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Offline OldKooT

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Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« on: March 03, 2016, 06:15:01 PM »
So my wife wants a "beater" car that can burn rubber, run down a new police charger in a drag race, and get 25mpg. Oh yeah it has to have 4 doors and be "retro" She has issues.... but bottom line she found a car.

She found on Craigslist a 1985 Chrysler 5th avenue. 42K original pampered one owner garaged miles...mostly intact nice sheet-metal (few hail dings like most Neb cars) an intact interior for the most part...needs a headliner like all Mopar products of the 1980/90's and it still sports the OEM 318's Lean Burn system. (oh joy)

Now the "Story": So she doesn't tell me why but she tosses a fit and declares I need to put the Feather-light  car trailer on a pickup and we are going for a drive. So up into the lower sandhills we go... and we end up in this little town of like 75 people. There sits this 5th avenue with a for sale sign $1700 or some absurd amount on the windshield.

I start muttering no way in hell and now I know why she wore yoga pants and well, crud... she goes to the door, I go look at the car.

She returns with the owner 5min latter, he hands her the keys she starts it and it purrs like only a Mopar lean burn can run (read hardly smooth but it runs) I open the trunk and inspect the spare tire which is flat and no kidding 1984 date coded.

I eye the pedal pads, the underhood area and well it's quite possibly a 42K mile car. I am thinking...NO I walk back to my truck....she walks over and asks me what I think. I explain she needs counseling and why why do we need this car? I finally just say if she pays more than a grand for it I am leaving her there and well....

So she bought it for $700 or something and loaded it on the trailer herself.

Next saga:



Norm

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Offline OldKooT

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2016, 06:37:55 PM »
So we get it home...She has by this time declared she has a wager with a local sheriff that she can out run the new 2015 Charger he has in a drag race. Not sure how, but he scored a new zero miles police cruiser Charger from some dealer in Missouri and well...yeah anyway.

So she unloads the car while I go back to actually doing something semi productive (cleaning off my work bench) and off she goes for a test spin. She returns and declares it runs fine, it has no "guts" and I should be impressed, the clock on the radio works and every thing...

Fast forward to today....it needs tires and they have proven impossible to buy locally so she talks me into driving this thing to the city. OK.... well it made it ok actually minus a sticky brake caliper...so we buy 4 spiffy new whitewalls. (Like the last ones in the city) and then the fun starts. The front wire wheel covers will not come off...the center bolt is like not moving with the hub cap wrench. The 22yr old tire monkey fella has NEVER seen anything like this wire hub cap, he's in awe of the car. So while he flirts with my wife twice his age shamelessly about a old Chrysler... I rounded up a tire monkey with a air hammer and removed those pesky stuck bolts myself.

The we go through the tire mounting balance issues mentioned elsewhere in this fine forum and while that's all happening I look at the tires we removed. No kidding 18 years old....and I drove on those things? Oddly no visible dry rot...odd.

So on the way home she opens the owners manual and discovers a service log...yes 42K original verified. One owner and well maintained car...and if she had done this earlier she would have learned the tires were installed 18 years ago when the car was basically left parked in a heated garage. Now he had said it has been sitting and he had to replace the battery, but it started right up...and it had "relatively new" tires on it....LOL

He had neglected to mention it had been sitting for almost 20 years. Cagey old fella...and well anyway...she has plans.

She has already requisitioned a 360 magnum I have in the barn... she is planning to swipe a Hughes cam I have on a shelf for said Magnum engines. She found a intake.... a older electronic distributor, and declared a half dozen carbs "hers" she will decide latter which one to redo. She also plans to swipe a 8.8 3.55 L/S rear from a Mustang I own and some other junk...So in effect she's going to build what one might not see as your average Grandma Cruiser. She even thinks she's going to use some rather rare 340 Exhaust manifolds for a A body...we shall see...I may draw the line there.

Now me personally...I think she should leave it alone and just drive it when the mood strikes her...but I am sure she will just do what she wants anyway.

Pictures to follow as soon as I win the argument with my phone....













Norm

Are you a prepper?  "No, whats a prepper? I am just a mildly OCD farmer"

Offline TexasRedNeck

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2016, 07:11:07 PM »
Nitrous on the original 318 and call it done for the drag race.  Throw enough juice that it wins and blows up at the finish line. Then walk away


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Offline moto123

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2016, 11:34:34 PM »
Well that gave me a good laugh.  But I am intrigued.  What does this mysterious $700 car look like?

