Matt Harwood

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Matt Harwood last won the day on January 13

Matt Harwood had the most liked content!

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About Matt Harwood

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    AACA Member
  • Birthday 02/04/1970

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    : Cleveland, Ohio

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  1. Matt Harwood

    Base Coat / Clear Coat

    Agreed. But we are in the definite minority. I'm not arguing that nobody cares about authenticity and certainly not that I don't care. My point is only that people tend to stop caring about authenticity when they're writing big checks to someone else to make a car "right" and that includes the final paint finish. Someone wondered why people use modern paints that don't look quite "right" on old cars and I'm offering an explanation. I'm with you in lamenting that we've seen a dramatic shift from authentic cars to this idealized myth of perfection that restored cars need to attain today. I don't like it, but that doesn't mean it isn't happening--the "shiny is better" people outnumber the athenticists by about 3000:1. I applaud enthusiasts who strive for correctness and authentic finishes--I love to see bonding strips and saw scuffs on Corvettes--but ultimately, that tends to get pushed aside when it's time to spend the money. I blame judging as much as anything, because by necessity it has to be a beauty contest. At multi-marque shows no judge can possibly know all things about thousands of different cars, so you're often reduced to judging the quality of the work on the car. Like it or not, perfection is frequently viewed as correct during the judging process. When it comes down to two cars with all the right hardware and hoses and colors and assembly line markings, the one that is shinier, with better gaps, with a more ornately detailed engine bay, and flawless, deep, shiny chrome will usually be the winner. I didn't set this standard, but it's very much reality. Some of you who are judges will suggest that you ding cars for over-restoration, and that's fine (I know I do it), but you should also understand that your scores probably get tossed every time (mine do) and you're not changing anything. In fact, my desire for authenticity has marked me as a "tough judge" at most events and guys hate to see me coming to look at their cars. If people truly cared about accuracy, that might be the kind of thing that should win me friends; it actually seems to do the opposite. I don't think most people truly care about genuine and authentic, do you? Like I said, money always makes it cloudy, even when you're trying to do the right thing.
  2. Matt Harwood

    Base Coat / Clear Coat

    The problem most painters and restorers face is how do you put an inferior paint job on car--no matter how correct--and still expect to have a happy customer? It isn't the painters' fault that their customers are demanding perfection instead of authenticity, and that starts with an impossibly deep shine. I just had an inspector in my shop examining a very nice but also pretty original 1962 Corvette on behalf of an overseas client. He said it was a fantastic car, very well preserved, excellent condition, but his client didn't understand originality. If a car wasn't super shiny, it wasn't a good car and he didn't want it. Shiny = good. Original (correct) = bad. I presume that the buyer has substantial amounts of money and a large collection of cars since he has a full-time caretaker for his collection and flew him up from South America to look at the car. Perfection was his standard, not correctness. Look at any car at Pebble Beach, arguably the most prestigious car show in the world. The restored cars there are grossly over-restored. If they weren't, they wouldn't be there now would they? Heck, I put new-in-the-wrapper NOS chrome headlight doors on my wife's 1956 Chrysler and at the very next show (the only show, as a matter of fact) where we had it judged, they dinged it for "deteriorated chrome on headlights." Nobody wants "correct" or "original" or "authentic" on their cars, not if they're trying to win trophies and spending tens of thousands of dollars to do it. How many of you would be satisfied with an OEM-looking paint job with runs and orange peel and dry spray that nevertheless cost $20 or 30,000? Yes, it's correct, but it also looks crummy relative to the amount of money you just spent. If you saw those "correct" flaws on your freshly restored car, you'd send it back to the paint shop and demand it be fixed. Don't fool yourself, perfection is the only result the person writing the check wants.
  3. Matt Harwood

    1901 Oldsmobile Horseless Carriage Replica

    The seller isn't the scammer. The guy saying he's a disabled Army Ranger helicopter pilot mechanic who wants this replica CDO to drive every day to church and the doctor is...
  4. Matt Harwood

