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What SHOULD I prep for long distance DRIVING!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by 81jimmyslt, Aug 3, 2004.

  1. 81jimmyslt

    81jimmyslt 1/2 ton status

    Jun 5, 2003
    Likes Received:
    So Lake Tahoe (Rubicon), CA
    If you read my other post, I think I have decided to just drive my truck and have my MOM use her truck to tow their trailer (save lots of cash). But I haven't driven my K5 more than 400 100 miles in a few years. I am moving 400 miles away and have to go up and down many mountains and deal with freeways......anyways

    I need advice on things I should replace or look into to make this trip easier.

    My truck setup is in my bio just look down

    The only major thing I have thought of that is obvious is I should get my tires balanced. I don't like the idea of weights falling off and it seems like equal doesn't work too well. And fix my alignment /forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

    Any advice is appreciated

  2. speedyvision917

    speedyvision917 1/2 ton status

    May 5, 2004
    Likes Received:
    all i can suggest is just get it tuned up, good luck! /forums/images/graemlins/k5.gif /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif /forums/images/graemlins/usaflag.gif
  3. txfiremank5

    txfiremank5 1/2 ton status

    Jul 6, 2004
    Likes Received:
    San Antonio, TX.
    IMHO all you can really do is check all the usual things. Fluid levels etc, air in the tires, treat it to a fresh lube.. stuff like that. Let's face it, none of us have x-ray eyes, so if there is a bigger problem lurking, there isn't a lot you can do about it if you don't know. Crawl underneath and do the ol' visual inspection. Look under the hood, maybe even replace a filter or 2. Check the belts, basically the little things that might get "overlooked" durring short trip normal drives.

    Once on the road, I would try to keep the speed down. It's one thing to try and make good time in a stock 01 Tahoe or something.. but everything will probaby go a lot smoother if you just sit back and enjoy the trip, and not hurry. You'll probably be surprised at how easly it makes the trip.

    Good luck to you.
  4. BadDog

    BadDog SOL Staff Member Super Moderator Author

    Feb 24, 2001
    Likes Received:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Before a long trip, I usually do a complete once over. Just finished the latest of several 4000 mile + trips with only separated tire failures to cause trouble. In fact, I've not had a significant mechanical failure in many years of moving/traveling all over the country from coast to coast (knowing full well that saying this guarantees a disaster on my next trip).

    Check all fluids. Particularly make sure you have fresh coolant with summer temps to prevent boil over. If oil is getting "up there" near a change anyway, do it early and change filter. PS, brakes, auto trans, axles, etc. should be visually inspected for level and condition of fluids.

    New air filter if condition is at all suspect. It's cheap and can really hurt performance multiplied by miles so that the filter is effectively free with today's gas prices. Also check fuel filter.

    Grease and inspect all ball joints and suspension/steering components. This failing can ruin your trip and your life. If you don't know how to check the ball joints, have it done by a shop. When I was 17 I had a 72 L82 I built from a basket case. Just finished a 50 mile run at 90-100 mph (illegal of course) and the left front tie rod end *fell off* as I turned into a parking lot at the end. /forums/images/graemlins/eek.gif I knew it was loose, but had no idea it was that close, and being a broke (and stupid) teenager, I "let it wait"…

    Inspect brake components for wear, this includes flex lines. Also inspect hub bearings for play, repack if it's been a while and condition unknown. Any suspect brake component should be replaced before a long trip. This is not something you want to have hit you on the interstate in the middle of the night.

    Check all hoses and belts for signs of trouble. Also check the radiator cap. If any signs of trouble, replace! I can't tell you how many times when I was younger that procrastinating on belts and/or hoses left me stranded. Look for signs of leakage around the radiator and/or water pump weep hole (stain indicates impending failure).

    Check the fan clutch and make sure it's not getting weak. Also look for play in the bearings which can lead to rapid failure.

    General once over with a hand full of wrenches (and visual inspection) on all critical mating surfaces which are reasonably available. Just hit all the obvious stuff you see underneath and in the engine compartment. I almost always find something loose on my trail rig.

    Set tire pressure (perhaps a bit higher than usual, check Grim's post for finding ideal road pressure based on temps), and maybe rotate as well. Balance and align is also a good idea if it's been off-road much.

    Visual inspection of all suspension components. For instance, the 52" springs are notorious for breaking support leafs and it can be hard to spot. Front mains have also been known to break. Also look for excessive wear on front shackle bushings which are often neglected and if anything looks suspect, check the front shackle bolts which often fatigue/wear and break.

    Carry basic tools along with water/coolant to refill the radiator, brake fluid, trans fluid, etc. I even carry a spare fuel filter in my diesel. Also carry some "form a gasket" and other general purpose "band-aids" like duct tape, JB Weld, Mechanics wire (aka bailing wire) and the like.

    Check electrical system (alt charging, clean terminals, battery condition, etc.) and carry spare fuses and a roll of wire with strip/crimp tools and supplies.

    That's all that comes to mind…

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