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My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project


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I've thought of that but I have just about zero welding skills nor do I have a TIG machine. I did visit the local welder I've used on other things but they thought the crack was too long and would just crack again. I've no idea if they have they have a TIG welder. It looks to me as if most of their work is architectural so maybe not. I also tried another local welder some time ago  - they were ok but in the end I made the part over from scratch to avoid welding altogether. The heat treating guy said it should be welded...the welder said it should be brazed. In all, I haven't had much luck consulting "professionals". It may be that this sort of stuff is too fussy for any of them to be bothered with. I can understand that but it gives me a real appreciation of how difficult it must be to work on a project car if you are at the mercy of outside suppliers.

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Hi Joe, the repair of the cast iron interested me, as years ago, when Janes dad had a specialist welding company, he gave me some stick welding rods that were used for building up damage on ships propellers, I think they were bronze rods, but I am not 100% sure. They worked well on a cracked engine cylinder block I had. Out of interest in your cracked casting problem I had a search on the the internet and found this video on repairing a cracked cast iron skillet. I know you don't have a TIG welder but you may know a man who has.

 

The video is rather annoying with the adverts that can be skipped but it is worth a watch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lpeNk0kF3Tg

 

Mike

 

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Thanks Mike. Unfortunately, I don't know anyone who can be thought of as an "artistic" welder - meaning he's attracted to difficult and fussy work. I'm reasonably confident I can silver braze the crack...the real challenge is cooling it off slowly after the brazing and I think I've come up with a solution since I don't have an electric heat treating furnace. I do have a small pottery kiln but I'm not sure that is needed since it won't be reaching welding temp. I also read up on silver brazing in an Oxy-Acetyelene text book I inherited from my late cousin George - who's the person I'd be asking about this if he were still with us...Now I'm  waiting for the silver brazing rods...

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While waiting on material for the White and the Cadillac water pumps I've been making some tools I will eventually need. First up is a fixture to turn the radiused ends on the spring shackles. I've done this before with a file on the rocker arms but that was in aluminum. It was tedious and I'm not completely satisfied with the result (although I have to admit that, going back and looking at them, I no longer notice the flaws.) I centered this block of aluminum and milled a slot...

 

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Then flipped it over, drilled for a 1/2-13 thread and counterbored the hole to 1-1/2". This is so that I can mount it on the rotary table with the threaded hole directly over the center.

 

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A 5/8" shoulder bolt goes in the holes and gets screwed down tight against the fixture. The fixture is attached to the rotary table with a bolt at the back and the counter bore on the centering fixture I use to mount the chuck on the rotary table.

 

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With that done, I'm thinking about the rear axle seal. This is the seal holder - a felt seal was pinned in place by those little projections. This is actually quite important because the seal keeps the gear oil in the differential and prevents it from running down the axle to the brakes. As far as I've been able to find there is no modern seal that will work here...

 

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Because the holder snaps over the end of the axle tube. A felt seal is ideal for this purpose because there is no pressure and the oil has a high viscosity but making something to replace this is a challenge. I'm pretty much stuck with replicating the original design so I plan to make a die to press a seal holder. Making the seal itself is another problem but I've a plan for that as well. This is one of those small but very important jobs that simply isn't easy to do...one of the reasons I've put off thinking about it for a long time.

 

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There is very little room to work with as the bearings that support the ring gear have to fit in the large area...they are another major headache but I've got some coming that I think I can modify so that everything will fit. One saving grace is that the full-floating axle does not have to be aligned perfectly with the end of the tube...it probably wasn't to begin with.

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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This piece of steel will be the lower die for pressing the seal holders.

 

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With a 1-1/2" hole in the center...

 

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And counterbored to 3" + .064 to accommodate the thickness of the sheet metal (.030) plus .002. It's about 2/3 done in this picture but I have to pick some things up on the way home so I'll finish it tomorrow. Also, the material came in to re-make the water pump shafts for the White so I'll get on to that as soon as this is finished. With any luck they should be done by the time Ed gets back from his tour.

