Monday, September 1, 2014

Yesterday evening the repairman at the Orscheln store called to tell me the chain saw was ready to go, so today I went to town and picked it up. It turned out that all that was wrong with it was a loose spark plug wire. Apparently I dislodged it when I cleaned the air filter. I should have caught something that simple and saved myself several days and ten dollars' worth of shop time. With my saw back in action, I cut some fresh logs for a new cover on the sink/shower sump. I found enough straight trees to make four new logs with enough left over to make half a dozen fence posts that will be around long after I'm gone. Hedge wood is so hard that posts made from it will last half a century and more.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Overnight rain left two inches in the gauge and over a foot of roof runoff in my excavation. The wind blew one of the tarps loose to let it run in. I laid a hose out to the west field to siphon it out, and it ran almost all day. The siphon is slow, but it got most of the water out. I'll dip the rest out with a pail and hope the thing dries enough for me to work in it within a week. I spent most of the day in my office and in the shop. I got the old bushing out of a rear perch, then wire brushed the rust and old paint off the perch and prepped it for painting. I also found what looked like a good source in Wichita for bronze perch bushings. But it turned out they have the parts shipped from out of state by the manufacturer who doesn't use USPS. When the shipping costs more than the product, that's a deal breaker.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

A lot of today was eaten up by those rear perches. Getting the old bushing out of the second one turned out to be a major undertaking. The thing was hardened steel, and even a new hacksaw blade didn't have much effect on it.  I finally resorted to a small die grinder, and that did the trick.  With the old bushings out of both perches,  I installed  new bronze bushings, painted, and put them in the oven to cook.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

It was a good day for Daisy. She just finished six weeks of confinement following heartworm treatment. She wasn't allowed to run or do anything strenuous all that time, but today the vet gave the OK to let her out. I started the day removing steel shackle bushings from the roadster's rear spring and putting in the new bronze ones. Then I went to work on the sink/shower sump, installing its new cover. Putting in the fresh logs took a lot of fitting and adjusting and putting in just the right bricks, and flat rocks of various sizes, and parts of bricks, to get all four logs level and even.  Then came cutting and fitting the  corrugated roofing to go over the logs.  For that I used old panels from the roof I replaced in May.  Soon I'll  be using the kitchen sink and not having to carry pails of water out of the house, and bathing inside instead of out in the back yard with a hose.  

Friday, September 5, 2014

The sump project ate up the whole day. It occurred to me that instead of leaving all that used water to soak in at a depth of five feet, I could put it to good use up on the surface, watering plants. I happened to have an old pump in the barn, so today I set about the task of installing it. I have a Model T rear axle housing that was ruined by somebody cutting off part of the backing plate. I'll use that for a stand. In the morning I made and painted the hardware for mounting the pump, and in the afternoon I sandblasted and painted the housing.  I'll give it a few days for the paint to dry, then I'll install the pump and shovel the dirt back over the cover.  With any luck I won't have to bother with this thing anymore.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Last night, for the first time in weeks, I enjoyed the luxury of an indoor shower. I'm past the point of having to worry about dropping dirt in the hole and having to shovel it out, so I can run water normally now. Today I went to an auction south of Silverdale. A lot of the stuff was junk, but I did spend $31 for a bunch of small items. The most I paid for anything was $6 for a pile of bricks. The largest item I got was a belt-driven grinder for a line-shaft powered shop. It's pretty stout, and I'll have to go back tomorrow with a trailer to get it. I paid a whole dollar for it.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Today's main project was installing the pinion bearing
on the drive shaft for the roadster. I would have put the drive shaft into the housing, but I found the housing still has an old bushing in it which won't come out using the normal methods. In the morning I'll get a hacksaw blade for the Sawzall and cut it out. I'd use heat, but I don't want to ruin the paint. In the afternoon I hitched up the trailer to the Suburban and fetched the little pile of bricks and the old grinder I bought at yesterday's auction.

