Auto Factoids for the Week of 7/23/2010

7/20/1984 E.L. Cord was in Missouri.  If you think he’s only responsible for the Cord 

1937 Cord


 Think again!!!!  How about a company that included Stinson Aircraft, Checker Cab and American Airways (now American Airlines)? But let’s just stay with the cars.  How about the Auburn and Duesenberg?  His history is a good read. 

7/23/1894 first auto race.  It was organized by the Parisian magazine “Le Petit Journal” between the Paris to Rouen.  And the winner was………… Count Jules-Albert de Dion it took  6 hours and 48 minutes at an average speed of 19 km/h (which was approximately 11.806052652509345 p/h). I don’t know what he drove but 2nd places was taken by George Lamaitre and he drove a Peugeot: 

Peugeot 3 hp

7/24/1929 – 2, 000,000 Model A Ford built – A huge milestone. 

1929 Model A

Question from Reader Dodge/Plymouth 318 Poly

Steve asked. 

As long as you are on the subject what the heck is the difference between a regular 318 and a poly 318? 

Poly is short for Polyspherical head. Some say it was a forerunner to the Hemi (Hemispherical head). Basically it was based on a theory that you could get more combustion or volume by angling the intake and exhaust valves then if you had them parallel. From Hemmings  Motor News book of Chrysler Performance Cars…”The ploy’s exhaust valve is located parallel to, but offset from, the cylinder axis.”  

This increased the efficiency.  The hemi was constructed to increase the efficiency with a more angled system. The shape that the valves make are semi-circular with the Poly being a little flatter than the Hemi.  I did the below image in Paint. 

Poly and Hemi


Thanks for the question Steve!!!  More to come on the 318. 

Thanks for reading. 


Intro Engine History Segment

If you’ve been reading my “stuff” on this blog or Facebook or Racing in America (Henry Ford foundation) you might wonder…what’s wrong with this guy? Does he write for a living?  Well if I did I’d be starving and driving a 1993 Honda Accord with only one plastic hub cap (that’s really my son’s car…he’s a starving artist – I have a plug for him on my blog – RJS Graphic design – he’s pretty good and he won’t strave..Mom won’t have any of that!!) instead of a shiny red 84 Corvette and restored 70 Mustang.  I do it for fun, I haven’t made a single dollar from any of my writing.  I don’t even have sponsors or advertisers for the places I leave my droppings.  Actually this costs me money!!!!

So…yes..I do this for fun and the very informal approach I take…..eeeerrrrkkkkk…..ok folks…I don’t have an approach..real writers do.  The way I like to do this is to just sit down and type…there’s no drafts, unless I save it to finish later, there is no real planning,(hell my poor readers are lucky if I remember to run spell check!!!) other than a Post-It-Note or an email sent to myself when I get an idea.  Nope, I just sit down and type.  If it is on a project I’m working, I sometimes take a break and with the fresh smell of GoJo still on my hands I just start typing and up loading pics.  99.999% of my blogs are done in one sitting.  Type and post. (Sometimes I re-read them…mostly to laugh at my super great witt…HEY!!!!!  DID YOU JUST ROLL YOUR EYES????!!!!  That’s rude!!!)

So I have a list of ideas and one of them was to start a regular piece on engines (I mentioned this a while back.) But man, there’s a lot of stuff out there and great publishing works like the Hemmings nation and Hot Rod magazine do this all time.  Am I going to add some thing never before discussed? Nope.  Am I going to present it in way that nobody ever has?  Well the way I write, yeah probably, no one write like this I don’t think.

My idea was to talk about an engine and include when it was first introduced and what it was used in and for how long, that kind of info.  I’m a big fan of history, history of anything, buildings, streets, towns, cars, really anything that as a little history, I’m interested in hearing about.

So my issue was I just hadn’t sat down and picked one yet to write about.  I was going to do the Ford 302, the engine my Mustang has, or the Crossfire in the Corvette and I will.  But the other day I got my September issue of Classic Car #72 from the Hemmings nation and on the cover was “12 Dynamic Dodge Darts Fun Cars that you must own”.   That triggered a memory of the Dodge Dart I owned when I was in college, I think owned it about 5 months..just long enough to remove all the rust and patch the holes and get it into primer before selling it.

