Rick Fraser

1910 model AA

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Hi gang, trying to adjust the transmission , I got the reverse and low ok but I don't know how to do high, can anyone help? Thanks, Rick.

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Rick,

As you know, top gear drives through a multi plate clutch, low and reverse gears use bands.

The plate on the top of the transmission needs to be removed to access the clutch from inside the car.

The fingers that depress the plates to engage the clutch are pivoted on a star shaped piece threaded onto the output shaft  and are held in place by two set screws with lock nuts.  There are a number of machined flats on the threaded shaft to receive the set screws.  The fingers bear on a hemispherical nose and they need to ride over the round part just onto the cylindrical part to engage top gear when the gear lever is in the top gear position. 

With the top of the transmission removed and the gear lever in neutral, the set screws and locknuts are loosened so that the finger assembly can be rotated on the threaded sleeve. Turn the finger assembly so that when the lever is moved into top the fingers ride over the ball shaped part just onto the cylindrical part.  It will need a firm shove when the adjustment is correct.

 When tightening the set screws, the finger assembly may need to be rotated a little so that the screws do not bear on the thread of the output shaft.

When engaging top on the road the engine revs need to reduce to around idle speed before the clutch will engage, at least that is the case with my AC.

I hope that makes sense, some trial and error may be required .

 

David

 

 

 

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David, this is awesome, thanks for the detail. I'll try this tomorrow, maybe I'll start by reducing the engine revs as you say when I engage high. Didn't think of this. Right now I can't get her to fire, thinking I maybe fluded, I'm letting her sit for the night. Many thanks again.

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David, this worked nicely, she went in to high and took off very well,

 

my problem now (and before too) is that the car doesn't want to start easily. It takes a lot of cranking and "tickling" with the carb. Can you tell me what your starting procedure is? I believe I have an original Maxwell carburetor.

 

Thanks again,

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Rick, 

Thanks for the feed back on the clutch, glad it is working.

I flood the carburetor then turn it over 2-3 times  with the ignition off then set it on full retard , battery on, and it starts easily (most times!).  However I gave up on my original carburetor and have fitted a new Amal motor bike carburetor.

I have the ignition timing set at about 2-3 deg before top dead centre which gives a 35 deg BTDC fully advanced.  It runs best at full advance.

I have a friend with an LD who has persisted with the original carburetor and now has his starting very well.  I will pass your question on to him and he may be able to offer some help in setting your carburetor.

David

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Rick, you will need both ignition and fuel set right for starting, because the engine is more forgiving when already running.

The model AA will have the 6V low tension magneto (Splitdorf model H), a fixed (not trembler) dual output ignition coil and condenser, and points in the back of the LT magneto. Do you have this original equipment, because the arrangement of your car will determine the response.

Check the ignition first. With the plugs out, ignition wires connected and lying on the barrels (jugs), a quick flick of the starting handle over top dead centre should produce healthy sparks at the plugs. If not, rectify this first. The ignition system is quite fussy about the components. Do you have the original block coil and plate condenser encapsulated in the switch box on the dash?

Under the lid of the switch box can you identify 4 copper strips that come up from inside the box to screw terminals? Two of these strips connect to the ignition coil, The other 2 are the connections to the dry cell battery which is mounted under the seat.

The ignition is easy to fault-find and if set up correctly, the carburettor then is not troublesome, it may just cause rich running. So let me know what we are facing.

Looking forward to hearing from you. Frank

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 David, it appears pretty original I think, Spitdorf magneto, Spitdorf Coil too but the coil box appears fairly new. The coil box has two connectors from the battery on top and I think 4 or 5 on the bottom, some go to (or from) the magneto and 2 to the plugs. That sounds different to your description above.

 

Yesterday I tried to start it and it fired right up on the second crank. And it repeated 3-4 times over about an hour. And for fun I tried it again this morning and it stated again after 2-3 tries. I just touched the tickler twice. This is great but I will continue to evaluate it before taking it too far. Would like a sense of confidence. I up loaded a picture of the car, I could get a close up of the magneto if that would help and the coil; box too.

 

 

Maxwell1.JPG

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Rick,

 

Great pic of a great looking Maxwell! Looks very original.

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Rick, this is Frank

 

I agree that your AA is a great wagon. Such good condition for its age.

 

My description of the coil box is for our 1909 model LD, where it seems Maxwell got a little complicated with the wiring. I have attached a photo of the coil box top showing the exiting connections. There is some unnecessarily complex switching performed when running on the battery; the points are in series with the coil and when running on the low tension magneto; the points are in parallel with the coil.

 

But, from your latest post, you may have overcome the starting difficulties, which in my experience are mainly due to ignition, not fuel. Do you have a precise wiring diagram of the internal connections of the coil box?

 

If you still have the original coil and condenser pack installed, the wisdom is to retire them for a Harley Davidson single primary dual secondary 6 volt coil and a 0.22uF can condenser which is to HD specs to suit the coil. The condenser is fitted to a lot of General Motors products.

 

Please post again if you have more queries or if the ignition becomes unreliable.

