Tech

New Products

Random Thoughts

Nostalgia

Remote Battery Studs...What Are They And Why Do I Need Them....?

Posted on 8/2/16 with No comments


Automotive electricity is one of the most misunderstood things there is and most of the problem comes from the fact that you cannot see it do anything or how it works, all you see is the end result good or bad. So when it comes time to work on the electrical side of things most car owners would rather do most anything else.

But a few basic principles and a little technical advice from yours truly will make your life much better. If you have called and talked to me on the telephone asking for advice one of the things you will hear me repeat often is..."Simple is Good!..."

So... when it comes to adding electrical accessories to your antique vehicle...things like electric radiator cooling fans, electric fuel pumps modern car stereos air conditioning, even the simple things like fog lamps and spotlights, all of those things need a reliable supply of electricity to work.


     This is how NOT to add electrical accessories to you antique vehicle.

So that is where the remote battery stud comes in. You can mount a remote battery stud anywhere you want... to establish a reliable source of electricity for all of your electrical accessories. All of those electrical accessories can get their power direct from the battery, from a single source in an easy to reach location.

Because the remote battery studs get their power directly from the battery the electrical current delivered by the remote battery stud is free of voltage spikes and power surges (the battery will act as a capacitor and will absorb all of the voltage spikes from things like the starter solenoid) thus protecting you electrical accessories from damage.

You also know if you have read any of my tech books that the ground side of the electrical system is just as important and the battery side. So if you use a remote battery stud to ground all of you electrical accessories back to the battery you can be assured they will all work as they are supposed to. Electricity needs to travel in a complete circle and anything that interrupts that current in either the battery side or the ground side of that circuit means something will stop working properly on that circuit. Think of this as like having a kink in a garden hose.


This is how all of your electrical accessories should be powered !

Besides providing a clean reliable power source, the remote battery studs are rated at 200 amps which is more than enough to power all of your electrical accessories from a single source. Remote battery studs are color coded...red for positive and black for ground so you can easily identify which wire circuits are which. It makes things pretty goof proof.

If you want some of your circuits to be fused such as those for your modern stereo, you GPS or your cell phone charging circuit you can also install a HD power Block. It has six individual circuits that accept the modern ATO type fuses and the power block comes with a 10 gauge power wire already attached that has the ring terminal end to fit onto the remote battery stud.



The HD Power Block uses Modern ATO Type Fuses.

The power block is rated at 60 amps total with 30 amps maximum per circuit. A power will work to replace the early style circuit breakers and are much more reliable. One power block can replace six circuit breakers and when connected to the remote battery stud can provide reliable electrical power that is free of voltage spikes and power surges.

I have working on the electrical systems of antique vehicles for more than 30 years. I am self taught and have suffered my share of social embarrassment when I wired something incorrectly and soon after the smoke leaked out. One thing I learned early on is once the smoke has leaked out, you cannot put it back, so it is better to not have it leak out in the first place!

If you go to most any car show and look at an antique vehicle that has a modern stereo installed, one of the first things you notice is that a lot of them will have the LED lights are burnt out in the radio dial. What caused that? Most likely a voltage spike from the starter solenoid. When the contact points close in the starter solenoid the 200 volt voltage spike that is created is free to travel thru the electrical circuits. Without proper protection from voltage spikes and power surges the LED lights are the first thing...the $400 stereo radio is next, so loosing the LED lights should be a warning to the car owner that something is wrong. While it did not matter to the older mechanical electrical accessories like heater blower motors it does matter to any solid state accessory like a modern radio, a GPS or a a cell phone that is charging in the cigarette lighter. When smoke leaks out of those accessories it gets expensive!

So here we are... back at "Simple Is Good!" If you install a pair of remote battery studs along with a HD power block all of the electrical power you supply to your electrical accessories will be free of voltage spikes and power surges. You will have no loose wiring connections and no intermittent ground issues. In short (sorry couldn't resist that) everything works as it is supposed to and life is good! And that is the way it should be!
READ MORE

Coming Soon...Mr Haney's Automobile Related Antiques and Collectables For Sale

Posted on 7/28/16 with No comments


I have been collecting auto related antiques and collectibles for more than 35 years. With the walls of my store now filled, it is time to sell off some of the surplus items in my collection, that way somebody else can get started on their collection.

