Register now to get rid of these ads!

gyrostabilizer

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by pair of deuces, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. pair of deuces
    Joined: May 2, 2008
    Posts: 39

    pair of deuces
    Member
    from western WA

    Question for all you oldtimers - we just brought a really nice '50 Chrysler convertible into the LeMay museum, and while inspecting it on the lift noticed something strange. Strapped crossways to the rear crossmember is a steel tube about 3" in diameter and 30" long, sealed at both ends. On one end is stamped "gyrostabilizer mfg Los Angeles". Any idea what that might be? I tried a Google search but nothing looked related. I'm guessing it was one of those questionable add-ons often marketed in the past, but would really like to know. Anyone?
     
  2. yellow dog
    Joined: Oct 15, 2011
    Posts: 435

    yellow dog
    Member
    from san diego

    Wow, its got a catchy name. the description sounds like it was intended to improve "ride quality" by increasing the sprung weight where others at the time put sand bags in the trunk.
     
  3. 53mercury
    Joined: Dec 2, 2010
    Posts: 95

    53mercury
    Member

    Sounds like a weight transfer setup to aid in high speed cornering. Similar setups where used in early police pursuit cars. Sort of a precursor to the watt's link. Mike
     
  4. Don's Hot Rods
    Joined: Oct 7, 2005
    Posts: 8,319

    Don's Hot Rods
    Member
    from florida

    In the deep recesses of my memory I recall that those were supposed to improve cornering by counteracting the weight shift in turns. Don't know if they worked or anything more about them though.

    Don
     

  5. JD Miller
    Joined: Nov 12, 2011
    Posts: 1,906

    JD Miller
    Member
    from Wildomar

    Probably had a steering calvenator too
     
  6. k9racer
    Joined: Jan 20, 2003
    Posts: 3,091

    k9racer
    Member

    Very dangerous the tube is filled with ""Mercury"" This was a common use /pratice on converts thru the early 70s. A local salvage yard broke one and had a expensive epa clean up bill. Also very dangerous when around fire. I will result in death for all breathing the fumes............. . It has been outlawed in at most circle tracks for the above reasons.
     
  7. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,337

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    I've seen ads in car magazines from the early fifties. I believe it contains a weight or weights held in place by springs. When cornering the weights are supposed to shift from side to side, balancing the car somehow.

    The weight might help balance a nose heavy car a bit.Other than that I can't think what good it would be.
     
  8. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    Not sure about this particular piece, but as far back as the '30s(and maybe even further?) some cars had one kind or another of body/frame vibration damper/absorber.

    The first generation Ford Econoline van had a heavy weigt(about 150 pounds as i remember) bolted to the very back of the vehicle. Without that weight, under ideal conditions, the van could actually do a "stoppie", lifting the rear wheels off the ground!
     
  9. stude_trucks
    Joined: Sep 13, 2007
    Posts: 4,755

    stude_trucks
    Member

    Just put the heavy friends in the back seat, does the same thing. Make sure they wear seat belts so they don't all shift to one side in the corners.
     
  10. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    Just put a fat chick in the back seat.......
     
  11. EdselRich
    Joined: Oct 12, 2007
    Posts: 287

    EdselRich
    Member

     
  12. sawzall
    Joined: Jul 15, 2002
    Posts: 4,721

    sawzall
    Member

    i seem to recall reading about the virtues of these things in an old pop sci? but know that i couldn't put a finger on it now..

    I don't recall that they were filled with mercury.. but rather were a weight "suspended" with springs on either side..

    I must admit that I have used something similar for a similar purpose on a much much smaller scale.. and it seemed very ineffective..
     
  13. Weldemup
    Joined: Dec 12, 2003
    Posts: 177

    Weldemup
    Member
    from Central,NY

    New York State Police used them in Impalas in the 60's.
    I bought a few State Police cars at auction back in the 70's that had them bolted in the trunk.
     
  14. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    Some form of what you described is what's normally in those "tuned absorbers".
     
  15. A buddy of mine has one of those 50s versions, big rectangular thing, in his living room for art...
     
  16. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    I'm not saying those cars didn't have a tuned absorber, but I don't remember that being the case. Some antennas are installed with what's called a "cavity". It's essentially an empty can with connectors on it. Any chance that's what you saw?
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  17. Dale Fairfax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,585

    Dale Fairfax
    Member Emeritus

    They were a completely useless bit of (solidified) Snake Oil. The spring loaded bob weight inside the tube was supposed to move opposite to any unintended lateral movement of the rearend of the car-thus counteracting skids. how a 20 lb. weight was supposed to have any effect on the 1000 lb. + weight of the rear of the car is anybody's guess.

    These things were marketed by a variety of flim-flam men back in the '40s thru the '60s. They came and went under various names and even outward designs. The purveyors would have some machine shop build a batch (usually with a promise of a share of the sales in lieu of direct payment) then go out and beat the bush -selling at least one sample to gas stations, independent garages, parts stores and the like. Soon as the batch was sold, the promotor would disappear leaving the fabricator holding the bag and a bunch of merchants with a dust collector. I remember one sitting in the Pure Oil station I hung around in in the early '50s. it was there for at least 3 years.

