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Oldtimer | 17.03.2014 - 20:00

Maintenance Tricks Every Good Vintage Car Owner Should Know

When it comes to vintage models and makes of cars, there are a few tricks to maintaining them that every owner should be aware of.

People have been collecting vehicles since vehicles have been built. They all come with their own issues, and while some issues are mechanical, others have more to do with appearance. You can keep your classic car in tip top shape. This requires a program of maintenance that all vintage car owners tend to be very fanatical about. There are common maintenance problems that the average classic car owner manages, from paint chips to air compressor maintenance, with oil leaks being the most common problem that plague classic cars.

Valve Cover Gaskets
These are usually replaced easily by removing the valve covers, and can then be replaced with new ones. Make sure the old ones are completely removed from the valve covers, and removed from the surface on the engine heads where the valve covers sit. Older valve covers are made from thin steel. They tend to lose the flatness along the edges that they need to seal. You can take a small hammer and tap around the bolt holes if this is the case. This will flatten them back out to help them seal better. The tools you will need include a ratchet, putty knife, and a set of sockets.

Front Crankshaft Or Harmonic Balancer
The crankshaft is found at the bottom front of the motor, and is a common leak area. Luckily it is very easy to replace as well, though you will need a harmonic balance puller. This will remove the balancer from the front of the engine after you removed the holding bolt. Inspect the balancer for grooves and cracks after you remove it. You will need to buy a seal kit if the shaft area that goes inside the seal is grooved. This included a repair sleeve.
Install the sleeve carefully, then remove the old seal that is located on the front of the engine. You can use a seal removal tool or a flat bladed screwdriver. Clean the area that it was set in. You need to coat the seal on the inside of metal ring with a thin layer of grease to lubricate it before installing the new seal. Place the seal into the opening at the front of the engine. You can do this by using a hammer to gently tap it into place. It is properly installed when the metal outer ring is flush with the surface of the cover that you are installing it into. Line up the harmonic balancer with the keyway on the crankshaft. Slide it into place. You may have to tap it with a hammer to make sure it is seated completely. You will need to replace the bolt and tighten it as well. Use a torque wrench and be sure it it set it to the car manufacturer's specification.

These are a few of the most common basic maintenance issues that a classic car owner is faced with. If you want your car looking like it just rolled out of a showroom, you need to be sure it is not only running properly, but looks nice as well. Take time to get a good wax and cleaning regularly and keep an eye on the paint job. When you do the properly care and prevent for damage, you will have much less work to do in future.

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"Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan."
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