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1939 Steyr Type 50 assembly thread


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My friend, who some call Scotty Ruxton, asked me to help him with a project. The 1939 Steyr is an Austrian-made low-cost people's car reminiscent of the VW beetle, with a different drivetrain arrangement.

The car was in the process of assembly after a beautiful paint job, but the restorer was unable to finish. Scotty has gathered all the parts that were at the restoration facility and is preparing to send them to me to put it back together.

Before the car arrives I wanted to familiarize myself with it so I had the owner copy everything he has on the subject. I expected the technology to be quite foreign, but only found the language of the manual to be only partially itelligble, but I do better with pictures than with words. I'm sure I'll need some help with translating, but it's just nuts and bolts.

My first glance through the service manual delighted me to find that I'm familiar with all of the technology. The flat-4 is remenicient of our Porsche, but at the opposite end. The far opposite end. It uses a conventional transmission that couples to the differential with a conventional drive shaft. The independent rear suspension is very Corvette-like with it's transverse spring.

The front suspension is nealy identical, in concept, to the rear-suspension on our '33 Continental Flyer. It uses quarter-elyptical leaf springs to both spring the axle and locate it without trailing arms. The set-up offered much-reduced sprung weight. The front suspension on this car does the same thing.

The steering is most fascinating. It uses rack and pinion to move a lever that moves the front wheels. It's like a tiller drive with a steering wheel. Lots of joints to get loose.

The brakes are cable-operated. I'm familiar with this braking system as our '33 Continental has a similar set-up. This one, however, looks a lot easier to adjust as it uses an equalizer cable for the front and rear brakes. The cable is much like a standard parking brake cable.

So, as I learn about the Steyr, you will, too.

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Very basic transportation, but very clever packaging. I don't think this would be a great winter car though, as all the weight is way out front and virtually none on the drive axle.

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Horizontally opposed 4-cylinder water-cool engine.

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Note the steering column turning a rack and pinion that moves a tiller attached to a pivot. When the tiller moved the business end moves the tie rod right and left.

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Note that the front kingpins are located by the ends of the leaf springs. There's virtually no sprung weight as the springs are the suspension arms.

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I can see why cable or mechanical linkage brakes can be problematic driven in a salty environment, but for use on a classic car they are really just as safe as the emergency brake on your car. On a modern car they are just parking brakes, but on an old car they were true "Emergency" brakes. Now they just act on a small set of drum brakes to keep your car from moving. In the early days the emergency brakes acted on the set of two full-sized drums. The forces are identical between mechanical and hydraulic brakes, the difference being how the force is delivered. On hydraulic brakes the force is amplified by the mechanical advantage of hydraulics, but leverage is just as effective a force for the application of brakes. The Zephyr offered vacuum-assisted power cable brakes in the mid '30s.

If you look closely you'll see twin V-shaped cables. At the "V" is a pulley that allows the cable to slide, equalizing the force on each brake shoe. These cables pulleys are pulled towards the center of the car by another tiller mechanism. All of the wheels have simple, but effective, turnbuckles for fine adjustment. If kept in adjustment, with all pivot points lubricated, there is no reason a cable system can't work as well as a hydraulic system.

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Interesting independent rear suspension.

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I could use some translation help on some of these.

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Here, too.

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I'll be watching this thread with all the interest I had with your Ruxton and Lincoln threads. In general, German manuals I've seen and used are actually very well detailed. I got used to them back when I had a few Mercedes. Google translate will probably be a good reference for you.

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I've been told that this car came out of a museum collection in 2011, I believe. I'm not sure of the full story, but Dutch Darrin had a hand in this particular car, but I don't know what.

Personally, I see a lot of cues from the Phantom Corsair, just scrunched up into a shorter package.

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Gotta love clam-shell doors.

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The huge metal roof slides back like the new Lincoln glass roof.

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Papers with Dutch Darrin's signature. ???? Great back seat access as nearly the whole side of the car opens.

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Pretty basic seating. Note the two door check straps. Understandable.

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No trunk, just a storage space behind the rear seat. The raised platform in the storage area houses the spare tire that slides in from the rear.

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  • 4 weeks later...

What a cool little car. Some of the most unusual engineering I've ever seen, but it all makes sense.

John van Dam arrived in the early hours and slept in his truck. I woke him at 7:00 to grab a breakfast at our favorite dive.

