The Body Control Module (BcM) – Dave’s Garage

lucas body control module BCMAbsent any questions this month, I’ll tell the tale of a recent repair to my Chrysler minivan. I have had problems with the Body Control Module for the past few years. The BCM is the “brain” of the vehicle, and it’s function is the control of all things electrical in the vehicle. This part is vehicle specific, and stores all the vehicle data, such as the mileage on the odometer and the Vehicle Identification Number.

This problem first presented itself with the wipers, lights and door locks randomly going on and off, regardless of the switch positions. This would happen whether the key was on or not. I was always able to “fix” the problem by rebooting the BCM. Rebooting the BCM is accomplished by disconnecting the battery overnight. Simply disconnecting the battery for a few minutes or a few hours would not work. Sometimes the battery would have to be disconnected for a day or two for the reboot to be successful. After a successful reboot the repair would usually last for several months, but the problems would always reappear. Recently, the wipers and the low-beam headlights ceased to function. I suspected the BCM, but a re-boot did not yield a fix. I checked the usual suspects, fuses, relays, bad grounds, etc. I quickly determined that there was no power going through these circuits. I thought I should check the wiper stalk, which is also the high beam/low beam switch. Imagine my surprise when I took the switch out, and discovered the Lucas Electric logo stamped on to the switch. You know, Joseph Lucas, Ltd. Birmingham, England- the punch line of many a joke about the poor reliability of English cars.
This switch actually tested out fine, so the BCM was once again suspect. Remember, the BCM is unique to the car in which it is installed. Even If I was lucky enough to find the same year, make and model van in a salvage yard, the BCM still holds the identity of the car it is built with. The VIN number and mileage are both stored in the BCM. The cost of a BCM through a dealer costs well over a thousand dollars, and the part needs to be programmed to the vehicle at an additional cost.

A google search proved to be quite productive. I found an outfit in Michigan that has identified the weakness in Chrysler BCMs and rebuilds them with improved components. All they need is the year, make, model, mileage and part number on the BCM, and they send you a rebuilt BCM already programmed for your car. While not cheap (at $250-including shipping…) it is less than a quarter of the cost, better quality and much faster turn around time than the dealership.

What did I learn from this experience? With today’s cars, there is less of a difference between foreign and domestic cars. With world wide vendors supply-ing the OEM parts market, there is no telling what you will find. I was stunned to find a Lucas switch in a Chrysler minivan.

It also pays to use the Internet when doing automotive repairs. Finding the outfit in Michigan that repairs Chrysler Body Control Modules probably saved me over a thousand dollars.


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

Talking Shop – Dave’s Garage

No questions to answer this month, so I’ll take this opportunity to “talk shop.”

I like to work on cars. Fortunately, antique cars give me plenty of opportunities to do just that. Occasionally a problem will come up and it will stump me. This is often upsetting at the time, but usually works out well in the end. I say this because I usually end up buying a new tool, or, I learn something.

I have a rather large assortment of tools, from a nice collection of hand tools to more specialized tools. Several years ago Wilson Tire in Lebanon, NH sold off all their equipment, including the lifts. I was able to buy a two post lift for my garage at a very favorable price, and now I am equipped to do most repairs on cars. I refuse to buy a tool that I will only use a couple of times. If it becomes clear that I will get a lot of use out of a tool, I will purchase it, but it needs to justify the expense and the amount of space it takes up in my gar-age. I can do my own A/C repair now, but I don’t have a fancy several thousand dollar evacuation machine, I have a $15 dollar compres-sor powered vacuum pump from Harbor Freight. It works, and I’ve probably used it 4 times now.

The tool I use the most, though, is my computer. Knowledge is power, and if I need to learn about something the internet is always just a few finger strokes away.

I have found the Internet forums quite helpful. There is more knowledge and experience there than in any book. Chances are, whenever I have a problem or a question I need answered there is a group of people who have already solved it and they are all too happy to help. This resource is invaluable for answering questions and solving problems. The internet is very useful during a restoration, from find-ing pictures of how things are supposed to be assembled, to finding out the finer points of originality, all the answers can be found on line. If you have a particularly troubling problem, come to a VAE meeting and ask for help. You will be hard pressed to find another room with more knowledge and people willing to help. If you can’t wait for a meeting, pick up the VAE Roster and look for a person with a car similar to yours, and give them a call.

