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Jack Bennett

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About Jack Bennett

  • Birthday 07/12/1944

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  1. Thanks Wayne. It is a interesting car, and it seems to be the perfect project for a retired guy. If having some problem to work out is a goal of buying one of these old cars, the Dodge was a excellent choice. I was under the car, replacing the drive shaft after installing the transmission, and I noticed fuel leaking from the newly installed gas line. Oh well, I’ll see what the problem is tomorrow, right now. I have a drive shaft to install. Then comes the wet back and soggy trouser legs…..and the water pump has started leaking…..no problem, I order the packing by the foot, and I’ll do that day after tomorrow……but that oil leak wasn’t beneath the engine a while ago………and-on-and-on. The one conclusion I’ve reached about owning a old Dodge…..if you are bothered by a demanding, peevish and ungrateful kid…..buy a Ford.
  2. One disappointing thing about these forums is the rapidity people jump in, and out again. I wish the OP would post the manner and method a problem was solved, and add a bit of informative closure to the post. Today I closed up the situation on my 1923 Dodge Bros. Roadster with the speedometer reading in reverse, and a loud grinding sound coming from the clutch. The problem with the speedometer turned out to be the speedometer drive gear, installed on the transmission main shaft, was the incorrect pitch and direction for this car. So, I gathered the parts, built a transmission with pedals and main shaft to match this car, and successfully installed it today. The flywheel mounted to the engine was grossly out of balance, and this caused the vibration and noise. I replaced the flywheel with a well balanced one, and solved that problem. The speedometer now works properly and the grinding noise is gone. And, changing the brake and clutch pedals was a really good move toward the car feeling more like a Roadster, and less like a toy.
  3. My1927 Willys Knight is a brute. The car is macho from the deep throated sound of its sleeve valve engine to it beefy radiator…..his name is Willy. My 1923 Dodge Brothers Roadster is feminine from the curves of her body to the tiny foot pedals, and inability of a normal sized man to get into the car through the drivers door……..Her name is Veronica.
  4. Today I started the journey toward reversing the direction of the speedometer in my 1923 DB Roadster. Thanks to all the helpful input by many AACA subscribers, I have determined that the transmission presently in the car is not the correct transmission, and it is set up with a speedometer drive gear which rotates the speedometer cable in the direction opposite to the one the speedometer operates. Rather than mess with a bunch of adapters, worry about gear ratio mismatches, and all the stuff that stops my car from being fun, I’m replacing the transmission with one equipped with the proper drive gear. Photo number 1 was one of my parts transmissions this morning. Photo number 2 is the transmission after a day of cajoling, and it should be ready to install tomorrow. Hopefully, my speedometer will appreciate the amount of labor this took, and start counting forward, instead of reverse.
  5. My old friend, who’s name is scribed on the tomb of Ramasses as his chief chariot mechanic, continually refers to the air valve assembly on a Stewart carburetor as a “dashpot”, and gives me a look of distain every time I forget what it’s called. For me, “the ball thingy which is sucked up, and drops down in the carburetor” is sufficient. My mental block goes back to the infancy of my mechanical dialogue, and a “dashpot” was a device which used manifold temperature, a small spring and a vacuum tank to adjust engine RPM as it warmed up. We also fail to merge minds on a number of other terms used on the old cars……..but we ultimately agree, and, thanks to him, I now know exactly how a Stewart carburetor and a North East Electric Company starter-generator works. Effective communication is a whole lot of being interested, and a tad of being smart. Maybe, one day, we can discuss the delightful and historically rewarding art of privy diving.
  6. Hi Frank. I speak a couple languages other than the butchered one we call English. Lots of the technical terms used in the languages spoken in developing nations are stolen from more developed countries and then adapted to the characteristics and dialects of the country in which it is to be used. Of course the level of education and colloquialisms have to be included or the average person would have no idea what was being discussed. The Vikings were great navigators, and it is believed that this was not a trait passed at birth. Rather, they had a stone, resembling a gem, which reflected and refracted light in a very certain and predictable way. When held up to the sun, by looking at the way the light passed through the stone, very precise directions, as well as their location on the globe could be ascertained. That was simple because the Vikings knew what a boat was, where they started and where they intended to go. But to explain “up”, down, left, right, forward, reverse, hot, cold, dark, light, smooth, course…..and on forever, to a fish, would be like trying to teach a Viking to use a map, a protractor and a compass. That said, it’s more about getting the job done, whether you know everything there is to know about telling time with a clock, or you take great pleasure teaching someone to use a shadow, sun dial or a clock to tell time, time will get counted, and guys like us will talk about old cars on a forum like this.
