Brooklyn Beer

Advice / input on buying a late 20's - early 30's car

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31 minutes ago, Brooklyn Beer said:

Question on the Franklin (I really do like the open touring listed) is if you are not moving, how does air circulate around the cylinder banks?  I did not know how long that designed lasted but if it lasted that many years there must have been a good reason.  

 

There is a crankshaft driven squirrel type fan at the front of the engine, that as a previous poster notes draws air down around the cylinders in most of them up to 1930 or so, and then after that blows air across the cylinders. Even at idle it is moving quite a bit of air.

 

Unlike a Volkswagen say, where the fan is driven by belt, these fans are turning as long as the engine itself is turning.

 

Roger

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1 minute ago, theKiwi said:

 

There is a crankshaft driven squirrel type fan at the front of the engine, that as a previous poster notes draws air down around the cylinders in most of them up to 1930 or so, and then after that blows air across the cylinders. Even at idle it is moving quite a bit of air.

 

Unlike a Volkswagen say, where the fan is driven by belt, these fans are turning as long as the engine itself is turning.

 

Roger

Introduction of 1930 is the change year for crossdraft (aka 1929 is downdraft).   REALLY BIG FANS on any 20's through 34 Franklin.

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For the most part I have never heard of a Franklin wood frame of the 1925-28 era breaking or needing extensive repair. Biggest issue is that at the place where the firewall and hood meet seems to be the place where after 90 years or so the laminated ash frame starts to sag and this can be seen at the bottom rear corner  of the hood at this point as a gap at the bottom starts to take place. Some owners make a repair to fix this by reinforcing ( under the bottom edge of the wood chassis) with a piece of stiff sheet metal ( kinda like a spring leaf but not a spring leaf, that reference is just to give you a visual idea of what I am trying to describe) Most owners over a long winter will take all the pieces off and have made or make themselves new frame rails out of ash. But that ash should be laminated just like the originals were.  John's comment is correct, all of it has to come off, and yes drawings are available to get the correct image of the chassis. Rusty you stated it well - a big job but not the kiss of death.

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OK, but a problem I would just soon enough avoid.  If anyone has looked at the pictures posted of that Franklin touring can you point out the spot I would be looking at?

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none of the photos show the rear of the hood /cowl area at a profile from the side to see if there is any gap. You will have to contact the seller to have him take more photos and if he does have him take photos of both sides, not from above but directly from the side with the camera at about the level of the bottom corner of the hood.  the rest of the car looks great and original upholstery is a plus.

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4 hours ago, Walt G said:

Some owners make a repair to fix this by reinforcing ( under the bottom edge of the wood chassis) with a piece of stiff sheet metal ( kinda like a spring leaf but not a spring leaf,

 

I have seen one car with exactly that - a long single leaf spring under each chassis rail that is made such that upward pressure is exerted on the bottom of the wooden frame rail presumably in the area of the rear engine mounts. I don't have the exact dimensions, but it was something like 2" wide, maybe ¼" or ⅜" thick. It was fastened at each end - up near the front of the rail and down the back in front of the rear axle.

 

It's something I vaguely think about for my 11A which is suffering the dreaded sag - the hardest part I'm sure is figuring out just how strong the spring needs to be - i.e. how much upwards pressure it exerts in that area right by the rear engine mounts when it's strapped up under the chassis rails.

 

Roger

Edited by theKiwi (see edit history)

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Perhaps pose that question on the Franklin section of this forum and ask those who already have this piece of steel installed when, who  did it and to take photos of what theirs looks like. I did see this at a Franklin club trek ( what they call their annual meet) once many years ago but can not recall whose car it was.

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The one I saw was on the John Strawway/Mark Chaplin yellow 2 door Sport something or other (sorry forget exactly what that yellow car is called) 11A or B when they had it in Michigan for the 2017 Midwest Meet/Air Cooled Meet.

