• Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Jeff_Miller

  1. It turns out that my early production 1936 headlight switch is slightly different. The hook from the knob goes into a couple of holes but there are no securing screws or nuts. I had to loosen the nut holding the switch to the dash and that allowed enough movement to pull the knob assembly from the switch assembly and then finally remove everything from the car.
  2. Sorry to high jack the thread but exactly how do you remove the headlight switch so that you can refurbish it? Do you just loosen the nut on the inside of the dash and then it swings enough that you can extract the knob and pull mechanism?
  3. So the big three as far as I can tell are Rhode Island, YNZ, and Narragansett. RI broke things down into various harnesses with descriptions which until I actually tore apart my car didn't make any sense. YNZ has a single +$800 number for everything listed on their website. Narragansett does the breakdown like RI and comes in $100 to $200 cheaper than the others for what I think is about the same deal. RI didn't answer my requests by email and until now I didn't want to call somebody that couldn't be bothered to answer submissions from their own web site. I have seen there work and I really like it so I expect I'll be calling them this week. I have some wire from YNZ and bought from them in the past. I think they might be good to talk to but holey smoke, greater than $800 before I even talk to them has me moving slow toward them. If you don't mind, can I ask what they charged you? I also priced what it would cost me to build the harness and the mark up looks to be about 3x. Very disappointing that the mark up is so high but I suppose it is there expertise that I'd be buying. Jeff
  4. Thanks for all the support. I've calmed down and I'm working on a recovery plan. Sadly, I know exactly the issue the Michael talks about and have fallen pray to those unscrupulous vendors myself. It is extremely annoying when I, like Michael, go through the effort of informing the seller and they don't bother correcting the issue. Sadly, I too have a collection of parts that I have purchased that are not what they were represented to be. As for taking too long, I too am all too familiar with that issue as well. My last car wasn't much to start with and required a lot of work. I worked on it for several years before I grew tired of not being able to enjoy it. I eventually sold it and replaced it with a driver. My plan was (and continues to be) to attack portions of the car over the non-driving winter months and enjoy the car during the summer. Every year the projects seem to take longer than I'd hoped but until this year I have managed to finish them in time for early summer driving. Unfortunately, with two separate multi-month delays due to parts I am not very confident that I'll get things back together before fall and that has me very frustrated. I managed to make it through all the front end work but after a rather lengthy discussion about wiring I realized I really need to do something about mine before it burns to the ground. Sadly, getting a wiring harness has proven to be not only expensive and confusing it also seems to take forever. I'm contemplating doing my own as well as contacting vendors to see if they might be willing to work in some additions. It looks like the process will likely take me into June and by that time I won't have much time left to work on the car again until next winter. I'm not looking forward to a summer without the car Jeff
  5. Sorry folks, I just need a place to vent. I've been trying like heck to get parts for my '36 and on the last 3 orders (Bobs, Cars, and ebay) I've had nothing but problems and extended delays in fulfillment. On one order the seller sent me somebody else's order by mistake. I called the seller to try to get my order and agreed to forward the miss-sent order on to the person that likely received my order. For this effort I was promised that my shipping would be refunded. As it turns out, I not only didn't get refunded for shipping the miss-sent package to the person it should have gone to but I also got charged extra on the shipping for my package and it took about 3 weeks from time of order to fulfillment! On the two other orders I contacted the sellers prior to purchase to try to confirm before buying. In one order (from a well know and usually well respected purveyor of goods for our cars) I emailed, got a response, followed up by phone and got another affirmative response, and finally ordered only to find out that I needed to wait at least 3 weeks for fulfillment. The goods finally arrive and guess what - not what was promised. I called the seller and they looked in their books and said that they need to call the supplier because they don't really know what I bought. Silly me to think I was paying these guys for their "expertise"! Ultimately I don't expect this one to end well and that it will only result in another valuable month of restoration time being lost as I go back to square 1 and start over again. The worst thing about this experience is that I actually tried to buy from the supplier that supplied the seller but since it took them more than 3 weeks to get back to my request I didn't think they were interested and had already moved on to try to buy from the seller that doesn't seem to know what they sold me. So I'm trying to deal with all this and yet another screw up becomes obvious today and that puts me over the edge. An ebay seller has the actual part number for a part I was looking for on