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'25 Nash Touring - back to the road we go, OCF or Bust in 2023!


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EDIT: I've challenged myself to drive 220 miles round trip to the Old Car Festival at Greenfield Village in Dearborn MI  this coming September 2023. This means I'll have to have the car sorted out, going from not trusting it down the driveway to turn key. 11 Months sounds like a lot of time considering what I've already done but outsourced work takes a longgggg time these days. Will he make it? Will the gremlins all be exercised! We'll find out...

 

This older restoration 1925 Nash popped up for sale late last summer pretty close to home (pics courtesy of the seller). Love at first sight but my wallet wasn't fat enough so I moved on. Fast forward to 4 weeks ago and I ran across it again but with a much lower price on the original ad. On a lark I wrote the seller not expecting it to be around but it was still for sale. 

 

Conversations ensued and I got a video of it running from last summer. The Nash sounded sickly, popping out the carb, poor acceleration and missing under load. It looked nice though and was an older restoration from the late 70's or 80's so I decided to give it an in-person look. A cursory look in an unheated 15 degree garage over a hour revealed several issues but nothing terrible. I was pleasantly surprised to see the car had been restored to stock, no electric fuel pumps or carb modifications, no wiring "improvements" either. Nice tires also, a big plus!

 

The car was being sold on behalf of a friend who resided out of state. The guy selling it had parked it when the weather got cold as he could no longer get it started and his mechanic was not versed in cars of this age. I ran several tests and off the bat it's not getting full voltage to the coil, the marvel carb is in need of work, and the plugs are fouled. The wiring harness looks like it's from 1925 and there are a bunch of exhaust leaks around the engine preheat system also. There's enough going on with the ignition and fuel system that it's almost guaranteed not to start.

 

It took a few weeks but we got a deal worked out and it will be home soon. Looking forward to digging into this one and getting her back on the blacktop.

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Edited by Lahti35 (see edit history)
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3 hours ago, r1lark said:

Very stately looking car in that blue with black fenders! Looking forward to more posts as you dig into her!!

It was the black and blue combo that stole my heart, glad it escaped the tan/ brown/orange combo that was so popular back in the day.

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The eagle has landed. Glad to have it safely arrive and with the help of a neighbor we got it pushed into the garage and tucked in.

 

I promptly disconnected and removed the battery for safety as the wiring harness looks to be original and in fair to poor condition. Wiring will be the first thing addressed, fuses and a battery disconnect will be installed. The battery itself is only a year old and ok. Let the fun begin!

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Many happy miles of smiles! This appears to be a very nicely done car. Similar to my 1925 Buicks in size and sub systems. The Marvel carb and such. The Buick Pre-War forum people have much experience with these systems should you need help.

From your photos it appears to be a "FIXED TOP" touring car. What is the wheelbase of your car?

As I have both Standard 114"and Master 120".

Very similar to Buicks 1925 fixed top design offerings 24A, 25A, 44A, 45A.

Below is a 1926-45 that we offered on with an apparently left over 1925 Fixed top structure.

2677107.jpg.427ad5541f5cd8f58b4e9fae550e3e05.jpg

 Do you also have the glass panel side curtains that would have come with the car?

 

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3 hours ago, dibarlaw said:

Many happy miles of smiles! This appears to be a very nicely done car. Similar to my 1925 Buicks in size and sub systems. The Marvel carb and such. The Buick Pre-War forum people have much experience with these systems should you need help.

From your photos it appears to be a "FIXED TOP" touring car. What is the wheelbase of your car?

 

 Do you also have the glass panel side curtains that would have come with the car?

 

Thanks for the compliments! It's on older restoration but it was done fairly well. There are some cosmetic things to address appearance wise but it's survived well. The wheel base is 121" and it does have the fixed top.

 

You are correct on the prewar Buick guys having lots of info on the Marvel carbs, I've been reading everything I can get my hands on in the forums about these critters, including your posts also. Lots of great knowledge! I know what to look for when I take it apart thanks to some great in depth repair postings/trouble shooting threads. I've even already got a post there looking for the little brass keeper that goes around the metering pin seal as mine is missing. 

 

 

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I figured I'd start at the battery and go from there. Rotten insulation and corrosion galore. 

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Brillman is making me a new 2/0 battery to starter cable in the correct cloth covered wire. The nash is a positive ground system, that leg will go to a battery disconnect switch and then to the frame. In the meantime I pulled out the battery box for blasting and painting.

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The ground was riveted on! That's a new one on me. I ground the rivets out to pop it off (corroded, excess resistance no doubt) and will use the frame holes to mount a bracket to hold the disconnect switch.

