Brooklyn Beer

Franklin frame sag

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I was going over the green Franklin posted for sale on the Franklin club page and I have some questions concerning the frame sag that was common on these year cars. I am posting one of the included pictures from that for sale listing.  The sag can be seen in the one picture through the side mount. First.  Does the sag continue to get worse or is it one of those things that once it happens it reaches a point it won't continue?  Second.  This is the picture from the engine compartment. It looks to me that there is clearance issues with the air hood too firewall and the manifold too firewall.  Is this just an optical illusion from the camera angle or am I correct in thinking that with the engine running you could very well be having an issue with contact and rubbing in the near future if not now already ?Car

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That amount of sag is pretty standard and will increase little if any.  I had a Series 11B for 40 years with that amount it never increased noticeably, so I would not be concerned unless you are going for a 100 point resto.  You might want to inquire if the stuff under the car is supporting it.

This being a S 12 I won't comment on the other matter.

 

Gordon Howard

 

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S 12 is Franklin talk for Series 12 made in 1928. there were two series 12 cars a series 12A ( early in the year starting production in late 1927 and a series 12 B later in the year) the series 12 was the first year for four wheel and hydraulic brakes on a Franklin. The 1925-27  series 11 had a transmission brake.

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So is this sag about too or is it making contact with the firewall?

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To answer your question about the engine rubbing against the firewall...

 I think you are probably seeing an optical illusion from the position of the camera angle.  I have a 1925 Franklin 11A sedan with the typical frame sag, and a 1928 12A convertible Coupe' with frame sag... the engine in either of these cars has not started rubbing against the firewall.  I've been driving the 11A for about 20 years now, and the sag never seems to get worse.

I think the car you are looking at on the Franklin Web site is a very handsome car, that is from a family that has had it, and loved it for almost 50 years. That says a lot right there about the car.  Probably gave them miles and miles of carefree touring over the years.  The price is very VERY fair and you should consider joining The Franklin Club if you follow through with purchasing the car.

 attached a picture of my 1925 Franklin 11A sedan

Good Luck and cheers,

  William

 

 

After Vacation pictures 2018 028.JPG

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Thanks William.  I already joined some months ago when I started looking for a car of this vintage.  Have learned very much about these cars from the members of the club already. I am just a little apprehensive is all on buying a Franklin that needs work as I have never owned a car of this age and am a total virgin when it comes to Franklins.  Getting one that has sat for a good nine years might be over my head due to lack of knowledge is all.

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Brooklyn Beer, I hear what you are saying, my friend.  But, cleaning out the fuel lines and gas tank is easy breezy.  The brake system shouldn't give you any more trouble than your late 1940's era Dodge, you show in your profile picture... and actually, a little less trouble, since the Franklin will not have double front wheel cylinders to deal with.  Actually, I was able to buy new wheel cylinders, from NAPA for my 1928 Franklin 12A Conv't Coupe'.  I think I also got a new Master Cylinder rebuild kit as well...  I can get you the part numbers if you need them.

 Franklin built a very good car, and the 12A's have a more powerful engine than the 11A's...  and with four wheel brakes, this would be a rather nice tour car, if you are out with other 1920's era cars.

You've already discovered how helpful the Franklin Club members can be.

 I'm sure you'll do what you feel comfortable doing about purchasing a 1920's era car...  

Cheers,

  Wm.

 

 

 

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Thank you very much Wm.  I think your right about the Dodge being tougher. Those tapered rear axles make it a joy getting a drum off !  I think I need to jump in a little deeper and get a maintenance manual. With this car and it's price I would be starting out well under the end budget.  By looking at the pictures can you tell if it is an old pot metal carb?  And were the 28's still vacuum fuel tank?   I am also wondering why the tires turned brown like that.

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Good Morning Brooklyn Beer,

 The 28's were still running (thankfully)  on a vacuum tank, and the one in my 1925 11A has been very dependable, and never given me any trouble (20 yrs. now).  I will keep the vacuum tank set up in my '28' when I have it on the road again.  Franklin went to a mechanical fuel pump in 29, and they are very difficult to rebuild, and they are very rare.

