Wednesday, November 1, 2017

No big deal. I worked on a variety of small chores today. One was taking apart a Holley NH carburetor and putting it to soak in rust remover, along with some other small rusty parts. I also got all my photo indexing up to date, and did some monthly bill paying, and drove to town in the runabout for shopping and errands. Shorty rode along. She seems to be getting used to riding, but I still have to help her get in the car. Maybe tomorrow I can make some headway on one of my bigger projects.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

All morning I researched carburetor parts.  I have several boxes of Holley NH carb bodies I bought a few years ago, and I need to start assembling some carburetors to sell.  I already have some of the special tools made, but I still need to get two or three of the special-sized taps. I hope to get a space at the pre-war swap meet in Chickasha in March, and I'd like to have a few carbs ready to sell then. In the afternoon I made another run to town in the runabout with Shorty riding shotgun.  One of these days maybe she'll get in the car without help.

Friday, November 3, 2017

It's been awhile since I spent much time at an auction, but today I drove over to Oxford and stayed for three hours to bid on a few things. The antique electric fans went for more than I wanted to pay, and so did the running board luggage rack. But I did buy a Model T adjustable wrench for $1. It had recently sat in water and had light surface rust, which is easily removed. That type of wrench usually sells for $15 or more, but I figure nobody else wanted it because of the rust. That's almost as good as getting something dirt cheap because nobody else knows what it is.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

This morning's project was a Holley NH carburetor body and a couple of parts.  I removed them from the rust remover where they had been soaking since yesterday, washed, and prepped them. I removed the old needle valve seat and spray nozzle from he body, applied masking tape, and painted. Tomorrow I'll remove the masking tape and bake all the parts in the oven. If all goes as planned, I should have the rebuilt carb ready to try out within a week. In the afternoon I drove up to Winfield for another auction. The attraction this time was a sheet metal brake. I took along a shop coat and worked on sewing a patch on it while I waited for the desired object to come up for sale. I always take something to read or work on, because the thing I want always come after a few hours of stuff you'd have to pay me to haul off. It turned out that somebody else wanted the brake a lot more than I did, to the tune of $300. I'll use a borrowed brake until another comes up at a much better price.

Sunday, Novemebr 5, 2017

Boy, the weather folks sure blew this one. A week ago the forecast showed this weekend sunny and warm with highs near 80. It turned out gray, chilly, and wet, and today we never even made it up to 60. I spent the day mostly working on the 1923 touring. I installed the cap and springs that hold up the wishbone under the engine, and partially installed the engine pans. I couldn't just bolt them back in. I had to divert my attention to the hardware.  The guys who "restored" this car got some of it right, but they used Phillips screws and other modern fasteners. The four bolts on the left in the picture are an example.  They just shot paint on modern carriage bolts, and it's flaking off the cad plating as it always does when people do that. I'll be replacing those with the four old time bolts on the right. So I spent a good part of the day derusting and painting nuts and bolts. They're baking overnight, and I'll continue reassembly tomrrow.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Today's work on the touring was installing the hood shelves and engine pans. It took longer than I expected because I got the left pan partially installed and found out it wasn't going to fit. I had to take it back out and do some body work on it. After getting the pans in place the generator was next, but I discovered that two of the bolts for it needed painting. So they will bake overnight and the generator will go on tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Most of the morning I worked on a project that's been waiting for years. I've long meant to scan a lot of old photos, and today I got started on the ones from Korea. These were taken in 1966. I remember the names of a few of the people, but in fifty years a lot of them have faded. Seeing these makes me want to visit the old country and see how it's changed. I probably wouldn't see many ox carts today.

Camp Jonathan Williams, looking northeast.

