On the Road: Wicked '59 Finning Across America in Opulence and Excess

tinhead

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Wiper motors👺
The one in the motorhome had the shaft snap right off where it exits the gearbox. It's available on Amazon for $143, but undeliverable to the Canada National Park campgrounds we'll be using. Rain-X will get us through.
 

maui

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wicked' I'm sorry I'm (once again) not going to see you on this trip.... Safe journeys, hope you have a fun time..
 

Dameon

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Well damn, I hope Phoenix cools off before I get there in a couple of weeks.
Uh, have you ever been to Southern Louisiana this time of year? The thermometer might say 100*, but when the humidity is 90+%, you'll swear it's 150*. :D

The AC in the house works well. Unfortunately, we'll be in the shop working on the Caddy. No AC in the shop.
 

Dameon

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I use sea foam to clean off the valve and combustion chamber, straight down the carb, don't get too carried away but give her a stout drink.
Although I had concerns about this when Wicked presented it, I am hearing and reading (here and otherwise) that it seems to be the thing to do. It's either a huge trick being played on Wicked (and me) or there's some truth in it. I'll go grab some Sea Foam and we'll give it a whirl. I'll wait for Wicked so he can join in the fun.

Recommended step-by-step:

1) Run car to operating temperature?
2) Remove air filer/housing.
3) Pour Sea Foam (Sea Foam Motor Treatment 16oz (autozone.com) ) directly into carb intake at engine idle speeds.
4) Don't allow engine to die. Feather throttle to maintain engine rpm?
5) Continue for 16 oz?
6) Take Caddy off sweet jumps at WOT?
 

Master-Cylinder

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Although I had concerns about this when Wicked presented it, I am hearing and reading (here and otherwise) that it seems to be the thing to do. It's either a huge trick being played on Wicked (and me) or there's some truth in it. I'll go grab some Sea Foam and we'll give it a whirl. I'll wait for Wicked so he can join in the fun.

Recommended step-by-step:

1) Run car to operating temperature?
2) Remove air filer/housing.
3) Pour Sea Foam (Sea Foam Motor Treatment 16oz (autozone.com) ) directly into carb intake at engine idle speeds.
4) Don't allow engine to die. Feather throttle to maintain engine rpm?
5) Continue for 16 oz?
6) Take Caddy off sweet jumps at WOT?
It will smoke like a house fire while you're doing it.
 
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WickedSpeed

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Wicked, do you have a place to stay in Phoenix?
S.C.
Not yet - Also traveling with Atomic80 which makes it harder to couch-surf on the way. If no offers materialize we will grab a hotel room, no worries.

Wondering where in Phoenix I should be heading to for meeting up everybody at? Is there a favorite haunt/hang out in the area for you guys?

Uh, have you ever been to Southern Louisiana this time of year? The thermometer might say 100*, but when the humidity is 90+%, you'll swear it's 150*. :D
Whacha worried about? I live in the tropics. Actually I wish I could say that meant the conditions there won't be a shock to me, Hawaii is actually semi-tropical, almost never exceeds 82-83 degrees, and the humidity is relatively low. So yeah, it's going to be brutal for me. :lol:

Sea Foam, water, Marvel Oil, Transmission fluid pouring... It's my understanding that Steps 3 and 4 involves revving the motor up and keeping the RPMS high? I'm also a little nervous about Sea Foam VS the other fluids because Sea Foam is flammable, no? At least that's what I'm thinking since it typically goes into the gas tank.

-Wicked
 
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WickedSpeed

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Another question about the pouring - Will all this burn off or will the fluids or carbon gunk make it down past the rings into the oil? Wondering if I should have the oil changed after this before hitting the road? The shop said they did an oil/filter change and put in a 5-30 conv/syn blend oil which to me is a little on the thin side. I was hoping for a 10-40 (or even 15-50) full synthetic oil that's high in zinc to be put in.

-Wicked
 
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WickedSpeed

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If it runs good now and doesn't diesel with good gasoline, I'd probably skip the whole process.
Will see how the car runs/behaves for Dameon and see what he thinks.

Wish I was already over there tinkering with the car with Dameon.

-Wicked
 

scottcolbath

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Not yet - Also traveling with Atomic80 which makes it harder to couch-surf on the way. If no offers materialize we will grab a hotel room, no worries.

Wondering where in Phoenix I should be heading to for meeting up everybody at? Is there a favorite haunt/hang out in the area for you guys?



