Ivan Saxton

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About Ivan Saxton

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  • Birthday 11/04/1940

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  1. I was given a copy of the most admirable catalogue for the auction of Alex Kennedy Miller's collection in Vermont by an associate of the auction company. I am sure there was a Henderson car in that auction, which indicates that AKM had a high opinion of it. In 1980 , after Auburn, I visited Ernie and Ruth Toth; before I travelled to Springfield Vermont to accompany Morris and Libby Burrows on the Glidden in their 1914 Mercer 35-O roadster. Morris' opinion of AKM was the square root of minus one, and there was no way he would assist or encourage me to visit him. To use our bush metaphor, if you shook hands with him you might need to count your fingers. By contrast, Stutz people like Paul Freehill and Ernie Toth seemed to have reasonable regard and working relationship with him. Ernie advised taking a container of icecream if I had the opportunity to visit him, because he was very partial to that. AK was obviously a very knowledgible and versatile person. Imagine repairing fuselage damage of a downed aeroplane during the war to fly it home in winter by patching the hole(s)? with canvass and water. I am eccentric enough myself that I would have enjoyed meeting him; but I never had the chance. In relation to your car with a Rochester Duesenberg engine, I had a problem with rust pitting of the water pump shaft of my Roamer, even though the car has only ever done 14,000 miles. You lose the timing when you have to do anything about that. I rebuild that with a Metco grindable stainless steel sprayed metal coating. I have explained this in technical posts in the past. There is also a problem with the stub water connection into the cylinder block. It is very thin wall thickness, and you cannot see how it is made and fitted. It is threaded on a slight taper. I machined a new one out of a free- machining grade bar stock, which has sulphur content. To cheat the taper fit of the thread I cut it parallel the correct pitch, then shaved it to correct taper by running it in the lathe and tapering the thread with a thread file , hand-held, with cutting lube.
  2. From the few of these engines that I know of, the 8-90 engines seem to have a common habit of coughing connecting rod big ends. I have a sad engine from a derelict sedan on a dairy farm , which has large exit patched bronze-welded back at different times and places. Two antique car people who I knew had similar blow-ups with good cars. I cannot tell from mine what might be the cause of the issue. Without going to check, I recall that there was offset between the big and little ends; but I doubt anyone could fit a con-rod the wrong way round. The 8-77 I have is only a whisker smaller bore. The 8-90 head is Rickardo combustion chamber, and is useable on the 8-77 for better performance and economy; and I expect the camshaft has better timing . It is practical today to make new connecting rods with material that will not fail, and it is probably sensible to change to slipper bearings. An external oil filter would help. And you can buy whatever high duty conrod bolts you need. Those 4 litre straight 8s, with a Lanchester harmonic resonance damper on the front are obviously good performers when they are right; and as we say , should do half an hour in twenty minutes. But you need to make sure everything is right.
  3. before you attempt to solder, immerse it in very hot water long enough to see where the bubbles come from; then maybe open the hole a little just to have solid brass, and be able to expel all the fuel as vapour. Then cut out and tin a patch of very thin copper or brass shim. ( three to five thousandths of an inch thick is any amount heavy enough. Then mark and clean where you want the patch to go. Remember that the first pre-requisite for soldering is "clean your work". It is best to use a small, tinned soldering iron.
  4. Soft solder is made and sold with different percentages of the constituents of the alloy; and these have significantly different melting temperatures. For instance, David Dryden had to make new horizontal gill tubes to fit and solder into the new replica side tanks that came from USA with his 1904 Ford restoration project. He tinned the length of each tube with the solder with highest melting temperature. Suppliers of copper sheet will supply the correct gauge in a roll slit to the required width. One edge of the strip he heavily tinned along the edge on the side that was to be joined to the tinned tube. The strip was then crinkled by rolling it between a pair of gears. I cannot remember asking or checking what the diametral pitch of the gears was. David was then able to spiral- wind the strip around a tinned tube, with correct spacing; then fix the ends so they would not shift. The strip was joined to the tube by heating with a propane gas torch . The solder to fit and fix the ends of the new gill tubes was a much lower melting temperature so the radiative strip did not unravel. You do not have a gill tube radiator; but I give you this example so you can use different solders to repair your radiator as you decide. First tour for the restored 04 Ford was a one and two cylinder event at Parkes in central NSW, in a season when overnight frosts are frequent. With really good trembler coils, and fuel float level properly set, the engine would start with a couple of compressions, and could idle indefinitely without boiling. Similar cars required great effort and persistence with their "Armstrong starters", and boiled if standing idle for a few minutes.