 The pictures I see on the Franklin Web site do not show the carb side of the engine... you'll have to ask the owners what this car has for a carb set up.  Since you are asking this question, I'm thinking, you've already talked to someone about the original carbs on these cars and their problems, so I will not go into that.  BUT, most of these cars that were regularly in "service", have had some other form of carb installed on them...  there are plenty of options, AND, there is a Franklin member who is now offering a direct replacement set up of a carter carb... Ready to go in place..  if you happen to need it.  He is on this forum and is respected in the Franklin Club. Will make sure you have contact with him when you need it.  Perhaps you've already been speaking to him....

 Brown tires?  Hmmmm....  Well, any number of things...  Perhaps they drove it on some dirt roads the last time it was out, before going into it's 9 year rest, or perhaps it is an optical illusion of the lighting and camera, or maybe just some sort of dusty anomaly, maybe what ever they used for tire "dressing" has turned brown over the time it was off the road.   I don't think I would give it much thought...  just be sure to scrub the tires really good the first time you give it a bath.  Tee He He  😉

BTW... I'm pretty sure you can get a reprint of the 1928 Parts catalog and maybe even a reprint of the 1928 owner's manual.

 Most people are fearful of dealing with a car that is unusual, like Franklins and their Air Cooled engines,  But it is a 1920's car, and relatively straight forward in it's design.  Franklins were very well built cars and used high quality materials... There is a strong following in the club, and plenty of people who are very supportive when you need help or an elusive part.

 Keep in touch, and I hope I've been of some help.

 Do not hesitate to reach out to me with any other questions.

Cheers,

 Wm.   

    

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Posted (edited)

Chris,

 

I've seen a lot of sagged frame Franklins, but never one so bad the engine touched the firewall, unless the car was left out for decades for the frame to rot. And I've seen one that was used as many years as a chicken coop and the frames had only sagged about 1/2 inch out of line under the cowl area.  There's more room in back of the engine then that picture of the green 28 shows from that angle.

 

Wood used as a beam such as the chassis, will sag under a given load and only as much as that load. Increase the  load and it will only sad for that increased amount. The frame sag on Franklins is only equal to that which is caused by the normal load on it. It does not continue to increase with age unless the wood is allowed to rot.  So, for a car stored indoors, they don't sag enough to have the engine hit the firewall.

 

As Bill mentioned, you can order reprints of the Operators Manuals and Parts Books through the Club website, Parts For Sale, Merchandize section . www.franklincar.org

 

Also,.... when you join the Franklin Club, contact the webmaster, who will then confirm your membership before giving you the password into the members only section. In there you can now download free copies of the Operators Manuals and Parts Books  to use until you have a Franklin to buy a reproduction copy for.

 

The parts books are equally important in that they often show exploded drawings of components and they list the drawing number of each part, which in the Franklin world is the part number. The Club has over 20K factory production drawings in digital form. You can go to the members only section of the Club website and look up that drawing which gives additional info on the part and what other Series/years he part was used on, or when it was changed after a certain car number. And the drawings are in you can download the drawing for free. Very useful !!!!

 

 Bill is correct about the carbs,.... sorta.    The member selling new replacements is me. There have been plenty of wrong options for replacement carbs and that problem is why I've been working with Zenith to get the correct size and configuration carb for Franklins. The ones I'm selling are new manufactured Zenith updrafts, specially made to work on the 28 and 29 Franklins as direct bolt-on replacements of the original potmetal Stromberg T-2 and U-2 used on 28 and the first half of 29. Because of problems with potmetal of the late 1920's, the last half of 29 production switched to using  cast iron Stromberg U-2s, which are an excellent carb.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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Hello Paul,

 Thank you for stepping in and adding to this thread... AND for the correction about your Zenith Carbs.  As I was writing my last post, I actually thought.." I hope I've got the correct kind of carb" in my thoughts...

 Cheers,

  Wm (Bill)

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Bill, no problem.

 

Hope to hear soon how your brake rebuilding project is going on the Coupe. Email me when you get ready to make the new Cunifer brake lines. There's some tricks to getting good, safe, flared ends with that material.

 

And for anyone else reading this, don't reuse any of the original bass flair nuts. When there's a line leak it's always the old flair nuts cracked from years of outward pressure against the flared seat because the nuts aged and weakened as some of the zinc leached out of the brass.

