Jump to content

Continuation of my 1938 Special thread


Recommended Posts

hmm, ill consider that! does he have a website or something? or just a phone # i could call? about what should i expect to pay? that would actually be pretty neat, id get all of the piping and be able to put it on myself!

Link to post
Share on other sites

yup, yesterday mom called our insurance company, today the papers came in the mail! so this week we're gonna go to DMV and get it registered and ON THE ROAD. im so excited i can hardly contain myself. ill have her take a video of me pulling out of the driveway and going up the street for the first time. i just have to.

however this one thing keeps popping into my head every couple of months or so and then i forget about it: Turn Signals. one thing that for sure i want to have. yes people say use hand signals. honestly who's gonna know that? people will think im waving. <span style="font-style: italic">Am I right or what?</span> there are a couple of fancy-shmancy electronic $120+ kits online. way too much. Bob's Automobilia sells a switch housing for the steering column, and a 6V flasher, and socket for the flasher. i think it would total like $60. but i have no idea how to wire it up. at least i dont think i do. i tried to search on this forum a little and did indeed find some info. apparently i could use my taillights and parking lights. if i understood correctly it can be wired in between the stoplight switch and the lights, and bypasses it or something, and thats why the flasher has those three prongs or something? and then do the same for the parking lights? but then there are gonna be some randomly colored wires on the switch and flasher and ill have no idea how to hook stuff up. could someone with experience teach me how i could use those components to do it? a diagram in made with Microsoft Paint or something would be helpful too if possible. but if not im sure someone out there could put it i words so well i could understand it laugh.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Go for the cheapie from Bob's, it works just fine.

A man of your talents should have no problem putting the unit in, the instructions are easy to follow. If you run into specific problems you'll be bailed out.

You will lose the use of the lights as parking lights, a small price to pay.

How is the SEATBELT INSTALLATION coming?

grin.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

oh!!! well i didnt know it came with instructions! for some reason i assumed it didnt. in that case yeah ill be just fine.

as for seatbelts...ive kinda ignored that, put it off. but my mom mentions it and wants me to have 'em so i guess i should...im weary of drilling into the fram or floorboards or whatever the heck it is that i have to drill. Id really rather not. could i bolt something to the seat's frame? somewhere i think i read that this would be good so its attached to what youre on. if it came loose or something and the seatbelt was attached to the car body, youd get squashed or something. could i just get the belt and put it around the back of the seat and call it done? thatd be pretty frickin easy, ill tell you what.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Try this site: http://wescoperformance.com

I just got a set of the chrome buckle seatbelts from them for my 56. They have a set of instructions on-line that give the best method for installing the belts.

One thing you have to consider is how you will get the belts through the seat bottom and seat back. Is the seat set up so that you can get something through that crack? You don't need a lot of space, but you do need to be able to get the inboard belt through to the floor behind the seat.

JD

Link to post
Share on other sites

looks good, i guess i have no choice, though. i have to drill into the floor. it says not to attach it to the seat, unless it can withstand the load, and im guessing no. it sucks, but what am i gonna do? i gotta be safe right?

Link to post
Share on other sites

yup, you read right! cool.gif

yesterday it was nice and i took 'er out and first stop was the very close gas station 'cause she was a bit low. but i went out onto a main road and got up to 35-40 mph and it was interesting. its kind of difficult to explain. i guess its just slower, less nimble, and more like driving a bus or something than a car. it almost seems to wobble/shake just a tiny bit, but maybe just because the suspension is so soft. cruising it just doesnt feel evry stiff like im used to in my '87 cougar or my mom's explorer. also a bit of steering wheel play. it tracks good and straight but thats uncomfortable when im used to having no play at all. i didnt hit the gas hard because i think i have to get used to the fact that this engine just sounds busier. as i mentioned before cleaning out the rocker shaft essentially eliminated that sporadic louder tapping id get when revving the engine up a little. but under load its different. a lighter more rapid (sounds like EVERY rocker is doing it) tapping occurs, and im guessing this is normal. it just takes getting used to i guess because i hear something like that from an engine, compare it to a modern one, and my first thought is im killing it.

