Ivan Saxton

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About Ivan Saxton

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  • Birthday 11/04/1940
  1. Maybe the Stephens engine is an Anstead, because the rocker system is like that used in the Lexington. The only one I encountered , I only saw briefly, because it had already been sold, though it had not been advertised. Keith Marvin, in his self- published ( and probably self- typed ) book of the 1960s or earlier, titled "Cars of 1923; listed the Lexington, the 4 cylinder F-head Essex, and the first Chrysler Six with its high compression Rickardo combustion chambers and 7 main bearing crankshaft as the hottest cars in terms of performance and highest output in horsepower per cubic inch piston displacement. ( He allowed that few or no Chryslers were likely sold, but some were built and probably tested.). I had a friend who commuted to work within the Melbourne central business district throughout the 1960s in a 20s Chrysler sedan used to embarrass things like Volkswagons when the traffic lights changed red to green. Keith did not compare the A model Duesenberg though 1923 was about the best production year. In 1983 I met Alan Powell, who ordered and bought a Duesenberg at the factory in 1923 when he was 23. The car had the highest compression ratio pistons, and the fastest cruising speed axle ratio they would provide. He said that Fred Duesenberg took him for a run in it on the Speedway; and they gave him a certificate that it had previously been timed there at 106mph.
  2. I am surprised that there might have been double cantilever rear springs earlier than about 1920, because those removeable pieces above the step-plates are for greasing those dc springs. I have the chassis frame and other parts of a 1917 semi-elliptic rear spring car, which originally had a "Rottenber"engine, which was a model which was not as well regarded as previous engines, in separate -pot Overlands, for instance. They used semi-elliptic rear springs into the 20s for longer wheelbase requirements. Is that the roamer that Tom Carrig restored?
  3. I do not like to disagree with Bob or Steve, though I have never met either. I rule out Roamer absolutely, though certain Roamer features probably indicate what it is. Radiator shapes of those mentioned should more correctly be ascribed to an ancient Grecian architectural style. Roamer used an inversion of the same shape for its radiator badge. The same shape was featured in the door handles, in the same orientation as the radiator badge. Now the Roamer step plates have a "cut-out" of the same shape, but the same way up as the radiator itself. It is difficult to determine the shape of the "cut-out" on the Kenworthy pictures that I could find on Google. There might be better angle shots of Kenworthy in January 1921 Show issue of MoToR; but my copy of that is fragile , and I have put it somewhere safe where I cannot find it today. My guess is that the prominent circular shape of the holes in the step plates is likely indicative of Moon. I did not register to memory much detail of the Kenworthy that I saw at Harrah's on display in 1980. I was more interested to study detail on Roamers, but the unrestored Duesenberg engined Roamer had previously been sold to someone in California. ( And there were so many cars that were notable but I had never seen before, that I just walked past many that in other circumstances I would have crawled around under, and photographed for hours.) You cannot go by the Rudge Whitworth licence wheels, which were made by both Buffalo/Houk, and Standard Roller Bearing in Scranton PA . The identification on the wheel discs on this car is too indistinct for me to recognise; but Buffalo wire wheel discs were a very light and intricate etching on Packard Twin Six and those few early Packard Eights that had 100mm Rudge Whitworth wire wheels. SRB discs for Mercer were much more deeply etched. Those for the Hayes wire wheels on Roamer were a much deeper pressing with nickel plating and black paint in-fill. However, when Ian Smith purchased new stuff for his 1918 SX Stutz Bearcat from Harry Pulfer, ( who made a lot of nice stuff to help people), Ian got four wheel discs for me for the Roamer, which were etched and with red and white paint in-fill, for which I have seen no precedent.
  4. Matt, if you like and it would help you, I can pull the pump shaft out of the 1926 project car that I got from Perry Smith through the Forum. I will rebuild it and grind back to standard with a Metco stainless steel sprayed coating from a wire-feed gun. The coating has a very small % fine porosity which is sealed with an air-hardening phenolic sealer; but the surface also retains grease. A steel shaft wears and rusts, most stainless steel shafts get hot, but a sprayed stainless steel coating on a steel shaft is the best in service. I once had to rebuild the shaft and re-bush the water pump from an early 1920s Silver Ghost Rolls Royce. ( I reckoned the pump itself was designed a bit like an Englishman's Irish joke, but nevertheless, ....) I did the job, and it was a nice smooth minimum clearance fit, but then I realised I did not have correct packing. I gave Des clear instructions about the need for packing and where to get it locally. Several years later he said that the pump lost an occasional drop of water. He had forgotten to instruct the spanner-monkey who put it back on the car for him. If you like I will rebuild and grind my shaft back to standard, and post it to you, no cost to you of course. When you finish, just post the other one back so I can fix it the same way for my Lincoln project.
