The Importance Of Tightening Spokes On Wire Wheels On Classic Cars

I own a number of classic cars and have never really been a fan of wire wheels for a variety of reason. Firstly they take a lot of cleaning and it is very difficult to get between all the spokes and to clean the hub properly. Secondly and more importantly, spokes can work loose, or worse still they can actually crack or break under hard driving. I have never had a spoke snap on me, you really need to be doing some spirited rallying for them to fail, but I have had them work loose.

Over the years I have replaced the wire wheels on some of our cars (MGB Roadster, Triumph TR4a and Austin Healey) with Minilite alloy wheels and have D-Type alloy wheels on our Jaguar E-Type. These are easier to clean, no spokes to mess about with and they are actually easier for tyre companies to balance properly so normally make for a smoother, better ride. One of my latest acquisitions is a 1961 Jaguar Mk2 saloon which arrived with chrome wire wheels. Minilites would look out of place on a Jaguar and changing to standard steel wheels would involve replacing the hubs, and would look a bit plain and boring. So for now I am sticking with the wire wheels.

Cleaning the wheels recently, I noticed that a couple of the spokes were loose, and much credit to my local garage they also spotted this on the car’s annual MOT test, so I decided I needed to check all the spokes on all five wheels (including the spare).

This is a non-trivial task and can’t be done with the wheels on the car as you need to be able to get to both sides of the wheels to tighten the outer and inner spokes. First you need a

The Importance of Painting Brake Calipers and Brake Drums on Classic Cars

On a guided tour of a Bentley dealer, the service manager took great pride in emphasising their attention to detail by showing me one of the mechanics painting the brake calipers on a modern Bentley that was in for a service. I’ve been doing this for years on our fleet of classic cars for a number of reasons.

Anyone who has bought a classic car that hasn’t had much use knows that rust on the brake calipers can cause problems. It is unsightly when viewed through nice gleaming chrome wire wheels or period alloy wheels. But most importantly rust can actually cause problems with the braking system when servicing.

The calipers are normally made out of cast iron and while some cars have nickel plated or, better still, copper brake pipes, virtually all of them have steel fittings on the brake pipes and steel brake bleed nipples which can rust. If the rust isn’t kept under control then the bleed nipples can rust into the calipers making it virtually impossible to bleed the brakes. I have seen too many cars where the flats on the bleed nipples have been rounded off so that they can no longer be undone with a spanner. In severe cases I have known of bleed nipples that have snapped off, meaning the caliper has to be removed, brake pipes removed (if they will come undone, and then the bleed nipple very carefully drilled out and replaced.

If the bleed nipple has reached this stage then it is quite possible that the brake pistons have started to rust in the calipers as well – but that is a separate issue.

When I do my main winter service on all my classic cars I remove any rust from the calipers with a wire brush, particularly around the brake pipe ends

Which Do You Prefer – British Classics or American Muscle?

I never really understood why Americans developed such a love for our British Sportcars. For Brits of my generation it is obvious as we grew up with them. In the late 50s and early 60s there were very few foreign cars on UK roads, a few Renaults and Citroens and the inevitable VW Beetles. Japanese cars didn’t start getting imported until 1965 and it was only in the 1970s and 1980s when a combination of strong unions, bad management and bad quality saw them really have an impact on the UK manufacturers. For a while there were probably as many American cars in the UK as German, as we had a lot of US bases all over the country and many GIs imported US cars.

I have known for years that about 75% of production of Austin Healey, Jaguar, MG and Triumph went to the US but it is only now that I own two American classics that I think I understand why British cars are loved so much.

To illustrate this I think it is worthwhile doing a straight comparison with a couple of the classics that I have owned and driven. My favourite car by a long way is my 1970 Jaguar SII E-Type. I am now on my 3rd E-Type having progressed up the value chain from a SII 2+2, the least desirable version, to a SII coupe and now to a SII Roadster. 1964 saw the S1 E-Types evolving from the original design with the 4.2 litre engine replacing the 3.8, a Jaguar gearbox replacing the appalling Moss one, brakes being upgraded and a decent servo installed and good supportive seats replacing the original bucket ones. 1964 saw the launch of the Ford Mustang in the US and my 1st American Muscle Car is a 1965 Mustang

Hints and Tips on Storing Your Classic Car Over the Winter

We don’t let our classic cars go out on hire in the depths of winter, particularly once the first frosts arrive and the councils start spreading salt on the roads. Our cars were never rustproofed when new and even though we tend to Waxoyl them ourselves this can never be done completely and always leaves untreated bodywork which is subject to the dreaded tin worm.

