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  < Back to Table Of Contents  < Back to Topic: Automotive … Planes and Trains Too

article number 225
article date 04-11-2013
copyright 2013 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
Not Easy: Driving and Maintaining Your Car in 1918
by A. L. Brennan, Jr.
   

From the 1918 Book, Automobile Operation.

CHAPTER I - HOW TO DRIVE AND OPERATE A CAR

THIS chapter is intended not only as a primary course in automobile operation, but also to impart a general idea of up-to-date motor car management that will prove of value in preventing certain troubles. Handling a car with skill and dispatch invariably requires conscientious and thoughtful practice, but it must not be inferred from this that a long period of time is required for one to acquire the management of a car.

The control mechanism of some cars presents problems to a beginner that are slightly involved, but considering the matter broadly, all motor cars may be controlled and operated with comparative ease, providing the several units of the engine and operating mechanisms are used correctly.

Before an operator attempts to drive a car at all, the following principles should be thoroughly understood: First, the correct placing and operation of the spark, throttle, and control levers. This knowledge is best acquired by taking your place behind the steering wheel and having some one explain the retard and advance position of the spark and throttle control levers on the wheel.

Next learn the position of the change speed lever as follows (engine not running) : Depress the clutch pedal, move gear shift lever to first speed position, then slightly depress foot throttle and at the same time allow the clutch to engage gradually by easing back on the foot pedal. These same steps must be taken in the order named in order to reach the higher speeds. In case the gear shift lever will not go into a speed slot, it is due to the gears not meshing, but this point should not be considered until you are actually operating the car under its own power.

Never look at the gear shift lever, but keep your eyes ahead from the time you take your position behind the wheel. Learn the location and positions of the pedals and gear shift, also the hand brake by the touch system.

   
Shift Positions Of Studebaker Transmission.

After acquiring a general knowledge of the control features of the car, you should next study the carburetor, ignition, and lubrication devices which have to do with your car. This is a much better way than acquiring a general knowledge of these subjects. After becoming familiar with the leading points of your car, you will be qualified to endeavor to handle the car under its own power.

It is not at all feasible for one to learn the running or management of an automobile out of a book, or by similar methods, but at the same time the fundamental principles must necessarily be given a certain amount of time and consideration, and the more knowledge a would-be operator has at his command, the sooner he will acquire full control of his machine. However, it is not a good policy to flood one’s mind with numberless suggestions which rarely work out satisfactorily under adverse conditions, and therefore if the following remarks are closely followed out, the operation of a motor car will be facilitated without presenting a number of confusing problems.

An operator should learn to handle a car in a mechanical way, that is, go through the various speeds without thinking about the necessary movements; in fact, this is the only correct way that a high powered car can be handled with exactness and precision.

Before starting out, ascertain if you have a sufficient supply of gasoline and oil on hand for the contemplated run. Of course if you are learning to drive, these details will be looked after for you, but you might just as well familiarize yourself with these factors now instead of later on. See that the battery current is good, that the mechanical features of the engine and its auxiliary parts, such as the magneto, pump, fan, etc., are 0. K. See that the tires are up.

Being satisfied that these features of the car are in good order, next see that the emergency brake is set and the gear shifting lever is in the neutral position, that throttle is about half open, that spark is fully retarded, that radiator is full of water, that all the oil and grease cups are filled with a suitable lubricant.

Next place switch in position, flood carburetor, and then crank the engine by pulling the handle up rapidly. This method is much better than pushing it down, and you are less liable to be injured if the engine should kick back.

A fully retarded spark does not ignite the compressed gas until the piston has reached or just passed the top center of the compression stroke. Thus it will be seen that if there is not sufficient inertia stored up in the fly-wheel to overcome the first pressure, caused by the gas igniting, the motor will cease to revolve in the right direction and start violently in the opposite direction. This is what takes place on starting with an advanced spark, and too much care cannot be exercised in guarding against such an occurrence. The simple precaution of retarding the spark eliminates any possibility of a back-fire from this cause, which sometimes not only results in damage to the engine but in serious injury as well.

