Matt Harwood

The Car Which Shall Not Be Named III

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It doesn’t have to be too thick........

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

OK, don't worry about the block-off; I won't braze it. I agree with Joe that a plug should screw in and hold tight and even if it comes loose, the tapered threads mean it can only unscrew outwards. Since I'm having Remflex make a set of custom intake/exhaust gaskets for me, I'll ask them not to put the hole in the gaskets between the manifolds and the crossover and then the plug can't go anywhere. I got the threaded plug idea from the my friend Gary, who is the head mechanic at the Canton Car Museum. The Museum is probably the largest Lincoln K shop in the country at this point with the biggest cache of spare parts I've ever seen (you might remember that I need the unique locating pins for my flywheel--he has about a thousand of them in a drawer). Gary has had more of these engines apart than anyone else I know and he says they always tap the port and plug it. Don't worry, the crossover is still bolted directly to the exhaust manifolds, so it'll still get plenty hot. I'm not worried about the carburetor being too cool, especially since it's sitting right there surrounded by exhaust manifolds. Remember than in the 1930s, gasoline was far less volatile than it is today and the heat was necessary to help with vaporizing the fuel. We have the opposite problem today where it vaporizes almost at room temperature and can actually boil at normal operating temperatures. 

 

I also received my replacement collector which is in fantastic shape with really nice porcelain. No need to refinish it, I'll just clean it up and install it as-is. It's not very visible on the engine, so a slight difference in gloss shouldn't be noticeable. It wasn't cheap, but it's good to not have to worry about broken mounting ears or botched repairs.

 

135601828_2020-02-2618_15_13.thumb.jpg.59a047803e607f12c9220407efac8b67.jpg  1593089335_2020-02-2618_15_19.thumb.jpg.f88d6ec398797c1e44c4edcf17059586.jpg  1903243254_2020-02-2618_15_32.thumb.jpg.265cb213bfe143ff658dd2b081393b2d.jpg

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It's an odd thing to say for a guy who is in the habit of making almost everything but I'm always thrilled when I can buy an original part in extremely good condition. e-bay lunacy excepted, it is always a good buy.

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Which is the painted part and which is the porcelain (hint: look for the repair)? I'll be very pleased if it looks this good on the engine after a few heat cycles.

 

1150837394_2020-02-2712_51_23.thumb.jpg.0b5935206464e7376250c0365bec9a43.jpg  2019987599_2020-02-2712_51_08.thumb.jpg.5c781e827426a821fad60545f2dc3852.jpg

 

Now to figure out how to clean the aluminum crankcase and decide whether it should be painted...

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Hello Matt,

 

Those pieces look great!

 

Unless it was painted when new my first inclination is to clean it and leave it natural plus your going to have to get it clean for painting anyways. 

 

A number of years ago I had to clean-up a crankcase on a Franklin engine. I believe I used a cheap spray -on alloy wheel cleaner along with Simple Green or the Purple stuff from Walmart.

It worked great. Took a bit of scrubbing with a brass bristle brush in some of the rougher areas. I may have used one of those stainless scrubby things

like you use for pots and pans as well.

 

I wasn't after a polished show finish just natural casting finish off the factory floor clean. A little elbow grease and it came out great.

 

Used the same method on the big manganese bronze crankcase from my Wisconsin T-head.

 

I am sure you know but avoid steel wool. Small bits tend to get embedded here and there and then rust.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Matt Harwood said:

Now to figure out how to clean the aluminum crankcase and decide whether it should be painted...

 

I guess it depends on how you want it to look, and whether it's for show, and if so whether it's a points issue. I like natural aluminum castings, old ones too, warts and all. To me, aluminum paint looks bad more often than it looks good. It doesn't age well either.

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1 hour ago, Bloo said:

I guess it depends on how you want it to look, and whether it's for show, and if so whether it's a points issue. I like natural aluminum castings, old ones too, warts and all. To me, aluminum paint looks bad more often than it looks good. It doesn't age well either.

I acquired my 1925 Pierce 80 coupe almost 25 years ago with a painted cast aluminum crankcase.  Over the years, I repainted with Eastwood's Aluma-Blast (some brush and some rattle-can, as the crankcase remained in the car), then over still more years wiped it down semi-annually with Oil Eater, which I prefer for painted surfaces because it does not tend to remove paint or change the sheen (or lack thereof).  I sold the car four years ago, and had occasion to drive it again during the 2019 PAS annual meet and found the Aluma-Blast holding up perfectly. 

