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JV Puleo

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Everything posted by JV Puleo

  1. I fight a constant battle trying not to make things too complicated but sometimes I just can't do it. These caps for the ends of the drag link are a good example. I've designed them so that the link can be greased via a fitting in the ends. In order to get what I want, each cap consists of 3 parts. You've seen all this before but in this case I pan to add a hex on the end of the cap so it can be tightened with a wrench. After I made the second "body" I started on the pieces that will make the ends. I worked through my pile of bits and found 1 piece of brass 1-3/8" in diameter - the size I need. to make the second one, I'm turning down the unused brass boss from the rear axle from my "mistakes" box. Facing off the no longer needed concave portion... And drilling an reaming to 7/16", the hole size for a 1/4 NPT tap. Here's the roughed out 6 pieces. I cut 2 pieces of 1-1/2 hex stock about .400 thick... And bored one out and threaded it. I wasn't sure this would work but, thankfully, it did. This is what it should look like - with the yet to be finished threaded portion filling the center.
  2. I'm not sure I remember it correctly but when the generator came out and was replaced is it possible the cam timing was disturbed?
  3. I've been pondering the rear axle bearings...as you can see, there is a boss in the center of the cap that held a grease cup. I don't need the grease cups now but I would like to use the boss for something that will make it look like it was intended. The aluminum sleeve has to be split and I think that the clamping pressure when its bolted down will be enough but if I add another clamp, using the boss and bearing directly on the bearing races, I can't see how that would do anything but help. After thinking about it quite a bit, I have a plan but I need a milling cutter that is 3-1/4" in diameter to make the necessary part...so until I find that I'm stopped on this. I went on and bored and threaded the gauge I started yesterday... But, half way through I realized I already had a gauge and fixture for 1-3/8 -16 so while I finished the threading, I put the new gauge aside until later... In order not to be left without anything to do, I started on the caps that will go on the ends of the new drag link. I have to make a drag link for several reasons. The original is hammered and the orientation of the connections will not work with the new Pittman arm I made. I started by cutting off 2 pieces of 1-3/4 brass bar. Then drilled, bored and threaded... These big taps are a bear to use in the lathe so after I've started the thread I move it over to a chuck bolted down to the mill where I can use a bit tap wrence. Even this was a trial so I've made a note to bore the next one about .005 larger...
  4. Up through the late 60s or early 70s a lot of cars ad motorcycles were exported. I once had a 1938 R66 BMW that had been sold new in India - completely fitted with British electrical parts. The fellow I got it from, a good friend, bought half a dozen early British bikes that way. But, since then it has been illegal to export any car or bike over a certain age - certainly all the pre-war cars included. There are a lot of RR's there, including some of the earliest Ghosts. As Ed has said, the Indian market probably kept RR going through the depression.
  5. I know...just last week I fired my late uncle's Baker. He bought it 2nd hand when he was 15, around 1930... the price was $5 and my grandfather had to loan him $1.50. It still works exactly as it should...We've even published a book on them - "Niles Guide to Affordable Shotguns"
  6. I didn't get much done today. I don't have many local friends but just about all of them chose today to stop by and visit - which isn't a problem since I'm not doing this for a living...actually, when I had my garage I didn't have a telephone there (this was long before cell phones) - my thinking was that people were always welcome to stop in but they'd have to make the effort. A phone would have been a constant distraction. In any case, I did get to drop the gear into the rear axle housing to see how it fit. It fit just about perfectly - better than it did with before I replaced the bearings - another clue to the possibility that the thrust bearings that were in it were not the correct ones. It spins effortlessly and there is plenty of room for adjustment and for the seals. I will not have to modify the thrust bearing... I didn't slit the aluminum sleeves because some new ideas came to me. One of the advantages to running gear oil in the rear end is that I can eliminate the big grease cups that were mounted on the caps. If the oil level is nearly half way up the gear, it will be above the lower end of the rollers. This also eliminates the need to put a "try cock" in the side to check the level. It's easy enough to take the cover off - although I don't have the correct cover and that is another piece I either have to find or make. The one I have fits properly, but the bolt holes don't come near lining up with the holes in the housing. In the midst of all this I also went on with my "baked enamel" experiment on the motorcycle parts - doing the two lower fork tubes. I'm quite pleased with how they came out. The baking kills the wet look of the new paint but that doesn't bother me at all and, as far as I can see, it is completely dry and hard. I do have a couple of parts that won't fit in the toaster oven...I'll have to think about how to do those.
