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Nash Motometer

Joe Cocuzza

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Motometers with the red fluid all the way to the top like this? Usually, laid on their side for too long. A very common problem, that has been known to occur sitting overnight in hotel rooms. Or might not happen with one sitting on a shelf for years. Usually, but not always, the red fluid can be coerced back down where it belongs when cold. There are several ways to accomplish this, often with centrifugal force. 

Popular methods include placing a bicycle upside-down, attaching the Motometer to the spokes near the tire with the top of the meter towards the hub and the thermometer pointing to the tire. Then crank the pedal to spin the meter around and around! Be very careful to attach the Motometer securely to the wheel so that it doesn't work loose and fly off destroying the meter and likely breaking whatever it hits! (Been known to happen!) Some people like to tie the Motometer to the end of a rope and spin it by hand! Also a good way to break something. And getting it to point the needed direction and stay there can be tricky. One of the regulars on the Model T forum carved out layers of plywood to carefully cradle the Motometer inside, but on the outer edge also pointing the thermometer outward, and spins it on his big lathe.  He swears it works almost every time.

Boyce literature of the era actually suggested pounding the thermometer end onto your spare tire. The rapid direction reversal coupled with the shock factor usually will force the red fluid back down. I have done this several times! Often works, sometimes doesn't. And with age, sometimes the pounding can result in breaking the Motometer. I did that once also. Twenty years ago, I broke one that way, however at that time, replacement thermometers were available. That and some J B Weld and I had a fine Motometer that served me very well.


Another thing that has worked a few times, is putting the Motometer in the freezer, standing upright. Sometimes the added shrinkage will drop it down. I tried it a couple times. Didn't work for me. But other people have told me that it worked for them.


Once in awhile, one may find a Motometer that just won't go back down. I have one of those. I keep it on a shelf, standing upright. Every couple of years, I spend a few minutes and try to get it down.

Sometimes the thermometer glass has broken, out of sight, but usually those the red has dried enough that it looks more like a coating inside the glass instead of the full fluid it is supposed to be.


Hope this can help some.

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