   
The lever on the left hand side of the steering wheel is the spark advance; On the right is your throttle.

After the engine starts, switch on the magneto, advance the spark about two-thirds of its segment, and retard the gas. Next take your seat behind the steering wheel, release the hand brake, throw out clutch by depressing the clutch pedal, put the gear shifting lever in the first or low speed position, and then let the clutch in gradually. If when attempting to put the hand lever in the first position you find that it will not engage, put it back to the neutral position and let the clutch pedal back for an instant, which will place the gears in another position and allow them to slip in easily.

After having started on low speed and the car having gained sufficient speed, shift to the next higher gear by throwing the clutch out and shifting the gears to the next speed position with the lever, while at the same time speeding the engine up a little with the foot throttle. Continue these operations until high speed is reached and then slow your engine down to the desired speed you wish to travel, although always run on direct when possible.

In regard to the spark and throttle positions, they will be soon learned. It is desirable to run on an advanced spark, as it insures cool and economical running without excessive carbon deposits, but the spark must not be advanced to such an extent that knocking will result due to the gas being ignited too early. Excessive racking of this nature will render a motor useless in a short time.

In shifting to a lower gear, do so the same as in shifting to a higher one, except that after throwing the clutch out, you put the lever in the notch for the next lower speed, allowing the engine and car to slow down engaging the clutch gradually as explained above.

To stop the car, release the clutch, retard the throttle, put the gear shifting lever in the neutral position, and apply the foot brake. Whenever possible, apply the foot brake gradually, as it is a poor habit to acquire of starting or stopping your car in a jerky manner. If the foot brake is inadequate to stop the car, the emergency brake will also have to be made use of.

To reverse the car, bring it to a full stop, then go through the same operations of throwing the clutch out, speeding up the motor, and with the gear shift lever in the reverse position, allow the clutch to engage easily, and the car will move backward.

The secret of good traveling, particularly in congested traffic, depends largely upon the operator’s knowledge of his engine, for upon it depends entirely the efficiency of the motor car. There can be no cast-iron rules laid down for the proper engine speeds, as the local conditions are altogether too varied and even duplicate cars will be far from performing similar feats. A good rule, however, is never to allow your engine to labor excessively when on poor roads or grades, but shift into lower gear. On the other hand, do not make the serious mistake of continuous driving on low gears, as it is very detrimental to the engine as well as to the transmission. Another common mistake is continued running with retarded spark and open throttle which results in undue heating and carbon troubles.

   
Driving in congested traffic requires the operator’s knowledge of his engine.

Practice will soon teach one the limitations and other points of his car and motor, but if you have a heavy, powerful car, do not make the mistake of subjecting it to undue strains and abuse, but relieve the machine as much as possible by throwing the clutch out when passing over bumps and hollow places, which can be easily done without changing gear.

In endeavoring to drive on high gear, do not subject your motor to overwork, or, in other words, when it labors heavily on bad roads or hills, shift into a lower gear.

Efficient lubrication is very important and only the very best oils and greases should be used. Inferior oil or grease is not cheap at any price. In regard to the correct oil level in crank case, care should be taken to follow the manufacturer’s suggestion, that is keep the oil at height they recommend. Never allow the grease or oil in the transmission or gear cases to get below the level of the spur gears. This is important.

Carburetor troubles are usually caused by lack of fuel, air screen clogged with dust, or lost pressure on pressure feed systems. A good mixture should exhaust a dark blue flame verging on violet through the compression cocks on cylinders, accompanied by sharp-toned explosions.

Magnetos should be oiled as recommended by their manufacturers. The platinum points should be cleaned with fine sandpaper about once a month. If the points become pitted they should be carefully filed and set according to the gauge that is supplied with the magneto.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The rest of the chapters on care of you automobile are shortened. You will see “…” when we remove text. The chapters are presented for joyful reading and meant to show us that we had to do a lot to keep our car running. Also, you will find that some methods of maintenance and repair are almost comical.

