Mike Macartney


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Carrying on from my post, about a week ago, where I was trying to get the 'innards' out of the pump housing to see why it wasn't pumping oil. I eventually found out that it was the lower end that unscrewed from the tube. Well it would have done if somebody in the past hadn't soldered it in place!


I poured the thinners I had used to try and clean what I thought was the end that would unscrew into my 'cleaning thinners' tub. Blew out the remining thinners from the pump and played the propane blow torch on the bottom joint until the solder melted.


Shure enough, the bottom unscrewed from the cylinder, and the spring came out.


By unscrewing the 'knob' off the other end of the plunger rod and unscrewing the gland nut from the top end of the pump I was able to push the rod, with its leather washer out of the bottom of the pump tube. In the photo you can see a 'spacer' on the rod at the end the leather washer is. Well, I didn't notice it when I picked the rod up by the leather washer end and it dropped off 'never to be seen again'! I spent a good half hour on my hands and knees looking for it. I heard it drop but I could not find it anywhere. I will just have to make another spacer if it doesn't turn up. All it is for, is to stop the leather washer going to the top of the tube.1022.thumb.jpg.1fea0d8ab77872dc2bbe282c1987da2c.jpg

This is a view down the barrel of the pump. You can see the hole that the oil goes through to the drip feed mechanism, south east of the centre hole for the plunger rod.


Over the last week I have been thinking on and off how to repair the threaded parts at the bottom and have come to the conclusion that it maybe best to make a new barrel and threaded end cap.

In one of my motorcycle books I managed to find some details on these type pumps.


I spent quite a while trying to work out how the oil got to be above the spring and leather washer. I assume that as you push the plunger knob down against the spring the leather washer deforms to allow the oil to pass through to the chamber above and then when you let go the leather washer seals against the barrel sides and the oil is pushed through to the drip feed mechanism by the spring. On my pump there is no 'Non Return Valve' which is shown on the drawing above.


At the other end of this pick up pipe is a ball bearing which acts as a one way valve. It looks from this photo that the pick up pipe is screwed into the threaded barrel base. On the other side is a 'mass' of solder, which will needs to be melted off, so I can get the two parts apart.

I think the original barrel maybe silver soldered at the top end of the pump to the brass casting. I've now got to pluck up the courage to try and melt the silver solder without damaging the casting. More thought needed! As my Dad used to say "Fools rush in where angels fear to tread".

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You are doing an impeccable job on your automobile.  The Humberette  will certainly last well into the next generation with the careful restoration you are doing.  Interesting the work you are doing on the lubricating pump and system.  I am currently working over a hand air pump and system that allow me to manually pump and pressurize the fuel tank on my project, for starting, then have provision to use engine compression to maintain pressure in the tank to keep the car running.  Keep up the good work.


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1 hour ago, Mike Macartney said:

"Fools rush in where angels fear to tread"

Your father was very learned! He was quoting Alexander Pope, 1711, in his poem An Essay on Criticism.


Interesting pump! The spring provides the oil pressure.

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I don't think he was all that learned, he probably picked up the saying from somebody else. Thanks for the origin of the expression.

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I have just gone and ordered some brass tube to attempt to make another cylinder for the pump. Looking at the pump this morning I have started worrying about how I am going to get the old cylinder away from the brass top of the pump. Am I going to have a problem trying to melt the silver solder? I have silver soldered before but never had to undo a silver soldered joint on brass before. I believe there is not much difference between the melting points of brass and silver solder? Anybody got any tips or advice?


This is the joint I need to get apart.


In the top, I pulled out 3-seals! Would it be better with a leather seal to the push rod?


In the pump outlet to the drip feed unit is this brass disc with 4-holes. It is threaded and I unscrewed it to see if anything was behind it - nothing? I was expecting to see a filter screen. Perhaps it got left out or has 'dissolved' with time?


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Most likely it had a screen and someone has left it out. You know it has been apart so that's not surprising. The melting temperatures are close but are you sure it is silver solder? There really isn't any good reason why it had to be as great strength or heat are not much of an issue here. The intake manifolds of Silver Ghost RRs were assembled with lead solder* and I can tell from experience that it is much harder to take parts apart than it is to put them together.  When I am working on my intake I can assemble the parts with MAPP gas but I need my acetylene torch to disassemble them. I don't understand that... but so far it has been the case every time.


