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Bryan G

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Everything posted by Bryan G

  1. I used to do a lot of work with a guy who worked on 70's-80s Mercedes. We were talking one day, maybe I asked him about the distinctive smell, and he told me the seats were stuffed with horse hair.
  2. Maybe the manager of one of those truck stops wants to make a quick $200?
  3. This brings up fond memories of two trucks: an old fellow in the neighborhood had one painted gray which he drove daily until cancer got him in the mid-90s. His widow sold it to a neighbor who promptly stuck it in his backyard and threw a blue tarp over it. And it's still there And back in '90 I had a '78 stepside Ford painted that same color. If I could have kept it running I'd still be driving it today.
  4. There was an effort to require all new buildings in our rural county to have sprinkler systems but it met with fierce opposition as the cost would have added so much, especially since most areas are on wells. But, oh, when it's needed. I've seen some modern commercial properties on city water burn to the ground and scratched my head as to why they didn't have sprinklers. One was a Family Dollar store, kids playing with Bic lighters and rubbing alcohol or some such and that whole place went up. I learned the value of a lightning rod just a few weeks ago. My wife & I were driving along during a brutal storm when, right in front of us, a church steeple was struck. Even caught it on the dash cam! I don't know if they suffered an electrical issues but as we drove by that rod on top that I never noticed before? Standing proud. Certainly a devastating fire here, much like losing some family members. A fellow I know lost several vehicles to a fire and one of them had been his fathers. He was a tough guy but he shed a tear when he walked up.
  5. A memorable one I'd forgotten about: there was an old man who went around picking up aluminum cans; into the early 80s he drove a 50s Jeep pickup. At some point the fuel pump had given out so he had bolted a fuel tank to the roof and used gravity. I believe he eventually had enough money saved up from cans that he bought something new (but a lot less memorable.) (There was another old fellow, a real hard worker, who would come around buying junk radiators. He lived in the country and just kept piling them up. Around '97 or so he sold the pile and had enough to buy a plain-Jane F150.) Dad hunted on the property of a farmer who won a new GMC in a carnival raffle around '76. He drove it until there was almost nothing left...then won a new Dakota in another raffle! In elementary school someone, I think a lunch lady, drove a Corvair (this was c.1980). I don't recall ever seeing another growing up. A rather staid teacher drove a burnt orange 240Z, later replaced with a white 280z. This was then replaced with a plain-Jane white Dodge 4x4 pickup, which I never could figure out. There was a band teacher who came a couple days a week and always parked right up next to the back door; we had to walk right past it to get to the playground. The car? An early 50s Chevrolet Deluxe. I was in love with that car, and it really planted a seed with me.
  6. That old electronics cleaner that Glenn described is the good stuff, with real Freon propellant and some other stuff they won't put in cans anymore! I've been tracing gremlins in my 49 Chrysler recently; a wrong bulb can also mess up those circuits. The left footwell light, if the same as mine, is an old-style dual-element headlight bulb (1110 as I recall). A single element bulb in there will cause a back feed when the door is opened and both lamps will blink (as I learned.) A lot of these parts just benefit from being used.
  7. Do a Google search for a particular classic car for sale, say, "1949 Super Six Coupe" and by the time you get to about page 3 or 4 it seems to be an endless series of websites you've never heard of, the ones Flivverking described. Every time I've listed something for sale I've received texts, emails or phone calls from such characters. One guy I talked to seemed like a regular guy; in his case he was looking for $65 to list it on his site, a lot better deal if you insist on tossing some money away! I wonder, too, about certain dealers I see listed on some of the popular sites and the dealer is in Michigan or Indiana but he car is always listed as being in New Mexico or Arkansas and still in possession of the owner.
  8. Let's see, what was up and down the dirt road we lived on in the seventies? Dad had owned a '66 Impala SS with a built 396/4 spd. that he drag raced. He pledged that if he lost a race he'd trade it in; the next owner totaled it within a week. Dad, growing up, traded into a '68 C-10 with a six. When I came along he'd traded into a new '72 El Camino, butternut yellow with a black vinyl top. Mom had a white Torino that Dad painted baby blue as a surprise; the joke was on him as she hated that color. He noticed that they didn't hold up well in bad wrecks so he jumped at a deal to buy a nearly new '73 Grand Marquis Brougham, probably the best family car we owned. It was burnt orange but he couldn't help himself and eventually painted it white. Later there would be a mid-70s Country Squire and a Ford Courier in the driveway, along with a '66 Impala SS convertible that looked nice but Dad would never drive because the transmission was on its last legs. My grandfather, just down the road, had a 67 or so C-10 stepside with a six/3 spd. Fond memories of me standing on the seat between him and my father as they drove around. Later he traded up to another six/3 spd Chevy, c.1976. After my grandmother died he remarried; she had a '72 Impala 2dr that was as pretty as you've seen. When she likewise passed away he didn't want to fool around getting a title so sold it for scrap. The neighbors to the south tended to have an eclectic mix, ranging from a 70s Chevy van to a 70s Wagoneer, an IH pickup and a '66 F-100 4wd. The plumber across the street had a fleet of late model Chevy trucks and always a late model Monte Carlo. When the kids got their licenses the oldest nearly ran me over in his primer-red Camaro; the girl had a Mustang II as I recall. There was an old man up the road with a mint green Hornet. One day he failed at making a U-turn and backed into the deep ditch in our front yard. Fun to watch. The farmer on the other side of us had an F-100 identical to the one Uncle Jess drove on the Dukes of Hazzard. There was a guy down at the end of the road who died before I got to know him; he had 3 2-door garages, all full of something special but I don't know what! I only remember his first generation Bronco. An older lady had a 75ish Impala; another old farmer had a 69 Delta 88 that was his pride and joy, but so rusted out when he died that the family junked it. My aunt around the bend had a Monte Carlo while my uncle had an El Camino.
