Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tech Session- 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The CTCC Spring Tech Session was held at the home and garages of Judy and Otto Bruggenthies in Mettawa, as access to Bob Wenderski's garage was limited due to road construction. Twenty-five club members and a few Thunderbirds braved April showers to attend. Dan Tinder drove his Thunderbird Blue '55 from Winamac, Indiana. His engine compartment looked great despite the rain and it sported an interesting Optima 6 volt battery. The wide whitewalls on his car were made from Michelin cores. Gordon Gluff drove his Red '56 and Joel Greenberg his Yellow '57 'Bird. Joe Zambon's '57 was already in the garage, as it was the subject of the Tech Session along with Judy Bruggenthies' Dusk Rose '57 which was stored up on a lift. Len Keil came in his '97 Thunderbird. I drove my Blue '02 and Pete Kramer his Cashmere '05 'Bird. Arthur Hahl came in a '78 Ranchero which was large for a mid-size truck, based on the LTD II.

Others in attendance were Dan Anderson, Tom Bruin, Bert Eisenhour, Jim Elijah {showing pictures of his '79 Lincoln Mark V), Larry Johnson and Sue Hommedieu, Larry Kelly, Joe Kraatz, Ron Pavlak, Jerry Peterson, Dave Pogorski, Joe Sant (who has a Starmist Blue '57 all apart), Ken Smizinski, Bob Sroka and friend Lee Bakakos (a new CTCC member), Bill Werth, Joe Wintz, and Joe Zambon.

Judy and Otto's garages were filled with all sorts of vehicles and miniature conveyances that were displayed on a shelf around the perimeter of the building. There was an Amish children's buggy that was steered with the horse reins, as well as numerous pedal cars. Allis Chalmers and McCormick tractors from kiddie size toys to very large resided in the garages. Bruggenthies' have an interesting '79 Dodge Little Red Wagon step-side pickup with side exhaust pipes at the back of the cab. Otto, recovering from surgery, made the rounds in a motorized scooter.

The Tech Session began with Ken Smizinski stressing the importance of changing motor oil at
least annually, despite the few number of miles driven. Moisture collects under the valve covers and anywhere there is heating, then cooling. IOW-30 or IOW-40 oil can be used, but it should be SF rated, containing zinc. Zinc has been eliminated in many oils and this can shorten engine life. Wal-Mart Accel is SF rated, containing zinc, at $2.17 per quart. Ken further stressed the importance of fresh gas as the new gasoline, with ethanol, breaks down. Marine Sta-Bil will preserve gasoline. He prefers to only fill the tank half full and buy gas more often. Ken has seen cars with the heat-riser mounted backwards. It should face the fender on the outside so that as it heats up, it drops down. He is seeing new oil pumps where the pressure relief spring is too tight, making the oil pressure too high for mechanical lifters. New relief springs can actually bury the needle on an oil pressure gauge and blow the gasket on a spin-on oil filter. Ken stressed, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

The main topic of our Tech Session was the steering gear box, which is often neglected. Ken has most often seen damage in cars without power steering. Seals dry rot and leak. Sending the steering gear box out for repair is a $600-700 job. The fix that Ken demonstrated can be done for less than $10. A 1/2" wrench was used to take the plug out of the steering box. A #3 drill and a 1/4x28 tap were used so that a grease fitting could be fitted in the plug. Now, every time the front end of the car is greased, the steering gear box can also be greased. Four ounces of grease were used and it was pumped into the steering box through the Zerk fitting until the grease came out of the breather holes. Ken suggested using lots of grease the first time, 1 -2 cartridges, as necessary.

Disc brake kits from Bob Walker were discussed along with Dot 4 or Dot 5 brake fluid to absorb the heat. Ken started Judy Bruggenthies' '57 that had not been started since last August. It started right up, since it has an electronic fuel pump. Elizabeth, from Otto and Judy's staff, took group pictures. Most of the group went to Fat Man's Bowling Alley for lunch before riding off into the rain.
- By Jim Wilson

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