I started out in the early 1970's (during my high school years) buying obsolete parts inventories from Chevrolet dealerships.  It was then that I also started collecting some of the advertising signs and memorabilia along with the collectibles from the auto dealerships. Soon after I also started buying obsolete parts inventories along with some of the signs and collectibles from old auto parts stores and garages. I knew that one day I would have a store front and I wanted to decorate the inside to make it look like an auto parts store from the 1940's and 50's.

In 1993 I bought a storefront in downtown Clay Center Kansas. The first thing I did was hang the front of a 1949 Chevrolet car onto the front of the building. Of course the lights still work and the horn still honks which impressed everyone except the city fathers. Then I began decorating the inside of the building. I put down a hardwood oak floor that was 90 years old when I bought it. Twenty plus years later my store is now finished, all of the walls are full of the things I have collected during my lifetime.

All of the items for sale in the "Mr. Haney Specials" will be shown with as many pictures as necessary to let you know what you are buying and the condition things are in. Some descriptions will be written as though Mr. Haney himself wrote them. And I will "haggle" with you just like Mr. Haney did with Mr. Douglas... so if you see something you are interested in and the price seems to high...send me an email with a fair offer and we can likely come to terms. Be sure and put "Mr Haney" in the subject line and the Item number you are talking about. There will be no reproduction items for sale in the "Mr. Haney Specials" so you can expect things to have a few scratches and maybe some missing paint. Anything  else missing will be part of the description. Most items will be at least 40 years old (some twice that) and heaven knows none of us are the same as we were 40 years ago either!. No Returns will be accepted. You are welcome to email me with any questions you have before you make your purchase. I accept Visa, Mastercard, and Discover. No Monkey Business ! My time is valuable just like yours is.

Just so you know... here is how it worked between Mr. Haney and Mr. Douglass on Green Acres...

Mr. Haney would often turn up in his 1925 Dodge truck at the Douglas farm, minutes after Mr. Douglas realized they needed something, selling exactly that (even if it were very odd), complete with a pull-down sign on his truck advertising it. If turned down by Douglas, Haney would offer a variety of equally useless alternatives. Oliver once said "How come you always show up with exactly what I need?" And Haney turned it on him by saying "Well let me put it to you another way...how come you always need what I show up with?"

The Mr. Haney Specials should all be up and running by mid August 2016. You can go to the home page and under my picture next to the "Garage Tech" link will be a link to "Mr. Haney Specials."

When something sells we will delete it from the listings. So... if something you were watching suddenly disappears that means somebody else bought it and you missed out. Do do not hesitate. There will be very few duplicate items, most everything is unique one of a kind. If you snooze you loose.

Shipping for all items will be either Priority Mail for the small stuff or Fed Ex Ground for the bigger items. All items FOB Clay Center Kansas. We will charge you actual shipping costs.

Check back often as more items will be added as they are uncovered. You never know when you will find something you did not know you needed, but now can not afford to be without.
READ MORE

That Postcard...

Posted on 7/13/16 with No comments

Advertising 101 says that you need to make you business stand out from the others in you field. When I started out some 30 years ago I took that literally. I found this picture on a postcard when I was about 17 years old (I am 58 years young now) in an old garage that looked like it had been there for a hundred years. The building was falling in literally, and so I got permission to walk thru to see if there was anything worth saving.

This picture was on a postcard on the wall above the telephone (which was probably last updated in the 1960's) and the postcard itself had no writing on it whatsoever, just this picture. I have no idea where it came from but it had clearly been there for a couple of generations. It reminded me of the old pinup calendars that hung in garages and dealerships in my younger days.. I knew I had to save it...or it was going to be hauled off in the back of a dump truck along with the rest of the building and contents. Not racy by today's standards, but back when that car was new it would have been a scandal. There is something to be said for leaving some things to the imagination.