SP4 Jelf

A wet motor pool.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

I scanned a lot more of those Korea photos, then took some time for more touring car assembly. I installed the carburetor, generator, timer, and fan. At that point I hit another sticking point. The radiator support rod was next, but it looked pretty bad, so I wire brushed it clean and painted it to bake overnight and go on tomorrow.  Then I went back to more scanning.  I'm up to 84 photos scanned, and I'd be further along if my scanner didn't keep getting tired and quitting.  It works great, then for no apparent reason it doesn't. Sometimes unplugging  it and restarting the computer gets it going, and sometimes not.  When not, I quit and come back to it later.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A lot more scanning filled my morning. I've done over a hundred photos so far, with hundreds more to go.  In the afternoon  I gathered up some firewood in the truck and brought it over to the splitter, and cleared away the weeds and little trees to make some space to work. But I couldn't get the splitter started. I had to make a trip to town, so I'll try the splitter again tomorrow.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Again I scanned. That used up a lot of the morning, then I got an email from the Arbor Day Society announcing a 10% discount today only, so I spent another good chunk of the day making up a list and ordering trees for the cemetery. I ended up spending most of the day in my office, but I did take a walk down in the wood lot and tie plastic strips on half a dozen American elm saplings. After the leaves fall and cold weather comes and they're all asleep, I'll move them to the cemetery.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Getting back to reassembling the touring car, I mostly installed the radiator. There are a couple of details still to do on that, but I quit early to waste a drive to Wichita. I was going to see a movie that will never play down here in Podunk, but I was disgusted to arrive at the theater and find that it was being shown only in a "21+" auditorium where they sell booze and charge more than double the normal price. To Hell with that.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Laundry day.  That ate up most of my morning. In the afternoon I tried the splitter,  and found no spark. So when I went to town I picked up a new plug. Still no spark. I think rather than dig into it myself I call the small engine repair  guy. I want to get the thing fixed quick so I can put it to work.  My other chores today, along with the daily routine of laying fires in the kitchen stove and the living room fireplace, were finishing radiator installation on the touring car and firing up the chain saw  to turn some branches into firewood.

Monday,  November 13, 2017

It seems I should have gotten more done today than I did. I installed the choke wire in the touring car, and ordered some terminals to make up new spark plug wires. I painted a couple of dozen washers and put them in the oven to bake overnight. I hauled the splitter over to the small engine repair shop,  and investigated a coil from the roadster. When I drove the car yesterday it was gutless, accelerating slowly and struggling up the hills.  I found that it was firing on only three cylinders, and it seemed that the #2 coil was buzzing but wasn't sparking the plug. I was going to send it to the coil man, but decided to check it again first. Today it was working normally. All four cylinders were firing. I took the car for a test drive and it had its normal pep and pulled the hills with no trouble. I wish I knew what I did to fix the thing. Tonight I scanned more Korea photos until the scanner got tired and quit. Here are three of them.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

More variety. I studied the Stewart horn off my roadster, trying to figure out how to make a replacement for the missing plunger. I scanned more Korea photos. I drove the runabout to town for groceries. I took the Suburban to the small engine repair shop and towed home my splitter. And I brought in firewood for the evening. Tomorrow I'll put that splitter to work.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Well, I didn't get to the splitter but I got closer. In the morning I scanned more slides until the scanner did its usual thing of getting tired and quitting. A little before noon I headed for Winfield in the roadster. I went there to give several issues of The Vintage Ford to the libraries at the middle school, the high school, and the college. While I was up that way I stopped at the Wal-Mart to buy more LED bulbs. The ones I've installed in the house and the shop in place of incandescants have lowered my electric bills nicely. The ones I've been buying are totally out of stock in Arkansas City. The shelf is bare. So I thought I'd get another four packages while I was in Winfield. I ended up buying all they had — one package of four bulbs. How long will it take for the local store to restock? We shall see. When I got back to Arkansas City I did some photo shooting. Over a week ago I spotted some trees that would be great for some fall color pictures, but I was afraid the dismal weather would hang on until all the leaves were down. But today the sun returned and I was able to get some good shots. I think the tree, the car, and the brick street make a nice combination in this shot. After grocery shopping and picture shooting I came home, put away the groceries, laid the fires for the evening, and spent the rest of the afternoon clearing weeds and little trees in the area where I keep the splitter. Tomorrow I'll mow the area, set up the splitter, and get serious about firewood.  

