WHAT ARE YOUR CORD DRIVING EXPERIENCES????

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26 Dec 2007 22:16 #8996 by sunroofcord
sunroofcord created the topic: WHAT ARE YOUR CORD DRIVING EXPERIENCES????
I received the following email from a fellow Cord owner and thought I would throw it out on the forum so that Paul could hear from a variety of those who DRIVE their Cords.

Jim, as I'm sure you are aware, we have two Cords. A 37 Westchester and a 37 Custom Beverly. Both were running when they were parked many years ago. My Dad drove the Beverly quite a bit back in the late 50's/ early 60's. He claims to have had no trouble except a busted shift rod that was easily welded. This car has the manual shift where the Westchester has the electric hand.

My question is how reliable are these cars? I see pictures of them on Caravans all the time with the hoods up. I read about drive axel problems, heating problems, LOTS of shifting problems, cracked wheels and loosing hubcaps. I am in the process of getting many of our cars running and I would consider the Cords if they could be made reliable. I want to DRIVE my cars, not admire a trailer queen.

How realistic is this goal? And if they are so troublesome, why did Dad have such good luck years ago? Or does he not remember other troubles?

Paul Lares
President
Lares Corporation
855 South Cleveland
Cambridge, MN. 55008
800-334-5749
<a href="mailto:[email protected]][email protected][/url]

So far, we have received the following comments from George Arkelian and Josh Malks.

George;

After owning my first Cord since the early 80's I think it is reliable as the mechanic who worked on it.

These cars are not as reliable as Ford and Chevys from the same era, but are much better road cars when they are RIGHT.

It took over ten years to get mine in the roadability that I needed.

Yes they have all of the problems mentioned and are not easy to overcome but not impossible.

There are many cars of the era that are very dependable but none as good looking.

Once fixed they are very easy and comfortable to drive.

Josh;

I'm probably biased, because my Cord has 116,000 miles on it, 65,000 of which I have put on it myself in the past 24 years.

But don't go by just me. How about four Cords that started out in the Seattle area this August, drove nine days and 2,900 miles to Auburn, then three drove back home. Mileage covered, depending on where they started from was 3,000 to 7,000 EACH (no typo) within three weeks. Total problems: two distributor brush issues, on different cars by coincidence.

Nuff said.

P.S. The Cords on caravans have their hoods up because everyone is always curious about what's under there!

We would appreciate any other input that you would care to share.

Thanks.

Jim Davis
ACD Club Member
<a href="mailto:[email protected]][email protected][/url]

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  • Josh Malks
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27 Dec 2007 17:40 #9001 by Josh Malks
Josh Malks replied the topic:
George's comments are more practical than mine, but mine are more fun :-)

I did write back to Paul to point out that getting a Cord into the condition where it will take trips like the Seattle-Auburn one takes a long time, some money and lots of info from those who know (like our club Technicians.)

Josh B. Malks
810 2087A
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www.automaven.com

Check out CORD COMPLETE at www.cordcomplete.com

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27 Dec 2007 17:43 #9002 by Josh Malks
Josh Malks replied the topic:
One more note: a survey of ACD car owners' driving patterns is included as an insert in the #10 Newsletter, which should be arriving in the next couple of weeks. PLEASE fill it out and return (no envelope needed) even if your car doesn't run (yet). That's important info too.

Thanks!

Josh B. Malks
810 2087A
ACD Club Life Member
ACD Newsletter editor
Past president
www.automaven.com

Check out CORD COMPLETE at www.cordcomplete.com

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  • sunroofcord
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27 Dec 2007 22:45 #9007 by sunroofcord
sunroofcord replied the topic:
Thanks Josh and everyone else who has responded to Paul so far.

Following is Jim O'Briens response to Pauls questions which I hope he doesn't mind me re posting here.

Just thought his response should be shared with others who may have some of the same questions.

Hi Paul,

Jim forwarded me your email and asked me to respond. As an introduction I have a 1936 Westchester I bought about 20 years ago and totally restored myself and have been driving it ever since (except when I blew the engine, but that?s another story) plus keeping several other peoples cords on the road.

To answer your question simply for a 1930?s vintage car, when a Cord is running right there is nothing better on the road?when the Cord is running poorly there?s nothing worse on the road. Are the Cords Reliable ? YES when they are done right. Bob McEwan has driven his Cord to California and back (from Pennsylvania) twice without a problem, in 1975 and again in 2000 (or about those years) and every year to Auburn (about 1400 miles round trip). Doug Johnson drove his Cord to From New Jersey to Auburn every year for 29 years. I?m the newbie, I?ve driven to Auburn a few times, driven to the Eastern Spring meet about 15 times in different parts of the northeast. So yes they are reliable, it may take some work to get them that way, but it?s well worth it and the info is available to get there.

