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Wisdom-careful who/what to believe!

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  • Wisdom-careful who/what to believe!



    Lately, we have had several discussions about experienced old mechanics. How they are disappearing, and those who need repairs for vintage technology, are having difficulty finding skilled assistance, or anyone willing to take on a job working on an older car. I have mentioned before, that when I go into my friendly local auto parts store, if one of their younger staff asks to help me, I jokingly say, “You're too young!” It has become such an “old” joke, that sometimes when I go in for parts, I get this greeting, “I know I'm too young, but I'll try to help anyway.”

    I know that, “at the speed of life,” things change, we all get old, technology moves to solve some problems, and create others. Most of us “car” people, respect and revere the “elder” mechanics among us. For our interests of focus, they are our Heroes...the Grandfatherly wise sage...to whom we gather around, hoping to harvest some valuable information shared from his years of experience.

    Although I confess, I have not always done it...I was taught to honor and respect our elders. But, I try. However, ( a big HOWEVER)...there is a caution that should be observed. These experienced mechanics are, after all just human, and we need to be cautious regarding how much “Hero” status we are willing to ascribe to what we hear from them.

    I'm embarrassed to tell this, but it is an important point. Years ago, I was having a conversation with a couple of old mechanics and mentioned that I was about to replace some relatively new brake shoes. A wheel cylinder had failed and the shoes were soaked with brake fluid. One told me that I shouldn't replace the shoes if they were, otherwise, OK. Instead, I was told that all I needed to do was to take lighter fluid or gas, pour a little over the soaked brake shoe, and “burn” it off. The other mechanic supported this method.

    Well...placing my respect and faith in the credibility of the experienced mechanics, knowing these guys had spent their lives earning money in the trade, I went home and did exactly what they said. I repaired the wheel cylinder, and cleaned the brake drum. When I finished the brake shoe “burn,” the shoes looked dry. After a little hand scuffing the surface with sand paper, they even looked like new on the contact surface.

    Months later, while visiting a neighbor about a mile away, the truck's brakes “locked up” as I attempted to leave his yard. I was able to free it up by backing up. Then, carefully maneuvered the truck back home. Removing the brake drum, revealed that one of the brake shoes had separated from the metal backing. The other was in the process of detaching. It wasn't until, while on the way back from the parts store, with my new brake shoes, did I realize that the brake failure was the very shoes I had “burned,” following the advice from the two mechanics. My brake shoes were “bonded,” not riveted. It could be that the “burn” method might work for riveted shoes, but thinking about it, not the glue used for bonding.

    An embarrassing lesson of following advice from someone you look up to. I've heard other suggestions from “old mechanics,” that I have not tried. Such as, pouring black pepper into a radiator to stop a leak. Throwing powdered Dutch Cleanser into an oil soaked clutch to cure chattering and slipping. (How do you get it in there?)

    Anyone else have a similar experience following the advice of someone you shouldn't have? If you are not too embarrassed to share it, let us know. It could save a life.
    John Clary
    Greer, SC

    SDC member since 1975

  • #2
    Originally posted by jclary View Post
    My brake shoes were “bonded,” not riveted. It could be that the “burn” method might work for riveted shoes, but thinking about it, not the glue used for bonding. [/B]
    could save a life.
    I think I would have looked to see if they were bonded first myself, before trying that trick. Not sure if you doused them in the solvent, but that's what could have dissolved the bonding agent enough to make them separate. Brakes DO get HOT!! Remember Bondo Billy's '56 GH!

    Craig

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    • #3
      Originally posted by 8E45E View Post
      I think I would have looked to see if they were bonded first myself, before trying that trick. Not sure if you doused them in the solvent, but that's what could have dissolved the bonding agent enough to make them separate. Brakes DO get HOT!! Remember Bondo Billy's '56 GH!