CHAPTER II - TROUBLE SYMPTOMS

NEARLY all troubles that are peculiar to motor cars are manifested by certain regular and irregular sounds during operation of the motor and the running of the car. The only positive way for an operator to learn these several sounds and to know what they indicate is to become thoroughly familiar with the several sounds which are produced during the operation of the motor and running of the car.

Of course, present day cars are in many instances practically noiseless, as designers and engineers have been working toward silent operation for several years. However, the fact remains that all gas engines produce certain sounds, such as the suction at carburetor, click of valves and timing gears, the purring sounds caused by the power impulses, and the roar of gears in the transmission box.

Sounds which indicate troubles can be divided into several classes: knocking, squeaking, hissing or puffing, explosions in intake or exhaust pipe …

   
Listening for Rear-Axel noise while another person drives.

CHAPTER III - THE CARBURETOR

Troubles, Causes, and Remedies

THE function of the carburetor is to change a liquid fuel into a gaseous form by combining the fuel with air in a correct proportion for complete combustion. The action of a carburetor is entirely dependent upon the efficiency of the mechanical parts of the motor. That is, the mechanical features of the motor which govern compression will have to be in order, for the reason that if any of these parts are at fault, some or all of the cylinders will lack good compression, and consequently the vacuum pulling power of the cylinders will be impaired and a faulty mixture will result.

Mechanical failures not only result in a low volume of poorly mixed gas being drawn into the cylinders, but part of this gas is liable to be lost during the compression stroke. This fact points to the value of having the mechanic …

CHAPTER IV - THE COOLING SYSTEM

Overheating Due to Various Causes and Their Remedies

   
Ford Model T cooling system.

THE first symptoms that indicate trouble with the water circulation are generally overheating, sluggish operation, or steam issuing from the radiator. The most general cause for overheating is lack of sufficient water in the radiator through any cause, and in the event of overheating the radiator should be looked to first.

Since the cooling system is entirely dependent upon its component parts for efficient service it naturally follows that any one or more parts that are out of repair will give trouble and may cause overheating as follows: Defective or inoperative pump; pipes leaking, broken, choked, or air or steam bound; fan not working due to belt being too loose or broken; leaks or deposits in water jackets; radiator clogged with mud.

It is a good practice to strain the water into radiator on account of the small spaces therein which might become clogged.

Under no circumstances should water from a brook be poured into the radiator without straining it through a handkerchief. Some drivers overlook this point while touring and consequently grit is liable to work into the pump and prove very detrimental.

The fan spindle should be kept well lubricated, as the fan revolves at high speeds and excessive wear will take place unless it is looked after in this particular. Fan belts have a tendency to stretch, which allows slipping; to overcome this trouble, belts should be adjusted periodically and kept absolutely free from the lubrication oil and greases of the motor. Castor oil is an excellent belt dressing and will give holding qualities.

After filling radiator with water, the filler cap should be replaced and care taken to see that the vent hole in the top is open. After filling the radiator it is a good practice to spin the motor over a few times by hand to allow the water to circulate through the jackets and pipes and fill any air or steam pockets which may have formed while the engine was in operation and considerably heated. If any “pockets” do exist, the fact will be indicated by a lowering of the water level in the radiator. In this case additional water should be added.

The water jacket on motor and radiator should be well hosed out about every three months. That is, a strong stream of water from a hose should be sent through the system until the water comes out clean. While performing this work care must be exercised not to crack the cylinder water jackets or damage the radiator by the water pressure. The pressure should not exceed fifteen pounds, and so care must be exercised for the reason that the water pressure in some cities is several times this pressure.

Leaking or broken pipes can be mended temporarily by connecting the broken or loose ends with a piece of rubber tubing and wiring them in position. Should a patented clip on either end of the hose connection give way, the hose may be fastened securely by using string, wire, or electric tape. Ordinary leaks in radiators are usually easy to find; however, it sometimes happens that leaks of this nature are very difficult to detect, due to their being very slight.

