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Looking for advice (51 Nash)


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Help, Took my father's '51 Nash Canadian Statesman (6 cylinder) out this week for the first time this year and (what I think) the rear end is making noise like the ring and pinion are not meshing correctly. This car has always had some noise for the last 50,000 miles and we have been told that they were prone to this. Now it sounds worse when accelerating and when down shifting. Goes away when the clutch is pushed in and coasting. Can anyone offer advice to confirm my fear or has experience with these cars. I did not realise that it has an enclosed drive shaft till getting down and trying to look at the universals so could use any type of direction. The car is way too good to just let sit in the garage. Thanks in advance, Doug.

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Mighty fine car, Doug.

I'm close to Windsor, ON, and I know Canada has lots of good transmission and gear repair shops. These gears aren't anything special, they just need to be set-up properly. If you really can't find a good place, go to any major dealership and ask a few mechanics. They all love classic cars and will gladly steer you towards a good gear shop.

When you get to the shop, they will drive your car. A good gear man will tell you what to expect before he starts. It is a good idea to compare prices and opinions.

Hope this helps. Dave

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Dave,

Thanks for the compliment and comeback. Have made contact with a small licensed shop who likes working on older cars but with only two bays and himself can't put it up on a hoist for about three weeks. Was hoping to have something better to tell my 85 year old Father before June 5th when he and I would have taken the car out to get ready for the Orphan Car Show in Ypsilanti. Another case of "that darn son of mine and my cars" (ha ha).

I posted a "help" with the AMC/Nash Club and have had some ideas also so given time (and some money) will get things back in order. Guess I should not have been too surprised that this happened as the car has registered almost 100,000 documented miles and has the original paint and interior.

Windsor has lost two of the old timers that really knew this business to retirement and maybe with some poking around I might track them down and persuade one of them to tackle this. Who knows?

Thanks Again, Doug.

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Doug, I still don't know where you live! A friend of mine, Randy Carron, has had a Trans & Gear shop for decades. In fact, his son works there now. The name is RC Trans & Gear in Royal Oak, MI. All the Woodward Dream Cruise guys bring their work to Randy. He guarantees his work and always gives a fair price before doing any work:

R C Trans & Gear Incorporated

4839 Fernlee Ave

Royal Oak, MI 48073

(248) 288-5575

Go Wings!

Say, Hi to Randy for me. Dave

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Morning Dave,

Thanks again for the info. I'm about 4 miles from the Ambassador Bridge. That being said will have to dig into crossing the Border to consider getting work done over on your side. If I could drive the car with confidence that it would not do further or serious damage your guy is not that far but with the last few experiences crossing (mostly strange questions with attitude on both sides) only adds to the concern. I went to the Ypsilanti Car Show three years ago with Dad's 28 Whippet Cabriolet and they pulled me in with 40 questions, mostly to make sure the car had not been sold to someone on your side. The fact we had a registration confirmation and show flyer didn't seem to phase this guy. Such is life today.

I've added the info on my car file and will see what comes this weekend with a few car club guys I'm going to meet. Much appreciated, Doug.

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Doug, just tell them the truth, that you are looking into having the car worked on, and you need an estimate. They won't bother you. I've had problems with female border agents, and I am not sexist. My wife and I were dressed nicely to take in a show at the Top Hat in Windsor. The lady officer wanted a birth cert or voter's registration. I offered her our driver's licenses.

She said, "Were you born? Do you VOTE?" I replied, "Look, I'll just go back home, call the Top Hat, and cancel our reservations. You can explain it to them when they call."

She let us through.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just and update, Dad has agreed to wait for a mechanic that used to work on his everyday vehicles so hopefully the ball will start rolling soon.

I would like to thank everyone who offered advise and suggestions to my cry for help. One man in the Nash club even came through with a Canadian Statesman Supplement at a very reasonable price plus took my word that the cheque was being sent. Thank you Chris! While I personally have not had trouble in this hobby you have confirmed for me that not all our fellow man have alterior motives. Many, Many thanks.

