Saturday, February 28, 2015

Oh These Stupid Chairs....

I say stupid, as I seem to be a chair magnet. Maybe it is because I know how easy they are to recover and restore. It is just very labor intensive but material wise it is super cheap! I have so many right now! I guess it is good I am looking at buying a church(see urban garden) I may end up needing them all. At least they will all match the shag :)

These were a goodwill find, even at 25% off they were way to expensive for what they are. I had no idea on these, I knew they were from an odd company, they were very modern and they had age. I did a quick search and typical folding chair prices came up but then I see an unusual set similar to this by the same manufacturer that had a high price tacked onto them. With reluctance I bought them, 14.99$ each with 25% off.

I took them up to the front, and just randomly happen to be in the line that the manager was running. I told her I cannot believe how corporate these stores have gotten and how I am paying close to 30$ for a pair of chairs that I literally have to touch ever square inch of. She then proceeded to tell me that she knew someone would want these chairs, aka as she said Antique chairs. I then clued her into the fact they are NOT antique. She then was going to stand her ground! I was complaining about how there is no Goodwill left in the "goodwill" stores. She proceeded to brag about how they are not related to other goodwill's and that I could pull up her CEO's paycheck online. He only makes 105,000.00$ a year. I was OH WOW I am really amazed, I had to back down before she pulled out a shotgun. I was OMG 105k a year for a CEO of an organization that is suppose to help out others. Society is super amazing! I just want my run down, abandoned in the 70's church in a little o farming community where junk is still just junk and not "Main Stream"

I was attempting to make the purchase worth the purchase, by telling myself and my buddy that I could list them for a few hundred on Etsy when I start listings. When secretly I figure I would more then likely be stuck with them and consider them as garden chairs.

Searching for a couple of nights, I could only find a few ads on these chairs and nothing more. They did give me a few clues. The model number 1151, price and original style. I still couldn't find any others like these, I really wanted to find an ad or completed something or another to know my entry fee was worth it and well future labor hours. There was nothing!

The only similar armchairs by Samson better known as Samsonite for their luggage were designed by Russel Wright. These were sold in 1951 at a cost of then 7.95$. The ad for my chairs appeared in 1949 and they had a cost of 14.95$. Funny to think the Goodwill had them priced four cents higher then they cost new. That would be almost 150$ a chair today. Way higher then the Russel Wright designed ones. Then mind you, a table in that exact same ad was only $12.95. I imagine not many of these were sold at that price in those days.

We then get to the condition of the chairs, as proof that many likely didn't survive. We can see that they are constructed of a wooden frame, spring and foam rubber cushion. It is then covered in a thing plastic/vinyl material. Then the frame itself is chromed metal. All these design features, do not fair well with age, as you can see. So most of the ones sold, hit the scrap yard long long ago.

With no information or completed auctions to give me any information or the market for them. I am at a complete loss as what to do with them? My plans are/were to clean them and re upholster them in a similar color material. Since I have so many chairs floating around, they will head into the pile o chair projects for future use and restoration. Maybe with in that time, some more information may come on board about them.

I really like the style of them, but because I cannot find any value information on them. They will just stay on that back burner until I get the time to tackle them or the space to use them. Finding a similar non clashing material for them will also take some time. Polishing all the chrome, will take hours.

You may have noticed copy right stuff on the photos. I figured since I am running a site now, I better protect my photos encase some idiot tries to start a fake auction or sale ad on Craigslist. It will become better in time, I just discovered I had my camera set of Panorama mode still. Gosh I feel old with technology now. I was just watching on The Real and they were discussion the hash tag and how to use twitter and instgram. I suppose maybe I am just to intelligent to understand this "Main Stream" technology crap. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Alternator Phase II Cleaning.

Ok, it was cleaning time yesterday! I dread this! Gunk cleaner works great and I even use it when I rebuild crank phonograph motors. I have rebuilt so far a few Victrolas, Talking Machine, Cheney Phonograph sued by Victor and a Brunswick. Well back to the point, this stuff has some caustic aromas' and I have had more then one share of a sore throat from it. Such as this morning. I suggest anyone who uses it, discard all rags used with it, remove all clothes after use with it, wash all parts with warm water after use and then take a warm soapy shower. It is that bad! I changed my shirt but not my jeans and left them at the head of the bed last night....boy did I pay!! I have a HEPA filter(another dumpster save) that I use in my work area to clean up any remaining fumes. Speaking of working areas, I cleaned mine in order to get this job done!! And I had to work on my hons chair.

As was said before I could even start this disassembly I had to clean the work area and work on the Hons Chair(Another dumpster save) I will do a separate post on that. Disassembly was pretty straight forward but I will give some advice with PHOTOS!!! :)

First remember to always oil your nuts and well screws too for the ladies :) It will help to penetrate, loosen gunk, and then seep in when you break them free. I always tap the areas and/or the top of the screw driver to loosen up the bond before I try to break them free. If you take your time and use the correct screw drivers, you can take out/off the nuts/bolts/screws with out any damage.

