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The phone rang... and then the next car adventure starts


edinmass
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4 hours ago, John_Mereness said:

It was a little more complicated than that - dad worked for Kelly Johnson of Lockheed Skunkworks via the AF Foreign Technology Division (kna National Air & Space Intelligence Center) and accountability was key-most priority - they were just more often than not trying to do things never done before and ....

Completely and totally disagree.  My did didn't work for them...I did and saw it first hand.  I worked for the Air Force for 20 years and NASA as both a contractor and a Civil Servant for another 28 years.  NASA's failures had nothing to do with the Air Force...NASA and the AF are completely and totally separate federal agencies.  All of NASA's failures had nothing to do with rocket science or doing things never done before. AND NO ONE WAS EVER HELD ACCOUNTABLE.  If you disagree, give me one name of an individual who lost their job, were demoted, or held criminally liable because of any of NASA's failures.  Their weren't any!  In many cases, once the dust settled, those involved got reassigned and promoted.  Some even got promoted in place.

 

Every one of NASA's catastrophic failures were well-known and documented basic nuts-and-bolts basic issues which were ignored by those in positions to correct them.  They either turned a blind-eye to the problem, or changed design specifications to align with the sub-standard hardware, processes, and procedures.  NASA's system was beyond reproach for designing and developing very specific program requirements, and then in every case, failed to follow it. 

 

Case-in-Point: Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters were designed to be used in minimum 40-degree F temperatures...no less.  It was a simple issue...when it was cold, the rubber O-rings failed to properly seal and put the joint seal at risk.  NASA had been violating the temperature design requirement practically every winter, launching when temps dropped lower and lower below the 40-degree minimum.  And every time they did, O-ring seals between the booster segments would burn further and further through.  As it got worse, working level engineers kept advising management of the problem and risk of catastrophic failure.  They repeatedly advised management not to launch in temperatures below 40-degrees.  Management refused to acknowledge the concerns and said rather than sealing the joints, the O-rings were self-sacrificial.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  KSC had been experiencing several days of temperatures below 40-degrees.  It was 28-degrees the morning of STS-25 (Challenger) launch...the coldest it had ever been for a Space Shuttle launch.  Engineers repeatedly gave a NO-GO for launch.  Management overruled them.  Seventy-three seconds into flight, O-rings burned through one booster segment joint, torched through the attaching strut to the external tank, and ruptured the tank.  O-ring burn-through during cold weather was a well-known, well documented, basic problem, which violated the Space Shuttle's design criteria.  There was no rocket science or magic smoke involved.  Yet no one was ever held accountable for the 7 lives and billions of taxpayer's dollars lost.  I can give you similar details for the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster, Apollo 1, Apollo 13, and others.  I was there....I lived it.  No hearsay from my father or anyone else who may have worked for some other government agency.

 

So in regards to the Great White, Ed will have a grossly sub-standard product if all he accepts is the level of NASA's incompetence, as they are nothing more than a typical bureaucratic federal government agency.

Edited by George Cole (see edit history)
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Back in the 60’s I remember one of the astronauts saying something like this “what’s to worry about? We are sitting on top of this candle made by the lowest bidder!”  NASA quality is only that good. Still it got us to the moon and back. It got Apollo 13 home after a “Houston we have a problem “ moment. If not for getting drafted I would have been working on that flight under a special government program. Uncle Sam thought it more important I become an army grunt instead of a rocket scientist! Drafted me one month before a govt. sponsored full engineering scholarship was to start. Typical of any government thought or should I say lack of thought process. 
 

 I would expect Ed’s work to be better than the lowest bidder or he would not be working on the level of car he does. 
dave s 

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Well, Ed, you may have thought that, in rebuilding parts of the White, “it’s not rocket science”.  Looks like it might be, though!

 

Great read, but from a 1917 White to outer space is, I think, literally the furthest we’ve ever gotten off topic.

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Err not quite. “what’s to worry about? We are sitting on top of this candle made by the lowest bidder!”. The key here is "the lowest responsive bidder". At least in theory there was review as to whether the bidder was ABLE to complete the bid. Not saying it always worked (e.g. Helena Rubenstein R-390s) but in theory in order to receive a contract the bidder had to be able to demonstrate an ability to meet the contract as specified.

 

Of course I was told that Lockheed did not expect to make money on the base contract but the inevitable "constructive changes"...

 

ps over the years I probably visited 90% of all NASA sites (certainly all the major ones), I made many friends who were very very good at what they did. It was the political appointees that were the problem.

