JV Puleo

My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project

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Your engine is going to be a way better and more "bullet proof" product when you are done.

Al

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That's the intention in any case...

Actually, I think it will probably develop 25 to 50% more horsepower than it originally did...but that is taking into consideration the usually poor workmanship of the factory.

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Posted (edited)

Today I made these little brass bits to go in the end of the hold-downs. I'd intended to just use washers but these weren't difficult to make and they will center automatically.

 

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The studs are 7/16-14 - something I'd forgotten. I ordered 3/8 acorn nuts for them then ordered 7/16, only to discover that the 7/16 nuts are too big to fit easily between the lifters. They fit but there is no way to get a wrench on them. So, I decided to make special studs. I wasn't able to find what I wanted so I was slated to make them in any case. These will have a 7/16-14 thread on one end and 3/8-16 on the other end. I cut 4 pieces of 12L14 - which threads very well.

 

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When using acorn nuts, it's critical to get the height exactly right otherwise you can't tighten it down properly. I calculated all this and set up my old B&S vernier height gage to take the measurement.

 

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Then machined them all so that they would be identical. I put in the relief for the 7/16 thread before I was called away so I'll get back to this tomorrow or Sunday.

 

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

Just as I was getting ready to leave last night - after I'd posted my days production, the new spring and spring stock arrived. McMaster Carr had a spring in the right dimensions that was weaker so I bought that and some spring stock even lighter in case I had to make one. I put the spring in and tried it and the result was perfect so when I came in this morning I expected no issues at all. I was wrong. When I started the pump, the pressure shot up to 50 lbs and the relief valve didn't seem to be working. I tried several things - removing the spring, removing the piston from the valve and that didn't help so I took the oil filter housing apart and removed the screen. Why that would be a problem I've yet to discover but it did make a substantial difference. Here's the remote pressure gage - you'll notice it doesn't go all the way back to zero. I forget now why but it has been 35 years since I last used this.

 

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With the piston and spring back in and the filter screen removed, I started the pump again. You can just see the oil oozing out of the edges around the "crankshaft" – exactly what it is supposed to do.

 

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Here's the gage....

 

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It held this pressure steadily. I adjusted the pressure by putting a little more compression on the spring which raised it to about 22 lbs on the gage. It held that steadily too and there is more adjustment if I want it. All in all, I call this a success (so far). I will have to figure out what went wrong with the screen but all I can think of is that the output end was somehow blocking the hole into the oil manifold... that's really all it could be as there isn't anything else in there. It's possible that the edge of filter screen is bearing against the O ring I put in to seal it... in fact, I'm pretty sure that is what is happening so I'll address that over the next few days. That's why we test things.

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

That's why we test things.

Is that what they call "prototyping" in management-speak these days?

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Joe, just a thought. Your test oil is currently cold so wouldn’t it’s viscosity be thicker than once the actual engine oil heats up causing the oil to flow easier out of the bearings and lower the oil pressure? Possibly the screen would have less effect with the thinner, hot oil. I don’t personally know much on oiling systems or oil viscosity so my question is meant as an inquiry to learn more rather than any real statement of actual knowledge. (My little disclaimer for ignorance of the subject!)😆 

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Very good point. The dynamic and kinematic viscosity of SAE 30 oil at 90 oC are about 5%  (1/20th) of the value at 20 oC based on these tests.  https://wiki.anton-paar.com/en/engine-oil/.

 

For 0W-30 they are about 8% (1/12th) and for 5W-30 they are about 7% (1/14th). Notice that the viscosity of 0W-30 at 20 oC is about 142 mPa.s vs 239 mPa.s (about 60%) for SAE 30 - clear demonstration of the purpose of the "W" part of the oil viscosity classification.

 

Oh dear, Joe might have to test with hot oil now!

 

 

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I am pretty certain this is purely a mechanical problem...the system worked Friday evening and didn't work on Saturday morning so something moved. I'll have to take it apart but I'm not all that worried that I can arrive at a solution. I had considered heating the oil - and may still do so if I can think of a safe way to do it in the shop but I'm not terribly worried about that test. If I have pressure cold and the pressure is adjustable it stands to reason that it can be adjusted while the engine is running. Chances are, whatever I do as a test it will still have to be adjusted after it's assembled.

 

Fortunately, the test stand has no other use so there is no hurry to take it apart. It can sit on the table for another year or more and not make a difference. That will give me plenty of time to test various tweaks. It doesn't have to come apart until it is time to assemble the engine and it may be a good idea to leave it assembled until then as I can't misplace any of the pieces.

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When I came in this morning I started the pump and tried the pressure adjustment just to make certain it really did work.

It appears to... and I stopped at a reading of 25 lbs. I'll let it run for hours just to make sure.

 

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I'm thinking that another 20 hours running should give me the confidence I want to use this...

I also may have found a paper filter that fits the filter housing. If so, I may change to that but I do like the idea of a cleanable screen rather than a paper filter that may have to be changed. Of course, if the filter lasts 10,000 miles that likely more than the car will ever travel in my lifetime.

 

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The special studs to hold the cam followers down.