the auction but the description of the part contains both valid and contradictory information about the part. I contacted the seller and they said "we don't really know anything about the part". I explained what to look for and that it would be obvious if the part was what they are advertising. Their response was to buy it and just return it if it isn't correct. Well the part arrived today and yes, they misrepresented the part and the part they sent isn't what I expected. They advertise that the take it returns but do not refund postage. Since they misrepresented and also suggested I buy and return if not correct I have requested that they not only fully refund my purchase but also pay for return postage. Since it took them almost a week to respond the first time I'm not sure when they will get back to me. Dang it!!! I wish it wasn't so hard to actually have people know what it is that they are selling and be responsive with communications and sending parts. I don't expect same day but certainly some acknowledgement before weeks go by would be nice. Sigh... I think I need to find an adult beverage and go back to standing in the garage looking at a half torn apart vehicle still in need of parts Jeff
  6. It is hard to argue against fixing a problem vs. masking it with a backup. I just ordered the engine and dash harness which will set me back 3 weeks but clearly I won't need to worry as much about the wiring. I'm still thinking it is a good idea to have the backup fuse though. Jeff
  7. Well this is an interesting discussion that I started I am familiar with the GM fusible link implementation and indeed that is the exact type of implementation I am looking for. And yes, I know the pain it causes when this SPOF occurs because I was stranded on the side of the road in the middle of the night in the middle of WI once when that fusible link blew on my 1984 Fiero. There was nothing wrong with the car other than the fusible link but I still appreciate the concept that had there been a monster short in the vehicle wiring that the link would have gone before the car torched, potentially with me in it. My Buick was originally equipped with a single 30 Amp fuse on the lighting circuit. I will be replacing that implementation with a fuse block and pulling the ignition, lights, and new fuel pump and fan off into separate fused and relayed circuits that will each be fused at much less current than the 50 Amp I am thinking of putting on the main feed from the starter. Doing this should protect those individual circuits and let them blow before I lose the 50 Amp and everything else. With the 50 Amp fuse I am talking about it can carry current that is more than 3 times larger than the 15 Amps the lights might draw and easily 2.5 times the capacity of what the car might possibly consume. Unless the fuse is faulty, it blowing indicates a significant issue in the wiring that most likely would torch the car. So I think it comes down to deciding if a SPOF that is hinged on a modern electric fuse that can be easily replaced on the road is worse than trusting in wiring that if it took greater than 50 amps would likely torch the car, or at the very least, render the car irreparable on the road. We each get to make our own decisions but for me, the fuse seems like the right idea. Jeff
  8. Perhaps I'm just being paranoid but I was thinking of going one extra step above using a battery disconnect and adding a modern approach to protecting wiring by putting a fusible link, circuit breaker, or big fuse on the 10 gauge wire that runs from my starter to the ammeter on my 1936 Buick Special. It is this 10 gauge wire that feeds all the electrics in the car short of the starter motor. My wiring is original and although it looks to be in good shape I can't help but think how brittle it might be. I think that if I added something like a 50 Amp sacrificial fusible link, breaker, or fuse that I would have a little more protection from an electrical fire while driving down the road. The lights are 15A and the generator only puts out 25A so it seems that 50A should be sufficiently large to take spikes and yet burn fast enough that the rest of the car should be safe if a short happens. Has anybody else done this or have any opinion about doing it? Jeff
  9. OK, some not so good news followed by some better news. It turns out the Cole Hersee 24200 latching solenoid only requires 1 amp to latch which is great because getting a 6 to 12 volt doubler that will pass 1 amp of current is pretty simple and cheap. Unfortunately, the 24200 can only surge up to about 200 amps and they didn't indicate for how many seconds of this current it could handle. The other bad thing is that the solenoid is not sealed and so not a good idea to use anywhere except in a protected cab. However, my research brought me to the Intellitec 01-00055-002 latching solenoid. This guy has a continuous current rating of 100 amps and a surge of 500 amps for up to 30 seconds. If that isn't enough power its big brother 00-00507-512 brings it up to 200 amps continuous and 1200 amps surge. These are both sealed and safe in the elements. The 100A is about the same price as the Cole Hersee but the big boy gets kind of pricey; its a good thing that the little one should meet my needs. Ok, so here is the catch; these solenoids take 3 amps to latch so now I'm looking at a better voltage doubler to go from 6 to 12 volts or I use an external battery to do the latching. Still researching. Jeff