Another tip I have found to be very beneficial is the use of another similar car. It is amazing how we get used to something, and then just assume that it is normal. The best way I can judge what is “right” on any particular car is to compare it with a car that is right. Take the opportunity to drive someone else’s car. This is a great way to see if everything is as it should be on your car. It is truly amazing how things change over time, and we get used to it. Our cars need to drive safely, and we simply cannot drive with brakes or suspension components that are not up to par.


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

Fluid Changes – Dave’s Garage

In prior columns I’ve discussed various automotive fluids, which types to use and why to change them.

corroded cylindersBrake fluid needs to be changed every two to three years, or replaced with DOT 5 (Silicone) fluid. Failure to do so will result in low boiling temperatures and seizing pistons in calipers and wheel cylinders, resulting in brake failure.

Transmission and differential oil needs to be checked to ensure proper lubrication. Engine oil needs to be changed regularly to prevent sludge, varnish and corrosion inside the engine. Soft metals like bearing shells can be damaged if the engine oil can be damaged by neglected engine oil which can become acidic. I have recently seen several photos that very graphically show the importance of regular coolant flushes and refills. The anti-corrosive properties of automotive coolant slowly fade away until the coolant can no longer protect against corrosion.

sabb 2c head gasket failureNotice this head gasket failure from a 2L Saab engine. The gasket literally corroded away. A very expensive repair that could have been avoided with some simple and inexpensive preventative maintenance.

vw porsche cylinder head corrosionSo if it has been three, five, or even ten or more years since you have changed your coolant, you may want to put this chore on your to do list before your pride and joy looked like these pictures. Certain Porsche, Volkswagen and Franklin owners need not worry.


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

Coolants 101 – Dave’s Garage

Recently I got a question about the many different types of antifreeze available today. Specifically, what type to put in a new Honda with blue coolant. So, here it is:

Types of Coolant (Antifreeze)
Today’s coolant market is confusing. In days past all coolant was the green ethylene glycol variety, one type of coolant for every car. Now it seems that every car manufacturer has at least one color of coolant. What Type of Antifreeze Should I Use?…..All Makes and Models?…Extended Life 150,000 Miles?…..Green, Red, Yellow, Orange, Pink, Blue? There are a lot of choices of different automotive coolants today. So, which one should you use in your car? You should use what your car was made to have. However, sometimes it may be difficult to decipher what the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) used, especially if you purchased your car used.

Basically, there are three basic types of automotive coolant: Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT), Organic Acid Technology (OAT), and Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT).

IAT coolants are the “traditional green” variety used in virtually all American vehicles from the late 1920s to the mid to late 1990s. Like all antifreeze, it is naturally clear; its color comes from dye. Unlike the other types of antifreeze, it uses silicate and phosphate corrosion inhibitors to protect the metal parts of the engine and cooling system. However, these inhibitors wear out quickly, so IAT type coolants need to be flushed every two years or 30,000 miles. OAT coolants typically do not use silicate and phosphate corrosion inhibitors. Different manufacturers use different chemical additives to battle rust and corrosion, and they all dye their coolants different colors. GM’s ubiquitous DEX-COOL coolant is an OAT antifreeze dyed orange. Toyota, Volkswagen, and Audi all use their own formulas that happen to be dyed pink. Honda uses a dark green (blue) dye. OAT coolants have longer service lives than IAT coolants, needing to be flushed every 5 years or 150,000 miles. HOAT coolants use different additives than OAT, but also use some silicate to protect aluminum surfaces. Modern Ford, Chrysler, and most European vehicles use their own HOAT coolant formulas. Ford’s is dyed yellow and Chrysler’s is orange (not to be confused with DEX-COOL). Both use the marketing name of GO-5. HOAT coolant has the same service interval as OAT (5 years or 150,000 miles).

Summary:

  • IAT – Used in early to mid-late 90’s Domestic vehicles…….This type is good for our antique cars
  • OAT – Used in late 90’s GM and most Asian vehicles
  • HOAT – Used in 2000’s Fords, Chryslers, and most European vehicles.

Although you can mix coolant types without harm, it is highly recommended against. If you mix an OAT or HOAT with an IAT, you will lose the extended service life of the OAT or HOAT coolant. Some people say that if you mix these types of coolant it can result in the coolant gelling, but if you keep your cooling system well maintained, this should not be a problem.

