JV Puleo

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Everything posted by JV Puleo

  1. Ive seen one added to an H6B Hispano Suize. A beautiful car and, at the time, owned by one of the nicest and most knowledgeable collectors I've ever met.
  2. I also don't think this issue is driven by lack of skills. If getting cars mechanically sorted was thought of as desirable (as it is by some of us) the skills would be there or be learned. One need only look at some of the fantastic sheet metal work done on what, to me at least, are pretty mundane vehicles. People spend small fortunes for paint but are reluctant to make their car actually safe to drive. Before the advent of "trailering" cars to shows owners were forced to address at least some of the mechanical problems. With "100-point trailer queens" that is no longer needed and, not surprisingly, it has gone by the board. Also, to get back to the original observation, "axle tramp" (the British term) was a problem in period even with new cars. W.O. Bentley wrecked a car as a result of it...in fact, he was trying to induce it on a test drive. What was causing it was understood. What to do about it was a bigger problem. I don't think it was completely overcome until the introduction of independent suspension. I've seen it happen in a Silver Ghost (which had very low mileage and was not worn out). My one personal experience with it was in a Phantom II when I ran over some old car tracks with one wheel while turning. I nearly flattened a local bar... I suspect the patrons would have been pretty surprised if a RR town car had crashed through the door!
  3. I do not think a lack of interest in mechanics is surprising. The only aspect of restoration that is consistently rewarded is cosmetics.
  4. I agree...and it is why I would rather get a well used and never been apart original car over almost any "restoration." To my mind, paint and upholstery are cosmetic. Making them work as they should is far more important. I'm reminded of Edinmass's comment on this, which if I remember correctly, was that less then 10% of the restored CCCA Classics are mechanically sound.
  5. I think that is happening more than we might expect. My shop is next door to an aluminum foundry and the brothers that run it are both friendly and helpful. They have cast a few parts for me and just recently one was telling me that they have started to get printed molds (i.e. the printer actually makes the mold without needing a pattern.) I once saw that demonstrated as part of a rapid prototyping demonstration. At the time, three or four years ago, it was frightfully expensive but I bet it's already getting much more affordable and for something like a crankcase or a block, very attractive. There will still be a lot of serious machining involved but we are approaching something that is doable by a competent enthusiast.
  6. Yes... I'm certain that is a disappointment but at times like this I like to remember a saying for the Pirkei Avot that "every misfortune is an opportunity." Fortunately (or unfortunately) I'm a very long way from ever going to a car show. That said, this morning I cleaned up the underside of the hollow bolt I made. It won't make it work any better but at least I'm finally satisfied with the job. The one in the front is the finished item...those behind it have gone into my "mistakes" box. And, if you were wondering, this is how it works. The projection on the end of the bolt goes through the cap and into the bearing so when it is tightened down the bearing can't move and oil will be delivered directly to the rotating surface. My mill is still tied up while I try to solve another problem so I decided to make the insert that will screw into the crankcase and provide a seat for the banjo fitting that will oil the center main bearing. Threading it 1"-20 I then turned it down on the ends. The short end will go into the crankcase but, as the threads won't go all the way to the bottom I put a rebate on it. The other end is turned down to .900 for the banjo fitting. It's still a bit long so I'll trim it down to 3/4" but it's otherwise done. Monday I'm going to visit the cutter grinding shop and have a 1" end mill taken down to .950 - the hole size for a 1"-20 thread. I'd rather do that with an end mill because I want a flat bottomed hole and I have another fix the end mill will work for so it worth the effort.
  7. Were they ever? I don't remember it ever being easy and clearly not "remunerative" to undertake a project like rebuilding a car from "two tracks in the mud." There have never been many people who could do it although in the past there may have been more who thought they could and failed. The only car I really regret selling was the nearly hopeless wreck of a very early Panhard - maybe c.1897-1899. It had been outside so long that a tree about 8" in diameter was growing through the center of the chassis and had to be cut down to move it. Everything was rusted solid...seriously rusted solid, including the inside of the transmission because the cover was missing. The engine was missing altogether although it came with a later (c.1902) Panhard engine. I advertised it in Hemmings and sold it before I'd even seen the magazine and I could have sold it again within 12 hours. Being a person of rather limited means I will probably never get another chance at a big, very early car. At the time, I couldn't see how I could bring it back but today, while it would be a monumental job, I can see that it could be done. But...it would never be a money maker - it wouldn't even come close to breaking even and unless you understand that it would be a fools errand. Still, if I had the chance again I'd take it even if didn't live to see it end.
