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Old 12-05-2012, 05:23 PM
John Royark JR John Royark JR is offline
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Default Some things to think about!

First off, if this is in the wrong forum, please move. I was not sure if it is better in the Technical forum, or here as in a way it does pertain to our cars.

This "TOOLIN' AROUND" article appears in the Nov-Dec 2012 issue of On Call, the Mid Atlantic chapter publication. Posted here by permission. Credit to original author appears at the end.
Many great things to think about that most of us never would have thought of until it is too late.

NOV/DEC 2012

We're all familiar with the usual shortages and difficult-to-find aspects of this hobby: shiny parts, certain electrical
and mechanical things, upholstery that is available only from a notoriously slow source. This is a heads up on
some other shortages that are approaching very quietly while your attention is on the shiny stuff.

SEALED-BEAM HEADLIGHTS. Nobody has used the PAR-56 size (the larger ones, pre-quad era) of round
sealed beams for some time, had you noticed? Every make seems to have its own design now. That has resulted in
the stores' using their limited space for the faster-moving (and higher-margin) new stuff. Six-volt lamps aren't on
the shelves at all, available mainly at swap meets - and we're now seeing prices north of $25 each for these things.
Start stocking up if you haven't already; there are Websites that have them cheaper, primarily those catering to
Volkswagens. And yes, this is starting to apply to the 12-volt lamps too. And eventually, the shortage will work its
way up to the PAR-46 size that came in in 1958, so...

WIPER REFILLS. Used to was, you wandered into the parts store, went down the display until you found your
length, bought two, zipped them in, and Bob's your uncle. Forget that. Almost overnight, refills in varying lengths
disappeared pffffft. That's because of the stylists too; each make has its own unique wipers now, and they're not
using the same refills your car used. In their place, on one end of the rack in one lonely display, is a Trico product
called "Break-to-Fit Blade Refills." The idea is, it comes in one length, you slip it into the blade, and snap it off.
We're here to tell you that this product is unmitigated junk. The universality means that there's no substance to
the metal edges; it's too slim to stay in the blade tracks; "breaking" it off will cause the product to disintegrate; and
even if you use snips instead, the resulting assembly falls to pieces the instant you activate the wiper.
If you can find some refills in the right size, stock up immediately (we got a stash off eBay, and you can go to
Trico’s Website for “vintage” refills, though it will take some navigating). Unfortunately, rubber has a limited shelf
life, so we don't know how long you'll be able to use refills you buy today (get some Rain-X as an alternative; the
stuff really works). We wonder what the new-car owners of today will do in 20 years.

AIR-CONDITIONER REFRIGERANT. You already know about Freon's disappearance, of course, because it
took several years. Now the good substitutes, like Freeze 12, have also been forced off the market. Without getting
too deeply into the politics of this largely symbolic act, the fact remains that the only refrigerant you'll be able to
find is R-134,which will leak out of your old system quite rapidly; in the end, you may decide to let the system go
and just have it in the car for looks.

FUSES. Those familiar cartridge-type fuses found all over your car are no longer used. A recent visit to a NAPA
store to buy a simple 15-amp fuse resulted in a 15-minute search through the archival bins. Find all the fuses used
in your car (they're listed in the owner's manual) and lay several of them aside while it's relatively easy.

LITTLE LIGHTS. Do any new cars use any of the familiar small lamps you're used to, and which number dozens
in your collector car? 57, 67, 1034, 1157, all those familiar lamps? Every lamp we see in new cars is a different
(newer) design. Same recommendation as with fuses: your owner's manual lists every one in the car, so stock up.
Won't cost you much.

TIRES. This one has the potential to put you off the road but good. In the early days of the hobby, in fact, tire
shortages almost smothered the emerging pastime in its crib; collectors were using truck tires, recaps, almostworn-
out tires, anything that would go around. Folks like Ann Klein stepped in and saved the day for everyone,
and today there’s a serious collector-car-tire business going. But lots of these tires aren’t very good, we’re sorry to
say, and everyone is headed for radials (the new development in tires, those airless things with rubber ribs, scares
us to death; universal use of them will kill off lots of tire shops, or at least folks who know about pneumatic tires).
And surprise if your collector car uses passenger-car sizes: some of these tires are disappearing so fast it will make
your head swim, and in some sizes, all that remains for the time being is blackwalls and ATV tires.

—Adapted from The Commander, Potomac Chapter, Studebaker Drivers Club
Current owner of:
1949 S&S Cadillac Knickerbocker combo
1985 Superior Cadillac Sovereign FWD hearse
1985 Eureka Pontiac Chieftain hearse
1995 Superior Chevrolet Chancellor hearse
See all my pro cars past and present in my photo album
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:37 PM
Paul Newman Paul Newman is offline
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Totally agree, i started stocking up on bulbs and head lamps 3 years ago. Every time i go to wallmart i make a habit of buying at least one pack of 1156 and 1157 bulbs.
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Old 12-05-2012, 11:18 PM
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John ED Renstrom John ED Renstrom is offline
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my thoughts.

a trip to the yard brings a pocket full of fuses. when I need a bulb I get a box. don't forget the peanut ones the 192. clear and Ambur if you need them. get natural amber ones as the painted ones flake off.

tires stored out of the sun will keep a long time.

one other trick I always do is if I pull a part I keep every nut bolt washer and screw. you would be surprised how out of place one different screw head looks.

but wipers we are sunk on so right now I'm pulling my old ones off while there is still some rubber left on them. and storing them in the car. you can get away daily driving with a new style replacement and change out when you clean up for a show. a little WD-40 on the rubber keeps it live in storage just slip then back in the new box for storage.

the have now almost universal gone to the 134A so if you want air you really need to bit the bullet and follow the trend. it' something you need to discuss with a good AC man. freeze 12 and 134a I beleve are the same thing.
drop in for coffee anytime
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