Thursday, September 1, 2016
heard from Mike Bender that the engine I left with him needs a better
so today's first job was going through a box of them looking for the
best. It turned out that the first one was the best one. It was a good
fit on a crankshaft, with no slop, and run out was minimal. While I was
working on that, I got a call from the bearing shop that the bushings I
ordered had arrived, so I made a trip to Ponca City to pick them up. I
spent most of the rest of the day installing the new bushings and
finishing installation of the "new" axle. I ended the day with a trip
to town for groceries, and found that the new axle did make for a
steadier ride. I'll be happy to get my new wheels painted and on the
car. That should improve the ride even more.
Friday, September 2, 2016
Most of the day was Model T stuff. On the roadster I turned over a
spring hanger that I had accidentally installed upside down, and
replaced a damaged oil cup
on the steering linkage.
Then I got busy doing my homework on the touring engine rebuild, taking
things apart, cleaning, and getting stuff ready for sandblasting. In
the afternoon I went to town for groceries, and on the way home stopped
at the township building for the board meeting. Some of my cousins and
I are trying to get trees planted in the cemetery, and I think I need
to show up to help it get done.
Saturday, September 3, 2016
Kill, kill, kill! Today I took time out from working on the roadster to
attack the johnson grass again. I've been waiting for a run of dry days
to spray the stuff, and it's grown up to about seven feet tall in some
places. After what I sprayed today is dead and out of the way, I'll go
back and get what the spray couldn't reach today. Meanwhile, in the
shop I tried to fix the engine popping and loss of power that's
developed in the runabout lately. A compression check showed that the
valves are OK, and switching out all the coils made no difference, and
cleaning the timer had no effect. So the next obvious thing was to
check for manifold leaks. It seems that was the problem. So my last
chore of the day was taking off the manifolds and reinstalling them
with new gaskets and high temp RTV. I'll find out tomorrow, after the
RTV has set, if I managed to stop the leaks. This being Saturday, I
followed my usual custom of eating in town and going to a movie. This
one was Florence Foster Jenkins.
Meryl Streep, as usual, is great. Hugh Grant as her husband is also
excellent. But my favorite character was her accompanist, played by
Simon Helberg. I don't watch much TV, so this actor was new to me. His
first shock and amusement at her singing, then his growing affection
and admiration, make for a performance that's a delight to watch. This
movie has many fine performances and some wonderful New York street
scenes. No chases or big orange explosions. No zombies, dragons, or
space aliens. It's a movie for grown-ups, about real things, like
kindness and devotion.
Sunday, September 4,
With a slow sunday morning start,
eventually I got around to trying out the roadster with its newly
remounted manifolds. It runs much better. The previous popping is now
an occasional little bup.
Lizzie and I went to town for a bit of shopping, and the car was about
back to normal. I suspect that little bup may be a sticking valve, so I
think I'll try snake oil (Marvel Mystery Oil), which is alleged to be a
cure for sticking valves. We'll just see about that. Lizzie is becoming
a Model T aficionado. The first time she went for a ride I had to pick
her up and put her in the car. Now, at the least hint of a ride, she
runs to the car and climbs in.
Monday, September 5, 2016
Today I went for a drive in the country again, looking fior a good
photo shoot location. I found a spot that looks like it will do
nicely. In the shop I worked on dismantling the hogshead off the
touring. Removing rivets is slow work, and there will be more of
it to do tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 6, 2016
The first job of the day was a
drive to Wichita, taking three cameras to a repair shop to see if three
busted ones can be used to make one good one. Back at home I worked on
that rivet removal again, then Lizzie and I went to town in the
roadster to pay a couple of bills and get some groceries. With that
drive of twelve miles and an evening cruise of another ten, it seems to
me that the car is running pretty well. Maybe the MMO really works.
