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Never being one to "lead the charge" on a common sense safety aspect on these clown cars, I am just now getting around to installing wide angle, convex mirrors (CM) on my fender-mounted Speedster Aero mirrors.  Numerous members of this austere group and even "el Guapo" himself have gone this route and I join those in highly recommending them for everyone.

However!

There are a bunch of them out there at your "FLAPS" (Friendly Local Auto Parts Store) and some may be more to your liking than others.  The size I chose was a 3" to fit perfectly into the larger end of my Aero mirrors, but I found that the size of the CM frame varies a lot between makers.  All of those found at Autozone, Advance and O'Reilly's come from "Fit" or "CalCo" and have a relatively large, black frame around them, like this:

IMG_1512

Not all that bad and it does the job, nicely.  All three of those FLAPS were out of any more 3" after I bought that one, so I headed over to NAPA and got one of theirs from the "Trucker Section" (because the store is surrounded by Flynn's, Central Mass Truck Stop), a Grote P/N 12004  3" CM which looks almost frame-less with a tiny silver metal frame:

IMG_1511

I kinda like the looks of the Grote a little better, but they both give a wide view of what's back there (usually Danny P.)  and should both work well.  Now it's time to clean up the shop - again.....

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Great idea; my old Chinese repro ones were rust pitted after 17 years so I found a set of "Made in Germany" marked ones. They could be Chinese for all I know but the chrome finish on them look fabulous. The right one is convex while the driver's side is flat. They are the same ones being offered by Sierra Madre Collection. This is a much more cost effective solution; in my case these cost me $200.00. If your mirrors are not pitted this would be a great way to go.

The silver backing was peeling off the mirror that was on my Spyder when I bought it. I took it out and went to the local glass shop where they may me 3 replacements for $20. (Their minimum order). I’d take a WAG that they could do convex mirrors as well.

A convex mirror the same size as the original glass, a few dabs of 3M Gorilla Snot, and Bob’s Yer Uncle.

Last edited by dlearl476
@IaM-Ray posted:

Paint the edge cream with plastic paint

My concave Sierra Madre mirror spit out it's plastic ring and deposited the glass neatly on a rug.

Fortunately, bathroom silicone caulk is a reasonable facsimile for said imitation eggshell. Two plastic rings broke in shipping so I'm happy the surviving mirror lasted two years on the car.

I must admit, Sierra Madre must have invested quite a bit to train it to drop the mirror on the nearest rug.

I retired a hard-working member of the family today.......    

IMG_1515

My trusty Ariens Snowblower.  I got it used back in the 1980's and if my local Ariens repair guy is right it was built back in the mid-1970's making it around 45 years old.  I've repaired and refurbished it many times over the years, upgrading the motor from a puny, 6hp Briggs and Stratton to a beefier, 12hp Tecumseh that would power through anything, as well as adding (for a while) lawn mower and chipper-shredder attachments as the seasons changed, so you can see that it got a lot of use over the years.   It came with us to Rhode Island where it blew out five neighbors during the infamous "Blizzard of 2004" and then returned with us to Grafton to take care of the driveway ever since, not to mention doing runways for our two Jack Russells in the back yard in the shapes of famous race tracks; Watkins Glen, Summit Point and Daytona's Road course.  It has eaten snow, leaves, small branches, mouse condominiums, one or two pairs of gloves and an occasional Worcester Telegram newspaper, buried in the snow, and kept on blowing - A true Hero, indeed, after all these years.

Being a true New England frugal Yankee, I would have kept it going forever except that (1.) a few key parts, like the power unit's basic housing, are truly worn out, (2.) my local Ariens parts guy (who is even older than me by a few years) has retired and closed his business and (3.) the other Ariens place for parts tells me that they stop carrying parts for anything over 30 years old, which means that those key parts are all No Longer Available and I'm stuck.

So.......   I stripped it of it's chute cleaner-outer-gizmo (those are always handy), drained the gas and oil out of it, removed the battery and drove it slowly over to the Scrap Metal Recycling place in Auburn where I got $16.20 for it as scrap.  Didn't seem fitting for something that has worked so hard in well over one hundred major storms over it's 45 years, but there you go.  That includes the year that we got a total of 11 FEET of snow during the season.  It still could blast snow up over the huge drifts and accumulated piles throughout the season - A true workhorse.  

All I could do was watch as the yard crane took it away...

Snoopy Salute

Tomorrow, I pick up it's replacement, a brand-new Ariens snowblower (I know, don't faint - I bought a new one, not a used one).  The new one is roughly equivalent to the old, with the added touches of dashboard controls for the auger/impeller, chute rotation and elevation - Something I always had to run around to the front to do on my old one, AND I added one "frill", just for me, because of the mild frostbite I got when working on the farm as a kid - handlebar hand warmers built in.  THAT is something I'm looking forward to.