  5. You will find that little nut, when tight, closes slightly a milled slot in the thread of the cap; and this prevents the grease cap from coming loose by itself. You should have a double-end large tube spanner which fits the hex on the cap, the nut and locknut which retains the outer tapered roller baring cone, and allows you to set the pre-load of both bearings. For the rear hubs, after you remove the outer cap, remove the spring ring that retains the full-floating axle. when you have the axle out, you can remove the pair of large ring nuts which retain and pre-load the taper roller bearings. Then the hub and drum slip off. If you read Maurice Hendry's book on Cadillac, which AQ published about 40 years ago, you will learn that a couple of years into the OHV V16, they switched from the steel drums to sg cast iron drums, which improved the brakes out of sight. You can achieve the same result by a sprayed coating of Metco Spraysteel LS from an oxy-acetylene wire feed 10E or 12E gun, where by the wire is fed through the flame by an air turbine which turns the feed rollers; and the compressed air propels the molten particles onto the prepared surface, and keeps the work down to suitable range of temperature. "LS"stands for "low shrink", and the coating has significant molybdenum content. It work-hardens in service, is compatible with modern brake linings that do not work brilliantly on old steel drums. It is invisible modern technology which does not affect your authenticity. You wil most easily find someone who uses an arc-spray machine with two feeds of smaller diameter wire for the same coating. I have given more detail several times in past posts which you can find on the forum.
  6. R & V were most votable for their double -sleeve sleeve valve engines. Could that have some wildly different way of operating sleeve valves? There have been some very imaginative arrangements to get the gas-flow through engines. During the War, Aeronautical Research Laboratories took in one of the big, pre WW1 rotary valve Italas, possibly to discover if there was anything like that which might be superior to sodium-cooled, stainless or stellite faced valves for aero engines. The big Itala may not have been a howling success, but at least it was a running rare survivor until they dismantled or destroyed it. Then there was a man called McLaren who may have had great talent as a snake-oil salesman. It is believed that eminent state politician and grazier Sir Gordon McArthur paid him to ruin a 2 litre 4 cylinder 2 OHC Ballot 2LS engine, by converting the cylinder block to a rotary valve. Fortunately another good engine was in recent time bought from England; and it is properly and regularly used as Ernest Henry designed it as a scaled-down post WW1 image of his GP Peugeot. Then McLaren turned a 6 cylinder, 6 litre cuff-valve Peugeot into a rotary valve. He must have been a very optimistic slow learner, because his next mechanical victim was a moderate Vauxhall/Bedford engine that was not irreplaceable. Only when Chamberlain brothers allowed him free use of their Heenan & Froude dynamometer was he able to actually measure his extraordinary talent for diminishing the performance of engines. I likely have parts of that Peugeot McLaren ruined, because I now have parts from 9 or 10 lost cars, but may be able to duplicate enough to build two. That will be 3 survivors of the 180 that Peugeot built originally. If anyone has mechanical interest to know how cuff-valve engines work, I can send photos to an email address. I apologise that I have no idea how to post photos on this forum, and not the time spare to try and learn.. .
