JV Puleo

My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project

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Posted (edited)

My homemade crankcase breather. A 1/4NPT to 3/8 (1/2 OD) tubing compression fitting without the ferrule, two pieces of 100 mesh copper screen cut out with a gasket cutter and two 5/8" OD x 3/8" ID fiber washers.

 

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Without the ferrule in place, these fit under the cap.

 

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When I assembled it I noticed I had another cap with a little raised edge so I used that one.

 

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I've no idea if this was ever done this way but all the components were available c. 1910, including the compression fitting.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Your close-up view of one of you knurling jobs is great.  You make nice crisp knurls!  You musty have a nice sharp tool and use a suitable amount of side pressure to form the knurls a nice as you have!

Al

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Yes. I seem to be getting the hang of it. There is a little technique involved and it has taken me more than a few tries to get it right but the last two came out nearly perfect. We'll have to see if I can keep up that record.

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Joe, have you any tips on knurling to help us learners? Does the lathe speed need to be as low as possible?

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I run the lathe at the lowest possible speed. It's critical that the piece being knurled be held very securely. I usually attach it to a fixture held in a chuck or directly in the chuck.

You then have to get both knurling wheels in contact with the piece and absolutely parallel. Then I start the knurl with a light cut and with about half of the wheel on the piece and run it down until it's about half off. Stop the lathe, reverse direction, turn it in a little more and run it down again until it's about half off. It's critical that the wheels never come off the piece since it is virtually impossible to put them back in exactly the same place. Usually, four passes, turning it in a little each time is enough but I stop the lathe and take a look and don't pull the knurling tool back until I like the result.

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Posted (edited)

I now have to assemble the intake manifold...something I've been putting off because I don't particularly care for the polishing I'll have to do. But, there was no putting it off now so I soldered the elbows to a short piece of tubing to hold while I filed and sanded them.

 

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They took about 2-1/2 hours each to do and I have to admit they came out pretty good. I assembled the pieces on the engine to get they straight with each other. I then stuck the interface between the threaded elbow and the flange in two places to lock it in place.

 

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Then I very carefully took it apart and soldered the elbows to the flanges. Ordinarily, I'd be a little worried about using plain lead solder here but the elbows are threaded into the flanges so all the solder is doing is holding them tight and filling whatever space there is between the male and female thread.

 

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After cleaning the elbows up, I reassembled it again and soldered the tube in place.

 

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I think it's ok... tomorrow I'll finish up the carburetor side.

They certainly don't look like the pipe fittings they started life as.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Joe that manifold looks most excellent!

 

You have inspired me to get mine finished as soon as I have a few nice days to work outside.

My plan is to mock-up the manifold using the cylinder blocks as the jig and solder it all up in place.

 

That way I can ensure it fits properly since the mounting studs are not exactly perfect.

 

The castings have been laying around on the work bench way too long!

 

 

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Do it... my parts were hanging around for months before I had to put it together. And, yes you must assemble it on the engine. I had the same problem - nothing is really square or uniform so the only way to make sure it fit was to assemble them on the blocks and solder them in place. I was not able to get around in the back well but I took it off and fixed those spots afterward. If you're careful, nothing will move.

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Thanks for the tips on the knurling. I now know where I have being going wrong!

A super job on your inlet manifold. You should be very pleased with the outcome.

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I hadn't given that any thought. What would be appropriate? I rather dread having to repolish the etched surface. Wouldn't you use a strong base to neutralize the acid? (Keeping in mind that I know nearly nothing about chemistry.)

 

I cleaned up the other end of the manifold and assembled it this morning.

 

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then calculated where the oil lines have to go. It's more complicated than I'd thought because they can't overlap neatly. I came up with a plan in any case but it will be a long time before I have to install them. First, I squared the oil manifold on the milling machine table. This is where the flats I put on the ends come in useful... it was no problem getting the holes perpendicular to the manifold.

 

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After the holes were drilled, I tapped them 1/8NPT

 

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Here's the finished piece. Before I can go forward with this I have to get all the burrs out of the inside. I may have to order a  flex-hone for that. I need it to be completely clean before I assemble it since oil will be running through it. This is brass pipe. The wall thickness is greater than most tubing but still not enough that I will feel comfortable just screwing the flare fitting into it so when everything is finally assembled I think I will solder them too. The entire unit has been designed so that it can be taken off the car without having to slide it through the aluminum collars that suspend it from the water lines. It took me quite a while to think of a way to do that.

 

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I will probably go on to something else tomorrow while I wait for whatever I need to finish this. when it is done, I'll incorporate it into the test stand with the idea of testing the entire oiling system off the car.

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Hello Joe,

 

From what I understand pickling removes any scale, flux residue ect. The solution recommended for brass is 10% sulphuric acid. However, there are some

home grown solutions ranging from vinegar to lemon juice to alum. You will have a redish copper blush that can fairly easily be removed.

 

Anyway, since my assembles are a combination of brass and bronze I am not sure if I can use sulphuric acid or not. There is also a vinegar and hydrogen peroxide

pickle solution that supposedly removes the copper blush.... still studying this!