The large casters the car is on made it very easy to move into the building. All of the parts were neatly tucked away in the car.

It took me about an hour to sort things out, gathering parts by where they went on the car. Seeing the parts in person made verything fall into place.

I'm only doing the mechanical restoration on this car. I'll get it running and safe to drive, but someone else is doing the final assembly.

Dave came by to work on Al's '62 Thunderbird, but ended up spending hours helping me disassemble the rear axles and brakes.

You could probably have fit two of these, side, by side, in John's truck.

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8WD

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I think it needs tires.

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This is the first thing that jumped out at me. These are the axle flanges that attach to the universals at the differential. For some reason that confuses me they welded the flange to the axle. They got terrible penetration so everything cane loose again. I had to get rid of the weld to get everything apart.

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The previous person restoring the mechanicals didn't get very far. The wiring has been mostly installed and the engine has received a new gasket set. and the engine is just sitting in position.

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This it the rack and pinion portion of the steering. The ball on the right fits over a tiller device that moves the tie rod ends.

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The front end parts. One of the leaf springs is already installed. The springs mount to the car about 8" apart and the ends attach directly to the king pins. No trailing arm. No control arms.

The electric motor looking device is the combination starter/generator.

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Interestingly, the cable brake system is maybe slightly safer than a hydraulic single-circuit system. A cable system acts directly on expanding the brake shoes where a hydraulic system pushes fluid to act on a piston at the cylinder. A leak anwhere in that system renders it useless, making you rely on the emergency brake. The cable system on this car is the equivalent of two emergency brakes. If one cable broke you would not lose the other set. One of the cables on the car has failed. New cables will likely have to be made. Scotty drives and enjoys his cars so everything I do is towards a safe journey.

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This is the wildest emergency brake handle I've ever seen.

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I'm missing the bearing hub. It looks like this rounded corner square piece.

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Innovative use of a nail. I guess I've seen worse.

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Also discovered that the rear brakes had two primary shoes on one side and two secondaries on the other. The shoes pivot on the pin on the right and are spread apart by two slots cut into the circle on the left. As the lever rotates the circle the shoes are spread outward, against the inside of the drum.

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This is the lever that gets pulled by the cable when you push on the brake pedal. Its movement rotates the circle on the other side that "cams" the shoes out into the drum. The longer the arm the more force that can be exerted, the less pressure it takes at the brake pedal to do the job of creating friction at each wheel. The spring helps return the shoes to a position where they don't rub on the drum when you're not braking.

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The rear suspension is independent. These are the bearings and loading adjustments. It's a pretty conventional bearing hub that takes a different set of tools. Tese assemblies will get new bearings and seats. One side was dry and the other had lots of grease but obvious wear.

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I decided to dive into the steering system. I find it the most fascinating of the systems I've encountered on this car. They should have eschewed unnecessary complication, but this system appears to be easily swapped to RHD. It looks like it would take a different engine compartment panel but the components on the rack appear reversible.

The ball on the rack contains a swivel to allow for angle changes as the rack moves the tiller mechanism left and right. Note the longer upper lever delivering a kind of power steering through mechanical advantage. The lower section of the tiller gets fixed-end connecting rods, more like drag links. I haven't figured out how you adjust toe-in if both sides have fixed ends. I haven't gotten that far yet.

Note the flexible pipe at the axle of the tiller and the copper tubing running along the length of the tiller and the connecting rods. That's a manually operated lubrication system for the steering. Oil or grease is pushed out of a device that looks like a clutch slave cylinder. You fill it will flowable grease that get's pushed into the center of the axle on the tiller. The axle is ported to direct grease up to the ball on the end of the steering rack. It's also ported to move grease through the lower arm through a copper pipe on the other side. The two tierod holes have a port between them that lines up with a hole in each tie rod stem. Grease continues through the stem and into the copper pipe at one end of the fixed connecting rod and ending at both outboard tie rod ends. It's genius-level packaging.

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This is the inside of the tiller housing. I stuffed the bores with paper towels before sand-blasting as the bronze bearings appear to be in perfect shape. Blasting revealed a crack in the cylinder that holds the bushing. You can see the porting in the axle of the tiller.

