Rusty_OToole

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About Rusty_OToole

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  1. So you bought another Ford? This is what mystifies me. Buy a car, get a lemon, buy a different make next time. Buy a Ford, get a lemon, trade it in on another Ford. I have seen this so many times and can never figure it out. Ford owners just seem to expect their cars to break down all the time. It rolls off them like duck water. In our family in the sixties and seventies we had seven or eight Dodge slant six cars, all good reliable economical cars, until my brother bought a 1975 Volare that was a damn mess. He swore he would never buy another Chrysler product and never has. Instead he has bought a series of Fords that broke down more than any Dodge ever did. One was an Escort with manual trans, bought new. The throwout bearing failed and had to be replaced under warranty. They told him he was lucky it was under warranty because it was a $3000 repair job, as the throwout bearing was inside the clutch and the complete drive train had to be out on the shop floor to get at it. A year or so later it failed again, got replaced under warranty again, and shortly after wards he dumped the car because the warranty was running out. He traded it on another Escort, this time an automatic. He also had a Ford pickup that blew its engine, he happily paid for a rebuilt engine and kept driving it. I have never seen a slant six car or truck with a blown engine. My father the same, he bought a new Pontiac Parisienne Brougham diesel in 1980 and it was a lemon. From then on he bought nothing but Fords and cursed anything GM. Even though his Fords and Lincolns were far from trouble free, it never seemed to bother him when they broke down. Have seen this again and again with different people and never could figure it out.
  2. Have you tried your local Chevrolet dealer? I know 1975 is quite old but the used to maintain parts supplies longer than that. Wonder if they still do.
  3. Bearings can be scraped smooth and fitted with bluing. This used to be common practice. Remove shims, or file the mating surface and create a new bearing surface by scraping off high spots revealed by the Prussian blue. I don't know where you would find someone who knows how to do this today.
  4. Why not give us the specs, namely stem diameter, head diameter and overall length. Someone may know of a valve the same size or close enough to cut down. Length and head diameter are not hard to alter.
  5. I question this. For one thing the modern shell bearings are much cheaper than poured babbit. For another, I believe the poured babbit bearings are just as durable if used as they were intended. I base this on speed and endurance records set when there was no other kind of bearings. One other thing that I have wondered about, and that is, does babbit metal deteriorate over long periods of time? We are now dealing with cars that are 100 years old or thereabouts, that were designed for a working life of 10 years or so. But, babbit metal bearings have been used since the mid 19th century, what does experience say about this? Under the circumstances would it be wise to renew all the bearings? I understand they cost about $200 apiece so I wouldn't blame anyone for not renewing them if it was not necessary.
  6. The bigger six was the Kaiser - Frazer engine originally designed by Contintental. They put it in the Willys after Kaiser bought the Willys company. At the time it was considered a "hot" car with a large, high powered engine for the size of the car.
  7. There must be some free play in the brake pedal so the master cylinder can retract all the way, releasing pressure. If it does not, the pressure can build up due to heat and friction, making the brakes drag. So check that your master is retracting all the way. It could be a simple adjustment to the pedal rod.
  8. Anybody with some sheet brass and a fretsaw.
  9. As far a reliability goes they were dead reliable when new and can be again if kept in good condition. Best is to buy a good low mileage example and expect to do a lot of minor repairs. For example all the rubber hoses under the hood can be mummified, hardened and cracked or turned to mush by exposure to oil and gas. This means rad hoses, heater hoses, vacuum hose, fuel lines. Don't overlook fan belts. If they are cracked, hardened or bulgy replace them and save yourself a breakdown on the road. Tires, brakes, emergency brake cables, many things may be due for replacement. Also a tune up, oil change, and change of other fluids like trans fluid, rear diff, and even brake fluid may be called for. This can add up but if the maintenance is done your old car can be practically as reliable as when it was new.
  10. One good takeaway, would be to learn that there were plenty of low cost American economy vehicles made in the 60s and 70s, and that these make good beginner collector cars because they are simple, economical, and parts are readily available. They are simple and easy to work on compared to newer or larger cars with more luxury features. Dodge Dart, Plymouth Valiant and Barracuda, Ford Maverick, Mercury Comet, Buick Special, Pontiac Ventura, Chevy Nova, AMC Rambler Gremlin and Concorde all fall into this category. Although it might be better to stick with Ford, Chev, Dodge or Plymouth in the interest of parts availability. Millions of these cars were made and they turn up in good condition all the time. Just last week I saw a 1975 Dodge Dart sedan, 318V8 and auto, with only 45000 miles on it, offered for $2500. An excellent buy, I was tempted myself. A boring car but a good one to start on. Cars like that turn up pretty regularly. If you scan the local ads I can practically guarantee you will find a good car within a month or 2.
  11. "Normal" tires are no longer used, hard to find, and must be special ordered for a premium price. Even 14 and 15 inch tires, that were common from the late fifties to the early 90s, are hard to get now. It may be easier to just order chrome wheels and modern tires if you don't know your way around.
  12. I'm a VW fan and agree that air cooled VWS are cool, a big advantage is that all parts are available the disadvantage is you will need them. They did require a lot of service and repair compared to new cars, but were built in such a way that it was easy and cheap to do. For example they have NO oil filter so they need an oil change every 2000 miles, but only take a quart and a half of oil. My first choice would be a Chrysler A body car. This includes Plymouth Valiant and Barracuda, and Dodge Lancer and Dart 1960 - 1975. Very simple reliable durable cars with slant six and 318 V8 engines that get good gas mileage compared to other cars of their times although not as good as the latest cars. With their torsion bar front suspension they were one of the best handling American cars of their time.
  13. When I was in high school about 1966 I did some calculations to figure out what it took to be rich. I figured $10,000 a year income qualified as rich, being about twice as much as any of our fathers made. And at 5% interest that meant you would need $200,000 to be set for life and never have to work. To put this in perspective $10,000 then would be about $150,000 in buying power now, and back then you could get 5% investing in government bonds. Today you get 2% and to get that $150,000 a year you would need $7,500,000.
  14. Enlarging the photo shows a big M in the headlight bar. Could it be a Maybach, or possibly a Minerva? What other European cars started with M?
  15. A lot of people swear by the Optima type batteries. They say they perform better and last longer than regular lead acid batteries. I haven't tried them myself but that is what I hear.