secondarily, (and maybe its in part to to my wide open exhaust pipe setup tongue.gif) theres just more "rotational" engine noise. even though at 35 mph the chart in the shop manual says 1900 rpm. its just noisier and that throws off what i think the rpm is. i need to get it up to like 45 (might do that on sunday if its nice), like 2500 rpm or something and see what it sounds like. THATS why i got the tach. it might be going 2000 rpm and to me that sounds like 4000 or something. then again maybe i have no perception of engine rpm. i dunno. its just that the thing is so old and i keep reading about babbit bearings sometimes and i worry that im gonna cruise for like 40 miles on the highway at like 2500-3000 rpm and cook a bearing or two and its all over. or even just 45 mph for like 15 minutes or something. again, im used to modern cars which overdrive and come down to 1200 rpm at 50-55 mph, so i think ive just got to get used to it.

on another note, learning stick-shift on this thing isnt bad!!! its working all right, but that too definitely will take practice to make it second nature. taking off from a stop is the toughest thing. not real bad, but i want to get it perfect with minimal clutch slipping and wear and not stalling the engine or shock-loading driveline components. whats kind neat is a couple times i let it out a little quick without winding it up at all really and the rpms dipped way down and it sounded like maybe it stalled but a split second later they came back off and it <span style="font-style: italic">got up and went!</span>. once i can psychologically accept the fact that the valvetrain noise is normal, ill put my foot into it a little and see how quick she can get going. from my first drive, typically pushing it down no more than 1/2 way at any time, the acceleration seems pretty good though, probably not aggravating for people behind me.

one bad thing has happened though--on wednesday i actually drove it for the first time, and stopped at a neighbors house up the street to say hi (very good friends of ours) and locked the keys in the car! mad.gif i have been just rolling it out of the garage so much that i always leave em in the ignition. i did the same (and had locked all of the doors a couple days ago since i was going to drive it soon). so i had to <span style="font-weight: bold">break a window.</span> it felt so terrible, and i felt so stupid, even though i chose the right rear door window that had that huge crack in it. that was going to be replaced anyway. had to vacuum up all the little pieces. good news--a little more "incentive" to replace it sooner. YES, i would have left it for a long time probably. tongue.gif so i took out both rear door windows (thank you shop manual!) so the guy at the glass place would have the good once to trace, and now...WOW. she looks so much better and happier with that window fully there now, as opposed to the old one with those two huge cracks going from corner to corner just about. im very happy i replaced it.

so in conclusion all is well, got ten days (till next friday, will likely do it mon/tues) to get it inspected, then im all set! no hiccups, she runs great drives great, nothing thats significantly out-of-the-ordinary. just a 70-year old car and a 17 year old thats used to driving a car thats only as old as he is.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations on your first drive.

It's a whole different world, you can never be in a hurry in the Buick. Relax when you drive, don't worry about this that and the other thing and have fun. I'm sure having it inspected will ease some of your concerns.

Good job.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi paul....,

I have never chimed in on this thread before, just thoroughly

enjoyed watching the progress of your old gal!! I am sure your dad

would be puffing his chest out with pride, and i too congratulate

you on what you have achieved, and your maiden voyage!!

keep up the good work!! smile.gif

Trevor..... '64 le sabre, and just about ready for spring!!! smile.gif

Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul, congrats on the first drive. You may find, as I have with my straight 8, that starting off requires no increase in rpm's unless you are starting off up hill. I just ease out on the clutch, with the motor at idle, until fully engaged then increase the fuel to get going. They have so much low end torque it is almost impossible to stall them. Anyway, have fun with her and happy cruising. Carl