 

 

Edited by padgett (see edit history)
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I was all excited to see some updates on the great white thread!

 

Ed, that bearing is amazingly huge. I know you did differential fluid. Were the gears similarly huge?

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5 hours ago, Ken_P said:

I was all excited to see some updates on the great white thread!

 

Ed, that bearing is amazingly huge. I know you did differential fluid. Were the gears similarly huge?


Yes, everything on this car is exceptionally well done. The timing gears are almost two inches thick, and they are helical teeth. The con rod caps are similarly huge.........

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10 hours ago, trimacar said:

Well, Ed, you may have thought that, in rebuilding parts of the White, “it’s not rocket science”.  Looks like it might be, though!

 

Great read, but from a 1917 White to outer space is, I think, literally the furthest we’ve ever gotten off topic.


 

David, I disagree........as a high school student, my advisor told me I would make a fantastic astronaut.......because all I ever did was take up space...............

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UPDATE:

 

Here are some detailed photos of the rear wheel bearing going back together. We are using a sealed bearing to prevent any issues with grease contamination in the future. You can see the copper brake material in one photo. 

AE676B09-348C-412D-BE7D-6415618948D0.jpeg

98C76349-B83B-4025-AEDF-C45DC3AE2FBE.jpeg

67B20A1B-002D-430A-B983-7DF3F0005714.jpeg

2CB2FF2C-8400-4323-A2FF-47CDFD6BBE0A.jpeg

05EF75F4-4F75-42D2-BA63-2C679BCD0A5C.jpeg

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22 minutes ago, Bloo said:

The picture makes it look like a shielded bearing, not a sealed one. Is that an optical illusion?

.


It’s a metallic shield........as opposed to a elastomeric material seal. It is still sealed to keep dirt and debris out, and retain lubrication inside. The rubber seals can be contact, or non contact as shown below. Bearing prices ranged from 875 dollars down to just under 200. (That’s each.)  Most of what was available was not correct for the application. The typical rubber seal with full contact was not available at any price that I could find. This choice is fine, and a much less expensive alternative to what I was finding.
 

 

 

B9BDB062-68C4-4B26-BBCF-3FA27F7BD4BC.png

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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2 minutes ago, 1912Staver said:

It's also a very unusual brake drum !  I don't think I have ever seen one with such large cut outs, car or truck. Squirrel's  might take to nesting in there ! Or is there a cover you are not showing?

 

Greg


No cover missing.......just massive amounts of cast steel. If you didn’t have a hernia before you own a White......you will have one after you start working on it.

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Good gawd!  With the mass of steel you have in those drivetrain parts and the power it takes to get momentum going, if you ever lost control and crashed it would take a half hour to stop crashing just from sheer inertia!  
 

I’m assuming you will have a live stream going when you pull in to the first car show with that just to show the shocked faces of the crowd.  Some will faint, some will cover their children’s eyes, some will grin with sheer delight... when Ed pulls in with the Great and Mighty White!  

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I have a January 1917 driving report, comparing the Dual Valve Stutz to the Dual Valve White. It will be a while before I get a good clear copy that I can post........but it’s most interesting line comparing the two cars.........either auto will easily achieve 75 miles per hour, and both have more speed to offer.........but we stopped there............🤔

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Helps if you know how to build a hoist and have lotsa jacks. Just had to bulid one to get an Allante hardtop off alone. El cheapo HF electric winch can be repurposed.

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2 minutes ago, padgett said:

Helps if you know how to build a hoist and have lotsa jacks. Just had to bulid one to get an Allante hardtop off alone. El cheapo HF electric winch can be repurposed.

I have tested one of the 400 pound versions to about 600 pounds. It works just fine.  I used it to unload my 2 post lift pieces off the trailer when I bought it. The uprights are about 600 pounds apparently. The 110v winch is one of my best HF purchases. 

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8 minutes ago, padgett said:

Helps if you know how to build a hoist and have lotsa jacks. Just had to bulid one to get an Allante hardtop off alone. El cheapo HF electric winch can be repurposed.


The tire, steel rim, wooden hub and wheel, and brake hub are well over 150 pounds......maybe 200....and to slide it into position, you have to be able to thread it like a needle to get past the inner and outer friction rings, axel flange, and bearing alignment. Unfortunately, it has to be man handled into position. It took everything Phil and I had to get it back on the car......everything. We got it in place, and left for the day exhausted. Just the bearing, nut, retaining clip, and seal were ten pounds.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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38 minutes ago, edinmass said:


It’s a metallic shield........as opposed to a elastomeric material seal. It is still sealed to keep dirt and debris out, and retain lubrication inside. The rubber seals can be contact, or non contact as shown below. Bearing prices ranged from 875 dollars down to just under 200. (That’s each.)  Most of what was available was not correct for the application. The typical rubber seal with full contact was not available at any price that I could find. This choice is fine, and a much less expensive alternative to what I was finding.
 