  10. Yup, I've researched that thread and many other threads related to battery disconnects and they only seem to cement in my mind that I want to continue to use one. It seems many people like the green knob but that isn't a good solution for me because my battery is under the seat and it would be extremely inconvenient to get to it. I currently have one on the firewall but when it was installed by some previous owner it got installed by butchering the firewall and the insulator in the cab. I'm replacing the insulator now so I'd like to not repeat that ugly installation. Knifes, or other manually switched disconnects like the one I have could be mounted someplace else. I read a thread about putting it on the kick panel but my current device is too big to fit there and I suspect other manual disconnect switches wouldn't fit either. If I have to give up on the remote disconnect I'll get a switch that will mount on the firewall where the old one was but I'll pick a model that leaves the key in the engine bay instead of through the firewall. The flaming river big switch comes to mind. In my search I ran across the remote disconnects and really liked the idea. The thread you pointed me to has one mention of a "Bill Hersh" possibly selling one. I did various searches and on other threads I saw a reference to a Bill Hersh in New Jersey. More searching and the best result is a Bill Hirsch Auto Restoration ( but he only has the green knob listed so that was a dead end. The more I look at the Painless, Watson's, and Keep It Clean remote disconnects the more it looks like they are all using the 24200 latching relay from Cole Hersee and the more it convinces me that I should be able to build my own for less. I really don't want to mess around with making something that could end up torching my car so I am still patiently waiting for some final numbers from Cole Hersee but I suspect it will be very capable of handling surge power for my starter and the 110A continuous is significantly more than I'll actually need to run the car. Jeff
  11. I'm still trying to get the rundown on this but this looks really interesting. I was looking around for disconnect switches when I ran across this remote disconnect: Batteries Products I like it because I thought I could have easy access and still hide the switch someplace that isn't so obvious. I also thought that if I used the keyed version that I could eliminate the ugly key that some previous owner installed and replace it with the disconnect key possibly hidden out of site. I would then run all power through the car via the original column mounted switch and you can't believe how much joy that would give me. This switch is 12V so I had some concerns but I liked the notion that it only needed 12v when it was flipping the switch. Hmm... I have seen voltage doublers and I thought if it only needs momentary power I should be able to use a doubler with my 6v system to supply 12v to enable/disable the switch. The trouble is that some of those switches can cost quite a bit. Hmm.... ebay to the rescue Classic Car 6V to 12V Voltage Converter Power Power | eBay OK, I'm still not ready to toss $125 at a solution without knowing more so I call watson's to ask about the switch and whether I could use 6 volts and temporary 12v to switch. You could see the blank stare across the phone line. Sigh... no joy. So I'm still not ready to give up on this idea and I keep searching the web for a 6 volt remote battery disconnect solution when I run across what appears to be the guts of the watsons system at Search Results | Cole Hersee - Littelfuse Cole Hersee doesn't list any kind of burst amperage for the solenoid but they do have a technical note on using the solenoid as a battery disconnect. I'm trying to reach them now to see if they can supply a burst number but since it looks like the watson implementation and the continuous amperage is the same 110A I'm betting it will have the 750A burst that watsons advertises. If they do, I managed to find the solenoid for sale for anywhere from $41 to $60. At that price it feels like an experiment waiting to happen Anybody think I'm crazy or know something I don't? I'll report back if I get some good news. Jeff A
  12. I'm finally getting to replacing the firewall insulator and have everything that goes through the firewall removed except for the oil and temp gauge tubes. I appears that I can simply unscrew the oil tube but it looks like the water temp is soldered on. How does it come off the gauge? Should I remove the fitting from the head instead of trying to remove it from the gauge cluster? The other issue I have has been in trying to find replacement bolts. All the truss head bolts I find have a head diameter that is much smaller than what was on the car. I see bobs has some "sheet metal" screws that look about right but they are only 1" long and they really don't indicate what the diameter of the head is. The one's I pulled out were cut to about 1 1/2 inches long after being installed and have about a 3/4" diameter head on them. I'm starting to look at some slotted elevator bolts as a substitute but I wondered if anybody else can tell me where to find them. I already looked locally and on several web sites including McMaster. Thanks, Jeff
  13. Well that makes a lot more sense than the gibberish I got from flaming river tech support when I asked about using it with a 6 volt system and got back: "Unfortunately we can not guarantee proper performance of those switches, which are designed for higher amp applications, on a lower amp vehicle. We just don’t have the data to definitively say whether they will function properly or not." Perhaps he really meant volt instead of amp but even still, it appears they really don't know what they are selling. I'm thinking I'll go with the biggest switch I can find (amperage wise) even if I don't need it in the hopes that if nothing else it would result in less loss going to the starter. Thanks for all the input, Jeff