Link to post
Share on other sites

Amazing, isn't it? laugh.gif Did you hear the sound of the drivetrain callin out to you to shift? cool.gif That's what I still remember from my Dad's 55 Special. It's a sound you'll never forget. cool.gifcool.gifcool.gif

BTW, Excellent work here Paul!! Once you get comfortable and realize that you're driving one of the most reliable cars of it's age, and a few others, you'll really start to enjoy the car, just like I'm sure your Dad did too. smirk.gif What an honor to him that you did this. Can't wait to have you join us on some of the Chapter's tours. And can't wait to see it next to Dick Dorsey's 38 Special either. How many times do you see one, let alone two??? shocked.gifshocked.gif

Remember what I always told my boys when they were growing up. Don't go too fast. Classics need to be driven slowly, so everyone else can see it and wish it was theirs. grin.gifgrin.gif

JD

Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for all the compliments!!!

yes, i did hear the drivetrain "calling out" to me laugh.gif. it comes rather quickly! that first gear goes by real quick! today i drove around a bit and im surprised how well ive taken to using a manual transmission. a couple times ive made it buck going into first because i let the clutch out too fast, used the gas to compensate, takes off harder than id like so i let off, car nosedives, back and forth....a few times until i get the sense to push the clutch in again. works every time. again ive only done that once or twice, 90% of the time i can take off nice and smooth.

i did manage to get it up to 40 mph on the main road (didnt get that fast before, really only like 35) and i didnt feel too happy. it still rode alright but i could feel the front wheels kind of doing what they wanted to do. i dont know if this is bad alignment/loose components/the play in the steering or what but i didnt like it one bit. but it was a loss of control. i cannot imagine trying to manage 50 on the interstate, which is probably as slow as you could go, any lower and id think you're a danger to other motorists.

on a similar note, ive been thinking about the right side steering and suspension assembly, because a few of the grease zerks would not take any grease when i tried to grease them awhile back. the entire left side is fine, along with the attachment points of the lower a-arms to the frame's front cross member (however these are fine on the right AND left). i attached a picture, and the blue arrow indicates the one that is okay, as of today. before it wouldnt really take any but i just gently pumped it in, and slowly it forced out this old brown colored grease. i dont know if anyone ever mad brown grease, but im thinking not. the same strategy doesnt work with the red ones. that blue one is on the front of that vertical spindle (name?) that the whole wheel/hub/backing plate assembly attach to so that the front wheels can be steered. its the good one. down another 3 inches on the same side is another, for the bottom piece attaching to that spindle. it wont take grease either. i unscrewed the zerk tonight and there was dirt and grime in the cavity (not the zerk, it was fine). cleaning that out made no difference. im guessing itll be the same for the other three ones that are bad. there is a red one that is clearly visible, up high, one on the opposite side of the a-arm attaching point at the same level, and then one more down low, on the front side of the bottom a-arm attaching point, on the side nearest the camera there is no zerk.

so now im figuring that those parts probably need to be disassembled? unless theres another way the pathways the grease follows could be cleaned out? they might need to be rebuilt/replaced/whatever you do with them anyway. both front wheels have a little bit of play (if you tug on the very bottom of the tire, from the side of the car). i was checking this because i read about it in the shop manual when tightening up the giant bolt that holds the brake drum on. i think it referred to the condition i have as "looseness from the kingpin" or something. is the "spindle" called the kingpin? i can see how with lack of grease this part would wear out, there is friction whenever the wheels are steered.

are there any shops that could work on these parts? i dont want to drive it now, now that i thought of this. ill just wear everything right out because i cant grease it up. its too bad im raining on my own parade, but i think this is important, right?

also i hope im not being unreasonable in wanting to be stable going at least 40 mph. could anyone tell me what to do to get rid of the looseness/play in the steering?

post-39688-143137883272_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

I will ask the obvious first, you have checked the air pressure in the tires and made sure they are good ?

Part of what you are feeling can be attributed to the bias ply tires, antique suspension and general old car feel. It always takes a bit for me to get used to it when I drive my 47. But yours sounds then tat.

