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Dan Hiebert

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Everything posted by Dan Hiebert

  1. Nice, that will be an awesome project! I dunno, I think you have to run at least one family of mice out of the car for it to be a barn find.
  2. I read somewhere that merging is supposed to go smoother and quicker when the merging is done right where the closed lane ends. I don't remember which State it was, but during our summer sojourn to the southwest, the DOT's signs actually told traffic to begin merging only a hundred feet or so from the lane closure. It was only one State, though. BUT, traffic wasn't heavy enough to make a difference when we went through, so I couldn't say if it actually works or not. Of course, the drivers in the lane being merged into have to allow traffic to enter for that to work. It is indeed a violation in many States to be in the intersection when the light changes, it's considered blocking traffic. Some States even have a "proceeding through caution" violation for driving through a yellow light. I've had a DL in States that consider those violations, and in States that encourage drivers to, what I call, pinch off intersections to keep traffic flowing. Through personal experience, I can tell ya you're taking your life in your hands if you're in the intersection when the light turns red in MA (well, Boston for sure), even though it's not a violation there. That may be a disincentive to people driving out of their own State, too.
  3. Before a project I get a few boxes of different size ziplock bags. I go for "cheap", but they still need to be on the sturdy side. As I disassemble components, I bag everything I took off for that component in the number of bags necessary to hold it (most often one bag suffices), whether I intend to reuse the part or not. I won't get rid of a part until I'm sure I won't need it. (Being just as cheap as the bags), I'll label them using a marker on masking tape so I can reuse the bag until it won't hold anything. I put all parts for whatever project in one place. If I rearrange the shop for whatever reason, I keep the parts groups together, even if there's more room for part X "over there". I'm good for a few years remembering where I put something, but I don't leave it to chance that I'll finish a project within that time span, so I try to keep everything in that one place. I've got a few tote boxes just for keeping such parts in, too. If I'm not going to get into a particular tote for a while, I'll put a list in the tote of what's in it. I may not be able to tell you down to the square inch where a part is, but I can tell you which shelf in which part of the shop it's on. Not quite as thorough as some, but it's worked for me so far.
  4. I did some business with them earlier this year, including some on the phone. No issues, but I did notice they are doing a lot of what I'd call internal work on their business. Building a web store and such. Not an excuse for lack of customer service by any means, but perhaps they've overwhelmed themselves a bit. It's not a big operation.
  5. FWIW, I bought the muffler on our D24 from AB as well, when we were first working on the car 30 or so years ago, so I don't remember the manufacturer. (Yeah, that doesn't help much, I know.) Not quite "grandma quiet", I'd call it "grandpa quiet", has a nice burble to it, but not loud at all. I like my older cars to be quiet, too, if they're stock, and I've had no inclination to swap out the muffler on our D24 for something quieter.
  6. The speed rating on tires also has a lot to do with the contact patch (amount of tire actually in contact with the road surface) when operating at higher speeds. The centrifugal force of the tire spinning at speed forces the center of the tire outward. Even with the car's weight, the contact patch that was the full width of the tire at rest and "lower" speeds, is now only a few inches at best. Not a problem at "highway speeds", but once you start exceeding 100 mph or so it becomes a problem. One of the reasons a car gets "squirrely" at high speeds with normal tires, and why high speed rated tires make a car ride like an ox cart since they are engineered to keep as much rubber on the road as possible - they are stiff. This from my retired TX State Trooper brother who was one of the TX Highway Patrol's driving instructors and a certified "special service vehicle" (read: Camaro and Mustang) operator when they had those.
  7. In my opinion, how you remove the engine depends somewhat on what equipment you have to do it with. The service manual says to take the engine, clutch / fluid drive, and transmission out as a unit. But the service manual also assumes you're doing this in a fully equipped shop, and generally details the quickest way to do something, not necessarily the easiest or most convenient. We have a D24, it has a cross brace over the radiator that makes it really difficult to pull the whole driveline out. The engine, fluid drive, and transmission are much longer than the engine compartment, and I don't have one of those whiz-bang tilting jigs. I don't know if a 51 Coronet has the same constraints. Anyway, removing the transmission first is so easy in my case that it only makes sense to take it out first. The fluid drive housing is a tad more difficult, as the rear engine mounts are on it, so the engine has to be supported to remove it. But still quite doable. In other words, the engine, clutch / fluid drive bell housing, and transmission do not have to remain as a unit to pull them, it's just the quickest way to get the engine out since you don't have to take the time to remove them first. Just make sure to mark the alignment of the flywheel and pressure plate before you separate them. In my case, having an assistant (part of my "equipment" list) is questionable at best, so I always plan for a solo job. I also don't have the equipment to pull the whole shebang out at once. But I do have the time to remove the transmission, then clutch / fluid drive unit and bell housing before pulling the engine. I've had all that stuff off the engine without pulling the engine, and when I pulled the engine (many years ago), I took all that off first. In my case, it added half a day to the project, but I had the time.
