Matt Harwood

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Matt Harwood last won the day on March 13

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About Matt Harwood

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  • Birthday 02/04/1970

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    : Cleveland, Ohio

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  1. Is Jenkins still up and running? I heard they were struggling, too.
  2. Do you have a kid or a grandchild who could do it? I don't mean to sound flippant, but my kids can figure stuff out that baffles me when it comes to electronics. This shouldn't be hard, but it can seem impossible if you're not tech savvy. Take some photos with your phone, then hand it to a kid and tell them what you want done. Easy!
  3. Gas Tank Renu. $350-400. Guaranteed for life. No tank too far gone for them to restore. I use them for all my personal cars and many customer cars. The exterior will have a coating, so if the tank is visible that can be a consideration because it won't look original. But if it's out of sight under the car, no problem. I've been very pleased with their work, and for what you'll pay for a radiator shop to clean yours out and to apply some coating yourself, it's worth letting the pros do it.
  4. Having had two of the Truett Cathy cars come through my shop, I wouldn't touch another one even if someone gave it to me for free. They were both quick fluff-and-buff jobs by shops that didn't know what authentic was, and then they sat in his collection for years and were never driven. Wrong colors, wrong upholstery, wrong fasteners, extra gauges hanging under the dash, aftermarket air cleaners instead of oil bath units, goofball hubcaps, etc. One ran well after we fed it fresh gas and rebuilt the fuel pump, one needed another $1000 worth of work to be operable. Probably OK for guys who just want an old car to cruise around town in, but glaringly (and embarrassingly) wrong if you are someone who pays attention to details. They embodied the virtues of cars that were both indifferently restored AND neglected. Maybe that helps with the decision?
  5. Dr. Francini continued tearing down the engine, pulling the valve covers off the inside the V. We'll paint those and reinstall them with fresh gaskets and hardware, and I'll polish the aluminum knobs that hold them on. Inside, we found a pretty messy valvetrain, but nothing that can't be cleaned up without any major disassembly. We'll hose it out with brake cleaner and compressed air and see what we have. Maybe some Evapo-Rust, some wire brushing on the cast iron walls, and a coat of Glyptal or something if we can get it clean. Then we'll adjust the valves to spec before buttoning it back up. Valve area is a bit messy but nothing is broken or damaged, so just a good cleaning and adjustment should be all we need to do here. I also had Dr. Francini start pulling the studs out of the block. It makes sense to replace those while we can. Two came out without a fight, but the next two broke off and it was easy to see why: Look how corroded that stud is; easy to see how its sibling snapped off so easily. It was probably 30% compromised, all around the perimeter where it meets the water jacket. We stopped there until we can put some penetrating oil on the rest of the studs, maybe apply a little heat and a few whacks with a hammer. That one in the photo sheared off with little more than hand pressure, so they have to be pretty badly eroded. I've already found new head studs, so replacing them won't be a problem, although given the irregular depth of the studs in it now, I have to wonder what was correct? Were these just thrown in there by whomever rebuilt it and then tightened or loosened to fit as needed? What's the correct length? These look to be 3.125 inches long with 7/16-14 threads in the block and 7/16-20 threads for the acorn nuts on top. There are two studs in the middle of each head that look to be 3.375 inches long, longer because they also hold the mounting brackets for the spark plug wire conduit. OK, that makes sense. But they, too, seem to be set to irregular depths with variable amounts of threads showing above the deck surface. That just doesn't seem right. At about $4.00/stud (I need 60 of them) and $3.00 per acorn nut (I need 72 of them), I don't want to just start guessing. This is another place where I'll have to do some experimenting before going forward. We'll focus on getting the studs out first, then worry about what to put back in. But yeah, after doing the math, I'm going to have $500 invested in just hardware to put the heads back on. Ugh. Oh, and I just realized that I need to spend this Saturday (and/or Sunday) building a new fuel system for a fellow club member's 1940 Cadillac. He saw the system in this Lincoln and asked me to install something similar on his car. So I guess I'll work around that...
