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2 minutes ago, Doozer said:

Wow, that all sounds VERY expensive. 


Let’s hope it’s LOTS of labor......."👍

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13 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Another drive in the “Auto Show Special”.........starts and runs fine. Starting easier now that we drive it every day......like all machines, the more you use it, the better it gets. Tried to make it overheat today........no dice. No matter how hot outside, the car runs cool. We were told it has a “new” radiator ten or twenty years ago, but can’t tell by looking. No oil leaks, no coolant leaks, and no exhaust leaks. It’s nice to have an old car that doesn’t need a diaper and clean up every time you move it. Fluid changes will be next. We already did the oil, but we will drop the pan in a week or two. Also flush the transmission and rear end, and fill with appropriate lubricant. Will probably drain and fill the coolant and then run evapo rust for a few months.....just because. It’s less than 175 bucks in chemicals......a cheap insurance policy for the future. We need to address tires and tubes.......and possibly cosmetics on the wheels when we rip it all apart. While we are doing that we will give the front end a quick go over, and grease.......also checking the brakes and dealing with the wheel bearings. I haven’t decided if I want to dig into the oil refractory system. Better weather is here, so we will drive it a while before we drop the pan and install the new oil pump gear.

Your report sounds excellent!  Bronze wheel in the diff by the way.  Need the appropriate diff lube for it.     

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1 hour ago, Peterwoyen said:

Your report sounds excellent!  Bronze wheel in the diff by the way.  Need the appropriate diff lube for it.     


Yes, thanks Peter.  Same Timken worm drive as Stutz.


according to George Holman use Mobil SHC 600 Series lubricants

842C55F1-1C8B-4C7C-9CF5-290C3A67AFE0.thumb.jpeg.67e8ae68465d6242c8e772b7d7692b01.jpeg

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13 hours ago, alsancle said:


Yes, thanks Peter.  Same Timken worm drive as Stutz.


according to George Holman use Mobil SHC 600 Series lubricants

842C55F1-1C8B-4C7C-9CF5-290C3A67AFE0.thumb.jpeg.67e8ae68465d6242c8e772b7d7692b01.jpeg

Yes, whatever is appropriate for yellow metals

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19 hours ago, Doozer said:

Wow, that all sounds VERY expensive. 

That is just what it takes to have anything that is not a garage ornament.   A good friend (and actually there is more than 1) bought an Auburn as they see us doing everything with the 851 Phaeton - "it is so dependable and ..., traveled 50K miles and ....".  Well, the car you see us out in is on several restorations and in 1990 had a nearly 45K drivetrain rebuild, plus that needed partially re-rebuilt in 2015.  Also, what they never see is my working on it in the garage before it sails out the door.  And, the Rolls Royce had a good 15K spent on it in parts and ..., not including my labor to revive it from 20 years of sitting (having just prior 45K-ish spent on it to loop around the block), just so it could loop around the block to then pull back into the garage to get more money and time spent on it.  Currently, I am working on a 1935 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan - a lovely car and always a well cared for lovely car since new, but it has had 15K in little trinkets, badges, tiny parts, minor fixes, and ... added to updrade it over past year.    And, the current Auburn 852 Phaeton eats money like a drunken sailor.   

 

There is so much unhappiness out there and so many cars just sitting and rotting away as people do not realize things like this and bargain themselves into things they do not have the time and/or finances, skills, and  etc. for.  

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9 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

That is just what it takes to have anything that is not a garage ornament.   A good friend (and actually there is more than 1) bought an Auburn as they see us doing everything with the 851 Phaeton - "it is so dependable and ..., traveled 50K miles and ....".  Well, the car you see us out in is on several restorations and in 1990 had a nearly 45K drivetrain rebuild, plus that needed partially re-rebuilt in 2015.  Also, what they never see is my working on it in the garage before it sails out the door.  And, the Rolls Royce had a good 15K spent on it in parts and ..., not including my labor to revive it from 20 years of sitting (having just prior 45K-ish spent on it to loop around the block), just so it could loop around the block to then pull back into the garage to get more money and time spent on it.  Currently, I am working on a 1935 Packard Twelve Convertible Sedan - a lovely car and always a well cared for lovely car since new, but it has had 15K in little trinkets, badges, tiny parts, minor fixes, and ... added to updrade it over past year.    And, the current Auburn 852 Phaeton eats money like a drunken sailor.   

