Fact/Fiction Univeral Parts

One of the reasons I enjoy this forum is the large number of participants from many backgrounds. Mechanics, DIYers, engineers, racers, academics, etc. Lots of knowledge. And sometimes we have different concepts of the topics we deal with. There are many “old wive’s tales” we all hear. And many newer DIY’ers who come from non technical back grounds sometimes struggle with concepts that others learned along their way. I have been thinking of trying an idea, that may be interesting, or may be a flop. It could possibly be in the Pub, but I am trying here because I believe many technical readers do not go to the Pub, but do read here.
So, I thought I would try raising some topics, theories, trivia, etc. that I have found interesting, confusing, I still do not understand, or just not commonly understood with the thought that maybe others may be in the same boat as me and this would be a way for many to spread their knowledge. Thus, I thought I would give this a try and see if it generates any interest or comments. If you do find any of this interesting, obviously give your answers and make your comments. I predict, because there is so much knowledge out there, these questions will often be answered quickly, with little more to be said. Thus, so I can gauge if there is any real interest, add some “likes” to the answers so even if you only read or if it is answered quickly, I will see if any interest is there and if I should continue. And, if interested, add your own topics.
I thought I would start with a trivia topic.
Can anyone thing of any universal part or parts that would fit on any production car since 1915. And if not every car, then what do you think may be the closest to fitting all cars? I am not talking about the name of a part, but a specific part, such as a part one could remove from a 1932 Ford and use on a 1965 E-Type.
Any interest?

Hi Tom,
I have one of each, not a 32 Ford but a 28 and a 67 FHC.
My guess, spark plugs, globes, fluids(anti freeze, oil, fuel) fasteners(screws, nuts and bolts)

Tire Schrader valve. Used on almost every car ever made.

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Belts, belts, belts, ( to allow me post…)

Headlights perhaps…fan belts…generator…cooling system hoses???

Headlights: nope.

Fan belt: nope.

Generator: nope.

Hoses: maybe.

Plugs: extra nope!

I think it would be difficult to find any.

I concur: been going over, in my mind, for a few hours, and beyond a few bolts, I cannot think of a single part that would directly interchange.

The Jaguar rear gearset and Dana 44’s are derived from the first Salisbury gearset used in Thomas Flyers. Not universally interchangeable, but highly compatible among a long list of historical cars. And while any given example may not be interchangeable among all applications, the Spicer U-Joint goes back to 1904.

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Bolts, no, some cars all metric, some all English, thus not interchangeable. Belts, one size does not fit all. Hoses, different sizes. Headlamps, even with sealed beams in the US, at least three versions.

The one I had heard about was:

To my limited knowledge, every US car, European Car, Asian car, any year that ever had a pneumatic tire (thus my after 1915) tube type or tubeless all used the Schrader valve. I believe one can take one out of a 1920 Ford Mode T and put it right in a 2019 Mercedes SUV, or any other car. Thanks Bill!

For my simple mind, I found that quite fascinating!

If anyone does think of any other item, let us know.

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Wiper blade infills?

electrical wire…

The vacuum bottle, same as used on the 40’s Ford Prefect, Brian / Mytype

Interesting: was it used for brake assist?

It was used for the wipers on the Fords. The wipers would quit when you were going uphill, or whenever you put your foot down, which made driving in the rain interesting.

Anyway, that’s hardly a universal part which was the OP’s point.

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Vacuum wipers: dumbest idea, ever!!

Maybe over there, too, but in the late 40s, cars began using double-sided fuel pumps, with the fuel pump on top, and a virtually-ineffective vacuum pump on the bottom.

That way, on hills, the wipers didn’t come to a dead stop, but just down to a death crawl.

The Mk II Lincoln Continental, for all its (relatively) hi-tech 1955 features, still had vacuum wipers.


That just reminded me of my old gmc pickup. Up hill you had to accelerate and then back off repeatedly to keep the wipers moving. Ok in light rain. Not so much in rain of biblical proportions.

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