How to Prepare Your Classic Car for a Parade

Parade duty is quite tough on older vehicles. Low-speed running means air movement in the radiator or the engine compartment is little to none, which can easily cause overheating or vapor lock so its important to keep it cool.

If you plan to drive your classic in a parade, make sure that it not only looks great but runs great as well. Taking proper precautions before and during the parade can eliminate embarrassing breakdowns.

Summer parades are great to show off your classic car but if your car was to break down, you will want to have New Jersey Classic Car Insurance in place. Give yourself peace of mind so you can enjoy your summer car events, by taking these important pre-emptive measures before the parade.

Avoid Overheating 

You will want to first do a tune-up, since an engine with poor ignition timing will run hot. While you’re under the hood, scrap off any caked-on layers of grease to remove unwanted insulation from the engine block.

Check all the belts and hoses. Squeeze the hoses to look for cracks, and check the tightness of the clamps. Top off your coolant, and make sure the cooling system is filled with a 50/50 mix of coolant and water. If the coolant looks brown or rusty, flush and refill.

Check the belt tension and the fan viscous (if applicable for your vehicle).  Clean any leaves, bugs or debris off the radiator. Never mount a sign or placard on the front of the car that blocks any part of the radiator opening.

Bump the idle up a few hundred RPM to speed up the fan. You can also consider adding an aftermarket electrical fan to supplement the belt-driven fan.

Avoid Vapor Lock

Gasoline now has a higher vapor pressure than it did when your classic car was designed, as it uses a much higher percentage of crude oil.  Therefore it is much more susceptible to vapor lock, caused by fuel at atmospheric or low pressure boiling in the fuel line, fuel pump or carburetor float bowl. Fuel-injected engines are less likely to vapor lock since fuel is at much higher pressures in the fuel system, raising the boiling point.

Be sure to begin a parade day with a full tank, as this will help to gain temperate slowly. You will want to insulate fuel lines near the exhaust system and wire a rag over the mechanical fuel pump, then squirt water on it by redirecting the windshield washer pump with a longer piece of hose. If possible, fill up with racing gas, which has a lower vapor pressure.

Before participating in a parade, check both the route and weather to make sure your classic can handle both conditions

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