  5. If you have no success my youngest son can certainly help you. You can produce items like this either by a home made computer controlled miniature milling machine, or by precision etching with a protective mask. ( Did I meet you through Paul Freehill, after Auburn and the Glidden Tour in 1980 ? . Ralph Buckley took me to see Fred Hoch, and Fred insisted and arranged that I should meet Paul; even though people at Auburn said that it would not be convenient for Paul due to family medical problem.) If certain problems are resolved, I hope to get to Hershey this year; and maybe meet people who are only names yet.
  6. Nobody else seems to have picked up the lack of front brakes. This would establish it as 1926 or earlier. The basic project which I bought from Perry in Idaho some while ago definitely has a 1926 serial number, and a non-brake front axle. To me it is quite restoreable , but with some difficulties that are not impossible. Indications are that it was probably set in place as anchorage for a travelling irrigation spray for watering potato crops. I shall be looking out for a crankcase that has not been corroded away where it was sat on the ground with the front wheels discarded. Most that was rustable , and some that was not had been comprehensively prayed with probably beef fat. Perry made a lot of effort to clean it for me, but it was quarantined at the docks to remove more. A 1924 Lincoln was the first car that I saw and really wanted to restore in 1960, but it was never available to me so I bought and rebuilt a 1927 Cadillac instead. The parts book shows that right hand drive conversion parts were available, of which the most essential are the left side exit exhaust manifold set-up. I will probably need to make what I need, before I get my feet tangled in my beard.
  7. Definitely not the same as LaSalle, which like AA, BB, L6/8, and M Series have a centrelock section. During 1929, LaSalle, Cadillac 353, and later M Series had ring of bolts type
  8. I have explained the solution a number of times on this forum. I apologise I do not have time this week o next to write in chapter and verse again. You need to clean, de-grease, and pre-machine the drum mounted to run true, as when you machine the sprayed coating. Best and most economical is a Metco wire-feed sprayed coating. It is called Metco LS, a low shrink carbon steel machineable coating, which has significant Molybdenum content, in range of 5 to 7% from memory. It is work-hardening, so I have always machined it at very slow cutting speed with a Tungsten Carbide cutting tool. ( The big old English Lang Lathe ha a minimum spindle speed of 12 rpm and that works best. ) If the tool loses its edge you regrind with a diamond wheel and start again. I pre- machine with a sharp point to give a surface like a screw thread.. I de-grease again and then grit-blast with aluminium oxide grit . I only have a Metco 10E gun that uses oxy-acetylene flame and about 40 cu ft/min compressed air to drive the feed turbine and propel the molten droplets onto the job . you seal the coating with a phenolic sealer. It is better to find someone with a double feed electric spray with the same material in 16th diameter wire. You get the same coating. The coating uis sprayed onto a thin bond coat of nickel-aluminide. The braking characteristics are very similar to SG cast iron, but you will probably never need to machine or grind the drums again. it is a quqantum improvement on steel drum surface. and drums cannot be recognised as changed from original visually. It is invisible modern technology. I reclaimed the drums for a friend's 1912 English Perry; and conttary to my advice used cast iron wear linings as original. The drums never wore, and Barry told me later that it was the only car in Veteran Car Club of Victoria with castiron brakes that worked properly!! Look up the topic on my old posts on this forum. I apologise there is a lot of useful stuff to scan through.
