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1920 Chalmers Restoration


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#1 BobD735

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 11:22 PM

Hi,
It was late the other night, when I posted an update to my Chalmers restoration, to the wrong site. So I'll try again.
I continue to do a ground up restoration on my 1920 Chalmers 5-passenger Touring. It has taken me years of research, and the hunt for parts goes on. Very little of the original wooden body structure remained, when I brought the basket case home, about 5 years ago (what the fire didn't destroy, the termites ate). Replicating the wooden body structure has been my biggest challenge, as I have not been able to reuse any of the existing remains, except as patterns. I have presently manufactured about 50% of the structure, using mostly Ash. I'm making drawings, sketches and taking photos, as I progress.
I plan to complete the restoration in 8 years, which will be the car's 100th anniversary.
I would like to hear from anyone else working on a Chalmers of tht period.
Thank you,
Bob

#2 BobD735

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 03:04 AM

Hi,
This photo of my 1920 Chalmers touring gives you some idea of it's condition when I started it's restoration. I still have a long way to go. I have the remains of the top, and the two left side doors & center post. The front winshield shown, belongs to a 1922/1923 Chalmers touring. I'm in the process of making a 1920/1921 windshield for the car.

BobIMG_2154.jpg

#3 keiser31

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 05:01 AM

Love those early touring cars. Good luck with it and please show us more.

1931 Dodge Brothers DH6 business coupe w/ wire wheels
1931 Dodge Brothers DH6 business coupe w/ wood wheels (my 1st car and still have it)
and visions of my past old cars....


#4 BobD735

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 05:17 AM

One of the many parts that were missing on my 1920 Chalmers touring was the front windshield assembly. I tried advertising to acquire the windshield, but never received a response. I decided to consider other options to be able to replicate the parts.
With the help of some of my friends, who were Chalmers owners of the same period, I was able to gather data, in the form of photos, sketches and dimensions, enabling me to create full size drawings, of both the left and right side windshield uprights, in addition to the upper and lower windshield framework.
With this information, I realized there was a common lineage in the windshield design, from the period beginning in 1918/1919, through 1920/1921, and ending in 1922/1923, the last year of Chalmers production.

The photo (Top), shows the pieces of the 1920 Chalmers vertical upright (ready for welding), cut from sections of the 1918/1919 vertical upright (Center), and sections cut from the 1922/1923 vertical upright (Lower)

To be continued.Windshield Assy 1920 Upright 006.jpg

#5 BobD735

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Posted 08 August 2012 - 05:23 PM

1920 Chalmers Restoration part 2


I had obtained a set of 1918/1919 vertical uprights, and a pair of uprights for a 1922/1923 Chalmers touring. Using my created drawings, and examining both sets of uprights, I determined that by measuring, then cutting the uprights, at the appropriate places, I would be able replicate the 1920/1921 upright configuration.
The next step was to fabricate tooling or a fixture to secure the cut pieces, enabling me to weld the various sections. The base portion of the uprights for both the 1920 through 1923 were identical in design, and both attached to their respective cowl's with the same hardware, however the similarities ended there.1920 Chalmers Data 009.jpg

The photo shows the fixture that I used to support the various cut sections secured, prior to welding.

To be continued.

#6 BobD735

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:12 AM

1920 Chalmers Restoration part 3


The photos show the differences, looking aft at the base of both the 1920/1921 (right photo), and the 1922/1923 (left photo), where they attach to the cowl. This design change was the result of Chalmers going from a two piece straight windshield in 1921, to a one piece radiused windshield in 1922. The first thing that I had to do was straighten the radiused portion. This task was accomplished for me by a blacksmith friend, who demonstrated his talent, by heating, then straightening the lower section of the vertical upright. His effort drew a very large crowd one Saturday, at the local fair.
The center photo shows John applying the final blows to straighten the heated upright on the anvil.
To be continued





front windshield vert. supports 009.jpg

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  • front windshield vert. supports 005.jpg
  • IMG_1563.jpg


#7 keiser31

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Posted 09 August 2012 - 02:31 PM

Nice!

1931 Dodge Brothers DH6 business coupe w/ wire wheels
1931 Dodge Brothers DH6 business coupe w/ wood wheels (my 1st car and still have it)
and visions of my past old cars....


