sunnybaba

Another New Franklin owner.. in Love already

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ūüíė¬† Well,¬†¬†I bought this¬†1930 145 Franklin.... last week....

It is all stripped down (bumpers, hood latches, door &window handles ,garnish moldings, interior door panels, window regulators, tail lite, trunk rack, etc...) getting It ready to be painted and upholstered ..... This car was driven from Tenn. to the Northwest Territory, Canada,.........  a 8,000 mile round trip... and from Tenn. to Yellowstone park eight or nine times... over 200,000 mile are on it...  but around 100,000 miles ago, the engine was rebuilt with inserts and hardened exhaust valves, head milled down .025... increasing horsepower noticeably.... It was owned/driven and maintained by Richard (Dick) Lamphere.  I purchased it from his Grandson...       It runs and drives real good, new brakes and 4 new, 6 ply tires & tubes.... I am going to get the steering box rebuilt, (it wanders Bad) and get some gaskets for the valve rocker covers and lower push rod tube gaskets, they are leaking oil... Paint & real leather upholstery ... then Drive it..... I paid $5,600 for it.... thus, can afford to put some money into it..... To use it as my Daily Driver, and long distance joy rides...
   I have been driving it around on the Rough Dirt Roads, where I live, in the  mountains of southern New Mexico, and I am amazed at how smooth the ride is on bumpy rough roads... those Full elliptic leaf springs are really the best ride I have ever felt on any 1920's - early '30's car or truck..... ( I've owed a 1929 Dodge sedan and a 1930 Chrysler sedan, and model A pickup....) This Franklin is smoother, with much more get-up & go power.   I joined  'the Club'... and will be contacting my fellow club members for advice and guidance..... as I maintain this 90 year old, well built automobile......  looking forward to the comradeship of fellow Franklin owners....... Rough right Now... but Getting Ready

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Welcome to the Franklin club. There were some articles about this car in Air cooled news . I don't know the exact issues but I do remember reading them. You Are going to love your Franklin. Good luck  

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I second what 29 Franklin said !

 

Looks like someone went gadget crazy on the engine, dash, and wiring. The more you can return it to original function the simpler and more reliable it will be.  A good place to start is, new, duplicates of the original Franklin wiring harnesses are available from Rhode Island Wire Service.

 

The mechanical fuel pump is rebuildable and gets rid of the not as reliable electric pump and pressure regulator. And, less plumbing, wiring, and electrical drain on the generator.  

 

Carb is rebuildable and hooking the hand throttle linkage back up will make starting easier.

 

Distributor uses 1950 6 cylinder Chevy parts - still available new at any autoparts store.

 

The accessory heater is a nice find !!!!

 

I suggest that as soon as you join the Club, contact the webmaster and get the password to the "Members Only" section at,  www.franklincar.org

There are parts and services for sale that will save you money and time.  And, the  Q&A in that section has answers for just about any Franklin related question you'll ever come up with. You can also download a free copy of the owners manual - that has maintenance,  tuneup, and repair info - and parts book from there, or buy copies from the Club library. Plus access to over 20,000 Franklin factory production drawings.

 

Paul 

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)

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This is a well documented car. Lamphere  was an active member of the club and used his Franklins in long drives around the country, Vermont to Tennessee to Alaska, He was an engineer and added a lot of gadgets to improve his car on long trips, all documented in articles in ACN. As I recall, he strengthened the roof, as well, to carry loads. Some of the early comments on his trips are in ACN 30, ACN 34 and ACN 25. He was a frequent commentator on technical issues, including Such topics as 12 volt conversions and fiber bushings on fans. 

Edited by Povertycove
Additional info. (see edit history)

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You can find an article on Lamphere’s 31 sedan and its travels in the Feb. 2006 issue of Hemmings Classic Car. It’s available online.

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Thank you all.. learning about the past history of this car is ALMOST as much fun as sorting it out and actually driving it... looking forward to Both journeys....

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Nice accessory heater and looks to be a really solid car !!!  And, gorgeous steering wheel !!!

 

I would suggest over time you try to find an exhaust manifold - someone looks to have put a temperature gauge on it once.  And, there is a whole lot of extra wiring and stuff hanging around in the engine compartments, but good news is that all the important and rare stuff is there.   Also, probably best to keep an eye out a  dashboard, though looks like you have a compete center cluster.  11.5" Twilite lenses and headlamps will be a bear to find (all be it a 145 it may have had the smaller lamp). 

 

I cannot say enough good about a wiring harness from Rhode Island Wire. 

 

Someone plumbed the exhaust - probably redifines how the car sounds when it runs - friends has a 1929 Packard 640 Club Sedan that was cast iron pipe plumbed (in this case stem to stern with no muffler) - it was actually awesome - car sounded great and had a ton more speed than a regular 640. I believe Paul Fitzpatrick mandrel-led the proper exhaust headers (or knows who did make the parts). 

