DeSoto Frank

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Everything posted by DeSoto Frank

  1. I thought "nova" meant "new" in Latin... ?
  2. Martin - do the Hirsch units have the same rounded profile to the lens as the original sealed-beams ? How long have you had yours ? Are you happy with them ? ( Up until now, the only composite 7" "sealed-beams" I've seen have been the flat-faced Hella "Euro-style" lights, which look strange installed in a 1940's-'50s fender...) Thanks, De Soto Frank
  3. Jim, My mistake... just looked it up in Jim Schild's "Original Ford Model A"; the wagon was introduced around February of 1929 as a '29 model. ( I'm glad to find I was mistaken, as I prefer the '28-'29 Ford over the '30'31...) So, what makes the station wagon different from a Depot Hack ? I believe Dodge Brothers offered a Cantrell-bodied Depot Hack before 1920 ?
  4. Want to echo the suggestion to determine that it is a "true" Ford wagon... there have been woodie-wagon body kits around (Some of them very nice) for decades... Also, from a performance standpoint, the woody is probably going to be a lot more sluggish than your coupe, due to the weight of that wooden body. Also, the Model A woody does not have glass windows (except for the windshield), only side-curtains. Then there's the whole "condition" aspect... What model coupe do you have ? One final thing, IFRC - Ford didn't come-out with the station wagon until 1930. Do your research... Good luck !
  5. When you watched the video, did you notice all the deep snow on the ground outdoors ? :confused: No, it wasn't much of a "ride", but I can't blame them for not wanting to take the car outdoors when there's wet-stuff & salt on the ground. Seems like there's as much ( or more) provenance for this "Tucker" convertible then there must have been for all those muscle-car "clones" that were bringing six & seven figures at Barret-Jackson not too long ago.... :cool:
  6. Kaycee, Well, if you plan on having your car judged at an AACA event, you'd have to go with whatever plating was originally used by the factory. Personally, I prefer the appearance of nickel plate - it has a warm, yellowish color, as opposed to the cold blue tint of Chrome. It does require more frequent attention, alas. The changeover to chrome was gradual, varying from manufacturer to manufacturer... I believe GM went over to Chrome in 1928-'29; Ford in '29-'30, don't know about the others. Also, some cars probably left the factory with a mix as on-hand parts were being used-up (thinking of Model A's...). My '41 De Soto most definitely has chrome plating on all the exterior trim, the dash, and knobs. But the window cranks, interior door handles, and vent-wing handles are all nickel-plated... so go-figure... As for bumpers, on many cars, they were optional or only available as aftermarket accessories until the mid-to late '20's... some cars had painted bumpers (thinking of Bi-Flex bumpers)... I agree with those who feel that chrome looks "wrong" on a pre-1928 car...
  7. Broker Bob, When computer-controlled fuel-injection replaced carburetors on gasoline-powered vehicles (early 1990's), consumer gasolines were reformulated for peak-performance and lowest emissions when used in fuel-injected systems. One of the results was an increase in the volatility of pump gas ( its tendency to vaporize ). This is not in issue in fuel-injection systems which are "closed", and the fuel pump is located in the gas-tank, and "pushes" the fuel under fairly high pressure up to the engine; if you put a liquid under pressure, you increase its boiling point (same principle as the pressurized cooling system and the Presto pressure-cooker). When you put this new, easily-vaporized gasoline in an "open" system, and one where the fuel is "pulled" a long way from the tank, under reduced pressure, there is a greater tendency for the fuel to flash into vapor, causing vapor lock / fuel-starvation. When the warm engine is switched-off, residual heat in the engine causes the fuel in the carb bowl to evaporate through the vent tube or anti-percolation valve, and if the vehicle sits unused for enough time, the carb bowl goes dry. How long this takes depends on the vehicle; I have found that my 1940's & 1960's MoPars dry-out if unused for more than three or four days. If they are run every day or every other day, eneough fuel remains in the carb for a quick start. I believe this is less of an issue with post-1970 vehicles that have "closed" fuel systems, where the fuel tank and the carburetor are both vented to a charcoal canister, so that raw fuel vapors are captured and scavenged by the engine through a small vacuum hose. There are also certain carburetors whose float-bowls have passages sealed with lead soft-plugs, which sometimes weep fuel, allowing the carb to leak-down. Our cars still manage to run on modern fuel, but it's not the same stuff we were getting 25 years ago, lead notwithstanding. De Soto Frank