  9. I apologise I did not have the time needed to complete what I needed to communicate at the end of the post above. You need lateral thinking, mechanical and workshop expertise and interest, to make what you need. My interest in this is mostly various sizes of fine-spline Rudge Whitworth, according to the car projects I have . There are 52, 62, 72, 80, 90, and 100mm wheels an possibly hubs that I need and will likely have to make. ( the millimetre number refers to the maximum inner bearing outside diameter that the hub is intended to use. I need a set of 12 diametral pitch spur gears to key onto the mandrel on which each new hub is mounted to cut the correct number of splines with the shaper attachment. For instance, Rudge 62 has 100 splines. You take very fine cuts at each setting, and the cutting slide is set at the appropriate angle off vertical. For 100 splines I would take about a minute for one shave cut per spline around the full diameter. Naturally you switch off to advance the tool for the next cut. When you think you are getting close to correct depth, you stop and remove the caps that hold the mandrel, and you try for fit in a correct wheel centre. The hub is always indexed to the gear, so you repeat this until the fit is perfect. Unless you have your own CNC high duty lathe, you probably need to make a pattern for casting with appropriate specification steel; so you do not get your beard tangled in your feet or the copious swarf you would otherwise produce. The form of the wheel centre is probably best cast in a suitable steel for economy of time spent. It is likely hard to find someone with heavy enough press or spinning equipment to make them by original method. Of course, if you have copy of Mark Dees"'book "The Miller Dynasty", you may have noticed in one of Harry Miller's early patent drawings of a concept car which illustrated Prior Art to Ettore Bugatti's Cast aluminium "blade" wheels which were used on some of his exquisite racing cars in the 1920s. The sort of aluminium alloy that we would use in heat-treated form were not known back then; and original blade wheels in perfect condition are scarce now, and they were invariably driven very hard then. That said, cutting splines in cast alloy wheels is fine; then and now. And unlike materials on the cone section grip and resist fretting much better than a match of identical material. (Some decades ago, the hub and wheel splines on one well- used Delage were badly worn; and by cutting and annealing thin sheet copper from a dead hot water heater to conform to the cones on the hubs, the wheels and hubs were again serviceable! ). I should be able to find a pair of early of the captive nut type in 80mm size Rudge 80 hubs and two wheel centres. These are the same design and concept to the Rudge 62 wheel that were used on Alfonso Hispano Suizas. I have the same type 62s on my 1911 Lancia Delta.
  10. I have a Tipo 5 FIAT front axle beam and stubs, with one wood wheel hub still carrying the brass FIAT hubcap. I reckon it is likely identical to the one under the re-creation that Mr Pittaway built. Possible exception is that"this one carries the forging mark "Park". That shows me that the car was built in the US factory in NY. I also had a sad Tipo 5 FIAT engine that ran a sawmill about 20 miles away from here, and was eventually replaced by something that was undoubtedly much easier to start. The knowledge was that the engine had belonged to a car that was owned by General Grimwade. I never connected the front axle and the engine at the time, but it is very likely fpr geographical proximity reasons that they originated from the same car. The front axle was under a dairy farmer's derelict calf trailer about 4 miles from here, and there was absolutely nothing else of the FIAT on that farm. I traded the engine to Paul Freehill who had aspirations for building one of those big FIATS; but he told me much later that he had traded it to a man by the name of Hecht , who may have had more of the same at a place called Tom's River in NJ. The wheels on the photo of the FIAT re-creation appear to be RAF type, which were used on such as Hispano and RR in the 1920s. Earliest use I have seen was on a non-brake front axle of a big Alfa Romeo of around or just before 1920. Again, that was a dairy farmer's calf trailer. Des Dillon was desperate for the hubs and wheel centres for his 12 litre Hispano Suiza V8 Special, which he has used and enjoyed for decades. That big FIAT axle is for trade for something that I need: I have never had plans to build a Darwin Awards road machine with it. I need a crankshaft for my L head Mercer, because some idiot machined the main bearings without the block bolted down. Also I need a set of DV 32 Stutz camshafts and camshaft bearings. Stuff was stripped off my 1928 prototype engine DV30004, casting date June 27 1928, because nobody could understand what it was. Nobody understood what was in John Bentley's book "Great American Automobiles"in the Stutz chapter. Good secondhand copies are available on the book sites. It is likely they may have built as many as 5 or 6 prototypes, with the word "Special"cast on the left side of the engine of BB pattern, and with main bearing caps probably 3 or 4 times stronger than production engines. Stutz knew in mid 1928 that they had trouble particularly with the centre main bearing cap where there is greatest whip in that long 9 main bearing crankshaft. Geoff Ringrose in Sydney had a knock develop in his early 1928 BB engine on a club run. He shut it off and had it carted home on a tilt-tray. The centre main bearing cap was broken. I suspect that was what happened to the engine in the BB Black Hawk Speedster that blew up in the match race with the Special 8 litre HispanoSuiza in the 1928 match race at Indianapolis Speedway.
