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John Byrd

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Everything posted by John Byrd

  1. Oh yeah, I meant to tell you the other day NewOldWood, that steering wheel is gorgeous !!!!
  2. For the last couple of Saturdays, the turn signals in my 55 Studebaker have been "occasionally" acting up, you know, the worst kind of "acting up". These old cars have breakers instead of fuses for nearly everything too, so that tends to make the chase more difficult, as the breaker re-sets almost immediately. The left front has turned out to be the only one that doesn't light up, but to make up for it, BOTH of the little indicator lights on the dash light up and blink when the left signal is turned on. I have started , like any good wanna-be mechanic, chasing and changing and testing one thing at a time, but haven't found the culprit yet. After looking in my shop manual and seeing all the places and things that the signal harness is connected to or passes close to, I have decided that the Electrical Engineers at Studebaker hooked this system to every single thing they could to un-simplify the diagnostic process.... I think it is even hooked somehow to my house, as the garage light switch mysteriously quit working during one session. I love my old car, but I am thinking of ordering a large bore weapon or a huge "billy club" and pacing back and forth in front of it making threatening comments. I'll win eventually, but these old, tired, impatient, less flexible bones and muscles are getting their fill of this "hide the problem" game, ha ! As always, comments, teases, and even ridicule is always welcome ! EDIT: Found a loose wire hanging out of the "6 wire connector" up in the bowels of the dash....problem solved !!!
  3. That is so neat ! I had no idea the Bug-eye stuff would fit, now I'm sorry I sold my 64, as I could have tried that too. Congrats, keep us posted on your progress.
  4. OK folks, one more post about the striping job we did on Karen's Mustang, then I'm getting back to work on something I can get dirty on, ha ha ! We finished it yesterday evening, so I took it out to get highway grime, sand, and salt on it to "break it in" this morning. Neat car, hope she lets me drive it again, lol..
  5. My jobs are pretty boring compared to most of these posts, but .... my bride is real happy with what I'm doing to her plain red Mustang, ha ! BUT, like Terry Harper, today we rode up and down the coast street on our little motor scooters and enjoyed our world !! ( my bride loves to splash around in the ocean ) On top of that, I left the Studebaker out all night with the windows down and wasn't worried about it... love this heaven on earth over here.
  6. We striped up her last one too, but didn't bring it to Hawaii when we moved here in 2010...she's been watching for another one ever since, but of course here it had to be a convertible. Here's a pic of the 1st one we did.... this was when we still lived in AL. (except I'm an East Tennessee boy originally, so I claim I "served time" in Alabama, ha ha !)
  7. Working on two "car related" items right now beside the honey-dos. Karen's "new" 07 Mustang "needs" some racing stripes, so I am experimenting with butcher paper and striping tape. There are a LOT of Mustang rental convertibles here in Hawaii, and my gal wants to stand out, ha ! One friend has "NO-RNTL" as his license plate on his Mustang, lol. My other job is chasing a couple of mysterious noises in the tranny/ flywheel area ( I think ) and some breakers popping randomly in my 55 Studebaker. I've been tracing some of the wires, looking for broken or open ends, and scratching my noggin, and I'm going to by-pass the amp meter as another try, but if that's not it, when it catches on fire I'll know about where to look if I can't isolate this soon. As for the "tranny area" noises, they seem to be noticeable at 1st start and for a minute in reverse, or when accelerating rather suddenly turning left ! This one has me baffled, but I'm going to check the flex plate to torque converter bolts 1st.....Bummer.... Any advise will be much appreciated ! Oh, and remember, always save your old rolls of butcher paper, ha ha !
  8. At the present time, I am recovering from a 10 minute job that took about an hour... changing the license plate light unit. Sheesh, I'm getting old or my Studebaker is getting mean and tough ! My bride is currently sewing a tan covering on top of the black convertible top "boot" thingy that hides the top on her Mustang. Reason ? The interior's tan, why shouldn't the cover match ? Girl logic I suppose, but I do agree. We have also installed a back up camera on her car which only took 2 days. Hey, there was a wire to splice, three plug in things, and 2 screws to install... superman I ain't, but it's frustrating being old and slow sometimes, lol... Oh yeah, the breakers in the Studebaker pop'd a few times last Saturday, and a puff of smoke with an "OH S@$$#@#%" smell came from somewhere, so today's search found a loose "hot" wire dangling that used to go to something that isn't there anymore. (I think it was to the old "anti-creep" switch) Win for me, didn't even have to use a fire extinguisher or call the insurance company, ha !
