Sunday, September 1, 2013

After a lazy sunday morning I spent the afternoon hitching up the trailer, airing up the tires, and adjusting and greasing all the wheel bearings. I'm off to an auction in Wichita tomorrow and I'm taking the trailer just in case I buy something large.

Monday, Sepetember 2, 2013

It was a long day at the auction.  There were no old cars, but lots of Model T parts and some motorcycles, including a 1931 Indian which sold for $50,500! As usual, the sale started with all the stuff you'd have to pay me to haul off. But I didn't have to spend the morning just sitting and waiting. I spent that time looking through all the good stuff and finding what I wanted to bid on. Also as usual, when they did get to the good stuff a lot of it went to folks who were willing to spend more than I was, some of them a lot more. But even with a few high rollers present, I bought enough that when I left the old Suburban was riding mighty low. The haul included four crank shafts, several magneto coil rings, a pallet of axle housings,  a tub of wheel hubs, four engine blocks, a front axle assembly, three rear axles, a pre-starter transmission, a few felloes, a box of transmission parts, a few generators, some line shaft pulleys, and various small parts. I bought some of that stuff, like the axle housings and the engine blocks, just to keep the scrapper from getting it. My big purchase of the day was a Lathe & Morse Company lathe made sometime between 1874 and 1891. It's a big old heavy thing, and four big guys struggled to get it on the trailer. If I live long enough, I hope eventually to set up a shop with line shaft equipment. By the time I was loaded and ready to leave it was 8 PM. I stopped to eat in Wichita, and by the time I drove home, checked email, and got ready for bed it was well after eleven. A big day well spent.

Tuesday, September  3, 2013

After yesterday's long, long day, I spent the morning getting the website up to date and doing some forum and Facebook posts. On the Model T forum I asked about which fasteners are correct for hood shelves, and as expected in a few minutes I had the answer from experts. On Facebook I chided folks who are upset when they post their crackpot political notions and people answer back. If you can't stand the heat get off the internet.  

Next was some work on the roadster.  First was soldering the terminals on the spark plug wires, then cleaning and polishing. The brass terminals look pretty good, but I think they could be better. I need to get a couple more little buffing wheels so I can use all three grades of compound. Those will be on my shopping list when I go to town tomorrow.  

Next I cut, cleaned, and painted new hood shelf bolts. The last project of the day gets the shortest description and took the longest. That was scraping the old peeling paint off the hood shelves, sanding, and painting them. I'll hang them out in the sun to dry a couple of days before I install them.   

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

In the morning I paid bills and researched parts. In the afternoon I went to machine shop class and finished making one of my carburetor tools, then did the grocery shopping. That was my  exciting day.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

This morning I resoldered a spark plug wire terminal that had come loose, then finished polishing all the terminals, and then installed the wires. My other work on the roadster was hunting up some square nuts for the hood shelf bolts. I cleaned and painted them, and I'll use them temporarily, but they're not quite right. The original nuts used by Ford were 1/2" across the flats, and all I have are 7/16". So making some of the right sized ones will be a future machine shop project. In the afternoon I started getting ready for tomorrow. Bright and early in the morning I'll be off to Wichita for surgery on my prostate cancer, and I wanted to get a few things taken care of here before I go.    

Friday, September 6, 2013

Surgery day. My cousin Pete came for me at 5:30 this morning and hauled me to Wichita.  I checked into the hospital at 7:30 and they wheeled me into the operating room around nine. I woke up about one in the afternoon and the deed was done. I was drugged up enough to feel no pain. In the evening I had a very unimpressive hospital sandwich, but everything else was OK. 