As I read the articles in this issue, I remembered the 318 that my Dart had in and as I read further I decided to kick my series off with Mopar’s 318. 

So over the next few posts I have some interesting details on  configurations and various cars it was used in and some specs.  I’ll try to remember to list the references so you can look up additional info.

Thanks for Reading


From a Reader – Household items to fix Cars.


Here’s my story of using household items to fix cars.  Kinda like a turkey baster tool.  Ha Ha.

Finally solved the fuel boil over problem on the 82 Cougar wagon with an inline six and 1 bbl carb.

I live and drive mostly above 2,000 feet and with the fuel blending today the fuel in the carb bowl will boil over and come out the fuel vent in the carb throat, pooling in the intake manifold causing a flooded condition resulting in hard starting when the engine is hot with the huge plume of black smoke when it did start. I’ve tried all manner of fixes that included: lowering the float, retarding the timing, advancing the timing and investigating whether the manifold, catalytic converter or the exhaust was restricted in some way. I built a heat shield out of aluminum and tried that. Some people had suggested using a thicker carb base gasket or even doubling the gasket which would have required longer mounting studs for the carb. Since it hasn’t been a daily driver in the summer due to a broken a/c I’ve put off the fix. I tried to find a phenolic material to make a carb base spacer for the carb that would insulate it from the heat with no luck.

Finally my wife went to Wal-Mart and bought a plastic cutting board for me on my request. It’s made from a hard polyethylene material that’s just over 7/16″ thick. So, I did the obvious scientific test on the material. I got the car to operating temperature and held the cutting board to the exhaust manifold and it did not melt. So I cut the board, drilled the carb bore hole with a 1 and 7/8″ hole saw, drilled the stud holes, made a thin gasket for both sides of the material and sealed it with red high temp permatex gasket maker and installed my new base plate. To test I drove the car in 108 degree heat to full operating temperature for 10 miles with the now fixed a/c blowing hard and the boil over problem is gone. There is no longer any fuel smell or hard starting when hot due to fuel in the intake manifold. Finally after almost 8 years this annoying problem is fixed. I don’t know why this material insulates so well over the factory thick gasket but it does.
The material doesn’t seem to be affected by fuel either.

I’m sure others have been baffled by this problem since most fuels today contain ethanol and other materials that lower the boiling temperature of gasoline.  Altitude certainly plays a part as my car never did this at sea level even in 100 degree weather.

Steve Sears
Ridgecrest, Ca.

Wrenchin’ Tip 7/18/2010 – Fluid Removal

I recently did some work on my power steering system found this tool to be handy. 

 There is a lot of fluid in the power steering reservoir.  As soon as you release the hoses, it’s going to poor all over the front of your engine and then on the ground.  An oil change tub will help keep it off the garage floor, no staining and no tracking it around. However, it will still run down the  engine.  

So, I used a turkey baster.  EEEERRRKKK…(yeah it’s in caps!!!)  Do not put it back in the kitchen when you’re done….NO…NO..NO….In fact if you are smart, ask first!!!  I did and I was surprised to hear  “Sure, but you’ll have to purchase a replacement.” For a minute I thought….well that’ll come out of my car budget….and I thought…I wonder if I can clean it up…and…ummm…(kidding of course).  It worked great and I just have to purchase one…but not until Thanksgiving!!!!  $10 bucks says..I’ll forget and have to run out on Thanksgiving and stand in line for 1.25 hours, if I can find one at all.  

 BTW – I recommend “Pampered Chef” brand for power steering fluid removal!!!! 

Pampered Chef Turkey Baster

84 Corvette – Power Steering Work II

As I stated in my last post, the molded hose for the power steering unit is no longer made.  So here is an idea that can be used to get around that problem for really just about any regular hose for just about any use. As long as the diameter is correct you can you use metal pipe for the molded portion of the hose.  My plan was to remove the shaped hose and take it to a shop that specialize in shaping pipe or least as a sideline to their metal work business.  They can normally create any shape.  After that is shaped, you can use straight hose on each end to attach to the fittings.  You’ll need two additional hose clamps. This is made easier if you have the metal shop slightly grind down the ends to slide into the rubber hose ends.

