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1913 36 model 17 in the UK


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Evening everybody,

Just back from a great trip through France to collect my re-spoked Chalmers wheels,



The wonderful work was by Alain Montpied, the "Artisan Charron" a 4th generation wheelwright based near Clermont-Ferrand, as well as automobile wheels Alain has made numerous wooden constructed pieces from water turbines to gun carriages. www.wheelwright.fr

On the return trip we called in to see the automobile restoration work done by Jean-Luc Bonnefoy and later dropped into the LeMans museum.

While the rims are stripped I have found stamped into the steel "Kelsey Wheel Co Inc Detroit Mich type 210 32x4" the wheels are now being prepared for fitting and hopefully the weather will give me a chance to try out the winter's modifications.


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G,dayto all. When I saw the first photo of the Chalmers with the Barnet Glass tyres I reckond that it was the raceabout that my friend Mick Bendich restored about forty some years ago but I can see that it is not. Micks car had mudguards and a monocle bug catcher and I believe that when he sold it it went to Singapore or mabe Japan. Anyhow Mick has a touring car of the same model that he uses regularly with the veteran car club in Australia. He fires it only on the lh spark plugs as he has never been able to find the original type magneto to fire both plugs. He also races a Morgan and rides his 1914 King Dick motorcycle. Max Burke Nulkaba 2325 Australia

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G,day Andy. Just looking at your new wheels ,they would seem to me to be Kelsey type as used on Dodge cars to 1924. They, the rims, can be produced in Christchurch NZ or in Kingaroy Qld Australia to your order. Because of the price and risky quality of beaded edge tyres down here in the 1960s many veteran cars were converted to Kelsey SS and 500 x 24 inch rims were used from Dodge cars which at the time were in abundance. Both of Micks Chalmers cars were done using this size. The earlier Dodge here used 25 inch.

Max Burke Nulkaba 2325 Australia

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Morning Max,

There seems to be various different ignition setups on early Chalmers, it seems that they originally had only one set of spark plugs but people removed the air starter valves and fitted a second set of plugs in their place, these were driven by either a twin output magneto or battery and coil via a distributor driven from the air starter distributor drive as the photo below,



The wheels are Kelsey, type 210 is stamped on the felloe.

How is the big country ? I have been lucky enough to visit a few times and very lucky enough to have raced at Bathurst on 2 occasions.


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  • 3 weeks later...

Today the front wheels went back on,


The left wheel needed a sleeve machined up to take the bearing as the hub had worn, I had pre-machined the bore before the wheels went away for new spokes, the sleeve and bearing pressed in and looks well. The front wheels went on and it was time for a quick test drive,



I need to spend some time setting up the replacement carb, on the road it is running a bit weak but nothing a few adjustments won't sort out, the engine idles

well, click on the engine pic below.


Hopefully the weather with let me do a few miles to get things running right.


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Evening everyone,

I have done nearly 100 miles in the last couple of days, fairly trouble free, a couple of minor oil leaks and a carb fuel leak, I need to get the clutch to disengage a bit better but that seems to be it, the cars is a lot happier at speed with the slightly higher crown wheel and pinion and I have now started the engine several times with the air system, see the short clip below.


Hopefully the weather will stay dry and allow me to do a few more miles.


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Hello again everybody,

The weather has been very good over the last few days and this has given me the opportunity to get a few more miles on the Chalmers, I have now done over 200 miles and everything is coming together, I changed the clutch oil to a slightly thinner grade and the clutch has become drag free with easy to engage gears.

Today I had a great run out to a favourite canalside pub, the Shroppie Fly at Audlem, then this evening a run to a local bikers night at the Raven café near Whitchurch.




I have a slight fuel leak on the carb that I hope to sort out and then I will get the car ready for Curborough sprint next weekend.