 

I do try to preserve the unpainted cast aluminum when it has not been painted previously.  If the crankcase is out of the car, I use Glyptal on the inside of the crankcase to seal it against further oil migration outward.

 

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The problem with the crankcase is that someone half-heartedly tried to paint it black at some point in the past. I hit a part of it with a ScotchBrite pad on my die grinder which took it off, but the wheel kind of left a pattern. I was thinking some kind of 1500 grit sandpaper and wet sand the aluminum to give it an even, satin finish. I might experiment on a small area and see how it looks. Painting is a last resort.

 

4-17-19-1.thumb.jpg.d2fa39a5d96502db80f1e9f7d8c8ad15.jpg

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It will take many steps to go from a Scotchbrite pad to 1500 grit paper.  As I recall, a green Scotchbrite is about 400 grit.  Maybe some aircraft stripper will remove the paint without harming the aluminum. Then you can go from 80/120/220/400/600/1200/1500 grit in stages if you really need polished and shiny.  It’s doubtful that the original part was polished to this degree, probably a nice sand casting.  Try a small pneumatic orbital sander (Tractor Supply, etc.) with a 2” hook-and-loop pad to work your way through the grades of grit. 

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Matt,

 

That's the beauty of Aluminum  - its easy to remove swirls etc. with a little bit of elbow grease and some wet/dry sand paper.

 I would try lacquer thinner, acetone etc. before going mechanical on it. Again turning to the kitchen those little green pad things used for scouring pads work well

for getting down through the layers.

 

When I found a big Stromberg M4 for the Wisconsin it was painted with a NASTY orange paint. A little dip in a can of lacquer thinner and some work with a brush took care of that.

 

Many times simple is best even if it takes a bit more work and time. You have a jewel of automotive engineering there and with the natural aluminum and

painted fittings its going to look very, very sharp! 

 

717905186_M4Carb-2a.thumb.jpg.b72e9d5ec12897ef91f09e55dee2e18b.jpg

 

1620095074_photo1(2).thumb.JPG.b06a3c3863a46b4e648e86411d38e512.JPG

 

Here is a before and after of the bronze crankcase - I didn't have to deal with paint just 80 year old grease and 

grime. Again, the goal was not show shine just factory clean. Using solvents and hand work it came out pretty well.

2-7-09C.thumb.JPG.fe53d33ccfbf84c1cacd5fbc3be3156d.JPG

 

 

IMGP9256.thumb.JPG.16e74810a252c0f8e2a6878acfbb066b.JPG

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Terry Harper (see edit history)
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Earlier I mentioned the stainless pot scrubbers. Those will leave marks so go gentle and use only for real stubborn stuff

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You can also try a Roloc bristle disc. You can get them in different sizes and and grits. A 2" one on an angle air grinder would allow you to get into the hard spots.  Used them to remove paint on F-16 skin panels to remove the paint and not harm the aluminum. Worth a shot.

3M 048011-18730 3M-18730 Roloc Bristle Disc Grade-50, Size-2, Green

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I have used oven cleaner on aluminum with baked on crud  - works pretty well.   After that some scouring pads work well.   Also, recently use a host of flexible sanding blocks from hardware store. 

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On ‎2‎/‎20‎/‎2020 at 9:21 PM, Matt Harwood said:

A fellow member sent me a PM the other day cautiously asking about some of the information from a previous thread about this car, especially the details about metal stitching. I realized that I had a lot of details there but they're all wiped and while we've talked vaguely about metal stitching elsewhere, it's still kind of like black magic to a lot of people--myself included before I saw how it worked.

 

Shortly after the car arrived in July 2018, my son Riley and I were doing some tinkering at the shop. While the Lincoln was idling in the parking lot, Riley pointed at the side of the engine and asked, "Where's that water coming from?" With a flashlight, I was quickly able to ascertain that it was not the water pump, not a head gasket, not a hose, but a hole in the side of the cylinder block weeping coolant. Oh boy…

 

20181113_134016.thumb.jpg.d91acf904f6bd498112d033f952203a6.jpg
Just a little drip on the side of the block...