 

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Threaded 3/8-16 on one end. It's too out of focus to see properly but that isn't a nut, its a thread repair die. I took it down to very close and ran the die over the threads to get a really uniform thread. It also takes all the burrs off.

 

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Then I turned them around and threaded the other end 7/16-14 - except that I stupidly chipped the point of the threading tool and decided that I'd better quit while I'm ahead and finish this tomorrow.

 

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17 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

It doesn't have to come apart until it is time to assemble the engine and it may be a good idea to leave it assembled until then as I can't misplace any of the pieces.

 

That sounds very sensible. Often, I have put 'stuff' in a safe place, so it doesn't get damaged or lost, and then can't find it! It would be very difficult to mislay the test rig!

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5 hours ago, Mike Macartney said:

 

That sounds very sensible. Often, I have put 'stuff' in a safe place, so it doesn't get damaged or lost, and then can't find it! It would be very difficult to mislay the test rig!

I’m realizing that I need to keep a note book of parts and write down exactly where I store them. My idea is to do it alphabetical with one page devoted to each letter. That should be enough room.

     I was just going crazy looking for the passenger side bell crank pivot pin that mounts on the firewall. I knew I had it but couldn’t remember where. Thought about for a few hours and decided to look at my last option, all the shock linkage that is part of that whole system. Sure enough, in a small zip lock bag, taped to the rod assembly and clearly marked “pivot pin”, was the missing part. So I determined my wife is wrong, I’m not always losing something, I’m putting it away too good and knowing that I put it away properly, relaxes my brain. Problem is because it’s at ease, the memory forgets! I just started with the notebook so it’s going to take a few memory lapses to know if it works! Memory will be sharp as a tack for now on. If I could just remember where I put that notebook!

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I had to build a set of shelves just for the Mitchell parts but if something happened to me it would not be easy to identify everything...

My feeling is that a dismantled project car has a value of zero...almost regardless of what kind of car it is.

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46 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

My feeling is that a dismantled project car has a value of zero...almost regardless of what kind of car it is.

 

I agree, apart from the spares value, but try telling the seller that!

 

Thinking about it - our posts on this forum are actually quite useful for anybody taking on one of our projects 'if we fall off the perch'!

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1 hour ago, Mike Macartney said:

 

I agree, apart from the spares value, but try telling the seller that!

 

Thinking about it - our posts on this forum are actually quite useful for anybody taking on one of our projects 'if we fall off the perch'!

That’s how I got my 31’ Chevy. Owner had passed, left a basket case, and parts in three different buildings. I got the car cheap as no one wanted to touch it. No pictures and no notes were taken but it was 100% complete. What was surprising was most all the chrome had been redone along with a new interior, etc., was in those boxes of parts. Being able to get into the hobby for a fairly reasonable cost and having a very nice complete car when I was done totally “hooked” me. I’m sure if we do fall off the perch mid job, there just might be another who takes it up and gets hooked like we did. At least, it’s all we can hope for.

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Posted (edited)

What leaves me slightly perplexed is that cars are relatively simple machines - at least early ones are, maybe through about 1930. (I have no experience with the late 30s, multi-cylinder cars like the V12's and 16s. The only V12 I've ever worked on was a PIII RR.) Virtually everything is logical. I agree that when surveying a pile of parts you have no idea if everything is there - that is a drawback but from a mechanical perspective they aren't particularly challenging. Reassembling my B&S #2 Heavy milling machine using only the parts manual was far more challenging. I bought it disassembled so I didn't even have the advantage of having taken it apart. The seller was an accomplished machinist and both he and I agreed that it required some thought but that if taken gradually, everything had to go back together in a logical fashion.

 

Based on what I've seen, and Edinmass's comments on high-end restorations, I'd prefer an unrestored car or a basket case even if I could afford a restored car. (And that is out of the question in regard to anything I'd want.) Doing mechanical work on a car that has been painted and upholstered does not appeal to me. When I bought the Mitchell all I was concerned about were the major castings. I couldn't replicate those with the equipment and skills I have. I think the low value assigned to projects is a great advantage to the guy who is willing to do the work but, more often than not, the seller has a grossly unrealistic notion of how much time it takes to assemble a pile of parts into a running car.

 

I hope these posts are useful to others...that was the goal in the first place.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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The four studs finished. Of course, the last two went perfectly. It's too bad I only need four.

 

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I had to open up the holes in the brass insert just a tiny bit with an expansion reamer. I don't use these very often but they do come in handy when you want to open a hole only a few thousandths.

 

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The stud screwed into the crankcase. They will eventually get castellated nuts on the inside to lock them in place.

 

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And I assembled one just to see how it looked.

 

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I also tried switching the hold-downs around just to see if they were interchangeable. They are which is very satisfying. Making interchangeable parts is a lot more difficult than anyone who hasn't done it can imagine. There are very good reasons why it took until the mid 19th century to accomplish.

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Every time I see you assemble something, it brings a smile to my dial. Xclnt work.

 

I remember my father's notebook of things in the garage cum workshop cum shed. It was always in a central position: near the vice. And don't allow just one page per letter - not many things start with "K" for example. I do similar things with my address book, but use pencil so I can update or delete unwanted items. I also did something similar with my parts boxes for the Studebaker: each item in each box is listed.

