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Posts posted by Rusty_OToole

  1. On 9/26/2017 at 10:21 AM, dei said:

    Saw this for the first time last night.

    The owner said it has 80,000 miles on it, is considered a heavy half tonne, found it's way here from Oregon 15 years ago but was sold here originally so came back.

    He said he plans to keep her as it is and loves driving it almost daily.






    For those who are not familiar Tillsonburg is a small town in southwestern  Ontario Canada. Quite a way from Oregon.

    • Like 1
  2. The two 'cans' are the electric controls for the transmission shift, there are three units, a governor a kickdown solenoid valve and ignition interrupter switch.

    Both the transmission and fluid drive take TDH tractor fluid, ISO 22 or ISO32 grade. This can be bought at Walmart, auto parts stores and farm supply stores. They are filled separately. The fluid drive fill is through the removable plate below the dash board, on the right side of the  transmission tunnel. Take off the plate and there is a hole that should have a tin knockout plug. Pry out the plug, rotate the engine and a fill plug will come into view. Stuff a rag around the hole, unscrew the plug and top up the fluid drive. The reason for the rag is so you can't drop the plug inside the bellhousing or out on the garage floor.

    The trans has 2 square pipe plugs on the right side. Top one is fill and level, bottom for draining the oil. It is supposed to be changed every 10,000 miles. Fluid drive unit never needs changing it is a sealed unit. Take the top plug out stick in your finger, if you touch oil it is fine, otherwise put some in until it drips out. Put the plug back in there you are done.

    These are a very rugged, simple and reliable transmission one of the earliest efforts at an automatic drive. They have some characteristics of a manual trans and some of an automatic. They require a special driving technique that is easy to learn.

    I prefer to start the engine with the trans in neutral and the handbrake on. Let it warm up until it will run at a slow idle. Step on the clutch, shift into High (lever away from you and down) and release clutch completely. It will not stall, that is what the fluid drive is for. Release the brake, step on the gas and away you go. When you get going 14MPH or more lift off the gas pedal and you should hear a soft *click-clack* from below the floor boards. Now you are in high gear, step on the gas and go someplace.

    When you get to a stop sign you do not need to shift or use the clutch, stop and take off again like any automatic, when you get to 14MPH lift off the gas etc.

    Low range is away from you and up, for slow driving, driving in mud snow or sand, taking off on a hill or anywhere you need extra low gear or to drive slowly. In Low range you shift up at 6MPH. You can shift on the go from Low to High range using the clutch.

    If you stomp on the gas at speed up to 50MPH it should kick down to a lower gear like any automatic.

    Reverse gear is toward you and down, take off the same as in forward gear.

    Do not slip the clutch, it is rather small and not made for slipping, use the fluid drive.

    The shifter is like a 3 speed standard but with only 2 forward and 1 reverse.

    Hope this helps, and good luck. Come back if you have any other questions.

    • Like 1
  3. Don't be afraid of an exhaust heater. I have dealt with them on VWs plenty of times. You need to go over the system and make sure there are no exhaust leaks. Then there is probably a tin shell around the heater which is rusted through and needs to be replaced or repaired. There is nothing particularly difficult or expensive in any of this, and once fixed properly, should work well for many years. I'm not sure but that it would be easier than dealing with a leaky hot water heater.

    • Like 2
  4. Is there a serial number stamped in the block anywhere? It could be the original 'Comanche' SV-266 or it could be the very similar looking 304, 345 or even the 392 (which was not offered in light trucks).

    International engines were very durable and long lived, chances are it still has the original engine unless you know for sure it was changed. You can't go by what anyone says even a former owner may be mistaken.

  5. For what it is worth I think you are doing the right thing even if nobody else does. The lesson is to qualify the customer with a few judicious questions first.  A little conversation to find out the buyer's experience level, how well equipped they are regarding garage storage and maintenance tools, and what they have in mind for the car. If necessary you can explain the facts of life to an inexperienced buyer. It should not be necessary to refuse a sale, well almost never.


    There is one other thing, besides doing right by the customer, is doing right by the car. I would hate to see a nice old car like that reduced to a rusty wreck by being left outside and driven daily in a northeastern winter.


