JV Puleo

My 1910 Mitchell "parts car" project

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Posted (edited)

The rod for the float is 1/16" diameter  The top of the rod serves as the indicator so there is no bead or anything like that.

 

The smallest glass tube McMaster-Carr lists is 1/4" O.D. and .160 I.D.  All you need is enough room for the rod

to slide up and down. I turned and milled  and threaded the body out of Hex stock. Mine did not use an NTP thread.

Probably 1/2" Hex would work.  You will want to have thin rubber washers to cushion both

ends of the glass from vibration.

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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Terry, this kept me awake last night. As soon as I finish the laundry I'm going up to the shop to take some further measurements. I think I' getting close to a plan.

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22 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

Terry, this kept me awake last night. As soon as I finish the laundry I'm going up to the shop to take some further measurements. I think I' getting close to a plan.

 

 

Fortunately I had plenty of crown royal and ice after dinner last night............so this particular problem didn't keep me up. It probably would have taken three or four people to help me stand up........🤢

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This is a 1913 Studebaker "25". There is a wire inside with a little ball at the end. I assume the viewing window should be glass. It is currently a piece of vinyl tubing, a relic of the pre-internet days when I would have had no idea where to get a piece of glass tubing.

 

m8w7yPo.jpg

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I found these two sight glasses in my "brass bits" drawer. One is clearly too big but I might be able to make use of some of the smaller one.

 

IMG_2833.thumb.jpg.e1c636558c9a89258e3cd44b06d443ec.jpg

 

But before I can do anything there, I have to finish the studs I started. I trimmed them all to 3" and put in the reliefs.

 

IMG_2834.thumb.jpg.29c737df7385591f9279de57b8bbefe5.jpg

 

Then threaded them to .005 larger than the finished size and ran a die over them to remove the burrs and make them all uniform.

 

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And tested them with a nut.

 

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This is slow work...I've threaded most of Sunday and all day today and I'm still not finished. Of course, if you were making a lot of these this is not the way you'd do it. There are much faster ways but they all involve buying some rather expensive tooling and it just isn't worth it for one engine.

 

IMG_2837.thumb.jpg.3fec589a7ac0f165f0277b1aa785118a.jpg

 

On the plus side, they are coming out nice.

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I finished the threading today...much to my relief. I actually have 14 studs although I only need 12. The two extras were insurance against ruining one but as it turned out, they are all fine. As soon as the threading was done I drilled the holes for the cotter pins.

 

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I then wire brushed the ends and ran a nut over the hole to smooth out any burrs. I also blew all the holes out as it occurred to me that they could harbor some fine steel slivers and I certainly don't want those circulating in the engine.

 

IMG_2839.thumb.JPG.1de4f92aff1d720e7b123a95eae32440.JPG

 

Then they went in a bag with the nuts and washers. With any luck I'll be able to use them before the year is out.

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Today I'll get to work on the oil level indicator. I have to do this before I start work on the main bearings because it will call for some machining on the crankcase that will not be possible once the main bearing caps are attached, The machine work is straightforward enough but I realize I face the problem of regulating the gage. This is the page of the original owner's manual that deals with oil capacity...

 

945163722_Page50.thumb.jpg.7139338641758816ef92ca39bc4ab567.jpg

 

My car is the Model T (a very confusing coincidence). Notice that the recommended oil capacity for both the 4-cylinder and the 6-cylinder engine is the same. This makes me wonder if this figure is the "starting" capacity. In its original format the engine had a box oiler that held about a quart...is the "3 quarts" listed in addition to the oil in the box? If so, the capacity is 4 quarts (which seems about right). I am going to have to fit the sump and pour some oil in to see so I'll probably figure out what the the optimum capacity is. Does anyone here have any idea what the relationship was between the surface of the oil and the big end of the rods was in a splash lubricated engine? So far, none of my engineering books have mentioned this.

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2 minutes ago, JV Puleo said:

Does anyone here have any idea what the relationship was between the surface of the oil and the big end of the rods was in a splash lubricated engine?

 

Joe, the limited experience that I have had, mainly with total loss oil systems, with early motorcycle engines is that, less is more. When I have put in too much oil these types of engines it seems to drip out of everywhere. I was told that in an early single cylinder motorcycle engines, that even an egg cups worth of oil is enough. The difference with these motorcycle engines, is that you have to pump some more oil in every 5 to 10 miles, or if the engine is working hard going uphill. After writing the above, I realise now that we are taking about a totally different 'kettle of fish' as, on your engine, you don't have large flywheels flinging the oil around the crankcase. As they say - sorry I spoke! Keep up the excellent posts and stay safe. It appears from our UK news that the Coronavirus is spreading quickly in America.