  8. You bet...I'm especially at loose ends now since the Baltimore Gun Show was cancelled and the National Archives in Philadelphia is closed, both of which I was supposed to be visiting this weekend.
  9. I could claim to have been away from my project for a few days but, in truth, I've been struggling with making the retaining bolt for the center camshaft bearing. This my 4th...and I'm finally satisfied with it. First I made the hex portion... in this case I gave it a deep chamfer on the bottom. My problem has been consistently brazing the threaded portion in place in such a manner that none of the braze got into the threads. This has proved a lot harder to do than to describe. In addition to the deep chamfer, I used a small mandrel to turn a ring of 1/8" bronze brazing wire into a perfect circle...the same technique you would use to make a spring. The wire is springy and it took me 3 or 4 tries to get the correct dimension so that when it sprung out it would be tight on the threaded part of the bolt. The wire now fits down inside the chamfer. The threaded portion is too long for any of my drills so it was necessary to drill it from both ends. If I'd attached it to the hex piece first, I would not have been able to use the collet to hold it. This worked quite well although its only a 3/16 hole and it was necessary to withdraw the drill regularly to clear the chips in order to make certain it was going in perfectly straight. The Exact height of the threaded section was calculated and the two pieces assembled, with some brazing flux, on the rotary table using heat blocking putty to keep from getting the table hot. At just about this point I had a call from a friend who wanted to work on one of his projects so I waited for him and before he began we brazed the two pieces together. We did that by having my friend hold the torch while I turned the handle, rotating the piece so that it got uniformly hot all around until the brazing wire melted. This technique finally worked although I do have a little clean up to do on the lower surface - though as it doesn't show and doesn't obstruct anything that is more a matter of my own obsessive behavior. I then turned the top end of the hex to the diameter of the banjo fittings I have. This is how it is supposed to look. An oil line will be connected from the pump output line to the banjo fitting giving me oil pressure on the center cam bearing. Depending on how the pieces fit, I may extend that line to the front cam bearing as well. But, until the engine goes back together it is difficult to plan the plumbing.
  10. The table of that mill is shockingly devoid of the usual scars! jp
  11. About 25 years ago I sold a 1911 REO to a gentleman in Massachusetts. About 3 years ago his son contacted me - I'm not sure how he found me but his dad had given him the car and he was curious about what I could tell him about it. He even sent a picture and it looked exactly as it had when I sold it. Also, about 30 years ago I advertised in Hemnmings looking for a 20HP Rolls Royce. I got a reply from a man in Michigan who sent pictures. The car had belonged to a very good friend of mine...in fact, I'd have bought it from him if I had the money at the time and I actually loaded the car on the trailer when it left. We agreed a price and I made arrangements to get a bank check (this was long before Paypal and the other fast money transfer services). I had the check in hand when he called and reneged on the sale, saying someone had offered him more money. He even called on my toll-free line so I paid for the call as well. Every time I hear the refrain how everyone in the old car world is so wonderful I think of this. What an AH. There are just as many jerks in old car collecting as anything else.
  12. Boy Ted...are you right about that. My favorite (meant sarcastically) is taking apart two parts "that will never come apart again"... It's a tribute to how durable some old cars were that then can take such ham-fisted repairs and still work.
