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1 minute ago, alsancle said:

 

Not a bad theory Peter.    Another possibility,  the cars were expensive enough that a customer looking at the dealer could  probably get away with some custom requests to close the deal. 

It does seem odd to paint the brightwork black.  I have heard of Amish requesting new cars being painted black, remove the radio etc.  At least years back.  I doubt they'd have sprung for a Stearns though.  Maybe some conservative old money type might have done that.  

 

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I worked on a Willis Knight at Pebble last year, the entire oil pump housing was pot metal, and it failed. Pump was similar to a 1929 Stude oil pump. They have been remade in brass recently.

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Mark said he had made gears in the past and would check but didn't think he had any more. The pan appears to be removable without doing anything with the engine. I have been able to trace most of the ownership of my car. It was sold new to a doctor in Los Angeles who, sometime in the late 1930's or early 40's, had some legal problems due to charges of quackery. The car has always been in Southern California. From the photos that Mark sent me that were taken around 1960, the paint job looks very similar to the seven passenger that Duane Perrin currently has for sale.

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5 hours ago, edinmass said:

I worked on a Willis Knight at Pebble last year, the entire oil pump housing was pot metal, and it failed. Pump was similar to a 1929 Stude oil pump. They have been remade in brass recently.

Was the Willys-Knight pump or the Studebaker pump remade in brass? Would which ever in brass be a replacement for the Stearns-Knight pump?

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The bodies were done in brass......the Willis pump was small, the Stude pump is large...........the large pump is simple, and machined from a piece of solid stock. I have no idea what a Stearns pump looks like......yet.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Ed,

If you are going to check out the oil pump in AJ's car, I will wait to see if it needs replacement. If so, maybe we can go in on a group project to have parts made for several owners at once to save on costs.

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I will drop the pan in a few weeks. Just got back down south, and finally have plates. I should be killing some misquitoes this weekend ........hopefully I have a good hand on getting it to behave a bit better.........and then it's going to be tire and carburetor time. AJ..........get your checkbook ready!

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On ‎7‎/‎22‎/‎2020 at 4:57 PM, Peterwoyen said:

It does seem odd to paint the brightwork black.  I have heard of Amish requesting new cars being painted black, remove the radio etc.  At least years back.  I doubt they'd have sprung for a Stearns though.  Maybe some conservative old money type might have done that.  

 

Wasn't this a common practice during the depression era to paint all the brightwork so an expensive car would be less noticable? -I've heard this story a few times. The all-black original 34 Lincoln KA Sedan that RM auctions sold twice last year had this type of back story attached to it.

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On 7/24/2020 at 11:25 AM, md murray said:

Wasn't this a common practice during the depression era to paint all the brightwork so an expensive car would be less noticable? -I've heard this story a few times. The all-black original 34 Lincoln KA Sedan that RM auctions sold twice last year had this type of back story attached to it.

I doubt that is what you are looking at on the Stearns.  My guess is the car was repainted or the chrome painted when it failed early in cars life - you would have to put on the detective hat and really look the car over closely.  

 

That said, yes it was a practice (not a common practice though) to paint chrome on cars and story was people just wanted to avoid all the glitz via the depression, but basically they just created very noticeable ugly cars, so wonder if there was more too the story of why done. 

 

My opinion on the RM KA Lincoln sedan as that the chrome went bad early on - the paint on the chrome had a very "repainted look" 

 

This 1933 Packard was a Cincinnati car.  The grey had some flaking to a different grey underneath, so possibly repaited, but the black appreared original.  On most of the black painted trim parts there was no plated finish underneath - determinable from various chipping.  The hubcaps had deteriorated original plating.   The top, boot and sidecurtains are short grain vinyl verses canvas.   The carpets had been replaced with mottled salt/pepper mecedes carpet yardage in probably 1960's and I put in wilton wool (which needed bound, but I never finished that project) as they were pretty nasty.  

The car was bought by Charles W. Sawyer https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_W._Sawyer

 

1933 Packard Super Eight Touring by PLutonius on DeviantArt

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

And so it starts.......have a plate and registration. Started the long process of evaluating the car. I can honestly say it’s a joy to drive, and a real locomotive when you get it out of the city. Dangerous learning curve ahead............trying to cut back the oiling system to prevent excess oil consumption. The aftermarket top end oiler that was installed 80 years ago was ridiculous.........it was pulling a huge amount of oil and dumping it into the intake manifold. (A marvel mystery oiler with what looked like atf in it.)I’m convinced the exhaust system is totally contaminated with oil and needs to be removed.......I wouldn’t be surprised to find two gallons of oil in the muffler from 70 years of over lubrication with the accessory Oiler, and the spool valve and oil pressure regulator set at max..........the car is making 80 psi when cold, at 1000 rpm, when hot, the oil thins, and the regulator dumps at 69-73 lbs. From what I read, with the oil rectifier , a thin oil will recover better than a thick oil. Something else to figure out. Time to make some calls............it seems there is much more conjecture and bad adaptations added to these cars. Who would pay 10k 1929 for a car that smokes so much it would irritate the neighborhood?

