Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Small Repair on a Hoge Chief Car

Thursday, July 7, 2012

A Small Repair on A Hoge Fire Chief Car
I get a Little Help From My Friend
(Thank you The Beatles for the Loan of Your Title)

     I've met a few helpful people at  Dunkin Donuts. One of them is Paul Maddox, a retired electrician, who's been all over the world. He's been to South America and the Middle East and off the Canadian seacoast off of Newfoundland, on the oil rigs. In those places, he's been responsible for the electricity in tasks such as maintaining the generators to supply power to the oil rigs and platforms.

    I wrote about the Hoge Fire Chief car yesterday. It has a battery compartment that takes 2 size D batteries. They provide the power for the 2 headlights, which  were not working yesterday. So this morning, I brought the Hoge car to Dunkin Donuts, and Paul had a look at it. 

   I got a mini-lesson in electricity, and learned or relearned such terms as voltage, resistance, circuit, and so forth. HAving looked at the toy, Paul provided me with 2 solutions to the problem , which I'll describe below.

  A Repainted 1930's Hoge Fire Chief's Car
The original colours are red and black.

 The Battery Compartment as it Looked Yesterday

 The Battery Compartment Today 

 I used several different grades of steel wool to remove the rough rust.
I then used my high-speed Dremel tool to remove more rust.
Finally, I use grade 400 automotive sandpaper to provide a smooth finish to the metal.

 The Battery Compartment with the On/Off at the top left 
(the amber-coloured square with yellow paint on it) 

Notice that the wires have had their outer protective rubber coating fall off.
I'll ask Paul if I should cover them with electrical tape.

  A Closer View of the Battery Compartment with the On/Off Switch

 A Close-up of the On/Off Switch

It's oily, so what I did is use a lacquer thinner (I didn't have paint thinner handy)
and degreased the surface. 
At least I know that oil on an electrical surface can create resistance and impede the flow of electrical current.

A Cleaner On/Off Switch Plate

A Diagram of the On/Off Switch

Hidden at the tip of the switch is a small metal bump.
I assume that is the lesser resistance, so more light is produced by the headlights.
The metal rectangle with the hole is the bigger resistance, and so less current goes to the headlights. Thus you have 2 intensities of light - high and low output.

The "resistance wire" is curled around the switch providing a circuit to provide high or low power.

Thanks to my friend Paul, the Hoge car now has  electricity.

So thanks to everyone for visiting,
and as always have a great day or night, wherever you may be.


Playmobil Toys To Go said...

It makes me sad everytime I see broken toys, but what makes me glad in this case is that you are trying to fix it. Meaning, you give so much importance to your toy and that is a good job.

toysearcher said...

Hello Playmobil Toys To Go,

Thanks for reading my blog and thanks also for the nice comment.
I buy toys to resell them, but before I do, I write about them on this blog.
Sometimes, I buy an item thinking that it will resell easily after I write about it. However, once in a while, what I thought was a good bargain, doesn't sell so easily, so I need to repair it, add missing parts, or even sandblast and repaint it. It's a good "hobby", but I'll never get rich from it. However, I've learned a lot about the old toys that I buy and sell. Also, I have met through the Internet, many very nice people who have helped me with information, suggestions, or even recommendations for where I might buy a toy part.

Thanks again,

(Mr.) Stacey Bindman

Laurie Miller said...

I have a question that's not related to this post at all. You seem to know a lot about Hubley toys. I have a Hubley 801 dump truck, red and yellow. They seem pretty common on Ebay so I hope you know which one I'm talking about. I was wondering if you know whether this truck has lead paint. My husband has been letting our 3-year old son play with it and I don't think it's a good idea. I have a lead test kit on the way through Amazon, but I was hoping to find an immediate response on the internet. Thanks!

toysearcher said...

Hi Laurie,

Thanks for the question.

I did some research and came up with the following information:

1. Source:
Hubley Catalogs, Steve Butler, Author. Publisher: Schiffer Publishing Ltd.,Atglen, Penn., USA (2002).

The Hubley # 801 Truck started to be made in 1959.

2. Source:

"The United States' Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned lead paint in 1977 (16 Code of Federal Regulations 1303), along with toys and furniture containing lead paint. The cited reason was "to reduce the risk of lead poisoning in children who may ingest paint chips or peelings."[5] For manufacturers, the CPSC instituted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which changed the cap on lead content in paint from 0.06% to 0.009% starting August 14 2009."

Always use a second reference for any research**

So, to answer your question directly, I would suggest not letting your child play with this toy since it most likely contains lead. It's hard to find information that talks about actual materials used in toys form the past, so it's best to err on the side of caution.

Sadly, even today, one reads from time-to-time that items from China may still contain toxic materials used in all kinds of products!


One final point for those who restore or repaint old toys.

1. Always wear protective clothing,safety glasses, and a face mask when stripping or sanding old or even new toys (dust).

2. Use lots of newspaper and cloth to catch the drippings and dust of the restoration.

3. Carefully bag all materials that are to be discarded.

4. Bring all discarded materials to a local city collection locale that specifically collects hazardous waste for proper disposal.

Thanks again for the question, and reading my blog.

(Mr.) Stacey Bindman

Laurie Miller said...

Thank you!