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Posts posted by Aaron65

  1. I dripped a few drops of oil into the cups last night, and I'll drip a couple of more today before running it again.


    I ordered the bearing, bushing, and brushes for $19 shipped from eBay, so I'll have the parts if I need them.  Thanks!  Nobody in town does generators anymore.  Even the local electric motor shop doesn't mess with them.

  2. Am I reading right that your two bad cylinders were losing pressure through the exhaust valves?  Why not (for now) just pull the heads and have your local shop check out the valves?  That may buy some time (maybe a lot of time) before you have to do anything else to it.  Not to mention, it's cheaper than doing a whole engine, and if you have to do the bottom end in the future, the heads will already be done.  One less thing, you know?  


    Just my two cents, which may be as worthless as it sounds.

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  3. My '53 is in a bad mood lately...The fuel pump is gushing oil (no big surprise there), I'm in the midst of fixing the rear quarter window mechanism, and now the generator is whining.  I pulled the fan belt and didn't hear the noise, and my stethoscope seems to indicate that it's the generator.  


    The brushes seem to have about a quarter inch or so of material left.  If I had to guess, I'd say the noise is coming from the rear of the case.  It's more pronounced at certain RPMs; for example, it's almost quiet at idle.


    First, am I missing something obvious, or is the assumption that the rear bushing is going bad a decent one?  If I tear it apart to replace the bushing, front bearing, and brushes, is there anything else I should be looking for (or do)?  


    Surprisingly, I've never rebuilt a generator, so although I've heard it's not too hard, I'd like to avoid any surprises once I get in there. 


    Oh yeah, it's charging fine according to the ammeter.  Thanks!

  4. Just to update...I pulled the speedometer out, and I don't know how I didn't notice this, but the needle needed to be repositioned to zero MPH. It must have gotten tweaked in shipping or something. I have yet to reinstall it, but that would have to help...it was resting all the way over to the left on the speedometer face itself, so I had to move it at least a half inch. I just grabbed the spindle with a pair of needlenose pliers and moved the needle as gently as I could until it was positioned correctly. It seems to move and return normally, so I guess I didn't bend anything! My goal is to get it back into the car and try it again tomorrow. Thanks for awakening me to that idea, NTX...

  5. Well, I did the odometer test by driving 10 miles on the freeway today, and the odometer is actually .4 miles FAST over 10 miles, yet the speedometer is approximately 10 mph slow at all times. I think I'm going to have a heck of a time figuring this one out!

  6. That's the confusing part...I checked the odometer against mile markers on the freeway last night, and it's basically accurate. One mile equaled one mile (very closely anyway). Usually I can work through problems like this, but I'm stumped!

  7. I did a bunch of work on my '65 Skylark this winter, including pulling out the speedometer in an attempt to lube it (it was clicking). It has always read fairly accurately. When I started driving it this spring, the speedometer was slow all the time, regardless of speed. I figured I screwed something up and sent the speedometer out to get rebuilt. It came back with no click, but it's still 10 MPH slow. I didn't mess with anything else with the speedometer, but I checked the cable, wiped it off, and relubed it after it came back.

    I did get a new set of tires recently, of the same size, but I'm wondering if they could be that much larger to cause a difference. I would imagine, however, that it would be a certain percentage off at all times rather than roughly 10 MPH off at any speed. Either way, the odometer is accurate (as measured by mile markers on the freeway).

    Any ideas? I did email my speedo guy (who is from a very long standing business), so I'm waiting to hear from him, but I have a hard time believing that he wouldn't check the calibration before sending it out. What else might it be?

    Does anyone know where to get speedo driven gears for an ST300? Thanks, if nothing else, for letting me spitball here...this is a weird one. Sometimes, it's best not to poke the bear, that's for sure. I should have lived with a little clicking!

  8. My '53's vacuum canister finally sprung a leak (it may be original)...Luckily, I bought a NOS one several years ago in anticipation of this happening. Of course, that one will likely take a dirt nap one of these days, too. Therefore, I'd like to have the original rebuilt, because I plan to own the Special forever, if possible. Anyone know of a rebuilder? It looks like Bob's isn't doing it right now.

  9. Aaron65, when you say it doesn't like it, are specifically talking about the engine winding too high, or does the very heavy/soft suspension and steering make you feel uneasy?

    Eh, it's a little of both. It doesn't have a tach, but with those big, tall tires, I can't imagine it's turning more than 3000 RPM at 70, although that's not slow for a long stroke straight 8. You know how every car seems to have a natural cruising speed? My Mustang and Skylark will cruise at 80 all day long, no sweat. My Corvair likes 70 better. The Special just seems to be happier in the 55-60 range. If I don't look down at the speedometer for awhile, that's how fast I seem to be going when I eventually do.

    As far as the suspension/steering is concerned, it does have bias plies, but I'm used to driving old cars, so that doesn't bug me too much.

