Matt Harwood

1941 Buick Limited Limousine

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21 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Matt.....get a set of chassis ears.....I just bought the new bluetooth unit............fantastic to find noise........which also drives me crazy. I spent four days chasing one down on a JN, and once located I fixed it in twenty minutes.........never stop, and never give up. All the bullshit does finally come to an end, and driving a car "as perfect as you can make it" is very satisfying. I have 7 weeks into chasing all the very stupid little stuff on the JN, and I can now say it's the best work I have ever done on any car that I have had. Feels fantastic to take it out and crank it up with no noise, no vibration, and everything "as new" like the first owner had the car 85 years ago. The guy who bought the car new was a WWI fighter ace for the US. It's kind of fun sitting in his seat and driving his car knowing what an interesting guy he must have been. Since the car has less than three thousand miles on it from when he sold it, its a cool sensation to drive and experience what he did nine decades later.........that is the true fun of old cars. Enjoy the Buick, keep picking away at it..........then get on the car with no name..........😎

 

That's great advice--I didn't even know such a thing existed! Just ordered one and hopefully will have it for this weekend. Thank you!

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

I'll second the chassis ears.  My '53 Buick was making a low, loud noise last year that I thought was a carrier bearing or an axle bearing.  I hooked up the chassis ears to both axle bearings, the center section, and the rear of the transmission where the u-joint is.  No abnormal noises...I swapped tires from left to right and the noise went away.  I also used the chassis ears to diagnose that the electric steering rack on my wife's 2012 Mustang was clunking, an odd problem.  If I were more ambitious, I would use them to track down all the little odd noises my old cars make, but some noises bother me more than others and I can be a bit lazy sometimes.  :)

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

 

That's great advice--I didn't even know such a thing existed! Just ordered one and hopefully will have it for this weekend. Thank you!


 

The old guys can still teach the young bucks a few tricks.........😎
 

 

When I was you age, a set of chassis ears was hanging outside the car tied by a rope with a long handle screwdriver hoping the driver didn’t drag you through the bushes.......true story!

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


 

The old guys can still teach the young bucks a few tricks.........😎
 

 

When I was you age, a set of chassis ears was hanging outside the car tied by a rope with a long handle screwdriver hoping the driver didn’t drag you through the bushes.......true story!

 

Dude, you're only like 4 years older than I am...

 

I was just talking to Melanie last night saying I'd like to take Cody, our eldest and smallest son, and have him sit in various areas of the car (even the trunk, which I specifically did NOT mention to his mother) to see if he can identify where some of these noises are coming from. Your timing with this device was very fortuitous! I'm excited to try it out.

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15 minutes ago, edinmass said:

When I was you age, a set of chassis ears was hanging outside the car tied by a rope with a long handle screwdriver hoping the driver didn’t drag you through the bushes.......true story!

 

9 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:

I was just talking to Melanie last night saying I'd like to take Cody, our eldest and smallest son, and have him sit in various areas of the car (even the trunk, which I specifically did NOT mention to his mother) to see if he can identify where some of these noises are coming from.

 

If I had a nickel for every time I was involved in something like that.....

 

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Matt.......I thought I had fifteen years on you..............I'm at the double nickel.

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Posted (edited)

...babes in the woods. Better suck it up, you have a long way to go.

Edited by valk
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I suspect a lot of Chassis Ears got sold today. I had never heard of those before either. I am sure that will come in handy on a couple of different cars after it arrives. 

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2 hours ago, MCHinson said:

I suspect a lot of Chassis Ears got sold today. I had never heard of those before either. I am sure that will come in handy on a couple of different cars after it arrives. 

 

I googled it!

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I ordered one. I have a strange noise on my 2002 LeSabre that cropped up after the rear air shocks were replaced. I really want to find the source of that noise and I suspect I might need it on additional cars sometime. 

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Posted (edited)

Ok......for the new chassisears owners.........depending if you have a 4, 6, or 8 channel unit. Work from an overall area......like front or rear, or left side or right..........determine the approximate area where the noise is believed to be coming from......then, place all the sensors where you determine the noise is coming from.............sometimes it takes several tries before you finally get down to a small area.........then start clipping in to every possible option.........it can take three, four, or five repositioning attempts to get an exact location. It should become very, very loud when you get to thr exact spot. Works like a charm...........I have been using them for over twenty years. You don’t need them often, but they are a great tool.

 

Last time I used them, I determined the exact location of a loud, irritating whining noise in my one ton GMC I use for hauling our cars. After several tries, I determined the exact cause of the whine, and was able it eliminate it with 100 percent success...........Now I just drive alone, and leave the wife at home..........whining noise is gone and has not returned!

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
On 6/18/2020 at 2:29 PM, Matt Harwood said:

I just turned 50 in February. Ugh...

Matt - that’s awesome... I’m 38 and felt like we were about the same age

Edited by Ken_P (see edit history)

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11 hours ago, 38Buick 80C said:

 

I googled it!

Me too, although they don’t work on cars that aren’t currently driving

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10 hours ago, Ken_P said:

Matt - that’s awesome... I’m 38 s as d felt like we were about the same age

 

Aren't we all actually about 14?

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Posted (edited)

Haven't touched anything on the car and have not added my body grounds yet, but it's running just fine. This morning I delivered it to my friend Tim Shaffer, the master fabricator who built my exhaust system. He's going to install that second little muffler I bought a few months ago in an effort to eliminate the rumbling drone I get at highway speeds (sounds like a bad wheel bearing). He's also going to see about modifying the pipe above the axle where it has been hitting when I have people in the back seat and I go over a large rise in the road. I'm not convinced both of my rear shocks are at 100%, so I need to revisit that, and I've installed new rubber axle snubbers. I have not driven it with a full complement of passengers since those upgrades, but Tim's going to check things out and get it back to me next week. 