  7. I was told that they were manufactured by the Moline Plough Company. The importers and agents, naturally in the Western Wimmera wheat cropping country western Victoria had the cars as an adjunct to the cropping machines. So there was originally a nest of them around the town of Horsham. In 1964 I went looking for one that I was told was complete and in good order; but if I found the farm, "There it was, Gone:" I suppose like the mythical Irish Crown Jewells. I have vague recollection that Keith Marvin, in one of his letters to me about that time, said they were very pretty and very well made. I like to see and understand the odd ones; but I cannot envisage how the valve mechanism and the gas-flow pathways are laid out, and how they work. Old time Mercer and Duesenberg owner Jerry Gebby may have classified that as a "Rube Goldberg", I suspect
  8. You will find that those engines were used in an English car called a Marandez Special, which looked for all the world like a small clone of a 3 litre Bentley. I gather they were well-liked there, are there are surviving examples. Several decades ago I received a phone call from an owner who was here as a backpacker. His short 70mile drive here to visit was distressing for him because his "Rent-a-Bomb" regularly cut out, Then fired up again just before it rolled to a stop. Small problem in the distributer was readily fixed. It was getting late, and dark because it was winter, so we had evening meal to refuel him. Then I showed him around the car projects and workshops. Then I opened the door behind the 1918 Mercer and hit the starter, and took Robin Morris for a 10 mile joyride around local roads. The headlights that Bud Catlett arranged for Vic Billstrom to make for me were excellent at night with quartz halogen dipping bulbs transplanted to regular bulb sockets. He started telling me that the mercer was performing far better than a Bentley, but I was sceptical. No. His brother used to own a 3 litre Bentley, and specialised on serve and restoration work on Bentleys. I had traded the Bentley parts that I had gathered to a long-term friend in return for purchase of an incomplete DV32 Stutz engine which was incomplete, and which carried numbers no-one could understand. Bill Orde was not able to buy any Bentley parts he needed from anyone in UK. No problem. Robin's brother advertised, and Bill was able to get everything he wanted, from two former owners in England and one in Ireland. Bill got what he wanted, some 4 1/2 litre parts enabled Jack Gray to restore his car, and the extras helped another owner to complete his 3 litre Bentley. I was not able to help Robin with bits for his small Continental engine, but I gave him referrals. He completed his car many years ago. But the visit and the ride in the Mercer helped three people put their vintage Bentleys back on the road. Goodwill always compounds when you pass it around.
  9. I understand that there have been low viscosity epoxy type products which can overcome some problems of woodwork damaged by insects or fungus. The thinner is acetone which you should be able to buy readily from a paint shop. Now when timber is first sawn green, it carries a lot of water. The timber we mostly use for any structural or decorative purpose is the zylem which is developed in annual rings. That which developes each growing season probably has more flow rate capacity to convey water from the soil through the roots to the leaves where it is needed for photosynthesis, and growth of the tree. OK, your wood is a compound pipe of myriads of microscopic channels, which no longer have much water in them from the drying/seasoning, but are still channels. Now acetone is volatile and evaporates readily; and it has low surface tension and will soak into your timber readily.; displacing the air which your borers need for their respiration through their surface. You could experiment: If you absorb acetone into a piece of wood contaminated with borers and wrap it airtight in plastic tube off a roll, you may or may not see panic evacuation, but it does not matter because they will not survive. It is worth checking whether acetone plasticises the wood as you do with steam from boiling water when you steam-bend your own hood bows. Your timbers are all botanically different from what we have in Australia. The eco-Nazis here have mostly prohibited the milling of the best coachwood species; whereas if they were higher primates they might promote plantation production of these in mixed stands.
  10. Could there have been any corporate connection with Leach or Leach-Biltwell, an expensive car, initially attractive to movie industry luminaries. Harry Miller designed a big six cylinder engine as one of the the options for this. Unfortunately there was a terminal shortcoming in these, and there were likely replacements of these by the alternative, which was something like a Continental model 9N. A lot of detail on these cars is in Mark Dees' most excellent and comprehensive book , "The Miller Dynasty". I apologise that I have only read this once, and that was some years ago; and the details are not strongly imprinted in my memory. Indication is that none of the Miller engines survived. Anyway, the question is whether Velie and Leach used the hyphen-Biltwell name for reason or coincidence.
  11. If he were still about, one of the greatest transcontinental drivers/travellers, Francis Birtles, might have different opinions. His first trip across Australia, from west to east by car was done with a Brush, largely without roads. It was simple enough they could fix about anything needed. It was economical, resilient, and light enough to push if they needed to. First time he did the trip was earlier, on a push bike. And he cycled round the perimeter of Australia, more than once. He is credited with creating the first cycling shorts from trousers. Tell that to the lycra road-lice that are a constant slow-moving road-block on narrow local roads. Later he favoured the English Bean car, which was efficient, good quality, and not excessive. From south into the northern territory he also used Model T and A Fords. Once the engine of the A ford died, and they spent time salvaging the power unit from a derelict and abandoned early T Ford, Jerry-rigged it in place, and drove back to Melbourne. Birtles would tell you that it doesn't matter what you use if it is light, economical, and expendable; and you are versatile and adaptable. Your personal competence and qualities may be more important than those of the car.
