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Restoration project 1928 Boyer Gramm Special fire truck


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Well I found a shut off valve for the fuel line and have it on order. Should be in in a couple of days. I've also been removing paint from one of the front fendersand the cowl metal  as well as straightening some of the metal. The rest of it will be up to my painter. I also welding and braised up some of the holes that the past owners have drilled for not so original stuff. As far as the drive shaft goes, they were unable to match up the shaft to u joint. I've removed the yoke in the fire pump and my youngest daughter dropped it off on Monday after school a week ago. She said it was about 15 minutes from school. I talked to them on Friday and was told that a whole new shaft would need to be made which is fine with me. They are getting the parts together to do it. This is a picture of the brake and clutch pedal assy I made

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Just a quick update. I've been working with a company to get the my drive shaft to work with the newer engine. After a month or so of waiting and calling each week or so, they are unable to find either a female end with the correct diameter and splines, a male end, or a tapper/diameter. So my daughter picked it all up and now I'm going to see if the machine shop can make the tapered end and weld the correct yoke on it. Then they can make a whole new drive shaft. Time will tell. Mike

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With all this odd weather this winter, I’ve been able to get the front fenders and hood blasted. They are waiting to be primed, probably next week , I’ve been doing lots of searching the net for parts and info. I did get some great news today though. Last Thursday, I shipped the yoke for the driveshaft out in hopes a company in Wisconsin could come up with a solution. I got an email and called the company. They are going to make a new yoke and send me it. I will need to install it and get the measurement for a new driveshaft. They will build it and send it to me. Once installed I can then take the truck for a drive ( under its own power ) and give the garage a good cleaning. I have been working for about 7 months on just the driveshaft issue and there is a lot of light at the end of this tunnel. 

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I received the new yoke and nut on Thursday. I’m going to install today and get the needed measurement for the new driveshaft. That is if it works. I can definitely see the light at the end of the tunnel for this part. I also took the front fenders and hood metal over to my painter to prime. He should have them done sometime next 2 weeks. 

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Look at what I received today. I only took me about 7 months to find a great shop to do the work with an open mind. They modified a yoke and made the new driveshaft. All I need to do is install the driveshaft and I can take it for a drive ( as soon as the weather cooperates) for the first time. I’m looking forward to it. 

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 It seems like forever since I posted last, but life can and does get in the way. I finally got a chance to finish installing the new yoke and the the new driveshaft. I hooked up the battery and got the temp gas line hooked up. I have rebuilt the carb so I drained the fuel system. I hit the starter switch. I knew I would have to prime the fuel system, but the fuel pump wouldn’t prime. After checking the points And such without any luck. I removed and disassembled and cleaned the fuel pump. Reassemble and installed and tried again. Bummer, the fuel pump still is not pumping. I disconnected the temp gas line and pored gas into the fuel line until is started to come out the outlet of the fuel pump. I then hooked everything back up and tried again. Success at last. I adjusted the carb as needed. Its not run that nice since I started the first time. I should mention that I completely drained the fuel system last fall knowing I was going to rebuild the carb over the winter. I most definitely won’t do that again. I let it get up to temp and finished setting the carb. Most fire trucks have a transfer case to disengage the drive line and engage the pump. They also have a neutral in between the two. I put the transfer case in neutral and ran through the gears to check the new driveshaft and all looks good. I then shifted the transfer case into what I thought was drive, but it turns out that was pump mode. Another shift of the transfer case and slowly let out the clutch and it started to move. It’s raining now so I can’t take out for a drive. Here’s hoping tomorrow weather will corporate and I can take for my first drive. I’m still waiting on the body man to finish up on the hood and fenders. Time for a beer or two and dinner. Then to the other shop to do some more cleaning. Cheers mike

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Today the weather is quite cool ( a high in the high 40’s )and rainy. So since I can’t work outside, I started cleaning the garage. I’m still amazed how much stuff can and does accumulate over the winter that just needs to be tossed into the trash. Since I have put the driveshaft in and I needed to clean the floor under the truck and the rain has move out, I started it up and backed it out. This is the first time that it has been able to move under its own power. What an amazing feeling it was.It’s also the first time it’s seen the daylight in quite some time.   My oldest daughter is here and we moved it back inside. Not far at but we were both happy. I added some gas to the temporary tank and asked her for some help. We backed it out and took it for a trip around the block and we were all smiles

