JV Puleo

My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project

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I didn't remove the entire rib at the base of the elbow. What I did was turn it until it was round and smooth. That diameter was slightly less than 2.1 inches. I then threaded it. The threaded holes in the flanges were done using the threaded elbows as a gage. Since they will ultimately be soldered or brazed together, the threading is just a means of getting the parts in their securely. I'm not much better at brazing than I am at welding but you could also do it by simply turning the rib on the elbow round and boring a hole in the flange to match. If I were confident that I could have made a secure weld or braze, I'd have done it that way. I'll take some photos in a few minutes and post them tonight.

 

jp

 

Edit... go to posts 184 and 185. You'll see that I didn't remove all of the reinforcing rib at the base of the elbow.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)

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I made up the steel rings. Then, because it is two rings perpendicular to each other, I cut a relief in the larger ring with a 1-1/2" end mill to make a flat place between them. This worked better than I had expected.

 

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I then set out to braze them together - and that is where everything went sideways. First, it is not easy to align them and, more to the point, hold them together tightly. I finally cobbled something together using "V" blocks and a big "C" clamp. But, as I should have anticipated, my brazing technique leaves something to be desired. It simply didn't come out neat enough to satisfy me. Added to that, I'd made the smaller ring, the one that goes over the water outlet pipe, a bit too small. It slid n when it was in the lathe but must have distorted slightly in the clamping and brazing so that it wouldn't go over the pipe. Unfortunately, it is a strange size, 1.045", the outside diameter of 3/4" brass pipe. At this point, I realized I would not be satisfied with the job even if I could get it to work so I started over in aluminum.

 

However, there is a silver lining to this. I modified the dimensions slightly and made the new water pipe rings .005 larger. I have some aluminum brazing rod & flux that I bought to use when I make the water pump. It occurred to me that perhaps I'd better find out if I could use it effectively and this will be the perfect test. It was a matter of a few hours to make these parts again but making the water pump a 2nd time would be a much more daunting prospect.

 

When I bored the small rings out to the odd size, I set it up in the lathe using the expanding arbor to indicate. This allowed me to put the entire piece in the jaws of the chuck which, in turn, assures it will be about as straight as I can make it.

 

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Here are the new pieces and my rejected steel version. It was after 5 when I got done and I want to make a little fixture to hold these pieces firmly in place while I experiment with the brazing compound. This stuff comes from a firm called Muggy Weld." I've never used it, but everyone I know who has used their products has raved over them. They are expensive but if it does the job it will be well worth the expense.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Well...that didn't work. I did something wrong or, just as likely, my limited equipment isn't up to it. The brazing didn't stick and my clamp deformed one of the rings...

 

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This is proving to be a headache, but there is a plan D. In the meantime, I went on to other things. This is going to be a very robust clamp that will hold the exhaust pipe in place on the engine and, more importantly, provides a sturdy support to the exhaust manifold. I've ordered some stuff I need to proceed with the oil manifold hangers and, when it arrives, I'll get back to that.

 

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1 hour ago, JV Puleo said:

The brazing didn't stick

 

I would imagine it is very difficult to braze aluminium because of the instant oxide layer that forms when you expose a surface to the air. Is there a flux that will cut that layer?

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I used the special flux that comes with the brazing rod. I have to presume I just didn't do it correctly, which is not surprising when you consider how little experience I have with any of those processes. About 99% of my work has been with Edwardians and pre-WWII RRs, neither of which have many - or any - welded parts so, aside from the occasional repair I've never had much need for it.

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I've been working on three or four things at once, partly because it is more efficient but also because the water lines, exhaust manifold and oil manifold are all interrelated. I need to make sure that they don't interfere with each other and I have no original parts to work from. Rather than show the parts in the order I am working on them, I'll try to show each part separately. The first are the water connections.  I need four of these, two for the top of the engine and two for the side. These will be a smaller version of the coupling I made for the intake manifold. The first step was to machine the nuts. This is some sintered bronze bearing stock I had. It doesn't polish well, but it should be fine for this job. Each piece will be two nuts.