Offline Farmer Jon

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2016, 07:55:27 AM »
I also had arguments with my phone AND tablet trying to load pics. I had to put them on the computer and do it that way.
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2016, 08:27:35 AM »
Koot told me about it on the phone, but like the rest of ya, I see no visual proof... ;)
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Offline cudakidd53

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2016, 10:01:31 PM »
Koot- let her use the exhaust manifolds off the 340! If there's a need, I think I can get my old ones off the old dirt car stashed at my Dads.......let's just say his ring tone on my end used to be the Sanford and Sons theme song!

Now, with the 360, you could play some other games and push it to around 400 as that was what those manifolds were attached to in the first incarnation of the Cuda dirt car.........with a 2bbl I've got video of it launched airborne due to my rear wheel driving over another rear wheel WOT exiting a turn.

To beat the Sherrif, she's gonna need to gut that pig to loose enough weight..........what's with you two and "challenges" around town?  Don't you have a shoot off coming up???? :D
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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2016, 08:44:49 AM »
Ya know Mike, I like the potential story that could be shaping up here. Hot rod Kay in her Hi-Po brick from the 80's...and a little cattle rustlin' shoot-out, some jumpin...Be like Hazard KY restarted.

I think we have the makin's of a story here. Now, miss Kay will want to turn it into a cool hot rod. Norm, however is figuring out how to add on a junk long bed from that 93 W250 so he can haul back more stuff from some show somewhere.

I'm personally laying money on Miss Kay gettin' her way!
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Offline OldKooT

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2016, 09:31:47 AM »
I have given up on the phone pics, my phone is suffering a bit from the last go around with the skid loader. It works fine to call, so I will leave it alone.  I will grab a real camera and snap a pic so you all can believe we own a 1985 5th avenue LoL

I ran it across my scale at the farm yesterday. 3720lbs full of fuel with two spares in the trunk. I read 4271lbs for the new pursuit version of the Charger. 

Norm

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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2016, 05:10:59 PM »
4200!!!!!!!!!!!! Whoa. Well I guess that is what happens to all that horsepower: Whoa!
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Offline OldKooT

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2016, 02:32:17 PM »
In keeping this project updated I figure I best catch up with the "work" done.

So being my backs bugging me but I need to move around and loosen it up, Kay and I ran the 5th ave in the shop and got some stuff changed.

We swapped the K frame for a 1983 Plymouth Gran Fury cop car version. New KYB shocks, bushings, ball joints, tirerods/ends and fresh brakes. We used some NOS new rotors I had on the shelf, and Cardone Calipers with some Kevlar pads.

We swapped the rear axle for a 8 1/4 sure grip with 3.23's. Also some new rear KYB's and soon a  station wagon sway bar as soon as I modify the rear spring plates for the end links. Also rebuilt the larger 11" brakes as well.

So as it sits the cars lower by 2" with a much firmed up handling but still a nice ride. The Skinny Whitewalls do a surprising job of sticking it to the road considering. We also pulled the bumpers and replaced the 5mph shock deals with DOM tube...lost 62lbs total with just this mod. This will also allow a rear receiver hitch in the future for Kays fancy Mt Bike rack.

We also took time to slide the fuel tank over a few inches and make room for a possible dual exhaust in the future. For now she is driving it and rocking the lean burn 318 while we sort out the handling/ride.

She also did some wiring mods and set the headights up on relays and a hidden switch under the dash to kill the dome light on door opening if she wishes. She also pulled and lubed the speedometer cables and got the cruise working as it's suppose to. And of course wired in a brake light cut out toggle as well... depending how long she can pt up with the 120hp she may hold of on the 360 swap, since she's now wants to swap it to a 5spd.









