Matt Harwood

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Everything posted by Matt Harwood

  1. I've been thinking about this for a few years now, but it was especially noticeable today. I got the '29 Cadillac out for the first time since last July and I'm planning on using it for a friend's wedding on Saturday (the '41 Buick was choice #1 but a problem with the rear shock links has it incapacitated). I took the Cadillac for a drive today and it started and ran like it always did--hello, old friend. But as I'm driving, I'm reminded of just how lousy the ride quality is. I'm thinking about my friend and his bride bouncing around in the back and I'm listening to all the joints squeak and rattle. Every bump I hit feels like it's going to smash something. I mean, it feels like I'm abusing the car just driving it down a regular paved road with a few bumps and heaves--not like driving in downtown Beirut or something. I even aired the tires down to about 28 PSI and while it removed some impact harshness, the rock-hard suspension still felt abusive. There's just no way it could have been like this in 1929, not with the poor quality roads they had back then. I certainly don't expect it to be modern car perfect, but I honestly feel like I'm bashing the car to pieces as I drive in a normal environment. My shocks appear to be in good shape. I put fresh oil in them recently, they travel smoothly, and don't leak. They're fairly stiff and I'm thinking maybe some thinner shock oil (I'm using hydraulic jack oil) ,but how much of a difference can it make? I did notice today while I was under it that one of the rear shock links came off the axle. I was able to push it back on, but however that link holds itself on the ball doesn't seem to be grabbing properly. I can't really see what's going on in the link--can anyone describe how the socket should be holding on to the ball? Is there a spring and a cup or something? Should the outer sleeve rotate to grab the mounting ball? We have a good spring shop that does springs for semi tractors. I'm thinking that I could have them remove a leaf from each one or even make new springs that are softer. What else is left? What am I missing? Now I remember why I don't want to drive the car--it's tearing itself apart. What am I missing? Why does this car ride like crap?
  2. I'm looking for an exhaust manifold for the driver's side of a 1968 Electra 225 with a 430. Looking around, it appears that any manifold from a pre-catalyst full-sized Buick will work, 430 or 455. I have one that's cracked and sounds awful. Anyone have one that's in good order we can use? Thanks!
  3. Matt Harwood

    Rare Mercedes 1000SEL (W126) for sale

    Who is the builder and what is the specification? That makes a HUGE difference.
  4. Matt Harwood

    1966 Corvette Convertible L79

    Documented matching-numbers HT-coded L79 327/350 horsepower, 4-speed car. Loaded with options including removable hardtop, knock-off wheels, side pipes (added during restoration), power windows, power steering, power antenna, and AM/FM stereo radio. Everything works, runs and drives superbly, correct redline bias-ply tires. 9700 miles since it was finished, so it's not perfect, but it's extremely nice and properly sorted. Only notable deviation from stock is the exhaust headers. Original color combination Rally Red/black vinyl/white top. Fast, fun, and reliable. The L79 is a fantastic motor with hydraulic lifters but loves to rev. Happy to burble along at 1000 RPM in 4th gear but barks through the gears with authority. A great all-around Corvette that's 100% ready to enjoy at almost any level. $79,900 (other similar cars available, E-mail for info).
  5. Matt Harwood

    1941 Dash Set- refinished and ready to show

    That would be Doug Seybold. His engine-turning work is pretty darned good. He did the panels for my '41 Century and they look better than new. I think the factory finish had a bit of color in the clear, a kind of greenish-gold tint, but it's hard to be sure. It might just be age. Doug did mine clear and they look like jewelry.
  6. Matt Harwood

    1941 Dash Set- refinished and ready to show

    Universal for all '41s.
  7. Matt Harwood

    41 roadmaster, not mine

    Heck, at that price, it's almost a parts car. $8500 for a running, driving Full Classic? Nice!
  8. Matt Harwood

    1983 Ford LTD Goes All-Out Tron!

    Amazing to think that this was Ford's state of the art in 1983 but only three years later the Taurus would be introduced.
  9. Matt Harwood

    Why does my 1929 Cadillac ride so poorly?

