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Ron42Dodge

Gadgets and Gizmos

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Periodically you run into something you never saw or heard of before. A unique aftermarket item or an unusual dearship Sales tool, or an intriguing tool.

Just yesterday I purchased a Safety Sander which allowed you to dispense sand grit in front of your rear tires while driving on packed ice or snow. The sand hoppers mounted inside the trunk over the wheel wells. You activated a switch on the dash which would open the 2 valves, thus releasing the sand. The hoppers could be refilled from inside the car if you drilled some holes in the rear deck. Always good to keep the kids occupied while driving in the snow.

I thought it might be interesting to see what other oddities others have come across.

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Edited by Ron42Dodge (see edit history)

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I found this a few years back still in it's box, 50's or maybe 60's? After owning it for this long I recently plugged it in (on the modern car) and it still works! Not much need for ice removal here in Portland but I love the packaging. Funny that they only put so much effort into the names into the other products shown on the package, a couple are playfully anthropomorphic but the others are just a simple description. Must have been a Friday.

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Edited by MarrsCars (see edit history)

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This device was known as an oil eye positive indicator. It was mounted under the dash and with the push of a button, you could tell if there was enough oil in the engine. One line was connected to the intake manifold vacuum line and the other was connected to a metal tube which was inserted down the dipstick hole to the add line. It was made in Winona, Minnesota.

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Another gadget I found was a Gasometer. Not the vacuum Gage type. This was either mounted to the dash of a demonstration car or hung on the window of a customers car. You would fill the glass vessel to a specific line so you would have a measured amount of gas. Then you shut off the fuel pump flow and gravity fed gas to the carb as you drove, until you use up the gas. This would allow you to calculate your fuel mileage in the car you are looking to purchase and compare it to what you are driving. I wrote this article for the WPC News awhile back.post-40694-143141843245_thumb.jpgWith the cost of fuel on the rise, and the availability of fuel sometimes limited, consumers have been searching for more economical means of transportation. We toy with the notion of buying a new fuel efficient car but, can it really pay for itself in fuel savings?

<o:p </o

We've all have seen those reports and claims that estimate what your new vehicle should get for gas mileage. We tend to be skeptical, wondering if we will ever come close to that kind of mileage when we drive it.

Does this sound like a conversation from yesterday? Quite Possible.

But I can assure you that Dodge and P<st1:city w:st="on"><st1:plymouth </st1</st1:city>have been watching out for their customer's economic concerns for a long time, why evenback in the 30's. And they have been able to prove their performance. How you might ask?

With the GASOMETER!

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The Gasometer was a Gas mileage tester that was produced by Miller Tool & MFG CO. A Salesman's Service bulletin No. 22 for the 1938 Dodge and <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:pPlymouth </st1showed the salesman how to use this tool to help sell cars.</st1:city>

Operating instructions were easy. Just "Disconnect fuel line at fuel pump inlet. Connect tester hand pump hose to rear fuel tank line. Plain hose of tester attaches to inlet side of fuel pump. Open vent valve on top of tester. Fill tester with hand pump. Take speedometer reading as fuel passes upper graduation mark, take second reading as fuel passes lower graduation mark. Ten times the distance traveled is miles per gallon.

To show comparative fuel consumption, fill tester half full, close vent valve. Fuel will enter through flow scope at same rate as engine consumes it. On rubber tube models, drain tubes when not in use.

Do not operate pump with vent valve closed. "

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The Gasometer held approximately 14 ounces of gasoline and was either mounted on the dash of a demonstrator car or hung on a side window in the front seat of the customer’s car. (Oh yes, that makes me feel safe.)

A newer more visible Instrument Panel Gasometer model C-655 was available to the dealers when the 1942 models came out for a mere $8.50.

<o:p </o

Remember the words of Seemore Sellem: "Dodge and <st1:city w:st="on"><st1:pPlymouth</st1 economy is so outstanding it's only good salesmanship to make the most of it. Use the new instrument panel Gasometer on all demonstrators. Keep a standard Gasometer on hand to check the prospect's present car." </st1:city>

<o:p </o

Seventy years later, a Gasometer is standard in many of the Chrysler and Dodge vehicles, located within the vehicle information center.

<o:p </o

Dodge Bulletin No. 22, April 20,1938.

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Edited by Ron42Dodge (see edit history)

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Here is a new Pontiac factory power steering demonstrator for 1955 that a friend gave me, complete with all hoses, wiring, clamps, solenoid, paperwork, instructions, etc. A dealer installed it for comparison purposes for a vehicle with and without power steering. Tempted to install it but probably won’t.

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Here is a new Pontiac factory power steering demonstrator for 1955 that a friend gave me, complete with all hoses, wiring, clamps, solenoid, paperwork, instructions, etc. A dealer installed it for comparison purposes for a vehicle with and without power steering. Tempted to install it but probably won’t.

