Technical Questions

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Kip Motor Company receives numerous questions about specific cars and "how do you" questions. For your benefit, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQs) over the years and provided them here. Hopefully, the content will be useful. If you have a question for us to post, please email Kip Motor with your request.

Table of Contents

  1. Vehicle Information
  2. Brake System
  3. Electrical
  4. Body
  5. General
  6. Other

Vehicle Information

1. Where can I find the engine or chassis number?

Engine numbers are stamped directly onto the engine, or sometimes onto a plate attached to the engine.  Numbers cast into the block do not indicate the engine number.

Chassis numbers are generally found stamped on a data plate attached to the firewall or door post. This number helps identify the Series along with other features your car has/does not have.

Guideline to Identing Metropolitans

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Brake System

1. How do I bleed the brakes on my drum brake equipped car?

GIRLING SYSTEMS - Adjust the front shoes in completely (drums turn freely).  Adjust the rear shoes out completely (drums locked, won't turn).   Brakes must be bled in the following order; right rear, left rear, right front, left front.  Bleed system by opening bleed screw at wheel cylinder, depress & hold brake pedal, close bleed screw, release brake pedal.  Repeat process until clear fluid obtained before moving on to next wheel.  DO NOT PUMP BRAKE PEDAL!  After all the air is purged, adjust brake shoes at each wheel for light/moderate drag.   Depress brake pedal once and wait several seconds.  Depress the pedal again & there should be a good, solid feel.  If there is not a solid pedal, there is still air in the system (repeat the complete process).  If the brakes do not release, the master cylinder piston is not returning fully to the rest position and the linkage needs to be shortened.

LOCKHEED SYSTEMS - Follow the same process as Girling systems, except; adjust front and rear shoes out completely (drums locked, won't turn) before bleeding.

2. Why can’t I use generic brake fluid in my British car?

British brake & clutch systems use natural rubber components which are only compatible with vegetable based brake fluid.  American brake & clutch systems use synthetic rubber components which are only compatible with mineral based brake fluid.  The only vegetable based brake fluid commonly available in the US is CASTROL GT LMA.  Use of improper fluids or mixing of fluids can lead to complete failure of brake and clutch hydraulics.  Use of any fluid other than CASTROL GT LMA violates all warranty on brake/hydraulic parts.

3. Why does the brake system fail after I’ve stored my vehicle for a period of time?

Brake/clutch fluid is 'hydroscopic' (absorbs moisture).  In little used vehicles, moisture (water) settles at low points in the system and causes corrosion, thereby causing cylinder seals to fail, and rusts steel brake lines from the inside out.  For vehicles that are not used on a regular basis, it is a good idea to operate the brake & clutch pedals several times every week or so, causing the moisture to stay in suspension (rather than settle to the low points).  In any vehicle, it's a good idea to change your brake fluid on an annual basis.

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1. How to I identify my Metropolitan, I mean what Series is it?

We've put together this handy chart to help you identify your Met. Keep in mind that over time, your car Met have been modified with non-origianl parts making identification, ah, challenging. Look at the chart, check out your Chassis number and then go to our Production by Month chart. 

2. How many Metropolitan's were manufacturered?

To the best of our ability, we put together another chart showing Total Production by Series. Take a look.

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1.  How long can I expect a convertible top to last for my Metropolitan?

Depending on the area of the country in which you live, how much air pollution, sunlight exposure, and heat the top is exposed to, you should be able to get three years from a new convertible top. Typically, the rear window clouds up before there is any failure from the topor stitching. You can expect a longer 'life' if you have your car covered or garaged when not in use.

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