Whacha worried about? I live in the tropics. Actually I wish I could say that meant the conditions there won't be a shock to me, Hawaii is actually semi-tropical, almost never exceeds 82-83 degrees, and the humidity is relatively low. So yeah, it's going to be brutal for me. :lol:

Sea Foam, water, Marvel Oil, Transmission fluid pouring... It's my understanding that Steps 3 and 4 involves revving the motor up and keeping the RPMS high? I'm also a little nervous about Sea Foam VS the other fluids because Sea Foam is flammable, no? At least that's what I'm thinking since it typically goes into the gas tank.

-Wicked
I know it's back in this thread somewhere, but what date do you land in Phoenix? July 3rd?

If I can sort out the logistics, I may be able to put you up. I'm actually not sure if I will even be home on the day you arrive, and there's also a high probability that we will have a house full of grandkids. I may also be in Alpine, Az.

Still trying to get that sorted out. Bottom line, if there's room at the inn, you're welcome to stay. I'll stay in touch with you on that.

S.C.
 

Rhino

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Damn that is some heat out there.. I contemplated heading out that way as it would be fun to do a road trip with a classic Cadillac and a Newer fast Cadillac but between heat and gas prices the thought of me pulling it off is fleeting.
 

chuck356

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Very relieved to hear that the car seems to be running OK/better now. Hopefully it was just the old gas and that going forward, fresh gas at the pump without additives will be sufficient to enable the car to run well.

When Dameon first got the car, he reported the car was diseling and I did look this up online and ran across a bunch of posts saying that this typically was due to carbon build up and the solution was to spray water into the intake while revving the motor to rid itself of carbon deposits. That sounded terrifying to me - I ran the idea by Dameon who agreed it sounded a little too risky and suggested letting the mechanic work on the car first.

Like Wretch pointed out, the engine supposedly has very little mileage on it since the rebuild which also had been done after leaded gas had gone away so it was kind of odd that it'd have carbon deposits bad enough to cause dieseling in the first place. Regardless it seems to be running better now and hopefully with some more driving by Dameon, and then under me, it will continue to clear out and improve. I'll probably throw in a few bottles of Techron into the tank when I arrive and will be filling up at Costco (whose gas consistently tests high in terms of quality and detergents) whenever I can find one on the route. It helps that it's cheaper and I've got 5% or so cash back on Costco gas. At $6 a gal that comes out to 30 cents per gallon.

Now that it apparently doesn't diesel anymore... Looking at the power issue...

I really wish I knew more about the engine rebuild. My biggest question is - was it rebuilt to run properly on non-leaded gas? If so, I should be able to return to stock timing to get back a bunch of horsepower. Anybody know if there's a relatively easy way to find out short of having somebody hearing continually test driving the car at stock timing using lower and lower grade gas until it starts pinging? Then we'd know that one grade up on the octane rating will be sufficient, or if it pings at 91, that the timing does indeed need to be retarded after all.

Is my thought process correct?

Here's the latest map with Las Vegas removed.

View attachment 101418

July 1st, I leave point C and head to Jeff's in Dallas.
Point D to point E makes me the most nervous. 11+ hours drive. Looks hot too. It's also almost the same leg that my Dajiban build Van choked on last summer. Thankfully it choked really close to Dano's relatively speaking and we were able to be rescued via trailer.

-Wicked
When I tuned up a car with breaker points and distributor, I had a slightly uphill place to test the car under full throttle, and I would keep advancing the timing (turning the distributor) until the engine spark knocked, then backed it off until it did not.
 

BIggerDanno

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I had no plans on packing rain gear on this trip I'm doing. It's too soon to really tell at this point, but the monsoon season in the southwest typically starts at the end of June/early July.

S.C.
Look at the forecast above. It's showing 50% scattered thunderstorms for 4 straight days. I'd say that's the beginning of the monsoon.
 

Dragon 350

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You can't run sea foam or any other cleaner thru an engine at idle. It will die.

1500 or more, depending on how much you want to give her. I get pretty aggressive with it, because I want it to work. I don't know if I'm right or not? I'll run it up to 2500 and give her a double, I'm into getting the old girl results, don't be a pussy!

I don't want it to die with extra fluid in it, hydro lock, bad!!!! Let her idle after treatment, rev it a bit, let it work.

Go drive it after treatment.