 

Are you known to the keeper of the Maxwell Registry? Jim Moe at jmoe@att.net

 

Frank

Car LD9024_0013.jpg

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I should have asked this before.

What oil do you guys run? P/O said "heavy gear oil" which I tried, but thought I'd like an experienced confirmation. 

 

Thanks again.

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Rick,

Firstly I love your car it looks like a great unmolested survivor.

When I first got mine in about 2008  I spoke to Penrite about the appropriate oil and bought some of what they recommended at considerable expense then it was pointed out to me  by a Maxwell owner that these cars  get a constant oil change as they drive - marking their trail as they go,  and any modern oil is vastly better than what was around when they were built.  So I now run whatever multigrade engine oil is on special at the supermarket and make sure the drippers are dripping well, (when I can see them).  The drip rate is specified in the early Maxwell literature (20 drips / min?) but in my experience it is impossible to achieve, it varies widely depending on engine speed etc, I adjust mine often when driving and lubrication seems fine.  So long as the oil flow keeps up with the oil loss.  Mine has now done at least 6000 kms on this oil  since I rebuilt the engine and it still has excellent compression.

David

 

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I live in the tropics. I use 20W50 for my cars. I buy it whenever it is on special from the supermarket or auto store.

 

Have you had a peek into the coil box yet?

 

Frank

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Thanks for the advice on the oil. The reason I asked is that I tried a regular multi grade after the gear oil and she smoked like crazy and the drippers were going fast. So now I'll back them off and try again.

 

I haven't looked inside the coil box Frank, I will take a picture today.

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Rick,

If your car still has the original pistons and rings it will not have any oil rings so a little smoke is normal .  

The following comments in the instructions for the 1911 AB, about the operation of the drippers, would  apply to all of the 2 cylinder models:


"Never feed less than 20 drops a minute through each oiler.  No hard and fast rule can be laid down as to the exact amount of oil to feed.  Probably the best plan is to regulate the flow until a light blue smoke is seen coming from the exhaust then cut down  the supply to a point where the engine just does not smoke"

 

I have oil rings in mine so it does not smoke.  The use of oil rings is a topic on which opinions are divided.

David

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6 hours ago, Rick Fraser said:

I haven't looked inside the coil box Frank, I will take a picture today.

 

Rick, a word of caution about the coil box. In the original arrangement, the brass leads that come up through the top are connected to the coil box fixed to the dashboard. In some models there was an inner box into which the coil and condenser were encapsulated with a resin. The front three connections at the bottom of the coil box are fixed to the coil box too.

 

The spark plug lead connections are instead fixed to the coil and will come out of the coil box after connections are undone the insulators removed.

 

I don't know what to expect if your coil box is a replacement.

 

Don't disturb the coil box if it is not important to you to do so at this time. I was just curious how a replacement coil box was made up and if you had a modern coil fitted as described earlier.

 

Photo 110 - brass strip connections inside the coil box. Photo 115 - coil and condenser pack with spark plug lead connections.

 

Frank

 

Car LD9024_0110.JPG

Car LD9024_0115.JPG

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Hi David, I adjusted the drippers back to about 1 drip per 4 seconds and there is still a huge amount of smoke, here's a picture. It gets worse when I drive a bit faster or up hill. Although when it is just started there's very little smoke. 

 

The car is starting easily lately.

Maxwell6.JPG

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Frank, here are some shots of the coil box and magneto connections. I'm guessing the condenser is in the box? I thought it would be at the magneto.

It seems to be starting fine now, usually 2-3 cranks. I'm trying David's suggestion about flooding, cranking 2-3 times, and then ignition on.

Maxwell8.JPG

Maxwell7.JPG

Maxwell9.jpg

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Rick

Definitely a new coil box. Looks like it has just left the factory. I can clearly see that there are only two two connections from the battery going through the lid. The high tension insulators are missing from the spark plug lead connections on the bottom of the box at the back. See photo 649. You might want to correct this.

 

The condenser was in the box originally, and I suspect that the repro unit will be the same.

 

Regarding starting. Using the battery for starting should mean that the amount of spark will be independent of the rotation speed of the motor. So, cranking over top dead centre on the first pull should produce the same spark intensity as the second and subsequent turns. You can satisfy yourself that you are getting good spark by having the plugs out, lying on the barrel with the plug lead attached and give it a pull. Practically, this may not always be the case.  

 

I flood the carby on the first start for the day. I also carry a little stick that I jam between the bottom of the oil drippers and the accelerator pedal to give a small throttle opening for a start. So, process: 1. ignition off 2. flood carburettor 3. crank four turns with throttle closed 4. retard the spark, 5. ignition to battery, on 6. open throttle with the stick 7. one pull up and it starts.

 

After the first start, steps 4 to 7 are all that are necessary.

 

Give that a go.

 

Frank

Car LD9024_0649.JPG

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Thanks Frank for your detailed reply. Can I obtain the high tension lead insulators or should I look into fabricating them? We operate a Plastics machine business and I could probably make them from phenolic.

