Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration - Team Camaro Tech
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  #1  
Old Oct 24th, 13, 07:01 PM
NH69Z28RS NH69Z28RS is offline
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Default Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Thought I'd share a restoration project I completed a couple of months ago. I thought it would be kind of neat to have a functional Eco Tireflator mounted on my garage so I began watching and bidding on different ones on eBay and eventually ended up being the winning bidder on one that the seller claimed was restored and working fine. It ended up the seller scammed me as when it arrived, I found it was painted up pretty on the outside, but rusted and frozen solid on the inside and missing parts.

So this experience gave me an opportunity to see how good eBay would be with their buyer protection policy as the seller didn't want to do right by me or play nice. It was a bit of a hassle and it took a couple of weeks but eventually after eBay locked the sellers PayPal account, the seller gave me a partial refund. I decided to rebuild/restore the mechanism myself and disassembled the mechanism, cleaned everything up, and ordered the replacement parts I needed. Once the parts arrived I reassembled, tested and calibrated it. I enjoyed rebuilding/restoration the mechanism, there are photos and a video of it doing it's thing.

I now have this functional piece of history mounted on my garage and can use it to check and/or inflate the tires on my vehicles. I remember using these back in the 70's both at places I worked at and places I fueled up my vehicles back then, so it's really neat having one of my own now.

Link to video of mechanism functioning: http://s1301.photobucket.com/user/NH...dd18a.mp4.html







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1969 Camaro Z/28 Rally Sport, original color 55 Azure Turquoise, numbers matching M21 transmission and 3.73 12-bolt positraction differential. Re-powered with 406ci small block. Photos at: http://s1301.beta.photobucket.com/us...Z28RS/library/
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  #2  
Old Oct 24th, 13, 07:08 PM
crawdaddy crawdaddy is offline
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

I like it
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  #3  
Old Oct 24th, 13, 07:27 PM
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Very nice. Wish I could afford stuff like that.
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Old Oct 24th, 13, 07:46 PM
NH69Z28RS NH69Z28RS is offline
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Well they are an investment, the prices continue to increase due to the dwindling supply which is why I decided to just do it while I could before the price went beyond what I was able or willing to afford. I was watching a lot of them for quite a while and was out bid on many before I won the bid on this one. If you don't mind restoring/rebuilding things, you can still find some now and then for a decent price, but you have to enjoy the thrill of the hunt and be willing to gamble a bit. Most of the parts are still available as well.
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Old Oct 24th, 13, 08:20 PM
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Should have snatched the one off the side of my buddy's fathers old Mobil station when I had the chance to do so
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  #6  
Old Oct 25th, 13, 04:34 AM
NH69Z28RS NH69Z28RS is offline
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Yup, agreed. I still find myself looking at the walssof old in operational service station when I'm in less traveled areas in hopes I'll see one still there that might be available for purchase. One never knows what might be around the next curve...
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Old Oct 25th, 13, 05:33 AM
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Brings back a lot of memories. That turned out beautiful... nice job.
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  #8  
Old Oct 25th, 13, 06:22 AM
NH69Z28RS NH69Z28RS is offline
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Scott
 
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Yes, when I first got it working and heard the bell ring with each surge of air being injected into my "test tire", it brought back many memories for me. I can remember at a few places I worked if you were the employee that opened up in the morning, one of the first items on your list of things to do was to bring the hose out to the Eco and connect it and coil it up so it hung properly, then and only then did you turn on the air to it. If you closed up the place, you had to remember to remove the hose and bring it inside for the night, otherwise there was a good chance it would go "missing" overnight.

I also have memories of the lazy losers that would pull up, get free air, and leave the hose a tangled mess on the ground. Many Eco's died a slow but early death due to running on when left in this situation, so going outside to pick up the hose and coil it back up so it could go back on the hanger was a fairly routine (and annoying) task but that's how it was.

Thanks for the compliment, only thing I didn't do was the paint on the exterior, it cleaned up pretty well though. The rest of the restoration I can take the credit for. I installed a 40 watt CF bulb in it and put the lamp on a timer so it turns on and off on it's own every day. I looked online for any video's of an Eco mechanism in action but couldn't find any so I decided it was time there was one out there so that others could watch watch an Eco in action. As you can hear at the end of the video, a couple of my buddies really enjoyed watching it in action the day I took the video.

I must admit, I'd never even had the covers off an Eco until I purchased this one so it was fun figuring out how the whole thing works. Pretty neat technology for it's time. Only thing I'd ever done was remove and install the hose as mentioned above (and pick the hose up after a lazy loser used it).