*The late Art Soutter (one time head of service for RR of America) describes assembling those manifolds around a large round gas burner that kept a variety of soldering irons hot. I don't think you can do silver solder with old fashioned soldering irons - but I could be wrong there.

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On you question about undoing a silver solder joint.  It should not be bad at all.  Silver solder, depending upon the grade, should be less than the melting point of brass.  However, thin was brass requires some care to not blow a hole through while the heat is soaking up the fitting.  I actually REALLY like silver solder.  It is fun to work with and is very strong.  I assume that you have experience with silver solder and I would suggest what has been suggested to me, if you are ill at ease, make a trial run with similar materials and doing the same thing but are not out anything is it turns to a failure.  That is a most interesting pump arrangement.  I am anxious to see it polished up and assembled.


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Thanks, Joe and Al, for your encouragement and advice. I have melted off the 'lumps' of solder from the union of the brass pipe to the threaded part that originally fitted into the end of the pump barrel.


Once heated with the small propane blow torch the solder soon melted and most of it 'dripped off', I don't know why the previous owner had put on so much solder - perhaps he thought that as the pump did not work that there was an air leak at this point? We shall never know. When most of the solder had melted off the union the solder still sealed the pipe to other part, when it cooled down, and I had to heat it up again to unthread the pipe from the union.


I checked the thread pitch on the outer threaded part that is supposed to screw into the barrel. Is it 32 TPI (threads per inch)?


Or is it 30 TPI? It really doesn't matter as I will be cutting new threads.

The thread for the pipe I would guess is a pipe thread.


A 1/2" UNF starts into the threaded part but is not correct. I also tried a 1/4" BSP tap and that was a bit tight, probably because of the solder in the female thread. Checking the thread on the pipe, it appeared to be 19TPI which is correct for 1/4" BSP thread.

In between working on this pump, I have still been 'playing' with the rear wing. It is now nearly ready for filler and primer. I will post more photos when I get a chance. I now wish that I had remade the complete rear lower edge of the rear wing and not tried to save the brass edging that had been soldered on to the steel, 'we live and learn'!

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Hello Mike,  I can't see real good about the fit between the thread gauge and thread  but I am thinking 32 TPI.  Your expert eye will have to make the call.  Looks like you are making progress on the pump set-up.   I have missed much of your restoration and have not sat down to read through all the postings but I plan to maybe this evening.  My question is this are you choosing to have any of the small items powder coated?


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Might the 1/2" hole be a BSF thread? That's a long shot because 1/2 UNF is 1/2-20 and the BSF size is 1/2-16. I don't know of any system that used 19 TPI. 20 seems more likely but the part is old and as much as we'd like to think so, standardization was not as "standard" then as it is now. I've run into several cases where the thread count was standard but the diameter was very slightly different.


32 TPI was a BSF size, albeit for very small screws. But (and I doubt most people who have not cut threads think of this) thread count determines the depth of the thread. The depth of 32TPI is identical whether the piece is 1/2" or 4" in diameter. Thus, the very fine sizes are used when threading something like thin-wall tubing. Also, it was probably cut with a lathe that was equipped with the correct gears to cut the BSF thread range...

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I am curious here. Does the Humberette not have any internal oiling system and relies entirely on splash? Is this some sort of primer pump to make sure there is oil at the bearings before starting and allowing the splashing oil to keep up the good work when running? If so, I need to find one or copy it. I've been thinking of adding a little hand pump to the Mitchell oiling system that will suck oil from the sump and gill the oil manifold and lines before the engine is started. It may be gilding the lily but I can't see how it would hurt. If this was a fairly common item maybe I can find one and adapt it.

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The thread on the oil pick up pie is definitely 1/4" BSP (British Standard Pipe) the thread pitch for this size is 19 TPI (Threads Per Inch). Below is a photo of the tap and die nut.


With regards to the oil pump on the Humberette the only lubrication in the 'Automatic' lubricator that I have been working on. The V-twin engine is very similar to motorcycle engines of the period with 'waste oil lubrication'. With the 'plunger' pushed in the spring holds the pressure until the oil has drained into the engine via the drip feed.

