Nov 25, 2015 update to the Ford F-350 Ramp Truck project car

Surveying the Ramp Truck Damage

What an embarrassing way for our ramp truck to arrive. It takes a big wrecker to tow small ramp truck
Our drive shaft is shattered and bent. Good thing we have one of the best driveshaft shops in the world right here in town: Gary’s Driveline.
Unfazed, we start cleaning up and repairing our ramp truck.

Two days after our ramp truck catastrophe, our tow vehicle arrived and we surveyed the damage. The driveshaft was totally wiped out from the yoke into the transmission to the yoke on the rear end. The carrier bearing came clean out of its housing U-bolts, and the rear half of the driveshaft must still be laying on the side of I-95 somewhere. Thank god nobody was behind us when this happened.

We quickly decided it was fixable and called our friends at Gary’s Driveline. In the mean time, we started to dive into some of the other problems we hadn’t fixed on the road. That pesky electrical drain was traced to some bad wiring, and the other problems were soon sorted.

Despite some setbacks, we have decided that this will make a great “grassroots” car hauler and race support vehicle. Our intention is to fix it up and set it up as the ultimate low buck, race hauler. This story will unfold in the next few months on the pages of Grassroots Motorsports magazine. If you don’t yet have s subscription, please click here to get one.

Getting philosophical for a moment, we should have probably spent a few more days prepping this truck for this trip. We should have had a few more supplies and some safety equipment like flares and roadside triangles.

You could argue that that would have been a no-brainer. And we would argue that we didn‘t have the full week to dedicate to doing this trip the way it should have been done.

We also wanted to get out of Curt Vogt’s Cobra Automotive shop quickly and with as little impact as possible.

While he was the perfect host and had a great sense of humor about the whole deal, guests—like fish—are better thrown out after a few days.

You also don’t know what is going to break. You make reasonable guesses. You fix what you can and what is cheap and easy, and you leave the rest to chance.

It also takes the right people to do something like this—as the car commercials advise, “professional stunt drivers–don’t try this at home”.

Rennie and I have driven unrestored cars completely across this great land of ours twice. On my own or with others, I have done trips like this another half dozen times. This trip was like a trip to the corner store in our minds.

Still it takes a special, maniacal confident—yet lackadaisical—attitude to do one of these trips.

We had no fuel gauge and didn’t know how much gas we had in the tank when we started, and no temp gauge most of the time. We had a terrible exhaust leak, over heating problems and a host of other very real problems that would have had most people cowering or heading to a repair shop.

I am a decent mechanic and troubleshooter. Rennie is an amazing mechanic who was poor a lot longer than he was successful. He knows how to limp cars along and how long a noise will last before it sidelines a car. He is also a very easy going travel companion and takes adversity in stride.

If you want to do one of these trips, take someone like Rennie with you. Better yet, sit back on your couch, enjoy our stories, and leave the hell and potential danger of dragging something like our ramp truck home to idiots like us.

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View comments on the GRM forums
TRoglodyte SuperDork
11/25/15 12:38 p.m.

Time for an auxiliary overdrive?

Datsun310Guy PowerDork
11/28/15 1:51 p.m.

Last sentence......LOL. Leave idiots like us.

jstein77 UltraDork
11/28/15 10:25 p.m.

Sounds like an episode of Road Kill.

noddaz Dork
11/29/15 10:03 a.m.

"Better yet, sit back on your couch, enjoy our stories, and leave the hell and potential danger of dragging something like our ramp truck home to idiots like us."

What? And let you guys have all the fun?

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