  8. Nice! Wonderful that you can (and do) get out on such nice cruising days. Our cars are tucked in for the winter, just in time. We had a mild autumn with no real snow until a few days ago, I got them put away the day before we got 8 inches of the white stuff. Well, all but the Beetle were already in the garage, I got to drive the little VW a month longer than usual. A little more Tetris with cars this year due to getting our daughter's Falcon, but thanks to car dollies and the miniscule size of the Bug, I've still got room to operate this winter.
  9. As with the others, I'll be on the edge of my seat waiting to see if you can isolate what caused this! Glad you are OK, and your car as well. We out here in Forum Land can only guess as to the cause, some of those guesses being educated, but still just guesses.
  10. Ditto re-torquing. What that gasket shellac looking stuff is, is a smidge of blow-by discoloring the copper spray on its way out. I learned that re-torquing on older engines should be done after the first heat / cool cycle before driving anywhere, then again after the first road use reaching operating temperature. Then "it wouldn't hurt" at 100 miles. The re-torquing at 100 miles never had any results on the engines I've done. There are probably scads of re-torquing techniques that all work, but it definitely has to be done.
  11. Nice job on that shadow box. That is how a tri-folded US Flag is supposed to present, 21 stars showing, 7 if it's a bigger flag, and it takes a lot of attention to detail to make them nice and straight like yours.
  12. Sounds like vapor lock. Especially since the problem goes away when you kick on the electric pump. Fuel vaporizes in the line due to heat. The weather doesn't have to be hot, engine heat itself will do it, but it's more prone to happening when it's hot out. Mechanical pumps work on a vacuum principle, which cannot overcome the vapor in the line. Electric pumps don't and easily push / pull the fuel through.
  13. That is a very pretty blue! And you'uns still have leaves! Our trees are bare now, and amazingly enough, it has not snowed here. But this is Maine, it WILL snow. How much is always the rub. We go through Texico on a regular basis when we visit our daughter in NM. Just there last July. When I worked in Carlsbad, NM, (many moons ago) we would get to Clovis on an almost weekly basis and if nothing was happening there, we would work traffic with the Texico PD. That's my size town, too, but it is on the Llano Estacado - the Staked Plains. Despite almost being able to see NM mountains, it's geographically the flattest area of the U.S. Too flat and featureless for me.
  14. Ditto Sniper's recommendation. That's how I did the door cards for my Beetle three years ago. Plenty o' rain up here to put them to the test and they're holding up quite well.
  15. Champion doesn't make a radiator to fit a D24 either, although one of their distributors said they had one that would fit, it actually didn't. Too many things to go wrong fit-wise if they don't specify it will fit your car, even down to the angle of the upper outlet. In theory, someone could custom build an aluminum one for you, but you'll probably pay more than what you will getting yours recored, or you can do some marginal fitment work, but that would void any warranty (besides which, Champion's instructions said their warranty is void if the radiator is not installed by a certified mechanic). The original "diamond pattern" (not a true honeycomb) of our era Mopars is not made any more, there is a core that is similar but is only available from England, so the price is way up there. The "V-cell" style is probably what your shop is quoting you on, it is a recommended replacement from all the shops I visited (and I went to all of them) in Maine if I didn't need an original appearance. GM and Ford used that pattern extensively. Personally, I would go with getting yours recored. If your shop is a reputable one it will have some form of warranty, besides which you will probably never have to worry about it again. My opinion is that an aluminum one will be more prone to corrosion (I have reasons, but I won't drag this out), especially in our New England climate.
  16. Welcome to the Forum. You've probably already figured out this can be a really good place to seek advice, knowledge, ideas, opinions, etc. That '49 looks like a nice candidate for whatever you have in mind, we'll certainly look forward to following along as you do your thing to it and helping out where we can. Fear not about photos, you'll find that you will get more grief from not posting photos.
  17. We did that at least once, several years ago. Good posts if I remember correctly. I'm not gonna search for it, but there's someone's prompt to go looking if they get bored.