  9. Some of the Mopars around that time frame have the starter relay grounded through the armature so that they couldn't be cranked while the engine is running. As it was explained to me, this also serves to automatically polarize the generator.
  10. I started collecting old radios and TV sets when I was a teenager. I don't know, I just always liked them and gradually I learned how to make most of them work. They can often be had very cheap, especially "distressed" examples, and especially at auctions. Essentially I began operating a mission for homeless electronics...and none ever left. Whatever space I had available became filled. Once I totally ran out of space I stopped, but as soon as more space became available I bought again. At the peak I probably had 600-700 radios and 120 TV sets. Many I bought simply on the theory that if I didn't, nobody else would (great logic, eh?) I had them stacked like cordwood in the attic and a 10x20 shed packed so tight the doors would barely close. And then... One day a switch went off. It helped that the small business I owned was failing thanks to the Great Recession. I started selling stuff and found I obtained as much joy from seeing it go as I had in acquiring it. I still have a collection but it's much more manageable, and I'm still working on getting rid of inventory. It's a slipper slope. My wife feels I'm much worse than I would admit. It can happen with all sorts of things. I've seen it with old books, 8-track tapes, wringer washing machines, one guy I know spends thousands a month on old advertising pieces. He does sell some but much of it seems to go in a black hole. I'm not sure that I've seen it with cars and trucks firsthand although there have been some "collections" locally that I feel bordered on hoards. With vehicles I'd say if it isn't seeing use for years at a time, or isn't in active restoration (as in something actually being done to it at least every month or two), and you have several that fit this description, there might be cause for a raised eyebrow.
  11. Quite a rare piece; I'd be very happy if it were to stay exactly like it is right now. Glad to hear it found someone who cares about it.
  12. I followed up behind someone this week who was hired to check out a car; I reviewed the photos they provided. "Oh, look, a scratch! I'd better take 11 photos of that!" Meanwhile, the lower control arm is bent nearly to the point of breaking and the K-frame is pushed back. Ah, but, the inspector doesn't know what a control arm is, let alone a K-frame. I sold a car a few years ago that needed a lot of work and I represented it that way. The best inspections I watched were conducted by good friends of the potential buyer. Both found legitimate issues that I didn't know about despite owning and driving that car for decades.
  13. When I went to change the oil in my old Chrysler for the first time I found the last guy to turn that wrench simply left the oil filter out. Black oil but not driven enough to sludge up too much.
  14. The "Classic Car" category in the local shopper has regularly had some 21st century cars/trucks for a year or two, mostly trucks and Vettes; most weeks now there are more 90's vehicles than 60's ($26k for a 'mint' garage kept '94 2wd Chevrolet pickup?) Yes, yet another generation of teenage farm boys (and girls) will come along and fix up old trucks; "tuners" will fix up Hondas & Volkswagens, same as it has been. But, an Equinox or Escape? I don't know, sometimes I get surprised, like the guy I saw early this week with a giant vinyl graphic covering the sides of his Ford, "EDGE", and he had loud exhaust on it. Can't really predict all these things.
  15. I sell a bit on eBay, and recently have been buying a lot of parts for my latest automotive project. I really haven't had any trouble with the post office at all, aside from some tracking being haywire. Numerous purchases I made in recent weeks beat the eBay estimated date of arrival by several days. A common issue lately is with packages which are shipped as far as our town via UPS or FedEx, then delivered by the post office. This seems to confuse the tracking systems. We've had the most trouble out of FedEx as they use independent contractors to do most of the deliveries (around here, anyway) and they aren't real customer service oriented compared to our regular UPS and postman.
  16. Another suggestion: find a used car dealer in the state that specializes in classic cars. They should have the answer you need.
  17. Ha! Hopefully the made some improvements with the '49 redesign as that is what I have, and my new MC is sitting on the bench waiting for me to install it. I'm preparing to pull the access panel from the floor (always got to be one bolt that gives trouble...) One thought I had: someone must have told the engineers, "this car ABSOLUTELY cannot be one inch longer!" Why else would they have spaced the crank pulley so close to the crossmember and radiator? Great cars, though!
  18. I ordered some piston rings for a flathead Chrysler & was told the factory was in the process of moving from the US to Mexico when Covid hit, and they still aren't up to speed. I found some NOS. Like 39BuickEight, I'm in auto claims and occasionally get asked to research some part that's at zero stock. One thing when you can't find something for that restoration project, much different when you're daily driver is out of commission and you're watching your maximum rental days approach.