 

I think I may have misinterpreted what you said earlier about grease contamination. I thought you meant contamination of the brakes, not the bearing. It is hard to imagine anything less than a contact seal holding the axle lubricant back.

.

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Bloo........early car design, and especially very early design are a bit different than what we have come to know as “normal”. The wheel bearings were packed with grease and the design of the rear diff was to keep the liquid lubricant in the center pumpkin, and they used reverse slingers to keep it in location.........I believe the left rear wheel bearing failed, and began to make noise.....so they over lubricated it and it caused the seal to fail. It was never designed to have two pounds of grease in it. First drive out going down the road.........I hit the brakes hard at fifty mph. Car began to slow till the grease ignited. Phil isn’t a small guy........but he sure got out of the car fast! We got it out quite easily. It had obviously been leaking since the 30’s. The bearing is actually the very few thing  on the car that suffered damage from road use. 

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I am aware they used all sorts of things other than seals to keep the grease under control. When you originally posted that I thought your intention was to put a positive seal on it. Some guys attempt that nowdays, particularly with front transmission bearings. I sometimes wonder if they plug the little port that would just let the oil run out to the other side of the bearing. Myself I stick with the original method unless it proves that it cannot keep the oil under control. My 36 Pontiac axle has passages to insure that if oil gets out, it will run down the outside of the wheel instead of getting in the brakes. It would only happen if you parked on on a really extreme angle, and I don't. It doesn't have seals at all on the rear engine main or transmission input shaft. Seals can't fail when there aren't any.

 

The White is really looking terrific. Keep us posted.

.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Bloo........come on down and drive it.......anytime. It will be on the AACA tour in Ocala in April.

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In this case, being the last outer running bearing, a sealed bearing would be fine. And these sealed bearings for many antique applications are wonderful! With an expected lifetime oil sealed inside, many antique applications that did not get adequate lubrication in the original design can be easily made good. However, many years ago, I ran into one that wasn't so good.

I was working on a pre-1930 Studebaker, that one of the transmission input shaft bearings had failed. Someone before me had bought a modern sealed bearing to replace it, but I had to put it together. Upon close examination, I discovered a problem. There was a bushing ahead of the bearing that helped to keep the input shaft in proper alignment. A typical old time spiral flow-back pushed the excess oil back to a drain (between the bearing and the bushing) into the transmission case (a system that actually worked pretty well!). However. the ONLY way transmission oil could get to that front bushing, was by being splashed up and working through the ball bearing.

Oops.

 

Fortunately, my 'engineer's eye' spotted that while I was fitting things together. Turned into a bit of a problem. The original bearing was blown, and an obsolete size. The only available modern replacement was the sealed bearing. Fortunately. I knew a fellow at a local bearing supply company. He went the extra mile and found a proper old stock replacement for me. I asked him about me cutting out the metal and plastic seals, but he said it would be a bad idea generally speaking. He said it might work, but that some bearings the way they were made, removing the seals could cause the ball bearing to not run quite true. Something about how all the pieces sandwiched together.

 

Just something to be considered from time to time.

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Just about impossible for a wheel to pass you on the White........two 1/2 inch bolts hold everything in place.

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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I confess to know nothing about prewar cars, heck I barely know anything about 'modern' cars, can you answer a curiosity I have. You have stated the price of the replacement bearing a couple of times like you picked up the NAPA catalogue and ordered one. I would only assume that any and all parts would have to be one of made for this kind of automobile. SO, where does one find that bearing? 

 

You mentioned the size of parts is like working on a Caterpiller, I have done a bit of maintenance, tires, minor break work etc. on dump trucks, large trailers, yellow iron, I think I can relate to some of your tasks. And yes, a hoist can be your best friend at times.

 

Keep up the good work Ed,

I will be in line at Hershey!!

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I was driving a Model A home one day, not mine.  Car was restored and test drove 100 miles.  Too much paint on wheel where lug nuts were, they worked loose,  as I was driving about 40 mph left rear wheel came off, backing plate started scraping on pavement and wheel went past me.

 

As to the bearings, ball bearings started being standardized in 1911 by the Society of Automotive Engineers, so it’s really no surprise that standard sizes are still available.

