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Povertycove

Oil cooler?

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A Porsche friend suggested that Franklins should use oil coolers. I confess that the thought hadn’t occurred to me, since even after a long drive, oil in any of my Franklins doesn’t seem excessively hot. Is addition of an oil cooler a good idea for a Franklin?

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It isn't needed. Franklins wee built with a large capacity oil supply exactly for that purpose.

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Beware of people wanting to make recommendations based on apples to oranges comparisons.

 

I've run oil temp gauges in 30, 31, and 32 Franklin oil pans and found that the hottest temps I could get was 150F for the oil in a 32  driving up  long hills on RT 20 in eastern NYS  in summer. Otherwise it never got over 120 F on level roads no matter what speed I drove. Then I discussed the results with a Quaker State oil company engineer. He said that with oil temps that low that Franklins are more at risk of not running hot enough in cooler weather to activate some of the beneficial additives in modern motor oils.

 

While Franklins ran hot compared to some cars for their day , their oil temps are much lower than more modern cars. The same test equipment installed in my 98 Ford Windstar ran  200 - 210F oil temps on the same routes as I tested the Franklins on. 

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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Dutch Kern restored the engine in my 1931 series  153 Airman at the time that I owned it . and used his own 153 sedan as a test vehicle for anything he wanted to use to rebuild and restore Franklins mechanically. If you looked under the hood of his sedan it was a wonder to behold!  I told him when he was rebuilding my engine that "the car is going to be driven , not see a trailer to be transported to events, shows etc" he mentioned to me some of the things he did incorporate in his rebuilds would not be seen but he felt were what Franklin would have used if it was available or known at the time. I told him I did not want an electric fuel pump and to restore and leave the original mechanical one. He smiled and in his wonderful Pa. Dutch accent said "ya Walt I knew you would say that" . I drove my 153 near 45,000 miles total, never had an issue with oil over heating etc. including the trip from long island where I live, to the trek held in Cazenovia, NY  near Syracuse where the cars were made. This is at least a 5 1/2 hour trip in August weather that went up and down long grades in heat that ranged from 75 to 85 degrees. Never ever had a problem.

Paul's first line of his comment says it all.

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As my dad would say:  "Worked Fine For Years The Way It Was"

 

I thought the Franklin was hard on oil, though I changed oil every third year or so and just better ways to spend your time verses designing an oil cooler.  By the way, Franklin played with Oil Coolers at the tail end of production.

 

The only real "improvements" we made to our 1930 engine was a modern oil seal on for the blower/fan to crankshaft and insert rod bearings.

 

And toward the tail end of ownership we were having more and more fuel issues (vaporlock) - I have it another go around in insulation of the fuel line for prevention, though wonder if I would have to go to full time electric fuel pump today. 

 

 

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John Mereness, one of the biggest problems with the 1929-1930 fuel pumps is the multiple plate linkage in the AC pump which of course they did away with on the new AC design for 1931 and on. You can't find new replacements for the linkage and the only way to fix it is to have them made and heat treated. This will give your pump new life and allow it to pump the volume and pressure like new again. I accidentally came across an old shop that had a brand new set still in the wrapper and I rebuilt my pump and wow, what a difference.   

 

As far as the oil cooler is concerned...Franklin doesn't need it! I've driven my 31 in 95 degree weather and it did fine and even kept it's oil pressure where it should be. I know we're concerned about global warming, but I don't think we'll need oil coolers for about a hundred years or so!

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One more thing on the fuel pump. It's possible to ream out the holes on the linkage, arms and diaphragm shaft and use larger pins. This would remove the slop and make it perform like new again also.

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Like John M. states that he did, my engine was done the same - new seal at blower /fan and insert rod bearings. This is what I think the Franklin Company would have done had they remained in business ( insert rod bearings at least anyway)  My car never burned oil, but just due to the higher temperature an air cooled engine runs at and driving it at 55-65 mph for hours in 80+ degree heat it thinned the 30 weight oil enough to let it leak out a bit at the bottom of the push rod tubes. Never did that if it was driven in cooler weather and for less time . Great running cars, easy to setter, ride is amazing with the full elliptic springs , after a 5+ hour drive to get to the trek the Franklin club holds ( that is what they call their annual meet) I got out from behind the wheel with absolutely no fatigue from a longish drive.

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On 12/9/2018 at 12:26 PM, hook said:

John Mereness, one of the biggest problems with the 1929-1930 fuel pumps is the multiple plate linkage in the AC pump which of course they did away with on the new AC design for 1931 and on. You can't find new replacements for the linkage and the only way to fix it is to have them made and heat treated. This will give your pump new life and allow it to pump the volume and pressure like new again. I accidentally came across an old shop that had a brand new set still in the wrapper and I rebuilt my pump and wow, what a difference.   

I tried that too and totally agree that a good fuel pump makes a huge/major difference - our car had a NOS unit that was then rebuilt that we found perhaps 1980, and I was not able to find another NOS unit until early 2000's, incredibly rare and an arm and a leg in cost.  A good comparison: A lot of people thumb their noses up at the reproduction early 1930's Packard Carbs and their cost - well, I will tell you that I have installed a few on friends cars and WOW!!! what a difference.

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17 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

Incredible ride !

And even better with the wood frame rails.  In the '60s I took Bertha (11-B) to a local meet in some rural location.  It was decided to go somewhere else so off we went over rural town roads, I with four women in the car.  One of them in the backseat said "this is just like riding in a modern car!".  I believe her regular ride was a mid-twenties large touring, probably the worst riding thing of those days.Those Franklins hold the road incredibly well.

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A point about mechanical fuel pump "systems".

 

Yes, getting the accumulated wear of all those pivot points in the linkage helps, but that is only part of the mechanical pump system. If fuel pressure is measured accurately, often that all still does not get a properly rebuilt pump up into the original specification of 2-4 psi range. 

 

I have a lab grade low pressure gauge that reads in 1/4 psi increments that I use to test fuel pressure when I rebuild a fuel pump. What I'm seeing more often now is the  face of the pump lever arm, plus the pump push rod ends, plus some slight wear of the pump cam lobe face, are all worn to varying degrees. The combination of all those four wear points reduces the pump stroke, thus reducing fuel pressure.  

 

I've had to make new longer push rods to get some rebuilt pump installations up in that 2-4 range. The Series 13 seem to be especially prone to needing a longer pump rod to make up for the combination of pump lever/rod/cam lobe wear.

 

The good news is that Franklins are very forgiving and will run well at just 1 psi fuel pressure because there is still enough volume. Once gasoline gets past the float needle fuel pressure is not an issue.  The bad news is that rebuilt, but still having low pressure, there is not as much range to wear so the pump system will need attention that much sooner.

 

And yes, the wood frames make for an amazingly smooth and quiet ride. I had the chance to drive  a fully restored Series 12B with new ash sills  made exactly to the factory drawings, and leaf springs that have been taken apart, sand blasted, leaf end wear ridges ground off, and painted between all the leaves with graphite paint. My local bumpy country roads and railroad crossings had no effect on that car !!!!!!

 

Paul  

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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Paul, thanks for bringing the pump rod, pump lever and cam lobe wear up. I have found the same on mine. Now if I could just find a way to take care of the wear and tear on my bones, I'd be in great shape.

 

Bill

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