  7. I suspect most shooting brakes were 2nd bodies. They were intended to be used on large estates. Remember that nearly all English farmers are, or were tenants of a big estate and the shooting rights to the estate belonged to the landowner. In most cases, they were jealously guarded. This is the reason there are no "farmer" grade English shotguns like the cheap fowlers sold in America in the early 19th century right through the inexpensive shotguns offered by Sears & Roebuck at the turn of the century. English farmers usually didn't have the right to shoot on the land they farmed.
  8. Why not make it in bronze and paint it. I've been experimenting with baking enamel paint...and getting a result very much like that. Or, you might want to call this place: http://cumberlandfoundry.com/ I've never used them but I've driven past the place several times - it's quite close to the shop. There is another foundry in my neighborhood as well - again, I've never used them but, if needed, I can check them out.
  9. It's a 20HP...overhead valves, not overhead cam. I don't think RR ever built an overhead cam engine for automobiles (I don't know enough about their aero engines to comment on those).
  10. There's one last piece to this puzzle. The seat in the rear axle housing is 3-1/2" in diameter while the bearing races are 3-1/4. To take up the difference I'm making two "clamping shims" out of aluminum tubing with a 1/8" wall. I needed the big chuck for this because the small one won't grab enough of the tube to hold it steady while I cut it off. The finished size will be 2-7/8" so I cut the pieces off a little over 3" Then cleaned the end up and flipped it around to trim it to length. These still have to be split. The next up is the drag link and for that I have to make several tools - one of which will use the same slitting saw so I'll get that ready then do all three things at the same time.
  11. Probably... if you went out the side door into the yard it was on the right, fairly close to the front gate (which was always locked unless they were taking something out). Over my years of going there I became fairly friendly with Bill and had the run of the place, including the inside storage building. $300 was his standard price for any complete wreck in the yard. I paid the same for a 1919 Buick tourer (really a chassis...we left the sheet metal behind).
  12. I bought a stripped PI chassis - the crankcase, lower end, transmission and running gear were all there but the head, blocks, hubs and wheels were gone - at Bills Auto Parts in Valley Falls, RI. I think the firewall was gone too because I didn't have the chassis number. Price...$300. If I had it today, I'd probably give it to Terry Harper for his big Wisconsin engine but even putting wheels on it would be a challenge. The problem is, as Ed points out, the asking prices are usually at least double - or even four times what they are realistically worth even from my perspective, which is not that of someone that expects to make money on it and doesn't want the attendant headaches of a concours-quality restoration.
  13. It's only the aluminum heads on the later PI's (29-31)* that are a potential problem and it should be said that most of these cars are running with an original head. The aluminum alloy they were cast from has not aged well and does not react well with some anti-freeze solutions. That said, I've only seen one damaged head - mine - and I think that was repairable (It wasn't cracked...it had a hole in the water jacket). It's more a question of "you don't know"... I'd steer clear of an aluminum head PI because the only ones I could afford would be in rough shape and there is no way I could afford to have the work done. The cost of a new head would be a killer...That said, I don't think there are - or ever were - dozens of headless cars around, nor have I ever seen one being offered really cheap. I saw Frank Cook's first prototype head running on his Newmarket. The early ones had overheating problems and, as Ed has said, the castings often had flaws that couldn't be seen until they were machined. The cost had to reflect the fact that a lot of machining time was wasted. I think, at the time, Frank hypothesized that the original head had been centrifugally cast. If I had to guess, I'd estimate that 2/3 or more of the cost today is the machining time. They are too big to be done on a Bridgeport and all short run precision work like this is expensive. I don't remember Franks' price but I think it was around $10,000 in the early 70s which suggests that, in real money terms, they are less expensive today. *I don't know if the problems continue on with the PII - I've only ever worked on 2 of them and never liked them much. To me, they are too late to be very interesting. Neither of the cars I worked on had head problems.