  8. The comment in red is why we are supposed to change the oil frequently. ( It happens to Fuel-injected engines too... ) Would suggest that anybody who is reading this thread find a copy of : "Drive it Forever!", by Robert Sikorsky, S.A.E. This is a great book (less than 150 pages) that offers a LOT of science / research-based info on how to make your car or truck last as long as possible. It's easy reading. Vehicles that see long-trip highway driving ( the average trip lasts longer than 20 minutes, ensuring that the engine gets up to operating temperature and STAYS there for at least 15 minutes), can actually go farther between oil-changes than Granny's Volare that only goes to the grocery store, and church once a week (short-trip, "cold-engine" driving is regarded as among the SEVEREST service, short of driving through a dust storm.). Collector cars that see infrequent, seasonal operation (summertime only), should have their oil changed before being put away for the cold months, so that they don't sit for a long period with those acids & contaminants lingering in the engine. Older cars that run non-detergent oil, and /or do not have oil filters (yes, they exist !) should probably have the oil changed every 1,000 miles. ( If you feel this is "wasteful", then recycle this oil into the crankcase of your daily beater...) Oil and filters are cheap compared to engine overhaul. Really big engines, such as those found in Diesel locomotives and huge marine engines, have their oil sampled and tested on a regular basis. It does not get changed until the oil begins losing its lubricating qualities. The crankcase is topped-up and detergent additives applied as needed, but full oil changes are predicated by monitoring and actual oil condition. (Diesels are also built "tighter", and with larger fuel molecules and precisely metered fuel injection, there are less issues with blow-by and crankcase dilution.) Synthetic oils do have certain advantages over traditional oils, but these are probably best capitalized in vehicles that see a lot of mileage. Some folks who have used synthetic oils in older cars have noticed greater tendency to "wick" oil at seals and gaskets... Many folks in the Antique Fan Collectors Club favor synthetic oils (such as Royal Purple) in their old electric motors as it does not tend to break-down and oxidize over time (sitting on a shelf) the way petroleum oils do. Pull an oil-cup off a 70 year-old electric fan, and you'll likely find it full of black tarry goo, that was once SAE 20 oil... One final story - a good friend's father bought a '77 Ford LTD II with 351 Windsor engine, used in '79 with 77,000 highway miles on it (Original owner was a sales rep). It was in good running order, at that time. Dad changed-over to synthetic oil, and ran it on synthetic since, changing it every 10,000 miles. He gave it to my friend around 1993, who continued to drive it, using synthetic oil, changed every 10,000 miles. My friend finally sold the car around 2001, at 220,000 miles, the only engine work being a timing chain and gears around 200,000 miles. It used perhaps 1 qt of oil between changes ( that's 1 qt every 10,000 miles), had no knocks and blew no smoke. I can vouch for the minimal oil consumption, as I had this vehicle as a loaner for about six months, around 1995... the seals in the auto tranny were fossilized, and you had to warm-up the vehicle for about 10 minutes before the tranny would shift into "Drive" (it had "Reverse" from dead-cold)... AFAIK, that car (the "White Elephant") is STILL running around NE PA. Bottom line: synthetic oils tend to have a longer service life before they begin to break-down; they do not tend to "burn" or "ash" like traditional petroleum oils. They probably offer the greatest benefit in clean, freshly broken-in engines. They are probably not worth the expense in a high-consumption beater. Unless you're running a true junker, buy the best oil you can afford, and change it frequently, and regularly. If you don't care about the vehicle, then just add oil as needed, and junk it when it finally blows-up. Again, find a copy of ""Drive it Forever" and read it - every car owner will find it beneficial reading. :cool: Happy New Year !