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Hi Dwight and all,

I am getting the final bits and pieces done ready for Sunday's Curborough sprint event, I have now done over 300 miles this year and had a lot of fun, today I wired up a digital air/fuel ratio meter with a Lambda sensor in the exhaust downpipe and went out on a test run, I stopped a couple of times and made some minor carb adjustments but the meter gave just the readings I had hoped for, best mixture ratio through all throttle openings, see below a short clip of the meter on the car while I made mixture adjustments on the steering wheel and with short throttle openings,


looking forward to the weekend.


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Evening everybody,

After a very wet start, Curborough sprint turned out to be a great day, the Chalmers ran faultlessly but I didn't manage to beat my last years time.

Along with the Chalmers there were some great cars out to play,



A 1903 Mercedes 60hp and 1905 Darracq V8


A 1909 DeDietrich 12 litre,


under the skin of the Hardy 3 special with it's supercharged J A P v-twin,


I am looking forward to Shelsley Walsh hillclimb.


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  • 1 month later...



Sorry for not adding much in the way of updates on the Chalmers, I have been out driving most of the time instead !


I have now covered over 700 miles this year and having a great time,


Recently I drove the Chalmers to an evening pub meet which gave me the opportunity to use the car properly at night, the lights were quite good,









and there was a very nice Bentley at the pub,






on one of my trips out I found this old railway carriage being used as a shed,






parked outside an old post office,






a visit to a local motorcycle rally,






I hope to get over to a steam rally at the weekend, I will update the Chalmers travels shortly.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Evenin everybody,


We had a great "nearly dry" Cholmondeley (Chumley) Pageant of Power weekend, an amazing display of cars and bikes from the Chalmers to F1 cars with a few vintage aero engined cars for good measure.


The Chalmers was the oldest car of the weekend and looked well,




with great company,




we did about 10 runs, nearly all dry !









I will add a few more photo's later, oh, and we were the slowest !




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  • 3 weeks later...

Evening everybody,


A great weekend at Shelsley Walsh vintage hillclimb that had wonderful car's, excellent competition, stunning sunshine and torrential rain !


I managed 2 practice runs and one competition run before the weather ended the proceedings, all the run's were slower than last year and the car didn't feel just right but started and ran.










Today I did a compression test and found No.3 cylinder well down, I removed the plug and valve cap on No.3 and manually opened the valve with a long bar, the valve was stiff to move.

I then removed the collet and spring to find a dried up valve stem, the valve was cleaned up and given a light roughing up, lubed and re-fitted, just in case I also did the same to the other's which weren't as bad but heading in the same direction.

After everything was refitted the car started easily and settled to a good idle, a quick run down the road soon showed me what a difference this made to the engines pick-up and higher rpm running, I think I was quite lucky not to have any serious problems !


With over 1100 miles travelled this year I think I will have to keep an eye on this especially if the engine get's hot.


I have now got a set of modern seals to fit in the compressor that will hopefully work better than the vintage leather items and that will allow me to use the air starter system again.




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A very sunny day today gave me the chance to check out the exhaust valve fix, after the longest single trip I have made on the Chalmers of well over 100 miles the engine seems to be running extremely well again.


I called at a local canal junction where some of the longest canal barges are able to turn round,









just down the road from the junction the road goes under the canal in a great tunnel,






after visiting a few friends on the way home I called in at the local bikers night café meet,






weather permitting a run out to a vintage show is on the cards for Sunday, fingers crossed.




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Evening Chalmers enthusiast's,


The rain subsided and off we went on the Chalmers to a local show we have visited before to meet up with friend's with their old tractor's, truck's and cars,












after many hours chatting and looking at lot's of interesting vehicles we set off to another show at a Victorian water pumping station, we were quite late but had time for tea and cakes before they ended the show,









with 1300 miles now travelled this year the car feels strong and as usual if the weather holds out we should be heading to Oulton Park for the Vintage Sports Car Club race day next Saturday, fingers crossed !




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Nice pix Andy,


So rare to see a night shot of headlamps on any old car. Are they acetylene or presto-lite? Also liked the railroad carriage picture and ones of the canals. Would they let me paddle my 8-meter-long canoe on those canals? Good to see you put a few miles on the Chalmers.



