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Posts posted by keithb7

  1. I have a 1953 with a 265 and fluid drive M6 tranny. Your issue is certainly interesting. I am inclined to think electrical.


    Some ideas:

    What about distributor related issues? Your spark plug timing auto adjusts as the engine speeds up.  This is done two ways I believe. Centrifugal weights, and vacuum advance. Vacuum taken from the intake manifold. If I can get this straight: when your engine is turned off, the spark timing point plate is retarded by a spring. This allows for a quick, back-fire free engine start up. Then at idle there is a lot of vacuum created in the intake manifold. This vacuum overcomes the points backing plate retarder, spring tension. The vacuum twists the points backing plate, moving the timing ahead. Intake manifold vacuum will decrease as you open the throttle and drive. At this point the engine is now spinning  faster. The Distributor shaft turning faster too. That's the point when centrifugal weights take over and advance the spark timing yet further.  Engine speed and vacuum readings will vary depending on several factors. Including the throttle position and torque load on the engine.


    I also am weary about maybe a bad condenser. They do weird things.  When they are failing, as dwell time is so incredibly short, a bad condenser may prevent a coil from building up an adequate charge. Causing backfiring possibly.


    I am doubtful the tranny wiring is related, however it is worth checking. Inspect all wires to and from the tranny at both ends. Check for possible grounds that should not be there. The kick-out switch grounds the coil briefly when you are in 4th gear, under 30 mph. Only when he throttle mashed to the floor. The engine cuts out temporarily, very briefly, as the the coil is grounded. Cutting engine power, removing any load off the tranny input pinion. This allows for smooth sliding clutch gear downshift back to 3rd. Be sure to check all wiring related to this system. The 2 wires to the carb are also related to this system. When the throttle is mashed to the floor, the systems knows that as the carb linkage is open fully, activating a switch on the carb.


    There are spinning governor points on the side of the tranny. They activate as ground speed increases. However I would be very surprised to learn how that system could somehow effect your engine power cutting out. This spinning set of points usually causes transmission shift problems.


    Fuel related issues? Maybe. I am doubtful based on your description of the symptoms. What is your fuel line pressure after the pump? A vacuum/fuel pressure dial gauge is a very useful too to have. Ideal for this type of troubleshooting.


    Be sure to update us and let us know what you find. Good luck.


  2. My older son (23 yrs old) earned a 4 year University degree. Then went on further to earn his CPA. (chartered professional accountant). He has no student debt. He worked summers and some part time jobs to pay for his education costs. He's not quite done his formal education, he will be done in 2021. He has zero interest in owning a vintage car. Actually any car. He owns one out of necessity only.  Maybe because he specializes in finances and taxes? I don't know for sure. He has expressed his disgust at the total annual cost of ownership of vehicles. Annual insurance rates here for young drivers is astronomical. Even though he's never had 1 accident, nor one ticket for any driving infraction. He's watches his young friends taking out vehicle loans to pay off expensive new cars and trucks.  The depreciation factors make little sense to him it seems. He drives a 2000 Ford Focus wagon that he paid about $2200 for, over 4 years ago. He'll put on coveralls and maintain it, when he has to. I coach him and assist him too with repairs. We've not done much to the car in 4 years. It's been a pretty good car actually.


    I own two vintage cars. He's not over here very much on the weekends poking around with me on the cars. He enjoys a good cruise with me. However, owning one?  That's a possibility later, when he's perhaps pretty set up financially, and any kids are raised. Maybe. Slim chance I estimate.  He has come over to my garage and torn apart a flathead engine. He showed some interest in learning. He's only one person. I can't speak for his entire generation.


    Sometimes our sons will have social gatherings here. As we have the space. Our son's friends all come over and hang out. Socialize. Have a few drinks.  All of them in that 20-24 year-old range. A few of them always end up in the garage checking out my two vintage cars. They like and appreciate the vintage cars. However there does not appear to be 1 gear head among them.  They are all trying to figure out how to save up enough cash to afford a down payment on mortgage. (yet they drive newer-ish model cars...) Good full time  jobs are hard to land. Some type of financial security seems almost impossible.