Wednesday, September 7, 2016
I finally got the pin out of that low pedal and removed the piece of
cut-off shaft. I also worked on the mystery of the underpowered
roadster. Grounding out the plugs one at a time I determined that #2
isn't firing like the others. I tried different plugs with no effect,
and I ried a different timer with no effect. Finally I took off the
valve cover and found that the #2 exhaust valve isn't opening fully. So
I've posted an inquiry on the Model T forum asking for guidance on
Thursday, September 8, 2016
Well, I'm done with Model T driving for awhile. This morning I took off
the inspection cover and found a broken valve lifter. So I began engine
removal and spent the day working on that. From what I could see
peering up into the engine, only one lifter has gone bad. How come one
and no others? I have no clue.
Friday, September 9, 2016
Travel day. I'm off to Nebraska for an auction tomorrow, hoping to find
some swell stuff. I'll report after it's over.
Saturday, September 10, 2016
Well, that didn't take long. This morning I arrived at the auction site
in Hildreth, about thirty miles south of Kearney, at 7:30. A couple of
Model T parts dealers I know were there, and one of them observed that
most of the stuff was pretty rough. He was right. I looked over all the
Model T goods and didn't see
anything I needed or even wanted, and about eight I headed for home.
Eight miles south of the Kansas state line I stopped to see Brewster
Higley's cabin. That's where he wrote the poem that became Home on the Range. I got home at
1:26, and this afternoon I borrowed a starter off another tractor and put it on my mowing tractor. I left a charger on the battery to get it
up overnight, and tomorrow I'll find out if the starter works.
Sunday, September 11, 2016
No, the starter doesn't work. At
least not with the six volt battery. It turns out that the spare
starter is set up for twelve volts. I got sidetracked on other work,
and didn't get around to finding a twelve volt battery. The other work
was more spraying. I made another attack on the johnson grass and other
weeds. Each time I get more of what I missed the last time. I hope to
have it all killed off before the first frost, then I want to seed the
area with some kind of short grass that can take over in the spring. I
took some pictures today, but I can't show them to you yet because I'm
shooting film. Remember film? You have to get it edveloped before you
see the pictures. It's less convenient than digital pictures, but
chances are the film will last a lot longer.
Monday, September 12, 2016
Failure again. The spare starter didn't work either. But I did
finally get the tractor started with the hand crank. It ran OK
just for driving around, but bogged down and died with the mower in
gear. With the mower out of gear I was able to turn it easily by
hand, so apparently something in the PTO is getting jammed or
binding. I drove the tractor into the barn and parked it, and
will dig into the PTO later and see what I find. Meanwhile, I'll spend
an hour or so with the push mower on days when it isn't raining.
On the house project, I spent the last part of the afternoon
installing the corner trim on the west end of the back wall and
caulking it. I still have to make the corner trim for the
east end, and that will be the end of the outside upstairs rebuilding.
I'll finish caulking, then spray on the water seal, and that should be
the end of it except for weather stripping the windows. After that's
done the scaffolds will come down.
Tuesday, September 13, 2016
Mowing was the first chore today. Starting
a little after eight, I was at it about 3½ hours. I mowed around the
house, pulled some weeds, and cut off some inconveniently located
little trees and poisoned the stumps. In the afternoon I made and
installed the last corner trim on the house, and caulked around windows
until I ran out of caulk. I'm spending a fortune on caulk, which is
$5.92 a tube, but it's suposed to last thirty years. If the advertising
is right, I won't have to replace it until I'm 105.
Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Mowing got a late start, about 8:30, and I mowed until 11:00. I worked
on the front lawn, or the half of it directly in front of the house.
Cutting tall gras with the push mower is slow going, as you have to
push forward, pull back, and push forward again. I need to avoid
letting the grass get that tall again. Better yet, I need to fix my mowng tractor. In the afternoon I cleaned up the windows
for the northeast bedroom. I had to grind off old caulk and use stripper to remove old paint. When I went to the market for some celery,
I took the windows to the glass shop and left them
to have a couple of broken panes replaced. I hope to have them
installed this weekend and finish spraying water seal on that north
wall. Having all the upstairs outside finished is getting closer.
