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The Car Which Shall Not Be Named III (1935 Lincoln K)

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My replacement engine mount showed up from Steele Rubber yesterday, so I wanted to install that. My plan was to reinstall the front cover and put the engine safely back on the engine stand, but that felt seal still vexes me. I soaked it for two days but it's still not very flexible. Following some advice from another site, I have it compressed in  my vise between two pieces of plastic so hopefully it'll be thinner and easier to install. So I didn't get the front cover installed but I did get the other engine mount installed. I shaved it down the same way as the first one and went a little smaller just because I didn't think I could get the shorter arm of the mount into my press. I turned it down small enough that I was able to push it into place using my fingers. It's pretty secure, but I'm worried that maybe I turned it too small. It's wedged in there firmly and I doubt it'll go anywhere, but we'll see how it works once the engine is under load. 


4-24-21-1.jpg.e4fe643f8bd1a1b272b6ab0221682347.jpg  4-24-21-2.jpg.f61925fbffa40647c243c3d474d8a0d9.jpg
Second engine mount installed. Turned it small enough that I could push it in
with my hands and it seems to be holding firm.


After that, I spent about five hours polishing aluminum. Very slow going. I stepped down to some 180 grit to try to cut a little faster and it certainly helped, although progress was anything but speedy. I sanded the entire head with 180 then checked for irregularities and scratches that still needed to be removed. Now is the time to do it--there's a natural inclination to assume that any irregularities will be erased by the next steps, but since this is the most aggressive step, this is where you need to get it right. The better your work here, the better your results later. Finer grits and the polishing wheel don't have the same cutting power so if anything, flaws will be magnified by the ensuing steps. As with most things automotive, prep work determines your result. I'm using regular wet/dry sandpaper and ordered some abrasive puff balls (180/220/400/800 grit) for my Dremel to help polish the spark plug holes and bolt recesses, but they haven't shown up yet. Maybe Monday and we'll see how they work.


Unfortunately, my heads seem to have some defects that are just too deep to sand out. These are factory heads, not repros, so I have to imagine it has been this way from new. Would these flaws have been noticeable in 1935? Would anyone have cared? They probably had slightly different standards of perfection for production cars, but whatever. I can't erase these so I will have to make it shiny enough that nobody notices. 


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Some minor casting defects that sanding just won't remove. I'll have to

live with them.


I sanded the entire head with 180 and got it pretty uniform looking, although there was one deep scratch in it from my wedding ring pushing a little harder through the sand paper. Ugh. I took it off and fixed it with more sanding. I'm using wet sandpaper with a few drops of dishwashing liquid in there to help lubricate the surface and just moderate pressure. More pressure cuts better but leaves irregularities, so I do a heavy pass just to remove material then get a fresh sheet of sandpaper and go over it lightly to erase the scratch marks and level the surface. It works well. You know when you have the surface fairly uniform because the paper will start to glide over it without any dragging. The nice thing is that unlike wood, aluminum has no grain to follow so you can sand in any direction and it still looks good.


Finished with 180 grit. You can see the one deep

scratch caused by my ring, so I went after that

before switching to 220.


Once I finished with the 180 grit, I switched to 220. I took a marker and highlighted the deepest scratches and the direction of some of the marks so I had a guide for the next step. The marker works pretty well because it vanishes once you've actually done some cutting rather than being washed away by the water, so you really have to do some work to erase it (and thereby the scratches that it highlights). Sand in different directions to cut down on visible scratch marks and I always finish with a light touch using a circular motion and lots of water to minimize directional scratches.


Marking some of the more notable scratches 

gave me a guide for the 220.



Mostly finished with the 220. Finish is uniform.



Looks nice, but not at all shiny. Still a long way to go.


I figure each cylinder head will need five steps: 180, 220, 400, then two steps of buffing on the wheel. Some guys say they only go to 220 and then switch to the wheel, but given how heavy and awkward the heads are, I'd rather do as much work as I can on the bench to minimize wheel time. The wheel might be a little faster and might clean up the 220 scratch, but holding it for several hours doesn't sound fun. I'll do 400 grit tomorrow and see what I get.


