Crosley Questions & Answers


Body Styles

Hot Shots & Super Sport




Spinners and Louvers

Racing and Mods


Misc Engine



Trouble Shooting






Front End

Rear End





Body Styles

Question: What Body Styles were the most popular?

Answer: The Station Wagon out-sold all other body styles. In 1948 Crosley sold more Station Wagons than any other car maker. The Sedan was the second most popular.



Question: Can I convert my mechanical brakes to hydraulic?

Answer: Yes, The 1951-52 9 inch Bendix hydraulic brakes are a bolt on replacement for the 6 inch mechanical. You need an adapter to mount the master cylinder, a brake line distribution block that mounts on the torque tube. Two holes are drilled in the frame to mount the front hydraulic liners and 1 new hole for mounting the master cylinder adapter plate.


Question: How many brake systems have been used on Crosley cars?

Answer: The 1939 model had a floating band of brake lining between shoes and drum. In 1940 cars were equipped with mechanical brakes with riveted linings. In 1948, Crosley used bonded brake linings. In mid 1949, all Crosleys used the Goodyear-Hawley Hydra-Disc airplane type brakes. In mid 1950, Crosley switched to the 9 inch Bendix hydraulic brakes of conventional design.


Question: Crosley had disc brakes?

Answer: From mid 1949 to mid 1950, all Crosleys used the Goodyear-Hawley Hydra-Disc airplane type brakes, on all four wheels. The first American auto company to use modern Disc Brakes. The disc brakes were short lived due to corrosion problems in parts of the country that used salt. Since they were adapted from airplane use the alloy used was not appropriate for road use.



Question: Are all Crosley clutches the same size?

Answer: No. The 1946-1950 Crosley's had the 6" Clutch. The late 1950-1952 has a 6 1/2" Clutch.


Question: What is the cause of a rough clutch?

Answer: Most common cause is an oil glazed clutch plate, caused by leaking engine oil seals. If vibration is violent, replace clutch plate and oil seals.


Question: How can I "cure" a Jittery Clutch?

Answer: Try a few squirts of White Vinegar or Fuller's Earth, on Clutch Plate. Several applications may be required till chatter goes away. Also, loose or misadjusted adjuster bolts on the clutch fingers or bad transmission mount could contribute to the problem.


Question: How can I improve Clutch action?

Answer: Put in new stiff motor mounts.


Question: Can the springs in the clutch pressure plate be replaced without pulling the engine?

Answer: Yes. Be sure to check the fingers and pins for excessive wear, and small cracks in the finger mount brackets.



Question: Do 1952 model Crosley's have oil filters?

Answer: Yes. They used a spin on type filter that was completely replaced opposed to replacing the cartridge as in the Fram filters used on earlier models. This was one of the first spin on filters made by Fram and has been discontinued. Several part suppliers have modified the mounting brackets for a modern filter. The old style filter canalso be used but a special feed through plate must be used on the side of the engine in place of the spin on adapter.


Question: How efficient is the full-flow oil filter?

Answer: It is inadequate and owners of late 50 thru 52 model cars should replace it with the cartridge model or one of the modified adapters (see above)


Question: The full-flow oil filter on my 1952 Sedan blew out at the bottom. What happened?

Answer: You had a sticking Oil Relief Valve.


Question: Where is the oil pump relief valve located?

Answer: Just under the brass oil line fitting on the front of the crankcase (Early Models). It's a hexagon head bolt. Late model cars do not have this fitting, but the hole is provided.


Trouble Shooting

Question: How can I eliminate the flat spot in my 1952 Crosley when accelerating?

Answer: If you are using the Carter carburetor, try moving the acceleration pump linkage into the top hole of the actuating bar.


Question: What is the usual cause of spark knock when pulling a hill in high gear?

Answer: You may be using low grade fuel or engine timing is too high. When pulling a steep grade in high, shift into second gear if your speed drops below 12 MPH, or even first gear on a real steep hill. Keeping the RPM up is key to minimizing spark knock.