#8 BobD735

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 03:37 AM

Chalmers Restoration part 4

The 1920/1921 Chalmers touring cars were the last years to have a two-piece front windshield. The 1918/1919 front windshield, also two-piece design, had wider windows, consequently the pivot points, for swinging the window on the vertical upright, had to be relocated, to different elevations. Using my layouts, I was able to relocate the new pivots. Fortunately the cross-sectional area of the uprights in the pivot location remained constant.
The uppermost section of the vertical upright fitting had to be replaced with the later designed 1922/1923 fitting, which was introduced in 1920. This was done by cutting the 1918/1919 fitting, and reorienting it's location on the upright, to compensate for the slanted 1920 front windshield.
The last change was the relocation of the window stops, which I fabricated, and located on the uprights, to match the new window locations. This was done in conjunction with the other cut and fitted pieces, which were placed in their respective locations and welded.
The final step were grinding, filing and priming the parts prior to paint Windshield Welding 010.jpg

#9 BobD735

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 04:00 AM

1920 Chalmers Restoration

This photo shows the right side vertical upright, cleaned, primed, and temporarily installed on the car.1920 Windshield 003.JPG

#10 BobD735

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Posted 10 August 2012 - 05:04 AM

1920 1920 Chalmers Front Windshield.JPG Chalmers Restoration

Front Windshield
Part One
The End

#11 BobD735

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:25 PM

[ATTACH=CONFIG]149180[/ATTACH]Chalmers Restoration

1920 Chalmers Front Windshield
Part Two


The restoration of my 1920 Chalmers front windshield, upper and lower frames, began with the remains from a 1922/1923 Chalmers single piece windshield. Those remains consisted of only the upper and lower horizontal frame sections. The upper section was in pretty good condition, but the lower section was badly rusted, and both the left and right vertical frame pieces were missing. Fortunately, I had previously found pieces of generic windshield frames at swap meets, which matched the Chalmers frame design.
I started the restoration, on the lower radiused frame. I cut off the badly rusted end portion, keeping the lower track, which retains the rubber seal. Again, I was fortunate, as the spliced piece was short enough, and I was able to use a straight piece of frame, which I welded in. This lower section still had rusted through areas, which I filled with Liquid Nails. When this adhesive hardened,in about a week I filled the remaining holes with JB Weld, and sanded smooth.
I did all of this work in a dual fixture which I made, to insure that both frames would be accurate. Again, using the generic frame sections, containing the pivot point fittings, I cut the upper and lower lengths from the center of the pivot point in each direction, to match the original dimensions. Thus, I was able to replicate the 1920 vertical upright side frames. Once cut, the vertical side pieces were fitted into their respective fixture, and they are ready to be welded.

The attached photos document the steps that I took to replicate my front windshield frames.

[ATTACH=CONFIG]151477[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]151478[/ATTACH]

#12 BobD735

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 05:42 PM

Here are the remaing photos which should have been included as part of Front Windshield Restoration.

BobIMG_4285.jpg

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  • IMG_4275.jpg


#13 BobD735

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Posted 28 August 2012 - 08:02 PM

Here are a few more photos which were lost in transmission.
BobWindshield '20 Chalmers 003.jpg

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  • Windshield '20 Chalmers 001.jpg


#14 mikelinthicum

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Posted 29 August 2012 - 04:21 PM

Looks like you have a challenge on your hands, but well worth the work and effort. I love the orphan cars in the 20's and when I get done my Durant, I'd love to find a Chalmers, Cleveland or Peerless to restore. I like the ones that no body else has. Keep up the great work and before you know it you'll have the ole gal back on the road. Keep us posted with the pics. Love to see what other people are doing with their restorations. Keeps my motivated on mine.

#15 BobD735

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Posted 30 August 2012 - 05:31 AM

Looks like you have a challenge on your hands, but well worth the work and effort. I love the orphan cars in the 20's and when I get done my Durant, I'd love to find a Chalmers, Cleveland or Peerless to restore. I like the ones that no body else has. Keep up the great work and before you know it you'll have the ole gal back on the road. Keep us posted with the pics. Love to see what other people are doing with their restorations. Keeps my motivated on mine.


Hi Mike,
Thanks for the encouragement. I will continue to try and update this site with my progress.
I was looking for a Model T, when I found my first 20's Chalmers. Now I'm hooked.

