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Discussion Starter #261
A little fun on Powertour was what I needed for the recharge of my batteries. To be out riding with my crew, my road family I see once a year in the month of June.


Hard to describe powertour but for me, this beats any other event for my own personal experience.
Vehicles built and used for the ultimate purpose:
A car/truck, being driven, and enjoyed.

Doesn't get any better than that man.

Anyways, here's a few pictures of the fun with the GTS, and some of my "family" I like to run with.
Headed south out of Omaha, along I-29

First stop in the Friday AM on my way to Kansas City and Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.


Clicking the miles away...
Later that night meeting up with freinds from previous tours...


You could say this crazy diesel hotrod from some guys down south...built cumins diesel, tied to a 4L80E automatic. They were pulling nearly triple digit fuel economy and she was boosted to the hilt.
The 4L80E had a bad habit of eating itself and had to be rebuilt right before tour and on tour I recall something or other didn't like all that diesel's torque and decided to snap a shaft, but they got her fixed and rolling in no time.




Some of the crew I am happy to call family here.


My buddy Wright, and his GT mustang.
Jonas and Steve, and the Diesel beast...

Saturday Morning...




Damn parrots...they like Chrome...but cute co-pilot.

At Arrowhead, just getting parked...and running into a lot of the folks off Bangshift...got to love the forum freaks on tour!


Some interesting hardware as always.
Edsal Wagon with a tremec conversion!

Rob snuck up on me, as I was talking with a great couple of folks from Kansas, who joined on the facebook page and I believe on GTS.org, her car is a '72 Formal roof, but a darn tree landed dead square in the center of the roof :( Needs some TLC from my understanding.


Pretty Bad mofo of a Galaxy here.


The following morning, Sunday we left Arrowhead and our crew headed out on the road.
What was cool was this year I met Rob Kinnan finally in person and damn decent guy. Always dug his writing for Hod Rod and other mags.

Here I am following a black Pontiac Fiero...a car you normally for the most part wouldn't notice except when running, or idling in a parking lot the fact it was LS swapped, with a Pontiac G6 manual transmission...it was a wicked little beast of a ride and would throw you back HARD in the seat.



Here we stopped for a photo shoot for Rob, just snagging assorted Mustangs and Fords for his current magazine he's working, Mustang Monthly. Dude snapped a couple shots of the GTS that I didn't even know about until I was looking on Mustang 360 - The Ultimate Source for Ford Mustang News and Reviews 2017 powertour coverage.




Cruising backroads of Missouri, headed north to the race track in Newton, Iowa.


One thing that's amazing...every stop, gas station, store, what ever place you stop...instant car show.




Another common deal...someone stops for gas, everyone stops.
The guys I've run with before run from the mellow to the insane.
Like "No, no speeding" to "with your gearing you should be able to keep up with us and run 110-120 no problem...not that...I ah, would ever do such a thing. That much. Nope. Never."

Which leads to a common theme...


And yes, this black Fiero was thirsty more often than not...


Back on the road, somewhere. One common issue is you lose track of where and just enjoy the drive.



Occasionally you like to have fun with the crew you run with...and *in a safe, respectful, "No officer I wasn't exceeding the speed limit...much..." and paaaaaassssssssss each other...just to clear the cobwebs out of the pipes.


I swear 2017 I was surrounded by Pontiac guys and it was GREAT because of how much they got irritated with the Chevy crowd lol


Pulling into Newton to the I-80 race track...hell of a place.
SO MUCH EYE CANDY










I can tell you...the winds up here this day were damn brisk. Like if not careful you were getting blown over the railing...


Spoke with the owner...pretty bad ass car. Built like they should be. Fast, safe. but made to drive.



Really loved the nascar for the street feel right here.


Sadly, my tour was really short for 2017 but I was grateful for those who I am able to run with. Ended up heading home around 3-4PM that Sunday, while my family was headed to the hotel or food and planning for the rest of the week.

But not going to lie it feels good to get home!

Stuff like this makes the thrash, the work, and the effort all worth it.
 

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Discussion Starter #262
Another event I hit up was GoodGuys in Lincoln, Nebraska 2017.
New addition for GoodGuys and stopping in Lincoln, Nebraska. Turnout was mild due to questionable weather but I went anyways as I wanted to have fun on the autocross.