 

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They were bored and reamed to 1.25". This allowed me to put them on the expanding arbor to take a very light cut off the outside, making sure that the inside and outside were concentric.

 

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Once that was done, I put them back in the chuck, carefully indicated, and bored them to 1.312". The thread size is 1-3/8-16

Rather than cut the entire thread, I only cut it about half-way...just deep enough to easily start a tap. This assures that the tap will go in perfectly straight and the tapped threads will be both cleaner and more uniform than I am likely to do single-pointing them.

 

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As soon as it was clear that the tap would go in fairly easily, I took the piece out of the chuck and ran the tap through.

 

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Here are the finished pieces. There is quite a bit more to do but this is a good start.

 

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I've finally struggled to the end of making the hangers for the oil manifold. The first step was making another set of rings...

 

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I then made this odd looking fixture to hold the pieces together while I drilled them. It worked, albeit not quite as well as I'd hoped.

 

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The two rings are attached with a flat head socket cap screw inside, countersunk into the upper ring. None of this will be visible, of course. I've also drilled and tapped for set screws to hold them rigid. With a think wall thickness like this, you want fine thread set screws but I've been unable to find slotted 5/16-24 set screws. I used socket heads but will put them where they are not visible.

 

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Here are the pieces on the jugs. I also bought screws that were a bit short. Tomorrow I'll get some longer, put a drop of loctight on the threads and call it quits on this job.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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I want to make the exhaust manifold but because the water connections are below it, I need to make certain they don't interfere with the exhaust pipe. Also, one of the things that really interests me is the problem of making interchangeable parts. There is a great deal more to it than making a single part so this is a chance to try out some of my techniques. I need four water connections, two for the side of the engine and two for the top. The goal is to make them identical enough to be interchangeable. I'm starting with four pieces of 1-1/2" diameter brass bar.

 

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These were drill and reamed to 1".

 

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They were then mounted on an expanding mandrel. The threaded part has a diameter of 1-3/8" while the larger ring at the rear will be machined to accept a hook spanner, used to screw the water connections into the blocks.

 

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These are now ready to thread but there are two other parts that will need the same thread, the ends for the screw-on gland nuts and a fixture to hold the nuts while I machine them. I was called away on another job today so I didn't quite finish prepping those parts. This will be the holding fixture.

 

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The threading went well. By using the indicator, I was able to thread all the parts pretty near identically.

 

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I am almost ready to put the final touches on these and assemble them.

The steel piece is intended to hold the nuts while I knurl them... but I have to fix the knurling tool first.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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It's largely a matter of building up skills. I've had most of the materials to make both the pistons and connecting rods for a long time but I'm only just now starting to feel as if I can do those jobs properly. A few of the things I made when I started this project will likely be done again because my skills, and my machine capacity, have increased a lot in the past two or three years. These external parts are as decorative as they are functional. I try to make them as precisely as I can, but "engine bearing precision" isn't really necessary.

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The next step was to turn the caps to the finished OD and cut each piece in half.

 

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Here are the caps fitted to their respective ends.

 

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As often is the case, when I see the part I think of improvements. In this case, I am reducing the size. They were really larger than was needed so I'm reducing the threaded length to 1/2" and the width of the rib that will be notched for a hook spanner to 3/8". The long threaded piece will provide the ends of the caps...soldered in place like I did the intake manifold coupling and the cap of the oil filler/breather.

 

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Aside from cutting the notches for the spanner, the ends are done. Since I am cutting notches for a hook spanner in both the ends and the nuts, I'll have to do that at the same time - it requires a completely different setup on the mill. Before I do that I will have to make a repair to my knurling tool and put the ends in the caps.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Joe,  am I correct in thinking that all of these nice brass and bronze pieces will be polished when mounted, the final time, on your engine?  They should look great.