    If you don't want to charge a restocking fee or buy it back for less than the customer paid, you could offer to trade at full price for another car that is more suited to his needs.

  6. 2 hours ago, padgett said:

    Also got a bit overextended and wound up running a bowling alley.


    List is interesting, have to get down to the seventh entry before mentioning a US car. In 1970 GMOO was there but not very interesting.

    Not a bowling alley, a chain of bowling alleys. He also owned a supermarket when he died. Not a grocery store, a supermarket. Durant always thought big, he made and lost 3 multi million dollar fortunes in his day. If you know anything about the fifties, bowling alleys and supermarkets were the  biggest retail fads of the decade. Durant would have been a multi millionaire again if he had lived until 1961. He would have been 100 years old.

  7. It would be easier to use a later model 235 or 261 Chev six. Millions were made from 1954 to 1962. The 261 found only in Chevrolet trucks 2 ton and larger, and Canadian Pontiacs. The 235 was standard equipment in Chevrolet cars and trucks.


    The GMC engine was swapped into Chevies before the V8 came out in 55 but they usually went for the big 302 cu in one. A lot of extra work to swap in a 228 which is actually smaller in displacement  than a standard Chev six.


    I had a chance at a 270 GMC and considered swapping it into a 42 Chev I own but turned it down in favor of a 261.

    • Like 1
  8. I think the real lesson is, know your customer and don't sell him something he can't handle. A few polite questions, in this case, would have revealed that the customer was a newbie with stars in his eyes who expected something out of all reason. The only thing to do in cases like that is to politely enlighten the customer and if possible, sell them something suitable to their needs and experience level.


    I don't like the idea that the only reason to be in business is to make a fast buck by hook or by crook, and it is perfectly ok to rip off your customers by selling them something they can't use if they are too green to know the difference. That may be the way they do business today but I still don't like it.

  9. All the glass on that car is flat glass. Any good auto glass shop can cut glass to fit. If they have the patterns which they probably won't. They can use the old glass for patterns even if it is separated or cracked. The car should be symmetrical, that is, left and right side the same so even if one piece is missing they can use the opposite side.

    Then there are specialists as Xander and 30Dodge have named.

    Worst case, you could cut pieces of masonite or paneling to fit and use them for patterns.

    Ask the seller for parts, glass, etc. if anything is missing you are in trouble on a car as rare as that one.

  10. Bloo has the answer. You can think of it like shooting ducks. The faster the duck is moving the more you have to lead it when you fire your shotgun.

    The same applies to lighting a fire in the cylinder. The mixture may seem to explode instantly but in fact it takes time for the flame front to travel from the spark plug ignite all the mixture. It only takes a split second but, when an engine is running 4000 RPM it is firing 33 times a second!

    So, when the engine is barely moving as when being turned by the starter you want little or no advance, as the engine speeds up you need more advance for the mixture to burn completely before the piston goes too far down.


    Vacuum advance is a separate issue and has more to do with economy and avoiding spark knock.

    • Like 3
  11. Why didn't you tell the customer the truth?


    That car was not a good daily driver when it was brand new, and it passed its Best Before date during the Eisenhower administration. It is a collector's item, a fair weather car to be enjoyed on nice days, on lightly traveled roads, at speeds of 50 MPH and under.


    If you told the customer that, he probably would not have bought it but you might have sold him something more suitable like a Mustang.


    Under the circumstances you did the right thing to give him his money back. I have done similar deals when the customer was not satisfied. It's a pain in the neck but it's the right thing to do. You deserve credit for going the extra mile to protect your customer, I hope he appreciates it.

    • Like 2
  12. What are they made of? I have heard of making new steel clutch plates from cut down circular saw blades when replacements were not available. Have also heard of cutting friction plates from masonite. The mechanic who did this, was an Indian motorcycle expert. He made a new clutch for an Indian 4 that came with a multi plate wet clutch with steel and brass plates, his steel and masonite replacement worked better and smoother, did not stick together when cold and lasted for many years. He also had a trick to separate the plates when cold, he drilled holes around the edge of the plates and put in pieces of neoprene O ring to act as springs to push the plates apart.

