I don't have a problem with "hidden upgrades." Aluminum pistons are a good example.
Who would want or use cast iron pistons in a Model T? The same goes for substituting a solid state voltage regulator and the like. But at some point, your Model A with the 260 Ford V-8, disc brakes, air etc. ceases to really be a Model A. And it's not only "trailer queens" that are original cars. That is as Ike said, "Actual poppycock." Over the years I've owned probably 25 or so Model As and Model Ts and I traveled many a mile in them as they were with only a handful of breakdowns. I am too old for them now and I am sticking to my vintage VW Beetles. Modern enough for me. One even has an 8-track player. What else do you need?
1970s cars have indeed been dominating the shows and cars & coffee gatherings of late.
Even some less than interesting 1980s models as well. It costs as much love, money and attention to refurbish a Ford Granada as it does a 1941 Oldsmobile. Maybe a little less due to the high cost of pre-WW parts. And that Granada has all of the amenities mentioned in these posts. I'm seeing cars at these events that I wouldn't buy when they were brand new.
I agree with the purists. Get yourself a GM land yacht with self dimming headlights, cold air and pretty music and live it up! Keep your antique as a piece of American history that should be preserved for our progeny to wonder about and enjoy.
The brakes on my old Ranger were adequate when it was built with little 14 inch wheels. When I put the 16 inch TorqThrusts on it would hardly stop because the different mechanical advantage with the bigger rolling diameter. I put 12 inch rotors on from a Sport Trac (that came with 16 inch wheels) using a small caliper adapter and now it stops like it used to. Any relatively SMALL change can have un-intended and unanticipated results --- The old truck is 25 years old now with 274000Km -and heated seats, backup camera, side view camera and 8" touch screen stereo/navigation unit as well as add-on junk-box AC
Use a system that uses OEM parts - particularly sensors and injectors. Lots of nice conversions out there using late-model pre-obd EFI and electronic ignition - or do the "roll-your-own" like a Megasquirt - which uses oem parts that will be available for a LONG time
OK - what's your rationale for "soft water" or "reverse osmosis" but not distilled???
Just wondering, when rain water is "soft water" and is also "distilled water". If you mean "softened" water - from an ion exchange water softener like the ones that use salt in your house, I'm afraid I have to disagree with whatever thesis you have come up with. Also, not using "coolant" instead of water makes no sense at all. The "antifreeze" coolant is also a corrosion inhibitor and water-pump lubricant as well as an "antiboil". Sure water transmits heat MARGINALLY better than a 50% antifreeze solution but optimizing the fan / shroud / radiator solves any theoretical problem your not using antifreeze might be be intended to solve. Also I've never had an electronic ignition conversion - pertronix in particular EVER let me down, while I have been stranded by a broken spring on a set of points and by numerous OEM ballast resistors. Carry a set of points and condenser in the trunk if you are paranoid about the Pertronix. Then you have them IF you need them instead of WHEN you need them when running points - - - and the manufacturers would not have put 6 volt alternators in the cars because alternators didn't exist antill well after virtually all manufacturers switched to 12 volts - so the 12 volt conversion is more logical than a 6 volt alternator - - -
I get my hands dirty modifying AND maintaining my vehicles and I love DRIVING my older vehicles (and hate waxing ANY vehicle -- -
rain water is by definition both distilled and soft. What you do NOT want is "de-ionized" water. RO water, direct from the RO filter is as pure as you can get. Bottled RO water sold for drinking often has calcium added back in to give it some "taste" as pure ro water is pretty "flat".
Bottled distilled drinking water often also has minerals added. These minerals will still cause scaling at high temperatures - but the BIG problem is both RO and distilled water are "de-ionized" - or "ion thirsty" and will strip metallic ions from the cooling system components. "softened" water exchanges the scale causing calcium,manganese, etc ions for sodium ions - therefore reducing scaling without ion-scouring the cooling system - with possible effects from higher sodium content.
Properly compounded coolants have components to prevent ion stripping, scaling, and corrosion if the pH is kept in proper balance.ot use glycol antifreeze is because of their propensity to crash or puncture engine blocks releasing the toxix ethylene glycol onto the track - where it also makes the track SLIPPERY. Water foesn't do much harm when spilled on the track, so most racers today use something like Summit's "Ice Water Coolant" which has most of the advantages of antifreeze coolant without the freeze protection and behaves like water on the track, as well as being basically non-toxic. Running straight water is hard on the metal engine components and often causes cavitation damage from localized boiling as well as corrosion.
