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1941 Buick Limited Limousine


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Sidenote:  I know $500 is a lot for the rubber gravel guards, but with certain things like these I tend to get them while the getting is good (not something you want to find out is discontinued in reproduction when you want them).   Same argument applies to hubcaps, emblems, lenses, plastic interior parts, certain die cast trim pieces, limited run mechanical parts that are know problematic, and ...  

 

The 1939 LaSalle was really frustrating to do as many of the more specialized parts were in the realm of very ancient people who were also very retired - and we were trying to do car on a business schedule.  It all came together, but the timing was dicey.  That said, it sounded like the fellow who made all the dash plastic died while sitting at his workbench putting my parts in the box to ship to me (his family could not been more helpful though).  And, a fellow who made me a couple RR PI parts got lost via his Alzheimers on his way to the post office and took a day to find him (again the family could have not been more helpful). 

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In the Ka-Boom department - I will always recall the story of a friend who had the spare tire of his 50 Packard explode and shoot a poorly installed radio speaker into the back of his head - he was in the middle of nowhere and fortunately ran off the road and there was nothing to hit  (more or less - the car eventually was stopped by a fence post while moving at idle) 

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Driver's side shock and the surrounding area are still dry so it's not leaking seriously, if at all. I guess a long drive will tell us for sure.

 

I tried to service the passenger front shock tonight and got mixed results. One, the filler plug is hidden under the heater plenum on the front fender, a Limited-only problem. I was able to get it unscrewed with a small ignition wrench and it was a different type of plug than the driver's side, but whatever. I tried my little vacuum pump and fed the capillary tube into the shock, but again, it wasn't able to pull any oil out. I tried filling it and it took one or two pumps of oil from the can, then started overflowing when I bounced it. So that shock was full. I sealed it back up.

 

It's pouring rain tonight so no test drive, but I'm hopeful that ride will be significantly improved just with oil in the driver's side shock. Not sure if there will be any issue with light oil in one shock and heavy oil in the other, but I'm curious to see how it feels on the road. And hopefully the big thunk under the car is gone, too.

 

Maybe it'll be dry in the morning and I can try it out.

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10 hours ago, edinmass said:

Matt......did you buy a set of chassis ears?

 

Sure did! Sitting here next to my desk as I write this.

 

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Drove the Buick to the barber shop this morning. There was a terrible noise coming from somewhere ahead of the firewall as I drove, mostly at higher RPM. A grinding, whizzing sound. Totally RPM dependent, depressing the clutch at speed stopped it, so it was definitely engine not clutch or driveline. Drove fine otherwise but I was assuming that something else was knocked loose and was hoping it wasn't something like the fan or throwout bearing or generator. Got back from the barber shop and took a look under the hood and found that the air intake tube--which I moved to access the driver's side shock--was touching the fan belt. Repositioned it and cured the problem.

 

At that point I spiked the football and went inside. A win is a win, right?

 

Ride quality may be improved, but it's still inconclusive. Not dramatically better, but probably better because the secondary reverberations are largely gone and the steering wheel doesn't shake as much. I'll need to drive it home and hit that expansion joint on the bridge to my house to really know whether it's significantly improved. In fact, I find myself wishing for even more damping, as it still feels a bit floaty. The big booming rattle is gone--it was surely the fender skirt. There are two unfamiliar rattles now, but I don't know if they were always there and masked by other sounds or if they're new. Chassis Ear to the rescue! I'm eager to try it out, maybe tonight or, more likely, on Saturday before a day tour on Sunday. Looks like an awesome tool, can't believe nobody thought of it sooner!

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Although the weather was crummy this morning, it cleared up this afternoon and I was able to do some experimenting with the Chassis Ear. What a great tool! I started by putting the car on the lift and clipped the six mics to areas where I suspected rattles were originating--for the record, repairing the fender skirt seems to have cured a big one. I ran the wires safely away from moving or hot parts and connected them to the control unit on the front seat. Although the video below shows me driving with it broadcasting through the radio, that was just to demonstrate the system.