  12. If you look at Keith Marvin's "Cars of 1923" , The Lexington with an OHV six was one of the hot performers of that year, together with the 4 cylinder F-head Essex, and the first Chrysler 6 with 7 main bearings and Rickardo high compression, high efficiency combustion chambers, There is something unusual about the rocker gear, but it must be 45 years since I saw the car that was in Melbourne.
  13. You will find that V63 is the same detail, though the split plane counterbalanced crankshaft makes them a very different engine, though the same externally and with common blocks, heads, and accessories. The engine of my 1916 is a bit hard to check, but the rocker assembly is probably the same from that far back. If so, Francis Ransley I Tasmania may have or know of spares to help you. Scott and Craig Emmerson have their grandfather's V63 in better condition now than Henry was ever able to achieve; though Henry used it as an everyday car virtually from the time he bought it, and we have better resources and equipment now than then. Scott & Craig will have at least one spare engine. There should have been another, but Henry's nephew, before he became known as "Dollar Bill", sent one away for a pittance to Joe Drage, who had an aircraft collection in Northern Victoria. Tom Henderson may be able to help trace that. Russel Holden at Mudgee, who has a lot of Cadillac interest, may be able to help or sell you something. It is not impossible to repair your casting. The rollers look as though they may be better replaced. Bohler have a good 2% carbon, 2% Chromium steel that you machine before heat treatment. You finish grind them in two stacks of eight in a centreless grinder. You really need to talk to me or visit. I presume you are in Melbourne, and I am only 70 miles from Melbourne CBD. I have had Cadillacs including V63 since about 1961, and I have a V61 project, so I am as familiar with them as anyone here. There is a wear depression on the visible end of your rocker which should not be there. If you wish to speak, give me a landline number and a convenient time to ring so I can help you. Make sure all is kept clean inside your water jackets. A few people have cracked cylinder heads. The combustion chamber geometry is far from ideal, and the compression ration is low compared to the 1926-7 314 A,B, &C, which used a Rickardo patent combustion chamber. So a lot of fuel energy goes as waste heat through the radiator and exhaust. It does not hurt to stellite and re-face your valves, as long as the stems are not badly worn. Regards, Ivan Saxton
  14. I have never seen any of those you just mentioned, Jim. You are trying to scratch my distant memory for things that either I am not familiar with, or that I never committed to memory. If Lagonda fits your criterior, you can almost certainly put that down as one of the earlierst American efforts. I have an idea that his name may have been Wilbur Gunn, or similar; but I have no idea where the idea came from. I can certainly take a few Lancia Lambda structure photos, that show form has function. If I pull the seat cushions out of the 1953 Lancia Aurelia B22, you would know that the same design philosophy was in that too. Aurelia was the last with the vertical sliding pillar front suspension. B22 was the hottest 4 door saloons. They did not make many hundred, and the 2litre even that the early 4 door GTs like that driven by Bracco in the 1951Mille Miglia. At 850 miles he was about 3 minutes behind Villoresi's 4.2 litre V12 Ferrari which was able to stretch the margin to 20 minutes because the torrential rain stopped, and the roads were straighter and less challenging. The Aurelia is still a highly desireable road package. All the team drivers seem to have been exceptional; but Count "Johnny Lurani was recorded as saying that Bracco "Flits round corners like a bat". Several years ago, Geoffrey Goldberg came out here for the bi-annual Lancia Register meet at Castlemaine in Central Victoria. You might be lucky enough to still get a copy of his superb book on those cars, and Francesco De Virgillio who was one of the main engineers who was responsible. At the end of the 1951 LeMans 24hour race Briggs Cunningham came across to look at the most impressive Lancia. Apparently he expressed surprise that they had already managed to clean the engine down. Most of the Italians knew little English; but they laughed. He visited the factory and bought a new Aurelia B20 2 door GT, plus a complete spare set of mechanicals.