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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

Many of you may remember my trip a few years ago when I bought my former '84 Spider outside SF. Well I sold that car earlier in 2010 to buy a '74 Spider in Spokane Wa. Unfortunately, the owner decided to resell that car before I could get out there to pick up the car. At the same time I was also talking to the owner of a '74 Spider in Fresno CA. After everything that had happened with the one in WA I decided to take some time off from my search.

Well fast forward to the last few weeks and I am now purchasing the red '74 Spider in Fresno that I nearly bought a year ago. I guess it was meant to be!

The '74 Spider holds great sentimental value for me as did the '84 Spider I owned. These were the cars my dad drove every day when I was a kid. His '74 was also red with black. However his was quite rusty and had almost no exhaust. I will never get the smell of burning oil and gas out of my nostrils. This was one of the cars that truly cemented my fate as a gear head. I am honored to own one of my own now!

So, just as I did on my previous quest, I'm making a log for everyone to follow of my trials and tribulations of purchasing this car long distance and driving it back to Denver.

The trip details:
-I'm flying in to Fresno this coming Wednesday at 11:30am. I have already had the car inspected by both Kipp on these forums and a local shop in Fresno. I have also had new Pirelli P4s put on to mitigate that risk.

-From Fresno I will be driving to Santa Monica to stay with my cousin for an extra long weekend. I'd like to get the car looked over while I'm there just to make sure the rest of my 1500 mile journey goes well. I'm thinking Santos since I've heard good things?

-I'll leave Santa Monica on Sunday and drive to Phoenix and stay with my Aunt for the night.

-From Phoenix I'll drive up through NM into CO and home to Denver!

Pictures, impressions, issues, excitement to come!

Feel free to chime in with tips, criticism, praise etc! I'm extremely excited.

Even though I posted a few pictures in another thread, here's one for this one to start fresh!
 

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Safe travels, Jeff...

Jeff -
I'll look forward to reading about your newest trip, and hope it proves to be more fun and less "adventure" than you last one. It's neat to hear about how the red on black is inked in your mind, but I am a bit surprised because I thought you were aware that the green 1974 Spiders are faster. :rolleyes:
 

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Jeff

Congratulations on your 74 Spider--the best year, of course. But I thought the Giallo Spiders were the fastest...

Should be a beautiful drive. Even if a few issues arise on the shakedown cruise, it will just contribute to the adventure. Hope you have a great time! Look forward to hearing about your trip.
 

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Looks like a new Spider compared to my '83!
 

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Hey everyone- I'm typing on my phone because I don't have Internet.
So, I made it to LA - sort of. Car drives wonderfully on the highway. I was doing 4k plus the entire drive. But one significant problem occurred. I could not shift from a stop. This got worse as the day went on. I had to turn the car off and put it in gear at a light. I started getting worried about LA traffic so I called Santo. He asked if the clutch pedal was lower than the other pedals and it was. He said the problem is most likely a bent connecting rod or whatever it's called. He told me to drop the car off at his shop to avoid the really bad traffic. He was right. But for the last few miles of my journey I still had to be on city streets. By the time I got to the shop, to start out from a light I had to start the car with my left food smashing the clutch and my right foot on the gas and brake at the same time. It was not pretty. Fingers crossed this is the only problem found on the car!

I'll keep everyone updated as I can!

Thanks,
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Work is getting done at Santos. He said the car looks pretty good and solid. He also said it's got Marelli plex electronic ignition. So that's nice to know :)
 

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not a bent connecting rod
clutch actuating pivot pin failure at the master cylinder
 

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Discussion Starter #13
That sounds more like it haha. Also had the float replaced for the gas gauge and the thermostat because it was sticking open and I was running at 140 degrees...
 

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Hey everyone- I'm typing on my phone because I don't have Internet.
So, I made it to LA - sort of. Car drives wonderfully on the highway. I was doing 4k plus the entire drive. But one significant problem occurred. I could not shift from a stop. This got worse as the day went on. I had to turn the car off and put it in gear at a light. I started getting worried about LA traffic so I called Santo. He asked if the clutch pedal was lower than the other pedals and it was. He said the problem is most likely a bent connecting rod or whatever it's called. He told me to drop the car off at his shop to avoid the really bad traffic. He was right. But for the last few miles of my journey I still had to be on city streets. By the time I got to the shop, to start out from a light I had to start the car with my left food smashing the clutch and my right foot on the gas and brake at the same time. It was not pretty. Fingers crossed this is the only problem found on the car!

I'll keep everyone updated as I can!

Thanks,
Jeff -
Sounds as though the trip is not going too bad, considering....
Remember, that (clutch actuating pivot pin) which does not kill us makes us (or at least our left leg) stronger!!
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Got the car back! Santo changed the pin, changed thermostat since it was stuck open, new radiator cap, new o-ring on master cylinder, rewired my fan motor, turn signals, and flashers since apparently they were hooked up incorrectly causing a short, and put a new float on the gas tank. Now she feels great!

Drove to Santa Monica and it now operates right in the middle for water temp. Only thing is even with the new float and a full tank of gas, it only shows half full on the gauge. Any ideas on that? It's incredibly hard to fill the tank but I filled it until it overflowed. So not sure what's going on there...

Very happy to have the car back!! Thanks everyone at Santos!!
 

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Keep an eye out for Jeff, some place in the south west about now. If you see him on the road it will look like this. Driving her with her top down. Hay, thats like TOPLESS.;)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Hey everyone. Sorry I have not posted in awhile. I have not had Internet. I'm now in Phoenix and the car ran great today. The only issue seems to be a very small seeping leak around the new thermostat, and the temp gauge is inaccurate currently. There's no way I'm running at 140' in AZ heat... I downloaded a program to check my speed and found 4500rpms is ~85mph.

Tomorrow will be my biggest day. Phoenix to Denver - 14 grueling hours!

Details and photos to follow when I hopefully make it back to Denver tomorrow!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I made it home which is good news. It took 14 hours to get from Phoenix to Denver. I got pulled over one time for going 80 but got out of it because I told him the speedo was off (which is very true).

I also had to stop for about 40 minutes to get the top up which was a nightmare. I ended up enlisting the woman at the gas station to help me, and I loosened the clip on the drivers side to finally get it to latch.

I mentioned before that the water temp gauge was flapping around between 140-180. Well that seemed to get worse - sometimes going to 0 or 100 then back up. When I was about 20 miles from home the gauge started reading more steadily at just slightly over middle. That made me nervous. I made it home watching the needle carefully. When I popped the hood there was very little pressure in the top hose of the radiator. Also, the new radiator cap looks like its been damaged by heat.... Santo put a new thermostat in as well before I left so I'm wondering if I have a bubble, or possibly a clogged radiator. However, the radiator looks to have been gone over fairly recently. Really hoping something isnt very wrong...

I am glad to be home and the trip was quite beautiful. I will be posting pictures sometime tomorrow. Any ideas on my problem are greatly appreciated as well!

Thanks to everyone who helped out along the way!
 
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