To answer some of your questions ?

Drive Axles ? The original ones work fine as long as they are not worn out. They will click going around corners ? they did that with as little as 200 miles on them from new. The original ones do leak grease, but again if they are rebuilt correctly they are fine. If you want there is a gentleman in Arizona that is modifying modern CV joints to fit the Cord. This modification works very well.

Over Heating ? The Cord is a highway car. It doesn?t do well in parades on hot days. There are numerous reasons for the overheating so there is no one fix. Some of the reasons are due to a 70 year old car, others are from new. A few examples ? the engine cores were never cleaned out properly at the factory, I?ve found tons of sand, core wire, etc. in the blocks during rebuilds; the radiators have not been rebuilt properly over the years, people adding junk on their cars to impede air flow, etc. Most of these can be cured by properly rebuilding the engine, putting a good core and bottom tank on the radiator and the addition of a fan shroud.

Shifting problems ? The Cord has taken a bad rap in this department mostly due to people not understanding how the shifting is supposed to work, how to trouble shoot shifting problems and due to idiots behind the wheel. First the transmission must be rebuilt by some one who knows and understands the CORD transmission. This gearbox is not like any other, the machining and set-up are very important. The proper set-up of the shift switches, vacuum system and wiring is just as important. The vacuum system must be tight, all the switches must be adjusted properly and the wiring installed correctly (the original factory wiring diagram is wrong.) Lastly the driver needs to understand a few things about the Cord transmission and drive it accordingly, such as,

- No sitting and idling for long periods in neutral

- No power shifts

- No over reving in second gear

- Shift in to low and reverse on the last half revolution of the front wheels

I won?t say the transmission and shifting are bomb proof, but it is reliable.

Cracked Wheels ? The front wheels do crack, especially the early ?light duty? wheels. They can be welded up and used on the rear of the car. The keys here are using the heavy duty wheels on the front, keeping the lug nuts tight and avoiding hard acceleration.

Losing hub caps ? This one has a very easy fix, 3 wire ties on each wheel hold the hub cap on very securely. If you really want to hid the wire ties go to a motorcycle shop and get the chrome plated ones, unless some-one looks very close they will never see them.

There are two other problems you didn?t mention that are common on Cords

Vapor Lock ? Cords are know to vapor lock. Again with a little bit of effort this can be eliminated or at least greatly reduced. First is proper routing of the gas line to keep it away from the heat. Second is insulating the exhaust system the way it should have been. Third is installing an electric fuel pump. I will have some problems with vapor lock on a hot day if I?m running down the highway and have to sit in traffic waiting to pay a toll. I just switch on the electric fuel pump and the problem goes away.

Hub Cracking ? The front hubs have been know to crack (not very common but something to watch for). An inspection every few years and you will be fine (or switch to the modern CV joints.)

The rest of the problems you?ll have are just old car problems.

How realistic is your goal ? VERY! Providing you are willing to go through the car and do things right. The other recommendation I have if you want a driver is to put radial tires on the Cord. They make a world of difference.

If the car is done right and set up correctly you?ll have a reliable car that can cruise down the interstate at 70 - 75mph all day long or is very well behaved on a back country road (at a reasonable speed). One note a standard Cord when tuned up will due over 100 mph (don?t ask how I know).

They are great fun to drive !!

I hope this has answered your questions, if you have any others, just ask. Good luck and let me know what you decide to do.

CORDially,

Jim O?Brien

Lots of good information coming my way. I am very excited. Thanks Jim!

Paul

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  • Chris Summers
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04 May 2008 17:36 #9995 by Chris Summers
Chris Summers replied the topic:
Dumb question from the (relatively) new member: If the Cord makes a lousy parade car, how does a stock-restored one survive the parade in Auburn?

Chris Summers
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Chandler-Cleveland Motor Club
CCCA

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.

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05 May 2008 02:09 #9999 by Josh Malks
Josh Malks replied the topic:
Unless the day is [i:2gavjw6i]very[/i:2gavjw6i] hot, or the parade is [i:2gavjw6i]very[/i:2gavjw6i] long or [i:2gavjw6i]very[/i:2gavjw6i] slow (or some combination of the above) Cords get thru parades just fine.

Josh B. Malks
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Check out CORD COMPLETE at www.cordcomplete.com

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