 

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The counterbore taken out to the finished size. I made this deeper than the finished size so my telescoping gauges I measure the inside with would work...if it was too shallow they wouldn't go in far enough.

 

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Then it was faced off to the proper depth...about .250" with a little chamfer on the inside edge.

 

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Then on to an expanding arbor to get the bottom flat.

 

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And the outside turned to get it perfectly round. This material doesn't machine all that well for me but this is a case where the finish isn't all that important.

 

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This is the basic lower die. It still needs to get some holes drilled but I'm putting this aside to make the needed White parts. I did figure out what I did wrong...I wrote down a measurement incorrectly. The flats for the set screws in the impeller should be 3.75" from the end of the shaft and for some unaccountable reason I wrote 2.75...so I made them according to the drawing but I'd made a mistake on that. 'Ive always had a problem with numbers!

 

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Interesting to see that the felt seal is fitted to the side away from the bearing. Perhaps there is an abuttment inside the axle case which is not easily seen in the photo? If not, the felt could come away from the four little tabs and walk off down the axle. A length of threaded rod might facilitate fitting the seal carrier, as it is only pressed sheetmetal, and no great force would be required. Please forgive me if I am missing something in the photos, as I often do.

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This is a case where the axle was intact when I got it so I know the felt was on the side away from the bearing. The little prongs seem to have held it well enough - the other seal is also there and all that can be said of them is that the felt is badly worn and dried out. The seal holder fits over then end of the axle tube so it can' move. That is why it's critical to get an exact measurement on the ID of the cupped part. The seals wouldn't work now but probably worked well enough in period. In any case, I'm going to rivet the felt to the seal holder so I'm sure it won't come off...and that is easier than punching those little prongs.

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I've been having the inevitable troubles with the post office this week. I ordered some bearings to use in the Mitchell rear axle. Last Thursday, according to the tracking information, they were delivered. Except, they weren't. On Saturday I stopped at the post office...they didn't know what to make of it as our building is not very close to any other but they did say they'd look into it. I wasn't optimistic but this morning the box showed up - along with another package, also supposedly delivered on Thursday, that I'd forgotten about. These are heavy duty Torrington roller bearings. I'll use two on each side of the ring gear to replace the Hyatt bearings. Some machine work will be required but it should be very straight forward and these are far better than the originals. While I'm not fond of ebay I've found that this sort of thing is often available at very good prices...the new price for these is about $60 each. I paid $22 each for 4 of them...new, still in their boxes.

 

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The real work today was making the replacement water pump shafts for the White to correct the error I made the first time around. Because I cut the notches for the impeller set screws where the packing will go I have to make the entire shaft. It's fairly straight forward but this time, since I had the original shaft at hand, I used it to set the compound to cut the taper. The idea here is to use the indicator on the tapered section adjusting the compound so that when it advances the indicator does not move. It took a little time but I got it to the point of literally no movement at all so I'm certain the taper is right and probably a little more accurate than I was able to do calculating it the last time.

 

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I then turned the tapers working up close to the spindle to minimize the amount of run-out...which, in this case, is virtually nil. Since there is no power feed to the top half of the compound this has to be done by moving the tool in manually.

 

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They did come out quite good. I need two...I'm making three in case I make an error. My thinking is that if I don't need the extra one I've only wasted about 1-1/2" of material but I've gained peace of mind knowing that I'm unlikely to have to go back and do something over.

 

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JV:

 I just finished my 3rd waterpump shaft for 1925 Buicks. I made one to replace the one from my spare parts engine. I did use it just to swap out the one from my 1925 Standard. A lot of carefull work that was for naught since I was not able to line ream the new bushings. Final effect.... seized bearing on shaft spinning in the housing which took out the fiber timing gear down stream!DSCF8105.thumb.JPG.a2b21d3c2520596adaa205b75499389b.JPG  DSCF8104.thumb.JPG.f174bf8f7c8d0f61322210debfa5ecc9.JPG

I re-did that pump and it has been running cool and without drips! Lesson learned.