So what does this have to do with cars and/or Speedsters?

Well, on my way home from the scrap yard I stopped at the NAPA store and bought a second Grote 12004 Convex mirror to put on the passenger side of Pearl to match the driver's side.  I got the Autozone one off with a gentle spray of Carb cleaner between the Autozone mirror and the Areo mirror glass - Spray, wait 2 minutes, get your fingernail under the frame of the Autozone one and it popped right off.

Now I have matching, $3.00 Grote Convex Outside Mirrors on my Speedster, just to spite Dave Lear, resale price be damned.

Bill_the_Cat

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I know, right?

Lawnmowers have come and gone, yard tractors have come and gone, the only other power tool that is still hanging in there is my trusty Pioneer chain saw and I can’t get parts for that any more, either (but, OTOH, I’m not cutting down trees any more).  It’s like the manufacturers don’t want us to repair our tools with new parts -  Just go out and buy new tools instead!   Phooey!

The new one is roughly equivalent to the old, with the added touches of dashboard controls for the auger/impeller, chute rotation and elevation - Something I always had to run around to the front to do on my old one.

Gordan, sorry to hear your old friend has gone on to that great snowdrift in the sky.

Speaking from my Providence snowblower experience, you may find those added touches very useful. The guy across the street from us was an FBI agent permanently assigned to keeping an eye on Rhode Island politicians (go figure). His kid was 8 years old and over time, he got into a habit of pelting me with snowballs while I was clearing the sidewalk.

After I upgraded to the snowblower with the dashboard chute rotation and elevation, I found I could bury the little rascal in about 3 seconds after his first snowball hit the back of my head.

The first time I got him (from across the street!!!) his expression of surprise was priceless. After that, he got such a kick out of it he'd pelt me just to get buried in snow. It was fun, but I don't miss dealing with snow on such a regular basis.

If I want to see snow, I'll just drive the speedster to the top of the volcano.

.



...His kid was 8 years old and over time, he got into a habit of pelting me with snowballs while I was clearing the sidewalk...





I'm not really sure from this whether it was the FBI agent or his son lobbing the snowballs, but it's a good story either way.

I never realized a snowblower chute is adjustable for both elevation and  windage.

Maybe it's only the better ones.

.

@Sacto Mitch posted:

.I'm not really sure from this whether it was the FBI agent or his son lobbing the snowballs

The 8 year old was the trouble maker. His dad stayed way too busy investigating RI politicians to engage in snowball fights. I'm surprised they didn't just assign each candidate an FBI agent at the beginning of every election (regardless of party).

Guessing who would be indicted next was an entertaining spectator sport.

It still is a spectator sport!  Of course, the most famous was the infamous “Buddy Cianci”, the past mayor of Providence.  I once pit crewed for a driver at Summit Point Raceway and he turned out to be Buddy’s step son.  Small world.  Good driver, too.  

Buddy got thrown into the Federal slammer for seven years for, among other things, shaking down the snowplow owner/operators for kickbacks for contracts (got him on a RICO charge).  He was just the very visible tip of the iceberg of the “Organized Crime  Capital of New England”.  

Buddy was a VERY polarizing character who pulled Providence, RI up by it’s bootstraps to turn the armpit of New England into one of it’s prettiest and more desirable places to live, work and go to school in and be proud of - If you could ignore graft and corruption.  He got out of jail, started the most popular radio talk show in southern New England for a number of years before he died of a heart attack or, as Buddy would say in his own accent, a “Hot Attack”.  He even had his own popular line of Italian foods, like a marinara called “Mayor’s Own Marinara Sauce”!

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

You know…….  Providence, Rhode Island is the kind of town (and state) that @edsnova could really sink his teeth into.  Organized crime, crooked or questionable politicians, polarizing radio talk show hosts, remarkably powerful dockworker unions (even today), one of the strongest teacher’s unions in the country and on and on, all giving journalists an endless stream of great stuff to write about.  Heck, I think the guy who broke the Cianci stories at the Providence Journal newspaper earned a Pulitzer!  

But then, Ed has Baltimore with pro’bly more of everything that Providence has……….    😉🤔

Last edited by Gordon Nichols

Getting pictures to show up in the body of a post seems to be one of the cumbersome things about this particular format. Every site has glitches, but on this one - getting a picture to show up on every kind of device is harder than on some others.

If one uses the little "Insert/edit image" button across the top of the reply bar, the chances of those pictures actually showing up to anybody but the OP are not great.

Case in point: I have a $135 Chromebook I use as a tablet replacement - it's cheap and has a real keyboard, which is pretty fantastic for a sausage-fingered pipefitter. However, on it I cannot see any images in Gordon's "snowblower" post above. I can see them on my "real" machine (the one running Windows), but not on the Chromebook.

