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 Questions about getting a classic car

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Fri Dec 04, 2015 11:29 pm

Thanks to the Edsel literature I got with the car, an owner's manual, two advertising brochures, and a paint chart with samples, I see that my car's paint has official names, of course: Snow White and Ice Green (what we call mint green).

One frosty night and slow start convinced me: I'm renting the garage.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:17 am



Miss Edsel is paradoxical: about as light and maneuverable as a tank yet as fragile as an eggshell.

Getting her into the narrow one-car garage, down an alley behind a row of little attached houses, is like docking the Queen Mary singlehandedly, muscling the wheel every step. (Unlike Christine, no power steering or power brakes.) Having to ask a neighbor to move their car is and will be a pain. I think I'll rent this year-round so she's safe in the winter (nice room temperature compared to being outside, plus no moisture) but actually keep her in the garage at my place when the weather is warm and thus I can drive her.

Does she require leaded gas even if the seller didn't mention it? All he said was she takes only premium gas and a thick kind of oil (I didn't write down the kind; please tell me the kind you use).

A Christine quote edited for real '50s cars, on a 30º morning: "She'll start... maybe... if she feels like it... shitter!"

Thanks for reading.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:58 am

That's a beautiful car Serge. I have no idea why the Edsel didn't catch on back in the day. Looks like you have the Spinner wheel covers on there too. Love to know everything about her when you get the chance...and see more photos too. But I know I may have to wait if you put her to sleep for the winter. If it's not too late, either remove the battery and take it home to keep it  in a warm environment or...disconnect the neg. cable and trickle charge in place. This will insure no old wiring shorts out/catches fire and will help battery to last longer. I myself use those quick disconnects on the neg. side of the terminal. You may have seen them...sort of a gold terminal with a green dial. Counterclockwise on the dial to disconnect...clockwise to tighten for connect.  

You certainly can get a lead additive from your local auto store...wouldn't hurt. Will it help? I don't know. I don't use it. There are advocates for it out there but I'm not sure what they're basing their opinions on. Theory or actual proof?...In theory, lead lubricates the valve/valve seats. Without lead, unhardened valve seats will burn out. Hardened valve seats came out later in the 60's from what I hear. I always use 91 octane non-ethanol gas though. Not sure if you can find it down in Philly or not? For the first few years that ethanol gas came out, I just went ahead and used it and had no problems, but then I heard ethanol eats up rubber o-rings, gaskets, fuel line, so I switched to the non-ethanol. My DeSoto pings on low octane gas too, so the 91 non-ethanol works well. Green Christine doesn't care what she gets. I put 87 in her once because I couldn't find the 91 non-ethanol and she ran fine but I always store both with non-ethanol. Anyways, about the oil. Was he talking about 20w-50? I put that in my DeSoto...10w-40 works ok if I can't find that.

Hope this helps...
Bob

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:00 am

furvedere wrote:
Anyways, about the oil. Was he talking about 20w-50?

That's it! Thanks, Bob.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 06, 2015 12:50 pm

Hey, congrats on getting the Edsel Serge! That looks like a great car. When you decide to change oil, you might want to get a bottle of the zddp additive as well. It's a zinc product for flat tappet cams that has been reduced or eliminated in newer oils due to EPA regulations. Most newer engines use roller valve trains so the lack of zinc isn't an issue but it's causing cam and lifter damage in older ones. Diesel oil used to be a good alternative but I've read that even that oil has had the zinc levels drastically cut so I guess we're stuck with dumping extra stuff in our cars from now on.
Just found this online, I might have to get this for mine!
Chris.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:14 pm

Good call on that oil Chris. That's the oil Serge you want to use. Its made for our older cars/trucks. And like Chris said it has the zinc that is needed for your older engines so they don't eat themselves to pieces. If you use over the counter or your newer average oil you will be sure to eat your cam lobs off over time. Also the theory of only needing high zinc oil for break in is a farce and way to risky. You will want to continue the use of high zinc oils for the life of your engine. And that way your engine will stay happy happy! Smile



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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 06, 2015 5:23 pm



Thanks about the 20W-50 and the lead supplement. I'll stock up on both. My garage landlord is the nicest man; young, I think from Vietnam. The only drawbacks are it's away from home and it's so hard to get in and out; I've already buffed a scuff (sorry, baby). God willing, eventually I can garage her at home.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 06, 2015 8:11 pm

Thanks Chris...Brian...I guess I've heard car talk before...about adding extra zinc. I have yet to do so though.

Hmmmm...