  19. Assuming you have the title that was signed over by the previous owner? It would be all you need in many states; where I live (MD) nobody from the state would ever look at the car. I could get a title for a car that no longer exists, walk into to the DMV and as long as I had insurance I could get tags & title. So the Plymouth isn't "worthless", maybe just to someone in Louisiana! But there has to be some way of dealing with this. I'd start by looking up an independent tag & title agency in your state and seeing what they have to say. Otherwise, someone at the DMV knows a way to get around this.
  20. Personally I appreciate a magazine that's as well-rounded as our hobby. To me an all-Chevy issue is as boring as an all-British special. It's not that I'm against some of either, I just want more variety. I especially enjoy reading about the various oddballs out there. As others have said, what else can you write about a tri-five Chevy? Find a survivor first-generation Vega (if you can!) and that would hold my attention. We go camping once a month and I keep a stack of 80s/90s Cars and Parts stashed in there. I find the articles as good or better than what we get today in HCC, and it's very interesting to read some of the ads. (I really wonder where some of those cars are today?) I do plan on continuing with HCC, at least for now, but it may get to the point where I start skipping over some articles. In the past I've always read it cover-to-cover.
  21. Some folks in our neighborhood ran run for probably a dozen years or more (their second car was a Horizon/Omni). It has to do with your expectations from a car. I dated a girl for many years; early on she saved up and bought her first car, a Chevette (this was around '92.) It really was the perfect car for her as it was cheap to buy, actually reliable, and economical. She didn't keep it long and spent the rest of our time together going from one back-lot buy-here/pay-here special to another, and none could be trusted. There actually used to be a repair shop near here called "The Chevette Shop" that worked on nothing else. Talk of the diesel model had me thinking of a friend with a background as a diesel mechanic. His daily driver is an old Chevy pickup with the 6.2; for many years his wife drove a diesel Escort, the only one I've ever seen. I suspect he still has it, long parked.
  22. I just wrapped this up on my '49 Chrysler 8. It's worth it to pull the head; nearly all of my exhaust valves were so stuck I honestly don't know how they ever would have broke loose by soaking. (How could you get that much solvent down there without it all draining down the manifold?) I ended up going a step further and doing a ring job; over half of the top rings were stuck tight even after months of soaking in various concoctions. By the way, I'd never personally taken anything apart on an engine prior to this. A great learning experience!
  23. We have a motorhome; one day, just 45 minutes from home, we had 2 flats. I called my regular insurance company which offers roadside assistance but I learned they're really not prepared for something like this. None of the tire shops in the area had anyone available (it was a Saturday morning) so they finally sent some poor tow company from 40 minutes away. The guy barely spoke English and instantly realized he was in over his head (didn't even have a lug wrench big enough.) Wasted a couple hours on that endeavor, before finally finding a one-man truck tire guy who happened to be hanging out at his shop and answered the phone. I work for my insurance company I just couldn't suggest them for motorhome roadside assistance. Once I worked for a repair shop with a tow truck, more or less a sideline. We would get lots of calls from desperate auto club/insurance tow plans trying to find anyone, ANYONE, who could help them. It was often hard to believe we were the closest available as the tow was often 30-40 miles away, but nobody said yes so they just kept trying.
  24. I'm kind of impressed they carried one large enough for that wheel. Guess they must flex a lot to be "one-size-fits-all".
  25. Solved; my am I embarrassed...and perplexed. Naturally I check the oil level regularly, and when the pressure started acting strange I checked it right away...yep, just fine, about 3/4 quart low (because 3 cups sounds funny when it comes to motor oil!) I checked again a few days ago and it hadn't moved. Yes, same dipstick as always, ever reliable. Same dipstick since some fellow at Rouge stuck it in there. Never an issue in the 10 years or so I've owned the car. Tonight I changed the oil. The dipstick lied. I have no idea how. I drained an astonishing amount of oil out, less than 2 quarts. Ouch. How could I do this? After the change I fired it up and the pressure was normal, of course. Fast idle was nearly 40lbs on the gauge. Hopefully this tough old 6 is no worse for the wear. Checked the dipstick after she cooled down, yep, right on the money. From now one I'll check it constantly and keep it topped off. I have to relate another time a dipstick lied to me; I can't explain that one, either. Someone gave me an old boat with a Mercruiser inboard/outboard, basically a Pontiac Iron Duke. I went to change the oil but didn't know how much it would take so I went to the store and bought 5 quarts and a filter. After dumping it all in I pulled the stick: nary a drop! Back to the store, dumped it in, still nothing! I figured, well, they build marine stuff extra-tough so I guess it has a lot more capacity. "Full" didn't come until I dumped in the TENTH quart. I fired it up and in a minute it started running funny and oil actually started coming out of the breather (on the carb!) Guess it overwhelmed the PCV. I let it cool down and when I pulled the dipstick the level was now almost up to the handle. But, where was it hiding before? Still haven't figured that one out. Now you fellas know why my wife won't let me work on her new cars!
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