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The crack goes all the way through the bushing holder. There is no problem with the bushing or the fit so there's not a lot of stress on it. I think this happened when the bushing was installed new and it's been this way for 75 years. I'm tempted to just leave it alone as welding is a pretty high temperature and could affect the bronze. I suppose it could be brazed, but the heat may warp it. What to do? If the part ever failed there would not likely be catastrophic as you'd know something was wrong long before it happened. Welding? Brazing? Leave it alone?

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The axle with the welded hub also has a welded seal at the other end of the axle. When the old bearing wore out it looks like there was a spot worn away that they replaced with weld and smoothed the outside without taking the seal out. A little quality time with the Dremel was in order. A little time on the belt sander on the outside and it was like new.

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As far as the broken steel bearing sleeve you may want to simply machine the exposed section and press on an outer sleeve around the broken one to hold it together and keep it from moving. Otherwise I would leave it alone.

Looks good! Makes me want to get back to my Mark if I can ever clear the deck enough!

Joseph Stebbins

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I agree. If there is clearance I would true up the OD and shrink fit a sleeve over it. I would not put it back as is, though I don't know exactly what it does I've very wary of damaged steering parts.

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As this shaft is guided both sides, the effort to that bearing is not very important. The splited tube is held by the sheet metal cover. What I would do? Make a "V" at the crack and weld. Arc welding will not create too much heat; to silver solder you have to heat the whole spot and the solder will not flow into the split unless you can clean it.

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I opted to grind out the crack on both sides, Roger.

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While I was at the welder picking up other parts I had him tack the cracks on both sides. I had him insert the shaft into the bushing to hold its shape and absorb some heat.

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This is how the repair went on the brake shoe stud. I cut a piece of 10 gauge copper wire and laid it in the remnants of the hole and had them weld over the top of the copper. Weld doesn't stick to copper, but I couldn't pull the wire out so I drilled it out large enough to use a proper size cotter pin. It's a whole lot easier to drill through copper than weld. That repair was $25.

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One of the rear control arms had come off at some point in it's history. A little forensic work shows it appears to have lost a wheel at one point. It appears that the rear driver's side wheel had come off and the brake platter impacted something that crinkled the control arm. It looks like they got it straight, but welding done at the time was suspect, so I had them make sure.

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I was concerned with what I thought were stress cracks. The welder couldn't tell for sure and did't have the equipment to check for cracks. They are exactly in line with the control arm that's welded to the platter from behind. There are no visible cracks in the control arm it attaches to. The welder told me it would be less expensive to cut a path along the perceived crack and lay in a bed of weld. Mission accomplished.

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This is what makes the lubricating system work, and it's a picture of the three parts I'm missing. The stem is the key to getting the lubrication to and through the tie rod end. The grease enters the stem on the taper. Note that it has a recessed ring. That lines up with the hole that's in the tapered socket. When grease is forced through that hole it passes through the stem to the copper pipe fitted to the tie rod end. At the same time as grease is being pushed through the copper pipe, it's also being pushed up through the center of the stem to the ball where the shaft is drilled into the stem from the side, lubricating the ball and socket. The downside of a pressure lubricating system is that the most worn joint gets the most grease, leaving the other joints downstream with none. It's that "path of least resistance" thing.

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This may help to understand the rear suspension. Note the 4 bolts on the housing. Note the two rubber bushings attached to the springs near the end.

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The round bumpers ride in the left and right sockets. They're not rollers they strictly limit the up and down motion of the spring. You can see the rotational forces that must be on the differential, leading me to believe that it has to be a rigid mount.

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I found these in a box. They were obviously used to mount the differential sometime in its past. You can see how the holes got oblong. The rubber actually made matters worse and put undue stresses on the drive line.

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Using a number stamp I marked the measurement permanently and then sand-blasted the 3 usable drums. The relined shoes will be arced to match the diameter of the drum so that there is maximum contact from day one. If you put new shoes in worn drums the shoe make little contact which increases heat and will glaze the shoes before they get a chance to "wear in".

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This set of shoes, fully retracted, had a 4mm gap on the best drum and an 8mm gap on the worn drum.

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I had Mid-5 break down the spindle/kingpin assemblies and made an interesting discovery. One of the king pins had been treated to a new outer layer on the shaft, but the process plugged the oil hole and the distribution groove. Both parts are identical so I assumed that the hole was in the same place. Instead of drilling into the hardened shaft I used a Dremel to cut across the speculated location and hit it exactly. Shout out to mass-produced parts. I widened the hole with a carbide burr and hand-cut the rest of the grease groove. It's the left one I cut.