When it came time to start my business I knew I needed something unique that customers would remember and something that would make my business card stand out.  After about a week of looking for ideas I remembered that postcard and knew I had what I needed for my business card.

Some of you reading this may be old enough to remember when most office desks in garages and dealerships were wooden, and had a large sheet of thick glass on top  that they slid business cards under. I have since found out that my business postcard with this picture got slid under hundreds of glass tops over the years. When I visited some of those shops and garages the owners remembered me, not always for the products I sold, but as the guy who gave them "that postcard."

That postcard became my trademark and I captured a lot of business because no one threw away that postcard. My business information just happened to  be printed on the back of that postcard. I also discovered quite a few of my postcards stapled onto the wall above the telephone...how ironic.

Then in the 2000's the politically correct era came along and the once harmless lady postcard suddenly became taboo. People not associated with antique vehicles or the hobby in general, began complaining about "those lady postcards."

So I began printing two different business postcards, one with the picture of the front of my store and the original lady postcard from 1987.  My longtime regular customers demanded the original.

I soon discovered the lady postcards had a cult like following. I even had a customer make one into a poster. He owned a business that enlarges mechanical blue prints from 8 x11 size to 36" x 48" for use on the assembly line at GM, Ford, Chrysler, and others. He thought the lady postcard was the neatest thing he had ever seen, so he ran it thru his blue print machine and it came out 36" x 48" in size which he then put up on his garage wall. He also sent me one. It is hanging in my office still today.

So that is the story of the "Lady Postcards" and how they came to be. If you want a pair of the "Lady Postcards" just send me a self addressed stamped envelope and I will put a couple in the mail to you. Now you can own a bit of nostalgia for the price of a postage stamp. How cool is that? Nothing dresses up the wall in your garage or makes your tool box look better than that  "Lady Postcard."


READ MORE

License Plate Tag Toppers...And A Lesson In Marketing 101

Posted on 6/28/16 with No comments







When you are the little guy starting out in business one of your biggest challenges is marketing. How do you get the word out about your business and your products when you advertising budget is limited?  It's Simple... you have to get creative. The second lesson you learn is that sometimes the answer to your problem is in plain sight, you just have to learn to look for it.

I got involved with what is now the Hemmings Great Race in 1989 as a way to market my new invention, a 6-volt alternator. In the race, during those early days, pre 1942 antique vehicles were driven 3500 miles across the United States in just two weeks time. It was common for a 125 cars to enter and have only 80-85 cars finish. Most of the breakdowns involved dead batteries, overheating, and fuel pump problems. Those things I could fix and I did, much to the happiness of the car owners.

The one thing I was having trouble with was marketing my company on the Great Race. I studied the Great Race teams and their cars and discovered most all of the corporate sponsors had big decals on  both sides of the cars. There was not much prime real estate left for me.

So I studied the videos of the Great Race for hours thinking their had to be a solution. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks...Tag Toppers! I had been collecting license plate Tag Toppers for more than twenty years. I have examples from auto parts stores, speed shops, car dealerships, tourist stops etc. I have a couple hundred in all. Why not find a company to make Tag Toppers with Fifth Avenue on them? How hard could that be? They would be a period correct accessory and not cost a lot. And...most important of all they would mount on the front and back of the car which nobody else was using.

So I started looking for a company that would make Tag Toppers again. That took another nine months as most of the companies that made the Tag Toppers in my collection were long out of business. I wanted authentic metal ones like the old days, no plastic! I finally found a company in Oregon that had started making Tag Toppers in 1945 and while the tag toppers had not been in their catalog for more than 20 years, but they still had the equipment around to make them. After many phone calls I  finally talked them into making Tag Toppers again.