  13. Since my last post I've discovered that making the special hollow bolt to retain the cam bearing is a lot more demanding than I'd anticipated. The lock nut was easy... Then everything went sideways. I made the bolt out of apiece of 1" hex. It has have a fairly large head because that is where the oil connecting banjo fitting will go. Threaded 1/2-20 It worked fine, except that I made it too short. So, I made another. That was long enough but I made an error in the threading. The error was so small that I couldn't actually see it but it caused the bolt to be slightly off center and this design absolutely requires that it be perfectly straight. I only discovered what I'd done wrong much later, after I'd tried a third solution - making the bolt in two pieces. This requires attaching the piece of threaded rod to the head. I'll do this by fitting a tapered pin and, if that works, try brazing it in place. This does allow me to get the vertical height exactly right... After I adjusted the height I put a little Locktite on the threads to hold it in place while I drill it. If this works, it will be fine. If it doesn't it gives me the perfect measurements to make another from one piece. I'm not particularly put out by all this. You have to expect that a few things won't go as planned and when that does happen I'd just as soon it didn't happen with original parts...I can always make another of these.
  14. I found it but this computer has a problem copying things. Do a search on "1911 Buick Model 14" and you should find it. The pictures, which were from Photobucket, are trashed but the description of what he did is there. I think I'd already made mine when I read this and thought "what a good idea."
  15. Yes. And you won't find anything on the internet. I pretty much dreamed this one up myself but I know it will work because I did it many years ago with a 1911 REO. I had to store it for the winter and the only way to get it to the storage garage was to drive it. I simply added a contact to the center of the cap, mounted a coil (a very old one) on the firewall and wired it as if it was a distributor. I'm happy to share what I've figured out but you might also do a search on this site. Several years ago a fellow restored a two-cylinder Buick and did something similar although he used a 12-volt alternator from a Kubota loader mounted inside the mag case. I think something like that might work better on the Humberette. I'm not satisfied with the job I did. It was just about the first thing I made and I made several errors. There are very small 12-volt alternators that might work just fine.... I've decided to go to a Bosch ZU4 mag and mount a generator or alternator where the oiler went. I haven't yet thought out how to disguise it but it will be something similar to the one I made from the mag... only without the distributor. You'll need a "parts" 2-cylinder mag, preferably the largest that will fit in the space or make the case to fit the distributor head on the mag. I don't understand the "V-angle". It would seem to me that a 2-cylinder mag or distributor would just have 2 lobes opposite each other but you know a lot more about electrical engineering than I do.
  16. I hadn't thought about that but it must be the case with this engine as well. I'm going to have to figure the valve and ignition timing from scratch because even if I had the original specs (which I don't) I've changed the compression and the cam...it might be rather complicated and I can't say that is one of my strong points.
  17. I think the Mitchell is offset 1" which is the most I've ever heard of. I drilled the hole for the cam bearing retainer this morning. And then reamed it to 5/16". The holes will now be in perfect alignment with each other and the retaining bolt. I also counterbored the cap so the bolt will sit in it firmly. Next, I cut a piece of 1-1/4 hex stock to make a lock nut. Because it is larger than my hex collets I had to resort to the "3-jaw in the 4-jaw" chuck setup. I faced one side, drilled and threaded it. I'll finish this later, after I've taken the chucks off. Next I put the steel hex stock that will be the actual bolt in the machine to turn it round on one end. This didn't work. There isn't enough material in the chuck to hold it without slipping back. But, this piece is going to be drilled and threaded on the hex end to receive a banjo fitting so I decided to do that first. To get a flat bottom on the hole I used a 29/64 end mill - the hole size for the 1/2-20 banjo bolts. After threading the hole, I put a piece of threaded rod in a collet to hold the hex end of the bolt and keep it from turning. I'll use this to finish the lock nut as well. I got about half-way through turning it round before I decided to quit for the day. Hopefully, I'll finish this piece tomorrow.
  18. Mike... I looked into fitting a tach to my Mitchell and found that they actually aren't geared to the shaft. They use something akin to an old engine governor...spinning weights pressing against a spring. The reading on the dial is determined by the strength of the spring. I've never taken one apart to look inside because I eventually decided not to do it but I still have the tach...it's yours if you can use it. j
  19. No but it was a fairly common aspect of engine design at the time. In this case it is rather exaggerated. I forget now what the reason was. I think Model T Ford cranks are off cnter but not as much. (Never having worked on a Model T engine, I can't say that from personal experience.)
