Ivan Saxton

  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

64 Excellent


About Ivan Saxton

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/04/1940

Recent Profile Visitors

The recent visitors block is disabled and is not being shown to other users.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 0.437 is more logical than o.420 . 0.4375 is the actual size, which is 7/16 of an inch
  6. The Stutz pictured with the SC Auburn and the Cord on P1 has "27"on the windscreen, but the headlights are 1929 or later. You cannot date it by its wheels.
  7. In the early 1970s we had an International AS160 tip truck that had become too rough for road use. Then developing issues with the engine, specifically high oil consumption, a couple of burned exhaust valves, and cracked and broken exhaust manifold indicated need for palliative repair. I built up the faces of the exhaust valves with Stellite, which was an inspiration of Elwood Haynes; and I did this with a slight excess of acetylene in the flame of the small welding tip in Rememberance of him. I re-faced all the valves and the seats. I carefully removed the wear ridge at the top of piston travel, pulled the pistons and conrods, and cleaned up the bores with a rigid hone to parallel. At that time Repco still ran an excellent workshop for all automotive machine work. For me they cleaned up the top compression ring grooves to fit a spacer so the side contact of the rings was correct fit and seal. They expanded the piston skirts across the thrust axis for correct clearance in the bores. I cleaned and Vee-ed the cracks and break in the exhaust manifold; fastened it to a section of steel channel, and welded it with an acetylene-rich flame of the oxy torch with a large welding tip. I used sticks of cast iron filler rod, and the correct grade of ? borax? flux. It all went back together and ran like a new bought job. One of my antique car friends, Stuart Middlehurst, had a AS160 Inter tray truck, to which he had fitted an hydraulic self-loading crane for general paid work around town. Eventually that engine died, and I gave him the engine out of the paddock tipper. The engine gave no trouble in twenty-odd years road and home use after that. An exhaust manifold may run within its plastic heat range, and if it is basically in alignment when you weld it, and you cover it with insulating matting so it cools slowly when you weld it, you should have no trouble . I understand that lead from the anti-knock compound in the fuel could cause difficulty; and that is why I cleaned back the weld areas to clean metal as best I could. As I have written this I have been churning a secondary cognitive task in my mind, trying to remember the name of the man who wrote the repair and restoration tips pages for many years in Antique Automobile. ( Was it "Phil Reid"? ) My mind is not good on names; ----- particularly after I was enveloped in a ball lightning strike on my house this January. ------- One of those articles described the way they dealt with worn or damaged equipment in the field during the war. It was termed "Inspect: Repair or Replace As Necessary". I have always tried to use that protocol when possible, ever since.
  8. Hello again Geoff, When I telephoned Marc Bondini to alert him to your thread here, he told me your identity; but no email address to which I could send photos. I bought a copy of your excellent book on Aurelia and designer De Virgillio when you were out here for Castlemaine. ( you will remember the most generously catered lunch for a car event, and perhaps the wire or hay-band to indicate that the outdoor facility was occupied.) I have a B22 Aurelia, which I have used for periods as normal transport. I remember two occasions when I visited the dentist virtually in central Melbourne, which is 70 miles from here. Without particular reason, I glanced at my watch as I drove out my gate, and was astonished that I was in the dentist's waiting room just 70 minutes later. That Aurelia slows for traffic and regains its cruising speed so quickly and effortlessly, that it could almost be described as having contemporary Grand Prix technology in a family saloon. Who could suggest that Americans are not interested in Lancias : As in your account of Briggs Cuningham first encountering Bracco and Lurani's B20 Aurelia after the 1951 Le Mans 24 Hour race, and his subsequent purchase of a new B20 plus mechanical spares. As to the relationship of SGV and Lancia, you need to check out "Phianna, Darling of the Titans", which is a transcribed interview by Frank N. Potter with Miles Harold Carpenter for Volume 12, No12 of the June 1962 issue of Automobilists of the Upper Hudson Valley. Carpenter must have been one of the most exceptional young people involved with the first automobiles. It is all in that article that you can readily find via Google. As a teenage dealer for Chalmers cars in Texas, he communicated so many improvements to components of the car that Hugh Chalmers, at a dealers convention , introduced him as the "Chalmers companies' Texas Engineering Department" or similar title. There is a front-view photo of a Phianna which clearly shows the pressed-form front axle as it was still used on some earliest Lancia Kappas. There is also a photo of an SGV 4 cylinder engine which I would liken to a Lancia Epsilon or perhaps Eta engine with reversal side-to side to better suit left hand drive. ( Incidentaly, Dela and Epsion were