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Edited by Lahti35 (see edit history)
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I pulled off the carb/preheat system to dig into that, I knew there were some issues there but I didn't find as many as I thought I would. 

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Upon getting the carb apart I was surprised the pot metal venturi was as good as it was, some cracking but not much. The flap sat closed and moved fairly freely.

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I pulled the venturi out and you can see where the flap has begun to slightly rub on it. I'm looking into a new made replacement, short of that i'll file the original to increase the gap to specification. 

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Edited by Lahti35 (see edit history)
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The needle valve, jets, and float valve look good, no scoring. The float must be the original, its crusty and when squeezed is soft and saturated with gas. I'm going to get a rebuild kit for this one as well as soak it in cleaner to make sure all the crud is out of the nooks and crannies.

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I purchased my Marvel Nitrophyl floats from Gregg Lange from Saginaw MI. I know there is some controversy on some of these breaking down, but I have had no issues in the last 6 years.

DSCF2638.JPG.6fff026c30982d13b3cf6557187a736d.JPG Also check very closely that there are no holes in the heat riser steel tube. By the 1930s these tubes were a common replacement item.

 Will send a PM with all of Gregg's info.

 Best Regards:

 Larry

 

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8 hours ago, dibarlaw said:

I purchased my Marvel Nitrophyl floats from Gregg Lange from Saginaw MI. I know there is some controversy on some of these breaking down, but I have had no issues in the last 6 years.

 Also check very closely that there are no holes in the heat riser steel tube. By the 1930s these tubes were a common replacement item.

 Will send a PM with all of Gregg's info.

 Best Regards:

 Larry

 

Thanks for the info! 

I do plan on checking the heat riser, and blocking it off. I haven't taken a close look yet but going by the exposed edge it's 1/8 thick! I was expecting like 16ga exhaust tube...

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I got my "thin" 15/16 tubular box wrench today so I could change out the spark plugs. Even the thin one was too fat and I had to grind down the corners some. Nash buried them deep in the head and did not put much room around the plugs, a standard socket will not fit. 

 

The plugs installed prior to my purchase were too short, they were pretty sooty. Reading a bunch about prewar Buicks and spark plugs I picked up some champion 589 plugs and gapped them slightly larger than the .025" Nash calls for but less than the .035 recommended by some Buick folks for better running. I settled on .030", we'll see how it runs there. The 589's should run with less fouling based on what I've read.

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I got the battery box back into the Nash and made up a plate for the bottom of the box to bring the battery up a bit. I've got to fabricate a battery hold down to keep it locked in place at some point. When I got the car there was some nasty material on the bottom of the box that was disintegrating. I made a new piece out of some wood, sealed it and used some scrap running board material for some anti-slip action. 

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I got my disconnect switch today and the positive cables, the period correct negative cable should be here this weekend. While waiting for that stuff I've been taking apart and cleaning the carburetor. It cleaned up nice! I found the choke spring is broken so I'll make a new one out of piano wire. For now I've reassembled the cleaned parts until the rebuild kit gets here.

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1 hour ago, dibarlaw said:

Battery box looks great! Bob's sells the choke spring, but I also made several as you are doing from piano wire. Your fuel sump filter looks to be pretty good. I had to make some for myself and a few others.

That's where I saw that spring! I couldn't remember where for the life of me, LOL. 

 

The sump screen is in good shape, it's stuck to the nut in one spot and I can't get it apart without damage so it stays as it sits. I do have an issue with the float screw. It's stuck in the float arm good, I can get it to turn a bit but if I force it it's going to twist off leaving the hole plugged, I'll try a little penetrating oil and some patience...

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I put mine in the freezer and then tried to break loose. Lucked out! Not so lucky with the steel screws holding the bowl to the main casting. I ended up on a 1926-1927 Master carb having to drill out the broken stubs and picking out the leftover threads.  Easy outs have never been easy for me.

The sump screens on my carbs were soldered on to the nut. Just scrub with carb cleaner and a toothbrush.

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I got my battery cables, one period correct one from Brillman and two modern type that are hidden and won't be seen when you open the hood. I proceeded to build a bracket out of some scrap stainless steel I had laying around to hold the disconnect switch. 

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After I painted it (except for contact areas) I assembled it in the location of the old + ground using the old rivet holes. It's a tight fit but it works. All bare metal to metal contact areas were treated to dielectric grease. The switch handle will be replaced by a pull cable going up under the dash where the on/off action can be done remotely and discreetly.

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The period correct - cable runs up to the starter along the wooden sill plate and is secured by two original steel clips. When I get the car one clip was in place, the other was loose on the cable. Some searching found the original screw hole for the second clip, both were sand blasted and painted. 

