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1927 Elcar with lots of questions

Jonathan Winans

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 I purchased an Elcar and need some info that may pertain to many vehicles of that era. My sending unit was missing for the gas tank. I made an adapter and installed a temporary 1950 Chevy unit just to cover the hole, not to operate my gauge. Looking at the original wiring schematic,   the original sending unit used a positive and a negative, unlike later vehicles with a ground only rheostat. Can anyone explain? Did any other makers do this? 

 Next question, are hidden nail strips available for the roof above the doors? Did other manufactures use drip edge, are these obtainable? My vinyl raps to just above the doors and has no metal above the doors, just wood. Thanks for any help. Jonathan


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Hi Jonathan, this is only a guess on my part but I bet the two-wire system was used often in that age of wood framed bodies and assembled outsourced components.  I also bet the roof used some sort of molding or drip rail that may have been removed, would suggest try to find as many photos of Elcars as possible to compare.  Also maybe try to determine who made the body and see if the same type was installed on more common makes for comparison.  Great to see a guy working on a 1920s car, good luck, Todd C 

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The Ford drip rail is a little different in cross section than the original on my Pontiac but once it was installed I am not sure if anyone could tell it from the original that GM used.  I suspect that would also be true with your Elcar. 

Great looking car, I hope you have as much fun with it as I have had with my Pontiac.

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I have a 1929 Cad. The fuel gauge on it is a two wire system. 

Power comes to the dash unit then two wires go back to the tank. There is zero resistance when the gauge needle and float is at 1/2 tank. 

As the float goes up and down there is increased resistance for THAT SIDE of the gauge. If the wires are swapped full reads empty and empty reads full. 

I did find shops that rebuilt the sending unit and the gauge - non cheap - $300 for the sender and $500 for the gauge (it has two coils to be rewound). Both done well and now it does work. 

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