B90EFBB9-F738-41D6-A522-F7EBC454DF2A.jpeg

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2 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

I’m convinced the exhaust system is totally contaminated with oil and needs to be removed.......

 

2 minutes ago, edinmass said:

B90EFBB9-F738-41D6-A522-F7EBC454DF2A.jpeg

Ed, that is the joy of a Sleeve Valve car - the exhaust will never rust out :) 

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Yes! Just don’t look in the mirror. The car has one fantastic advantage......no matter how SLOW you go, no one tailgates. All the mosquitoes in the neighborhood are dead. And the tree huggers.......who complain about the smoke......I just tell them it runs on recycled dinosaurs.😎

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On 8/8/2020 at 8:26 AM, edinmass said:

And so it starts.......have a plate and registration. Started the long process of evaluating the car. I can honestly say it’s a joy to drive, and a real locomotive when you get it out of the city. Dangerous learning curve ahead............trying to cut back the oiling system to prevent excess oil consumption. The aftermarket top end oiler that was installed 80 years ago was ridiculous.........it was pulling a huge amount of oil and dumping it into the intake manifold. (A marvel mystery oiler with what looked like atf in it.)I’m convinced the exhaust system is totally contaminated with oil and needs to be removed.......I wouldn’t be surprised to find two gallons of oil in the muffler from 70 years of over lubrication with the accessory Oiler, and the spool valve and oil pressure regulator set at max..........the car is making 80 psi when cold, at 1000 rpm, when hot, the oil thins, and the regulator dumps at 69-73 lbs. From what I read, with the oil rectifier , a thin oil will recover better than a thick oil. Something else to figure out. Time to make some calls............it seems there is much more conjecture and bad adaptations added to these cars. Who would pay 10k 1929 for a car that smokes so much it would irritate the neighborhood?

B90EFBB9-F738-41D6-A522-F7EBC454DF2A.jpeg

Art liked to turn the oil up.  I'm sure you'll be able to regulate it down.  Most of my experience is seeing W-K's run and they generally don't smoke much more than any other car.  That said I've seen Voisins run that could clear out quite a few mosquitos.  

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I removed the top end Oiler......that was running almost at three times the recommended amount. Next is the throttle valve regulator and the the crank case regulator. I will clean the rectifier and lines, remove the exhaust system......I think it has several gallons of oil in it. Then we will run it to see what we get. Slight delay while I run to get my new car........and expect a Sterns update in about a week to ten days.

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

I removed the top end Oiler......that was running almost at three times the recommended amount. Next is the throttle valve regulator and the the crank case regulator. I will clean the rectifier and lines, remove the exhaust system......I think it has several gallons of oil in it. Then we will run it to see what we get. Slight delay while I run to get my new car........and expect a Sterns update in about a week to ten days.

The throttle valve reg's are often wore.  Some are pot metal and the better ones are brass.  We had some brass castings we had machined and then the steel needle valves lapped in to fit.  I'll bet your right on the exhaust system.  I'll bet you get smoke just from it heating up.  

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Have the new oil regulator on the car.....the old one was not only set for maximum, it was turned around so even at idle maximum oil was going to the sleeves......I think this and one other item will cure the excessive smoke issue.....so in just a few more days, we should have our answer to the heavy smoking issue. I think we have got it figured out.......EVERYTHING on this car need to be looked at and understood before you do anything to it.........the system works exactly backwards than how you think it would/should.

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On 8/22/2020 at 9:32 PM, edinmass said:

Worked started again on the Stearns Brunn.....today.......in a week or so, I should know if our strategy to cut down the smoke works......time will tell.........

We have a new oil pump gear.  Machined and ready except for very minor hand fitting.  Mark will contact you.  

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36 minutes ago, Peterwoyen said:

We have a new oil pump gear.  Machined and ready except for very minor hand fitting.  Mark will contact you.  