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Making interchangeable parts is a lot more difficult than anyone who hasn't done it can imagine.

 

Great progress Joe! Interchangeable parts is all about tolerances and understanding that precision only needs to be where its needed to maintain

design intent. There is no such thing as the perfect part. It only needs to fall within the specified minimum and maximum

tolerance.

 

I think a lot of the issues with the early automobile industry and interchangeability was mind set (small volume artisans) and the available tools and techniques of the day.

Remember that the closets industry that approximated the precision required to manufacture a motor was probably the firearms industry

with all its hand fitting. Blueprints and drafting standards including calling out tolerances and fits as well as precision

measuring instruments were in their infancy. Today we take for granted Geometric Dimensions and Tolerances (GD&T) with those wonderful symbols and

reference frames that tell us so much. I believe I read somewhere that machinists at Sharps Rifle didn't work from a set of prints but

by taking measurements of a master model.

 

Its amazing they produced what they produced so well. But then again it was a different age, different work ethic and economics.

 

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I would say firearms and sewing machines.

The first successfully mass produced complicated device with completely interchangeable parts was the M1842 percussion musket. At that point, the Springfield Armory was probably the most advanced manufacturing facility in the world. Quite literally, engineers came from all over the world to see it, including Sir Joseph Whitworth who purchased a large amount of American machinery for the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield. It isn't surprising that Henry Leland worked at the armory during the Civil War and then went on to Brown & Sharpe .

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Finishing the lifters is giving me a chance to correct some errors I made previously. None were "do it over" errors but the more I do this sort of thing the more I think of ways I could have done something better. The first error was to thread the lifters 7/16-14. I was thinking of the exhaust valves for which the adjustment is at the top and neglected to think of the intake valves. You really want a fine thread for that otherwise, it may be a chore to set the valve clearance accurately. I can't take the lifter apart so I experimented with making a sleeve I can insert threaded 1/2-20 ton the outside and 3/8-24 on the inside. Fortunately, this is one of the few jobs I've done where I made a prototype so I have an extra lifter to experiment on.

I made the test sleeve out of threaded rod but may make the finished ones out of brass.

 

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Having decided that would work, I went on with the sockets that will hold the bottom end of the pushrods for the exhaust valves, made from 5/8 hex stock.

 

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Machined to a uniform length of 1-3/4"

 

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The threaded end turned...

 

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And then the socket end...

 

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If I have the time tomorrow, I'll finish these but I have a job to do that may take most of the day.

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Posted (edited)

I see what looks like a musket cap tin on that lower shelf in the bottom two pictures.🧐

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

I think those are revolver caps, probably #11s. I do have 5 tins of musket caps if you need some. I'm not sure how long I've had them - maybe 30 years? I think I have 2 percussion rifles - a converted M1187 Common rifle and a British Volunteer rifle c.1855-60 but it has probably been 10 years since I shot one of them.

 

I should have said percussion rifles that use musket caps. I have a lot more that use smaller caps. Most are converted flintlocks - I'm not too interested in anything made after about 1830.

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

I had one of those frustrating days that, in the end, turned out ok. I went on with the sockets for the pushrods and wanted to try this...

It's an ER32 collet holder for a lathe with a 3MT taper shank. In order to get a flat bottom hole, I wanted to use a center-cutting end mill. I'd done it in the drill chuck but it ran out quite badly. Drill chucks just aren't made for that so I indulged myself in a new tool and bought this.

 

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Unfortunately, the runout was even worse but that was caused by the hex stock not being uniform. I'm sure it's fine for most things but I should have marked one of the flats on the stock and the collet and put it back in the collet the same way each time. I bored three of the holes and, on the third, decided that I had better do this over. It wouldn't have affected how it worked but it would bother me until I fixed it so I might as well do it now.

 

I then did an experiment with another piece of hex stock. this time I faced it off, drilled a center hole, drilled a hole with a regular twist drill 1/64 smaller than the finished size and then bored with the end mill, all without taking the piece out of the collet. This went perfectly - I doubt there was .002 runout in the cutter so that is obviously the way to do it.

 

The day being largely shot, I went on with more experiments. I got one of the new valves out to check how it aligned with the lifters. Not surprisingly, it's doesn't align perfectly. I can adjust for this by making sure the head of the adjustment screw is large enough. I also realized I have to cut the stems down about 1/2" - I think I knew that once but it has been two or three years since I looked at these.

 

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There is also a problem threading the sockets and the adjuster screws in that, with a large head it will be very difficult to get the threading tool in close. So, I dug this out...it is a lathe die holder which is supposed to make it easy to get a perfectly straight thread on a piece by using the lathe to align everything. I've used it twice before without much success but it occurred to me that perhaps I was simply asking too much of it - I think the last piece I tried was 5/8-11 which is really much too big for a tool like this. I tried it here with the 3/8-24 thread. A shallow thread on leaded steel is probably what it's good for because this time it worked brilliantly.

 

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Tomorrow I'll start over but this time I think I know how to go about things.

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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