  9. My most terrifying moment was back in 1972 driving our 1969 Fairlane Cobra on a perfectly straight 2 lane road in North Alabama around 60 mph, the speed limit then. My wife and I had went to East Tennessee to show the folks our brand new baby boy and she had him in her arms. All the sudden, there was a noise and we went sliding around all over the highway and ended up barely off the pavement in front of a house. The rear shaft in the 4 speed transmission had broke and locked up everything ! Besides being scared, I was so mad that when it got towed to our place, I sold it as-is to a local dealer for 700 bucks.... All I did before he hauled it off was get my papers out of the glove box and pried my Cobra tach off the steering column. I might have over-reacted, as I've tried to find it several times since... oh well.
  10. Yep, like the others have said, thanks ! I have 5 things in the little bar above my home page that I click on every day, and AACA is one of them. Thanks again Peter, Steve, and all the folks that make this forum so interesting !
  11. Trulyvintage, you asked if anyone else lives on an island, so.... Yep, we have lived here on Hawaii Island (the Big Island) for 11 years now, and the only regret we have is that we didn't move here sooner. It is a wonderful life for some, a "rock" for others, so you will only get your decision made for yourself if you do it yourself I'd think. Most folks don't travel out of about a 30 mile circle in their lives..except for vacations or some job assignments, but we didn't care about that,we were looking for "happy" and sure found it. True about what Keiser31 says about rust, but that just gives you a chance to learn new skills or get another car, ha ! Things we don't miss are cold weather, thunderstorms, tornados, floods, extreme heat (we're from the South), billions of bugs, snakes, bears, large cats, possums, racoons, armadillos, "jarflies" and other night noises, varmits, packs of dogs, gunfire, trash all over the road edges, the huge amount of drunks and wrecks over in our parts, trees "dying" every fall, frost, frozen pipes, snow chains, winter clothes and shoes, well, you probably get the message by now, ha ! Our friend Bonnie lived on Orcus for nearly 70 years, and she enjoyed part of it, and hated part of it she says, and she lives here now and won't even go back to see her kids ! She says she's satisfied for the 1st time in her life. We've never been to Orcus, and I've only been to one other island, Oahu, Hawaii, and I won't go back there....HORRIBLE crowds and traffic, but beautiful. My wife has been to all the other Hawaiian islands and tries to never have to go back to any of them, so guess you could say we're satisfied (or spoiled) with our "Heaven on Earth" here. Oh yeah, our latest car is on the way over by ship...$1750.00, so all you have to do is figure in costs for transportation and 2 or 3 weeks wait time. BUT, there are a lot of interesting cars here on the islands to check out anyway, and that owner has already paid the freight, ha ! Good luck to ya' sir, and hope your decision makes you as happy as ours did us. The ocean pic is 2400 ft down the way from our house, and am including some of the gang's cars !.
  12. That is a hard thing for me to know for sure, as the newer cars we've had are all so much faster than our "old days" cars. BUT, my fastest quarter mile time was in my old rusty 61 Ranchero ( I laughingly called it a factory lightweight as stuff would fall out when I bang-shifted or did a bit of a wheelie, ha ! ) with a really well sorted, modified, balanced and blueprinted actual 289 Cobra engine...high 12 second times around 104 mph. Once we put tall tires on the rear, had a 3:25 gear in it at the time, let the tailgate down one night on a 4 lane north of Ft. Worth, and using the tire diameter, RPM, and rear end ratio figured I got to a touch over 140 mph. Terrifying !!! I was all over the road before I got slowed back down. I had also just bought my 1st new car, a 428 ram air, 4 speed, positraction, Fairlane Cobra which the old Ranchero VERY firmly spanked, ha ! My fastest motorcycle was a 10 second CBX Honda six cylinder..yes, it was modified a bit too. Now I drive a 63 Mini with about 36 HP, a 55 Studebaker 259 automatic that is "classy slow", and a new Ranger truck ( which is a really fast turbo'd thingy that has got as high as 26 MPG ! ) I love telling folks we have a 4400 lb. truck with the Pinto (2300cc) engine, ha !
  13. I guess my slowest car is a tie... two little English Fords with the tiny little flat-head 4 cylinder. Both would do right at 60 mph going down a fairly steep hill with the "Strangler" (pull a choke looking knob that opened a slot in the carb to help starting with a richer mixture) pulled out ! We put a lot of miles on both of them, and even used the little van (a 1959 Thames) to pull fence and other cars with... these vehicles had rear gears in the "5's" !!! Absolutely loved both of them, and would have kept them if we could have. (moved and storage problems). The little black car (1959 Popular) was also right hand drive which was even more fun ! I decided to paint and "fix up" the 59 Pop, and it was so much fun because folks figured it was fast with the big wheels on it, ha ! It is still living a happy life over on Oahu with a collector who has other versions of the little cars.
