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My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project


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Yes... I don't do much wood on the metal machines but there are times when it's really the way to go. I've no idea how I'd have made the 3" radius if I didn't have a big face mill to use. I just don't like getting the machines covered with saw dust. When I first did it, I clogged up some of the oil holes...so now I have to be careful and cover the ones that are too close to the work.

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I moved the crankcase back to the boring stand and bolted it down with the main bearing up in order to start on the camshaft bearing. This is all a bit of an adventure because I've never used any of this stuff before aside from the gearbox so I am not rushing it. You can see the lower half of the cam bearing saddle here with the 1" keyed stock still in place. I will have to bore this to a diameter of 1.950 and the real challenge is that there is no way of measuring it since I only have half of the circle. I will have to depend on the micrometer readings which is why I've spent some time trying to perfect my measuring tool (there is still a bit more to do).

 

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I mounted one of the "bridges" but, since they are designed for a bar 1-1/4" in diameter I inserted the 1-1/4" x 3/4" bushing I made for the small magneto shaft saddle. One problem that immediately appeared is that in order to get this aligned with the cam shaft, the bridge has to be too far over to one side to make use of the slots and threaded holes that are intended to secure it. I'm going to have to make some hold downs for this.

 

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I bushed the front an back cam bearing holders down from 1" to 3/4" to center the boring bar and then ran the bar I have through the three bushings...front, middle and rear. It does appear to line up perfectly.

 

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Here it is from the other side. I will have to make a new bar, somewhat longer than this one since I will also have to pull it out the back of the engine each time I adjust the cutting bit and I want the bar to be retained in at least two if not three bearing surfaces when I do that. So far, so good but there is a lot more fussing to do before I dare bore it.

 

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17 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

The first water pump was too large and I failed to take into consideration the sub-frame that holds the engine. As it was it was impossible to attach the water lines. The second pump solved those problems but I really don't like the welding. You almost never see welding of any kind on a brass car (I've only seen it once)...and certainly not aluminum welding. Welding was known but it doesn't become a feature of car manufacture until much later. There was also some minor evidence of leaking a little where the parts were screwed together. I'm not making it all over again, just the front and back plates which will now be cast so they can't possibly leak. Really, I only need the back plate but in order to make certain the holes for the screws that hold it together line up perfectly I want to drill both plates together. I should have done this the first time around but a configuration that will work using castings only occurred to me a few days ago. Having invested so much time in this I'm determined to get it to the point where I don't have any apologies to make.

 

OK, that makes a lot of sense... keeping the internals and making the body cast.  That should look great. 

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Will do. The whole kit is contained in a big blue wooden box that weighs enough so that it takes two men to lift it. There are 4 of these bridges. I'm not even certain I have all of it...only recently I was reading the instructions - which I found on the internet - and realized I may not have the facing tool for the main bearings.

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Yes. I looked for one for a long time that I could afford. This one cost me about $850...quite a lot to do one engine but a lot less than it would have cost to have someone else do it - if I even knew anyone who could do it, which I don't. The fact that I have 3 holes to bore and that I will probably have to do the main bearings at least twice if not three times in the process of fitting bronze sleeves made it imperative that I do it myself. Unfortunately, it was heavily used and shows evidence of being used pretty roughly but I was still lucky to get it. It actually showed up on the HCCA site while I was in the UK. I emailed my friend Mike West and asked him to contact the seller for me. Mike came through and even arranged to have it delivered when I got home. It turned out that the seller had worked in Woonsocket, RI at one time and lived just down the street from my shop so he knew exactly where to go. He had other interested parties but they all wanted it shipped. The box is missing the lid so he'd have had to make one and arrange truck shipment...all of which made delivering it to someone he could just drive to all the more attractive.

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We have a a complete Kwik Way bar set up........it's like new.......probably only used four or five times before we got it, and it came in a fantastic steel box. Must tip the scales at 150 pounds will all the stuff in it. The cost for a "like new" set up thirty years ago???????? Zero, we just had to do all the main bearing jobs the gentleman ever needed for the rest of his life..........that was almost thirty years ago......he's still going strong, and driving and restoring cars in his mid 70's. We probably have done five jobs for him so far........all were 9 main bearing jobs.......or some other crazy exotic thing.......so if we figure in time, it would have been cheaper to pay retail for the kit.......which today would be 2500-3000 dollars from what I have seen advertised and sell.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I actually had one of these Ammco setups years ago. It was also new...like had never been unpacked by the garage that ordered it. I bought it from the gentleman who did this kind of work for me. He had a new, and much more sophisticated machine and placed little value on it. In fact, it was walled up in a section of his barn. In order to get it out, I had to climb over a wall, drop down inside what may have been a horse stall and pass the parts out to him over the wall. I never used it...very shortly after that I closed the garage (for reasons unrelated to my business) and advertised it in Hemmings. I paid $100 for it and sold it for $1200...probably the most profit I've ever made on anything but now I wish I'd kept it.

