JamesR

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  1. JamesR

    electrical thoughts

    As I recall, you have an old 50 Plymouth. I had a 50 Plymouth, too, and it had the 6 volt system, a positive ground, old deteriorating cloth insulation...and very few fuses. The things I just mentioned are limitations, pretty much. The people at Ron Francis wiring have helped me out a lot (google them to get contact info.) I'm rewiring on old 6 volt Ford and their advice has been helpful...but it can be a challenge to connect with customer service. I'd take their advice if your wiring is original to the car.
  2. Wow, I had A '63 Dynamic 88, and the service manual for both the full sized car and the smaller F-85 were all in one giant, hard to use volume. Looks like Olds wised up for the following year.
  3. Here's a couple of photos from shortly after I refurbished my Ranch Wagon. I scanned the pictures from prints, so they're scratchy. The kids are wearing their Halloween costumes in the summer...don't ask why. They are now driving age, but currently don't have much interest in old cars. It still may happen, though. And I'm proud of them.
  4. JamesR

    Lottery winnings

    I have to be honest - I probably wouldn't buy a car that's too nice - or valuable - to drive. I know some people like Jay Leno drive their million dollar old cars around town, and that's great, but I could never do that, even if I was rich enough to do so. Even with my drivers I get a little anxious about other motorists. If I had a vintage perfect Rolls Royce with a $300,000 restoration I'd be thinking don't run into me lady all the time. The most beautiful car ever IMO is the Maserati A6GCS Berlinetta coupe, but I'd never want to own one. They're worth millions and too valuable. I'll stick with old post war Fords and Chryslers.
  5. JamesR

    Acura tl 2006 repair estimate

    With the brand new or nearly new cars we've purchased in the last 25 years, the general rule was that a fairly extensive/comprehensive maintenance package was scheduled (and genuinely needed) at about 100,000 miles. The aggregate cost was anywhere from $1200 to $2000. This was true of the Chevy S-10, the Chrysler Ton and Country and Subaru Legacy we owned, and a few other cars that we bought with less than 100,000 miles (something to consider when shopping for modern "lower mileage" used cars of 80 or 90 k.) Acura may have that maintenance package scheduled at 50k rather than 100k, but that does kind of seem early compared to other brands. But I don't know about Acura...just giving my experience for comparison. Yes, this seems expensive, but it's in lieu of the regular lower cost maintenance that cars used to need much more often than 100,000 miles. For example, when I started driving, plugs were needed every 10,000, and plug wires maybe every 20 or 30k. Also, brakes seem to last a lot longer now than they did in the past. I'm told the reason plugs and wires cost so much today is because changing them is labor intensive due to lack of accessibility due to smaller and more complicated designs. Don't know if it's true or not, but that's what they say. When all is said and done, it seems like the second mechanic you talked to was more correct than the first, given the mileage on the car, but you should do more research, and really at an Acura forum. Good luck.
  6. The taxpayers lost $10.5 billion because of those loans and GM survived because of these loans. Whoever's fault that was, it's not hard to figure out who got the better of that deal. GM has to make a profit. That's the way business works. On the other hand, if their business decisions are perceived as cold, impersonal and devoid of loyalty by the public, then the consumers' buying decisions of American vs. Japanese may be the same. I've read that one of the corporate cultural differences between American and Japanese car makers is that the Americans are more mercenary, with top executives migrating to the competition if the pay is good enough. OTOH, Japanese executives tend to be more loyal to one company. Some American car buyers admire that. The Japanese have a few plants in Mexico, too, but, according to this article, the "most made in America cars" are the Toyota Camry and the Honda Accord. https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/cars/2016/09/16/made-in-usa-ford-fiat-chrysler-cars/90484950/
  7. It seems to me that labor unions performed a valuable function for a long time in the US, then they got hijacked with the wrong philosophy: the workers always benefit even if the company suffers catastrophic failure. I believe that Studebaker produced nowhere near as many cars as Ford or ever had the profit, but still paid higher wages because they couldn't negotiate with the unions like Ford could. As I understand it, this helped Studebaker go under (among other things.) Of course, there's always another side to everything. I don't know what GM will be paying it's Mexican employees, but many companies have plants in Mexico, and BMW is among them. I've read that the BMW plant and some other company's plant (Ford maybe?) pay their line workers under $3 per hour, and they have a cap on the pay of not much more than that. The cap is part of an agreement that got them to build their plant in Mexico in the first place. So a person in Mexico can work at the BMW plant for $3 per hour (again, as line workers)...or migrate (legally or otherwise) to the US and work as a janitor or in fast food for $10...or more. The popularity of Mexican plants among manufacturers is only partially derived from the low labor cost. Mexico's other attractive feature is that it's right next door to the richest consumer nation on earth. So a pertinent question is, "what does a corporation that received a lifesaving 13.4 billion bailout loan (and an additional 5 billion for GMAC) from the American taxpayer just ten years ago owe the American worker today?" That's kind of a moral question, but I suspect that GM isn't viewing it as such. It's a complicated dilemma. They can't pay the kind benefits they are, but they still owe something to America. I understand this is a Canadian plant, but if they're also closing plants in the US, the argument still applies.
  8. JamesR