  7. Sure wish you’d posted this a few days earlier. Perhaps then I wouldn’t have went out to my junk pile, late the other night, and, while dragging the old transmissions around trying to count the teeth with a small flashlight, the neighbors security lights went on and I heard their patio door slam open. It took a couple of tries to convince them that I was outside, in the rain, in my sweat pants, with a tiny flashlight, dragging old transmissions around and turning them every which way to look inside, because I was trying to count the number of teeth on a speedometer drive gear. I think I did a fair job of convincing them that I wasn’t doing something illegal. But I am 100% sure I heard the security lock on their patio door double lock after it was closed.
  8. Being retired military, I too like statistics and correct descriptive verbiage to express them. Primary though, my comparisons are limited to numbers like .223, .556, .30 and .50 caliber, 9mm, and bigger numbers like 105mm and 9 inch, and are usually accompanied by nouns such as API, HEP, HEAT, WP, HE and other neat stuff to give a better idea of whether or not you should play with it.
  9. Thanks for the links Tom. I have decided that I will remove the transmission, which is both incorrect, and noisy as all get out, from the car and just build another one which has the right pitch and direction of rotation of the Speedo drive gear. The car appears to have a completely rebuilt clutch but it doesn’t have adjustment, is grabby and makes a whole lot of noise…and I think it’s a more permanent fix to change the whole transmission than put a bandage on it to change direction. These gizmos are cool, but I gather they are more intended to change the path of the cable, e.g. add a 90 degree turn or change the gear ratio to match a new speedo to a old car. Thanks again…….I will post a update as my project advances or regresses to a point of total satisfaction, or irrevocable defeat.
  10. Thanks for the information mike6024. However, information regarding a problem with these old cars, which have been loved to death by a lot of people, over the past 100 years is on par with learning how a parachute works, only to remember you forgot to bring yours, right after you’ve jumped from the plane. In the case of my 1923 Dodge Roadster, I am finding that it has been fixed so many times, by so many different people, they forgot what it was they were fixing, and started doing some really stupid stuff instead. On the Dodge Brothers Club forum there is a toggle which directs you to a page called “confidential information”. It does say everything one needs to know about these old cars, and that is that nobody knows anything about these old cars, and covers their lack of knowledge with the intelligent sounding label “confidential”. Actually, the whole collection of “confidential documents” have nothing to do with maintenance…..rather they are nothing more than directives given to dealers regarding marketing pointers to sell the cars. And they aren’t even worth the time it takes to open the page to find this out. Back to my old Dodge……..I am finding out that innovation, so far as things done when “fixing” these old cars is limitless, and is in no way connected to mechanical aptitude or abilities. You are absolutely correct in your descriptions of gear types, and rest assured that these, as well as hundreds of “confidential” gear types have been used on these cars. And then the human element, coupled with a bit of innovation and necessity are included, and you have a situation such as mine. I have determined that the transmission installed in my old Dodge was probably a nice looking repaint picked up at Hershey, or some other swap meet in the US, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, or on Easter Island. They needed a neat looking cover, and bought, or traded for one which could be cleaned up pretty well. Then, when it was discovered that the cover didn’t fit the case because the shift lever and tower were in the wrong place, they reinvented the floorboards to fit the new cover. And then it was discovered that the driven speedometer gear, with the proper tooth count and pitch, didn’t fit the cover because the case into which the shaft was mounted, and upon which to gear was attached, was too short to allow threads to attach the cable to extend through the thicker mounting surface on the new cover. So, the driven gear assembly, with a longer shaft, but different tooth count and pitch was bastardized, the fine tooth, one direction gear was removed, and the coarse, opposite direction heat was pounded onto the longer shaft. It fit, but it was the wrong direction, and the driven gear which would have worked with the proper transmission drive gear was destroyed in the process. And then he died………and all the junk was thrown into 15 gallon plastic containers, and left for 45 years in the basement of his house. And then I added ineptitude to insanity, and, without the understanding that, not only gears with both directions and a few different gear tooth counts and pitch were used when the cars were manufactured, hundreds of innovative, “necessity being the mother of invention” improvements and modifications have been made which makes any information regarding what the part looked like in 1923 totally useless. yesterday I removed the transmission cover again, removed the coarse driven gear from its bunged up shaft, and using a couple of other driven gear mounts, made one which is the proper length, pitch and thread count to match the (forgetting that the drive gear in the wrong transmission was the original problem) related the cover to the transmission, AND, IT WORKED PERFECTLY! And exactly as it had before I removed the cover to correct the problem of a 100 year old speedometer working in reverse. It was exactly like it was before I started……albeit, it didn’t destroy the driven gear this time, but it still works in reverse. I have a couple of other transmissions with the gear which will mate with the drum type speedometer driven gears I can now fabricate, and that is my solution……….I will change the transmission, and the proper driven gear can come along for the ride.