  20. I should have moved on to putting the inserts in but I've promised to do a little job for the foundry next door and didn't want to tie the mill up... so I finished the water pump greasing tool. This is a piece of 3/8 brass rod with a hole drilled through the center and threaded 3/16 on one end. I also made an aluminum slug to put in the cup when I solder it as solder won't stick to it... And soldered the brass rod into the grease cup. Then filled it with water pump grease and tried it. This is how it works. You have to remove the cap that hold the pump in place but the shaft from the drive gear holds it firm while you grease the pump. That went smoothly so I decided to try one of my really critical jobs...something I've been putting off because it scares me. Drilling the hole that will allow me to get oil to the center main under pressure. To do this I bought an extra long 3/16 "chip clearing" drill. The scary part is that you are working blind. The hole has to come out so that the connections will fit between the blocks. I measured it quite a few times and finally went ahead with fingers crossed. And thankfully, it came out just about perfect. The little brass screw is in the hole any you can see the bodge in the casting where I suspect it had originally been intended to put the oil line. I also forgot about daylight savings time so I thought it was only 4:00 when it was really 5:00. So, I made this tool to drill and ream the center camshaft bearing and it's retaining cap. This is a piece of 1/2-20 threaded rod with a hole in the center that is 1/64th under 5/16. It's a "one time" fixture...I soldered the nut on so I could tighten it. The idea is to use it to locate the drill perfectly centered on the retaining bolt. The hole will be reamed to 5/16 so I should have perfectly aligned holes in both the bearing and it's cap. The actual bolt (that I've yet to make) will have a 5/16 projection on it that will lock the bearing and it's cap in place under pressure. It will also be drilled 3/16 and have a banjo fitting on top so I can feed oil from the center bearing to the camshaft.
  21. Yes, definitely. If the rod was has hard as the insert for the bearing has to be it would be much too brittle. I'd bore the big rod to take one of the HD inserts - that way you would know that the bearing is more than adequate for the stresses involved.
  22. Both the driver and the passenger are wearing WWI British uniforms. The driver is an officer (you can tell by the rank insignia on his lower sleeve). I'd suspect the only the car is American. A lot of US cars and trucks were exported to Britain during the war...the Pierce Arrow and Peerless trucks come to mind and the British Red Cross used Buicks.
  23. If you machine them from scratch, there is no need to copy the original dimensions exactly, especially the taper to the long section. Clearance is the only thing that matters. The conventional shape of a con rod was dictated by the need to remove it from a forging die, not the actual stresses on the rod. If you look at the "machined all over" rods used on some very expensive cars (Simplex comes to mind) you will see that the center portion is often straight. The highest stress comes at the center. It should be perfectly acceptable to increase some of the dimensions to the maximum amount the clearance allows.
  24. I've finished the threaded inserts. These are 7/16-20 inside and 9/16-18 outside. I'm hoping this is the end of making them though I'm certain there will be a few more...at least I won't have to make so many. Next I'll make bolt that will hold the camshaft bearing in place, drilled so I can get oil pressure to the cam. After that, it is back to working on the crankcase, putting the inserts in and, eventually boring the main bearings.
  25. I'd have serious reservations about welding con rods, mostly because failure would be so catastrophic. I've heard of it being done but my guess is that you'd need to x-ray the welds afterward to make certain they were perfect. How about making them whole out of 7075 aluminum? Because of the way they are constructed it would be a lot easier than a conventional rod. The only serious problem would be getting the hole for the bearing perfect and that could be done with a reamer ground to the exact size needed. 7075 is tougher than the conventional 6061 - the tensile strength is very close to mild steel. It's commonly used for gears and, I think, aluminum rods as well. I know it is stronger than Lynnite - the alloy used around 1918 for pistons and for Franklin connecting rods a little later. The big proponent of aluminum for engine parts was Laurence Pomeroy, once chief engineer at Vauxhall. After WWI he moved to America where he worked for Alcoa developing alloys for engine applications. I have some period SAE papers on the subject I can send you.