Saturday, Sepember 7, 2013

This was coming-home day.  Pete came for me at ten and we were out of there around eleven.  I felt like I'd been pulled through a knot hole. I was weak and unsteady, and needed help just getting around. I lay down in the back seat all the way home. After dozens of trips to Wichita over the years, I knew from the movement of the vehicle exactly where we were all the way home. Hillside, 31st, K-15,  Derby, Mulvane, Udall, Kellogg, etc.  At home I went to the front porch swing and  spent the rest of the day lying there.  I was still weak and sore, but by about seven in the evening I was improved enough that I was able to get up and eat. After some time online and watching the evening news on Univisión, I bedded down on the front porch again. After a day in the high nineties  the porch is cooler than my bedroom upstairs.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

About two in the AM I made my way upstairs and slumbered well until almost seven. Feeling much better but still weak, I lounged about all day, not doing much of anything. I didn't take a Lortab when I got up because I wanted to be drug-free so I could drive to town for groceries. I found that somehow I've acquired a sore shoulder that was pretty painful at times. So when I got back from town I took a pill and have been feeling no pain. If I keep improving at the present rate, I should be feeling fine in a few days.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Continuing improvement had me feeling well enough to get some work done on the roadster. I stayed home from my shop class because I didn't want to operate machinery while high on Lortab. Instead I spent three hours installing two of the four hood clips, and was getting nowhere on the third. So I finally gave up and went to town and bought a couple of lighter weight springs that I could compress by hand and install without major difficulty. Next will be installing the engine pans.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The day started normally. I worked in the shop installing the engine pans on the roadster. About the time I finished installing the first one I noticed that my post-operative equipment was leaking. So, not wanting to use up all my dry underwear, I took a couple of hours off for a trip to the hospital to have it adjusted. I got home about two and took a nice nap, then got back to work. I finished the other engine pan, then installed the timer. I hope I can set the timing tomorrow and get the car running this week. But I still need to install front wheels, lights, fenders, and hood.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

This morning's work on the roadster was installing the timer and setting the timing, and making and installing a new choke wire. I might have achieved more, but I had more post-op leakage and made another trip to the hospital. The nurse recommended some pads to try, so I got some and found that they helped. But the hole in my side was draining so much that the gauze I taped over it was soon soaked. I went to my afternoon class for a couple of hours, and by the time it was over the pads on my side were soaked again.  I phoned the urologist's office for advice, and was told to come see the doc in the morning. So tomorrow I'm off to Wichita again to see if he can stem the flow. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I didn't do a lick of work today. In the morning I gassed up the car and drove to Wichita for a visit with the urologist. Actually I debated with myself whether I should cancel the appointment. After yesterday's adventure with nonstop drainage from the hole in my side, I went through the night with almost none at all. But I went and saw the doc anyway, and he checked me out and said we'd keep an eye on it.  Knowing that independent films like this rarely ever make their way down to us in Podunk, while in Wichita I went and saw Instructions Not Included. By far this is the best film I've seen this year. I'm sorry for all the folks who won't see it because they're too dumb to sit through a movie with subtitles (It's in Spanish and English). Those who know Eugenio Derbez only from seeing him clowning on TV may not realize what a fine actor he is. I've known that since seeing La Misma Luna, one of my favorite movies, in 2007. Here, as star, director, and co-writer, he has come up with a real gem. But while Derbez is the star, the wonderful Loreto Peralta will steal your heart in two languages. The premise of the story is an Acapulco playboy becoming a reluctant father to a baby left on his doorstep. What happens after that is not what you expect. I can tell you there are no orange explosions or masked superheros. This is a movie for grownups, about something real. If it plays anywhere near you, go see it.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Still leaking from a hole in my side, I stayed home except for a run to town to buy gauze pads, tape, and old folks' undies. With all the post-op drainage, I have to change dressings several times a day.  In the shop I put the left front wheel back on the roadster. The right wheel didn't go on because the old bearing was no good and the dust seal was missing. I have new bearings, but I had to order a new dust seal. With that part of the job at a standstill, I finished the afternoon polishing hubcaps.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The day begain with laundry. That used up a big chunk of the morning. When I got home I went to an auction just a quarter mile down the road from my house. There wasn't a lot that I wanted, but I spotted a couple of items, so I came home and got a chair and some other things and returned to the auction. While I waited for the auctioneers to get to something I wanted, I sat in the shade and finished polishing hubcaps, then read my new copy of The Vintage Ford. At the end I came away with two good blankets for 50¢ and a valve spring compressor for $4. The cheapest one of those I saw when I looked at new ones online was about $40. This is why I love auctions.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This morning I set the timing on the roadster, twice. The first time I got it 180º off  so it was firing on #4 instead of #1. This is because on the early cars the hole for the pin that holds the timer rotor goes all the way through the cam shaft, so it's easy to get it backwards. On the later cars, the hole is only on one side of the shaft, so you can't get it wrong.  Dean Voth, one of the local Model T guys, stopped by for a visit.  We chewed the fat and he was kind enough to give me a  like-new exhaust manifold nut. It's much needed, because the old one refused to thread onto the manifold. This one works perfectly. This afternoon I made a couple of trips to town. The first was to buy oil for the roadster. Unfortunately the hole in my side was draining so much I had to come home to change bandages and clothes. The second trip was for groceries, and I got though it with no mishaps.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Happy Independence Day to all the folks in Mexico. There was a live TV show from Mexico City last night with some of my favorite singers, but my days of staying up past midnight for TV are over, so I missed most of it. My adventures in drainage continued today. I went to my machine shop class and lasted about an hour and a half before I had to come home and change to dry pads. I have an appointment with the doc in Wichita on Thursday, and I'm hoping he can do something to stem the tide. I'm using up gauze pads at a pretty furious rate. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It was a good day in roadster land. I installed the exhaust pipe using the nut Dean gave me,  I put new bearings in the right front wheel and put it on the car,  I polished the headlight rims and installed the lights, and  I got the right fender mostly installed.  The fender is  still waiting for some bolts I wire brushed and painted. They'll go on the car after they've cooked for a day or two. Along with the work on the roadster, I settled a question that came up on the Model T forum. Some guys thought the later roller bearing cups are slightly larger than the old ball bearing cups, and might split a hub. I measured both cups, found them exactly the same, and posted the pictures on the forum.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

