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View Full Version : RCFD 1963 Pinner-Chrysler Siren


Nicholas Studer
03-22-2015, 07:08 PM
This ambulance has been full of mysteries to unravel - with this vehicle in service as the village's front-line ambulance for 25 years. When Paul Steinberg purchased the ambulance from the previous owner (apparently the former fire chief's son) - it had a Federal Signal Interceptor Siren controller under the dash as well as a FS SA24 electronic speaker under the hood. He replaced it with a Model 28 siren and that it how it came to me.

I've very much enjoyed talking with Jack Pinner recently, and he tells me the most common siren Fire Dept's wanted at that time was the Q1B - and he seemed to recall that being the siren for this one as well. He stated he knew for sure it was a FS product with a brake at least - and indeed the custom switch panel has a button for a siren brake.

Photos below of the siren compartment. That shelf is definitely original to the car. The SA24 speaker had actually been drilled with extra holes to fit on the original welded shelf in the bottom of the grille area. The welded shelf appears to most directly correlates to a four-hole mounting base with holes in the middle for the cables. That would correspond to a Q1B 4-hole base surely from the photos I've seen. http://www.oldfirestuff.com/FullyRestoredFederalSignalModQ1BCoaster12VoltDCFir eEngineSiren.htm

What Paul and I have been most suspicious of is the available space - and while I'd love for it to have been a "Q" - both he and I are concerned about fit. http://www.professionalcarsociety.org/forums/showthread.php?t=11624 shows one installation. The Model 28 (7" diameter siren) currently in there is on a 2-hole pedestal mount, very close to the front of the grille - and there's maybe 2.75" space between it and the radiator. Because of the inward sloping of the grille - there's between 9.5-10" of space between the grille and radiator. FS indicates on their website that the Q2B is a 10" diameter siren. I can't find dimensions on the Q1B but would presume they are close? Anyone have one they can take measurements of?

The C4B is the other option at 9" diameter - it doesn't make me as nervous as to fit overall. However, these usually had the same two-hole pedestal base as the Model 28 - and thus wouldn't fit in the same spot the 28 is. I understand from Joe Dorgan there is a 4-hole base for the C4B but I haven't seen one yet and can't find a photo. The C5 had a four-hole base, but don't know if it's the same.

It's certainly a pricey mistake if I'm wrong either way. Anyone got any thoughts?

Bruce Biancalana
03-22-2015, 07:57 PM
Looks like a Q foot print to me

John ED Renstrom
03-23-2015, 12:45 AM
my guess is it's a plate from ferno drilled for multiple sirens. the Q were all the same size the under hood one would be missing the grill and painted. several used the 4 hole mount

Paul Steinberg
03-23-2015, 12:53 AM
I have had that siren out on more than one occasion, and I can say with certainty that a Q will not fit in the space. I have had a double tone, and the model 28 in that location. A C4 siren will probably fit, but you already have a good siren under the hood. If you want more noise, then put a Q on the roof.

Nicholas Studer
03-23-2015, 09:57 PM
Ed - I'd agree that it surely could be a "universal" plate of some kind from FS. Do you have any other ideas on what other FS sirens might fit and have a brake?

Paul - As someone who only had electronic sirens when I did this for a living - the Model 28 is more than enough. I'm just chasing my tail as usual trying to figure out old mysteries of whether the chicken or egg came first...

My measurements seem to indicate a Q1b won't fit - and a C4b won't fit unless I can find a four-hole bracket or similar that would center it in the middle of the shelf. Just never seen one - only heard it described as existing. Anyone got a photo?

Paul Steinberg
03-23-2015, 10:33 PM
That "shelf" was just a steel plate that was installed by Pinner Coach. It is welded to the core support, and the center grille support. I had always thought that someday, I was going to remove it, and put it on the passenger side of the car, and install the power steering cooler, that I believe belongs in the car. I can't say with any certainty, that it was removed when the conversion was done, however, it is part of the heavy duty / performance / police package. After 50+ years, it is difficult to know exactly what is correct, and what has been changed.

Kevin O'Connell
03-30-2015, 05:33 PM
The mounting pattern in the existing plate is definitely for a Class W, 60, 70 or C siren with a four bolt base. It will also accept a Q1 base as the cable doesn't have to be routed through the base. It seems odd that this plate would be used as (A) a Q won't fit and (B)the choices for underhood sirens that WILL fit (28, 76,C4) all use the same mount that Paul installed. Go figure.

Paul Steinberg
03-30-2015, 05:38 PM
Kevin...

Having owned this car, I can say that the plate that was welded onto the core support was drilled for many options, and it was probably done prior to the plate being welded in. If I had to guess, I would bet that they had these plates already drilled, and just put them onto the car, knowing that not all options were even a possibility.

Nicholas Studer
04-06-2015, 12:39 AM
Well - here's a photo of the siren compartment with the 28 out (It was a fairly simple task to remove the grille for access)

As you can see in the second photo - the Q grille "fits" within the allotted space but would not be centered on the base. So, sadly not a Q1B like Jack thought it might have been. I wonder if the other Chrysler's they made (I know of at least 4 others) had one instead. Anyone have a contrary opinion to my assessment?