To sum up, I have roughly two steps finished on one head, maybe 20% total in this part of the project, and it only took 8 hours of work. This is going to take a while...

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And people wonder aloud how it can cost 500k for a restoration.......spend 100 hours polishing heads for Pebble Beach..........and you shall get your answer. There is no substitute for craftsmanship.......and when these cars were built, the pay for a decent mechanic was .35 cents per hour........do the math. A car costing 15k in the era was 30 percent materials, and the rest was labor. 

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20 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Matt......factory photo shows timing cover not painted........-2 points! 🤫


Look closely--the first photo shows it painted. Second photo is inconclusive. My thought is that it almost has to have been painted--the crankcase was raw aluminum but the timing chain cover is steel, so it couldn't have been left bare. Would they have painted it silver? Unlikely since everything that's painted on the engine is black. Why introduce another finish that wouldn't match anything else? They designed these engines deliberately to look good.


I maintain that black is correct and that engine in the photo is a fluke.

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7 minutes ago, Matt Harwood said:


Look closely--the first photo shows it painted. Second photo is inconclusive. My thought is that it almost has to have been painted--the crankcase was raw aluminum but the timing chain cover is steel, so it couldn't have been left bare. Would they have painted it silver? Unlikely since everything that's painted on the engine is black. Why introduce another finish that wouldn't match anything else? They designed these engines deliberately to look good.


I maintain that black is correct and that engine in the photo is a fluke.


The joys of custom cars! Makes me smile......and LOL. I’m an expert......I have seen three factory photos, and my self imposed delusion is the bottom photo can be the only correct possibility. 😱

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More tedious progress today. Sanded the head with 320 grit then skipped right to 600. I don't know that there's much difference between 320 and 400 so I skipped the 400, and the 600 seemed to remove most of the scratches anyway. It's not very noticeable in photos, but there's quite a bit of difference with the 600 leaving a nice satin shine without many scratches.


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Not much difference in photos between 320 and 600.


600 leaves a fairly uniform surface and the wheel should

be able to remove the rest of those scratches.


After that, there was nothing left to do but put it on the wheel. I have a heavy-duty buffer and a stand I built years ago to polish my '41 Century's stainless trim, but I looked through my supplies and found new wheels and compounds so I could start fresh. You should not mix metal types on the same wheel and since all my previous polishing work was on stainless, those wheels were no good to me. I mounted a fresh sisal wheel and a fresh spiral-sewn cotton wheel on the buffer and got started.



I built this buffing stand about 15 years ago. Works well.


I used a relatively fast-cutting compound designed for aluminum and put it on the sisal wheel to see what would happen. I started on the top edge of the head where it will not be seen under the exhaust manifold, so if I screwed it up nobody will notice. It was slower going than I expected and the head is awkward to hold in various positions. Stopping periodically to wipe off the surface with lacquer thinner, I could see that I was indeed making progress. Again, slower than I would prefer but just think of polishing as erosion--it's slow but inevitable. Keep working and eventually you'll get results. All it takes is time.


I'll grind away at it every day after work until I can't stand it anymore and eventually I'll be done. I don't think I'll be able to achieve the flawless mirror-like surface of the high-end restorations but it will be shiny and have clear reflections and that will be good enough for my driver-grade car. Or am I just making excuses?


Lower right corner has been buffed on the sisal wheel
and cleaned up a bit on the cotton wheel, both using

the same compound. 



Results are slow but inevitable.


Even though the heads are aluminum, they still weigh about 35 pounds each and holding that chunk of metal in various positions for a few hours was exhausting. Like isometric exercises. I stayed with it until my arms and shoulders surrendered after about three hours. Since the day was still young, I went and took another pass at that felt seal. I've had it in a vise compressing for a few days, so I quickly pulled it out (the compression squeezed all the oil out of it, however) and tried to work it into position. Failure. Back into the vise, grab my little dental hooks, and take another pass. After some squeezing, pushing, and jamming it in there with a screwdriver, I successfully installed the seal. WooT! Just to hold it in place and get it accustomed to its new home, I jammed the pulley in there and will let it take a set over night before I start reassembling the front of the engine, maybe tomorrow if I don't feel like polishing.