How very nice! The hole in my side quit draining. The gauze pads I taped on last night are still dry. I like not having to stop whatever I'm doing to deal with that every hour or two. I was able to go to my machine shop class this afternoon and stay the full time. I finished one of the carburetor tools I've been making, then made some spark plug nuts and some more coil box terminal nuts.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Not much work done today. First thing in the morning I was off to
Wichita for a visit with the urologist. He liked my x-rays, but told me the prostate cancer was an aggressive one and we need to keep an eye on things to be sure it hasn't spread. I'm supposed to get a blood test and see him again in a month. Meanwhile, I need to do exercises to increase bladder control and stop the dripping that requires constant changing of pads and old folks' diapers. On the way home from Wichita I stoppped in Winfield and bought a couple of jars of kimchi, then made a stop at Wal-Mart for more pads and diapers. Finally I went grocery shopping, and that pretty well used up the afternoon. When I got home I had enough time to reinstall two of the roadster's four hood clips that I had to remove when I attached the fenders. This evening I enjoyed the treat of celery with peanut butter on it, then watched a pledge week special on Ricky Nelson. The TV stroll down memory lane was fun.

Friday, September 20, 2013

of my morning was devoted to oven repair. My oven quit working, so I pulled the stove out away from the wall, cleaned under and behind it, and soldered a new terminal on a wire that had broken loose.
I finished in time to make it to my afternoon machine shop class, where I made more coil box terminal nuts and started another carburetor repair tool. After class I gassed up the car and then had time to install the last two hood clips on the roadster. That's a frustrating and infuriating job, difficult to reach and clumsy to handle. I'm glad to have it done.

september 21, 2013

Today's first job was installing the roadster's runnning board bolts.
Then I spent most of the rest of the day on tool making. I built an alignment tool to measure the distance between front wheels when adjusting toe-in, or gather as Ford called it. Tomorrow I'll take some pictures of it.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The autumnal equinox brought the official start of fall a week or so later than the practicial start. For the past week I've had a blanket on my bed, and a couple of nights ago I added a comforter. The days are still warming up to around 80º, but the nights are getting down almost into the fifties. I spent my first day of fall working on another piece for The Vintage Ford. I used the alignment tool I made yesterday to set the gather (toe-in) on the roadster, then took pictures and wrote about it. This is the third piece I've written for the magazine, and there will be more if I think of anything else to write about. 