This part is pretty cool. The spring perch is usually a separate part of an axle. Since the upper and lower leaf springs double as control arms the springs mount directly to the king pin, top and bottom, but only the top bushing gets pressure-lubricated, the bottom gets lubricate from leakage from the top bushing.

Follow me on this. The oil pump has 3 outputs marked 15, 20 and 20. I'm going to assume that the 15 is the steering and the 20s are left and right suspension. Those are likely orifice sizes. The fluid gets delivered through a hose that looks remarkable like a hydraulic brake hose, except it's made for flexibility not pressure. If you look at this part note the lumps of metal on the top and on the side. Those are plugs that were welded shut after drilling porting holes. The plug on the side caps a hole that runs from that point to the centerline of the shaft where it intercepts a hole that's drilled into the end of the shaft and plugged. The hole in the shaft that connects to the groove intercepts the hole in the center of the shaft. The hole drilled through the top goes through the bolt hole and intersects the hole drilled in from the side. With the hole on top plugged a special drilled-out bolt delivers oil to the 4 intersecting shafts, to the top kingpin bushing and then by gravity to the lower spring perch.

I still haven't figured out how toe-in and camber are adjusted. Maybe the bolts I'm missing are cams of some type.

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I have a fair number of parts ready for the powder coater. The suspension parts were all painted black, the sample I found was glossy. The brake system levers and bars were all lightly galvanized. I think a light silver powder coat will be pretty close to original. The hub was painted black.

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Continuing to be amazed by the engineered simplicity in this car. Barry, where the differential mounts to the body with the four studs, did the car originally have any type of rubber bushings here to minimize vibration transfer? I agree with you that the large rubber blocks look like a work-around to replace whatever was there originally.

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It's a solid mount with step washers where the step is not quite as thick as the guide hole. Once a stiff washer goes on the inside of the car the differential gets locked in place. It needs to be locked in position as the suspension acts against those bolts directly.

I would think that the big rubber bumpers on the ends of the springs would absorb road harshness. The only real vibration would come from the drive line, itself. I don't think that a lot of consideration was given to creature comforts in this car.

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The 4 mounting holes were about 15/16". Using a 1" step bit I made them pretty round. I had the local machine shop make me 4 bushings instead of stacking up washers. A couple of hours and $60 later they dropped them at my place. They fit perfectly. The bottom right shows that the bushing fits 1/8" into a 3/16" thick hole.

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The bolts on the right are 15mm and the bolts on the left are 13mm. Both have 15mm shoulders.

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The differential slid easily into place.

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The lower bumper serves as an alignment tool as well as a vibration and torque damper. It's not a tight fit, but should be. I think the rubber compressed or wore about a 1/4" which I'll make up with a spacer under it.

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Loosely installed the rear coupling.

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The front didn't quite fit. Tomorrow I'll loosen the differential, pull it back a 1/4" and everything should fall into place.

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The springs had been cleaned and painted. They weren't terribly worn. I gave them the slippery-tape treatment I've given the last 5 cars I've restored. Before the tape the spring hardly moved. After the tape the spring was very compliant and quiet.

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I learned something from Dave the other day. Many times keepers like this break off the tabs that are bent up against a tightened bolt. Heat up the bent tabs and flatten, reheat and let cool. This will anneal the metal, allowing it to be bent again, instead of breaking.

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Today's project was to disassemble the last of the parts. This is the starter/generator. I really didn't know this before finishing the Ruxton, but a generator is just an electric motor. If you put power to it, it turns. If it's turning it's putting out power. You put power to it to start the car and it switches over to power output with the car running.

The starter/generator sits atop the engine like Porsche and VW, and it does have a fan on the end of it, but this fan is to cool the radiator, not cooling fins. With the front cover in place the hand crank can be used to start it, even with a dead battery.

Some of you may recognize the pulley assembly. It too, uses interchangeable spacers to tighten the belt

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It came apart pretty easily. The brushes looked pretty new.

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I can't figure out why they used open bearings if there was no provision to grease them. The grease was rock hard. Bearings are cheap. Catastrophic failure is not.

When working on a system like this it's best to take a picture of how it goes back together.

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The housing is pegged to locate it on the pedestal and then it's held in place with a wide strap.

