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My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project


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I bought a piece of 2-1/2 exhaust tube to use to check alignment. There will be a collar similar to the elbow, but straight through, attached to the front jug and it's critical that the two pieces align properly.

 

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In order to be sure they do align properly I have to make the pieces that attach to the flanges identical. Here are the tubes screwed into the flanges.

 

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The first step was to cut down the threaded portion so that it was slightly below the back face of the flange.

 

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Then I calculated the length of the tube. There is a certain amount of guess work here which is why I wanted the mounting bracket that is attached to the crankcase to be adjustable. Here I'm using gauge blocks to set my antique B&S height gauge. I've never developed the skill of reading old fashioned vernier calipers so I do this to avoid making an error. The really critical element is making sure they are the same thus it is important to measure them with the flanges attached.

 

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I scribed a line on one of the tubes, then turned it down to match. Before taking it out of the lathe I set a stop on the bed so that I could turn the other tube to exactly the same length. I actually made an error here and made the tubes about .030 short... but again, because the clamp that holds the down pipe is adjustable this can be accommodated. I was going to have the tubes welded into the flanges but they screw in so perfectly that I will probably leave them as they are. Once in place, there is no way they can unscrew.

 

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The next step with these is to cut a 2-7/8 radius perpendicular to the flange. This is going to require another fixture and it turns out I didn't have the materials so I'm in the inevitable place of waiting for stuff to arrive. In the meantime, I started on the water connections. It wasn't a particular good day today...I made a small error on this also but I'll put the best face on it and use this piece as a template.

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To deal with the inevitable "waiting for stuff to arrive" (in this case, materials for two more fixtures I have to make for the exhaust manifold) I've been plugging away at the water connections. This business of making sweat fittings out of pipe fittings is a PIA, especially as I clearly remember being able to buy bronze sweat Ts and elbows at the local hardware store. But, I've almost worn out my keyboard searching the internet for them so I guess they are no longer available. This piece is the "T" for the front end of the water manifold on the side of the engine.

I set it up in the 4-jaw chuck and indicated it on a piece of 3/4 pipe screwed into the end. Brass pipe is much smoother and more uniform than iron pipe so using it makes the job just a little more accurate. Using the 4-jaw allows me to set one jaw back from the center holding this irregular shape firmly.

 

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It was drilled and reamed .875 - the OD of 3/4 copper. I was a bit surprized that it fit perfectly.

 

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I also got to work on the bronze castings for the replacement intake flanges. The first step was to bore them to 1-1/2" and face one side. Then, using the bore and perpendicular face, I was able to face the other side. I then used the fixtures I'd made to machine the original flanges to mark the holes. In order to drill them out, I had to use a center cutting end mill. This is because I've increased the width of the reinforcing ring around the base of the elbow and the hole passes through the edge. This is something twist drills are not intended for.

 

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You can see the other side here. I really don't like working directly on the mill table... every machine I've had featured a few errors where someone did this and went through. In order to pull it off, I was careful to make certain the end mill came out in one of the T-slots.

 

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With the holes drilled, the pieces went back into the lathe to be faced and the cast surface machined off. The casting 3/4" thick and the finished piece is 1/2" thick. I also counterbored the holes 9/16 x 3/8. This allows me to use the socket head screws you see here. When it is finished it will have either special bolts with a stand-off built-in or 9/16 brass standoffs.

 

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Much to my surprise, I actually finished both of them by the end of the day. These still need to be bored & threaded and the lozenge shape machined. This also gave me another good idea regarding the intake port that I have to enlarge but more on that later.

 

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Well... I can't make the castings – at least not the big ones. I bought a 1910 or thereabouts book on green sand casting once with the thought of making an engine from scratch or, more likely, making the jugs for one since I couldn't see how I could afford to buy an intact car and that job is so demanding that perhaps I could find one under those circumstances. Eventually, I  decided it was beyond me.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

Well... I can't make the castings – at least not the big ones. I bought a 1910 or thereabouts book on green sand casting once with the thought of making an engine from scratch or, more likely, making the jugs for one since I couldn't see how I could afford to buy an intact car and that job is so demanding that perhaps I could find one under those circumstances. Eventually, I  decided it was beyond me.

 

Joe, Given the skill we have seen you display here I am sure pattern making would come easy to you.  Heck, if I can figure it out you certainly can!