I finally beat you!



Pulley will hold it in place and get it acclimated

to its spot in the front cover.


Last thing was pulling some hardware out of my vibratory tumbler--what a great little tool! Throw some hardware in there and a day or two later it's clean with a nice satin shine on it. I don't believe it removes plating like the wire wheel, either, so the nuts and bolts can be reused on the engine and will look 100% authentic. I also threw the fittings for the oil filter in there and they came out beautifully with bright nickel plating fully intact. Looking into the T-fitting that feeds the filter and the oil pressure gauge, I noticed that the leg that feeds the filter was almost completely blocked. I poked at it with the tip of a drill bit but didn't get too aggressive. Is it supposed to be like this? I recall that my 1929 Cadillac has a similar fitting that feeds the filter and the gauge and when I replaced it with a modern equivalent, I lost all my oil pressure simply because the openings were too large. 


So my question is--is this fitting supposed to be like this? That's probably enough of an opening to feed oil to the partial bypass filter and the blockage seems very solid. Not sure I should be trying to un-block it. Thoughts?



Hole feeding the oil filter is TINY. Is this

how it is supposed to be or is the fitting clogged?



Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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  • Matt Harwood changed the title to The Car Which Shall Not Be Named III (1935 Lincoln K)

My little abrasive balls arrived today so I was eager to try them out. I chucked one into my Dremel tool and cleaned out the spark plug holes. They work very well, smoothing the aluminum and giving it a bright finish. They come in four grits: 120, 180, 220, and 400 so I started with the 120 and cleaned up the machine marks as much as I could. The balls kind of disintegrate as you use up the abrasive, but at a moderate speed they work well. It's harder to get into the stud recesses and the sharp edges tend to use them up really fast, but it worked to clean things up a bit. 



Brown (120), green (180), red (320), black (400). So far
I've only used the brown and green.


The only downside was that I probably should have done this step first so I could blend all the surfaces. I still have a lot more work to do with these balls to get things really smooth but at least I know they'll work. I'll spend more time with them tomorrow.


4-26-21-7.jpg.13ab2dd8d680d26c013e3c15e8388317.jpg  4-26-21-5.jpg.9df6793fe9c79408985344841b6a24ee.jpg

You can see the difference it makes in the recessed areas even with 

just a quick pass using the 120 grit.



This is polished up to the 180 grit. Bolt holes are

harder to clean and polish due to their sharp edges.



The balls almost work too well. I should have used them

first, then done the rest of the sanding and polishing.
I'll fix the surfaces with another pass with the 400/600

sandpaper then back on the wheel.


I didn't do a lot of polishing simply because I was eager to do some reassembly and get the engine back on the stand. Now that I have the felt seal in place, I wanted to install the front cover. I didn't take many photos, but it went pretty smoothly. I pulled all the studs, cleaned the crankcase mounting surface, and applied a very light layer of grease. I also greased the timing chain since the first start will be a little dry. I applied some RTV to the timing cover to act as an adhesive, with the idea being that if I ever have to remove it, I'd rather have the gasket stick to the timing cover.


There's also that little spring-loaded button that puts light pressure against the generator drive pulley--you may recall it shot across the shop when I removed the timing cover. It's just a spring and a little brass cylinder that fits in a machined recess in the timing cover. The trick, however, is keeping it in its hole while you install the timing cover--the tendency is for it to pop out and since clearances are pretty exacting, it doesn't necessarily pop back into its hole. I added some grease to the face of the button and pressed it into place, then quickly installed the timing cover using two studs to hold it in place. I'm pretty sure the button stayed where it was supposed to. 

Pretty sure. Like 90% sure.