    1901 Oldsmobile Horseless Carriage Replica

    That's what a scam looks like when it's fishing for suckers. He's posted that exact same message twice under cars that are entirely inappropriate for his needs and seems to not even understand what it is--the lure is predicated on a cheap price, not anything else. He's just hoping to hook a foolish seller into one of the usual scams ("I'll send you too much [fake] money, you send me a [real] refund" or "let's use this safe, reliable escrow service that's actually a credit card number harvesting operation"). I'm not making fun of a real devout Christian retired handicapped veteran pilot Ranger mechanic, I promise.
  5. Matt Harwood


    I wonder if the guys who install Lloyd's overdrives would also install a Gear Vendors? They have the know-how to work with a torque tube, and that's the hurdle a lot of us face: finding a shop willing to tackle that somewhat complex job. Not impossible, but easy to mess up and ruin an irreplaceable part. For my stake in the matter, I have a Lloyd Young overdrive in my '29 Cadillac and will say that it makes a world of difference in cruising comfort. I love it. But mine has never been very reliable and I just converted it last winter to all mechanical operation. However, it's broken so often, that I have cut back on using the car because it has turned into such a hassle. When it fails, I have to pull over, stop the car, take it out of free-wheeling, and then continue on my way. Better to just not use it and it has curtailed my use of the car in any meaningful way. With that in mind, I recommend a Gear Vendors unit. Maybe a little more expensive up front, but those I have experienced have been bulletproof reliable and the installation is no more difficult. No free-wheeling, either, just click the button and it's in overdrive. I am contemplating installing Gear Vendors overdrives in both my '41 Buicks and perhaps even the '35 Lincoln if I can ever get it back together and running.
  6. Matt Harwood

    1970 Chevelle *real* SS396

    I'm sad to see you selling, Lebowski. I thought this car was something you'd wanted for a long time and you were really happy with it. I hope it goes to a good home, it looks like a great car. Good colors, good pedigree, nice restoration. More photos would really help it sell (I find that engine bays sell the car). I think it'll find a new home, I sell these pretty regularly for numbers like yours so you should have no problems.
  7. Matt Harwood

    Lincoln K V12 flywheel removal

    That was my first thought but they're not threaded. In fact, they're angled outwards for some reason. However, I did see this online and thought I'd give it a try: I can probably fabricate something similar and while part of me is afraid that it might distort the flywheel, I looked at the thing and it's probably 1.5 inches thick--doubt it'll bend. Maybe that plus some heat, as Jack suggests, will wiggle it loose. Just more of the same nonsense with this stupid car. It just can't seem to stop fighting with me. On the plus side, I found an NOS pilot bearing that was just $10 and remarkably enough, the Aetna throw-out bearing is still available new from Summit Racing for $25. Nice!
  8. Matt Harwood

    1938 66S Elec Fuel Pump

    Here are details on how I built an all-new fuel system from tank to carburetor on my 1935 Lincoln. I incorporated a Carter rotary-vane electric fuel pump and used 100% hard lines, no rubber, so it should last the life of the car. I also included a wiring diagram and details on how to wire it properly using a relay so you're not pulling power from the ignition system, which can cause all kinds of drivability bugaboos. Hope this helps.
  9. Matt Harwood

    1901 Oldsmobile Horseless Carriage Replica

    I can't make the font on this site big enough to properly display the LOL that this comment demands.
  10. Matt Harwood

    Lincoln K V12 flywheel removal

    OK, next step is removing the flywheel so I can get the clutch rebuilt (hey, as long as we're in there, right--it's just money). We've pulled all the bolts but it's not coming off. We've tried several pullers that were ineffective and I'm not interested in trying to pry it off from the sides. Is there something else that we should be trying? It does not appear to be secured by any fasteners at this point--those studs sticking out seem to be for orienting it on the crank and didn't even have nuts on them. We've been soaking it in penetrating oil and it's still not budging. No interest in breaking it, but maybe there's a puller I haven't thought of yet? My only other thought was to get a thick metal plate, bolt it across the flywheel using the outer clutch bolts and use that to pull it, but I have fears that it might bend the flywheel if we exert too much pressure. Any thoughts? Thanks!
  11. Matt Harwood

    What is your preferred degreasing technique?