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57 minutes ago, trimacar said:

 

 

As to the bearings, ball bearings started being standardized in 1911 by the Society of Automotive Engineers, so it’s really no surprise that standard sizes are still available.

 

Finding it wasn't terrible.......up to 900 bucks for a wheel bearing is not entertaining! 

 

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Bearings are an interesting problem. You can usually find them if they are of the relatively modern design. Where it gets difficult is when you encounter "bicycle bearings" - the type with balls in a cage, or loose balls and separate races. Cheaper cars continued to use them well into 1912-1914 (and maybe later - I don't have much experience with those). They were not very durable and I've yet to find one that wasn't galled or had a cracked race (they were both thin and hard...a recipe for failure). When I was rebuilding my B&S mill (made in the mid-30s) I needed two obsolete bearings - working by size, I found a modern replacement for something like $7. The other was also cheap but the flanged cup it required was discontinued in the 1930s. I was able to find a NOS cup, but where the bearing cost about $10 - the cup cost $75. Right now I'm struggling with Hyatt-type roller bearings. Model T's used them and I suppose that size is still available but that isn't the case with other sizes. Like the bicycle bearings, they weren't all that good and I've seen some amazingly galled shafts caused by them. Replacing them often requires a lot of machine work and some imagination. That bearing Ed bought for the White is huge and would be expensive even if it was an every day item.

 

In any case, were I looking for an odd bearing I would not go to the regular automotive suppliers. There are several companies with huge data bases for obsolete sizes, most of which can be found, albeit often not inexpensively. You can download the Timken catalog from the web and search by size where, invariably, automotive applications are based on what it fits.  Other manufacturers often used the Timken numbers so you can then search for that number bearing. There are also number interchange manuals you can look at. Finding bearings that will work is nearly a specialty it itself.

 

Another thing to remember is that the modern ball bearing is a European invention (I think it was SKF) and in the early days many were metric...so your 1910 whatever may well have a metric bearing although nothing else is in that system (Heldt mention es this in his 1912 manual on engine design). This is why the Chalmers crankshaft bearings are metric. My 1910 Mitchell has a 4-3/4 OD inner bearing on the rear hub but the outer bearing has an OD of 100 mm. I've even seen them with a metric OD and an imperial ID. To replace the inner bearing, I found one with the correct ID but an OD of 4.125 so I will have to make a sleeve to press into the hub to hold it. The saving grace here is that the old bearings are invariably huge and the modern ones so much better that you can compromise on the size a bit and you'll still have something far stronger than the original.

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For years I used local bearing houses and The Old Car Bearing guy. Today, I usually use the internet. With skill, you can find lots of stuff. I even found a good used bearing for 40 bucks. If up against a wall, it’s an option. I try and stay away from Chineesium junk...........these new bearings were from Germany, and they were metric.

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13 minutes ago, edinmass said:

For years I used local bearing houses and The Old Car Bearing guy. Today, I usually use the internet. With skill, you can find lots of stuff. I even found a good used bearing for 40 bucks. If up against a wall, it’s an option. I try and stay away from Chineesium junk...........these new bearings were from Germany, and they were metric.

Obsolete bearings are tough to source at times. I’ve machined sleeves and shafts to accommodate available bearings when originals weren’t available. Chineseum bearings are made from recycled toasters and Yugo engine blocks. Anytime you can source a suitable bearing it’s a victory! 

Edited by BobinVirginia (see edit history)
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Some industrial bearing houses will grind the o.d. of a metric bearing to an inch size - or vice versa - if that's what you need.  I'm not sure if they can grind the i.d.  I've bought a number of obsolete bearings from South Shore Bearing in Quincy, MA.  They have many old catalogs to find the right numbers.  Their phone is 617-471-7800.

 

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The problem I’ve found lately is that the price for the common bearings is double buying them from an internet source like eBay. I bought two brand new US made bearings for $21 delivered from evil bay, but the overseas junk was almost $50 from the local bearings place. I can drive an hour to pay double, or wait a week for a known quality. Wasn’t a tough decision...

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I found out this summer when I was replacing the bearings on my trailer that all anyone locally had in stock were China bearings. USA Dexter packaging , but China inside. I guess Dexter and other sources bought them by the container load cheap . But the over the counter price was only a tiny bit cheaper than SKF. Trouble is no one was stocking SKF anymore. No doubt a higher profit margin selling the Chinese bearing. And I am in Canada so much more limited on line options without getting added customs charges.

 

Greg

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