Bob

#16 BobD735

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 06:02 AM

PLANKING

My 1920 Chalmers 5-passenger touring chassis is badly damaged, and beyond economical restoration. I have a second 117" w.b. chassis of the same period, which I am using for the buildup. The wooden structural remains are being used as patterns to construct new parts. The two chassis sit side by side. To be able to transfer data, and accurately locate restored parts, I needed to employ a method more sophisticated than using a scale (ruler), straightedge and a square. To solve this problem, I came up with a method I call Planking.
Planking is accomplished by using a series of flat wooden sticks. (Paint stirrers available from Home Depot, in 1/8" and 1/4" thickness.) These are bonded together horizontally or vertically with C A glue, to be able to connect two or more hard points. Starting from a known hard point, on the original chassis, like the centerline of a body tie-down fastener, I take a Plank, and locate a center point on it, and drill a hole just large enough to cover the existing hard point. Once this point is established, it's just a matter of laying down and bonding adjacent Planks toward the next critical locating position. If subsequent points are not in the same horizontal plane, the planks can be stacked and bonded to achieve the required plane. Once the data is recorded, the Planking is transferred to the new bodies wooden sill, for identification and marking of that hardpoint(s) location.

Note: Both circles and Planking edge surfaces can be used to indicate critical location points.

The first photo (004) shows the Planking bonded together. Circles indicate hardpoint locations.

The second photo (002) shows the Planking as created on the original chassis.

The third photo shows the Planking transferred to the new chassis. Circles correspond to new chassis hardpoints, and edge surfaces locate where restored parts get installed.



1920 Chalmers Planking 006.JPG

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  • 1920 Chalmers Planking 002.JPG
  • 1920 Chalmers Planking 004.JPG


#17 BobD735

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Posted 24 September 2012 - 01:55 AM

When I purchased my 1920 Chalmers, it came with 21 inch disc wheels, which were not standard. Chalmers 5 passenger touring cars were equipped with 32X4 (24inch) Kelsey wooden spoked wheels. (The 5 passenger Sport model that year had 24 inch Houk wire wheels.)
I had previously found the remains of a 1921 Chalmers with spoked wheels, and was able to salvage from it, the hubs/hubcaps, and enough spokes to use for patterns. The felloes were not salvagable, and the rims were missing. Fortunately, Dodge Bros. and other car manufacturers of the period, used the same 24 inch rims and felloes, so I was able to purchase these parts, along with clamps and rim bolts. I had a wheelwright make the spokes from my patterns, and he fabricated four new wheels, using the existing hubs.
The attached photos represent some of the steps taken to go from simple remains to almost finished wheels. (I'm still working on the five rims)
The wheels are hanging on my garage wall, patiently waiting to be mounted on the Chalmers.IMG_2525.jpg

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  • 1920 Chalmers Wheel 001.JPG
  • ChalmersWheel.jpg
  • 1920 tour 005.jpg


#18 BobD735

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 03:59 AM

Question!
Did anyone happen to notice? Which I just did for the first time. In the photo of my old wheel, dated 11-8-06, the felloe appears to be reversed. The square holes used to lock the rim bolt heads, are on the outside surface of the felloe, and the round holes are on the inside surface, where the bolt threads would protrude. The raised stops for the rim clamps are also on the far side. As you can see in the photo of my finished wheels, the holes are just the opposite, which would put the nuts on the outside surface.
Am I missing something?

Bob

#19 BobD735

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Posted 26 September 2012 - 05:20 AM

Hi,
I just realized where I went wrong.
I'll give you a hint. It's something I didn't think through after removing the hub, and posing the photo.

Bob

#20 BobD735

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Posted 09 October 2012 - 04:19 AM

The 1920 Chalmers steering wheel is made up of a walnut ring (the wheel), attached to a steel spider. When I purchased my car, the ring was missing, and only the spider remained, attached to the steering column. I located the partial wooden remains of a ring, in pieces, with one of the tongue and grooved sections missing. I also found an aluminum spider, which matched my original spider, to use as a fixture. I mounted the aluminum spider to a board, held in place with two steel cans, screwed to the board, to support my new spider, and secure the ring sections.IMG_4426.jpg

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  • IMG_4427.jpg





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