On February 1, 2014, I decided to attack the muffler and see how bad it was rusted out. There were lacy parts of the outer metal that led me to believe that it was all going to crumble apart. WRONG. Other than the outer covering, the thing was in remarkably good shape for 102 years of age. No part of the muffler showed any signs of being previously messed with. Bolts and nuts were rusted together. When I say that I decided to “attack the muffler” this is really not completely true. If you see lots of seriously chunky frozen rust on things, you need to sneak up on it. My weapon of choice is Aero Kroil. I’ve tried the other stuff, Liquid Wrench, PB Blaster, WD-40 and several others. Eh…… they don’t do the job. Kroil is great stuff. But you need to give it time for the best results. That means maybe waiting a week before using a wrench – with a squirt or three more during the week. I was truly amazed that once the bolts started to wiggle a bit, with further applications of Kroil, everything came apart as it should. Bingo. Kroil’s pricy stuff, but worth it if you can avoid shearing off rusted nuts and the stream of lamentations (o.k. – curses) that typically follows.
After looking at the way the muffler was constructed, I knew that there had to be a patent (the only readable portion of anything on the muffler was “Patent Pending”) and perhaps some advertising in contemporary publications – circa 1911 or 1912. And I was right!
When you find this stuff in Google Books, it’s pretty much like an Easter Egg Hunt — only better.