Edited by jeff_a (see edit history)
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Good morning Jeff and all,


Thanks for your interest and kind words, the Chalmers runs a 12v system these days, it makes things easy to look after and the lights are useable.


I am sure your canoe would be very welcome and greeted with great interest as an 8 meter canoe sounds very unusual in the UK but you will have to keep your speed down to 4 mph !

Good weather is the key to allowing me to go further afield and at the moment we seem to have good summer conditions so I am out again today.




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post-93154-0-40367800-1437163205_thumb.jMy 27 ft. canoe is a Fur Trade replica, patterned after the smaller of the two sizes that brought great wealth to the likes of the Hudson Bay & North West Companies. Crew is 4 to 8 paddlers. I suppose we could keep the speed down to 4 mph.

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Evening everybody,


Well the sun came out and I set off on the 25 mile journey to Oulton Park racing circuit for the Vintage Sports Car Club race day, there was a great selection of vintage race cars and vintage racers !



I parked next to a friend with his Riley,




I had a walk in and around the pits




























There was excellent racing, great cars, wonderful hospitality, the weather was perfect and the drive home was fun and trouble free, now that is a good day !


Jeff, that is one hell of a canoe !




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Evening everybody,


Oulton Park on Saturday was great so off to Donington Park on Sunday !



This was at a slightly different pace and a little off topic for this thread but here are a few photo's for you,



My Ford Sierra RS500 touring car built and raced in Australia by Dick Johnson in the Group "A" touring car championship,











DJR1 was the first of 6 cars built by Dick, this car was built in 1987, exported to the UK in 1989 and raced in the British Touring Car Championship.


With approximately 500bhp more than the Chalmers it is just as much fun to drive but in a different way !




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A really good run out today, I called in at Foxfield Railway and watched a few of the engineers repairing a boiler for a steam engine restoration, there is always something going on,








later on I called in at the biker café and met up with a few mates for a cuppa,






with over 1500 miles now I will give the points a check over and do another oil change ready for Prescott hillclimb in a couple of weeks.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Evenin everybody,


Prescott hill climb time, the Chalmers got an entry in the Friday and weekend hill climb's,


we arrived on Thursday night,





Friday's Long course competition went well,





the Chalmers best was 81.14, nearly 6 seconds under handicap time,



we returned to the camper after parking the Chalmers ready for the next day and found this parked by us,






the weekend hill climb was on the short course due to the very large entry,


the Edwardian class had 20 plus cars,













The Chalmers did very well over the weekend event, the best was 65.82, over 3 seconds under handicap and nearly 7 better than last year.


the gearbox rebuild, higher ratio crown wheel and pinion, better understanding of the carb and ignition has made a huge difference along with the fact I can trust the new wheels !





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Good evening,


We took the Chalmers to another local classic car pub meet tonight, lots of completely different cars all cared for by enthusiastic owners,









The car feels very good after 3 days on Prescott hill, it starts well with the handle and now with the air !   it works best over 100psi and is helped if I hand turn the engine over TDC after I switch off, ready for restarting.




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Great stuff Andy. What is the make of the aero engined 4 cylinder GN with 4 Amals ?  The dark red truck ( sorry... lorry!) and bus look right off the set of Heartbeat.

You sure have a lot of fun!  Looks like the Chalmers is well sorted. If you  do need bits in the future be sure to post here , maybe we will be able to help from this side.

I imagine you have attended Hershey a few times. I try to go every year to buy, not vend. Some unusual stuff still shows up there. I will keep my eyes peeled for Chalmers! 

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Evenin Grease Monkey and all,


The GN with the aero engine is a car I think Mark Walker ( Darracq V8 LSR car )  built, I am sure it is a Cirrus engine.


I am always looking for suitable Chalmers stuff, anything at all for a 1913.


Here in the UK I try and go to the Beaulieu autojumble, although that is where I found the car 3 years ago.



