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About Gary_Ash

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    SouthCoast, Massachusetts

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  1. For Victorialynn and other West Coast people, The Brassworks in Paso Robles, CA is the place to go for any radiator or heater core. They built an excellent radiator from scratch for my 1932 Indy car replica. See Even for East Coast people, the shipping cost is not that bad.
  2. I don’t think there are bananas and palm trees, as seen in the background, growing in Switzerland. China or another southeast Asian country is more likely. Maybe someone is just using a Swiss email account - sort of like a Swiss bank account. If I thought for 1 minute that my $15,000 would actually get that car into a shipping container bound for the U.S., I’d be all over it. But, how do you cement a deal like this without a friend on the ground to check on the bonafides?
  3. The radiator in my 1948 Studebaker M5 pickup truck sprung a big leak, probably a solder joint let go. I had a new core installed about 15 years ago when I restored the truck. So, I thought, “No problem, I’ll just pull the radiator out and haul it to the local radiator shop in New Bedford or Fall River, MA.” It turns out, there aren’t any shops left in the area that can solder up a leak in a copper core or replace an old core. All the local garages can do is order a new one, usually an aluminum core with plastic tanks for current cars. It’s strictly remove-and-replace. After many phone calls, I found Central Auto Radiator in Pawtucket, RI, about 30 miles away. They are a full-service shop capable of repairing and recoring. But, he said he is now the only shop between Boston and Connecticut that does this work. He buys cores from Maine Auto Radiator in Lewiston, ME, one of the last suppliers of cores for antique and specialty vehicles. So, if you have a real radiator shop near you, go give the owner a big hug and some of your business.
  4. Places like Summit Racing, JEGS, Speedway Motors, etc. will sell you a conversion kit to put disk brakes on the front axle of your truck. Rear brakes don't matter so much. To solve the traction issue, drive to the lumber yard and have them load a pallet of 2x4's into the bed or some bags of sand.
  5. I'm with Gunsmoke (see posts above) on people who develop an interest early in their lives, i.e. childhood. When my daughters were little and had a group of friends over to play on a rainy day, I could throw a pile of colored paper, string, glue, popsicle sticks, and crayons on the floor. Some of the kids would dig in and make stuff happily, others would stare at the ceiling or just annoy each other. I thought I could tell the budding engineers from the others. The hands-on kids went on to ride and fix their own bikes, eventually took an interest in cars. My father wasn't into mechanical stuff, but my next door neighbor was an old guy who had been head of an engineering department at Johns Hopkins Univ. He owned a big wooden sailboat, was always fixing something in his garage. He told me frankly, "Son, nothing is ever going to work right if you don't cuss at it!" - and he did, quite loudly at times. I played with taking apart old watches, fixing lawnmowers, building go-karts, and eventually at 17 acquiring a 1950 Ford convertible for $50 in 1961. It took a lot of fixing - and cussing - to keep it going, but it was all low budget stuff. It got painted with a case of spray cans. As the years went by, I bought more tools and learned more skills. Going to an engineering high school and taking engineering in college helped me a lot. Fifty years of engineering work on mechanical and electrical stuff provided many learning experiences. A succession of interesting cars came and went, none really expensive or show quality. But, it wan't until my daughters got out of college and married, that I had the time and money to seriously pursue old cars. Since then, I've completely restored two cars, have a third one making very slow progress, and I'm working hard on building a replica of a 1932 Studebaker Indy car from scratch. Since the age of 50, I've learned welding, machining, aluminum body fabrication, transmission rebuilding, and lots of other things. I've also learned when to pay good people to do work that I can't or shouldn't. As others have said, you have to keep at it, be willing to fail and try again, and love what you are doing. At 75, I'm a pretty competent mechanic and fabricator, and know how to do project management. There is an old Pennsylvania Dutch saying: "We get too soon old and too late smart." Start early!
  6. If you can handle fiberglass fenders, here they are: Trk.html
  7. OK, I'll have to finish off a few more of these. Didn't think they would be so popular. Please bear with me, I'll let you two know when they are ready.
  8. Al, if you look at the photo just above of the back side of the tail, you can count the five pieces that make up each half. There is about 6 ft of weld seams in each half, plus joining the halves will take another 6 ft of welding and finishing. Each half is now about as big as even a tall guy like Wray can handle on an English wheel, but you would never want to try making it as one piece..
