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Everything posted by McDar

  1. Got the belts in. There was no way to use the retractable mechanism since the seat is tight against the center pillar post and the retractor would have to be put behind the seat in the rear passengers foot space. Used a three point with adjustable belts and put a clothes hanger hook at the top of the center pillar to hold belts out of the way when not in use. The center belts are fastened to the back of the seat first (behind the bottom cushion) and then a second short adjustable strap goes to the same bolt on the rear side of the seat to the floor anchor. Actually have short lengths of chain on the rear till upholstery shop makes up the adjustable straps. Belts feel comfortable and not distracting while driving. Would have liked the retractors because I have to unsnap to reach the glove box or other far reaches. Guess it's still better than eating a windshield.
  2. I was going to go with a Pertronix but would still have had the breaker plate, advance weights, and all the parts inherent to the factory distributor so I modified an Oldsmobile HEI to use instead. When gas was $4 a gallon I was on a quest to get 17mpg in my 37 Special because we do l-o-n-g trips in it. One thing that was needed was a rock steady spark source and for that the GM HEI can't be beat. An added bonus is parts can be bought cheaply at any parts store. It absolutely would not be for anyone wanting to keep things under the hood looking factory but for a cruiser it's the cats meow. Went to 12v and radial tires for the same reasons. Since you said yours is a cruiser you may (or not) be interested. Either way good luck with your project.
  3. Any suggestions how to route the center seat belts through the front seats on a four door sedan? Has a sheet metal back on the seat that runs from the top of the seat back to the bottom frame. If it wasn't already upholstered a slot for each belt would be easy. Maybe an upholstery shop has some kind of grommet that could be sewed or glued on to the area where the cloth is slotted for the belt. What have others done? Thank you; Evan
  4. Got it out, just wasn't holding it right. Putting it back together was even more of a joy.
  5. Is there a trick to getting the rocker (actuator) arm out of the body of a 52 Special dual action fuel pump? I removed both the gas and vacuum diaphragm covers and the pivot pin on the rocker arm. Have held the pump body in every position, shook, bumped, what have you and the rocker arm won't come out. Thank you: Evan
  6. Problem solved. It finally dawned on me that all I need is a good outer rim from any 18" wheel with the same cross section size. I have several. With a banjo wheel the stainless wire spokes and horn center are a non-factor in making a new casting.
  7. I'm in Trenton, Texas which is around 50 miles NE of Dallas.
  8. I would like to rent, borrow, or buy a steering wheel for a 1937 Special that is good enough to make a pattern for a mold. I can buy a new recast one but I want to try it myself. My old one is completely shot with most of the plastic gone and just the steel ring and and banjo wires to the center left. The process does no harm to the wheel, it's just pressed down into a special clay to form a female mold in which the resin is poured to make the new wheel. Would be willing to put up a deposit and the wheel does not have to be perfect. I can fill any cracks which I've done many times, and take care of any other small flaws just as long as it still has the finger grip bumps on the back side and is good enough to give a good impression. If the first one comes out good I could make a second one for payment. Thank you; Evan
  9. There are so MANY things it could be. Check the clutch by sifting into high gear at around 10mph and accelerating hard; if the engine revs but the car doesn't move faster clutch is probably OK. I'm suspicious of the exhaust of a car this happens to, everything from rats nest to pipe collapse. Take the exhaust pipe bolts loose at the manifold and try it out; ignore the noise. Check to see if the advance is working on the distributor. Try without air cleaner on. My 37 Special had 4.44 gears in it and would still run 65 easily (8.25/15 tires).
  10. The insulated spring loaded horn wire contact on the side of the steering column tube of my 37 Special. I broke the plastic (or Bake-Lite) insulator while trying to remove the horn wire terminal end. Does anyone sell them? If not I'll make some. Got the gear box back from Lare's and decided to put a new wire in the steering shaft, big mistake.
  11. That would indeed be an interesting picture. I wonder if there is still good access to the distributor. My compressor is mounted on the drivers side on a home fabricated mounting plate. I made head bolts with a 3/8-24 stud on top and then heat treated. The mount fits on these and also has a brace from the underside down to a factory drilled and tapped hole in the side of the block. The mount plate holes are slotted one direction and the angle iron compressor brackets are slotted 90 degrees to these so belt alignment can be dialed in. Absolutely no problems from this set up but if you look at the one picture you can see how very little belt wrap is on the water pump pulley. Single belt has to be run very tight.
  12. Fifty year old car with 115k miles---pretty good chance your hydraulic lifters and old valve springs will decide your redline right quick.
  13. My engine is a 263 but the drive should be adaptable to other sizes. I have an a/c unit in my 37 Special (a necessity in Texas) and have not found any double crankshaft pulleys. The singe V belt really doesn't have enough wrap around the water pump pulley and could use more on the generator. I'm not into selling parts but if there is any interest I will take pictures. As it is now the single V belt will go through several vibration ranges and one is at 65-70 which is my cruising speed. The serpentine belt can have idlers and tensioners on either the front or back side of the belt so maybe this will solve the problem. I don't need power steering but since one can add as many accessories as needed to a single serpentine belt a p/s pump would be compatible.