 

The new flair nuts that the Club sells (along with the high strength Cunifer brake line), are stronger than some of the foreign made ones sold in autoparts stores. I found a USA company that still makes them to meet the original SAE specs and dimensions that Franklin used and those are the only ones the Club sells.  

 

Paul

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When I see brown tires that should be black I find generally that someone has not scrubbed/washed them upon installation and they have "casting mold release" on them or some other protective coating- like the "blue" on a whitewall. 

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Thanks John.  I just thought about the brown on the tires going to work today and could not do a search until now, when I got home. Seems it is a common occurrence is all when tires are not taken care of.  Being it was stored indoors it is not sun burning just the tire aging naturally.  Fits right in line with a car sitting 10 years like they explain in the listing.        https://www.utires.com/articles/tire-sidewalls-turn-brown-prevent/    Being I always dress my tires I have never seen them turn brown before like has happened on the car listed..

 

I did order a maintenance manual from the club. I prefer to have something I can sit and read anywhere when I have the time as well as take out to the car. I do have some questions though regarding the vacuum tank / fuel delivery system. This is something I have never seen nor have any working knowledge of in a car. But I am a commercial plumber and do understand fluid dynamics. (Shit goes down hill).  I am guessing that engine vacuum pulls a vacuum through a smaller tank that is connected to the main fuel tank. That smaller tank then gravity feeds to the carb located below the bottom of the smaller tank. (?)  I am also guessing the fuel stops being pulled into the smaller tank with something that works like a toilet tank float valve.  Just how hard is it to flush out that smaller tank if I am correct in thinking there is one?  I see many 20's era cars for sale that have listed an electric pump as either a back up or just the straight primary. Would this use of an electric pump be upgrading a problematic "old" technology system of the times? I am thinking that a properly functioning vacuum tank system would be rock solid in the simplicity of it's function. I have not read anything about Franklins vapor locking even though they run hotter then other cars which was a constant issue in my 1940 Ford 2 ton truck until I installed an electric fuel pump.  Texas gets hot and those flat head eights got even hotter.

 

Brakes.  I am presuming that Franklins were not dual master cylinders. Is it common to upgrade to a dual master or even possible?  Single line systems can be scary.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, the vacuum tank has an inner tank that gets switched to engine vacuum when a float drops. The rising float flips a spring loaded rocker lever system that then closes off vacuum when that inner tank fills and opens an external vent to let the gas run down into the outer tank and on to the carb.

 

Two problems with using an electric pump with a vac system.

1. That vent I mentioned is a tube that is pointed down at the hot exhaust pipe. Put the electric pump on the inner thank fills, switches over to vent and sprays raw fuel onto the exhaust pipe. Sounds exciting doesn't it ?

2. Updraft carbs tend to be sensitive to changes in float level - especially the Strombergs used on Franklins. The carb float level with a vacuum tank system  is set for the very low fuel pressure of gravity feed of only a little over a foot. If you had a gauge sensitive to measure it at the carb you'd see that's only about 1/2 psi. The low pressure electric pumps run at 2-4 psi. Even if you had a shutoff for the vacuum tank vent that difference in fuel pressure will raise the float level enough to have the carb running too rich. You won't see the black smoke of too-rich it in the exhaust of a Franklin like some water cooled engines. But it will dilute the oil on piston rings and cylinder walls, plus it will start to build up excess carbon on the intake valve stems and  then have valves sticking open.  That only shows up when it's too late to prevent.  

 

 

Vacuum tanks got a reputation rap from people not knowing how to properly rebuild them. They are actually a wonderful, simple, way to move fuel up from the tank. Get the vacuum tank rebuilt by someone who is very experienced in that. Then, always about 6-8 ounces of Marvel Mystery Oil added to the gas tank at each fill up to keep the entire fuel system clean and corrosion free, plus it keeps the valve stems and upper piston rings working as they should and the vac tank is good for life. 

 

Many owners are finding that switching to e-free gas has eliminated all their fuel system problems, including fuel system starting problems after long times of the engine not being run. That goes for vacuum tanks as well.

 

As for brakes,...

If properly rebuilt and maintained, there's no problems with a single cylinder master type system. Once again, the problems are 99% caused by people working on brake system who don't know how to properly and thoroughly do that type work.