Absolutely loved this Galaxy!



Great group of guys there, Highway Creepers...my kind of car club. Wish they were closer! Love seeing their assortment of stuff and some bad ass rides...along with a fun group of folks.



I was running behind this guy, in an old Chevy fleetline coupe, around a '48 model if I recall.


Another cool hot rod, love seeing this kind of stuff just get used.



This F series had one hell of a chassis under it. Real piece of technology and amazing handling.


Nothing like running around an autocross sweating yourself senseless :)



Pretty bad mofo right here, I want to say around a '70 mustang fastback running terminator/aluminator power. Real beast.


Another fun one was this old International Scout.



 

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Discussion Starter #263
Some days, small things can be a total pain in the back side.
Like having a officer of the law pull you over for no tail lights, or in my case no brake lights.

A trip to O-O-O-O'rilley Auto Parts fixed that.


Grabbed switch part number S6092, BWD brand. Interesting thing is Ford must have used the same brake light switch for the better part of 5+ decades as this is the same switch on my 2004 Mercury Sable!
Pretty self-explanatory...to replace the brake light switch, you can work on it from kneeling, or in my case you get pissed and pull the driver's seat for plenty of space to work under the dash.
As I've realized I'm not 20 years old and 167 pounds anymore and I can no longer willingly become a contortionist to bend and get under the dash easily.


This is from the 1972 Ford service manual to show the location of the brake switch. Not the worse thing I've had to replace, that's for certain.

 

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Discussion Starter #264
So, here I am, driving along on a great summer evening later in the summer 2017, when some #*&%^*(!&^) redneck in his country caddy, or in this case the lifted F350 crew cab that was encased in 15" of mud, rips past me on the in-town interstate.
I seen it happening and went to slow down to avoid it, but then he hit a expansion joint, a hard one I know to avoid and his POS truck sent a SHOWER of clods of mud everywhere and I had little chance to avoid it.
Meltdown in 3...2...1...


So I hear this thud all over hell and back. Like clods hitting my roof skin. Chunk hits the nose of the GTS. I've like well FML.
I get to the car show I was headed to, and survey things.
No damage to roof that I see.
Get out and expect the worse...and see the precious...my precious...FML.






So I get back home and sit there and honestly left it for a few months. And months. I ended up fixing this in June 2018.
So I finally I got busy and fixed it. Luckily the aluminum is easy enough to work with.


I start by pulling off the trim. With things, I've found a 9mm socket works as the nut from ford is one of those really oddball fractional sizes...I forget if 9/32" or what but it's goofy.


I've also got my body hammer I've used in the past, along with a dolly and a blue Scott's shop towel.
Normally I'd just not bother but I was trying to avoid beating the living hell out of the polished trim.


I start with positioning the trim on the dolly resting on my leg. This type of work does not require a Billy Maddison style swing. Think light weight here, this aluminum will split if hit too much.


Not perfect but getting there:


A little more light hammer and dolly work.


Now to bolt it to a 1/4" piece of plywood board clamped in my vice.


At first I tried something I've had laying around, a Mother's Powerball Mini. A buddy gave me this back in 2011 on Hot Rod Powertour. Never tried using it.
To be honest, I didn't have any good results with it. These are meant more for light cleanup on wheels. Not for the kind of polishing I needed to do.




Here we see some real polishing done, via an old trusted method. Air die grinder and cotton buff, with white compound stick.



Results were decent. Realistically I should pull the trim back off and spend time fixing a few waves but for the time being the end results are acceptable.
 

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Discussion Starter #265
So, here I sit still catching up on things, and at this point it's around November-December 2017.

I'm going to start this off with a few things.
Mike at Forte's Parts Connection was a great help in sourcing some parts I needed for this conversion.
His website: Fortes Part's Connection | Quality high performance parts at the most competitive price

American Powertrain also was of some help in regards to conversion parts, in a possible consideration of going to hydraulic. Website: https://americanpowertrain.com/
They have a pretty killer setup for adapting a hydraulic clutch throwout. Seen on a few cars and looks great.