      Craig
      Good point, and that's the "embarrassing" aspect of this on my part. I was too caught up in the credibility ascribed to the advisers than thinking through the details. But, really...not the point of the thread, but an example of why we should not blindly follow the advice based solely on reverence or celebrity status we give to others.
      John Clary
      Greer, SC

      SDC member since 1975

      Comment


      • #4
        We live and we learn.
        Rog
        '59 Lark VI Regal Hardtop
        Smithtown,NY
        Recording Secretary, Long Island Studebaker Club

        Comment


        • #5
          To free up a carb float valve that is stuck open cross wire two plugs and run the car. The resulting backfires will free up the float. Probably harmless for the most part, but I never found it very effective.
          American iron, real old school
          With two tone paint, it sure is cool

          Its got 8 cylinders and uses them all
          With an overdrive that just won't stall

          With a 4 barrel carb and dual exhausts
          With 4.23 gears it can really get lost

          Its got safety belts and I ain't scared
          The brakes are good and the tires are fair.

          Tried to sell her, but got no taker
          I"ll just keep driving my Studebaker

          Comment


          • #6
            Greyben -

            Not ALL crossed plug wires will cause a backfire..!
            Crossing 5 and 7 (very easy swap)...many will not even notice, I know this from first hand experience. I've done it to friends cars to make them run..."off" a little...not even noticed..!
            I ask..."did you ever figure out your crossed plug wires ?" Answer - "Um, no how were they crossed.......?"

            Hell...I even pulled the coil wire out of a Volkswagon (bug) to piss-off a just married friend so they'd have a hard time leaving the church. The car ran FINE..!? To verify the wire was still pulled, I asked her brother to check something for me. While he didn't find what I asked for (a fake problem)...he did see the coil wire was beside the coil, not plugged in..!

            Mike

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Mike Van Veghten View Post
              Greyben -


              Hell...I even pulled the coil wire out of a Volkswagon (bug) to piss-off a just married friend so they'd have a hard time leaving the church. The car ran FINE..!? To verify the wire was still pulled, I asked her brother to check something for me. While he didn't find what I asked for (a fake problem)...he did see the coil wire was beside the coil, not plugged in..!

              Mike
              One of the tricks we used to play on rookie VW techs is to swap the coil wire with any spark plug wire. The car will start and run.....on ONE cylinder.
              "Burning Bridges...Lost Forevermore"......

              Comment


              • #8
                The problem was not with the method they "taught" you, it was with the Bonded Shoes.....

                Case in Point. I had a set done (bonded) a few years back, and they seperated the same way, however I hadn't done anything.
                it was the bonding that failed.

                A WORD OF CAUTION: Bonded brakes can and do fail. The glue can get hot from repeated braking and comes loose. I no longer trust them, and will only use RIVETED shoes on my Studebakers.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I myself have never been brave enough to try this, but the guy I learned how to assemble an engine from used to do two things after it was first fired up. He'd pop open a beer, take a sip or two and then slowly pour about 1/2 of the can/bottle down the carb at about 3000 rpm. Then he'd take a can of scouring powder and slowly shake a few rounds down the carb also at about 3000 rpm. he swore it sealed the rings without any problems. I'm still not sold on that. Bill

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Assuming You have some thing to Drive besides a Studebaker ? is it Disc brake on all 4 corners, or bonded rear Shoes ? - and would be risky no matter what make Vehicle.

                    Originally posted by Mrs K Corbin View Post
                    The problem was not with the method they "taught" you, it was with the Bonded Shoes.....

                    Case in Point. I had a set done (bonded) a few years back, and they seperated the same way, however I hadn't done anything.
                    it was the bonding that failed.

                    A WORD OF CAUTION: Bonded brakes can and do fail. The glue can get hot from repeated braking and comes loose. I no longer trust them, and will only use RIVETED shoes on my Studebakers.
                    Joseph R. Zeiger

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The crossed wire trick worked best with old 4 or 6 engines.