Norm

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Offline stlaser

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #11 on: March 08, 2016, 03:22:21 PM »
You know the rules, pics or it didn't happen.......
Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist -Pablo Picasso-

Offline KensAuto

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #12 on: March 08, 2016, 03:48:15 PM »
^^^this^^^^
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Offline cudakidd53

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #13 on: March 08, 2016, 04:09:00 PM »
Those wiring mods sound like you two are running moonshine!  ;D
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Offline KensAuto

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2016, 04:26:52 PM »
Those wiring mods sound like you two are running moonshine!  ;D
I think you're on to somethin there Mike. Maybe a little redneck addition like this:

Norm=farmer
Farmers=typically grow corn in the midwest
Norm=appears to be mechanically inclined
Norm=horder
Horder/farmer/mechanic=ability to build a still (or multiple?)
Norm=chrysler fanatic
Dodgelover=guy with screw loose

Now if we add all of this up, the probability of him cookin some mash is pretty high!
« Last Edit: March 08, 2016, 04:27:28 PM by KensAuto »
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Offline stlaser

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #15 on: March 08, 2016, 05:23:39 PM »
^^^^^^ that was funny
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Offline OldKooT

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #16 on: March 08, 2016, 06:30:29 PM »
Although I may have relations that cooked shine for their tractors and cars to run on in the 40's....I personally have never made a batch=P

Dope light cut off: Sometimes it's smart not to silhouette yourself on hot summer evenings. For the same reason she needs to cut off the light in the trunk with the same switch. It's on her list of stuff to do.

The brake light switch has many uses... like high speed freeway running as an example. It's also handy for quietly cruising around with the lights off on old dirt roads checking on your cattle.

I ordered some H4 Headlights for it so my old eyes can see at night. And yeah, maybe tonight latter we will go out and take a picture of the beater.

Norm

Are you a prepper?  "No, whats a prepper? I am just a mildly OCD farmer"

Offline Dawg25385

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #17 on: March 08, 2016, 07:05:31 PM »
Fifth Avenue... uniquely satisfying appearance!

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Offline Flyin6

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #18 on: March 08, 2016, 10:11:25 PM »
Holy crap!

Swapped the K member!

You two don't mess around!
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Offline Bigdave_185

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #19 on: March 08, 2016, 10:43:39 PM »
Isn't this car a front wheel drive also?


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Offline cudakidd53

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #20 on: March 08, 2016, 10:49:43 PM »
No, you're thinking of the K cars which were front wheel - they (Norm & K) changed the K member which holds the suspension parts and frame rails together and where motor nestles.  Mopars are uni-body construction - body tub with front and rear frames attached to that tub.
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Offline KensAuto

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #21 on: March 08, 2016, 10:52:25 PM »
No Dave.....it was one of the last Chrysler rear wheel drive, full size cars.

dang Mikey beat me to it..
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Offline stlaser

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #22 on: March 08, 2016, 10:59:50 PM »
My old man when I was growing up always wanted one of these. We had the lebaron circa 1980......
Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist -Pablo Picasso-

Offline Wilbur

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #23 on: March 09, 2016, 04:17:33 AM »
Dang that woman is a keeper! (Not that you need me to tell you that! :) )

She wants her own Gator McCluskey sleeper and does the blackout wiring all herself?  (Oh and good line about "checking cattle"...ha! ;))

Can ya get that woman a Hemi?!  :o

Hey FYI I pm'd you a while back on that guy I know that restores car. Might be helpful in finding parts etc. Good luck!

Offline cj7ox

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #24 on: March 09, 2016, 02:27:23 PM »
Dang that woman is a keeper! (Not that you need me to tell you that! :) )


x2!

I am digging this ridge runner build! Sounds like a lot of fun, and like it will be even more fun when complete/re-powered!
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Offline OldKooT

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2016, 11:05:16 AM »
Update: Well it just clicked over 1000miles since we have owned it. So far it's running along fine, it needs some cup holders in a big way. It also needs a decent stereo since the clock won't reset on the OEM radio and twice now we have been lured into the improper time LoL

I am starting to like this car of hers. It glides down the road very smooth and quiet, gets decent economy really and the seats are very comfortable. I am trying to talk her into paying her wager and just leaving the 318 in it as it runs very well. (not holding my breath)

Oh yeah and I will get some pictures... eventually.

Norm

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Offline OldKooT

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #26 on: March 23, 2016, 11:51:55 AM »
As promised some pics...