And finally, what about the “Universal, All Makes, All Models” coolant you see stuffing store shelves? Basically, those are OAT DEX-COOL clones. I would personally steer well clear of them unless your vehicle is de-signed for OAT coolant. You should always check your owners manual, and make sure the coolant you add is the same type of coolant your car requires.

Thanks to “how-to-matthew” for information contained in this article.


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

Removal of Broken Studs and Bolts – Dave’s Garage

We’ve all been there, especially while working on vehicles that are driven in salt. We start to wrench a nut or a bolt, and… SNAP!

sheered boltHere, the fastener is broken off, the metal has been cleaned up and is ready for the weld.

Easy outs can work, unless they twist or snap off. Ever try to drill out an easy- out? It’s almost impossible. The metal is very hard, and when they snap, they usually give no warning. It is also almost impossible to drill and tap without going off center. I have a little trick I’ve been using for years, very handy if you have access to a MIG welder. First, weld a bulb on the end of the broken stud or bolt. The resulting heat from the weld will heat the fastener and usually break the rust bond.

broken stud boltHere, the metal bulb is welded to the end of the broken stud. While the weld is still hot, penetrating oil is sprayed on the broken stud.
Second, either place a nut over the bulb and weld it to the bulb, or latch on to the bulb with a pair of vise grips. If you elected to weld a nut on the bulb, place a box wrench over the nut.

broken bolt vice gripsAfter locking on the bulb with vise grips, the broken stud was coaxed out by gently rocking it back and forth until it easily unscrewed. You can see the shiny steel weld in the jaws of the vise grips, and the rust colored threads of the broken stud.

Soak the fastener with penetrating oil, then gently work it loose by rocking it back and forth. Now it should easily back out. This process is much easier when trying to remove a steel fastener from a non-ferrous metal (brass, bronze, aluminum, etc.) because these materials will not weld with a mig welder, and the weld will not stick to anything but the fastener. I have also welded nuts to rounded off bolt heads and nuts to facilitate their removal.

Remember, when reassembling these parts, use a liberal amount of Never-Seize, so the next time you take it apart, it will come apart.
I hope this tip helps!


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

It Pays to Know Good Parts Counter People – Dave’s Garage

No mail this month, so I will discuss the importance of a good parts counter person.

Recently, I found my self needing to borrow a car. I asked dad if I could borrow his Subaru. The A/C clutch was broken and he asked me if I could fix it while I had the car. The bearing in the clutch pulley was broken. He had taken it to the dealer, and the Subaru dealer stated that the compres-sor needed to be replaced. The compressor was fine, it was only the clutch bearing that was the problem. I pulled the bearing and was fortunate enough to still be able to read the numbers off it. I grabbed my calipers and set off to buy a bearing. The first stop was Advance Auto Parts. The guy behind the counter tried to look it up, then told me that the part was not available. He was trying to look it up by year, make, model and part. I asked him to try to look it up by the bearing number… No luck. I pulled out my calipers and began to measure it so he could look it up by size. He had no idea what the calipers were, and inquisitively asked me what they were and what they did. He then told me there was no way to look up a bearing by it’s dimensions, or by the bearing number. A quick Google search by the bearing number showed the bearing to be available. A google search is often quite helpful in trying to find an odd ball part. Having this information in hand can help the guy on the other side of the counter find a part for you. My next stop was Bond Auto. The guy quickly checked the application by looking at year, make and model, then just used the bearing number. Several minutes later he told me the bearing was available, but would take a few days to get in. He then suggested I try Bearing Specialty Supply in Williston, as they could get it faster. So, with the help of a competent parts counter guy I was able to fix the car for less than ten percent of the cost of a new compressor. If you have the time, it is usually cheaper to order a part on line. If you need the part quickly, or you are not sure what it looks like and want to hold it in your hand before you pay for it, it is better to use the local auto parts store. A decent parts person is a valuable asset; whether it is the local auto parts store or the parts counter at a dealership. A good parts counter person will often tell me if other parts are often needed, and what issues mechanics have run into when servicing a particular part. This information can be quite helpful. They can also tell me how often they sell a particular part…this is helpful information too. I have found the parts guys at both Bond and Napa to be quite helpful. The other guys… Not so much…


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

The Pozidriv Screw… Not Phillips – Dave’s Garage

pozidriv screw head
The screws have a head that looks like this:

Absent mail this month, I thought I would pass along something interesting I recently learned. Over the years I have seen a lot of screws on antique cars that I thought were early Phillips screws. I always assumed that it was a particular brand of screw. In addition to the slots for a screwdriver, there are a second set of very faint cross slots 45 degrees away. I’ve no-ticed these screws seem to be on a lot of British cars.
These are not Phillips, but rather something called Pozidriv. Here is some information and history on Pozidriv courtesy of Wikipedia:

The Pozidriv, sometimes misspelled Pozidrive, screw drive is an improved version of the Phillips screw drive. It is jointly patented by the Phillips Screw Company and American Screw Company. The name is thought to be an abbreviation of positive drive. Its advantage over Phillips drives is its decreased likelihood to cam out, which allows greater torque to be applied.
Phillips drivers have an intentional angle on the flanks and rounded corners so they will cam out of the slot before a power tool will twist off the screw head. The Pozidriv screws and drivers have straight sided flanks.

The Pozidriv screwdriver and screws are also visually distinguishable from Phillips by the second set of cross-like features set 45 degrees from the cross. The manufacturing process for Pozidriv screwdrivers is slightly more complex. The Phillips driver has four simple slots cut out of it, whereas in the Pozidriv each slot is the result of two machining processes at right angles. The result of this is that the arms of the cross are parallel-sided with the Pozidriv, and tapered with the Phillips.

This design is intended to decrease the likelihood that the Pozidriv screwdriver will slip out, provide a greater driving surface, and decrease wear. The chief disadvantage of Pozidriv screws is that they are visually quite similar to Phillips, thus many people are unaware of the difference or do not own the correct drivers for them, and use incorrect screwdrivers. This results in difficulty with removing the screw and damage to the slot, rendering any subsequent use of a correct screwdriver unsatisfactory. Phillips screwdrivers will fit in and turn Pozidriv screws, but will cam out if enough torque is applied, potentially damaging the screw head. The marker lines on a Pozidriv screwdriver will not fit a Phillips screw correctly, and are likely to slip or tear out the screw head.

There are special Pozidriv screwdrivers available from tool manufacturers. Snap-On sells an assortment with five different sizes. If you are finding a lot of these “odd phillips” screws, it may be worth your while to pick up a set of Pozidriv screwdrivers.


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

Test Starting an Unmounted Engine – Dave’s Garage

I hope your summer is going well… it is nice to finally get somewhat of a break from the rain. As I am sitting here typing this, I think I can actually hear the grass growing outside my window. I have been quite busy with my MG TF project, the body tub went back on the running chassis yesterday, now I am hooking everything back up and trying to find all the parts I took off last year…

This question came to me this month:

Q. I have the “sliver” of a ’25 Moon. Continental 6 motor, chassis, wheels, radiator, hood, steering wheel…umm that’s about it. I had the starter rebuilt & now want to try to see if the motor will run. The flywheel does turn & it doesn’t appear to be “stuck”. I think it’s a 6 volt system, but is it negative ground? The radiator leaks real good, too! What do I have to do to test it out? Is there a basic flow chart/ or some diagnostic chart to follow for basic engine starting? Thank you for your response.

A. To test an engine, the engine needs to be firmly mounted to something. I would recommend bolting it in to the frame. Before you attempt to start the engine, the carburetor should be taken apart and cleaned and the engine oil should be changed. You need some provision to check for oil pressure. Do you have the gauge from the car? If not, do you have a mechanical gauge? With the engine bolted down, the carburetor cleaned and the oil changed the spark plugs should be removed and the engine should be turned over using the starter until there is good and stable oil pressure. To run, the engine needs three things; air, fuel and spark. You can hook the distributor up to any coil, six, or twelve volt, positive or negative ground, the electrons do not care, and the point and condenser system will work with any combination of the above to test fire an engine. I would check the points to make sure they are clean and working first. Either wire a switch in to the wire, or hook it up in such a way to be able to quickly disconnect a wire to shut the engine down. With the carburetor cleaned you can take several feet of hose and either hook it up to the fuel pump (if it works) or si-phon fuel through the hose from a gas can to the carburetor, keeping the gas can higher than the carburetor. Since you are test firing an engine, and only running it momentarily, you can put the coolant hoses in to a five gallon pail of water. To start the engine, use jumper cables directly on the starter. The starter has permanent magnets in it so it is not polarity sensitive. Place one lead on a good ground, and the other on the starter terminal. When you have power going to the ignition coil and you are ready to start, connect the jumper cable to a battery to activate the starter. BE prepared to “pull the plug” and keep a good fire extinguisher near by! This will quickly tell you if the engine is running or not, but will not give you much information as to the condition of the engine. Since it has been sitting for so long, it will probably not run very well, and it will smoke. Taking compression readings and noting the oil pressure will give you a good idea of the condition of the engine. I would not run the engine for more than a few seconds. Best of luck to you and keep us posted with your results.