One interesting fact that has come to light for us is that Nash used Chevy transmissions, brakes and rear ends in their Canadian models. It has been suggested that it might have been due to Canadian content regarding production here. Did that exist back then? Hopefully it will make having to get parts somewhat easier (that availability thing).

Funny how with a stable of cars, the one that is down is the one that you miss the most. Will post the findings when we know more, Doug.

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I'm surprised about the Chev power train. But I can believe it.

In those days they had to pay an import tax on cars so all car makers had Canadian plants. This also allowed them to dodge import duties in Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand South Africa and England. Canadian made products paid no import duties to other Commonwealth countries.

The fly in the oatmeal was that the Canadian plant made less than 1/10 the production of their American counterpart. So they looked around for ways to cut costs and especially cut down on the parts they made.

For years Canadian Pontiacs were really Chevs with Pontiac trim, for example.

If Nash bought parts from GM it would not surprise me too much. Because both Nash and Chev featured torque tube drive in those days. Not many cars had this feature, just Chev, Nash, Ford (before 1949) and Buick.

I would look under the car with a Chev manual in one hand and a Nash manual in the other just to be sure.

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Rusty,

Thanks for the contact number. As soon as we get really into the car and know exactly what has to be repaired will see if he can help. I'm in Windsor and have been known to make a road trip or two for car parts before (especially the large ones). That's how I happened to meet Chris and his 51 Statesman in Uxbridge while waiting to have my trailer bearings replaced 10 years ago. Funny how after so long he remembered, contacted me and had the correct Supplement for our car. Sometimes this tech thing does have good happenings.

You say he is a Nash "Rambler" guy. Will have to check if the Statesman model isn't different as I seem to recall they are a bit smaller but any lead / expert will help and is appreciated. Thanks, Doug.

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I'm sure he is familiar with your car. Many parts interchange between the Statesman and Rambler, such as the engine. I'm also sure his expertise is not limited to the Rambler. It just happens that a friend bought Rambler parts from him recently. I think his name is Rae.

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Thanks for the reassurance concerning Rae's knowledge. Will definately keep it on file as this thing progresses.

Isn't it something how time (summer) seems to be flying by when a car is down and the winter seems to drag when you want to get out and drive it? Just my luck right now, took my 52 Ford truck out last week and after a short trip the emergency brake cables have locked up and will have to be disassembled! You know that saying, If it were not for bad luck you would not have any? I seem to have it in spades right now.

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Doug

I consulted my Hollander interchange and none of the driveline parts of 41 - 54 Chevy interchange with 49 - 54 Nash. They probably look very much the same and might have been made by the same suppliers.

______________________________________

We'll all be drinkin' that free Bubble Up and eatin' that rainbow stew. Merle Haggard 1981

http://www.cmt.com/videos/merle-haggard/26454/rainbow-stew.jhtml

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  • 1 year later...

OK, it has been some time since I posted concerning the Nash and we are now just getting to it. Seems that while moving it around some it now sounds like the universal joint may be the problem. Does anyone have or know a lead to purchase said joint?

Just to recap it is a 1951 Nash Canadian Staesman with a flathead 6, 3 speed standard shift without overdrive. Since they have an enclosed drive shaft system and no access (grease cover) it is still a guess at this point but with almost 100,000 miles we would likely replace it anyway.

After having learned to drive stick shift on this car, Lord, it is awful to hear the sound coming from underneath her.

Thanks for any help, Doug.

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I suspect you are running into a common problem with parts for vintage vehicles. That being what you need is no longer being cataloged under your car and year though it might still be cataloged for more a recent vehicle. I'd ask your local parts house that is a Federal Mogul or Federal National parts retailer to inquire with the tech reps. Chances are decent they will be able to come up with a current part number for those U-Joints.

FYI, the same U-Joints were used on the '55 Hudson Wasp, the '55 Rambler, and the '55 Nash Statesman; all those applications for vehicles with automatic transmissions.

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