The First Fifth Avenue Tag Topper from 1989

Did the Tag Topper idea work...? YOU BETCHA !  I started sponsoring Howard Sharp of Fairport New York in the Great Race beginning in 1990 and in 1993 he won! ESPN sports, yes that ESPN sports did a ten minute interview with Howard sitting in front of his 1929 Dodge Sport Roadster (one of 1200 made) at the finish line. Guess who got a free ten minute commercial on ESPN. Yes yours truly! You could read my name address and phone number on the front of his car as plain as day! All of those high dollar sponsors did not get a nickels worth of TV time because the camera never panned the side of the car. Those Tag Toppers turned out to be the best money I ever spent. I am quite proud to have out smarted the big dogs with their high dollar advertising budget.


After Howard won in 1993 he advanced to the expert class and bought this 1911 Velie out of a museum in South Dakota.  It also got the Fifth Avenue treatment with alternator, electric fuel pump, electric radiator cooling fan etc. He would finish in the top ten every year but having the oldest car in the race was a challenge. Climbing the steep grades in the mountains of Colorado and going thru all of those curvy roads in Arkansas was tough on Howard and the car. But he kept trying. In 2011 he won the Great Race driving the oldest car entered in the race, which turned 100 years old in 2011. More free Tag Topper advertising  : - )


  Fifth Avenue Sponsored 1911 Velie. We Won The Great Race in 2011.

I still make Fifth Avenue Tag Toppers today and you will find them on the Great Race cars I sponsor or have worked on. I also give them away to customers when they spend $400 or more on a order. I can make custom Tag Toppers for car clubs, to advertise car shows and special events. I have done about 40 different custom Tag Toppers over the years. They are a period correct advertising accessory.

I make Tag Toppers as "uppers" and "downers" so they can be mounted above or below the license plate which mean s they will fit most new cars and trucks as well as the antique vehicles. I have had a number of car clubs use them for fund raisers. I just did 400 Tag Toppers for the Willys Jeep Club of America in November 2015. I sell Tag Toppers to car clubs and groups at my cost to keep the volume up to make it worth while for the Tag Topper Company to keep making them for me. Not everything you do should be about money. Sometimes you should do things for the good of the hobby.

Thanks to modern technology you can now have up to five colors on your Tag Topper, you can bleed to the edge which means the color can go all the way to the edge without a border, and you can get "uppers" or "downers". Most any logo will work as long as the artwork is good and sharp, and as you can see in the Willys Tag Toppers the detail can be pretty fine. The ink on these Tag Toppers is UV protected and is the same ink they use on interstate road signs and ambulances. I say it is Kansas June Bug in July tough!! You can power wash these at the car wash to get the bugs off and they will survive with flying colors. They are very durable.



The Willys Overland Jeepster Club Designed This Tag Topper

So that's the story on Tag Toppers and how they came about at Fifth Avenue. Who Knew that the advertising Tag Toppers I had collected for the past 20 years would prove to be the answer to my advertising in the Great Race. The picture below is Howard's new ride a 1916 Hudson. The Velie was retired after the 2011 race and the 1916 Hudson took it's place.



This Tag Topper is displayed on the Fifth Avenue Sponsored 1916 Hudson that won the Great Race in 2015. Winning the Great Race is Always Good For Business




Another Tag Topper displayed on a 1936 Ford Police Car Entered In The Great Race. Satisfied Customers Are Happy To Advertise ForYou When The Advertising Looks Period Correct.

 If you are interested in having Tag Toppers made for your car club or event drop me an email and let me know what you want and how many and I will get you a quote
. Minimum number is 50 and that can be uppers or downers or a combination of both. You can choose any background color and up to five ink colors. The biggest expense is in the setup, which is a fixed cost. The setup costs depends on your design and how many colors you choose. It works better to buy as many Tag Toppers as you can afford. Then you can divide the setup costs over a greater number of Tag Toppers and the cost per Tag Topper will be less. You only pay for the setup charge once if you do not change your design or colors. There is no setup charge on reorders.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



We Have These For Sale $20.00 Each Post Paid - Shipped Priority Mail.