Great photo Serge...Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 06, 2015 9:55 pm

furvedere wrote:
Thanks Chris...Brian...I guess I've heard car talk before...about adding extra zinc. I have yet to do so though.

Hmmmm...

Great photo Serge...Very Happy  


Well Bob, In theory it is said that if the motor is broke in with high zinc oil the cam lobs and lifter bottoms will harden. So there after one can use a oil with less to no zinc. But ive personally have talked to machine shops around here that rebuild motors and they have said that they no longer go with that theory. They have had too many motors come back with cam lobs completely worn off.. Not to mention I have had a friend of mine wear his cam lobs right off over the course of a few years. And his motor was broke in on dyno with the high zinc oil. And most engines that this happens too are completely torn up from all the metal shavings that get pumped through the motor. So it ends up needing more then just a new cam and lifters.

Its just some info I want to share with everyone. Smile


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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:13 pm

Well, I'm glad that someone is supplying an oil specifically for the older cars. Having to put in a bottle of zinc isn't a terrible thing but too much can be harmful from what I've read, so it's nice to just be able to get the proper oil in the first place.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 06, 2015 10:18 pm

Well done, Serge. Congratulations. The ol gal looks great!

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Mon Dec 07, 2015 6:12 pm

Serge wrote:


Thanks about the 20W-50 and the lead supplement. I'll stock up on both. My garage landlord is the nicest man; young, I think from Vietnam. The only drawbacks are it's away from home and it's so hard to get in and out; I've already buffed a scuff (sorry, baby). God willing, eventually I can garage her at home.

Wow, she looks awesome Serge! Very Happy 
Too bad about the garage's drawbacks... Sad Sad that you scuffed her too! Sad I hope that the scratch/scuff came out ok without leaving anything major?

I completely understand about moving a car in/out of tight places... I will get to experience that same type of fun when I buy my '58 Plymouth Savoy.
She's in a real tight place right now. Honestly, I don't even see how they got that car in there... Maybe they built the carport around the car? Laughing
Just have to back her out slowly, close eyes, cross fingers, and hope for the best! Very Happy No, wait, can't close eyes and cross fingers cause I will be driving/trying to maneuver her outta there! lol!
I will take photos of my car-buying adventure here when I do buy her. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Mon Dec 07, 2015 8:20 pm

Some Meguiar's stuff and a microfiber pad took the scuff off.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Tue Dec 08, 2015 4:43 pm

Glad to hear that it took the scuff off. Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:43 pm



In her rented garage for now.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Tue Dec 08, 2015 6:49 pm

She looks good Serge! At least the rented garage keeps her out of the weather... Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Tue Dec 08, 2015 7:59 pm

1958PlymouthFuryChristine wrote:
At least the rented garage keeps her out of the weather...

That and the garage is a good temperature, with a laundry next to it and houses above; neither too hot nor too cold. Two big drawbacks: the cramped alley it opens to, with cars parked in it, and the bad condition of the concrete floor near the door as you can see. That's hell for Miss Edsel to go over, in and out (sorry, baby).

How safe mechanically would she be in the unheated garage behind my home?

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:08 pm

Well the garage being heated is a plus, a minus about the drawbacks though.
I can understand about the cramped alleyway, must be difficult maneuvering her without power steering outta there.
Also I understand about the bad condition of the concrete floor. Doesn't look like she will enjoy that too much going over that.

I'd say that she would be safe in a non-heated garage.
That has a big plus too, the garage is behind your house where you can keep an eye on her, also better for working on her too. Very Happy 
None of my dad's cars have a heated garage, and believe me, it gets downright cold here in Winter. A couple weeks ago it got down to single digits.
All of my dad's cars stay safe mechanically. It just takes a couple extra pumps (depending on the car) of the gas pedal to get the car to start, and stay running, if you haven't started/ran the car in awhile when she's cold.
Just start her up every now and then and she'll be fine. Very Happy 
That's what I do with the cars anyhow... Very Happy 
But before you make a decision, I would wait for the pros to chime in here. They know a lot more than I do about what's good/bad for cars... Heck, I'm only 19... Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Tue Dec 08, 2015 9:31 pm

Thanks for the advice, indirectly from your dad the car guy. I like my garage landlord but this garage is really having the car in storage vs. being able to drive her in the neighborhood on nice days (the only days she'll go out).