    They are young. They will find their way. Cars are not cheap to drive. Not many teens are hot rodding today by comparison to the teens decades ago. High school shop class is gone. Confidence around the tools gone. Maybe a generation grew up maybe seeing that vehicles are just a disposable expense. I wonder how much set back did a program like "Cash for Clunkers" cause?  Get rid of your old car. Buy a new one! It helps the economy!....How many hours of vehicle trouble shooting, repairing, buying tools, and related there at home, ended right here in America? 

  3. Fall is here. The maiden year of my ‘38 is winding up. Its been a fantastic year with so many rewards, and much learning too.  What a fantastic hobby. 

    It took over 1500 miles of driving, listening to,and feeling the road in my car to come up with a name. One day a name just appeared. Marg. After my mother.


    She’s tough. She’s  endured some hard times. She’s not young. Her lines and scars show her experience. They both get a second look once in a while. From Seniors mainly. Lol!   She shall not be fully restored. She shall be maintained. She shall cruise with determination. For every mark shows her depth. With respect, Marg will cruise on. She’s high in miles but she ain’t rolled over yet.  Marg it is. Like my Mother. 

    Today Marg was out rustling some leaves. Fall is in full bloom yet again. 82 falls have passed in her rear view mirror. Perhaps 82 more will some day. 






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  4. As the weather cools and winter approaches here in Canada, I put my cars in the garage. I don't heat the garage, but they are enclosed and safe from all the elements.


    The cars are not totally dead. Just not easily drivable. I fire them up when the weather is decent. I back them out of the garage. One car has year round insurance on it. I'll take it out for a brief drive if there is no snow, and the streets are clean and dry.  The other car, although not legal, I will probably go around the block here in my rural area once in a while. 


    I rotate one 6V battery tender between the two cars. It goes on one car battery for about 2-3 weeks. Then onto the other. I repeat the process all winter. I fire the cars up probably every 4 weeks and roll them around in and out of the garage at the least, when the snow is all over the roads. I let the engines fully warm up.  I work the brakes. Old wheel cylinders tend to develop leaks if they sit un-moving for long periods. I like to get the tires rotated too. So the bulging tire part sitting on the shop floor gets a break.  I'll change the engine oil and filter at some point over the winter too. 


    I guess my cars sorta semi-hibernate. I like to keep the cars somewhat moveable all winter.  In my experience when these old cars sit, they start to degrade.  At least some system or other in the car is degrading. The more miles I put on my old '38, the more reliable it is. I'll use that ideology as my guide through the cold Canadian winter.

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  5. I read a pretty good book detailing the Great Race. The Thomas pretty much dominated the entire race. I enjoyed the read. It was an incomprehensible feat for its time. Amazing what those people and cars endured.  The high water in Mongolia sounded unbelievable. Yet some how, by determination, hard work and a lot of luck too, they rounded the world. 

    I went to the museum in Reno last year. I soaked up the sight of the Thomas. I am so glad I had read the book and had some idea what it went through.  I’d wager countless people walk by, glance and carry on. Not having any idea of what this car went through.  A brief story is not enough to really understand. It truly has important historical significance in time. 

    Here I am with the Flyer. April 2019. In Reno. 






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  6. Hi folks, a contact of mine saw this thread and asked for a little help posting here. His car has a significant history in British Columbia.


    This Canadian built 1911 McLaughlin Model 33 Touring car was the first automobile in Ashcroft in 1911.

    The original owner  Issac (Ike) Leeman was  Blacksmith and an undertaker in Ashcroft.  At that time Ashcroft was a major hub in the interior of British Columbia.
    When Ike passed, the car was sold to the Burr family in the area. The car remained in the Lillooet and Hat Creek areas of BC for several years . In the early 1940's plans were slated to chop up the car to use its engine for a water pump. Charlie Bond from Clearwater BC learned about this. He traded a stationary engine  for the McLaughlin and become the new owner . When Charlie passed in 1988 or 89, his family requested Ed Shaw from Kamloops BC to restore the car.   Local Kamloops resident Gerry Wallin leaned of the 1911 McLaughlin that Ed was restoring. The car was registered to go to Barrett Jackson in Arizona USA. Soon to be auctioned. When Gerry learned about this, and the car's history, he  wanted to keep the car in Canada. Especially in the BC interior area. Jerry was able to secure the car purchasing it from Ed Shaw in 1990. 
    Today Gerry still owns maintains  after the car. It's still drivable today.
    The car and Gerry currently reside in Kamloops. Locals here get to enjoy seeing the car when Gerry brings it out to events. I recall the first time I saw it at a local car show a couple of years ago. It's a wonderful living piece of BC history.