Question: My Crosley seems to idle on 3 cylinders but runs fine.

Answer: A loose Intake Manifold causes rough idling. Tighten all stud nuts, or replace the manifold gasket. Check for vacuum leaks.


Question: I can't get sufficient power.

Answer: Your carburetor maybe set to rich. The Crosley runs best on a slightly lean mixture. Remember your Crosley only has 26.5 HP.


Question: The Ring gear on my flywheel is loose, making a terrible noise when starting.

Answer: If it isn't warped out-of-around, spot weld it to the flywheel in several places.


Question: My Crosley is always hard to start (Hot) and everything checks` out OK.

Answer: If you are having a vapor lock problem, check routing of fuel lines so that they are no to close to the exhaust. Rebuild your fuel pump, making sure to use the proper type of heat resistant gasket when remounting to the block. Add a metal heat shield to the side of the fuel pump, this was a factory add on. Try using an electric fuel pump.

It may not be vapor lock, coils have been known to break down when hot and not give you a good spark.



Question: What does the #209900 mean on the side of the Cast Iron Engine.

Answer: This is just a casting number used in the original molded. It was probably used as a reference number for the foundry.


Question: What color were Prewar engines?

Answer: Light Green such as Avocado. The Generator, Starter, and Distributor were painted Black.


Question: What is the firing order of the Post-war engine and where are the timing marks?

Answer: Firing order is 1-3-4-2. Timing marks are on the flywheel. Use a timing light shinning on the hole in the bell housing on the manifold side of the engine.


Question: What is Crosley's piston speed at full horsepower?.

Answer: 2,025. Compare this with the Hudson Hornet with a speed of 2,850 at full power.


Question: What about an additive in the gasoline?

Answer: Not recommended. Good fuel needs no additive. A lead substitute might help valve wear.


Question: What is the average gasoline consumption?

Answer: Between 34 MPG at moderate speeds (around 40) for road trips, around 28 to 30 MPG for city driving.


Question: What is the best method of installing engine oil seals?

Answer: It has been found that by soaking these seals in liquid soap before installation that they will seat without forcing.


Question: Which is the 12 Degree mark and which is the T.D.C. timing mark on the flywheel?

Answer: From the Repair and Tune-Up Manual for the 1948-1952 "Distributor points should just start to open when the first mark (12 Degrees BTC) is in the center of the flywheel timing hole. To time the ignition, rotate the crankshaft until No. 1 Piston approaches TDC of the compression stroke. Continue to rotate until first timing mark on the rim is in the center of the hole of the Flywheel housing. Loosen the Distributor Arm Lock screw and rotate Distributor clockwise until contact points just start to open. Tighten the lock screw. Make final setting with a timing light.


Question: How often should Valve clearance be checked?

Answer: With the old leaded gas every 5,000 miles was the recommendation. With the current gas you may want to check more often.


Question: What can be done with worn metal parts like crankshafts, Cam Shafts, King Pins, Water Pumps, Impeller Shafts, etc.?

Answer: Hard Chroming can be used to build-up worn parts from .005" to as much as .100 making the surface better than new.


Front End

Question: Can I replace the Front Axle on my 1947 Sedan with a new heavy duty axle?

Answer: Yes. However, have a mechanic check king pins and align the front end after new installation.


Question: How can I stop Front End Shimmy?

Answer: Check Toe-In, Camber, King Pins and Bearings.

By inserting wedge shaped shims under the springs from the back, the axle caster increases by tipping it back. Ten (10) to Twelve (12) Degrees of caster will overcome shimmy and greatly improve steering.


Rear End

Question: Will lowering the Rear End affect road performance?

Answer: Definitely. By using 4 inch shackles, you get better steering, and a "Sporty Look".


Question: The rear end of my station wagon sings at 30 MPH. What's wrong?

