FireTruck Diary

My experiences restoring and playing with a 1960 Ford C-850 Fire Engine

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   Tuesday, August 06, 2002
RTFM and Ebay Sniping...
I received 'Intro to Fire Pump Operations'. What a treat. When I say that you could 'fill a book' with what I don't know about running pumps, well, this is the book. Last night I read the first 143 pages. Many things now make more sense to me.

I've been trying to identify some of the mysterious components beneath the truck that look water related. One has baffled me. It is a green cylinder approximately 14" x 4" with garden hose size fittings at each end. There is more than one, but the one that has driven me crazy has been the one close to the motor near the front of the truck. Its hoses are cut, so I can't tell where they once went. I'm convinced the unit is a pump. Now I'm convinced that it was part of an auxiliary cooling system that pumped water through a heat exchanger that would cool the water from the radiator while the truck was sitting still and running the motor to pump.

This is really cool. A system that replaces airflow across the radiator with water flow across a heat exchanger. Alternately it might be a radiator fill system, which pumps water directly from the discharge side of the pump into the radiator. Ahhh, more hours under the truck debugging the mechanicals :-)

Ona different topic I have been receiving a lot (well, 3) nasty grams from an Ebay user who is angered by my sniping auctions. I really have to feel that the folks who have a problem with sniping have just somehow missed the point of Ebay. Ebay is an electronic auction environment, not a live auction. The folk who only bid incrementally, i.e., don't input their max bid once, are ignoring the proxy-bidding mechanism that runs Ebay. Here’s the points I made in my reply to the unhappy guy:

1) Sniping is irrelevant within the Ebay system. Sniping cannot affect the Ebay proxy-bidder. Whoever puts in the highest bid wins, sniping or not. I was willing to pay more than the other bidders for the auctions I won. I've lost plenty of auctions where I tried to snipe (manually or automatically) because other bidders had higher top bids.
2) Sniping is free to everybody (try, so it provides a level playing field for everyone.
3) I'm not trying to compete with anyone, I don't use Ebay for recreation, I'm trying to purchase items that are not available in any other marketplace, therefore I will use all legal means to win.
4) Sniping is entirely appropriate within the Ebay rules and policies, since it is just a bid entered close to the end of the auction and the proxy bidder they have built doesn't care when the bids are entered, the max bid always wins. Incremental bidding defeats the whole purpose of the proxy-bidder. Sniping is in the interests of the buyers and keeps the prices down (early bids are similar in nature to shill bids which drive the prices up.) If Ebay thought it was a problem, they'd disallow it.

Perhaps the antisnipers are trying to have the thrill of a live auction bidding war. That's too bad, it’s just not that kind of environment. Switch over to the thrill of setting up a snipe and hoping you were willing to pay more.


Index of Post Titles:

Vital Statistics:
1960 Ford

534 cid
5-speed Gas
277 horsepower

27000 lbs. GVW

Young Fire Equip.

1000 gal. tank

500 GPM Hale
Midship Pump
Type QSHD-2,

Ferrell Fire Co.,
Ferrell, NJ

Buchanan VFD,
Buchanan, TX