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I'm not so sure Terry. Making patterns calls for a kind of almost abstract thinking - I liken it to "thinking inside out". I just can't seem to get the hang of it. It's much like math - which is something I struggle with although I've learned to do the simple stuff. I never even considered a career in anything like engineering because I'm so poor at math.

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13 hours ago, Luv2Wrench said:

I feel guilty now for ordering parts for the MG online. ;)

 

 

 

Nonsense! You probably want to finish and actually drive the car. My primary goal, if I have one, is to solve all the problems and prove to myself I can do it. I'd like to finish someday but I have nowhere to go and precious few friends to go with. There are no worthwhile local car shows anymore - all 50s, 60s, 70s, and hot rods made unbearable by some idiot DJ playing loud, archaic, pop music. I hated that stuff when it was current so reliving that part of the past isn't enjoyable at all. I don't own a trailer or anything to pull one with for any distance and can't afford a luxury like that in any case. I'll probably just drive it locally although I do entertain the fantasy of taking it to Europe for a summer...

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Joe,  If we are all remotely honest with our selves, we are all in the near same boat.  I also like the challenge, the chase, etc., but I also can dream some fairly good dreams of enjoying a car while driving the dang thing.  I am getting around the corner, however, with the Locomobile project.  What that means for me, is that some of the "other" projects will be sold to finance completion of that automobile.  I realize I will not be doing them all and I certainly will not be living forever!  The other good thing is I will be leaving my wife less of a mess, should I pass on first, if I consolidate my hobby.  Now back to the subject....... I am anxious to see your exhaust manifold complete and mounted.

Al

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So am I. The material for the 2nd fixture arrived Friday just as I was getting ready to leave so I'll be back to the exhaust manifold next week. Right now, I'm stuck at home because my everyday car has a severe coolant leak. When that is taken care of, I'll get back to the shop.

 

jp

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17 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

I'll probably just drive it locally although I do entertain the fantasy of taking it to Europe for a summer...

 

Joe, that's a great dream to have kicking around in the background.

 

Must admit to being a lurker on your thread, and enjoy watching how your brain works. It's solving the puzzles and making and rebuilding parts that make these old cars so appealing to many of us. Keep up the good work.

 

Mick.

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Back to the exhaust manifold... It looks as if I'll be making fixtures this week. There are two I need to complete the manifold so I might as well do them together. Also, when I was trying the replacement intake flanges on the blocks an idea came to me. You'll remember that one of the intake ports is grossly off center. Boring it out is one of those jobs that is a lot easier said than done. I'll only be removing metal on about 1/3 of the radius... the opposite side is actually too big so how do you measure that? I think I've come up with an answer. This is a sacrificial flange made out of aluminum.

 

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By bolting it to the block, I can bore it to the correct diameter, measuring the diameter of the hole to get the proper size but only removing a small amount of metal from the block. The diameter I am going for is the inside diameter of the intake tubing - any larger is just wasted.

 

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I'm also making a pair of clamps to hold the finished manifold should I want to fly cut the faces of the flanges. Also, the tubes that connect to the flange have a wall thickness of 1/4". My idea is to have the welding done and then to bore them out to 1-3/4". That way, the hole will be in perfect alignment with the body of the manifold. To do that, I have to be able to hold something that is round perfectly level and rigid... not an easy thing to do unless you have special clamps. I also have to be able to hold the short tubes rigid while I mill a 2-7/8 radius on the end, perpendicular to the holes in the flange...another operation that looks easy until you try to do it. I'm starting with some 5" x 5" squares of aluminum.

 

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This is the fixture for milling the short tubes. It will clamp down on the tube so I need the holes for the bolts in perfect alignment. The way to do this is to drill them before I bore the piece out and split it, much like the clamp that holds the exhaust pipe firmly to the crankcase.

 

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It is a 5/16 hole. After the center hole is bored and it is split, the top piece gets drilled out for clearance and the lower piece get threaded 3/8-16.

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I spent the entire day on the fixture to mill a radius in the little tubes that connect to the blocks. The first step was to mill a shallow V groove on the center line of 20" hole.

 

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Then I located the center of the big hole and drilled it to make room for the boring bar. I find these reduced shank drill quite useful because they allow me to hold them with a collet. This machine has a limited amount of space between the face of the vertical head and the table so anything that takes up less space is welcome.

