Monday, January 30, 2012

Resto: Vacuum Tank Troubles

This bloody old car is really trying me out lately, well actually its the newly installed "1928 model" fuel vacuum tank that is giving me the run around as it will not suck fuel from the main tank to the vacuum tank due to a small air leak or blockage somewhere in the system and I am running out of options quickly, but it will get sorted no doubt as it will be something so very simple that I am overlooking.
I fill up the vacuum tank about 1/3 full with the top off and the breather pipe taped up tight and the motor starts and runs lovely, such a sweet sounds old engine, then over time as the fuel drops the engine starts to stumble and fart then stop, it will start very easily again then run for about 15 seconds and then stumble again and stop, this process repeats itself until naturally all the fuel is used and it will not start at all... so yes it is not sucking fuel up...
I've put on a new gasket, blown compressed air through everything, checked all of the connections on all of the lines..... Tonight it will come off again and I will start from scratch... More to come soon :)


Tonight came and went pretty quickly and I can say that all seems well again, I completely removed the vac tank and rechecked everything as best to my knowledge. I had spoken to Ray throughout the day and he suggested a few things to do and look for and one was the flat at the bottom of the inner small removable tank, as a test I removed this and filled it with water under the tap and noticed that with this tank full of water and my finger holding the flat closed, water was leaking badly from the flap, not a good sign....
I quickly went to the cupboard and removed another inner tank from a spare vacuum tank and tried the same thing under the tap, bingo!!, no leaks with this one, so I reassembled the vacumm tank with it's new inner tank, bolted everything back up to the car again and hit the startor button which brought ole Monty back to life.... Smiles all round but for how long will it run for?? well I left it run for 26 mintues, at various engines rev, and also I noticed the slight stumble in engine revs at idle at one point which is when the vaccum tanks sucks fuel from the main tank....... All seems well again and I hope the problem is solved but I really need to get out on the open street to give it a good go :)  HHHHmmmmmmmmmm let me think about that :)

Thanks and Cheers


Over the last couple of nights after dinner I have wandered out to the shed, started and ran the engine for about 20 minutes each time, again at various revs and also at idle and I can say that it is sounding great with no stumbles and stalling. Starting is instant with no choke being used or throttle, I just turn on the fuel tap at the vac tank and hit the foot stator button and it comes to life, so I can say that this vac tank issue is now all sorted....  Cheers

Monday, January 23, 2012

I know I'm jumping the gun a little here!!

Look I just couldn't resist it, I had them all bundled up in my hands and I could not roll them up and store them away, out of sight in a cupboard somewhere never to be seen again until the correct time comes for their use which would signal the beginning of festivities and wild partying in the street, well maybe a cold beer or two under the carport.....And that time will be if all goes to plan at the end of this year when Monty passes a road worthy certificate and gets his registration papers.......

So I put them up now as I just could not wait any longer.... Festoon lights, every shed should have some, WooHoo, Cheers

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Just a quirky photo

Now this is vintage to me, I love the "as is" condition of Monty in this photo, the wonky luggage rack, the rusted old broken stop light, the dented rear guard and the completely unusable stiff canvas hood well whats left of it anyway and the broken timber hood framework, just to name a few things....... Love it!!

If I could of kept it in this condition I would of but that was probably just an unrealistic dream seeing that it was "a little" to far gone, which really started to dawn on me after I rolled out of the darken covers and parked it in the yard to soak up some sunlight, I knew then that to get it back out on the roads safely some major work was needed, but just now much work I had no idea as I'd never restored a car before, I'd fixed up a few secondhand motorbikes and flogged them off over the years but this seemed just a little more involved.
Sure it could of sat in my shed surrounded by all my other rusty memorabilia of by gone days hanging off the walls and down from the roof truss's for another 40years with the occasional "start-up" or a rub over with some WD40 as ya gotta keep that fancy paint work shiny,  but that would of been a waste, and I would of kept looking at it, wondering what if, why didn't I?, all the while in the back of my head knowing that I've failed and passed up a golden opportunity to have a go and learn something new, to step way outside of my comfort zone.
Where we are at now and also the tempo of the restoration is fantastic but there are still many many more hours of work left on Monty, it is enjoyable and extremely rewarding work and there has not been one night yet when I flick off the resto shed lights, swing the doors closed and walk away without a smile or grin of some sort on my face and that tells me I have chosen within myself the right thing to do to this lovely old vehicle and yes I sense that dad is watching over my shoulder while I am in there turning the spanners, I can just hear him saying his favorite sentence, "Here, give it to me, not like that for Christ sake!, don't be a bloody clown all your life", if he said that once he said it a million times to me to the point of it being a topic of laughter at family gatherings after a few beers and even this past Christmas it was mentioned again by us all around the table.....
Yes, dad had very little patience, you were shown how to do something only once and if you missed it you were on your own, but that is something that my new found hobby has taught me you need lots of, patience!!........ Cheers

