I have noticed in the past few years that the old-style auto parts stores have all but died out in this area (central & SW Virginia). It really came home to me today. All we have left is chain stores crewed by non-auto people. I was looking for a standard 3/4'' spindle washer, made by the zillions for about a hundred years. Every outer removable wheel bearing had one between it and the spindle nut. I went to 4 different auto parts places and no one stocked them....2 counter people didn't know what they were. Out of frustration I went to Northern Tool, trailer spindles you know. I figured the 3/4'' trailer bearings are there, and so would the washers. Wrong! Anyway I had some nice hardened washers. I ground them out to 3/4'' and welded a button inside each one and filed them to shape. A lot of work for a pair of ''T'' spindle washers.
The problem is that almost all the stores have computerized lists. You tell them what kind of car you have and what part you want. The computer doesn't go back as far as the Model T. Sometimes,however, if you find someone who is more familiar with cars, you can take in the part you need and they will find one for you.
Even in the past that was a problem with more rare cars. I remember back in the 1950's I wanted a distributor cap and rotor for a 1930 Franklin. I went in and asked for the parts, and they said they don't carry parts for Franklins. Then I took in the parts and showed them what I wanted. They went right back and got them for me. They were the same as a Pontiac!
Our last real hardware store in Dallas, Turner's in Farmers Branch was recently bought out by Westlake Hardware. They immediately removed all the inventory that made Turner's special and filled it with the modern Ace hardware variety that every Ace hardware has.
The Internet is your friend, its just not down the street like the auto supply or hardware store.
Did you try NAPA?
When I walk into a store and they ask, I just tell them "Don't ask what it's for".. At that store they have no problems at the other, well.....
That is why we have Langs. Haven't checked though, but they might have them.
Those are transmission washers, Sorry
Lang's (and probably the others) carries Spindle Washers, as shown below:
Note there are two thicknesses available.
In Chico there is still Collier's Hardware, since at least 1900, I think. They still have the old stuff, and the new stuff too, along with kitchen appliances even!
I had meant to order a couple when I made my last order, however as is common at my stage of life I forgot. When my circulation restarted and I remembered I figured I'd get them locally. Wrong. lol Anyway the things are on there....
Hey Norm you should have got them looking for a radiator for that Franklin!
The Franklin is long gone. Went to Bob's Big Boy drive in in Glendale and a "friend" who had a 50 Plymouth asked if I would like to drag. I said "yes" I threw a rod and it went to Ben's Auto Wrecking. Well I only paid $20 for the Franklin and it wasn't running. The distributor cap and rotor fixed it, but the aluminum rods aren't very good for racing!
I tell you, what I need and can't find anywhere is 10mm spark plug gasket washers (not Model T related specifically but Model T sized ones are unobtanium as well).
Great job making the spindle washers, that was thinking on your feet!
"what I need and can't find anywhere is 10mm spark plug gasket washers:
Spindle washers are a specialized item these days. They are thankfully available form T parts vendors.
However I have seen them at Ace Hardware a while ago. They even had castellated nuts. They just aren't available at all hardware stores.
I needed one about 2 years ago and found one for a Model A. It is larger in outside diameter and I thought I would need to grind it down, but it works without grinding, so you might find one for a Model A and use it.
Same problem back in the day. cross reference books were developed in most cases there were similarities or identical parts used between brands. I'm sure it's done now too. I can't believe Napa would stock the same generator bearing for instance 10 times, or just once and cross reference it 10 times. Half the fun is trying to find the part. Maybe I should have been a counter man.
Not exactly the same thing but pretty close. We have a small farm store in our home town. When I say farm store I mean they actually sell the stuff farmers need. They get visitors coming from over an hour away because they actually stock things like hydraulic hoses or cultivator shoes. These people drive by the big box "farm" stores in their towns because they know they can get what they need at Harnetiaux Farm Supply. The big box chains have just become another version of Walmart for the "redneck chic" crowd.