 

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Then I used the boring bar to enlarge the hole. This boring head works a charm. It's the 4th one I bought... making the mistake of buying a cheap import first. In the end, it was well worth getting a really good one because the critical aspect of boring is that everything is extremely rigid. Also, it is adjustable in increments of .001 which makes getting a really precise hole that much easier.

 

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I hit it dead on, then enlarged it .004 so that my test piece would slip in.

 

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I then cut the piece in two on the center line of the big hole.

 

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Because the holes for the socket head screws were drilled at the same time, they align perfectly. I faced off both sides - strictly for cosmetic reasons - then drilled the top piece 3/8" and counterbored for the heads of the cap screws. The lower piece was threaded 3/8-16. The last step was drilling and tapping a hole to align the flange.

 

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Here's the finished product. It is used on its side and the big hole is off center to allow space for the cutter to go all the way through the piece. It was 4:58 when I finished and I had other things to do before coming home so I'll tackle actually milling the pieces tomorrow.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo
typo (see edit history)
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This morning I set the fixture up in the mill. The extra stuff you see around the fixture allows me to take it out and put it back in exactly the same place.

 

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Because I have so much work in these, I thought it prudent to experiment with an extra piece of 2" tubing.

 

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It worked perfectly...

 

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fitting the OD of the 2-7/8" pipe.

 

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So, I went ahead and finished the two parts. Here they are bolted up to the blocks.

 

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Unfortunately, I also discovered I'd made a major miscalculation regarding the elbow at the back of the manifold. It looks as if I can't use the part I finished last week... I'll have to rethink this but I do have an alternative idea. The good part is that the alternative will be easier to make and I can reuse the big nut I made so it wasn't a total waste. This happens with jobs like this. Thankfully, not very often but it is part-and-parcel of this type of work. My only regret is the money I spent on welding but at least I found a competant welder and that's worth something to me.

Edited by JV Puleo
incorrect fraction (see edit history)
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As far as I know, that's the only machine tool they ever built. It was actually designed by L.S. Starrett - or at least the patent is in his name. They seem to have been made starting in 1917 and discontinued shortly thereafter. I bought it off the front lawn of a house in Central Falls, RI for $75. It spent about 15 years outside and was rusted into a solid lump and was the first machine tool I dismantled and rebuilt. So... in effect, it's the genesis of the entire shop.

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I continue to plug away at the exhaust manifold. Right now I'm waiting on another piece of 2-1/2" pipe - something I've found it surprisingly difficult to find locally. I've got a mountain of larger and smaller pipe but none this size. I used two short pieces clamped to the tubes that project from the blocks to get the alignment, using a piece of 2-1/2 exhaust tubing to make sure they lined up. Both of the tubes coming out of the blocks were slightly off - probably because the holes in the blocks where the flanges attach aren't exactly vertical. That's one of the reasons I threaded the flanges and tubes. It was quite easy to move them a tiny amount to correct the alignment.

 

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I also took some critical measurements and tonight I'll make a drawing of the rear section which will attach to the downpipe. I think I've worked out a good way to machine it but we won't know if it works until I try. The space between the two section of pipe will hold a special tube I've designed - actually, the part of this project that will, I hope, make it look like a professional job if not anything like the original. I'm also making some special holding fixtures so I can clamp the entire thing together BEFORE I have anything welded.

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4 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

I continue to plug away at the exhaust manifold. Right now I'm waiting on another piece of 2-1/2" pipe - something I've found it surprisingly difficult to find locally. I've got a mountain of larger and smaller pipe but none this size. I used two short pieces clamped to the tubes that project from the blocks to get the alignment, using a piece of 2-1/2 exhaust tubing to make sure they lined up. Both of the tubes coming out of the blocks were slightly off - probably because the holes in the blocks where the flanges attach aren't exactly vertical. That's one of the reasons I threaded the flanges and tubes. It was quite easy to move them a tiny amount to correct the alignment.

 

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I also took some critical measurements and tonight I'll make a drawing of the rear section which will attach to the downpipe. I think I've worked out a good way to machine it but we won't know if it works until I try. The space between the two section of pipe will hold a special tube I've designed - actually, the part of this project that will, I hope, make it look like a professional job if not anything like the original. I'm also making some special holding fixtures so I can clamp the entire thing together BEFORE I have anything welded.