 

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7-11-20-2.thumb.jpg.a40a922637d6f709ed603975648c5956.jpg  7-11-20-1.thumb.jpg.68726d50c1c3e8d90e199a1556b5b3ab.jpg

Chassis Ear mics have sturdy clips that hold them in place, nice long wires, and

a self-contained battery-powered control head that's easy to operate. 

 

For actual testing, I used the included headphones which really do let you hear every little detail. For example, I could hear when the clutch started to grab and the meshing of the gears in the rear end (surprisingly loud, but I don't believe it's something to worry about--the mic surely makes it sound worse than it is). Using the worksheets to label which mic was attached where, I was able to identify places where I thought there might be rattles: rear splash apron where the back-up light post touches the bumper bracket (red), the two spring-wrapped brake lines that stretch down the control arms on the rear axle (yellow and blue), the E-brake equalizer just under the differential (pink), the fender skirt (green), and the heater unit under the B-pillar (white). 

 

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Under the rear bumper--you can see where the back-up light

mounting post touches the bracket. This was a definite
YES for rattles.

 

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The two spring-wrapped brake lines. I suspected these were the

source of a "chhhsssh" sound over sharp bumps. The left one
is still a suspect, right one is quiet.

 

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E-brake equalizer. I wasn't sure there was sufficient slack

in the cable to allow the equalizer to hit the housing, but

the Chassis Ear revealed it was doing just that.

 

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Just to be sure, I clipped one to the right rear fender skirt area.
You can really see how poorly my gravel guard fits here.

 

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And one near the heater assembly, which is in need of repair

and offered inconclusive results as to chassis noises.

 

7-11-20-10.thumb.jpg.045fe836fd07a3f07da1cf3e240094db.jpg  7-11-20-11.thumb.jpg.c484c4ebd98e37b3ff8ab03d3b2b84a8.jpg

Connected the wires to the control head on the passenger seat,

plugged in the headphones, and started testing.

 

Once everything was connected, I started driving. I chose the roughest section of road near our shop and made the 1/2-mile drive back and forth on each channel to be sure I was getting all the rattles. Fortunately, it seems that most of them are gone already, the biggest offender seems to have been the fender skirt. A few others are still present and are mostly encouraged by quick, small bumps, not larger ones. I keep going back to the tires, and I'm going to try taking 5 PSI out of each of them to see what happens. There's still a bit of impact harshness, although now that the shocks are all topped off with thicker oil, overall ride quality has definitely improved. I think I can feel that the right front shock has thinner oil, but that might just be the placebo effect. It rides well nevertheless.

 

There's a lot of ambient noise that the mics can pick up that you won't hear ordinarily. I could hear all kinds of things that were just the car doing its thing and the metal chassis was transmitting sound from all corners. As I mentioned, the most notable one was the rear axle, but I could also hear the transmission, the exhaust, and the brakes. But what I really hoped to hear were sharp, staccato sounds that indicate a loose part moving at high frequency, AKA a rattle. Through the Chassis Ear, loose parts would surely sound different than to my naked ear, but the presence of a quick, sharp sound would suggest a rattle. After testing each channel, I evaluated what I heard using the check sheets that come with the Chassis Ear:

 

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My shorthand: X means I believe there's a problem, a check

in the "Good" column obviously means it's OK, and a circle

means inconclusive. 

 

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I am amused that they put "the professional" in

quotes. That sums me up, I think. Professional-ish.

 

Once I had taken all my test drives (which added up to about six miles) and evaluated what I'd found, I did some basic noise abatement on the areas where I was fairly certain there were problems. The rear splash shield was definitely bouncing around, so I installed some rubber hose on the bracket to keep it from vibrating. Whomever installed the back-up light drilled that hole in exactly the wrong spot--right above the bumper bracket. There's just no clearance there and the back-up light was actually touching the bracket. The weight of the light would make the sheetmetal splash apron bounce every time the rear suspension hit a bump, then it would clank back into place. 