                      A good way to clean up the internals of a dirty engine is drain oil and replace with diesel plus a couple of quarts extra. Run engine for a couple of minutes at idle and then drain diesel. I did this on a '53 Ford many years ago. The engine wasn't too great before and it wasn't any better after. Wouldn't recommend it.
                      American iron, real old school
                      With two tone paint, it sure is cool

                      Its got 8 cylinders and uses them all
                      With an overdrive that just won't stall

                      With a 4 barrel carb and dual exhausts
                      With 4.23 gears it can really get lost

                      Its got safety belts and I ain't scared
                      The brakes are good and the tires are fair.

                      Tried to sell her, but got no taker
                      I"ll just keep driving my Studebaker

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by bill van alstyne View Post
                        I myself have never been brave enough to try this, but the guy I learned how to assemble an engine from used to do two things after it was first fired up. He'd pop open a beer, take a sip or two and then slowly pour about 1/2 of the can/bottle down the carb at about 3000 rpm. Then he'd take a can of scouring powder and slowly shake a few rounds down the carb also at about 3000 rpm. he swore it sealed the rings without any problems. I'm still not sold on that. Bill
                        Could it have possible that he forgot the actual amount of beer consumed during phase 1 prior to making the decision to proceed on to phase 2?
                        sigpic
                        Bob Shaw
                        Rush City, Minnesota
                        1960 Hawk - www.northstarstudebakers.com
                        "The farther I go, the behinder I get."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Anyone else have a similar experience following the advice of someone you shouldn't have?
                          1. Add a pint of diesel/AFT to every tank of gas.

                          2. Add a pint of Wynns/Marvel/SeaFoam/STP to every oil change.

                          3. Studebakers have superhard high nickel alloy heads/blocks, so they don't need hard exhaust valve seats.

                          4. Toilet paper oil filters

                          5. Manually selecting first gear will ruin that automatic; don't ever do that.

                          6. Drum brakes can't be made safe to drive on today's roads. Ya' gotta have power discs.

                          7. The Stude front suspension is junk. Put in a Mustang II.

                          8. Can't get parts and the old stuff isn't reliable; go with a SBC, something reliable you can find parts at any NAPA.

                          9. Costs too much to rebuild a Studebaker engine. Swap in a SBC and a 700R4; it'll save you money.

                          10. That Carter WCFB carb can't be made to run right. Buy a new Edelbrock and never touch it again.

                          11. Distributors don't do anything but sit there. It's most likely the carb.

                          12. Wait till we get up to at least 30 MPH before you pop the clutch. It needs some RPMs to start.

                          jack vines
                          PackardV8

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by bill van alstyne View Post
                            I myself have never been brave enough to try this, but the guy I learned how to assemble an engine from used to do two things after it was first fired up. He'd pop open a beer, take a sip or two and then slowly pour about 1/2 of the can/bottle down the carb at about 3000 rpm. Then he'd take a can of scouring powder and slowly shake a few rounds down the carb also at about 3000 rpm. he swore it sealed the rings without any problems. I'm still not sold on that. Bill
                            Originally posted by BShaw View Post
                            Could it have possible that he forgot the actual amount of beer consumed during phase 1 prior to making the decision to proceed on to phase 2?
                            John Clary
                            Greer, SC

                            SDC member since 1975

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As a young lad of 15 I bought my first car.Brand X with a327/Powerglide combo.
                              Studiously reading the owners manual it stated in large type to NOT shift transmission into low and accelerate at speeds above 30 mph.
                              The advice in the manual indicated to me that it should be safe to do so at 25-28 mph!
                              Ever see a Powerglide scatter it's innards? While I was impressed by the destruction I soon figured out I was car less.A fate worse than death in high school.
                              Rebuilt my first transmission at age 15.
                              Same car,next year.
                              Was "advised" that trans fluid run slowly through the carb would get rid of carbon deposits.Rev up the engine and pour in trans fluid until it stumbles,rev it up,repeat.
                              I was impressed by the huge clouds of white smoke out the exhaust.Car seemed to run better.Until it started using copious amounts of oil.
                              Rebuilt my first engine at age 16.
                              Mono mind in a stereo world

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