  14. I want to replace the battery disconnect switch that came with my car and I'm wondering if anybody has any guidance as to the capacity it should be. My car is a 1936 Special still running on 6 volts. From the shop manual I see that the max charging rate is less than 20 amps and that the starter lists 375 amps at "running torque" and 575 amps at "stall torque". I think the max charging rate should be an indication as to the continuous service requirements while the starter amperage should indicate the surge needs. Looking at the Flaming River little switch I see it is rated for 100 amps continuous service and 500 amps for 10 second surges but these are quoted at 12v/24v. But since I already know that 6 volt systems need bigger wires then 12 volt systems I wonder if I can compare this 100amp/500amp service to what I need. It seems like this switch might be big enough to run the car but would it melt when I apply the starter? Ok, so being naive and knowing just enough to get in trouble, if I were to apply ohms law I=V/R and assume R is a constant then it seems that to be safe I would need a switch that is twice the rated 12 volt amperage when used in a 6 volt system. That is, if the numbers that I got from my service manual are a guide I would need about 40 amps continuous service but 1000 amps to run my starter. Anybody out there have any opinions on this? I have another question as well. The battery on my car is under the seat so getting to it is a pain. The previous switch was a though hole switch mounted on the firewall but that resulted in a very ugly installation and hole where I no longer want one. I like the Flaming River switches that I could mount to the firewall in the engine bay or I could reuse or go with another through hole switch and move it to the foot panel so that I don't have to mess up the new firewall liner I'm about to install. However a nicer solution might be to find a remote disconnect and be able to mount a little switch someplace less conspicuous; the only issue is that these seem to be 12 volt systems and I don't think they would work in a 6 volt system. So I guess I'll solicit opinions from others as to what they like. Thanks, Jeff
  15. Well I did try jack oil but it made absolutely no impact on slowing the oil leaking around the shaft so off they went to Apple today. I tried to contact five points for a price comparison but apparently they don't work on Friday's. I talked with Apple before sending and they definitely sound like the place to go. They said 1 week in the shop so with shipping I should have them back in 3 weeks. Shipping is a bit expensive and I was surprised that FedEX was actually the cheapest option. The best part is that when I went to the drop off place and gave them Apple's phone number FedEX already had Apple's address in the system; apparently somebody else close to me has used their service. Jeff
  16. So I did some more reading of older posts and Apple is by far the most recommended followed by five points classic. I also came across some discussions about basically emptying the shocks and refilling them with an oil that might cause the seals to swell a bit. Everything from jack and hydraulic oil to STP and motorcycle fork oil. Others recommend using a cotton string to act as a temporary seal although that feels more like a band aid that won't last too long. I'll need to give five points a call on Monday to see what their price might be as well as see if I can find anybody local that might perform this type of reconditioning. In the meantime, I happen to have some motorcycle fork oil and I'll give that a quick try to see if things might not be as worn out as I believe them to be. Thanks for all the feed back. Jeff
  17. As part of a king pin replacement project that seems to be becoming a whole front end , I took my front shock off to clean it and found that it was leaking oil from where the arms connect to the main body. I haven't looked much but I seem to remember seeing a number of posts that indicate I should find a professional to rebuild them. Can anybody share their experiences and recommendations for people that you thought did a good job at hopefully a reasonable price? Its starting to look like it will be about $200 a shock (ouch). Thanks, Jeff
  18. It is time to tackle another winter project and I'm eyeing up trying to resolve the nasty sounding clunks that I experience when taking a turn at speed. I looked at the shock bushings where they attach to the axle and they are defiantly toast but is this the only real suspect? The shackles that hold the leaf springs haven't been touched in many years and are covered with old grease. I'm certain they won't be fun to try to take apart after all these years so I'm wondering if it is worth doing while I'm replacing the shock bushings. I'm certain things would work better but I don't think they are a likely source of the clunking. The other issue with the leaf springs is that clearly much of the leather is now gone. One friend has suggested that the leaf springs might themselves be making the noise because there isn't any leather left between the leafs. I looked at them and I don't see this as a likely scenario because it looks to me like the leafs are mechanically fastened and shouldn't be sliding a lot. Is this something to look into as a solution to the clunking? Jeff
