More on several September topics

December 1, 2008 | By Richard Prince


I’d like to offer additional comments on several letters published in the September issue.

The first concerns Wayne Gjervold’s super sensitive Buick brakes. Mr. Gjervold indicated that he used the “same proportioning valve hookup” when he replaced the front wheel cylinders. This apparently is a misunderstanding, as a four-wheel drum brake system as is on his 1969 GS does not use a proportioning valve. I assume he was referring to the brake distribution block that is common to the GM A-body cars of that vintage. The letter did not indicate if the brake booster had been replaced or not. A correct new booster may have greater assist due to leakage in the old part. Similarly, leaking vacuum lines or check valves that have been replaced can also increase the assist of the booster. It’s also entirely possible that either the new master cylinder or the new wheel cylinders may have the wrong bore for his car. Drum/drum systems are becoming less and less common and some vendors have reduced inventory on these infrequently purchased parts by consolidating part numbers that are deemed to be “close enough.” Finally, it’s possible that the newly rebuilt engine is producing more vacuum, again leading to increased assist from the booster.

John Pelde may have difficulty restoring the wood grain interior trim of his 1979 Lincoln. Most cars of that vintage use printed vinyl or hot transfer metal-backed trim in these interior areas. Since the “wood grain” is simply ink printed on foil or plastic, restoration of a worn finish is nearly impossible. If he’s lucky, Mr. Pelde may eventually find NOS parts or used parts in better condition, but failing that, the only restoration would be to have the parts sanded and “wood grain” painted.

Finally, Hugh Johnson’s desire for a split manifold on his Stovebolt Six should be very easy to satisfy. Several vendors sell both split manifolds and headers. Jim Carter ( can split Mr. Johnson’s existing manifold or sell him reproduction Fenton headers.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts with us, Joe.

Another possible method for restoring the faux wood grain on the ’79 Lincoln trim pieces is to cover them with off the shelf, adhesive-backed wood grain vinyl. The appearance will undoubtedly differ from the original trim but it will be close. For more on this approach, see page 4.