  13. There are other reasons to design a car specifically for taxicab duty. One has to do with passenger compartment size, a large passenger compartment with jump seats allows for taking 5 passengers instead of 3 and in some cities, this allows the driver to charge more money. Combine a large roomy body with a short wheelbase chassis for maneuverability and a small, heavy duty motor for economy and reliability. All designed for long, hard use with minimal repair and upkeep and you have a car quite different from an ordinary passenger car.

    Especially in the teens and twenties it was possible to build a few hundred, or a few thousand cars a year at competitive prices. There were many suppliers of chassis frames, axles, brakes, engines etc and bodies were made with wood frames and metal panels with minimal tooling. Later on the mass produced all steel body, IFS chassis and shrinking number of parts suppliers made it more difficult to get into auto manufacturing.

    • Like 1
  14. 17 hours ago, CarlLaFong said:

    I worked for a time at Hollywood Sport Cars. We were the biggest Jensen dealer in the world. The engines were nothing special. just stock 383/440 Mopars with Torqueflites and a smattering of jag suspension pieces

    I thought the front suspension was the same as London taxicabs, which came from a large fifties Austin sedan.

  15. The Checker Cab company began by running fleets of taxicabs in major cities, then they started making their own cabs. The chassis was a typical assembled car of the time using components like engine, transmission, frame and axles bought from specialist suppliers and a body built by one of the many body companies that supplied the industry in those days. Bodies were of wooden frame construction with steel or aluminum panels on the outside. Usually bought in batches of 50 or 100 to keep costs down. Evidently they found it cheaper to make their own cars than to buy them, although other companies  made taxicab models. DeSoto made a specialty of this in the thirties and forties but I think all car companies offered taxicabs (or in the case of Cadillac, Packard and Chrysler Imperial, limousines).


    Checker made cars until the mid 1980s. They offered sedans, station wagons and stretched airport limousines. For the last 20 years or so they sold cars to the general public as well as to commercial users.

    • Like 1
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  16. 14 hours ago, JamesR said:


    I would LOVE to have a Parisienne. It would be cool and unique, and I presume just as easy to get parts for as any old US GM product (except for the trim, of course.) I'd prefer one from the mid or earlier '60's. The other Canadian market cars I'd like to have are a '50's Monarch and a Mercury truck.


    The one car I don't see referenced much anymore is the Beaumont. VERY cool, especially the '67. For years that used to be the only old Canadian car I'd see, and now it seems like I don't see them for sale...but I'm not really looking hard, either. I'd much prefer a Parisienne.

    If you really want one - they are fairly common in Canada. A quick Kijiji search turned up 27 possibilities from $1500 to $19000. Most unusual may be the 1986 hearse. Remember those are Canadian dollars. $100 US buys $126 Canuck bucks. Or to put it another way, a price of $100 Canadian is only $79 US.



    Or you could buy this gem from Dean's Greasy Flips. It's so Canadian, it has hockey stick tail lights! Only $550 bucks or $443.44 in real money. (Hobo not included)

    Greasy Flips segment starts at 36:02



  17. That thing has 5 cells. What kind of car used a 10 volt battery?


    I have seen glass batteries used on home electric lighting outfits with Delco generators. There were other brands like Homelite, and wind driven generators. These were used in rural areas before rural electrification became universal. The one I saw had individual cells.


    Am doubtful of using a glass case battery on a car or truck, the danger of breaking or cracking from shock and vibration would be too great.


    So far as I know the first car batteries had wooden cases which soon changed to hard rubber.

    • Like 3
  18. Canadian Pontiacs were Chevrolets with Pontiac style sheet metal. Chev chassis, shorter wheelbase and narrower track than US Pontiacs, and Chevrolet engines and transmissions.

    For tax reasons export sales to British Commonwealth countries were sourced from Canada - no import duties on trade between Commonwealth countries. I believe at the time the duty on imported cars to the UK was 25%, Australia New Zealand etc may have had similar taxes. In some cases export models were made in Canada because the Canadian plant was set up to make right hand drive, and other changes required for overseas sales.


    Full size Pontiac models were Strato Chief, Laurentian and Parisienne in ascending order of costliness,  comparable to Chevy Biscayne, Bel Aire and Impala.

    • Like 1
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