 

I've also seen the drawings for the Franklin dreamed up fix for this (meaning they recognised it as a problem while the cars were still young) of wire cables stretched and tensioned really tight - anchored to each end of the frame rail and then held off the frame rail by a standoff at the point under the rear engine mount. It is unknown if any of these were ever fitted, and if so just how effective they might have been - but Franklin clearly thought about it when this drawing was done in 1929.

 

image.thumb.png.ae680965307bf5f2908e03c2b2d79f19.png

Roger

Edited by theKiwi (see edit history)

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Quite true. If the wood frame gives trouble it is not that hard to replace. It is necessary to jack the car up and put stands under the ends of the axles and crossmembers then remove the bolts that hold the frame rail on. You can then remove the frame rail and put in a new one. Tighten the bolts and repeat on the other side. I believe it is necessary to remove the fenders and running boards but that is about all. So, not an easy job but not overwhelming either. The frame rails are made of ash 1/2" thick, seven layers glued together. The Franklin club has the blueprints showing length, width, where to drill the bolt holes etc.

 

But as you say, they seldom give trouble especially these days when they do not get the pounding on rough roads they did in the teens and twenties.

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17 hours ago, Brooklyn Beer said:

OK, but a problem I would just soon enough avoid.  If anyone has looked at the pictures posted of that Franklin touring can you point out the spot I would be looking at?

It will absolutely not be an issue on this touring car = I cannot imagine a nice car like this ever having a frame issues - frame issues come on severely weathered cars that require total restoration. 

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solid 1931 Pierce model 43 for sale on ebay- currently at 9100. and looks like it will sell for a bargain price. Does run and will need some sprucing up, but a Filenes Basement price!

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7 minutes ago, mercer09 said:

solid 1931 Pierce model 43 for sale on ebay- currently at 9100. and looks like it will sell for a bargain price. Does run and will need some sprucing up, but a Filenes Basement price!

Very interesting car but not a project I could take on. Any car I get from this time period is a total learning experience and with that much support would be needed on any major mechanical work.  I am pretty good on fixing things, repairs, etc. Very handy really IF I have a book with me or some support. Much like the issue I am having replacing the clutch on my 46 Dodge.  What it should be is not. Who would have thought. (Previous owner, "pilot bushing won't fit?  ahhh who needs one anyway") I have thread going in Dodge 46 fluid drive clutch replacement. My 49 Roadmaster gave me a starter, electric, ignition issue and was able to sort that out with everyone's help.

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Hello Brooklyn Beer , I am the fellow selling the 1929 Franklin that is on the HH franklin website.  This car has a steel frame . Nothing to worry about.  Like some of the other guys have said the Franklin club is a great club. I have nothing but praise for every member I have come in contact with. You have to join the club in order to find parts but they are out there . Just have to find the person who has it. I have two other Franklins. One that I have been working on for a while and a 1931 151 4 door sedan that came from Alabama. The Franklin guys on here will know the car.  The 29 is a good driver. If you would like more info pm me for my number. I just like talking about cars in general but especially Franklins.                                                                                                                                                                                                     To Walt Gosden, I was at a show in October with my 31 and two fellows came up to me and wanted to know about my Franklin. The one guy said he had owned one a long time ago and it was in sad shape but very rare.  I live in NJ and I know about most Franklins but this was a while ago so I did not know about this one until I started talking to him. He said it was a rare body style and he sold it to some one who then had it  restored. I started naming off body builders and he said it was a Derham .WOW  I said that it was owned by Walt Gosden but is now in Pa. with another Franklin guy. He said yes that is who I sold it to Walt. His name was Jack Edmunds.  This car show was at Tabernacle High school in Tabernacle NJ. I told him Paul Fitzpatrick restored the car and it is still a beauty. He was very happy to talk about it . I love meeting the people and hearing the stories .   Jim  