As I have seen this used on an Oldsmobile, I suspect any/all GM dealers had access to it?

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"The New Rocket ignition unit, patented April 14, 1953", and "guaranteed, inspected, and tested". All that sounds good, but no where is any claim to what good thing it does. (Good example of early CYA) It's a jump spark "intensifier".

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According to the patent, this was known as a gaseous fuel mixing device. The marketers must have had a better name to use to sell it. I think it was supposed to improve your fuel mileage. This was installed between the carburetor and the intake manifold. dsc00527gc.jpg

Edited by Drew Kreidelcamp
additional information (see edit history)

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According to the patent, this was known as a gaseous fuel mixing device. The marketers must have had a better name to use to sell it. I think it was supposed to improve your fuel mileage.

For the heck of it, I bought a smaller similar device from the JC Whitney catalog back in the late 60's. I mounted it under the carburator on my '64 Chevy as instructed and checked my gas mileage. It was purported to increase my mileage by 10%?? whatever.

My gas mileage did not improve, so I mailed it back for the full refund, and got my money back.:)

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I had a salesman try to sell me one of these gas mixer screens about 20 years ago, not sure if they are still trying to push these wonders of science or not. And Wayne, I'm sure they said as much as 10% to give wiggle room. Reminds me of the joke about the guy that added so many gadgets that each improved the gas millage that he had to pump some gas out every night.

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According to the patent, this was known as a gaseous fuel mixing device. The marketers must have had a better name to use to sell it. I think it was supposed to improve your fuel mileage. This was installed between the carburetor and the intake manifold.

They still make and sell these things, here's a Consumer Reports article about some similar products.

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/01/gas-saving-devices-tested/index.htm

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They still make and sell these things, here's a Consumer Reports article about some similar products.

https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2012/01/gas-saving-devices-tested/index.htm

Anyone with any common sense should know that given how much money automakers spend to comply with federally mandated fuel economy requirements, if they could get a 10% mileage increase by simply placing a 10 cent piece of screen in the intake tract, don't you think this would be factory-installed on every car ever made now?

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Anyone with any common sense should know that given how much money automakers spend to comply with federally mandated fuel economy requirements, if they could get a 10% mileage increase by simply placing a 10 cent piece of screen in the intake tract, don't you think this would be factory-installed on every car ever made now?

They certainly would now, but in the fifties, maybe not.

My dad was an engineer and used to make two modifications to every new car he bought, he'd put on a Frantz toilet paper oil filter and an aftermarket CD ignition (until they went factory electronic in '75). The ignition combined with a little carb tweaking (he had a Heathkit exhaust gas analyzer) did improve mileage and the oil stayed clean longer. We tended to keep a car until it rusted pretty badly and it still ran very well in every case, even though he only changed oil at the 6 to 10 thousand mile mark. He also used Aeroshell AD aircraft oil exclusively, fifty weight (Grade 100) in the summer, 40 (Grade 80) in the winter. I remember that as if it were yesterday. I would not use AD aircraft oil in a modern car engine but Chevy recommended it FOR RACING in the old Chevy Power manuals and it works fine in old car engines. The formula for these oils is 50+ years old, unchanged, so all the yap about the lack of zinc I see in the hot rod parts catalogs could be easily fixed that way.

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The fuel mixing device I posted a picture of has a US patent no.2035538. It was issued on March 31,1936. I found this one on a car that was scrapped in the late 60's. I tried it for a while on my 1951 Henry J, but I didn't notice any improvement in fuel mileage.

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Here's another item I'm not sure of.  Autolite Steelductor ignition wire.  7 strands of stainless steel wire instead of 19 strands of copper.  

 

Claims easier starting, Higher top speed, Lower idling, less misfiring from fouled plugs, less burning of spark plugs electrodes and breaker points, internal corona avoided, heat hazard reduced and less radio interference.  Claims 25% higher peak seconadary voltages.

 

This particular kit is Silver Sheathed and fits my 1942 Dodge as well as other 31 - 42 Mopars and 33 - 42 Olds and Pontiac and 38 - 42 Studebaker

 

The bottom of the box notes the rubber nipples were omitted to conserve critical war materials

 

Anybody ever try these?

 

 

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The road sander thingy was actually offered on 67 and possibly 68 Camaro's as a factory option. It is very rare. Ed Dade City,Fl

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Following the first "gas crisis" the Dept. of Energy performed some tests of a number of fuel saving devices. Only thing found useful was something called a Passmaster that connected to engine vacuum and would disconnect the AC at WOT.

 

Was a nice thing for an automagic but with a stick I needed to add some vacuum delays to keep the AC clutch from slamming in then out on every shift.

 

ps difugledy with that spark plug tire inflator was that you also got some gas in the tire.

Edited by padgett (see edit history)

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