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Technical strange modifications

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by The_Cat_Of_Ages, Sep 22, 2022.

  1. I saw the thread on "weirdest things found under cars," but people brought up off topic suspension setups, lets not do that in this one.
    i will start with what i found underneath the '63 Corvair spyder i picked up, welded angle iron that permanently connects the "frame" to the cross member, and protects the gas tank, it seems to be there so you can flat tow it behind an rv, or some kind of similar setup. there are also what appears to be a "leaf spring" next to the coil in the rear, strange setup. [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  2. gnichols
    Joined: Mar 6, 2008
    Posts: 11,185

    gnichols
    Member
    from Tampa, FL

    Sort of a skid plate fab'd up by the rude n crude parts department? Alfa Romeo did stuff like this for their cars with low oil pans. Reminded me of fire place grates.
    s-l1600.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2022
  3. 62rebel
    Joined: Sep 1, 2008
    Posts: 2,935

    62rebel
    Member

    I wish i'd better documented all the stuff the original owner of the '60 Galaxie fordor that i used to have had done to it. One was to remove the speaker in the center of the dash and make a tray to fit under the grille, which he hinged...
    Another was the clock in the gauge cluster replaced with a vacuum gauge, homemade filler piece made of blue nylon block. Same trick with a Sparkomatic radio in place of the factory piece. He replaced the glove box liner with one made of aluminum sheet a lot bigger than the factory job. One piece I still have is a remote fuel filter from the Ford accessory books. He was apparently an electronics engineer with access to a lot of weird stuff.
     
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  4. One under-car thing that really fascinates me is the Dubonnet suspension. Saw it for the first time on a 1936 Pontiac Delux sedan I bougth to street rod. I immediately took off the Dubonnet axle and grafted on a M2 front crossmember/suspension. GM put this on several makes in the 30s. Was pretty much a disaster. The huge spindle mounted hydraulic cylinders leaked oil to the point GM recommended checking level every 1000mi. Of course no one did so the front ends of the cars bounced uncontrollably. The ends of the small parallel links on the spindles wore quickly so the wheels splayed out like the car was going to sleep. By '39 they dumped it for conventional A-arm suspension.
    440px-Dubonnet-Federung.jpg 27269.jpg
     
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  5. HEATHEN
    Joined: Nov 22, 2005
    Posts: 7,858

    HEATHEN
    Member
    from SIDNEY, NY

    The spring item in the rear was probably an aftermarket deal sold with the idea of reducing the chance of the dreaded "wheel tuck under" that 1960-63 Corvairs experienced under hard cornering. Chevrolet cured it on the '64 models with a "camber compensator" that resembled a single transverse spring leaf.
     
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  6. Which explains why when i jacked it up the wheel didnt hang down at all... unlike the white one which hanged way down.
     
  7. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 31,813

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    That makes a lot of sense and was no doubt what it was there for. Most likely holding the control arm up rather than pushing down on it to add lift.,
     
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  8. I had a early '60s Holden which had a switch on the dash which was wired between the ignition circuit and ground. The only thing I could come up with was it was a crude anti-theft system, so after you turn the car off, you close the switch, so if someone tries to start it, it shorts the ignition circuit to ground, and blows the fuse.
    Unfortunately this wasn't a modification, it was made by GM, they must of thought they were on a winner! I remember I had a '37 with this front end, and spent many hours trying to work out how to lower it without killing myself! The fluid would leak out as you poured it in, so it was always dry. When you hit the skids hard it would continue bouncing up and down for quite a while!
     
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  9. Ned Ludd
    Joined: May 15, 2009
    Posts: 4,607

    Ned Ludd
    Member

    My late cousin did that on all his cars, with the switch hidden in an unlikely location.
     
  10. My recall is vague, but I think I heard about someone who had a switch for a wire that ran from the coil to just under the upholstery in the middle of the driver seat cushion. Very vague..... maybe some part of the dash starter switch temporarily offered a ground?? Could be a bullshit story.
     
  11. Old gutted push button radio where the buttons were wired to electric fuel pump, alt tickler, ign cut-off switch and on/off switch. Knobs were used for headlights and starter. Actually a pretty cool set-up. Glove box had hidden trap door for hidden twin .45's. I figured the guy was a paranoid electrical genuis with way too much time on his hands.
     
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  12. Harv
    Joined: Jan 16, 2008
    Posts: 555

    Harv
    Member
    from Sydney

    Really common anti-theft modification. Works similar to grounding a magneto.

    The ignition system coil only works because the power supply to the coil turns on and off (that's what the points do). The on/off/on/off process makes a magnetic field in the coil primary, and then turns the magnetic field off. The collapsing magnetic field induces voltage in the coil secondary, and you get a high voltage zap.

    By adding the extra wire, the power supply is always on. No fluctuation in power = no collapsing magnetic field = coil don't work = car won't start.

    No need to blow a fuse for it to work. Power is only supplied to the ignition with the key on, so it draws no current when you lock the car up and walk away.

    Cheers,
    Harv
     
  13. Mine was wired directly to the ignition switch terminal, before the coil, and straight to ground. The switch was right in the middle of the dash, with no label. I only worked it out by tracing the wire back to the switch. The points shorting out switch was sometimes used, but one snip and she's away!
     
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  14. aussie57wag
    Joined: Jul 13, 2011
    Posts: 448

    aussie57wag
    Member
    from australia

    I had the same set up in some of my cars. The car couldn't even be hot wired. One of the only cars I didn't have it in got stolen.
     
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  15. Clydesdale
    Joined: Jun 22, 2021
    Posts: 53

    Clydesdale


    My father has a 1939 Vauxhall 10 that came equipped with this suspension arrangement, apparently it was the first mass produced semi monocoque car. front end, engine and trans was all on a bolt on subframe. MicrosoftTeams-image (14).jpg
     
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  16. I had a old Vauxhall similar to that over here with a Straight Six. Bought it as a dismantled project from someone who could,nt pay his storage fees. When putting it together to resemble a car the front subframe/chassis rails went up against the floor sills with about 10 bolts each side. So just half a chassis as you say.
     
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  17. hydraulic suspension... thats a new one.
     

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