In some cases very slight leaks can be located as follows: Empty the radiator of all water and then blow smoke into it from a pipe; of course, this must be done where there is no wind. In other cases, leaks are found by removing the radiator and submerging it in a tank of water and then locating the leak by applying air pressure to the radiator. Where bubbles appear, the leak is indicated. Leaks of this nature should be carefully soldered. In some cases it will be found that a jeweler’s blowpipe and a stick of soft solder will enable you to reach certain points where a common soldering iron cannot be used.

   

It must not be taken for granted that overheating can always be attributed to the cooling system for the reason that overheating is caused by several troubles totally apart from the cooling system itself.

Other symptoms of overheating are: Smell of burning oil or paint, slight smoke, knock, engine operates in sluggish manner or stops gradually. Causes: Inefficient lubrication due to use of poor oil or an insufficient amount of good oil, over rich mixture, throttle opened too far, allowing large volume of gas, or ignition occurring too late. A general overheating of the entire motor is often caused by continued driving on high gear on hills. Under these latter circumstances the cooling may be inefficient, due to both fan and pump working at a low speed while the volume of mixture allowed the cylinders is at its maximum.

On hills change to a lower gear, keep the spark advanced as far as possible without causing the engine to pound, and feed as little throttle gas as possible, consistent with good results. This will keep the fan and belt going at a good rate and will in most cases prevent overheating.

In all cases of serious overheating, the engine should be stopped and allowed to cool off gradually. If the overheating is due to a partial loss of water from the radiator, the temperature of the motor may be reduced by adding water to the supply in the radiator, but this should only be done in cases where the water is not entirely exhausted and if possible, the motor should be kept in operation while the water is being poured in.

Kerosene is considered very good for seized pistons resulting from overheating. In cases of this kind, about a teacup full of kerosene should be poured into each cylinder and the motor rocked and spun by hand until the pistons work freely; after troubles of this kind be sure and feed a little more oil.

CHAPTER V - IGNITION

Troubles, Causes, and Remedies

NEARLY all ignition troubles are easily traced by eliminating all other possible causes. At first this may not seem an adequate way of locating ignition faults, but in actual practice it works out very well indeed.

It is well to bear in mind, however, the fact that many conditions enter into the failure of an internal-combustion motor to operate in an efficient manner that have nothing to do with the ignition, and which in this chapter receive but brief consideration, since this is primarily an ignition subject alone. However, engine failures that can be attributed to certain other causes may receive mention from time to time in order to lay particular emphasis on certain conditions.

During the past few years electrical engineers have worked toward eliminating complicated wiring and other conditions that might prove difficult for the average operator to master, with the result that all ignition troubles are comparatively easy to trace …

CHAPTER VI - SELF-STARTERS

AUTOMATIC cranking devices may be divided into two general classes: (1) Compressed air or gas, and (2) electric. Electric self-starters seem to hold favor on present day motor cars and so the majority of troubles that can be attributed to this type of starter will be considered.

It is very important for an operator to acquire a good working knowledge of his motor. Remember that irrespective of whether a gas engine is cranked over by an automatic or mechanical device or by hand, the several starting preliminaries should be looked to and that any troubles that hinder starting when hand cranking is in order will also interfere with easy starting when the motor is cranked over by an automatic or mechanical means.

There are certain other truths which should operate effectively and cranks the engine over, but the engine fails to start, the existing trouble not be lost sight of: 1. If the self-starter has to do with the engine and not the self-starter. 2. If the self-starter fails to turn the engine over, the trouble is in the self-starter. 3. All troubles that affect hand starting affect automatic starting.

In most cases when the self-starter turns the engine over at a fair speed for thirty seconds the engine should start for the reason that the gas in each cylinder has been changed several times; this is assuming that the motor and functional parts are in order …

   

CHAPTER VII - THE BRAKES

IN some respects the brakes are the most important part of a car. It is impossible to handle a motor car safely and with dispatch unless the brakes are in good working order and thoroughly effective.

On some heavy chain driven cars, the upkeep of the foot brake requires considerable attention. In some cases this brake is placed on the jack shaft and is not quite adequate for the weight of the car.