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Hmmm.... all my fittings are bronze. The tubing is copper but I don't think there is any brass there. I did, originally, make brass flanges but I didn't like the mismatched color and wasn't really happy with their form so I made a pattern and had the guys next door get me two bronze castings.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

While I'm waiting for the flex hone I decided to make the dust covers for the lifters. I made the lifters a long time ago. At the time, I couldn't think of a way to make dust covers for them. The ones I have seen were stamped from sheet brass but that's beyond me... not having a stamping press or knowing anything about making dies for one.

 

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I cut 3 sections of tubing. 2" long. I had planned to ream them to size but that didn't work. I couldn't tighten the chuck enough to hold the piece firmly without distorting the tube which, in turn, caused the reamer to stick. In the end, I bored them about .020 larger so they would slip over the lifters.

 

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When that was done, I cut them in half giving me 8 pieces about 1" long. I see now that I failed to photograph a couple of steps but I set a stop on the lathe and cut the rings down to 3/4". The washer-like pieces are the tops of the caps. I made those a couple of days ago by drilling a 7/16 hole in the center of a stack of square pieces and then turning them round to the OD of the tubing.

 

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This morning I made a soldering fixture. This is actually the extra blank I made for the oil pump rotor. I chucked it in the lathe and counterbored it 1-1/2".

 

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Here's the fixture with a cap and the ring inserted.

 

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Then I coated it with soot using my acetylene torch. Once again, I failed to photograph the next step but I simply put the fixture with the two pieces in it on my camp stove and let it run until everything was up to temperature. Then, it was a simple matter to run a bead of solder around the inside edge. This worked better than it has a right to.

 

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This is what the pieces looked like when they came out of the fixture.

 

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I polished the first one and tested it.

 

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Then spent the rest of the day making the other seven. It took a lot of time because I had to get everything up to temperature to solder and then let it cool so I could handle them so much of the day was spent waiting and straightening up the shop. But, by the end of the day, I had eight dust caps.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Wow, that looks great and gives me an idea for a piece on the Metz that I wasn't sure how to do.

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Interested about the acetylene soot for the soldering. I use that idea on annealing aluminium but have never thought of using the idea on brass for soldering. The valve caps you made look great. I like the idea of the soldering jig.

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Posted (edited)

This morning I put the original camshaft back in the engine to see if the new caps affected anything. When I made the lifters - two or three years ago, I took the measurements from one of the originals. They were crude and in poor condition and one of them was broken. If I remember correctly, they did not have dust caps. Sure enough, the actual lifter sat a little too low in its housing when in contact with the cam. So I spent the day dismantling the lifters and taking .100 off the top edge of the housing. This is what they look like taken apart...

 

One thing I do occasionally have second thoughts about is the rollers. I purposely didn't harden them thinking that if they wear they are not difficult to make while if they wore the cam, that would be a real headache. Several of the original cams (from this period) that I've handled showed serious degradation of the hardening - with it coming off in flakes. I suspect that was because they were using mild steel and case hardening it. It probably isn't a concern today so I may revisit these at some point.

 

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I didn't try to copy the originals exactly. I read what Heldt had to say about them and went by his suggestions. The lifter itself is hollow and the slot you see there is for a dowel pin. The pin serves to prevent the lifter from rotating and to keep it from falling into the crankcase if you remove the adjusting nuts. That was a fault in the original design and the Mitchell owner's manual, which has very little useful information in it (most of it is devoted to teaching the new owner how to drive) actually mentions this and warns against taking the lifters out for that reason. At the time I made these I didn't have the expanding mandrels I use so often nor had I made the dial indicator modification to the lathe so, while they are good, they aren't as good as they would be if I did it today. I'd have preferred to make them out of bronze but the cost of that much bronze bar was more than I could handle at the time.

 

The job went well, even if it did take most of the day.

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There is still more to do. I want to make some little brass rings to retain the dowel pins. Then I have to make the hold downs. I set the pieces up on the engine to take some measurements because this time I am not going to presume that everything matches.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Hello Joe,

 

That's an interesting design for the lifters. On the Wisconsin the slot in the lifter guide (that the roller rides in) keeps the lifter from rotating out of alignment with the face of the cam lobe.

The brochure states that the cam lobes are heat treated, hardened, ground and keyed and pinned to the shaft. While the rollers and pins are "hardened steel". The lifter bodies are also

hardened and the adjustment screws are case hardened and the top face ground. The pin is an interference fit.

 

The top of the lifters are dished with an oil hole angled down to a hole bored completely through the axis of the lifter and threaded for the adjuster screws. An oil groove runs around

the circumference of the lifter with an oil hole connecting to the center passage. The idea of the oil hole to the dished top is to provide a "oil mist" to lubricate the valve stems - these

being enclosed with aluminum shrouds. The bearing bronze lifter guide also has oil grooves (around the inside circumference near the top of the bore and vertical)

 

Anyway, not sure if this is useful or not!