About once a week, somebody will post a picture-heavy post, and "Image Not Found" will appear on 75% of the pictures.

There's an easy way around this. To the lower right of the "reply box" is a paperclip icon and "Add Attachments" in a blue font. Clicking it brings up a prompt for an upload feature, which then attaches the images to the post. When you use this, they are visible regardless of the browser. There is a box when you are adding these attachments to "insert image in post", and do you know what? Clicking the box inserts the image in the body of the post - wherever the cursor is at the time.

It's cumbersome, but it works -  and everybody can see the images you are trying to share, regardless of the device.

A 45-year-old snow blower in Massachusetts would have to be some kind of record. Well done, G!

The year after I left (i.e. was thrown out of) the Providence Journal Bulletin my former housemate locked on to the first of two mighty scandals that would propel him to a Pulitzer prize and a job at the New York Times.

The state's bank deposit insurers were taking literal paper bags filled with cash, presaging the collapse of the system and the freezing of depositors' accounts, and John Sullivan had the goods on them ahead of Mike's neighbor and his crew. (Getting the story ahead of the FBI—rather than via a leak from the local cops on the task force—is the mark of a real reporter). Google the RISDIC scandal for more on that amazing story.

The next year he and a couple others dug into the state's supreme court. They found the chief justice had established a patronage empire on the ashes of the ousted, mob-connected former chief justice. There were high salaries, slush funds, land deals, ticket-fixing—the whole schmeal.

Good times.

I retired a hard-working member of the family today.......    

IMG_1515

My trusty Ariens Snowblower.  I got it used back in the 1980's and if my local Ariens repair guy is right it was built back in the mid-1970's making it around 45 years old.  I've repaired and refurbished it many times over the years, upgrading the motor from a puny, 6hp Briggs and Stratton to a beefier, 12hp Tecumseh that would power through anything, as well as adding (for a while) lawn mower and chipper-shredder attachments as the seasons changed, so you can see that it got a lot of use over the years.   It came with us to Rhode Island where it blew out five neighbors during the infamous "Blizzard of 2004" and then returned with us to Grafton to take care of the driveway ever since, not to mention doing runways for our two Jack Russells in the back yard in the shapes of famous race tracks; Watkins Glen, Summit Point and Daytona's Road course.  It has eaten snow, leaves, small branches, mouse condominiums, one or two pairs of gloves and an occasional Worcester Telegram newspaper, buried in the snow, and kept on blowing - A true Hero, indeed, after all these years.

Being a true New England frugal Yankee, I would have kept it going forever except that (1.) a few key parts, like the power unit's basic housing, are truly worn out, (2.) my local Ariens parts guy (who is even older than me by a few years) has retired and closed his business and (3.) the other Ariens place for parts tells me that they stop carrying parts for anything over 30 years old, which means that those key parts are all No Longer Available and I'm stuck.

So.......   I stripped it of it's chute cleaner-outer-gizmo (those are always handy), drained the gas and oil out of it, removed the battery and drove it slowly over to the Scrap Metal Recycling place in Auburn where I got $16.20 for it as scrap.  Didn't seem fitting for something that has worked so hard in well over one hundred major storms over it's 45 years, but there you go.  That includes the year that we got a total of 11 FEET of snow during the season.  It still could blast snow up over the huge drifts and accumulated piles throughout the season - A true workhorse.  

All I could do was watch as the yard crane took it away...

Snoopy Salute

Tomorrow, I pick up it's replacement, a brand-new Ariens snowblower (I know, don't faint - I bought a new one, not a used one).  The new one is roughly equivalent to the old, with the added touches of dashboard controls for the auger/impeller, chute rotation and elevation - Something I always had to run around to the front to do on my old one, AND I added one "frill", just for me, because of the mild frostbite I got when working on the farm as a kid - handlebar hand warmers built in.  THAT is something I'm looking forward to.

So what does this have to do with cars and/or Speedsters?

Well, on my way home from the scrap yard I stopped at the NAPA store and bought a second Grote 12004 Convex mirror to put on the passenger side of Pearl to match the driver's side.  I got the Autozone one off with a gentle spray of Carb cleaner between the Autozone mirror and the Areo mirror glass - Spray, wait 2 minutes, get your fingernail under the frame of the Autozone one and it popped right off.

Now I have matching, $3.00 Grote Convex Outside Mirrors on my Speedster, just to spite Dave Lear, resale price be damned.

Bill_the_Cat

I think I would have found a prominent place in my yard for such a faithful workhorse and let it revert to nature naturally.
This is my Aunt Billy Jean, my mom’s youngest sister, showing me the ins and outs of a combine that she and my mom worked on as kids.

BTW, it’s D L Earl+476. It’s always confusing because people confuse the second L with a 1.