I don't steal credit; I didn't build her and wouldn't know how. She is beautiful, a combination of providence preserving her and nice body work two owners ago. She runs again because her last person is a mechanic. I'll just keep her safe in the garage out of the cold, rain, etc., make sure she gets the right kinds of gas and oil (thanks, car guys, for all the advice), religiously have the oil changed twice a year, and hope for the best, that my love can keep this car "alive" so I can drive her on very short trips twice a week.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:34 pm

I'm a car person too, Serge. I just picked up most of my knowledge about cars, know-how of working on cars, keeping them in good running order, watching my dad work on his cars, and now my love for my own cars, I picked that all up from my dad. Very Happy 

Personally, if you do really want to drive her around on nice days, I would keep her in the garage at your house.
After time, it becomes a real pain to have to drive another car back and forth to the garage where you keep the Edsel just to drive the Edsel. Also it's a big plus keeping her at home because you can keep a good eye on her at all times to make sure she's safe. Smile 
Believe me, I have experienced that 1st hand myself too. My dad had one of his cars in storage for a time (I went with him), and every time we would want to cruise in that car, we would have to drive back/forth from our house to the rented garage. We got very tired of having to do that all the time and also the car being away from home so now that car is full-time here at the house. And we are much more happy with the car being at home here. It's peace-of-mind knowing that your car is at home and safe where you can keep an eye on it at all times.  Very Happy 

Hope this helps you out Serge on your decision-making on whether to keep Miss Edsel at a rented garage or at your home... Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:42 pm

So, do you actually have room to park her at home then? I use a Rhino shelter for my car when storing for the winter in an unheated garage, it's basically a giant bag that you put the car in along with desiccant  to control moisture. It seems to work well, this is my third season using it.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:44 pm

I should have an unheated garage bay available at home in about a month.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:51 pm

It is nice to know what's happening with your car when you can keep tabs on her! Plus it's a lot cheaper.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:23 pm

Right now everything depends on my building's caretaker to clean out the garage soon.

A friend about 100 miles away is a car guy, a Corvette person, giving me a lot of the great advice you all have, plus he has no-ethanol gas to give me!

And my baby's had one brief unintentional burnout (spinning wheels, not a fire, thank God), like Christine right before she smushed Moochie. Similar setup: I was struggling to get her into that little garage... and of course the parking brake was still on. Now I'm scared for her health.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 20, 2015 2:44 pm

The last owner (mechanic at a Nissan dealer) says she's fine with 10% ethanol, only super premium gas with lead additive (got it) ever other filling and with thick high-mileage oil; noncommittal about zinc. She and I went cruising a week ago when it was nice out and when the garage door was miraculously unblocked for a few hours.

As she was in New Jersey, in Pennsylvania she is now a registered antique, plus, since this state lets you register with a plate from the car's model year, I have one (with a '64 registration sticker) ready to do so.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:30 pm

Just make sure to keep the gas tank full otherwise you can have rusting issues.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 20, 2015 8:45 pm

OK; good. Put $10 worth in during our cruise last Sunday.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 27, 2015 2:14 pm

Got 5 quarts of Pennzoil 10W-50 for Christmas (I was trying to get 20W-50). Good to know from you it will work OK; thanks.



And this, in 1:25 scale: never had a model of my own car before. Actually this is a Pacer coupe. My car in gang colors. One of those nice pre-painted models. Just as much of a challenge to build and you don't have to worry about the finish or wait for paint to dry. Done in 6 hours, not perfectly but good enough. Wonderful result, even though it's not eligible to be in a contest.

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Sun Dec 27, 2015 6:00 pm

Serge wrote:
Got 5 quarts of Pennzoil 10W-50 for Christmas (I was trying to get 20W-50). Good to know from you it will work OK; thanks.



And this, in 1:25 scale: never had a model of my own car before. Actually this is a Pacer coupe. My car in gang colors. One of those nice pre-painted models. Just as much of a challenge to build and you don't have to worry about the finish or wait for paint to dry. Done in 6 hours, not perfectly but good enough. Wonderful result, even though it's not eligible to be in a contest.

Hey Serge, nice Edsel model! If the Penzoil is just the regular stuff I'd get a bottle of the zddp additive just to be safe. rendeer

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PostSubject: Re: Questions about getting a classic car   Mon Dec 28, 2015 9:33 pm

More car facts, thanks to meeting other Edsel owners on Facebook (including the seller).

Edsels such as mine without the Teletouch shifter are rare.

I know her birthday and birthplace, thanks to her dataplate in the driver's-door well and a man who translated it for me. She was born in San Jose, California, July 29, 1957, the 76th Edsel built there that year. Her roof isn't the original color; it was Ice Green like the body. Her upholstery wasn't accurately restored but I'm not complaining. She doesn't have overdrive.

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Serge's '58 Edsel, Edna.
Photo album of Christines and near-Christines.
Serge's home page including links to '50s car photos.

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