I would probably go to a tire shop and ask if they can check your front end. You have Kingpins and ball joints that can contribute to the loose feeling that you are getting.

If those are bad, it is really no problems to replace them, it will be some work, but it will give you something new to learn. While you are at it, replace all the busings too, it will really make the front end drive a lot better.

You should be able to go 60 on the interstate and feel safe if the car is set up correctly.

Congratulations on getting your first ride under your belt. I have enjoyed following your progress.

Link to post
Share on other sites

the tires are fine, but never a bad thing to check!

ive got a perfect place in mind that might do front ends, if not im sure there is somewhere i can take it.

EDIT *sigh* well i guess i was a little wrong...dont assume the service station filled your tires right even if he knows his stuff!!! the pressures are supposed to be, according to the shop manual, 23 front and 28 rear. that also was weird though, because the whitewall tires say 36 psi max., and when the guy was finished with them they looked right, you know the right amount of the tire is "flattened" by the ground, etc. the rear ones were 30 and the fronts were just about 30 too. but i let out the right amount on all of them and to my surprise it made no visible difference in the tire. the bottom doesnt balloon out as you get when your tires actually are too low, the amount of tread on the very bottom thats flattened didnt increase, but they were way off and the maunal says also, in bold letters, "correct pressure is important". so im still taking it to that place, but on the way there ill still see if it drives any differently.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wandering and looseness can be caused by worn front end parts. My 38 bounced and bucked all over the road when I first got it and I didn't feel safe above 30MPH. When I examined it there was about 1-2" of wheel movement when I grabbed the wheel and shook it. Turns out the kingpins ware worn and both upper and lower pivot pins were so worn the screwed on end caps could be removed without unscrewing them. The shocks were solidly packed with rust, the sway bar bushings were melted away and the tie rod ends were frozen. I addition the left steering arm was bent so bad you could hear the tires squeal driving straight down the road and the tires feathered after 50 miles.

In short I had to rebuild the whole front end. My car now feels secure and stable (as much as it can be with bias ply tires) up to 70MPH. After you eliminate the simple things that others have mentioned take a good look at the pins, bushings and shocks. It is not that difficult to rebuild these parts and I did the whole front end at home but it took 6 months. The only tool I had to borrow was a kingpin bushing reamer which luckily my next door neighbor's father had since he was a retired Buick technician. I'll bet you can rent one now.

Zerk fittings are available at most auto stores in straight, 90 deg and 45 deg. Even if they have a less rounded shape they will work unless you are restoring to concourse. I replaced all of mine when I did the front end. I also replaced the rear tube shocks and panhard rod bushings but otherwise the rear suspension was fine. The front takes more abuse.

Steve D

post-45191-143137883274_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

Paul, Check the preload on your front brake drum. Here is an un-mechanical description. The preload is pressure of the roller bearings in their races, which is adjusted by the big nut holding the front hub and brake drum combination on the axle. According to my 56 manual, and I'm paraphrasing, tighten the big nut ( called a spindle nut) with a 10" box wrench untill bearings are preloaded one hex. Rotate drum to make sure bearings are seated.

Then back off the spindle nut till the bearing is slightly loose. Then tighten the spindle nut tillall bearing looseness is removed, line up nut to nearest cotter pin hole and install a new cotter pin.

CAUTION: Bearing preload must not exceed 1/12 turn of the spindle nut.

It also says do not mistake loose king pin bushing for wheel bearing looseness.

Since you had to have the front drums off to replace the wheel cylinders, I think you ought to check this first.

The mechanic I use is Gils in Burnt Hills. I am sure there are others around, but Gils has some old time mechanics still on staff. They can be trusted to give you a straight scoop on the front end needs, but you'll need a big wallet. Then again, keep in mind that your safety is "priceless"...