  18. Our good ol' D24 has yet to leave us stranded anywhere, although it has "broken" four times while out and about. All in its first ten years under our care and feeding. First was a general issue when we lived in Horizon City outside of El Paso, TX. The Sisson choke wasn't working and someone had to hold the choke open when the car was hot to get it to start. Second was after I put a new fuel pump in it, still in TX, and we drove to one of the sets where they were filming that Jeremy Irons and Dominique Swain remake of "Lolita" in El Paso. (We had the car in the movie.) When we got there, gas was spewing out of the carb, the fuel bowl needle had been jammed open by metal shavings. The transportation crew for the movie fixed it by installing a filter in the line between the pump and carb. (They fixed anything that went wrong with any of the cars that were on their roster while on set, for free.) Third time, still in El Paso, but a couple years later, one of the rear brake springs broke, made awful noises on the way back home. Fourth time was after we had moved to Carlsbad, NM when one of the front brake springs broke (after the last one, I had replaced all of them, but I don't remember where I bought them) and I had to nurse the car back home using the hand-brake, since using the service brakes would lock up that front tire. That's it. Although I had some tools with me for each occasion, none of them would have helped. I keep a go-bag of basic tools to toss in whichever car we're taking out, better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. Three of our other old cars did leave me stranded, one time each, but that's a different story.
  19. That sounds like a pretty good solution to not having the exact fit. If I were going that route, I'd make it so the tank would be relatively easy to drop again since you won't have access to it from the trunk floor for future work. No different than modern vehicles where you have to remove the tank to do any work on it.
  20. I have two active friends who used knee scooters after surgeries recently. Bummer that they needed them in the first place, but that seemed the way to go to get around, albeit a little tricky outdoors. They're both silver lining people and managed to have some fun with them. I hope your recovery is quick and uneventful.
  21. I'd be careful with that sort of thing - putting your information on someone else's computer. And yes, auto shops buy into those sorts of recording services. No one does that out of the kindness of their heart. Carfax is a self promoted service that got in on the game early, and their advertising has convinced people that a Carfax report is the cat's pajamas. A Carfax report isn't free, someone (usually the seller) has to pay for it. Like your wife, some folks get hung up on service records for various reasons that we can only really guess at. I keep records on our old cars for my own satisfaction (and as I'm discovering - to support my recollection of stuff I've done) not anyone else's. High-end buyers can get nit-picky about records as do high-end sellers. We've never sold a newer car to a Joe or Jane Citizen, but if we did and someone wants to see service records, they'd be SOL, and we'll just move onto the next prospect. My service records on newer cars and trucks are the manufacturer's recommendations, if that's not good enough, too bad. But - If I was going to spend scads of money on an old car, I'd want records, but I'd want the seller's records, not a service's records, if that makes sense.
  22. If you used "regular" grease, it is too thick, and makes the needle bounce. Although extremely messy if you aren't super careful, graphite lubricant is probably best for speedometer cables.
  23. I just bought one of those a few weeks ago at NAPA.
  24. I would steer clear of Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. to get matching paint for your car. While they may be able to pull it off, their area of expertise is not automotive paints. A lot of auto parts houses do paint. Up here, NAPA and Advanced Auto do, but O'Reilly's does not. All you gotta do is ask. If you have paint codes, they can cross reference and match with the brands they have on hand, but doing that, as you note, can't account for fading. Most have those whiz-bang scanners that would account for wear and tear on the original color, but as previously noted, they need a sample in the store, hence the small part. Has to do with the scanner itself, it uses a specific light source. Anyway, I know NAPA will mix their paint and put it in a rattle-can for you. If you don't have painting equipment, that may be a good option for smaller parts, since the rattle cans will have the reducer (and hardener if requested) already mixed, and actually have a decent spray pattern. Only "issue" I have with that method is the paint only has a one-month or so shelf life.
  25. That's intriguing, probably not in a good way. The local Ford / Toyota house up here is right next to the NAPA, or vice versa, since the local NAPA relocated a few years ago primarily to be right next to the Ford / Toyota dealer. You can easily guess correctly where the dealer gets their parts when the repair doesn't call for Ford / Toyota specific parts, and they work on anything. When they built the NAPA, they installed a drive / walkway between the Ford / Toyota shop and the NAPA. One item on the State inspection in Maine is brake lines, just about every vehicle up here will at some point require that the metal brake lines be replaced due to corrosion if it stays on the road more than ten years without rust protection. The dealer and the local shops all get their brake lines from NAPA, O'Reilly, or Advanced. It'll be interesting to see where they get the lines if the parts houses quit stocking them.
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