  14. Back in my CB Radio days, I had a magazine (about cb's) with one of these and I think, John Wayne standing by it that was the back cover of the magazine. Been lusting after one ever since as I love all Rancheros and have had several. Never seen one of these or a Fairmont Durango version either in person tho.
  15. I recently finished reading a 6 book series by Burt Levy. It has so many great parts that let you know it is still fiction, but the real names and cars can be figured out. It is a fun and funny read ! 1st book in the series is the Last Open Road. Great stuff ! I have hundreds of magazines and a lot of hardbacks that I cherish, with some of the magazines dating from the late 40s. Nothing like a good "book" you can hold and reference, and the photos are priceless to me.
  16. Still fiddling with our 55 Studebaker coupe after the transmission change. Yesterday I worked 3 or 4 hours removing the gas pedal linkage bar off the back of the engine and learned two things.... look at the manual 1st, and look at the manual 1st, ha ! I had a lot of trouble reaching into that tight, greasy space, removed 2 bolts, tried to remove a huge bolt, and learned that to remove it, you just loosen one of the bolts behind the engine on the linkage bracket, then remove the rear lower head bolt ( !!!! ) that holds a piece of the bracket, and pull it out. The "huge" bolt I couldn't get loose turned out to be the water temp sending unit, and when I removed the two rear bolts that I didn't need to, it fell out and my floor got covered with water. Hmmm, who said working on old cars was fun ?, ha ha ! It actually was fun, and all the guys at the car club breakfast got a big laugh out of my story and asked me why I didn't look at my manual 1st..... Oh, now I have to find a simple, normal, easy to use, functional gas pedal that operates the carb by a cable or a simple straight rod.... so I had to ride my 50cc scooter to breakfast since the Stude is still laying in the garage.... but it idles great, ha ! ( the pic is from when I still had linkage, ha ! )
  17. Guess my stories area little boring to some of you, but they sure hit the WOW trigger with me.... When the Studebaker/ Packard dealer my Dad worked at got in a big 56 Packard Carribean convertible, they told him he could drive it in our little town's Christmas parade and haul the beauty queen, but he could also let me ride along. I had just turned 9 years old, and the "blow the dust out of it" ride before the parade, the way it would level itself when loaded on the back, (they demonstrated that often) and getting to be IN the parade was just fabulous. My 1st "scary" speed ride was in an old 56 Ford Victoria ( not a Crown ) that my buddy ( with me helping ) turned into a drag racer. It had a 406 with 3 carbs, he fixed the home-made 3 speed floor shifter linkage to where 1st gear was where reverse should be, then down to 2nd, back up to 3rd, some kind of wobbly home-made straight axle front end, and it honestly seems like he told me the steering shaft was made from a "rope-drive" Tempests drive shaft.. The 1st ride we took was out of town to a straight country road, turn around, and he rev'd it, dumped the clutch, and we were all over the place seems like forever !!! When he finally let off, he simply said, "yep, that'll do it" and we delivered it to the owner. I lived, my buddy lived, but can't remember about the owner, ha !
  18. Hooray ! Got the 55 Studebaker back home from my pals garage, and what a fabulous difference that 200 4R transmission made ! I now have a few things to do to finish up little things like getting a speedo adapter, a neutral kill switch, getting the column indicator to read right , making the throttle open all the way, and spent yesterday afternoon and a while this morning cleaning off the grubby hand-prints and shop dust. VERY thrilled with the transmission change tho'. No one here was the least bit interested in the old DG 250M cast iron transmission, so I had to go to our only local scrap dealer to get rid of it....300 lbs and 15 bucks payment lighter, I'm a happy boy ! Now to get out there and start fooling with details and continue cleaning it up, but it really acted nice driving to the club breakfast and "cruising our in town coast" this morning.
  19. I'll sure be glad to get back to some of "MY" car stuff, especially since today I have been making, painting, and hanging curtain rods making a new miniature ironing board, and doing way too many computer things, ha ! Think I'll jump on the scooter and go to Outback for lunch with some of my buds, check on the 55 Studebaker progress at the shop, go to the bank, and whatever else my bride thinks up for me to do while I'm "not doing anything else", ha !
  20. Trulyvintage, we have a little 89 year old lady friend that lives here now that sold her house and another one there. She had been there 70 years, and one of her sons still lives there I think. She even had a fishing business there and said she was the 1st pregnant person to be flown off the island for an emergency delivery, ha ! Funny little lady and totally full of stories !