Thursday, November 16, 2017

At last I got to the splitter. But that was in the afternoon. In the morning I scanned more slides and did some other office work. Then I cleared more weeds and small trees around the splitter area and moved the thing into position. Once I did get to running it, I split a tall pile in the back of the pickup. I parked it in front of the garage where it will be handy to bring in. During the earlier weed clearing I found an infestation of smilax, so my last chore of the day was mixing a batch of my plant-killing witches' brew and spraying all the smilax I could find. That turned out to be at least half a dozen infestations.   I have quite a bit of spray left over,  so I'll go in search of more unwelcome vegetation tomorrow.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Heat wave! This was one of those days when I open the  windows to let the warmer air into the house and don't need to light a fire in the evening. The afternoon high was in the low seventies. It was just a one-day event, and may be the last one for a few months. Tomorrow will be about twenty degrees cooler. And what did I accomplish? An unexpected repair. In recent weeks my 1915 runabout shown above has become a hard starter until it's warmed up. Even then, I've had to choke it sometimes. Well, last week I read that the black/red tracer spark plug wires on the car are allegedly more correct for the twenties. So I decided to switch those into the 1923 touring, which needs new wires, and make up some plain black ones for the runabout. So that's what I did this morning. It was strictly a cosmetic decision to make the wires in the touring look "correct".  But when I started up the roadster to try out the new wires I got a surprise.  I choked the car a couple of times, flipped the ignition switch to BAT,  and the car started right up without waiting for me to pull the hand crank.  I started the car several times, and every time I got a free start or a start on the first pull of the crank.  So it seems I accidentally cured the hard starting. And what of those wires I switched to the touring?  I ordered more terminals and I'll be making up some new plug wires for that car too. With that project out of the way, I worked on the roadster's horn button.  I got it from never working to sometimes working, so it will need more attention.  After a trip to  town to mail a letter and buy celery, I ended the afternoon with the sprayer, attacking more smilax and a big patch of honeysuckle in the wood lot. If that kills the stuff before really cold weather arrives and puts the plants to sleep, fine. If not, I'll spray them again when they wake up in the spring.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

More work on the touring car was today's main activity. I installed the fuel line and the horn, hooked up the starter, and installed the headlights. I found that no power gets to the coils, and I have to jiggle the switch for lights, so I'll be doing some electrical work. In the afternoon I moved all the firewood from the truck into the garage, then attacked more smilax and honeysuckle with the plant killer that was left in the sprayer from yesterday. This evening being my weekly night out, I enjoyed carnitas at La Fiesta then went to see Wonder. The movie was excellent, with a well written script, good work by the director, and fine performances all around. Old pros Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, and Mandy Patinkin are as good as ever, but the real stars are the kids, especially Jacob Tremblay.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Never went off the place today. I was pretty worthless for getting anything accomplished. A lazy Sunday morning putzing online stretched into the afternoon. I did spend some time researching construction of a new garage, but didn't decide anything. My cousin Wally is a retired builder, so I'll see what ideas he has about how to proceed.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Today's progress was on the touring car's horn. The old Klaxon sounded mighty sick. I checked the ground and it was good. I cleaned the armature and that made little difference, if any. The cure turned out to be a few drops of 3 in 1. Now the thing sounds the way it should. In the afternoon I drove the runabout into town to buy bananas and Shorty rode along. Once in the car she tolerates it, but I still have to help her in.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

More work on the touring filled the morning. I made a set
of new spark plug wires and installed them, then I wasted a couple of hours on a new timer control rod. It turned out to be a waste when I noticed that I was using a piece of 3/16" (.1875") material, which is too light for the job. I believe the original size is .225", but I'll probably go with .250". That will be a close fit in the lever and the timer to eliminate any slop in the movement.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

The first hard freeze of the season arrived last night, a little later in the year than usual. It had its usual effect on the big mulberry tree in the back yard. Last night I burned the midnight oil making that timer control rod for the touring, finishing about one in the morning. I may have the car ready to run tomorrow, but I'll wait until Friday when the weather is warm. It will need to be outside for curing the paint on the exhaust manifold. The regimen for that calls for running the car, shutting it off and letting it cool, running and cooling, running and cooling.  Meanwhile, oh my aching back! I've been sewing a patch on a shop coat, and the slow work of stitching it on is getting to me. Fortunately that's a job I don't do often.  



Thursday, November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Day with the cousins. Wally and I were invited to chow down at Pete's house. She is a good cook, and made sure we both had plenty of leftovers to take home. When I arrived at home shorty was unusually interested in the runabout. It was almost as if she smelled the turkey and other food in the trunk. The only actual work I did today, other than bring in firewood, was to take some pictures of the works from my Stewart horn. That was in answer to a request on the Model T forum. One of the guys wanted pictures so he could see if anything is missing from his. I hope he'll take pictures of the plunger from his horn and post them with measurements so I can make a replacement for my lost one.  