 

Best regards,

Terry

 

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Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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Using the slot in the lifter housing as the guide was how the originals for the Mitchell worked but the housing was cast iron. When I decided to make them out of aluminum I as worried about the roller galling the softer material if I relied solely on the slot. If I could have made the bodies out of bronze I'd have just used a screw and a single slot to keep the lifter from falling into the engine.

 

It's interesting that your engine uses a multiple piece cam. They were the preferred method for high-quality engines made in smaller numbers. I'd really like to make one... but as yet I haven't figured out a way to grind the lobes. In period they made a cam grinding attachment for a cylindrical grinder that would do one or two at a time but I've never seen anything buy a drawing - if I ever found one I'd have to buy a grinder too.

 

The rollers on my 1910 REO were hardened and I seem to remember the hardening was breaking up. I know I replaced them. The rollers on the original Mitchell cam followers were hard but badly worn on their pins. Both of the original Mitchell cams I've had in the shop showed a lot of surface degradation. I guess the best solution is to find out how hard the cam is and then make sure the rollers aren't as hard.

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Hello Joe,

The spalling on the cam lobes brings to mind one of the issues with the early Studebaker V8.

Early on they had a lot of issues with damage to the cams. Part of it was lubrication but a large part was the increased

contact load due to increased valve size and weight, and the need for rather stiff springs to keep the whole assembly in

contact at high RPM.

 

I wonder with the large heavy valves and hefty lifter assemblies used on these T-heads  combined with

poor heat treatment if that could be similar though at much lower RPM.

 

On my engine the cams show just a bit of surface damage but the rollers are perfect.

 

 

 

 

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Volvo and Mercedes both had major camshaft problems in the 70s. I was working at a Volvo dealership in those days and I think our service department was replacing 5 or 6 camshafts a week. The mechanics were paid flat rate, under warranty, for a job that was supposed to take all day - if not longer. One of the mechanics figured out a way to replace the cam without taking the engine out. He made his own tools and had the job down to about 2 or 3 hours - he could do 2 or 3 a day. The owner loved it... a person could drop their car off in the morning and pick it up at lunchtime. As a result, he got all the camshaft jobs and made so much money that year that he quit and started his own garage.

 

I hadn't thought about the weight of the reciprocating parts but of course, that is a major issue. All those parts on my car will be substantially lighter than the originals which leads me to wonder if my unhardened rollers may last longer than I anticipated. My guess is I'll never be able to drive the car enough to wear them out. I did make them out of Stressproof - commonly used for gears and other high impact purposes.

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I also wanted to make 8 brass rings to make certain the dowel pins can't move. This is more complicated than it would seem because they need to be 3/8" tall. I had to think about this one but this morning I went in and cut rings that size using the cutoff tool.

 

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All well and good - that was easy.

 

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But, the cutoff tool leaves a small burr on the inside edge and removing it without damaging the rings is a challenge. I have to thank Spinneyhill for the next idea. I was thinking about the split bushing made by holding them together with a hose clamp and decided to make a clamp to hold the rings.

 

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A piece of aluminum bar with a 1-1/2" hole in it... then I milled a slot.

 

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I had planned to use a hose clamp to tighten the clamp but when the slot was milled the piece closed up very slightly so the rings were actually a fairly tight fit.

 

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The clamp held 4 of them so this was another example of taking 2 hours to make the tool and 20 minutes to do the job. With the rings in the clamp, I honed them out with a wheel cylinder hone. The first one fit perfectly.

 

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3 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

I have to thank Spinneyhill for the next idea

Hey, steady on! What could I possibly have said to give you an idea? You're The Master!

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I hadn't thought of using a hose clamp. In the end, I didn't have to but that was the idea when I started. Actually, the hose clamp would have been necessary if I was machining those pieces. As it is, honing doesn't put any appreciable pressure on them.

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This morning I finished up the rings on the lifter housing. Only one had to be tweaked a little so the ring would slide down. Then I had to shorten the dowel pins a little but that was easy.

 

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I then took them out to measure the distance between the holes. I have this neat tool (bought because it was cheap and sounded like a good idea...) a Sorensen center finder. It measures the distance between the centers of two holes.

 

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But... I've never mastered reading old fashioned vernier scales so, while I had a measurement, I wasn't comfortable with my lack of expertise in this area. so, I measured them with my dial vernier caliper - the maximum distance less the diameter of one hole. That should give the same result. The difference between them was small - a spread of .005 so if I aim for the middle and make the holes .010 over, they should fit. I milled my four blocks of aluminum square on one end and also made a "gage" block. Getting all four identical is a challenge so I decided this is one job where I'll make a prototype. If it works, all well and good, If it doesn't, I've only ruined one piece. This is the gage block, using the mill to get the center holes the exact distance apart.

 

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Then they were drilled and reamed.

 

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The gage block is clamped to the workpiece between two angle plates to keep them absolutely parallel. Then I used a transfer punch to locate the holes. I've drilled two of the holes but while doing it I thought that I really should have used a center drill the exact diameter of the hole in the gage for this rather than the transfer punch. It's too late to go back and do it again but I will do that for the next ones. For now, I'll bore the holes in this one and see if it fits.

 

 

 

 

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