JD

Link to post
Share on other sites

heh, funny you should mention that! im one step ahead-o-ya! i was actually worried about how much grease i had put in the bearings when i did that, since ive driven it a bit, and yesterday evening i had both wheels and drums (just undid the huge nut) and inspected the bearings, looked fine, added some more grease just to be sure. i noticed i had left the brake pad drag more than what i felt was good. it wasnt heavy, but i thought it should be lesser still. so i adjusted the cog wheel thing at the bottom spring, yadda yadda. i decided to check the shop manual for the same thing you did, and it mentioned not mistaking the the wheel bearing looseness. i tugged on the bottom of the tire and watched the nut closely and it was moving too. so the king pin is a little loose. this is with the nut probably not even a 1/12 tighter than hand-snug, just enough to get a cotter pin hole. the wheel moves very freely, tested it with the brake pads ajusted way to far from the drum. so i got that all set, but still thanks for mentioning it, i might not have. i had the car out today, to show my grandparents (dad's parents), didnt take the main road, didnt go any faster than 30 really, but it drove with the latest change (the tire pressure) and everything else i mentioned just now. it felt good, and smooth, didnt wander really. there is the significant steering wheel play, but just holding it "against" one side slightly keeps it in check, and it didnt do what i felt it do the other day. again that was at 40 mph though, ill have to do that again and see what happens.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Congrats on your maiden voyage! The feeling of accomplishment is great, isn't it?

You can tell for sure if you need kingpins by jacking up a front wheel, grabbing the top and bottom of the tire, and pushing in and out alternately on the top and bottom. If you have play, look at the gap between the steering knuckle and the steering knuckle support (where you have the blue arrow pointing in your picture) If there is movement visible between these two parts, the kingpins and bushings are worn.

I had a bad kingpin on my passenger side, and at 55 mph, the front end shimmy was so bad you couldn't control the car. My project for last winter was to replace the kingpins. Well, "project creep" took over, and the next thing you know, I had the whole front end off, blasted and painted everything, replaced shocks, springs, bushings- everything. But it was worth it, as it now drives rock solid.

Doing the kingpins isn't too hard, but you need some specialized tools. One is a press to force out the old bushings and press in the new. The other is a reamer, to cut the new bushings down to fit the kingpins. I had a bit of a learning curve on using the adjustable reamer I got. Ended up cutting a few of the bushings too big. Problem is that the kingpin kits come with only the four bushings you need, and they won't sell you just the bushings! I had to buy a whole 'nother kit just to get the replacement bushings I needed.

Does anyone know if the kingpins for a '51 are the same for a '38? 'Cause I have a spare kingpin set (minus the bushings) that I will never use that you can have if you can use it. Of course, we'll need to find some bushings for it. Does anyone have some spare bushings laying around?

Pete

Link to post
Share on other sites

well now that im nice and worried after what ive just read frown.gif

just kidding not really, im not sure i need a full rebuild (but maybe who knows)

Steve BigD you said your wheel had 1-2" of movement. shocked.gifshocked.gifshocked.gif wow. thats unbelieveable. i say that because mine (and i have to check this better, actually pay attention to the distance it moves) probably only moved somewhere between 1/8" and 1/4", maybe only an eigth. (thats the bottom of the tire) again hard to tell, but it moved very little. the "bad" side moved slightly more, a matter of maybe another 1/8th, maybe not even that much. i did also think to watch that "knuckle support" or whatever (You know, if somebody wouldnt mind describing and naming the parts for me so we could talk easier, id greatly appreciate it, thanks!) while rocking the bottom of the tire back and forth. the cylinrical piece that im guessing a pin is inside, and there are two cylindrical pieces, one on top of it, and one below, that are part of the backing plate and this whole thing allows the car to, well, be able to steer! the two gaps between those three cylindrical pieces is what i watched, and i did notice the gap width changing, but just barely. i had to do it several times to notice the movement. surprising, mom always tells me how good my eyesight is, im always helping to find dropped earrings, sewing needles, etc laugh.gif

my school bus driver i always talk to said that i should first try taking it to a place that simply has an air-powered grease gun, that you simply need to force it in hard and it will push out the old grease and dirt and crap thats in there. i questioned him intently, thinking that would be a surefire way to blow up the zerk or damage something else. he knows his stuff and says it's ok. what say everyone here? if thats a good idea ill do that and test it out again. no matter what happens ill still take it somewhere and have it checked out? but what does everyone think of the degree of looseness ive mentioned?