Friday, November 24, 2017

Since bringing the rebuilt engine/transmission home from Mike Bender's in August it's been a slow job reassembling the 1923 touring little by little, taking time to clean and paint various parts (engine pans, crank pulley, manifolds, etc.). Today I started it up for the first time, briefly. Firing is intermittent. I suspect a timer glitch. I quit working on it when my cousin Mary showed up with her granddaughter Michelle and great granddaughter Grace. I took Grace for a ride in the 1915 runabout, then Mary got a ride. She is 97, and I remarked that she's probably ridden in a Model T before. She said it's pretty close. Her dad drove a 1922 Star.

I ended the day with a trip to town in the runabout for toothpaste and shampoo. Why make a special trip for just two little items? Because if I didn't do it right when I was thinking about it I'd forget.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Today I crept a little closer to running the touring car in earnest. Working the bugs out of the ignition, I started it for a few seconds a couple of times, just testing, but I need to have it outdoors when I run it for real. Curing the hi-temp
paint on the exhaust manifold requires periods of running and cooling stretched over two hours. The exhaust fumes from all that need to be outside. Now that I have the car about ready to drive, the next project I need to do on it will be installing a top. I have all the irons, and the wood to make new bows, but all the blasting,  riveting, painting, fitting, and so on is going to stretch into the new year. I hope to have it ready for some real touring in the spring.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

It was WONDERFUL how smooth and strong and quiet the new engine/transmission ran when I went out for a short break-in run. I intended to drive about half an hour, but it lasted just a few minutes because I forgot to cotter a perch nut. The nut came off, the steering went sideways, and I hit the ditch. My neighbor brought out his tractor with a loader and we dragged the car home and put it on jack stands. The way the thing was sitting cockeyed I was afraid the frame and body were bent. The main damage was to a fender, a wheel, and the drag link. I was able to lift the spring high enough to get the perch back in the axle. Tomorrow in daylight I'll raise the wishbone, put a nut on it, put another wheel on the car, and move it into the shop for closer inspection. With the perch back in the axle, the car seems pretty level. Maybe it isn't as bad as I thought. The humiliating part of this is that I made the same mistake on the runabout and failed to learn the lesson. In that instance there was no damage. I wasn't so lucky this time.

I was going to haul and split firewood today, but this kept me from it. Maybe tomorrow. I really need to get busy on that.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Today I put a spare wheel on the touring, chained up the wishbone, and drove the car into the shop where I can work on it. That took most of the day. I also stripped, prepped, and painted a dozen carriage bolts. One will go on the car and the others will go into my drawer of painted, ready-to-use parts.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

A day of yard work. With time out for a run to town for groceries, I spent the day cutting up branches for firewood, hauling yard waste to the brush pile, planting a tree that came in yesterday's mail,  and splitting a load of wood.  The forecast claims a 100% chance of rain overnight, so I parked the truck with its load of wood in the barn, put tarps over the mower and the splitter, and put away tools that were outside. Ready. Bring on the moisture.

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Well, that was disapppointing. The forecast was for an inch of rain, but I found only .17" in the gauge this morning. I was hoping for a good soaking, but under the trees the ground was still dusty. I stripped, prepped, and painted a batch of split washers for future use, but spent most of the day working on the touring car. I removed the crumpled fender and splash shield, and removed the engine pans. Tomorrow I'll get the car up on stands so I can remove the front axle and see how bent it is, and deal with  the other front suspension and steering parts.

The bolt holding the starter switch and running board brace broke off at the cotter hole.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

More dismantling was on today's agenda. I got the touring car up on stands and removed the front wheels, spindles, perches, and axle. I also inspected the starter switch, and found that the bolt which held it and the running board brace had been broken in the wreck. The right perch is OK, but the left one is bent and the threads are boogered up. I'll need to find a better one. In the afternoon I went to town in the runabout for some groceries and medicine. Shorty rode along. She's getting used to riding, but I still have to help her into the car. After we got home and I laid the evening fires  I did a little more work on the touring.

Right perch, OK. Left one, toast.