    In the '60s a guy in Flushing Michigan "reinvented" the idea and conned my father-in-law, who had a machine shop in Fenton, MI, into building the things. My F-i-L was a gullible type who not only bought into the idea but applied his considerable mechanical skills to "improving" it. The weights now rode on Thompson Shafting (linear ball bearings) inside a custom extruded aluminum case capped with more custom aluminum end caps/mounting brackets. My F-i-L ended up holding the bag for several $K in materials. I have one of those artifacts here in my shop now.

    There was no convincing certain people that what kept cars on the straight & narrow was tires & suspension-not some gimmick bolted in the trunk.
     
  18. I saw the first and only one in 1968 when I was in the Army stationed in Alabama. It was mounted in the trunk of a Chevy Chevelle. At the time they were trying to get it allowed in NASCAR. The guy selling them had an 8mm movie that he played showing how it improved a cars handling. I then took a ride with him and the car stuck like glue in the turns.
    Years later when I built and drove Super Modified race cars I attempted to find one to sneak into the back end of my Super. I couldn't find one anywhere. Any time I was bench racing with my buddy's and mentioned about the "Gyrostabilizer they had the same attitude as most of you.
    I didn't know they had mercury in them, the guy would never say how they worked, but they did. The price at the time was around $385.00.
    The most important thing is no one gives a fuck if anyone believes this shit or not especially this bunch.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012
  19. B Ramsey
    Joined: Mar 29, 2009
    Posts: 643

    B Ramsey
    Member

    id like to see pics.
     
  20. Weedburner
    Joined: Nov 16, 2010
    Posts: 196

    Weedburner
    Member
    from Wa State

  21. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    If they worked, wouldn't all the round track guys have 'em? And cops, and ambulances......
     
  22. R Pope
    Joined: Jan 23, 2006
    Posts: 3,309

    R Pope
    Member

    You guys ever haul water with a tank with no baffles? Believe me, the last thing you want is loose weight shifting around in a corner!
    The whole idea sounds like a snake oil salesman's dream.
     
  23. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,337

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    To get back to the original question. It seems to be a contemporary accessory and part of the car's history so I vote to keep it on the car. It won't do any harm even though it won't do much good.

    Or, for the hell of it you could take the car out and test it with and without the unit and see for yourself if it does anything.
     
  24. GregCon
    Joined: Jun 18, 2012
    Posts: 689

    GregCon
    Member
    from Houston

    The reason they don't work is they contradict the laws of physics.

    That said, if they are filled with mercury, they are very hazardous. I would take it out and dump it in the nearest ocean. Or, if you don't live near a body of water, wrap it up in old newspapers and dump it in the garbage bin of a fast food restaurant after they close up for the night. Or one of those unmanned Salvation Army drop off boxes would be a good place to leave it, too.
     
  25. Dale Fairfax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2006
    Posts: 2,585

    Dale Fairfax
    Member Emeritus

    It may not be filled with mercury-in fact that's unlikely given the cost of mercury and the underlying marketing scheme. Is there any evidence of a "thru-bolt" tying the whole assembly together (like a bit nut on each end.)


     
  26. Hackerbilt
    Joined: Aug 13, 2001
    Posts: 6,245

    Hackerbilt
    Member

    Are you for real???
    You don't drop a tube filled with mercury into the ocean or a pond!!!!

    If you had something like that just call the proper recyclers or the EPA and then drop it off or have it picked up.

    The LAST thing you need to do is pollute a fishing area or ground water with mercury!
    Besides...get caught doing it and I bet you'd get a bunch of jail time...never mind a big fine! :(
     
  27. There is no Gyro in the device either, a true Gyro stabilizer does work and they are used in ships to reduce 'rolling' they are also used in aircraft as a way of stabilising the aircraft in strait flight and to smooth out control surface effect on the aircraft (IE:so it is not 'jerky' when turning etc).
    All a gyrostabiliser is, is a spinning weight like a 'spinning top' the centripetal force of its motion smooths out sudden movement.

    Doc.
     
  28. Just caught this thread, and I was wondering about that....
     
  29. we just filled the left side frame rail with lead.........
    I remember reading about this in Popular Mechanics in the early 60's
     
  30. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 18,428

    Muttley
    Member

    The best thing to do is to drag it outside, wipe all your prints off it and report it as being dumped in the middle of the night. If the EPA or someone similar has to come out to your place and perform a scan and cleanup you will most likely be on the hook for the cost. Does the Government need more of your money?
     

Share This Page

Register now to get rid of these ads!

Archive

Copyright © 1995-2020 The Jalopy Journal: Steal our stuff, we'll kick your teeth in. Terms of Service. Privacy Policy.

Atomic Industry
Forum software by XenForo™ ©2010-2014 XenForo Ltd.