similar engines with same bore and stroke. Most past authors and other people are unaware of the important differences between Delta and Epsilon engines. Gamma and Delta had water pumps gear-driven inside the timing gear enclosure at front of the engine. This most certainty caused many engines to be damaged beyond practical recovery, unless the owner knew to constantly drain water from beneath the oil in the sump before using the car. Epsilon and later engines including Kappa had the water pump external on the left side of the engine,, which had less propensity to emulsify the engine oil. A year or so back, Dr John Baeke had the task of finding a new owner for John Caperton's good running SGV. If you care to give me by Private Message an email address to which I can forward details and photos of that car. ( JC also had Rochester Duesenberg engine Roamers. Duesenberg "walking-beam" engine had combustion chamber and valve operation to early Lancia aircraft engines. It is believed that the first Duesenberg/Mason 4 cyl walking beam engine was built privately 1909-10.) It is possible that Lancia took notice of other people's ideas that might become useful, though. But when he pulled out of the pits of the Vanderbilt Cup into the path of Walter Christie's massive V4 cross-engine 4 wheel drive racer, it was many decades after his time before his company built a car of that configuration. You can buy good copies quite cheaply of John Bentley's book " Great American Automobiles". In the chapter on the New York- Paris Race, one of two nominated entries that did not show up was a Lancia entered by the Hol-Tan Company. There could have been negative publicity if such a new car had problems on such a challenging race. The 1911 Lancia Delta it is interesting that the 17/49 crown wheel and pinion were very early spiral bevel gears. But the direction tended to push the gear pair apart, instead of drawing them into mesh as has been practice ever since. Near that, the rear axle ran on ball bearings, which tended to loose balls with noisy and destructive consequences. It is sensible and safer to re-engineer to taper roller bearings. I hope you can manage to visit when you are here for Castlemaine in October. I have known Roland for a long time, and he has been very helpful. I think he started off with Aurelia, and he said he " gradually got older." I hope you can get down here at Castlemaine time. There is interesting stuff that is not seen elsewhere, such as 6 cylinder, 6 litre 1923 cuff-valve Peugeot, joy ride in the 1923 Roamer Duesenberg, and one of the mid 1928 SPECIAL prototype DV 32 Stutz engines which John Bently mentioned in " Great American Automobiles" , but no-one who took parts from it before I got it could understand what it was. Main bearing cap differences between it and two other slightly earlier BB Stutz engines give a pretty good understanding of why That Stutz Black Hawk speedster blew up in the match race against the Hispano Suiza at Indianapolis. I apologise some of this is tangential or parallel to the Kappa theme, but most of it should be of interest,
  9. Geoff and Royce Fullard would tell you that the problem with Kappa engines is that they used babbit crankshaft bearings without bronze backing. I have not yet looked inside mine, but I expect the bearings may well be diecast babbit, like Rutenber did with some of their engines around the same time. Australian Six bought a batch of those dud Rutenber engines for their assembled cars in Sydney, and they may have had expensive repairs to do after the cars were sold. Geoff and his brothers made bronze-back bearings for their family car, and they had no more trouble. Stuart Middlehurst had engine /gearbox and radiator from a Pentiota truck. Nick Langford bought the radiator, and John Shellard bought the rest for spares or to overcome problems with his early Kappa. I have basis of a1911 Lancia Delta, but the only gearbox I could get so far is a Theta. Do you by chance know of a spare Epsilon or earlier gearbox, which would save me having to make alterations I would prefer not to do. If I could get a correct gearbox, the excellent Theta gearbox would be available. The other problem I have with the Delta is that someone tried to break up the engine with a hammer. The aluminium alloy has about 7% zinc content because zinc was used instead of silicon to fluidise the aluminium in the foundry. Often if you try to weld this stuff, cracks run everywhere. So failing a spare crankcase somewhere, I will have to make up missing sections and use metal stitching. Incidentally, if you want front brakes on a Kappa for safety in modern traffic, Tipo 8 Isotta Fraschini will bolt straight on.