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Let the powder-coating begin. The parts on the left are all brake activation parts. They originally had some type of light galvanizing. These will have a replica color of silver powdercoat. Most of the parts are protected with a shield. The parts on the right will get a semi-gloss black powdercoat finish. Those are mostly suspension and drum brake parts. These parts will all have to be pre-baked to vaporize any oils left in seams and oil passages.

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The Steyr looks lost in the shop now that the wall is gone.

I inadvertently acid cleaned my floor in an industrial accident involving spilling a half-gallon of electrolyte on me and the floor.

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This car is different in so many ways, but maybe I haven't been exposed to as many systems as I once thought. After the Ruxton, and now this, my eyes have been opened.

Everyone that sees this car wants to know what the goofy-looking lever is. I was surprised to learn that it's a very rare factory hand-brake option that increases the amount of pressure you'd be able to apply to the brakes.

The emergency brake handle is bolt-upright. If you were a tall person, with the seat all the way back, the hand brake would be nearly out of your reach. Even a person of shorter stature would have to lean forward to operate the brake.

Since this car has cable brakes the mechanism uses a series of levers to provide enough force to stop the car, but these cars were driven through the Alps and braking becomes a strong consideration. I surmise that the handle extension was a form of power brakes with the power being added by your right arm. You would be able to exert more force on the pedal and the handle if your back were pressed against the seat than reaching forward for the handle.

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I found some hammer finish paint that exactly duplicates the finish on the aluminum generator/starter end caps and brush cover.

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The front top spring was installed when I got the car. When I took it out for inspection I found the bushings were beyond use but the spring moved freely and pretty equally to the bottom spring so I asked if Scotty wanted them relined. The back spring had been taken apart and painted, so it just needed tape. The front spring had never been taken apart. It had the original rectangular rivet. Taking the spring apart revealed that there was very little lubricant and lots of rust. My sand blast booth is getting quite a workout.

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OK, how great is the internet and forums like this for this type of project? Apparently there are people in Europe following this project and one of them made me aware that by following what I saw made me make a mistake. The only guide that I have to go by is the manuals for the Steyr 50, but this is a type 55, the luxury version. On the 50 the differential is mounted exactly the way I mounted it, right to the frame. However, on the 55 the whole differential is isolated from the unit body. The mounts on either side get brackets that keep the differential centered in the body holes with rubber isolators.

My I-pad is turning out to be the best shop tool. I can read numbers that i couldn't read with cheaters over cheaters.

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The bearings in the starter/generator could not be serviced, so they had to be replaced. One side of the armature came off with a little persuasion, but the other side was a struggle. Once out we discovered that the shafts had been slightly bruised from some previous work. Some mils filing and the new bearings pressed on nicely.

The inner workings of the Siemens generator/starter are quite simply and very sturdy. One of the brushes is electrically connected to the outer casing who one is isolated. The third connection is ground. The body of the generator has to be electrically connected to the winding section so any paint or clear coat was scraped away from the mating surfaces.

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The center section was glass-peered and clear-coated. The end caps very closely matched the hammer finish factory installed on the aluminum end caps. The front shaft gets a variable-diameter pulley and the rear gets the pusher fan on front of the radiator. From what I can discern from the remnants of the coatings this is pretty much what it looked like new.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I like to do exploded-drawing-like photos so I can study them before final assembly.

 
The part to the upper right is the horn button and shaft. It is the length of the steering column and slides through the center of the steering column shaft. On the end of the shaft is a copper contact. There is a spring under the horn button that presses against the steering column. To keep it from popping out there is a spring clip at the bottom. The shaft actually only moves about a quarter-inch, just far enough to complete the horn circuit.
 
The steering column, at the top center has a taper on one end for the steering wheel and a pinion gear at the bottom. The black "T"-shaped part below the column is the rack and pinion box. The pinion slides in from the top and the toothed rack slides in perpendicular to the pinion/steering shaft. The cut of the teeth in the rack maintains the orientation of the ball on the end of the rack. We'll get to the ball in a minute.
 
If you can envision the steering wheel turning the pinion, which creates lateral movement, you can see that the sole function of the rack and pinion is to move the ball about 4 inches. The ball has an inner bushing that can swivel about 10-15°. There is one set screw that holds the steering column in. For final assembly the steering wheel and horn button buts be assembled as a unit before inserting it into the rack.
 