 

Ed...what does the KwikWay facing attachment look like? It turns out it's missing from my machine and thus far I've been unable to find even a picture of one. I'm thinking that, because they work in a similar manner, the KwikWay tool might be similar. If I have to, I'll make one.

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The patterns for the water pump ends. These are almost done...I'll likely finish them tomorrow and visit the foundry.

 

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I also worked a bit more on the setup for boring the cam bearing. This is just about it...but I will need to make a longer bar.

 

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Since the machine uses a 1-1/4" bar and I'm using 3/4" for this job I took the bushings out of the first water pump to reduce the hole.

 

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22 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

This one cost me about $850...quite a lot to do one engine but a lot less than it would have cost to have someone else do it - if I even knew anyone who could do it, which I don't.

 

The bonus is you still have it to sell when you don't need it anymore. You will no doubt see a profit on this Ammco set up, as well as the last set you had, considering you have improved it greatly. From what Ed says in his post  - "We just had to do all the main bearing jobs the gentleman ever needed for the rest of his life..........that was almost thirty years ago......he's still going strong, and driving and restoring cars in his mid 70's" - It looks as if you made the right choice buy the equipment!  

 

You mentioned in your post, the HCCA site, I searched for this site and could not get into see the adverts. Do you have to be a member?

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No. But, I think it is poorly designed site. I'm not a member either. For some time it would crash my computer or lock everything up. I have to be careful when I look at it. I have two browsers, Safari and Firefox. It doesn't work with Safari (neither does this site) so I have to be careful to use Firefox. My guess is that it's designed to work best with a Windows machine, presuming that is what everyone has, but I have Mac computers.

 

I suspect the line borer will go to whoever inherits my tools...when all this is done I may want to do the odd job.

 

 

 

 

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I share that outlook. I'll be satisfied if my executor gives everything away to someone who is interested and will continue to make use of it. The saving grace is that I know at least one person who is 30 years younger than me who is interested but, I'm hoping that problem won't arise for another 20 years...

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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There isn't much to report today. I finished the patterns for the water pump ends but the foundry is closed next week so I may fuss with them a bit more. I'll try going over them with 0000 steel wool when the paint is fully hard and maybe get them a little smoother.

 

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I also made a few changes to the measuring device... I replaced the sleeve with a set screw with one that is slit and used a clamping shaft collar. This has less effect on the smoothness of the micrometer barrel. The entire piece is fragile to handle and wouldn't be appropriate for the average shop environment but handled very carefully it should do the job and then some. When I zeroed it out on the boring bar it was perfect.

 

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One of the problems here is that the original, big bar uses a spring to push the tool up at a uniform pressure. There isn't room for that with this little bar so I have to push it forward to meet the anvil an, believe it or not, how hard you push it makes a difference. This is a case where I'll just have to do the best I can. You can also see that I have to remove the end bearing and slide it back to set the tool. This is why I need a very long bar. I don't want it to come out of the bearings that hold it at the other end and it has to slide back about 15".

 

 

 

 

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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When the time comes to bore the Wisconsin I should put the rig in the truck and visit you....I'm presuming that isn't for a while because I've no faith in my truck making it right now but once this job is done I don't forsee needing it for some time. There's no reason for both of us to buy something like this. Besides, after this job, I'll feel a lot more confident in using it.

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I'm a little stuck until the piece of shafting for the new boring bar comes in so I though I'd make a start on the cam shaft bearing.

 

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The piece faced off and reamed to 3/4".

 

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There are some calculations needed to proceed with this and, of course, I can't finish it until the saddle for the bearing is bored since the OD has to match. I also took photos of the front and rear mains. There are no seals on either the front or rear main and I presume the oil grooves are designed to direct the oil inward. I'll need the pictures because when I bore the mains I'll destroy the Babbitt that is there.

 

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The plan is to bore the crankcase. Then make bronze shells...the nominal size of the journal is 2" so I will make the inside of the shells that size. The idea behind this is that I do not want to grind the crank and Babbitt the shells until I have fitted the pistons and connecting rods - all of which I intend to make and I'm certain will have to go in and out of the engine a few times in the process. I'd like to get that all straightened out first. Then I will put the shells back in and bore them oversize. Ideally, grinding the crank and finish boring the main bearings will be the last job. My goal is to get everything ready to be buttoned up so that the finished engine doesn't sit around, open, in the shop any longer than it has to. If everything works out, I should be able to assemble the engine in a couple of days - at least to the point where it is sealed up. Then I can concentrate on running the oil lines fitting the other external parts.