Monday, September 8, 2014

What a can of worms! I spent all day on a job that should have taken a few minutes. I set out to remove the old bushing from that drive shaft housing and ended up wrecking the housing. It may be fixable, but I'm not going to take the time to deal with it now. It's the only one I had that's correct for 1915, so I'll use one from a later car and replace it when I have time to fix the correct one or find another. After trying several approaches
on both housings, I finally got the old bushing out of the second one. It was after four in the afternoon. In the morning I'll blast it and paint it and hope I can get it assembled later this week.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

When I set out to blast the drive shaft housing I found that the "Medium" blasting sand I bought yesterday is totally worthless. I was lucky to do ten seconds of blasting before it jammed the nozzle. Most attempts lasted about two seconds. So I had to get some better sand. The lumber yard was out of the fine sand, which is why I bought the stuff I did. At the local Orscheln farm supply it was their usual story, "We carry it, but we're out." So I ended up driving to Winfield for two bags of expensive sand. I finally got started blasting about noon. I blasted the housing, washed it out and dried it, installed the bushing and drilled the grease hole, reamed the bushing, and painted the housing. I finished a little before five. Next I'll face the bushing to make room for the U-joint to fit, then I can proceed with rear axle assembly.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014  

Most of today was devoted to the October Model T tour. Ed came up from Enid and we drove around to all the old stone bridges on the tour except one. The county has agreed to do some clearing of weeds and brush to improve the views at some of them, so we went around to see where it was most needed. By the time we got to the penultimate bridge my car was running on fumes, so we skipped the last one. I'll go out and take a look at it soon.

September 11, 2014

Most of the day was devoted to truck brakes.
It took a couple of trips to town for parts, but I figured out a way to get the master cylinder working again. After time out in the afternoon for a dental appointment, I bought a new piece of tubing for brake line bleeding. I ran out of daylight, so I'll have to work on that later.  A complication is that bleeder screws of the right size for this truck are hard to come by.  A couple of  the ones that are in it are a little too short. They work, but not as well as the right ones would if I could find them.

September 12, 2014

Two blankets! With more than a week of summer left, the high of 59º was a few minutes after
midnight. After that it cooled off, and most of the day was near 50º. I was tempted to light a fire in the kitchen stove this evening, but it wasn't quite cool enough to make me expend the effort.  Fortunately the forecast shows a return to normal, with highs in the eighties all next week. I spent most of the cool day in the shop, working on drive shaft assembly. Miss Kitty has moved her latest litter into my shop, so I have to be careful where I step. The previous batch would all hiss at me and run away, but some of these like to be underfoot and climb over my feet.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

After doing laundry, I spent the day working on the pickup.  Finished bleeding the brakes, then set about putting the rear wheels back on.
The left wheel was no trouble, but things bogged down when I got to the right one. When I originally tried to pull the drum with an ordinary three-jaw puller, I succeeded only in bending it. So today I tried to straighten it using a shop press. I think I got it pretty close, then I hit another snag when I tried to put the wheel back on. Somehow the threads on one of the lugs got all boogered up. I ran out of time so I'll have to go to work on that lug with a thread file tomorrow and see if I can get the nut back on.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Today the old truck moved under its own power for the first time since November of 2012.  I used a thread file on that boogered-up lug until I could get the nut on, and put the wheel back on the truck. When I started it up and tried to drive, a rear wheel spun and I didn't move. I had to do a little digging where the front tires had settled into the ground, especially on the right side where some critter had burrowed under the wheel and it was really sunk in. I drove the truck around in  front of the shop and aired up the tires, then took it around back of the shop and drained the oil. When it came to changing the filter, I hit a snag. I have a replacement filter that's been sitting on a shelf in the barn for years. But before I use it I want to be sure I have more replacements on hand for next time. O'Reilly and AutoZone were both useless. I'll try Bumper to Bumper tomorrow, but I don't expect any better there. This will be another online purchase, but it will wait until business hours tomorrow when I can talk to people on the phone and have a chance of getting the right item.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Two vehicles occupied my day. Trying to find an oil filter for the truck took me to town again. At Bumper to Bumper I bought a WIX filter that looked just right. It has the proper height and width. Unfortunately the holes in the center are a little too small, so back it goes. But in my barn I found  another WIX filter that will work. It's not quite as wide as the proper one, but height and hole size are the important things, and those are just right. So I installed it  and put the  new oil in the engine, and the truck's ready to go to work when I have the time to use it.  Right now, though, I need to get the roadster back together, and that's the other thing I worked on today.  The things I have to do are fairly simple, but it's slow going because you have to assemble parts to see if they fit correctly, and if they're not quite right you have to take them apart and make corrections, then reassemble to check again. At this point it appears that if all goes well I should have the car back together by the end of the week.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Most of the day I worked on the roadster rear axle. Part of that was sanding down one of the bronze thrust washers to the proper thickness to fit properly. That was slow going because you have to take off a little, install the washer and bolt the housings together, try to turn the ring gear, and if it's too tight take the washer out and sand a little more until you've taken off just enough to let the gear turn. You have to do that several times until it's just right, because if you sand off too much and the washer is loose you have to get another washer and start over.  I'm slow to begin with, and all the  adjusting,  putting together to test, and taking apart for more adjusting until things are right makes me even slower.   

