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Well after a much to long delay I think I will be back on the project this week.  I have had some very trying times but things seem like they will be starting to settle down soon.  My dad has been in and out of the hospital way to many times and is in a rest home now.  I take him on Tuesday to see a heart specialist to see if they can do a very new procedure that will give him a chance at life.  I sure hope it works!  The procedure is called a Mitraclip.

My granddaughter lives with us while she goes to college and on March 3 of last year her fiancé was killed on his way home from work.  A wrong way driver hit him head on and killed him instantly.

For these reasons and others I haven't been able to work on my car, my mind just wasn't into it.  I have had some chrome work done on the headlights and hubcaps that I will post pictures of soon.  If all goes well, I will start back on the car by Wednesday.

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Today was a good day.  After way to long I was finally able to get out into the shop and do a little work.  Because of cost I had the buckets of the headlights powder coated and the rings chromed.  The rings were bent and had to be repaired but turned out very nice.  I am having a problem with the rings fitting on the light buckets.  it seems that either the PC is to thick for the rings to go on or that after all the work on the rings to take the dents out the metal shrunk or isn't perfectly round.  I worked a long time but will have to think on this for awhile.

The frame is coming along nicely and I really need to get the rear painted.  Here in S Florida we are having rain almost everyday so I have to find a three day window to prime and paint within the time window allowed by the paint.

Would any of you have any idea of the year and make of the radiator shell in the picture.  As I have mentioned earlier in the post I believe the fire truck heritage the parts have are to an American Lafrance but I'm still not sure and definitely do not know the year.

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The place on the radiator shell that is off color is where an emblem was.  It was not an ALF emblem and I'm not sure if there was ever and emblem on this shell.  Your opinions are appreciated.

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Great progress on a worthy restoration.  I'm wondering if you had been vaccinated for shingles when you got them?  

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No I wasn’t but I went directly to an Urgent Care and got an injection of something and they didn’t last long. 

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I picked up some bolts today from Fastenal and got a few more parts installed on the frame. No pictures today.  The next step is to get the rear end painted and installed. Still dodging rain here in S Florida and busy schedule so not sure when I can paint. 

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Got a lot of little suspension and brake parts primed yesterday. Will get some top coat on tomorrow and hopefully will be able to shoot some primer on the spokes. Being that I got stalled on this project I am so glad for all the pictures I took while disassembly was going on. 

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My painter and I call all those dangling parts, wind chimes. Lots of fun trying to paint when they’re moving all around!

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My problem today was that I was painting the hanging parts as they hung and really tired myself out holding the gun up high.  Seemed like a proper way of doing things while I was painting but will do something different next time.  As you can see I put some primer over the epoxy on the spokes today.  Not the most ideal day to paint with the heat and rain in the forecast but I took the parts into my shop once painted with the AC on so hopefully things will stay less humid inside.

 

Getting excited to see some color on the spokes soon.  Got a box from Restoration Supply Co. today with the brass trim for my firewall.  I'm going to have to build a complete new one as the plywood has delaminated.  The brass trim should match the brass handles at the top of the firewall so I'm excited to get that built.

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Got the spokes sanded today and ready for the top coat.  I'm really anxious about spraying the top coat but I guess you have to start somewhere.  I will be spraying a single stage urethane which hopefully will be somewhat forgiving of my skill level.

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I finally got some red paint on my spokes yesterday and they turned out very nice.  I have never sprayed a single stage urethane before but I have to say that the finish is very smooth and the shine is good.  I made a mistake in having my rims powder coated and then matched the paint to the rims.  I just wasn't thinking but the color match is great.  Now to let them dry for awhile and then put the wheels together.

 

I finished painting most of the small brake parts so I am making progress. The steering box is made of brass and I plan to leave it unpainted so I have been cleaning that up and will do some polishing on it before reinstalling it.  The steering column that extends through the firewall is also brass so that is going to be really pretty.  In painting the spokes I think that I have decided to not paint the firewall but to make a new one out of oak plywood and varnish it.  To fill the grain would be a real time consuming job and I think the natural oak firewall will look nice.

 

This project has had many interruptions and I am so glad that I took lots of pictures before I disassembled the car.  Looking back at a picture is sure easier than searching the internet or scratching my head trying to remember where things go.

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I know nothing about it, but I wonder about paint on the spokes where they press together. Will it squeeze out over time? Is there any deleterious effect?