Al

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It will all be polished when I install it but I can't see myself keeping it polished. In the period, I doubt much of this stuff was polished after it was installed. I made a lot of progress today but the camera is malfunctioning. I'm on the radio (locally) tomorrow morning... a call-in car-show that is hosted by two of my oldest friends. In the afternoon I'll have to mow but I should be back in the shop on Sunday.

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I had to think about that one. Truth to tell, I wasn't even sure which station we're on because it changed a few years ago. For some reason, I can't copy the link - a running computer glitch. It's "Drive-thru Radio" with Paul & John Zangari, on am790 (Rhode Island) from 8 to 9 am, Saturday mornings. I do this a few times a year, mostly when one or the other of the Zangari brothers is otherwise occupied that day. John especially likes to mention a little book I wrote, Getting Home Alive, because he's mentioned in just about the first sentence.

 

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I made the reduced size end of the nuts by cutting that long threaded piece into 1/4" segments. These were threaded into the cap, lubricated with soldering flux until there was 3/4" of thread exposed on the inside, at which point I soldered them in place.

 

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The ends were then turned until the overall length of the cap was .875. I also decided to reduce the diameter to 1-3/4 as the wall thickness was greater than it needed to be.

 

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Here are the 4 caps turned to size. The two hexagonal nuts in the photo are from the original water system. I never had any of the "plumbing" for this engine, just the 1/2 of the connections that were attached to the jugs.

 

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With this done, I knurled the outside surface...

 

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As each one was done, I moved the nut, still attached to the turning fixture, over to the mill and cut 6 1/4" slots in the radius for a hook spanner. One of the problems with knurling like this is that the pressure on the workpiece is tremendous, screwing it onto the fixture much too tightly to be taken off with hand pressure. To get the cap off, I had to put it in the chuck on the mill and use my tommy-bar.

 

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Although I can see some minor flaws in the finished product, they don't justify making these over. They will work just fine and I doubt anyone but me will ever notice my errors. If I had it to do over again, I would not use the sintered bearing material. It did not machine all that well and, while it will work, I'd have been better advised to have made everything out of 360 brass. Here are the finished nuts. Tomorrow I'll make the pieces that connect them to the jugs.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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That's coming as soon as I finish the water connections. In order to support the intake, I need to make the oil manifold and that is attached to the water tubes...so I need to get all of them done together. I finished two of the connections today. First I turned down a piece of 3/4 brass pipe to an OD of 1". These pieces were twice as long as then needed to be but I'd made them up for another part of the job, then changed my mind about how to go about it. Rather than waste them, I'm using them here.

 

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After I'd cut the piece off, I slipped the inner portion of the water connection over it and soldered the whole thing together.

 

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This went very well. I made the inner piece a bit long because it was then put back in the lathe and turned down until it projects 1/16" of an inch. This will serve to locate the high-temp flat surface o-rings I will use as a seal. They are 1" ID, 1-1/4" OD and 1/8" thick so the projection needs to hold them in place but not interfere with the "crush". Since the actual thickness is .139 I am certain this will be just fine.

 

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Here's the connection screwed into the block. I then finished the 2nd one and gathered up the stuff to make the two on the side of the engine. I have various bits on order to finish the water tubing side...those should be in next week. I'm not too concerned about the top of the engine but I want to get the side of the engine squared away before I finish the intake and make the exhaust manifold.

 

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The longer water tubes for the side of the block... ends turned to accept the threaded portion.

 

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Then the threaded part soldered on.

 

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All four of the water connections in place. Now I'm making the center portion of the oil distribution manifold. When that is ready, I'll be in a position to add the bent portion of the intake manifold.

 

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Today I made the center section of the oil distribution manifold. The first step, after soldering on the ends, was to set it up in the mill on V blocks.