  19. I'm just wondering, do you guys ever use the heater? My car keeps the cabin plenty warm just from the engine heat coming through the firewall and since I drive it mostly after the snow is gone in the spring and before the snow flies in the fall it just never seems to be cool enough to want to actually add more heat to the cabin. Jeff
  20. I installed a 12 volt jump start battery in the trunk and use it to run a modern radio in the cab. The battery lasts quite some time, doesn't require additional energy from the rather limited charging system in my '36, and is easy to recharge when stopped since it just plugs into any convenient 120 volt outlet. The added bonus is that if necessary it can be used to jump the car by connecting it straight to the starter. BTW: Grant, i love your hidden radio installation. I've been thinking about doing something similar but haven't found a good head that I could afford. Jeff
  21. Got the starter back in tonight and things are working fine again. When I originally got the car I replaced the battery cables with very thick welding cables and ran that way for a few years before this issue developed so I know that was not the issue. The foot pedal start had also been replace with an ignition button many years ago so I have no issue with vacuum or the rest of the original starting system. I did suspect the button and replaced it earlier only to find it was not the issue. I also verified the button before putting the old one back. The rebuilder did not give me an itemized list of parts and he wasn't around when I got it back so I don't know what he did do. He most certainly did not rewind it and he did not replace the solenoid. I think he mostly cleaned it up, hopefully replaced bushing and bearings where appropriate, replace the drive because the teeth were a bit worn, put a new rubber boot on it, and painted it a nice shiny black. Whatever he did, it now works a bit better than when I originally purchased the car and it certainly no longer sticks in an engaged position. It was nice to fire the old thing up again. Jeff
  22. Hi Jason, Thanks for the feedback. I just got the starter back today but probably won't have a chance to try it until this weekend. Unfortunately the shop did not give me an itemized list of parts nor was the guy that did the work available when I picked it up so I'm not 100% certain what they did. It is a nice shiny black now and they did replace the gear assembly that engages the flywheel. I know he cleaned up contacts on the relays and I hope he replaced bearings and such. The guy that rebuilt it said he tested the solenoid and said it was good. He suspected a low battery but testing my battery with a multi-meter that has a battery load setting indicated 6.45 volts so I am dubious about that. He didn't want to replace the solenoid because he said the part cost alone was $250 so he pretty much just cleaned things up. Rework was $250 before tax. With shop rates at $110/hr I can see it getting to that price. I sure hope it works but if not I'll be contacting you for more ideas and possibly for an upgrade to the high torque version.
  23. My car seemed to be exhibiting classic starter solenoid failure in that it engages and spins but when I stop pushing the starter button the solenoid stays in and keeps cranking; I have to remove the battery to get it to stop. Even after removing the battery it takes a bit for the solenoid to spring back out. I looked at it a bit on the bench but decided at 76 years old it was probably just as well to bring it to a professional shop for a rebuild. I dropped it off yesterday and expect a call on Monday as to what they think should be done and for how much. At this point the solenoid for sure needs to be cleaned up but the starter gear itself will also get replaced due to worn teeth. I suspect other parts will need to be replaced as well but he wanted to open it up to find out what needed replacement along with what he can replace vs. somehow rebuild if parts aren't available. So here is a question. Even though the system remains the original 6 volt system, I am still hoping that a rebuilt starter will perform better than the 76 year old version. Any opinions on that? Another question. I read some mixed opinions about rebuilders making the starter a "high torque" starter but it is unclear how they could do that without changing gears. Would they just add additional windings? My builder didn't say anything about modifications when I dropped it off but I'm trying to get a bit more educated now so that i can ask him about possible improvements next week. Thanks, Jeff
  24. Year: 1936 Make: McLaughlin Buick Model: Victoria 2-door special Price: $12,000 Location: Shakopee, MN Contact Information: Description: I recently listed my 2-door Victoria Special on craigslist and thought that this group of people may be interested in viewing it. Please follow this craigslist link for complete information and pictures. 1936 Buick McLaughlin Victoria Thanks, Jeff
  25. Hmm... its been 4 years for me and luckily no delamination issues for me. My tires also do not rub but I do know that they are wider than the 6.5x16's that were on the car originally. Unfortunately I can not locate the invoice for the tires and there doesn't seem to be any markings on the tires to indicate their size so I can't tell you exactly what they were. I do remember being concerned about the 225 size and I believe I got something with a lower number but I know it wasn't an 85 profile. Sorry, I wish I could be more help. Jeff