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About unclefogey

  • Birthday 05/15/1943

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  1. A couple of years ago, I lamented the fact that my neighbor traded his Buick, he had been an exclusive Buick owner as long as I knew him, for a Toyota Avalon. I also stated that I had been working parttime during the Christmas season and every tree that I tied on an Avalon, I asked what the owner, usually a senior citizen, had owned previously. Buick was the answer numerous times. One of the replies to my thread contained the statement that the Avalon was the best Buick that Buick never built Today I am driving down the highway and I come up on a new Avalon and there on the upper right hand corner of the trunk in gleaming chrome is the word "Limited". Was I really looking at a Buick? According to Wikipedia, Buick used the word Limited from 1936 to 1942, in 1958, and various times through 2006. GM must have failed to register Limited as a trademark or it might have such common usage that it can't be trademarked. I just found it strange to see that word on an Avalon.
  2. Given the comments to the recent thread concerning the '60 Buick which ended up on its roof in Holland after being thrown from a trailer, I was surprised that there weren't more cautionary comments about this thread. Man, you have more guts than I would ever have pulling that rig from Fl to MA. Looking at this setup, I wouldn't have gone around the block with this car. Did you catch in one of the pictures the position of the left side trailer wheels in relation to the fog line? One is dead center on the line, while the other was almost completely inward of the line. Probably a bent axle. Hope you at least had surge brakes on the trailer. Without dropped axles on the trailer, the car looked like it was in the stratosphere. I bet you kissed the ground and gave thanks when you finally arrived home.
  3. Knowing that the voltage regulator in my '41 was not functioning properly, I was on the lookout for the possibility of finding one at swap meets during the winter storage time. Found a similar looking one at the Portland swap meet (was visiting a friend) which was marked as for a range of years which included '41 but was stated as being applicable to the larger series 60, 70, 80. I asked the seller if it would work in a model 46, and he repied that it wouldn't because of a different amp. rating of my generator. Can only believe this is true, because he didn't have a sale based on this info. Bought one from Bob's, the one without Delco on it for $15.00 less. Bob's lists this regulator as for all 6V, 1940-53, so, go figure. The Delco logo one is listed as only applicable through 1951, so, go figure again. Nothing is listed for '34 through '39. I wonder what these owners do when their regulators give out.
  4. Back in 2006, after having my '41 for about a year, I quickly realized that the Sonomatic radio was just not cutting it as an entertainment source for the planned drive to Seattle. About this time, there was a thread on this site, which probably has occurred multiple times, on the subject of 6V to 12V inverters needed to power 12 V radios. As in this thread, it was stated that all that was needed to do was to go to an electronics shop and buy an inverter, which I was never successful in doing. A search on the web resulted in the usual "how to build one schematic" and one manufacturer, Analytic Systems, (www.analyticsystems.com) located in British Columbia which offered one 6V to 12 V inverter mod. VTC125-6-12 DC/DC. This model is still offered per their website. After some time, I finally got a response from the U.S rep of the manuf., Flathead Engineering, Centenial, CO, 303-795-6900. I don't know if they still exist as a rep. The price was $299.00 plus $24.81 shipping. Because of the price, I decided to try to see if the monster size portable radio/compact tape player I bought in 1970 in the Saigon PX, which had as an additional accessory a metal box which could be mounted in a car and which had a magic switch marked 6V/12V, would still work after sitting on a shelf for 35 years. It worked! Mounted it on legs to sit over the tranny hump. Listened to three books on tape on the trip to Seattle. One drawback was lousy radio reception. Outside of metropolitan areas, nothing. I offer this info since it was the only line to an actual inverter that I found. For the price, one would think it would power any accessory you would want. On the subject of GPS, I agree, Matthew, that these units have capabilities which no one knows about. The instruction manuals leave a lot to be desired. I just learned from the Garmin website FAQs, that you can view the entire route to your destination before starting. This info was not in the manual. That is why I am not without the Rand McNalley on a trip. I just received the most recent Garmin newsletter which offers a new software capability, for a price, which will plot out the most ECO friendly route to your destination. I don't think I will bite.
  5. Friend had a Skyhawk, believe it was a '77 or '78. After 2 engines and three transmissions (5 speeds) he never again bought a GM product.
  6. OK, who is going to be the first to plug their GPS unit into a 6V cigarette lighter and report back that it didn't fry it, mess it up permanently and it worked just fine on 6V? I have an older StreetPilot 2720, the one that weighs about three lbs., and on the trip to Seattle, the first thing into the motel room was the 12V booster battery to be plugged in for a recharge. The GPS system's affinity for interstates is sometimes a very large pain to someone driving a pre-war vehicle who is intent on staying on two lane highways at a reasonable speed. Never forget the Rand McNalley Road Atlas sold at the local farm store when heading out on a long trip. John BCA 41635 '41 Mod. 46
  7. Ouch, it appears that my friend's son-in-law didn't exercise due diligence prior to taking on this job. Appears that his feeling sorry for his neighbor's plight might get him into trouble. He probably should have said that he realized that the car's putty grey interior and all its accessories are in good shape, its body painted in a color chosen from last year's women's wearing apparel trunk show is in good shape, but its engine is worth the equivalant of a garbage bag full of crushed Bud Light cans. It was time to cut her losses and to move on. It might be a good idea before a backyard mechanic takes on an engine job, is to first check if a short or long block is available from the likes of Schucks, Checker, or Pep Boys.
  8. Had to try it for the heck of it. The response back indicating the initial title issued in Virginia in 1998 for my 1998 Ranger, confirmed what I thought when I bought it in 2004. It had not lived in an area subject to road salt. The wonders of auto auctions. Its present title does not appear, because, evidently, Minnesota has not gotten with the program.