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Hello Joe,

 

If your doing an installation similar to mine regulating the gauge is fairly easy.

Leave the rod extra long.Once the pan is full you can cut to length, and install the gauge body.

It will just be a bit of a pain working with the rod sticking out of the top of the block.

 

T.

 

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Yes...but I do have crank journals and rods spinning around. Over-oiling was a major problem in period...everyone was afraid of running the bearings so they just lived with the smoke. Since this car had a semi-total loss system it was probably impossible to maintain a constant oil level. That said, I think I'm getting close to figuring out what it should be. I started the day by trying to make one of my threaded sleeves for the piece I'll have to screw into the crankcase for the oil level indicator. The problem is that I don't have much room. To work the sleeve would need a wall thickness of 1/32" and that proved to be too thin. This made me decide to forgo the sleeve and thread the new piece directly into the crankcase. For that I'll want to use coarse threads so I had to order another end mill to bore the hole...a drill won't work because I also have to move the hole slightly since, as you can imagine, it isn't in the middle of the cast boss on the crankcase.

 

So...I pulled the sump off the shelf to take a look at it.

 

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I don't have either of the drain plugs but I found this piece - I've no idea if it came from this car or not but the threads are right.

 

IMG_2842.JPG.d2819a50a69b50b70322a12682e0489c.JPG

 

I measured it and it turns out the hole is threaded 13/16-16 - not a commonly seen size. But, because I also have a nut that size at least I don't have to make threading gages.

I cut two pieces of 7/8 hex stock, turned and threaded them.

 

IMG_2845.thumb.JPG.9deccebe6c4cb2f6e08b4f7bbd898942.JPG

 

Then drilled and tapped them for 1/8 NPT plugs. These are just so that I can put the sump on the engine and pour oil in without it running all over the floor. In it's finished state it will have banjo fittings at both places. The rear one will serve as the oil pickup for the pump and I suspect I'll use the front one as the oil return for the timing gear case.

 

IMG_2846.JPG.fc2d8b032623ab52fe0cae95cbb9c87e.JPG

 

So, at least I got something done today. I also ordered a tap and die in the correct size that I'll use to make the finished pieces.

 

IMG_2847.thumb.JPG.9ced089fbe0d5a0abca14746e3fed157.JPG

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9 minutes ago, Terry Harper said:

Hello Joe,

 

If your doing an installation similar to mine regulating the gauge is fairly easy.

Leave the rod extra long.Once the pan is full you can cut to length, and install the gauge body.

It will just be a bit of a pain working with the rod sticking out of the top of the block.

 

T.

 

 

That's pretty much what I've planned. I'm thinking that rather than the housing and glass I will just have a 1/4" brass rod that projects up from the boss on the crankcase. The oil level indicator is directly behind the intake manifold and I don't know if there is enough room for a glass... but, if my design works out I can add one if there is room.

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I've now had at least 4 instances where I wanted to incorporate a feature mentioned by Heldt and found that the crankcase casting appears to have been made with that in mind. It leaves me thinking that the designer actually thought of these things but that in their push to decrease costs the Mitchell company eliminated them. It may be that I'm coming closer to the original design than I'd anticipated.

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22 hours ago, JV Puleo said:

I've now had at least 4 instances where I wanted to incorporate a feature mentioned by Heldt and found that the crankcase casting appears to have been made with that in mind. It leaves me thinking that the designer actually thought of these things but that in their push to decrease costs the Mitchell company eliminated them. It may be that I'm coming closer to the original design than I'd anticipated.

 

Somewhere the original designer is smiling and thinking "well it is about time..."
 

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I am a bit late to mention this however I used to occasionally rebuild the big old Hamworthy air compressors on the various ships I worked on.

Fasteners like the con rod bolts came from Hamworthy without the holes for the cotter pins pre drilled. I would pre torque the bolts up in the workshop 

where I could mount the con rod in a sturdy vice . Then drill the cotter hole to match the position of the castle nut slot. From that point onward that nut was matched to that bolt.

Probably an unnecessary step but on a fine thread bolt aligning to a pre drilled hole can alter the torque . No doubt still within the elastic range of the bolt material. For your mains 

you can try different castle nuts until you find a good match between torque and nut slot / bolt drilling correspondence.

