Silence loose, squeaky windshields and rear windows with a little ordinary talcum powder. Run a nail file around the rubber gasket that holds the glass in place. As you pry the rubber away, sprinkle the powder between the gasket and the glass.
Many car owners have difficulty in obtaining housings to suit their gauges if they are not to be located in the dashboard. The caps from spray cans (plastic or metal) will serve this purpose. If you don’t want to cut new holes in the dash, mount extra gauges under the dash and in the hole left by a discarded clock.
The next time you can’t find a nut to fit a special bolt, try making your own by filling an oversized nut with epoxy cement and molding the threads. Seat the nut in modeling clay before pouring in the epoxy. Grease the bolt, then screw it down through the epoxy into the clay. Wait a day, unscrew the bolt from the hardened epoxy, and you will have a perfect fitting nut for moderate duty.
Need a good spot for the spare key? Take the workings out of the cigarette lighter, fill it with epoxy glue and stick the key handle into it. Disconnect the wires to the lighter and remove the back of the socket. The knob now keeps the key handy, but still looks like a lighter, fooling potential thieves but keeping the key handy.
Packing a universal joint is easy if you follow this procedure. When the joint is disassembled, wipe out as much of the dirty grease in the cap and cross as you can reach with a clean rag. Then fill the cup with clean grease and force it back on the cross shaft, twisting it back and forth with the palm of your hand. The dirty grease will be forced out and can be wiped away. Repeat until the grease comes out clean. Now you can fill the reservoir and reassemble the universal joint.
Air pressure to clear fuel line blockage. This is an old mechanic trick of attaching a tube valve to half a rubber ball as seen in the illustration. Cut the ball to suit the fuel filter neck. Disconnect the line at the fuel pump so you don’t clog internal filters in the pump or carburetor. Don’t apply too much pressure as you may damage the tank
Valve quick spring test. To ensure valve springs in use are of the correct strength and have not weakened with age, they should be checked against a new one. The two springs should be placed in a vice as shown. If the used spring compresses before the new one starts to it has lost its strength and should be replaced by a new one
A head gasket leak can be checked for leakage by adding a couple of teaspoonfuls of washing blue to a cup of anti freeze and pouring the mixture into the radiator. Tie a cloth over the tail pipe and run the engine. If there’s a leak the blue will stain the fabric. The anti freeze will help to locate the leak
Instead of tying up the starter cable to keep it from shorting against the motor or other metal parts of the car, when it is removed to repair the starter, just slip a short piece of rubber hose or tubing over the terminal end. Then you can let the end of the cable drop without any possibility of running down the battery.
Studebaker recommends a mixture in the ratio of 1/4 pound of beeswax to 1 quart of turpentine as very effective in protecting chromium plated parts against salt air and other conditions which have a detrimental effect on these parts. This protection is particularly recommended for cars in storage. It has been found that even after the car is taken from storage and the protective coating removed, some of it remains on the chromium and provides continued protection. March 15, 1935. After wax has been applied to a car and is ready for polishing, you will get a brilliant shine if you dip the cloth lightly in a container of corn flour. This is a tip from old time car detailers.
If static electricity gives you a jolt each time you touch chrome door or window handles, apply a coat of thinned white shellac over the metal. The shellac will act as insulation and, incidentally, will protect the metal handles and keep them bright. However, in today’s world, to solve this static electricity build up, you can buy very good clear lacquers in pressure pack cans. Remove the offending chrome handles and treat accordingly or fit an earth strap.
In removing rivets by center punching and drilling, the drill sometimes works off center, thus spoiling the rivet hole. A jig like the one shown will guide the drill true, as well as eliminate the need for center punching the rivet. It is made by welding two lengths of round stock of suitable size at right angles, one to be used as a handle and the other, of slightly larger diameter, to be used as the guide. The latter is drilled to size, a chip clearance hole is made near the lower end, and the bottom edge is countersunk to fit over a rivet head in sealing the guide.