  9. Jeff, Sorry to hear you went to all that trouble and didn't like the results. On the plus-side, sounds like you'll be undoing mods that were "reversible" (bolt-on) in the first place. With everything in first-class shape, your Ford should be a very driveable car, just the way it left Dearborn. The '55-'56 Ford engine & tranny are strong and reliable, and the Bendix brakes are among the best of the era ( inexpensive to source too ! ). I'm still regretting selling my '59 Edsel wagon (essentially a rebadged '59 Ford)... I've been DRIVING 40-50 year-old stockers ever since getting my license over 25 years ago, and have never had to "resort to" grafting Mustang II IFS, discs, etc, etc, blah, blah, blah... Heck, I've yet to "need" to do a 12-volt "upgrade" on a six-volt car, and I've had plenty of them ! Good luck with your project - hope it goes well ! De Soto Frank
  10. Neat video ! I saw this car at Hershey this fall, and was very intrigued. It would seem that the guys at Benchmark are finishing a project that's been 60 years in the making. Thanks for the ride, Chuck !
  11. Interesting... I managed to get a perfect score, which kind of surprised me, not being a "hot-rod guy" Was glad to see some less-common engines, such as the Chevy 348, Buick "Nailhead", original Olds "Rocket", Chrysler Poly.... Some were difficult to ID, with all the performance toys glommed onto them...
  12. Woody, I grew-up in Ellicott City, just a ways around the Beltway from you. Even though two feet of snow is kind of rare down that way, MSHA was never stingy with the salt. The roads may seem clear, but there will be salt residue into April. If you're really concerned and "must" start your collector car, I would suggest Dave's plan - start it up, let it run until temp needle hits its normal mark, then let it run another 15 minutes, at about 700-900 rpm. This will get everything good and warm, "boiling-out" the condensation and excess fuel that got past the rings while initially warming-up. Running the car for five minutes at a time, once a week, is far worse in the long run. It's killing me, not driving my long-lost Rambler, but there's LOTS of salt on the roads up here... and I yearned for this car for too many years to bugger it up by driving it on salty roads.
  13. I would have qualified up until about ten years ago. All my daily drivers were at least 25 years old until I got married.
  14. Marvel Mystery Oil must have something good going for it, otherwise it wouldn't still be around after eighty-plus years.... " Marvel Mystery Oil - Honestly So " I had another thought about the purpose / efficacy of upper cylinder lubricators... Back in the good old days, when "someone had to milk a dinosaur to get a quart of oil", motor oils were single-weight, and non-detergent. They were usually thick, and didn't circulate until the engine was pretty warm... add to that engines operating at 160 deg F or less (so you don't boil-off the alcohol antifreeze), and you have the makings for a sludgy, gunky engine in short order. MMO is thin, and the oil of wintergreen has solvent properties that probably helped keep things clean and loose. The need for them probably fell-off with the advent of multi-vis detergent oils and full-pressure lubrication systems. ( and "disposable cars"). Besides, MMO has that cool label.... I would avoid using reclaimed ATF as an upper cylinder lube or fuel treatment - after many thousands of miles in a tranny, it has gotten heated repeatedly, probably oxidized, lost many of its detergent properties, AND, it contains lots of particles of metal and friction material shed by the tranny - probably not good to run that stuff through the engine. Last time I bought of a quart of MMO, it wasn't too much more expensive than a quart of quality ATF... Not sure about the effects of Stabil and MMO... Stabil is supposed to be a fuel conditioner, MMO is a lubricant... too much of anything usually isn't good. Cheers !
