JUNE 2011



Friday, July 1, 2011

This was a day to go to town. I had to take care of some business at the bank, then grocery shopping, then some other shopping. Back at home I had some clerical duties, including a form to fill out and send to the state DMV, pointing out that they had the wrong serial number on the title appplication for my roadster. By the time I did all that and checked a couple of regular websites, I didn't have time for any real work, so I did a little picking up and organizing in the shop. The toasty weather continues, with highs around 100º. The coolest day in the ten day forecast is next Thursday, with a predicted high of only 94º. This is the time of year to lie on the front porch swing in the evening to catch the breeze, then go upstairs after midnight and sleep in the cool of the morning.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

After doing laundry I spent the day puttering in the shop. Most of it was working on the roadster and consulting the Model T forum about what to do to the roadster. The car doesn't run as smoothly as I'd like, so I'm going through one thing after another to see if I can improve it. I tested the magneto voltage, cleaned the timer, and reset the timing. I ended the day taking apart more than a dozen Champion X spark plugs and setting the pieces to soak overnight in rust remover. Tomorrow I'll see if I can put together enough good pieces to make four good working plugs for the roadster, another four for the touring, and maybe even four for the truck project if I'm lucky.


Sunday, July 3, 2011

I despise shopping. My idea of the way shopping should be is, you go into the store and tell somebody who works there what you want. He knows what is is, and where it is, and takes you to it. You pay for it and leave. But in the real world you search all over the store for it, then you search all over the store for somebody who works there, and when you find him he doesn't know what it is or where it is, so he asks somebody else who doesn't know what it is or where it is, and they finally decide they don't have it, and you go to the next store and do the same thing all over again. Today it was gun bluing. I wanted to get some for those spark plugs I'm working on. The hardware store, the farm supply, and the Wal-Mart "super center" were all a waste of time, and I'll have to wait until Tuesday when the town's only gun shop is open.

Monday, July 4, 2011

I worked on spark plugs most of the day. I cleaned up 25 bodies and 25 collars, plus a few of the caps and insulators. Tomorrow I should get some of the plugs finished so I can try them in the roadster along with the new coils.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

I finished four of those plugs, put them in the roadster, and tried them out. They worked fine. Applying gun bluing to the metal is time consuming, so I'll probably do a few at a time until I get all of the usable ones done.


Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today I worked on ignition timing. I spent a lot of the time getting slop from worn parts out of the timer linkage. I filled and redrilled the hole in the timing rod lever, and made a brass bushing for the rod connection to the timer cover. Next I have to make a compression gauge adapter so I can check engine compression.



















Thursday, July 8, 2011

This was my day for checking engine compression. I spent a couple of hours just making an adapter to use the tester on a Model T. The first readings were amazingly low, from ten to twenty pounds. I consulted the Model T forum and got a couple of suggestions. One was a new tester. That made sense, because the old one is at least twenty years old, and the rubber parts have deteriorated. Using the new tester, #1 now registered twenty pounds instead of ten. So I took another suggestion and torqued down the head bolts. Some of them were at only about twenty foot-pounds. I tightened all I could reach with the torque wrench to fifty, and tightened a couple of hard-to-reach ones at the back by hand. With the head tightened down, compression in all cylinders was 45 pounds, which is just right for a stock Model T.


Friday, July 8, 2011

This morning I went up on the roof and removed all the tarps and the boards and bags of old roofing that were holding them in place, then the roofers came and installed the Duro-Last. It will be nice not having to deal with leaks inside if it ever rains again. The next part of the roof project will be rebuilding and putting the shingles on the front.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Saturday is often auction day, and this morning I drove down to Kaw City to check out one there. There were a few good tools, but there were also a few big spenders, so I was out of there in about forty minutes without buying a thing. I came back by way of the Silverdale road, as I haven't been that way for a long time. I stopped and looked at the old stone ford where we used to cross Little Osage Creek until about fifty years ago. The vegetation, especially Johnson grass, has grown up so much that now most people probably don't even know that the ford is there. At another stop I found a limestone marker that was set when the boundary between Kansas and Indian Territory was surveyed in 1871. Back at home I spent the afternoon in the shop. I checked the magneto post on the roadster, and found it good and clean. I spent most of the afternoon applying gun bluing to more spark plug parts.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