  9. Derek, I haven't been on the website for quite a period of time, a little like your vacation from ice fishing, but I see your list of Buicks has grown. On that trip, I caught one that went nose to the top of my belt with tail touching the ice, which turned out to be 42", not big for your area, but for a little lake on the outskirts of the Twin Cities, is not bad. Got him/her back in the lake as soon as possible. John
  10. Received a call from my buddy telling me that it looks like I finally will be able to get my hands on the rear end out of his '55 Special. He has finally had it with the repair bills on the Dynaflow and is going to go with a big block Chevy and drive line replacement. First question, what would the possible ratios be in a '55 Special with an automatic transmission? Even though I lucked out and have a 3.9 to 1 in the '41 Special, I would like to be able to cruise at 60 at a little less than the 2700+ rpm that she turns now. I probably will lose a little pulling power on the low end, but it shouldn't be too extreme. That was the good news. The bad news is that last year, the friend heard what he thought was a strange noise coming from the rear end, jacked it up, pulled the filler plug and was hit with a gusher of a combination of gear oil and automatic transmission fluid. As backround to the question I am about to ask, on the trip out to Seattle in 2007 in the '41, I, and two guys on Honda Goldwings, stopped at what we thought was an operating gas station on Hyway 12, it wasn't, somewhere on the high plains of Montana. In our conversation about where to get gas, one of the guys said he had a '51 Buick with a problem, and that problem was that in the previous year, the seal had gone out on the Dynaflow putting ATF into the rear end, so that his only course of action to get it running again would be an engine and driveline replacement. Second question is, is the migration of ATF into the rear end fatal to the rear end? I would assume that there are degrees of damage caused by this situation. Could repair be a possibility or if the damage might be to the ring and pinion this would be a "Live with the 3.9 and get over with it", situation?
  11. It appears that this thread turned into an interior/exterior decorator's discussion rather than GM reliability discussion. Had a discussion with my ice fishing buddy while sitting on upsidedown 5 gal. pails and waiting for the northerns to bite. He said that his son-in-law's neighbor found it was cheaper to buy the son-in-law a $3,000+ garage hoist as payment for replacing the headgaskets on her 1998( believe that was the year) Cadillac's Northstar V8 than to take it to a shop. He also said that the "book" on doing this job states that the replacement can only be done once. When his son-in-law got the engine out of the car, that's why the hoist was needed, he believed that the gaskets probably had already been replaced because many of the clips on the engine holding the wire looms were broken. Is this engine one of GM's masterpieces that should be avoided?
  12. stevo, What's wrong with covering the floor carpeting with plastic? Ever see what four guys and their dogs can do to an interior while getting in an out of a Suburban over now 10 years of hunting seasons? Used the 36" wide clear plastic carpet runner material, putting it under the seats by unbolting the buckets and middle row bench seat. Carpet was totally cherry until I borrowed the vehicle to friend's son and he dumped a 32 oz. coffee which got between the trans. hump cover and the driver's side. Carpet went from basic grey to the other available stock offering of basic tan. You can't win.
  13. Have decided that I really want to know what kind of RPM's the engine in my '41 is putting out at highway speeds rather than depending on the mph to rpm chart in shop manual because I have 15" rims vs. the stock 16". I have tried to exercise due diligence by querying prior postings and have only come up with one by ZondaC12 relating to switching wires on a 12-volt tach in his '38 until the needle stopped jumping around. Nothing was said about how many wires and where they were finally connected. I also dug deeply into the piles of junk on the shelves in my garage and found the cheap, plastic cased dwell/tach meter which has just two leads and which I hadn't used in 25 years. Per my note taped to the meter, I attached the red clamp to the dist. connection on the coil and the black to ground (for neg. grd. systems) and got what I would assume was accurate idle rpms, 550, and dwell degrees, 26. Since I don't have the meter's instructions, I don't know if the meter was for use only with 12-volt systems, and use on my 6-volt system would give questionable readings. The major drawback of my meter is that it only goes to 1200 rpms. Given the example of the results from the use of the dwell/tach meter, and even though almost all tachs seem to indicate that they are for use with 12-volt negative ground systems (eg. JC Whitney catalog), is there a possibility they might work on a 6-volt system like my tach/dwell meter? Since I realized early on in my college career in my failed attempt to became an electrical engineer, I assume nothing when it comes to electricity and always ask questions. There happens to be a couple of 6-volt Sun tach sending units on ebay, but no tachs from that era. John
  14. Point of Reference. How soon we forget about the old phone company days and such things as the EPP, better known as the Extension Phone Police. Ma Bell would determine how many phones were resident in the confines of the sacred area known as your home by measuring the current draw when the phone rang, and if you had a phone not manufactured by Western Electric or any number of phones greater than the one that you were allowed in the price of a phone line, you were branded as a scofflaw, sent a bill for each additional phone, or told to remove the non Western Electric phone because it could damage the network. I agree, unless sufferring a financial loss, a bad experience with a vendor should be cause to move on to a different one with a suck it up attitude and no more. I did it.
  15. Here we go with the "point of reference" problem again. The bigger the organization, the more likely a lot of individuals harbor some or a lot of disatisfaction with that large organization. Toiling away on a Thanksgiving keeping the phone service open will be totally cancelled out in the customer's mind who can't get DSL service because the company owning the lines determines that it is not in their plans at this time. Since you are in Washington, and I am in Minnesota, we know what phone company I am talking about. Tried to turn to the city for help, but city manager was just as frustrated as I. If the phone company doesn't want to provide DSL service lines, they don't have to. For the record, it was Ernestine (Lilly Tomlin) who said, "We are the phone company, we don't care because we don't have to." One ringy dingy, two ringy dingies, etc., etc.
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