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  7. 201 engine? How long is your block? 23”?  Compression test results? 


    More gears may not improve much if engine is low on horsepower. 

    Do you prefer stock? My ‘38 P6     has been fitted with the 25” long engine. A 1954 228 ci Dodge engine. I could go right up to a 265 ci size. It’ll bolt right in.  

    The 228 in my P6 with 4:11 gears cruises well at 50 mph. 3 speed tranny, 3rd is 1:1.  I’m hoping to install a 1949 251 engine. Mainly for improved torque on hills. I’m not really interested in driving faster than 50 mph in my ‘38.  

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  8. @KLF...Thanks for the invite! I was planning on dropping by for a visit last week. With all the smoke I decided to change my plans. I hear you may have an old Mopar or two maybe. I'm certainly interested in all your cars. 


     Looking in the VCC directory, between you and your brother, you could hold your own brass era car show! I'd love to see your Oakland and Model T's too if you still have them. I've never taken a real good look at one up close. You can count on hearing from me at some point. Thanks so much for the offer.


    Harvards...I worked on one many years ago. BCIT Aircraft Maintenance Engineer studies. In a hanger at the airport South Terminal. I was in training. If I recall 1990 or so.


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  9. I am grateful to have lived in a time of excess and a-plenty. We had it all didn’t we. Unlimited opportunity. Guilt free natural resources and carbon output was unknown to practically everyone. 

    Times are indeed changing. My old flatheads are sure not efficient. If an affordable electric conversion was readily available I’d consider it. My ‘38 rarely goes beyond 25 miles from home. An electric powertrain would appear adequate. If the car still appeared stock while driving by, even better.  

    A conversion would have to be $10K or less, and able to be installed here at home myself, to be attractive to me. Perhaps the industry can learn from Henry Ford. Mass production and passed along consumer savings.  Not mass production, meaning manufacturing savings and more profit for the manufacturer. Then charging premium prices to consumers for low quality junk.  This seems to be todays business model for almost everything. 

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  10. Thanks for checking in @PFindlay and @Jeff Perkins / Mn.  I am glad Jeff  to hear that you might pick up a little thing or two from my little chronicles.  These comments from you and many others are what help motivate me.  I do like the idea of maybe teaching a new younger generation a few tips to help keep these old cars alive and on the road. Peter, I have used a digital red-dot laser thermometer before. I forgot about that! I will try it on my '38 and take some readings.


    Tonight I was out well past dark in a very rural, country area without any street lighting. No light of any kind. Just my 6V sealed beam round headlights. I had my auxiliary 6V amber fog lights too. Those helped a ton.  I did limit my use of the fog lights, thinking about the poor old generator trying to keep up. I took a rural winding dirt road. I was alone and and met no other vehicles. It could have easily been 1938. It was a fantastic feeling. The only thing missing was for an old AM radio playing with a song from the period.  Bias-ply skinny tires. The gravel rolling under them.  Strong arm steering. The car was purring so very nicely and quiet! I had the heater blower on, man that thing will cook you right out of the car.  30 mph seems fast in the black dark, with limited headlight power on a twisty gravel road. A great trip I won't soon forget.


    My window defroster performance varies. It depends on what other high amp draws are pulling power. When the head lights are on hi-beam, fog lights on, dash lights on, the blower is not moving a ton of air. Even on the high fan setting. If I turn off the fog lamps, dash lamps, and headlights on low-beam only, then the old 6V blower motor really puts out. Then there is plenty of air up at the windshield. The blower sort of reminds me of the vacuum wipers... Intermittent performance at best, depending on engine vacuum. Lol. Ya gotta love these old cars and their quirks.