 

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Then I milled flats on both ends. This serves two purposes. The screws that hold the two aluminum rings together are a shade long and protrude into the hole so the flats allow me to slide the manifold in without having to shorten them. More important, the flats will give me a reference surface so that when I drill and tap the holes for the oil lines I can get them on the exact bottom.

 

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Here is the manifold in place. With this done, I can proceed to finish the intake manifold. First, because the tube was bent, the ends are very slightly egg-shaped. I puzzled as to how to fix this and then tried putting the tube back in the holding fixture with its bushing and tightening it down. This worked - or at least got it close enough to round to proceed.

 

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I trimmed both ends, very carefully, to get it close to fitting in the right place. So far, so good. I'm using the split bushing to hold the two pieces together and a 90-degree angle plate to make sure the flange is level with the subframe. It a small amount of further trimming but, as you can see, it is close. Some new problems cropped up... the bracket I designed to reinforce the manifold won't fit in the space available, but I am certain something can be worked out. I also forgot to bring my drawing with the dimensions on it to work with me so fitting the coupling will have to wait until tomorrow.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Continuing with the intake manifold. I turned the ring that will bear against the nut on the "bent" section. This is made from a piece of a bronze bushing.

 

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In the course of working on this, I changed the design a little. Because I don't want the threads to show more than just a little, I cut down the threaded portion that will go on the long straight piece that passes through the blocks.

 

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this will have to be soldered on but I realized that, in order for the connection to be airtight, the location of these pieces is critical. In this case, I have to have 3/16" of the copper tube projecting beyond the lower edge. In order to do this accurately, I made a little soldering jig out of one of the rings I'd made for the oil manifold - I'd made an error on this one, getting the curved relief off center. I counterbored it to 1-3/4" so the tubing would slip down past the lower edge of the threaded collar.

 

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This allowed me to stand the "T" section up in the fixture and solder the threaded ring exactly in place.

 

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The opposite side, the bent section, is more difficult. In this case, I want the bronze ring to protrude over the edge of the copper tube by 1/8". Again, getting this perfectly straight is essential to the o-ring that will serve as a gasket making an airtight connection. For this jig, I started with a piece of 2" aluminum bar...

 

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It turned out to be a challenging part to make but I'd finished by the end of the day - then, nearly made a really bone-head error and attached it, forgetting that the nut is actually "captured" by the bend in the tubing. Tomorrow I'll have to hone it out so that it slips over tube before I solder the ring in place. The whole idea here is to have the tube project into the bent section just enough for purposed of positioning but not enough to prevent the o-ring from sealing. The o-rings should arrive on Monday when I'll be able to see if I managed to get the measurements right.

 

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The next step was to enlarge the opening in the "nut". I do not want to take it out any further than absolutely necessary so I set it up in the drill press with the expanding lap I made.

 

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It didn't work. The lap won't expand enough to open the hole as much as I needed, primarily because the bent tubing is very slightly egg-shaped – not actually enough to be seen with the naked eye but, when working with really close tolerances, enough to keep the nut from slipping on. I was skeptical of putting it back in the lathe because centering it and taking off a very small amount is fairly difficult. Having no choice, I put it in the chuck and used my co-axial indicator to center it. I've only used this tool a few times and found it reasonably difficult to get a really good reading. For some reason as yet unexplained, it worked perfectly. It was so close to being perfectly centered that I had to check the indicator to see if it was broken.

 

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I then bore it out, taking cuts of .002 to make sure I didn't go too far. This was time-consuming but it's the only way to "fit" the parts when the measurements are erratic. It worked better than I'd expected so, once the nut would slide onto the tube, I set it up in the fixture I made yesterday and soldered it,

 

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So far – so good. Here you can see the two ends and how they will go together. The o-ring goes over the end with the threaded sleeve leaving just enough tubing protruding to perfectly center the bent portion. I should then be able to tighten it by hand and give it a 1/4 turn with a hook spanner to make sure it is tight.

 

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On Monday I'll put it back on the car and test everything.

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