Safety Check 2013

Posted: May 16, 2013 in Uncategorized



John Explaining How Painting Lightning on The Car Will Make It Go Faster….. ok, that isn’t what he was really doing. This is John Karal leading a safety inspection on a NJRA Member’s Model A.

John Karal of Upper Saddle River was again kind enough to lead the North Jersey Regional Model A Club in conducting its annual Model A safety checks.  This annual tradition for the club includes having several Model A experts with checklists on clipboards systematically look over members’ cars and test things ranging from headlights to steering.  The checklist has nothing to do with “historic accuracy” or “how shiny is your paint”.  The list hits safety and performance items only.  John then gives you the “heads up” on things such as “your king pins haven’t gotten any worse since last year, but you may want to think about changing them next winter” or point blanks you with things like “you may want to tighten the wheel to the car before you go anywhere”.  My car received the former comment and not the latter.  Within 5 minutes of the latter comment being made, the wheel in question was off, the drum was pulled, and a collection of qualified experts diagnosed and proposed short and long term solutions.  It was incredible to watch.  There were no less than 6 people swarming about and people were taking turns going to their cars to grab “stuff”.   “I have shims”, “I have a hub puller”, “Do you need a rear axle shaft key?  I have three.”  It was wild.  Here we are in a church parking lot at 7 PM on a Thursday and parts for an 84 year old car magically were appearing.  The car owner was stepped though how to do the repair (which is a greasy one to do).  Within 20 minutes the car was back together and ready to be safely operated.  The teamworks and energy was amazing to watch.  I wish I took photos of it to share.

This is the third time John has looked over my car.  It is “safe” but I again have a list from John of “watch this and do that” items.  I’ll admit that I didn’t pass the entire list.  My windshield wiper failed.  This isn’t a surprise since it isn’t attached to the car.  Last year I had it in my back seat.  My rearview mirror also failed.  It is loose and spins readily.  I have to tighten a screw that holds it in place.  John also has me keeping an eye on my 7-tooth steering box which is showing its age.  This isn’t an immediate item and neither are the king pins I noted before.  The car is safe for the pending trip to Ithaca.

IMG_2769After the safety inspection the club congregated for hotdogs, its monthly meeting, and to sing happy birthday to two members (one in his mid-80s). The club has a few nice tours lined up for this year and has been asked to again participate in a collection of local parades.  If you haven’t joined one of your local clubs yet, you should.  Here is a link to the NJRA’s website.

On the way home I did note that my headlights still “flicker” a little more than I like.  I’ll have to keep an eye on this but suspect that I need to clean up the inside of the light switch/horn button.  This shouldn’t be too difficult to do.

  1. Pat Martone says:

    Seth – How is the engine running since you cleaned the sludge out of the crankcase?
    I hope you’ve noticed at least some improvement?

    • I was told by two people that the engine sounds happier. Truth be told, I don’t hear a difference. 100 miles in the oil on the dipstick is still transparent (as opposed to being the opaque black sludge I used to see). I would imagine there is a BIG improvement that I just can’t hear/feel. I am anticipating doing an oil change in Ithaca — which is 220 miles away and the destination of the roadtrip I am taking in about a week.

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