  14. Me too. For exactly the same reasons at least 15 years ago. Now, on the very rare occasions when I'm in the same room as a TV, I marvel at how puerile it is. Right now I'm re-reading a book on the Spanish Armada...last night it was Prince Eugene of Savoy...all of which is 100 times more interesting than anything that has been on TV in the last 20 years.
  15. It reminds me of the Type 48 Locomobile I saw advertised once...painted white with pink fenders. G od only knows what the interior looked like. My late employer, Ted Leonard of Gatsby PI notoriety, had similar taste. I liked Ted and he was a loyal friend but, ultimately, I couldn't work for him. He ruined a PI Avon with white paint, beige fenders, white walls, vacuum plated wheels and gold plush upholstery... another of our friends called it "bordello yellow."
  16. I started up the surface grinder and ground the small spacer to the finished thickness of .102. This machine has given me a lot of trouble in the past. It's very worn out, which is why I was able to buy it for $150. I have a better one but I took it apart to move it and haven't yet reassembled it. Thankfully, it worked perfectly today. Then over to the press to install the parts... This is the reverse side of the differential. Rather than a hardened washier or bronze thrust washer I'm using one of these little roller thrust bearings. There is a hardened shim ob the side facing the casting but doesn't need one on the bearing side because it bears against at hardened and ground surface. So...this is where I started... And where I ended up. The new bearings have a capacity wildly in excess of anything needed here. One of the features of working with brass cars is that bearing technology was in it's infancy before WWI. As a result, they used big bearings that often weren't all that good. In order to replace them we find ourselves having to use bearings that are huge. I think these bearings would support the axle of a Sherman tank... What doesn't show here is that I've been trying to devise a solution for rebuilding this part for the best part of 10 years. This may be the fourth or fifth design and it's certainly the 2nd time I bought bearings - the others will go into my "parts I bought and didn't use" box.
  17. The next piece turned down to 65mm - 2.559. It's actually a coupe of thousandths under because I want it to spin without any drag. Then, because using the cut-off tool on what is effectively a thick steel tube takes forever - and I have the extra material, I used the saw to cut a piece off. Then it was faced down to .680. This went so sell I decided to forgo the surface grinder on this piece. At the base of the projection on the differential gear I left a tiny bit of the original surface...this was because I wasn't comfortable turning right into the base and the bearing surface is below the surface of the gear which made it difficult to do. The solution was a small counterbore. Then into the press... first the 65mm ring and then the two internal bearing races. The new piece I made slipped on so I added a bit of Locktite "slip fit." The bearing races pressed on and aren't going anywhere. I slipped bearing on to see how they looked... Notice that the metric thrust bearing fits on the gear as if it was made for it. In thinking about it, I'm now convinced that it must have had something very close to this to begin with and that the thrust bearing I took out were a ham-fisted replacement. The holes in the center were much too big which caused them to move radially, hence the galling on the projecting piece. All this went quicker than I'd anticipated but rather than fire up the surface grinder at the end of the day I took a break and assembled the front brake for my motorcycle... Which, surprisingly, was more difficult than I expected even as simple as they are. Those springs are not easily stretched. Obviously I found a way to do it - and didn't even have to make a special tool (although I thought of it).