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On 4/4/2020 at 8:13 PM, Mike "Hubbie" Stearns said:

Today the weather is quite cool ( a high in the high 40’s )and rainy. So since I can’t work outside, I started cleaning the garage. I’m still amazed how much stuff can and does accumulate over the winter that just needs to be tossed into the trash. Since I have put the driveshaft in and I needed to clean the floor under the truck and the rain has move out, I started it up and backed it out. This is the first time that it has been able to move under its own power. What an amazing feeling it was.It’s also the first time it’s seen the daylight in quite some time.   My oldest daughter is here and we moved it back inside. Not far at but we were both happy. I added some gas to the temporary tank and asked her for some help. We backed it out and took it for a trip around the block and we were all smiles

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isn’t that first little drive a great feeling!

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Chistech, you are very correct. I’ve had this truck for about 2 1/2 years. There has been some setbacks, but is starting to come around.  I don’t know about you or other members, but it seem to have its own personality. It seems like it will fight you and with a little, sometimes a lot, love, it come around to your way of thinking. 

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  • 4 months later...

It’s been quite a busy summer so far for me. I’ve not been able to do anything on the truck till last week. It’s been moved to the barn for disassembling. The frame will get blasted and painted. Once that is done, I’m going to get it back to a roller. Then clean up the engine and transmission for paint and reinstalling. I’m hoping to have all that done by Halloween. Here’s to hoping

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1 hour ago, r1lark said:

Also, I was wondering what vintage (year) is the 'new' engine?


I’m curious too.  Since the Red Diamonds (formerly called FBC engines) were production from ‘41 to ‘74, there were a couple incremental changes over the years.

 

Here’s my 1951 RD-450.  Lots of the accessories got changed over its service life, but it’s still original.  If you find any good sources for new or old stock parts, I’d love to know about it.  I’m always looking, and would gladly pass on any leads I find, if I ever get that lucky!

 

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2 hours ago, r1lark said:

Mike, thanks for the update. When I watched the videos, I wondered about the steering effort - is it hard to turn at slow speeds?

 

Also, I was wondering what vintage (year) is the 'new' engine?

To answer some of your questions. No it wasn’t hard to steer at the low speed, just when your stopped. I believe the newer engine is either a 54 or 55. As far as parts, I’ve only had to rebuild the carb and fuel pump and found them on the internet. 
 

As of tonight, the only thing left is the front axle and steering box. I have been working on getting a the rear leaf springs off the rearend so I can get them cleaned up and ready to paint. I was able to get the right side nuts off, they are double nutted, and six on the left side before I quit for the night. I’ll finish that tomorrow. 

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I was looking at some pictures and forgot to post this one. It’s at the rear of the frame rails where the tailboard brackets bolt on. They were covered in dirt. This truck is 92 years old and I’m was surprised to see clean metal in the holes. The other surprise is that with a little pb blaster, how many of the bolts and nuts have came apart with just using wrenches. I have had to cut most of the carriage bolts to remove them. I think if they were in good solid wood, I wouldn’t have had to cut them. 

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On 8/29/2020 at 9:32 PM, Mike "Hubbie" Stearns said:

I was looking at some pictures and forgot to post this one. It’s at the rear of the frame rails where the tailboard brackets bolt on. They were covered in dirt. This truck is 92 years old and I’m was surprised to see clean metal in the holes. The other surprise is that with a little pb blaster, how many of the bolts and nuts have came apart with just using wrenches. I have had to cut most of the carriage bolts to remove them. I think if they were in good solid wood, I wouldn’t have had to cut them. 

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I find the same thing Mike. Many bolts and nuts come apart fairly easy even when they look like they’ll never budge. I took some nuts off of some spring u bolts and the outside of the nuts were so badly rusted they were actually cone shaped and didn’t come close to resembling a hexagon yet with some vice grips, they turned off. A couple were so rotted I hit them with a sharp cold chisel and simply cut them in two. The two half’s came right off the threads that were in perfect shape. My brother always says “good steel” no recycled crap. 