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Thanks for replying about your fine car. It is a beauty for sure. BUT don't hold up selling it on my account because right now I am in the look and learn stage of acquiring a 1927-33 era car with a purchase plan some 2 months down the road. I learn more and more every day about cars from this era thanks to good folks like yourself. Honestly I never knew of Franklins till this thread. They seem like very interesting and strong mechanically inclined vehicles.  I read someplace that around 3700 only remain?  So let me ask you this.  What is the most often thing that breaks or goes wrong?  With that, has an aftermarket solution been devised that keeps it factory appearance or are parts readily available for it?   What do you consider the high points of the Franklin and what would you say are the low points mechanical wise?  With the car I buy I doubt I will ever be able to attend any judged shows or major events. Never any down this way that I could do in a 12 hour day. Mostly local stuff and evening drives into town (6 -7 miles each way) and perhaps trailered to events maybe 2 hours from my house. So a top end restored strictly show car would not be in my best interest because it will get driven when the weather permits even just to get groceries. Don't like leaving them just sit in the garage.

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In a 1927 to 1933 Franklin, I really do not think there is any downside.  The cars are air-cooled and that is not for everyone is perhaps the downside matched to on a 100 degree day you will have toasty floors and if you have a major issue it is going to be more expensive to deal with than a Model A or T.  You would need to be a club member to successfully run one long term (there are people who are not members, but it sure is nice to pick or the phone or email for help and club members tend to be a phone call or email away). There are enough running around too that you do not have to re-invent the wheel (ie someone has been there done that, has made an extra couple parts, or ...). 

 

I also tend to preach Auburn - great cars and great club.

 

Cadillac, Lincolns, Packards, and Pierce Arrows are lovely cars for touring too.

 

And, a Model A (or a T) is easy to keep on the road.

 

There are countless other makes too - though the further you move off the beaten path the better your parts hunting skills need to be, as well as your access to "problem solvers" and machinists, and 

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Not many downsides to the Franklin. They are very well built cars. One thing they did have a problem with on some of the cars was the T2 Stromberg carb made out of pot metal. They break down over time. Most have been replaced by now. Parts are available. I went to my local NAPA and got 4 wheel cylinders the next day.  I had a trans rebuilt in the other car and all gears were still available. I had an engine rebuilt and found all the parts needed . None of my cars have ever left  me stranded.  There are many parts available from the club itself. Mechanical wise no low points. the engines are bullet proof.  You cant go wide open all day but you know what I mean .Keep the oil changed.  All my cars get driven. That is the only way. Be prepared to talk when you stop for gas though ! Good luck in the search.  I would highly recommend a Franklin though. Jim  

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4 minutes ago, 29 franklin said:

Not many downsides to the Franklin. They are very well built cars. One thing they did have a problem with on some of the cars was the T2 Stromberg carb made out of pot metal. They break down over time. Most have been replaced by now. Parts are available. I went to my local NAPA and got 4 wheel cylinders the next day.  I had a trans rebuilt in the other car and all gears were still available. I had an engine rebuilt and found all the parts needed . None of my cars have ever left  me stranded.  There are many parts available from the club itself. Mechanical wise no low points. the engines are bullet proof.  You cant go wide open all day but you know what I mean .Keep the oil changed.  All my cars get driven. That is the only way. Be prepared to talk when you stop for gas though ! Good luck in the search.  I would highly recommend a Franklin though. Jim  

Saw this:  

December 7, 2018.
Series 12 and 13 new replacement Zenith updraft carburetors.

Designed to replace the original potmetal Stromberg T-2 on all Series 12A and B, and all potmetal T-2, U-2 used to mid production Series 13. After many decades the original potmetal carbs are cracking and becoming unsafe to use as a result of intergranular corrosion. The potmetal used in the 1920's and early 1930's is porous. It is slowly corroding from within and expanding/cracking. 

These are new manufacture, diecast updraft carburetors have the correct size venturi and jetting for all Franklin Series 12A, B, and Series 130. Plus a model is available for the larger Series 135/137 engines. 

Features

  • Bench set and ready to bolt-on updraft that uses all the original hand and foot controls.
  • Simple and decades-proven design.
  • Original air filter fits right on.
  • Adjustable idle speed, idle air/fuel mix, and high speed fuel jet, that work the same as the tuning procedures covered in the Franklin Operator’s Manuals.
  • Fuel-proof rubber tipped float needle for leak-free sealing when the engine is shutoff.
  • Same 1/8 inch pipe thread as original fuel line inlet fitting.
  • Vacuum controlled accelerator and power enrichment circuits.
  • Dust seals an throttle and choke butterfly shafts.
  • Comes with new mounting gasket, nuts, and lock washers.