 

Then I tightened the E-brake cable a bit. Not too much because I don't want the brakes dragging and my E-brake works very well, but just to take out a bit of slack. Again, I added a bit of rubber hose on top of the U-shaped bracket so that if it does bounce up and hit the differential, it won't be metal-to-metal contact. I also added some hose to the brake lines, which are wrapped in protective springs. I think they are vibrating or buzzing, so the hose should attenuate some of that. Another test drive and it was a bit quieter. There's still something in the front suspension and an overall boominess on some larger bumps, but I'm sort of thinking it's just from this thing being a big, hollow metal box moving across an imperfect surface--some interior sound-deadening materials next winter will help with that, I'm sure. My clutch pedal started making a clicking noise along the way, too, so I'll have to take another look at the linkage under there--both the brake and the clutch pedals seem to make a noise that the chassis ear could detect. They're not loose, but maybe there's something in there that's out of alignment or maladjusted.

 

I also made a brief video to demonstrate the system. I connected the Chassis Ear to my Redi-Rad and played it through the radio so you can hear what's going on. Not ideal for diagnostics, but it gives you an idea of what the chassis ear does.  I think I tested it using the mic on the E-brake equalizer, which was by far the noisiest channel. Hope this is useful for someone else!

 

 

Thanks to my friend Ed Minnie for turning me on to the Chassis Ear. What an awesome diagnostic tool for someone who gets nutty about rattles like me! And it's kind of funny--I was driving my Cadillac CTS home afterwards and realized that the driver's seat creaks and groans and I don't particularly care. But one tiny click or buzz in one of my old cars? Maddening! 

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I have had a set of chassis ears for over twenty years. My new one is blue tooth so no wires. My old one is identical to Matt’s unit. Trust me, if it rattles you will know it. Long story short......on day I fixed a customer car......complaint was a “noise”. I fixed the bad ball joint about to fall out of the car. Turns out that noise was OK with the owner......they wanted a rattle fixed. Lesson learned. Test drive every noise complaint and ID the noise the customer wants fixed. The chassis ears over time paid for themselves tenfold. You just need a busy shop to justify the cost. They work great for modern wheel bearing noises, you can figure out which one.......often times a car will have two bad wheel bearings. You learn over time using the tool what is too much noise, and what is fine. I have found side mount rattles, trunk rack noise, exhaust system contact, , ect using them. They are a great tool. Matt.......you need to buy a KV ignition tester next. 😎

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Just a brief test drive after doing some rattle abatement. I ran it harder than usual just to show off a little, but it never seems to mind. This sucker pulls hard and just whisks along. And now that it's quiet and almost entirely rattle-free, it's really a pleasure to drive. I really enjoy driving this car more than any other. What an odd thing to love.


Now if I could only get that fan belt to quiet down...

 

 

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Mat.....maybe you can stop by down here and give me a hand. The noise in our P1 Rolls is driving me crazy! Who would have thought a clock could make that much noise. 🤔

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On 7/11/2020 at 11:31 PM, edinmass said:

Mat.....maybe you can stop by down here and give me a hand. The noise in our P1 Rolls is driving me crazy! Who would have thought a clock could make that much noise. 🤔

 

Do I get paid by the hour? Because it has only taken me 5 years to get this Buick dialed-in...

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24 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

Do I get paid by the hour? Because it has only taken me 5 years to get this Buick dialed-in...

 

 

Sure! I have 15 cars here to keep you busy.

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On 7/11/2020 at 11:31 PM, edinmass said:

Mat.....maybe you can stop by down here and give me a hand. The noise in our P1 Rolls is driving me crazy! Who would have thought a clock could make that much noise. 🤔

Clock = for some reason most of the cars we have owned the clocks sound like a "time bomb" in the dash and/or backseat - I do not like the noise and I do not trust them, so I put an on-off switch on them and only run them for CCCA judging. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Here's a preview of something my son, Riley, and I are working on over the next few weeks. I did something similar with an article I wrote a few years ago, but this will be video...

