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Neil's '41 Super Model 51


neil morse
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Bloo,

 

In over 60 years of working on cars, I have never seen that as a pop out issue.

If mis alignment did occur it would be for 2 things. A bad fit up at the factory and that would have been immediately fixed. Or someone botched up a bell housing swap and it also would have been immediately fixed.

In neither case would near 80- years pass with the problem.

Yet that issue is in every manual I have seen.

 

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Is it the bell housing or the flywheel that is bolted on from the inside of the engine?  

 

While this may not be the problem with Neil's car, my former 66 Gran Sport had a problem with the trans popping out of 4th gear,  a few thousand miles after installation of a new clutch, pressure plate, and throw out bearing.  It turned out that the flywheel had been turned too much.  It was too thin.  And after the clutch facing wore off enough, the springs on the pressure plate were hitting the bolts holding the flywheel to the crankshaft.  A replacement flywheel corrected the problem.  

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Thanks for the added details. Could the coking be from running either the wrong oil or no oil? Maybe someone filled it with motor oil or something? Maybe some kind of additive designed to quiet an old transmission. Or, god forbid, sawdust or something?

 

I think the truly remarkable thing is that this ancient transmission designed by a guy using paper and pencil and made using manual machine tools is so incredibly durable and reliable. Name one modern transmission that would survive even 10 minutes under these conditions. Thank you, Buick engineers! Once again, you have proven that you were better than most at your jobs.

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First gears in these trans are straight cut and is generally pretty noisy provided there isnt excessive tooth wear. Neils transmissions components look like new.

 

I think one of Neils friends hit the nail on the head in suggesting the "scale" is actually a varnish - it behaves like that.

 

We'll finish up onec we can get our schedules together.

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On 2/6/2020 at 7:13 AM, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

Anxious! Where do we stand on this project?  I have mine apart and am still not certain of the cause of the growl/howl.  Watching you guys closely.

 

 

Sorry, Ben, I missed your post yesterday.  As Don says, we are working out our schedules to get together for the next step.  Currently, we plan on reassembling the transmission next week with new front and rear bearings (everything else seems to be in good shape).  We will probably be putting it back in the car the following week.  However, I'm sorry to say that I don't think anything we do will help you on your "growl/howl" problem.  My transmission was very quiet (other than the characteristic whine in first that Don mentions).  The only problem I had was popping out of third gear, and I think we've got that one figured out.

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2 hours ago, neil morse said:

Don and I are scheduled to put my transmission back together this coming Friday.  In the meantime, he just sent me this photo of the innards.  I will report more after Friday.

 

gears.thumb.JPG.89c36e0e634359d8f64adaf751ed05f6.JPG

Neil,  the gears look good.  But I am wondering which gear is which?  1st, 2nd, 3rd, and reverse?  In this orientation it would appear the trans would be in 3rd gear, is that right?  But that almost looks like a permanent arrangement.  I know that can't be the case. 

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I'm going to let Don answer your question, John.  I'm just the apprentice here.  I know that third gear (with synchro drum) is on the left side, and second (also with synchro) is on the right.  Don will have to explain the rest.

 

Neil

Edited by neil morse (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, DonMicheletti said:

In the photo, indeed, it would be in 3rd (high). However, The large slider would be in reverse - a bad situation.

I'll try to take photos of the various gear positions today.

The reverse Idler isnt in the photo.

Niels gears and such are in perfect condition

Thanks Don. I was wondering about reverse since it looked like all were cut in the same direction.

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For whatever it is worth:

 

Transmission “gear” positions.

There are 2 sliding parts. The first /reverse sliding gear and the 2nd and 3rd sliding sleeve.

Neutral: no drive gears engaged, but input is engaged with cluster and second idler is engaged with cluster

First: sliding gear is meshed with cluster gear on counter shaft

Second: sliding sleeve is engaged via dogs with the 2nd gear idler which meshes with cluster gear. 2nd gear                                        idler is always engaged with the cluster gear.

Third (high): Sliding sleeve is engaged with input shaft via dogs.

Reverse: sliding gear is engaged with reverse idler (not shown) which, in turn is constantly engaged with the cluster gear.

Neutral.JPG

First.JPG

Second.JPG

High.JPG

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We had a very successful day in Don’s garage yesterday putting my transmission back together.  I will endeavor to tell the story as well as I can with words, pictures, and video.  But first some acknowledgements and disclaimers.

 

I am extremely grateful not only to Don but also to my friends Konrad and Tom who also helped out.  This was a perfect example of what I love most about this hobby, that is, the knowledgeable and generous people who are willing to share their expertise to help out a newbie.

A word about the video.  As you will quickly see, this is not a professional production!  I don’t know how to edit video, so I was just using a “shoot-pause-shoot-pause” method with my smart phone.  The result is pretty choppy, but I think there’s quite a bit of helpful material there.  I hadn’t contemplated doing a video at all, but @Ben Bruce aka First Bornwas very keen for us to record the process, so if there is any criticism of our efforts, it’s all Ben’s fault!  I will try to fill in the gaps in the video with still photos showing what was going on.  The still photos were taken by Tom.  The voices you hear on the video belong to Don and Konrad.   (Other than a few comments and some brilliant directorial instructions from yours truly.  Over the course of the morning, Don started calling me “Mr. DeMille.”)

