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Old 03-11-2006, 10:22 AM   #183
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Pre-1970s Valve Recission Issues

Greetings Kathy!

Quote:
Originally Posted by kdenault
Kevin,
thank you for your response. You always provide such great info--it's truely appreciated! Regarding the valve recission issue--is this problematic for all pre-1970's vehicles? When looking around for a vehicle, I don't recall reading about valve replacement/modification in the descriptions. This applies to pick-ups, cars, wagons, and IH's that I've been looking at. This would seem to me to be somewhat of a major issue, and quite costly to deal with. It seems like this would not be an optional fix whenconsidering a pre-1970's vehicle. Is there anything that I should be looking for when considering a pre-1970's vehicle that would indicate that this issue has been dealt with?
Kathy
I was recently at my regular mechanic's place of business and asked whether the hardened valve seats were part of a major valve job on pre-1970 motors; and his response was that it was a decision shared between the mechanic and customer. For limited use "show and cruise" types of applications he indicated that the inserts often are not installed; but if towing or heavy duty service is anticipated then the inserts are installed. About the only way to have some degree of certainty whether this "fix" has been applied to a vehcile is to review the "paperwork" history of the vehicle. Another option with motors that have modern counterparts is to install heads from a post-70s motor that would have the factory hardened valve seats.

There is an option that can help to avoid recission in a motor that hasn't had the "fix", but it can become rather expensive. It is possible to purchase "lead-replacement" additives as well as "octane-boosters" that can reduce the likelihood of detonation ("ping") that speeds the recission process. One reason this problem isn't discussed regularly with collectors may be that it isn't a pressing concern with "show and cruise" vehicles where the motors aren't put to the stresses involved with towing/RVing.

In regard to the IH products, I am not terribly familiar with them; but my father worked for a dealer during the late 1950s through early 1960s. His thought was that the IH motors often did not operate at the high compression ratios more common with the Big Three automakers, and this might explain why less is said about recission in their motors as high compression ratios when combined with lower-octane fuels greatly increases the probability of detonation ("ping") even without the stresses of towing.

Good luck with your research and tow vehicle selection!

Kevin
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:31 AM   #184
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From a Ford perspective

Kathy,

In considering Ford products, a Thunderbird is not the best choice. Some birds have the engines that will do it. ( A 390, 410, 428, 429, 460 would all be good choices for the FLM line up) However, the birds have smaller wheel bases and are lighter vehicles than the full size Fords, Lincolns, or Mercurys. They were really set up to tow like a wagon.

Ford choices for the 60's - Custom, Custom 300, Galaxie, Galaxie 500, Galaxie 500 XL, LTD, 7 Litre and full sized wagons Ranch Wagon, Country Squire and Country Sedan. And I suppose a Ranchero might do it too, however I am not that clear on that model because it switched so many times between full size and midsized car lines.

Mercury for the period - Monterey, Monclair, Park Lane, Marquis

And any Lincoln. It wasn't untill 1977 that Lincoln had anything smaller than a full sized vehicle.

The Ford line up has more units manufactured. However stay away from Mustangs, Falcons, Fairlanes, Thunderbirds, Econolines (to 1973) for towing. They were not ment to handle anything over 3500 #'s. Mercury line would be Comets and Cyclones. Mercurys are currently very cheap to buy and parts for them are not hard to find. Hot cars are Mustangs, Thunderbirds and Continentals and convertible anything.

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Old 03-13-2006, 07:34 PM   #185
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55 chevy wagon tow vehicle?

Is a 1955 Chevy 150 or 210 two door Handyman wagon with 283 or 327 small block V8 up to pulling a 3500-4000lb 22 Safari?

Sounds like the 57 Pontiac Safari with newer running gear and Chevy Nomad do fine.
It would require at least disc brake conversion.

Is it possible to incorporate weight distributing hitch on fifties wagons?

Is 3 speed or automatic trans desirable?

My '30 Model A isn't up to it.
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Old 03-13-2006, 08:32 PM   #186
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Safari64
Is a 1955 Chevy 150 or 210 two door Handyman wagon with 283 or 327 small block V8 up to pulling a 3500-4000lb 22 Safari?