he also said i should expect some degree of wander. he said he once had a 67 pontiac and even an 81 van (doesnt remember the make offhand), both with manual steering, and they wandered a little. maybe what i described was a little extreme? i should note that im used to my 87 cougar, which tracks perfectly straight if i LET GO of the wheel even at 45-50 mph. i wasnt veering all over the place, but a little wobble and my first thought is that the thing is going to go into the oncoming lane.

so whats my situation now? still too loose? or ok?

Paul

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can tell you this, my 56 has a certain amount of wander. AS far as I remember, this is just the way it is. You essentially keep the wheel moving while driving, even if ever so slightly. It's usually a big learning curve for the firts 1/4 mile if that each time I drive it, but you have to pay attention. It is not like more modern cars.

Can't comment on the king pins. After all this time I am just beginning to understand where they are and I can't understand at all cutting bushings to fit the pin. I would like to hear that explained in detail.

JD

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that I had maybe 1/8 to 1/4 inch play on my bad king pin too, and that was enough to set up a nasty shimmy at high speed. (By the way, I checked my parts book, and the same kingpin set was used in '38 as was used in '51, so if anyone knows of a source of just the bushings, Zondac12 can have my spare kingpin set for his use).

The bushings are pressed into the steering knuckle upper and lower ends. They are made with an outer steel shell, and lined with a softer bearing metal, usually something like brass or bronze. There's a hole in the shell that lines up with the zerk fitting, and a groove cut all around the circumference of the brass so that the grease will flow all around the bushing and kingpin. Grease will harden over the years to the point that it's almost like cement, and I feel that no amount of pressure will get the new grease in to where it needs to be if it's being blocked by the hardeded old stuff.

The kingpin locks into the steering knuckle support, and the steering knuckle rotates on the kingpin. The idea of the soft brass bushings is that they will wear faster than the hardened steel kingpins. The bushings are provided undersized vs. what a brand new kingpin diameter would be so that if your old kingpin is only slighly worn, you can reuse it and ream the bushings to fit the kingpin. But if you're going to take the trouble to take the front end apart, do it once and do it right and use a brand new kingpin. The bushings have to be line-reamed. In other words, the center line of the upper bushing has to line up with the center line of the lower bushing so that when the kingpin is inserted, it all lines up and there will be no binding. In the old days, they had special reamers that were long enough to cut both upper and lower bushings simultaneously. There may be some of these around still. But the adjustable reamer that I bought was modified to add a long tail piece that fits into a guide that you plug into the lower bushing first, then cut the upper using the lower as a guide, then reverse it all and cut the lower using the upper as a guide.

Pete

P.S. I drove my car with the shimmy the first two seasons that I had it. I just kept it below the speed that the shimmy got too bad. I don't think you need to worry too much about the grease at this point. Just don't plan any cross country trips for now, keep the speed down, and plan on making the kingpins your next winter's project.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Grabbing the tire and shaking it vertically produced 1-2" of movement at the tire tread. As I said it was a combination of all suspension parts completely worn out. Wish I had more photos of the worn parts to show.

The vertical pin is the kingpin and there are two brass bushings pressed into the spindle hub which is the part that has the spindle and the brake backing plate is attached to. The knuckle support is the curved vertical piece that has the pivot eyes on top and bottom and the center kingpin support. There is a locking pin that in driven into the knuckle which engages a machined flat in the kingpin, locking it in place. There is also a bearing in between the knuckle and the lower kingpin bushing support.