The symptoms of defective brakes are many, among which may be mentioned the following: Brakes ineffective, overheating, car has tendency to slew or deviate when brakes are applied, especially on wet streets or places where the traction is poor.

   
Peerless Rear-Axel Brake.

The causes for these troubles are many; for instance, grease or oil on drum, one of the brakes holding while the other remains inoperative, due to oil or grease or through failure in the actuating rods and levers. Both hand and foot brakes should be adjusted so that they may be depended upon to lock the rear wheels when traveling at an ordinary rate and so that either brake will hold the car on the worst grades encountered. It is decidedly bad practice to rely on both foot and hand brakes on a grade, for should one prove inoperative the other would be inadequate to stop or hold the car.

In regard to the best method of stopping the car it is well to mention the fact that locking the wheels is not recommended. In fact, much traction is lost when the wheels are locked; not only this, but locking the wheels is very detrimental to the tires and should be avoided.

Great care must be exercised that sufficient slack is allowed the brakes so that there is no tendency to overheat. A brake that is in contact with the brake drum will overheat. This condition cannot be ascertained until the car has been running for some time, and therefore it is advisable to feel the brake drums and shoes immediately after the car has been stopped, following a run, after adjusting or relining the brakes.

If on applying the foot or hand brake. the car shows a tendency to slew, this fact indicates that one of the brakes on one of the …

   
Brakes and rear construction of Pierce Cars. Courtesy of Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, Buffalo, New York.

CHAPTER VIII - THE STEERING GEAR

IT is of the utmost importance that the steering gear be kept in good working order. Faults pertaining to the steering gear are generally indicated by certain symptoms, i.e., considerable play or back-lash between steering wheel and road wheels, steering stiff or uneven. The causes for these troubles are many; for instance, undue wear in joints of actuating levers, in front axle jaws, or in the swivel joints of the rods, loose joints or bearings, gear or sector badly worn, bent rod. By carefully going over the steering gear in the event of trouble, the cause is in most cases easy to locate.

With the exception of accidents, troubles that affect the steering gear are in most cases easily avoided by regular inspection and care of the several bearings and other parts of the steering gear. Great care should be exercised to see that the various bolts and “holders” of …

   
Worm and Gear Steering Arrangement.

CHAPTER IX - THE TRANSMISSION

Care of Change Speed Gears, Differential, and Clutch

ALL enclosed gears should be lubricated with hard grease, non-fluid oil, or graphite paste. The oil or grease in the transmission and differential cases should not be allowed to get below the spur gears. In cases where any of the gear pinions show a tendency to fit tightly it is a good plan to add a little oil to the grease or non-fluid oil.

Rumbling sounds accompanied by uneven running while running on the lower speeds usually indicates that the gears or pinions are worn. Except in very marked instances, it is not generally necessary to fit new gears; however, if this is necessary, the car should be looked after by its maker.

   
Ford Planetary Transmission.

Most gear troubles are caused by either insufficient or inefficient lubrication or by careless gear shifting. The first trouble can be eliminated by using adequate amounts of a suitable lubricant. The latter trouble can be avoided in most instances by being very careful to have the speed of the two gears about to mesh approximately the same.

Before shifting the gear and engaging the gears the clutch should be thrown out entirely and held out until the gear shift lever is in the next speed position, either higher or lower. If this method is closely adhered to, the wear and tear on the teeth of the gears will be reduced to a minimum. On the other hand, if the gears are shifted in a careless manner, the teeth being allowed to rub unnecessarily upon each other, they will soon become badly worn, chipped, or even stripped.

Clutch troubles are usually indicated by uneven running. Slipping of the clutch is generally indicated by the car failing to climb grades when the engine is operating in an efficient manner.