  6. Let's move on from tires, eh? The engine is back and it's time to start putting things back together. Since we have the engine out and apart, we're at the "may as well fix everything" stage. Step one will be building some kind of stand for it. My plan is to go buy two cheap Harbor Freight engine stands and weld up some brackets that will bolt to the front and rear engine mounts, probably nothing more complicated than some 2x2 box section tubing welded to a 1/4-inch plate drilled to fit the bolt pattern on the engine stand. Remarkably, this engine is considerably lighter than the Buick's straight-8 (525 pounds vs. 769) but the length and design of the aluminum crankcase are considerations. I might be able to just bolt it to an engine stand in conventional fashion, but will that aluminum support that much engine hanging off it? Why take a chance. I'll make something. After that, I suppose it's time to do some cleaning. With the engine apart, particularly with the heads removed, it's easy to see that the engine I thought was clean inside very clearly is NOT. The passages are full of gunk, with those on the driver's side almost completely clogged so coolant wasn't flowing into the cylinder head. That probably explains some of the hot running and certainly why the driver's side head was so much hotter than the passenger's side (remember the water boiling in the spark plug holes?). The good news is that it'll be easy to clean with the heads off and we can really chase it all out of there with brushes and this neat power washer wand I have with long hoses that snake into tight areas. Once the engine is reassembled, I'll fill it with Evapo-Rust for a few weeks while we do other things and let it finish off the areas I can't reach. Or maybe I'll do like Ed recommends and just drive it around with the Evapo-Rust in it. Can't hurt, right? All of them. The good news is that the heads are in great shape. These engines have a reputation for destroying their aluminum heads from the inside out, which is common on cars with iron blocks and aluminum heads. Galvanic action, indifferent maintenance, incorrect coolants, and time all conspire to erode the aluminum. Fortunately, these have really held up well, with sharp machining and coolant passages that are in good condition, albeit a bit plugged up. WTF is that gunk, anyway? It almost looks like wadded-up paper, like a gasket let go or something. Is that what radiator stop-leak looks like? Hmmm... Fortunately, the heads are in great shape and only need to be cleaned out. They're even pretty good internally once the gunk is out of the way. We'll clean out the heads, then I'll send them to the machine shop to have them decked so they will fit properly on the new head gaskets. Now is the time to do it. Once they come back, I'll clean them up and polish them (externally) so they look correct. I don't know if they were mirror-finished when they were new, but that seems to be the expectation today. As long as I'm at it, may as well make it beautiful. It's in my nature to over-do things. Mirror-polished heads are expected on the Lincoln K. As frustrating as this has all been, if I can get this car running the way it was before we took it apart (boy, what a boldly stupid statement that is!) I'll be happy. With the opportunity to really clean it out, it should be better than ever. Looking at it today, I realized that few hobbyists ever tear their engines down this far unless they're doing a restoration or a rebuild, and as a result, we never really know what's inside. Without opening this one up, I'd assume that the cleaning I already did was as good as it could get. Maybe I'd use the Evapo-Rust treatment. Would that have cured it? Maybe, maybe not. There's a lot of gunk in there that probably would not have been dissolved, so the passages would still be blocked and it would have continued to run hot. Maybe not fatally so, but it would be the kind of car you couldn't quite drive with confidence without keeping one eye on the temperature gauge. By tearing it down and cleaning it out (and re-coring the radiator), cooling problems should be greatly reduced, if not eliminated--I can't imagine that Edsel Ford let these cars drive around in Florida with owners worried about overheating in traffic. I have to do my best to remember that despite the frustration and expense, the results will be worth it. I should consider myself lucky that I've got the opportunity to solve these problems at the source. (Of course, you also realize by now that there will be at least a few posts in the future with me cursing this car and everything attached to it. That, too, is in my nature.)
  7. Those Firestones are my favorites--I have them on my '29 Cadillac and I think they look fantastic (at least when they're white). I would also consider putting them on the Lincoln, in either a whitewall or a blackwall. Here's a factory photo that shows the car wearing something very similar. Unfortunately, they are also the most expensive of the bunch in either flavor and if those on my Cadillac are any indication, they are quite noisy at speed. My car currently has 750-17 Denman wide whitewalls on it, and they are quite close to what some of the original advertising shows. I like the blocky edge pattern. Denman blackwalls are still available, but I don't see whitewalls listed anywhere, so that's a consideration. I also like the Bedfords that Grimy mentions and they are on my short list @ $239 each in blackwall and $439 in whitewall. Lucas has the Denmans similar to those on the car, which are $209 in blackwall and have that same blocky edge. I can also get the Firestones, which are $400 for whitewalls and $275 for blackwall. I'm not going to worry about what's in the sidemounts for now. They fit, whatever they are (they appear to be older BFGs). But the bottom line is that if I can't get trim rings for those dark wheels, I'm going to go with whitewalls. I just can't live with all that dark. It does appear that there's been a fairly significant price shift in the past week or two. The inexpensive Denman blackwalls that started all this went from $159 to $209 each, while the Firestone whitewalls dropped from $462 to $400. Maybe that's a sign. That's a lot of sturm und drang about something that is, quite honestly, probably a year away. I just didn't have anything else to do while the engine was being repaired, so obsessing over tires filled my time when I couldn't be out turning a wrench. Right now, I just want to get the car operational again.
