JV Puleo

My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project

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Joe, as I mentioned in my PM. Most often his clients send him old photos or drawings that they want duplicated. It’s pretty amazing how he does it and it’s actually not much different than mold making as he works in reverse from how you would think it’s done to get the results you see.

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Posted (edited)

That is how scrimshaw was originally done...

 

Having done my experiments, I ordered some 11/16 hex stock last night and I'll go on with the parts I do have the materials for in the meantime. The first item was the four lock nuts for the intake valve adjusters. These are 3/8-24 with an outside measurement of 3/4" across the flats. This is not a size that is made. I cut four pieces of 3/4" hex, 1/2" long and made this little "nut turning" took I thought of last night. It is a piece of 1" bar with a threaded hole and a 3/8-24 cap screw.

 

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I put the pieces of hex in the lathe, faced one side then drill and tapped 3/8-24.

 

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And ended up with these...

 

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Then put the tool in the lathe, screwed the pieces on so the flat face was against the tool and faced it down to .300.

 

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This leaves a burr on the inside edge so I just rant the tap through again.

 

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Having gotten the first one right, I set a stop on the lathe bed and didn't touch the cross slide. Then I screwed on another piece and just the saddle down a little at a time nitil it his the stop. That way all four pieces came out exactly the same thickness.

 

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The last step was to put the little chamfer on the edges. The beauto of this is that you can just take the piece off and put it back without affecting anything.

 

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All done... I suppose that making your own nuts is a bit extreme but brass era cars pre-date the adoption of SAE standards (which came after WWI) so they often have fasteners that are no longer available. It would be much more likely to have to make extra thick nuts but. It's quite easy to do...and adds just another touch of verisimilitude.

 

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I had to stop to take some photos for a book but when I came back I started on the eight threaded sleeves that will go in the lifters. I will turn these on a mandrel so the first order of business was to make a little tool to prevent damaging them when pressing them on and off. It's just another piece of 1" bar with a hole in the center 1/64 larger than 5/16. I cut eight pieces of brass that I faced on one side, drilled and reamed to 5/16.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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I trimmed the 9/16 diameter pieces to 3/4" and drilled and reamed a 5/16 hole in them.

 

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Then turned them down to 1/2". If I had some 1/2" bar I'd have used it although this system is really more accurate.

 

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They were pressed on to the mandrel with my arbor press... I made the base for this press out of an old railroad switch.

 

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I also made an error and ruined one of them so I had to go back and make another - actually I made 3 more. My one consistent superstition is that something will go wrong if I don't prepare for it.

 

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Then they went back in the lathe to be threaded.

 

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Right about this time I realized I'd been really dumb about this. I could have just gotten some 5/16 x 1/2 bushings and saved myself a lot of work. but, of course I didn't think of that until the job was nearly done.

 

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Hello Joe,

What source do you use to the purchase of specialty machine tooling?

Al

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ebay. I think about the only bargains available on ebay are old industrial tooling. Remember, CNC has largely replaced manual machines so tons of the tooling is not wanted any longer. Add to that my machines are so old that none of them can use carbide tooling very well - they just don't spin fast enough. I use high speed steel almost exclusively. This is all stuff that is still available but has dropped out of widespread commercial use. Another very helpful factor is that I have big machines - much larger than the average "home shop machinist" wants or has room for. The bigger machines, which are so much more capable, are usually the cheapest.

 

I've bought some Chinese and Indian tooling. I think the Indian is just a little nicer but I haven't been disappointed in either. That especially true with taps and dies. For some reason, the Chinese are producing a lot of obscure taps and dies - things that would cost a minor fortune if made domestically. It's a "niche" market but I think they are on the way to cornering it. The best domestic supplier I know of is Victor Machine in New York. They also have all sorts of odd taps, dies and reamers and are very reasonable. The only drawback is they have a minimum order of $25 and often I need something that only costs $5 or $10. Probably 90% of the machine accessories I don't make myself are used. Big deal - the car is "used" too and the tools will be as soon as I've had them a week.