 

1414891468_2020-08-1117_53_13a.thumb.jpg.4ab6fb3061cbe12da6c85326fff8d7c9.jpg  1906738600_2020-08-1117_58_15a.thumb.jpg.1742bd20058bb791245b9f496eb4fff2.jpg

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20 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

Here's a preview of something my son, Riley, and I are working on over the next few weeks. I did something similar with an article I wrote a few years ago, but this will be video...

 

1414891468_2020-08-1117_53_13a.thumb.jpg.4ab6fb3061cbe12da6c85326fff8d7c9.jpg  1906738600_2020-08-1117_58_15a.thumb.jpg.1742bd20058bb791245b9f496eb4fff2.jpg


 

Two great late model CCCA tour cars. Both fantastic drivers. I would have a hard time picking between the two. The Packard appeals to me because of the factory overdrive........if it has it. I like the side mounts also. Years ago, I drove Dick Gold’s 1941 Buick 90 with something like 8,000 miles on the clock, It was literally a new car sixty five years old. Impressive performance from the Buick.......so, I have made my choice.........I shall take both of them........after your finished sorting them..........😝

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53 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Two great late model CCCA tour cars. Both fantastic drivers. I would have a hard time picking between the two. The Packard appeals to me because of the factory overdrive........if it has it. I like the side mounts also. Years ago, I drove Dick Gold’s 1941 Buick 90 with something like 8,000 miles on the clock, It was literally a new car sixty five years old. Impressive performance from the Buick.......so, I have made my choice.........I shall take both of them........after your finished sorting them..........😝

 

They certainly do have distinct personalities even though they're pretty similar in size, horsepower, and mission. The Buick is an inch longer in wheelbase (139 vs. Packard's 138 inches) but it's a significant 9 inches longer overall, and that shows up inside where the rear compartment is notably bigger. The Buick is only an inch lower but it looks MUCH lower because of the styling. It's definitely a contrast between tradition and Buick pushing boundaries a bit. The Buick is really flashy, which I think was intended. Buick was pretty proud of this car. The Packard is ultra-conservative in its styling, particularly inside where it's borderline boring. But I guess they knew their clientele and the view down the hood of a Packard is always a treat. The Packard front seat is more spacious and comfortable for the driver, while the Buick's back seat is notably bigger and in my opinion, more luxurious. It's much flashier with more chrome and neat little details while the Packard is very plain--elegant, but plain.

 

Mechanically, they're quite different as well. The Packard 356 is silky smooth--it could probably pass the nickel test. It's got more low-end torque but the Buick is ultimately faster. In top gear from, say, idle to 30 MPH, the Packard is faster but after that it's not even close--the Buick runs away from it even though the Buick is about 400 pounds heavier (on paper, anyway--the Packard feels heavier). This Packard does not have an overdrive, so gearing may be a factor, but that might be offset by the Buick's slightly larger tires. Packard has 4.09s, Buick has 4.20s and the Buick engine doesn't mind spinning at a higher speed. The Packard doesn't much like to rev and starts to get winded above about 70 MPH when the Buick is still pulling. The Packard is smoother but the Buick sounds quieter overall, both in terms of exhaust noise, road noise, and wind noise. The Packard has better ride quality, but since I changed the oil in my shocks and aired the tires down to about 27 PSI, the difference isn't particularly significant. Buick's brakes are VASTLY superior (12-inch vs. 14-inch drums), although you're not likely to find the limits of either setup. 

 

Here are some stats I compiled for this project:

 

Specification                                   Packard                                      Buick                   

Wheelbase                                       138 inches                                 139 inches

Length                                               217 inches                                 226 inches

Height                                                68 inches                                   67 inches

Weight                                               4390 lbs.                                    4760 lbs.

Horsepower                                     165                                              165

Torque                                               292 lb-ft                                     278 lb-ft

Rear gear ratio                                  4.09                                            4.20

Brake size                                         12 inch drums                           14 inch drums

Original Price                                    $2029                                         $2465

Production                                         2580                                           669

 

You'll have to wait to see what Riley thinks about it when we finish the video...

