New Thread: What’s Your Best Story Of Breaking Down Or Hitch-hiking Stories???

Thought this would be a great thread for fun. What are some of your best stories of breaking down in your Mopar? The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

Hitch-Hiking stories would be great too. Some of you already read my recent story but I will post again for the sake of those who did not read it. Pretty fun story to add to the history of this car.

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I started this epic journey on Saturday morning to go look at a nice Valiant that was up for sale. I wanted a running car to tinker with so I figured what the hell.

So I booked a short 1 hour flight to Sacramento from Santa Barbara. Saturday morning my friend who was giving me a ride slept in past her alarm. So I barely made my flight. Bad thing is I had to leave all my tools behind because I did not have time to check them in as baggage. The only thing I brought with me was some spare grill pieces.

I made the flight and landed in Sac. A few minutes later the owner Jason pulls up in a beautiful looking red 1966 Valiant hardtop. We cruise over to his place to talk about the car and gather up all the miscellaneous parts and go over the details of the car.

We made a deal but before I left Jason gave me a bunch of tools to take along with me in case anything happened on the 400 mile drive home back to Ventura. It was great talking with Jason and learning about the car and I was excited about the Sunday drive home down the I-5. I left about 2pm and it was about a 6-7 hour drive home.

My first stop was for some lunch at the classic IN-N-OUT Burger for a double-double combo animal style. Man these burgers are good.

So I've been getting the thumbs up all day which feels good and I even met a SOCAL Mopar club member along the way at a gas station. He had a his club t-shirt. Very cool.

So this is where the story it gets interesting. I'm cruising down the freeway I made it about 250 miles and the car dies on me. This was not happening I thought to myself. I'm in the middle of freaking nowhere on the I-5 and it just got dark. The lucky thing is that I was only a mile from the next exit which happened to have plenty of gas stations and places to stay and eat. So I got out of the car and looked things over. The car does seem to run hot since it has a big cam, 273 exhaust manifolds, and under drive pulleys to boot. I thought maybe it was vapor lock since the carb was still squirting fuel from the secondary squirters. Yikes. I let the car cool down for 30 minutes or so and tried to start the car. It would turn over but no spark. It has a MSD setup which I am not familiar with at all. I get to looking and notice it has a stock mechanical voltage regulator and I get to thinking it has to do with the ignition/electrical. At this point I'm screwed because it is already dark and parts stores are closed early on Sundays even if I got a ride to one.

I start hoofing it to the nearest gas station and ask where the nearest town is with a auto parts store. The guy tells me it is 19 miles away. Jeez I did not want to spend the night but I had no choice since I don't have AAA or anything. The old car and me got to know each other real well that night. I crawled into the backseat and sacked out until the morning.

I woke up and started walking back to the freeway exit and grabbed some water from the gas station and started my 19 miles walk to the parts store. I had done some hitchhiking in the past and threw out the thumb. I got picked up about one mile into the walk which was awesome. I was already getting blisters since it was so hot out. It was a father and daughter on their way to Las Vegas. They were nice and I got dropped off at the local AutoZone in Wasco, Ca out near Bakersfield, Ca. I picked up a new MSD Blaster coil, a 70's style electronic voltage regulator (bad idea you'll see later) and some wire cutters, and brake fluid. With my parts in hand I start hitching back tot he car. Oh damn I forgot to get jumper cables (this comes back to haunt me)

A major stroke of luck. I walked out of the AutoZone and noticed a semi truck was slowly starting to pull away in the direction I was headed. I flagged him down and he obliged to give me ride to the exit where I was stranded on. He dropped me off and I slipped $20 into a dash pocket.

I got back to the car and changed out the coil. She fired right up and I was in business. The bad thing is that I decided to change the voltage regulator as well. This was a bad idea after I started cruising down the road and noticed the volt gauge was steady at 12v. Crap. I'm not charging. I am hoping to make it tot the next gas station which was about 32 miles down the road so I could stop for gas, let the car cool down and buy some jumper cables which I for got to get int he first place.

The I-5 freeway comes to a screeching halt about 10-15 miles before the next gas station and the car stalls. Guess what the car battery drained and I could not start the car. I guess the electronic one I got was not the correct part or I did not hook it up correctly. So, I have no cables but thankfully a guy with a jump pack got me going again after I reconnected the original mechanical voltage regulator. I spend the next 15-20 minutes driving in bumper to bumper traffic on hot-brand-new asphalt and the car is cooking I think I got up to almost 210* Thank goodness I made it to the next gas station and got some cables and let the car cool off because I had a big long mountain pass to travel up and I did not want to overheat. Thankfully I limped her the rest of the way home.

A 27-hour epic hour journey home but now I have a drivable Mopar sitting in the driveway to tinker with while a wait for a good painter for the 66 convertible.

Please welcome home RUBY

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