  21. Str8-8-Dave, you definitely win the most interesting stories to this ole' boy !!!! That Comet wagon must have been a hoot with the 289 Hi-Po, I had a Hi-Po engine for years (65 thru 2010) that I used in 5 different cars ! Glad you mentioned the painter, our home town painter was not a neighbor, but used one of the yellow and black Sun Valley ( ??? ) Mercuries (54 I think) with the glass top taken out for his paint car.... but boy oh boy, was his daughter beautiful ! Ha !
  22. My "What I Am Working On" list had a great finale' today ! Got the 2007 Mini's 2nd power window replaced, all trim back on, the car cleaned up really good, and sold that thing to the 2nd caller on the 1st day of our F-Book ad !!! Never again will a BMW Fake Mini grace our place, this was the 2nd one, and the 1st one was trouble too. Both of these were my brides cars and she is a picky caretaker which made it all worse. (it was a REAL good deal...yeah, one of those, ha !) . I'll stick with my 63 real Mini and the 55 Studebaker. Lesson learned, BMW apparently means something like "Bring More Wallet", ha ! It did look and run good tho'....
  23. Great topic idea, thanks ! When I was born and until 5 years old, my aunt had a 51 Buick and her hubby had a 49 or 50 Chevy, and my Grandad had a 48 fastback (Styleline ?) Chevy, then a 54 Chevy. My parents: nothing, but I had a Champ pedal car and a Railway Express tractor trailer I could ride on. We moved 36 miles away and my folks finally got their 1st car, a 48 Studebaker...well used. The only two neighbor homes, nothing. We then moved into "The Projects" got a 50 or 51 Studebaker (my dad was the Parts Dept. manager at a Stude dealer), and one neighbor lady had a new looking 55 Plymouth 4 door black and white sedan. Other neighbors ? No idea, but lots of cheap or run-down Fords and Chevys parked on the street. Moved again, no close neighbors, just still had our 50 or 51 Stude. Moved again, got a 55 Studebaker Champion 4 door, the neighbors in the trailer court that surrounded our house had the following: a 58 VW, a 59 DeSoto, a 57 Dodge, a 64 Plymouth, a 62 Fairlane, a 64 Galaxie, a 55 Chevy, a 64 Fairlane, a "mid 60s" Corvette, a huge Ford flatbed truck with a welder and other equipment, a Triumph motorcycle, a Renault Dauphine we pushed around a lot, a 50 DeSoto, a Sunbeam Alpine convertible, an MGB with the twin cam engine (lasted him about 2 weeks and he also got an old Triumph bike) and a 63, 64, or 65 Riviera. There was also a black 49 to 52 Chevy that set out in front of our house a lot, but we never did see who owned it, ha ! Also, the 55 Stude got traded for a 60 Lark, then a 63 Bel Air wagon, and I had my 1st three cars there...all in a 2 1/2 month span, (escorting wide loads at the 60s speed limits was death on my two Chevys, but dad's 63 was great!) a 56 Chevy wagon, then a 64 Bel Air 2 door post, then my dearly loved 63 1/2 Falcon Futura with a 260 4 speed !!! Too much moving, too many neighbors after that place ! Fun memories, thanks again TAKerry !!!
  24. What am I NOT working on would be a better question, lol ! Still have the 55 Studebaker in the shop with the tranny change waiting on the new driveshaft. Meanwhile, new plumbing and faucet for the master bath's tub, rock walls down each side of the house, replacing ANOTHER power window unit (right rear this time) in the "Fake" Mini... ( BMW's version ), putting a new battery in my wife's motorscooter, building shelf spacers for an old shelf that has the "droops", and more, but this is making me tired writing about it all, ha !
  25. Steve, this is not to condemn or recommend, but just an honest report of my experience with Dot 5. I had a 66 Sunbeam Tiger that we completely re-did from top to bottom, and a 63 Austin Mini ( still have it ) that I adapted a new complete disc brake setup to. Both cars had all new brake parts, were bled and broke in correctly, and both cars VERY quickly had to have the little screw-in brake light switches replaced twice before I pumped all the Dot 5 out and replaced with Dot 3. The brakes on both cars were "kinda" mushy or "soft" feeling with the 5, but never failed. This may be because it was several years ago and Dot5 was "the new stuff", or that I did something wrong, but I have done more cars since, with our 55 Studebaker being the latest recipient of a new disc brake "kit", and no problems ever with the Dot 3. Remember, this is just my experience, not a slam, as I have friends who use the 5 and are satisfied. Good luck sir !
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