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This is a great idea, Matt.  Kind of like the comparison articles that Special Interest Auto used to do back in the day.  Looking forward to watching!

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30 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Time to put them on the drag strip and run them!

 

Don't think we didn't consider it. There's a 1-mile-long perfectly straight, lightly traveled stretch of fresh 2-lane pavement a block from our shop (you see it in our other videos all the time, that's usually when I mash it). We may yet do some acceleration testing, likely a high-gear acceleration test from, say, idle to 60 MPH or something reasonably sane. I don't want to break anything with clutch drops and ripping through the gears. Besides, Michael probably isn't comfortable enough in the Packard to really run it hard beyond merely accelerating in gear anyway.

 

But just between you and me, the Packard doesn't have a prayer.

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If I tell you what the three P’s are.......Pierce.....and the rest withheld due to preventive moderation removal. 👍

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21 minutes ago, BuickBob49 said:

Pierce, Peerless, and Packard?


 

Nope........the last two I omitted are derogatory......thus not posted.

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On 8/11/2020 at 10:26 PM, alsancle said:

Coming from a Packard family,  the Buick has better styling.

I think the Packard has a much for formal and classic grill (and always impressive to have a Comorant leading the way), but in overall styling the Buick leads). 

 

Dad cusses like a sailor when I bring Packard's home - he would take a Buick any day over one (even with the torque tube driveshaft). 

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Being the proud owner of a '40 Buick LTD series 90, all I can say is that the Packard is a cute little thing.

 

Mike in Colorado

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When my Grandpa came back from WWII he said he wanted a Packard.  He said it was because his father always wanted a Packard.  Neither ever had one.  I want one because I can say it’s because they wanted one 😀.  

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Posted (edited)

Well dang.

 

I was just killing time at the shop today and figured I'd add those body grounds I was talking about a few weeks ago. The goal is to attenuate the LED flickering and maybe some good, clean, solid grounds would give the stray current a better place to go. Easy project without any real work involved. I had to remove the oil filter housing to get access to the battery ground on the block, but that was it for disassembly. I was surprised to see that the ground boss on the block was completely painted and there was a painted clip for the vacuum line to the wipers between the ground strap and the block. Shocking that the thing starts so quickly and easily. Nevertheless, I cleaned it to bare metal, added another ground strap that I would secure to the frame, a little dielectric grease, and, oops, the original bolt won't go in--the thickness of the extra ground strap was too much. A slightly longer bolt was slightly too long and bottomed out before the wires were tight. So I installed a stud instead, installed the ground straps against the block, then the clip, then snugged it all down.

 

8-15-20-7.thumb.jpg.84f16c8aa4f376c1133afe1d86ac088a.jpg  8-15-20-4.thumb.jpg.5d4a6b175eb75f74c9739684025487cb.jpg
Ground strap has its own terminal on the block. This one was
covered with paint and a painted clip.
 

 

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I cleaned the mounting boss to bare metal, added a stud to make

installing all the wires easier, smeared a bit of dielectric grease to
 seal it, then bolted it all together.

 

I found a convenient hole on the frame below the engine that I decided to use to ground the block and battery to the frame. I used one of those little clips I bought for the fuel line a few weeks ago to secure the cable to the frame out of the way of any moving parts. I cleaned the metal around the hole, added some more dielectric grease, then bolted the ground cable and yet another ground cable to the frame. That second cable will go to the body.

 

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Then I ran that second cable up the firewall to a long bolt going through the firewall. It was long enough that it made a perfectly located post under the dash to which I could secure a few additional ground wires as needed. It was a bit of a struggle to tighten the bolt by myself, what with the nut inside the car and the bolt head under the hood, but I managed. 

 

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On the inside, the bolt stuck out far enough past the firewall insulation that it was like a stud to which I could secure a few ground wires. Easy. I made one 10-gauge wire that I attached to the stud and to the underside of the dashboard near the switch panel for the fuel pump. I figured that would be a good ground point for all the flickering LEDs in the area. My theory is that the stray current that seems to be bleeding into those circuits (the ground path has to be the only way that could be happening) would instead find this low-resistance ground path back to the battery easier than going through the LEDs.