Answer: Check the oil level in the transmission and rear end to make sure it is up to the proper level. Then check the adjustment of ring and pinion gears. Check for loose ring gear, these are know to come loose.


Question: How can I change the rear end ratio?

Answer: By using larger tires or by using the rear end from a early 1939-42 Crosley which has less teeth.


Question: How can I prevent rear wheel oil seals from leaking?

Answer: It's difficult, but Crosley came out with a seal which did a much better job. It's part number is 304911.

Another option is to remove the hubs, backing plates and shims. Pull the axle shafts and remove the bearings. Then reinstall axle shafts without bearings. Use a tool (can be made from a 1" ID Pipe) and slip it over the end of the axle shaft so that it presses against the outer metal shell of the inside seal. Tap it with a hammer once or twice. It compresses the inner seal so that the felt will squeeze concentrically around the axle shaft and make a good oil seal. Then pack the rear bearing in wheel bearing grease and install it on the shaft, driving it into place with the same tool. Rest of the reassemble is as usual.

A third option is to drain a little lube from the Rear End each time you fill the Transmission.



Question: Do you know of a Monroe or Sears Part Number for shocks?

Answer: No, however current shocks can probably be found that will physically fit the Crosleys that use tube shocks. The problem is very few shocks are made for the light weight of a Crosley and if used will give a rough ride. The lever type shocks can be rebuilt.



Question: What are the approximate top speeds through the gears using the standard 4.50 x 12 Tires and a stock engine?

Answer: Low Gear - 22 MPH, 2nd Gear - 42 MPH, High Gear - 72 MPH


Question: What is a safe cruising speed in a Crosley for extended trips?

Answer: Copper Brazed "Tin" 40 to 45 MPH (COBRA) engine Cast-Iron (CIBA) engine 45 to 55 MPH


Question: How many RPM's is the engine turning at 50 MPH?

Answer: Approximately 4,130 RPM.


Spinners and Louvers

Question: Did all 1948 Crosleys have the Louvers and Spinner Grill?

Answer: No. This front end was introduced in the summer of 1948. Early "48" models had the same style grill as the "47" models. The Louvers and Spinner Grill was also sold as an accessory, so owners of 46 through early 48 could dress up their old Crosley to look like the all new model.



Question: Can the 155-12 Metric tires be substituted in place of the 4:50 x 12 tires?

Answer: The 155-12 Metric tires have been used on Crosleys, the radial versions may have to be used at higher inflation for good handling. It's not that difficult to find 450-480 x 12 tires. Check with some of the Antique automobile magazines if your looking for authentic tread and design. You can use 480 x 12 high speed trailer tires which can be found at a local farm supply dealer, Sears, or any other commercial tire dealers that distributes small utility type trailer tires. Treads on these tires are not a match for the original tires, but they are nice tires at a fair price. Check the parts suppliers list for another source.


Question: Can Crosley's use tubeless tires?

Answer: The tires can be run tubeless but you may have some difficulty on the older rusty rims. Crosley wheels are two piece with the center hub riveted to the rim. Where they are riveted it's not always air-tight. Use tubes if you are going for originality and want a better guaranty against flat tires.


Question: Are larger tires available for Crosley's?

Answer: Size 5:00 x 12 are available from Auto Specialty Shops in many areas and can be used on all model Crosley's. The ride, is some what better, but you lose accelerations and you may have the front tires rubbing the frame on tight turns.



Question: Why didn't Crosley offer an Overdrive Transmission?

Answer: Crosley said that an overdrive was not suitable as additional horsepower was required for it's satisfactory use.


Question: How can I stop Transmission leaks?

Answer: By using a 77504 New Departure grease sealed bearing, with metal shields on both sides. Drill three (3) 1/8 " holes equally spaced through the shield on one side. Grease the bit with heavy grease to catch metal shavings. Place the bearing in the transmission with the 3 holes to the inside of the transmission, which allows some of the grease to work into the bearing. This leaves solid metal shield to the outside.