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I ate up a big chunk of the morning getting a tool to install rear axle felt seals. There are big felt washers that go around the axle shafts inside the housing to keep oil from the center from migrating out to the brakes. I wanted to use a piece of pipe to shove them in, but the first one I got was too wide to fit into the housing. Most were too wide like that, or to narrow to fit over the axle shaft. I finally found that 1 1/4" electrical conduit will fit. The next snag turned up when I put the U-joint on the drive shaft and drove in the pin to hold it there. I found that the back of the U-joint was so tight against the drive shaft bushing that I had to use a wrench to turn the shaft. So I need to take some more off the face of the bushing. I'll look for a tool to do that tomorrow. I'm in Wichita tonight and tomorrow for business and pleasure. The business will be in the morning when I take the Camry to the Toyota dealer to have the cruise control fixed. I hate to spend high dollars at a dealership, but none of the shops at home could do the job. Pleasure was tonight in the form of a movie screening at Wichita State where they showed Best in Show. Christopher Guest, Eugene Levy, Fred Willard and the rest of the cast were a delight, especially Fred willard's turn as a clueless TV announcer.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

After a day in wichita waiting for a diagnosis at the Toyota dealer and doing some shopping, this evening I went to the Orpheum and saw Double Indemnity. This was the movie that started the film noir trend, and I had never seen it before. The Orpheum is a grand old movie palace that opened in 1922.  

Friday, September 19, 2014

This morning I had to go to town and found that the Camry wouldn't start. It was running fine as ever last night when I came home from Wichita, but this morning I couldn't even get a cough out of it. This has been a good, reliable car, but it's twenty years old now and expensive things are starting to go wrong with it. I think the time has come for a change. It looks like I'll be driving the Suburban for at least a few days. So I spent part of the day online shopping for another car. I also spent a big part of the afternoon making an improved facing tool, which I then used on that drive shaft bushing that needed to be a little shorter. It worked very nicely. I was hoping to have the roadster back together this week, but I'm not going to make it.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

All of today was rear axle assembly day. I got a lot of the job done, and hope I can finish it up tomorrow. The most time-consuming part of today's work was installing felt seals to keep differential oil from migrating through the housings to the brakes.  In theory is a simple task, but in the real world it's
mighty slow going, especially if you haven't done much of it before.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

After another day of working on the roadster rear axle, it's almost ready to go back in the car. I do have to install some new brake bushings, though. I'll order them in the morning, so they should be here Wednesday afternoon. While I wait for them I'll clear stuff from around, under, and in front of the car so I can get it out of the shop when it's ready to roll.

