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About Gary_Ash

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    SouthCoast, Massachusetts

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  1. I got to Wray Schelin's Pro Shaper shop on Friday morning, trailered the car there with hopes of welding in the seats to the tail of the body. It was not to be. Wray stood back, looked at the tail with his practiced eye, and pronounced the tail unacceptable because the left side was high by about 3/4 inch and the line of the seam at the very back of the tail off vertical in the other direction. As he told me, my garage isn't large enough to stand back and look at these things BEFORE I went and riveted the flanges and wing pieces to the tail. Out came the drill and #20 bit and all 72 rivets
  2. Rex: We’re planning a trip west, will be in South Bend on Nov. 2-3, then up to Gilmore Museum. We’d like to stop by for a visit with you and Pam, pick up a steering box and maybe 1 or 2 more shock links. Also, if you have one of those tail lights, I need one. OK with you?
  3. It's probably no harder to form bodywork in steel, as 20-gauge sheet (0.036" thick) would be used versus the 0.063" thick type 3003-H14 aluminum I am using. Wray's classes mostly focus on working with steel. It can be formed easily enough, stretched and shrunk the same way, wheeled and planished, and welding steel is easier than aluminum. The steel body would weigh about 71% more, though. Ed, you'll just have to sign up for one of Wray's 4-day sessions to learn some basics. His shop is close to your old stomping grounds, anyway. I think I posted these photos befor
  4. I tried TIG welding the wing parts together but wound up burning holes through the aluminum. I drove out to Wray Schelin's shop, had him do the delicate welding. As it happened, I had to drive out that way to pick up the two new wire wheels I got as spares. Fred Belanger at New England Wheel Service in Auburn, MA, about 10 miles from Wray's shop, mounted the Stahl Sport tires and metal-stemmed tubes and balanced them. With the tail section sitting on the frame rails, I trimmed the back edge of the cowl section to match, centered up the tail left to right, and started drilling h
  5. Actually, the only part I really want is the cam lever arm to replace the one with the worn pin. The rest of the steering gear has been modified for my Indy car replica: I machined off the mounting plate of the housing, shortened the shaft, welded on a steering wheel adapter for a removable wheel, and made a new adjustable mount for the box. Strangely, it turns out that the RHC version of the steering gear for a 1928-29 Dictator GE uses the same cam lever arm (p/n 150700, forging number 224997) as the FE/FH Presidents, but only the right hand drive version of the GE. So, John,
  6. When I took the arm to the local machine shop, Andy tried to take a cut on the back side of the arm, only got sparks and a dulled end mill bit, so the entire arm and pin are really hard. Did you do anything special to weld up the pin to prevent cracking? Did you use a hard weld metal or standard ER70S wire? The box in the last photo posted by Bob Kapteyn looks like my box but I'm not optimistic that it would be in better shape than the one I have.
  7. Here is all you ever/never wanted to know about why fish scales have iridescent colors: https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/full/10.1098/rsif.2014.0948 This is interesting to those of us who spent a career in optical physics, the rest of the world doesn't give a hoot. Industrially-produced iridescent pigments make reflected colors in the same way using many layers of alternating materials on microscopic mica platelets or other bases but don't fade with exposure to UV, a case of having your cake and eating it, too.
  8. Halogen headlights were not used in the U.S. until the 1979 model year due to federal regulations. So, any cars before that, including your 1973 Oldsmobile, would have had plain incandescent tungsten filaments in sealed beam housings. Regulations also limited the brightness of headlights to 37,500 candela per side, so that also had an effect on filament design. The lamp-making companies balanced light output against life since no one wanted to be changing sealed beam lamps very often. Consequently, it is likely that the operating color temperatures were near 2850 K +/- 150 K. This assumes
  9. I had laid out the wings for the tail supports when I was at Wray Schelin's shop a couple of weeks ago and bent the angles. The back edges needed to be curled to about a 1/2" radius to match the original cars. I had a piece of 1" steel tube, ran that through the Harbor Freight pyramid roll until it had about the right radius, say 8"-12". As we had done on the tail section flanging, I annealed the aluminum sheet by burning off some black Sharpie pen marks with the acetylene torch, then hammered the aluminum over the tube to form the radius. Half-hard 3003 sheet can't be bent with your finge
  10. That's the small 8-cylinder engine, 221 cubic inches in 1932, so it is a Dictator with the St.Regis body. The car needs a lot of restoration work, but looks mostly complete and straight. I wonder what the body wood is like? Somebody needs to save it from becoming a rat rod, but it won't be me.
  11. We had a stress-free day at the Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich, Mass. on Cape Cod. The Museum brought a number of their fine cars out on the lawn and brought others out of storage for display on the floor. It was a perfect late summer day, 70 °F, blue sky, gentle breeze. Everyone wore masks and social distanced so we could move around the cars. We drove our 1941 Studebaker Commander Land Cruiser to the show, stopped for a lobster roll in Padanaram, stared at the boats in the harbor. Then a nice nap! Here are lots of photos of cars that you may have seen in the old b&a
  12. The 1941 Commander shoes are the same as the ones used in M5 trucks. Part numbers were 676578 and 676580, but different numbers used now. Relined shoes are available in stock from Studebaker International ($109/axle set) or Studebakerparts.com ($105/axle set). However, you have to send them your old shoes first because of the shortage of good cores. When they get your old shoes, they'll send relined ones.
  13. I got a call from Andy at the machine shop today. He said that he put the steering cam lever arm in the milling machine, tried to take a cut on the back side. All he got was sparks! Apparently the entire arm and the pin are extremely hard, not what I had guessed. I had run a file over it and noted that the file didn’t cut and a trial with my automatic center punch only flattened the tip of the punch - it’s hard! He said he could grind it but not machine it or drill it, and welding was out of the question, as it would crack. Not at all what I expected from a forging. Looks like I need to f
  14. I Googled Mearl Corporation a little more. They were a major supplier of fish scales for paint. Mearl got sold to Englehard about 1995, in turn sold to BASF about 10 years later. BASF supplies mica-based pigments of many types, including Mearlin, Magnapearl, and Glacier. They own a number of automotive paint brands, including Limco, who offer pearlescent paints. Many shops supplying paints to autobody shops will carry this brand. Maybe the paint supplier can put you in touch with a tech rep who can point you to the right product. There are enough pigment choices that you shouldn’t have to gri
  15. It’s unlikely that one could reproduce paints using fish scales for opalescence. Mearl Corporation closed their last plant in Maine in 2007. http://quoddytides.com/mearl1-12-07.html. Maybe there are some offshore sources, but it’s not logical to try to duplicate those paints. There are ways to get mica ground to a fine powder that are easier than the process referred to above. A number of modern cars have opalescent paint, mostly cream or white; it should be easy enough to tint those to the desired color.
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