... all without any difficulties and at the speeds of the time... which ranged from 65-70 POSTED limits to western states with NO posted limits.

The I6 is perfectly comfortable at going 75-80 all day long without a hiccup...as long as you make sure it has plenty of lubricant and coolant, just like 50 years ago.

I'd get your AAA card and when you map out your trip, research and mark the location of "emergency stops", like Ford Dealers who are, for the most part, reputable repair shops, along the way. As far as theft.... consider the Z-Lok, effective against pretty much everything except a wheel lift or roll-back.

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Haha, I appreciate all of the comments. Fate is fate; if I happen to break down, I suppose it was meant to be.

It should be quite the trip. I'll have to post pictures once I take that leap, though there isn't much to see until you hit Kansas City.
If you’re not in a rush, I would suggest getting off of 70 and driving Highway 24 through Kansas. It's slower (2 lane mostly), but it goes through a much prettier part of the state, and you will constantly be going through small towns. There are lakes/rivers, great little food spots, cool small towns, and even a college town (Manhattan). Once my car is done, my wife and I are planning to actually do a weekend trip through that part of the state. I used to travel extensively through Kansas for work, about 40k miles a year, and loved all the small towns and curving local highway roads. It has its own beauty that you just can't see from the interstate. You won't see mountains or anything, but if you can appreciate the beauty of "small town America", I think you'd enjoy that trip.

I'm back in KC now, so if you need any help in eastern KS, let me know.
 
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chain the hood down and pull the (+) battery cable at night
or pull the coil wire. not too many thieves walk around with vintage coil wires in their pocket
 

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Here is what I use for a hood lock. The come free with any firearm purchase.
746863
 

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Carry a couple rolls of Rescue tape (self-fusing silicone tape). You can wrap/repair a blown or leaking radiator hose with this stuff, or use it to make an emergency fan belt if you find yourself stuck in the middle of nowhere.


 
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My dream is to one day cross-country with my sons in their cars, all 66s, and for us to take some of the historic Route 66 along the way...see both coasts and as many of this country's great sights as possible in roughly two weeks.
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Once you have your route planned out let VMFers know the route and towns you'll be cruising through. I'm sure there are plenty of members along the route and would be more than willing to assist if needed. Hell, it might be cool to just let Mustang owners know you're driving through and meet up with them to chat and share some beverages. Good friendships can be had over some cold ones! ??:cool::cool:
 

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If you’re not in a rush, I would suggest getting off of 70 and driving Highway 24 through Kansas. It's slower (2 lane mostly), but it goes through a much prettier part of the state, and you will constantly be going through small towns. There are lakes/rivers, great little food spots, cool small towns, and even a college town (Manhattan). Once my car is done, my wife and I are planning to actually do a weekend trip through that part of the state. I used to travel extensively through Kansas for work, about 40k miles a year, and loved all the small towns and curving local highway roads. It has its own beauty that you just can't see from the interstate. You won't see mountains or anything, but if you can appreciate the beauty of "small town America", I think you'd enjoy that trip.

I'm back in KC now, so if you need any help in eastern KS, let me know.
I agree...if time is not essential take as many "blue highways" as possible. That is the best way to see and experience this great country!!
 

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I picked up a '73 F100 that I had never even seen until I was handed the key in Bellevue, WA and drove it 2400 miles to Central Texas back at the end of October. You think western Kansas is bare, have you ever driven from Mountain Home, ID to Elko, NV? 200 miles of nothing except for one tiny town (Owyhee, NV) on an Indian reservation. No gas, no cell phone reception, nothing! And I didn't have a screwdriver, pliers, baling wire- nothing! And I was the happiest guy alive!
View attachment 746839
Why I know about this story.? Well, you sometimes get a phone call from across the pond.! When the coverage permitted of course.! But yes, you are a BRAVE guy.!!
746877
746878
 

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I plan on driving my '67 from Denver, CO, to basically Charlotte, NC. It's approximately 1,600 miles. I haven't planned the trip in detail yet, but I plan on dropping off my mustang at my father's home sometime later this year until I am able to relocate....
If you are driving it for the adventure, then why not take a few 200 mile long drives ahead of time to work out any bugs. Otherwise why not just pull a trailer so you have something to drive back afterwards? Either way, have fun and don't worry, driving is what they were made for.
 
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