Thursday, September15, 2016
Morning: more mowing. Aftenoon: laundry.
Friday, September 16, 2016
After a lazy break since July, I went out for a run this morning. On
the plus side, I didn't poop out and have to walk. On the minus side,
my time for the three miles was 35:20. I need to get back on a
regular schedule and cut a few minutes off that time. After breakfast
and a shower, I got back to mowing. I was at it for only about an
hour before the rain arrived. I spent a good part of the wet day
working on my computer's desktop, delelting some items and filing
others. A lot of clutter has accumulated, so I need to do a little more
of the same each day until I get it cleared.
Saturday, September 17, 2016
Most of the morning was a waste. I drove over to Caldwell to check out
an auction, found nothing to keep me there, and drove home. So this one
was a bust. But I have to go and look, because sometimes I find
something great and get it cheap. Today I took the luxury of an
afternoon nap, then set about working on the house some more. I
finished caulking around the window frames on the northeast bedroom,
then started to install the windows. I ran out of the right screws for
that, so I decided to leave it for tomorrow. I finished the afternoon
cutting off those annoying little trees that come up in the front lawn,
and poisoning the stumps with Tordon so they won't come back. I've been
fighting these things for years, but each year there are fewer of them.
I hope in another year or two they'll be gone for good.
Sunday, September 18, 2016
Mowing was job one again. I finished the lawn southeast of the house.
After a little over an hour of mowing I resumed the war on johnson
grass and other weeds. I sprayed more of the big infestation across the
road. Each time I spray what I can reach, then come back after that has
died down and spray some more. I hope to have all of it dead before the
first frost, then plant buffalo grass in the spring. After spraying, I
went to town for some wood screws and some groceries, then installed
the windows and screens in th.
e northeast bedroom. That shoukd keep some
of the bugs out of the house. Finishing window installation about two,
I went to work on making a pedal for the AC brakes I intend to put on
the touring car. I have to weld tabs on a brake pedal to attach the
linkage for auxiliary brakes. That calls for welding in one position,
letting it cool, welding in another position and letting it cool, etc.,
etc. With time away for other chores, that job may take a few
Monday, September 19, 2016
After a morning run, breakfast, and a shower, job one was pulling weeds
along the bank in front of the house, and digging out a few big
stubborn ones. About an hour of that was plenty. I went to town to shop
for materials for the magnet charger I intend to make, and picked up
some liquid flea killer. I found some fleas on Lizzie, so it seems the
flea collar needs some help. The main job of the day was working on
that brake pedal. I made good progress and may finish it up
Tuesday, September 20, 2016
Hating to lie in bed fully awake, I
was up at 5:45. After breakfast I worked on my brake pedal some more.
By seven there was enough daylight for me to see to pull weeds, so I
did that for an hour. Then I went back to the shop and finished the
pedal. I was working from a photo, not a drawing, so it may not be
perfectly right. But I think it's pretty close. I'll find out how good
it is when I put it on the car and use it.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Today's main job in the shop was preparing to pull the
engine/transmission from the roadster. I find it easiest if I remove a
few body-to-frame bolts, lift the body a couple of inches,
and put a pair of 2 x 4 blocks
under it. After that it's easy to slide the engine forward along the
frame rails and lift it out. I'll do that part tomorrow. Another
little chore today was painting a couple of dozen 5/16" nuts so they'll
be ready when I need them. You don't just spray on the paint. As
they come from the store, paint won't stick to them. First I give them
a bath in muriatic acid to strip off the cad plating, rinse, and then
give them a bath in DuPont metal prep. When that's dry, then you paint.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
On this first day of Autumn more yard work led off the parade of
activities. Unusually warm weather for this time of year continues,
with highs of 90º or more, so I do my yard work in the cool of the
morning. From 7:20 to eight I pulled weeds, then mowed for an hour. The
ground is getting too hard for efficient weed pulling, so I'll wait
until after the next rain before I do much more of that. It turned out
that I spent most of the day spraying water seal on the house. It
shouldn't have taken so long, but the sprayer I bought at Wal-Mart
wouldn't spray, but would only squirt. It's going back tomorrow.
