"Parts Cars & Parts Repair"
We hope you had a great month! We have the cars out and are now attending the spring events. We have several projects going, including a '49 Buick Sedanette, '46 Packard and a '51 Packard Coupe. Even though we think we have all the parts for these cars, it seems as though there is always something that is missing! The solution to having enough parts is to buy a parts car.
When we were working on the '54 Coupe deVille, we found a '54 4 door which came up for sale for $500, with a running drive train. We purchased the car and disassembled it tagging & shelving all parts. In the process, we discovered parts which would fit other GM cats. The front door stainless, when turned upside down, fits the door panels on our '64 Vette. The door strikers fit our '49 Buick, and dash bulbs, screws, fasteners, etc., fit other cars. The blue-tinted glass was removed and can we cut for our coupe's vent windows. This project was also a great way to see just how your car comes apart. We're now looking for a '48 Packard Custom 8 parts car. Can't have too many parts-right?
On the shop bench there has been a '48 Packard door handle that was broken when the pin which connects the handle to the chrome escutcheon was tapped out. I had an extra one, so I just let it lay on the bench. Recently, I discovered a product called Super Alloy 1, which claims to repair pot metal, aluminum, brass, copper, steel, pewter, die-cast and lead. I have heard this before, and have even bought a similar product years ago at a swap meet, but it didn't hold when welded, so I was skeptical about this new claim.
I called the supplier, Cecil Muggy, who sent me a starter kit with 10 rods, flux and instructions. I cleaned the pot metal handle, fit the broken hinge and handle together in a vise, and used a soft flame torch, heating the piece all the way around, then added the flux and touched the rod to the heated metal, letting the rod melt and flow evenly all the way around. I then let it cool naturally (no water).
When I replaced the pin, the chrome wasn't scorched (looked good-and Super Alloy is platable!). Then I banged on the hinge with a ball-peen hammer. It did not break! This product saved a valuable part that was destined for the trash. Next, I'm going to see if it will repair a horn retainer ring on my '58 Buick that has so far been impossible to find. I'll let you know how that goes. The first project worked great! The product is Super Alloy 1, available from Cecil Muggy at 800-243-0800. See you next month!