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Posted (edited)

I think you should have masked off the spokes where they meet at the hub before painting. When these wood wheels were first made, the spokes were dry assembled together and pressed into the rim, then a hole bored thru the center to fit the hub with little or no clearance.  This allows the weight of the car to be transferred from the hub thru the end of spoke and down to the rim. Applying primer and paint could add maybe .005 thickness. Since spokes are assembled together into a ring, multiply 12 spokes x 2 faces each x .005 resulting in .120 growth of the circumference of the bore. Divide by 3.14 to get approx .040 growth in the bore diameter. This means you would have a very difficult time getting the bolt holes to line up when you reassemble the wheel, and since the center bore no longer makes contact with the hub, the car weight will be transferred to the bolts which will result in wheel failure when you are driving the car !

This would be a good time to get some paint stripper, a sharp scraper, and remove all the paint where the spokes meet at the hub.

I have remnants of wood spokes that were protected behind the hub, so added photos showing how paint applied to spoke contact surfaces will affect the bore size.   This is exaggerated of course. 

 

 

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Edited by Oregon Desert model 45
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Concerns regarding paint, not only at the hubs, but also at the felloes, are well founded. Paint, powder coating also, has no structural integrity. It must not interfere with the fit anywhere, neither on the spokes nor felloes. Looking back over your posts, I see there was a precursor to this dilemma almost 2 years ago. I really can't understand why I did not take note and comment at that time. I feel badly about my lapse. I can only apologize at this point. 

 

I went through this with the wheelwright who made the set of running wheels for my 1927 Cadillac. This would have been an extravagant effort except that I was given a complete set of wheels with hubs and drums when I bought the car. They needed to be re-spoked, as there was significant rot. Seemed to be a good idea in order to preserve the somewhat delicate patina on the originals. So I did something fun, and I might put the original wheels back on when I become unable to drive the car much. Being judged in HPOF could be an option. The original wheels are 100% sound, I just don't like the idea of putting them through cleaning cycles. 

 

At any rate, in most cases, wheel restoration should be left to the professionals. There are some guys here who do their own work, but they have professional level know how and experience. 

 

Again, sorry about having missed the opportunity to chime in earlier. More importantly, I would like to extend my sympathy for the tragic  and trying times you have had to endure. Your faith serves you well.   -   Carl 

 

 

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Thank you for the input and concern about the paint build up on the spokes.  I too have been concerned.  the pictures do not show it but I have kept the primer and paint very thin on the sides of the spokes where they connect.  If when I put them together I find that I am having alignment problems I figure I can sand the sides down.  Not a fun thought but I guess an option.  The spokes were very dried out and loose.  I understand the paint will not be structural and I may have to get new spokes but the car will mostly be for display at least until I'm satisfied of the integrity of the spokes.

 

A new set of spokes would have been a great improvement for sure.  I love the natural wood on your spokes Carl, I had hoped that mine could have been cleaned up to go back natural but they just didn't look good after being stripped.

 

I was planning to wait awhile before putting the wheels together but now you have my curiosity up.  I think I will give it a go in the next few days to see what I may be up against.  Tomorrow I hope to start painting the rear end as that is the last major chassis part needing paint.

 

This car is a learning experiment for me.  Thanks for your feedback!

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Wasn't there a wartime saying : "Loose lips sink ships ".  Loose spokes kill blokes. (And blokesses too,  as the case may be. Whether on board, or in the way of the hurtling uncontrollable mess). You can not use paint as a structural shim. We all want to get to Heaven, but......................  You do not need any more grief and anguish. Find the appropriate wheelwright, my precious forum friend.  -   Carl 

 

P.S. My pinstripes were done by hand to mimic the originals, in original colors. Then, as now, wheels have a high tolerance for individual elegance. Have fun with them !!

 

 

 

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Your wheels are indeed elegant.  At some point my spokes will have some gold leaf stripping to make it look like a fire chief's car.  As my car will not be all together for quite some time I will try to get the wheels together now so I can get a rolling chassis in order to transport the car to my garage in NC.  It is a very long story but for most of my adult life (if I can be called that) I have worked in ministry mostly in the Hispanic world both here in the states and in Mexico and Central America.  I have stepped down from leadership as of February, but have promised to finish some building projects both here in the states and in Guatemala and after that we will be moving to NC to be near our kids. (and my garage)  I have at least 2 years of projects.

 

I think you are right that new spokes are a need and will get that done after the car goes north to be finished. (body and motor are up there)  I'm also working on a 36 Ford Fordor Deluxe.  I guess I'm doing Grandpa's Car first to learn on and give me the confidence to do the 36.  While I am based here in Florida I am finishing some of the major components of the 36, mainly the chassis so I can put it all back together when I am living in NC.  Frame is Powder Coated. This car has been partially disassembled for over 40 years.  I know that this is not ideal but then not everybody does what I do and with the help of a lot of photos this plan is working for me.  When I lived in central Mexico I took a 30 Cabriolet into the country knocked down in the back of a 15 passenger van.  I found a body man who put it back together for a fraction of what it would cost here.  It was in really bad shape!  I also took my 30 Ford Roadster PU to the same place and had it painted before giving it to my daughter.  Not the best picture of the truck and don't even know who the gent is in the hat.  Daughter wanted the truck red.

