DeSoto Frank

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Everything posted by DeSoto Frank

  1. Thanks for the suggestions, all... Turns out that the latest issue ( besides flimsy repro sockets ) was that the focusing screw was cranked so tight that it had pulled the socket back far enough for the terminal lugs to ground against the screw. I just acquired the car, and am getting to know it, and sort-out all these issues... Previous owner put a lot of effort into getting the vehicle driveable, put a nice (correct?)interior in it, and lots of repro parts as far as lighting goes. I will start scrounging-up OEM lighting stuff... I need nickel headlamps anyway, as it is a '28. As for cruising speed being limited by the headlights, not an issue at this point... the engine is tired, and at most, pulls the car at 45 mph on level road... But, it's been fun so far - can't wait for better weather so I can drive it more ! Thanks for the input ! :cool:
  2. Thanks for the suggestion Matt. Thought I had mine working okay, but on Saturday I was out with the car, and the low-beams shorted out... wound -up coming home after dark on the parking lights :eek: ! I found a reference in Bratton's catalog that some of the modern repro bullets are a little too long, causing the contact springs to deform and short against the metal shell; I was a little surprised that there were no fibre insulator sleeves inside the connector shells... but then I guess that would have increased old Henry's production costs... Guess I'll have plenty of time to work on them, as winter has returned and PennDOT is flinging "Car-B-Gone" like candy-canes at a Santa Parade ! Regards, Frank
  3. The majority of US cars and trucks built prior to the 12-volt change-over (1955-'56, except for Buick, Caddy and Imperial in '53), were six-volt, POSITIVE ground... From what I recall from previous research in old MoToR's manuals, the major exceptions were: Buick, Chevrolet, Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Reo, and Willys. Caddy and GMC were positive ground, as were all MoPar, Hudson & Terraplane, Ford -Lincoln-Merc, Packard, Pierce, Graham, Hupp, Nash, Kaiser-Frazer, Studebaker. I've seen/heard a theory that positive-ground systems tend to experience greater corrosion at connections to chassis grounds: ie at lights, and other accessories. I have not personally had that observation - I have found that corrosion at chassis grounds is more a product of exposure to weather / road crud. Regardless of which terminal gets grounded, it seems that the positive post of the lead-acid battery always develops a very hard black coating, whereas the negative terminal just becomes a dull gray. I wonder if this happens with Optima batteries ? Lastly, from the dim memories of my High-School science classes, I seem to recall that the "natural flow" of current is from the negative terminal to the positive terminal in a battery/galvanic system. Same goes for vacuum tubes in electronics (the emitter(cathode) has a negative charge, and the collector( anode, "plate") has a positve charge, to attract the electrons. Or, the tradition might have been established in the early electrical industry (Edison always favored DC current, even for municipal systems), and electric traction systems (streetcars and interurbans) ran on DC current... I would hazard a guess that this was why early autos were positive ground... I have never encountered a vehicle with 12-volt positive ground ( although I wouldn't be surprised if they existed in Europe). Aside from which terminal is "insulated" ("hot") and which terminal is grounded, the two systems function exactly the same way: energy moves from an area of high potential to an area of low potential (similar to analogies using water / air "pressure" or temperature). Devices that work on resistance (incandescent bulbs, resistors, bi-metal gauges) don't seem to care about polarity; devices involving magnetism, capacitance, and/or diodes (generators, alternators, coils, condensors, regualtors) do care about polarity, and either become damaged or won't work if installed against their design polarity.
  4. Top two trucks are C-series Internationals (1934-37), the stake body is probably a C-30 or C-35; have to check into the tractor. I used to have a C-35 that once was a beverage truck belonging to the local Royal Crown distributor... neat trucks... in those years, IHC painted the frames bright red. They were also equipped with electric wiper ! :cool:
  5. So I heard... missed the auction; I was out riding around in my "sympathetically unrestored" '28 Ford Coupe... Actually, I was going to pick-up a friend ( a Hudson enthusiast), to give him his first ride in a Model A, and when I got to his house, he told me I had just missed it, and gave me details... I wonder how much they had invested in it ? I'm sure we'll be seeing it from time to time... hard to miss that aero-plane tail ! I'm still of the opinion that this was the wrong direction to take with this particular car, but what's done is done... hopefully the uneeded body parts have gone to help restore other Hudsons.
  6. Believe you are right... didn't catch the second set of wheels on the trailing truck. Can't tell if there are two or four wheels on the pilot truck ? That's definitely the Lima diamond builder's plate on the smokebox...
  7. That is a beautiful Lima Pacific ! Is this a recent photo ?
  8. I have a little 10-piece socket set that my grandfather bought from Montgomery Ward in the 1930's... the whole outfit lives in a stamped-steel tray that uses the "Strong-bar" to keep everything in place. The sockets are 12-point and range from 7/16" to 3/4", and are 3/8" HEX-drive... there is a stamped steel ratchet handle that adapts to the sockets via a stubby 3/8" hex drive pin; to reverse the ratchet, you flip it over ! The "strong-bar" is a fairly standard 3/8" "Allen"wrench. Grandad carried it till he stopped driving in 1984. I have it now, no plans to use it, but it's a neat artifact.