Then I installed the camshaft pulley to position the cover properly. If you just start installing studs and nuts, the opening may not be centered and the seal will be destroyed by the pulley when the engine is running. Once it was in place, I started installing studs, new stainless lock washers, and the original nuts. I put a drop of blue Loc-Tite on each stud to act as a sealer (the stud holes go through to the timing chain cavity) and with the idea that if I ever need to remove them again, Blue Loc-Tite will act as a sealer and won't be as strong as rust. That's the thought, anyway.


I installed each stud and nut then torqued it to about 15 lb-ft. so the Loc-Tite could start setting up. Once I had them all in place, I gave them a final torque to about 30 lb-ft. using a crisscross pattern across the timing chain cover. 


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Front cover reinstalled.

And then I went home. 



Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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On 4/24/2021 at 8:37 PM, Matt Harwood said:

I maintain that black is correct and that engine in the photo is a fluke.

VERY common for auto show standalone display engines to appear like that one in the photo.  Production car engines would rarely be shined up to that degree of perfection.



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I spent about two hours with the little sanding balls and cleaned out the spark plug holes and the bolt holes and they worked rather well. Not quite a reflective shine, but the 400-grit certainly smoothed the rough areas and brightened it up. The downside was that sometimes they left what I call "skidmarks" as the ball moved across the surface and scuffed it. I kind of figured I'd have to re-sand the whole thing with 600 grit wet sandpaper to get rid of those marks, but I was doing some reading on buffing last night and had some ideas. I went to the buffing wheel instead.


I was using a less aggressive compound on a sisal wheel, but today I switched to a less aggressive spiral-sewn wheel and a more aggressive compound. Et voila! It polished up beautifully! And fast! Took me about an hour to do do what you see below in the video. Also note that you can see some of the "skidmarks" in the areas I hadn't yet buffed, but as I kept working they vanished. There's a pretty good shine on the polished areas, which contrast sharply with the areas that were merely sanded. Check it out:



I stayed with it and experimented with a few different combinations. I have some 10-inch buffing wheels and tried those to get a little more speed at the work surface, but the bigger wheel had too little torque so I went back to the 8-inch wheels where I could put more significant pressure on the work. That definitely delivered a better result. 


Another hour and my arms were shot but the results were pretty impressive:


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Bear in mind that this was just a rough first pass with the most aggressive compound. There's definitely more cutting to do, especially on the edges and a few deeper defects to try to buff out, but after a medium step and a fine step, it should really shine like a mirror. I'm very pleased with the results and the second head will probably be easier and faster given what I've learned on this pass. 


Oh, and my pure awesome wife, Melanie, got me a present. She actually bought it two years ago but was afraid to give it to me after things started to go wrong with the Lincoln. She decided today was the right day to pull it out.




Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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An important observation on the “Lincoln”. Matt........the light is at the end of the tunnel. You will succeed to get the car back together and on the road. Doing everything right is a great accomplishment and sensation. Yup, there are still a few pot holes in the road ahead, but you WILL make it now. Gone is the frustration and dispare. Been there, done that. I too know what it is to hate and despise a car in the garage. I pushed through it......and that was thirty years ago. Today being much older and just a tiny bit wiser, nothing on any automobile bothers me............I learned from craftsmen who taught me well......but took a long time to truly understand.........”shut up and fix it. Do it right the first time. Move on to the next project.” Just because fixing a car is difficult doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the process. Today, the harder the problem, the more satisfaction I get out of fixing it. I particularly like the issues that have been to five good shops and haven’t been fixed or finished. The only mildly disagreeable thing I do in the shop is clean parts. If you have cleaned parts for days on end, without a break, and smell like safety kleen, you know what I am talking about. I’m looking forward to the first video of the car going down the road, and I will make an effort to bum a ride. Seeing friend victory’s are just as satisfying as my own. Best, Ed.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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On 4/21/2021 at 8:57 PM, edinmass said:

Matt......the joint on the water pump uses a item called a hardy disk. If you can give me the OD, ID, and bolt spacing I will see if we have made them in the past. Probably did, and probably have new ones on the shelf at the shop up north. Here are a few we have in stock. Die cut, proper material.............