 

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So I started the engine and...

 

...the LEDs are still flickering. 

 

Like I said: Dang.

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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Matt......you had the courage to fix it, and show what was done. Most importantly.......you shared failure at the attempted fix. But the car is still better than before. Finding the flickering may be easier to just start disconnecting things until it stops to locate the problem. With LED’s they take so little power, it may be impossible to find. I can live with the flicker..........get back on thr Lincoln! 👍

 

If it were easy, everyone would do it!

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Newbie question: I have never used dielectric grease, but I am confused by your description of how you used it.  My understanding is that it is not conductive, but instead used as a sealant to keep moisture out of electrical connections.  From your description, it sounds like you applied the grease to the bare metal surfaces BEFORE you tightened everything up.  Wouldn't the dielectric grease interfere with the connection if used this way?  I would think that you would tighten everything down assuring metal-to-metal contact, and then apply the grease to seal the area after everything is tight.  What am I missing?  Thanks.

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5 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

If the flicker really annoys you put regular bulbs back in. 

And if the flicker rate varies with engine rpm, it could be the generator, voltage regulator, distributor, wires, etc...I have no idea  how to fix.;)

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Also:  Matt, which LED's are flickering?  Sorry, I haven't been keeping up here.  I'm just curious because I have substituted LED's in a lot of places on my car and none of them flicker.  If you tell me what's flickering, maybe we can figure out what the difference might be between our two '41's.

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6 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

If the flicker really annoys you put regular bulbs back in. 

 

It doesn't really annoy me that much since it's only noticeable at night or in the garage.  But if I could fix it and simultaneously add some better grounds to the body, then I figured it was worth a shot. Meh, 45 minutes of time and $14 worth of cables. It was worth a try.

 

1 hour ago, neil morse said:

Newbie question: I have never used dielectric grease, but I am confused by your description of how you used it.  My understanding is that it is not conductive, but instead used as a sealant to keep moisture out of electrical connections.  From your description, it sounds like you applied the grease to the bare metal surfaces BEFORE you tightened everything up.  Wouldn't the dielectric grease interfere with the connection if used this way?  I would think that you would tighten everything down assuring metal-to-metal contact, and then apply the grease to seal the area after everything is tight.  What am I missing?  Thanks.

 

You are correct in that it is non-conductive, but it is not an insulator, either. Using a light coating of it allows all the areas to seal up and prevent corrosion inside the joints but the act of tightening it all down seems to push it out of the way and make good metal-to-metal contact. I don't use big globs of it, just a light smear. If the joints are tight, it will not interfere with the current. I use it in areas where the joint is likely to get wet or oily, mostly in the engine bay or underneath the car. You shouldn't even be able to see it when used properly.

 

1 hour ago, neil morse said:

Also:  Matt, which LED's are flickering?  Sorry, I haven't been keeping up here.  I'm just curious because I have substituted LED's in a lot of places on my car and none of them flicker.  If you tell me what's flickering, maybe we can figure out what the difference might be between our two '41's.

 

My turn signal LEDs flicker, with the left being much worse than the right--that's oddity number one. The little red LED I connected to show the fuel pump is on also flickers, that's oddity number two simply because when that circuit is off, there's just NO WAY that LED could get any power--it's separated from any power source by BOTH a toggle switch AND a relay. That's why I know there's stray current in the ground somewhere. I assumed having bigger cables for the ground path would cure it, but I guess not. The noise could be coming from somewhere else, I guess, but I don't see how.

 

I did buy three radio capacitors that I plan to install on the generator, distributor, and coil, which should at least attenuate some of the noise I get through my radio and perhaps, if I'm lucky, the LED flickering. But if they flicker for the rest of my life, I can certainly live with it. I'm just trying the easy stuff that doesn't take a lot of time or money or significant modifications. 

