Old Starter replacement

Builders;

A little while back, a builder with a flying plane equipped with an original 2400 series starter (Ones we shipped from 2001-2014, before the lightweight 2400L series) asked about getting a replacement for the one which had been on his plane for 12 years. I suggested that he just go down to the auto parts store and buy a Subaru EA-81 starter and switch the noses and brackets from his aircraft starter with the new electrical parts from the car starter. A simple one hour operation, and less expensive than upgrading to the 2400L.

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I am not sure how challenged the auto parts store people in his area are, but evidently this was some type of insurmountable problem, with the usual claims of “they never made that”, ” You can’t get those anymore” and “I can only look it up if you know the color of the car”. This lead to a lot of back and forth, but in the interest of me maintaining my sanity, below is a picture of the exact starter, sitting on the shelf in my local Napa store. Note they only have three of them. This part number can be crossed to any other brand and it will also work, but I hesitate to mention that because crossing a part number is probably beyond what passes for a counterman in the modern world.

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We have on the shelf at SPA about 20 of the modified gears for these starters, and in all my years of working with them, I only saw one starter and two gears wear out. So this isn’t an issue most builders need to be concerned about. I bring it up to point out that I would never have selected a starter to work with that would become extinct in our lifetimes. I make more intelligent choices about parts than that. I go out of my way to support people who have older series products from me. There are plenty of companies both big and small in our branch of aviation who make a nice living forcing people to “upgrade” from their now unavailable proprietary parts. I am not, and have never been, one of those companies.

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Above, at our local NAPA store, same location where this took place:

Thought for the Day: Feminism in RuralĀ Florida

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My Dads favorite Childhood book.

Builders:

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In 1937 my father was 11, and he was presented the book below by a gentleman named Frankie Walsh. He was a WWI infantryman who served with my grandfather in the 78th Division in savage combat in France.

Walsh worked both for the CAB and CAA, and ultimately was head of production for Vought. His visits to my fathers childhood home in Passaic NJ gave my dad a close connection to aviation.

Walsh came home married to a French war bride named Gerrie , who became my grandmothers closest friend. She left for her new home in America leaving little behind. All four of her brothers were killed in WWI. Frankie only made it to the 1940s, but Gerrie, his widow lived until the 1980s and was a close part of my own childhood.

 

“Flying for 1937”

 

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The Billy in the inscription is my father.

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The book covers all aspects of flying including air racing. Wittman’s picture is on the right. I flew with him in the Olds Tailwind 56 years after my father received the book.

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Wewjr

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How an American President was expected to speak 100 years ago

Builders,

In 1910, TR delivered the the words below on a European tour. The audience in France received them with great vigor.

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In the last century, it became commonplace for presidents to use speech writers, reducing themselves to mere actors. TR was a real writer, and he needed no one to find words for him. He was the real thing.

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schelessger wrote for JFK and Noonan wrote for Regan. It went down hill from there, in 2000 after GWB invented words and Gore slowly said the words ‘lock box’ in every speech, Jeff Greenfield observed that “we have a candidate who speaks to us as is English is HIS second language and another who speaks to us as if English is OUR second language. Today the vocabulary is reduced to phases like ‘very bad’ and ‘low ratings’ and I find myself becoming nostalgic for Bush and Gore.

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I protect my mind by going to the books and reading the words of TR and Lincoln. These and beer sipped in a lawn chair beside the grass runway provides a mental refuge.

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If it doesn’t work you can always resort to harder stuff and books by Jeff Cooper.

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Wewjr.

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A good little manual

Builders;

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I don’t want to create the impression that all good illustrations in manuals stopped in 1958, below is a little impulse coupling manual from the 1980s that a lot of A&P mechanics have tucked away on a shelf.

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If you look very close the sad statement is followed by the words “my name is Adam”, a reference to an annoying character our housemate Francis dated.

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Wewjr

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Manual from 1958

Builders;

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Below are pictures from a 1958 Evinrude 35 hp owners manual, an engine I engines for a number of years in the 1990s. I always liked the art, and the fact it was written without the input of lawyers nor the assumption that Americans were idiots. Different manual from a different time.

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I like the way the engine has a pillow and is sleeping.

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When was the last time you saw this kind of a technical drawing in a manual? This is from the age of machines, not disposable appliances. The only assumptions were that the owner had common sense, interest in well made things and how they work, and a sense of personal responsibility.

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A simple explanation of how the carb worked, including two mixture controls, written so a 13 year old could follow it. Today in aviation we tell adults they are too stupid to learn how to operate a carb with one mixture control, and tell them they should make themselves subservient to a computer because they are too dumb to learn what every teenager could learn in the 1950s

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I like how happy spark plugs in the 1950s were.

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Wewjr

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A little plane from 1933

Builders:

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Two views of a little ‘travelair mystery’ a little cast plane which my father received when he was seven years old in 1933. The wingspan is about 6″, it appears to be and has the feel of cast iron.

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Wewjr

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Return of “Mr. Lincoln “

Builders:

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In traditional rural Thailand, the man with an elephant is important in a village, because he owns the ‘Crane’, ‘ forklift ‘ , ‘excavator’ and if it comes down to it ‘ armored personnel carrier.’

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At our airport Corvair/Panther builder Paul Salter is that man because his tractor is the modern equivalent of the elephant. It does countless tasks, one of which is to remove my welder, aka “Mr. Lincoln ” from my hangar when free swimming lessons are in the forecast.

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Evacuated before Irma put two feet of water in my hangar, it had an extended stay at Paul’s dry hangar while I was away at Zeniths open house and CC #40. Good choice because a strong nor’easter nearly flooded my shop again.

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Paul’s ‘elephant’ brought the welder back yesterday. The brush pile behind it is a 75′ long wall of chopped up downed trees from the hurricane and storm. It will be put to the torch when the weather is cooler and friends and beer are available. In Florida there is little worry of starting a blaze, it is a very watery state.

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Wewjr

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