Lastly, I consider the guys from Modern Driveline absolutely without question a huge help on my conversion. Their website: TREMEC 5-speed 6-speed Transmission Conversion solutions for classic and modern muscle

Modern Driveline has worked to develop brand new clutch parts for our era cars, using retrofit hydraulic clutch parts, with the help of John BackinBlack72 off the forum here. His car is set up for Hydroboost, but I've spent a lot of time discussing the need to have a kit for use with vacuum brakes as not everyone wants to convert to Hydroboost. In my case I am still running the factory Z bar setup and based off discussions, the pedal ratio for the 72-74 pedal set is ideal.
I've actually sent them a complete firewall, with additional parts from other members here to have them be able to do mach up and fitment testing for development of kits specific to the 72-79 Ford intermediate chassis cars.
I can tell you I have possession of their brand new clutch pedal and it's one hell of a piece.






This pedal is designed as a retrofit for the 72-79 factory clutch pedal on automatic cars, but can also be used to replace a worn out factory piece.
It's meant to be used with a hydraulic conversion however, and at this time, Modern Driveline is not reproducing the factory Z bar for manual linkage.

Also, if you are looking to do a conversion, tell them about seeing information off GranTorinoSport.org's forum and they will extend a discount on parts.

It's important we help support companies like this that go out of their way to help the forgotten Fords out there like the Torino, and all the other sister cars for the 72-79 full frame era.



I happen to be discussing my situation on one of the Facebook torino pages, in the 69-79 page...for those not familiar, this is the old MSN forum, that then migrated to Yahoo. One of the guys mentions he has an older Tremec 5 speed, the predecessor to the TKO series, but the options for the 94-95 Cobra mustang stuff, in this case a TR3550 5 speed.
In the grand scheme of things, after locking up my rebuilt top loader at 5K miles...I was at this stage of choosing a weapon for my repairs...


Anyways, basically this TR3550 transmission is an internal shift rod version of the old school Ford Toploader, with the added bonus of the 5th gear for overdrive. Same nice big gears and blocker rings like the top loader.
Now, I bought this transmission used. It's always a roll of the dice, you hope for the best. The gentleman I got this from and I sat and have a long discussion on Facebook, then over the phone a few times. It has been used in a foxbody with around 400-450HP. Mustang was sold off, but plans were to use in a 70-71 Torino. As things go, stuff and life happens and this 5 speed had been sitting a number of years.
A price was struck, in this case $1200, plus $200 to ship it.
As I could afford this, but not a brand new TKO600, I bought this TR3550. For my needs, application, and budget, it is what I could afford.
Around November I was mulling over the gearing ratio and RPM's the GTS will spin with 3.50 gearing and my 28" tall Nitto NT450's 275/50R17 tires.


So, I was sold. Money was sent, and a week or so later I had a box FedEx dropped off.
Luckily things were built well for the shipping crate and it came in intact no issues.

I loaded her up and brought home in the wife's daily driver. I wonder...how many times has a Tremec 5 speed being put in a Kia Soul? :D



The process, like everything has a start.
Getting the transmission home. Getting the GTS up in the air.
And then life decided to kick me in the junk and I ended up severely sick with a mix of the flu, then pneumonia and basically I spent from January to some time in March out of action and no condition to mess with the GTS transmission swap.



I started late March actually working on things. First order of business was getting with parts.
I had a list of things. Shift tower boot was bad and needed replacement. Luckily Mike at Forte's Parts Connection had a good stock on hand. This seal is discontinued by Tremec and no longer made.

Another piece of the puzzle here was this was set up for use behind a 302/351 Windsor, and not a 351 Cleveland. There are different lengths for the input shaft, and in my case I needed to either use an adapter plate or swap the input shafts. Originally I opted for the adapter plate but then changed my mind and bought the short input shaft kit as I needed a new bearing retainer, and the kit comes with one and a new seal.

Here was the parts quote I initially got from Modern Driveline for my parts, with the adapter plate.


This does not include the diaphragm style clutch kit I ended up having them put together based on my needs to replace my AMS Automotive stage 1 clutch kit. I had issues and more or less decided a new clutch was in order due to a jacked up pressure plate and cooked throwout bearing, due to my error in freeplay setup.

More to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #266
So a couple things the guys at Modern Driveline wanted verification of:
Double checking current speedo gear tooth count and color.

Note:
The original Ford toploaders use a different rotation speedo gear and shaft gear, that are the opposite helix shape of Automatic cars.

Start with getting this wee beastie up on the bench. She's not exactly light weight.