 

 The fact that I was shooting the video interfered with Don’s plans a bit.  Don, like any good teacher, generally insists that I actually do some “hands-on” work on the projects that he’s mentoring me on.  This time however, I had the excuse of having to make the video.  I got thoroughly ribbed by the group because I actually only picked up a tool once during the job – a moment that is memorialized in one of the photos below.

 

The only parts we ended up replacing were the front and rear bearings.  Despite the ugly noises that the transmission made when it popped out of third gear, the gears themselves were in perfect shape, as has been mentioned previously.

 

Okay, off we go.  The first three segments of video show the installation of the new input bearing and the job of packing the needle bearings on the cluster gear shaft just up to the point of actually installing the cluster gear shaft.

 

 

 

 

Edited by neil morse (see edit history)
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The installation of the steel shaft (pushing out the dummy shaft) didn’t make it onto the video.  Here's a still photo showing what was done.  Don and Konrad decided to turn the transmission 90 degrees and support it by the input shaft on a jack stand so that gravity would help with installing the shaft.

 

trans_assembly27.thumb.JPG.a68fdeeff0063beb08cd032d9d503f5e.JPG

 

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The next segment of video covers the completion of the cluster gear shaft installation up through the installation of the rear (output) bearing.  We got started on installing the selector shafts, but had a few false starts.  I can only say that it was lunch time and everyone was hungry, so we decided to quit for lunch and regroup.

 

 

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One thing that wasn’t in the video and that we unfortunately did not get any still photos of was the replacement of the plug on the hole on the right side of the case where one of the selector shafts goes through.  This plug had to be removed in order to remove and reinstall the shaft.  The plug is a round piece of steel that has been deformed so it has a convex and a concave side.  When Don said we had to re-deform the plug to reinstall it, I couldn’t imagine what he was talking about.  What he had (not photographed unfortunately) was a little kit with a block of steel with different sized concave recesses in it.  He put the plug in the appropriate sized recess and hit it with a hammer and punch until it had the right shape.  This reduced the diameter to the point where it would fit back in the hole.  He then sealed it with Permatex, put it back in the hole with the convex side facing outward, and hit it again with a hammer and punch.  Bingo – the diameter then expanded as the shape changed and it was firmly seated in the hole.  Here’s a shot of what it looked like after it was reinstalled.

 

trans_assembly21.thumb.JPG.3245129d62303e068876c2b8cf093800.JPG

 

So there you have it.  The only operation we didn’t complete was the installation of the torque ball.  I will post some pics of that when it’s completed.

Edited by neil morse (see edit history)
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Agreeing with Valk!  I will probably never have one to deal with, but this was so educational!  Really enjoyed the presentation.  

 

BTW,  regarding the "plug"  in this picture:   How did Don get these out to disassemble the unit? 

 

trans_assembly21.thumb.JPG.3245129d62303e068876c2b8cf093800.JPG

 

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FANTASTIC!!

 

  John I can answer your question. The shaft protrudes from the case on the opposite side. A few taps with a dead blow or brass hammer drives out the plug. I am really glad for that explanation on reusing the "welsh" plug. I was going to track down a new one, maybe.  Mine has another plug in the front of the case.

 

  I may need to set my computer on the work bench next to mine when doing the assembly.

 

  You guys made that look so easy.

 

  Thanks

  Ben

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4 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

BTW,  regarding the "plug"  in this picture:   How did Don get these out to disassemble the unit?

 

As I recall, John, we just punched that selector shaft out with a brass hammer and the plug was driven out as well.  But if I'm wrong, I'm sure Don will chime in and set me straight.

 

Edit: I hadn't read Ben's post when I typed that.  Now that I see that Ben agrees, I can be more confident that I'm correct!

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53 minutes ago, Ben Bruce aka First Born said:

FANTASTIC!!

 

I'm so glad you like the video, Ben.  I had joked that with four of us we could make it into a Marx Brothers movie, and there were a few times when it seemed like we were going in that direction!  But it was great fun to make a record of the job, and I'm happy to hear that you found it helpful.

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Neil, I had a great time getting my fingers greasy again! I loved being in Don's shop with all that equipment. I love looking at this old "hardware". It is a time machine, interesting looking back at how things were done and seeing the why's and how things have changed. Like your gearbox with internal dogs. 

 

With your gearbox it was a stroke of genius on Don's part placing the case with the gear-shafts vertical. Ok, that may not have been the genius part, but using the through hole on the jack stand was!

 

The job wasn't as difficult as the photo makes it look; three hands and still needing to hold tooling in my mouth!

 

All the best,

Konrad

Edited by Konrad (see edit history)
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Torque Ball Assembly

 

The only job left on the transmission rebuild was assembling the torque ball.  Here's a photo of the torque ball kit items that come from Bob's.