 

There is so much unhappiness out there and so many cars just sitting and rotting away as people do not realize things like this and bargain themselves into things they do not have the time and/or finances, skills, and  etc. for.  

Wise words.  Think before you leap.  $50,000 (or less) is what a lot of people will spend on their new car, or driver, and then make payments for month after month for years and years.  Perhaps never getting out of the payment cycle.  When 50k is an engine overhaul.  Yes, it's easy to be way too far over your head.  Then you are caught because without the needed repair, what is the car worth?    

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8 minutes ago, Peterwoyen said:

Wise words.  Think before you leap.  $50,000 (or less) is what a lot of people will spend on their new car, or driver, and then make payments for month after month for years and years.  Perhaps never getting out of the payment cycle.  When 50k is an engine overhaul.  Yes, it's easy to be way too far over your head.  Then you are caught because without the needed repair, what is the car worth?    

As a sidenote:  Yes, some engines are 50K to rebuild, but the Auburn Sedan we had probably had a couple 100 dollars spent on its rebuild in 1959, and it just goes and goes and goes.  And friends drive a Packard Twelve and they have about 10K in machine tool work and another 5K in parts (maybe 6 years ago) - quite the tour car too.  And, there is a certain amount of engineering shared between all cars - a good engine rebuilder can "figure it out" and it need not be 50K (but it often can be).  I also use the RR PI as an example - 20K cylinder head needed to just get you started thinking about it.  I had 5K on my 1941 Cadillac engine rebuild in 1980 - that was a lot of money at the time.   I had about 15K in the last Cadillac flathead.   I did an X and the chrome plating bill for the engine misc trim was nearly 7K and it was asll greasy to start and not all that bad - it was just a lot of chrome (and it had another 5K in paint and probably another 3K in specialized hardware finishes).  And, I have about $3,500 in a friends Model A Ford (that gets picked up from rebuilder next week).  So, I guess the moral of the story is:  It does not have to be 50K, but with a big CCCA car, you better plan on it nevertheless (hope for the best, plan for the worst).  

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There is a little machine shop near me that has become good at MGTD's - the rebuild never goes over 5K.   A friend bought a REALLY NICE TD and it was running hot and they to some degree  tolerated and then it started rod knocking.  So, they tore it apart and there was not one single part decent in the entire engine matched to not one decent part in the entire drivetrain.  They bought an extra engine and that had a cracked crank, and .... all said and done they are in the 5K with the rebuilder and in total drivetrain mechanics are now in it for about 30K at this point (and I do not think anyone has charged then over 40.00 hr yet). 

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1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

There is a little machine shop near me that has become good at MGTD's - the rebuild never goes over 5K.   A friend bought a REALLY NICE TD and it was running hot and they to some degree  tolerated and then it started rod knocking.  So, they tore it apart and there was not one single part decent in the entire engine matched to not one decent part in the entire drivetrain.  They bought an extra engine and that had a cracked crank, and .... all said and done they are in the 5K with the rebuilder and in total drivetrain mechanics are now in it for about 30K at this point (and I do not think anyone has charged then over 40.00 hr yet). 

 

1 hour ago, John_Mereness said:

There is a little machine shop near me that has become good at MGTD's - the rebuild never goes over 5K.   A friend bought a REALLY NICE TD and it was running hot and they to some degree  tolerated and then it started rod knocking.  So, they tore it apart and there was not one single part decent in the entire engine matched to not one decent part in the entire drivetrain.  They bought an extra engine and that had a cracked crank, and .... all said and done they are in the 5K with the rebuilder and in total drivetrain mechanics are now in it for about 30K at this point (and I do not think anyone has charged then over 40.00 hr yet). 

Nice.  I'd call that a win if it's decent work.  

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19 hours ago, Peterwoyen said:

 

Nice.  I'd call that a win if it's decent work.  

Probably so (a "win"), but they paid 24K for car and now have another 30K in it - and on a good day they probably can get 30K tops out of it. 

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9 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

Probably so (a "win"), but they paid 24K for car and now have another 30K in it - and on a good day they probably can get 30K tops out of it. 

Yes, it's the bane of our existence as old car people.  If you can't do your own work either because of time or skills you're doomed to hire it done.  I hire some mechanical things and machining done but I largely do my own work.  I suppose I'm making 50 cents an hour or less.  Haha.  

