APRIL 2013

Friday, March 1, 2013

The rivets will be installed using the Armstrong method. This morning I wrapped up my shopping for a rivet gun. I found that a hefty enough gun to handle the 5/16" rivets would cost too much. I've done this job twice in twenty years, so I doubt that I'll ever do enough riveting to justify spending almost $200 on equipment for it. With that question settled, I got on the phone and ordered a bar for mashing the 1/4" rivets with a hammer. When it arrives I'll finish my frame. After all that time squandered on rivet gun shopping, I went back to work on license plate restoration, sanding both plates and giving them another coat of primer. It takes a lot of priming and sanding to fill some of the dings. Outside, winter is still hanging on. A cold north wind kept the high down to about freezing, so there wasn't a lot of melting. The weekend is predicted to be warmer.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

After doing laundry I went to an auction at the fairgrounds. I stuck around to almost 11:30, but there was a lot of junk to get through and I decided that the few items that interested me weren't worth spending the whole day. I came home and worked on my two license plates some more, sanding the primer and spraying on another coat. Most of the rough spots are filled, so the plates should be ready for color coats in a day or two. Saturday is my usual night in town, so I had carnitas at La Fiesta and went to a movie. Sometimes they put me to sleep, but not tonight. Dark Skies is a very well done thriller. A very good cast does fine work, and the director keeps things moving right along. Rather than spoil it for anyone by revealing details, I'll just say I liked it a lot.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

This morning I worked on license
plates again,
sanding and spraying on more primer. One is almost ready for color coats, but the other was more damaged and will take more work. After priming the plates again, I turned my attention to cleaning the oil pan from my roadster. I washed off the oil and some of the dirt, and now it's ready for sand blasting and painting whenever some good blasting weather comes along. In the afternoon I was off to Winfield for an auction. This one had enough interesting stuff to keep me there all the way to the end. The big item of the day was an antique hand cranked winch for $15. The next biggest was a shop light for $5, then an electric drill for $3, and a pair of pipe clamps for $2 each.  After that it was another $15 for a dozen purchases ranging from $3 down to 50. This was a long one, going on until a little after seven. I rarely eat out more than once a week, but tonight I stopped at the China Wok buffet because I didn't want to bother fixing anything at home. I'll unload the car and sort things out tomorrow. 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Last week's weather brought down a rotten old pine tree in the yard. I had been wondering how I'd bring it down without hitting a building, but the storm settled that question. The old privy is a little worse for it. By today the snow was almost all gone, and I'm running low on firewood, so this afternoon I fired up the chain saw and started turning big pieces into smaller pieces. There's a lot of wood there, so maybe it will finish the burning season. The weather will be warming up, and there will be more and more nights when I don't need a fire.

My morning jobs included unloading auction plunder from the car and figuring out where to put things. The old winch went to the barn where it will wait for me to have time to clean it up and paint it. I also finished cleaning up a couple of 1913-1920 Model T wrenches and studied the differences between two different manufacturers' versions of the same wrench.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Blustery is the word. Mostly in the thirties, with a stiff north wind, it was a good day to stay inside all morning. I cleaned roadster engine parts, sanded the two license plates, and gave them another coat of primer. After a trip to town for grocery shopping, I set out to cut more pieces off the old pine tree. I made a bad move by parking the Suburban close so it would be handy to load up and haul away the pieces. So naturally the old outhouse buckled and dropped the tree onto the car, and I'll be shopping for body repair and new glass. Tomorrow I'll use some scrap lumber and build a support under the log, then try to cut it up without doing any more damage.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