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 I also made another Standard shaft to rebuild the pump that came from my car.

 The last one is for my 1925 Master. I picked up a spare pump from a parts pile I bought. Thinking that I would rebuild that pump and swap out like I did with the Standard pump. The vanes on the impellor were torn off and it had spun on the shaft work hardening where the taper pins holding it were located. A real bear to pull off so I could use the shaft for layout transfer.DSCF8110.thumb.JPG.6212f2d6b71da996476ecf7aac364416.JPG

Now broken impellor on the left. Standard on the right.

 A spare 1924 pump impellor was used to make a pattern to have the impellors cast in brass.

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Line reaming the spare Standard pump.

 Now I just have to cut the woodruff key seats.

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

Excellent work. I don't think many people grasp how much is involved in a job like this. I notice the Buick has straight vanes on its impeller. I used the same design for the vanes on the pump I made for the Mitchell though in my case it was because I couldn't figure out how to make curved ones! It turns out that straight vanes will give you a slightly increased water pressure or vanes curved away from the direction of flow which seems to be the most common in these early cars.

 

I have the same set of pilot reamers but I think that lapping with a ground shaft gives a better surface...

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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This morning I drilled the holes for the cotter pins...it's a lot easier when you already have the fixture.

 

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Then I set out to remove the bad shaft. Because Ed was doing the final assembly he used Loctite on the threads and I have to get the little projection in the center of the gear out in order to press the shaft out. You have to heat Loctite to 600 degrees to make it release and, for obvious reasons I'm being extremely careful with this gear so rather than use the torch I set it up on this little propane burner. It took about 2 hours to come up to temperature but it's completely safe regarding the gear itself...you can't melt steel with a propane burner. It does discolor, turning blue, but that can be cleaned off and it won't do the gear any harm.

 

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After I unscrewed the nose piece and the set screws I let it cool and while that was happening I set up the mill to cut the key seats.

 

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I did a test...and then went back to the gear to press the old shaft out.

 

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That .0005 press fit I used worked perfectly...it was all the press could press do to get it out - which is exactly the way it was planned. I suspect it would work without the set screws but with them the finished unit is effectively one piece. I'd hoped to finish up today but it looks as if that will be tomorrow...all this took longer than I'd estimated but there isn't anything new about that!

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Great progress..........the “Great White” has a date with the public coming up fast............but I promised Joe no “pressure”, so I patiently await its completion. Not mentioning that hundreds of people will be disappointed if I don’t have the car at the show in a few weeks. 🤫

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Trimmed to length and the key seats cut...

 

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Then the notches for the set screws that hold the shaft in the gear.

 

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And measuring to make sure I put the notches for the impeller in the right place this time.

 

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All this went smoothly a;though it still took longer than I'd thought it would...

Last is pressing a shaft into the gear.

 

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Its now all packed up to go back to Ed so I hope I'm off the hook for keeping the Great White from the next show.

 

 

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The White parts went by FedEx about 1 PM...I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they are right this time. I did get to compare my new gear to the original - which I hadn't been able to do since I didn't have the original when I made it - and I thought it quite satisfactory. I'm relaxing by making something simple, the forming die for the rear axle seals. I have two minor things to find before I silver solder the Cadillac water pump but I may get that done over the weekend so things now seem to be coming together.

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Looking forward to having the White roadworthy again...........makes me nervous to have a sorted car downed for even a day or two. Have friends visiting this weekend from Long Island..........they won’t get a ride in the White.........so it will be the Stearns Knight Brunn.............Joe, thanks for the fast turn around. 👍👍👍

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Thanks Bob. That was the idea from the beginning. I've gotten many good ideas from the responses to these posts...

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19 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

Thanks Bob. That was the idea from the beginning. I've gotten many good ideas from the responses to these posts...

 

Yep, this thread constantly teaches and illustrates the value of breaking down a problem, building tools to fix it and if doesn't work finding another way until it does work.  In today's world it really stands out as what people _should_ be doing. :)

 

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Thanks Jeff...there is no other way for many of us....