The device below the ball is a tiller. It's basically a lever that sits in a bottom and top bearing assembly which is bolted to the body as the fulcrum for the lever. Movement at the top of the tiller produced movement in the opposite direction at the bottom. You'll notice that the top of the tiller is longer than the bottom. This actually adds something that standard period rack and pinion didn't have, power steering. The mechanical advantage picked up by the simple machine of a lever probably reduced steering effort by 25%. The top of the tiller fits into the movable bushing in the ball which smoothly adjusts for the lateral movement. The top of the tiller is fully inserted at dead center and pulls out slightly during turns. Ingenious.
 
At the bottom of the tiller are two taper receivers for the ball joints. The lateral movement is transferred directly to the kingpin assembly by a very unusual (unusual to me) tie rod assembly, one to each wheel. What's odd is that there's no adjustment. I'm used to being able to give a coupe of twists to set up proper toe-in, but you can see there's nothing to adjust. The factory offered 9 different-length tie rod assembles you could mix or match to get it right. That option doesn't exist anymore.
 
While this seems unnecessary complicated, it really isn't. Under normal circumstances you want as few wear points as necessary. A normal solid axle car normally only has 4 wear points in the tie rod ends and connecting rod ends where this could have wear in the rack and pinion, ball end, both upper and lower tiller bearings plus the 4 tie rod ends. On a car without a power lubrication system the car would get ridiculously loose very quickly, but the lube system seems to have done it's job.
 
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Sometimes you need to make parts that won't be used on the car. Close inspection revealed something funky with the radiator. We have an old-time radiator shop in Royal Oak that probably should have been shut down eons ago. I explained that the radiator was not normal as it had no hose inlet or outlet. I surmised that the only way it can get pressure-tested is if I fabricated some blank up panels. With the lid screwed tightly the unit can be pressurized through the overflow tube. There is no thermostat and it's not a pressurized system. It purely works by convection.

 
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Marked the shape and hole locations on a piece of 3/32" mild steel.
 
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Cut, shaped, punched and ready to install.
 
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A nice layer of UltraBlack and the ends are nicely sealed up. I'll let the sealant cure overnight and take it to the radiator shop tomorrow.
 
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I just ordered the stuff that will make this car ride and drive like new.
 
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After powder-coating every tapped hole, bronze bushing or clearance hole has to have the powder coat removed. I'm told that paint is about 1 mil while powder-coat is 4 mils thick. Lots of prep time, but worth it.
 
IMG_4451_zpsdtdmsrwo.jpg
Edited by Barry Wolk (see edit history)
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:)

 

Gave my back a break from working on the wiring and worked on organizing my work product. Every bore is honed, every threaded hole is tapped, every stud has had a die run down on it, every clearance hole has had its paint removed and all the mechanical parts are gathered for assembly.

 

 

 
Once the rubber parts arrive I'll have already pulled the differential in wait of the new bushings. Without pulling the engine I should be able to change motor mounts and the transmission mount. That locks everything in position so that the drive shaft and differential are in alignment. Since this has no universals on the drive shaft alignment is important.
 
IMG_4504_zpsqmwikqio.jpg
 
I duplicated the original piping for the tie-rod oiling system. It has a rather Steampunk look to it with the brass straps. I exactly duplicated the originals in thin boss that I cut into thin strips with a photo trimmer. It probably won't be any good for that anymore, but who trims photos anymore?
 
I ran into a problem in soldering the copper tubing to the cast iron tie rod end, like the originals. I used a torch with Mapp-gas  but the acid-core solder refused to flow. More heat? Brazing temperatures?
 
IMG_4505_zpsfvw3c214.jpg
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I ran into a problem in soldering the copper tubing to the cast iron tie rod end, like the originals. I used a torch with Mapp-gas  but the acid-core solder refused to flow. More heat? Brazing temperatures? [\quote]
 
Probably you did not get the right temperature. The cast iron must be almost red for that silver soldering.
Edited by Roger Zimmermann (see edit history)
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Thanks for the excellent updates on this rare car and your attention to detail all nicely documented.  I hope you are archiving all your disassembly & reassembly photos you are taking of the various components, and not discarding them once they have been rebuilt/restored.  Besides showing the extensive amount of work that has been done on this car, it also proof of it, especially should you decide to sell it, and in turn can be compiled into a 'restoration guide' for others who may be restoring one. 