Looks like the hardy discs on this generator/water pump are 3 inches in diameter with a 2-inch bolt circle and a 1-inch center bore. That seems too easy, but the disc is a bit oval-shaped after all these years with one measurement being a little under 3 inches and one being a little over. Thickness looks like a little over 5/8 at its widest point and about 1/2 where it was compressed by the bolts.


If you have some of these, Ed, I'd like to buy some. Let me know, please!


HardyDisc3.jpg.f3cb26af891ba3d5bafc655e16387d56.jpg  HardyDisc2.jpg.b6a02fb1c4afccd80ab3b6f47c226683.jpg  HardyDisc4.jpg.c1e165708488215039b3489df1fa969c.jpg  HardyDisc1.jpg.17d1726c053f124f759f9b9cdb71b992.jpg

Hardy disc is oblong but measurements are pretty consistent.


My friend Jim Capaldi, retired restorer, came by and picked up the water pump. He's going to rebuild it with a stainless shaft and ceramic seals so there won't be any more packing inside. He and I managed to get it separated from the generator without too much effort. The water pump worked just fine, but as long as I'm doing all this, I may as well do it right. Besides, the heater outlet was pretty seriously eroded and he'll install a fresh tube there.


The generator was supposedly rebuilt right before I bought the car but spinning it on the bench, it squeaks like hell and the shaft feels gritty. I'm going to take it to my rebuilder and have Earl go through it just to be sure. And as long as it's out, I'll clean it up and give it a coat of gloss black paint to make it look right on the shiny new engine. I also have a solid-state voltage regulator that I was going to install in my 1929 Cadillac and just never got around to it. I wonder if that's a worthwhile addition to this generator, which uses both a third brush and a primitive regulator to manage current. The ammeter needle bounces around like crazy, but according to the manual it's totally normal because of the regulator. Apparently they didn't have the science all worked out in 1935. A solid-state unit should work far better and eliminate the jumpy needle. I'll see what Earl thinks.


Generator1.jpg.5a4ec286553be0d98e17b215e4723a8a.jpg  Generator2.jpg.8b92462319b5b0a0a6fbe6d4ad16d298.jpg

Generator will get a check-up and a cosmetic freshening.


Lynn (AB-Buff) has my distributor, although that wasn't without issues. First, UPS damaged the rotor in transit. Fortunately, I sent it to the one guy in the universe who has brand new rotors sitting on the shelf! Then, putting it on his test machine, Lynn found all kinds of wonkiness inside, again apparently done just before I bought it. The "new" points were used and shot, the dwell was off by about 10% and point gap was off by like .018". Despite this, when it ran, it ran great, so I'm very excited to see how it runs with Lynn's updated rotor and correctly configured NOS points inside. Thanks again, Lynn!



Original rotor did not survive cross-country shipping.



Edited by Matt Harwood (see edit history)
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More polishing, which is probably even more boring to read about than it is to actually do. I grabbed the second head and used the abrasive balls to clean up the spark plug holes as a first step. Then I'll wet sand then polish. This head is in noticeably worse shape than the driver's side with some casting defects. I'm not sure I can erase them, but we'll see. 


I won't bore you with all the polishing so I'll just post the results when the heads are done.


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First step was cleaning up the spark plug holes.

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I know I promised no more polishing posts, but I discovered today that my passenger side cylinder head has a lot of voids in it plus more corrosion. I don't know if the holes are casting defects, but there are a number of 1/8" holes in the surface. This is, of course, in addition to all the little pockmarks and corrosion. I can't imagine that Lincoln would have allowed a head like this on a car, but it's an original head not a repro. Odd.


To try to improve things I got very aggressive with my sanding, starting with the DA sander and 180 grit but ultimately stepping down to 60-grit discs on my die grinder to try to just work some of those defects out of the surface. I killed about 40% of them, but the rest are so deep that any attempt to grind them out would only result in a wavy surface that would look even worse. This head took A LOT more work than the first one.