    1966 VIP. What's it worth? Selling!

    Nice car. Sorry I have nothing specific to offer on it's value, but it seems to me that old cars advertised online (with national exposure) without titles go for a fraction of what cars with a genuine title go for. If you're going to sell it locally/regionally on Craigslist...no big deal for Oklahoma buyers. Without a title, Nebraska buyers and some other nearby states will avoid that car like the plague. Glad you're waiting for the title. Good luck with the sale.
  9. JamesR

    1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore

    Thanks for the info. Very helpful.
  10. JamesR

    Museum cars?

    We were at the Smithsonian in DC a couple of years ago, and I wasn't that impressed by the automotive related stuff. It's a wonderful place, but cars really don't seem to be what they do. They were a part of static displays and certainly not run. That's fine for old airplanes - which have stress and safety issues - but old cars could at least be started. The problem is, places like the Smithsonian can't have vehicles with tanks full of gas in buildings frequented by tourists, let alone ventilation for running vehicles. That's where we, the small time collectors or restorers, come in. We can keep one or two old cars in good structural, cosmetic and running condition while the big places can't. We serve an important function. There's a car museum off the interstate in a neighboring state, and I enjoy visiting the place, but they have scores of old vehicles in shelters that have no walls in some cases. Only roofs. Makes me cringe a bit, but it's a family owned place and I guess they can't afford to keep every car in the best possible condition. They have a select couple of dozen or so that they maintain and store properly.
  11. JamesR

    1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore

    Okay, I plead ignorance on my own car. I was confusing it with the '63 Olds I sold a couple of years ago. It had a vacuum reserve tank. I looked and couldn't find one anywhere in the engine bay of my Mercury. I have the same type of vacuum power brake booster that was in that other Monterey convertible I posted pics of, and like that car, there seems to be no obvious vacuum tank. Maybe it's somewhere else(?) If anyone else knows, please let me know. Sorry for the lack of cleanliness in my engine bay. I will clean it up. That's on my list. I put an aluminum radiator in the car - it's only non original component along with radial tires - and haven't had time to mess with other stuff. (I'm also rewiring a different car and I bought a T Bird.) I did include another pic to give an indication of the overall condition of the car. It has 54,000 original miles. It's got a 352 and a two speed auto transmission. Oh, another non original item I have is a small tach so I could see how many RPM's my two speed is making my engine rev at highway speeds. Paint and interior are original, as is chrome. You might be able to tell from the photo that my interior upholstery still has the tight fighting clear plastic covers over the seats that came from the dealer when new. It's kept them in excellent shape. There is a sizable bumper ding and small piece of missing trim on the other side.
  12. JamesR

    1954 Dodge Royal Coupe with 9,872 miles

    I just want to say congratulations on acquiring the new old Dodge, and thanks for posting the pic of the nice old Jag. You obviously know what nice old cars are all about, so I'm sure the Dodge lives up to your assessment. NAPA won't have the hood spring. Why do you need another one? If it's because of corrosion, then be cautious of corrosion elsewhere, as others have said. The internet and ebay are the best bet for a lot of the parts you mentioned. On the other hand, NAPA has often surprised me for what they've had in stock that will work on my '54 Ford Ranch Wagon.
  13. JamesR

    1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore

    I do have power brakes, and I'm sure my car has a vacuum reserve tank, but not in that configuration. The car's in storage, but if I get a chance, I'll take a picture of what I've got and post it. I hate to admit it, but I can't exactly remember what the tank looks like.🙄 Hemmings won't let me post the exact picture, but here's a '61 Monterey that also doesn't have the tank. (Go to the engine bay pic.) Wish I could remember how mine's set up. I'm guessing Meteors maybe had a slightly different system, or maybe they sourced units from different suppliers during the model year. That's been the case for different parts on other cars I've owned. And of course, despite my car's originality, it may have an aftermarket replacement. https://www.hemmings.com/blog/2018/12/29/hemmings-find-of-the-day-1961-mercury-monterey/
  14. JamesR

    1961 Mercury Meteor 800 restore

    The car really is turning out awesome! I just love the color...the paint job looks fantastic so far. I have a question: What is the rectangular black metal enclosure sitting at an angle in the engine compartment forward of the master cylinder (on the fender well)? My '61 Monterey doesn't have one of those.
  15. JamesR

    Need help identifying car..

    Where's his wife? Aren't you supposed to get one of those when you get married?