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Old 11-02-2002, 10:34 PM   #1
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1964 26' Overlander
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre
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1975 Cadillac Eldorado as Tow Vehicle

Greetings All!

I am looking forward to summer and a trip to the International Rally in Vermont with my 1975 Cadillac convertible towing my 1978 Argosy Minuet. I am wondering if anyone on the forums has had experience towing with one of these automobiles. I know that it has a 6,000 pound trailer tow rating from the factory. I have had the following done in the past year trying to get it ready:

1. Cleaned or replaced all fuel lines, cleaned the fuel tank, replaced all fuel filters. Installed new high-volume mechanical fuel pump. (the car does not have the optional fuel injection - - it has the 501 cubic inch V8 with quadrajet carburetor)

2. Installed custom, high-capacity 4-row core radiator along with a new heavy duty water pump and rebuilt fan clutch. Added heavy duty transmission oil cooler with 12,000 pound GCVWR.

3. Installed new cargo-coil rear springs along with heavy duty air shocks.

4. Replaced HEI module, distributor cap, rotor, plug wires, and spark plugs.

5. Installed new heavy duty Delco Alternator along with a new voltage regulator and coil.

6. Transmission has had its fluid flushed, evacuated, and fresh fluid and filters installed.

7. Installed a custom fabricated class IV receiver hitch, and is now scheduled for installation of the seven wire trailer harness as well as a Hayes Lemerz Electronic pendulum style brake controller. Also acquired a pair of McKesh mirrors to add to the tow package.

9. Front end mechanic has passed all of the front end and steering components, and performed an alignment.

10. For greater comfort when traveling, had the Air Conditioner switched over to the modern refrigerant and added a remote CD changer and modern stereo that uses the original controls and speaker system - - with new speakers.

Am I overlooking any prep work that should be done prior to departure?

I am planning to carry a spare parts kit including: radiator hoses (a replacement for each one), fan belts (a replacement for each one), a thermostat, an HEI ignition module, a heavy duty mechanical fuel pump, a water pump, distributor cap, rotor, voltage regulator, a pair of disc brake calipers (NOS), a set of spark plugs, a transmission service kit (filter and gaskets), 6-oil filters, selection of fuses and bulbs, an exhaust heat riser valve, EGR valve, and PCV valve.

Any suggestions as to other parts that should be added to my parts kit?

Thanks for any input!

P.S. I have owned the car longer than either of my trailers. It wouldn't have been my first choice of tow vehciles, but chose to utilize it since I am very familiar with its history and many quirks. My first choice would have been a 1970 Cadillac DeVille Convertible with the 472 V8 with its more forgiving rear wheel drive setup.

Kevin
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 11-02-2002, 10:40 PM   #2
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Kevin, that engine was made for pulling. Im not sure how it will be with front wheel drive, but I am sure you will be ok.

That engine has a lot of respect. A lot of people are putting them in older chevy trucks because of the torque the engine has. You might be interested in reading some of the post.

http://67-72chevytrucks.com/vboard/s...threadid=20020
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Old 11-02-2002, 11:18 PM   #3
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1975 Cadillac Eldorado as Tow Vehicle

Greetings 68 Suburban!

One of the reasons that I decided to proceed with this project was encouragement from a shop in Wisconsin that specializes in rebuilding the 501 V8 for installation in GM trucks used for pulling stock car trailers. I will check out the link that you provided for some additional information.

The only weak links I have noticed with this vehicle is the short life of the HEI module and fuel pumps. The HEI module is on my annual preventative maintenance replacement list since it failed on an annual basis for my first three years of ownership stranding me in various remote rural locations in Wisconsin causing my motor club to threaten cancellation several times. The fuel pump is on my list of items to be replaced once every three years for much the same reason - - each of the first two pumps lasted three years. I purchased the car nearly 10 years ago with 104,000 miles and it now has just short of 108,000 miles - - strictly a summer car and garaged at all times.

The transmission/axle system is my area of greatest concern. My plan is that if/when the transmission needs to be rebuilt that I will look into having it rebuilt to the specifications used in a similar transmission/axle assembly used in the GMC Motorhomes of the 1970s through the early 1980s.

Kevin
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AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 11-02-2002, 11:27 PM   #4
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I put an HEI in my old burb and always keep a spare module in the truck. They are only $12. Cheap insurance not to get stuck some where.

If the mechanical fuel pump is that bad, I would check into an electrical one with a preasure regulator.

I personally don't like exectrical fuel pumps when there is a mechanical one, but it is an option.
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Old 11-02-2002, 11:44 PM   #5
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1975 Cadillac Eldorado as Tow Vehicle

Greetings 68 Suburban!

