View Full Version : Rants, Raves, and General Crabbiness

10-12-2000, 06:42 PM
OK guys, this is gonna be long, so bear with me here.......

As we all have heard by now, FoMoCo and Firestone have their respctive panties in a knot over self destructing tires. What does this have to do with early vans you say? Well take a long look at that jewel in the driveway and imagine how it (and you) would look if a tire blew. Do you know you tire pressure? I'll bet you aren't running stock size tires. Are they rated for the load they are carrying? My 68 108" weighs in at 4000lbs empty. That's 1k per tire. How much paneling, plywood and carpeting ya got in there? It adds up fast. Find a public scale in your area, load up your van with everything you take to a run, and get it weighed. Add 15% to this as a safety margin. My 68 comes up to almost 6000lbs using this formula, 1500lbs per tire. Guess what? The 225/60-15's I run up front are only rated 1250lbs each. I have to step up a size or two I guess.

While I am on a safety topic, how are your seat belts? Go sit in your van. Where does the bottom edge of your steering wheel line up with on your body? The two bottom ribs? How will that feel when you slam into it at 50mph? It happens. Someone here was asking about late model lap/ shoulder belts and the more I think about it, the better it sounds.
Besides, the original belts are 30 plus years old now.

Brakes. Gotta have em. A disk brake kit was mentioned for $1000 that got some people upset over the cost. What is your life worth? How about future repairs? We all know how hard it is to get a shop to work on our vans if they are stock, throw in some custom stuff and you may not get anybody to touch it. When you are 3 states away from that list of oddball used car parts that went into your brakes, it's tough to remember what wheel bearing you used. It happens.

On the subject of being cheap.... do NOT be cheap on the basic stop and go stuff. Even if you are just rebuilding the mechanicals to stock condition, use the best parts you can afford. Remember, 3 states away......

If you absotively, posilutely gotta cheap out on something right now, cheap out on the interior, because even an empty van will get you home.

We have lost too many friends already, don't lose anymore because of something preventable.

10-16-2000, 12:15 AM