Roadkill trip in a '55 Chevy BelAir wagon

This is the quality content I love seeing. Just something about old car adventures that I love, roadkill/Vice grip garage style or whatever, it just seems like a great time. Never seen mufflers blow apart like that though!
I've blown out a muffler on a car that was most likely running rich or possibly misfiring an extended period of time (got cherry red hot, blew out a hole in the side and it was LOUD) ; but never in as dramatic a fashion as described!

And it is true.. Road trips are one of the great joys in life. The trip is always better than the destination..
Nice car, what a wild display of events you went through getting it back home. The car looks like it’s in good shape from what we can see. I would love to have a 2 door Nomad someday.
It is the "events you go through getting it back home" that truly make.. the difference.

Wow! That sounds like any number of my trips with antique cars. I have a similarly crazy story, but it involved broken rocker studs, bent pushrods and successful roadside repairs during thunderstorms.

Sounds like an epic trip that will be remembered forever. GOOD JOB!
I have no regrets about this trip at all. If given the option, knowing what we would've gotten into, I wouldn't have done it any different. We had a lot of fun on this trip. Every time the car would quit, we'd pull off the road, look at each other, and start laughing. Here we go again! lol Get it running and proceed to do a 100 ft long 2nd gear burnout while merging back into traffic. I'm 33, he's 71, yet we both felt like a couple of teenagers on an adventure. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

You didn't run into a bunch of other cars pulling small trailers by chance? A bunch of people I know were participating in a drag car / event called SickWeek.
Reminds me of picking up my brother’s newly purchased custom ‘83 CJ-7 in southern Chicago-great looker, stroker 350 (383) would NEVER have made it out of Chicagoland (HG surface on one side of the block was burned beyond repair between 2 cylinders). Trailered it back with my Ram & a U-Haul Auto Hauler trailer, thank God!!
Man that's my idea of a road trip nightmare. I'd rather wrench in the garage and drive on the road trip.

I was on some trips like this when I was young because nobody in my group could afford anything decent. Lying on a wet parking lot in the rain in the dark replacing the 2nd starter because the 1st one the auto parts store 2 miles away gave us didn't fit still doesn't bring a smile when remembered. Perspective and circumstance make all the difference. Looks like a fun car if it isn't posessed.
I want to share the Roadkill style journey I had last week.

Last Monday, a friend of mine asked me to go with him on an impromptu trip to Clearwater, Florida to buy his dream car, a '55 Chevy BelAir wagon. Only 3 hours notice, sure. Why not. We drove all day Monday and got down there about Midnight. We met the guy with the car early Tuesday morning and took it for a test drive. We went about 10 miles in it, went through all the gears, let it fully warm up, etc... all was good. It has a 327 block bored .030" over with a 350 crank (355ci) bolted to a T-5 manual. He paid the man, and we started our drive back to South Carolina.

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We stopped by the Don Garlits Museum of Drag Racing which I highly recommend for any racing enthusiasts. We left there and made it about 5 miles up the road before it just shut off going 70 mph on the highway and let off the most explosive after fire I've ever heard. It blew both mufflers wide open.

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The battery didn't have enough voltage to start it back up. I pulled up by him and jumped it. Once it was started, we found we had no charge from the alternator. Diagnosis: Alternator failure, battery drained until ignition died, engine kept spinning over pulling fuel from the carb with no ignition, and the fuel collected in the mufflers where it lit off like a couple sticks of dynomite. We jumped it enough to make it to the nearest parts store, where they confirmed the alternator was junk, and I changed the alternator in the parking lot. Fired it up and it showed 14.2 volts. We got back on the road.

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All is good, right!? Well, about 100 miles later when we're rounding Jacksonville...

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Some further inspection showed some crud on the terminal of the starter solenoid where the battery positive cable and alternator charge wire both connect. I cleaned it up a little, moved the wires around, jumped it, and again back to 14.2 volts. Yay! Back on the road.... for about 10 miles. Same thing. Coasted it into a gas station where I dug further into the starter solenoid. If you know anything about GMs, you know the engineer that designed their starter solenoid location deserves to be punched in the throat for putting the darn thing between the starter and the engine block. Stupid location. Anyway, I found the stud on it was broken. I replaced the starter solenoid in an Exxon-Mobil gas station parking lot at 10-11 pm. Jump the battery, it fired right up, showed a good charge, and tried to get back on the road. Made it another 8 miles and same thing. We said screw it and made it to a hotel for the night.

The next morning, we went to the nearest O'Reilly's as we suspected maybe the battery was no good. Sure enough, it had a dead cell. Replaced the battery and all is good now, right? No. No charge now. Did a continuity check from the battery to the alternator and had nothing. Found bad wiring that was likely inhibiting the alternator from exciting. (one wire alternator)

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I replaced the bad wiring and we had a charge again. Cool! We shut it off, got a bite to eat, and went to start it up... *click* ...FUUUUUUU

Starter wasn't engaging at all. Frustrated enough at this point, we push started it and got back on the road. It did fine the rest of the trip.

We just had to push start it when we stopped for food and gas. An 8 hour drive back took 36 hours, but we made it home. It's a beautiful car and runs great now. I did some adjusting to the carb as it was a bit rich on the highway and had an idle stumble. That was cleared up. Now to replace the starter and put new mufflers on it.

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woof! thanks for sharing. Been lucky. Never had a trip thru hell like u guys had driving that one home. Looks like a fun cruiser. :)
I bet that BOOM from those mufflers was a hell of a wake up! I had a right front tire blow out - explosion - happen to my last Chevelle
scared the stuff out of me. Like a grenade went off in under the front seats. Thank God I realized the belts split as she started yanking to
the right and I managed to slow to about 35 mph before she let lose! What a day.
I've had trouble on road trips but thankfully only once each time - failed voltage regulator at night with no charging/headlights progressively dimming and 200 miles from home, failed distributor with resulting no start, failed coil on an old style V8 with major loss of power on every hill, exhaust system broken off and dragging on the pavement (twice on the same car on different trips), engine over heating whenever I slowed down, tire blowouts, engine splash shield dragging on the pavement, and probably a few more that don't come immediately to mind.

They're a lot more fun in retrospect. There were way more problems in the "olden days" and besides that I used to drive really crappy cars. But at least I never had to be towed to a service center (knock on wood).