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Looking for help in getting 812 running............ Phila area


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I have an 812 that hasnt been run in about 15 years-engine needs to be cleaned out, regular going through on gas tank, lines, brakes etc.

Would love to get this running-have had for 3 years and not sure where to start.............

any suggestions as to affordable mechanic to use in the area? dont mind getting my hands dirty, just would like to find someone a bit familiar with these cars.

if not, will be putting up for sale.



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Well, I can tell you from experience that it's an interesting process to get an 812 back from long term storage. Mine was idle for about 6 years, and there were a lot of tasks, not the least of which was getting all the transmission pieces working again.

You've already stated some of the obvious. If it was stored with gas in the tank, then off it comes to be cleaned. Then make sure the gas line is clear. Next, both the carb and fuel pump should be rebuilt with new materials that will withstand ethanol, even if you plan to find and use "regular" non-ethanol gas, eventually you'll put some in the tank. The older fuel pumps will fail due to ethanol issues.

Drain oil, new oil, squirt some oil in each cylinder and make sure engine turns over.

The next steps, after getting it running, is to check the transmission operation. There are a lot of variables, from condition of your wiring, to corrosion on contacts in wiring connectors, to switch operation on the steering column, to condition of diaphragms in the two vacuum cylinders, to any slack or wear in the shifting linkage on the transmission....a lot depends on condition car was in when you parked it, storage conditions, and such.

I'm not a certified mechanic by any means, but did most of the work myself over the period of a couple months. I did get help replacing some of the wiring under the dash, as I don't bend that way any more!

If I can help let me know, david.coco@Comcast.net

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Thanks David, that is pretty much the reason I need help-not a conventional car. Someone on this board wrote me last summer, but he never got back to me regarding doing the work.

As I said, would really like to find someone with experience to give me a hand, but not adverse to paying someone to doing the work. Have wtd one of these since i was 12, am now 54 and the dream

still has not happened. Time to get a few cars going or sold. Sitting in storage isn't doing anyone any good.

This is one of the only cars out there, where I actually like the closed car as much as the open cars.

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I imagine finding guys to work on a Cord, beside body shop type work is going to be difficult if not near impossible unless you send it to a hi end restoration shop. I know that will be expensive.

Around here, I have a couple friends that have a shop that tackle all kinds of odd ball stuff. (I do my own work so it's not a problem) But I know the stuff they get in, no shop will touch and the cars are pretty darn common older cars, not even that many are older than the 1950's.

Most of the cars have relatively simple problems that a normal shop 30 year ago wouldn't have a problem diagnosing and fixing. I can imagine most shops you ask when you tell them you have a Cord, they will either have no clue what you are talking about or will get dollar signs in their eyes, not realizing a sedan is worth about the same as a nice 57 Chevy 2 door or any number of lower end muscle cars.

I know the problem with getting a car running is to what degree you want it running and where to get parts.

Getting it fine tuned for the highway and reliability is a whole different game than get it running and stopping.

I know shops don't like cars laying around that they have to constantly wait for parts for That's even a problem with my friend's shop.

I hope I get to my Cord while my Friend is still around to give me a hand if I need it. He's never worked on one, but like's a challenge and is really good at rebuilding stuff he has never worked on before.

It's good to have him looking over my should when I do the work.

Good luck in whatever you decide.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a friend not far from Winchester who is great on early cars, and can sort out mechanical problems. He did some of the work on my 812. If you want to give it to someone to get going, I can give you his name in a PM or email.

I'd say that, to get a dead 812 back on the road, assuming no major mechanical problems, would be $500-$1500 in parts (more if all electrical and switches need work) and $4000-5000 in labor. I replaced a lot, but not all, of wiring, and bought parts to rebuild shift diaphragms, plus some small stuff, and it was around $1500 in parts.

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