Now you have to remove that half moon key on the shaft, always tricky. I use oil again, some tapping, some tugging and then it frees up. Don't LOSE it and DON'T let your cat eat it. You'll be sorry :P

Time to crack open the egg! First note, mark the alternator before you crack it open! I just crudely marked it with a regular screw driver.

 Word of advice, and a stupid move on me. I have no idea why I did it. But don't tap the rotor out without first screwing the nut on! Or you'll ended up spending an hour reshaping the threads. You can see while everything is filthy there is only a little rust on the bare steel parts. More then likely from all the gunk causing moister to stay in the alternator and not get blown out.

Now we see why there was a little bearing noise, the grease looks like molasses and is hard like Jello. Both bearings are good, but just dry and high quality bearings. I don't know why people replace them with the 8$ ones from eHell.

All apart and in the bucket for cleaning!! Now I first say...SHAME on all you who don't have a wealth of random buckets, towels and reusable shopping bags!! If I attempted to put these in anything but a bucket....3/4's of the parts would have magically disappeared...
All cleaned!! Took a LONGGGGGGG time. First was scudding with a plastic scrub brush with gunk, let sit in a bucket covered with gunk, another scrub, hot water rinse, cleaned/wiped with towel, steel brush all parts, spray with simply green and scrub with steel wool! AND I was able to save all patina and original sticker!

Next will be repair and reassemble.

Friday, February 20, 2015

1978 Mercedes 300D Alternator Refreash Time!!

(posted on and

Lets see, we are going to cover very basic electrical here! Now I know we have a zillion threads on here on why is my battery not charging? Why do I have electric gremlins? What is there no warning light? And the zillion others.

Well here is why you have those issues! This is my Bosch 55amp Part number 0120489526 14v Alternator from my 1978 Mercedes Benz 300D. This is the ORIGINAL alternator!! My issue was that I woke up with a dead battery! I checked and had 11.2 volts at the battery, I had assumed my cheap o’reilly battery crooked again. A huge argument with the “Manager” resulted in my not getting a warranty replace so I threw the battery in my 82 which I know has a good charging system. Thankfully the battery held it’s charged now it time to figure out why! *A word of advice in Arizona, be prepared to be discriminated against. Every Navajo here treats you as though you just scalped their daughter!!

I had no signs of a bad alternator and the VOM showed a 12.5 charge to the battery at idle. Low it is but it should still keep the battery charged. There were also no flashing of the battery light or it not illuminated. I was noticing an issue when the climate control was on, it wasn’t operating properly.

First thing I decided to do was pull the alternator, as I was sure it was original and it was quite corroded. Even though I didn’t see any signs of it being bad, I opted to start there and work towards the fuse box.

Here we get to the simple basics of electricity in your car. You see the alternator is grounded to the bracket, which is grounded to the block thus grounded to the body of the car. Thus back to the battery.

IF there is any corrosion, oil, etc. on any of these mating surfaces it will cause the parts to not ground. On a battery system that is in your car, in order for the electrical to operate correctly this circle of life needs to be fully operational and this must start with good clean grounds! Without this, you will have tons of electrical bugs going on with the car. 

This is normal maintenance, as your car is opened to all sorts of elements! It is more an age item, then a wear item due to mileage. This car is approaching 40 years old! And has been sitting for more than half of those years. So it needs to be done!

First we will start with the bracket and were it mounts to the block, the first thing I noticed was the nuts were not tight at all! I was expecting a PITA situation trying to get them off. Well after that was removed we see an issue! From the bracket being lose and 40+ years of grime we see fresh oil on the shiny mating surface. This will cause a ground issue.

Now with the bracket off, let’s look at all the points where the alternator mates with the bracket….errr…corrosion, grease, uneven areas. Again will not make a good grounding surface. We also see all the hardware is corroded and greasy. How is this supposed to ground the alternator to the block?

Now let’s look at the alternator itself. Lots of corrosion! Still wears its tag! Explain that!


So how does the alternator charge and feeds the electrical system in the car? The umbilical cord! The mating surfaces of the male and female plugs look like this. Err full of grease, corrosion, oil and who knows what. No wonder I am having strange gremlins and no charging. Also with this being the Positive side of the battery, all this gunk can also cause arcing which can lead to worse nightmares then just a no charging battery from the negative side of the battery.

Now let’s pull the voltage regulator! Now let’s unscrew this! Hmm not too bad, worn yes but not bad…but what’s this? The ground point of the regulator is corroded. Well that explains the low charge voltage.

Then we look at the alternator itself. Bearings aren’t making any noise, dry yes but not bad. The commuter where the brushes ride isn’t horrible does show its 40 years.

Finally analysis and plans for phase two. The alternator is fine, the only issues are age. Corrosion, grease, dirt, oil etc. The area that are meant to wear such as the brushes and commuter have worn. What will be done, is strictly labor. Plans are to clean all the pieces, sand/file/steel wool all the pieces that are responsible for grounding. Clean all the electrical connections with deoxit and shine them. Go to the hardware store and see if I can find replacement brushes. Then the alternator should give me another 40 years of service plus my expense will be more then like under 20$ if I find brushes or under 45$ if I have to buy a regulator.