 

kit2.thumb.jpg.89005d6308b52645fc56e822a44663b8.jpg

 

And here are the instructions that Don was nice enough to write up for me.

 

Torque Ball Assembly

 

In the ’38 manual there is a Figure 7-15 that shows the assembly. On yours, I did not find a spring washer and the seal isn’t cork.

 

Not surprisingly, the manual isn’t much help on assembly, but the figure is.

 

If you can, position the trans like we did in putting the counter shaft in with the rear facing up. That will make things a whole lot easier – it is worth the effort (you should have taken that jack stand)

 

There are 3 parts plus the tapered packing ring involved.

 

2 parts are stationary and affixed to the transmission  Those parts are gasketed and shimmed.

You’ll find a gasket and a number of different thickness and colored “shims” – very flimsy.

 

Start with everything dry and with no lube or seal installed. (well, maybe a light smear of light oil on the ball like 3&1)

There are inner and outer stationary parts. There is a gasket between the inner stationary part and transmission. The movable ball goes on next. Note that the “TOP” goes upward.

 

To set the shims:

 

Assemble the outer stationary part with one shim (I’d start with the thickest) against the inner stationary part.

I think there are 6 bolts (don’t use lock washers yet) – start to tighten 3 of them evenly and slowly.

Check ball for movement as you go. At some point, before the bolts are tight, the ball should bind.

 

Go back and remove the outer stationary part and add or remove shims as necessary until the ball can be moved, with very slight resistance, with a bar in the U joint, from limit to limit.

 

I differ from the manual on the use of a bar because the manual is dealing with new and unused parts – yours are not.

You’ll probably find areas that are looser (probably at the center) than at the limit. That is OK, provided you can move the ball to its limit.

 

This is an iterative process and you’ll probably have to do it several times as you sneak up to the correct fit.

At the point when all is good, install all the bolts with lock washers. It still should move. If not add a shim as necessary to get things moving again. At that point you will be near crazy with fiddling with it.

 

Now take it all apart. (Fun isn’t it).

 

Time to work with that horrible grease they give you – use gloves!

 

Install the rubber seal. Grease the wear surfaces of the stationary parts. The grease has to be spread evenly and completely all over the stationary parts plus the sealing surface of the seal against the ball.

 

Do not use sealant on any of the gaskets or shims.

 

Reassemble everything EXACTLY as it was before.

 

Tighten the bolts, but then loosen the bolts until you can just barely move the ball by hand.

You do that because it will help to align the ball flange with the torque tube on assembly. Use the pilot bolts in the ball flange to help orient them with the torque tube flange bolt holes.

 

Once the torque tube is aligned, bolt things together and then go back and tighten the bolts on the torque ball parts.

 

Have a drink.

 

 

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As Don mentions in the instructions, I did not take the jack stand from his place that we had used to mount the transmission nose down.  However, my friend Tom had the brilliant idea of using a portable work bench that he has that worked perfectly.

 

trans_on_bench.thumb.jpg.78b6311b705f7b3a047c03fcec3f6825.jpg

 

Here are the three torque ball components that Don mentions in his instructions: the outer part, the ball, and the inner part.

 

torqueball7.jpg.4f0f514e3f6b4bfdf7e50aeddb819fb4.jpg

 

The inner housing goes onto the back of the transmission with a gasket.

 

torqueball3.thumb.jpg.e2156d649c89094104ece53ffeb2a251.jpg

 

torqueball4.thumb.jpg.3145d86f74c13ed24b9bad864b4dca9d.jpg

 

Once this is in place, you start the trial and error process of fitting the shims, as Don explains.

 

torqueball2.thumb.jpg.62c5bc3cda150c55b6573b97f8c6927e.jpg

 

The shims that come with the kit are four different thicknesses.

 

kit1.thumb.jpg.bc98c5c9563463313b8c6917db764c7c.jpg

 

After some fiddling around as explained in the instructions, I determined that the .0150 shim was too thick and the .0060 shim was too thin.  So the .0100 shim was "juuuust right" (as Goldilocks would say).  Here's what I used as a "bar" to move the ball while testing (very handy).

 

torqueball.jpg.c71745a693b27abe14af7af66d219194.jpg

 

Once I had determined which shim to use, I applied the goop (nasty stuff, as Don says).

 

torqueball5.jpg.48768c2d8289723e669fff308bd67711.jpg

 

After that, I put it back together and "Bob's your uncle" -- torque ball done!  (Whereupon I promptly prepared a rye Manhattan to follow Don's final instruction.)  (Cocktail not pictured.)

 

torqueball6.thumb.jpg.0682a20c8ce08a209a4e6d7da24b1649.jpg

 

 

 

Edit:  I forgot to mention that, of course, you have to add the large rubber seal in the final assembly.  There is also a smaller seal that goes on the end of the shaft and is shown in the parts photo but was not yet installed in my final photo.

 

Final edit (I hope):  I also forgot to mention that Don had put the ball part on his lathe and polished it up before I took it back to my place.

 

 

 

Edited by neil morse (see edit history)
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