  9. I was back at Wray Schelin's Pro Shaper shop this past weekend (May 10-12) for some more 13-hour days of metal shaping on the tail for the car. All the pieces had been previously formed and some welded together, but it was finally time to do some serious assembly. I had thought that the forming of the 10 pieces was going to be the most time consuming step - I was wrong. Wray wanted each panel tuned to the exactly correct shape and smooth enough to not need any Bondo before paint. The pieces got tacked on the outside, welded on the inside, and then welded on the outside to make a continuous seam without pits. Using small pneumatic angle grinders (Harbor Freight, Home Depot, Tractor Supply), the weld was ground down almost flush with the panel, then it was planished by hand and with the pneumatic planisher. Additional leveling of the seam and surrounding was done with steel slapper and dolly until a body file could cleanly scrape away any red Dykem. An HF orbital grinder with 2" pads of 80 and 120 grit were used to completely smooth the weld area, making the seam almost invisible. Because the weld metal is a slightly different color than the 3003 sheet, you can still see the seam if you look hard enough. The slapping, filing, and grinding took hours for each seam. The inside of the weld has to be ground flush , too, so that the part can fit in the English wheel. We finished up by wheeling the seam and surrounding area to get a very good finish and shape that flows correctly. There are no flat surfaces, all are convex to one degree or another. I'm now down to having just two pieces to join together, the left and right halves. The challenge will be to weld and finish the sharp back edge of the tail where it can't be clamped and access to the inside will be difficult. I'm getting better at the metal shaping, but it's still Wray who welds and tunes the surfaces. Tacked seam Fully welded seam 3" angle grinder with 50 grit and wax Assortment of grinders Slappers and dollies with shot bag Wray with planishing hammer of his own design Filing the surface after Dykem spray to reveal low spots Inside of tail showing location of weld seams The two sides on the wire form buck. After 3 days of 9:00 am to 10:00 pm, I'm pretty tired. Wray's Packard roadster project in the rear.
  10. Yes, people post in the wrong places and say dumb things, but the red bar that now appears at the top of the screen is even more annoying. Most of us have read it, now it's time to make it go away. You can't fix stupid. Can we please delete this notice?
  11. From an older Antique Studebaker Club "Review" magazine. Sorry that page 7 got displayed first, it should be last. The rest seem to be in order.
  12. I can't believe that all you guys forgot the famous Wolf Whistle. You can still buy one. A gentle series of pulls on the actuator string could make all kinds of noises. See
  13. The chassis pieces are at the paint shop. I was able to stuff the 12 ft long rails into my Ford Expedition, front end on the dash, back end against the tail gate. All the other pieces plus the cross members fit into a plastic milk crate. The paint shop called to say that the paint code I gave them, an interior gray for a 2018 Chevy Bolt, wasn't obtainable from their vendors. I had used the "color picker" function in Photoshop Elements to get a computer code from some photos I have of several Indy cars. I don't think the existing cars have the same chassis color, but they are all light gray, non-metallic. After reviewing the codes that Photoshop gave me, I found another gray paint that is very close. It's the light gray used on old Ford 8N tractors from the 1950's. Several suppliers make single-stage paints that match the color including Tractor Supply and Rustoleum. The paint shop was happy that a simple solution was found and I'm happy that I can buy matching paint in the future if I need to touch up anything.
  14. The short answer is Yes. If you need to move the metal a lot, say an inch or more, you'll need to make a bunch of big walnuts in the metal and wheel them out to stretch. Then match the metal up to the buck to see if you are close, then hit it again. If the metal needs to be moved only 1/16th inch, then a few light taps in the middle of the low spot and lighter ones around the outside will gradually get you there. Making a paper pattern on the buck before you start hammering will show how much shrink/stretch you need and where to put it. Go to the website and watch the four videos (free) about making a fender for a E-type Jaguar to see how Wray Schelin does it. Ed Barr is a professor at McPherson College, the only place that formally teaches auto restoration in the U.S. He wrote an excellent paperback book called Professional Sheet Metal Fabrication and has a new book coming out May 21. They are both available on Amazon for $27 or so. Ed's techniques are a lot like Wray's. There are lots of good, clear color photos and well-written descriptions of processes in the books. However, reading books and watching videos - or reading what I'm blabbing about - doesn't really capture the feel of the process. So, get yourself on a plane and come to Wray's in Charlton, Mass. for a Friday-through-Monday course. In four long days, 9:00 am to 10:00 pm, you'll learn a lot. You won't be an expert after four days, but you'll get a very good sense of where to spend your time learning new skills. You'll save your self a lot of time and frustration on a project. Let me know when you are coming and I'll meet you there.
  15. Al, don't forget that you can take the "Home Depot" route and assemble a "stump" or "shrinking facilitator" from 2x6s. Wrap Schelin likes to line all types of stumps with EPDM rubber roofing sheet to prevent marring the metal and protect the stump. For $0.99 you can watch his "premium video" on how to build one. See Here's a snip of the facilitator with the rubber sheet.