A couple things for reference:
The Tremec gearboxes have a couple different sensors on them. Far right is the neutral start safety switch. Basically, modern cars with manual transmissions have a switch on the clutch pedal, which if the clutch pedal isn't depressed the car will not start. In the 70's this wasn't a feature on our cars.
One could probably adapt if if so inclined. If you have ever accidentally started a manual car in gear, especially with EFI and you didn't have this safety switch...bad things can happen.

A buddy with one of the throttle body EFI kits accidentally bumped his ignition key and had his truck take off and drag him for a bit finally stopping after his late 60's GMC crushed a bunch of garbage cans and hit a parked car...

Anyways. Back to the sensors.


The speedo cable opening is just in front of the rear support, angled downwards.
On my bench, I pulled out the VSS speed sensor that was used for the factory cruise control on a foxbody mustang. As I'm not using that I pulled it and set aside.


Lastly to the far left towards the front is the reverse backup light switch. I was so happy I actually had backup lights again!!
I picked up a new connector from Modern Driveline, to wire into my floor harness.
MDL's part number is MD-700-0001 and goes in place of the reverse light wiring that would originally connect to the Toploader's reverse light switch that, in my case would have been mounted externally off of the Hurst Comp shifter.


First things first was getting that Turret Dust Cover for the shift turret.




Item #56 in the manual exploded view, Part number 2606240.
 

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Discussion Starter #267
So MDL needed me to count the number of teeth on my original speedo gear. I started by comparing my toploader and the one out of the Tremec, as delivered.


It was easier to take a picture and just mark up with my phone for visual count:


In this case, the speedo gear was a 21 tooth.

They also wanted to confirm the color of the speedo gear mounted on the tailshaft in the transmission:


The other thing they wanted to know was the output shaft's spline count, in this case, 28 spline:



Along the process of getting my new clutch package sourced from MDL, I had them build a kit for my car. They have an in house clutch guy and after some long lengthy discussions about parts sourcing, quality control, etc, I went with a diaphragm style this go around instead of the old three finger OEM type pressure plate.

They needed specs on my clutch package as the Torino and 72+ stock used an 11" clutch kit.
Here we are with my original flywheel:



Grabbed a tape measure and went about measuring the threaded holes:


Measuring the spread between the three sections the traditional contact points are for bolt holes.


After that was done, off to the local machine shop {Rojam Machine here in Omaha, NE} to get magnufluxed for safety and resurfaced:
 

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Discussion Starter #268
Other little parts would be the rear output seal. I originally got this seal, but wanted the same as what came on the trans:


I ended up going with this type:


Last piece of the puzzle was for my application swapping out the long input for the short input. This kit is used with Clevelands, and FE engine tremec swaps.
I can't say for the 385 series 429/460 engines, but Tremec part number TCKT5727. What was nice was this kit included the input shaft and the bearing retainer plate/throwout bearing



Side note, The original sealant used by Tremec was an Anaerobic gasket maker, from Dynatex. This stuff is red, sticky and stays gooey. I with with Permetex gasket maker, Forget specifically but black color meant for doing higher temp oil pan and transmission pan seals, yet unlike the grey permetex the stuff won't be a nightmare to clean off if you service it.
Because I had the bearing retainer swap I wanted to make sure it's sealed well, no oil leaks there or off the access inspection covers up top.
You're free to use what ever you want, but I went with what was overly recommended in a number of Tremec forums for service needs.
for reference:


Now, it was at this point I thought I was going to be able to reuse the perfect bearing off the long input. Well, that was not the case.
For reference, you need a bearing removal press plate and a press.



As a note, if you need to do input bearings, Timken part# 354A for the race and 355 for the input bearing:




I got mine off Amazon, direct from Timken. I couldn't find a single place in Omaha that stocked the bearings, but thanks to Amazon I got them in 1-2 days.


Now, here is where the fun begins...so you go to pull the input out of the transmission, and there are all these lovely needle bearings that will come out as well. Along with falling inside the case...
See my magnet on top of the transmission? Usually that's reserved for the infamous "I dropped the 3/8" / 10mm socket" routine but here I was fishing needle bearings from the case bottom.


You need to make sure you DO NOT lose these. You can order from a tremec dealer such as MDL, but typically all they need is cleaning in brake cleaner and a blue shop towel.