 

I certainly appreciate your concern and input.  I feel I can learn a lot from reading other stories on this Forum and use my page as a source for gaining knowledge and maybe even more, a way to keep me motivated.

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Work has gotten in the way of the project again but I did make a little progress today.  I started putting a rear wheel together and found that all the concerns listed above are true and then some.  The powder coating while beautiful is going to be a problem for installing the spokes.  The spokes while a perfect paint match to the powder coating are to thick on the sides where they join together and where they go into the rims.

 

Today was just a trial run to see what I will have to do.  The ends of the spokes that go into the rims will have to be sanded down which isn't a problem.  I will sand the sides of the spokes down on my belt sander and then try again, it should go together much better.  If I had it to do over again I would not take the wheels apart but now I'm learning as I deal with my mistake.

 

While looking at old family movies I found a few seconds of my car with my grandfather at the wheel.  I'm the little kid that just crawled into the back with my dog hoping for a ride.  I'm 62 now!

 

I think my car will look great when finished and is a treasure chest of memories.

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stretch cab, those are great pictures! I can see why you have such a great attachment to that car, and look forward to your progress.

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Not much to report today as far as volume of work but I did make some great progress in figuring out how to go forward.  I was able to get two of the wheels partially back together.  There is nothing easy about the process but at least I see that it is possible without stripping off the paint and or powder coat and starting over.

 

I do have a question for you early Chevy guys.  The car has two rims with one size holes for the spokes and two with another.  Would it be possible that the rims that accept the slightly larger spoke ends would be for the rear or traction wheels?  Or since my grandfather was a scavenger could he have gotten rims from two different cars?  I was really shocked when I grabbed a rim and a set of spokes and the spokes just rattled around in the ends as they were too big.

 

Work will keep me away from my shop until Thursday but wanted to share the little progress I made.

 

Paul, my garage with the rest of the car is near you in Lexington.

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I should have mentioned that I sanded the paint off the sides of the spokes that go together. That was the only way to get them to go together.  Even then had to use a lot of force to gradually work them in place. 

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On cars with rear brakes only, the wheels on the rear must be more robust. It is braking which imparts the greatest loading/stress to the  wheels/spokes. As the spokes on your wheels were loose before dismantling, they will eventually become so again. Please inspect the wheels frequently. Drive slowly, and brake gently as possible.     -     Carl 

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Posted (edited)

Another precaution would be to relieve most of the weight from the wheels if the car is to be stored for some time. Blocks, of course, or the quick and easy solution would be by way of hub jacks, which were specifically designed for this purpose. Wood wheels will take a "set" if left loaded over extended periods. In some cases the "set" can be exercised out, but yours will not be able to respond and recover. See if you can find hub jacks if the frequency of use, and the lay up periods justify the convenience. Make sure to use a releasing agent between the "saddle" of the jack, and the contact area of the hubs. The paint on your hubs could be damaged if this is not done. I have no idea whatsoever regarding the availability of hub jacks these days. Walk the grounds of a swap meet wearing a wish list sign board if the Parts Wanted forum here is not productive. I got mine 30 years ago. But as I have mentioned before, quoting Johnny Hodges : "Things Ain't What They Used to Be".

 

This is a hub jack to show you how they work. Push the handle all the way down, and the linkage will go overcenter and stay put. Again, it is extremely important to drive slowly. If the wheels start clicking and clacking, and/or moaning and groaning, get them rebuilt.   -   CC 

 

P.S. I just looked at my demonstration pictures. I lean my jacks in from farther out when in use. Maybe I should just place the saddles on the hub caps ? I have been concerned about damage to them, but now I think that might have been how they were intended to be used 100 years ago ! 

 

 

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Edited by C Carl
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7 hours ago, C Carl said:

This is a hub jack to show you how they work.

 

Interesting. I have never seen one before. In the UK there were not many cars with wooden spoked wheels.

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The hub jacks are interesting.  I'm sure mine will be up on jack stands most of the time as I do not see myself driving the car much at all unless I could get new spokes made at some point.

 

I have made more progress on the wheels and actually have one rear wheel completely back together and ready to install on the rear end once I get it painted and hung.  I took another wheel apart as I saw that I had the spokes in 180 degrees wrong.  I bought a piece of 3/4 all thread and some nuts and washers and built myself a press to squeeze the spokes together so now that I know what to do and have the proper tools I should be able to get the remaining wheels back together soon.  I start back working 5 or 6 days a week again on Monday so time is always short.

 

Now to buy some tires and get the car sitting on its own feet after way to many years.

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