Question: What size wrench fits the plugs in the transmission and differential?

Answer: Provided they haven't been changed, a 19/32" wrench fits the transmission plug, 1/2" square socket extension fits the differential plug.


Question: Why does my Crosley jump out of gear?

Answer: Gears may be worn. The two bell housings may not be aligned. Line them up with an indicator gauge. On face and bore have a tolerance of .005" maximum. Detent buttons and springs on shift rail rods may be bad or missing.


Question: What are the Gear Ratios?

Answer: The standard 46-52 models had a Low Gear: 17 to 1, 2nd Gear: 8.9 to 1, High Gear: 5.17 to 1.


Hot Shots & Super Sport

Question: On the body where all fenders, etc. are welded together, is there a seam, or is the seam filled with filler and smoothed over?

Answer: Seams show and don't forget the seam down the side of the front fender.


Question: Did the Super Sport have a simple top mechanism or a complete kind (folding like a regular Convertible)?

Answer: The Super Sport had folding top bows. The Hot shot had removable top bows that disassembled.


Question: Was there any kind of a bracket that went between the base and the Chrome side part of the windshield frame (Where the side part has 3 holes and the base has 1)?

Answer: Yes, it's a Chrome bracket with a slight lip bent on one edge that goes around the edge of the frame a little. There is a difference of opinion if it bolts on the back or front of the frame, through the four (4) holes. Which ever location you use this gives strength to that joint in the windshield frame. When you need to hand push your roadster be very careful not to push on the windshield frame.


Question: Was the base of the windshield frame (Brass Part) painted, chromed or left brass?

Answer: Painted body color, also the top corners of the windshield, which are brass, should also be painted body color.


Question: What year was the first Crosley Hot Shot offered for sale?

Answer: 1949


Question: How many Hot Shots were put out in 1950?

Answer: Approximately 835 Crosley Hot Shots and Super Sports were built in 1950. From July 1949 until July 1952, approximately 2,500 Roadsters were assembled.


Question: What type brakes did the first Hot Shot have?

Answer: Hydradisc, Spot Brakes, or Disc, all the same thing just the different names they were known by.


Question: What year was the first Super Sports offered for sale?

Answer: 1950. Yes there was a 1950 Super Sports, it didn't have the full doors of the 1951-52 model years but did have the deluxe interior and the folding top.


Question: What is the wheelbase on the Crosley Roadsters?

Answer: 85 Inches the standard post war models were 80 inches.


Question: What is the Rear End Ratio of the Roadsters?

Answer: 5.17:1 this is the same as the standard postwar models.


Question: What colors did the Roadsters Interior come in?

Answer: Only Red.


Question: What was the optional 10:1 compression engine, that was available in the Super Sport, called?

Answer: Quicksilver, this used an alcohol injector system, that added alcohol to the carb when under load, to keep it from pinging on gas of the time.



Question: What is a Farm-O-Road?

Answer: A small multi-purpose vehicle produced by Crosley Motors from mid 1950 to 1952.


Question: Looks like a Jeep! Any relation to Willy's Jeep?

Answer: Though it resembles a small Jeep, the Farm-O-Road had no affiliation to Willy's-Overland, Ford, American Bantam, or any other producer of military and civilian Jeeps.


Question: How come I've never seen a Farm-O-Road? They must be rare.

Answer: They are. Few exist, because Crosley was better known for it's small cars and pick-ups and not for these farm vehicles.


Racing & Mods

Question: Did the Crosley ever win any large races?

Answer: Yes, several including the first Sebring.


Question: How much can I mill off the base of the Post-War block to achieve 9 to 1 compression?

Answer: Do not mill off more than .050 inch. 1/32 inch equals about 1 compression ratio.


Question: How far can a Cast Iron block be safely bored?

Answer: The limit for a Cast Iron block is .125 over bored. Not all blocks have exactly centered bores, any more risks making hot spots on the cylinders.

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