 Pls note that you have to be sure that metal is proper for the area you are going to use it in and for the fluid that is going to pass through it.

 So that was my plan for replacing the discontinued hose.  I typed “was” because as I got into the project I realised that particular hose was not necessary to replace.  This was a stroke of luck, because it would have taken a few days with the Corvette apart to get that accomplished.

 I’m going to give you a heads up right now.  I did NOT finish this project just on my own.  Nope, that whole Average skills and Average tools thing plays an important role in accomplishing projects.

 I took a couple of videos and I’ll see if I can get WordPress to work better than last time and I’ll toss them in at the end of this entry.

HELPFUL HINT:  There is a lot of fluid in the power steering reservoir.  As soon as you release the hoses, it’s going to poor all over the front of your engine and then on the ground.  An oil change tub will help keep it off the garage floor, no staining and no tracking it around. However, it will still run down the  engine.  So, I used a turkey baster.  EEEERRRKKK…(yeah it’s in caps!!!)  Do not put it back in the kitchen when you’re….NO…NO..NO….In fact if you are smart, ask first!!!  I did and I was surprised to hear  “Sure, but you’ll have to purchase a replacement.” For a minute I thought….well that’ll come out of my car budget….and I thought…I wonder if I can clean it up…and…ummm…(kidding of course).  It worked great and I just have to purchase one…but not until Thanksgiving!!!!  $10 bucks says..I’ll forget and have to run out on Thanksgiving and stand in line for 1.25 hours, if I can find one at all.  BTW – I recommend “Pampered Chief” brand for power steering fluid removal!!!! The next couple of pics show where we are on the engine and the hoses.

Reservoir and it's bracket


Parts Id


The two circles indicate the two bolts that need to be, “at the least loosened” if not removed.  You’ll notice that one can not be removed, unless the pulley is removed. I’m not going to take the pulley off and there lies the issue that I needed assistance with. 

But I did manage to remove and check both hoses, which resulted in the determination that the discontinued molded hose was still in great shape and not a threat to leak any time soon. 

Another look at where we are


Intro "Kitty" neighborhood cat that often shows up and sits in or on my cars while I work on them. Not having Thumbs, he's really no help.


A good look at the hoses. Most of the mess is not from the hose, but the cracked reservoir.


Here is at the end of the bulk hose that goes from the reservoir to the power steering pump. 

Old hose 1


Old hose 2


It was in pretty bad shape. 

PS pump and the mess!!!!


And here is the pic with the new hose attached. The hose had to be routed back through the reservoir bracket. 

Hose Upper connection


Hose lower connection.


As it turned out the actual removal of the reservoir required the removal of some key bolts that did in fact impact the position of the alternator.  As I removed the bolts I noticed the alternator shift.  At the beginning I didn’t think that was possible, because there is a solid bar attached to the alternator and the engine, however it did not.  I had most of the bolt out and decided that I’d better get them back in and I did except one and I should not get that one to line up.  

So off I go to my favorite place down the street and I had them finish it up. 

Here are some after pics. 

Lower Hose connection and PS Pump

New reservoir.

Another repair down.  It’s been a couple of tough months for the Corvette and her engine is going to need a good detailing, but not just yet.  I have another huge modification come up…a new intake.  That will be pretty soon, so keep checking back. 

Thanks for reading. 


84 Corvette – Power Steering Work

Two guesses as to my next project on my C4……cricket…cricket…cricket…Give up?   Fine, its replacing the power steering reservoir and connected hoses.

Just for fun?  Nope, who’d want that mess of a job, just for fun?  No…no it is not an upgrade but a serious leak. 

Hey kids its story time!!!!  Let me tell you about the big shiny Vette that ate all of the average guy’s car budget.  Grab you binkies…it’s horrifing.  