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Before you get too far along, what does the car have for a clutch and transmission set up? Cone clutch? What takes up the end play on the crank? Are the mains originally pressure fed or drip? With your oil pump, you may need to improve the rear main, slinger, and make a seal. It would probably be a good idea to put the crankcase in the frame along with the flywheel, clutch, transmission, and all jack shafts. Also figure out the pedal set up, and have the steering box and column installed. Figuring out all this early is much easier than a do over. How about some photos of all the components.

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Joe,  I agree with Ed.  When we built my Locomobile engine, I could see with the improved for reliability oil system I absolutely needed to add a front seal and rear main seal to keep a flood of oil from escaping and causing me a headache on the cone clutch.  Share you thoughts.

Al

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I completely agree re front and rear seals. The only reason I haven't planned to incorporate them is that I've no idea what to use for a seal or what it should look like. Al and Ed...what would you use? I had thought about making the bearing shells to hold rope seals. The front of the engine would be easier. The crank has an integral flange to hold the flywheel so the rear seal would have to be split or rope of some sort.

 

Cone clutch - I am not sure it is intact. I know the connections between the clutch and the transmission are missing. It had a force feed oiler so high pressure but very low volume. The new system is greater volume but probably lower pressure. I (t is currently set at 15 lbs but it is adjustable). Remember, this appears to have been someone's parts car project and I doubt all the parts came from the same car or that I have everything. The decision to buy this car was driven by...1. it was a fairly large displacement (just shy of 300 CI) 2, all the major castings were present, 3, I could afford it. Were I to attempt to follow the advice common on this forum I would have no car at all. I do have the time, machines and (I hope) talent to put it together but those are the only things I have a lot of....a large (and that wouldn't be large by the standards of this forum) amount of money is out of the question.

 

End play on the crank was probably taken up on Babbitt thrusts. They are badly worn, so much so that it isn't clear whether the thrust was on the rear or center bearing. Since the journals aren't badly worn I'm guessing they were poorly adjusted to begin with. There is also l evidence that someone rode the clutch, which may account for excessive wear. This is another reason to fit bronze thrusts.

 

Temporary reassembly is difficult. The chassis is in the shop but that is just to get it out of the weather. It's shoe-horned into a corner. It can't be reassembled where it its because it has to be tipped on its side to get it through the door. When it comes time to reassemble I will have to move it to another part of the building but it isn't my building and I am hesitate to take up more room until it cannot be avoided. I will also have to build a garage at some point since I don't have one of those either.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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For sure I would cut a reverse groove slinger into the crank to push the oil forward. Not sure what I would use for a seal, I would need to stand in front of it for hours to figure something out. I would machine the front cover for a modern seal, it’s almost always  a easy upgrade. I would probably have a windage tray in the lower end. Depending on rod big and small end lubrication, along with vale train splash. Modern oil will cover up a bunch of sins compared to back when it was new. I would break it in on zero weight , then switch over to a full synthetic. You need to figure out your clutch ASAP, because it’s going to dictate your thrust bearing surface. I would suggest getting photos of a stock identical engine to use as a starting point. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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This has got me thinking of a solution...I have a couple of ideas that will probably work but have to take some measurements to see if everything will fit.

The rods are splash oiled. The only part of the valve train that is inside the engine are the the bottom end of the roller lifters. Everything else is external. I think there will be a lot of splash inside the engine so the critical problem is keeping the oil from coming out the ends. The front seal is also a challenge because the housing that covers the timing gears is not attached directly to the crankcase as in virtually all modern engines. Effectively, the gears are external with a cast aluminum cover attached to the crankcase by clamping over the bearing holders. No provision was made to lubricate the timing gears. They just packed the cover full of grease... a poor idea since centrifugal force will push it all to the outside. I have to give some thought to that as well.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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22 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

What is a windage tray? I can't say that is a term I've come across.

 

 

A windage tray is a tray that fits between the cylinder block and the oil pan. Used in high performance engines. Windage is like air turbulence.

" The windage tray keeps the windage around the crank from the oil in the sump area. It allows the oil coming off the crank to easily enter the sump without the windage affecting the scavenging of oil already in the sump."

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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Thanks keiser. I've certainly seen those but didn't know what they were called. I'll have to see if there is room for that. With its long stroke (5") there isn't much area inside the sump that isn't swept by the spinning crank.

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14 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

Thanks keiser. I've certainly seen those but didn't know what they were called. I'll have to see if there is room for that. With its long stroke (5") there isn't much area inside the sump that isn't swept by the spinning crank.

