Ideas for a Post-Restoration Road Test Checklist

Discussion in 'The BS Topic' started by CDesperado, Dec 23, 2019.

  1. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    So after many (many) years of working on this car, I am finally at the point where I feel confident that I can take her on short drives around the neighborhood to do short road tests.

    I will confess that I find myself being a little paranoid about doing these road tests "off the cuff" and wished I had a formal checklist of things to do and look for, to make sure I dont overlook something.

    To say it another way, we spend so much time working on these that it's easy to miss something or forget about something. So I think it would be cool to have an actual checklist that could be used to keep track of things.... and thought I would toss this out there to see if anyone else had ideas. If yall like this idea, maybe we could make it a sticky somewhere.

    A friend of mine says he has a 5-page list, but hasn't been able to find it yet. So here are some quick thoughts that I had.

    Pre-Drive Fluid Checks
    1. Radiator and overflow bottle
    2. Transmission Fluid (with the engine hot and cold)
    3. Oil level (with engine hot)
    4. Rear differential fluid
    5. Power Steering Pump
    6. Brake Fluid
    7. Windshield Wiper Fluid

    Pre-Drive Maintenance Checks
    1. Ensure your horn works
    2. Check air-pressure in all tires
    3. Check the tightness of your lug nuts in all four tires
    4. Make sure all dash gauges are working
    5. Check Your Lights to ensure they are working:
      1. Headlights
      2. Parking lights/ Fog Lamps
      3. Brake lights
      4. Turn Signals
      5. Reverse lights
      6. Hazard Lights
    6. Ensure emergency brake is working
    7. Clean bleeder valves for the calipers on all 4 wheels (to make it easier to identify leaks later)
    8. Clean fittings, hoses, and other connection points of brake lines (to make it easier to identify leaks)
    9. Hold brake pedal down for several minutes to ensure it remains in position without sinking. (Dont drive the car if the pedal sinks or goes down to the floor)
    10. Start the engine - Let it warm up, then check for leaks:
      • Radiator and Hoses
      • Steering Pump and Hoses
      • Master Cylinder and Hoses
      • Transmission
      • Rear Differential
    11. Verify that your windshield wipers work
    12. Verify that your windshield wiper fluid works

    Drive Checks - First Drive

    1. Perform Brake check at idle
      1. At a slow idle (2-5 mph), test the brakes to ensure they grip evenly.
        1. Apply the brakes lightly for 5 seconds (to create a slow roll).
        2. Release for 10 seconds, then apply for 5 seconds.
        3. Repeat this a few times to determine if your brakes get soft.
      2. At a slow idle (2-5 mph), apply brakes hard several times while turning to the left and the right.
        1. When you get home, remove the wheels and check that no components are rubbing, touching, or leaking
    1. Perform Brake check at 5-10 mph
      1. At 5-10 mph, test the brakes to ensure they grip evenly by slowing to a roll (not a complete stop)
    2. Listen for any rattles, grinding, etc.
    Drive Checks - Second+ Drive
    1. Drive vehicle at slow speeds (15-20 mph) making moderate and hard stops.
      1. Brakes should feel normal and positive.
      2. You are verifying that the brakes dont get softer or that the pedal feels like it is sinking
      3. When you get back home, you will remove the wheels and check for leaks, rubbing, etc.

    Post-Drive Checks

    1. Check all fluid levels
    2. Verify air-pressure in all tires (The air will expand from you driving on them, roughly 1lb for every 10 degree F)
    3. Verify the tightness of your lug nuts in all four tires
    4. Remove all 4 wheels.
      1. Check the bleeder valve on the brake calipers for any signs of a leak
      2. Check brake lines, fittings, and inside portion of your wheels/tires for any sign of a leak
      3. Check rotors to determine if you see signs of uneven wear
    5. Check Power Steering pump for leaks near fittings or hoses
    6. Check Radiator hoses for leaks
    7. Check oil gasket for leaks
    8. Check Transmission components for leaks
    9. Check Rear Differential housing for leaks
    If you have ideas/suggestions, post them up and I will edit the list.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2019
    john Dameron and berg2695 like this.
  2. Dave Nelson

    Dave Nelson Veteran Member

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    Dec 19, 2003
    Vineland N.J USA
    Sounds like you have it well covered, I would let the engine idle to operating temp to again check for any leaks.
  3. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    Good idea, I will add that.
  4. 70-camaro

    70-camaro Veteran Member

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    Mar 25, 2010
    marietta ohio
    I didn’t see check air in Spare tire. Other than that looks pretty thorough.
  5. earnhardtgm3

    earnhardtgm3 Veteran Member

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    Dec 18, 2007
    Camaro Country,GA
    Windshield wipers-never know when it might rain. Looks like you got it covered, go have fun.:crazy:
  6. Revin

    Revin Veteran Member

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    Aug 31, 2016
    Round Rock , TEXAS
    What about cross your fingers?
  7. gramps

    gramps Veteran Member

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    Jul 5, 2009
    mankato, mn

    (Says the guy who’s car hasn’t had the arms even installed yet 8 yrs later lol)
    budro6968 likes this.
  8. CDesperado

    CDesperado Veteran Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Oct 1, 2004
    Dallas Texas
    LOL - I've been doing that a lot lately.

    Also, I am adding Wipers to the list.
  9. Lowend

    Lowend Administrator. .a car, a man, a maraca. Staff Member Lifetime Gold Member

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    Mar 25, 1999
    San Jose, CA, USA
    A few things I’ll add
    Jack up each side of the car and do a shake test on the wheel. Do a visual inspection on all of the tie rods etc. you’d be surprised how often things are hand tight or have missing cotter pins

    make sure the exhaust is connected.

    take a pen light and look inside the carb for wingnuts and such

    Make sure battery is tied down.

    Inner door handles work and doors latch properly.

    for the love of god, bring a fire extinguisher with you.
    75Maro likes this.
  10. shanghai Kid

    shanghai Kid Veteran Member

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    Jul 5, 2010
    Might wanna add a little fresh 93 octane to that list

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