SEPTEMBER 8 FIVE FOR FRIDAY: FIVE WAYS TO MAKE YOUR OLD CAR PERFORM LIKE A NEW CAR

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SEPTEMBER 2017 EDITORIALS

 

There are plenty of bolt-on improvements to a vintage ride that will make an old car young at heart.

 

The beautiful part is any trained chimp (aka shade tree mechanic) can typically handle the job with the right tools and parts.

 

The first bolt-on improvement is actually pretty easy: a new light system on a vintage 12-volt vehicle. The replacement lights are either LED or halogen and are as easy as the original equipment lights in most cases.

 

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The result is a better view on the world for vintage car drivers and the other drivers around them on the road. An older lighting system was designed for a different era when every driver was on the same playing field.

 

These days the light variation between 2017 and early 2000 cars is very noticeable-let alone the lighting differences between a 2017 car and a car from the 1960s or 1970s.

 

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The second bolt-on improvement is the addition of fuel injection to replace a carburetor system that is common on an old engine. The aftermarket fuel injection replacement system has become more affordable and simpler in 2017, so most reasonably competent car guys can convert their vintage engines to a more efficient EFI– without adult supervision in many cases.

 

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The result is an engine that will start quickly, run better, end vapor lock, and meter out fuel better so the engine does not get washed down with too much gas. An efficient fuel injection system is a life raft for an old engine that is drowning in gasoline from a finicky carb system.

 

The third bolt-on improvement is a disc brake conversion on an old vehicle. Any car guy who has stomped on a set of drum brakes will see the merit in disc brakes because one system stops on a dime while the other stops on a football field.

 

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The brake upgrade will also include a switch to a dual master cylinder from the single master cylinder found in many older pre-dual master cylinder vehicles.

 

The fourth bolt-on upgrade are radial tires. A competent and trustworthy tire shop will be involved in the process because few car guys are able to bust and balance tires at home. However, most car guys will be able to put the new wheels and radial tires on a vintage ride and will be very happy with the result.

 

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Bias tires are a little squirrely on the road and will turn sawing on the steering wheel into an art form for frightened car guys driving on these retro tires. There is an exception to this rule (in fact it will be part of a future MyStarCollectorCar story), but most vintage rides handle and steer better with radial tires on them.

 

The fifth and last bolt-on upgrade for vintage rides would be the seats. New vehicles have great seats that address lumbar support and other comfort issues that are not found on a typical seat found in most vintage vehicles.

 

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Older vehicles were built to haul people and comfort was rarely a factor in the non-luxury models. The philosophy is completely different in today’s vehicles where passenger comfort is a big ticket item.

 

Most car guys can go to a modern junkyard (recycling yard in today’s politically correct world) and find a great replacement for the original seats in his old iron.

 

MyStarCollectorCar has provided five great ways for car guys to bolt on a better replacement for their vintage cars-even if they have all of the skills of a trained chimp in the car hobby.  

 

Jim Sutherland

 

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