 

 

10-16-19-1.thumb.jpg.000458328e6a78701acf5808b2630f09.jpg  10-16-19-3.thumb.jpg.89301991a7921ce4c994a2035ef83c80.jpg

Tim will tuck this mini muffler under the back of the car. If it stands

out too much, I'll paint it satin black.

 

Speaking of shocks, while I was driving the car over to Tim's place this morning, I hit a particularly rough road. It wasn't broken pavement, just very wavy and irregular with high-frequency lumps and waves. It really upset the front suspension and I had a second thought about why my suspension feels like it has a lot of impact harshness. What if, instead of the tires themselves being too heavy or too inflexible, the oil in the front shocks is too thin? What if what I'm feeling--which is a shock that crashes through the steering column--is those big tires bouncing around after hitting a bump? What if the shocks aren't damping ENOUGH?

 

Right now I believe the front shocks are filled with ISO 32, which is close to the thinnest oil (somewhere between 5W and 10W). I have both thicker oil and thinner hydraulic oil on the shelf that I can try, but I'm kind of leaning towards the problem being too little control rather than too hard a tire. Changing oil in the shocks is a bit of a pain and I still haven't figure out how I'm going to drain them on the car, but my gut says that maybe I should try the ISO 100 oil I used in the rear shocks in the front shocks as well, and see if it controls those front tires a little better. I'm not ruling out the tires, but I'm not convinced they're the sole cause since it has always behaved more or less the same, even with the Firestone bias-plys.

 

Any thoughts?

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

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As a former NASCAR Shock Engineer I don't think the thinner oil would have that effect in fact it would be helpful over that type of road. We used to use tube shocks in NASCAR and I'm not sure if a '41 has knee action shocks on the front like my '38, but on the tracks with a lot of bumps and high frequency stuff we would do more with piston design and shim thickness than with oil (in some cases we ran water, yes really). The goal was to allow very little damping on the high frequency stuff to allow the piston to basically vibrate back and forth on the high frequency (slow acceleration of the suspension travel) stuff. On the big fast movements (like a pot hole or the RF diving into turn 1) we'd want a lot of damping to keep the car from flopping over on that tire.  Of course we would also put a big huge spring on that corner for the same reason. Same with the LR as on acceleration the weight would shift back to that corner. To me it sounds like spring rate issues Like you're bouncing a basket ball over the bumps because your tires are too hard and don't have a lot of spring rate.

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Posted (edited)
20 hours ago, 38Buick 80C said:

As a former NASCAR Shock Engineer I don't think the thinner oil would have that effect in fact it would be helpful over that type of road. We used to use tube shocks in NASCAR and I'm not sure if a '41 has knee action shocks on the front like my '38, but on the tracks with a lot of bumps and high frequency stuff we would do more with piston design and shim thickness than with oil (in some cases we ran water, yes really). The goal was to allow very little damping on the high frequency stuff to allow the piston to basically vibrate back and forth on the high frequency (slow acceleration of the suspension travel) stuff. On the big fast movements (like a pot hole or the RF diving into turn 1) we'd want a lot of damping to keep the car from flopping over on that tire.  Of course we would also put a big huge spring on that corner for the same reason. Same with the LR as on acceleration the weight would shift back to that corner. To me it sounds like spring rate issues Like you're bouncing a basket ball over the bumps because your tires are too hard and don't have a lot of spring rate.

 

Wow, you're the right guy to ask Brian! Yes, my suspension should be very similar to your '38 with the lever shocks acting as the upper mount for the suspension. Reading your comments, it sounds like you agree with my theory that suggests MORE damping is needed, correct? The tires are probably a factor, but short of replacing them, do you think more shock damping (AKA thicker oil) would improve the way it tackles larger bumps?

 

 

Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)

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Yes thicker would help on larger rolling bumps, but would make it worse on high frequency type stuff.

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While certainly cheaper to replace oil over tires I do think tires are your issue.

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Wonder if you can steal some wheel/tires off a different car in your shop just to see. That would be cheaper still.

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Maybe experiment with tire pressure, if you haven't already...

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Search "suspension unsprung weight".  Those truck tires in addition of being harder on the tread surface and less flexible are much heavier than the original bias ply tires.  In addition to that they are probably wider also and wider tires will hit more bumps.  Any radial tire behaves differently on the road:  the tread contact is different and they are more 'bouncy' (drop a mounted radial and bias ply and see which one rebounds more).   Possibly experimenting with shock fluid will help but not solve the problem.  Later cars from the 50's onward can use gas charged tube shock made for radials with good results.

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3 hours ago, old-tank said:

Search "suspension unsprung weight".  Those truck tires in addition of being harder on the tread surface and less flexible are much heavier than the original bias ply tires.  In addition to that they are probably wider also and wider tires will hit more bumps.  Any radial tire behaves differently on the road:  the tread contact is different and they are more 'bouncy' (drop a mounted radial and bias ply and see which one rebounds more).   Possibly experimenting with shock fluid will help but not solve the problem.  Later cars from the 50's onward can use gas charged tube shock made for radials with good results.

 

That's a good point I forgot to make. We also played with gas pressure (we used Nitrogen only) in the shocks, but I don't recall much of the details. Just that it was similar to spring rate in that more pressure more spring rate. I'm quite certain the knee action shocks dont have this level of sophistication.

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8 minutes ago, 38Buick 80C said:

I'm quite certain the knee action shocks dont have this level of sophistication.

Possibly the rear lever shocks were engineered for the increased unsprung weight of the torque tube, but may be unable to cope with heavier tires.

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