  15. I have not run across any cars with a sediment bowl on the fuel tank, outside of Model T Fords. By 1940, most cars had a sediment(filter) bowl either on the fuel pump, or right before the carburetor. Possible fuel supply problems can include: - no gas in tank (gauge lies?); also pick-up tube rotted away, no longer reaching bottom of tank ? - blocked pick-up tube in tank (rust, water, ice ) - collapsed / deteriorated rubber flex-line at tank and/or at pump. - fuel-pump: bad diaphragm, check-valves blocked-open due to debris, bad gasket on sediment bowl - rust-perforated steel fuel line between tank & pump ( holes may not be large enough to drip fuel, but large enough (or enough of them) to allow air to bleed into the suction line). If fuel-line, brake lines, or under side of car look really crusty / flaky, then examine the fuel line very closely. - Real long-shot: if at some point the gas tank has been sealed with a pour-in DIY tank liner, that could be "Shedding", and strands/blobs of sealer are clogging the fuel system. ( This was a constant problem I had with a '48 International pick-up I had around 1993 - kept pulling long pink strands of sealer out of fuel lines, pump, carb...). I would suggest starting at the tank and working forward: disconnect fuel line at the tank-side of the fuel pump, then go back to the rear of the car, remove the gas cap, put your mouth up against the filler neck, and blow into the tank, and hold some air-pressure on the tank for about 1 minute... if all is well with the tank, pick-up and line, some fuel should start to run-out at the disconnected end by the fuel pump. If this technique (quick and dirty) doesn't appeal to you, and you have a source of compressed air, you could gently apply 5-10 lbs of air to the tank line where you disconnected it from the fuel pump... if all is well, you should hear air moving through the line and gurgling through the fuel in the tank ( remove filler cap first !) Fuel pumps on these cars aren't inherently more problematic than they were for your 1960's Bowties... just older. If your Buick has more than two lines going to the fuel pump, it is probably equipped with a combination fuel and vacuum pump, to boost vacum for the windshield wipers. One thing that has been plaguing older cars in recent years has been the increasing use of alchohol-blended fuels - these can attack older rubber parts in the fuel system ( hoses, diaphragms, etc). If you're buying replacement hoses or fuel pumps, make sure the rubber is alcohol-resistant. Don't waste your money on NOS rubber parts. If the fuel-pump turns-out to be the culprit, don't waste your time with NOS pumps or kits; send your existing pump to Antique Auto Parts Cellar, in Weymouth, Mass. Tom Hannaford will completely rebuild it with nitrile neoprene diaphragms, etc, and it will work "better than new". Visit them at "" One last thought, since gasolines were re-formulated to work best with fuel-injected cars, about 15 years ago, many of us have noticed that the carburetors in our pre-1980 vehicles go dry after sitting un-driven for two to five days; when we go back to the vehicle, we either have to grind on the starter until the carb fills ( 20-30 seconds on my De Soto), or prime the carb with fuel / starting fluid. I don't have a problem with cars that are started every one to two days, but if they sit longer, the carbs dry-out. Good luck with your Buick !
  16. I think one of the reasons Leno favors MMO or ATF is that he has had several engines develop problems with stuck valves in infrequently-driven vehicles due to varnish from the lousy modern fuels we are stuck with. One of his headaches involved a vintage Jag. I add a 50/50 mix of MMO & Sea-Foam to the gas tank of my Rambler at every / every-other fill-up. About 4 ozs elixir to 20 gallons of gas. I have always been told that MMO and the AMPCO upper-cylinder lubricators were intended to provide additional lube to the upper part of the cylinder, reducing scuffing, and also lubricating the valve-guides ( probably more beneficial to splash-lubed L-head engines ). A little oil mixed in the fuel can't hurt - two-cycle engines run forever, as long as the proper fuel-oil mixture is maintained. Carbon Tet, amyl-nitrate, etc? Any of those recipes involve Absinthe? (or is that only for French cars ?)