If you’ve been reading my posts, you may recall (“ ‘member!!!” {I stole that from the comedian George something}…..What you don’t hang on every word I type?…You don’t re-read my post to memorize all my car woes and tips and humor???..that’s what I figure…yet I keep on typing….its good therapy for me!!!) that my vette over heated, not once, but twice!!!   Freak catastrophic radiator hose split and then the fan frying it’s self.   

After I got it back from the shop, where I had them check the electric work I did when installing the new fan, I noticed a leak under the car in the driveway.  I hate leaks under my cars, almost as much as the Ms. hates the side affects they have on our driveway (I’m not crazy about them either).  The leak was not too big and when I cleaned it up, I chalked it up to left over coolant from the over heading, it had the right consistency. Then I washed the car.  Nice shiny beautiful red…money swilling Corvette!!!! 

Drove the car to work and home again and came back out a bit later to put the garbage cans on the curb….errrkkk…hey… one, not one single person, cares why you came back outside, and just as many care where you put the trash cans… and I’m going out on a limb here…but I’m betting the total is the same for whether you drove it to work…to the store…or Japan…got it bro???!!!  These are valuable minutes of our lives being spent here reading this!!   Ok..I got it. The pool was bigger than before and it no longer could be mistaken for coolant.  It was without a doubt, transmission fluid, or power steering fluid.  Whether it is GM or Ford, either of their recommend power steering fluid looks and feels similar to the transmission fluid. 

Dreading the worse news, I decided to first check what I hoped was the problem, power steering fluid, I’d hate that less then tranmission issues.  Luckily…(isn’t that the way it is with older cars..your happiness is measured by the size of what’s broken, or needs replacing)…it appeared that it was just the top of the hoses on the reservoir, near the hose clamps…perfectly understandable….it’s an old car..and simple to replace (remember that later on in this post). 

Here are the hoses: 

Hoses leaking near the clamps.


I’m thinking…oh..”SLAM DUNK” easy fix.  Perhaps, but come on….really….does it really ever turnout that easy…yes it does…but not this time!!! 

After further inspection, I noticed something else..oh…you’ll love it!!  I’d tell you but you know a pic is worth 250 cuss words (most of those aren’t real words but I do have some unique arrangements of the classic 4 letter ones and a few bigger).  Ready???  NO!! For the pic… make up your own cuss phrases!!! 



Well that does make it a clean sweep…everything above the pump up needs to be replaced!!!  Ok, still not horrible, so I’m much happier knowing it’s not the transmission!!!!  Just order the parts and we are home free. 

And that’s the end of the story…expect for the part where the hoses aren’t available any more and OMG, you betcha, they aren’t straight hoses.  Here…take a look!!! 

From the reservoir, down to the pulleys, nothing but bends!!!


Better look at the hose going straight down the Front of the engine block


They are molded to hold shape, there is no room for anything but the exact bends or they will rub against the pulleys and last..oh..maybe a week!!  

And finally… 

And a little wider view.


The reservoir and one hose that is supposed to fit are on their way…be here tomorrow. The other hose is not available…no not out of stock and on back order…not made any longer.  

But I have an idea….I’ll give that to you tomorrow. 

Thanks for reading 


Auto Factoids for the week of 7/11/2010

We got a first and a last on the same day – 60 years apart.

7/12/1922 – Frist Checker automobile  built

1922 Checker Cab


7/12/1982 – Last Checker automobile built

1982 Checker Cab


7/14/1955 – First Karman Ghia – I really like these cars.  I might own one some day, but maybe a Covair instead!!!

1955 Karmann Ghia - didn't change much from '55 - '74

7/16/1935…first parking meter in place in Oklahoma City, 30 minute later was the first parking ticket.

First Parking Meter

Thanks for reading


Auto Factoids for the Week of 7/4/2010

Here ya go, enjoy. 

7/6/1946…..U.S. began producing car again after World War II.  It is a bit misleading but some cars companies did continue to produce cars.  At the very onset of the war (1942 thereabout), some of the first effort were to build the cars without all the chrome, painting the trim instead, the first “blacked out” (they were actually called “blackout specials or models” ) which became popular with the grilles in muscle cars later on.  Washington dictated that stainless-steel and chrome would not be allowed on cars except on of bumpers, bumper guards, and windshield wipers. 

