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Thanks all for the birthday greetings.  Wow, another year has flown by.  Been working on three riding mowers, getting them ready for mowing, which is coming like gangbusters.


And we have another Overland report from Greg.  And pictures too.


OK,  more Overland engine progress!   

These cars have an unusual valve tappet arrangement,  simple but not.   The camshaft lobes kick the tappets that in turn bump the valve stems to pop the valve open.       The tappets slide up and down in babbitt bushings.   Seems easy peasy.     The bad news is that  although it is easy to make square key stock tappets,  there's the matter of a guide with a square hole in it.    And getting a good fit of one in the other.  A good fit is  a good idea in the attempt to control oil loss.   Since the tappet operate in thin air (open tappets),   any oil loss runs down the case and  down the street.  They amount to eight little oil pumps.  After a good hard run it was always better to park the car in front of the neighbor's house until it quit drooling.
Another problem with the guides is that they were solid cast babbitt and in the one photo you'll see that the bottom flanges got brittle and broke,   another  tappet had seized in the guide and the whole  deal was jumping up and down,  guide and all.      In order to prevent this for the next hundred years,  I machined brass housings with flanges  in which to pour the babbitt as a reinforcement. 
Other photos show Nathan  installing the guides and aligning the tappets.  With them clamped in place,  he drilled and tapped  the guides for the retaining screws.
Long time coming,  that much is done.    Now to address the worn buttons on the tappet adjustment screws (original blueprints  forthcoming from the Overland  club,  a wonderful resource!).
With this much accomplished we then moved on to the camshaft.   The shaft itself had been sent out for a fresh regrind and the bearings were in good shape except for stripped threads in the center one.    Heli -coil thread inserts repaired that,  and next will be the fitting and installation of all that.     I also have the original print coming for the bearing retention screws.     Taken apart over thirty years ago, some  parts and recollections have been misplaced.  As we say,  the trail grows cold.
I'm enjoying the time spent on the rehabilitation and really like the interest Nate's showing in the project and his Dad.
Hope this finds all doing well.







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April 30th, Monday.  Alice took "Dexter" to the "Britain on the Green", all British car show at Gunston Hall, Lorton, Virginia.  Remember that Dexter is the 1966 Morris Minor Traveller.  There were 24 cars in her class, and she received a third place against some really nice cars.  She was happy, and so was her mechanic.


Here are some of the 209 cars attending.







































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It is Wednesday,  May 2nd.  A red letter day for sure.  One way or another I was going to get the axle out of the big Kubota tractor.  Finally, it is out.  Now I am going to take it to Dan as he is an experienced tractor mechanic and has the right tools.  What a job.





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It is May 6th.  Took the Kubota rear axle assembly to Daniel.  He is going to press out the bearings and install the new axle seal.  I just do not have the experience to do that.  Should get it back early this coming week.


We are going to make the first long trip in the Tesla on Wednesday.  About 1,500 miles round trip.  Going to be my first fast charging experience is using the Tesla Supercharger sites located along our route.  So far I have only charged at home as our longest trip has been about 200 miles.  The cars trip computer is telling me that we will have to stop four times to reach our destination.  The charting times range from 15 minutes to about an hour per stop.  The longest will be our lunch stop.  

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congratulation on the morris and getting the axle out of the tractor.

We just returned from the vcca happy days tour too mayberry NC driving the corvair , had a great time and covered 1999.9 miles round trip.


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Al, congratulations on completing the tour.  That is a long tour even for a Corvair.  


Well, I guess we are farmers at heart, always trying to save a buck or two.  To that end Camaro Steve needs a new 500 gallon propane tank.  Everyone around here wanted about $2,500 delivered.  So he scouted around and found a new tank in Lancaster, PA.  Road trip and we spent the day going up and back.  So for $1,200 he got his new tank.








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Heading off with the electric car tomorrow morning.  About 600 miles to get to Huntsville, Al.  Have the Tesla at 100% charge.  Says it can travel 283 miles before charging again.  Going to be fun, but I must admit that I have just a little range anxiety.  

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On 5/9/2018 at 11:42 AM, trimacar said:

Have fun, I predict that "range anxiety" will become a well used phrase as electric cars multiply....safe travels!!

I think that as electric cars become the norm, there will be charging stations everywhere so range anxiety will be pretty similar to what it is now with fossil fuels. The extra consideration will be the time for charging stops. But range will increase too as technology improves.

