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Motometer Red Line Tube Replacement


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I have recently purchased an older Boyce Motometer , however the red line heat indicator tube required replacement. Looking at the motometer , I cannot see how I can get the stem off the motometer face to replace the tube. The fluid in the existing tube moved up the glass under heating , however it has lost its colour and is almost a powdery substance.

Any advice welcome.

Photos attached

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The tube is a basic sealed glass thermometer. It was installed from the bottom of the threaded area and held in place by a white cement at the lower edge of the round outer frame. The bottom of the stem was then filled with what I assume to be lead. I'm sure the tube can be replaced but you would need to remove and replace the lead and cement to do it. I have never attempted this but I'm sure others on here have and will share their knowledge.

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Some time in September this year my buddy bought a used Buick Motor meter for his 34 McLauchlin , Original, 80 bucks  stuff from some vendor at a flea market. It was a dud. I bought 2 reproductions, 1 for  my 28 DB and 1 for a Buick for my friend from Cindy Meyers  at 80 bucks each and gave my friend the Buick as a present. Boy,  he had some choice words for the fellow who sold him the dud. Restorations Supply in California sell refills for the larger Motor Meter for around 40 bucks. I tried replacing the refill in my old DB. I finally threw whole thing in the garbage.  It was the smaller one.The thermometerl is swedged into place. To remove the tube first remove the glass, cut the threaded part at the root, hold it in a machine vize and drill it out. Start with a small drill and keep going up until the insert is out . The new insert will guide you as the size of new hole. Chamfer the hole about 1/8 ins deep. Install  the refill and fill the chamfer level with silicone.  NOW HERE IS THE KICKER. IS IT BETTER TO BUY A NEW REPRODUCTION FOR 80 BUCKS OR SPEND THE TIME REPAIRING THE OLD ONE WITH A REFILL COSTING 40 BUCKS ? The choice is yours. The threaded part is brass and body is pot metal.

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Trini makes some good points although I have yet to see a reproduction Motometer that looks genuine. I buy and sell genuine ones on Ebay and can tell you the generic Universal type in your photos is very common and a working example should be easy to find. The cost goes up if it has a specific car model plate although those can be easily added.

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TexRiv, I am speaking from experience. The thermostat tube is just finger press fit in the housing. It is then put in a press and squeezed around the root to keep it there and also to make it water tight. It is good enough to buy one from the flea market. I pose the questions, Is it working and how accurate ? Is it really original. Is it worth the chance of buying a dud to hang on the wall ? Why do I not use the same money and add some more and buy a new reproduction that works ?

 I must have spent more than a few hundred dollars buying stuff in the flea markets in the hope of repairing them , eventually throwing them in the garbage. That is the nature of the hobby business.

 

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TexRiv_63 If the old original housing is in good condition and you want it be original then by replacing the thermostat tube will not change the old look. Go ahead and replace the tube and you will still have the old look. The thermostat has nothing to do with the overall looks of the housing. 

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I bought a radiator cap that came with a motometer, which was very tired. I ended up using it as a practice one so I knew how to repair one of my good ones, turns out someone had replaced the inner glass with a clear biro! The bottom was intact, so I'm guessing they wedged it in from the top, the stuff at the bottom is very difficult to remove even with a drill mostly because it's quite hard to hold the motormeter's body while you're working. I got the base out but the motormeter body broke up in to several pieces (no loss, it was already damaged). The main thing is be super careful if you're attempting it, and be aware you could break the body. 

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The biro is correct. If you want to replace it with glass you can find the correct thickness of glass on most wall clocks made in China.

Read my thread on how to remove thermostat assembly. The thermostat assembly does not care what the rest of the body looks like.

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On ‎12‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 11:22 AM, trini said:

TexRiv, I am speaking from experience. The thermostat tube is just finger press fit in the housing. It is then put in a press and squeezed around the root to keep it there and also to make it water tight. It is good enough to buy one from the flea market. I pose the questions, Is it working and how accurate ? Is it really original. Is it worth the chance of buying a dud to hang on the wall ? Why do I not use the same money and add some more and buy a new reproduction that works ?

 I must have spent more than a few hundred dollars buying stuff in the flea markets in the hope of repairing them , eventually throwing them in the garbage. That is the nature of the hobby business.

 

Sorry you threw all that original stuff away, I probably would have bought it from you! I totally agree regarding condition issues with the originals as they are all 90 to 100 years old. While there are many working examples still out there the accuracy question is a good one to ask. I deal with these as cosmetic pieces of collectible automobilia and actually don't even check to see if they work or not.

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I have an original motor meter, on the car when bought, not working, but after reading an article in this group, after buying a new one, i was able to get original working. A few bounces on the tyre and the mercury came back down, and goes up as i drive.

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On 12/14/2019 at 11:48 PM, trini said:

Some time in September this year my buddy bought a used Buick Motor meter for his 34 McLauchlin , Original, 80 bucks  stuff from some vendor at a flea market. It was a dud. I bought 2 reproductions, 1 for  my 28 DB and 1 for a Buick for my friend from Cindy Meyers  at 80 bucks each and gave my friend the Buick as a present. Boy,  he had some choice words for the fellow who sold him the dud. Restorations Supply in California sell refills for the larger Motor Meter for around 40 bucks. I tried replacing the refill in my old DB. I finally threw whole thing in the garbage.  It was the smaller one.The thermometerl is swedged into place. To remove the tube first remove the glass, cut the threaded part at the root, hold it in a machine vize and drill it out. Start with a small drill and keep going up until the insert is out . The new insert will guide you as the size of new hole. Chamfer the hole about 1/8 ins deep. Install  the refill and fill the chamfer level with silicone.  NOW HERE IS THE KICKER. IS IT BETTER TO BUY A NEW REPRODUCTION FOR 80 BUCKS OR SPEND THE TIME REPAIRING THE OLD ONE WITH A REFILL COSTING 40 BUCKS ? The choice is yours. The threaded part is brass and body is pot metal.

Trini, 

I really enjoyed your post on this subject. You make very good points. Thanks for that. 

 

I do not plan to attempt to repair a motometer anytime soon, but I am fascinated to better understand how the project would be attempted. Would you be kind enough to further explain the part of your post which I have highlighted in red, above? My apologies, but I'm not sure what "threaded part" you refer to is. Would that be the threaded metal shaft which is used to mount the meter to a radiator cap? Or is there a "threaded part" down inside the housing, below where the glass thermometer is installed? And when you refer to "the root"...would that be the very bottom tip? Do you need to cut away a tiny slice of the bottom before you can drill it out? 

 

I have never attempted to restore a motometer, and likely never will. But I have the same motometer on my 23 Hupp which my Dad put on it back in 1962, and it still functions nicely. Yet I see some corrosion forming inside, and I wonder if I will have to repair or replace it someday. Having lost my parents tragically many years ago, I am somewhat nostalgic with this car, and with special components like this motometer. I must admit that, if it fails, I may be sorely tempted to try and repair it, regardless of the time and effort needed. 

 

Thanks again! 🙂

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