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 Post subject: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Sun 09, 2018 4:31 am 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
I have a Firestone 4-A-21X that belongs to some good friends whose parents are the original owners. Overall the radio is in good shape and the cabinet is solid but will need refinishing.

When I pulled the back off there was an envelope inside that contained s service manual! Looks like this radio came with this envelope and manual from the factory. It does appear to have been worked on as there is an orange drop capacitor underneath.

It is a 6 tube AM and SW radio. Tunes from 540 to 1725Kc and 9-12Mc. IIRC it still has all Firestone tubes.

Here are some initial pictures of the project. What I find a bit amusing is the fingerprints on the inside of the cabinet by somebody long ago. Also the back was made on a Monday. The printing was done on the "rough" side while the smooth side is on the inside toward the chassis but the masonite was put into the stamper upside down. Look carefully to see what I mean.


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Last edited by Crist Rigotti on Dec Sun 09, 2018 4:38 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Sun 09, 2018 4:32 am 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
Last initial picture.


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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Sun 09, 2018 9:50 pm 
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Joined: Dec Sat 23, 2006 5:49 pm
Posts: 1370
Location: Warsaw, Missouri
The chassis looks like a Belmont model I have. Are the knobs correct? They look RCA-ish to me. I have a Stromberg-Carlson set with similar knobs, and I've always wondered if they were the right ones. Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Mon 10, 2018 5:26 am 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
electra225 wrote:
The chassis looks like a Belmont model I have. Are the knobs correct? They look RCA-ish to me. I have a Stromberg-Carlson set with similar knobs, and I've always wondered if they were the right ones. Good luck.

Yes, they are the correct knobs.

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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Mon 10, 2018 7:51 am 
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Joined: Aug Tue 24, 2010 8:56 pm
Posts: 5780
Location: Northeast Florida
I see what you mean about the back, interesting. That should be a nice performer when finished.

That chassis looks a bit challenging--it's deep, and many components are underneath coils, band switch, etc

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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Tue 11, 2018 5:58 am 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
tubes4life wrote:
I see what you mean about the back, interesting. That should be a nice performer when finished.

That chassis looks a bit challenging--it's deep, and many components are underneath coils, band switch, etc


Yeah, it will be a bit of a challenge, that's for sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Tue 11, 2018 6:13 am 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
Today I removed the dial face, tuning cords, and tuner in preparation to clean the chassis.
I cleaned the chassis in the wash tub using hot water and Scrubbing Bubbles and then a baking in the oven at 170 degrees F. The lowest the oven would go. I'd heat up the oven for 5 minutes and then turn it off for 10. Then repeat the cycle till dry. I did the same thing with the tuner.

I then did a detailed cleaning of the chassis using a soft rag and WD-40. Worked really well. The transformer was lifted off the chassis a little bit to clean the chassis under it. It will be painted later after the chassis is nearly done to prevent scratching it up during restoration.

Then the tuner was detailed and the old rosin was cleaned off using some acetone and an acid brush cut down to about 1/2 long. It was then oiled and put away.

Time to go underneath. After looking around I decided to pull the Preselector completely. I need some room to work.


Attachments:
File comment: The chassis before I cleaned it with the tuning stuff out of the way.
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File comment: The chassis after cleaning. Much better.
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File comment: And now the back view.
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File comment: The tuner all cleaned and oiled.
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File comment: The Preselector removed.
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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Tue 11, 2018 6:27 am 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
Next up is the filter capacitors. All 3 are in a can on an isolated mount. I snipped the wires off the terminals, then twisted the mounting tabs back and forth till they broke off at the base. Then the can came off easily.
I restuffed the can in my usual way. This can is the smaller diameter type and I used a model airplane wing tube from Sig Mfg. to make the sleeve. The sleeve is 1 inch long and I used medium super glue to glue the caps together.

I then used some solid 22awg 600V wire to extend the leads through the hole in the new bottom. These were then soldered to each terminal. The black ground wire will be attached to the can lug once it is installed.
When I removed the 330 Ohm 2 watt resistor I discovered that it looks like it overheated and almost burned through the 6.3V lamp wire. A new 330 Ohm 7 watt 5% resistor was installed.

The Filter can was installed into its isolated mount and the wires were cleaned up and reattached. I'll polish the can later.


Attachments:
File comment: A side view of the restuffed can.
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File comment: The other side.
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File comment: And the bottom showing the wires from each cap soldered to their terminals.
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File comment: The area where the old 330 Ohm resistor resided. Yikes!
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File comment: A before picture.
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File comment: And an after picture.
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File comment: Top side with the can removed.
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File comment: Top side with the can.
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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Wed 12, 2018 6:04 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
I did a little more recapping yesterday. I decided to just go from left to right.
I've included a before and after pictures.


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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Thu 13, 2018 5:04 am 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
Got some more done today as I continue. With the deep chassis, it is a bit more difficult to do the recapping. But I'm taking my time and I'll get there.

More before and after pictures.


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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Thu 13, 2018 8:18 am 
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Joined: Aug Tue 24, 2010 8:56 pm
Posts: 5780
Location: Northeast Florida
Neat as a pin, nice work!

I see a flexible wirewound resistor that looks pretty charred, does it ohm out ok?

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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Thu 13, 2018 2:58 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
tubes4life wrote:
Neat as a pin, nice work!

I see a flexible wirewound resistor that looks pretty charred, does it ohm out ok?


Thank you.
There aren't any flexible wire wound resistors used in this radio. Maybe it is just a wire you're looking at.

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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Thu 20, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
In order to get to the last capacitors and resistors I had to remove the front. It was held on with 7 screws. It was tight!

The output transformer wires were rubber and crumbled. So I replaced the red and blue wires with some 600V wire.

I finished the chassis by cleaning and reassembling everything. I then followed the alignment instructions. All works very well. I set a couple of push-buttons to be sure that function was working too. All done with the chassis and now onto the cabinet.


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Last edited by Crist Rigotti on Dec Thu 20, 2018 10:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Thu 20, 2018 9:02 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
I almost forgot to mention that I added a fuse and a 1A bucking transformer. Worked great.


Attachments:
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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Dec Mon 24, 2018 12:50 am 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
The cabinet restoration can be found here:
viewtopic.php?f=7&t=351460

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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Jul Sat 13, 2019 4:03 am 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
All finished!


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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Jul Mon 15, 2019 5:16 am 
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Joined: Jan Thu 20, 2011 5:18 am
Posts: 1419
Location: Cottage Grove Oregon; 97424
Sweet! I have one almost exactly like that one, but mine has the taped coils instead of the variable capacitor. Nice Job.


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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Jul Mon 15, 2019 3:18 pm 
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Joined: Jan Mon 29, 2018 5:58 pm
Posts: 237
Location: Nipomo, CA 93444
Fantastic job on the restoration! One question, tho: After going thru all that detail, why didn't you re-stuff the wax capacitors?

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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Jul Mon 15, 2019 10:47 pm 
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Joined: Jan Sun 18, 2015 5:01 am
Posts: 1459
Location: Waxahachie Texas
Jimmler wrote:
Fantastic job on the restoration! One question, tho: After going thru all that detail, why didn't you re-stuff the wax capacitors?

Because I don't. Why restuff them when the resistors are modern, the fuse is modern, the transformer is modern. I don't see the need to.

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 Post subject: Re: Firestone 4-A-21X Restoration
PostPosted: Jul Wed 17, 2019 12:31 am 
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Location: Aurora Colorado
Looks good, now I see what mine can look like !

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