Below are some photos of the 'hand operated' oil pump on my 1903 Crestmobile with its single cylinder air cooled engine.1042.thumb.jpg.25f3eabcb76c285c5aee78162cd7b529.jpg

The wooden knob to the left is a valve that you open when you want to pump oil into the engine.


The wooden handle on the right of the pump is the 'pump' handle.


The oil is poured into the 'sight glass' via the 'flip up' brass top. I normally pump a couple of 'pumps' of oil every 5 to 7 miles of travelling.

Below is a photo of my 1910 Favourite 500cc single cylinder Australian built motorcycle that has an Abingdon King Dick engine.


This is also a waste oil system that needs one pump every 5 to 7 miles. Joe, if need be, I could try and undo this pump so that I can photograph the insides

I have added the following photograph just for interests sake! It is of the oil pump system on my 1927 Humber 350cc side valve single cylinder motorcycle.


It has a mechanical oil pump on the engine and a drip feed unit. It is rumoured that when they changed from the older hand pump system to engine driven oil pumps that motorcyclists did not believe that the oil was getting to the engine, if they did not see it for themselves, so they fitted this sight glass so the rider could see the drips of oil going into the engine. How true that is, I can't say.

This isthe Pilgrim pump on my 1929 Scott Super Squirrel with a 600cc two-stroke water cooled twin cylinder engine.


It also has a mechanical pump with sight glass and two adjusters for the number of oil drips. 

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OK, I'll start with this one, a velocipede (boneshaker bicycle), that was taken when we held an open day in aid of the Norfolk Air Ambulance.


This is a replica of a Velocipede (boneshaker bicycle) that I made from scrap metal. I always wanted to own one of these bits of history, but found original ones to be un-ridable due to the age of them, and too expensive , so I decided to make one. I found a postcard of one that had been made by a local  blacksmith (in Fakenham), back in the 1860's/70's and scaled up the photo. A friend of mine made the wooden parts. The spring that the saddle sits on is a Reliant 3-wheeler car rear spring. The return spring for the brake is a 12" steel rule. The brake pad is cut down from a rear BMW 3.0L CSL one. It is frightening to ride as when you push on the pedals it tends to move the steering, in addition to that problem, you cannot touch the ground when you are sitting on the saddle. When riding, if a car is comes the other way, I tend to panic and jump off!

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I will put some photos on at a later date of the other 2, 3 and 4 wheeled vehicles that I have accumulated over the years. Since my last post I have still been working on the left hand rear wing and the oil pump repairs, without a great deal of success! I think that I should of carried on and finished the wing before I started getting involved in the oil pump.

Here is how the wing (sorry fender) is coming along.


After the strengthening plate had been welded and cleaned up I tried it in place.


. . .  and clamped it into position to see how it fitted.


It needed a little bit of shaping in a couple of areas to make it sit flush with the fender.


When I was happy with the fit I coated both parts with etching primer. I am not going to use solder as was originally used, I am going to use the marine grade sealer that I used on the body. This should give the plate a bit of 'give' and should stop the wing wearing away.


I fitted the plate I had made for strengthening the lower portion of the fender where it was 'a bit tender'.


Punched some holes in the plate.


Clamped it in place.


. . .   and welded through the holes.


. . . . ground off the welds on the outside and . .


. . .  ground off the welds on the inside.


. . . .and etch primed to stop it going rusty before it gets primer filler.


I don't like this gap - it annoys me!


I made a pattern for a plate.


Then realised some of the soldered mud shield had broken its joint. I melted the solder and closed the gap up with some mole grips so the parts would re-join.


Tried the plate for fit


. . . blasted the plate clean and punched some holes to weld through.


Welded one side . . .


Clamped and tapped the plate to fit snugly and welded through the rest of the holes.


. . . . and started to clean up the welds.


It didn't look as bad in real life as it does in this photo!

The next thing to do to the fender was to decide what to do with the rear end of the fender where the brass edging had been put around the edge to try and replicate the round edge section. I decided to keep the brass edge, but thought the original metal of the wing was a bit fragile in this area.