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I had intended to burn my brush pile today but it has been too dry and the fire department isn't issuing permits. so, I came into the shop and finished the threaded inserts.

 I drilled and tapped them to 3/8-24/

 

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Then I drilled and tapped the prototype lifter to 1/2-20.

 

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And everything worked.

 

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The actual lifters will be a little more complicated because I have to do those in the 4-jaw chuck. To use a collet, I'd have to remove the rollers and I don't want to do that since the pins are an interference fit.

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I now had to install the threaded inserts in the lifters. There are actually two operations that require disassembling the lifters and they can't be done at the same time.
To avoid having to take them apart twice I made this tray to hold the pieces while I worked on them. The lifter assemblys themselves are interchangeable but I am not confident all the internal parts are so I did not want to mix them up.

 

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I set the lifter up in the 4-jaw chuck so I could leave the rollers in place.

 

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Then drilled and tapped each one and inserted a threaded sleeve with a little high-strength Loctite on it. Because I had to wait 20 minutes to face this off, this took quite a long time.

 

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When those were done, I cut these four little pieces of 1/2" O1 drill rod. These will be the little hardened pads that are soldered into the heads of the intake valve adjusters.

 

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They got faced off to a thickness of 3/8". When they are done, they'll be surface ground.

 

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I also put the lifter housings back in the lathe to take about .100 off the top edge. Now that I have caps for the lifters it's important to make sure that when they are down as far as they can go the caps don't hit the top of the housing.

 

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I put the old camshaft in the engine to check this.

 

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Then went on and did the rest of them.

 

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The material I ordered to make the adjusters and the sockets for the push rods arrived at the end of the day so I'll be on those tomorrow.

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I made the sockets for the push rods today. The first step was to turn one end down to 3/8" and thread it. This lathe threading tool worked a charm. I'd say it really only good for fine threads and even then maybe not larger than 1/2" but for the smaller sizes it's a lot faster than single point threading.

 

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All four done. I did these one at the time to avoid the problem of getting the piece perfectly centered when gripping it by the hex.

 

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Then about half of the other end was turned round. In this case, I gripped it by the threaded portion in a 3/8" collet.

 

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And then set up my jig for drilling to a specific depth. The drill is 1/32 under the finished size.

 

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With that done, I did the same thing with a 1/2" end mill held by an ER32 collet. This worked so perfectly that the runout I'd expected to make the push rods fit easily in the holes didn't happen. Now I'm going to have to polish the ends of the push rods.

 

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I finished up around 4:30 and didn't feel like starting on the intake valve adjusters...there is time for that tomorrow.

The push rod is 1/2" aluminum rod with a 3/8" low profile cap screw in the bottom end so that the bearing surface will be steel rather than aluminum.

 

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Joe,  I simply do not recall, did you have an original lifter to base some of your design on or is your design strictly your creation?  I am very impressed with your outcome.  I am certainly in amazed at the thought that you have put into your design and they will, without doubt, be better that the original units and last longer also.  You probably do not want to but you could go into the business of custom lifters for the brass era cars!  You have my vote of confidence!

Al. 

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Posted (edited)

I did have the originals. They had cast iron bodies, were very heavy, not very well made and quite worn. They also included some features that PM Heldt disapproved of as not being the best engineering. I gave the set to a friend who is restoring another Model T Mitchell and is much more concerned with "exactly as made" than I am. He had a couple of originals so I'm hoping he can make a workable set from them. They may have been rebuildable but I think that would have been more work than making new ones. My goal here is to eliminate as much valve train noise as I can - Henry Royce once commented that he didn't have to enclose the lifters on the SG because all the parts fit so well they didn't make noise - though I have to say that SG lifters are much simpler. I have an unused one but it wasn't practical to adapt the design to the Mitchell. I took the measurements I used from the originals, adding some height to them because I had no idea how to make the caps. Its only recently that an idea came to me - in any case, you can remove material but it's pretty difficult to add it so slightly oversize is good when you are flying half blind like this. The hold-downs are entirely my design - in this case to come up with a way of securing them in alignment with the cam without using the pin holes. I am certain those holes were drilled with the lifters in place but I'd have to calculate where to drill them in the lower rim of the lifter body and, given the "flexible" nature of Mitchell measurements, that would be a daunting task.