  10. I always call my '53 Special (straight-8) the most modern '30s car you'll ever drive. I've had it above 80, but it doesn't like it at all. Any more than 60-65 and it just feels uncomfortable, and the temp starts to slowly creep up if I go too fast. It's tuned fine, recored radiator, hot tanked engine at rebuild... It did the same thing before I had all the work done. I wish now I would have gone with a Roadmaster radiator core, but oh well. I'm guessing the pace was more relaxed in '53, so I just keep it in the far right lane and watch everyone else go by.

  11. Like I mentioned earlier, 1600-2000 RPM in the driveway isn't the same as 1600-2000 RPM under load. Pushing a car down the road is going to require more throttle input, opening the throttle valve and allowing the car to operate on the main jet rather than the idle jet. 2000 RPM in neutral is probably still on the idle/transition circuit.

    You're right in that it's probably OK a little leaner, because the manufacturers did seem to run the circuits rich until emission standards started coming down the pike in the late '60s. The '74 Holley 1945 on my Dart was really set up lean from the factory. My Skylark, on the other hand, with it's '65 model Carter AFB, is a little fat all the way through the rev range. It does not come anywhere near carboning up the plugs, however. My '53 Buick is fine on the idle and low speed circuits, but leans out to a 15.5:1 AFR at cruising speed. Your mileage may vary...take it as you will.

    The car did come out looking great...

  12. Stromberg jets are roughly their size in inches, AKA a 48 would be .048. Holleys are often one size down, like a 63 would actually be .062. These are not hard and fast rules, however, and there is more to jet flow than orifice size. Orifice shape is important too, which is why sometimes, two different jet numbers can have the same size orifice.

    Barry, I do think you should hook an air/fuel gauge to the Zephyr. Plug readings with modern gas are nearly irrelevant, as it doesn't color the plugs like old leaded gas would. I'd hate to see you damage the engine by leaning it out too much. I believe I mentioned earlier in the thread that most Corvair specialists run a couple sizes richer to keep the engines cool. I certainly wouldn't drop more than one or two jet sizes from factory in any situation, and even that shouldn't be necessary most of the time.

  13. There are no aftermarket intakes for the 300. If you want to go 4-barrel with a cast iron 300 (which the '65 has), you have you buy a factory cast iron manifold, which was only offered for '65. These usually go for around $300. I'd post a wanted ad on v8buick.com when the time comes. As for headers, I think you'll find that the stock manifolds are pretty good for a mainly stock engine (other than their propensity to crack). Unfortunately, the 300 has few "go-fast" parts available. With a 4-speed, however, it'll have plenty of get up and go if you keep your expectations aligned with reality. I believe that powertrain would have come stock with 3.23 gears, which are about right for a nice street car. Good luck!

  14. It's a simple swap. I'll let you know what we find. Anyone in the Detroit area have an exhaust analyzer I could borrow?

    You may want to wait until you can drive the car at various speeds. The carb will be operating on the idle/transition circuits at low speeds, and the main jets don't really come into play until the car is traveling at a reasonable speed, usually cruising down the road at 40 MPH or even more. If the car isn't under load, you more than likely won't be able to recreate actual cruise conditions. If that carb hasn't been modified, I'd imagine it's close enough for now.

  15. I have found that the opposite is true regarding jetting; most old engines with stock jetting tend to be pretty close (because they jetted them rich from the factory) or a touch lean due to the 10% ethanol content. I think the best way to determine jetting is to use a wideband O2 sensor clipped to the tailpipe. I even used mine on my '53 with a 6 volt electrical system by carrying a 12 volt battery on the passenger floor with the connections clipped to it. I found that the '53 is just a touch lean with its stock jetting. My wideband has been a great tool, but one thing I have determined is that they definitely run better when they are a little richer than you'd set them up for fuel economy, and the fuel economy doesn't seem to suffer either. If I had CD ignition boxes or HEI modules on mine, they may fire a leaner mixture OK (15.5-16:1), but with points/Pertronix, they don't tend to like it. In fact, my Corvair really prefers a cruising AFR of 14:1, and my experiences are generally backed up by the Corvair community, which seems to jet the carbs a little richer for cooling purposes and driveability.

  16. Of all the modern mags, I used to like Road and Track the best, but then Peter Egan retired and they moved the editorial office to Ann Arbor with Car and Driver. Now it's basically Car and Driver, Part II. I get both, but only because they're cheap. I still get Car Craft only because I have for almost 15 years. It's OK, but I'm not a speed freak, so it has little relevance to me since I'm not putting an LS-engine in anything anytime soon. I do still enjoy Hemmings Classic Car and Sports Car and Exotic. To me, they're the best magazines out there right now. I got Hot Rod until earlier this year, but got sick of looking at those rich guy builds. I like cars that are basically factory stock anyway, so it wasn't a good mix.

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