Additionally, unless I'm missing something, the 4 hole base I borrowed could not fit on the two bolts coming up from the two support arms. Those are angled outboard a bit. I suppose they could be bent somehow to be straighter - however it's minor evidence that a four-hole mount was not used...

Further even more odd - is that despite the pictured pre-drilled holes, there's an extra hole drilled into the shelf that I overlooked despite obviously being there. It is necessary for the 2-hole mounting pedestal to secure in place. You can see it in the first photo on the right side of the base where the bolt has already been removed. The question is - was this done by Pinner or by the Rescue Squad? It's possible it was put in later for the SA24 electronic siren speaker installed in the 1970s - I need to check out how that went in. However, I find it rather odd that it'd perfectly match up with a 2-hole mechanical siren pedestal base.

If we choose to believe the 2-hole pedestal is the original configuration - it looks like there's an extra 1/2" space to the grille whereby a C4B maybe could fit. However, a Model 76 could surely do so with the same dimensions as the Model 28. Both have brakes like Jack insists was originally spec'd...

The hunt's half the fun. :)

John ED Renstrom
04-06-2015, 01:25 AM
fit and being able to run it are two different thing looks to me like it would rub on the radiator. B&M would drop right in. but what if you turn things around

Paul Steinberg
04-06-2015, 05:40 AM
When I had the car, I tried a bunch of different sirens to see if they would fit, and the only thing that fit properly is what I installed. I should have cut that base out, relocated it to the other side, and then put the factory power steering oil cooler in. I don't know if they removed the oil cooler to put the siren there, or the cooler was left out at the factory. There is so much of that car that is a mystery, that you have just uncovered the tip of the iceberg.
I don't dare tell you what "modifications" and changes that I made over the years, because it will drive you crazy... :D

Nicholas Studer
05-02-2015, 11:38 PM
Success. Of note, the bolts on the middle are permanently welded into the frame. C4B should fit perfectly, meets Jack Pinner's recollection, and should be on the way...

The extra hole used for the 2-hole base with a new bolt newer than the others? Mystery solved, Paul later recalled having drilled that to put in the Model 28 and later 76B he had in there. :)

Nicholas Studer
06-19-2015, 01:21 AM
Closing the loop on this topic - C4 thankfully arrived and installed. Actually a pretty tight squeeze on its own. NO WAY for Q1B, Jack and Tom Pinner actually looked at that area in Houston and remarked similarly. They don't recall the siren being a doubletone (e.g. 76B) - just that it was Federal and had a brake. Thus, C4B is probably THE correct answer or as close to it as I'll get. :)

Waiting on the brake and grille to come in from the source of the siren. Until then - an open front C4A it is! It's sad to see a "mute" ambulance. :p

Paul Steinberg
06-19-2015, 11:16 AM
Knowing the car as well as I do, I know that there is a lot of flex in the "shelf", and when that siren starts to twist from the torque, there is a good chance that it is going to be hitting the radiator. I would turn it 180 degrees, so you get it away from the radiator, and more importantly, you get the power cable away from the radiator also.

Steve Loftin
06-20-2015, 11:55 AM
I'll keep my eye out for a correct mounting base for this siren.

Paul Steinberg
06-20-2015, 12:50 PM
I'll keep my eye out for a correct mounting base for this siren.


What does the correct base look like?

Steve Loftin
06-20-2015, 03:39 PM
What does the correct base look like?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xj3do9qVZM8

Nicholas Studer
06-20-2015, 04:49 PM
I'll keep my eye out for a correct mounting base for this siren.

Hi Steve. Unfortunately, a two-hole base (ala 28, 76, C4 series) will not fit the "shelf" the siren is mounted on. Paul actually drilled an extra hole so he could put one in.

Whatever was there originally mounted with a 4-hole base. See above discussion.

John ED Renstrom
06-21-2015, 01:29 PM
was there a 4 hole fender or roof mount for this series of siren?

Skip Goulet
10-22-2015, 06:11 PM
Closing the loop on this topic - C4 thankfully arrived and installed. Actually a pretty tight squeeze on its own. NO WAY for Q1B, Jack and Tom Pinner actually looked at that area in Houston and remarked similarly. They don't recall the siren being a doubletone (e.g. 76B) - just that it was Federal and had a brake. Thus, C4B is probably THE correct answer or as close to it as I'll get. :)

Waiting on the brake and grille to come in from the source of the siren. Until then - an open front C4A it is! It's sad to see a "mute" ambulance. :p

I can't tell from the way that C4 is sitting how you've attached it to that base, as that base is for a C5G, 77G or 66G siren. The pedestal base on your 28 would be much better. The C4 is an excellent choice for what you're doing, and I've seen a few Cs that will outcoast a Q. However, I've seen a couple of S8 and S8B Siro-Drifts that would outcoast either.