    They have the correct number of leaves, 11 in front, 9 in back. They may indeed be rusted together or stuck with excess old grease, but I have not yet gone in to make a determination beyond spreading one pair at one spot and spraying it with brake cleaner. That's the whole discussion here--spreading the leaves apart and cleaning/lubricating them to see if that improves anything. Next winter I will completely remove and disassemble them, clean them, and repaint them, then reassemble them with some kind of appropriate lubricant and maybe install some gaiters, although I don't believe that's necessary. That's the long and the short of this entire thread.
  10. Matt Harwood

    Anyone Catch What the '41 Roadmaster Brought?

    That's a Super. I'd be surprised to see it bid to more than $20K.
  11. Matt Harwood

    IH armored truck

    It's the Herkimer Battle Jitney!
  12. Matt Harwood

    1972 Dodge Dart Wiring

    I've found that when doing wiring, having a wiring diagram is invaluable and secondly, using new wiring is just smart. Tracking electrical gremlins can be very frustrating, so why not maximize your chances for success with fresh wiring? Using a used harness or cobbling one together from pieces can lead to all kinds of mischief. Give yourself the best chance to succeed by using a new wiring harness that's either designed for the car or at least one of those aftermarket systems with 10- or 15 circuits, a new fuse box, and coded wires. Don't try to cut and splice what you have or a junkyard piece. The money you spend up front will be more than rewarded by fewer hours of troubleshooting and headaches later. How much is your time worth?
  13. Matt Harwood

    '49 Olds Woodie for sale

    Restorer32 was the seller.
  14. Matt Harwood

    Why does my 1929 Cadillac ride so poorly?

    I presume that my car originally had some gaiters of some kind, but I don't know precisely what they would have looked like. I've been looking at having some leather ones made but I wonder if they're necessary given the light usage and relatively clean roads we have today. Fresh leather gaiters aren't cheap (about $1000/set) and I don't know that they'd really add durability in a measurable way, especially if I eventually have the springs rebuilt with teflon between the leaves instead of lubricant.
  15. Matt Harwood

    1979 Ford Ranchero GT

    Impressive original car in catalog colors. Out of long-term storage with original paint, chrome, and interior. Never used in winter, ultra-straight and clean throughout, 74K miles. Spotless bed never used for work. Torquey F-code 302 V8 with FMX 3-speed automatic. Options include cold factory A/C, cruise, tilt column, Rally gauges, Brougham interior, remote sport mirrors, AM/FM stereo, power steering, power disc brakes, Magnum 500 wheels. Extensive recent service work including ignition system, fluids, hoses, belts, rebuilt carburetor, new fuel pump, re-sealed gas tank, rebuilt A/C system, new dual exhaust, new shocks, new brakes, new battery, and new tires. 100% functional except for the clock with original spare and jack still behind the seat. I know these aren't red hot, but it's unusual, practical, and I find it very attractive. Plus it's on the Thunderbird chassis so it rides and drives like a luxury car. Very well maintained with no issues, very tight with zero rattles. A slam-dunk in HPOF judging. A lot of fun for not a lot of cash. $19,900, drive it home.
  16. Matt Harwood

    1940-1941 Rear Turn Signal Back/Socket Needed

    Odd that the parts book would say that it was correct for 1941, because it wasn't used in '41. The trunk-mounted signals were introduced in '39 and used in '40, but in '41 they moved the signals into the taillight housings. Anyway, this is kind of digression, but perhaps a '39 would also work? You won't have any results if you search for '41. I've seen complete assemblies show up on Ebay now and then, which might be your only way to get that part. I might also try Doug Seybold @ 440-835-1193 and see if he has one in his vast cache of parts and parts cars. Hope this helps.
  17. 1929 Pontiac "Big Six" two-door sedan. Older restoration still in good order. Runs and drives well, no significant modifications. Good paint and chrome, nice interior, reasonably well detailed engine compartment. Could probably use tires, but it looks good on the blackwalls. Everything works except the fuel gauge and horn. Ready to enjoy entry-level hobby car. $14,900.
  18. Matt Harwood

    Why does my 1929 Cadillac ride so poorly?