Joe ,  You will need to make a mandrel to bolt these pipes to if you aren't going to weld it together while locked down to the jugs.and find an experienced tig welder for this job. Looks great!  Mike West

Edited by mikewest (see edit history)
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It's planned around putting the central piece in last. The front and back mounts for the center tube are adjustable as long as I don't weld the flanges on. As it is, they are threaded on and they are so tight I don't see why they need to be welded. Especially as they'll eventually be rusty and impossible to unscrew. I'm thinking I'll braze the central tube in place. The fit will be machined so it will be tight and I've seen lots of brazing repairs to manifolds... it should never get hot enough to matter and if it does, I'm really doing something wrong. If I do it that way, I can do it myself with everything bolted up in place. At least that's the plan.

 

Wait till you see the central tube... it's one of my best ideas yet - if I can really make it!

 

jp

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One of the advantages to doing the manifold this way is that I get a flat surface on the back where I can attach a line to pressurize the fuel tank. Does anyone know what normal exhaust pressure is? I've ordered a 0-5 psi regulator and I'm thinking that 2 lbs should be plenty. I'm also wondering if that will over stress the Stromberg M3 carb - I wouldn't think so but I've never seen any figures on this. The gas tank will be higher than the carb in any case so I can also use gravity feed but I'd like to use the early pressure gauge I have (0-4 lbs) and the very nice hand pump I bought a year or two ago. I have a real aversion to adding bits that don't work just for looks so if I use the hand pump it has to be hooked up. My thinking is to pressurize the tank and if I have problems with it, to make it possible to gravity feed as a backup.

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Your attention to detail will sure be worth the race when the finished product is nice and square and straight as an arrow.  I also am waiting for your finished version.

Al

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I fiddled with the mounts for the central tube over the weekend, getting them to line up perfectly. That was surprisingly easy as both tilted in the same direction. It was easy to unscrew the tubes the tiniest amount in order to get them lined up. I also worked on trying to figure out how to connect the downpipe and finally decided to just go ahead an make the parts and see how they fit. My limited drawing capacity made it almost impossible to create a really accurate paper mockup of what I would get. The first part is the connection to the downpipe... this will only be about half this length when finished.

 

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The piece of 2-1/2 inch pipe I needed also arrived this morning so I started on the rear mount. This is quite a bit longer than it will be finished but I need the extra length to grip it in the rotary table.

 

All my measurements indicate that I have to bore a hole 110-degrees from the connection to the block and 1.625" on center. I'm not sure that is exact but it will get me to within adjustment range.

 

 

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Here's the manifold from the rear... I was concerned that the two pieces would hit each other but, as you can see, I was way off. I will have to get a custom bent exhaust pipe so I'm going to go ahead and finish this part then measure the exact angle the pipe will have to be bent to.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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I bored the first of the holes in the manifold today. This is 1-1/2" in diameter to match the tube coming out of the block. After everything has been welded together, it will be bored out to a little less than 1-3/4/

 

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My goal here is to bolt everything together and adjust it before anything is welded. With that in mind, I came up with a method of holding these parts together securely while working on them. The first thing was to cut two pieces of aluminum, 1-3/4 in diameter.

 

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These were turned down to 1-1/2 leaving a small lip to catch on the upper edge. Because the holes in the tubes are fairly precise and the hole in the piece of pipe is, they serve to align the two pieces and give me a way of securing them. I also made the little "cross bars" inside the pipe so that a bolt passing through the center tigntens everything up nicely.

 

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Here is is bolted to the engine. I'll do the same with the rear piece of pipe. This will give me secure fittings so I can accurately measure for the piece that connects them.

 

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Well...I thought I'd have something good to post today but I spent the entire day making the rear section of the manifold only to realize when I took it off the mill that I turned the rotary table in the wrong direction. The good news is that, aside from the fact that the big hole is in the wrong place, it came out just about perfect. Thank goodness it was only a piece of pipe. I'm out less than $20 - not counting a wasted day but that's par for the course. I don't make a lot of errors but you do have to expect some. Tomorrow I'll get on to some other parts of the manifold and be ready to remake the back section when the pipe arrives.

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I hate when I do that. Doesn't seem to matter what the material is. I can do it turning something on the lathe or routing something working with wood. I build RC scale fighter planes and I've done the same thing. Just back to the drawing board. Thankfully, like you, it's never been many dollars in the mistake but always valuable time.

