project61

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About project61

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    upstate NY

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  1. I am posting for a dear friend, who must sell his log-sought, recently acquired, unrestored but excellent 1961 Imperial Crown convertible, for sudden health reasons. The seller is one of the most knowledgeable Imperial experts in the world and a very fine fellow. If you have ever wanted one of these astonishing Exner masterpieces (429 total production, including mine), this is the one and now is the time. It's on EBay here:
  2. Bob Engle, babbitt cam bearings are in, engine not yet started. See PM. Do you want me to return the setting plugs?
  3. BIG thanks, Bob. I have sent PM as requested. Very generous - I'll let you know how it works. jc
  4. Thnaks Bob, but I'm a bit confused about your one comment, as this IS a 1932 Series 50 engine - just as you note where your experience is. Please don't be hesitant! I would like to try the babbit inserts (that you have), if they are made such that the ID is small enough at installation to allow a line bore, a bit under stock, as the cam journals have now been polished a few mils under. Are the babbits you have sized for a final line bore once installed?
  5. Bob, et al, thanks for good thoughts. I have a little more insight (but not much) on the loss of pressure at idle. It seems the center bearing has a cut-out to miss the distributor drive gear, so when that spun, it opened the block drilling direct to the crankcase and dumped all the pressure. But of course, it spun first... The bearings were NOT pinned the first time. They were loctited. I demanded pins the second time, but somehow that didn't do it either. Babbits with pins are probably the way to go, plus a little more oil pressure at the pump (no apparent pump damage yet).
  6. Bob, that's interesting - and scary! I don't know if I can fit babbit steels in there now or not, or if block has been bored larger for bronzes. I asked the shop and the y said they might be able to fit the babbits if the ID is only semi-finished ( the cam journals needed a slight reduction to refinish). What do you think? Are the one you have under ID now, so they can be line bored?
  7. Bob, that's interesting - and scary! I don't know if I can fit babbit steels in there now or not, or if block has been bored larger for bronzes. I asked the shop and the y said they might be able to fit the babbits if the ID is only semi-finished ( the cam journals needed a slight reduction to refinish). What do you think? Are the one you have under ID now, so they can be line bored?
  8. In the more recent event, we were tooling down a highway at about 50 mph, with about 35 psi on the gauge. When we came to a stoplight, it dropped to zero. I recovered a few pounds with some throttle, and when the light changed we turned onto a side road. Pressure returned (I don;t recall the exact reading), but within a few hundred feet, it was all over. The cam siezed up, sheared the timing gear at both crank and jackshaft teeth, and we coasted to a stop. Don, do you know what is the required bearing clearance?
  9. Brian, Yes, sadly so. Twice, both times the center went. Second time that and the rear. These are not fed through cam, but by a drilling along side, that then ports through bearing holes. The holes WERE lined up, but of course, once the insert spins, that stops. Cam bearings were line bored and the cam turned freely when newly built (both times). Clearances were .002-.004 first time, a little larger second round. Does anyone know what was stock spec? Yes, all clean (tanked). And cam was straightened and touch ground smooth, both times.
  10. Thanks, Mark - actually, I removed the regulator long ago, before the rebuild, and replaced it with a a full-flow oil filter (which, BTW, has been suggested as the root of the problem, but I drove it that way no problems before the full rebuild). Good point on the channels. Should be good (block was tanked during rebuild) but ya never know!. On oil pump, it was rebuilt - but WHERE do I find "original specs"? I made a new relief plunger (old one was corroded), and worried that might be sticking open, starving the bearings at low speed, but it seems to move freely. How much more pressure (or spring rate) increase would you recommend? Thanks for your good advice! jc
  11. So, some of you may recall I rebuilt a 32 series 50 into a speedster for the Great Race. I've started twice but never been able to compete, as it failed twice before the race started! First was an axle snap, completing the growth of an age-old fatigue crack. Second (and third - it happened once near home, too), is failure of the cam bearings, and with it the timing gear. In both cases, it seems like the bronze bearing stuck and spun. This has to be tied to low oil flow there. So my question is, has anyone tried boosting the outlet pressure for the oil pump, or made other provisions to improve the oil supply on one of these early straight 8's? Maybe something else is wrong - could the clearances be too tight? Does anyone know the spec clearance for these bearings? I'm about ready to give up after two identical failures.
  12. OK, I finally have the gears in hand. $150 each plus shipping. BTW, I recommend you NEVER deal with Commercial Gear in Massachusetts. While the quality is fine, the quoted 4-6 weeks became 7 months!!!!
  13. I'd be interested in tie rod ends, and maybe more bits...
  14. OK, here's a unique pre-war piece. It's a Frankenbuick, built on a 1932 Series 50 chassis, specially for vintage rally work. Almost all body elements are from other pre-war Buicks, but combined in a new way! By way of explanation: Vintage TSD rally rules set the handicap by the year of the car, but newer equipment (besides safety items and engine internals) sets the effective year. One exception, any carburetor before 1949 is OK without penalty to year. So this car still has its original mechanical brakes and all its drivetrain, except for the engine having been bored out and fitted with aluminum pistons and insert bearings, and four sidedraft carburetors (just because there were four intake ports!). I stilll hope to get to making full pontoon fenders as in the original design plan, but it's road-legal now!