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Lawrence Helfand

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About Lawrence Helfand

  • Birthday 05/05/1949

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  1. Glenn and Bob installed a Gear Vendors OD sold with kit for torque tube that I provided them.. Masterfully installed by these gentleman and a wonderful transformation making my 41 Century more flexible for actual real world driving. The torque of the Buick motor is perfectly suited for an OD. My only complaint is how uncomfortable I felt when they handed me the bill as it was not nearly enough money for the install and all the other work I had them do...just crazy inexpensive so an adjustment was in order. Glenn is older then my 70 plus years by a bit and a wealth of knowledge and experience but specialists like him are few and far between and I find frustratingly irreplaceable when they are gone.
  2. My 41 320 Century has never overheated and I do drive it regularly here in Nashville's hot summer. I had the radiator re cored with a modern design core which works better then original. My bypass valve was cleaned and spring refreshed. My lower splash pans are still in place but have considered removing them to reduce heat soar under hood after a drive which leads to elevated temperatures and manifold cracking as well as high fuel evaporation leading to vapor lock. I do not have a pusher fan but did replace my original with one from the Summit catalog which has more blades and moves more air at low speeds and idle. I am lucky to have never needed a block cleaning and attribute that to proper fluids drained dry storage when decommissioned in the 1960's The cooling system design is not flawed and when clean and maintained works fine. Modern cars are designed to sit in traffic on a hot day for hours with the AC going and the sun beating down. They have to and its a rare site to see an overheated car even in the south. Prewar cars are not designed for these conditions but that said should if water jacket is clean and free of debris be able to drive all day long on the highway without issue. Oil water and block will only reach operating temperature and length of trip has no relevance to overheating. My Buick runs a lot cooler then my 49 Ford flat head V8 with its 2 water pumps which did not tolerate sitting for long before the finger tapping of the temp gauge would begin. Even when new our vintage cars could never meet the needs of a modern car and many owners manuals suggest pulling over and cooling down the motor as if overheating is to be expected at times. We have less tolerance for technology imperfection today. If you want a cooler running vintage car get a vintage truck!
  3. The Gear Vendors was about 3400.00 with the torque tube kit which is beautifully engineered and makes for a very straight forward installation. You could do it yourself but welding skills and machine skills are required. It is less of an RPM drop then a BW but as I have a 3.90 in my Century its really perfect without a big gap from 3rd gear. At 65 miles an hour Its turning 2370 rpm a 21 % reduction. Glenn did a perfect job but didn't charge me near enough in my opinion and I happily added to his bill and would have even if it was just the OD install but he also changed out my motor/trans mounts and replaced my pinion/carrier/rear axle bearings and seals and a couple of rubber bushings. Not a young man but you wouldn't know it by his ability to handle a heavy duty job like this was.
  4. I purchased a Gear Vendors overdrive for torque tube installation and had Glenn and Bob install it. As Jay Leno has installed them on his cars with great satisfaction I thought it a good choice especially with some of the issues experienced by Matt Harwood and others with the Borg Warner unit. It is a very robust unit and can handle big horsepower drag racers. It is not inexpensive but worth every penny. The addition of OD is a delight and works beautifully with the torque of the straight eight. It is essentially a fourth gear and makes for a more usable vehicle. My 41 Century is otherwise original and the installation is reversible with a replacement torque tube and shaft. There is no kick down or free wheeling like some ODs. They have a website but I am happy to answer any questions you might have.