Lots of defects in the surface that I won't be able to grind out.


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Hard to say what could have caused all these defects and

why this head is so much rougher than the other one.


If this were a show car restoration, they'd probably scrap this head and try to find another one in better shape. I'm not doing a show car so I'll fix the defects as well as I can and then put a good polish on it.


Ultimately, I got through all four stages of sanding up to 600 grit, so this head is ready to go on the wheel tomorrow to start bringing up the shine.     




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10 minutes ago, maok said:

Could you fill them with solder?



Leave them alone and live with them, that’s 10,000 dollars worth of advice. No charge.

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46 minutes ago, maok said:

Could you fill them with solder?


35 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Leave them alone and live with them

The hardest words to say in a restoration are:   "STOP! it is good enough just as it is" 

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Cosmetic issues can be called “good enough” but mechanical issues are never fixed good enough. 

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Received word from my friend Jim Capaldi, who is rebuilding the water pump, that there's an issue. Check it out:


Cover2.jpg.f9d1e51c3726c842a6891d8bf04d6170.jpg  Cover1.jpg.866a4b378415d79c88416008609cd077.jpg

Like many things on this car, an important part was broken, repaired

inadequately, and hidden.


Jim asked if I thought I could find another one, but that's very unlikely. He's going to machine a replacement from aluminum instead. Someone obviously over-torqued it and cracked the end cap. Jim said there was a lot of fresh RTV goop all over it along with a thick gasket to make it seal--the brazing must have warped the hell out of it.  It pays to know the right guys for this kind of work and I would not have trusted anyone else with this job.


Also, I'm flat-out exhausted from all this polishing. About six hours yesterday and another six or so today and my arms are dead. That chunk of aluminum gets pretty heavy after a few hours. Almost done. You probably can't see it in the photos below, but the upper head has a pass with the white rouge and a loose wheel, which brought up a nice blue/white shine, while the lower head just has the first and second passes on a spiral wheel with coarse and medium compounds and kind of a yellowish shine. I'll do the final passes on both heads tomorrow and that should be pretty close to the end of the line for that project. My estimate of about 40 hours for this job will probably be pretty close. I don't think I'll be able to put the perfect surface on it that I wanted, but it'll take a lot more time, effort, and probably tools, than I have. But as Ed mentioned above, I much prefer for it to work properly and look pretty good rather than look perfect and drive like poop. 



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After Jack Passey had passed away, Mona called me and said I’ve got to get rid of everything here the scrap metal guy will be here on Monday. So I headed over the next day, Sunday.  I was rooting through a wood bin that was about 6 feet wide by 20 feet long 2foot high full of pinenuts and leaves with some piece parts in it. I pulled out three of those water pumps and set them on the top edge of the bin. I got a call from the person that I was with me went over to the main garage got totally sidetracked and left with them sitting on the edge of the bin. Monday morning I remembered, called Mona and she said that’s where the scrap metal guy is working. I described what it was to her and she went over to see. The the scrap metal guy said he didn’t see anything like that. I’m pretty sure it was the first thing he threw in his truck and he wasn’t going to get it back out. Irritating 😞 

Edited by AB-Buff
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our 1937 Brunn K also had that damage as well as damage to the housing back in the mid 80’s and a pump was impossible to find back then........




I sure miss Jack Passy. Great guy and always had a smile. We were fortunate to buy all his Pierce parts and spares while he was still fairly mobile and active in the shop. How a junk man was ever given access to a property like that is asinine. Jack had been around a long time and knew what was worth saving.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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 The weather was crummy today so I couldn't do any polishing (I work outside--it's too messy for inside the shop). Instead, I started a few smaller jobs. First, I found some hardy discs for the generator/water pump drive at O'Reilly's. The bolt circle is the same although the overall diameter is a little larger and the thickness is pretty close. Stacking two of them should work pretty well--it's only about 1/8" thicker than the original. My only concern is that the original had metal inserts for the bolts where the new ones are just holes punched in the rubber. Will that make a difference? I guess I'll find out. The new ones are designed for a steering system, so they should be able to manage quite a bit of torque.