They are inserted in the end of the input gear:

I used some grease in a light coating to hold in place. For some reason, I didn't take a picture of this.
Also, other thing is the input shaft seal:

Just a good reference here. Don't forget this seal!
More info from the Tremec manual:
 

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Discussion Starter #269 (Edited)
I pulled the inspection covers off the top of the transmission as I just wanted to make sure the sealing surfaces were cleaned up and fresh sealant was used.

Using brake cleaner in small shots and a red scotchbright scuff pad I cleaned the surface.


Good seals start with clean surfaces.


Now to clean the old sealant off the covers...


At the same time, I needed to clean the Shift turret and apply a bead of sealant there as well.



One headache was I lost a couple of the bolts but luckily had a box of metric Ford hardware from an old daily driver that got totaled.

Now here comes the best part...installing that Hurst shifter stick. Nothing says just right, like a Hurst handle. Now, I went with the closest that I found, which was for the Mustang crowd.

Hurst part# 538 8022, MDL part number MD-320-2039.



Everything is looking good...holes look correct...

Except when I get here.


Seems the TR3550 used 5/16" sized, or in this case 8mm size bolts...
I had some bolts I grabbed from my metric box, and bolted but alas, while looking great, there was a lot of slop.


My solution was "go find cylindrical spacers to insert in the bore of the handle". I looked at a couple places and gave up on that as the handle would require drilling and it would still have slop.
So I said to hell with it, went and bought a pair of 3/8" flanged bolt and flanged nuts and drilled the shifter itself for the larger bolts and tapped the shift for the 3/8-16" thread. I still used a locking flange nut with red locktite to keep it clamped on the shifter.

And here she is, sitting side by side to the Original toploader to my GTS:


You can't notice it, but yes the Tremec TR3550 is shorter. By around 2 inches on the tailshaft area.

Here's a better picture:




Comparing my Toploader Hurst handle to the new unit for the Tremec:

 

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Discussion Starter #270
So here I am, staring at the GTS, getting excited for what's coming:


Starting the fun of assembling things back together.
First up, block plate. Don't want to forget this like what happened circa 2008...


So like everything else that's pain and suffering like a jackball I forgot to tap the threads on the flywheel after having it resurfaced...recalling what happed in prep for Powertour 2017...I grabbed my tap and cleaned the threads out.


This time I went with brand new ARP fasteners.
Summit Racing, $30 bucks shipped.
ARP-100-2801 flywheel bolt kit
ARP-150-2201 pressure plate bolt kit

Popped the bellhouse back on.


At first she fought me. Like the TR3550 was in the mood to really fight me to go in, and was hanging up despite being on a transmission jack.
After getting her slid in, I could not get it seated.


At this point I got 4 bolts I use for installing engines on my engine stand, and screwed the bolts into the bellhouse which let me slide the transmission in more level and bam! She popped right on into the bellhouse.


Also, I personally always use Anti-seize on my trans to bell house bolts, and bell house to block bolts.


I don't like tearing stuff apart but in the times I have serviced the GTS, it does make a difference.

Checking fitment so far, looking OK.



Now comes the fun of the transmission crossmember...I forgot how heavy this sucker can be when laying on your back on a garage floor!


No, concerning the mounting for the trans crossmember. 1972-1973 used a simple, big bolt hanging out of the frame. My frame has been hammered many moons ago from the previous owner...{well the whole damn car was beat senseless and truly lived but I digress}
My frame had a slot opened up to allow a wrench to pop easily into the frame.


74+ cars use a big L bracket welded to the frame to mount the crossmember to if I recall correctly.

Passenger side the two forward holes got a die grinder with a cut off wheel years ago so I could slide the wrench up in the frame. And it works easy enough for my needs.



Checking fitment once the crossmember is bolted in place:


Next up, fun things like reconnecting the linkage to the pedal:


Which leads me to here: filling the transmission up.
MDL sold me Amsoil synthetic fluid specific to the use for the tremec. Unlike the toploader using 75W-90 gear oil, the tremec uses this much more thin oil. Been told it's nearly like type F transfluid.


Breaking out the trusty fluid pump for loading up the gear oil:



Great kit available at most auto parts places pretty cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter #271
So, continuing on to the last piece of the puzzle, the driveshaft.