    Thanks for the feedback, guys. This is all good information. I'm kind of disinclined to take the shell of the car outside in 20-degree weather and have at it with a pressure washer, and since much of the wiring is going to stay in the car, Grimy's warning about using steam is well-taken. Obviously my first step is going to be using some kind of mechanical scraping to remove the heavy grease. My second step will be some kind of solvent to soak in and knock loose the little stuff. I think putting it on some kind of tarp and brushing on heavy coats of some kind of liquid degreaser is the best bet, then maybe use the hose inside the shop to clean it off. Maybe. Anyway, I'm mostly stalling so I don't have to start scraping that gunk off. Guess I'll get busy here shortly...
  12. Matt Harwood

    1969 Hurst Oldsmobile Purchase

    I didn't realize they didn't build any Hurst/Olds cars in '70, I don't really know much about them. Typically for most muscle cars, the '70s are worth more than the '69s, and that's certainly true with 442s. But since the '69 Hurst/Olds was a one-year-only thing, then my comment is worthless. The car is what it is. I still think you should know whether the number you're going to offer will be in the ballpark of what the seller will accept before you waste a trip. It's also worth investigating finished cars rather than spending $40K on a rusty car, even if the finished cars are more expensive. I guess once you see the car you'll know whether it's right. Just watch out for that feeling of "gotta have it" while you're there. It's easy to talk yourself into a mistake. After all, you drove all that way, you have the money, it's not that much worse than you thought, the seller seems like a decent guy, I can have this thing together by spring, whatever. It sounds like you really want this specific car but you need to have some sense of detachment so you can walk away without hesitating if it's not right. Like I said, I'd be looking pretty hard at the finished $59,000 car long before I'd make a trip to see a fixer upper that's listed for 10% more and which I only THINK I can get for 20% less.
  13. Matt Harwood

    1938 Packard 120 convertible

    Because scammers don't know the difference and they're hoping you don't, either.
  14. So the first step of putting this Lincoln back together will be cleaning everything forward of the firewall. The engine is out, the front clip is gone, it's the perfect time to get everything cleaned up. The frame is in good shape, but it's obviously caked with decades of dirt and grease. Ordinarily I'd hit it with the pressure washer after some scraping, but since it's winter I don't really have that option. Any recommendations for getting all that goop out of all the nooks and crannies? Brake cleaner is usually my solvent of choice, but this job would take about 10 cases of the stuff, so that's not really cost-effective. What would you use? Solvents and brushes? Dawn dishwashing liquid? Let me know your favorite tricks for getting old parts clean. Thanks!
  15. Matt Harwood

    Speeds on 1932 80 and 90 series

    Don't be afraid to drive it, just drive it within its limits. You don't need a top speed run to evaluate the condition of the internals, the way it drives will tell you a lot and there are simple tests (compression test, leakdown test) that can tell you more about the condition of the internals than trying to evaluate it based on how fast it will go. If it's healthy, there should be decent oil pressure, no blue smoke, and no strange sounds. That's your most basic guide. On the road, the car will tell you what's comfortable, just listen to it. It should have no problems with mountains as long as you maintain some momentum. Lugging the engine is as hard on it as over-speed, so try to keep it in its comfort zone--momentum is your best friend. It'll tell you what it likes and doesn't like. On flat ground, it should happily trundle along in high gear at idle and accelerate cleanly if it's tuned properly, and when you're going too fast, you'll know it. Nevertheless, it'll take some time to familiarize yourself with the car and learn what it likes. The important thing to remember is that it isn't modern in anything it does, so give it lots of room on the road and pay extra attention to the people around you--you will suddenly discover that everyone drives incredibly foolishly. It will accelerate more slowly, it won't stop as well, and it won't slash through traffic. Side roads are always preferable to highways just so you don't become a rolling road block. Just be aware of what's going on around you and listen to the car and you'll be fine. If you can find places where 50 MPH is common, I bet you find that the car is delightful to drive. That's really the sweet spot for cars of this era. They'll go faster but they start to sound busy and that's stressful. Take some time around your house to get to know it before embarking on a long trip and make sure the mechanicals are solid. You might find that taking your time is more enjoyable than getting there fast. I love driving but I don't much like arriving. That's when you know the car is right for you.