It's very hard to know everything about what you're buying when you buy a car.  I bought an Overland out of Colorado.  I should have left it in Colorado.  Complete mechanical disaster.  The purchase was the cheap part.  It was intended to be an inexpensive tour car.  It became a three year frame off before I could drive it around the block.     

I guess one can spend a lot of money on hunting or fishing or Alaskan cruises too.  Mine is in iron.  There are us old car people and then there are airplane people.  Those folks can make our spending look silly.   

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Yep, if I didn't have the A my second choice would have been a T series.  Interesting math John.  You can say simple cars but good mechanical work is relatively pricey on those two non Classics.  Exactly the reason I don't spring for a Classic, I could buy one but not sure I could sort it let alone restore one.  I will likely spend twice the A's market value once it is done, and that's fine.  We have a mb SL I am overspent on but all issues typical with those have been addressed and its fun vs. a headache every time out.

A.J. is a firm believer in paying experts to do expert things, but hopefully Ed is showing some mercy with the meter.

Edited by Steve_Mack_CT (see edit history)
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1 minute ago, Steve_Mack_CT said:

but hopefully Ed is showing some mercy with the meter.

Now there is an aspirational statement!

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22 minutes ago, Grimy said:

Now there is an aspirational statement!

 

I just need enough money to buy a small place down here............on the island.......of Palm Beach.........waterfront of course....and some staff to do the cooking and cleaning. That reminds me, I need to add two more zero's to AJ's bill. 🤪

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Ed, I could not locate new or NOS front wheel bearings for the H/J-890. I did get a quote to have some made.... very big $$$. Fortunately the ones on the cars are OK. If you find a source that doesn't require access to the national treasury, please let us all know.

 

In response to long term engine builds - yes that happens, but is usually an outsourcing issue or backlog in a machine shop (We need more machinists and craftsmen). Just got the 1912 Stearns-Knight back from a six year engine rebuild. Terrific job done. Starts and runs like a champ. Doing daily break in runs.  The engine had previously been repaired and kept running, but this was it's first overhaul. This car had been Art Aseltine's "favorite" car. He bought it in 1966. It has a documented 420,000 miles on it. I have it's history from new. Prior to entering the collector world it was used as a daily commuter between LA and San Diego late 1930's through all of WWII.  First collector owner was Robert Gottleib from LA.

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Bearings are difficult......usually they are fine. When replacing them, it’s either pay the money, or modify what is there. The weather here is finally back in the realm of the living, so the Stearns will start getting out and shaken down. How about a photo of the 1912? 👍

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Well, here is one of the '12. New paint and seat upholstery by Gottleib in 1950. Art had a new top made in 1970. The car was on the cover of "Cars and Parts Sept 1984. Looks the same now.  Jerry Szostak (WOKR sleeve valve guru) rebuilt the motor. Said it was very similar to the Stoddard-Dayton-Knight motor he did a few years ago.

IMG_20200911_155148421.jpg

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A couple of weeks ago I installed the new oil valve (picture below) and started the engine. Still no oil pressure, so I couldn't put off dropping the pan and inspecting and replacing the oil pump gear. I slid under the car to assess the difficulty of the job and found that there is a cross member blocking access to the rear pan bolts (see next picture). I spoke with Mark and he said the it was necessary to remove the cross member first. The weather has gotten very hot again so when it cools down I will try removing the cross member.

 

DSC02556.thumb.JPG.6b6ea7fafbdf135f1338e70d5513ab24.JPG

 

DSC02546.thumb.JPG.fbf0c7a4255b40ad9c377b0c66fed8e8.JPG

 

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20 hours ago, pughs said:

A couple of weeks ago I installed the new oil valve (picture below) and started the engine. Still no oil pressure, so I couldn't put off dropping the pan and inspecting and replacing the oil pump gear. I slid under the car to assess the difficulty of the job and found that there is a cross member blocking access to the rear pan bolts (see next picture). I spoke with Mark and he said the it was necessary to remove the cross member first. The weather has gotten very hot again so when it cools down I will try removing the cross member.