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  11. For me it began with a green Mopar when I was 16. A 1976 Dodge Dart. Life carried on. While I was busy raising a family and paying the bills, I liked all sorts of cars. I knew I wanted to get into the old car hobby when the time was right. Fast forward thirty years. Today I own 2 old green Mopars.  I'm inquisitive and want to learn. I'm frugal and like to save money. I am determined to do my own repairs and maintenance. I like teaching others and passing along knowledge. I like meeting and associating with people who are into the old car hobby. My old green Mopars check off a lot of the boxes for me. The green ones seem to find me. I'd surely enjoy a different color Mopar some day.







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  12. I have added fuses where I can, to some electrical circuits in my old Mopar. It is positive ground, 6V. It's starts so well, you'd never know it was 6V. I often ask myself why would anyone care to convert these wonderful cars to 12V? 6V is just dandy for a lower compression, low RPM, long stroke, flathead 6 cylinder car.


    Getting back to fuses: I added a fuse for the horn, and 1 fuse for each headlight circuit. Both hi and low beam circuits each get their own relays and fuses. My accessory fog lights and cab heater blower motor also have their own fuses. All of these items have high amp draw needs. I have up-sized the wires in all of these circuits, and added fuses give me peace of mind.


    For the sake of simplicity, I'll use this explanation for easy understanding of the car's DC voltage electrical system:


    All items that require electricity to work, need to be part of a controlled, looped system. A wire must come from one battery post, the electricity will carry along that wire, protected and controlled, to the object that needs it. For example a headlight. The electricity must travel through the head light, to make it light up brightly. Then the electricity must carry-on, on a controlled path back to the other opposite battery post.  This simple loop is called a circuit. If the loop is somehow broken, the electricity cannot flow through it. If the electricity can escape the controlled path that it is supposed to go, it could take a short-cut, skip the work at the headlight, and run back to the other battery post, without doing what you asked it to do.


    In a car such as your old Mopar the entire frame and chassis of the car, is connected to the positive post of the battery. The frame and body are all metal. Metal is an extremely good conductor of electricity. Look and you'll see a battery cable connected to the engine block maybe, or a tranny bolt possibly. We call this "Ground". It's not really ground, it's just the part of the circuit that uses the metal body and frame, to be the return path back to the battery. The car frame/body can complete the electricity loop back to the battery.


    Going back to the example of the headlight; instead of running a return wire from the output side of the headlight bulb filament all the way back to the positive side of the battery post, we can just connect that wire to a metal part fo the body or frame. To review, the electricity flows from the negative battery post via a wire, to the headlight, the light glows bright, then the electricity connects to the metal body/frame. The electricity travels back to the positive battery post via the metal frame. The circuit is completed. The headlight works and you're happy. It's that simple. However they add switches, ammeters, and fuses, circuits are joined and stacked, and lots more.  It can appear confusing. Break it all down, the basic circuits still act like my simple explanation above.


    When things go awry, it is often when the controlled path for the electricity is compromised. Assume a wire heading from the negative battery post, to a headlight is old and crusty. The wire-covering is broken up in areas, the bare wire strands are exposed. Suppose that the bare wire touches the metal frame or body of the car. The electricity quickly, at the speed of light, jumps from the exposed wire to the metal car frame, travelling back to the battery again via the frame. An awful lot of electricity might escape out that exposed wire strand to the frame. So very fast that it will create immense heat. All that heat can cause the wire covering to ignite into a flame. A fire ensues. This often ends very bad.


    Another example: Suppose that the wire exiting the headlamp is bolted to the metal body, the ground path. Suppose the bolt that secures the ground wire gets rusty. This rust impedes electricity flow. The amount of electricity returning back to the battery hits a bottle-neck here. It slows down. Your headlamp becomes dim. Not very bright at all and useless in the dark. You'll hear many people here tell you to clean up your grounds.  This is what they mean. Remove all rust and any paint that may be between the ground wire fastener and the frame or body. A nice clean metal to metal contact here would be considered a good ground. Ensure the fasteners anchoring any ground wires are tight. The use of lock washer, nylock or stover nuts is a good practice. Stainless steel is fantastic, as it will not rust.


