JV Puleo

My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project

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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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What are you going to do for the finish on the new exhaust manifold?

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I will probably have it ceramic coated, black.

 

jp

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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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Fantastic, very interesting to see all the little pieces and fixtures required and then see it start to come together on the engine.  Job very well done!

 

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