  18. What is obvious is that the gentleman who owned and used the White during WWII knew a lot about good cars as well as having good taste. It may be that the job he was doing demanded he have transportation at his disposal. He wasn't, after all, a private in the army. This is purely a guess but I wonder if the White wasn't chosen because he KNEW it was unfailingly reliable, regardless of the fact that it would be disparaged as "old fashioned" by most people. The notion that "new" must be better is not a recent development. Anyone who was collecting cars in the 1940s and early 50s was not likely to be influenced by popular notions because all car collectors were considered odd then - heck, in the 1970s my uncles and my father thought it was hopelessly eccentric. I'll guess he overpaid for it because he wanted it and could afford it...$35 (which I think was more than a weeks pay to my grandfather, a postman, in 1940). [further to the above] When I sold my PI, because I had lost my storage, I advertised it in Hemmings. I was out of the house when a doctor called from Texas. He spoke to my father who passed a note on to me. What really amazed him was that a doctor was interested in the car and, to quote dad "he sounded very intelligent" – all very surprising to him given he considered my PI a pile of junk.
  19. I took yesterday off to help my cousin remove the snow plow from a truck he's scrapping...today I got back to the rear axle. The piece of bar I'm making the spacers from was bored to 1.985 and reamed to 2". Then, without removing it from the chuck, I turned a sort piece of the end down to 2-1/2" And cut the spacer off.The finished thickness will only be about .100 but working with such a small piece isn't my forte... It now has to be surface ground to get the correct thickness. As it is, it's about .080 thicker than I want. My lathe - in fact all my machines, really weren't made to make tiny bits & pieces so this is more trying than you'd think... I put the remaining piece on an expanding mandrel and started to turn it down. This spacer will be .680 thick and much easier to work with. As you can see, I have plenty of extra material. I actually did that because if I make an error I can re-make the part without having to bore another piece of bar. It would have been more efficent to make these from DOM tubing and, if I'd had to order the material, that is what I'd have used. Unlike the bearing races, I see no reason why they have to be hardened. There is no radial load on thrust bearings and these will be running in an oil bath. I think it's very unlikely they would wear out in two or three lifetimes unless badly abused.
  20. I have their catalog in the shop. I was away today but will find it tomorrow.
  21. Did you try Lee Spring? If I remember correctly, they have a minimum order but they seem to have about everything. I bought the valve springs for the Mitchell from them. I haven't talked to them but suspect they might be more helpful...after all, all they do is sell springs.
  22. People in their 20s have ALWAYS been in a minority. I started when I was 19...here I am about 3 weeks before my 21st birthday with my freshly acquired 29 Rolls Royce... [EDIT] I should add that I have a rope in my hands...we towed it home on a rope down route 95 through the center of Providence RI. To say it was a hair raising ride would be a gross understatement! I didn't know anyone with a trailer.
  23. I'd have kept this one at home and used the one I have there - which is looking pretty "shop like" but this one is bigger... These are the thrust bearings form the drive side of the differential. As you can see, the original ones are pretty scabby. The replacement is below. I'm not thrilled with it but it was cheap and my idea was to buy the better version if everything works out...I think the Timkin costs about $40 - this one cost $14 but I have a drawer full of bearings I've bought and then changed something so this time I'm going to make sure I've got the right size to begin with. The new roller bearings are 1-1/2" wide. Using 2 on each side, that makes 3". I need two spacers to take up the remaining space and provide a surface that centers the thrust bearing. One is .100 thick with an OD of 2.5" - the other is .680 thick with an OD of 65mm. Both have an ID of 2" so I'll make them from this piece... I was hoping I had an appropriate piece of steel tubing. I don't, so I'm stuck having to bore this out to 2". It isn't difficult, but it takes time. I got to about 1.5" before I decided to quit for the day. And, while I was doing this, I baked the backing plate a little longer. I can't tell if it's much better than just painting it but enamel paint takes a very long time to dry completely. I suspect the baking just speeds the process up. In any case, I'm satisfied with the outcome. You'll notice that I didn't even bother to fill the rust pits. I refuse to obsess about this job. The goal is a clean, working bike that I like...not something I'll be displaying at local car shows. In fact, the only car show I've been to in years finally died this year so that's not really an option.
  24. I hadn't thought of that. I have a Black & Decker valve grinding machine too!
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