Friday, September 23, 2016
A medical appointment ate up the first part of the day. After that I
returned the squirter and went to the farm supply and bought a sprayer.
Gassing up the car and squandering some time online used up the rest of
the morning. The main job of the afternoon was spraying more water seal
on the house. A five gallon can of the stuff costs almost $70, and so
far I've used up two cans. I don't think one gallon will cover what I
have left to do, so it looks like another $70 will go into this job.
Saturday, September 24, 2016
An hour of mowing
started the day.
The activity that ate up too much of my time was cleaning water seal
overspray off the windows. I shouldn't have to apply the stuff to the
house again for a year or two, but when I do I'm going to tape plastic
sheeting over the windows so I don't have a big cleanup afterwards.
Sunday, September 25, 2016
The rain began late yesterday afternoon, kept up overnight, and and
all of this morning. It was never a downpour, but light and steady, and
by the time it was over this afternoon the gauge had 2.1" in it. That's
the kind of storm I like. I got back to Model T work today. I filed
some rough clutch lugs smooth so the disks will slide on them, and
cleaned up some parts, and finished pulling the engine out of the
Monday, September 26, 2016
What a great day for yard work! That two-inch weekend rain made the
ground nice and soft for weed-pulling, and I did a lot of it. Then I
got busy with the clippers and a bottle of Tordon and removed a lot
of little inconveniently placed trees. I was at it until after three. I
checked email then went to town to get some celery and more weed killer
for the johnson grass, and that was my day.
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
Back to mowing. I started a little before seven, when it was just light
enough to see, and mowed the area where I pulled all those weeds
yesterday. My main project of the day was making and installing
the last upstairs window trim. About all I have left to do on the
outside upstairs is some caulking, spraying on the last of the water
seal, and clearing scrap lumber and other leftovers off the roofs.
Meanwhile, I am befuddled by a mystery. The hat I've been wearing for
at least a couple of years has vanished. I have no clue where I left
it. Luckily, I have another one to use until I find it.
Wednesday, September 28, 2016
Allah hu akbar! Death to the Great Satan (Johnsongrass)! It was a good
day for spraying, and that's how I spent the morning. There was a light
breeze from the north and the east, which was perfect. The usual breeze
is from the south, so today I was able to attack from the opposite
direction. Each time I spray, there's less to spray the next time. It
looks like I'll be able to kill all the stuff before the weather gets
cold enough to put the plants to sleep. In the afternoon I did a
different kind of spraying, putting water seal on the house. Almost all
of it is done now except a couple of places where there's fresh treated
lumber. You're supposed to let that age awhile before applying the
water seal. I should have that done before cold weather too, and
be able to start taking down scaffolds.
Thursday, September 29, 2016
Rising before sunup, I worked in the shop stripping the roadster's
engine to get it ready for surgery. With the sun up and the morning
chill reduced a bit, I went out with the sprayer and did battle with
the Johnsongrass again. My other part of today's yard work was
gathering up some old barbed wire out of the grass so it won't get
tanlged up in a mower. I had to go to town for an eye checkup, then
came home and finished up my shopping list for Model T parts from Lang's.
In less than a minute after I called in the order, there was a copy of
it in my inbox. An hour later there was another email letting me know
it was ready to pick up at Hershey next week. That's efficiency. I like
Friday, September 30, 2016
After a morning three-mile run, breakfast, and a shower, I got a
late start, about nine. I worked in the shop until noon, removing the
manifolds, head, and transmission cover, preparing the roadster engine
for surgery. I made a grocery trip to town, then spent a couple of
hours pulling weeds. With a session of filing receipts for September,
the day was shot.