 

As to making them for another car, even now, after I've done it and feel comfortable with the process the cost would likely be astronomical.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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This is a Silver Ghost lifter... it came from a box of miscellaneous parts a friend bought from the estate of the late Henry C. Wing. Wing was one of the original members of the RROC.

 

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Here are the intake valve adjusters all threaded, It was the same procedure as done with the push rod sockets but the threads are longer.

 

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Then the adjusters were drilled to a uniform depth, 1/64 smaller than 1/2"

 

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I reduced the height and "reamed" them with a 1/2" end mill. This gives it a flat bottom hole. When that was done I reduced the height further, to 3/8". Here they are with their inserts. Tomorrow I'll trim the inserts down about 1/8", harden them and solder them in place. Then all that is left is to put a little chamfer on the edges of the hex section.

 

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I also have to make a fixture to hold all four in the grinder so I can surface grind them but we'll see if I get to that.

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Joe, I have lost track, how many separate individual pieces make up your new lifters?  What a task and to keep them mostly interchangeable?  That is a daunting task!

Al

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Posted (edited)

Oddly enough I was wondering that myself. I'll count them and let you know. As to keeping them interchangeable, it's all a matter of machining the parts in fixtures. I am certain the complete lifter assemblies are interchangeable. I only have reservations about the internal parts - the lifter itself and the body. Those were individually lapped to each other so while they should be interchangeable I don't see any reason to mix the parts up. Once assembled for the final time it is very unlikely they will ever be taken apart again. This is no different from the better quality work of the period. Final hand fitting was taken for granted if you wanted a really perfect fit. That is why Henry Leland won the Deware Trophy  - until then it wasn't even presumed that finely fitted parts could be made to such close tolerance by machine. If you allow greater tolerances, as most makers of lesser quality automobiles did, interchangeability was readily achievable.

 

I did have a thought based on one of your posts. The Mitchell is almost exactly the same size as your Locomobile, The engine is about 300 cubic inches (really 298) - it even has a full floating rear axle. Essentially, I have the same number of parts doing the same things but the original price of the Loco was at least twice, if not three times that of the Mitchell. It was the precise fitting and attention to small details that made the Loco such a superior machine.

 

EDIT: It is very common to see little numbers or marks on various parts - those were assembly numbers, used to put things back together as they had come apart when it was necessary to disassemble things for another operation. I'd very much like to disassemble a Loco engine because I am curious about what degree of uniformity they achieved and how they did it.

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

I counted. Not including fixtures, fasteners and pins (which I did not make), I made a total of 104 separate parts.

I started the day by taking the inserts down to .250 and the adjusters to a thickness of just over .300. I also put a slight chamfer on the edges.

 

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Then I hardened the inserts. The trick is to heat them bright red - until they are no longer magnetic and then drop them in oil. The MAP gas didn't work - or at least I didn't have the patience to wait for it so I used acetylene. The first one went right through the bottom of this plastic container so I had to find a metal one. but after that it went smoothly.

 

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Then I soldered the inserts into the adjusters. Like all these jobs, there is a technique to it so it took me longer to do the first one than the remaining three.

 

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All cleaned up.

 

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This will be a fixture to grind all the tops flat at once.

 

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That went without a hitch though it is interesting how un-flat things are when you put them in the grinder and take them down .001 at a time.

 

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And one pair assembled as they will be on the finished engine. I think these parts are actually FINISHED!