Sounds like the 57 Pontiac Safari with newer running gear and Chevy Nomad do fine.
It would require at least disc brake conversion.

Is it possible to incorporate weight distributing hitch on fifties wagons?

Is 3 speed or automatic trans desirable?

My '30 Model A isn't up to it.
Several of our friends tow trailers with their '55-57 Chev's and Fords with the original engines/transmissions. They are not ideal in the mountains on the significant hills where we live but on the flats they are just fine. Most but not all have upgraded their front brakes to discs and everyone has added a large heavy duty trans cooler and we all have fan shrouds on our cars - every little thing helps and keeping the cars running cool is the biggest issue.

As for weight distribution hitches, we all use them and wouldn't tow without. These are big, heavy cars weighing in at 3,600lbs and up, and with radial tires, better shocks available today versus those from the fifties, they are much more capable of pulling a trailer. That said, a sanity check comes into play - one of our folks with a '55 tows a 25' late model trailer and has no problems. He feels he's at the limit for his comfort zone. Dry weight is about 3,700lbs and he figures he hits the scales at high 4,000lbs. He has upgraded the brakes on his to discs in front, uses a Reese distribution hitch and sway control, has McKesh mirrors, and tows at a sane speed (typically 55). He does have a 350/350 combo, an aluminum radiator and large trans cooler. Prior to this he towed a 17' trailer with a '35 Hudson 5 window coupe for thousands of miles over 10 plus years and also had no problems. I caution anyone who tows with a vintage trailer to upgrade the master cylinder to a later unit for your safety as well as the rest of us on the road. Also, some folks have indicated that they had problems with their vintage engines with the unleaded gas, others have not. In most situations we have all had our cylilnder heads rebuilt and had the hardened seats and correct valves installed at that time. It's not that big of a deal to have done - any engine shop can do this or get the heads done for you. With that, vintage vehicles work fine. Barry
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Old 03-13-2006, 09:19 PM   #187
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The bad thing about the IH products was rust. The one good thing about the IH products is they came with hardened valve seats in the 60's-70's. Reason, they used the same motors for both heavy-duty trucks and the passenger trucks.

Paul Waddell
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Old 03-13-2006, 10:53 PM   #188
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If ya got a tow and a ride come to the AZ fun run on scenic route 66! Coming in May of this year.

http://www.azrt66.com/funrun.htm

You may need to bring your tow cause motel space is likely all gone.

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Old 03-13-2006, 10:58 PM   #189
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Safari 64, Regarding WD hitches: Yup, I'd certainly recommend using one on any tow vehicle.
As Kevin mentioned, earlier, you prob. won't find one specifically designed to mount on a '55 wagon, though. In my case, my father had one left over from his '72 Buick Electra (now THAT car could haul his 27' Airsteam well) that I had a local guy cut & weld to fit my '55 Nomad. I had to check around to find a good welding shop that would do this as most seemed concerned with liability issues, and the one who did the work didn't want to weld the hitch to the wagon's frame. So, he welded it up so we could bolt it to the car frame (much like the new, modern, hitches we buy today for late-model vehicles.)
I was always worried about broken mounting bolts but I successfully pulled my '51 Flying Cloud many thousands of miles with this setup and never did break any bolts.

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Old 03-14-2006, 03:38 PM   #190
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WD receiver hitch

Thanks, great ideas and help.
Safari57 and MarkE, could you guys post pictures of the tow hitch setups you have mounted that include a receiver type hitch?