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45 years? That's all?

I have a 1968 24" Ariens with a 7hp Tecumseh on it. It doesn't have any rust on it, I guess I got the "good" steel. My Grandfather purchased it new. It has NO safeties at all, but boy does it huff some snow!

My Grandmother used to run it, and once she was in her 60s put a 110v electric start on it. I rebuilt the carb and put a new muffler on it. I keep air in the tires and leave the chains on. EVERY time I'm done using it, I close the fuel valve and run the bowl dry.

This machine has never failed me. The only thing I had to fix was weld/repair a skid on one side. I coulda bought a new skid, but why? A little steel, grinding, paint and good as new.

Dave, sorry about messing up you name, and that combine reminds me of a guy in my old farm district neighborhood who "inherited" a 1946 vintage John Deere A that was in the barn when he bought what was left of a small farm in an estate sale.  

John Deere

He looked all over it trying to find out where the starter was until he asked my Dad, knowing he was an old farmer, to drop by and show him how to start it.  After setting the throttle and spark advance and making sure it had gas and spark, my Dad grabbed that big ol' flywheel on the left side, bounced it against the back of the compression stroke to give it a little boost and then spun it quickly in the opposite direction to get it to the spark part of the forward stroke.  It took a couple more tries until it finally caught and those two old horizontal cylinders started chugging, sending up a small cloud of blue smoke til the cylinders cleared.  

The guy stood there in semi-fear for a few seconds with that big flywheel spinning on the side, but then got into it and wanted to try starting it himself.  After a little practice, he got pretty good at it, later restored and painted the tractor and has been running it in parades, hauling a wagon load of hay bales, happy little kids and parents for years, now.  I suppose that OSHA would have a conniption, or something, just looking at a totally exposed, 100 lb. spinning flywheel in the open while the thing is running.  

Times have certainly changed.  Back when your Mom and Billy Jean were working the combine, everyone just knew enough not to get close to spinning wheels and moving belts.  Somehow, a lot of us have lost that common sense.    

I can't see me doing that with the snowblower, though, unless I was blowing confetti or something.....   And at a slow pace, too.

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I had an epiphany last night. I think that machine is a thresher, not a combine. You pull it behind the tractor and it cuts the rice plants, then beats (threshes) all the grain off the stalks, spitting them out and sending the rice to a buckboard.

Gordon, that “big ole flywheel” is the power take off. You ran big leather belts from there to the corresponding pullies in the unit you were driving. Look on the picture I posted, you can see the main pulley in the top.

No, the flywheel on the left on a Deere a and b was the engine starting flywheel - There was no electric starter on them.  Look closely at it and you'll see that the flywheel isn't wide enough to safely run a leather belt on it (something like 3" thick).  This is a later model (around 1950) with the electric starter so they put an enclosure around the flywheel for safety so some farmer didn't get wrapped around it.

John Deere

There was a big power take-off pulley on the other side that typically had the 6" wide belt running to an attachment out in front of the tractor nose.  You can see it in this photo:

John Deere b

IIRC, the PTO pulley went through a gear-reduction to get it to run slightly slower than the engine (which never ran very fast in the first place).  We didn't have Deere tractors on our farm (ours were all Fergusons) but there were plenty of old Deeres around the neighborhood and they could always out-pull a Ferguson in the tractor pulls.  The Fergusons all had the PTO at the rear of the tractor and also drove a 6" wide belt.  I have a cousin who inherited a couple of 1942 Ferguson tractors and is still using them, today!  My dad had a 1946 Ferguson that was one of the first made after Ford went back to civilian production after WW II (Henry Ford bought the license to manufacture British Ferguson tractors here in the USA).

Wow.....   A short trip down "Memory Lane"!

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Times have certainly changed.  Back when your Mom and Billy Jean were working the combine, everyone just knew enough not to get close to spinning wheels and moving belts.  Somehow, a lot of us have lost that common sense.

For the record, farming has historically been (and remains) one of the country's most deadly occupations. Back when Mom and Billy Jean were working the combine, no small number of people were killed or maimed by a piece of farming equipment "gone haywire" (a colloquialism which makes the point). Everybody respected the machinery, but that doesn't mean nobody lost an arm or life to it.

Lots and lots of them did.

Also: thinking back on the sheer idiocy of several generations of farm kids learning how to drive on probably the most dangerous of all possible mechanical conveyances (an old tractor) makes me wonder how any of us actually lived into adulthood. I chipped an elbow as a 10 year old riding on the hood of a lawn tractor, holding onto the front end with one hand and flailing the other around in the air, bronco-busting style, while my uncle (a year older than me) threw the hydrostatic drive forward and backward (successfully) trying to throw me.

We called it "Cub Cadet Rodeo".

Last edited by Stan Galat

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