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I’ve been working on getting the frame ready for primer and then paint. Sunday I was able to just primed. Today I sanded it before color. I took the week off work and plan to have it painted by Friday. All that’s needed now is for the weather to cooperate as it is raining now and do a final tack of the frame. I’m hoping tomorrow afternoon to shoot color. Looks like my goal to have a roller again by Halloween is going to be made

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Mike, I have just found your posts whilst trying to find my last post on the Humberette. I look forward to reading about the fire truck restoration from the beginning. The last of my cars and motorcycles, the 1903 Crestmobile, got collected this morning for the Bonhams auction in London on the 30th October. Part of me hopes it doesn't sell, as I very much enjoyed, being taken out in it (or should it be on it), a few days ago. Mike

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Well I didn’t make my goal, but I’m close. Life just and can get in the way. I have the front axle reinstalled and today I was able to get the rear end back in it’s place. I just need to finish tightening up the u bolts. It’s suppose to warm up to more seasonal temps so I’ll finish up the u bolts this week. Hopefully I’ll get the rear wheels back on by next weekend. 

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1 hour ago, Mike "Hubbie" Stearns said:

I love the winter, but hate the working in the cold. I don’t have heat in the barn, so I won’t be doing much out there. I’m planning on getting parts ordered so when the weather gets warm again I’ll have the necessary items to hit the road running and not be waiting on parts. Mike

I hate the cold too, I’ll look forward to seeing your updates when the warm weather returns. Love the truck and the work you’ve done on it, thanks for posting it all for us to see. 

Edited by Tate (see edit history)
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I’ve spent quite a bit of my time since my last post doing some research as well as ordering some of the needed parts. I still have a couple of things to order yet.  Today it was about a high of 50 and sunny. Spring is coming. Hooray!!! The snow is melting and my work van needs a bath really bad. I’m tired of the snow. One of the items I have to do is tires. I’ve done quite a bit of research on them. After talking to my now future son in law, the company he works for has a set. He finally asked my oldest daughter the big question on Saturday. So tonight after work I took the tires off so I can take them up this weekend so we can demount them. I’ll bring them back home and get them cleaned up and painted. Then I’ll take them back up and install the new tires. It will probably take me a couple of months to get them done. 
Well till next time, keep up the good work and enjoy a nice cold one. Mike

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I have run into a problem with the rims. The rims are lock ring type. The first 2 came apart without too much work, the last 2 fought us a bit. The problem is the 3rd one broke the lock ring about in half. The owner of the place we were at said not to worry about it. It will just need to be held in place when airing the new tires up the first time. I really don’t like the idea, but I have seen broken lock rings before. Dad always scraped them. That’s the bad news. The good news is I have been emailing a company that makes custom rims. I have sent him some photos. He thinks it is possible to make new ones. They will be tubeless which is more to my likings. He may need to make new hubs also, but time will tell on that. He said he is 4-6 weeks out on the rims and maybe 8-10 weeks on the hubs if needed. In planning on call him later this week to discuss my option. Time will tell. Until next time. Cheers mike

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Well today was wonderful. The weather was great and I was able to get to the barn to work. First up to replace the light on the garage that was bad. Then to replace the spindle seal and tune up my father in laws tractor.  Then started cleaning parts of the engine for my truck so I can paint the engine. I started last week with the cleaning, but noticed almost all the gaskets had blue rtv on them. So I gave Olson’s a call and ordered a complete gasket kit. It should be here next week. There are several gaskets that are seeping like the oil filter to block. The pan gasket needed replaced anyway. The good news is that the insides look great. The only issue is that one of the intake push rods has some unusual wear. I think that at some point in the past, the rocker had an issue and it was rubbing on the head or gasket. I don’t think it will be an issue as they are solid. The rockers get their oil through the rocket shaft. I’ll get some pics once I get the engine back together and painted up the way I want, hopefully by this time next week that will be done and I can put the engine back in the frame for the last time. Till next time, Mike 

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That makes two of us making progress on our RD-450 engines today!  Way to go on that thorough inspection, and I’m looking forward to seeing the engine painted.  It’ll be a while before I can do anything that in-depth, I just need mine to move short distances for right now.  Good luck with the rest of your rebuild, Mike!

 

-Steven

 

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