  11. Earliest I have encountered on antique car engine and gearbox that I know have never been "beeped"-around by enthusiasts is my 1911 4 cyl left hand rotation Type 38 Napier. It is a bright aluminium paint similar to what Protec in Adelaide used to sell in pressure pack spray cans, that was American manufacture of brand I do not know. Those Napier aluminium castings also carry multiple fine hammer dots where they seem to have checked for any casting fault that could be detected audibly when the casting was struck with their pin-point hammer
  12. Those big ones would come from the big side valve eight cylinder, which used an engine much like the big Lycoming in the 8-115 and similar eights. The small 3litre OHV "Little "Marmon Eight used a much smaller version. In 1962 a small group of fellow students in second year Agricultural Science had a Marmon 78 sedan during our second year, which was spent at an agricultural college about 120 miles north of Melbourne. Unregistered, it was good enough for some discreet night trips into the nearest town for a dance . The attraction was a large number of nurses and nursing students. After the end of the year the Marmon was still at Dookie College; and I was "volunteered" by one of the owners to tow the Marmon back to Melbourne with my 1927 314 Cadillac., wit0h a rigid A-frame towing bar between the two cars. Approaching the outskirts of Melbourne on the Sunday afternoon in fairly heavy traffic on the 2 way, 2 lane main interstate highway, the whole arrangement without warning started to perform like a centipede with the scrub itch. The left front wheel of the Marmon and taken a short track into the paddock. it seemed out of control for eternity: it is remarkable how your perceptions and reactions seem to accelerate when you think you are moving in slow motion. I managed to stop by a swift U-turn, still towing the Marmon but facing back the way we had come: but without damage or interference with other motorists. I retrieved the wheel and tightened it back on, and checked the other three wheels were not loose. During a lull in the traffic I did an opposite U-turn, and towed John Robinson and his Marmon to where he lived near Melbourne University. Nobody stopped to help nor berate us; so I assumed that Melbourne people were accustomed to seeing such motor antics. I have always been a bit skeptical of those Dayton wire wheels without positive locking: But when you consider the material differential between the steel outer taper of the hub centre, and the bronze matching taper of the wheel nut, it was probably safe, smart engineering. Unlike metals in tight contact will grip, whereas steel/steel will fret and loosen. After all, those big Auburns with Dayton wire wheels raced effectively and safely in the late 1920s.
  13. The technical trick to make a soldered connection to the glass tube is to etch the ends to which the connecting pipes must be attached. Colour the etched surface with graphite powder, which adheres to it. You electroplate the graphited surface with copper, and you can solder to that. For etching the glass it is probably best done with fine blasting grit through a small sand blasting pot gun . Hydrofluoric acid (HF) is the commercial glass etchant, but it is too dangerous to store and use. HF is one of the most dangerous chemicals known, and there is no way I would ever use it.
  14. If so that was probably a blunder, although Sir Harry Rickardo and his colleagues may not have done much work with the Burt-McCollum single sleeve valve engines then. Rolls Royce dabbled in these, but Napier Sabre, and the air-cooled radials of Bristol were probably the supreme piston aero engines before they were supplanted by jet propulsion in the air. There was much less cylinder wear than poppet valve engines because the piston never suffered boundary breakdown of the oil film: because the liner oscillated in rotational as well as axial movement. The type would run at a higher compression ratio without detonation, and so were relatively more economical and powerful.
  15. One possibility is the Continental 9N, with 3 and a half inch bore and a little over 5 inch stroke. They were non-detacheable head side valve, with threaded plugs above the valves. There was low flow, low pressure pump to oil the 3 main bearing crankshaft, with crankpin and mains of generous size. There were oil troughs for the dippers on the con-rods. You will recall that the ohv Chev 6 cylinder engines had splash oiled big ends pretty much into the early 1960s; and Hudson adhered to splash feed for their engines a good many years post-War. For several years post 1970, I had a 15cwt short wheelbase Chev blitz with a fertilizer spreader, which was good for smaller spreading jobs fairly close to the rail siding. Load capacity was 3 ton of superphosphate, or 3 1/2 ton of "2-and-1 super/potash. Heavy loaded it was slow to the job, but would wind up the 50mph coming home empty to re-load. I never had engine trouble, even though the friendship was probably over-stretched. My 9N Continentals are Roamer, but the same were an option in a number of quality autos, including as the surviving option to the Miller engines in the Leach passenger car. Reading Mark Dees book "The Miller Dynasty", it seems the Miller had fatal shortcomings, and an engine probably lasted about as long as it took to build before it was replaced by a 9N Continental. I have most essentials of an early Roamer, and though the original slightly smaller 6 cyl detacheable head Rutenber, I can tell what it originally was by the engine mountings. I regard the 9N Continental as very high quality compared to that particular model "Rottenber" which had die-cast crankshaft bearing inserts of babbit, which I regard as possibly only useful for a farm stationary engine.