5-3-21-1.jpg.e37bb9336581e729bec95a0e825151e7.jpg  5-3-21-2.jpg.760711eccf66fdaaa47db9b502547e11.jpg

I found replacement hardy discs at a local auto parts store. Although
they're a bit bigger, they should work just fine.


I am working towards getting the oil pan reinstalled as soon as possible, too. I though I'd get it done tonight, but there were too many little details that need to be done before it can all go together. First up is reinstalling the oil pump. I cleaned it thoroughly with some brake cleaner and used a wire wheel to clean the mounting surfaces. I note that there are the remains of a paper gasket on all three mounting faces, but there are no replacement gaskets in my gasket kit. Dang, guess I need to make some. So I did.


5-3-21-3.jpg.b3ac02cf5ce65202bf13ffe7cda1fdc7.jpg  5-3-21-8.jpg.d896f99bbd190fcf3baf810015996f86.jpg

Made my own gaskets for the oil pump and oil manifold flanges.


With the gaskets made, I installed the oil pump. It went in easy and there are only two mounting bolts. I re-used the original hardware with new lock washers, but once I had everything torqued, I noticed this:


Is that line supposed to be there or in the pump?

Some investigating says it's supposed to be there.


Driveshaft is pretty long. If it wasn't seating properly,
I doubt I would have been able to tighten the mounting bolts.


It went in easy and looking at the driveshaft, I believe it's properly seated in the pump. Nevertheless, that line gave me pause. So I took it apart and put it back together again, making sure that the driveshaft was seated properly in the pump. And the line was still visible. I guess that's how it's supposed to be.


One of the things that needs to be addressed before anything else can go together is the oil level indicator. It's just a piece of wire with a cork float on one end and a red ball on the other, and it shows the oil level on a little plate bolted to the side of the crankcase. Couldn't be simpler. Unfortunately, the cork float is oil soaked and just falling apart, so I had to find a replacement. After some looking, I found some cork stoppers that were the right diameter, although they're a quite a bit thicker. My plan is to cut one in half, which should very closely approximate the original. The problem? The wire isn't just impaled through the cork, there are little collars soldered to the wire to hold the cork in place. I'll have to de-solder one of them, install the cork, and see if I can re-secure it. Shouldn't be too hard.


Original float is crumbling and needs to be replaced.


New cork can be cut to size. Need to figure out the

little retaining discs on the wire, which were

soldered in place originally.


So I'll figure out the float and then button up the bottom end in the next few days, as well as continuing to polish the heads (and a few other parts). 


Oh, and check out Melanie's new car. 2019 Audi E-Tron, 100% electric. I only drove it about four miles but holy cow, this thing is insanely fast and eerily quiet. I think I'll like owning an electric car.



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Meh. I'm not worried. We aren't using it to drive to California and it charges to more than 90% full while we sleep. Melanie said she got in it this morning and it told her she could drive 305 miles on the current 82% charge (probably less with A/C running and other factors, but even if it's 250 miles that's a lot of driving). For anything other than an interstate road trip, that's more than adequate. We have gasoline cars for long trips. I don't anticipate any hardships due to electricity scarcity.


Range anxiety is probably a thing, but I don't worry about running out of electricity any more than I worry about running out of gas. It's not like it sneaks up on you and suddenly goes dead by the side of the road without any warning. Pay attention to it like you pay attention to your gas gauge and you won't get in trouble. Yes, it takes longer to "fill up" but since it does it while we sleep it's no big deal and the car is always ready to go.

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Nice Audi! We bought a 2017 Q7 last fall (non-electric, so only kind of similar), and so far I've been really impressed. The thing gets over 30mpg combined if you keep your foot out of it, and I've surprised some modern muscle cars with it in sport mode at stop lights.

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To me, it's not the range issue on a charge, it's the time delay....which is significant ...... and additional milage to charging stations on long road trips that will prevent me from owning an electric car. For a use within 100 miles of home on any given day, electric cars are fine for 99 percent of regular use. 

