Bob Stein

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Bob Stein last won the day on February 13 2017

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About Bob Stein

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  • Birthday 06/16/1954

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    Norfolk VA


  • Biography
    Webmaster and newsletter editor for Tidewater Region. Started out at age 16 with a 1951 Studebaker, and have been messing with old cars ever since. To paraphrase Wil Rodgers, I never met a car I didn't like. Whcih explains both the approximately 130 vehicles owned overall, and the rather eclectic 'collection I now have: 1937 Pontiac, 1949 MG TC, 1951 Studebaker, 1967 Cougar, 1978 MGB-GT, and two Centaur suitcase scooters from the 1960s.

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  1. I recently purchased a 1986 Buick Electra Park Avenue with 54K original miles. The car showed up on Marketplace and looked too good to be true. I wasn't really looking for another car, but have the addiction. It turned out to be even nicer than expected, closer to being a new car than most just a couple of years old. I am trying to collect the car's history now, and sent a letter to the folks who owned the Buick before the guy I bought it from. It is a Fire Red Metallic (1986 color) with deep red velour interior and almost loaded. It has standard air instead of climate control, the analog dash instead of digital, and power seat on only the driver's side. Other than that, the car has most every option available, as evidenced by its original window sticker! The engine bay is very clean, including the insulation mat with the silver 'Buick' lettering. Even the chassis has clean paper tags on the struts. The color is very striking - I do not recall seeing another like it. And it has the unusual rear-opening hood. The car had been converted over to heavy chrome spoke wheels with knockoffs and wide whitewall tires when I bought it, but the Electra's original heels and wire covers came with it. I sold the aftermarket wheels and tires and put on a new set of correct whitewalls. Still a few things to work on, such as the power antenna, dead coach lights, and an occasional high idle. The Buick runs and drives like new for the most part. Looking forward to bringing the car to an AACA meet - with a slight cleanup it will do very well in class judging!
  2. The temperature gauge on my 1937 Pontiac 6 was working perfectly and had for years. Just over a week ago, the car overheated and the gauge stuck at 220. It has the original gauge. I dug around in my parts and found another complete gauge assembly - also stuck at 220. Is there a way to fix these? Has anyone got a recommendation for a shop, or have a good gauge for sale? I do not want to have to install an aftermarket gauge. Thanks! Bob Stein Norfolk VA
  3. I recently sold my 1989 Buick Reatta to a friend who used to be a mechanic at the very dealership the car was sold at. It has had an erratic Code 41 error triggering the Engine Electrical Error signal on the CRT since I bought the car two years ago. I went through the list, replacing the oil pressure sensor twice, the O2 sensor, and the crank and cam shaft sensors as well as the magnet. Sometimes it would go for a day or more with no code, and then other times I'd get the 'ding' - and the error message every five minutes. I had finally given up, since the car never had any issues other than that, and I drove it without problem on a couple of long 250+ mile trips. I saw the buyer at a club meeting last week and he informed me that the culprit had been the Throttle Position Sensor (TPS)! I do not recall that even being on the list of possible causes. The only reason he caught it was he had his separate factory test unit hooked up when it threw the code for the TPS. It did not store the code in the car's computer, but triggered the Engine Electrical Code message. So if you have been fighting an elusive Code 41 error, check out your Throttle Position Sensor!
  4. I just und the center support parts in a box - still need the 4 outer clamps, but I may be able to fabricate them. Very annoying in that I am usually much more careful about keeping small parts bagged and with the main item. The center post has an angled bracket that attached on the cowl at the center of the hood - the original was torn, and I made one that eventually broke as well. I have attached a photo of the car with the visor on, as well as the outer end and the center post assembly. I think I can create what is needed if actual parts cannot be located.
  5. The connectors were clean for both units, and the magnet was situated 90 degrees and seated solidly - I rotated the camshaft fully through to make sure it did not hit anything. The new oil pressure switch (AC/Delco) doesn't appear to fluctuate as much, but still did an occasional leap to 64 psi at steady idle. In any case, the Electrical Control message comes up on the screen occasionally - clears after a few seconds most of the time, and sometimes stays off completely.
  6. The cam and crank sensors are both new, so hopefully they will be OK.
  7. I have most of the parts for the factory external sun visor, but the center support rod assembly that attaches to the cowl at the back of the hood 'V' was bad and came part when I removed the visor painting. That was 12 years ago - can anyone provide photos of the mounting points (side and center) so I can try to duplicate or fabricate the items? Or if yo have the hardware on a parts visor, I would be glad to buy them.