  10. If you turn to page 63 of Mark Dees book "The Miller Dynasty", you will see illustration of the concept of the very first cast Aluminium "blade wheels ", in patent drawings that Harry Miller submitted in September 1919. It seems that this was just before Leo Goosen took employment with him. There is no indication that Miller actually made and used these cast aluminium wheels; but definitely they constituted "Prior Art" to those Ettore Bugati used on his Type 35 racing cars several years later. It was not unknown that Buggati sometimes borrowed someone else's concept when something of his own work was not good enough. In 1923 a young graduate engineer from here in Melbourne, placed a firm order for an A model Duesenberg at the factory. Five weeks later he was contacted at an address in Chicago, that the Duesenberg was ready for him to drive away. Alan Powell told me in 1983 when I met him, that at his request, the highest compression ratio pistons were fitted, and numerically lowest axle ratio for fastest road speed. Alan said that Fred Duesenberg himself drove him on the Indianapolis Speedway; and he was given a certificate that it had been timed at 106mph, (though not necessarily when Alan Powell was a passenger.) The car was shipped to England, and was driven at speed on Brooklands track. He visited Bugati's estate ; and Alan told me in 1983 that he was most impressed how much of the car was produced on the property; including fine upholstery leather, he said. Then one of the racing drivers just happened to arrive, and Alan was sent on an extended joy-ride in one of the Type 30 racing cars. 60 years later he became very angry about Bugati again. He said "It never did him any good". He found a team of mechanics had taken the Duesenberg hydraulic brakes apart,, and had the cylinder head off the engine of his new car. Cylinder head design was not one of Duesnberg's strengths. Stuart Murdoch ha a fine collection of cars, ( including one of the 1914 Indianapolis Delages. He also has an early type 30 Bugatti with hydraulic front brakes, which I was told are poor.
  11. Possibly the best way to make a difficult shaped float is to cast the shape in wax. ( An equal alternative is Woods metal.) If using wax, you coat the surface with powdered graphite. You electroplate copper onto the graphited wax or woods metal as case may be, until you can assess the thickness of the copper shell at around five to seven thou thick. You empty the float of Woods metal in a hot water bath, or whatever method and temperature is appropriate to recover the wax. The cylinder water jackets of the first racing 6 cylinder racing Napier, called "Sampson" were electro-deposited on graphite, but Bob Chamberlain chose to make new cylinders by a different method when he constructed a replica of Sampson using design notes from Arthur Rowledge's note books. Similarly, Alan Morgan, who was a long time Chamberlain employee, told me that during the war they had to make cartridge tube radiators for certain aircraft. They made a casting die to produce myriadds of woods metal formers, which they electroplated to suitable wall thickness. Then they assembled the shell tubes in a jig to tin and solder them into a radiator core. You can do much with patience and determination.
  12. You will find that at least some model L Lincoln used the Waltham clock and speedometer set, as did the 6 cylinder Series 6 Mercer with Rochester Trego OHV engine. The spring-return speedometer shell with the numbers is incredibly thin and fragile. I am not aware of any person with skill and knowledge to repair one of these if damaged.
  13. Page 264 0f Fred Roe's Book "The Pursuit of Perfection", Bob. Fred said it was " J 113 in cut-down frame, originally number 2135 long wheelbase, with Auburn two speed rear end built in California in 1942. Capable of ferocious low end acceleration. Same engine put in 1935-6 Dodge chassis a year or two later and used with various transmissions including Nash Ambassador three speed with overdrive, and 1931 Packard 4 speed, with specially cut ratios for rear ends. Built for performance with appearance obviously not a consideration. Randy would be able to update what Fred wrote then. Fred sold me my copy when they were not on the shelves. He was kind enough to write in the front in broad blue pen: " To Ivan Saxton who will appreciate the first hundred pages more than most people. Fred Roe." I still do, Bob . I generally give suitable visitors joy rides between the house and the sheds in the 1923 Roamer Duesenberg which was bought out of a catalogue to break the Adelaide- Melbourne road record. The photograph of the April 1921 stock mile record at Daytona Beach in 34.25 seconds was passed to the second owner . Norman Dougal found it not long before he died, but lost the run of it, and I do not know what happened to it ; but I have a photocopy. I have enough to rebuild a 1922 A model Duesenberg , thanks to the insistence of Ray Wolff. I will have to build body and a few mechanical parts
  14. The Rootes diesel of these Commers was virtually a derivative from the Krupp Junkers diesel engines, but possibly a bit better. One of our friends moved to Adelaide , South Austral;ia in the late 1950s; and established a "milk-run" type business with refrigerated semi-trailer vans. They would load an tie down the truck and load of fresh fruit and vegetables on north-bound railway flat goods trucks. From Alice Springs to Darwin they would drive. After the first one had done 80,000 miles, which was considered to be about the useful life of a side valve Ford V8, Vic Wilson decided to se if the Commer needed new piston rings, ( because it was a dusty un-sealed road then .) Nothing was worn, so they re-assembled it and never looked again. The Commer had chrome plated cylinder bores, and if I remember correctly, the Humber Super Snipe may also have had that. I looked at the old Commer petrol engine of Les Christian's welder. They used it for decades rebuilding worn track rails for their logging bulldozers with a 4-500 amp DC welder. The carb is different to that shown. It is an English Solex diecast of muck-metal 'which is probably beyond usefulness after countless years in "the big shed.