 

Greg

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Posted (edited)

In order to get grade 5 castle nuts I had to buy 100 of them...I need 12 so I'll have plenty to choose from. I also thought of adjusting them in the surface grinder but I'm not sure any of that is really needed here because I don't intent to torque them to the full limit of the bolts. I doubt it's necessary with the grade 5 studs because they are tougher than the original bolts were.

 

I had one of those "what do I do next" days yesterday and got very little done except thinking about the job. The one things I did do was a test with the end mill I had ground to .950 to put in the hole for the oil fitting for the center main bearing. I'll only get one bite at that apple so I needed to make absolutely certain it was right for the 1-20 thread.

 

IMG_2848.JPG.eac48a9e7eb67b4f61dac66522ca4c3e.JPG

 

I'd like to finish all the machine work on the crankcase before I start on the bearings. That presents a problem in that the left front arm that supports the crankcase is badly corroded.

 

IMG_2849.thumb.JPG.b42df930d903e79ed159c8515af8af76.JPG

 

This is a case where I'll use Devcon aluminum putty, but the piece has to be really clean in order to get the best adhesion. Ideally, this corner should be lightly sand blasted - but I don't have a sand blaster and my compressor is so anemic I doubt it could power one.

 

IMG_2849.thumb.JPG.b42df930d903e79ed159c8515af8af76.JPG

 

While thinking about that, I decided to make liners for the 4 holes that secure the case to the sub=frame, starting with some 7/8" brass bar.

 

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Drilled and reamed with a 1/2" hole in the center.

 

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And trimmed so they are 1" long. The thickness of the arms isn't uniform but the underside is hollow so these liners will provide a nice fitting hole but won't touch the sub frame.

 

IMG_2852.JPG.946a7fdf1d432232e02676d39f818d17.JPG

 

I threaded them 7/8"-14

 

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And was fortunate in that I had a nut that size (which is why I chose that thread) so I didn't have to make a threading gage.

 

IMG_2854.thumb.JPG.5df0b888c07fff1d75fcf06ba4077f4e.JPG

 

I finished them near the end of the day but while working on them I had an idea to make a longer one for the corroded arm. In that case, I am going to have to fill the cavity on the underside and it will probably be easier to do if the liner is the exact depth. I can't calculate that very effectively because of the missing material but if I make it long enough so that it touched the sub-frame I can trim the top with a counterbore.

 

IMG_2855.JPG.b524b179f5d8813b7c8fa4fa44e74274.JPG

 

I had intended to have the case vapor de-greased (there is a local company that does that) after all the machine work was done but now I'm wondering if I shouldn't do it after all the liners are fitted but before I start on the bearings. I'm in the air as to the best way to clean an oil soaked aluminum crankcase. I've thought of soda blasting (but the only local place that does it is in Newport - a long drive and for all I know they aren't even open at the moment. Years ago there was a truck repair facility in Worcester that had a tank for aluminum crankcases. I don't know what the chemical was but that would seem a possible choice. If I knew what would work, the ideal solution would be to do it myself as, at this point, I'm hesitant to entrust it to anyone else. Any ideas?

 

[EDIT] I did a google search and the first two things that came up were me asking the same question a few years ago...you'd think I'd remember.

 

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

One of the ships I worked on had an ultrasonic big enough for motorcycle cases and sports car  cylinder heads.  As long as a person didn't take advantage and bring in tons of car parts no one minded a couple of items a month quietly showing up on Graveyard Shift. It sure did a nice job but an industrial machine that if I recall correctly cost in excess of $10,000.00

But even it wouldn't have been big enough for a crankcase. At the company's main overhaul shop they had a industrial cleaning machine that was a lot like a huge dishwasher. Two actually, one ferrous one non ferrous with different chemicals in each.  Made by a company called Proceco. Very few home projects made it through that machine however. Only a couple people

were authorised to use it and they were not very interested in bending the rules. But you may find an industrial cleaning company in your area that has similar equipment . Incredible results and no residue of any sort. The ones my former employer has are only about 1/2 the size of the ones in the video. They could still handle large parts, right on up to genset engine blocks.

Greg

 

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)
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Hi Joe,

I just recently had some Porsche engine parts cleaned by Vapor blasting and they cleaned the parts really good, but it took me forever to get all the micro sand out of every nook and cranny.   George

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On ‎4‎/‎8‎/‎2020 at 9:02 AM, JV Puleo said:

Today I'll get to work on the oil level indicator. I have to do this before I start work on the main bearings because it will call for some machining on the crankcase that will not be possible once the main bearing caps are attached, The machine work is straightforward enough but I realize I face the problem of regulating the gage. This is the page of the original owner's manual that deals with oil capacity...