We take them all off the road over the winter and work through our list of improvements and put them all through our garage for their main annual service. Putting them away for the winter isn’t just a matter of driving them into the garage and we do, and recommend that classic car owners do, as much of the following as is practicable.

    • Clean and polish the whole car properly, including the underside of the bonnet and boot lids and as much of the engine bay as is reachable. Empty the boot and clean and polish the inside of the boot and the boot floor.
    • While you have the spare wheel out make sure it is clean and check the tyre pressure. As tyres can lose a bit of pressure over time when stored, pump it up to a few PSI more than is needed.
    • Hose down the underside of the car and dry it off as best as you can – if necessary taking it for a short drive to dry it off – as long as there is no salt on the roads of course.
    • Check the carpet to see if they are at all damp – most classics tend to leak to some extent. If possible lift the carpets and any soundproofing or underlay and check the floor isn’t wet. If it is, remove the carpets and dry and polish the floor. Hang the carpets and

The Benefits of Putting Floor Liners To Your Vehicle

Wondering how you can keep the dirt and grime off of your vehicle’s flooring? Putting on floor liners is a great investment to help keep off any substance that will damage the interior floor carpet. This is also a nice addition for your vehicle to keep it in tip-top condition, which helps in retaining its resale value.

You’ll see different floor liner types and brands in the market such as Weathertech, Husky liners, and more. Before you buy one, you have to know the difference between each type and how it would fit onto your vehicle.

Floor coverage

You probably stumbled upon the terms universal and direct fit. Get to know the difference between these terms to see how it will fit onto your vehicle’s interior flooring.

Floor liners designed to precisely fit onto specific vehicles are called direct fit or custom fit. It is not the same as stock floor mats that came with your vehicle.

Custom fit floor mats provides a great coverage on the foot wells since it is created to surround edge-to-edge and fit securely onto the floor. It’s not a one-size fits all because it is designed with grooves and raised edges around the perimeters to trap liquid, dirt and other substances that can ruin your vehicle’s floor carpet.

Depending on the brand and style, it may come in either single or a 2-piece design. Other floor liners for trucks are constructed with one-piece setup that will fit the shifter booth.

How it’s made

Floor liners are made using high quality materials like heavy-duty rubber, pliable vinyl or thermoplastic. There are two types such as all-weather floor mats or the regular ones which is mostly seen on universal mats. Both floor mats are easy to install and easy to clean by just wiping or by giving a quick rinse to remove spillage or

The Ins and Outs of a Waterless Car Wash

The waterless car wash is one way California car owners can conserve water. These washes can be like regular car washes where you take your car to get washed or like mobile services that can come to you. Otherwise, if you’re DIY-inclined, you can purchase waterless wash and wax products to use on your own car.

Waterless car washes, also known as chemical car washes, use special chemicals to wash and polish a car’s surface. These products combine surfactants, lubricants, and pH builders to help break down dirt and grime more effectively.

How To Use A Waterless Car Wash

An easy, economical, eco-friendly, and quick way to clean your vehicle between washes is to use a waterless car wash. A waterless car wash uses a pre-prepared lubricating spray that is used to thoroughly saturate each section of your car, which later gets wiped, one section at a time. Then any light dirt or grime can be carefully wiped off, section by section. Ideally, you would use microfiber cloths, which will not hurt the car’s finish. Waterless car washes should really only be used on cars without heavy dirt build-up. Too much dirt, and you risk scratching the car’s finish.

Finding the Right Product: You can choose to buy various wash formulas, which you can purchase online or at an auto parts store. There are ready-to-use formulas, or you can purchase a concentrate, which you must dilute before using. Some waterless car washes even include wax to protect the vehicle as you wash it. It takes an average time of 15-20 minutes to wash your medium-sized car using this method. If you are concerned about the chemicals, just be sure to pick a VOC compliant product, which is considered safe. You can find one with the main ingredient being organic and free of petrochemicals.

Using

Decorating With Goose Trailer Decals

Goose trailer decals are a relatively inexpensive way to turn that average looking trailer into the hunting rig you always wanted. The young thrill lover generation likes to transform their looks and everything belonging to them in a style to expose their interests. The basic aim behind expressing the liking for something by using stickers, vehicle decals is something which is highly in practice among the youngsters nowadays. The same case is with those who are avid hunters as they also want that their whole attire, style, and even the vehicle they own to exhibit their interests in hunting and their adventurous nature.

For this purpose, they decorate their vehicles with different decals and use stickers to transform the outer look of their truck or car into their favorite style. Goose trailer decals are also one of the ways hunters choose to decorate their trailers. There is a vast range of ideas in goose trailer decals and some of them are mentioned as under:

Different Ideas in Goose Trailer Decals:

A goose trailer is designed with impressive images of several geese flying the skies or landing with a contrasting background. The black colored goose over the white background gives the perfect contrasting impression. The quality of these goose trailer decals is above any questioning because they are made with super quality vinyl material.