Above Kay and her new beater....

and below just for TRN a shot of the painted all new front cop suspension/brakes

Norm

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Offline cj7ox

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #27 on: March 23, 2016, 12:04:12 PM »
Nice pics! The car color is a little suspect, though.  ;)

Definitely a sleeper!  8)
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Offline OldKooT

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #28 on: March 23, 2016, 03:37:17 PM »
Yah the color is....well not attractive LoL But considering she has less than a grand in it at present and it handles well enough to be fun to drive, rides well enough to be soothing on a road trip, and stops much better than I ever thought it would...it's kind of fun. And no worry about hail damage or any of that other stuff makes it a practical work beater for her.

The next phase of her project will be the fresh engine/trans and she will then be happy I imagine. But I did manage to talk her into waiting until the crew cab is running. Hopefully when it's done snowing we can start on that.

Norm

Are you a prepper?  "No, whats a prepper? I am just a mildly OCD farmer"

Offline cj7ox

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #29 on: March 23, 2016, 05:10:10 PM »
Yeah, I can see it as a real surprise for the rice-racer-street-posers once she gets the re-power complete.


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Offline Wilbur

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2016, 07:30:14 PM »
Oh sweet...still nice and low....once you rrpoeer it tuck some serious wide tires in behind those wire hubcaps and no one will believe how that thing left them at the line! And when she gets pulled over she can just bat her eyelashes and say she likes the nice soft ride of older cars.

And just saying but a little nitrous button would probably pay for the car and a complete restore on another if you used it right. ;) ha!

Offline cj7ox

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #31 on: March 23, 2016, 07:33:51 PM »

Oh sweet...still nice and low....once you rrpoeer it tuck some serious wide tires in behind those wire hubcaps and no one will believe how that thing left them at the line! And when she gets pulled over she can just bat her eyelashes and say she likes the nice soft ride of older cars.

And just saying but a little nitrous button would probably pay for the car and a complete restore on another if you used it right. ;) ha!
I like the way this guy thinks!


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Offline Sammconn

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2016, 07:49:51 PM »
^^^definitely like the way he thinks!
400+/- hp with a 200 shot...

Yee-hawwww!

And what a sleeper it is.
I just don't want to wind up missing a digit or limb.  I can sometimes get in a hurry to get results.
Sam

Offline TexasRedNeck

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2016, 08:49:38 PM »
So tell me SHE painted those under parts....

If so, I like her more and more..... ROFL
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Offline OldKooT

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #34 on: March 24, 2016, 07:13:30 AM »
LoL.... she complexly painted the entire cop car front K frame while rebuilding it. She has a 3.23 geared 8.8 disk brake rear prepped and painted as well.

The car is lowered about 1.5" all around from factory height. There is plenty of room for sticky rubber if needed. The car wears OEM Squad 7" wheels under those spoke hubcaps.

I think for now the car is going to get a 4bbl intake and a quadrajet along with a ignition upgrade, and once the lean burn junk is removed, it will just get driven.

Once other projects are further along she may yet swap the engine/trans...she only needs to drive this daily for a few months. Then hopefully it will be strictly a road cruise car, and she can play around with a engine swap at that point..




Norm

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Offline JR

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #35 on: March 24, 2016, 04:52:37 PM »
Light cutouts are a great idea and have many uses.

And all this why you are nursing a bad back!
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Offline OldKooT

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #36 on: March 25, 2016, 07:12:24 AM »
Yeah Jr I just take it easy and move no faster than required. It's slowly getting a bit better. I found a soak in the hot tub every morning, followed by one in the evening, and then a massage from my wife, is getting it healed slow but sure.

I am not good at sitting still....so I keep moving, just not real quickly LoL
Norm

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Offline cj7ox

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #37 on: March 25, 2016, 09:45:21 AM »
Movement is good. It'll help keep you from getting too stiff. Just don't over do it, or you'll be sorry! LOL
~Sean M. Davis

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Offline EL TATE

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #38 on: March 25, 2016, 09:51:03 AM »
My wife's Epsom salts, (less the fru fru lavender scent) really help un-knot my back when it's jacked up. Just a thought there buddy.
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Offline Wilbur

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Re: Grandmas Beater...my new headache
« Reply #39 on: March 25, 2016, 10:23:05 AM »
Hey koot not sure if you're using any meds but Aleve (I use the generic naproxin sodium) has been the best thing for me for my back and knees. Just works better than Tylenol or ibuprofin. At least for me. Might give it a shot. Back pain is no fun atall!