 

The motor started easily today, maybe I'm getting the hang of starting.  I slowed the drippers to about six seconds at idle and the smoke is a bit better. 

 

I drove up and down the lane for about half an hour and the smoke was not too bad.

 

I think the motor got a bit hot though,  I thought I could hear some bubbling when I had to restart. Really hot day here today,  about 32 degrees. I let her cool down before restarting. 

 

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I sourced the high tension insulators from:


Ronald Gocek
rgvbw@aol.com
Vintage Brass Works
604 Creamery Road
Nazareth, PA 18064
Phone: (610) 614-1943

 

Described as "Splitdorf insulators with a threaded base".

 

32degC is at the high end of our ambient temperatures around here too. The bubbling you hear is the thermosyphon cooling system working just as it should. The radiator water circulates between the top and bottom hoses. There is an additional volume of water contained by the top core which condenses any steam (heard as bubbling) from the engine. This top core also acts like a thermostat controlling the temperature of the water which is circulating through the hoses.

 

Frank

 

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Thanks for the detail about the cooling thermosyphoning Frank. I will source the insulators too.

 

Another question: I appreciate the total loss lubrication system and transmission lubrication, but where does the excess oil go? I know it would be a problem if it filled the crankcase, but I don't see a lot of oil dripping, is there a way to check that it isn't filling too much?

 

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Rick,

In my experience overfilling from excessive use of the drippers is not a problem, the oil will build up in the transmission and leak out, I have never drained off excess oil even after driving with the drippers running excessively.

Due to the slope of engine/transmission to the rear, excess oil will be at the rear of the transmission, mine has a small screwed plug in the transmission cover towards the rear, it also has a small filler tube in the top of the engine, they can be used to insert a wire dipstick, neither of these are original.  The plug at the rear is worth having as this where most of the oil accumulates .  The engine oil level on mine is always very low, which used to worry me but it is obviously not a problem and is normal. 

It is interesting that your car does not leak a lot, I have done everything I can to reduce leakage including modern oil seals to the front and rear bearings and a seal where the shifter shaft enters the transmission case and it still leaves a small puddle when standing.  It was much worse before these modifications.

If mine was not leaking I would be worried that it wasn't getting enough oil.  

David

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David, thanks for the info. Mine does leak a bit when parked, it just doesn't seem to equal what I put in, but I guess there is leaking while driving, and then there's the smoke too...

 

It sounds like you have done a lot to your car, can you tell me was the rebuild difficult and were you able to easily obtain the parts you needed? I think at some point I will have to do some engine and transmission work.

 

 

Do you have any pictures you could share?

 

 

 

Thanks, Rick.

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Rick,  

Where to start,  firstly when it comes to photos Frank is the man, he photographs everything as he goes.  

I bought mine from US as a "fully restored car" expecting it to need some minor work however it had been nicely cosmetically restored but very little had been done mechanically.  The cylinder bores were heavily corroded and so I had a full engine rebuild carried out, sleeved the bores back to standard, new aluminium pistons from Arias (with oil rings), A model Ford connecting rods, crankshaft ground and new babitt bearings..  The original connecting rods have a hinged big end and they are very heavy, the A Ford rods are interchangeable with minor work, half the weight and have a conventional 2 bolt big end cap.

Modern oil seals were fitted at the front of the engine and rear o the transmission, taking care to ensure that oil grooves allowed oil into the bearings.

The transmission wasn't too bad, the bands had been fitted with new linings made from wooden segments as original and the final drive clutch plates were good.

The previous owner had converted the universal joints to modern needle roller units using a kit that is (or was) available in US.

The rear axle was a disaster and it has been a major problem for years, I have lost count of the number of times I have had it apart and it still makes more noise than I would like.  I had a new ring gear and pinion made, the previous owner made new axles, I have fitted new modern axle bearings and thrust bearings.  Replaced the original pinion shaft brass bush with 2 modern roller bearings and modern oil seals are fitted at the pinion shaft and on the axles at the wheel hubs.  The rear axle design on these cars is awful to use polite language!    Getting the pinion to ring gear alignment correct, under load is difficult to say the least. 

The ignition system uses a 6v AC dynamo (LV magneto) with coil points and condenser for running and a small 6v battery for starting.  It s a waste spark system, both spark plugs spark on each stroke.

The original carburetor can be made to work, mine has a modern Amal.

That's a quick summary of the main issues over the last few years work on the car, I am happy to share any details that may arise with yours which hopefully will not require anywhere near the amount of work mine required.  Photo attached.  Mine is a 1912 AC which was the last of the 2 cylinder models.  Its mechanically the same as the AB and very similar to others with the 4.5" bore and virtually the same as those with the 4" bore.  The body however is very different. 

David

Maxwell three quarter.jpg

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wow, beautiful car David.

 

That certainly is a lot of work you had to do Very interesting solutions you have had to come up with.

 

I was concerned with the rear end too but I don't hear anything untoward, there are 4 oilers on the axle and one grease cup at the differential. I also have a grease nipple on each universal joint and each steering component has an oiler too. Are these added or do you think the car was built this way?

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