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Richard F

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  1. I have ordered and used these halogen bulbs and they are brighter. The only caution I have is that they are more sensitive to voltage fluctuations. In an old 6v electrical system that is unregulated (i.e. third brush voltage regulation) they will pop with voltage spikes over 10.5v (as opposed to about 11.6v for tungsten). I blew out two headlamps and one taillamp until I cranked down the third brush to around 8 volts max.
  2. I'm installing a rebuilt water pump on a 30's car and after I cut new gaskets I realized that I may be a bit out of date on gasket technology. For years I used the old standby permatex Type 2 and 3 sealants depending upon whether I wanted more or less hardening. But there are all of those colors of RTV type gasket makers out there now that claim greater heat capability or some kind of technological advantage. Plus there are other gasket sealants such as Hylomar that claim to be for particular applications such as water pump flanges. Anyone have experience as to what is today the best gasket sealant for such applications as water pumps, fuel pumps, oil pans, manifolds, etc?
  3. I think we need to remember that the corporate world no longer has much to do with national boundaries. Ford owns Volvo, Jaguar, Mazda. Is a Ford Ranger any more of an American product than a Mazda B2000? Volvo trucks are made in the US by Ford while what used to be Ford trucks are now called Sterling. Paccar, the parent company of that very American producer of Kenworth and Peterbilt trucks now make thousands of units in India and China for those markets. Are they still American? And what about Chrysler? Aren't they a German company? How much GM stock is currently owned by overseas investors? How much of Mitsubishi is owned by Americans? Does it really matter? I was sitting in the Marriott hotel in Chongqing, Peoples Republic of China, not long ago having a drink with the CFO of the Cummins Diesel plant there. He told me that over half of the diesel engines currently made in China are Cummins. The Chinese lady that was with me was surprised at that but she couldn't quite believe that the Marriott we were sitting in was an American hotel--she thought it was Chinese. And when you come right down to it, how much different is that 2005 Pontiac or Buick from a Toyota Camry or a Hyundai anyway? If you want a real Buick, buy a '55 Roadmaster or a Series 90 from the '30's. They're more fun to drive anyway.
  4. I just ran across a non-classic, 39 Ford Tudor Deluxe for sale for well under $10,000 that is tempting me. It's unrestored and unmodified and has been in a museum collection on the West coast for many years, until recently. The interior is original and without tears or wear spots, headliner the same, engine seems strong. The paint has a lot of crazing and chips but there is no rust or apparent body work and the chrome is very good. The price seems fair to me but probably not a steal so it's hard for me to convince my wife that this car needs to take up space in our garage. If this car were a full classic in this kind of unrestored condition, I wouldn't hesitate... but a Ford Tudor? It seems like most of the 30's Fords have been modified as hot rods and the few that haven't have been restored heavily with a lot of replica parts, which are so easily available. I know that over 100,0000 Ford Tudors were made in 1939, but how many unrestored examples are left that aren't a pile of rust? I wonder what kind of demand there is for unrestored Fords. Anyone have any thoughts on whether this car might be worth saving from the hot-rodders even though it is a non-classic? Would I be shunned at a CCCA event if I didn't feel like driving my Auburn that day and came in one of Henry Ford's V-8 potatoes? Even though I am a CCCA ad ACD member and generally prefer the early 30's classic look, I have always thought the late 30's Fords had nice styling compared to other mainstream cars of the streamline era-- at least the front end and fenders. Like I said, this one's tempting me.
  5. Does anyone know when vinyl or imitation leather was first used in American car interiors and by what manufacturers? Was it first considered a premium "miracle of modern science" material, or a cheap substitute for leather? The earliest use I know of is 34-36 Auburn open cars which, according to the ACD Club Judging standards, used vinyl on seatbacks and door skins with leather on the seats, themselves.
  6. You could have a good fuel pump and still be experiencing these problems-- essentially a form of vapor-lock caused by the inability of mechanical pumps to draw fuel up to the front of the car without vaporizing, due to high volatility gasolines of today. If all else fails, the solution is to install a 6 volt auxiliary electric pump as far back and low on the fuel line as you can so that it pushes fuel up to the the engine. You can find a couple of other threads on this forum on 6 volt electric fuel pumps.
  7. Randall, By far, the best stuff I have used for restoring suppleness to leather is something called Leatherique Rejuvenator oil. It's not really an oil and the description about collagen sounds like something out of cosmetic counter sales hype, but it really works. Not cheap, but you can order it at: www.leatherique.com You may have to lightly sand the surface of the old leather with something like 600 wet/dry before you rub in the oil to help it to soak in. It sounds strange but sanding leaves the surface very smooth and breaks any surface barrier from old wax or dirt. Put the oil on overnight or leave it on for a few hours with the car in the sun-- then take it off with the cleaner. I found that the suppleness lasts for about a year.
  8. There may be one to two day seminars on various antique auto technical subjects from local automotive museums in your area. The Towe Museum in Sacramento CA (of which I am a member) for example, offers the following seminars this year (open to anyone who wants to pay the modest enrollment fee): http://www.toweautomuseum.org/html/mt-class.html
  9. Probably worn gears and adjustment of the head unit is needed, but there may also be something going on with the cable. I had the same symptoms a couple of years ago with a 30's Stewart Warner unit. My suggestion is to find the nearest trucking center on an interstate and look for a commercial speedometer/tachometer repair service nearby. There should be one in the vicinity of those areas where the International/Peterbuilt/Freightliner dealers all seem to congregate. If you are on the West Coast, the one I have used that has an older guy that likes to work on the really old instruments, is: Commercial Speedometer Service Inc. 2446 Evergreen Ave. West Sacramento, CA 95691 916-371-5873 It might be best to take in both the cable and head unit.