  9. Am trying to sort out some issues with the headlights on my "new" '28 A coupe. It is set-up with two-bulb headlights, no cowl lights. Headlights are stainless-steel "Twolight" repros, with repro wiring, plugs, conduit, etc. Every thing is still nice and clean ( no corrosion). Initially I was finding that with the switch turned for "parking lights", I'd get a parking light in one headlight, and a driving beam in the other. Switch to "low beam", and they'd switch sides; switch to "high beam" and everything would go out. Yesterday, I decided to check-out the attachment of the conduit/harness to the sockets at the back of the headlight shells (firction tape around the connection on the passenger side made me suspicious)... it appears that whoever had worked on them last did not properly index the plug to the socket. I carefully indexed the plugs & sockets on both sides, but had some difficulty getting the bayonet-ring of the conduit to lock-on to socket. When I quit playing with it for the day, I had proper parking lights and low-beams, but when I switched to high-beams, apparently there is a short-circuit, and the safety fuse by the starter switch blew. I've noticed some comments in Snyder's parts catalog that suggest the OEM style headlight connector plugs were always troublesome. Has any else found this to be the case, or is it more an issue of ill-fitting repro parts ? If that is the case, I might look for another way to connect the headlight harness at the shell. I'm new to the Model A, and don't want to spend a lot of time trying to fix a set-up that might not have been very good in the first place... Any suggestions ?
  10. It's "Fisk, the Tire giant" ! ( Somebody's got strong hands and LOTS of patience! )
  11. When my '41 De Soto carb goes dry from sitting, it takes about 15-20 seconds of cranking to fill the carb. Don't know how long it would take to pull gas all the way from the tank. Would suggest pouring about 1 shot-glass worth of gasoline down the carb throat, and starting the engine; if it dies after 5 seconds or so, repeat. By the third time around, the fuel pump should have "picked-up its prime" and be delivering fuel to the carb. If you don't like messing around with raw gas, you could use starting fluid sparingly... One trick I've used is on vehicles that have carbs with "bowl vent tube" ( 1/4" diameter tube sticking into the carb throat at an angle), is to take a pump-type oil can, fill it with clean gasoline, and using some 3/16" or 1/4" rubber vacum hose, slip one end of the hose over the vent tube, and the other end over the oil-can spout, and use the pump oiler to fill the carb bowl with gasoline. Stop when you see gasoline start to weep out around the throttle shaft. With a full float-bowl, the engine should idle for at least 30 seconds to a minute... repeat a couple of times, and your fuel pump should catch-up. In this freezing weatherm, would also suggest adding a bottle of "dry-gas" to the fuel tank. Good luck !
  12. I believe "Relay" trucks also used a spur-gear reduction like this.
  13. DO NOT RUN THE ENGINE w/o THE TRANNY INSTALLED !!!!! Sorry for "shouting", but the MoPar Fluid Coupling depends on the tranny input shaft & ball bearing at the front of the transmission case to support the "driven member" of the Fluid Coupling and the driving flange ( disc that the pressure plate bolts to). That's one of the reasons the input shaft is so long on Fluid-Drive cars. If you look closely at the cut-away drawing of the Fluid Coupling, you will see how it is set-up; there is no "rear bearing" on the fluid coupling, only the oil seal. The input shaft, pilot bearings, and front bearing of the tranny provide the rear support for the driven-member of the coupling. With out that support, the drive plate can wobble. Once the tranny is installed, if you still feel vibration, check the run-out of the fluid-coupling, per the instructions in the shop manual. There is a proceedure for correcting run-out. Good luck ! ( PS - don't believe the eight-cylinder will interchange with the six; I was trying find a coupling for a '50 NY'er about 25 years ago, w/o sucess, although I found several six-cylinder units at that time.)
  14. Does that split in the bushing allow it to be installed w/o completely removing the horn-rod? ( Looks like you have to drop the steering column to remove the rod on a coupe )
  15. Or "sypathetically restored" into a pair of red pumps ?
  16. I especially like the "instument lamp" :cool: What are the two tanks to the left side of the dash ?
  17. I'm not sure oil was packaged by the quart back then.... My Dad and Grandad both had accumulations of one & five gallon oil cans that developed over the years; one of the later ones being a 2.5 gallon "square" can for Sears "Spectrum" motor oil from the early 1970's... Dad used that one as a gas-can for the mowers. I'm old enough to remember oil being packaged in the cardboard quart cans with the steel ends, and you needed a special spout to puncture the can and "carefully" dispense the oil ( they still leaked!). Dad & Grandad also had a variety of one-quart mason jars with several types of pour tops: funnel type, flex-spout... and there were "six-pack" wire carrier baskets that enabled garages to easily transport the quart jars of oil from the bulk tank/pump to the car being serviced. The "official" oil jars had a narrow neck, that flared again to the mason-jar thread, to make them easier to grab. Prior to the 1930's, I would think that oil was generally purchased by the gallon / barrel, then decanted into quart jars or spout-pitchers for adding to the engine. As engine technology improved during the late '20's and 1930's, oil consupmtion probably dropped to the point where packaging in quart containers became attractive, and folks carried a couple quarts in the trunk. As for brass cars and "total loss" oiling, around 1975, I remember reading a hard-cover book on the antique cars in the Smithsonian collection, and one of the cars was a Simplex runabout... a huge car. If I remember correctly, this car had a 40-gallon gasoline tank, and a 20 gallon oil tank, both situated behind the bucket seats... Total loss probably helped keep the dust down a bit on dirt roads, but I wouldn't want to follow one on pavement ! :cool:
  18. Holy socks !!!! :eek: I thought I had the only garage that looks like that ( minus the nickel Roadster ) Wonder how many critters are living in that pile ?
  19. Hmmmm, I'd be happy to clean out the garage, get rid of all that junk, including the jalopy for $500.
  20. And, in case anyone might be thinking that the "Okies" existed only in Steinbeck's imagination, here's the real thing, courtesy of photographer Dorothea Lange & Google Images...
  21. And, finally, our "star car", as Mr. Wales acquired it, from an article in "Old Cars Weekly":
  22. One of the recurring shots in the film...
  23. Things didn't necessarily get easier as they made their way West...