I really shouldn't be doing rear axle seals now...but it is a job that will have to be done eventually so I'm not certain it makes much difference what order I do them in.

I spent most of yesterday and today making fixtures...This will be part of the forming die and the fixture to make the sheet metal discs the seals will be formed from. It's 1-1/2 OD with a 3/4 hole reamed in the center.

 

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This one will be the upper half of the die. It's 3" OD with a 1-1/2 hole in the center.

 

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This is two pieces of 1/2" aluminum, 4" square. I need to put a 1-1/2 hole in the center so to avoid doing it twice I'm bolting the pieces together.

 

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Then into the lathe to drill, bore and ream. These will be turned round so only the hole is critical.

 

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This is the "kit" for making the sheet metal discs. The metal is some 20 ga. galvanized I happened to have. I put the 1-1/2 hole in the center with a Greenlee hole punch and, in the process learned that there are two typed. The commonly seen ones are for pipe and tubing and the sizes are pipe sizes...which means the ID of the pipe so they do not punch a hole in the size they are marked. The other type are called "Radio Chassis punches", presumably because that's what they were originally used for, but with those the marked size is the actual size of the hole.

 

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I wish I could think of a better way of doing this...it works, but its very tedious. Here's everything bolted together like a metal sandwich. The aluminum keeps the pieces of sheet metal straight and flat but it's a real headache to turn because the edges want to catch on the turning tool. Generally, the first hour is spent making cuts of .010 or .015. As it gets closer to round, it gets easier because there is less flex in the sheet metal. I should have knocked all the corners off first...that would have helped quite a bit and if I do it again, I'll do that first.

 

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I did discover that if I fed the lathe backwards, away from the head stock rather than toward it, it worked better. Notice the shape of the cutting tool...feeding in from the slanted edge seemed to allow me to take a deeper cut. The finish isn't great but that's unimportant until I get it round and close to finished size.

I'd hoped to finish these today but my back hurts and I have an errand to run. I'll try to finish tomorrow but I've an apointment to get the Covid vaccine at 2PM which pretty much interrupts the entire day. They are close to round now so the worst is over.

 

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9 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

. . . . in the center with a Greenlee hole punch and, in the process learned that there are two types

 

And I thought I knew about these hole punches. I never realised there were different types. Since my personal lockdown I have been selling some of my workshop 'stuff' including hole punches. I was very surprised with the prices they made on eBay, selling them individually. So, when I have seen 'job lots' of these hole punches for sale, I have bought them, and then sold them individually. The problem is, with the spare time I have on the computer, the more bargains I seem to find, and the items to sell increases rather than decreases! Thanks for the hole punch information I will check the sizes before I list them at the size that is marked on them. Thanks Joe, for yet another useful snippet of information. Mike

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I didn't know either until only a few days ago. I would never have thought to search for "radio chassis punch" when looking for one so it's really useful.

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After getting my Covid vaccine I came into the shop for the tail end of the day...

I finally got the piece I was turning round.

 

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And turned it down to the finished size...at the last minute I added .025 to the diameter so now they are 3.425

 

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Then took the fixture apart and they look good.

 

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The lathe is a mess though. I'll come in tomorrow, clean it up and do some more work on the forming dies. I certainly hope all this works!

 

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Posted (edited)

Between Sunday and today I made a lot of progress with the axle seals...

First up was drilling some holes in the upper and lower section of the die. These will be guide holes for the screws that will attach the felt seal and threaded holes for 5/16 cap screws needed to press the pieces apart. I used the dividing head for this since it's easier to set up than the rotary table and quite a bit more accurate.

 

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I can't actually go through the die because the holes are too close to the arbor and the spacers under the die that keep it from sliding down so I'm putting in center holes. The center holes in this piece serve two purposes...to locate the actual hole and to provide a recess that will eventually be the countersink for flat head macine screws.

 

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I finished the small holes with my smaller, and much faster, drill press.