 

DSC02556.thumb.JPG.6b6ea7fafbdf135f1338e70d5513ab24.JPG

 

DSC02546.thumb.JPG.fbf0c7a4255b40ad9c377b0c66fed8e8.JPG

 

I have seen some serious junk in oil pans - my record was a 1932 Packard Twin Six Seven Passenger Sedan - 17 hours from  start to finish (will all needed parts and tools within reach) - I used a hammer and a wood chisel to get the sludge loose (then put is in the steamer parts cleaner and worked like hell on the remaining sludge) - when completed I started on the oil pump and found the pick-up screen to have one single hole in the screening (one single 1/32 or so hole at most).  

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)
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I was able to get a high res copy of the Commodore Hotel photo from the Philly Library archive services.   Here is a zoom of the three Stearns Knight cars.  Notice the RR in the background.

 

 

1929HotelCommodoreStearnsKnight.jpg

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On 10/22/2020 at 6:16 AM, alsancle said:

I was able to get a high res copy of the Commodore Hotel photo from the Philly Library archive services.   Here is a zoom of the three Stearns Knight cars.  Notice the RR in the background.

 

 

1929HotelCommodoreStearnsKnight.jpg

Notice it has a pair sidemount tire mirrors :) 

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42 minutes ago, John_Mereness said:

Notice it has a pair sidemount tire mirrors :) 

 

 

Yup......and they are terrible.......almost threw them away yesterday! Took the car for a nice drive with automotive historian and author  Brooks Brierley.Stopped to adjust the carburetor on Worth Avenue. 

 

Notice my plate topper on the front of the car.........original and restored by yours truly.......one of my favorite things on the car!

 

844574FF-749F-49D8-9D94-C7CA81EE6DAD.jpeg

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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3 minutes ago, edinmass said:

 

 

Yup......and they are terrible.......almost threw them away yesterday! Took the car for a nice drive with automotive historian and author  Brooks Brierley.Stopped to adjust the carburetor on Worth Avenue. 

 

Notice my plate topper on the front of the car.........original and restored by yours truly.......one of my favorite things on the car!

 

844574FF-749F-49D8-9D94-C7CA81EE6DAD.jpeg

Nice License Topper.  Looking good !  It will be a whole other car with properly done wheels and blackwalls. 

 

I had these kind of plates on front of cars when mom and dad lived in Jacksonville - being a rear plate only state and all our cars having front brackets.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-FLORIDA-SUNSHINE-STATE-METAL-SOUVENIR-LICENSE-PLATE-EMBOSSED-FULL-SIZE/303513165367

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Antique-Style-Florida-Sunshine-State-License-Plate/383773691264

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-Florida-The-All-American-State-License-Plate/264796447609

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/1965-1969-Florida-booster-license-plate-YOM-DMV-state-name-front/353210179325

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Well, I guess it’s my car......if you break it you own it .........sxit, it’s a 90 year old car.......it breaks down just by sitting still. Guess you need to send me the title. Enjoyed the drive with Brooks. Warm up your checkbook....”it’s gonna be a bumpy ride!” 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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31 minutes ago, alsancle said:

You know I agree, the the best thing you can do to and old car is beat the living crap out of it. Every other permutation of care results in more problems.

Remember - if you break it then it was well on its way to being broken before you ever put your hand to it.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Work is winding down on my new capital WHITE so we decided to take the Stearns out for a spin before we start playing around with it some more. 

040A7037-385A-465E-BBDC-97D00ED68D22.jpeg

B81F5AF2-76E2-4719-A425-46B00FDA0969.jpeg

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1 hour ago, edinmass said:

Work is winding down on my new capital WHITE so we decided to take the Stearns out for a spin before we start playing around with it some more. 

040A7037-385A-465E-BBDC-97D00ED68D22.jpeg

B81F5AF2-76E2-4719-A425-46B00FDA0969.jpeg


take it up on 95?

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On 11/16/2020 at 6:55 PM, alsancle said:

The two thoughts I have looking at the photos are that the car should have blackwalls and I need to find one of those plain caps.

StearnsKnightBrunn-RandyEmma-2-Small.jpg

Leave the cap, but definitely looks great with the blackwalls (I do firmly believe properly restored wheels will be night and day improvement).

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4 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

Leave the cap, but definitely looks great with the blackwalls (I do firmly believe properly restored wheels will be night and day improvement).


They sure look orange in that 1963 photo don't they?   They are red now.   They were dark brown originally when photographed in Central Park,  but I think they did a bit of spray work between NY and Chicago or LA.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)
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