 

12660.thumb.jpeg.7b9d03a6ab7ab2cb8ef85e6143616c5f.jpeg  12670.thumb.jpeg.0987a4b2660b1ade288b12404f92af0c.jpeg
...which required this much material to be removed. Also note
the crack extending up to the deck surface as well as the sleeved

cylinder and .030 pistons--someone in the past knew about the

damage and just covered it up and ignored it.

 

With some investigation, we found that the block had cracked sometime in the not-too-distant past and that whomever had discovered the damage had hastily covered up the hole with some epoxy and painted the engine block to hide it. Obviously that is neither a correct nor a permanent repair, and it caused me no small amount of consternation in the days that followed. A few phone calls revealed that rebuilding a Lincoln K V12 costs roughly 70% of this particular car's total value, and that's provided I could find a replacement block.

 

The solution? I would remove the engine from the car and send it to Frank Casey in Massachusetts who is reportedly the world's finest practitioner of the arcane art of metal stitching. Yes, metal stitching. Knitting cast iron together without the use of heat. Skeptical? So was I.

 

It works and seems like nothing short of a miracle. There's sound science behind it and metal stitching can save ancient metal parts once thought irreparably damaged and do it without the fear of future issues. Forget what you know about repairing cast iron.

 

The following photos are from a variety of sources (including my own block) showing how the process works. I could describe it, but the process seems so much like black magic that you really have to see it with your own eyes to understand. Have a look:

 

12714.thumb.jpeg.c11f98e96019d5b12fac4a425d24bf03.jpeg

A fresh chunk of cast iron was stitched into place creating a 

permanent repair that will be invisible once the block is painted.

 

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The crack on the deck was also stitched and machined smooth.

 

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Pressure testing held 40 PSI for three days. Repair is good.

 

762172396_StitchingDiagram.thumb.jpg.12fbc7e6f856faf2d699f2cf2d39c1a6.jpg
How metal stitching works.

 

Repair1.thumb.jpg.5687940eaae37aa7dc8d21a9cb771cb0.jpg  Repair3.thumb.jpg.ec040fd3ae927f797e87b07d6e541cd0.jpg  Repair4.thumb.jpg.334b6239cd5817f7573d0326e0ea0a8e.jpg
Overlapping threaded studs called "laces" replace the damaged metal and lock into place using
reverse-tapered threads. They can be ground, machined, painted, and finished to be completely invisible.

 

img_0404_bb.thumb.jpg.a405929b32c87a5caa45c9080f115e71.jpg
Think this block is toast? Guess again.

 

img_0479_bb2.thumb.jpg.6cd04133e661ff4be690d56c65ae1215.jpg  img_0775_bb.thumb.jpg.d977755ad892f9d5d4570da466ac768c.jpg GreenBlock4.thumb.jpg.1dbd0ff6e1fbfa6a91906da9477a807b.jpg

Amazing repairs can be achieved with metal stitching.

 

Metal stitching can save ancient metal parts once thought irreparably damaged and do it without the fear of future issues. There are those who claim to be able to weld cast iron, but they are few and cannot guarantee success. Specialized materials and techniques, including preheating the castings in an oven and cooling them at a controlled pace are keys to success, but it is impossible to know how an ancient casting will react to the stress of welding decades after it was made. Add in oil contamination, porosity, the typically low quality of the materials used in the past, and the unpredictable nature of shattered metal, and you have a process that is far from a sure thing. Many of you have seen hackneyed work-arounds when replacement castings cannot be found, and in many cases, valuable, irreplaceable parts are scrapped simply because there are no alternatives.


The stitching process is very much what it implies, a literal knitting together of metal parts using tiny holes with specialized metal fittings called locks and laces. They not only reinforce the repair, but fill the cracks permanently, rendering an air- and water-tight surface that can be machined, drilled, tapped, and stressed just as if the damage had never existed.

 

It is as much art as science and is probably not for the do-it-yourself hobbyist without significant practice. But as you can see, the process can salvage parts that most of us would have considered scrap. I was able to keep my engine largely assembled, eliminating the expense of a full rebuild, something that would not have been possible with any of the welding processes. Once the engine is reassembled and painted, the repair will be invisible and should last another 80 years without issue.