 

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Now I have to get back to sorting out the oil pump.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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Wonderful work Joe, your posts give me the courage and enthusiasm to have a go at stuff I haven't done before. Keep up the excellent work. (Sorry, I didn't mean to sound like a school teacher writing an end of term report!)

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Hello Joe,  One of these days I need to invest in a surface grinder!  The lifters can now be put to bed while you get on with other aspects of the Mitchell resurrection.

Al

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I imagine that would be a good deal more difficult in rural Utah than here in New England. I actually have two of them. The one you see in the pictures is really worn out - built in 1925 and probably run 24 hours a day all through WWII. I've never even tried running the power feeds but for car work it's an extremely useful tool once in a while. You don't use it much but every so often it is very useful. My other one is 10,000 serial numbers newer, built in 1945 but I had to dismantle it to move it and haven't put it back together.

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I accomplished nothing over the weekend - but I did go to my once-a-year local car show. The "show" was a waste of time but I do have to admit that the disc jockey seemed to have toned down the volume - or maybe my hearing is failing. This morning I went back to the oil pump and bored out the housing for the filter. When I dismantled it last week the only thing I could see that might be impeding the flow was the clearance between the filter screen and the housing so I bored the housing out a little.

 

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This seems to have done the trick. Here it is running...

 

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I also put the antique oil pressure gauge back on to see how it read. I bounces very slightly at about 13 lbs.

 

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There are still a few minor leaks in the system I have to contend with. I ran it for about an hour and a half with no changes but I'll run it longer tomorrow to see if anything changes.

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Joe, I am sure if you had taken your working oil pump test rig to the local car show it would have created a lot more interest than some of the cars! 

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Wowzer... the red Dykem on the boring bar sure looked like blood when I first glanced at it!!!   Great work on the pump, I love being able to live vicariously through your work while I'm on the road and otherwise away from the shop. 

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Joe,

Another good aspect of your Mitchell done or mostly!  Your great grand dad sure had a creative side to him!

Al

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We lived with my grandmother until I was 15 and then, some years later, she came to live with us so I had plenty of opportunity to listen and learn. She was born in 1893 so she was an adult at the time of WWI. As a result, I have an unusual frame of reference - many things that even people my own age think of as "antique" were commonplace in our house.  I suspect one of the reasons we got on so well was that she saw me as a throwback to her father.

 

I ran the pump for 6 hours today, all without a hitch. I think I'll address the leaks now even if they aren't critical. I also started on the water pump - revising my drawing and making changes as I went. I don't think I have everything I need but I thought I'd start in any case. The first part is the part that attached the pump to the engine. It was drilled and reamed to 1-1/4".

 

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Then I turned one end down to 1-9/16 and threaded it. This will screw into one side of the pump but the actual thread measurement isn't critical since once it goes together it should never come apart. This is an exercise in machining pieces that would have been cast at the time.

 

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Then I turned it around and bored it to thread 1-3/8 - 16. The thread will hold a plug that keeps the seal in. I'm cheating here and using modern shaft seals rather than rope packing. There are a number of reasons for that but the primary one is that I would like it to be leak free...something I've never accomplished with the old style pump packing.

 

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I started the thread in the lathe but a tap this big, even in aluminum, requires a lot of torque so, when it had started, I moved it over to the 3-jaw chuck I use on the rotary table.

 

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Here's the piece finished.

 

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This is where it goes on the car. I don't have the top half of either of these clamping points. I do have castings I made a long time ago but installing them and then line boring the water pump / magneto shaft is a job that will have to wait for the time being. I wlll make a split bushing to go over the end of the pump so the clamp will hold it tightly. I only thought of that a week ago. It allows me to make the entire pump without having to wait until the line boring is done.

 

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Having finished the first side, I started on the second. This is made the same way but is 3" in diameter because this is the end the water will enter.

 

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Threaded to fit into the end plate.

 

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the other end counterbored and threaded.