Thanks, Safari64
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:36 PM   #191
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Wanta tow?
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Old 04-04-2006, 11:20 PM   #192
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vintage tow vehical travelall

Hello I am new to the forums as a member but have visited for along time. we own a 1960 tradewind and tow it with a 1968 travelall . The travelall looks like a 67 but I have restored it and refitted all the doors and trim from the 68 bold style moldings to the stainless trim style . Yes it was tons of work . I have vastly improved its handling and road manners to make it much more fun and safer to drive. It has a 392 v8 5 speed t34 overdrive trans and is a 4 wheel drive . its a heavy half ton meaning it has a heavier duty rear axle which is cool. Your travelalls are really nice , I am an avid IH fan. I have a friend in lancaster ca that has ALOT of travelall parts if you all need anything. I think RobandZoe need to talk to me about their travelall . My friend mike of IH Only in lancaster has a couple of those . he has the trim and rear clamshell doors ,side doors etc. probably should get a donor truck for your project Rob .I can be the coordinator of it or getting you parts. Also there is RJs obsolete who has tons of parts . Ithink hes in canada . csn be reached on the internet i beleieve. I will try to post a couple pics of the travelall of mine.

happy streaming!!
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Old 04-07-2006, 08:16 PM   #193
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traveall pics

I found a bit of trouble getting these pictures on . Here we go for another try. The the travelall fans might want a look.
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Old 04-10-2006, 11:28 PM   #194
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Hello to kathy, Im obviously late in this posting .You were asking about older engines and leaded gas valve seats etc. You received good replies on that . the IH travelall was, as was noted , a favorite in the wally byam caravans as ford f250 trucks and were definatly 4 wheel drive .I have long and involved experience with IH vehicals namly scouts and the travelall. Almost without exception , and not many ,the IH gas engines namely the 304 345 392 , which all could be had inthe travelall and pickups and crewcabs , had hardened stellite (type of steel) exhaust valve seats installed in the heads .Valves were heavy duty sodium filled on the exhaust .There is speculation that early 60s 304s did not have these .My scout 304 did have the hardened seats. All the ones I have seen (alot) all have them.These engines and the 6 cylinder IH engines were designed for heavy duty service . they were built very tough . So if you wanted a travelall for a vintage tow vehical you do not have to be concerned at all about seat problems with the engine .No other manifacturer that I know of ever put hardened seats in any of their engines before 1972 . The oil embargo years .Unleaded gas was in leaded was out .Good thing cause lead is toxic and we dont need it .The reason is of course that tetraethel lead was a cushion for valve seats in those days so hard seats were not needed .The IH engines were used in heavy trucks also lots of them. IH didnt feel the need to have different engines for there light line ie, travelalls scouts etc. and the larger trucks.Hope that helps if you want a travelall ,and Im not too late in providing information.You or anyone desiring one of wallys favorite (possibly) heavy duty vehicals , go online and google travelall and start searching .One of the more famouse pictures of wally byam showed his tandem gold anodized airstream pulled by a 57 or 58 IH 3/4 ton 4 wheel drive crewcab travlette.I believe its in the book AIRSTREAM BY brian burkhart and David hunt. Anyway if you go for another vintage tow vehical you need to make sure it has the valve seats done .A must if you are going to tow ! Almost forgot to mention that while IH engines have average compression ratios (not high) 8 to 1 on the 8 cylinders which means they love 87 octane fuel even when towing . The 6 cyliders can be slightly lower ,that in itself does not at all mean that you dont need hardened seats period .Many engines back in the early 70s as in 1972 specifically ,had low compression engines and the cars with low compression or high, suffered valve seat recession .It is important to note however that non hardened seats would last alot longer than engines used in heavy service such as trailer towing.Yes the customers decided if they wanted these heads rebuilt with these seats or not ,but no automotive mechanic or engine rebuilder would ever recomend againts it . Most always like anything price plays the major role in most decisions. Airstreams were towed by thousands of people with station wagons and other big cars. I would be very cocerned about the bambi being pulled by the little ford falcon in the airstream book though . that little car was barely able to pull itself around with the 170 cid 6 and tiny drum brakes (not power) to help stop it.

good luck in your tow vehical search

scottanlily
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Old 05-27-2006, 04:14 PM   #195
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2nd place at today's car show

In the 4.x4 trucks division we took 2nd Place today...I know that the shiny trailer in tow had something to do with it. More pics will be coming
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Old 05-27-2006, 05:42 PM   #196
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Quote:
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In the 4.x4 trucks division we took 2nd Place today...I know that the shiny trailer in tow had something to do with it. More pics will be coming
Rob,

Fantastic. What took first place, a Dodge?

Bill
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