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Old 10-01-2005, 06:20 PM
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home remedies for sick cars ???

I moved my vapor locking fuel pump from under the hood of my '64 to a place on the frame near the tank last week and was telling an older feller about it when he commented, "Heck, you shoulda just put wooden clothespins on the fuel line - they draw the heat away and it'll never vapor lock on ya again !".

This got me thinking about some of the old timers' wisdom I've heard over the years.

From my buddy, Boyd, who bought his first 1934 Ford when it was a five-year-old car:

"Car got a rough idle ? - dump a cup of denatured alcohol into your gas tank !"

(I use the stuff all the time to clean old gun stocks - didn't know it was so versatile . )

"Best way to get carbon out of an engine is to fill a pop bottle with water, take the air cleaner off, have someone work the foot feed, slowly pour the water in the carb and have your helper work the foot feed so it don't die.

The cold water hits those hot valves and that carbon just pos off !"

- "Shorty" Smothermon, 1934-1996

I've helped Shorty do this one a bunch - don't recommend it but judging by the crud comin' out the tail pipe it does seem to work.

"Put a gallon of diesel in your fuel tank twice a year, top it off with a tank of premium and you'll never have fuel problems." - Shorty

(On this one, Shorty meant diesel with sulfur in it and cars that were pre-catalytic converters or sans catalytic converters.)

One neat story that I've heard but forget from whom is about an old mechanic who rebuilt 100's of engines but never replaced the main bearings.

He would mic the worn mains, fold a strip of newspaper until it mic'ed out to the missing metal on the mains, soak the paper in oil, place the paper on the mains and re-install 'em - the story goes that he had never had an engine come back to him because of a failed main.

Anyone get any other vintage home remedies for cars ?
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Old 10-01-2005, 07:38 PM
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My daddy had some.

Poor man's fix a flat: Remove the valve stem core, by some means, pump in a can of condensed milk. Replace the valve core, inflate, drive around.

Leaky radiator remedies: Raw egg dumped in (proven on Mythbusters too). Also course mustard, or course ground black pepper.

Noisy gear box? Jamb it full of bananas. No joke. Probably the equivalent of 10,000,000 weight oil.

I got a hold of some old Popular Mechanic issues from the 40's. They have all sorts of great tips for cars back then.

my Dad told me about how some crooked people would freshen a car before selling it. If it was really worn out, they would replace the rod bearings with leather strap to keep it quiet. Use bananas in the gears to quiten them.
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Old 10-02-2005, 09:21 AM
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Use bananas !!! I've never heard of that one! That's classic!!! I wonder if it smells after awhile?
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Old 10-02-2005, 11:21 PM
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My buddy Black Bart has a rubber chicken he swears works miracles when shook over a sick car, of course you do have to be a Knight of the Order of the Wrench Third degree to know the proper incantations to use while burning virgin 30 weight. I heard of the bananas trick from my dad I asked one time why he crawled underneath and pulled the plugs on the diffs and tranny.
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Old 10-03-2005, 08:58 AM
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Kinda like believing my toolbox in the trunk is like a good luck talisman. I swear everytime I have been caught without tools, something would go wrong and I would have no way to fix it. I cannot have a peacful easy feeling with no tools in my car. Without tools, I am then dependent upon my surroundings and whomever I can find to help me.
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Old 10-03-2005, 07:22 PM
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i heard of sawdust in the rearend
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Old 10-04-2005, 08:52 AM
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Old habits...(no not old nuns...)

Doc here,

An old habit I formed years ago, in addition to a tool kit..

after each tune up, I would retain, 1~ plug, 1~plug wire (the longest one) 1~rotor, 1~set of points and the cap..and rotate at the next tune up..I kept all these in the trunk..

Used to take a ribbing from the guys, until one day 50 miles away from home (and everything else) My 57 Chev blew a motor mount raised up on the left side and clipped the tang off the rotor..from hitting the firewall..5 minutes and we were driving again! They quit laughing...

Doc
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Old 10-05-2005, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by docvette
Doc here,

An old habit I formed years ago, in addition to a tool kit..

after each tune up, I would retain, 1~ plug, 1~plug wire (the longest one) 1~rotor, 1~set of points and the cap..and rotate at the next tune up..I kept all these in the trunk..

Used to take a ribbing from the guys, until one day 50 miles away from home (and everything else) My 57 Chev blew a motor mount raised up on the left side and clipped the tang off the rotor..from hitting the firewall..5 minutes and we were driving again! They quit laughing...

Doc
Yep, I do it too. I had a Mallory Unilite module go bad once. I still had the points in my glovebox. I changed it all on the side of the road and was back in business in about 30 minutes. Took the Unilite back and kept the points. It pays to keep the spares. You just can't find a points type plug wire anymore very easy.
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