 

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Then drilled out and threaded the larger holes...and on the first one, broke a tap in the hole. I very rarely do that and, fortunately, enough was left sticking up that is was relatively easy to remove. The piece is too thick for the taps I have and, while I was able to finish threading the hole, I went on to the other half of the die and did that. then I put this piece in the lathe and reduced the thickness – which isn't important to its function.

 

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I used a knitting needle to align the two halves through the small holes and added a register mark.

 

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And then opened up the holes in the bottom half to 3/16. These are only for clearance so they can be a bit larger than the drill guides.

 

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And then it was time to see if it would work. I set it up in the press...

 

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And, it seemed to work just fine.

 

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I took it out of the press and used the small drill press to put 4 holes in the seal carrier.

 

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Then used these two cap screws to press the die apart.

 

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Turning the upper half of the die upside down, I put a chamfer on the holes. This will provide an burr in the inside that will bury itself in the felt and a countersunk surface for the machine screws.

 

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I used the cap screws again to remove the carrier from the upper half of the die. This was the only fly-in-the-ointment because it bent the sheet metal a bit but I was able to flatten it by putting it back in the press.

 

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And, the real test. Does it fit? Thankfully, it did. Just tight enough to press on to the axle tube without being loose.

 

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So, I went on and made a few more. I've two more to press and then I'll see if I can make the seals.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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On 3/4/2021 at 9:47 PM, JV Puleo said:

Thanks Bob. That was the idea from the beginning. I've gotten many good ideas from the responses to these posts...

Joe, you do a fantastic job chronicling your work! 
I really do enjoy this thread. Thanks for sharing! 

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

I made the felt seals today...

To cut them I bought a set of cheap Chinese hole saws to make into seal cutters. I did this years ago making patches for my muzzle loaders but I've never tried to make something this big or  concentric holes.

 

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I turned the teeth off, but a bevel on the edge and sharpened them by holding them in an electric drill and turning them against the belt on my belt sander. It isn't perfect and they do run out more than I'd like but overall it worked rather well.

 

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The small one worked better than the big one. The piece of 1/4 hard felt is held down with the nails (I couldn't find my thumb tacks) and the board clamped to the table. The idea is to do both holes without the felt moving. Your can see the large cutter at the lower right.

 

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I cut the center out and then the OD.

 

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And tried it on a piece of 1-3/8 shafting - the size of the axle shafts.

 

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I then made 3 more...

 

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As frequently happens to me, in the course of making these I came up with what I think is a much better way of doing it so while I'll finish these and put them on the shelf, there is a good chance I won't use them. I can't make the part I thought up until I have more measurements and for that I need to partly reassemble the rear end. I'm certain these will work but I question how well they worked even when new...

 

The last step before assembling the seals is 4 little holes in each one and those also have to be perfectly concentric with the inside measurement so I'm making an additional piece to go with the pressing die.

 

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

Here's the little piece I made to align the seals... 1-1/2 turned down to 1-3/8 and the whole piece just short enough so that I can squeeze the felt without hitting it.

 

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I used the table of the mill as a surface because I could clamp everything down.

 

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The piece of shafting in the center aligns everything...it's actually the water pump shaft for the Cadillac.

 

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I tried punching the holes with a sharpened knitting needle but the felt was just too hard so I ended up using a 1/8" drill.

 

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These are 5-40 brass screws, I was goin g to rivet it but couldn't find copper rivets with a small enough head. The head of the screws fits the countersink perfectly.

 

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Then washers and nuts on the inside.

 

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I need to trim the ends of the screws and peen them over but I forgot my rivet sets at home this morning.

