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Static Collector - Do these actually do anything?


lancemb
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On thinking about it, brake linings pressing on a steel brake drum would actually be like a Van de Graff generator, producing static charge. If it builds up enough, especially in drier climates, you could get sparking as the charge jumps from the hub/drum assy (higher potential) to the brake backing plate or spindle. Since the grease around the bearings do not guarantee a solid return path, the collectors pictured above make for a continuous connection between hub and spindle. Bottom line is they should work in drier climates.

 

Cheers, Dave

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We sold hundreds of these in the late 50's and early 60's.  GM authorized them so they must have been "rocket science engineered".  Many of the mechanics doing wheel bearings didn't replace them.  Nobody brought them back or complained that they didn't work or complained that they were missing.

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Seems like I remember seeing them in the old JCWhitney catalogs, early ;'60s time frame.  Like some of the other whiz-bang things they sold back then.

 

WHAT design changes/features made these items obsolete on later model year Buicks?

 

Curiously,

NTX5467

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

Dave, didn’t you mean to say, when Buick went to having Timken ‘Tapered’ Bearings vs Roller Bearings for front spindles? Buick, like 99.9% of all early, domestically built cars (& a large variety of foreign, if not mistaken), were usually using Roller Bearings on front spindle arrangements all of the way up until sometime in the 1960’s, I believe (don’t quote me on this timeframe; just a guess). I myself, have acquired a pair of these as NOS &, sense my 1955 Buick is VERY FAR from being ‘road-worthy’ drivable, I cannot claim to how well they function, yet. My own research into these things is that yes, indeed, their sole purpose is to reduce or, eliminate radio interference noise, specifically of an AM band broadcasting through an original cars’ radio. Something the brainiac wizards of Delco dreamed up back in the day,  apparently. There’s also another possibility to why these were no longer needed, transistorized radios were readily available and  being factory installed, roughly around the same time as timken tapered bearings were commonplace so.... who knows.

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Hey, my bad! I guess I was getting ahead of myself because when Dave mentioned ‘Roller Bearings’, I was thinking of ‘Ball Bearings’; hence my confusing response from before. That’s why I was being rather specific in stating that Buick ‘eventually’ went to using Timken ‘TAPERED’ Bearings (or, New Departure brand) which, would also be Roller (more contact indeed). At any rate, these following pictures are of the pair of these same Static Collectors that I have had now for about 2 years, still waiting for the car to be ready for them. Even then, I’m really not sure if I wanna place them in service or, as a display conversation item at car shows? The Delco picture is of a 55 catalog of all Delco products and service’s up to 55. Delco part numbers are different from Buick numbers; don’t know why.

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If you're worried about the radio, you do not need them. I have Packard 440 solid core wires on my ignition system and the radio still sounds fine. It is an original tube type that I also replaced all the caps and resistors in with more modern, better electronics as well as a solid state vibrator, so take that as you will. I think you would have a better chance with installing the correct capacitors on the electrical system (Corvette Central sells all three if the electrical system is original) than worrying about static collectors in the dust cap.

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