The difference between cooling efficiency between pure water and 50/50 antifreeze is 17% at 200F. HOWEVER raising the Delta T by being able to run at 226F open and about 256 at 16psi pretty much cancels out the difference in a functioning cooling system.
Military equipment in WW2 was almost exclusively 24 volts with the "alternators" usually outputting 400Hz AC for radio equipment.
The first automotive "DC Alternator was intriduced by Chrysler with the slant six as an option in 1959. Yes, some military equipment used DC alternators with huge unreliable inefficient Selenium rectifiers external to the unit. I even have one in the garage - but that is a 28 volt 100 amp unit the size of a hungry man's lunch box that weighs as much as today's 135 amp automotive alternator, complete. For anyone interested it is a Leece Neville 1029CP with ordinance # 7954343. Most of those ambulances and towtrucks were 24 volt military surplus vehicles (our ex military PowerWagon tow truck was converted to 12 volts with a generator).
".ot use glycol antifreeze is because of their propensity to crash " SHOULD have read "The reason racers don't use glycol antifreeze is because of their propensity to crash"
Model As and '28 chevys had "impact absorbing bumpers" - they were "springs".
One thing NO-ONE has mentioned is a collapsible steering column. First mod we did to the TD
I did fail to mention seat belts. I, too, always install them in any collector car whether it came with them or not. A seat belt has saved my life more than once during 55 years of driving, so on that score I am a true believer. Also, rarely do you find a vintage car that hasn't had its original sheet glass replaced with safety glass, so that is a must as well.
This whole post has been an interesting endeavor and everyone has a valid point or opinion in the end of the end.
But remember one thing I always tell newbie, young owners. You aren't going to own it forever. When you do decide to sell it the next guy may reject it from the get-go if it is over modified to his tastes. I feel the same about color changes, funky wheels, and outrageously incorrect interiors. But, then again, that's just me.
Enjoy your car.
I sometimes feel like I live in a different world than a lot of other enthusiasts... I have multiple cars that run reliably with points and carburetors, while I read page-after-page of forums, etc. dealing with "this is my second attempt at finding a good _____ ignition module..." or "can I run an OEM GM sensor in my _______ aftermarket EFI..."
Now this is not to say points and carbs are superior to EI and EFI, but most often only by the era when OEM's perfected it. In the meantime, I keep starting reliably with my old-tymey parts.
I just plucked a well-maintained survivor 1969 Chrysler from a very long-term (25+ year) dry, indoor storage. I basically went through the brakes, flushing fluids and replacing the wheel cylinders. I was going to do the hoses, but the China-made replacements were 1/4" short and I didn't want to tear them loose during some lock-to-lock parking maneuver, so I just inspected the OEMs very closely. The shoes were about half-life, and I figured they were probably asbestos, thus better, so I cleaned them and kept rolling. They are "grabbier" than discs, but once you get used to it, you learn how to modulate them.
I did tires and other obvious stuff as well. Gradually, I just started driving the car further and further during non-rush hour times. Eventually that was a 60 mile round trip to work, 95% expressway speeds. It performed flawlessly. Then, being a convertible, I used it on a parade, literally 2 hours of 2 mph driving with an 80-degree ambient temp. No electric fans, no wiz-bang coolants, no 5-row aluminum radiators and no overheating either. So obviously my big-block is capable of staying cool on just 50 y/o factory parts. But I see no shortage of threads about what is needed to "improve" cooling.
All of my electrical connections are clean. I know this because it charges at idle with my foot on the brake. My lights don't dim, my turn signals don't slow down. There's plenty of power for the 2 watt AM radio.
The point of my saying all this is to note that a failure to root-cause problems leads to a lot of "upgrades" that mask these issues. If not for some cars kept original, (and in excellent repair) a person born 30 years ago probably thinks an old car simply cannot be used without modifications. They fail to realize that 50-60-70+ years ago, people drove them to work every day and those bosses expected them to be on time.
You can upgrade your car all you like, this being the beauty of a free country (not intended for use in California) but the other side of that coin is that I can think (and say) a lot of you just enjoy wasting time and money.