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While I wait for the new piece of pipe – the mill is still set up for that job. I decided to make the new threaded piece. First I made the part that will be welded to the manifold. I was more than half-way through this job when I realized that I could, just as easily have made this in one piece but with hours into it – and the fact that it won't show in any case, I decided to press on.

 

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Nest the threaded section. the first step was to face, bore and ream a 2" hole. The finished size is 2-1/4 but the largest expanding arbor I have is 2" so I can't bore it out until it's all together.

 

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Then it was turned to the major diameter of the thread. I added about .006 to the measurement just to play safe.

 

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I then turned two steps in the piece. The first is the actual diameter of the first piece I made. The second is the ID. The piece that is welded to the manifold is actually about .010 out of round, probably the result of gripping it in the 4-jaw chuck. One measurement is 2.4" and the other is 2.410. I want a press fit so I turned the step for the ID to 2.406. This should give me a tight press and force the out-of-round piece back into shape.

 

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So here it is finished. Now I have to turn it around and thread it, press the two pieces together and bore it to 2.250.

 

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All threaded with the nut screwed on...

 

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Then the two parts were pressed together.

 

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The last step was to bore it out to 2-1/4" so the end of the downpipe will slide in.

 

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I thank you for taking the time to post pictures and information about your project.  I have to admit that I check each night to see how you are doing.  You are an inspiration for me on my much more simple restoration.  Thanks!

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Thanks. I appreciate that.

The piece of pipe I need to make the back part of the manifold arrived at the end of the day so with luck I'll be able to show it tomorrow.

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I didn't get as much done today as I'd hoped. I started the day with a trip to the local sawmill - which isn't really local in the Rhode Island sense of the word. That took longer than I'd anticipated but I did get to start on the replacement manifold piece. Here it is set up in the mill. The pieces on the end are a machinist's jack. This is to keep the part from vibrating. It's difficult to do anything with the piece cantilevered out like this and boring is particularly susceptible to vibration.

 

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I then drilled a center hole...

 

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This was followed by a 1/2" hole and then this big drill which I think is 1-1/8" This is to give room to get the boring bar into the hole. In fact, if I had a 1-1/2" stubby drill like this I'd have used that and skipped the boring.

 

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I then set the boring head up but this time I decided to take my own advice and quit. I was tired and I still had all the wood to unload. The sawmill owner has a helpful, fit guy in his 20s to do the loading but now it was time for the not-so-fit guy in his 60s to unload it.

Edited by JV Puleo
typo (see edit history)
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Here's the first hole bored.

 

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The table was then advanced 1.625" and the piece rotated 250 degrees clockwise.

 

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I then repeated the process, getting a hole large enough to insert the boring head.

 

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The hole was bored out to about 1.9".

 

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The boring head has two holes in the bottom. 2" is about as large as you would want to go with the boring bar in the center hole. I now had to take the head out and move the bar to the outer holed.

 

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With that done, I was in a position to bore the hole to 2.25". I went about .005 over to match the hole in the threaded piece.

 

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Then I took the piece out and tried it against the block. It is in the right place. I trimmed the ends because it is a good 3" too long to give me something to grab in the rotary table. The next step is to bolt everything together but once again I've been thwarted by the Mitchell companies wretched inability to make two things with the same measurements. I came up with a solution but by then my back was killing me so I decided to let it go until tomorrow.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Well... it seems to be working. I spent today making the pieces I needed to bolt everything together. Since I have to take it apart to deliver to the welder I want to make sure nothing can shift. Here's the front and back pieces on the engine, lined up as well as I can. Ultimately I will get a piece of 2-1/2 tubing to slide through both pieces to make sure they are aligned properly.

 

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I'd already made most of what I needed for this step but I still had to make a bigger holder/clamp for the threaded piece. That took much of the day but the result is about as good as I could hope for.

 

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And from the back...

The rear section still has to be shortened about .400. I didn't want to do that until I had assembled it to get reliable measurements.

 

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The water connections will still be a little tight but I don't anticipate any real problem there. If I think they are too close to the down pipe I'll add a heat shield... maybe just a layer of whatever is used today in place of asbestos covered with a piece of sheet metal wrapped around the exhaust pipe. I am probably going th have to remake the bracket that bolts to the crankcase... it doesn't have enough adjustment but that was about the easiest part of this whole adventure.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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