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Originally Posted by HwyStarJoe View Post
Brings back a lot of memories. That turned out beautiful... nice job.
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1969 Camaro Z/28 Rally Sport, original color 55 Azure Turquoise, numbers matching M21 transmission and 3.73 12-bolt positraction differential. Re-powered with 406ci small block. Photos at: http://s1301.beta.photobucket.com/us...Z28RS/library/
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  #9  
Old Oct 25th, 13, 06:54 AM
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NHBandit NHBandit is offline
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Very cool ! I've always wanted one but they are too rich for my wallet. One question though. The "before" picture dosn't look all that bad. Not at all what I expected to see after reading your description of "rusted and frozen solid" at least. Were there any pics posted on the Ebay auction of it with the covers removed ? What parts HAD to be replaced to get it working and what did you pay for it on Ebay ? You got a partial refund AND got to keep it ? I'm not sure I understand what the problem was. My apologies for all the questions, I'm just pissed at the moment over some Ebay auctions where deadbeat bidders are refusing to pay me for stuff they bid on and Ebay dosn't do jack anymore to protect the sellers. You know, those of us who pay the bills... I even had a Canadian bidder refuse to pay the shipping and import fees that EBAY added on to his invoice after he chose their "global shipping" option and was trying to accuse ME of trying to screw him over charges I had no control over. Took me 2 weeks to even get the Ebay seller fees reversed and I had to relist the item at a lower price to get it sold to someone else.
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Old Oct 25th, 13, 06:56 AM
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NHBandit NHBandit is offline
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Now you need the hose laying across your driveway that makes a bell "ding" when you drive over it. Those are still being sold by the same company that made them back in the old days.
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  #11  
Old Oct 25th, 13, 08:01 AM
NH69Z28RS NH69Z28RS is offline
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

The photos don't show many of the problems. No the covers were not removed in the eBay ad so I asked the seller the question more than once if the unit was restored and function/working fine, in writing he lied saying it was more than once, said he hooked it up to air and tested it, though he admitted he didn't have an air hose for it and the air input threads on the unit had clearly not seen anything threaded onto them for at least 15 years. When I later asked him how he tested it with what I had found upon the unit arriving he refused to even respond. His own answers in writing to my original questions were what made my case and the fact that in those questions, I told him I'd only bid on it if it was working which he repeatedly assured me it was.

If you look at the before photo of the front, the number wheels didn't have numbers going all the way around them (they should). The mechanism was frozen so if you turned the adjustment handle, you'd get maybe a turn and a half before it would bind up and stop. What movement it would give, the numbers that were present did not go up or down in sequence so someone had applied a few numbers to the wheels in the area they could get to so it would look good from the outside.

It was missing the spring for the air hose hook ($6.00), motor lever spring was broken ($31.25), the clapper bell and screw was missing ($12.50), the rubber diaphragm no longer represented anything that was ever originally rubber and was perforated and stretched ($6.00), it needed a new vinyl numbers decal set ($6.00), and it needed a new strainer gasket ($3.00) which I purchased but it was accidentally not shipped with the rest of the parts order so I cut my own to keep the project moving ahead. I purchased all my parts from a gentleman named Ron Scobie of Ron Scobie Enterprises and I was very satisfied with all our interactions. Real nice guy, if you are interested in doing one of these his information is;

Ron Scobie Enterprises
7676 - 120th Street North
Hugo, MN 55038-9426
Phone - 651-653-6503
Website - http://www.gaspump.com

So that was a list of damaged and/or missing parts except for the following, if you look at the before photo of the rear of the mechanism, that is where everything was frozen and rusted solid UNDER the coat of silver spray paint someone had gone over it with and they didn't even attempt to clean anything first. Once I got it disassembled with the aid of P Blaster and some heat from a torch, I found the one way check valve in the main housing was rusted/frozen solid and this was an early unit before the check valve was manufactured to be replaced so removal wasn't an option. The main housing is cast iron so it was loaded with rust and scale. The strainer cover and screen I was able to clean up and re-use.

Getting that rusted/frozen check valve freed up and operational was the greatest challenge seeing as I had to work on it from the outside. Eventually I won the battle, the rest of the rebuild was cleaning all the parts, polishing the brass and copper items, painting the ferrous metal items with POR15 and a topcoat to prevent further rust issues and then reassembling with some lube and new hardware such as screws and e-clips.

If I remember correctly I paid $1,246.50 for the item plus another $45.00 shipping. I gambled and estimated about $150.00 in parts and materials to make the unit the way the seller originally represented it in writing more than once. Ebay felt I was being more than reasonable and professional, the seller didn't want to give anything up and refused to admit any wrong doing but reluctantly agreed to the $150.00 partial refund after eBay froze his PayPal account until he would resolve the issue with me, that was what finally got things moving again.