Late to this post. My Dad took his 1911 T engine to Mass from Ohio about 15 years ago to be stitched. Probably Frank. It is still going strong with no leakes. Had it out yesterday.

 

Tom Muth

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Hey Matt

 

No update lately. You on vacation? 

 

Charley

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I think he’s been working on the 41 Buick.............

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Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, edinmass said:

I think he’s been working on the 41 Buick.............

He has: 

All his latest posts are on the above thread on it.

 

Craig

 

Edited by 8E45E (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

Just got a 34’ Chevy block back from stitching. Absolutely beautiful job and cheap. I’ll have to get the pictures out of my phone. Glad I live here in MA when I need stuff like stitching done.

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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The stitching looks great! On a 1937 Packard 115c with a non-leaking freeze crack about 6" long, I did the job myself with a product called Loc-n-stitch. It is a unique pin design, where the threads are designed to pull inward. I was very surprised at how easy the block was to work. A few hours, and a little bit of time with the needle scaler, and it disappeared! I sold the car after completing the engine rebuild, but it didn't leak a drop while I owned it.

 

Glad to see you back at it, and good luck!

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I've been busy on the '41 Buick and Melanie's Chrysler since those are our primary tour cars, but the Lincoln subcontractors have been progressing the background. I've got most of my parts back, including these parts for the ignition wires from the chrome shop. Is there anything prettier than fresh chrome? My friend Ed Chapla did a great job on all the details, including chroming the heads of the little screws that hold the clamps together--nice! I also have a batch of parts that should be coming back from powdercoating soon--the parts were there but unfinished when everything shut down, so now that they're back to work they're focusing on their big industrial jobs before my stuff. That's OK with me, there's no hurry just as long as nothing gets lost.

 

 

PlugConduit1.thumb.jpg.4b9d9c64ca4584d32e60952b62fac62d.jpg  PlugConduit3.thumb.jpg.a11527c9ddf37e8e3ae557f8f1b88ccb.jpg

Before

 

7-1-20-2.thumb.jpg.952b1b751281d1af53c41280a46ca250.jpg  7-1-20-1.thumb.jpg.977f48f1d496e6100e3e39b9445ba70d.jpg

After

 

Now that the '41 Buick is running and driving properly, I guess it's time to get back to work on the Lincoln. The Lincoln 100th Anniversary show in August has been cancelled, and that was my goal, and obviously I've let that slip quite a bit. The work that still needs to be done is mostly unpleasant--cleaning the aluminum crankcase somehow (thinking wet sanding it, but paint isn't out of the question), polishing all the aluminum including the heads, and cleaning the frame rails that are covered in decades of gunk. But it's time to push forward so at the very least I'll have the winter to test and tweak and tune to get it ready for next year when I expect to be driving the hell out of it.


Oh, and I bought a lightly used Gear Vendors overdrive unit from a friend of a friend, so we'll see if I can figure out how to fit it into the Lincoln's torque tube.

 

More to come...

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On 7/1/2020 at 2:40 PM, Matt Harwood said:

Oh, and I bought a lightly used Gear Vendors overdrive unit from a friend of a friend, so we'll see if I can figure out how to fit it into the Lincoln's torque tube.

 

More to come...

That will make a huge difference in the Lincoln, but (and that is a BUT) I assume it a torque tube driveshaft and easier to deal with it while engine is out, my advice is to have the engine 100% ready to go back in before you tackle any additional/new projects. 

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Ok........you were busting my ass on my new car thread..........how about you take a work brake and fix something on the Lincoln. I want a ride before I die of old age! 😝

 

With all your time off from COVID you should be done by September 15th...................🤔

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10 hours ago, edinmass said:

Ok........you were busting my ass on my new car thread..........how about you take a work brake and fix something on the Lincoln. I want a ride before I die of old age! 😝

 

With all your time off from COVID you should be done by September 15th...................🤔


And here I was all excited that Matt did something else to the Lincoln! ...guess I should get off my duff and go work on the Packard.

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3 hours ago, Ken_P said:


And here I was all excited that Matt did something else to the Lincoln! ...guess I should get off my duff and go work on the Packard.

Me too !  Matt is close though and I understand the issues he faces with the car - not fun.

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