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You Wanna Put What Where...?

Posted on 4/6/17 with No comments


The same 6-volt alternator as used on the movie cars

The plan was to put this 1929 Ford Model A into the lobby of the local theater to highlight my involvement in the movie LA Confidential.  The car belonged to a local alternator customer who was more than excited to help out.

Here Is What The Car Looked Like In Place 

Those were the exact words of the local theatre manager in Manhattan Kansas when I asked him if I could put a life sized car in the lobby of his theater. The year was 1997 and I had worked on the antique vehicles in the upcoming movie release LA Confidential. All of the vintage police cars along with the 1950 Chevrolet that Danny DeVito drove, all had my 6-volt alternators and cooling fans installed on them.  The original plan to to have a movie premier in Kansas City because that is where James Elroy lived who wrote the book the movie was based off of.

I had an alternator customer in the Kansas City area that had a 1940's Packard Limo and I had arranged to have him pick up James and deliver him to the premier. James got called out of town at the last minute so I had to come up with Plan B. I decided to put a full sized car in the movie theater closer to home in Manhattan Kansas and explain my part in the movie.

So after I explained to the theatre manager what I wanted to do he hesitated for a while then said..."we have never had a full sized car in our lobby before but it might be interesting...can you find one that will fit?" I had an alternator customer in Manhattan Kansas with a 1929 Ford Model A Roadster that had the same alternator installed as I had used on the movie cars, and because the alternator fit on the left side of the engine it would make for an easy display.

The Doors And Door Hardware Had To Be Removed To Get The Car Inside The Theatre

I measured the doors of the theatre three different times and finally determined the only way the Model A would fit is if we took the doors off along with all of the hardware off of the door frames and then there would be only two inches to spare. It would be close.

Moving in day was on a Thursday during the afternoon matinee. With the doors and hardware off we carefully drove the Model A onto the sidewalk and aligned it up as best we could. Then we pushed it into the theatre by hand with barely an inch to spare on either side.

Not Much Room For Error...

One inside the car owner who was in his early 70's took advantage of an opportunity of a lifetime. He started his car and drove two laps around the snack bar and lobby before parking it in the display area! The grin on his face was a mile wide. He had clearly been waiting his whole life for an opportunity like this. The theater manager, the door repair guy, myself and about a dozen bystanders stood with our mouth open in amazement. Nobody saw that coming.

Two Laps Around The Snack Bar Ought To Do it...!

He Never Expected To Have His Car In the Lobby Of The Local Theater

I got the display setup in the lobby, while the doors got put back on the hinges, and the hinges back on the door frames, and all was good. The premier went off without a hitch. The theater manager and I took pictures of the display and I wrote a story that described my part in the movie. We sent that into the national theater trade magazine and the Manhattan Kansas theater won a marketing award for the best local promotion of a movie.

As for of the highlights of the movie was seeing those six police cars coming over the hill at night with the lights and siren blaring full blast.  I could not have asked for a better testimonial for my 6-volt alternators. They clearly did the job and put an end to dead batteries and dim headlights.

I explained in the lobby display that I invented a 6-volt alternator and that my alternator will fix the common problems of hard starting and dim headlights that are commonly associated with antique vehicles. When I explained that to the movie patrons before the movie, most had kind of a glazed look on their face and it was clear they had no idea what I was talking about.

After the movie it was a different story. When those same movie patrons saw my 6-volt alternators in action it was an "aahaw" moment and they finally connected the dots. Many of those same patrons stopped by after the movie to look at the Model A a little closer, and ask more questions, as they now understood what my alternator did. Mission accomplished!

A Real Life Sized Antique Car In A Movie Theatre Draws A Lot Of Attention

The locals had no idea I worked on cars for the movie studios. This being my fourth such project it was time to educate the locals and have a little fun. Hopefully by looking at these pictures you can understand what is was like to put a full sized antique car in a movie theater.

Taking The Doors And Hardware Off Again To Get The Car Out

Yes It's Close... Go Slow....!!

This Is What He Was Looking At...

We Made It...That Was Fun


Electric Radiator Cooling Fans...What You Need To Know

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When shopping for an electric radiator cooling fan, they may all look alike… with the only difference being the price. Are they really all the same…? Read on…

When shopping for an electric radiator cooling fan one of the first things you need to look at… is the pitch of the blades, and how many there are. As common sense would tell you the more blades the more air the fan will move. But that only works if the pitch of those blades is aggressive (or angled steeply) to move the air. But…the steeper the pitch and the more blades there are…the larger the motor will have to be to spin those blades. If a fan has a lot of blades but the pitch of those blades is flat… you will get the riverboat paddle wheel affect where the fan will make a lot of noise but not move much air, like a riverboat paddle wheel.

Be aware of curved blade electric radiator cooling fans. They are quieter than a straight blade fan but are also less efficient. (that riverboat paddle wheel lesson again). Your reason for adding an electric radiator fan in the first place is to move more air thru the radiator core to make your cooling system more efficient. Don't loose sight of your goal!


Which brings us to the fan motors. The majority of aftermarket electric radiator cooling fan motors are bushing motors. They are less expensive to manufacture will have slightly less horsepower and require more electricity from your charging system.

Ideally, an electric radiator-cooling fan should be built with a ball bearing motor. Ball bearing motors are much more efficient (less internal friction) so they develop more horsepower and require less electricity from your charging system. That means a fan can be built with more blades and those blades can have a more aggressive pitch to move more air, which is the purpose of installing an electric radiator-cooling fan in the first place.

Also be aware of CFM (cubic feet a minute) ratings of electric radiator cooling fans. Most of those ratings are established without the fan being attached to any radiator. But in the real world when you attach an electric radiator cooling fan to a radiator... the actual air flow you get on the output side of the radiator will be much less (sometimes as much as 50% less) depending on the radiator design, how close the fins are, how big the tubes are, and the thickness of the radiator.

A better judge of the quality of an electric radiator-cooling fan is the number of blades, and the aggressiveness or pitch of those fan blades. Also check to see if the motor is a ball bearing motor (which will provide a much longer service compared to a bushing motor) and will require less electricity from your charging system. This is especially important if your electrical system is 6-volts. If the motor is sealed and is water resistant that is also a plus, as radiators have been known to overflow and force coolant out the overflow. If your fan motor is not sealed the coolant will get inside and ruin the fan motor.

Lastly…the fan mounting is very important. Your fan should mount using metal brackets like these. Some fans use nylon wire ties that pass thru the radiator core. The weight of the fan and the vibration over time will eventually wear a hole in the radiator core.

All Fifth Avenue electric radiator, cooling fans, are built using sealed ball bearing motors, with ten blades and an have an aggressive pitch, and mount using adjustable metal brackets.

 They are available for both 6-volt and 12-volt applications, as “pusher” fans (that mount to the front side of the radiator, and as “puller” fans that mount to the engine side of the radiator.

When I talk to customers on the telephone about electric radiator cooling fans the analogy I use most often is  helicopter blades. Clearly...a helicopter blade is in the air moving business and if curved blades worked better to move air, helicopter blades would be curved. You add an electric fan to your radiator to move more air thru the radiator to increase the efficiency of the radiator and cooling system. So the helicopter are in the air moving business.

Like most things… you get what you pay for and when it comes to shopping for an electric radiator-cooling fan buying a quality, highly efficient electric radiator cooling fan will save you money in the long run and more important fix you cooling problem for good. And remember...Simple Is Good!

You will find Fifth Avenue electric radiator cooling fans under the "Cooling" section of the "Parts" Menu



About Me

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