The points on the relay switch in the circuit breaker between the generator and battery often become roughened and stick together when the motor stops. This causes a reverse flow of electricity from battery to generator, resulting in a dead battery. Filling these points usually will eliminate bothersome sticking.
Greasing truck shackles, in particular rear shackle pins that take weight and dust constantly. When no grease will flow, jack up the chassis to relieve the weight of the shackle pin, at the same time as greasing, tap the spring or shackle pin with a hammer. If that fails apply heat (oxy acetylene) directly on the blocked area, not too long or too hot, but enough heat to melt the dust and grease which is set hard, at the same time pump in grease. This method is not suitable on all grease points, especially ball joints that sit on nylon seats. What is nearly impossible to grease are the HQ style Holden steering crossover drag link ball joints. Any ideas on this as you cannot now buy a new drag link to overcome this fault?
This tip came from a radiator repairer who told us one of the most frequent causes of radiator tube blockage is the excessive use of silicone rubber for water pump and thermostat gaskets. The overflow or excess to the inside cannot be cleaned and eventually some of this will break free with the water flow and carry on into the radiator, in many cases lodging in the tubes and blocking them. Silicone rubber will not dislodge or dissolve once in the radiator and dismantling it is the only way of removing the silicone rubber from a blocked tube. Remedy, use proper gaskets with a good recommended gasket cement. The same can also apply where there is oil under pressure. Again use recommended gaskets and go easy on the silicone rubber in a tube.
A curtain rod of the telescoping type can be used to gauge the toe-in of an automobile’s front wheels. After straightening out the tips as shown in the drawing, adjust the rod to fit snugly between the inner rims of the two wheels at their front edges. By making the rod at the joint and repeating the process at the rear edges of the rims, you can accurately determine the amount of toe-in.
To provide suction for checking the adjustment of an automatic, vacuum operated spark advance on the distributor of a car, an ordinary tire pump can be used. Remove the ball, check valve from the base of the pump and reverse the position of the leather washer. Then when the handle is drawn upward, air will be sucked into the pump hose, creating a vacuum.
To lighten the task of changing a heavy tire, one truck driver carries an ordinary roller skate (or a skate board) in his tool kit and uses it as shown. The skate supports the weight of the tire leaving him free to slide the spare wheel in place. This can also be used when changing tires on a car. It makes it easier to manage a heavy wheel.
Machinists sometimes find stud bolts set so firmly that the ordinary wrenches and devices for removing them are insufficient. Under these conditions, a simple method is to attach a heavy lathe dog to the bolt, as shown, and apply an iron bar as a lever. Tremendous force can be applied in the way, and the bolt easily removed. By reversing the pull, the bolt can be set very firmly.
Hood lacing that mats down and becomes hard with age often allows the hood to rub the body and cause annoying squeaks. Ordinary pencil erasers, notched as shown above and slipped under the lacing, will silence the noise. Pressure of the lacing is usually strong enough to keep the rubber silencers in place.
Because socket type spark plug wrenches sometimes break the porcelain around the plug as they are slipped on or off, cut a short piece of rubber hose to fit snugly inside the wrench. Forced into the tool so that it clears the lower shank that grips the base ofthe plug, the rubber hose within the hollow tool acts as a cushion to protect the plug’s porcelain insulator from accidental breakage.
In the U.S., at least during the 1930′s through much of the 1950s, money was a scarce commodity. Times were tough for most Americans. For many, paying someone to work on their truck or car was not an option. If you owned a vehicle, you or a close friend often became the mechanic.
Out of necessity, home remedies were invented using everyday household equipment. We hope you will find it interesting to see some of the repair techniques used by your grandparents during a different economic time.
The repair remedies are from Restored Cars. This excellent bi-monthly Australian magazine features special cars and trucks of earlier years. They can be contacted by calling 011-61-3-5476-2592.