There will be a dip in the middle in order to clear the crankshaft and rods.

windage tray.jpg

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Good Morning and I desire for you to keep doing those things that bring you personal satisfaction.  I also like machine work, but your thought process and ability is inspirational!  Each aspect of the Mitchell project is simply inspiring to me.  I would sure like to be able to drop on over when your get all set and do your bearing making and line boring.  That is one part of auto machining that I have never ventured into but would really like to learn more....so I will watch your great posts here.  Joe, have a Merry Christmas and kick off the start of a new decade doing the things you like and choose to spend time on,  We are with you if only on this forum.

Regards,

Al

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I made the new, longer boring bar today...without many pictures because it's the same procedure as the last time.

 

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I also ground a cutting tool so tomorrow, when I'm rested and have my wits about me I'll bore the cam bearing seat.

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I started boring the cam shaft bearing saddle today. This is the first cut, taking out the old Babbitt. I thought of melting it out first but decided I don't want to heat the case in one spot.

 

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This is a tedious job because for each cut you have to take the rear bearing out and pull the bar back far enough to fit the micrometer measuring tool on. Its awkward to reach and I'm being extremely careful with it as it's not extremely robust.

 

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By the end of the day I'd removed all the Babbitt and taken it out to 1.5". The finished size should be 1.850.

 

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Though tedious, so far it has worked perfectly. I will have to fit a longer cutting but tomorrow as this one isn't long enough to make the finished diameter.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Here it is bored out to 1.850. The leading edge is a bit thinner than I'd like. I feel as if I pushed it as far as I dared. Fortunately the strength of this saddle is dictated by the middle which is about 1/2" thick and connected directly to the web of the crankcase. My concerns are probably more cosmetic than mechanical.

 

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Nevertheless, I took a light facing cut to flatten the edge.

 

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Then dismantled the boring bar. It will all have to go back together to bore the bearing.

 

This is a better view of the saddle. The critical element here is the diameter and I have no way of measuring it accurately. The only thing I've thought of is to make an aluminu7m bearing in the diameter it should be. I will put that in with some Prussian Blue on the faces and seat it under the torque I intend for the bearing. If it contacts all around, so much the better.  If it doesn't, I'll have to make another until I get the exact dimension. That dimension will be used to turn the OD of the bronze bearing. I will also have to make a cap to go over the top of the bearing and everything will be held in place by a bolt passing through the threaded brass sleeve. My intention is to make a special 1/2" bolt with a 1/4" projection that will go into the actual bearing. With that in place it should be impossible for it to shift in any direction. It is not under a great deal of stress so once tight it should stay that way.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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The next step was to get an exact measurement for the diameter of the saddle. I started by turning a piece of aluminum to 1.850 - the measurement I aimed for in boring it.

 

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It slipped right in but I had the feeling it was just a very small bit loose.

 

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The bearing will be held in place by a special bolt, under tension so it will press against the saddle. If the measurements aren't perfect the hole in the center will be slightly off. To test this I made a test bolt from a piece of 1/2-20 threaded rod.

 

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Screwed it in and tightened it against the test bearing.

 

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It wasn't bad but under tension there was a slight drag in turning the boring bar passing through it. My guess was that it was about .002 small but discovered I was out of 2" aluminum bar to make another one. So, I ground some flats on the piece of bronze that will be the bearing. These are for registration purposes. They will disappear when the piece is turned.

 

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And in rummaging around, I found another piece of aluminum with a 3/4 reamed hole in the center so I turned that one to 1.852 - I was aiming for 1.853 (adding .0015 to the radius). I tried it in any case ...

 

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And it was perfect. Tightening the bolt has no effect on the bar...so, I guess my boring was fairly accurate given that I had to make the measuring tool to do it. I can now proceed with the split bearing but that will tie up the milling machine and I have a small job to do for the foundry next door that I need the mill for so I dare not set up a fussy job before the tool I need comes in. Thankfully, that should be tomorrow.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Today I tackled the split cam bearing. The first stem was to mill a flat and then put in center holes.

 

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Then the holes were drilled with a #25 drill, the thread size for 10-24.

 

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The piece then went back in the mill to be separated. This was the most time consuming part....small cuts and the saw only runs at 65 RPM. I think this part took about 3 hours.

 

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With one done I turned the piece around and put a C-clamp on the slit side. This is to keep the top half secure while I cut through the other side.

 

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And there are the two halves. Next I have to fit the cap screws that hold it together, bore and turn it round again.

 

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It's an interesting way to finish out the year.

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Is the bearing splash or pressure fed? What’s the max rpm of the engine? Will you grind the cam bearing surface and regrind the cam before you finish the bearing to final clearance? From learning things the hard way, I have learned to look long and hard at the cam before finishing the new custom bronze bearings...........been there, done that!

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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