Monday, September 22, 2014

While I wait for the parts I ordered this morning to arrive,  I mostly finished up the sump project. Sometimes there's a foot or two of water standing in there, so I decided to install this old pump that's been sitting in my barn for years so I can use that water on the plants. I made a stand for it from an old Model T rear axle housing that was ruined by part of the backing plate being cut off. There's just a small pile of dirt left to shovel on.  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

On the first day of fall I went for another planning drive. The "Flat Country" Model T Tour is a couple of weeks away, and today I drove the Friday route at Model T speeds to get the timing. I was very conservative, with a speed limit of 30 mph on pavement and 25 to 30 off. There are a few short stretches of 15 to 25 mph road, but probably less than three miles total. It will be around 180 miles that day, and with stops will be a full day. I still need to do one more drive of the Saturday and Sunday routes too. It's good to plan ahead and avoid surprises.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

In the morning I cleared brush, but not at home. One of the places on the coming Model T tour is Timber Creek Bridge. It's a great setting for pictures if you can see it, so this morning the property owner and I spent a couple of hours with chain saw and clippers removing some small trees and brush that blocked the view. In the afternoon I had the dead Camry towed to town. I want it running so I can drive it to Ponca City and trade it in for a later model. While in Ponca yesterday I looked at cars and found a 2008 Camry that looks good.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I fired up the roadster and ran it five times today while working on other chores. I got new brake bushings installed in the backing plates and located some other parts I'll need. I'm still looking for grease cups. I have a bag of several, but haven't found it yet. Wherever I put it probably seemed logical at the time, but it sure doesn't seem logical now.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Job One today was painting brake cam levers and putting them in the oven to bake. I did find some large grease cups, and painted one and put it in to bake, but I still haven't found the small ones I need. I also did some tool-putting-away and cleaning up in the shop. In the afternoon I walked to town and got the old Camry. It cost $375 for a distributor to get it running so I could drive it to Ponca for a trade-in. And that's what I did. Now I have a new 2008 Camry LE in the garage. If I can get 100,000 miles out of it before all the automatic electronic crap goes south, I'll be a happy camper.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

After doing laundry I went to an auction in Cambridge. There wasn't a lot of stuff I cared about, but I did stay long enough to buy some air tools I didn't already have. One of them is a hacksaw that should be handy for cutting out stuck bushings. I was home by noon, and because I was up late last night, took a nice afternoon nap. I finished the day installing brake cams on the roadster. My Saturday night in town was carnitas at La Fiesta, and a movie. When the waiter asked if everything was OK, I told him, "Como siempre la comida me encanta, pero la música salsa me aburre. Prefiero la Méxicana." I think a Mexican restaurant should have Mexican music. The movie was The Equalizer. Denzel Washington was excellent as usual. Some of the reviews complained about the script, but I thought the film was a well-made entertainment.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Lots of work on the roadster today, running the engine a few times and tightening the head bolts, putting oil in the rear axle, and noting a job to do over. A newly rebuilt engine running a little hot and barfing out coolant on the floor is the usual thing. But I found that the freeze plugs are leaking too. I must not have used enough sealant when I installed them. I'll have to pull the manifolds off and replace all three plugs.  


Monday, September 29, 2014

Today's project was installing the rear axle in the car.  Jacking up the axle and rolling it into place was easy.  Lining up the U-joint and sliding it into place was annoying but not too bad. Bolting the ball caps together was easy. But then I found that the rear spring was too far back to line up with the perches so I could install the shackles.  One end of the spring was close enough to squeeze the shackle halves together with a big C clamp. Once that was fastened, I pried the other end into place with a two foot piece of 2x2. Next: those freeze plugs. 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

After an early bedtime last night, I was up at 4:30 this morning and got to work on the roadster by five. I spent the day working on it. I removed the manifolds to get them out of the way, removed the leaking freeze plugs, made and installed new ones,
installed and adjusted the clutch linkage, installed some of the rear brake hardware, tightened the rear spring nuts and put in the cotter pins, cleaned old sealant off the block and manifolds, and painted some nuts to use on the brake rod supports.  This evening after chow I took a nap, then about ten I started installing the manifolds. I had them back on before midnight. This afternoon I filled the radiator, and when I finished this evening there were no leaks around the freeze plugs. The real test will be tomorrow with the engine running.