Friday, May 1, 2009
As planned, I spent a good part of the afternoon installing the speedometer. A bracket bolted to a spindle arm holds the sensor next to the wheel. A magnet attached to the wheel passes by the sensor on each rotation, sending a signal up the wire to the computer. I ran the wire up through the horn wire tube and mounted the computer on top of the horn button. Later I may move it down to a position where it can be folded away under the dash, but this will do for now. During a temporary break in the weather I went for a road test, driving over to the water district office to pay the bill. I was immediately surprised at how fast I was going. What I had guessed to be about twenty miles an hour without a speedometer turned out to be almost thirty. After I paid the bill and got out on the paved road, I got the car up to 39 mph. On wet pavement, with sprinkles starting, that was plenty fast enough. I drove directly home and didn't even take time to go down to the corner and back to let Zeke bark at the neighbor dogs along the road. On the south side of Winfield there's a radar sign to let drivers know how fast they're going. When we have good enough weather I'll drive up there and check my calibration.
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Today's major project was installing TT rear springs. I got them in, and should be able to bolt them in place tomorrow. I also put the last coat of paint, I hope, on the steering column. I would have mowed, as the yard is getting out of hand, but I need to wait for the place to dry out a little.
Sunday, May 3, 2009
TT reassembly continued. I got the bolts in the rear springs, and the spring clip tightened on one side. The spring clip on the other side was missing an original style castle nut, so I took one to town, painted it, and put it in the oven to cook. While I was at it I painted some carriage bolts for the firewall, and bought a couple of bolts for the spring clamps. Meanwhile, the sun came out and started drying the waterlogged landscaspe. Maybe I can start mowing tomorrow.
Monday, May 4, 2009
Things dried out a little today, and I spent the afternoon gathering branches off the lawn so I could start mowing before the grass gets knee high. I had time to mow a little in front of the house until a few minutes before five. Then a sprinkle started and I gave it up. After a wet Tuesday, we're supposed to have some more dry weather later in the week.
Tuesday, May 5, 2009
Egad, I thought it was supposed to be May! It was rainy off and on all day, and about 55º this afternoon. I put my winter overalls back on and stayed inside.
Thursday, May 7, 2009
There was no blog entry posted yesterday because I was gone. I drove up to Wichita for a medical adventure. I had a cataract removed from my left eye. The doctor didn't want me to do any one-eyed driving, so I stayed in Wichita overnight and drove home this morning. After the surgery yesterday, all I could see on the left side was blurry blobs where there were large objects. By this morning the fog was beginning to clear, and as of this hour, about 7:00 PM, I can see everything with the left eye but it's still blurry. Happily, most of Wednesday was dry and so was today. That meant I was able to get the mowing tractor out of the barn and get some of the knee-high lawn chopped down. I got the mowing done around the house, and should be able to finish the rest of the mowing tomorrow.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Fat chance. I had a lot to do at work this morning and didn't finish until almost noon. After some shopping I had to get to an appointment with the eye doc at one for a checkup on the cataract surgery. Everything seemed OK. I finished shopping, went home, and got ready to mow. I had no sooner driven the tractor out of the barn when it ran out of gas. I put in five gallons, then found that the battery was down and wouldn't turn the starter. I put a charger on it and will let it charge overnight, and try again tomorrow.
Saturday, May 9, 2009
A sergeant once told me, "This damned army is just one disappointment after another." Today was like the army. I started the mowing tractor, drove it out of the barn, and hadn't gone 100 feet when it ran out of gas. I put in five gallons, but couldn't get it started because the battery didn't have enough juice to turn the starter. I tried hand starting, but that didn't work either. So I put the charger on again and used the small mower while the tractor charged. Then there's the key problem. My touring car has only one key, and I'd like to have a spare. Model T keys are numbered 51 through 74, and the number of the key is stamped on the face of the tumbler. So it should be easy to order a key, right? Nope. My key has no number on it, and the number on the lock is unreadable. I've tried a couple of other keys I have, and they didn't work, so that rules out #65 and #72. A neighbor's #69 didn't work either. I decided to go see a couple of guys in town who have T's. After a stop at the market to stock up on Boraxo, I went to Buster's house and found nobody home. Then the rain started. It wasn't heavy, just a sprinkle, but it didn't quit, so I headed for home. Even a light sprinkle is not good if your car has no top. By 1:00 PM the rain was gone and the sun was out. I tried the tractor one more time and confirmed that the 41/2 year old battery was too far gone to hold a charge, so I put the battery and Zeke in the back of the touring and went to town again. I still found nobody home at Buster's, so I went to see Jerry. He thought the touring was pretty neat, and we had a nice visit, but he didn't have his T and its key in town. I went up to the farm supply store, turned in my dead battery, and bought a new one. One more stop at Buster's found nobody there, so I went home with no T keys tried. I think I'll post pictures of my key on the Model T forum and see if anybody has the same one and can tell me the number.
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Today was a little too interesting. I drove the T into town to do some shopping, and was driving down the street when suddenly I heard clunking and banging under me. I pulled into a parking lot, and when I pulled the lever back into neutral that killed the engine. Luckily my cousin was passing by and stopped to help. He brought me home to get my trailer, and we pulled the T up onto it. We were using just boards instead of ramps, and even with the lever in the neutral position the right rear wheel was locked up and dragged the board right up onto the trailer with it. So now the car is sitting in a shed on a trailer with a board still under one locked wheel. Finding out what happened and fixing it will be another item on my list of projects to get done.