    Reviewing your original post above, you are having trouble with your brake light and turn signals. A schematic will help you trace out these wires. Follow them from a battery source to the brake/turn light, then to ground. The electricity supply wires will connect to a switch and or flashers of different types. A digital multi-meter (DMM) is extremely useful here.  You can put one end on a good metal part of the car. Then trace wires to ground. Learn which wires are not supposed to go to ground. Test them with respect to ground. Check for 6V DC at various points and connectors along the circuit. When a lamp is on, hook up your DMM set to DC voltage. Is the 6V moving along as it should past all the various connections and switches? Remember that in a single wire lighting circuit, when a bulb is installed and all wiring is normal, a wire going to a brake/turn lamp bulb is connected to ground all the time. A switch in the circuit stops the electricity flow. When the switch is turned on the electricity flows freely to the bulb and on to ground. Consider pulling the bulb, breaking the electricity connection to ground, then using your DMM test the wire before the bulb. Check your schematic, it probably should not be going to ground. If it does you likely have a problem. The wire exiting the lamp socket should indeed be connected to ground. Check all your grounds, clean them. Pull your bulbs. Are they 6V? Often previous owners install 12V bulbs in a pinch. Look at your bulb contact points, and the contacts in the socket? All clean? good contact? How's the old cloth wiring? Is it protecting the wire core adequately all along its path.


    I too am confused by the statement made in a earlier post:" A positive ground car won't catch fire if a bare wire in the harness contacts the body unless you have run grounds. It is a safety feature if your wire insulation is only cloth." My explanation above, does not jive with this statement. 




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  13. It is sad to read about your situations down there in the US right now. I too live in a rural interface zone between the forest my residential areas. We have removed bushes and trees close to the house. Our home’s exterior is entirely covered in stucco. The roof is all clay baked tiles. I am hopeful these things will help make a difference someday, if needed. 

    The thought of deciding what to take or leave behind is torture. A lifetime of memories and possessions. Alas if we have our health, our loved ones and Our friends we can pick up the pieces and rebuild. I tell myself its all just “Stuff”. Yet I know i’d be heartbroken to lose 95% of it all to a wildfire. 

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  14. 10 hours ago, PFindlay said:

    It ended up here and has added to its B.C. history through numerous other appearances including to transport Prince Charles and Princess Diana for Expo 86 in Vancouver.


    That is interesting to learn. I was 15 and I was present in 1986. Inside BC Place. I watched Prince Charles and Lady Diana parade around in that burgundy convertible.  

  15. I’ll add another car I know of. 
    Here locally in Kamloops. 

    The Fuoco family have deep roots in Kamloops. In 1913 three Fuoco brothers arrived in Kamloops. Immigrants from Italy.  This 1928 Dodge Bros Standard Six was owned by one of the Fuoco family members.  They started up the “Modern Bakery” here. We suspect the car was possibly used for deliveries. There is a brass bell on the front that rings with the push of a button on the dash. 

    By the year 2017 the Dodge was well under its way to returning to nature. Rotting away in an old Fuoco family member’s garage. There was nobody in the family capable nor particularly interested in fixing up the old Dodge. The family decided to donate it to the Vintage Car Club of Canada, Kamloops chapter. I happen to be a member. We organized several work bees and fixed up the car.  

    Today we drive it in parades and take it to local shows.  I volunteer to drive it often.  It’s quite a fun car to drive. We like to get it out and let the Kamloops people see and touch a part of Kamloops’ automotive history. 


    Made in Canada. 1928 Dodge Brother Standard Six. 




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  16. A D8 can be extremely expensive to purchase, maintain and use. The big old ones of the 60's & 70's might be attractive to buy, but may likely be the cheapest part of ownership. Unless you are a heavy duty mechanic and have a second one for spare parts! A fire barrier is not a bad idea though. Perhaps hiring a contractor who owns a D8 and have him built a fire barrier around the outer edge of your properly, could be more cost effective and less headache in the long run? I've also seen a large very green manicured lawn divert a fire. 

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