  14. Not completely finished but wanted to take on the annual Bug Tussle cruise.
  15. This one was very far gone with many parts missing so it became a street rod. What floor was left was mostly rusted loose from the body, door bottoms were gone, and couldn't find a deck lid so made the trunk opening in the body fit a 39 Buick coupe deck lid. Am a nut about body panel gaps so lots of bracing used even though it is hard to work around. I know, it would be better if back stock but sometimes it's better to save as a rod than to crush.
  16. Yes, still had hydraulic windows. Unique (to me) in that the cylinders only raised the windows up and springs about the size of hood springs pulled the windows down.
  17. This was very rough but few Starfires still exist so it was worth it. Probably could not have been done without a super clean 98 sedan donor. I don't know what ails me but as soon as a car is done I just want to send it on it's way so I can start on another "hopeless" case. Car is now in Dick's Car Museum in San Marcos, Texas. If I get to feeling a bit cocky about myself I look at "Landmans" restoration of his families 1934 Chevy Master 5wc and I feel humble again. Always a faster gun out there.
  18. Walked the Decatur swap meet with Ben or at least as far as two 78 year olds WANT to walk and discussed this further. He remembered that a 52 engine had a plate that diverts coolant to the heater outlet and he'd had a water pump disassembled that had sludge built up there. I'll check this out. I bypassed the shut off valve and blew through the return hose---instant geyser out of filler neck but thank you for your suggestions.
  19. About the best rust penetration fluid on the market right now (in my opinion) is "Kroil" by Aero Corporation. It might be good to soak it for a few days and try a vise grip on the stub sticking out but don't twist it off as this will still give you something to weld a nut on. Others have had success by warming enough to melt paraffin on the stub and let it work down the threads. Yet some others swear by a mixture of ATF and acetone. I also have a 37 Special and you are so right about it being CLOSE work around the front of the engine.
  20. Need to have some suggestions on what might be ailing my old 37, I think it must be the water pump. Here's what I have and what I have done. Put a heat and a/c combination unit in and a/c works great but heater gives a puff of hot and then goes cold. I run two hoses from my Ranger pickup over to the hoses going into the 37 heater and it blew hot air at all fan speeds. Engine is a 52 263 straight eight with a 195 thermostat. Pulled (pressure) heater hose off, plugged heater and held hose over radiator fill; had a full stream running back into the radiator. Heats fine hooked to the Ranger but won't heat from the straight eight. Checked coolant temp with thermometer and it's right on 190. Ideas please Thank you; Evan
  21. My 37 Special has been on 12 volts for about 30 years now and I see several advantages. All accessories offered such as cell phone and Gps plug ins are 12v as well as any of the sound system stuff. I'm not a gadget person so the big thing with me is 12v ignition, lighting, wipers, charging, heater motors, etc can be bought at a local parts store but the biggest was the 6v batteries just didn't seem to last as long as they used to. All the bulbs are a direct change out with 12v ones and the only gauge that needs a reducer is the gas gauge; the oil and temp are mechanical and the amp gauge doesn't know the difference between 6v amps and 12v amps. If you have a radio or keep the 6v heater motor then they take higher rated voltage reducers so I just converted both over to 12v units. I drive the snot out of mine (planing on a lap around the U.S. this year) so it also has an alternator and an HEI distributor which can be serviced or replaced anywhere along the road. Some like to see everything exactly the way it rolled off the line in 37 and to them I say, "jump in and follow me on a 4000 mile jaunt" and see who is the more relaxed during the trip. Babied or a trailer queen---NEVER.
  22. I have a standard flywheel and clutch assembly that was on the 1952 263 that is in my 37 40 Series which I have no use for. Made a long distance runner out of the 37 by going to a Turbo 350 (Bengsten adapter) and a 2.73 rear end. Plan on a lap of the US this summer and have no doubts that the 263 is up to the trip. Got her up to <> 17mpg and gas is down so this is the year, health providing.
  23. My grill is in good shape but the hood center strip is rough. If you work with stainless have you ever considered hood strips or running board trim? Seems to be a number looking for these items.
  24. I have used a place on Summit Avenue (Hillary??) in Plano, Texas that will make a thread die of any size, pitch, or thread count. Cost is about $100. Threads on suspension components that have been lengthened or shortened are usually where the problem arises since ones dealing with both right and left hand threads. For just five screws I'd simply turn them and thread them on a lathe. We use our ancient old Monarch engine lathe (it might have made the original ones) for small runs and a turrent lathe to gin out a bunch of ones that are used for many applications---like flare head body panel bolts. Be aware that it's a bit pricey for any machine shop to tool up for a short run. Once tooled up they can, and do, make them for pennies each.