I received this tip from Ken Taplin, and I am passing it along. I do not have a cell phone or a GPS, but I know most people do. I have not tried this, but would assume that it will work since most electronics operate on low voltage DC power.

Dave, Maybe I’m the only one that didn’t know this but I recently discovered that you can run a gps and charge a cell phone just as well on 6V as 12V. I used to carry a 12V battery pack for that. You do need the right polarity and In my positive ground cars I have installed marine grade power points. The cases are plastic and therefore not grounded so you can hook up the two wires for the right polarity. – Ken Taplin Blue Hill, Me.


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

JB Weld

Once again, my mail bag is empty. Since I have no questions to answer, I will write this month about a product I have used for years, but have been asked a lot of questions about lately. People have joked over the years that if it were not for “JB Weld” my cars would have fallen to the ground in pieces. In fact, there is a ring of truth to this.

“JB Weld” is a two-part epoxy product. It comes in several different flavors, but the concept is the same. There is a “JB Quick” that sets up in about five minutes, but once cured is not as strong as the original JB Weld. For applications im-mersed in water there is a JB Weld that sets up under water, appropriately called “JB Water Weld.”

JB Weld has a cured tensile strength of 3,960 psi. Though it sets up in 4-6 hours but takes 24 hours to cure. Additionally, it is non-conductive (well-insulated) and can be filed, drilled, tapped, and painted. When fully cured, JB Weld is completely resistant to water, gasoline, and about every other petroleum product or automotive chemical. This epoxy will work in tem-peratures up to 500 degrees Fahrenheit, but will fail if heated beyond this point. This epoxy sticks well to all metals. However, it does not stick to flexible rubber, leather, vinyl, canvas or polypropylene plastic.

I first used JB Weld to fix a pot metal door lock assembly in my first Subaru Legacy. Somebody recommended it, and I reluctantly tried it. Much to my surprise, it worked. Since then, I have found countless uses for it over the years. The right side horn on the MG TD I recently restored is largely made out of JB weld. The horn is a cast assembly, and the throat of the horn was smashed, though the mechanical part of the horn still worked. Unfortunately, the throat of this horn is an una-vailable part, so I decided I would try to repair it with the epoxy. Using the horn on the other side as a pattern, I was able to rebuild the throat of the horn with the epoxy. I have glued bolts on to broken-off studs and been able to back the stud out. I have fixed my wife’s stainless steel pots and pans, using it to replace broken rivets, knobs and spot welds. It has held up to both the heat and the dishwasher. I have often used this epoxy in my model-making, using it as both a glue and to make my own cast model parts. I have recently been asking people if they are familiar with this product. A number of people have told me that they use it, and use it often. Surprisingly, a few people have told me they either never heard of it, or have heard of it but never used it before.

Here are some tips for new users:

  • As with any type of adhesion, make sure the surface is clean and free of any grease or greasy residue. Clean the surface with soap and water and dry.
  • Before applying the epoxy, rough up the surface with sand paper or a wire brush and clean with acetone or lacquer thinner. Make sure you mix exactly 50% resin to 50% hardener. The mixture has to be close to 50-50 or it will not fully cure.
  • Allow the epoxy to cure before it is moved. I often use tape to hold the epoxy in place until it hardens. If this is not possible, use the JB Stick putty, as this will hold its shape until it cures.

Hopefully, if your tool box isn’t already well-stocked with JB Weld, it will be soon! It has served me very well over the years, and I’m certain you will find it as indispensable as I have, if you haven’t already enjoyed the benefits of this product.

(This column is a Q & A column with you asking me questions and after researching the answer I will reply. Any questions ‘automotive’ is fare game, I might not know the answer but hopefully I will find someone who does know.)


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477

 

Why the Model T Ford was so Historically Significant

To say the Model T Ford was in influential and unique automobile would be an understatement. No other vehicle left such a lasting impact on the automotive world. This car not only made the automobile affordable to the masses, it put America on wheels and helped to define the modern, industrial and mobile American society.