 

Paul

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)
On 5/16/2019 at 5:34 PM, Brooklyn Beer said:

Thanks John.  I just thought about the brown on the tires going to work today and could not do a search until now, when I got home. Seems it is a common occurrence is all when tires are not taken care of.  Being it was stored indoors it is not sun burning just the tire aging naturally.  Fits right in line with a car sitting 10 years like they explain in the listing.        https://www.utires.com/articles/tire-sidewalls-turn-brown-prevent/    Being I always dress my tires I have never seen them turn brown before like has happened on the car listed..

You can get a couple packs of wire toothbrushes from the paint department of your local hardware store and give the tires a good brushing - the brown will come off with effort, but not huge effort - just takes time mainly. 

Edited by John_Mereness (see edit history)

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I will still tell you that 28 Sedan is a decent car with a lot going for it.  Personally, I would have a set of vinyl tire covers made to more or less fill in the open hole on the spares (which it is nice it has the dual sidemounts and the luggage rack) and pinstripe the car - have a good time taking it to some local shows, dinner, ice cream, and ....   Nice looking interior and such as windwings too.   Great Club as well.  And your car will always have lookers. 

 

The brakes are very simple - nice to just leave them that way too.  

 

Paul is right about the fittings on the original lines breaking on occasion when rebuilding - but fittings and lines are as he mentions are available (love it or hate it, I bought the fittings at hardware store back in the early 1980's and used refrigeration tubing for lines - Dad and I had our 1930 for almost 30 years and did not drive it much but had 6K miles of trouble free braking and I assume it is still going strong several owners later). 

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There is a late model 1925 Franklin for sale in the Portland OR area but am not too keen on only having a hub brake.  I guess that was the transition year for the  updated grill.  A 1925 Opera Coach Sedan he calls it.  Like the interior.  I see some modern wires going haphazard though.  He has not driven it much in the past 3 years except around the property.   https://portland.craigslist.org/clc/cto/d/woodburn-classic-antique-franklin/6884534818.html

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That is a nice looking Series 11.They are a  much different car than Series 10. The correct body style name is Sport Sedan.  First one I've seen with a leather interior,  most likely redone. I think you you are referring to the foot brake being on the driveshaft.  True, it is two wheel braking which was almost universal then.  It will lock the rear wheels and I am speaking from experience. Just have to keep in mind you don't have the stopping power of modern cars.  Well worth going after if  the mechanical condition is as good as the rest of the car.

Gordon Howard

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Looking also at the puckered top tacked edge of the front seat leatherwork, I'd agree that interior was redone.  

 

Paul 

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Last night as we were getting hammered with spring storms, hail, 7 inches of rain and 60 MPH winds (all in 3 hours) I looked back on this board going back to 2013 and enjoyed reading the incites and advice from this board. Good advice from good people is a hard thing to come by these days. And not once did I see anyone proclaim in any sort of way that "I am king of everything Franklin so you had better listen to me !".  Nope. What I liked most of all was how everyone would come together on a discussion thread to conquer a problem together that someone was having.  I wish everything in this world of today could be like that.  I also got to see (sniff) some of the great cars that have gone up for sale and passed me by. 

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Franklin engineers were some of the best in their day. In the 22 years the company was in production, they are credited with over 100 firsts in the auto industry. But the real gem is the Club members. If your enjoying this car search so far, it's gets even better when you get more involved with the Club !!!

 

Paul

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Thanks Paul.  I really am enjoying how so many folks are getting involved with the search. If I was in the market for a Model A I have literally thousands of choices right now which I find bizarre.   It took me 3 weeks to find the right NEW truck I wanted let alone a car built in 1930.  So the search for the right Franklin is something I am glad I started months ago even though I knew the car funds are still about a month off.  I can say now the house being sold is under contract !  So the budget is still the same, just 2 months delayed.  I have been all over the club website browsing through past trek pictures and stories. The friendship reminds me of that within another hobby that I have been a long member of since 1980. I just hate being on the outside looking in so to speak without a car !  Soon it will happen. 

 

One question. When browsing through pictures yesterday I saw a much restored Franklin that was just waiting for the motor and trans install. Guessing it was a 30 model as a steel frame but no hood.  Good view of the double elliptical front springs.  How did they stabilize the front end from lateral motions when cornering?  Granted with no motor installed they were sitting a little higher then normal.

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