I still have a little work to do before I try starting up the car, but if I get it running this week I may take it to the last run car show next weekend. After that I still have to open up the rear axle and see if it needs rebuilding.

Monday, September 23, 2013
Now, that was a senior moment. This morning I started filling the radiator on the roadster and soon found coolant dribbling down the front of the engine. It didn't take long to find out why. Somehow I managed to install the water outlet on the front of the head with no gasket or sealant. Apparently when I put the radiator on the car a month ago I was so preoccupied with making it fit that I forgot all about installing the outlet properly. I put a plastic tub under the car to catch the leak, and went to my afternoon class where I worked on one of my carburetor tools. After class I made an outlet gasket and installed it with Permatex. This time it held the coolant without any leaks.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

I spent the day on the roadster, removing a damaged radius rod and installing a good one, removing the rear wheels to inspect the brakes, and ordering parts. I was thinking I might be able to take the car to the Last Run car show this weekend, but at this point that's looking pretty unlikely. The parts I ordered today will probably arrive Thursday afternoon, and that won't leave much time to install them and get the car back together.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This morning I finished radius rod installation, then turned my attention to the ignition switch. I took it apart and made sure all the contacts were clean and tight, then reassembled it. After time out to go to my afternoon class, I spent the rest of the day finishing and installing the spark plug nuts I made last week.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I spent most of the day trying to figure out the timing on the roadster. I thought I had it set correctly, but couldn't get the thing started. Not evn a cough. Had to quit and go to town to pay bills and buy groceries, so I'll try it again tomorrow.

Friday, September  27, 2013

Instead of going to my afternoon class today, I went to the less crowded morning session so I could use a lathe.  I finished one of the carburetor tools I've been working on.  When I got home I went back to work on the roadster. I figured out the timing and set it correctly, and finally was ble to get the car started. I was able to get it running a couple of times, but it was hard starting and took a lot of cranking.  I think that's because of  some carburetor problem.  I also found a coolant leak from one of the freeze plugs, so that's something else I have to fix.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

After doing laundry  I checked out  a couple of auctions in Winfield. Both were remarkably  free of anything I wanted, so I came home, put away the  clean clothes, and went to the Last Run car show. It's mostly a hot rod show, but there are usually a few legitimate antiques as well.  This year the antiques were pretty scarce. There were a couple of straight Model A Fords, one Model T, one Model TT, and a handful of other prewar vehicles. I had hoped to take my roadster, but it's not ready to drive. Maybe next year.

   1923 Ford Model T

1922 Reo Speedwagon

1926 Ford Model TT

   1955 Ford Fairlane

1938 Chevrolet

1936 Buick

Sunday, September 29, 2013

This morning I started up my new engine again and ran it for a few minutes. But I shut it off when I found oil leaking out around the mag post. There was an auction in Oxford that I went to check out, and like the two I looked at yesterday there was nothing to keep me there. I came home and made a gasket for that leaking mag post, and installed it with Permatex. I hope I've fixed all the leaks. I spent the last hour of the afternoon taking advantage of the soft ground after yesterday morning's rain. I pulled a weed patch that was in front of the spot where I'm going to put some of the Model T rear axles that are still on the trailer. They've been sitting there since I got them at the auction in Wichita a month ago. I need to start getting that trailer unloaded in case I have to use it.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Today's main job was to bring order out of chaos. I spent most of the morning in the shop putting things away. Eventually I'll have the roadster ready to roll, and I'll need to have all the current clutter out of the way. There's a big mix of tools, parts, and other stuff to organize, so it will take several days to get through it all. I took the usual three hours out for my afternoon class, where I worked on another carbuetor tool, then came back and put away more stuff. While I was at it I started and ran the new engine a couple more times to check for leaks. I found that I'll need to apply some Permatex to the transmission cover.