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Resto: Water Pump & New Wiring Harness Installed

Gidday All,

I don't know what is was but I didn't sleep that good last night buggar it, and when I did finally get to sleep our alarm was accidentally set to auto and it quicky came blasting on at the normal weekday up time of 5.30am., I was not a happy camper..
By 8.30am, breakfast was had, a coffee or two was washed down and then Ray rolls down the driveway in his ole Chevy all smiles as usual for our Sunday was about to begin in the resto shed with a few job planned on Monty with the first one being to install a reconditioned water pump which Ray had fixed up and weaved his magic on over the Christmas holidays and soon we had a new gasket on and coated up with some non hardening gasket sealant, bolted the pump back up to the engine, fan and fan belt attached and filled water full to the brim in the radiator...

With that completed in record time I reached for the wiring harness while we both discussed the best way to install it, "we need the speedo housing so where is that"?, Ray said, "Hanging on the bloody shed wall somewhere, all the spares are on the wall in this shed, here it is", and with that said we quickly had the harness's basic installation directions laid out on the workbench with the wires connected to the back of the speedo housing and then we had that installed back into the cars dash.

"So this goes in there somewhere" !!

With a lttle head scratching and back pedaling, poking wires here and there, plus looking at Ray restored Chevy and then jumping on the computer to compare the route we were taking with the main harness against some early photos that I had taken when we had dismanteled Monty six months ago it all started to take shape rather quickly

This was a head stratching moment, do we go left or right??

We had it all laid out and connected to various points from the dash forward and throughout the engine bay in 3.5hours, the rear section along the chassis and stop light can wait until the rear tub and remaining wood work is complete.
It was a great effort and so with that done we had to make sure that all the wires were pointing where they were meant to be so with fingers crossed we hit the starter button and fired old Monty up once more after he had sat idle for a couple of months and the ole buggar didn't disappoint us.......

BTW the smoke was from some WD40 burning off the exhaust pipe and not some major electrical fire, glad that was the case....
Anyway with a couple of cold drinks under our belt, Ray was soon reversing his 28' "The Red Chev" out the driveway and pointed it back down the street in the direction of Melbourne for his 1.5hr drive home but today there was a very strong tail wind blowing like crazy so I think he might do it in record time?? Thank once again Ray...

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Argentina to the USA in a 1928 Chevrolet

Here are a couple of photos of a bloke that drove his 1928 Chevrolet (racing version - note the no guards or running boards) from Argentina to the USA in 1930 which took them 2 years to complete, what a great effort.. ......Now these are real adventurers.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Our first official media appearance - Just joking!

Well I heard on the grapevine that it was now printed and on sale for $4.95 at all good newspaper outlets so down to the local newsagency I went on this very hot 36C degree today and proudly handed over a palm full of coins for the latest edition of "Milk Gippsland" , I told Greg behind the counter about my claim to fame, "Yep looks good, I've already read it, done well."

"The Milk Gippsland" is a very professional well put together, very high standard magazine which represents all things going on in and around the Gippsland area who happened to hear about the Monty resto on another internet site, so they called out to me, we made arrangements, set a time and soon David dropped by the shed one afternoon to have a chat and take a few pictures..

You'd have to agree that page 62 looks the pick of the bunch :)

Many thanks once again to David & Bec Manjra, the husband and wife team who put together this great mag and if you have any questions about the Milk Magazine, drop Bec an email at
So now I hope you all rush out there and buy yourself a copy or better still why not subscribe to it and support a good thing that happening locally.... Cheers

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Resto: Complete new wiring harness

With work at our signshop now back into the swing of it for the start of the new year, progress on ole Monty has slowed a little more than I would of liked but, hey, work pays the bills so it always comes first and as my wife always says "Mumma Needs New Shoes".......

