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Crazy Maintenance Techniques


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This would probably apply to the guys with early cars more so, but is anyone aware of what seems today to be an odd way to keep a part or their car maintained, as per the original service manuals/bulletins.

 

I read a blip in another thread that reminded me of something for a motorcycle I had at one time, I didnt want to hijack so I started this thread.

 

The motorcycle was a 1913 Rudge Multi with a wicker sidecar. This motorcycle is a story in its own for another day. ANYWAY, my brother has the original owners manual. By nature of most bikes of this time period it is a total loss oil system. There are lubricating points on the rear, and for the 'drive mechanism' of the 'transmission'. The manual states for the passenger in the sidecar to lubricate all points at the rear wheel and transfer areas while the motorbike is in motion. SO, whilst this thing is travelling down the road at 20mph (it will go much faster) a person is supposed to be swinging an oil can around the spokes and moving parts!!

I cant imagine what a lawyer would do with this in todays climate.

 

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52 minutes ago, TAKerry said:

This would probably apply to the guys with early cars more so, but is anyone aware of what seems today to be an odd way to keep a part or their car maintained, as per the original service manuals/bulletins.

 

I read a blip in another thread that reminded me of something for a motorcycle I had at one time, I didnt want to hijack so I started this thread.

 

The motorcycle was a 1913 Rudge Multi with a wicker sidecar. This motorcycle is a story in its own for another day. ANYWAY, my brother has the original owners manual. By nature of most bikes of this time period it is a total loss oil system. There are lubricating points on the rear, and for the 'drive mechanism' of the 'transmission'. The manual states for the passenger in the sidecar to lubricate all points at the rear wheel and transfer areas while the motorbike is in motion. SO, whilst this thing is travelling down the road at 20mph (it will go much faster) a person is supposed to be swinging an oil can around the spokes and moving parts!!

I cant imagine what a lawyer would do with this in todays climate.

 

Back when men were men and women were feminine but not fragile.

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1 hour ago, GregLaR said:

America, when daredevils and barnstormers were all the rage.

Before the attorneys messed it all up.

Very true, but the Rudge is an English motorcycle.

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I had a 1920s Chrysler owners manual at one time and in it they said it was not good practice to store the car in a shed or barn that was also used as a stable for your horse.  I forget the reasons listed but the warning sticks in my mind to this day.  

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One of my favorite factory manual instructions tells you to adjust the oil pump by noticing two things.  If the car excessively smokes, than lower the amount of oil.  You are supposed to listen to the bottom end and if it pounds, than increase the oil flow.  I don't mind a little oil smoke but I prefer not to hear the bottom end pounding.

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Nickleroadster,  Similar info in the Rudge manual.  Total loss oil system, there is a priming/pump knob attached to the side of the gas tank. The manual states something to the effect that once you no longer see smoke its time for a couple of pumps of oil.

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The owners manual for my 1918 Buick says:

"Once a year the car should get a thorough overhauling. At which time the motor, clutch, transmission, universal joint, steering gear, and axle should be taken apart. cleaned and adjusted before being reassembled. This work should be done by an experienced mechanic"

 

They dont make them like they usta !  Thankfully.

I expect that this was rarely done.

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1 hour ago, DonMicheletti said:

The owners manual for my 1918 Buick says:

"Once a year the car should get a thorough overhauling. At which time the motor, clutch, transmission, universal joint, steering gear, and axle should be taken apart. cleaned and adjusted before being reassembled. This work should be done by an experienced mechanic"

 

They dont make them like they usta !  Thankfully.

I expect that this was rarely done.

And here we are 100 years later and cars can go for decades and hundreds of thousands of miles with oil changes and basic maintenance. Really amazing how far we've come. I wonder how long the car was out of service during the yearly overhaul? If the owner bothered with it anyway.

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Using gasoline to clean cloth upholstery through the 1920s; using exhaust gas piped to car interior to dry it out.....both in owners' manuals of the period.

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22 minutes ago, AL1630 said:

And here we are 100 years later and cars can go for decades and hundreds of thousands of miles with oil changes and basic maintenance. Really amazing how far we've come. I wonder how long the car was out of service during the yearly overhaul? If the owner bothered with it anyway.