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Well we made it to our destination on Wednesday, 740 miles in one day.  We were pooped.  Took us 15 hours.  No problems with getting the the Tesla Supercharger stations.  Only the time spent charging is a bit frustrating as it takes what seems to be a long time.  Fifteen minutes to a long one hour at one stop.  At least all stations are close to the freeways and the nav system took us right to them.  No hunting.


We are now in Athens, GA and are heading home tomorrow.   We have to find our own charge station today and fill up the batteries in order to make the first supercharger station tomorrow.  Seems we are in the middle of nowhere as far as Tesla is concerned.  There are about 20 pay as you go stations locally so we are not worried.  I only hope they are fast, under two  hours.  648 miles to home tomorrow.


The car itself is really stable and quick.  I had to take the steering off of europe/sport to american/comfort as it was a bit to darty at 70 mph.    The charging stations seem to have one or two cars charging when we pull in  so they are being used.

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6 hours ago, unimogjohn said:

 No problems with getting the the Tesla Supercharger stations.  Only the time spent charging is a bit frustrating as it takes what seems to be a long time.  Fifteen minutes to a long one hour at one stop.  At least all stations are close to the freeways and the nav system took us right to them.  No hunting.


How far was it between the stations and what caused the difference between 15 minutes and one hour?

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Al,  the distance between Supercharger station varies, some are close together, about 80 to 120 miles, on the major interstate roads.  If you are moving from one interstate to the other, then they can be up to 200 miles, which is at your max range of around 250 miles.  And at the absolute worst they can just be nowhere to be found.  The car tells you how much charge to get a each station to reach your destination.   However, it wants to get you there at the quickest travel time, hence you may be left with little power in your batteries when you arrive at your final destination.  We spent 20 minutes to one hour at a Supercharger station.  We tried to pick our lunch stop for an hour charge.  It was a gamble in that you did not know what would be at the charge station for food, etc.  Some were at hotels, malls and gas stations.  Usually there was an eatery close by.  If we had a smart phone then there are apps to give you that information while on the road.  I am afraid we are still stuck in the "flip phone" era.


We arrived home last night, a twelve hour drive.  Our total miles for the trip was 1,632.  Glad to be home.


We only had one minor difficulty and that was my fault.  We were moving from Huntsville, Al to Athens, GA.  The car had a full charge so we could make it without stopping at a Supercharger in Atlanta.  Big mistake, we arrived in Athens with only 70 miles of range left.  Too little to make it to any Supercharger to start our way home a couple of days later.  So we found a commercial station.  The big problem is that they only charge at 20 miles per hour versus around 280 miles per hour for a Supercharger.  We had to hang out for several hours getting 80 miles of more range to leave in the morning and reach the first Supercharger.  Boy, the time waiting was a bummer.  I promised myself never to skip a Supercharger when on a trip, especially at the final leg or where I could not charge the car overnight at the hotel.  See pic of the charging at over 250 miles per hour.


But it was a great trip.  Now I get to pick up the Kubota tractor axle assembly with its new seal and begin the re-installation process.





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Ben, here is a brief analysis from an article I read.  


No More Stopping For Gas

First, the biggest savings: no more expensive gas. With 100 miles using 34kWh (about 100 MPG) and electricity costing an average of $0.12/kWh, the yearly cost to drive a Tesla Model S 85D 15,000 miles is $612. Compare that to Toyota Camry’s 30 MPG and an average cost of gas of $2.40 per gallon. At 15,000 miles per year, the Camry will cost $1,200 – almost double what the Tesla Model S 85D costs. What’s more, the Model S 85D will likely cost less than $1,000 for a long time whereas oil prices change daily and could return to $4+ at any time.


Another benefit of plugging in instead of fueling up is the peace of mind that comes from knowing each morning that the vehicle is ready to go. No more planning to stop at the gas station, no more standing in the cold or smelling gasoline fumes – just plug in at night, unplug in the morning and the battery is full. (

Read more: The Economics Of Owning A Tesla Car (TSLA, TM) | Investopedia https://www.investopedia.com/articles/active-trading/041515/economics-owning-tesla-car.asp#ixzz5FWNKqrMG 
Follow us: Investopedia on Facebook

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I picked up the Kubota rear axle assembly with its new axle seal.  Daniel said that the bearing was really hard to pull off, you can tell by the end of the axle shaft that it was a struggle.  But now it all looks great.  Daniel warped the snap ring getting it off so I headed to the Kubota dealer to pick up a new one.  It is an odd shape and size so I figure that factor is better than aftermarket.  I got a new one and a squeeze bottle of special Kubota sealer.  When I got home I found my snap ring pliers, made a couple of adjustments and slipped the ring on.  Perfect.  Over the next couple of days i will begin to put it all back together.  Hopefully, it will not take as long as taking it all apart.  