There are several types of clutches now in common use, all of which possess certain advantages. The function of the clutch is to form a suitable connection and disconnection between the motor and transmission, and it is so constructed that it does not apply the full power of the engine at once, so that the car may be …

CHAPTER X - THE PROPER CARE OF TIRES

   

MUCH wear and tear can be avoided by exercising care in the treatment of tires, both directly and indirectly. Directly, by taking pains to place the tubes in carefully and using a small amount of non-friction compound, such as French chalk, keeping the tires well inflated, etc., etc. Indirectly, by choosing places in the road will minimize the injurious effect on the tires, driving around corners at a moderate speed, and reducing speed or bringing the car to a stop by applying the brakes gradually.

Avoid driving in car tracks and rubbing the sides of the tires against curb-stones and other obstructions.

The principal cause of tire trouble is insufficient inflation, as a tire that is not sufficiently pumped up will present an undue amount of wearing surface which is increased by the increased ratio of the friction flexion offered. This slackness not only subjects the shoe to additional injury, such as “stone bruising,” but the inner tube as well, and also subjects the rim to unnecessary wear and tear. On the other hand, tires that are pumped too hard are also subject to severe wear and tear, and it will be found that the life of a tire subjected to this treatment will be very short.

A good rule for the correct inflation of tires is to pump them so hard that they show slight, yet perceptible sag under a full load. By observing this rule and making it a steady practice always to drive at a reasonable speed, take corners carefully, and exercise great care in applying the brakes gradually and in moderation, it will be found that more can be done toward preserving the life of the tires than by anything else.

Whether a car is used or not, the tires are always depreciating in value and too much stress cannot be laid on the importance of thoroughly examining the rims, shoes, tubes, and holding bolts for any signs of disintegration, rust, etc. Rusty rims, for instance, are a fruitful source of trouble which should receive immediate remedy.

   
Cross section of Michelin demountable rim. This metal rim on you wood wheels is removed and the tire is replaced on the rim. Keep the bolts rust free so that changing a tire on the road is easier.

Tires undoubtedly cause the most delays, but like everything else, these troubles have their preventatives as well as their remedies.

Many, if not nearly all, tire troubles could be avoided if sufficient care were exercised in their handling, and this point is clearly demonstrated by the great variation in the lasting of tires on identical cars which are in the hands of different drivers.

Since all the elements have a damaging effect on rubber, it is necessary to exercise the utmost care in keeping the tires free from oil and dampness, especially in the garage or place where the car is kept. Crude oil, kerosene, alcohol, gasoline, and similar liquids are all extremely harmful to rubber tires, although the effects may not become apparent to the naked eye until the tire breaks. Nevertheless, disintegration of a kind goes on at a rapid rate.

All cars should be equipped with extra tubes and casings which will save much time and trouble in the case of a puncture or other damage to the tire.

It is far preferable to avoid any repairs of this nature while on the road by substituting other tubes and casings; the defective ones should be repaired when convenient and with the aid of a vulcanizer. But if it is not possible to substitute another tube, a substantial repair can be made by cleaning the tube for …

CHAPTER XI - WHAT TO DO EACH MONTH

How to Maintain Efficiency

A CAR that is used every day should undergo a partial overhauling about every thirty days in order to insure dependability. The chief factors in these monthly investigations constitute a general cleaning up and adjusting of the motor, transmission and running gear, and a thorough lubricating of all these parts. The amount of work to be done naturally depends upon the amount of service that is required of the car and the general condition the component parts of the car are kept in.

A thorough overhauling literally means the entire taking apart of all the various parts of the car, engine, and auxiliary features, such as the transmission complete, steering gear, and other parts. In order to maintain the greatest efficiency, a car should be submitted to a complete overhaul at least once a year, irrespective of whether or not it appears absolutely necessary.

A first class car maintained by a competent mechanician will stand up for a long season without any appreciable wear and tear, yet in poor hands continued visits to the machine shop may have to be resorted to …

CHAPTER XII - WHAT TO DO EACH DAY

How to Keep Motor and Car in Repair

THE principal points to be considered are: 1. General cleaning of outside of car. 2. Looking mechanism over for loose nuts, etc. 3. Lubricating of all moving parts. 4. Filling gasoline tank and radiator.