 

All this only took an hour so I found myself thinking about doing something else. I should pick up the last piece I need for the Cadillac water pump job tomorrow but, as that is a really fussy job, I may leave it for Saturday when there will not be any interruptions. Another piece I will eventually need are the radius rods that connect the frame to the rear axle. The originals are very rusty and both are bent, one much more so than the other. I bought some heavy wall tubing to replace them and I have to make the ends. The original was adjustable on one end with a 3/4-11 thread, the end having to be turned a full turn for each adjustment so the smallest adjustment you can make is about .090. I have so little faith in the Mitchell company having put this chassis together in anything like a precise fashion that I'm going to make the rods infinitely adjustable by using a 3/4-16 thread with a RH thread on one end and a LH thread on the other. To do that I have to make 2 threaded sleeves for each rod and the lock nuts to fit them since the commercially available nuts in that thread aren't big enough. I thought I'd collected all the materials but when I started on them I found I hadn't...so this is going to be another adventure in doing what I can while I wait for stuff to arrive.

 

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

Today I picked up a piece of 1/4" plate that I'll use on the propane heater to pre-heat the Cadillac water pump ... and got lost in Warwick, RI - a part of the state I make every effort to avoid. With only partial materials for about 3 projects I decided to try an make the threaded sleeves that will go in the ends of the radius rods. I had some 7/8 ground stock - perhaps overkill but I will ream the ends of the tubes and I'd like a tight press fit. The get drilled out to 11/16

 

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Then the thread started in the lathe. The sleeves are 2-1/2" long.

 

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Threading a deep hole like this is practically impossible for me on the lathe so this was just to get the tap in deep enough to be sure it was straight. When it was in about 1/2" I moved over to the mill where I'd set up the chuck I use on the rotary table. By holding the piece in the chuck I could make use of this big tap wrench. It isn't fast, but it does get the job done. I've made the two left hand thread sleeves and tomorrow I'll make the RH sleeves.

 

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Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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I consider all this drilling to be boring!🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 sorry, couldn’t help myself. Great work as always Joe. Your thread is the first one I look at when I come to the forums.

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I think so too. I spent the week mostly on planning and relaxing by doing things that weren't tension inducing...but it's all come to an end  because tomorrow I'm all set up to silver solder the Cadillac water pump casting. There are times when I wonder why I do this. It would be so much easier to watch TV and drink beer as seems to be generally expected at my age. I'm reminded of a comment from a friend that has known me his entire life, when his wife asked "doesn't Joe like entertainment?" he replied "sure, he just has a unique notion of what entertainment is."

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4 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

. . . . when his wife asked "doesn't Joe like entertainment? . . . .

 

I think the answer is Joe is an entertainer - he sure entertains me with his posts. Every morning I look forward to viewing Joe's posts and am disappointed when there is no post. Thank you Joe.

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Posted (edited)

 

Silver soldering the crack...I've no idea if this is going to work. I've never done it before so we'll have to see how well it works.

The set up...A piece of 1/4" plate on the propane burner...the flower pots were an I idea I took from Greg, who mentioned using fire bricks. The idea is to create a closed space that will allow the piece to cool slowly. There are two flower pots with a layer of fiberglass insulation between them.

 

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The silver solder is this Harris Saftey-Silv... 45% silver with a lilquidus temperature of about 650 degrees.

 

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The final cleaning of the crack was done with this Brake clean, an idea I took from the video Mike M posted. It is absolutely CRITICAL to use the Non-Clorinated type. If you use the clorinated brake cleaner you'll get phosgene gas...one of the deadly gasses that were a product of WWI.

 

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I drilled the end of the crack.

 

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And "V'd" it as much as I dared. The casting is thin so I couldn't be too aggressive here.

 

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Then it went on the burner to heat up to about 400-450 degrees. The instructions call for a minimum of 350 but all I have is one of those infra-red heat guns so I decided to er on the conservative side. I've no pictures doing it. Working alone it was all I could do to handle the torch and the silver...I'm not thrilled with the way it looks but it does seem to have stuck and wicked into the crack.

 

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I can't really tell how good it is until I've cleaned it up but in order to cool it slowly I left the heat on and covered it with the flower pots.

 

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And came up to the office to post this. I'll turn it off shortly and let it cool over night but I won't be able to clean it up and take a good look at it until tomorrow.

 

 

Edited by JV Puleo (see edit history)
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