  10. Frankly, I wouldn't worry about parts much. Buy the make and model that you like. I have never had trouble finding a part for a '34 Auburn although most people can't seem to believe that. If the car has any collectible value, there is someone-- probably more than one, that has NOS, used or reproduction parts for your car. You just have to know where to find them and the way to do that is to join the national club for that marque, AACA, CCCA or whatever applies. I can find just about any tuneup and maintenance part for my Auburn at the local NAPA dealer. You can get any rubber part for any major (and some minor) American made car from the 1930's on from Steele Rubber products. But most of all, component parts in the 30's and 40's were made to be repaired and not just replaced as they are today, so unless a part is completely destroyed in a collision or something, you can rebuild it or fix it.
  11. Modern cars require little effort and demand little involvement or thought by the driver. Vintage cars make you aware that you are driving a machine and you have to be involved with it. This is both the pleasure of driving them and the distraction when all you want to do is just get somewhere. You may think that air conditioning, comfortable seats and ergonomic interiors are something that you can do without, but if you are married or have kids, will there be times when they will have to ride in it as well? Will they share your sense of sacrifice? Unless you live on the coast, central California is hot 4 or 5 months of the year. What are they going to say when their shirts begin to stick to the seats from the heat? Older cars often have poor insulation through the firewall and they do get hot. Older cars also require regular maintenance--a lot more-- frequent oil changes and lubrication at least. It was no accident that the old full service gas stations would check the water and oil at every fill-up. They needed attention. Older cars have single hydraulic brake systems and for safety sake, they need to be in top shape at all times. Even then, they will not stop the car in anywhere near in as short of a distance as that Honda Civic in front of you. And you won't be going 70 mph on the freeway... welcome to the truck lane. Do you ever get in traffic jams? Stop and go traffic is no fun in a vintage car. Many had marginal cooliing systems to begin with and vapor lock can even more of a problem today with current gasoline formulations than it was when those cars were new. Of course, there are some things you can do to make them more drivable and safer. Add an electric auxilliary fuel pump. Put in seat belts. Maybe consider a 12-volt conversion, electronic ignition, auxiliary electric radiator fan or radial tires if authenticity is not important to you. Some cars of the 40's and early 50's have a reputation for reliability (such as the Chrysler products of that era) that might make them a better daily driver but might not appeal to your sense of style. Now if you still feel good about the idea, by all means, go find that 1949 Buick or whatever suits your taste and have fun. I'll be the guy giving you the thumbs up from my '34 Auburn on Highway 99 outside of Sacramento. But maybe not every day... not if it's over 95 outside... or raining... or if I have to get there fast... or if the freeways are jammed up... or maybe not if my wife's along and she's a little cranky that day. Those days you can find me in that new Volvo with the cruise control set....
  12. For an online price guide and one that lists obscure and very old marques you might look at: http://www.manheimgold.com/car_lo.html This source tends to be conservative about prices but I find a lot of other "price guides" go the opposite direction in an attempt at selling guides (particularly printed ones) that make owners feel good (so they sell more guides, presumably). No one wants to read that that classic car they paid $30,000 for two years ago is actually worth $20,000 to 99% of the market. I tend to take a very critical view of prices on eBay. The few collector car eBay sales I know of didn't actually sell at the auction, but only later when so-called "reserves" were never met. I suspect that most eBay sellers are not really serious about it since it costs essentially nothing to list a car there. The truth is that a rare car is worth whatever someone will pay for it at any given point in time and how well a seller reaches the small number of potential buyers that may be out there.
  13. Halon is, of course, no longer allowed by EPA to be produced. However there are a few manufacturers still selling extinguishers using recycled halon and servicing can still be obtained in a number of places. I bought a 2.5 lbs chrome halon extinguisher from H3R a few years ago. They have other sizes as well as non-chrome ones for a bit less. Very nice chrome finish and looks real good in a classic car. Their vehicle order page is: http://www.h3r.com/products/home_vehicle.htm
  14. On the subject of pedal cars, maybe someone can help me identify this pedal car that is a part of my family history. The photo was taken in 1927 in Flint Michigan and is my Uncle Dick with a Christmas present. The car came from Mott's Department Store in Flint and was a gift from the owner to my grandfather in return for fixing some steam pipes in his store that winter. My mother seemed to remember it cost $150 in 1927-- way beyond the range of my family at the time if it had not been a gift but her memory may have not been that good since $150 seems like a lot for a toy when you could buy a car for $500-600 at the time. No one in the family remembers what kind of a car it was, but since there were a number of auto makers active in Flint at the time (Dort, Flint, Buick, etc) I always thought it might have been made by one of the body works like Fisher Body. But now that I see your post, I can make out similar parts such as the grill louvers, windshield frame and bumpers. If your's is a Cadillac, maybe some of these cars were made by Fisher since they were located in Flint. My uncle's car had nice detailing like the Nickel plated step plate, bumpers and radiator and pinstriping. The windshield and top folded down and the doors opened. You can see running lights on the running board like Studebaker had as an option in the lete 20's.
  15. Another source of 6-volt halogen head and tail lights bulbs is: http://classicandvintagebulbs.com/index.html These are made in Australia but there are North American distributors listed. I have bought them from Marc Michon in Fresno CA (scout@madnet.net). One thing I learned about halogens is that they are less tolerant of voltage spikes in unregulated systems than standard bulbs. If you have a third brush type generator, make sure that it is adjusted properly or you will blow out the bulb. Marc told me that the halogens will pop at about 10.5 volts whereas tungsten bulbs will take up to about 11.6 volts.
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