Note, these are not stationary/industrial engine carburetors, like many that are turning up installed as replacements in the past. With these there is no need to over-adjust the main jet too-rich for cruising conditions so as to compensate for being too-lean during acceleration and hill climbing because previous replacement types lacked those fuel circuits. These are specifically designed and sized with all the correct fuel circuits needed to smoothly handle all Franklin driving conditions with the proper air/fuel ratios. 

For more info contact,
Paul Fitzpatrick
Email: airiscool@frontiernet.net
607-674-9432

Parts

Parts

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John, yes I did see this and talked to Paul about it. This is the best way to go for a replacement carb unless of course you can find the   U -2 cast iron. I have found one in all the years I have been looking. 

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What is peoples opinion of Volo auto sales?  I see they have quite a few cars for sale that will be well within my budget

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23 hours ago, theKiwi said:

The one I saw was on the John Strawway/Mark Chaplin yellow 2 door Sport something or other (sorry forget exactly what that yellow car is called) 11A or B when they had it in Michigan for the 2017 Midwest Meet/Air Cooled Meet.

 

I've also seen the drawings for the Franklin dreamed up fix for this (meaning they recognised it as a problem while the cars were still young) of wire cables stretched and tensioned really tight - anchored to each end of the frame rail and then held off the frame rail by a standoff at the point under the rear engine mount. It is unknown if any of these were ever fitted, and if so just how effective they might have been - but Franklin clearly thought about it when this drawing was done in 1929.

 

image.thumb.png.ae680965307bf5f2908e03c2b2d79f19.png

Roger

Railroad cars with wood frames used tie rods with block standoff’s much like this to support the wood frames on the early wood cars.a

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38 minutes ago, Brooklyn Beer said:

What is peoples opinion of Volo auto sales?  I see they have quite a few cars for sale that will be well within my budget

 

I sent you a Private Message.

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I’m enjoying this thread immensely. Great knowledge from great minds honed by decades of personal experience. Brooklyn, you couldn’t buy guidance like this anywhere. 

But what about the emotional side? What about the rush of driving an open touring car into town? Like maybe a 1927 Franklin Touring with you behind the wheel in a raccoon coat and a straw boater hat? 

Buying an antique car from this era is 75% emotion, 25% logic. That Franklin is too cool to ignore. I’m sold.

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You see I would have to agree 100% with you there as I have been a person involved with doing living history and have appeared a time or two back in the day on the history. They are always looking for correct reenactors.  I enjoy that aspect of things immensely. So a car is an extension of my total passion for history. I have not counted out any vehicle that could come my way except the rarities. Oh no.  I like to drive. And I do love being period correct. I just don't expect that Franklin to be there in a couple months but who knows, another just popped up on Ebay so they are around.  Plus I like the size of the car and the fact I get to build another addition to the garage!

 

Edited by Brooklyn Beer (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Brooklyn Beer said:

I just don't expect that Franklin to be there in a couple months but who knows, another just popped up on Ebay so they are around. 

 

One never knows how long a car will take to sell.

Selling a car often isn't accomplished overnight, and

may instead take many months.

 

When I was looking for a pre-war car, I looked through

old issues of Hemmings Motor News.  I called in response

to a year-old ad, and the car was still available.

(I ended up getting something else, though, and that car,

too, had been for sale for a year.)

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We have not discussed a Chrysler yet in any detail.   I always thought Chrysler tried to compete on the level of Buicks but below a Cadillac.  I came across this car which has many detailed pictures.  Looks like a well taken care of part time driver with added heater. Very clean. The flathead 6 looks alot like what is my 46 Dodge.   What are the opinions on this periods Chryslers?

 

https://www.allcollectorcars.com/for-sale/1930-Chrysler-CJ-6-/2232912/

Edited by Brooklyn Beer (see edit history)

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