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I am questioning the whole LED thing.  Perhaps in some cars it helps to illuminate things but as far as my 56 goes, I think the standard bulbs are adequate.  This includes the sealed beam headlights.  This past week I had opportunity to observe my 56's brake lights and turn signals from several hundred yards away and I can state that the single bulb taillights illuminate from that distance without any cause for changing to LEDs.   Quite frankly if someone can't see those it's because they are not paying attention which leads to the risk of a crash regardless which bulb is in there. But that is a 12 volt system, with fairly large lenses placed high in the fenders.  I understand that earlier cars may not enjoy those perks. 

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59 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

I am questioning the whole LED thing.  Perhaps in some cars it helps to illuminate things but as far as my 56 goes, I think the standard bulbs are adequate.  This includes the sealed beam headlights.  This past week I had opportunity to observe my 56's brake lights and turn signals from several hundred yards away and I can state that the single bulb taillights illuminate from that distance without any cause for changing to LEDs.   Quite frankly if someone can't see those it's because they are not paying attention which leads to the risk of a crash regardless which bulb is in there. But that is a 12 volt system, with fairly large lenses placed high in the fenders.  I understand that earlier cars may not enjoy those perks. 

 

They make a HUGE difference in 6V cars, both taillights/brake lights, and in the dash. It made less of an improvement on Melanie's 56 Chrysler which, like you say, has 12 volts and big taillights that are up high. But for a car with little, tiny taillight housings, limited electricity, and poorly designed instrument lighting, LEDs can be a lifesaver. They totally transformed the dash of my car so driving at night doesn't require me to squint at the dash or turn on my phone as a flashlight to see my gauges. I'd go back to regular bulbs on the turn signal indicators to eliminate the flickering if necessary, but since the green lens in the dash is faded and they won't be green but LEDs emit green light, I like the LEDs. A small thing but I like the green and am willing to live with the flickering to have the bright green indicators. The bright high-mounted stop light in the  rear window is probably the biggest safety upgrade of all for a car with little, low-mounted taillights. I'll be adding one to all of my pre-war cars. I can see people reacting sooner than they used to and there are far fewer close calls where people seem to act like they don't even see the brake lights and slam on their brakes at the last moment.

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While we’re on the subject, I know both you (Matt) and Neil have converted to LED lights. Could you direct me to your write ups? Sounds like something I should consider. 
thanks,

Peter

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1 hour ago, valk said:

While we’re on the subject, I know both you (Matt) and Neil have converted to LED lights. Could you direct me to your write ups? Sounds like something I should consider. 
thanks,

Peter

 

Mine are scattered throughout this thread plus there's a link to the LED taillights thread on the first page of this thread, I believe. 

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10 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

My turn signal LEDs flicker, with the left being much worse than the right--that's oddity number one. The little red LED I connected to show the fuel pump is on also flickers, that's oddity number two simply because when that circuit is off, there's just NO WAY that LED could get any power--it's separated from any power source by BOTH a toggle switch AND a relay. That's why I know there's stray current in the ground somewhere. I assumed having bigger cables for the ground path would cure it, but I guess not. The noise could be coming from somewhere else, I guess, but I don't see how.

 

I did buy three radio capacitors that I plan to install on the generator, distributor, and coil, which should at least attenuate some of the noise I get through my radio and perhaps, if I'm lucky, the LED flickering. But if they flicker for the rest of my life, I can certainly live with it. I'm just trying the easy stuff that doesn't take a lot of time or money or significant modifications.

 

Okay, you have disabused me of any idea I had that I could help you with the flicker problem.  As you say, something very odd is going on with your set up, and it has certainly exceeded my rudimentary understanding of electricity!  I will just say that I am using LED's in my tail/brake lights, rear turn signals, turn signal indicators, and instrument lights, and I have no problem with flickering, but I understand that it's no help for you to hear that my system is working when yours isn't.  Again, as you say, there must be a "stray current" somewhere, and I hope you find it eventually.

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