You're trying to get a change.

YMMV
 
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WickedSpeed

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Arrival date in SoCal?
Looks like we will arrive on July 4.

Atomic80 is in charge of figuring out hotel for the nights of 4th and 5th but we might prefer to stay over with you guys those two nights if that's an option.

I would love to clean up the exterior of car properly while over there too if I can borrow some things/get some pointers. My plan is to either wash the car at Dameon's or get a basic commerical car wash/dry done nearby on the way out of Louisiana then spray down/wipe the entire car with "Turtle Wax 53409 Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating" which I've ordered and has arrived at Dameons. Not a real ceramic coating, but well-reviewed, thoroughly tested, and early impossible to screw up the application. It should help keep bugs and crap from sticking to the car as well as provide decent water beading in case the wipers are still an issue. Then once in San Diego I'll pick up something that will safely remove this coating and then polish/buff out the car so it looks decent, and recoat with the same spray as it will get filthy and possibly salty during the ocean crossing to Hawaii. Then redo once it arrives in Hawaii. Good plan? Thoughts?

Rocket (Chris) who is flying in on the 6th when Atomic80 flies out, sprung for a hotel room down in Mission Beach that isn't refundable so we will be staying there 6th-13th. I plan to visit with the kids (who are leaving on the 8th for Junior Olympics), and do some wake foiling in Mission Bay Let me know if you want to join for that and give foiling a try. :D The guy is a foil instructor and has a ton of gear we can use. Including e-foils if you and/or Burly want to try that. Kalei, my wife is also going to fly over for 2-3 days over the weekend. I also want to head up to LA to see Bandit Man at some point. Those are the plans for so-cal.

-Wicked
 

Bandit Man

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Looks like we will arrive on July 4.

Atomic80 is in charge of figuring out hotel for the nights of 4th and 5th but we might prefer to stay over with you guys those two nights if that's an option.

I would love to clean up the exterior of car properly while over there too if I can borrow some things/get some pointers. My plan is to either wash the car at Dameon's or get a basic commerical car wash/dry done nearby on the way out of Louisiana then spray down/wipe the entire car with "Turtle Wax 53409 Hybrid Solutions Ceramic Spray Coating" which I've ordered and has arrived at Dameons. Not a real ceramic coating, but well-reviewed, thoroughly tested, and early impossible to screw up the application. It should help keep bugs and crap from sticking to the car as well as provide decent water beading in case the wipers are still an issue. Then once in San Diego I'll pick up something that will safely remove this coating and then polish/buff out the car so it looks decent, and recoat with the same spray as it will get filthy and possibly salty during the ocean crossing to Hawaii. Then redo once it arrives in Hawaii. Good plan? Thoughts?

Rocket (Chris) who is flying in on the 6th when Atomic80 flies out, sprung for a hotel room down in Mission Beach that isn't refundable so we will be staying there 6th-13th. I plan to visit with the kids (who are leaving on the 8th for Junior Olympics), and do some wake foiling in Mission Bay Let me know if you want to join for that and give foiling a try. :D The guy is a foil instructor and has a ton of gear we can use. Including e-foils if you and/or Burly want to try that. Kalei, my wife is also going to fly over for 2-3 days over the weekend. I also want to head up to LA to see Bandit Man at some point. Those are the plans for so-cal.

-Wicked
I can come down to San Diego one day so you don't have to spend another small fortune in gas and risk the caddy in L.A. traffic.
 

CZLoco

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I've used Seafoam in gas & oil before with good results.
I'm no mechanic though.
And I know absolutely zero about super old engines like this.

Was this engine made for leaded gas? Do you have to do some kind of conversion to make them run on unleaded?

Is Seafoam safe to use in really old engines?
Is it safe for super old seals that might have been re-used in the engine and may exist in the fuel system?

Don't forget to throw a few cases of water in the trunk and some liquid ice packs.
Late June will be HOT.
 

Wretch

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The big thing with engines designed for leaded fuels, running unleaded, is to make sure the valve seats are hardened.

The lead was what kept the valves/seats sealing well.

Most modern head work includes hardening the valve seats so, there really shouldn't be any issues running unleaded.
 

Bandit Man

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The big thing with engines designed for leaded fuels, running unleaded, is to make sure the valve seats are hardened.

The lead was what kept the valves/seats sealing well.