I have felt the same way about the mechanical vs. electric fuel pumps, and have had that discussion with three mechanics. When I explained the problem that I have had with fuel pumps on this car to my current mechanic, he agreed to switch it over to an electric setup rather than installing another mechanical - - when he put the current pump on the car a bit more than 1 1/2 years ago, he indicated that my former mechanic had been using an inferior quality replacement pump that wasn't up to the demands of the engine - - he installed a different brand pump with a significantly higher price - - I am hoping this is a solution but am not confident. This was the pump suggested by the company in Wiscosin that specializes in rebuilding these motors for use in GM trucks.

My last mechanic had one of the replacement pumps fail while he was test driving the car immediately following replacement - - had to send his tow truck out to retrieve the car and provide me with a loaner car for three days while he ordered in another replacement.
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1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 11-03-2002, 01:40 AM   #6
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Vt International

Greetings from NH,

Sounds to me like you have everything covered.

I share your concerns abt the transmission and rear end but, it looks like you have it covered well. You'll be going over some fairly steep hills in Vt. If you go up I-91, you should be on a much better road. I'd personally stay away from Rt 9.(It can be one steep Mother of a Hi-way in places)

BTW, have you send in for your reservation yet?
We're planning on attending as well..
Looking forward to seeing your unit~!!
ciao
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Old 11-03-2002, 09:30 AM   #7
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1975 Cadillac Eldorado as Tow Vehicle

RE: 2003 International Plans

Greetings 53FlyingCloud!

My mentor at my first International Rally, Kathy Hunt, taught me to pre-register for the Internal to come at the current rally so I was among the first few to pre-register after the registration table opened at the Rapid City International Rally.

Another trusted friend with knowledge of the region suggested that I make my reservations for campgrounds in advance to insure that I will have a space available. I am a Free Wheeler so I like to obtain a pull-through if one is available as backing-up solo is not one of my favorite things - - and I like to have full-utility connections so that I can run my air conditioner - - have numerous seasonal allergies complicated by asthma making the International Rally the longest period that I want to be without my air conditioner.

The only thing that has kept me from actually planning my route is knowing when our last day of school will be. As I teach in a rural area we can have a number of Snow Days during the winter, and that can mean as much as two week difference in our last day of school. If all goes well, my plan would be to depart the first week in June traveling 300 miles per day and traveling no more than three consecutive days without a break for sightseeing of at least two days. I avoid the Interstate system if at all possible. I know my route through Cleveland, Ohio will include US 67 South to Peoria, IL then US 24 East to the Cleveland, OH Suburban area. Beyond Cleveland, my route is open. I have been considering an alternate route going North on US 61 into Minnesota traveling through Canada then dropping South through Maine - - the only two things that concern me about this route is dealing with taking my Chihuahuas across the International border and traveling with my old Cadillac in Canada (getting repairs if it should break down).

Kevin
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WBCCI (Lifetime Member)/VAC/Free Wheelers #6359
AIR #827
1964 Overlander International/1999 GMC K2500 Suburban (7400 VORTEC/4.11 Differentials)
1978 Argosy Minuet 6.0 Metre/1975 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible (8.2 Liter V8/2.70 Final Drive)
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Old 11-03-2002, 10:59 AM   #8
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Cool Northern pass

Kevin
The Northern route can be fun~!

BTW, have you checked the distance from Maine to VT?
Several years ago my Lodge went on a 'Degree exchange' with a Lodge up in St Johns, Canada. It was forever getting thru Maine..lol but, we had the most fun..

It sounds like more than 3 days..lol

(Maine is a HUGE state..)
ciao
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Old 11-04-2002, 07:00 AM   #9
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Hi Kevin,

Sounds like you've covered your bases well! Only other thing you might want to throw in is a fuel filter, learned the hard way, especially if you go the northern route, it's kind of remote between some of the towns.

Take Care,

Jason
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Old 11-04-2002, 08:04 AM   #10
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Hello Kevin;

Sound like an interesting combination. I was warned about some of the roads in Vermont but didn't pay much attention. Headed to Stowe State park about 6 years ago with our Quest and a Coleman Pop up. Even though the road on the map looked like a major highway we were shocked to find ourselves climbing the side of a mountain doing very tight switch backs. Down to first gear with almost full throttle.

Many years ago I put a Ford HO 302 ci in a Pinto. It was carburated with a 650 Holley with mechanical fuel pump. In addition to the mechanical fump I "added" a electric pump in line with the mechanical pump. Worked great. Just beware that if the pressure is too high on the electric pump it could over power the float action and flood the carburater.
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