The decals fans can choose from a variety of styles in goose trailer decals e.g.

• Flying geese with a light or dark background

• Landing goose image on bushes

• Images related to goose hunting

• Popular sayings about goose hunt

• Different goose scenes along with sayings as well.

The list of these stickers do not end here; there is much more to offer from the company’s side who are involved in developing top notch quality goose decals for all sort of vehicles.

Tips to

Motorized Vehicles and Decals, A Match Made in Heaven

For many, warmer weather means going out and spending time outdoors. This time is often spent on a variety of motorized vehicles from motorcycles and golf carts to boats and dirt bikes. What many people don’t notice, or even take into consideration is that many of these vehicles require special identification labels such as registration numbers. Vinyl decals are a great way to not only display the needed information but also do it in a way that is fun, colorful and fits the style of your vehicle.

Next time you’re out on a lake or any body of water for that matter; take a look at the boats and other water craft around you. Chances are you’ll notice that they all have some combination of numbers and letters on the side. This is known as their boating registration numbers and is required to be displayed on the side of the boat. You’ll probably also notice that many boats have been named and owners like to display this across the back of their ships. All of this is done using vinyl decals. The material is durable, water proof, and can be made in a large variety of colors and styles which makes it ideal for watercraft.

Racing of all sorts is a popular during the warm weather months. From racecars to dirt bikes, no matter what the vehicle you’ll see decals used in a variety of ways as they zoom by. Racing numbers are always important, these are used to identify the vehicle and give you something to cheer about because let’s face it, it’s easier to say “go 3!” rather than “go green car with the blue stripe!”. Sponsors also like to print their logos on vinyl so they can be attached easily. Due to the fact that vinyl decals are

The Advantages of Alloy Wheels for Your Car

You may be thinking about getting new wheels for your car, but are not sure how compatible they are with your car. Here are the benefits of getting alloy wheels for your car and how they are worth the investment.

Alloy wheels are aesthetically pleasing because they can be cast in any kind of design thus making your car unique. However, there is a reason to why they were designed with alloy material, besides aesthetics.

Engineering is designing for function first before beauty. The combined metals of these wheels are often made to enhance the strength and quality of the product. You are installing stronger wheels with better handling when you choose this option.

Wheels made with alloys are lighter in weight thus making your car lighter and, consequently, enhancing speed and mileage. In other words, they have a lower unsprung weight. By having a lighter car, not as much energy and force is required to get the car moving forward thus making your car slightly lighter on fuel.

Most commonly drivers have previously chosen to install steel rims because they are incredibly strong but they are not as efficient as alloy wheels. Often you will see that the steel rims would be used for heavy duty vehicles such as trucks and busses, but there are alloy wheels that are also made specifically for these larger vehicles.

Alloy wheels don’t require as much maintenance because they won’t rust as easily. It also is resistant to bending, which is an essential feature for a car part that needs to support a tyre and the weight of a car.

Another benefit of alloy wheels is that they are better for cooling the brake drums. This makes it less likely for you to have damaged wheels or a damaged braking system. The brakes also undergo the most force,

Can Paintless Dent Repair Save Your Vehicle’s Value?

There’s been a minor fender bender? Paintless dent repair may be the answer. Invented by a Mercedes technician, the technique involves the use of pressure, adhesives, and specialized knowledge to push out the metal without damaging the paint or clear coat. The technique has the benefits of not only being less expensive, but also more environmentally friendly than methods requiring noxious fillers and extensive repainting work. With PDR, the work is accomplished more quickly, getting the owner back on the road sooner.

In 1960, Oskar Flaig, a staff member working for Mercedes at the International Car Show in New York City, accidentally discovered the technique. The vehicles on display were subjected to the attentions of a sometimes overzealous public. It was Oskar’s job to ensure the cars were returned to pristine condition each evening in preparation for the next day’s show. In an effort to save on filling material, which takes time to dry, Oskar used a hammer handle to press out a small dent in one of the cars. The result was a perfect repair, with no need for finishing work. Over time, the technique was adopted and perfected by mechanics and technicians.

Today’s paintless dent repair is carried out by experienced body technicians who use a variety of tools to remove damage and restore a vehicle to its former condition. Any dent that can be pulled out without stretching the metal or the clear coat is a good candidate. A qualified technician can examine the damage and determine whether PDR is the right choice for repair. Wide, shallow impressions are often easily removed. Creases or sharp folds in the metal may require more extensive techniques.

When a car is brought in for repair, the technician evaluates the damage, taking note of the extent of deformation in the metal and the