  8. Long-time AACA/TRAACA member Jeff Locke of Chesapeake VA passed away this morning, July 5, 2018, following an extended illness. A familiar face at National Meets and a popular presenter of seminars on classic and antique vehicles at Philadelphia, Jeff had a tremendous knowledge of the automobile hobby. He regularly participated in National Meets both as a judge and showing his own vehicles, ranging from HPOF mopeds to his 1974 Chevrolet Suburban.
  9. A friend with a local shop offered to have his mechanic replace the camshaft and crankshaft sensors in my Reatta to solve an intermittent Engine Electrical Code error (41). When I went to pick it up, it turned out the magnet had fallen out when they pulled the sensor, so now I had a constant Engine Electrical Control error. They had fished out the magnet, but did not have time to pull the front of the engine to install the new magnet. I used the recommended shortcut method this past weekend and it worked great - 20 minutes and I am back to the intermittent code. Frustrating, since I have replaced (in order) the oil sending unit, O2 sensor, crankshaft sensor, camshaft sensor, and the magnet. However, while sitting at a light, I turned on the gauges and saw the oil pressure jump from 42 psi to 67 psi and back at a steady 900 RPM idle. So the new oil pressure sensor must have been defective. I have an AC/Delco unit on the way and am hoping that will finally clear the issue.
  10. Thank you for the well-thought-out and informative reply. A lot of work and forethought went into the email.
  11. I used my Reatta during recent snow as it is my best bad-weather car. However, the driver's side door molding, which had been removed for a repaint, had never been reattached tot he center clips and would wiggle in the center. The bad weather turned out to be too much for the end stud, and one broke off. I was able to save the molding, and reattached this past weekend using 3M molding tape and weather-strip adhesive. First thing was cleaning and compounding the painted surface to remove all debris and loose paint, then a wipedown with brake cleaner for the body and molding attaching surface.. I put the thin molding tape on the top and bottom mounting strips, allowing an extra several inches to hang out past the front, and ran a thick bead of weatherstrip adhesive down the center where it would (hopefully) contact the clip studs on the door. I let the adhesive set up, then trimmed the weatherstrip tape at the front leaving the plastic protective cover as pull-tabs. I positioned the molding and then pulled the top tape protector up to reveal the adhesive, pressing as I went. That secured the molding, and I repeated the procedure for the bottom. It stayed straight and level, and fits completely flush. I may try to hit a local scrap yard for some spare moldings just in case. There is a Reatta close by, though it has been pretty well stripped. Has all the glass, though.
  12. Has anyone tried the new replacement LED headlights for the 6054 bulbs? I expect they would be considerably brighter than our halogen replacements. One of the concerns mentioned is that they are a little deeper than standard 6054 units - that could cause an issue with the headlight mechanisms.
  13. My 1937 Pontiac had a mild heating problem when I bought it back in 2012. It would start to overheat at speeds over 50, but did fine below that. I tried many things over the years, from the obvious radiator check and water pump replacement to more obscure items like replacing the distributor. As time passed, the problem only got worse, and recently it started losing coolant, something it had never done before. After the third water pump and second radiator, I discovered some oily black residue in the thermostat housing just a hundred miles after I had flushed and cleaned the system. I decided the head gasket must be leaking - when I went to pull it, I discovered the head bolts were barely more than finger tight! I had never thought to re-torque the head bolts after I bought the car, which had been used for tours and many long drives by the previous owners. When I pulled the head, I found coolant between the gasket and the block. After having the head resurfaced, I installed a new copper sandwich head gasket and torqued it all down to 70 foot-pounds. A test drive at 55-60 brought the car up to 195 degrees where it stayed, dropping back to 180 after I got off the interstate. No coolant loss, no leaks. The head gasket issue crept up on me with none of the obvious signs - no bubbles in the coolant, no coolant loss until near the end, no external seepage around the head gasket, and a not a drop of water in the oil or vice-versa. This last was likely because of it being a flathead engine with no oil passages in the head. Anyway, the highway speed overheating problem that has plagued the car as long as I owned it appears to be solved!
  14. What would be the correct engine color for a 1937 Pontiac 6? Mine is gray, and I have seen restorations with a gray engine, but the Bill Hirsch site does not show a gray for Pontiacs. They show a green for 1937. Were the 8s green and the 6s gray? Thanks!
  15. I have been looking for the 2017 Hershey Meet Car Show registration information, but even the Hershey Region site has nothing on it besides a small version of the poster. I'd like to get the flyer and form for the car show so I can pass along registration deadlines to my region.