    All good advice, thanks everyone. I think I know in my heart that I'll have to disassemble the leaf springs and restore each leaf, but I'd like to enjoy the car this summer, so if I can improve the ride even a little by doing a quickie lube on them, I'm going to try. It doesn't hurt. In the fall, I'll pull the springs out and take it somewhere to have them restored and properly lubricated with teflon strips between them. At the moment, my plan is to put it in the air and take the pressure off the springs, use the spring spreaders (that I bought on eBay) to clean them out and spray some lubricant in there. I did a lot of research last night on lubricants and settled on this: Now hear me out before you tell me it's wrong. One, I see this product come up more than any other when I Google "leaf spring lubricant." Second, it's for chains on motorcylces so it's water resistant AND it is not sticky, so it will not collect dust and debris and exacerbate the condition. Third, it's a semi-dry lube which has a wax-based delivery system that somehow evaporates, leaving the solids and lubricants behind. So it should be pretty dry once it's done. Fourth, it's got high shear strength and handles extreme pressures (which obviously you will have between springs). Finally, it does have some penetrating properties, so it will get into the nooks and crannies where I can't necessarily clean and spray. All told, it seems like the best compromise. I think the important thing will be actually separating the leaves and cleaning between them--there's A LOT of gunk in there. That might be what's sticking them together. Adding this once they're clean can only help. So that's the plan. I'm going to try to get it on jack stands today and start cleaning by spraying brake cleaner between the leaves then blowing it out with compressed air, then lubricating with this stuff. None of that can hurt and maybe I'll get some semblance of ride quality back. I will definitely report back!
  19. Matt Harwood

    Why does my 1929 Cadillac ride so poorly?

    Just for an experiment, I went out and tried those new spreader tools on the springs. They work great! I was able to separate one of the bigger leafs from its neighbor and then sprayed a bunch of brake cleaner in there. Lots of rusty goo came out. Good sign, I guess. At least I know the spreaders will work and that there's rust in there. I hope the springs aren't rusty and pitted enough to lock them together. That clears the way for the next step: get it in the air, take the pressure off the springs, and start spreading the leafs and cleaning the gunk out from between them. Still not quite sure what kind of lubricant to use--I'm still leaning towards grease which will be a bit more permanent than a thin oil and might be better if the surface is really rough, but maybe a penetrating oil would be better at working into all the little nooks and crannies where I can't get the spreaders. I'll think on it...
  20. Matt Harwood

    1979 Ford Ranchero GT

  21. Matt Harwood

    Why does my 1929 Cadillac ride so poorly?

    Thanks for the advice. That's what I plan to do. Lift it up by the fame, let the wheels dangle, and shoot some penetrating oil on the springs first. There's a pretty good build-up of old grease between the leaves that almost feels like dried RTV silicone, so I'm going to scrape that off with a wire brush, then I'll hit it with penetrating oil and see what happens. I do have these leaf spring spreaders, though--should I use those and spray some cleaner in between the leaves just to dissolve the old grease, then shoot some fresh stuff in there? As long as I have the ability to get between the leaves, maybe I should clean it and then lube it with something with a little staying power--something like grease? What do you think?
  22. Matt Harwood

    Why does my 1929 Cadillac ride so poorly?

    One, that's an extremely handsome Graham Paige! Two, I got the leaf spring spreaders and I'm going to spend some time this week after work trying to clean and lubricate the springs (I'll probably just use wheel bearing grease, no?) and see what happens. The spreaders are smaller than i thought so I hope they have the muscle to pull those giant springs apart, but if I take the weight off them and put the car up on jack stands, hopefully it'll work. I'll post back as I progress.