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Planning a trip... to Alabama!


cbreiter
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So, I’ve got an ‘85 Honda crx, and was planning to replace the rear wheel arches (rust issues in Saskatchewan), my buddy in Alabama has a rust free car he was going to cut the panels out of and I was going to come get them at a later date (he wants the car out of his yard). So, I had thought I’d drive down with my new car (bought a ‘12 Honda Fit, low miles), and give him a hand cutting the panels out. Long story short, he said “if you’re coming anyway, you can just have the whole car for free”. So, now comes my question, a Comanche should be able to dolly a less than 2000 pound car no problem, but what should I especially check on it? It’s been sitting a few years (windshield was leaking and hadn’t gotten around to fixing it yet) it’s a ‘90 2wd long box. Planning on putting a receiver style hitch on it, and have a new clutch for it (ax-15). Currently working through cruisers list of stuff to do.1bbb439f75f23b5534c09b2a9c6e5eb3.jpg

 

 

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a new comanche should have no problem towing 3k pounds of car/dolly if the dolly has brakes.  yours isn't new, so I'd suggest lots of test driving so you can feel comfortable that it'll make the trip.  especially the brakes.  they need to be in tip-top shape. 

 

I like rust free cars as much as the next guy, I'm just not willing to risk my life for them.  :thumbsup: 

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I'd question the economics of this trip.

 

Definitely do a checkup and change as needed on the brakes, wheel bearings, other fluids, etc.  Then put a couple thousand pounds of whatever in the box (rock, water bottles, whatever) and go do some highway speed hard braking and decide if you want to proceed.

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Thanks for the replies. Brakes will be changed, has new front bearings(2,000 km ago) but will pull out and inspect them. Has new rear shocks, fronts will be changed, will be outfitted with decent tires. All fluids will be changed, have a new clutch, timing chain and water pump will be done, alt and starter will be rebuilt. Driveshaft will be pulled and u-joints checked, and replaced if needing it. I’m not going for a few months, so I have time to fix stuff and make sure stuff is road worthy before heading out.


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I also have a rear anti sway bar I will be installing. Car and dolly should be under 2,000 lbs, plus the car will be pretty bare bones, so less than regular curb weight.
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The car is a 1987 Honda crx HF.


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Inspect your brake LINES -- carefully. I have popped brake lines on both my '88 Cherokee and my '88 Comanche. And just over a year ago I lost front AND rear brakes on my 2000 Cherokee in a panic stop situation. It has less than 20,000 miles on the clock, but the brake lines rusted from the inside.

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Wow, will definitely check that. I really want to get this car, but if everyone says it’s too dangerous I will just have to leave it. I’m definitely going to be going through it and making stuff as safe as possible. Would you guys suggest deleting the rear prop valve? It seems to work, arm is long gone, but seems to make a difference if I put it up or down.


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I'd say you're on the right track. I've dollied a heavier vehicle (looking at ~3000lbs) from Manitoba out to Jasper behind my 530,000km MJ with no issues, including a panic stop going through Edmonton cause some moron thought the middle of an 80km/h road was a great place to leave a broken-down Tahoe... Came around a corner through an underpass and suddenly traffic was stopped. 

I also over Christmas dug my XJ out of its hole in the snow, where it sat untouched for nine months  and off the road for at least two years, hooked up a 3500lb trailer, and towed that all the way out here, with no problems due to the trailer (alternator died in Lloyd) but I'm pretty sure at 330,000km it was still the original) , and all I did to that was drop in a new battery. Not to suggest that was a particularly wise move... I mean, I made sure the fluids were there and stuff but it was extreme cold warnings that whole trip and I was getting over a flu bug so I wasn't really feeling up to doing more than I absolutely needed to. 

I'm pretty sure the tow rating on the factory bumper was 2000lbs. 

But you're already ahead of me on my last haul because you've got a couple months to look things over, not a couple days with your bum clenched, and you're unlikely to freeze to death if you break down. Although plan your route carefully... I-29 is a pretty seriously monotonous drive, and I was on it from Kansas City all the way to Winnipeg on my own trip back from Alabama. 80mph interstates also aren't necessarily a place you want to be while driving at 90km/h.

It might not be the worst idea to go through proper channels on importing the car, even if you're just planning on parting it out once you get it up here. CBSA will definitely have a few questions about it.

Also if you happen to find some rust-free MJ rocker panels while you're at it down there, I'm sure I could find a use for them :brows:

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I towed an 86 Comanche from Vancouver Island to upper Michigan in the summer.  My 91 Comanche has all factory h.d. towing equipment.  My only issue was the cooling system.  First because I failed to properly fill the system and get all the air out of the system. Second, for going over the Rocky Mountains with 4000 lbs - the Comanche is marginal.  But once in the mid west I had ZERO issues.

So get your truck in good shape, use a proper hitch  (from krustyballer16) and you will be fine with the little Honda.

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HOrnbrod, I will be headed to Phenix City area. I’m definitely going to be importing through the proper channels, I plan to license it here, so I will be doing all the proper paperwork, and getting a broker to handle the rest. As for a hitch, I’m probably going to go with an xj receiver style hitch. My bumper is hooped, and even if it wasn’t, there’s no way I’d tow from it. I’m hoping to have my buddy (owes me a favour) build me a nice replacement bumper out of aluminum.

 For cooling, I’m planning to upgrade to the dual electric fan system. I’ve got an adjustable controller for the one fan, the other will be on a toggle.

 Gogmorgo, Rockauto sells brand new rockers, I have a set I’ll be welding into my truck before I leave. I’ll let you know how well they fit. I’m going to be painting the rest of the truck too. Basically I’m trying to fix everything that could possibly be an issue (even rebuilding the starter, and alternator although they both are perfectly fine) and trying to make everything look the best it can. In my opinion I’m much less likely to encounter problems with law enforcement if it looks like it’s been taken care of, rather than if it looks like I don’t care about rust, and paint.

I’m getting a spare CPS to take along, I’m going to pull mine, and clean it off, and check to make sure it giving proper voltage.

 

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I would leave your starter and alternator alone, just pick up a couple cheap reman or new ones to use as a spare in the unlikely event you need them.

 

You could watch my super boring video on what I carry with me.  I'm comfortable that with it I could make it to the next town or out of the woods 95% of the time.

 

 

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4 hours ago, cbreiter said:

Looks good! I’m not sure I’d need all that stuff, but there’s definitely a few things in it that I’m going to be carrying.


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Even since I made the video I sat down and added half a dozen or so little nick-nacks to it, many of which were previously hiding in glove boxes or center consoles. :laugh:

 

It's always a struggle to walk the line between prepared and just carrying way too much junk.

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I hear you, I usually am guilty of carrying too many tools. Usually carry 150 pounds of tools in the trunk of my car, lol. I know a place that does good alt and starter rebuilds, used them for years. These have never been off since I’ve owned it, so I want to at least check them. Lots easier to fix stuff at home than on the road. I’ll probably press a new bushing into my idler as well. Anyone know what type of transmission fluid/gear oil I should use in my transmission?


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Got the idler bearings changed today, put in a later model power steering pump, and changed front shocks, and brakes. Also pulled the driveshaft and decided it needs u-joints. They’re not bad, but have a slight resistance in them, even after greasing, so I’ll just put in some new ones.


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I’ve been collecting parts since I got the truck 4 years ago, just haven’t found time to put them on. Even ordered decals from you a couple years ago. How do I start a build thread Pete M?


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