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Just had the strangest sense of déjà vu there but then realized I'm not out of order... I think that oil pump has knocked you out of order!   We've seen this fine work before... I remembered it distinctly because of the ingenious solution for where the side detached from the top of the wing.  I have the same problem with the Metz and will happily copy your method. :)


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I am not surprised if I am out of order! I've been feeling a bit out of order myself!

It seems quite a time since I reported on my progress.

When I resize the photos for posting I put them in a separate file on the computer, then, when I have posted the photos, I move them to another file titled 'Used in Reports'. I have now taken over 1000 photos since I started on the Humberette in June, or was it July, last year.

Below are some more photos of work on the rear fender which seems to have taken ages.


Using my thumb nail to make the shape for the cardboard pattern


Now to cut it out.


It looks as if it fits.


Transferring the pattern to the sheet metal.


Marking the metal so I know which way it is supposed to fit.


It is easy to be wise after the event. That brass bead that I left on the rear of the fender caused me no end of problems. I would have been much better off replacing the whole of the bottom section of wing.


The reason for this plate was the metal was a bit 'tender' in places and the area needed some 'strength' put into it. Holes punched and ready to fix.


Rather than just clamping the plate in place to weld it I thought I would use these pin clamps (I have forgotten what the proper name is).


You drill a 3mm (1/8") hole through both bits of metal and use these special pliers to pull the spring back and push the pin through the hole. When you release the pliers the two bits of metal are held firmly together.


I decided to fit the clamps the other way around to give me more room for my welding torch.


Here you can see the other side of the 'pin clamps'.


Welded up and ready to grind off the welds. The idea then was to silver solder the brass beading to the steel. That's when the problems started!


I took the wing down to my other workshop where I have my oxy/acetylene and attempted to silver solder. The problem was the dirt under the brass. The silver solder just would not flow into the joint.


By this time I was getting rather 'fed up' and left this mess until the next morning to clear up! Flat surfaces seem to accumulate 'stuff'!


The next day I thought "If I am careful I maybe able to braze the brass beading to the steel wing". WRONG! All I did was managed to melt a small section of the brass bead. The brass bead is actually hollow brass tube.

Panic then set in and out came the glass fibre paste!


Firstly, I welded a plate to back the GRP paste to try and strengthen the joint. I then applied the mix of glass strand and resin.


While I waited for the paste to 'go off'. I had a look at the other wing to see what that one was like.


This one was even worse. I will defiantly replace the brass bead with steel on this fender.


After the GRP had hardened I found that the joint between the section of brass and the steel on the other side was also weak and welded another strengthening plate.


That at least made the bottom of the fender a lot stiffer.


I gave the repairs a coat of etch primer. I learnt from my mistake and decided I would try and do a 'proper job' on the other rear fender. At least it is a bit better than it was before I started!


To leave on a happier note; here is Jane, with Mark, at the Jaymic Workshop, choosing the blue for the body, from the spray cards that Mark had sprayed out for us.


Edited by Mike Macartney
deleted incorrect photo (see edit history)
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Hello Mike,  What type of water sealant are you putting around the edges of your strengthening plates to keep mater from getting in behind and doing damage again?


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Hello Al, I have just realised that I have not replied to your last PM to me. I will try and do that in the next couple of days.


With regards to your question regarding sealer. I shall probably seal the joins first with marine grade Sikaflex like I used in the trunk area. The underside of the wings (fenders) I will get the Jaymic Workshop to use the 3M 2-pack anti-stone chip material that they used on the underside of my MGBV8. (photo attached of the underside of the front inner wing panel). They recommended the 3M's, apparently it comes sealed in 'plastic bags'. They have used this 3M's material on stage rally car bodyshells, that they have painted, with good results. It takes 2-pack top coat well. It is sprayed on and when tacky the top coats of paint are applied. I think the finish depends on how it is sprayed on. I am amazed how bodywork materials have improved since my retirement in 2004.





Edited by Mike Macartney
a couple of words left out (see edit history)
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I collected the painted body and wheels from the Jaymic bodyshop this week.


Considering how bad the wheels were they haven't come out too bad.


The body looks OK too.


The next job is to get the wheels fitted to the car so I can move the chassis. I also need to sort out the exhaust before the body goes on as it will be easier to fit without the body in place.