It dawned on me that I had steel sawhorses and a piece of heavy square tubing, so I didn't need to build anything. I placed the sawhorses parallel to the log and laid the tubing across them. Then I clamped on a couple of blocks to keep the trunk from rolling and I was set. All I had to do then was saw off a piece of the trunk near the base, causing the lower end to settle to the ground and raising the upper end. A couple of cuts raised the upper end enough to let me drive the car away. One day soon I'll get estimates on body repair and new glass.  Today's other chores were  working on the license plates some more, shopping for dog food and cat food,  mailing a roll of film for developing, and cutting and splitting some of that fallen tree for firewood. I also got on the phone to California and ordered some copper crush washers for Champion X spark plugs. It was a busy day.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Another busy day started with more wood cutting. I sawed up enough of the big pine log to get it off the sawhorses so I could use them in the shop. Next came more work on the license plates. I sanded them and gave them another dose of primer. It seems that every sanding shows some spots that need more primer. A trip to town for groceries used up an hour or so. I stopped at the local Fastenal store to pick up some machine screws I had ordered. Actually I ordered them a couple of weeks ago. The first time the ones that arrived were Phillips, not slotted as I had ordered. So those went back and the order went in again. When I stopped in the store today, the screws that they had for me were pan head, not the round head I had ordered. So back they went. We'll see what shows up next. When I got home I spent an hour removing broken glass from the Suburban and vacuuming up the remains. The last job of the day was more log sawing and wood splitting, and I intend to do more tomorrow. I want to stock up on dry wood in case the forecast of rain this weekend is right.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Back to square one. I thought I'd apply some heat to my license plates and cook the primer really dry, so I put them in the oven to cook at a low heat. It wasn't low enough. When I took them out I found that the paint had blistered badly. So I'll have to strip them bare and start all over. It's a good thing I don't need them right away, but it's aggravating that I wasted all the time and effort I've spent on them. I tried
paint remover, and it removed some of the paint but not all. I'll try it again tomorrow, and if that doesn't get it all off I'll include them in my next sand blasting session. The main project of the day was building a transmission stand. With the engine and transmission bolted onto the engine stand, the transmission stand sits underneath. You turn the transmission down to just above it, take out the four bolts, and the transmission settles onto the stand. Then you roll away the engine stand and turn the engine back up to work on it. The nice thing about the transmission stand is that I made it from scraps, so the price was perfect. I did manage to finish a couple of other things today. One was reinstalling the plastic cover of a refrigerator door compartment. Its plastic hinge was broken, so I drilled 5/16" holes and put in steel capscrews to replace the broken plastic parts. Finally, with rain in the forecast, I taped a plastic cover over the Suburban's broken-out window. Next week I'll start shopping for a replacement door.  


Saturday, March 9, 2013

I spent the day working on my roadster engine.  I removed the transmission, then removed and measured the valves. Some appear to be OK, and some will neeed to be replaced. It was a good day to stay inside, wet all day. A lot of it was just misty enough to keep things wet, but there were also periods of real rain, enough to make good puddles. It all probably didn't amount to enough to make a dent in the drought, but every little bit helps.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

While the wintry blast blew outside (about freezing with a strong north wind) I worked in the shop, cleaning and measuring engine parts. I spent the afternoon at the Patterson auction in Oxford. As usual, I made bids on a few items other people wanted more than I did. But I came
away with a bunch of old tools, some of which are Model T tools.
Eventually I'll get a load of relics put together to peddle at swap meets. That will include a lot of these old tools I buy cheap at auctions.

Monday, March 11, 2013

My morning job was the roadster engine again. I removed the timing gear cover and cleaned it up, then checked the gears for wear. They don't measure up, so I'll be shopping for replacements. From a little after noon until three I was in town at the juco machine shop to make some measuring pins to check valve stem guides. The afternoon mail brought some polish I ordered last week, so I tried it out. Cape Cod polish was highly recommended by some, but I wasn't impressed. The first side lamp here still has tarnish after four polishings with Cape Cod. The second lamp was done with one dose of plain old cheap Brasso.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Engine work continued. I pulled the cam shaft and lifters and cleaned them, then researched what I found. The lifters are toast. The top ends have recesses worn by the valves, and they're loose in their guides. Some of them have uneven cam wear on the bottom. I'll need to get new ones, along with new valves. After the engine work, I went shopping for groceries and clothes. With spring almost here the stores are clearing out their winter goods, so I got new winter overalls for next season for 40% off. My last activity of the day was a three mile run. After a break of over a month because I'm a cold weather sissy, my time was 32:33. That's only three seconds worse than last time, which admittedly wasn't very good.  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

My main morning chore was reinstalling the battery in the touring car and changing the spark plugs. It was running kind of rough the last time I had it out, and I found one of the plugs in it had a broken insulator. I think the break may have been due to the plug's collar being too tight. Recently I bought some copper crush washers for use in these Champion X plugs. I hope the washers will prevent leaking but allow for the porcelain to expand and contract. I installed four refurbished plugs with the copper washers in them. I spent most of the afternoon in the machine shop making pins to measure valve guides so I'll know which valves to get for the roadster. After a stop for groceries I came home and split some wood. Spring starts Wednesday, but evenings chilly enough for a fire will continue for awhile. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Warm air from the south brought a high in the seventies, so I fired up the touring car to go for a little drive. It's a good thing I only went around the block. If I had gone to town I couldn't have got back up the hill to get home. As it was, the car struggled just going up gentle grades. A screwdriver across the tops of the plugs showed that #1 wasn't firing. There wasn't even any spark where the screwdriver contacted the head. So a chore added to my list will be finding the missing electricity. A job I did get done was ordering parts. The dealer will be going to the Chickasha prewar swap meet next week, so I'll pick up the parts there and save shipping.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Today's main project was installing the roadster's new front cross member. Dave Rademacher had a day off and came over to help because this is a job for at least two people. One person heats the rivet and the other mashes it. I thought this job would take us a couple of hours, but it took a little more than four. We got better at it as we went along, and I think we did a pretty fair job for a couple of novices.

