“T” Pre-flight or Getting Ready for Touring

by Glenn Storck

The following routine has been very helpful for me when getting ready for a tour since I have a tendency to forget things. This procedure is divided into three sections: body, running gear, and engine.

I begin with a thorough visual inspection of the body and associated hardware; front to back and top to bottom. I look for anything loose, broken, about to fall off, or that just doesn’t look right. I tighten all loose bolts and nuts (not forgetting cotter pins). It is a good practice to periodically remove the steering wheel and gear cover to lube the three gear drive pinions. While under the car, I also making sure the exhaust system is tight.

I then move on to the running gear, looking at the brakes and linkages. Be sure to adjust if needed. Check the differential oil level, but do not overfill. I check the condition of wheel spokes for looseness, the tire pressure to make sure it is between 55 – 60 psi, and the wear and condition of tires. At the front end, check for looseness in the steering linkage and wheel bearings. I try to clean and repack the wheel bearings at least once a year. Check the grease cup for pitman arm on steering linkage and add grease if necessary; do this also at rear spring hangers. I also check the universal grease cup for grease and give it a twist.

Under the hood, I clean and gap the spark plugs at least once a year. I use a distributor on one car, so I file and gap the points at the same time as working on spark plugs. Oil where required in areas like the generator rear bearing, but too much oil will mess up the brushes in the generator, so be sure to use it sparingly (one to two drops). Clean and oil the commutator as required if running magneto. Oil the fan pulley by removing the brass screw and filling the cavity with motor oil. Also check the condition of the fan belt and adjust as needed. Change engine oil as required. I change ours every fifteen to twenty hours of driving. Do not forget to check the coolant level in the radiator and the water level in the battery, topping off as needed. Check the electrical system for proper operation, lights, charging, etc.

Always be on the lookout for any signs of wear, looseness, things out of adjustment, etc. I then wash the exterior and clean the interior with a damp rag. Finally, I was the windshield using a water and ammonia solution.

I have found this procedure to be very helpful in not forgetting anything and providing a safe journey.