Meanwhile If you want a genuine Fifth Avenue Tag Topper for your collection they are $20.00 each post paid. They are the exact same Tag Toppers that you see on the Great Race cars. Just specify "upper" or "downer."

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A Few Samples Of The Originals...
And now a few of the Tag Toppers in my collection. No they are not for sale, they are part of my collection. There were literally dozens of Tag Topper manufacturing companies in the 1930's thru the 1950's. There were all shapes and sizes and they advertised most everything from schools, to speed shops, to car dealerships, to tourist attractions. (I collect mostly the auto related Tag Toppers.) They used to be a giveaway item. For example... when you went to the Royal Gorge in Colorado back in the day, they would put a tag topper on your car while it was parked in the parking lot and you were riding the tram to the bottom of the Royal Gorge. When you came back the Tag Topper was installed so everyone knew where you went on vacation.


I am told this company was only in business five years, a casualty of the Depression


The Railroad had more money to spend on Tag Toppers than most businesses. This Tag Topper is porcelain like most of the early gasoline station signs were.




This one fit under the rear truck handle bezel




















I will add more pictures of the originals in my collection as time allows...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Meanwhile...If you have an original auto related Tag Topper that you want to sell you can email me a picture of what you have and the price you are asking and I will take a look. My email is fifthavegarage@gmail.com Be sure and put "Tag Topper" in the subject line...thanks! Randy
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
READ MORE

How A Synchromesh Transmission Works...

Posted on 6/15/16 with No comments


If you have ever driven an antique vehicle with a non-synchromesh transmission, with straight cut gears... you have no doubt been educated in the fine art of "double-clutching" and feathering the gas pedal to match the engine RPMs to the transmission RPMs, so the manual shift goes a little smoother. If you fail to do all of the above in a coordinated effort, your passengers will ask you if you think the transmission gears are made of rubber or some other snide remark. The gears will grind, you will get frustrated, rev the engine, making the attempted shift worse than before. That will make you appreciate a synchromesh transmission much more.

In this film dated 1936 is the introduction of how a synchromesh transmission works. This is yet another Jam Handy movie produced for Chevrolet (all synchromesh transmissions work basically the same). This movie like the rest in the series is very good at explaining how complicated things work. Grab some popcorn and enjoy the show...



READ MORE

How Hydraulic Brakes Work...

Posted on with No comments



















It was during the mid 1930's that hydraulic brakes were introduced by most car manufacturers. Prior to that with a few exceptions, mechanical brakes were the norm, which meant all of the brake shoes located in the drums behind the wheels were activated by way of mechanical rods connected to the brake pedal. Those rods needed constant adjustment in order to make sure the vehicle stopped straight. If the rods were not all adjusted equally the vehicle would tend to pull in one direction or the other causing the car to swerve,  as unequal pressure was applied the brake shoes.

Hydraulic brakes solved a lot of the problems associated with mechanical brakes along with providing more stopping power with less effort. After 80 years we take hydraulic brakes for granted but they were a revolutionary upgrade at the time of their introduction.

Now that you know a little of their history it's time you understood the principles of how hydraulic brakes work.  So... here is a training film from 1936 that explains just that. Watching this movie is much more fun than reading some old greasy shop manual. Enjoy...


READ MORE

How An Automotive Differential Works

Posted on 6/8/16 with No comments







Most of us motor heads past the age of 50, know at least the basics of how an automotive differential works, it was something we learned in automotive shop class way back in high school. Sadly automotive shop classes have disappeared from many high schools, no doubt in part because modern cars have got a lot more complicated than they were when we were in school. Even if you know how an automotive differential works... trying to explain it to someone else is more than a little complicated. It is one of those things that is simple to understand but difficult to explain. So here is a little help compliments of Chevrolet who in 1937 had the Jam Handy Company complete yet another technical film project. In this film they have done an excellent job of explaining how an automotive differential works.  Grab some popcorn and enjoy.






READ MORE

Latest

About Me

My photo
Since 1987, Fifth Avenue owner, Randy Rundle, has been making antique, classic and special interest vehicles more reliable and fun to drive.