As about earlier noted I *thought* I could swap output yokes but noooooope.

My specific 1972 Toploader uses a larger OD and longer length output yoke as compared to the Tremec 5 speed. So I figured I'd just swap the output yokes and I'd be ok.
Well, not so much...

Starting off with swapping the yokes, Tremec is on the left on the original Torino driveshaft:


And the end results when trying to fit up to the car...


Which led me to searching for a driveshaft dataform to fill out, as a trip to my local builder was in order.


After getting the measurements, and confirming with the shop of the overall distance, the rear end yoke



My local choice by recommendation is Advanced Driveshaft here in Omaha, NE. They have built a lot of driveshafts over the years, and they hold up.



After getting the dims and loading a my original driveshaft, and a spare aluminum F series driveshaft that I was considering having them cut down and balance, I opted for option#3 and went all brand new with a driveshaft rated for over 450HP at a minimum. For my street car, this is just perfect, stronger than I need.
I had them load it with a brand new output yoke to match the tremec and brand new Spicer USA made U-joints.


They had this built in 2-3 days. Dynamically balanced as I told them I have a habit of bangshifting and I want to make sure if I'm spinning 6400 RPM on the street at times I don't want her going kaboom!

Here we are back at home on a Friday night, and the different in length is a bit noticeable.


Last couple items, the new output seal:


New speedo cable gear and clip:


Additionally, there is a different in the retainer clips. Tremec uses a wider clip and metric bolt. Toploader uses a smaller but heavier gauge piece and SAE standard bolt.


Lastly I had to button up the mechanical linkage Z bar.


I posted before, but MDL part numbers:
speedo gear MD-506-1028-18, Yellow, $9.50
gear retaining clip MD-506-1029, $2.95
MD-320-2039 Hurst shifter, $107.95

Clutch set was built specific for my application. $310.00
MD-oo11Long26 {26 spline disc by accident, swapped in place of the correct 10 spline to match the Ford short input shaft kit}
Reference info:
Clutch Set, Organic, 11" Long, 26 spline, Mech T/O {mechanical throwout bearing}, NO pilot bearing, alignment tool, 1 year warranty

Clutch disc swapped to 281226-UL,1166A 11", 1-1/16" shaft size

Synchromesh-QT, qty 3, Amsoil, $12.95/qt

Spare seal for TKO input shaft, 1300-044-015, $3.50

Driveshaft, $294.25

Fortes Parts Connection:
TTC Turret Seal, $33.00
TTC Rear, 28 spline rear seal, $18.00

Last thing to do was button things up, by installing a new shifter boot. I still had my original 1972 shifter boot and it has a thick metal base encased by the boot rubber. I trimmed away the split boot and used that over the reproduction boot to clamp to the shifter floor hump. Topped off the Hurst handle with my T handle from the Toploader.


Last thing required after adjusting the freeplay of the mechanical linkage was a test drive for around 30 minutes...


I got home around 1:30AM, showered and crashed out.
Did I mention I was scheduled to go to an invite only car show put on by Hot Wheels 3 hours south in Kansas City?
Alarm was set for 4am. On the road by 4:45am.

More to follow...
 

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Discussion Starter #272
So...why does a car person do some things, go places, and have the drive to want to wake up before the crack of dawn, drag their spouse out of bed as well, and say "CAR SHOW ROAD TRIP"


Well, this might sum things up pretty much:



I found out Hot Wheels was having an invite only car show and was a fun little show that I emailed them, and was invited to come down.
Saw the Twinmill2, Bone shaker, and some great local builds that were all competing for a chance to be selected as the next Hot Wheels.

It was a great assortment of vehicles, and the one that won the show and a 1 in 12 chance to go to Sema 2018 was of all things a 1948 Dodge school bus that was heavily massaged and converted into one hell of a Hot Rod RV that took over 5-6 years and a lot of man hours to build.


And YES, when in Kansas City, you find a local BBQ joint to enjoy.


And to answer your questions...
YES driving with the 5 speed was a new experience for the GTS.
YES the drivability over the four speed was a HUGE improvement...
YES I was cruising at a good clip.

While I won't say what our average speed we were turning was on a very empty interstate at 5AM...Let's just say 5th Gear with 2.75 rear gearing...we made excellent time.
 
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