 

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The two ends finished. I think I'll cut the water passage later, after the ends have been screwed into their plates.

 

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Then I set up one of the end plates. these are oversize in every dimension because they have to be finish machined after the ends are fitted. The plate is 7" in diameter but will only be 6" when finished. The extra diameter made it much easier to bore and thread because it moved the jaws of the chuck further apart.

 

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Threaded to fit the end piece. I made an error when I cut the thread on the end, making it slightly too small so I recalculated the size of the hole. I've ended up with a 2.850-20 thread which is totally unorthodox but, since these pieces will never come apart once assembled, it doesn't matter.

 

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I had some trouble fitting this one. The threads galled when I screwed it together so I had to take two more spring cuts with the threading tool. thankfully, I was careful to leave it set up and just ran the saddle down the lathe to get it out of the way. I used a lathe dog and the expanding arbor to hold the center from the inside and avoid marking up the exterior surface.

 

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When I had it threading in correctly I set up the other end plate. It is practically impossible (for me at least) to put a piece back in the lathe and have it perfectly flat. For that reason, I left the extra thickness and tool a couple of light cuts on the surface. You can just see how it's cutting on one side and not the other in this picture... the total amount is only about .020 but by facing it and then threading it without taking it out of the chuck I can be certain the threads will be perpendicular to the face.

 

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I almost had enough time to do the other end plate but decided I was too tired and was bound to make an error so I set it up and will go on tomorrow.

 

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This morning I finished threading the second end plate.
 This one went without a hitch.

 

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Then I screwed the end pieces into the plates using this hardening thread sealer called Gasolia. Forum member Trimacar mentioned this in a thread a long time ago and I was taken by the really old fashioned trade name. I suspect it has been around since near the beginning of the 20th century. In any case, I want to seal the threads and, since these parts will never be disassembled that fact that it hardens is only a plus.

 

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I used a lathe dog and the expanding arbor to grip it so I could screw it in tight.

 

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The next step was facing the plates off to 1/2" thick. By doing this while the entire part is gripped by the inside surface of the piece I can be certain that the faces are perpendicular to the water pump shaft.

 

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I now have to turn the finished outside diameter and I have to do both pieces together on a mandrel so that the inside and outside diameters will be concentric. I thought I had what I needed but it appears I've made those fixtures into something else so I'll have to make new ones.

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Posted (edited)

Pressing on with the water pump, I have to turn down the OD from 7" to 6" and I have to do that so that both pieces are absolutely concentric. I also have to drill and tap holes in the outside edge and I want those to be concentric with the center as well. I drilled out a piece of 1-1/4" ground stock to go inside the two water pump halves so I could turn them together.

 

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This piece will hold both pieces concentric but to keep it in place I made the end caps that will, eventually, retain the seals.

The finished size is about 1/2" thick. I started with two pieces 3/4" thick. These are too small to hold accurately in the chuck and indicate so I indicated the larger bar they were cut from being careful to loosen and tighten the same two jaws when I put the small pieces in. This isn't a perfect way of doing it but since they will be machined on all faces the fact that it runs out about .010 is inconsequential.

 

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I turned them down from 1-1/2 to 1-38, faced the ends and threaded them 1-3/8-16.

 

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Then removed the thread from the lower 1/4 of each plug. This is because the tap can't go to the bottom of the hole so the threads are only in there part way. I should have about 1/4" of thread. With a pitch of 16 per inch that gives me 4 turns to tighten this piece - more than enough to hold the seal in.

 

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I will have to drill holes through these pieces for a spanner and I may have to make the spanner as well - at least I can't find one cheap enough to feel like buying it.

The center holes are reamed so the pieces would work with the expanding arbor. When they are done I'll open them up a tiny bit as I don't want them to bear on the water pump shaft. I didn't bother with left and right hand threads so I don't want the shaft to exert any pressure on them. also, threaded like this, they are almost certainly not perfectly concentric with the shaft.

 

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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