The general upkeep of a motor does not entail much labor, or any extensive adjusting, but rather a predetermined amount of care and attention according to the type of machine, the local conditions, and the time the car is used.

It is a good practice to go over a car at the end of a day’s run or before next using it and ascertain carefully if there are any loose or broken parts. By doing this regularly, troubles will be reduced to a minimum. Acquire the habit, if possible, of adjusting a trouble in its infancy instead of allowing it to become serious through neglect. If during the day’s run any derangement in the engine, transmission, or running gear was noticed and not attended to then, it should be looked after before the car is again used.

Considering the fact that a great many cars are now taken care of by their owners in private garages, a few words on how to wash a car should prove of value. Be very careful not to rub mud or other grit into the enamel or paint while washing the car. Mud deposits should be washed off by using a hose and a large sponge, allowing the water pressure from the hose to flow through the sponge and gently tear away the mud without scratching the paint or varnish. After thoroughly removing the mud, the paint and varnished parts of the chassis and body should be carefully dried with a clean chamois.

   

When washing the front part of the car, especially the hood of the motor, be careful not to allow any water to reach the magneto or carburetor, as a little water sometimes proves extremely detrimental to these parts.

Keep the tires well inflated. Better find out what pressure is recommended by the manufacturers, but be sure and consider these three conditions: 1. Pressure recommended. 2. Size of tire. 3. Weight of car.

Look the brakes over and note if they have overheated. If they have, the overheating indicates that the brakes (either hand or foot brakes) were not entirely released or else the friction bands were not held clear of the drums, due to weak or broken springs or other cause which should be located and adjusted at once.

It is a good plan to test the batteries. Be sure and use an ampere meter for dry cells. A small incandescent lamp is best to find the capacity of a storage battery. In no case should a storage battery be short circuited with a wire or screw driver. Batteries should be protected from excessive vibration by placing two or three layers of felt in the bottom of the battery box.

Do not tolerate a weak battery, especially if your car is equipped with an electric selfstarter, or electric horn …

CHAPTER XIV - HINTS TO THE WISE AND UNWISE

KEEP the Oil Level
In crank case constant by frequent additions of small amounts of oil instead of larger quantities at longer periods.

Electric Tape
Bound tightly around loose joints or cracks in water pipes proves an effective remedy but is useless for gasoline leaks.

Yellow Soap
Smeared on a strip of cloth and wrapped around a gasoline joint will stop quite a bad leak.

To Find the Capacity
Of dry cells test them immediately after they have been in service for some time and not before starting off on a trip.

In the Dual System
Of Ignition there is but one set of plugs for both battery and magneto currents.

Splash Feed Motors
Should be cleaned out internally by draining the cylinder oil out of base and putting in a similar amount of kerosene and then run engine for from five to ten minutes, when the motor should be stopped and the kerosene drained out and a suitable amount of new cylinder oil placed in base. This done, the motor should be started and kept in operation until the exhaust clears. The foregoing method will clean out the oil leads, checks, etc., but care must be exercised not to run the motor too long on the kerosene, as it is not a lubricant.

Terminals
Should be carefully soldered to ends of wires to insure an easy flow of the electrical current.

To Test Spark Plugs
Disconnect secondary wire from plug, unscrew plug from cylinder, reconnect high tension wire and place the threaded portion of the plug on the cylinder, but do not allow the top of plug or terminal of wire to touch engine. Next place switch on battery contact and turn engine over slowly until firing position of that cylinder is indicated by mark on flywheel, coil buzzing, or spark appearing at plug.

A Strip of Cloth
Saturated with shellac is a good thing to wrap around a leaking gasoline joint or crack.

   

When a Good Spark
Appears between the points of a plug while testing, it usually indicates that the plug and current will prove 0. K. in the cylinder, but this must not be taken as final, for the reason that when the plug was tested in the open it was only necessary for the electrical current to overcome the resistance of air at approximately 16 pounds pressure, while in the combustion chamber the pressure may range from 50 to 100 pounds and the potential (voltage) may not be sufficient to overcome this resistance. Therefore, when testing plugs, make sure that you have a large, lively spark.