  5. Yellow metal? I read about that a few years ago and after finding swirls of metallic color I assumed was bronze in drained oil. I started using GL4/ 140 at that time. That said I started reading feedback about the Redline and how well it worked in worn prewar transmissions and differentials. Redline is recommending its use in vintage cars and with that I thought it was worth trying. I plan to drain a sample out after a couple of hundred miles and check for any evidence of bronze. As I have been a fan of their products since the 1970s I trust they are aware of any issues with syncro material in vintage manual transmissions. I think the GL 5 warning was quite broad and might have more to do with a particular brand of oil. The Redline filled tranny now engages with less effort then anything I have used so I assume that means less friction and wear but this is hardly my area of expertise. I do know that many of the suggestions I have read here are just anecdotal BS passed around forever and accepted as gospel usually starting with My buddy's father was a mechanic and he said..etc. As a longtime mechanic of cars and bikes myself I have learned to do my own research. I will post an update after I sample the oil and hopefully keep on using it.
  6. Over the last six years of ownership I have refined the driving pleasure of my Century by trail and error. One issue I have had is the worn syncros due to poor maintenance decades ago. I found considerable water in the oil I first drained out. The shifting was rather stiff but got better with fresh 90w gear oil. Still was not happy with it especially when its hot. I tried every kind of oil settling on GL4 140 for the last couple of years. I was reading a post here that suggested Redline 75/140 synthetic so I ordered a gallon after reading many reviews and drove around in the 95 degree weather this weekend with the Redline and what a distinct improvement. Hands down the best shifting I have experienced in my 66S. Even in the heat it never got balky. Love it so much I filled my somewhat stiff Moto Guzzi motorcycle tranny and its never shifted better. Highly recommend it. Another fluid related improvement I made that had great results was refilling my shocks with 15 wt motorcycle fork oil. Damping action was greatly improved. Red Line Synthetic Oil. 75W140 NS GL-5 Gear Oil www.redlineoil.com/75w140-ns-gl-5-gear-oil 75W140NS GL-5 Gear Oil Contains extreme pressure additives like our 75W140 GL-5 oil, but lacks friction modifiers to balance slipperiness Popular for historic and vintage transmissions, like Mid-1930s to early-1950s synchro-equipped gearboxes in cars and trucks.
  7. That is really an excellent original steering wheel and would be a shame to have recast as examples needing recasting are cheap and plentiful. It has only few fine cracks. It can be wet sanded and buffed up. I wish mine looked this good. lots of 41 owners would pay the price for one this good. They just never turn up!
  8. Looking for a nice R 16 manual trans for sale Lawrence
  9. I know these..What is the status? for sale? sold? free? thanks Lawrence
  10. Installing new motor mounts made a big difference on my 41 Century. I had a vibration between 40 and 50 that drove me nuts trying to diagnose. The shop manual did attribute motor mounts to vibration problems among other issues and changing them made a huge difference in drivetrain smoothness. I am guessing the majority of vintage Buicks need them replaced. Correct rubber shim is very hard as the 320 and 248 are very heavy motors. Too soft a rubber meant for a lighter V8 for instance will not do the job so getting the correct ones is important. Replacing the rubber yourself is possible but not any rubber will do.
  11. I did mine using an electric potters wheel and a stripping brush. trick is slow rotation and good flowing paint.
  12. Why is it that European cars of the 30's 40's 50's 60's ..are devoid of all the goo ga's found on American cars. I do not include driving or fog lights in the clutter category. European owners leave their autos original and elegant and very very few are even shod with wide white wall tires. No air bagging slamming chopping folding spindling or mutilating or ugly ass oversize wheels. Plenty of go faster performance mods but little else is the hot rod culture there. I think they have a more mature and sophisticated sense of style or what is cool and are generally more respectful of the original design concepts. How many customized American cars are really better then the day they were on the showroom floor?
  13. Never liked bumper ears as they interrupt the body line on my 41 century sedanete and visors for the same reason. such a beautiful form left clean. Spots as well are just clutter. Also find wide whites to be a distraction on about anything but ragtops. Less is more so I leave the gilding to the lillys
  14. http://vintagecarb.com/contact-us.html I purchased mine here both nos for 200 each. They were perfect needing nothing but assembly of auto choke parts still in their envelopes and mounting. great starting and zero stumble even when cold and perfect plug color.
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