Another good clear day means a trip out on the Chalmers, this time a trip to the Welsh border to visit friends that race Austin 7's, they live right next to the canal !




just down the road was a disused railway station that is now a private house complete with engine !





with now over 1700 miles and 4 hillclimbs this year the car is running very well and I am now quite good at demonstrating the air start, I engage the compressor when the engine is ticking over, then after a short distance of a couple of miles and the air pressure gets over 100psi the engine will start easily, as the engine starts there is puff of oil smoke from the exhaust, this is residual lubricating oil from the air distributor being blown into the combustion chamber along with the air, the air system will hold most of its pressure for a few hours.






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  • 1 month later...

Afternoon everybody,


3 years of Chalmers ownership has gone by very quickly but what a lot of fun it has been, the fun continued at the weekend at the Loton Park hillclimb near Shrewsbury, the Saturday morning downpour soon went and sunshine broke through for the first cars to get going,


we were parked next to some amazing cars in the Edwardian paddock,








To help the event run smoothly we are helped by the local Air Force Cadet's, the squadron gets a donation, the young cadet's get a trip up the hill in competition cars.





lot's of competitor's took advantage of the hot Sunday condition's and many personal best times appeared on the time sheets,





The Chalmers ran beautifully and we broke our class handicap by 4.2 seconds and ended up first handicap winners,




there was one incident late on Sunday when the De Dietrich of Richard Scaldwell tipped over halfway up the hill, he is OK and the car is repairable, best wishes to him and Annie.





The Chalmers has now travelled over 1800 miles and finished 6 competition events with a few more trips out planned before the cold returns and the garage get's busy.




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  • 1 month later...

Evening everybody,


I am sorry the update has taken so long, the Chalmers has now covered over 2100 miles this year with only a few minor repair's.


On a recent drive out in Cheshire I stopped at Crewe Hall,




A week ago we drove about 10 miles away to a place near Nantwich and waited for our chance to see the Avro Vulcan make one of its final flights,





Today was my regular trip out to the Klondyke steam party at Draycott in the Clay, another great turnout of steam engines, tractors and classic cars,







This tractor came from the RAF, it was used in WW2 to rescue large bomber's that had crash landed or overshot the runway's and had got stuck in the mud,





I parked the Chalmers near a wonderful model T truck,







Hopefully the weather will let me go out for a few more run's before the winter arrives.




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  • 5 weeks later...

Hi folks,


The winter weather has arrived and the last run around on the Chalmers has happened for 2015, a great 2200 miles of enjoyment.



Last week I took a trip to Cosford Air Museum, they had their conservation centre open and a couple of engines that had spent over 70 years under the sea were on show,



a BMW radial,





and a Napier Sabre,







Now is the time to start getting a few jobs done on the Chalmers, I have started to strip the car down to get to the rear axle torque arm which seems to be seized in the diff casing, it should pivot slightly.





I want to drop the gearbox, take the engine out, strip it and get the crankshaft balanced, along with everything else you usually find along the way !





So much for the first afternoon.




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I got a lot done on the Chalmers today,






Everything came apart easily and as usual I found a couple of extra job's, the radiator outlet has a slight leak, there seems to be a bit too much endfloat on the gearbox output shaft and a brass screw has snapped in the floorboards.



The engine and gearbox came out together using chainblocks and went onto the engine stand I made for the Napier Lion aero engine.









I know need to clean as much of the dirt and oil off before stripping the engine down.




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Evenin all,



I was able to do a lot more to the Chalmers engine today, all the ancillaries were stripped off along with the gearbox,




everything came off without any trouble, I had a close look at the crankshaft nut at the flywheel, there is a locking pin that engages in machined slots in the flange of the nut, this pin has a smaller diameter that locks the nut, a larger diameter stops the pin from coming through, then I realised that the pin was spring loaded into position and it still worked perfectly after 102 years !









next job was to remove the block,








the burn on the piston crowns was good, everything was free and clean, then I noticed an odd wear pattern around the gudgeon pin circlips, each piston on both sides had wear around the aluminium bore especially in the up and down directions,




I then noticed that all the gudgeon pin location bolts were missing their split pins, these were used as a safety device by Chalmers to stop the bolts coming undone and the pin floating into the bore, four new split pins were fitted when the pistons were replaced must have fractured and moved around and steadily worn the aluminium until they were so small the material was washed away, this is the first problem I have found and after a lot of inspection of the pistons and bores I think I have got away with it !