In the afternoon I solved the touring car's lack of ignition on #1, which was just lack of contact on one of the coils. Taking the coil out and shoving it back in the box was the fix. Another test drive showed improvement over yesterday's performance, but it's still not back to normal, so I have more detective work to do on that car.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

After doing laundry I was off to Derby for an auction. I was attracted by machine shop equipment, but most of it went for a lot more than I was willing to pay. I did come away with an electric drill to replace one that recently went bad, and a box of drill bits, and nine quarts of motor oil. I also got all the miscellaneous stuff that came with those things. I've decideed that I'm going to gather all the extraneous stuff I've bought at auctions to get what I wanted, and have an auctioneer sell it all. Then I'll have more money to spend at auctions.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Winter returned today, with a high in the low forties, overcast, and occasional fine mist.  I worked in the shop putting away tools and getting the repaired roadster frame ready to paint. I treated it with rust remover and metal prep.  I'll give it plenty of time to dry, and should get it painted tomorrow.  I removed the Ford roller timer from my ailing touring car and installed a New Day timer. When I put on a heavy coat and went for a test drive, the car still wasn't back to normal. Next I'll investigate the carburetor.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Job One today was frame painting. I applied a couple of coats and most of it looked pretty good. There are a couple of rough spots I'll sand and repaint after the paint has had a few days to dry thoroughly.

With the painting done, I took the carburetor off my sick touring car and cleaned it out. When I reinstalled it and took a test drive I found the car still lacked some of its normal power, and when I got back the radiator was boiling, so I have more detective work to do on that case.

There's rain in the forecast for later in the week, so I fired up the splitter and turned big pieces of wood into smaller pieces, and put them in the garage to stay dry.


Tuesday, March 19, 2013

This morning I worked on my shopping list. The Chickasha Prewar Swap Meet is coming up, and I'll be there hunting for parts. It's wonderful having a meet where you don't have to look through acres of modern junk to find the old item you want. Along with the parts for sale, there will be some swell vehicles to see. A few years ago a replica of the 1886 Benz showed up. Last year students from the McPherson College restoration program demonstrated assembling a Model T and driving it away.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Ah my dear
public, yes I am still alive.
I disappeared for a bit due to being busy, busy, busy. On Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday last week I was off to the Chickasha swap meet. As usual, it was wonderful. I didn't post any blog entries from the meet because my crappy Windows laptop refused to work. Otherwise I had a good time. I saw some beautiful old cars, did some serious shopping, and came home with some nice bargains.

I spent all day Saturday at an auction, then spent all of Sunday afternoon at another one. The Sunday auction ran late, finishing after seven. I got some good items at both sales. On Monday I got ready for another Oklahoma trip. Mike Bender invited me to bring my roadster engine down to his shop in Tulsa and fix the excessive end play in the crank shaft, so on Monday I cleaned off the old grease and oil. When I got to Mike's on Tuesday, we checked out the engine and discussed what I wanted to do to it. I'd like to be able to drive the car on tours, so I decided to go ahead with a full rebuild.

So I went home to get some parts I had for the engine, and on Wednesday I returned to Tulsa with those parts and the transmission. We dismantled the transmission to see what parts I needed to get for it, and I sandblasted the engine, and we made up a shopping list of more engine and transmission parts. We finished a little past 4:30. While I was driving home, Mike installed the bearing molds on the engine and poured new babbit bearings. Yesterday I ordered parts, took the transmission cover to the welders for repair, and packed up the old camshaft to ship in exchange for a reground one.

The reverse drum in the roadster transmission had a crack in it, so I spent most of today dismantling another transmission in search of a replacement. It was slow going, but eventually I got the reverse drum out and separated from the low speed drum. The next step in that job will be sandblasting the reverse drum and inspecting it closely to see if it's OK to use. There's a little bit of the flange broken off, but as the nephew in Tobacco Road said, "That don't hurt the runnin' of it none."
The important thing is to be sure there are no cracks that could lead to the thing going to pieces when the car is running. Even if this drum turns out to be usable, I may dig into another transmission and see if I can find a better one.


Saturday, March 30, 2013

After doing laundry early, I was off to Oklahoma for an auction in Deer Creek. As often happens, there were people there who wanted a lot of things more than I did. I did manage to get a high lift jack, a handy item, for $5. Fortunately this auction started with the stuff I cared about, and I didn't have to stay all day. I was home by noon, and spent the afternoon sandblasting the reverse drum I found yesterday, and about half the oil pan. I was delighted to find that the drum has no cracks. I'll finish the pan tomorrow.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Change of plans. The reverse drum I blasted yesterday appears marginally usable, but I hoped for better. So today I dug into a spare engine I bought for parts. After removing about a peck of rodent nest, I got into the transmission. The clutch looked excellent, the low drum looked good, and the reverse drum seemed OK too, until I found the crack. Oh well, so much for that one. The drum I blasted yesterday will have to do.





APRIL 2013