Be Sure
To oil the air compressor (compressed air starters). If there is no lubricator on this mechanism, feed a little oil now and then through the air intake. Remember that this contrivance has a piston like the engine.

When an Engine
Is flooded it will not back fire. Therefore, if trouble is experienced when starting an engine, note the symptoms. If the motor back-fires there is not enough gas admitted through throttle or mixture is too thin. On the other hand, if engine coughs and starts in a sluggish manner and stops, the mixture is too rich or the engine is over-primed.

Dripping Carburetor
When a carburetor floods when the gasoline is turned on or motor stopped, it is practically a sure indication that the value of the mixture will be impaired while operating at a low speed.

An Invisible
Exhaust denotes a perfect mixture, but it does not indicate that the correct amount of cylinder oil is being used.

Back-Firing
Is caused by the delayed combustion of the previous charge or to over-advanced ignition.

Look Out
For acetylene gas leaks if you have this type of lighting or starting. Acetylene forms an explosive mixture with air when the proportion is as low as three per cent, and as high as eighty per cent; which gives an exceedingly wide range of danger.

   
Acetylene generator (on running board) and its connections to the headlights must be looked at closely for leaks.

Never Crank
An engine downward, but always pull up against compression to avoid injury.

If Engine Overheats
Due to failure of circulating system, allow engine to cool before pumping cold water through jacket, for a sudden change in temperature is liable to crack the jacket. Never pour water on an overheated motor.

Don’t Flood
The magneto bearings with oil, for the oil will creep and impair the frictional and contact surfaces. Better oil about once a week by dripping two or three drops of oil off a match stick into each bearing.

The Cam Shaft
and other bearings which are sometimes lubricated by hand oiling should be looked to before each run. Do not neglect oscillating or rotating parts merely because they operate slowly.

Clean the Spark Plugs
Occasionally in a tin of gasoline with the aid of a stiff brush and brighten the points with a piece of sandpaper.

Adjustment of Bearings
Bearings should be fitted with shims of suitable thickness and all bearing bolts set up tight by using a hammer on the spanners. Any bearings which show lost motion or back-lash should receive prompt attention, as this trouble cannot adjust itself.

   
Front axel end, showing roller bearings for wheel and steering knuckle.

Removal of Scale from Water Jacket
A large proportion of the incrustations which form in the water jacket may be removed by a twenty percent solution of hydrochloric (muriatic) acid. This solution should remain in the jacket for about four hours to dissolve the scale and should then be rinsed out with water from a hose or by operating the motor. Keep the acid clear of the hands or clothing. …

… Care of Piston and Cylinders
When cleaning the carbon out of an engine, be careful not to scratch the glaze on piston and cylinder. Deposits of this nature should be removed with copper or bronze scrapers.

Pistons
Should be soaked in a tin of kerosene to loosen stuck rings. Never loosen a ring with a hammer, but use a piece of hard wood.

Don’t Throw Water
On gasoline fires; use sand or a fire extinguisher. Water will only spread the flames and make a bad matter worse. …

… Use a Chamois
When time is not pressing, it is advisable to strain the gasoline through a chamois skin, which, if free from defects, will prevent any water from entering the tank, as gasoline will flow through a chamois while water will not.

Be Careful
Never to attempt to adjust the tremblers on a coil with any secondary wire disconnected from plug and plug grounded, for this act might ruin the insulation inside of coil and render it useless.

Overheating
Is often caused by the belt slipping. Castor oil is an excellent belt dressing. …

… To Start a Frozen Nut
Sometimes it is very difficult to loosen a nut after the threads have become badly rusted. In eases of this kind it is not advisable to exert much power with a long wrench, for this is liable to twist or break the stud. Better tap the nut all around with quick blows from a light hammer, and apply heat from a blow torch. …

… When an Engine
Is hard to start due to worn cylinders, pour a little thick oil (cylinder oil) into the cylinders. This oil will work around the piston rings and help hold the compression.

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