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I was kind of at odds and ends last night when looking to do some work on the Lincoln so I could keep moving forward--I don't want to lose my momentum. I couldn't polish heads because it was still raining, and my friend Ed told me not to use cork as a float for the oil level gauge, so I couldn't button up the oil pan (I have a brass float coming today that I'll [hopefully be able to] solder on to the wire). So instead I tackled a little project I've been thinking about for a few months--a port for the auxiliary temperature gauge that I installed when I first got the car. It always ran hot but since the factory gauge is just a red thermometer window with no markings, I didn't know how hot. So I added a modern mechanical temperature gauge hidden in the glove box. The factory gauge is fed by a fitting at the top of the radiator between the two inlet tubes--probably ideal for reading temperature since that is the hottest point in the entire cooling system. There are no ports in the engine itself that I could use for this second gauge, so I made an adapter that would fit in one of the upper radiator hoses. It worked well and gave me accurate readings but didn't look right.


Guage3.jpg.eaedead778661fbc30de0d7a77f6840f.jpg  TempFitting.jpg.7f3b5f0386f512af41c760b255515958.jpg
Factory gauge works but doesn't really tell you much. Sensor bulb is mounted

in the top of the radiator, which is the hottest point.


Gauge1.jpg.3fc913adf8cd1afafa74fd15a1f33656.jpg  Gauge2.jpg.26ad89a5360d9e577776a0c213ff42e6.jpg
Mechanical gauge in the glove box is far more accurate.


Adapter7.jpg.eb6ee282f7d5ec70771d70552a5d8cf3.jpg  Adapter8.jpg.86e8c23df2e26e908171d8a6c6a1887d.jpg  Adapter9.jpg.432aa58b62ee2bf5d9f4e9a781242f91.jpg
I welded up an adapter for the upper radiator hose for the new
gauge's sensor. Worked well but didn't look right.


Now that I'm aiming for a more show-worthy look, that fitting in the upper hose isn't going to work. Instead, I found a spare water distribution tube, the part that channels water from the water pump to the block. It's a massive bronze casting that's way heavier than it needs to be--just beautifully made. My original is already restored and finished with gloss black powdercoat, but since I had a spare I thought that would be a good place to hide that extra sensor for the auxiliary gauge.


This might be a good place to hide the sensor bulb

for the auxiliary gauge, no?


I found a brass fitting with the same threads as the gauge's sensor bulb and soldered it to the side of the water distribution tube. My first attempt looked good but the minute it cooled off, it just slid right off the tube. Grrrr... I roughed up the surface some more to give it more tooth, cleaned it really well, used a lot of flux, and eventually got it to stick and make a water-tight seal. It's not pretty, but once it's powdercoated black, it will not be terribly noticeable down there on the bottom of the engine.


Tube1.jpg.39706583875d0b8575562e4a0316d9a6.jpg  Tube2.jpg.982c32d07c2f7d85fd747e48800f3dbc.jpg  Tube3.jpg.4c8d1aa7a6039da27ab73834c6e9a71f.jpg
I soldered a fitting on the side of the water distribution tube then drilled
a hole for the sensor bulb to actually touch the coolant. Ugly but
it's water tight and should be invisible once it's powdercoated.


And if it doesn't work, I still have the original part already

finished and ready to install (upper left).


My plan is to route the original gauge's sending bulb to this new fitting and use the factory spot in the radiator for the more accurate aftermarket gauge. That way the factory gauge will be fully operational, albeit reading slightly cooler temperatures since this is coming right from the water pump, and the spot in the radiator will give me a "worst case" reading of temperatures as they actually are. And with this fitting tucked down low, it should not be terribly noticeable and most folks won't even realize it's not stock. With this setup, it'll be easy enough to put it back to original should the need arise.


I'll sandblast the water distribution tube tonight and get it to the powdercoater tomorrow, along with my air cleaner assembly, and then I'll have more parts on the shelf ready to install. Nice!

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