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It is Thursday, May 17th.  Started work on the tractor at 8 AM.  Cleaning the mating surfaces, put on the goo, and put it on.  Surprise, it slid right in..  Then I started the assembly. The subframe for the backhoe was really heavy, I had to lift it with my knees to line up the bolt holes.  Got finished at 6 PM.  I am pooped.  Time for a stiff drink.  Tomorrow I have to refill with Kubota hydraulic oil and attempt to put on the tire.  I cannot even budge the tire, I have to use the other tractor to lift it upright so I can get it to the big kubota.  Getting it one the tractor hub will certainly be an ordeal.  The tire probably weighs in the range of 300 lbs.  









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Al, I plan to lift up the wheel with the loader on the little Kubota tractor.  Then I am going to put it on a wheel dolly that I have, and then move the rolling dolly to the tractor.  I can move the tractor up and down with a jack to level it with the wheel and hopefully just push on the wheel to the hub.

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It is Friday, May 18th.  Filled the Kubota with fluid this morning about 4 gallons.  Bill, a neighbor, came over and helped me put the tire back on the tractor.  He actually was able to lift the tire so we rolled it into the garage and was able to move the tractor up and down with a jack to get all the bolts in.  Guess that it took about an hour.   I started it up and let it idle to get the new oil flowing and the air out.  Move the tractor back and forth.  Saw no leaks.  Will take it for a test drive if this rain ever lets up.  




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It is Sunday, May 20th.  Took the tractor out for a test run.  No leaks.  But the loader was really fussy.  Purged the air out of the lines and it works great.  Camaro Steve came over and helped me put on the backhoe.  An hour later and some choice words, it was back on and working just fine.  


On to other projects.





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It looks like Greg and his son, Nathan, have begun a new project.


Here is his report.


Once upon a time a Model T  chassis found its way to our back lot.   A friend at work had drug it in then sold it to me.   Now that I think about it, it may even be the one that I had tried to buy from an old farmer for $15  but then I realized I couldn't get it home on my bicycle and gave up on it.     It had been re purposed into a saw rig.    So had this one.  The price had inflated to $35 twenty years later.
       As I had other old car projects calling  and no interest in sawing lumber or firewood,  it  then served as a jungle gym when my sons came along and of course a wasp habitat.
   Fast forward to modern times,  Nathan has taken an interest. He's been looking up Model T literature,  ordering Model T in Speed and Sport ,   joining the forums and such.   His interest has already delayed it's return to Mother Nature.   We've begun the hacking away of the blackberry farm that overtook it  and the chopping of the tree that grew around and through the rear axle.  Yesterday evening we were able to loosen the rear spring from the frame and chisel away the tree trunk from the crossmember.    
     Next time,  by loosening one radius rod fastener the chassis should be able to be drug away from the axle (and the tree).   Hopefully we can then engage a local farmer to relocate it nearer the garage with his tractor and disassembly can begin.    
    With the word of this getting out,  Nate has  had parts donations offered.     Temple and the guys at breakfast in Idaho  threw in a front spring which has already been dropped of via courier.   Phil Mills gathered up choice items at his recent flea market stand and loaded  him down.   Glenn Miller in Michigan wants to get some wheels coming....all this even before we get the bones exhumed.
      This will be a good experience for Nate,  time spent with him a wonderful thing for me,  
        and as Mitch Sine always says..."at least we aren't hurting anybody".
So stay tuned but don't expect rapid progress.


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It is Sunday,  May 27th.   Our neighbor, Dave, just bought a 1966 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible.  He brought it over to put on the lift and for us to give it an inspection.  So our son, Tim, and I gave it a critical eye.  Of course it held a lot of sins, the worse being a frozen front brake drum.  I could not turn the wheel.  It is on there tight.  The suspension is shot, transmission leaking a bit, but other than some normal maintenance items it looked pretty good.  Some angle iron has been welded under the frame and floor panels replaced, all of marginal quality.  But the car will be driveable with a little work and $2,500 or so.  Then we went to the interior, not is too bad of shape except for the driver's seat.  So another $2,500 for the interior and some major cleaning, it will be presentable.  Here are the pics I took.


The Tesla was down on battery charge so I decided to pull it into the big garage and hook it up to 220 volts 30 amp circuit. Worked great, 17 miles of charge per hour versus 4 or 5 in the hours using 110 volts, 20 amps.   Tomorrow, Tim and I are going to hook up a 220 volt, 50 amp circuit for even more power.




















