Long Road From Vegas to Austin (Long Sad Story) - Chevy Impala SS Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 07:00 PM
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I had a great time going to Vegas with Larry and Mike from SAIL in the convoy. A great time in Vegas at all the events.
Excuse my rambling because it took 2 days to get home I arrived at 6 AM Monday without my wagon.
My wagon ran like crap onthe way home. I had it dynoed in Vegas it was 348hp or something at the rear wheels, dropped 30 to 50 HP a couple times during dyno. BH did tuning and then cleaned MAF and removed one suspect aluminimum heat shield from plug wire that appeared it could be shorting. Seemed to fix things.

Went across the street to the drags late to run bracket and only got in 2 trial runs, both were terrible 15.3 at around 87mph and it was falling over. The wagon should be good for mid 13's (and has)easy. I went to pits and removed all plug shields and changed my intake to the original RAISS (from the split ZO6).
I had to pick dial in so I picked 14.7 and paired up against a wagon that dialed 17.9!
Well- it pulled like the old days I had a 2.0 60' and caught the guy by mid track, I lifted and coasted through the last 1/3rd at 14.6 at 81mph and broke out, end of drag racing.
On the way home, my water pump took a crap in Arizona, 60 miles west of Gallop NM. I pulled front cover and the impeller was spinning freely on shaft. I think this explains my eradic cooling for the last couple thousand miles. Friends drove the 2 hour round trip to Auto Zone and bought the waterpump while I pulled the old one. Harvey Clark and Bill Harper stopped and offered assistance, they offered an electric WP.
I installed new AutoZone pump and was back on road after about a 4-5 hour stop. It ran very cool, for the next few hundred miles, but coming into Wichita Falls Texas (still 300+ miles from home) I heard a ticking, that then turned into a louder banging. I pulled into a Shell station and popped hood and heard way too much noise from right bank-- then shut down.
Popped valve cover and sad to say - couldn't find a loose RR or see a broken spring or a loose push rod. I pulled coil wire and unplugged fuel pump then hit the starter all valves appeared to go up and down, but there was a loud bang occassionally as I cranked.
I'm guessing rod noise or maybe piston hitting a valve.

I had it trailered 118 miles closer to home to Saginaw TX outside Ft Worth, 100 free miles on my AAA and 18 miles, at $4.50 a mile, to a SAIL members brothers house- got there at 1:00AM Monday. Thanks Willy and Chris.
Jay, from SAIL drove me home after we removed a bunch of his tires etc to leave behind in my wagon, since he was already overloaded. We were nodding on the way to Austin and had to stop in rest area to catch an hour nap. I arrived home at 6:00AM and was supposed to be working in 2 hours.
Flash back-
Worse- Shortly after this was rebuilt in December I took it back to the builder because there was way too much noise coming from right bank. I adjusted valves several times but it just made too much clatter and felt kind of like it was running on 7 instead of eight.
Me thinks this is same noise that finally raised it's ugly head.

Well- that's it. The guy whose house it is at has a car trailer and.......
if I can find someone with a truck to pull it to Austin,

I'll make it worth their while. Or I can rent a truck and go pick it up. I'm a frazzled peaved wreck right now.

But I did beat a few race prepped Autocross Impalas in the Autocross event, got killed by a few others.
If I'm lucky maybe I just pounded a valve due to a broken spring. I'm running the Crane 10308 or 9 whichever is the kit for Alum heads. Guides were machined to clear dampers so I have both installed, not just the outer spring.
That's about it.
A big thanks to Mike and Jay from SAIL, Harvey and Bill were superb. What a great bunch of SAILers.
Anybody that can pull a 5000lb trailer to Austin from Saginaw, TX (Ft Worth area).
Please contact me.
Rich Armstrong
Red Wagon XSS
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 07:30 PM
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Wow, sorry to hear that your trip came to such a crappy end for you Rich. I was wondering why your wagon wasn't running quicker at the drags. I hope it works out for the best and the problem is not in the short block.

Is there any chance your builder will take responssibility?
post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 08:02 PM
SSeabrook, TX
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I feel for you man. It sucks! I wish I could help truck wise...

post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 08:34 PM
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Rich : sorry to hear it! Yeah, I think more than a few cars got "stress tested" by the conditions (heat/altitude) in Vegas....
post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-29-2004, 09:59 PM
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I appreciate all the sympathy, please keep it coming.
After talking to the builder I edited this.
The builder is a great guy and said he'll be stepping up, if it's any of his work that caused it. I'll let him know, keep him informed and ask questions.
post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 06-30-2004, 08:33 AM
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When do you want to move the car?
post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 06:09 PM
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I'm going to get the wagon on Saturday, much thanks to some very good samaritans from SAIL in San Antonio. These guys are unbelievable. One is loaning me his 1 ton van, another is driving it to Austin and going with me to Ft Worth and another is letting me use his car trailer with electric brakes. It's a 10 hour roundtrip from San Antonio to Ft Worth so this is no small favor.

Just to sweeten this whole wagon dieing situation- My engine builder has told me he would help me pull engine, if I want him to, and he will take it from my house to his shop and take it apart. If it has anything to do with his rebuild he'll make it right.
He said his business is booming and he has 7 engines in his shop now, but he will move me to the front of his list. He's done 2 sets of heads for me and he rebuilt this stroker. Says he values me as a customer and wants to keep the true car guys happy and continue to build his business. If he comes through for me I'll write many lines of praise for him on any and every forum I can find.
Good Guys deserve the praise so we can all prosper.

I'm feeling much better now and starting to think about my wagon in high 12's super-natural.
post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 07-01-2004, 09:50 PM
Mike Accomando
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hey rich- sorry i couldn't hang with you guys in WF until you got everything worked out. After hearing of all the waterpumps that went out and other misadventures that were suffered by other members, I guess i am glad i only got a screw in my tire and a dead battery before i left home. unfortunately, that luck didnt extend to the tables [img]graemlins/0.gif[/img]
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