 

 

Sounds like something I should have.......we will drop the pan in about two weeks.......first we want to run it with the oil system set correctly.............the smoking issue was worst at idle......and the flow valve was set at maximum oil and pressure at idle..........that would explain it loading up like it was , along with the top end oiler that was set at full bore dumping into the intake. And with maximum vaccume at idle, that would double the excess oil going to the top end. Seems the last owner was just afraid to have an engine issue associated with spending money....his solution.........let it smoke an asinine amount..........too bad. It basically stopped him from using it. It's an interesting challenge, and after speaking to Dwane at his house, he explained to me his thoughts on the system, and how much smoke should come out the tailpipe. His restored car with zero miles on it was running fine and not smoking on a new engine, thus I believe what he says more than most of the "stories" going around about these cars.........who would have paid 10k in 1929 for a smoke wagon that would piss off the neighborhood and entire town? Just doesn't seem reasonable. 

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1 minute ago, edinmass said:

 

 

Sounds like something I should have.......we will drop the pan in about two weeks.......first we want to run it with the oil system set correctly.............the smoking issue was worst at idle......and the flow valve was set at maximum oil and pressure at idle..........that would explain it loading up like it was , along with the top end oiler that was set at full bore dumping into the intake. And with maximum vaccume at idle, that would double the excess oil going to the top end. Seems the last owner was just afraid to have an engine issue associated with spending money....his solution.........let it smoke an asinine amount..........too bad. It basically stopped him from using it. It's an interesting challenge, and after speaking to Dwane at his house, he explained to me his thoughts on the system, and how much smoke should come out the tailpipe. His restored car with zero miles on it was running fine and not smoking on a new engine, thus I believe what he says more than most of the "stories" going around about these cars.........who would have paid 10k in 1929 for a smoke wagon that would piss off the neighborhood and entire town? Just doesn't seem reasonable. 

I agree with you.  It just gives otherwise great cars a bad reputation.  As with any antique car when things aren't tuned or operating to their designed spec.  

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I have been emailing with Mark Young. I ordered a replacement oil pump gear from him. He said " The pump bodies are iron. The opposing gear is steel." so only the one gear is needed. I haven't dropped the pan yet. It has been way too hot at my shop to work on anything, but as long as I have the pan off to see if the pump is the problem I may as well replace the gear.

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1 hour ago, pughs said:

I have been emailing with Mark Young. I ordered a replacement oil pump gear from him. He said " The pump bodies are iron. The opposing gear is steel." so only the one gear is needed. I haven't dropped the pan yet. It has been way too hot at my shop to work on anything, but as long as I have the pan off to see if the pump is the problem I may as well replace the gear.

 

Your lift is outside Steve?

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I don't have a lift at my shop. The photos you may have seen of my cars on a lift are at a friends shop who lets me use his. It has been in the high 90's outside and low 90's inside at my shop. Since the Stearns can't be moved right now, the oil pump will be done as most of the other underneath work that I do on my cars with me on my back.

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Stearns Brunn made very good progress today. Replaced the variable oil pressure spool valve with a very nice reproduction made by other Stearns enthusiasts.....they made a very nice reproduction that fit and function was perfect. Our original valve was incorrectly installed (on purpose?) causing 80 lbs of oil pressure at start up idle. We had excessive smoking to the point of not being safe to operate on the streets.....the issue was that bad.......I couldn’t road test the car. Well, after removing the top end oiler that was set for more than maximum draw and dumping huge amounts of marvel mystery oil into the intake at insane volume, and then installing the new oil volume spool valve in the correct factory position, we started the car and backed it out of the garage. Oil pressure dropped severely.......as we had set the spool valve at its lowest setting. We had minimum acceptable oil pressure......but a reduction of oil based smoke of more than 80 percent. It was an incredible transformation. We actually had a car you could drive and not cause an accident from the blue haze coming out of the tail pipe. I’m sure the exhaust system is severely contaminated from oil, and it may take a few hundred miles to get it all out, but now we have a car that is drivable and not a hazard to the motoring public. I still need to deal with the oil pressure regulator, the oil recovery rectifier, and do an oil change. Overall fantastic success. Too many people make changes to cars that have no basis in fact......their rumors, conjecture, and lack of service skills really cause great cars to have a bad reputation. While we have more work to go, and a steep learning curve to still climb, this car is going to be back in good useable and drivable condition for the first time in 40 years. I will post updates in a few days, and we expect to put one hundred miles on it over the weekend. More information to follow.......best, Ed.

 

Time to service the car for this problem.....35 hours of research, and phone calls, and three hours of spinning wrenches..........fixing cars with your head is just as important as fixing you car with wrenches.

