Q&A with Kit Foster: December 4, 2014

Publish date:

Q. The Aug. 7 issue had an article in Club Clips about Chrysler’s Turbine Cars. I have enclosed a couple of pictures of a metal advertising piece that I have had for several years. When I found the first one, I thought it might have been given to one of the people who were allowed to test the cars. When I found the second one, I decided it must be more common, possibly given away by Chrysler dealers? I was wondering if anyone might know more about these. Gas turbines were also installed in some railroad locomotives here and in Europe during this time period. Union Pacific had the biggest fleet here in the United States. Also, White Freightliner built and experimented with gas turbines in some of their trucks. There is a lot of information on these on the Internet.

— Dave Ring, Ponca City, Okla.

A. The item looks like a perpetual calendar for the years 1962-1989. Rotating the disc to the desired year and month will show the days of the week for the dates indicated. It’s a bit complicated to use, because the layout of the month stays the same, and the days of the week change. It was apparently made by Anderson & Sons in Westfield, Mass. The other side is inscribed “In appreciation for your assistance in Chrysler Corporation Turbine Research Project,” so they may have been given to Chrysler’s employees as well as (or instead of) the clients who got to experience the test cars.
Gas turbine research was quite widespread during the early jet airplane era. Ford, too, tried turbines for heavy trucks. Ultimately, I believe the turbine’s thirst for fuel scuttled it during the subsequent energy crises.


Q. I am trying to patch rust damage on an 18-gauge door skin with a 4 x 4-inch piece of 18-gauge cold rolled steel and would like to know how to minimize or prevent warping. I am using a Millermatic 140 Auto-Set MIG welder, 0.023 wire, Eastwood copper heat sinks, and Eastwood Anti-Heat compound. I pause between spot welds and tap the welds to undo shrinkage. After finishing the patch, there is always a warped area even with minimal weld penetration. Is there another secret?

— Paul Tigge, Milwaukee, Wis.

A. Probably, but I don’t know it. Welding is an art, not a rigid science (unless you’re a robot). I have been taught the basics of welding, but have never done enough of it to call myself an accomplished welder. Experienced welders are welcome to weigh in with advice, but I think your best bet might be to “apprentice” yourself to someone with lots of experience, or to take a course in sheet metal welding if you can find one in your area. Then practice a lot before you attempt any restoration-quality work.


Q. What is the best way to clean car windows, especially the inside and outside of the windshield? No matter what I do I seem to end up with smears, streaks, smudges and swirls.

— Richard J. Chrystie, Orange, Calif.

A. Editor Angelo Van Bogart forwarded this question with the comment, “I’ve heard newspaper is best, but in my experience it still takes a little bit of elbow grease to get all the dirt and smears gone.” I think the secret is ammonia. Many glass cleaners are now ammonia-free. In Connecticut, where I live, I can buy glass cleaner both with and without ammonia, as well as plain household ammonia. The plain ammonia is invaluable for difficult stains on household items, and for cutting through hazy film on glass. It’s the only thing I’ve found that will loosen the “black acne” that builds up around the fuel door on my Suburban, which I attribute to the current gasoline blends. What do others use to clean car windows?

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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