 

BTW, that vintage Amana Radarange under the bence brings back memories for me!

 

Craig

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It still works great!

 

I took the tie rod ends and the axle that needed the studs welded to my favorite welder. The king pi assembly was ready this morning. The stars aligned and assembly on the front suspension began. After installing a number of parts backwards I figured out how it all went together. The bushings for the springs need to have a new ID cut so I went to Positive tool where he reamed them while I waited. I couldn't find a C clamp easily, so these worked fine.

 
IMG_4507_zpstsrpm0xi.jpg
 
The washers at the top and bottom trunnion are dust shields to protect the spring limiter and bushing from road grime. The large bolt passes through the bushing and the other through the loop in the spring. It's a pretty clever set-up. The springs needed to be spread apart about 2" so there's tension on the components at all times. 
 
The top bolt, with the squared off end has two threaded holes in it for lubrication. You can see the hole in the end. There's one on top, too. The lower bushing bolt has one tapped hole for compression fittings for 4mm copper tubing. The top bolt extends beyond the assembly. It will receive a dog-bone shaped shock link.
 
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With the king pin assembly installed it was a simple matter of installing 3 bolts to attach the brake backer plate. I used the 2 new cams the machine shop made. The brake shoe spreader is the larger circle. It has two parallel grooves. The end of the shoe sits in this groove. As the brake lever rotates this part it spreads the brake shoes apart working against the fixed axle at the other end.
 
IMG_4511_zpszczlfowi.jpg
 
The brake lever attached to the splines of the shoe spreader. You can see how the lever captures the cable end.
 
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This is the new replaceable seat for the rear seal. The inner bearing presses it in place and the seal fits over it.
 
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This is a very important part. It's the keeper that holds the locknut that keeps the correct tension on the rear bearing carriers. I only have one and its keeping abilities are limited so I've enlisted the help of Josh Highley, hot rod fabricator of choice. He just happens to have a computer-controlled plasma cutter he can program to make a couple of these. If anyone needs a couple, chime in. Note the pattern of the tangs. Pretty well thought out.
 
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Rubber parts are on their way. Can't do much on the rear suspension without them.
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  • 2 weeks later...

The front suspension, steering and brakes are done. I finished the lubrication system except that I'm lacking one ferrule compression nut for the 4-mm tubing.

 
IMG_4582_zpsy4xd8cbd.jpg
 
The front end could roll on it's own now. It can steer, too. It should be a pretty lively driver as it's just two turns, lock to lock. The Rube Goldberg steering works.
 
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I wasn't pleased with the lower gap on the kingpin. All the weight rides on the upper bronze bushing, but a suspension will make noise if the kingpin is allowed to move.
When I test fit the lower trunnion on the taper I didn't have much of a gap. When I installed what appeared to be factory keys the trunnion wouldn't seat as far as they did without. 
 
IMG_4579_zpsfdncc3or.jpg
 
That told me that the key was too thick. A little lapping with 320 paper and I took off enough for the taper to fully engage. A brass washer filled the gap. 
 
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The lubrication system is complete. I'm sure it's why this car wasn't worn out. 
 
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Houston, we have a problem. One of the bolts that holds the radiator to the block is just gone. Melted away. I got the repaired radiator back and was looking at my needs when I noticed the missing stud. 
 
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By the time I got rid of the corrosion there was nothing left to tap into. This presents me with a dilemma as I always want to fix things right. Fixing this right wild entail removal of the head and jugs. The jugs would have to be heated and either nickel-welded or brazed, both of which risk warping the casting. 
 
I'm half-tempted to just make a clean, flat, surface in that area with some JB Weld and use a good sealant. I'm open to suggestions, though.
 
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FYI, the hot water rises through the smaller opening after it passes through the cylinder jugs and head. The hot water rises and mingles in the top tank with hot water from the other cylinder bank. With the engine running the generator shaft-mounted fan moves cool air through the radiator core. That drops the temperature of the water in the radiator and it falls back into the engine cooling it without a water pump. Charming simplicity.
 
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A view from the other side of the radiator. The two arches are the exhaust crossover pipe and the intake manifold feeding both banks. The exhaust pipe heats the base of the carb for better early air-fuel mixture.
 
IMG_4594_zpsiepqxemk.jpg
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