The bushings have to be pressed out and new ones pressed it. I used a homemade fixture consisting of a hookeye and washers to remove the bushings and a bench vise and washers to press them in. The bushings are machined undersize so they can be custom fitted to each installation. A bushing reamer is required which actually scrapes the inner surface of the bushing, albeit very accurately, so that the king pin is a tight sliding fit. You must go very slowly with the reamer, checking the fit to the actual pin often. If you go too loose you will have to start over with a new bushing.

The lower inner and outer pivot pins are threaded to allow vertical free movement but no sideways or fore and aft movement. The upper outer pin is also threaded but in addition is eccentric and adjustable which allows for castor (fore and aft) and camber (in and out) adjustments. The upper inner pivot is the shock absorber and is not adjustable or repairable. The threads on the pins and the bushings that the pins ride in wear and mine were worn to the point where there were no threads left! All these pivots and kingpins have grease fittings and must be lubed regularly.

The steering will also cause wander if there is any free play in it. There are lash and preload adjustments on the steering gearbox and an adjustment for the steering rod ball joint preload. In addition the tie rod ends must not have any wear or play. There should be less that 1" of freeplay at the rim of the steering wheel. Remember that bias ply tires will never be as stable feeling as radials and tend to tramline much more.

I hope my memory is accurate in what I have said as I did the suspension rebuild about 20 years ago when I first got my 38 special.

Steve D

Link to post
Share on other sites

used my dad's electric "heat-gun". looks like a hairdryer, but youd only use it if you wanted to set your hair on fire for some reason shocked.gif

it blows air out ~700 degrees. i just heated up all of the joints with the bad grease fittings (called the place i was gonna take the car and they said to do that) and they freed right up! pumped the old stuff out and now theres some good new grease in there!

ill read over the seemingly descriptive posts and that website later tonight probably, got some schoolwork to do now...but thanks, im sure it will be very helpful!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for that link Bill. With the descriptions here and that site I now understand the king pin situation a lot better. What do you think of that set up in that site? replacing the brass bushings with roller bearings seems like a good idea. Won't do much for the purist but looks like longevity would make it worthwhile.

JD

Link to post
Share on other sites

I sent the company that makes the Kingpins an E-mail to see if the Stainless Kingpins and bearings will fit on my '47. I only want to do them once and bearings make much more sense then brass bushings. Purist's will really have to dig to be able to see them. Besides my 47 is a driver.

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you think about it, if you put a couple of thousand miles a year on your car, it'll probably be 25 years before you'd need to re-do the original style brass bushings- probably even longer given the higher level of maintenance attention our cars get now compared to when they were new! You'd have to take that into consideration when weighing the cost/benefit of the needle bearing setup vs. the original style.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have driven my 40 over 102,000 miles, and it is still running on the king pins and bushings I installed in 1973. If you keep them lubed, they don't wear out. Every time I leave on a long trip, I shoot them with grease, and the car still steers very well. I probably should have replaced the bias tires with radials the last time(I am on my fourth set) but I have gotten so used to the handling with the bias tires that I just put the old style back on. I haven't been able to find any radials that have the 4 inch whitewall, and they just look right on the old ragtop.

Link to post
Share on other sites

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">If you think about it, if you put a couple of thousand miles a year on your car, it'll probably be 25 years before you'd need to re-do the original style brass bushings- probably even longer given the higher level of maintenance attention our cars get now compared to when they were new! You'd have to take that into consideration when weighing the cost/benefit of the needle bearing setup vs. the original style. </div></div>

Exactly. It's not a high-wear item and should last for a million miles if kept kept properly lubricated.

