JV Puleo

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JV Puleo last won the day on April 15

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About JV Puleo

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    Senior Member
  • Birthday 11/01/1951

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    Smithfield, Rhode Island
  • Interests:
    Brass era... teens & 20s


  • Biography
    A lifelong Brass Car enthusiast

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  1. It seems to me that most car museums are private enterprises calling themselves "museums". They function as museums during the lifetime of whoever originally funded them but very few seem to survive the demise of the founder. They aren't museums in the same sense as the Met or the National Portrait Gallery. Lots of "museum" cars come up for sale - it is a regular topic of discussion here because the seller usually takes that description as meaning something good while the informed buyer has an altogether different view of museum cars. Even the museums that do stay in business are often "deaccessioning" things. This can be a major bone of contention when someone donates dad's beloved automobile to a museum and two years later it appears on the auction block - but that is the reality of the museum world. Cars are really too complicated and require too much maintenance for most museums to take care of properly. If they were really concerned about the artifacts, they ought to be a lot more selective in what they accept - but then, if they can sell them and keep the money why be picky.
  2. I imagine that would be a good deal more difficult in rural Utah than here in New England. I actually have two of them. The one you see in the pictures is really worn out - built in 1925 and probably run 24 hours a day all through WWII. I've never even tried running the power feeds but for car work it's an extremely useful tool once in a while. You don't use it much but every so often it is very useful. My other one is 10,000 serial numbers newer, built in 1945 but I had to dismantle it to move it and haven't put it back together.
  3. I suspect that at least one of the rods has been replaces with one that isn't the right height. I think the best way to fix that would be to replace both of them but finding a rod with the right dimensions may be difficult. With luck, Mike will be able to find a rod that can be modified to fit. but I've had a terrible time looking for rods - the dimensions are never listed so you'd have to know exactly what rod you are looking for. I spent a lot of time on that and finally gave up and decided to make them but that is clearly the last resort. Maybe try one of the makers of custom rods for tractors.
  4. I am intrigued by the number of intact, unrestored, Buicks that have survived. I track unrestored pre-1930 cars on ebay, just to see if they sell and what they sell for. More than half the time the asking prices are unrealistic but when it's a real auction they always seem to find buyers though not at the prices the wishful thinkers are hoping for. A surprisingly large number are mid-20s Buicks. They must have been rugged cars, well liked by their owners.
  5. I guess you've got a good excuse to try out my "nut making" technique. As to the bronze bearing that looks as if the face is worn... try lapping it on a piece of plate glass with very fine emery paper and light oil. If the striations come out - so much the better. If the thickness of the steel thrust washer allows, I'd think about using a needle roller bearing to replace it. I get them from McMaster Carr but they must be available in the UK. Are the measurements imperial? I would expect them to be and the threads either Whitworth or BSF but I seem to remember that Humber also used some metric fasteners. That rear main seal may require some thinking. I have a similar situation on the Mitchell but I've put off thinking about it until I get to the crankshaft.
  6. I counted. Not including fixtures, fasteners and pins (which I did not make), I made a total of 104 separate parts. I started the day by taking the inserts down to .250 and the adjusters to a thickness of just over .300. I also put a slight chamfer on the edges. Then I hardened the inserts. The trick is to heat them bright red - until they are no longer magnetic and then drop them in oil. The MAP gas didn't work - or at least I didn't have the patience to wait for it so I used acetylene. The first one went right through the bottom of this plastic container so I had to find a metal one. but after that it went smoothly. Then I soldered the inserts into the adjusters. Like all these jobs, there is a technique to it so it took me longer to do the first one than the remaining three. All cleaned up. This will be a fixture to grind all the tops flat at once. That went without a hitch though it is interesting how un-flat things are when you put them in the grinder and take them down .001 at a time. And one pair assembled as they will be on the finished engine. I think these parts are actually FINISHED! Now I have to get back to sorting out the oil pump.
  7. Oddly enough I was wondering that myself. I'll count them and let you know. As to keeping them interchangeable, it's all a matter of machining the parts in fixtures. I am certain the complete lifter assemblies are interchangeable. I only have reservations about the internal parts - the lifter itself and the body. Those were individually lapped to each other so while they should be interchangeable I don't see any reason to mix the parts up. Once assembled for the final time it is very unlikely they will ever be taken apart again. This is no different from the better quality work of the period. Final hand fitting was taken for granted if you wanted a really perfect fit. That is why Henry Leland won the Deware Trophy - until then it wasn't even presumed that finely fitted parts could be made to such close tolerance by machine. If you allow greater tolerances, as most makers of lesser quality automobiles did, interchangeability was readily achievable. I did have a thought based on one of your posts. The Mitchell is almost exactly the same size as your Locomobile, The engine is about 300 cubic inches (really 298) - it even has a full floating rear axle. Essentially, I have the same number of parts doing the same things but the original price of the Loco was at least twice, if not three times that of the Mitchell. It was the precise fitting and attention to small details that made the Loco such a superior machine. EDIT: It is very common to see little numbers or marks on various parts - those were assembly numbers, used to put things back together as they had come apart when it was necessary to disassemble things for another operation. I'd very much like to disassemble a Loco engine because I am curious about what degree of uniformity they achieved and how they did it.