  11. My attitude while working on a machine that has already lived a long life, and may have died a number of deaths before my resurrection attempt, is that it’s 99% about the trip, and .01% about the destination. I would look with envy at the thousands of professionally restored DB Roadsters out there, and feel really bad that I I didn’t possess the inventory of skills necessary to take a rusty, rotted, rat eaten, recluse of a car and reconstruct it into a machine which was originally put together by a bunch of farmers, using hand tools and tractor maintenance techniques, 100 years ago. But, I also realize that these cars will once again be relegated to the refuse pile, and either rust away in a field, or be hidden away in some barn for another 100 years regardless of how much effort I apply towards restoring it to a condition better than new. What it is all about is gaining a identity and associating it with a object which excites and incites good memories….rather than those associated with the complexities of life today. My old car are the invitation and permission to talk to anyone, anytime, anywhere about the folks who owned/drove a similar car 50 years ago (tears optional), their first car, and the part it played in their lives, and the irreplaceable glitter in a kids eyes when they can sit behind the steering wheel of a 100 year old car for a photo with dad. It’s all about what the cars do for our daily lives during their resurrection, and not necessarily about how much paint and fabric was used during their restoration.
  12. Thanks Bud……A lucky day of working on these old cars is one which lets you eat supper with nearly the same quantity of blood you had at the start of the day. These cars are no more than a hobby, and the learning curve of their peevish problems is what keeps it interesting. Earlier in my life I built control line (RC had not been invented) model planes. Some of these highly detailed creations took a year or more to finish, and, for a kid on a almost nothing budget, very costly. And then comes the big day at the ball field, and a crowd has gathered to watch your beautiful P-51 Mustang roar and soar as I do loops and dives, with the tiny gas engine screaming. A slip of the finger while spin starting the engine can result in a rather nasty cut from the razor sharp prop. This is kept interesting because the blood from the cut mixes with the fuel being sprayed from the engine, and when blown about in the prop wash, creates a crimson rainbow with beautiful flickering colors. But, it’s all about flying, and cuts grow less painful when that beautiful airplane gains speed, and in a rush of smoke and blown dust, lifts from the ground for the first time since it was mere balsa wood, silk span paper, glue, and lots of model dope (paint). It’s a wonderful day, the sun is warm and the breeze is blowing. And, that does make the remainder of the day bearable after having to pick up the mangled, barely recognizable pieces of my beautiful model which crashed mere seconds after the wheels left the ground. And thus begins the education of a kid who finally decides to get a old Dodge and, using a lot of wood, glue and paint, assemble it into a beautiful machine capable of soaring along the highways at biways at a break neck speed of 35 MPH……if only the speedometer would keep working.
  13. Thanks Robert, but I believe I have painfully discovered that the only thing consistent with these old cars is the expectation of them being inconsistent. I found that there are, most certainly, two different gear ratios and the direction of rotation of the speedometer drive/driven gears used in the DB cars of this age. Rather than checking your parts book, which I certainly appreciate the offer, stop by my garage and I’ll show you at least two of the vastly different speedometer set-up’s used just in this model year. And, since I have exposed the crimes, and there is nothing to solve other than to ask the question why……we’ll have time to drink a cold beer or two and watch the sun set over Mount Rainier.
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