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What a difference! The engine rolls over much faster than with the old nasty cables. I use 2/0 cables on my rides and they are worth the cost every time. I checked the voltage to the coil again and I'm still getting 4.8V so there is still an issue between the starter lug and coil loosing almost 2V, I'll continue the diagnosis work to find the issue but at least I've narrowed it down some.

 

In the mean time I'm waiting for some gaskets to arrive for the preheat system/intake and an exhaust adapter to arrive so I can get a new custom flange cut and fix the massive exhaust leak from some poor exhaust work done in the past. Next up is draining the gas out of the tank and testing the sending unit. 

 

Edited by Lahti35 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, 31nash880 said:

Great car! Not many people working on a Nash. Will try to follow along. One question, how did you block off the heat riser and what did you use? Thinking that might help with my backfire issues when engine warms.

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Nice looking ride, I've always been a sucker for side mounts. I assume it's a 1931? My engine is more "primitive" than yours and I'm not sure what your system looks like but mine is pictured below.

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What I have is essentially a smaller tube within the large tube shown here. I'm not 100% sure how it works yet, there is a large flapper in the exhaust manifold and a smaller one for just the small tube connected through a series of linkages. Removing the smaller tube and blocking the whole thing off at the exhaust manifold is my plan, I may be able to do this with a freeze plug of the correct diameter. This would be a fix that would not be visible from the outside.

 

My car was backfiring also, there is a myriad of issues... Low voltage, manifold gasket leaks, a sunk float, and the wrong spark plugs working together to cause problems. It's more than one thing on my '25. 

 

Edited by Lahti35 (see edit history)
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The exhaust system must have been put in by the muffler idiot man or something, check this out...

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More soot than a chimney flu... There wasn't much of the exhaust gasket left after I removed the improperly sized flange. Looking from the inside you could see daylight around the pipe flange, oy vey!

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The new flange will be the size of the exhaust manifold and properly support the correct copper clad gasket I ordered form Olson's. This should take care of the soot spewing and quiet the car down significantly.

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Edited by Lahti35 (see edit history)
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I pulled the valve cover off for an examination and there was some funky funk in there. The cover has a channel all around it that holds a gasket. Someone had used some rubber strip material to make a gasket about 1/3 the thickness of the proper cork gasket. I pulled that junk out along with some decomposing petrified rubber impregnated burlap from under the sheet metal breather cover.

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The valve cover got a new cork gasket courtesy again on Olson's. It fit well, I did have to massage the lip on the valve cover in a few spots to get it to slip in, 97 years of on/off takes a toll!

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Remember that rubber burlap thing? It was pooping all over the valve train...

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I carefully cleaned the area of the chunks and old assembly lube blobs, then replaced the cover. I'll do a valve adjustment later when things are closer to firing up.

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Edited by Lahti35 (see edit history)
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I have been looking into closing off the heat exchanger and figured I could do that with a freeze plug... The first one I got was 1 15/16" and was just a tad too big. I tried a 1 7/8" and it was nice snug fit, perfect! 

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Odd job #2 for the day was cleaning the rotor cap with some acetone and then rubbing vaseline into the surface, then rubbing dry.

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Continuing with the distributor I picked up a new rotor arm as the old one has some scoring and corrosion on the tip.

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Friday I looked into why the oil pressure gauge wasn't registering. I knew of this when I bought the car and pulled the fitting while turning over and got a good squirt of oil. I figured the gauge was bad since I got oil out of the fitting during the inspection.

 

Fast forward a few weeks and I pulled the gauge and tested it with 40psi of compressed air, gauge registered 40psi. Eliminating the gauge I took the line off and blew it out both ways and found no obstruction. Hmmmmmmm, now I'm really scratching my head so I pull the fitting off the block and it's clear also. I reattach the fitting and line and blow down into it and I can hear oil bubbling and don't get much resistance.

 

What the heck. Now I'm having a sinking feeling and am getting visions of an oil pan full of babbitt from overheated melted bearings and or sparkly flecks of badness. I grab my oil catcher and clean it out to spotless and drain the oil.  I drain that into a jug and look for the bad news in the bottom of the pan and... Nothing. 

 

Ok, time to drop the pan and find the babbitt that's too big to be dragged out by draining the oil... Nope, pan is clean and holds nothing but a very small amount of sludge????? WHEW!!!!

 

Now with the pan off I can get a look at the bottom end...

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Oil pump screen has a little gunk but nothing crazy...

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And there it was...

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The oil line going to the valve train had fractured at the fitting. My theory is that rolling the engine over with the starter could not pump up the oil pressure with a hole in the system enough to register much on the gauge. I may have escaped disaster, this must have been a recent development as there is a decent amount of oil still up in the rocker arms. I'll have to run a new line, but it's an odd size, about 1/2 way between 1/8" and 3/16" or 3.5mm OD. Mcmaster Carr has some 3.5mm brass tubing but it's not rated for much heat, I'll have to do some digging.  