  8. This is a Silver Ghost lifter... it came from a box of miscellaneous parts a friend bought from the estate of the late Henry C. Wing. Wing was one of the original members of the RROC. Here are the intake valve adjusters all threaded, It was the same procedure as done with the push rod sockets but the threads are longer. Then the adjusters were drilled to a uniform depth, 1/64 smaller than 1/2" I reduced the height and "reamed" them with a 1/2" end mill. This gives it a flat bottom hole. When that was done I reduced the height further, to 3/8". Here they are with their inserts. Tomorrow I'll trim the inserts down about 1/8", harden them and solder them in place. Then all that is left is to put a little chamfer on the edges of the hex section. I also have to make a fixture to hold all four in the grinder so I can surface grind them but we'll see if I get to that.
  9. I did have the originals. They had cast iron bodies, were very heavy, not very well made and quite worn. They also included some features that PM Heldt disapproved of as not being the best engineering. I gave the set to a friend who is restoring another Model T Mitchell and is much more concerned with "exactly as made" than I am. He had a couple of originals so I'm hoping he can make a workable set from them. They may have been rebuildable but I think that would have been more work than making new ones. My goal here is to eliminate as much valve train noise as I can - Henry Royce once commented that he didn't have to enclose the lifters on the SG because all the parts fit so well they didn't make noise - though I have to say that SG lifters are much simpler. I have an unused one but it wasn't practical to adapt the design to the Mitchell. I took the measurements I used from the originals, adding some height to them because I had no idea how to make the caps. Its only recently that an idea came to me - in any case, you can remove material but it's pretty difficult to add it so slightly oversize is good when you are flying half blind like this. The hold-downs are entirely my design - in this case to come up with a way of securing them in alignment with the cam without using the pin holes. I am certain those holes were drilled with the lifters in place but I'd have to calculate where to drill them in the lower rim of the lifter body and, given the "flexible" nature of Mitchell measurements, that would be a daunting task. As to making them for another car, even now, after I've done it and feel comfortable with the process the cost would likely be astronomical.
  10. I made the sockets for the push rods today. The first step was to turn one end down to 3/8" and thread it. This lathe threading tool worked a charm. I'd say it really only good for fine threads and even then maybe not larger than 1/2" but for the smaller sizes it's a lot faster than single point threading. All four done. I did these one at the time to avoid the problem of getting the piece perfectly centered when gripping it by the hex. Then about half of the other end was turned round. In this case, I gripped it by the threaded portion in a 3/8" collet. And then set up my jig for drilling to a specific depth. The drill is 1/32 under the finished size. With that done, I did the same thing with a 1/2" end mill held by an ER32 collet. This worked so perfectly that the runout I'd expected to make the push rods fit easily in the holes didn't happen. Now I'm going to have to polish the ends of the push rods. I finished up around 4:30 and didn't feel like starting on the intake valve adjusters...there is time for that tomorrow. The push rod is 1/2" aluminum rod with a 3/8" low profile cap screw in the bottom end so that the bearing surface will be steel rather than aluminum.
  11. True, but I'd still be happy with a 20s Cadillac and, should I live long enough, I may get another though I admit 27 is kind of late. Teens or early 20s would be more my style today. That said, the cars I like best were out of reach then and still are.
  12. I'm not so sure you can say EVERYONE... I started with a 1927 car and, when the situation permitted moved backward into brass cars. I've never had any interest in even the mid to late 30s, much less newer although I have owned several of the cars members here are now restoring. I just thought of them as used cars... I used them and either sold them or scrapped them.
  13. I now had to install the threaded inserts in the lifters. There are actually two operations that require disassembling the lifters and they can't be done at the same time. To avoid having to take them apart twice I made this tray to hold the pieces while I worked on them. The lifter assemblys themselves are interchangeable but I am not confident all the internal parts are so I did not want to mix them up. I set the lifter up in the 4-jaw chuck so I could leave the rollers in place. Then drilled and tapped each one and inserted a threaded sleeve with a little high-strength Loctite on it. Because I had to wait 20 minutes to face this off, this took quite a long time. When those were done, I cut these four little pieces of 1/2" O1 drill rod. These will be the little hardened pads that are soldered into the heads of the intake valve adjusters. They got faced off to a thickness of 3/8". When they are done, they'll be surface ground. I also put the lifter housings back in the lathe to take about .100 off the top edge. Now that I have caps for the lifters it's important to make sure that when they are down as far as they can go the caps don't hit the top of the housing. I put the old camshaft in the engine to check this. Then went on and did the rest of them. The material I ordered to make the adjusters and the sockets for the push rods arrived at the end of the day so I'll be on those tomorrow.
  14. I think the original premise of this thread is flawed. It seems to equate "dying" with prices falling. Dying would be when pre-war cars were headed for the scrap heap. Prices falling is just a conventional market readjustment that anyone, in any other field of collecting, would expect. Why should cars be immune from market forces? Old cars are a very subjective interest. No one "needs" one and they are always purchased with discretionary income. I think that what we are seeing is a readjustment where buyers with big money - who may be even more influenced by current fad and fancy than the general enthusiast - are drawn to other things. Those will eventually decline as well...nothing is as ephemeral as fashion. What we now have is a situation where a lot of cars are still in the hands of people who can't come to grips with the idea that they cannot be sold now for what the owner thought they could bring only a few years ago. So what...falling prices provide an opportunity for enthusiasts who, till now, were priced out of the market. This site echos with lamentations about the future of the hobby but a trend like this, that ultimately promises to be good for the hobby, appears to be a big cause for concern. As to the nickel era cars that 1912Staver likes (I like them too) we just have to watch and wait. There is a reasonable chance that, when those cars have to be sold we'll see further readjustment in prices.
  15. There is also Harry Heiten in Worcester. I know they work on early car radiators (much older than the 50s) because a friend was just talking to them about his.