Monday, May 11, 2009
Today I put the back of the T up on jack stands. I was able to turn the right rear wheel a little, but something inside was binding and keeping it from turning much, and a few tiny chunks of steel fell out of the drum. I'll need to get that wheel off to see what's going on in there.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
This morning I ordered a wheel puller, so in a few days I'll be able to remove that stuck wheel and find out what's broken. Meanwhile, the monsoon continued. I don't know what the total rainfall has been this month, but it's been a lot. Today was another wet one.
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
A dry day! When I got home from work I got out the Model B and spent the afternoon mowing. A lot of the grass had grown so tall that I had to go over it with the mower raised, then mow it again with the mower down.
Thursday, May 14, 2009
My Model T wheel puller arrived today, so when I got home from work I pulled off that sticking wheel. Inside the drum I found brake shoes broken into big and little pieces. As bad as this looks, it will be a lot simpler to deal with than a bad rear end or transmission.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Everything takes longer than you think it will. I was home from work a little after ten, and spent the rest of the day working on the TT steering column. I installed the gear housing, spark and throttle rods, springs, pins, and throttle lever, and sprayed a couple of coats of paint on the bottom side. I plan to finish the painting this weekend, and should get the thing installed in the vehicle during the coming week. This morning I ordered brake parts for the touring car. Those should arrive by Tuesday or Wednesday, so next weekend's projects will include installing the new brakes
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Well, I plead guity to not getting very much done today. After doing laundry I went to an estate auction. I hung around until after noon and came away with a couple of bargains. I got five Edison cylinder records and a couple of empty Edison containers, all for $5. The other deal was a crank wall phone in good condition for $75. Those things are usually priced at $300 or more in stores. I spent too much of the afternoon trying to figure out which bolts I need to use for the steering bracket on the TT, then I finished up the day with some mowing.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
A sunny day was the occasion for some overdue yard work. I removed a huge tangle of dead honeysuckle vines I had poisoned last fall because they were threatening to take over the place. That's the big pile of stuff on the right in the picture. Then I brought the WD around and pulled up a couple of trees that had come up in unfortunate locations too close to the house. I also spent an hour or so cutting off little trees and doping the stumps with Tordon. After all the yard work I went grocery shopping, then put the final coat of paint on the TT steering column. It was nice to actually get some work done.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Another little TT step: drilled holes for cotter pins in steering bracket bolts.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Goofed off, playing with the computer, and posted this month's Parkerfield newsletter on the city website. PARKERFIELD WEBSITE
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Today the brake parts for the touring arrived , so I when I got home I worked on removing old parts to make way for the new ones. Sometimes, as in this case, taking things apart is a lot harder and takes a lot longer than putting them together.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
A lot harder indeed. I banged away with a punch and a hammer trying to get the pins out of that bent brake cam, and got nowhere. Finally I got a hacksaw and started cutting the cam off the shaft. I ran out of time, so that job will continue.
Friday, May 22, 2009
When I got home from town, about 10:30, I went back to work on the brakes. I finished cutting off that bent cam, and put the shaft in a vise so I could drive the pins out and remove the lever. Nothing moved, so I heated the thing until it glowed, let it cool, and started hammering again. The heat did the trick for half the job; I got one pin out. The other pin still wouldn't budge, so I applied the torch and turned the thing orange again. When the piece was cool enough to work on, I found that the electric power in the barn was off. Further checking revealed that the power was off everywhere. So I decided this was a good time to do a project that's been waiting quite some time. That is replacing some of the light switches in the house. I'm installing old time push button switches. Actually those were used before this house was built, and were passe by the time it was electrified in 1935. But I think they're a pretty neat item, so I'll use them.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
One thing dominated the day. I spent most of it working on those brakes. I got the last pin out of the old cam shaft, installed the new cam and bushing, and spent most of the day trying to make the new brake shoes fit. The old ones were bare cast iron, but the new ones have lining. They are also slightly oversized, so I have to grind off a little bit, install them to see if they fit, and if they don't let the wheel turn freely I have to take them off and grind a little more. So the job continues.
Sunday May 24, 2009
Today I got the new brake shoes in, sufficiently altered by grinding to fit. Once they were in, and the wheels were back on, I spent most of the rest of the day adjusting the brakes. Tomorrow I'll find out how well they work. My other chore today required a trip to town. Yesterday I bought a portable radio/CD player so I could listen to some music while I worked on the car. The brand was Memorex and the price was $24.66. I wasn't expecting something that cheap to be great, but I expected it to work reasonably well. The first CD I put in it sounded like it was coming out of a telephone, then started skipping and dropping out. I tried the radio and found that all it picked up was the local "hot country" (redneck rock) station, on every frequency! I returned the Memorex and got an RCA for $48.37. Costing twice as much as the Memorex, it should have been much better. The sound quality was a little less tinny, and the radio could tune to more than one station, but the CD player skipped and dropped out like the other one. I thought maybe the problem was the disk, so I tried it on two other players and it worked fine. So today I returned the RCA. It would be nice to buy something that worked as intended.