  8. I will agree with much of this, particularly the part where you should forget values and just have fun with your old cars. Let the future take care of itself. If you're buying and need to "make sure you get a good deal" then I would suggest that you are the only one who gets to decide what a "good deal" entails. If you're happy with the car and the price, regardless of what "the book" says, then that's a good deal. "Overpriced" cars can be good values and under-priced cars can be a rip-off. Don't second-guess yourself, either as buyer or seller. As for auctions, they do tend to artificially inflate prices simply because auction results report all the fees as the sale price, which makes sense, since that's what the buyer actually paid to take the car home (although as Ed points out, the seller probably only got 80% of it). As most of you know, the auction houses recently discovered the "buyer's premium" in addition to the "seller's premium" and most get 10% from both parties. I don't know how everyone just decided that was acceptable, but I find it a remarkable study in separating fools and their money. There will surely be defenders to appear in this thread who say that if they know about the premium, they stop bidding 10% sooner, but that isn't really the point. If I had a car with a $50,000 window sticker on it in my showroom and you said you wanted it, and my next move was to send you an invoice for $55,000, you'd lose your friggin' mind and complain until I knocked $5000 off the price. So don't tell me it's OK; it's just a sucker game that the auctions play because they've somehow convinced everyone that their cars aren't junk and it's the best way to buy. Oh, and the booze is free and maybe you'll get on TV. But I digress. My point is, that even with their artificial fee-inflated values (which, in turn, feed the price guides' algorithms) auctions are pretty much the only real barometer for pricing because they report exactly how much money changed hands for that car. That's all we've got beyond our gut feelings. Some of us have well-tuned guts, some of us still think that Model As will continue to be found in farmer's barns and purchased for $15. Again, that's why I say if you think it's a good deal, it is. Screw what anyone else thinks. You don't ask people if they think your wife is pretty and if they don't, you divorce her, right? Why let someone else do your thinking for you? I do disagree with some of these suggestions for buying a car. The moment you start to talk about your expenses or how hard it will be to get the car home or paying your taxes, I'm tuning you out. Those are expenses we all face if we participate in the hobby and it's not my job to underwrite your fun. I'll sell you the car, but all that other stuff really isn't my problem. Everyone else has to pay their own way, too. I always appreciate an offer but please don't be insulting, even if you and I don't agree on the value of the car. Don't show up with a "take it or leave it" attitude if you've already decided that I'm 40% too expensive. That just wastes my time and makes me dislike you. 10%? Let's talk. I've got my price up front, you shouldn't be surprised when my margins aren't big enough to finance your trip, transportation, sales tax, and a new set of tires. And please don't ask me to negotiate against myself--guys who simply ask, "What's the least you'll take?" usually don't get an answer and if they do, it's the asking price. Doing that kind of nonsense only shows you're a bottom-feeder looking for something on the cheap, not a sincere hobbyist. You probably want this car more than I want to sell it to you. There are thousands of buyers, someone else will come along tomorrow. But how many cars like this are there for you to buy? Go ahead and walk away, I won't chase you--that's a game I don't play. Should you call back, the reception will be cool and you'll find me far less flexible and friendly than I was before you started playing silly games. Be sincere, be forthright, and you'll find I treat you the same and it tends to be a far better experience for everyone involved. Remember that the purchase is just part of the ownership experience. A vast majority of buyers burn up all their goodwill trying to save a few bucks that are largely irrelevant in the grand scheme of owning a car. What they don't realize is that in two years, when they need to know something about the car or want a reference or need me to fix their paperwork because they tried to cheat on their taxes and failed, I'm really not going to be interested in helping them out. You used up all your goodwill with the low price you needed so badly. Anything after that is your problem. Treat me with respect, deal with me in good faith, be reasonable, and you'll find that you have a friend in the business for life. Maybe this sounds harsh, but you should always keep in mind that there's much more to the old car hobby than merely getting a good deal when you buy a car: there's everything that comes after that one single moment. And that's a lot of words.
  9. And at the speed of light, what happens when you turn on your headlights?
  10. If you got it for anywhere close to $30,000, that's a BIG win. My gut said that was a $45,000 car and there's one currently for sale for nearly $70,000. You also got one of the most road-worthy of all pre-war cars. You're going to love it. Welcome to the club!
  11. Tom delivered the engine this morning, as promised. He really stepped up and did the leg work to get the engine fixed, not only taking it to Frank Casey, but driving 10 or 12 hours each way (twice) to pick up and return the engine. The stitched areas should be permanently fixed and if things go as planned, we should be able to clean, detail, and reassemble the front end of the car over the next few months. To his credit, Tom also stepped up and bought a new gasket set for the engine, which was not an inexpensive purchase. We shook hands as friends, and I look forward to seeing him again at future events. That's really how it should be and Tom did things right by me. Before going home tonight, I also spent 10 minutes trying to install those expensive trim rings I bought and... no go. They fit the diameter, but they're not deep enough, leaving a 3/4-inch gap behind the trim ring. That's not going to work. Hopefully I didn't tear up the wheel trying it on, although I did dent the trim ring with my hand when I was trying to push it into place. So at least I can't return them. Does anyone know any other sources for 17-inch trim rings? Some Packard supplier? Please let me know. Thanks!