I was pretty worthless today. The morning low was about 88º, and the heat soon climbed to over 100º. It took enough starch out of me that I wasted a lot of the day net surfing. I did get a little sedentary work done, applying gun bluing to more spark plug parts and assembling some plugs. In the afternoon the high was 106º, and it cooled down to 100º about 9:00 PM. This is the season for sleeping on the front porch swing in the evening to catch the breeze.


Monday, July 11, 2011

I spent the morning scanning reunion photos and posting them online for the relatives. In the afternoon I took care of some business at the bank, then did a little more spark plug work in th shop.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

This morning I was out of printer ink, and decided to drive the roadster into town and try out my carburetor work. I don't know if it was the repaired NH, the "new" Champion X's, or both together, but the car ran more smoothly than it did last time out. I had been to the big W to buy ink, made a stop at the grocery store, and pulled in at the Auto Zone to see if they had a proper spark plug adapter for my compression gauge (Ha!). When I came out a couple of boys who looked to be around fourteen and fifteen were inspecting the Ford. They seemed impressed when I told them that in four years the car would be 100 years old. They asked some questions, and I told them a little about the car, then showed how to start it. The older boy seemed most interested, so I said, "Ride?" He said, "Yeah!" So away we went. It was just a short ride around the block, during which I explained driving a T. When we got back to the Auto Zone the other boy and the mom were in their car ready to go, so I let it go at just one ride. But I did give them one of my cards with the MTFCA and MTFCI websites. During the entire trip to town and back, about eight miles, the car was very well behaved, always starting on the first or second pull. It didn't even come to a serious boil until pulling the long hill coming up from the river on the way home. That got it going. The only downer is that I didn't have a camera with me to take a picture of those kids in the car, which I'm pretty sure they would have enjoyed. I'll remember to take one next time. This afternoon I had an organizing session in the shop, putting away tools and clearing some work table space. Then I got back to work on my rear axle rebuilding, drilling a grease hole in the drive shaft bushing and reaming the new bushing so the new drive shaft will fit in it.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wunnerful, wunnerful! After weeks of heat and dry weather that seemed to last forever, overnight rain brought a good soaking. I didn't have a rain gauge out, but from the size of the puddles I'd guess we got at least a couple of inches. This will revive the grass enough that I'll have something to mow next week. I spent the morning editing and posting video of last Friday's roof work (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UOU1pQRMfMg), then shot, edited, and posted video of the nice rainstorm (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=roHDFu6NIOw). This afternoon I worked on the roadster, reattaching the top to the tack strip and installing new welt.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Today I drove the roadster into town again. I took a machine shop job to Gary Wilson, went to a tooth cleaning at the dentist's, and bought celery. The car ran very well, but coming up the long hill from the river got it plenty warm. It was boiling when I shut it off at home.


Friday, July 15, 2011

I started in the cool of the morning assassinating inconvenient vegetation. I gave a poison shower to the little trees that insist on coming up in the front lawn. Then I worked my way down the road along the west field, giving the same treatment to the Johnson grass. I lost track of how many times I filled the sprayer, but it was at least a half dozen. All that used up most of the morning. Next I took a new picture to go with my profile on the MTFCA forum. In the afternoon I packed a battery box to ship to a fellow who had bought it, and took it to town in the roadster. After shipping the box I grocery shopped and made a few other stops. At one stop I got my first "free start", which is the term commonly used for the car starting on its own when you turn on the key, without having to pull the crank. When the car is cold, you choke it for two pulls, turn on the key, and it usually starts on the first pull with the ignition on. But I'm still learning the fine points of starting the car when it's hot.


