1952 Hudson hornet needs steering and brake fluids

6/19/2019

my wife's cousins have a 1952 Hudson hornet that has been parked in a garage since 1966 - 53 years! we need to tow it about 1/2 mile away along a winding dirt road with some uphill. it also has to wind between some large trees that were much smaller 53 years ago. the tires have been pumped up and hold air. the cousin pulled it out of the garage. now we figure we will need steering and braking. she did not check the fluids. any advice about fluids to add so we might be successful steering and braking? it has a dual range hydra matic transmission. put it in neutral and hope it steers?

also, any advice about towing the Hudson with a pickup? we figure we can't use a flatbed tow truck, it and the Hudson would be too long to snake between the trees.  thanks for your thoughts.

Comments

  • KdancyKdancy Posts: 2,373Senior Contributor
    Steering fluid- this shoul be manual steering so you needit worry about moving it.
    Braking- take a 2 inch pipe, put your towing rope threw it and on both vehicles, the pipe will "brake" the car. 
    Transmission, for no longer then you are pulling it, put in neutral and pull. Now for longer distances and speeds, unbolt one drive shaft so pump inside transmission is not turning.
    Pictures must be taken and posted here!!!!!

  • squirrelsquirrel Posts: 168Member
    You can turn the steering wheel and see if the wheels turn as they should, it is probably just fine.

    But the brakes will probably need a lot of work before they will do anything useful...53 years of rusting is really hard on a car. Adding fluid won't fix rusted stuck parts. If the wheels roll, consider yourself lucky! You can see if the parking brake works, but if you are able to engage it, it's not likely to disengage, leaving the rear brakes locked up, so that might not be wise.


    Be careful.

  • Rocket88Rocket88 Posts: 26Member
    edited June 19
    Hire a flatbed wrecker and have them flatbed it. Much cheaper and safer in the long run than towing a car that has been sitting for over a half-century without brakes, questionable tires, and possibly smashing the front of the car or worse. You are going to have to spend $$$ anyways doing the brakes, etc. 

  • drivergo2drivergo2 Posts: 371Expert Adviser
    I go along with rocket88 get a good tow co. They know what do, Why take the chance 
  • dale_ldale_l Posts: 2Member
    good comments. on brakes- likely none, so I like the 2 inch bar to run the tow rope through, should give us some spacing between the 2 vehicles; and steering- likely manual so no worries. put gear in neutral to tow. I think a flatbed wrecker that can hold the car, along with the cab of the wrecker makes it too long to snake through the curves between trees and go up over a a narrow width bridge. hopefully slow but sure will get us there.
  • 29sptphaeton29sptphaeton Posts: 228Member
    If you are going to try the rope through the pipe, you might as well start looking for a grill and front bumper. The first time you take a turn the truck and car will move at different angles allowing the pipe to move then crash into each other.
  • squirrelsquirrel Posts: 168Member
    at any rate, be sure to put video of your adventure on youtube....
  • KdancyKdancy Posts: 2,373Senior Contributor
    If you are going to try the rope through the pipe, you might as well start looking for a grill and front bumper. The first time you take a turn the truck and car will move at different angles allowing the pipe to move then crash into each other.
     

    My dad and I used this method many times using a chain and pipe. Towed one Hornet 30 miles with my older brother behind the wheel.  never an issue with the pipe acting as a brake.

  • KdancyKdancy Posts: 2,373Senior Contributor
    edited June 20
    For some reason I can't edit post.
    Make sure the pipe is placed "under" the bumper and rope/chain tight so you will get the "swival" and the braking action.
    Now if you are going down hill with a 90 degree curve you need to be more careful, but I'm sure if us kids were able to use this method successfully 40 years ago, one would surely be able to do the same today.
    Found this on google
     If your tow rope/strap/chain is short running it through a steel pipe can help prevent damage, the pipe will act as limiting device preventing the dead car from running into the tow car. If the dead car has questionable brakes, this is critical. You will want to limit slack to as little as possible, an inch or less is best. You also need the pipe to be long enough so the cars won't touch when turning.

  • RichardDRichardD Posts: 640Member
    edited June 20
    In NC you will get ticketed for chain and pipe!
    Edit: tks! Guess I needed to scroll to the beginning, above the chain/ pipe, before commenting. Unless the 1/2 mile(not but 5 blocks) is downhill it could be done with an Advance Auto strap w/o a pipe but a 'bump' tire would be advisable.

  • KdancyKdancy Posts: 2,373Senior Contributor
    RichardD said:
    In NC you will get ticketed for chain and pipe!

    we need to tow it about 1/2 mile away along a winding dirt road with some uphill.
       (I dont think he has anything to worry about!)

  • Jon BJon B Posts: 6,942Administrator
    edited June 20
    Why don't you just look for an old stiff-hitch?  Then the tow vehicle will be clamped (so to speak) to the Hudson.  The tow vehicle will do all the starting and stopping.  Of course, you'll need the wheels on the Hudson to turn, but you won't have to worry about the brakes.  And if the '52 has an automatic transmission you could just unhook the drive shaft at the rearend.

    Here's a tow bar with universal connector hardware for the towed vehicle.  Or call the nearest tool rental place. https://www.amazon.com/Universal-Adjustable-Mount-Magnetic-Lights/dp/B0035H939Y
  • squirrelsquirrel Posts: 168Member
    remember when we used to use a chain, and tied an old tire to the front of the towed car to keep it from hitting too hard? Ahh...the good old days, when our old heaps were only worth $50
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