 

945163722_Page50.thumb.jpg.7139338641758816ef92ca39bc4ab567.jpg

 

My car is the Model T (a very confusing coincidence). Notice that the recommended oil capacity for both the 4-cylinder and the 6-cylinder engine is the same. This makes me wonder if this figure is the "starting" capacity. In its original format the engine had a box oiler that held about a quart...is the "3 quarts" listed in addition to the oil in the box? If so, the capacity is 4 quarts (which seems about right). I am going to have to fit the sump and pour some oil in to see so I'll probably figure out what the the optimum capacity is. Does anyone here have any idea what the relationship was between the surface of the oil and the big end of the rods was in a splash lubricated engine? So far, none of my engineering books have mentioned this.

Joe, The book saying the motor oil capacity confirms what you have been saying. Mitchell had a great advertising program and paid for it by cutting corners on the chassis of the car. Three quarts of oil probably  leaked out in one 100 mile trip.

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Hello joe.      I’ve used simple green many times to clean motorcycle cases,just find a tub big enough to submerge it and let it soak then wash with hot soapy water,maybe give it a try on a piece of scrap,   Dave

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That sounds about as promising as anything. I have no problem letting it soak for a month if necessary but I'm very leery of acidic or caustic solutions. How abut heating it? I could put it in a big plastic container with a bucket heater.

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Posted (edited)

It is nearly impossible to get all the oil out of old aluminum. Are you going to paint it or Glyptal the inside or something?

 

The "Giant Dishwasher" thing 1912Staver mentioned has become common. Those are in many better auto shops since the mid 90s. Typically smaller than the picture, but big enough for a V8 engine block. Transmission shops have them too, but probably wouldn't put your parts in unless they were pretty clean to start with. The heat helps boil the oil out. I used to do that as a first step when painting an aluminum engine casting (like an Alfa Romeo valve cover for instance). Then I would wash it down with brake clean, MEK, or Acetone, or some similar solvent that is aggressive to oil. MEK seems particularly aggressive to oil. I have also used simple green as JustDave suggested. All these things help, none are really quite good enough.

 

As a final step, after all the solvent was gone for sure, just before painting I would play a propane torch across the surface. Eventually you will see the water boiling off and rolling away from the flame. Some of the water is from the torch no doubt, but some is also water that was on the surface that you couldn't see. As you move the torch, the water will "roll" away as it boils off.

 

The interesting thing is, if you have not got all the oil out of the aluminum (and on the first try you probably haven't), it will boil to the surface, making little volcanoes. It is really obvious, you cant miss it, and then you have to clean it more and try again....

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Joe, try a gallon jug of Zep-a-lume for cleaning the aluminum.  You can probably get it at Home Depot or Lowe's.  Dilute it about 1 part Zep to 3 or 5 parts water.  Repeat if needed.  It will take the oil off and brighten the aluminum, but be careful with it because it has strong chemicals like hydrofluoric acid in it.  Rinse well with water.  Wear rubber gloves and a face shield.  

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I will certainly paint the inside of the crankcase and probably the outside as well. Like most cases in period, it was painted with aluminum paint and there are still considerable traces of it left. I see that ZEP markets a product specifically for aluminum and other soft metals. It's intended to be used in a heated bath too...the only drawback is the price. The smallest quantity you can buy is 40 lbs. and it costs about $150. I'd live with that if I could find some independent confirmation that it works.

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Posted (edited)

The best option is to have the crankcase vacuum sealed. They clean it with both dry heat, then a hot water and soap dishwasher treatment. Then they heat it and pull a vacuum on it for 24 hours. When the casting is perfectly clean, they then treat it with a casting sealer to prevent seeping and leaks. There is a company in Rhode Island that does it regularly. Modern castings are so thin on new engines, most of them are having the treatment done to new parts when they are manufactured. I have had it done to several blocks and intake manifolds. The guys who make new Model J intake manifolds recommend the process and call it mandatory to prevent coolant leaks and seeping. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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The company is IMPCO in East Providence. They used to be on Valley Street almost across the street from my office. I found their web site but all the pages go to a 404 error - no longer available. That might just be an internet glitch...I'll try again but at the moment it looks as if they are either out of business or no longer doing that. That was my first choice...the business of doing it myself is only if they are unavailable. Frank Cooke put me on to them many years ago to seal a PI head.

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