You may have heard that we converted a retired NASCAR Camping World truck into a street-legal vehicle and took it on the 2013 Hot Rod Power Tour. You may have also heard that we did not finish the trip. While embarrassing for us, there were a lot of successes as well.
The truck was received well by everyone who saw it! We were told we are insane, idiots, crazy, and we know we are, but boy did we have fun! Honestly, this truck is the most obnoxious vehicle I’ve ever driven! It’s ridiculously loud, smelly, and uncomfortable. You really have to be up on the wheel while driving it because it doesn’t always go straight. It’s very hard to see out of, so you need a lot of help from your passenger (they act more like a spotter). But man is it fun!
Our early departure from the Power Tour was due to a couple of mechanical issues. The truck was supposed to be on the Pilot Transportation truck to Texas on Wednesday, so we thrashed to try and get the truck finished in time. Luckily for us, the truck had an electrical issue and a different truck was dispatched from Michigan to come get us. This bought us an extra day. When the drivers arrived late the next day, we were just pushing the truck outside to start it for the first time. It started right up, and after setting the timing and fuel pressure, we were ready to move the truck on to the truck. When I put the truck in gear and let the clutch out, nothing happened. Not knowing what was wrong, we decided to put it on the truck and send it to Texas.
Knowing the trans needed to come out to inspect the problem, a friend hooked us up with True Street Motorsports in McKinney, Texas. This is a badass shop! Clint, Sean, Toby, and the rest of the guys there took us in with open arms. Once we got the trans out and inspected everything, we figured out the issue was a lack of space. The clutch, flywheel, and throwout bearing were longer than the available space. The True Street guys and us all brainstormed, rummaged through the shop, and came up with a spacer that gave us the room we needed without putting us at risk for further failures. And it worked perfectly!
We spent the next day buttoning up some things that needed to be finished and off we went. The next morning it was off to the driver’s meeting then on our way to Texarkana. The drive was awesome, and we caravanned with a great bunch of guys in some really cool cars!
It was all going well until about 15 miles outside of Texarkana. Suddenly the engine started breaking up. I shut the truck off and restarted it, but it didn’t clear up. Next thing I know, we are coasting and it won’t start. We pulled over and inspected, and found that we had no spark. After getting towed to the fairgrounds, we were met by the MSD tech crew who went right to work on the truck. For whatever reason, our MSD coil went bad, but after about five minutes of diagnostic work and five minutes replacing the coil, our Ford Racing engine roared back to life.
The next morning, we headed toward Little Rock, AK. The day started off well, but we noticed a small oil leak and a little smoke as we rolled down the road. When we stopped for gas, we ran into the Hot Rod magazine crew.
Once the "photoshoot" was over, we were back on the road. As Fisher laid into the gas the cockpit began filling up with smoke. A few miles later the oil pressure gauge began to dance around and we pulled over. Luckily, the guys from Pilot Transportation were not far behind.
Once we inspected the now severe oil leak, we discovered a crack in the remote oil filter adapter. Being that this was a not a fix we could do on the side of the road (the engine needs to be lifted to access the adapter), we decided it was in our best interest to end the trip early.
All-in-all we had a great time! It wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a lot of great people and companies. We would like to sincerely thank Auto Meter, Ford Racing Performance Parts, Tremec Transmissions, Peterson Racing, RAM Clutches, Quick Time Performance, The Axle Exchange, Tiger Rearends, Quick Performance, Summit Racing, Al-Kul Radiators, Flex A Light, ATL, Holley, Earl’s, Raceday Safety, Day Motorsports, QA1, Suspension Spring Specialists, Jones Racing, Moroso, Comp Cams, Aero Wheels, Goodyear, Nitto, Driven Racing Oil, MSD, DEI, Rugged Radios, NGI Graphics, MPR Race Engines, Cometic, Simpson, American Powertrain, and last but certainly not least, True Street Motorsports. Without these great companies, none of this would have ever been possible. Thank you!