Q&A with Kit Foster: August 29, 2013

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Q. A friend of mine worked at a Ford dealership that went out of business. This NOS motor came in a box marked “Cobra” on the end. Is it an electric cooling fan motor for an AC Cobra, and if so, what year and model, and 289 or 427? It is approximately 4 inches long with a 2-1/2-inch shaft. The box reads “One fan motor 2 65, 787378, Type 3GM 12V. Lucas Quality, Birmingham, England.”

— Ron Howt, Richmond, Ohio


A. I found one by that number on eBay, identified as being for an E-Type Jaguar. I suspect it will fit many British-built cars, but the fact that this one came from a Ford dealer certainly hints that it has a Cobra application. I also see it has application for both radiator fan and heater fan on a Lamborghini Miura.


Q. Regarding Don Deetz’s letter on Ford headlamps (Aug. 1), design-correct 1939 Ford and Mercury cars had separate bulbs and reflectors; sealed beam headlamps started with the 1940 model year. Sealed beam headlamps may have been installed late in the ’39 car period if the assembly plant ran out of the correct style late in the ’39 production run. Otherwise, sealed beam conversion kits were available and may have been installed by the dealer or anyone else back when these cars were common on the highways. They are still available from specialty Ford and Mercury parts suppliers. If the car truly had sealed beams factory-installed, it would only have been at the very end of the model year, as can be identified by the car’s production number. Any earlier serial number would identify a car definitely delivered with separate reflectors and bulbs and later converted.

You are correct about differences between Ford and Mercury. Just about all body parts are different enough that a part fitting both would be very unlikely.

— Pete Harding, Gardnerville, Nev.

A. I think Don was saying his 1939 Mercury had been converted to sealed beams, with rims like the one that Gary Hilton inquired about. His point was that 1939 Mercury lights did not fit that year’s Ford, which you have confirmed.


Q. [Regarding] your last answer about the “foaming product” EOS (July 25), EOS = Engine Oil Supplement. It was available in pints under P/N 992869 and quarts under P/N 1052367. GM used to pack a can in each crate engine to be used with the first oil fill. A 1999 GM Performance Parts Catalog stated: “Protect your new engine with this proven oil additive. Designed to help reduce engine wear, this engine oil supplement is recommended before firing up an engine equipped with a new GM Performance Parts camshaft.” I think the mechanic’s recollection of it being a foaming carb product was faulty — he was right about it being no longer available.

— Charlie Moore via e-mail

A. Thanks. We also heard from Roger Kaufmann. He spent 41 years in the parts department at Holz Chevrolet in Hales Corners, Wis., and says EOS was the “consistency of STP and was used for new engine break-in, especially for camshaft and lifters.” He concurs on the part number, and agrees it’s been discontinued, but says it has been replaced. He suggested I Google it, and my search turned up number 88862586, called “EOS Engine Assemble (sic) Prelube,” as a successor. From all of this discussion, I conclude that the foam product that Paul Pakan remembered is not only unavailable, it remains unidentified.


Q. Ethanol reduces the energy of gas. What happens when a lead additive is added to gas that has 10 percent ethanol?

— Jess Stone, via e-mail

A. Short answer: you get leaded E-10 gasoline. Probing a little deeper, lead, per se, does not add energy to gasoline, but it does raise the octane rating so higher compression can be used, which means that with a high-compression engine you’ll get more power and less detonation than with “pure” E-10. For the same engine, though, I don’t think it helps, although it may allow you to use cheaper, lower-octane fuel (but considering the cost of the additive, which is not insignificant, you may not come out ahead). I don’t think it will affect fuel economy at all. The overall beneficial effects of lead in collector cars, with the exception of high-performance, high-compression engines, are generally pretty minimal. In typical annual mileage, even with a few thousand miles of tours, you are unlikely to suffer valve damage or any of the other maladies that lead is purported to prevent.

To submit questions to this column: E-mail angelo.vanbogart@fwmedia.com or mail to: Q&A, c/o Angelo Van Bogart, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990-0001.

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