Saturday, July 16, 2011

I spent the day attending an auction near Rich Hill, MO. I went in search of Model T parts and tools, but it was slim pickings in both categories. For $3 I bought a good aluminum level, a Ford plug/headbolt wrench, and some small files.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Did laundry in the morning and auctioned in the afternoon. I drove over to Oxford for the Patterson auction and came away with a Ford adjustable wrench and a couple of machinery pulleys. Most of the time I read the paper waiting for them to sell something I wanted.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Job one was to get out in the cool of the morning and cut down some of the volunteer trees that have come up across the road to block my view to the south, and poison the stumps so they don't grow back. I'll cut them down now and let the heat of summer dry them out, then cut them up for firewood in the fall when the weather's cooler.

This afternoon I removed the radiator from the roadster and took it to the radiator shop in town. The professional opinion was that the radiator is fine, and any overheating is caused by something else. So I believe I'll pull the head and make sure all the water passages are open.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another early start in the cool of the morning brought good progress. I finished cutting down all the trees I wanted to get rid of along the south side of the lane. By the time that was done it was nine and the sun was starting to bear down, so I moved down the lane into the shade and worked on removing low-hanging branches. By ten I had enough clearing done for the truck to get all the way down to the wood lot. While I was clearing branches I discovered a couple of dead trees that will be standing firewood when cold weather arrives. Sometime before the leaves fall, I'll take a can of spray paint and mark a lot of dead trees so I'll know which ones to cut during the winter. I think one more early morning session will finish up the clearing I want to do now. There are a few trees along the north side of the lane that I want to cut so the wood can be drying in the heat of summer.

Today's session in auto shop was turning 1917-1925 radiator studs into 1915 ones, 1\2" shorter. I'm waiting for new hoses ordered yesterday to arrive before I reinstall the radiator.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More plant murder was the order of the day. After a three-mile run, breakfast, and a shower, I took the sprayer along the road in front of the house and down the hill to the east, poisoning more Johnson grass. I got most of it done by 9:30 when the sun told me it was time to quit. The little remaining to do will wait until the cool of another morning. Next was a drive to the Big Tool Store in Derby to buy a set of hollow punches, not available locally, and then on to Wichita to buy some film, also not available here. Back at home I used the hollow punches to prepare a couple of radiator mounting pads for the roadster. Maybe the new hoses and clamps will arrive tomorrow and I can reinstall the radiator.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

With another early start in the cool of the morning, I cut down the last two trees along the north side of the lane. Actually, tree clumps would be a more accurate term. Each had five or six trunks coming up from a single root tangle. There was a lot of trimming to do, but by nine-thirty I had one clump cut down and trimmed, and the other cut down and partly trimmed, and the truck filled with trimmings. My shop project today was attempting to install a bearing sleeve on my new drive shaft. I managed to get it part way on, and stuck. If I can get the stupid thing off I'll ditch it a buy a modern replacement bearing that doesn't need the sleeve.


Friday, July 22, 2011

The new hoses and clamps arrived in yesterday's mail, so today was radiator day. With the radiator off the roadster I filled the head and block with 33% CLR, let it sit for an hour, and thoroughly flushed it. I did the same with the radiator, then reinstalled it on the car. I filled it with with 50-50 antifreeze and made a test run to town for some shopping. The car did fairly well, but the long hill coming up from the river on the way home got it boiling. I'm told that water cools a little better than antifreeze, so I think I'll run on water during hot weather and save the antifreeze until fall.


Saturday, July 23, 2011

I went to the fairgrounds to check out an auction, found nothing to keep me there, and went to another one north of Winfield. It was the same story there, so I came home. I did a little more on the roadster, moving a hose clamp that was keeping the fan from turning, removing antifreeze until fall and putting in water, and polishing the brass. I went for another test drive and found that the long hill coming up from the river on a 100º day still got it steaming.