 

 

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Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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4 hours ago, pughs said:

I don't have a lift at my shop. The photos you may have seen of my cars on a lift are at a friends shop who lets me use his. It has been in the high 90's outside and low 90's inside at my shop. Since the Stearns can't be moved right now, the oil pump will be done as most of the other underneath work that I do on my cars with me on my back.

 

It is a good thing you are a spry youngster!   You couldn't squeeze a lift in that building somewhere?

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6 hours ago, Peterwoyen said:

I agree with you.  It just gives otherwise great cars a bad reputation.  As with any antique car when things aren't tuned or operating to their designed spec.  

 

When Ed puts together his article for the CCCA newsletter he will be able to polish up the Stearns Knight reputation quite a bit.   Between you, Mark, Duane and now Ed there are some knowledgeable guys out there.   The word just needs to spread.

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6 hours ago, alsancle said:

 

It is a good thing you are a spry youngster!   You couldn't squeeze a lift in that building somewhere?

I have been looking at lifts lately but I am a few spaces short of fitting all the cars in there now so if I put a lift in the shop it would end up storing two cars in the space of one but there would still be no room to more anything around enough to put cars on and off a lift without moving 4 or 5 cars (most of which don't run. I am thinking it would be a better use of space to put some containers in my back parking lot and storing a few cars there but I still wouldn't have room for a lift that I could load and unload conveniently.  If anyone says I could sell some cars, they surely are not car guys. They sound more like some wives.

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8 hours ago, pughs said:

I have been looking at lifts lately but I am a few spaces short of fitting all the cars in there now so if I put a lift in the shop it would end up storing two cars in the space of one but there would still be no room to more anything around enough to put cars on and off a lift without moving 4 or 5 cars (most of which don't run. I am thinking it would be a better use of space to put some containers in my back parking lot and storing a few cars there but I still wouldn't have room for a lift that I could load and unload conveniently.  If anyone says I could sell some cars, they surely are not car guys. They sound more like some wives.

 

Agreed on no selling.   But you can ship me the Pierce Arrow and I will store and exercise it for free for you. 

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On 8/24/2020 at 11:06 AM, Peterwoyen said:

We have a new oil pump gear.  Machined and ready except for very minor hand fitting.  Mark will contact you.  

Ed,

You might want to drop the pan and see what your oil pump gear is made of.  If it's brass then you're in good shape.  The originals were pot metal and we know what that does.  If you have good oil pressure already then it's likely your gear is fine-but you should check.  If you need a gear we'll get another machined.  We want to keep a couple spares.  Thanks    

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18 minutes ago, Peterwoyen said:

Ed,

You might want to drop the pan and see what your oil pump gear is made of.  If it's brass then you're in good shape.  The originals were pot metal and we know what that does.  If you have good oil pressure already then it's likely your gear is fine-but you should check.  If you need a gear we'll get another machined.  We want to keep a couple spares.  Thanks    

 

 

We were planning to drop the pan in two weeks, and figured to just swap out a gear if they were available........we will work without it for now. We will drop the pan regardless...........but first, we will put some milage on it. Then the real sorting will begin. Thanks for all your help.......couldn't have done it without all the Stearns owners. 👍

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19 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

 

We were planning to drop the pan in two weeks, and figured to just swap out a gear if they were available........we will work without it for now. We will drop the pan regardless...........but first, we will put some milage on it. Then the real sorting will begin. Thanks for all your help.......couldn't have done it without all the Stearns owners. 👍

I should clarify.  I think we're having a couple gears machined regardless.  Is Mark sending you one of the finished ones?  Maybe he and you spoke and he's already sending you one?  It's a good idea to have a spare anyway.  

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I’m confused.........Mark was suppose to send me his contact info again, and I didn’t get it yet. I asked AJ to contact him, not sure if he did. Been ridiculously busy the last few weeks.