That’s why old car for sale ads that say “only 105,000 miles” can be misleading.  Today you might say the car is just getting broken in but in the 1950s it could mean the car engine is due for a major overhaul.  Even in the 1960s cars with over 60,000 miles could need things like piston rings and valve work.

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Jag XK owners manual includes instructions for "decarbonizing the valves".

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Interesting, my 2012, and my 2019 say wheel bearing replacement at 60K. There is no inspection, cleaning, lubricating and adjusting with the new cars as they are sealed bearings.

 My 76 Olds ,my 64 and 65 beetle's, 62 & 63 Pontiac's have their original wheel bearings.  With the old cars there is all of the above and every 10-12K, however with checking and lubricating you always know the condition of the bearings. 

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3 hours ago, TerryB said:

That’s why old car for sale ads that say “only 105,000 miles” can be misleading.  Today you might say the car is just getting broken in but in the 1950s it could mean the car engine is due for a major overhaul.  Even in the 1960s cars with over 60,000 miles could need things like piston rings and valve work.

 If things are maintained as they should and the car is treated right a 60's cars will do well over 100K.

 Give me a 2021 new car in the morning and in a afternoon I can return it as a worn out junk.

 

50 years ago I was doing unit repair for a VW dealership. Ever see the insides of a VW transaxle? No computer designed reliability and maintainability programs. They were hugely overbuilt, huge bearings and gears for the application of 25, 36, 40, 50, 53 & 60hp engines and later when analysis finally was run engineers figured they were good for between 350,000 and 400,000 miles-if driven properly. 

 Back in those days if you got 75K out of a air cooled VW that was a average. On my own VW's I've done 178,000 on my 64 engine,  120K on my 65 because at the time I thought that was a lot of miles so I tore it down. It really didn't need anything, but because it was apart a polished crank, new bearings, piston liner set, new valves and oil pump..... that was 1971. I just drove that car yesterday. Do proper maintenance and VW's and Porsches are hungry for maintenance like 1,500 mile between oil changes and adjusting valves every 3,000. And a huge thing letting them warm up before driving, that's 115 degrees of oil temp before driving off, treat them right and they last a long time. 

 

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I have owned VW's. My last (forever) was a '98 Passat - it just loved the dealership, especially after the warranty ran out. It got to 98K miles and by that time the ABS, CD changer, Remote locks, turbo oil cooler several plastic engine gizmos and radio had failed - enough! Adios.

Failures had nothing to do with maintenance and driving style.

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My first car was a 1928 Hudson Super Six. It had what I believe is called an "F head" engine: One set of valves were overhead. The valve cover had oil pots that were to be filled with oil each day. Ran fine. Nice car. Another interesting feature was the clutch, which was a single plate, with cork inserts, running in oil. 

Phil

Screen Shot 2021-02-19 at 8.31.26 PM.png

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2 hours ago, DonMicheletti said:

I have owned VW's. My last (forever) was a '98 Passat - it just loved the dealership, especially after the warranty ran out. It got to 98K miles and by that time the ABS, CD changer, Remote locks, turbo oil cooler several plastic engine gizmos and radio had failed - enough! Adios.

Failures had nothing to do with maintenance and driving style.

That's a AUDI not a VW..... They don't make Real VW's anymore, or Porsches for that matter.

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Of all the cars I have had, the owners manual usually has a couple of pages for the owner to mark down maintenance an oil change information.  I have had about ten or fifteen of these manuals

and not one of them ever had these pages used.  Somewhere someone has a manual that has been scrupulously filled out but I haven't seen one.

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20 minutes ago, nickelroadster said:

Of all the cars I have had, the owners manual usually has a couple of pages for the owner to mark down maintenance an oil change information.  I have had about ten or fifteen of these manuals

and not one of them ever had these pages used.  Somewhere someone has a manual that has been scrupulously filled out but I haven't seen one.

And a empty section for you to make notes.

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2 hours ago, nickelroadster said:

Of all the cars I have had, the owners manual usually has a couple of pages for the owner to mark down maintenance an oil change information.  I have had about ten or fifteen of these manuals

and not one of them ever had these pages used.  Somewhere someone has a manual that has been scrupulously filled out but I haven't seen one.