The conrod bearings are free and without play,




the crank bearings feel good with no noticeable play,





The bores are damage free, just a visible mark in the gudgeon pin area along with the honing hatch pattern, the flash in this photo makes the valve and head look silver, it actually has a good burn.






More work to be done.










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Evenin Dwight,


Thanks for your interest in the Chalmers, the seat height and steering wheel position feels great, I have made the position a good fit for me at about 5'9", like you when I had a blank canvas I set things to my liking, I sat on boxes of different heights with the steering in various positions until I felt it was the most comfortable.


I would like to see how your car is coming along,




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another good day in the workshop, I removed the rod's, piston's, cam follower's and camshaft,









the crank journal's look good, just polished, the white metal is also good, only one small mark on one,







with the cam drive gear's removed the crank is now free to rotate without anything in contact with it, it has a rumble on the rear bearing with a slight amount of lift, I don't know if they are original but will be replaced,





more to do.




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Another week has gone by and more Chalmers engine parts are on the shelf, I made up a small puller and removed the starting handle dog and cam drive gear,





I modified an old 2 leg puller to fit the flywheel, I then loaded up the puller, I wound it a little more and waited, then waited a bit more,





The flywheel didn't move at all, I decided to leave the puller on while working on cleaning up the crankcase and removing the black paint,





After a couple of day's the flywheel was still in place, I didn't really want to heat it so another way had to be found,  I removed the puller legs from the holes in the flywheel, I rotated the flywheel until I found the bearing carrier retaining bolt's, these were removed and I made up a simple puller to pull the whole flywheel and crank assembly from the crankcase, this worked so easily,







The 2 crank bearing's sit in steel carrier's, the front carrier was able to move slightly to take up expansion, the rear was fixed by the retaining bolts I removed previously, now I can turn the bearing's by hand it is obvious they have to be replaced, I don't think they are original but are still very old and they are metric !    was this to take out wear with re-machining the carrier's or was this normal in the 1910's ?





I now have the crank and flywheel assembly ready to take over to a friend's workshop that has a larger press than mine., I found the number 4 exhaust lifter had a small problem, the lifter is made in 2 pieces, the top adjuster block and the lower hollow cam follower, they are fixed together with a dowel pin, on this lifter the pin had become worn and had allowed a small amount of play "up and down", I have some steel rod of the same diameter and will make and fit another pin.







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Evenin folks,



I took the crank and flywheel assembly over to the big press, firstly we put the flywheel on the press with the crank hanging below, we used a dial indicator positioned on the centre boss to check for deflection when under load, as soon as the press ram touched the crank end the dial moved, when the lever was pumped a little the dial really moved round, something was wrong, we then made up some steel blocks to locate the load right on the back of the bearing rather than the flywheel, this time the ram pushed down and the indicator hardly moved and the crank steadily came out, when we looked at the rear of the flywheel we could see the reason for the deflection, there was a crack running around the centre boss ! this looked very old and was dirty and oily, definitely nothing recent and maybe something to do with the vibration.





The rear bearing carrier came off without any trouble and the axial play in the single row self aligning bearing was evident, the front single row standard type bearing also came off easily with a lot less play than the rear, the rear carrier has a very nice multi plate oil seal arrangement next to the bearing, it is amazing to see how much play there is in the bearing's after feeling very little when the engine was fully assembled.





The crank looks good, I will now mount it on centre's and check to see if it is bent in any way,






The double keyway's are a very nice touch,






I will now draw up the flywheel and get a new one machined from steel which will be a lot stronger.




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