  12. Excellent point, Don. I certainly wouldn't miss the maintenance of the whitewalls. I don't mind the feedback, no apologies needed. I guess I like my cars flashy--as a kid growing up in the '70s and '80s, all the big Classics had wide whites and trunks and fog lights, so those are the ingredients I admire. Nevertheless, I'm all but sold on doing the blackwalls at this point and I'll admit I'm excited to see how it looks. They do look great on certain cars, particularly cars with bright colors or lots of chrome or chrome wheels. Nevertheless, there's still part of my mind that thinks blackwalls on a dark car look like this:
  13. The '29 Cadillac uses dual points and a four-lobe cam in the distributor (instead of eight) with one coil and one condenser. Either set of points can fire the coil since they're sitting on the same breaker plate and there is only one condenser required since it's still doing 8 cylinders' worth of work. Each set of points fires every other cylinder. The theory was that the points would last longer by firing half as often. I've found that with a good condenser the points will last almost indefinitely in my '29 (good thing because the points are rare and expensive). You don't necessarily need two condensers for two sets of points--the condenser's job is to only dampen the spark that tends to form between the points as they snap open. That spark causes the material transfer between the points and the pitting that ruins points. In theory, the condenser is just a capacitor with a low enough resistance that the current that would be required to jump that gap is diverted into the capacitor. That's why getting one with a correct rating is so important. Two isn't mandatory if one is doing the job adequately. My '35 Lincoln essentially has two separate ignition systems running a single distributor. Two coils, two sets of points, two capacitors, two breaker plates isolated from one another, and one distributor with one rotor firing twelve leads. As long as the capacitor can absorb and discharge the energy in the point gap, it's fine. One, two, one big one, whatever, it doesn't really matter as long as the energy is absorbed before it can make the jump between the points. The capacitor does not play a role in triggering the coil or the spark. The ignition would probably fire without a condenser (for a while, anyway) since it's the points that is causing the magnetic field in the coil to collapse to generate the actual spark. Condensers are just there to make it consistent and reliable, and to increase point life.
  14. Engine will be back tomorrow morning so we start moving forward again. We'll see how it looks and go from there. I'll post an update once I've seen the engine. On a completely different front, I finally found a set of 17-inch trim rings. They were neither easy to find nor inexpensive, but I think they're a great update. This car definitely needs new tires--those on it now are octagon-shaped and it really rattles along. 17-inch radials don't exist anymore, so that option is out. Whitewalls are about $350 each, maybe more depending on what brand I want. I'm not entirely positive that there's going to be a big pile of cash left over after that engine goes back in, so I'm pretty seriously considering blackwalls, which can be had for about $150 each. Besides, if I don't like them I can peel them off later without serious regrets. However, I also think that blackwalls on the dark wheels might be a little too severe. West Peterson made this Photoshopped image with blackwalls, and as my friend Auburnseeker said, "It looks like a Nazi staff car." With a little looking around, I eventually found this handsome dark green coupe, which is the only '35 Lincoln I've seen with blackwalls. I have to admit the trim rings make it look a lot better: So tonight I started playing with Photoshop a little bit myself. Here's what I came up with: Admittedly, the trim rings will be a little brighter in reality than in my image (it's REALLY hard to duplicate chrome with Photoshop), but I have to admit I still like the whitewalls. And whitewalls with the trim rings looks especially delicious: Nevertheless, economics might force my hand; I don't love the blackwalls but I don't hate them, either. West and AJ, I'm not a convert, but maybe I'm starting to get it. I'll put a trim ring on tomorrow and see how it looks. I've been hesitant to do it because I'm not 100% positive they'll fit. They look like they will when I hold them up to the wheel, but until it's on there, there's just no way to know. Unfortunately, the little grippy teeth that hold it on are going to chew the hell out of the paint on the wheels, so I don't want to just shove it on there. I have a few ideas how to protect it and bought some thin but tough plastic that should be puncture-proof but thin enough to allow the rings to fit. I'll try tomorrow and post a photo. I guess I'm just trying to keep myself busy while I wait to get started on the rest of the project.
  15. I don't know what the asking price is or what your budget is so I'll refrain from naming what I think it's worth so the process isn't tainted. That said, my advice is that if you can get it for $30,000, do it and don't hesitate. That's a $10,000 interior, easy. Plus these cars were just named CCCA Full Classics, and if the guy selling it hasn't noticed the 20% bounce because of it, don't remind him. The color combination is close to Lancaster Gray over Monterey Blue--not quite exact but quite attractive. That's the color combination I plan to paint my Century. Be prepared to reach if the car is as good as it appears. People regret the one that got away. They rarely regret paying extra for a car they love. If the price is something you can afford, go for it.