1942 Chevy Front.


1942 Chevy Backside


I think it looks great!!! 

7/8/1909  The first Hudson was built. 

Hudson Roadster from 1909


Thanks for reading 


1970 Mustang – Replacing my Pillar Post Moldings Part III

Caulk another tasks down on the restoration of the Mustang. 

I finished up the pillar post molding last night.  Here is the before: 



Now these were not as labor intensive as the dash-pad but here were some issues. 

We’ll walk through them. 

The removing the dash-pad was chronicled in my earlier post and that was pretty quick now that I’ve done it twice. 

Once the dash-pad was removed there is an additional piece that needs to be removed, or at least a couple of screw removed on each side. That is the top molding: 

Top Molding


 In the picture above I’m pointing to one of the screws in the top molding that runs the length of the windshield.  That screw  is actually through the pillar molding which is partially behind it.  The top molding has 5 screws, two on each end and on my coupe the fifth is in the center and holds the plastic snap for the ends of the sun visors.  That screw does not have to be removed there is plenty of play after the removal of the four other screws, to safely (without forcing anything) remove and install the new moldings. 

The next step is removing the two additional screws that hold the pillar molding to the pillar. 

Screw Marked Remove


and this one: 

Second screw to remove.


It’s tough see there but here is a good clear picture…that old mold was so deteriorated it actually fell apart. 

Lower molding screw.


When I said it fell apart……. 

Yup. It was in bad shape.


The other side came/fell off the same way, in pieces, nothing left to do but snap the other pieces on and…eeerrrrkkkk(insert braking sound)…”Yeah..anybody know if you can insert sound in there a WordPress blog??” ……cricket……huuummm where’s my…oh I have no staff…well, only when my son visits (he does some on my graphic design..more on my new logo search later..maybe you all can vote on one??) back to my eeerrkkk…we need to discuss quality of workmanship for reproduction parts.  That won’t be a long discussion..”sucks”…there ya go, end of discussion. 

But really I know that they try, and I am grateful for something that looks almost as good, especially for a rare car like mine (…meaning not very sought least not yet…therefore the profit in making any unique parts is next to nothing.) 

One of the first things about this particular molding is that is about 1/2 the thickness of the original and made of light plastic.  This worked out because the holes are not exactly lined up and there was a larger problem. 

Offset isn't correct.


As you can see the molding on the right (the original) where the screw driver blade is located, is recessed about 1/2 an inch, if not a little more.  On the left (new molding) there is almost only about 1/4 of an inch..maybe a bit less.  If the material for the new molding was as rigid as the original there would be no flex in the material and the lack of offset for tab on the new molding would not have allowed the use of the original screw, it would have been too short. Additionally, screw holes A and B  in the picture below were not aligned properly and would not have enough ”give” but allow installation, if it was stiff as the original. 

Improperly aligned.


 Was this engineering genius or happy mistake? 

Generally, the fit was close, not contours car show inspect-able close, but close enough for the local guys.  But if you can find parts made from “original tooling” (we talked about that when I was install the dash-pad for the first time) buy those, if your Average Budget can handle it.  These molding just aren’t available in any other tooling. 

With the holes in the wrong place it took some pressure and jostling to get them into place.  One tip I can pass on is do not tighten the screws until you have them all started.   I had to leave the top two screws out far enough to allow movement to get the bottom screw in. 

Keep the screw loose to maneuver the piece around.


 In the end the result were pretty good. You be the judge. 

Left side


Left side bottom (and my vette in the background)


Right side (and my neighbor's you need to know that!!)


Left Side bottom


Over all it took about 3 hours with interruptions with phone calls and neighbors stopping to chat.  It’s like Soaring over on forum said..”Those are the kinds of tinkering jobs I like.  You get satisfaction you can actually see.”  (BTW – I like that forum, the Classic Mustang section is great.) 

Thanks for reading.