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You have a good well proven car with a lot of history. I totally agree with bringing the car back to the way Franklin made it and loose the "improvements" that Dick Lamphere made. He was a great guy , LOVED to drive his Franklins. ( as most owners do and you will too) Headlamp lenses , reflectors will be a challenge to find and then afford, but when installed you will be able to see the road fine, no need for sealed beams. Try to locate another tail light arm and tail light so you can have one for the right side and when you rewire them you can add directional signals at that time. Again a bit of a challenge to find then afford.

Great to see you have this car , congratulations!

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Just to expand on what Walt said.

 

For a small additional charge, Rhode Island Wire Service will modify the wiring harness,, and include a modern steering column mounted turn signal unit that looks somewhat period correct, that uses the original lights on the car as turn signals or four-way flashers. Once installed it all looks like it was done at the factory.

 

Even if you don't get a second tail light yet, since you have to drop the gas tank to get to the rear end section of the tail light harness, at least the wiring would be inplace if you ever do hook up a right side tail light.

 

Paul  

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I bought a passengers side taillight arm that someone in the club made a couple of and it was made with cut pipe and welds  - worked very well

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John_Mereness ...... I bought the 11.5 inch lenses, reflectors, and outer rings from Mike West last week for $300..... He has alot of good parts for sale.... now the Franklin will not look so 'Bug-eyed'..... it will look more like it should....This car has the original generator rewired to 12 volts and the starter rewired to handle 12 volts... so I am thinking of putting either Halogen or Quartz (12vt) headlight bulbs in the Franklin reflectors .... Which one of the two (halogen or Quartz) take the least amount of electricity (watts) to run.....???   It would be a nightmare for me to rewire everything, with an original wiring harness.... because everything has been changed...(coil, generator, starter, horn, gauges, lights,etc, etc...)  they all work now, as it is set up, with modern wiring and fuse block and resistors.... so I am going to leave it and learn more about it... Luckily I have the original drawings that dick L... drew of His rewiring diagram ...... and where each wire goes....  I am not trying to 'restore' this car.... I never would have bought such a modified Franklin.. if I wanted to bring one back to original, new condition... I bought this to be a dependable daily driver.. and I felt the modifications would not interfere with that.. and might even be an asset ..... I can not afford to buy a Restored Franklin... I live at the official US poverty level... I will have to do 90 % of the work on it myself... because I can not afford to hire others to do it for me.... But I can't let that stop me from enjoying driving the beautiful old vintage automobiles.....

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There's some talk about halogens being so hot they cracked the head light lens. I'd check into that a lot deeper before I'd risk extremely rare lenses. The Twilight repo lens project is long over. The mold broke during the last run. The guy who did the work passed away, and the last of the lenses were sold out years ago.

 

If you get those reflectors re-silvered - they way they were originally - you'll be amazed at how bright those head lights can be, even with 6 volt bulbs.  It must be actual silver and not chrome - as I've seen some misinformed owners had done. Silver is about 95% reflective, chrome is only mid 80% reflective. There are some plating shops still able to do them properly .

 

Or, use the Uvira system coating, which is aluminum over polished nickel, with a glass coating to prevent it oxidizing. That's what they use on many airport landing lights and theater projectors.

 

Paul  

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If you want the brightness of a halogen that uses less power than the original Franklin bulbs. Try these LED units. They were made for the Model A Ford market, which by the way used the same headlight bulbs as our Franklin's. They work on 6, 8, or 12 volt pos. or neg. ground. They are a direct replacement for the existing bulbs and don't need any adapters. And, if you get the reflectors re-silvered like Paul suggested, WOW what lights!

 

Bill

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Thank You Bill... That is exactly what I was looking for....low power usage but better, brighter lights..... and why couldn't a person use these two contact bulbs, for turn signal/brake light bulbs ?.... giving you bright lights all around... Thanks again... It really is a great resource to tap into the Group Mind, collective wisdom....

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These are to big to use for brake/turn signal lamps. However, if you look on E Bay you can find suitable led substitutes for those applications.

 

Bill

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23 hours ago, sunnybaba said:

Thank You Bill... That is exactly what I was looking for....low power usage but better, brighter lights..... and why couldn't a person use these two contact bulbs, for turn signal/brake light bulbs ?.... giving you bright lights all around... Thanks again... It really is a great resource to tap into the Group Mind, collective wisdom....

 To use two-contact bulbs  as turn signals, you'd need to run another wire into the light bucket, and then change the bulb sockets, which are often part of the light's interior baffles. Easier just to add turn signal lights to the bumper backing bar, as some have already done.

 

The Rhode Island Wire Service harness option for turn signals does not require changing the original lights, sockets, or using special bulbs. It uses the existing front parking lights and the brake lights as the turn signals/four-way flashers.  Much easier, neater system, that does not need modifying (damaging) any original parts.

 

There are smaller 6 and 12 volt LED bulbs that fit in those light sockets. I've never installed them so I can't help with how well they work.

 

Paul

 

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