Let’s take a look at some of the unique features of the Model T

  • First mass produced car on an assembly line; many production features that sped up and streamlined production, like only having one type of paint on the car, fast drying and easy to match black lacquer.
  • The model T was the first production car with a removable Cylinder head.
  • There was no water pump on the Model T. The cooling system relied on thermal cycling to achieve cooling. Ford opted for a cheaper and more reliable thermo-siphon system. Hot water, being less dense, would rise to the top of the engine and up into the top of the radiator, descending to the bottom as it cooled, and back into the engine.
  • There was no fuel pump on the Model T. The carburetor was located relatively low on the engine, and the fuel delivery was gravity fed- the down side? people often had to back up steep hills due to fuel starvation.
  • There was no distributor on the model T. There were four individual coil boxes, switched by a low voltage “commutator“ or timer. Power came either from the six volt DC battery, or the engine magneto that produced AC current. The car was usually started on battery power, then switched to the Magneto with the key on the dashboard.
  • There was no Speedometer, odometer, fuel gauge or gas gauge on the Model T. The only instrumentation was an amp meter on the dashboard.
  • The Model T had an unconventional, planetary two speed transmission. First gear was engaged by depressing the left pedal on the floor. Releasing this pedal disengaged first gear. Second gear was engaged by sliding the parking brake lever (just to the left of the driver) forward while depressing the low gear pedal. With the parking brake lever in it forward most position, releasing the first gear pedal engaged second gear.
  • Reverse was engaged by depressing a pedal on the floor.
  • The Model T had no gas pedal. The throttle was a pencil sized lever on the right side of the steering column. This unique driving arrangement puzzled many unfamiliar motorists, and the transition from a Model T to other cars could be confusing at times, resulting in many fatalities and many more spectacular vehicle crashes.

With the exception of the original Volkswagen Beetle, no car has had a higher production number than the Model T Ford. The car was produced from 1908 through 1927, with a total production volume of more than 15 million cars. At its peak of production in 1925 , the Ford Motor Company was producing more than 10,000 Model T Fords a day! The Model T was the world’s first “global car” The Ford Model T was the first automobile built by various countries simultaneously since they were being produced in Canada , England Germany, Argentina, France, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan.. Ford made use of the knock-down kit concept almost from the beginning of the company. Ford was so efficient, that the shipping crate for the knock down Model T was made of components that became wooden members on the assembled car.
The Model T Ford had many non-automotive effects on our society as well. Henry Ford pioneered the “typical” work week, with a Monday through Friday forty hour week consisting of five 8 hour shifts. This set up the concept of a “weekend” with Saturday and Sunday off. “Kingsford” charcoal was made from waste at the Ford assembly plant.

“Firestone” tires were the tire of choice on the Model T, giving Henry Ford’s friend Harvey Firestone business that built up the Fire-stone Rubber company. Harvey Firestone and Henry Ford developed a life long friendship and became industrial tycoons together. Harvey Firestone’s granddaughter ended up marrying Henry Ford’s Grandson. Ford and Firestone had a lasting business relation-ship that lasted 95 years. This relationship was severed with the Ford Explorer roll over problem, made worse by defective Firestone tires that would suddenly suffer severe structural failure resulting in sudden blow outs or tread separation. Ford had a defective product, the Explorer which had poor handling characteristics resulting in a tendency to roll over, and Firestone had a defective product, the Fire-stone Wilderness AT tire, a tire that was built to specifications by Ford for the Explorer. Ford and Firestone each publicly pointed the finger toward each other, and the business relationship was dissolved. Ford Motor Company ceased to buy tires from Firestone. While this very public feud was happening, the CEO of the Ford Motor Company was William Clay Ford, great grandson to both Harvey Fire-stone and Henry Ford.

I greatly enjoyed giving people the opportunity to experience a hand on test drive in a Model T at the April VAE meet. If anyone missed the opportunity, ask me and I would be happy to offer it again.
I received a nice type written note from founding member Lloyd Davis a few weeks ago. It was refreshing to read a letter written on a typewriter. Thank you Lloyd.

In closing, I want to tell you about a license plate that caught my eye on a Toyota Prius a few days ago. It was a New York plate that read “NVMYMPG.” It took me a minute, then it hit me, “envy my MPG.” With gas over $4.00 a gallon, I do.


Please email all inquiries to: Dave
or snail mail
32 Turkey Hill Road
Richmond VT 05477