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Took the Stearns for a spin tonight.......first time since we got the oil system 2/3 serviced. Aired up the tires, changed the oil to SAE 40, and drove it 20 miles in 95 degree weather. Car ran well. Engine at idle in the parking lot, idle in traffic, and going down the road stayed in the low end of the normal range. The smoke is effectively gone.........it’s about the same amount of smoke from my old 1932 Pierce put out the tailpipe. Not non existent, but certainly a zero concern or issue. Still need to burn out the old oil in the exhaust system......it will take a lot of miles to get the system dry. The gearing is difficult to get use to.....it’s definitely too tall, and too much of a jump between gears. It’s going to take a learning curve to master the shifting.........strangest thing I ever experienced in a high end car........will get it figured out........on AJ’s dime. Then I can teach him how to drive it correctly. Put non ethanol fuel in it, what they call REC 90 for boats. Seemed to like the fuel. We need to replace the carburetor with a better unit.......it’s effectively causing acceleration issues without an accelerator pump. Steering was greatly improved with air in the tires. I picked it up and drive it a half mile.....tires has 28 pounds in them........45/40 made a great improvement. I need to clean the windows......they are that dirty, it’s hard to see out of them......couldn’t tell from looking at it inside the garage. Fuel pump either suffered vapor lock, or can’t keep up at 60 mph. Had it up to speed for four miles........had to turn on the boost pump or it would have died. Fuel tank is tiny........17 gallons.....I would have expected twenty five. Need to service the rectifier and tubes as well as the oil pressure dump valve next. The new spool valve works perfect. At 30 mph if you floor the throttle the oil pressure goes from 30 pounds to 70 pounds while accelerating. Just as it should. So far it’s all been good news for the Stearns Brunn Auto Show Car..........it went from a “Big Smoke Machine” to a regular old car.........proving that people service cars and do incorrect and work, and sometimes unintentionally Screw them up......giving cars an undeserved bad reputation.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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10 hours ago, edinmass said:

Took the Stearns for a spin tonight.......first time since we got the oil system 2/3 serviced. Aired up the tires, changed the oil to SAE 40, and drove it 20 miles in 95 degree weather. Car ran well. Engine at idle in the parking lot, idle in traffic, and going down the road stayed in the low end of the normal range. The smoke is effectively gone.........it’s about the same amount of smoke from my old 1932 Pierce put out the tailpipe. Not non existent, but certainly a zero concern or issue. Still need to burn out the old oil in the exhaust system......it will take a lot of miles to get the system dry. The gearing is difficult to get use to.....it’s definitely too tall, and too much of a jump between gears. It’s going to take a learning curve to master the shifting.........strangest thing I ever experienced in a high end car........will get it figured out........on AJ’s dime. Then I can teach him how to drive it correctly. Put non ethanol fuel in it, what they call REC 90 for boats. Seemed to like the fuel. We need to replace the carburetor with a better unit.......it’s effectively causing acceleration issues without an accelerator pump. Steering was greatly improved with air in the tires. I picked it up and drive it a half mile.....tires has 28 pounds in them........45/40 made a great improvement. I need to clean the windows......they are that dirty, it’s hard to see out of them......couldn’t tell from looking at it inside the garage. Fuel pump either suffered vapor lock, or can’t keep up at 60 mph. Had it up to speed for four miles........had to turn on the boost pump or it would have died. Fuel tank is tiny........17 gallons.....I would have expected twenty five. Need to service the rectifier and tubes as well as the oil pressure dump valve next. The new spool valve works perfect. At 30 mph if you floor the throttle the oil pressure goes from 30 pounds to 70 pounds while accelerating. Just as it should. So far it’s all been good news for the Stearns Brunn Auto Show Car..........it went from a “Big Smoke Machine” to a regular old car.........proving that people service cars and do incorrect and work, and sometimes unintentionally Screw them up......giving cars an undeserved bad reputation.

 

Tall gears are interesting to me for such a heavy car which was designed for 1929 roads.   The car came with a new 4.25 ring and pinion but now I'm wondering if the gears installed are actually 3.75 or less.   Seems odd for 1929.   But the story that has been passed down from the original owner Ben Martin, to Art to Chris to me is that Ben only would buy the car if they could prove the 100mph number.  Maybe they swapped in a gear ratio that would get it up to 100 after a 3 mile run up.

 

I'm sure everybody here knows how much I appreciate having Ed's big brain working on something a tad esoteric.   Everybody can work on a Duesenberg,  but show them a Sleeve Valve car and they vapor lock!  😄

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Well......it's a cool car..........thus it gets an OK from me. I like servicing things that confuse, intimidate, and baffle most people. The Stearns is an interesting platform, and it's just plain fun working on it. It's just nuts and bolts.........the issue is when you dig very deep inside. The challenge on this car is holding the line as far as not tearing it all apart, but making it a good, reliable driver without restoring the car down to the frame. I'm sure we will get there. Fortunately we don't have time constraints. A slow and steady approach will work just fine. 

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14 hours ago, edinmass said:

I’m confused.........Mark was suppose to send me his contact info again, and I didn’t get it yet. I asked AJ to contact him, not sure if he did. Been ridiculously busy the last few weeks.

If you email me at pdwoyen@hotmail.com I'll get you his contact information.  Thanks, Pete

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