Link to post
Share on other sites

yes i was thinking the same thing! (no offense to whoever posted it, everyone makes mistakes!)

to chip into this little discussion, this is what i always hear about grease fittings! you can always keep them lubed, and do it frequently even, and they last forever! really too bad they dont still do that. but thats the direction everything in cars (just about anyway) has headed in these times frown.gif

On a HAPPY NOTE----got it inspected today! (she passed, obviously tongue.gif) the place i went to was (at least i thought) unfortunately a couple miles down a main road nearby where the speed is 55 mph. turned out to not be very unfortunate at all! at speed, the engine really didnt make a beal deal at all and was smooth and im sure if i had a muffler instead of just a straight pipe back, it would be very comfortable. i got right up to between 50-55 mph. the steering wander was almost nothing! i dont know what happened that other day, but im thinking the <span style="font-weight: bold">tire pressure</span>. ill just bet thats what is was! the steering does gradually wander, but only a little, not shaking side to side like i (thought, anyway) that i felt doing only 40.

no other problems though! on the way back though a loud clicking in sync with the valve noise/exhaust note/etc started, and i pulled over to check, just a little section of manifold gasket, so i have a little leak. well time to actually PUT ON the spare gasket i bought two months ago from Bob's!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Exhaust leaks are frustrating but normally an easy fix. As I'm sure people have mentioned before... CAREFUL! Follow torque specs when tightening the manifold. They are natorious for warping and/or cracking if not done correctly. Not to mention expensive to replace.

Speaking of steering, tires, etc. If mine (with its bias ply tires) has been sitting for even just weeks the first mile or so of driving has a normal wopiddy, wopiddy, wopiddy (how do you spell wopiddy anyway?) which smooths out quickly once the tires round out again.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Can any of you '38 guys help me sort out the stuff that goes through the firewall on my Special sedan? On the passenger side of the engine is the water temp and oil pressure line, on the driver's side is the vacuum line, the hand throttle cable, the speedometer cable, and, of course the wiring harness.

I have a one-hole grommet (on the passenger side of the engine), a three-hole grommet and the main harness grommet. What goes where?

Link to post
Share on other sites

As for the grommets:

The oil pressure line and temp guage line go through the one hole grommet on the passenger side of the firewall.

The vacuum line, hand throttle cable and speedometer cable go through the 3 hole grommet on the driver's side.

The wiring harness goes through the large grommet.

As for other stuff going through the firewall:

The drain tube for the cowl air vent should come through just above and to the right (passenger side)of the rocker cover.

If you have a heater there will be two long mounting bolts coming through the firewall as well as the tubes for the water hoses to connect to.

I had to patch numerous holes in the firewall and replace the firewall insulator after removing all of the aftermarket stuff that was added throughout the years. There was an old aftermarket radio, wrong heater, power converter and newer radio installed at one time or another. After removing all the wrong stuff the old insulator looked like Swiss cheese! Sure made a difference after installing all the correct stuff, new wiring harness, correct radio and heater as well as the new insulator.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you would like pictures.

Link to post
Share on other sites

you know, i was gonna go. i was planning to because this week i didnt have school. but sure enough i put off some homework by accident and ive been doing that today. i probably would have yesterday, but i spent friday and the morning yesterday at my friend's family's "camp" on Schroon Lake. im sorry i wasnt there, back when i was in boy scouts (maybe it was longer ago, maybe cub scouts laugh.gif) we went to see the Slater. i dont remember a whole lot, though, and im sure i would have appreciated it even more. it occured to me today that this was the day, but its been raining a lot and that kinda makes you (me anyway) ot feel like doing anything really. i like being at the meetings in general anyway, just to see everyone, and its interesting because age-wise i dont belong there at all! laugh.gif

after early May my school workload is going to decrease significantly, so partly due to that ill be at the meetings much more, at least ones that are nearby (within ~20-30 miles). i definitely want to be at the shows though, things like the saratoga museum one last year, that is farther away but i'd definitely go, and bring my own car too!

Link to post
Share on other sites

It was very wet there...Too wet to get any good pictures of the outside of the ship. Maybe I'll put up a few pics in the General forum just for fun.

Hope you'll join us for Rhinebeck tour May 7th

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...