Anyway hopefully this weekend we might first of all get the reconditioned water pump and new gaskets bolted back on the engine  that Ray fixed a few weeks back and thanks once again for that mate, very much appreciated., then reconnect up the radiator hoses and fill it all back up with water/conditioner.... that won't take to long.

Next will be the laying out and installation of a new wiring harness which I purchased off US Ebay many months ago for $120.00...ANOTHER BARGAIN!! complete with clips and connections for a 1928 Chevrolet., which is why I brought it at the time knowing that one day down the track it would come in very handy and now is that time my friends.... I think the wiring harness was my first real big purchase that got this restoration process rolling along with new found enthusiasm.
That should keep the shed jump'in for a while, so I will post up some more detailed pictures as we progress along with that.... Thanks for looking.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

"The Forgotten Chevy"

Firstly, Happy New Year and I hope that you all had an enjoyable Christmas and relaxing holiday., we did but I ate a little to much once again.
Well this morning early I unlocked our signshop, walked in and while looking around I was thinking well here goes for another year, number 28 I if my memory serves my right?, I switched on the lights, the radio and the work computer for what was the start another year at Grant Fowler Signs.
As normal over the holiday period the old computer gets bogged down with a heap of emails which are mainly spam and advertising bullshit selling this and that so I was busy hitting the delete button for a minute or two and then I came across this email which read in the subject line:  "Old Monty", I must open this one and have a read which I quickly did and what I found was a lovely email written by a gentleman from the USA with a fantastic story to tell about his 1928 "Forgotten" Chevrolet and a link to his website "The Forgotten Chevy" and also some info about the restoration of another car that he and his son are doing now which is a 1928 Chevrolet National Coupe.

This is the  "The Forgotten Chevy" with only 162 miles driven


Here is a little of that email that was sent to me:

Mr. Fowler:  I read the story of Old Monty and your father and found it to be a great tribute to him.  I too am a 1928 Chevrolet owner.  

By way of background I am 70 years old and retired about 15 months ago.  During my business career as a computer consultant I had the opportunity to visit Australia many times, and found it to be a fascinating country not understood by most Americans.  I had the opportunity to visit most major cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide, Brisbane and others (never made it to Perth).  My last trip there was probably about 20 years ago

I own two 1928 Chevrolet Nationals:

·         1928 Chevrolet National AB Coach:  This car is all original and has just 162 original miles on it.  It is the lowest mileage 1928 Chevy I can find anywhere in the world and I have looked to find lower mileage ones.  What makes it unique is that all of the original documents are also in my possession (title, drivers license of owner, etc.).  I doubt if many other 1928 Chevrolets have these original documents.  I came into possession of the car through my wife's father who died several years ago.  When he acquired the car it had 18 original miles on it.  If you want to read the whole story of this car you can go to   Due to its low mileage and unique status I cannot/do not drive this car in order to preserve it for future generations. It took me over a year of research and phone calls to find all prior owners and document the provenance of this car, which again makes this 1928 Chevy truly unique among all 28 Chevies.

·         1928 Chevrolet National Coupe:  I acquired this vehicle about 6 months ago through an Ebay auction at an unbelievable $##,### US, which reflects our economy and the low prices for collector cars.  It was recently through a frame-off restoration by the prior owner with some reproduction parts.  I am presently trying to restore it with NOS parts.  I drive this car to car shows in the summer time.  It is a beautiful car, and I hope to get it on the website soon so others can see it.  I hope I can complete this work and pass it on to my son, who works with me on the car, before I join your father. It gives me a special understanding of what you tried to do with your father and Old Monty.

I wish you well in restoring your car as a tribute to your father.  I know there are many 1928 Chevrolets in Australia, as well as Canada and the US.  You should be able to find parts for most of it (I strongly suggest Ebay as I buy NOS parts there all the time).  I am a stickler for originality.

Thank  you for taking time to read this email and for looking at my web site if you have time.  I felt the website was the only way for me to share this exceptional 1928 Chevrolet with the world.  It took me a long time to get one up and running.

Kindest regards, 

It is the emails like this one that makes our restoration journey even all the more special and I would like to again thank each and everyone of you out there who have made contact with me via this blog and shared with me a little piece of your life story... Cheers

PS don't forget to copy and paste the link to the forgotten Chevy website into your browser if this will not open here and have a good look at this amazing old piece of motoring history