Reply To: Anyone with 1934-1935 P-A ?

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Hello Mika,

I am glad to hear that your Pierce Arrow has arrived! Dropping the pan and cleaning out the old oil and sludge is an excellent idea. This will give you a chance to check how the bearings fit in the lower end of the engine.

As we discussed before, I would be very careful in working on the fuel system, especially on a car that has been stored for a long time. Make sure that there is no rust, dirt, deposits, or varnish in the tank, fuel lines, fuel pump, and carburetor. You may want to look at using a tank sealant if you find surface rust inside. Once you have the fuel system clean, it would be good to get a fuel filter in the line to keep it that way. Few things are more annoying than getting an engine running, then having rust flakes or crud clog the jets in the carburetor!

You will probably have to make your own water pump gaskets from gasket material from the car parts store. They are fairly simple and easy to cut out. These water pumps are pretty simple and if the vanes of the impeller are intact and not rusted away, they will move a lot of water. Perhaps the biggest problem is keeping a seal where the shaft exits the pump. The shaft tends to get worn and grooves which wear away the packing material. Then no matter how tight you try to tighten the packing nut, it will still leak coolant around the shaft. You can try fitting new packing material, but if the shaft is worn or damaged, the best thing to do is to have a machinist install a bearing and a modern seal and fit a new shaft if you have a leak in this area.

The main thing to check with the oil temperature regulator is 1). that it is not leaking coolant to the outside of the engine, and 2). that it is not leaking oil into the coolant (or coolant into the oil). As this is essentially a heat exchanger, leaks in the core can allow oil under pressure to leak into the cooling system. You will notice this if you see an oil film floating in your coolant when you open the radiator cap.

Body wood in a Pierce Arrow is Northern White Ash.

It looks like you’ll want to check the engine side cover for coolant leaks. One thing to be aware of, especially on an engine that has been sitting for a long time is that the cooling system may also be full of dirt and rust flakes. These get circulated through the system and can clog the radiator, and obstruct flow through the water jackets…leading to overheating. This is another system where it is important to have it as clean as possible. If you get really adventuresome, you can remove the side plate and clean out all the rust flakes and dirt. New gaskets (and side plates, if necessary) are available from PAS Member Dave Murray.

Good luck with your Pierce. Let us know if we can be of further assistance with getting her running again!

Happy Motoring,