 

In the mean time I'll order the pan gaskets or make them, one or the other. I spent an hour scraping a crap load of blue sealant off the pan gasket which was coated on both sides when installed. It held to the pan with tenacity I've never encountered.

 

I called up Carbking earlier in the week and ordered a kit for the marvelous marvel. He's a busy guy so it's going to be a while before the kit ships but I'm just glad he's providing the service. A very nice gentleman, a true asset to the hobby!  

Edited by Lahti35 (see edit history)
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Also being worked on concurrently with everything else is the ignition circuit. After replacing the battery cables I was still getting 4.3V to the supply side of the coil. I was able to located a wiring diagram via a very helpful forum member to give me an idea of what is correct in my wiring harness and what isn't.

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Current state of the harness is rough, flaking insulation and corrosion city...

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I also found out that my ignition switch is a frankenstein affair with a non-original switch modified to fit the original switch face. The switch is very similar to the original switch that's also found in the same era Buicks but is not made of pot metal. I pulled the switch down to its components, cleaned and polished the contact surfaces and reassembled. Looking over the wiring diagram I could tell that the original wiring was not hooked up to the switch correctly, bypassing the circuit breaker altogether. I'll be installing a fuse block for safety for the wiring exiting the switch. 

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The reassembled switch. Old grease removed and contacts lightly touched with dielectric grease to keep the moisture away. Switch operation is much more positive now, very crisp.

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Also part way through new ignition circuit wiring also. I upgraded the generator wiring to 10ga, I looked for armored wiring like original but couldn't find it in anything bigger than 12ga, no biggy, I'd rather have a little fatter wire than the armor. 

 

I snooped around the forum for some tips on 20's wire harness tips and hints and found some good posts by members on the subject. I found that Mcmaster Carr sells an extra thick black heat shrink that is also waterproof, when shrunk it looks a lot like the original rubber terminal covers used back in the day but with the added sealing action so I went that route. I think they turned out good and matched what was originally there well. 

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1 hour ago, nickelroadster said:

Notice you still have safety wire on the bearing caps.

The engine was rebuilt at some point, when I'm not sure. I was happy to see shims present also, I've got some breathing room there.

 

The cam lobes looked good, very little gunk inside the crankcase. I'm going to pull the oil pump and clean the screen, verify nothing is sheared inside and the relief valve is free also.  Now is the time. 

 

I firmly wiggled the connecting rods and they had no hint of slop. It was neat to peek inside and see the construction.

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1 hour ago, Jeff Perkins / Mn said:

Learning lots from this thread…..Thank You!

 

Me too! But I must admit I get a hoot out of learning to fix issues others have let slide, it floats my boat.

 

Thank you for the kind comment!

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Thanks for the great reports, you sure have been busy! This is a very interesting thread, especially like the good pics. 

 

Also, thanks for the tip about the thick shrink wrap from McMaster-Carr, I'm going to get some of that. 

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On 3/13/2022 at 7:03 AM, r1lark said:

Thanks for the great reports, you sure have been busy! This is a very interesting thread, especially like the good pics. 

 

Also, thanks for the tip about the thick shrink wrap from McMaster-Carr, I'm going to get some of that. 

I try and stay busy, no moss on a rolling stone and all that!

 

I feel like I've spent just as much time researching and tracking down supplies/parts at this point than actually working on the car. Warm weather is coming and I don't want to miss it😁

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Fortunately, the Kellog style ignition switch is a more robust unit for rebuilding as opposed to the DELCO pot metal units. The new cast aluminum cases from Bob's Automobilia are a bit small and need some rework. Possibly a mold was made from a very good original but not being built up to allow for shrinkage.

 Also, the original Bakelite/ micarta plates with the contacts tend to be burned and warped. In the 1931 BUICK Master parts book stipulates that if the Kellog units are to be serviced they are to be replaced with the Delco units.

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Arrangement of components in the DELCO unit.

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My switch bores were broken, someone had used a rubber collar to hold things together.

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Contacts were burned, I made new contacts and leveled the burned-out area with an epoxy filler.

33892373_DSCF1546(1024x768).jpg.c2a0c9cc209d8e6d7dc03b629a777710.jpg

 DSCF5705.JPG.ed8ca395d4dbde8466c883cefbb4c99b.JPG Drilling out the swollen switch shafts trying to save an original case. The die cast material in places was hard as glass! Other areas soft as butter.

 

Edited by dibarlaw
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  • Lahti35 changed the title to '25 Nash Touring - back to the road we go, OCF or Bust in 2023!

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