I spent $64.75 on the parts from Ron, another $35.00 on an hose and chuck, and probably another $30.00 or so on miscellaneous hardware and materials. Hours of time with the eBay fraud department on the phone and time attempting to communicate with a seller that was as dishonest as they come. I didn't ask for or receive anything from the seller for my time, effort, or frustration and I thought I was being pretty reasonable. I could have taken a full refund and shipped the item back, but then I'd have to begin the entire process of finding and bidding on another and in the time this process was playing out two others (really nice ones for just a few dollars more) had come and gone already so decided to just try and make this one work out for me.

Hope that helps explain the situation a bit, part of the agreement with the partial refund was that I could not leave the seller negative feedback, I demanded the same. What I did do was leave positive feedback BUT added in the feedback comment section that "the item was not as described, had missing and broken parts and didn't work, but that I received a partial refund" so hopefully any future potential customers of this seller that checked him out would read the comment and at least see this wasn't a perfect transaction, it was the best I could do under the circumstances. I've done plenty of eBaying and had only one previous problem with a buyer and one other with a seller but this one took the prize!

eBay doesn't do much for either the buyer or the seller other than "steer" things a bit if they can. There are dishonest individuals out there that sadly we every so often end up having to deal with, negative feedback is the best you can do and then sell to another party. Not perfect but it is what it is.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBandit View Post
Very cool ! I've always wanted one but they are too rich for my wallet. One question though. The "before" picture dosn't look all that bad. Not at all what I expected to see after reading your description of "rusted and frozen solid" at least. Were there any pics posted on the Ebay auction of it with the covers removed ? What parts HAD to be replaced to get it working and what did you pay for it on Ebay ? You got a partial refund AND got to keep it ? I'm not sure I understand what the problem was. My apologies for all the questions, I'm just pissed at the moment over some Ebay auctions where deadbeat bidders are refusing to pay me for stuff they bid on and Ebay dosn't do jack anymore to protect the sellers. You know, those of us who pay the bills... I even had a Canadian bidder refuse to pay the shipping and import fees that EBAY added on to his invoice after he chose their "global shipping" option and was trying to accuse ME of trying to screw him over charges I had no control over. Took me 2 weeks to even get the Ebay seller fees reversed and I had to relist the item at a lower price to get it sold to someone else.
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1969 Camaro Z/28 Rally Sport, original color 55 Azure Turquoise, numbers matching M21 transmission and 3.73 12-bolt positraction differential. Re-powered with 406ci small block. Photos at: http://s1301.beta.photobucket.com/us...Z28RS/library/
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  #12  
Old Oct 25th, 13, 08:13 AM
NH69Z28RS NH69Z28RS is offline
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Thanks for the idea but I have to recover from this experience before I consider anything else.

Stopped by a guys home over in Nashua NH that must have 25-30 old gas pumps all over his yard, many of them lit at night. Really cool but those are way more expensive and can't easily be made functional. I'll try and get a photo or two next time I'm in the area during the day, when we stopped it was dark one evening so photos didn't come out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBandit View Post
Now you need the hose laying across your driveway that makes a bell "ding" when you drive over it. Those are still being sold by the same company that made them back in the old days.
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1969 Camaro Z/28 Rally Sport, original color 55 Azure Turquoise, numbers matching M21 transmission and 3.73 12-bolt positraction differential. Re-powered with 406ci small block. Photos at: http://s1301.beta.photobucket.com/us...Z28RS/library/
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Old Oct 25th, 13, 08:28 AM
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NHBandit NHBandit is offline
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Mark
 
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

The hose & bell things are actually not alot of money and they're new. Milton is the brand IIRC. Thanks for the explanation about the tire inflator. Yeah for nearly $1300 bucks I'd expect it to be absolutely mint. I see them around a grand or so down here at the car flea markets and they look pretty good. One thing concerning your "deal" you made with the guy on Ebay and it's one of my big complaints about how they do things now. You can not leave negative feedback against a buyer anymore no matter what. This is why I'm so pissed about the number of deadbeat bidders I've had lately. They bid on stuff just in case they feel like buying it and then change their mind and there's nothing Ebay will do about it. Ebay wants to be Amazon and could care less about the small time sellers anymore.
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Old Oct 25th, 13, 08:31 AM
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NHBandit NHBandit is offline
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Mark
 
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Under $100 bucks brand new for the original style. If I had a paved driveway I'd already have one. http://www.miltonsbells.com/
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Old Oct 25th, 13, 08:34 AM
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69-Pace 69-Pace is offline
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Default Re: Eco Model 97 Tireflator Restoration

Quote:
Originally Posted by NHBandit View Post
Under $100 bucks brand new for the original style. If I had a paved driveway I'd already have one. http://www.miltonsbells.com/
Yeah now this I have but it was a gift When I ever finish my house project it is going to be the first thing I install LOL
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