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Monday, May 28th.  Tim and I spent a couple of hours exposing the wiring so we could run new wiring for the 50 amp, 220 volt wiring for the Tesla charger.  We put in a four prong connector commonly used at trailer parks.  This is the highest capacity I can use with my mobile charger.  I can now charge at 28 miles per hour of charge.   Here are pics of our work.   







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I rarely insert links, but this one has relevance to my two old Buicks and the HP they make.  Look at the torque it makes, it is like a tractor.  No wonder these engine always had a second life as farm power for saws, pumps, etc.



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Chris, I really do not know.  Perhaps someone chime in.  Guess we should do a search on "Google".


We are in Seattle and going to head up to Mount Rainier for the day.  Still lots of snow up there, but the roads are open and the lodge at Paradise serving lunch.  Here is a pic of the old lodge from the good old days of motoring.  


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It is June 7th.  Just got back to the farm from a week in Seattle.  Four inches of rain since we have been gone.  It is like a jungle out there.


When we left the Tesla Model S had 171 miles of charge and when we returned 117.  So we lost about 55 miles during that week.  Not surprising as the car is alway "on" and never goes into a hard sleep.  It has to keep the batteries either hot or cold, it wants a consistent temperature of about 73 degrees F to always keep the batteries ready to go.  


I think the 1996 Cadillac is coming over sometime today to go back  on the lift for a shock change.  I do not know if Dave got the wheel unstuck.  Guess I will find out today.  


We have a car show this Sunday.  Taking the Morris Traveller and XK120 Jaguar to a horsepower and pony show.  Always great fun with over 50 neat cars on display.  I will take a lot of pics. 

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On Saturday I had a visit by Dave in his 1966 Cadillac.  He wanted to change out his shocks.  So we put it on the lift.  Bill, another neighbor, came over to help.  So we put the big boat on the lift and changed out the shocks.  The fronts looked original, the rears were replacements at some point in the car's life.  All were beyond shot, none had any fluid left in them.  Here are a couple of pics.  Bet it rides a lot better now.








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I don't subscribe to many car magazines, but one I really like is "Classic Motorsports".  This month their feature article was on the Avanti.  It was a very well written piece with lots of information some of which I was not aware of.  I don't think I can post the article, but can give you a hint of what is in it under the fair use policy of our copyright laws.  Here is a couple of pics.


Another neighbor came over to use the lift.  A young guy with his first car, a 2004 Honda Accord.  He got a oil change lesson.  I think we both enjoyed it.


Hope to get back on fixing the exhaust leak on the Suburban today.  And of course a mower went kaput.  I think I bent a push rod on the Kohler 23 HP motor.  Thank goodness I have four other old mowers as spares.




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2 hours ago, unimogjohn said:

under the fair use policy of our copyright laws. 


That's funny, I'd not heard the term until about 4 months ago, I was seeking permission to reprint a photo in a small newsletter that I do, couldn't get written permission although I was told no one would challenge me, but I cropped the photo after reading up on "fair use" laws.  Gives you a little leeway to at least partially copy something when illustrating or discussing the topic.


With all the research you did on your Avanti hard to believe you learned something new!  I bet Greg wouldn't learn anything new!!

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It is June 17th, Father's Day, and we have a report from Greg, and his Ford Model T exploits.


Dear all,
           Another "White Post  restoration" resumes.    Nate and I had been putting out feelers to find a way of moving the Tree T  from the berry patch to a location with better access  so  the autopsy can begin.    A social call to the boys at White Post Restorations the other day  resulted in  the enthusiastic offer of assistance .  Billy Ray Thompson got their tractor ready with forks mounted and his Dad  W.R.  offered to meet us at the scene of the crime.  That was today.  
    A beautiful day and all went well.   It took several  attempts to free the chassis from the tree,  the foliage and the earth.
  Now located next the the garage,  the hosing down of rusty fasteners with Kroil has begun.
  For those who would like to help date what we've got,  some initial findings are:    
         *  Hand brake ratchet has four rivet retention
         *   Side rails are punched with three holes for running board brackets
         *Rear crossmember is extended but not flanged.
         More will follow as we dig deeper.
  And I'd like to really express  our thanks to W.R. Thompson for not only helping us out with the move today,  but the long overdue visit with him.  A nice day! 
  Photos courtesy  Nathan Cone.  More to follow.


IMG_0705 (1).jpg




Edited by unimogjohn (see edit history)
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That Model T was in Greg's back yard when I moved to Virginia and first met Greg, and that was over 30 years ago, it had weeds around it then.....great that Nathan, a young man, will be getting it back on the road!!

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