I'm ready for doing the steam bending of the top hoops. Unfortunately my pal, Robert, has been suffering from a cold and chest infection for about the last 4-weeks. I still have a bit of time left before the car is due at the coach trimmers on the 25th April for the leather upholstery and top (we call it a hood). I am planning to strip and check the engine and gearbox while the coachtrimmer has the car. I will sort the exhaust out while the engine is still in the car.


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I'm just wondering why blue?


"A good question" said the politician while he thought of a answer!


Well the car was originally blue, from the photo that I got with the car, when it emerged from long time storage. It was taken off the road in 1924.


I have never been a fan of blue, I've always been a sort green or brown sort of guy? Thinking back at the blue cars that I have had in my past life. I think it maybe something to do with Jane, my wife! We were in the same class at school and started going out together when we were 16.


When we were at college around the mid 1960's, six of us, including Jane, bought a 1936 MG TA to rebuild.


Above is the MG we bought around 1964/1965 for about £25.

We spent about a year on the car.


I think Jane must have chosen the colour. It's Jane and I in the MG looking a lot younger than we do now!

The original idea was for the six of us to make some spare money. We sold the car for £165, which at the time was the top price for a TA. A while ago Jane came across the note book that all our hours of work and the material were listed in. We earnt the princely sum of 6d each an hour (2.5p in new money). The total cost of all the paint and materials amazed me, it was £5!

The car I owned at the time was my second car which was a 1936 Morgan 4/4. I will try and find a photo of that. When I bought it as a non runner it was cream. I think Jane must have had some influence here, as that too was sprayed blue!

A couple of years later we both wanted to start racing and built a Hillman Imp, fitted a 998cc Imp engine plus a supercharger and entered the Players No.6 Autocross Series. I must have a photo of that car somewhere.. Funnily enough, the Hillman Imp was blue too! 

More recently, since I retired, I have restored a 1974 MGBGTV8 in teal blue and a 1978 MGBV8 roadster in teal blue - I think Jane must have 'brain washed' me over the years!

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Mike, I do like the color and look forward to seeing it all assembled. I'm like you also, blue isn't my favorite color as I like the reds. I've had several trucks of various colors and the current one is my favorite and I'd victory red

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Fitting the tyres to the rims - SIMPLE !?!

First job was to remove the hooks I had fitted to support the rims while they were being sprayed.


Next job was removing the nuts, bolts and wooden washers I had made to protect the bearing surfaces from damage during the blasting and painting process. The paint had made a good seal and I had to cut the paint to release the bits of wood.


There were 3-holes in each rim that, I think, where originally there to clamp the beaded edge tyre (clincher tires) onto the rim to help stop the tyre turning on the rim. I filled these holes with countersunk bolts and fixed them in place with a stainless washer, nut and heavy duty thread sealant. I shall use these bolts to put extra nuts on to balance the wheels if needed after I have fitted them to the chassis.


Now to fit the new tyres!


I cut the U-shaped section out of each side where the tyre valve goes through the rim. The wet looking stuff is tyre fitting soap.


So far so good, apart from not cutting away the 'flappy bit' in the correct place the first time!

Over the years I have fitted a number of beaded edge tyres to rims and have never had a problem. Most times I have even managed to fit them without the need for tyre levers.


After getting completely exhausted trying to get just one side on, even with taped up ends to the tyre lever, I made a mess of the paint on the edge of the rim. Oh bother, or similar, not so polite expletives.

Jane suggested I had a look on the internet. "Don't need to" I said, "I've fitted these type of tyres in the past with no problems". In the end she persuaded me, and I found this You Tube video - the guy fits the tyre on the rim with no tyre levers using a plastic garbage bag!


After watching the video I decided that I was too old and knackered to even attempt it, as the guy in the video looked as if it still needed quite a lot of effort.

I rang the Jaymic Workshop and James said "Bring them up and we will have a go at fitting them, we like a challenge!".

The next day they rang me to say the wheels were ready to collect. They told me they had a struggle with the tyres and it needed two of them to push the tyres on the rims.


With wheels and tyres back home I started by digging out the bags of bits for fitting the wheels.


I cleaned all the greasy ball bearings and other bits with cellulose thinners . . . .


As well as the stub axle and threads.

It seems I have run out of my allowed 9.77Mb so I will have to end now and keep you in suspense until my next post! 



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