 

I have a separate maintenance log sheet which I keep in the glove box of each of my cars.  I don't mark up the owner's manual maintenance log pages of my newer used cars because the maintenance logs of most used cars  are either blank or haven't been properly filled out (see nickelroadster's post above).  Whatever the age or pedigree of a car, I think that maintenance logs are important.

 

Cheers,

Grog

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All of mine also have their "logbook". 

 

Truth be known that's the only way I could keep up with when oil changes, air filters etc were due!☺️ It just naturally progressed to logging date and miles on everything that was done to the vehicle.

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I too have one for every one of my vehicles.  It has all of the gas, oil changes, tires, etc... of everything I spend on that vehicle.  The only ones that do not have "a book" are the vehicles over 100 years old as they do not have speedometers & odometers.  Plus I do not drive them tens of thousands of miles per year.  I just change the oil every year and coolant every couple of years.  My Silverado is on it's third book.

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OK I have a couple...

 

1929 Graham-Paige owners manual, remove and scrape the carbon build-up from the cylinder head annually (the head is about 100 pounds) never had mine off...

     same car...

Change the oil every 500 miles or annually whatever come first... once a year for me, full synthetic 15-40 diesel...

it also has the Bijur oiler, press the pedal on the way out of the driveway.... every trip...

 

My favorite EPA friendly... in my 1933 Graham owners manual (how to clean the factory air cleaner)  dip the air cleaner in a bucket of clean gasoline repeatedly until it runs clean, then dip the air cleaner in the used oil, let drip dry and reinstall.   I use a K&N filter, put the original one on for shows.

 

Yes my 2001 VW automatic is fun, put the car on 4 jack stands, start the car let it get up to operating temperature, crawl under the car, open the inner bolt, the outer bolt has a tube, the excess transmission fluid overflows out the inner bolt hole.  I am sure it works great if you have a service pit, takes a little extra manhood to crawl under a running car on jack stands... but it has 248K and runs great, has not seen a VW dealership in the last 150K/10 years most reliable, easy to fix car, I have ever owned.

 

Had to laugh, the new direct injection cars you have to clean the the carbon off valves every 60k

 

Yes we have come a long way... well mostly

 

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On 2/19/2021 at 5:18 PM, Pfeil said:

Do proper maintenance and VW's and Porsches are hungry for maintenance like 1,500 mile between oil changes and adjusting valves every 3,000.

Adjust the valves on #3 cylinder .002 looser because the oil cooler partially blocks that cylinder and head from the airflow of the fan. Lots of flat 4's suffered from not doing that. 

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1 hour ago, Fossil said:

Adjust the valves on #3 cylinder .002 looser because the oil cooler partially blocks that cylinder and head from the airflow of the fan. Lots of flat 4's suffered from not doing that. 

The only reason the factory issued a new edict and on cars beyond 1965 a sticker for a new valve adjustment of .006 was because cars in the dealership could never attain a temperature cold enough for a proper adjustment. It was a engineering decision for insurance of valve clearance.- even when dealers got a blower system which reversed the airflow through the engine cooling tins to cool the engines for valve adjustment.

  It is no problem to adjust a 985, 1131, 1200, 1300, 1500 or 1600cc at .004 clearance as long as the engine is overnight stone cold. The designers knew from the outset ( 1938) that the #3 cylinder would run a tad hotter than the rest so they designed the distributor cam lobe for #3 lobe is 2 degrees less than the other three to compensate for the #3 temp increase.

 To take care of extra heat when the engine displacement reached 1600 they increased the size and the position of the oil cooler for added cooling. This was called the dog house fan shroud and oil cooler.

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On 2/19/2021 at 9:53 PM, nickelroadster said:

Of all the cars I have had, the owners manual usually has a couple of pages for the owner to mark down maintenance an oil change information. .  Somewhere someone has a manual that has been scrupulously filled out but I haven't seen one.

     I have a 1981 Chevrolet El Camino with such a book.  As

     the third old man to own it since new, I have a hard time

     remembering to add my oil changes and tires, etc.  That

     reminds me to go update it from the file of receipts. 

     Now 170,000 miles on it and it leaks a little but is otherwise

     healthy and ready to be used as intended.  In those days

     they were not fast or powerful, but smooth and quiet and

     everthing including the A/C still works.  It gets lots of

     compliments when in use.   (Usually at the dump, where

     I'm going today.)

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