Most modern head work includes hardening the valve seats so, there really shouldn't be any issues running unleaded.
Hopefully they didn't just throw rings and bearings at it then reseal it.
 
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WickedSpeed

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I can come down to San Diego one day so you don't have to spend another small fortune in gas and risk the caddy in L.A. traffic.
Thanks, but not sure how hard traveling might be for you these days so I've factored in driving up to LA to see you. I'll make Chris pay for half the gas so it won't be too bad. :biggrin:

Hopefully they didn't just throw rings and bearings at it then reseal it.
My thoughts exactly. I'm not sure what all was done during the rebuild and I don't have access to the receipts that come with the car yet. Not sure if there's even rebuild receipts or if the rebuild paperwork will even say. I'll ask Dameon if he can find anything, and even if I can just find out who did it, I can always call and ask.

-Wicked
 

Wretch

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Hopefully they didn't just throw rings and bearings at it then reseal it.
Valve seat recession would be the issue it causes.
As long as you do not abuse it with high rpms for long periods, if the seats were never hardened, it should be fine.
I cannot imagine it's got the original, un-rebuilt stock heads on it at this point.
The valve guides seals would certainly have rotted by now and there would be telltale smoke from the tailpipe and it wouldn't be idling or running smoothly with badly worn seats so, at the least those heads have been looked over closely and serviced.
We haven't had leaded fuel since the late 70's so, it's doubtful the valve seats were never addressed.
 
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Master-Cylinder

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The olde Indian I am working on has bronze valve seats. I have no idea what unleaded fuel does to them. The guides on it were so worn, it filled my whole garage with smoke in just a few minutes when idling. They don't use valve guide seals, and it had iron valve guides. I slapped bronze guides in it.
 

Wretch

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The olde Indian I am working on has bronze valve seats. I have no idea what unleaded fuel does to them. The guides on it were so worn, it filled my whole garage with smoke in just a few minutes when idling. They don't use valve guide seals, and it had iron valve guides. I slapped bronze guides in it.
I'd imagine with bronze seats that they would get work hardened with all the hammering they get.
Bronze valve guides is always the best way to go, even though they do wear more quickly.
 

GSXRTURBO1

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The olde Indian I am working on has bronze valve seats. I have no idea what unleaded fuel does to them. The guides on it were so worn, it filled my whole garage with smoke in just a few minutes when idling. They don't use valve guide seals, and it had iron valve guides. I slapped bronze guides in it.
If they are the original phosphorous bronze valve seats that ran with leaded gas years back you should be fine. If you cut them, that's where you can run into issues.
 

GSXRTURBO1

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If the Caddy continues to have a dieseling problem, or if it returns, there's a fairly easy fix. It requires some fab work, but several carbs in the 70's were set up with a solenoid to help prevent dieseling. When the solenoid is energized (key on) it opens the blades slightly open... this is where idle is set. When the key is off, the blades close completely preventing the air needed for dieseling.
 

Master-Cylinder

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If the Caddy continues to have a dieseling problem, or if it returns, there's a fairly easy fix. It requires some fab work, but several carbs in the 70's were set up with a solenoid to help prevent dieseling. When the solenoid is energized (key on) it opens the blades slightly open... this is where idle is set. When the key is off, the blades close completely preventing the air needed for dieseling.
Honda used a wax cylinder on some motorcycles to give them a fast idle at cold start. As the engine heated up, so did the wax.
 

BigGar

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Is this leaded gas thing still a thing? I would think damn near any engine that's been rebuilt in the last 40 years would be good to go with unleaded fuel.
 
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WickedSpeed

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I don't want to assume, esp with a car that was hardly driven. 🤷 Dameon is going to go through the receipts and if he finds anything pertaining to the build he will scan and send to me. Hope to have some news soon.

Btw Pool Party on the 7th of July good? Confirmed with the ex that I can have the kids that day. She might join as well if she can get away from work.

-Wicked
 
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WickedSpeed

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I got the engine rebuild receipt scanned and sent my way the other day by Dameon.
Checked out the shop online and it's reviews - pretty bad with a 3/5 average and several of the 5's sounding like shills.
Nevertheless after talking with Wretch yesterday and asking him to look into the receipt/shop due to my not seeming to be able to raise anybody on the phone over there. Wretch pointed out that they were an ASE certified shop which was promising and he got through to somebody named Pat who assured him that the rebuild was done with hardened seats so we should be good to go in that regard.

-Wicked
 
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