1927 Chev Care & Feeding

A few hours ago I turned a corner and stopped at a red light behind a two-door 1927 Chev (the licence plate said “27Chev”). When the light turned green, the '27 turned left, but I had to go straight through the intersection. The car appeared to be in nearly new condition by the little I could see of it as it turned.

Back home I ran an interwebs search for 1927 Chevrolet and found, among other sites, this manual on the car’s care and feeding.

It’s easy to forget (or maybe never knew) how much maintenance old cars required, though of course they required less and less as the decades rolled on. But the '27 Chev (and every other make of that era, I suppose) takes the cake — until a manual for an earlier car turns up.

Get this: every 250 miles the motorist would have to crawl under the front of the car and lubricate the spring shackle bolts and the steering knuckles (see diagram at above link) with heavy oil. Try that in January in the snow belt.

That type of thing goes on and on; there are at least 31 grease and oil locations in the diagram, including the mechanical-brake shafts that needed lubrication every 300 miles (it had rear drum brakes only) and the “distributor shaft — one quarter turn of grease cup every 300 miles.”

There’s a link at the bottom of the page to the manual’s contents where I found the warranty: 90 days on parts, but only if the defective parts are sent back to the factory with the transportation charges prepaid.

Actually, the warranty is more of a disclaimer:

The more things change, the more they stay the same — that continued with tires until near the turn of the 21st century, if not later.

It’s a repair manual, so there’s no info I could find on how often the engine oil needed changing. But it says to use oil of “medium-weight,” whatever that might be.

Reading that manual, it’s amazing that '27 Chev survived 85 years. Unless it’s really a Chevy II or something, with the body bolted on.

250-300 miles might have been a lot of usage for the typical owner back then. And if it’s mostly lubrication then people were used to it. Wagon wheels and steering linkages needed frequent lubrication also. So did tractors and any other mechanical device. Bearings were simple and didn’t last long without maintenance. But I’d think by 1927 gas stations were doing lube jobs for a lot of car owners. With a grease pit and grease gun it probably was a quick job for a mechanic.

You mean in, like, Detroit, for example? :smiley:

(Above emphasis mine.)