Sunday, July 24, 2011

A hot, lazy Sunday was my day for catching up. I spent most of the day sorting, recording, and filing receipts that have been piling up on my desk all month. An interesting wrinkle is the mystery receipts from Wal-Mart. The product is listed as some indecipherable code, and if you call the store to ask what it is you get somebody who doesn't know and doesn't know how to find out. Fortunately most of the receipts, especially from the grocery stores, are in English.


Monday, July 25, 2011

Today was a very welcome break in the heat wave. A little rain during the night cooled things down, and continued cloud cover during the day kept temperatures under 90º. I drove the roadster into town to run some errands, and made a ten mile drive out into the country to pay the roofers. By the time I drove back to town, made about five stops, and returned home, I had covered about thirty miles. The car never got hot until I climbed the long hill coming up from the river on the way home. That was enough to get it steaming.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

More plant murder. I started the day with the sprayer and spent the cool of the morning poisoning a lot more Johnson grass. In the past couple of weeks I've killed a lot of the stuff, but there's more to do. My shop work today was on two projects. One was making a radiator support rod for the roadster. I got part of it done, and should finish in a day or two. The other project was getting the headlights working. Most of that was research on where to get parts. I'll start the shopping tomorrow. I'm hoping I can buy bulbs locally, and I know where to order wire and a plug. This afternoon I picked up the rear axle shaft and gear which Gary Wilson pressed together for me, so I'll soon be ready to reassemble the touring rear axle.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Today I finished the radiator support rod, painted it, and hung it up to cook in the sun. I ordered wire and a plug for the roadster lights, then took the light buckets off the car because they were the wrong ones, and replaced them with the 1915 buckets I happened to have. Those 1915 buckets came with my 1924 TT project, so I'll use the later buckets that came on the roadster on the TT. I went to town and got some bulbs, then installed the springs, reflectors, bulbs, and lenses in the 1915 buckets. As soon as the wire arrives, I'll hook up the lights and try them out.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Another steaming day didn't produce much. I caught up on some reading, puttered in the shop a bit, and played online. Maybe tomorrow I'll get something done. I did take a few minutes this morning to shoot my neighbor's dogs. When I go out for my morning run, the two big dogs across the road come out to nip at my heels and bark their heads off. I don't worry about that, but if Daisy's with me they also give her a bit of a mauling. I don't care for that. So this morning when I got back I went in the house and got a starter's pistol. I went running down the road, the two big dogs came running out barking their heads off, and I fired off a couple of rounds. They took off runnning like their tails were on fire. It was a lot of fun. We'll see how long the lesson lasts.


Friday, July 29, 2011

Well, that was disappointing. After installing the new radiator support in the roadster, I drove to town for some grocery shopping. When I came out of the first store and tried to start the car, the crank grabbed nothing but air. Apparently the pin came out or sheared off. I started walking for home, but was lucky enough to get a ride. I went back with a trailer and brought the Ford home. So the next project will be pulling the radiator and crank to see just what the problem is. Meanwhile, a little relief has arrived. This evening brought dark clouds, a cool breeze, some thunder, and even some rain. It wasn't a lot of rain, but even a little bit is really welcome now. All these days over 100º are really drying things out.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

After doing laundry I ventured down into Okieland for an auction at Kildare. I guess I'm spoiled by too many auction bargains. There were a few items I would have bid on except they were in a huge pile of stuff I didn't want or need, and didn't want to pay for. And when people start driving the bidding up to where the price is more than the item costs new, I'm out of there. I came home and took a nap, then pulled the radfiator off the roadster to see what it needed. The pin was missing from the crankshaft pulley. I went to the hardware store and got a 3/8" roll pin for $1.73. Problem solved.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

The heat continues and I continue to be lazy. I did get a little done on the roadster. I made new radiator mounting studs, soldered a radiator leak, reinstalled the radiator, and painted a hood latch to relace a missing one. On these 100º days I'm useless for anything strenuous.




JUNE 2011