  17. Thick single-weight oil in a cold engine, mean that the oil doesn't circulate as freely, nor does it get into all the tiniest bearing clearances until the engine / coolant / oil gets warm. That's why owners manuals suggested SAE 20 oil in warm climates, and SAE 10 (somtimes dliuted with Kerosene in really cold climates!) for cold climates. Trouble is, the lighter oils tended to leak-out / burn-off faster under warm-temperature operation. So, if you start something cold then immediately run it under full load, you're going to have accelerated wear due to insufficient lubrication. On the other hand, if you let the engine idle until everything is nice and warm, before driving-off, then you're wasting fuel and contributing to crankcase dilution. Auto makers used single-weight non-detergent oils way back when because it was the best/only thing they had. If your engine is recently rebuilt, and squeaky-clean, buy a good brand of multi-vis, detergent oil and use it. If the prevailing temps are above 40 degrees, try 10W-30. I run multi-vis detergent oils in all my drivers; usually 20W-50 in a very tired jalopy, 10W-30 in engines in good condition. I have been using 5W30 for a break-in oil on rebuilt engines. Good luck !
  18. Don't know about the compatability; measure carefully before trying them out. If there's no clearance issues with the head, they will probably work; if they give a higher compression ratio, then your 8-N will have a little more power than stock. Shouldn't be an operating issue unless you're running distillate or kerosene in your tractors ! The N tractor engine was also available in the '40-'42 Ford truck, and is indeed basically one-half of a flathead V-8. I've also been told by old-timers that they used to use flathead Plymouth pistons in the Gravely model L walk-behinds...
  19. Careful using advertising artwork to guide a restoration ! Trust only actual photographs, and even then, double-check. The marketing artists created beautiful pieces for brochures, but often took liberties with scale , proportion, and color. Standard color for MoPar flatheads between 1934 & 1959 was silver for the block and head, and black for the "accessories" ( starter, generator, distributor, metal spark-plug wire loom). I have seen red highlighting on raised lettering on head, such as "Spitfire". I have a 241 cid Chrysler six from a '41 Windsor that is red-orange, but this was applied by the machine-shop that rebuilt the engine. The engine in my '41 De Soto and '48 New Yorker (both all-original) are/ were silver. Regards, De Soto Frank
  20. Can't drive the old iron... PennDOT's been flingin' the Car-B-Gone like it was Christmas Candy ! :mad: Happy Holidays anyway ! :cool:
  21. Gil, I don't want to cry poverty, but anything in five figures is beyond my means... That said, I don't want a perfect cream-puff that's "too nice to drive"... a 1940's-'60's resto or unrestored survivor ( fuctional ) is what I would want. A model T is probably the most affordable ( no pun intended! ) option for brass... I'm not silly enough to think that I'd get Pierce or Locomobile for less than $20k. I also think that the recent trend of muscle-cars and "clones" going for six or seven figures is absolutely ridiculous... by comparison, Brass and Nickel are a bargain. It just seems to me that as far as pre-1930 cars go, while "nobody wants them", nobody's exactly giving them away either... Happy Holidays ! :cool:
  22. The tractor pistons may have a different "pin to crown height" for lower compression ratio; tractors were designed to run on low-grade fuels ( cheap!).... IIRC, CR on an N-model Ford tractor is around 4.5:1. Probably lower than the automotive version. Which engine are you trying to source pistons for ?
  23. Hmmm - that's the first I've heard of Rigolly and the Gordon-Brillie. As for a steam car being first to reach 100 mph, I'd bet the reference is to the Stanley Steamer streamliner that raced and tragically wrecked at Ormond Beach, Florida in 1906. ( The Stanley "Rocket" ? ) Supposedly the Stanley reached 106 mph before hitting a slight rise, becoming air-borne, then cartwheeling, killing the driver. Unfortunately, I don't think the speed was officially recognized.
  24. 8-volt batteries are a quick "band-aid" for other problems with the vehicle. If your starter / generator / regulator / wiring are in good order, a six-volt vehicle should start fine on six-volts. Search this site on the topic, you'll find lots of discourse. I've been DRIVING six-volt vehicles (mostly flathead MoPars) since I got my license, over 25 years ago, and have never had to resort to an 8-volt battery or 12-volt conversion.
  25. One thing I learned when riding my motorcycle with an open-face helmet for the first time: KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT !