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1909 Brush Model BC followed me home last week.


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I had the right to resist but not the will power to do so.

 

This cute 1909 Brush Model BC followed me home last week, of course it had no choice, being strapped to my trailer. I've stated a few car projects with less, but not with this rarity. Luckily I can blame this on being locked up at home for the last 8+ months because of the public's general fear of Covid19. Mother always said that idle minds are the devils workshop and he had a ball in mine, my retirement mind just ran wild.

 

I really didn't need another project car but I just had to have it. Yes I really did.

 

If this group doesn't mind I will be asking a few questions. Maybe even a few pictures of parts of the car or even pictures of hand drawn diagrams on café napkins. It all will help me figure out how to get it back together and running again.

 

Another car adventure begins.

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Another easy restoration project!

 

Well, you will be busy for the next five years. Neat car. I sure hope the pick up truck has a bed full of parts!👍

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Congrats, looks like a good project. I see many missing parts and the new body appears to be very close to original. I have a 1912 F so they are not quite the same. Keep posting questions and pictures and answers will follow. Many Brush owners have helped me over the years. Best wishes, Skip in MN.

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Well this 1909 Brush BC is proving to be a collection of worn-out and broken parts, but I'm up to the challenge to get her going again. I'm in the disassembly inspection stage. So setting here this morning with a cup of Joe, I'm trying to understand the functions of the sifter linkages.

 

The selector lug identified as “D” in the drawing is broken off of lever “A” that engages “B” & “C” for gear selections. I can easily fabricate a replacement lug and braze it in place. So my questions is what is the function of the cross shaft labeled as “C” in my drawing. Mine is missing, one of the cross holes it mounts in, has a hidden alignment pin labeled as “E” in the drawing. This would seem to suggest it slid back and forth in some fashion and the pin limited the range of motion or rotation. Yet there is no evidence of a spring to keep it in the default position. So many questions, yet a picture is worth a thousands words. Anyone have a picture of this area of a Model BC. Any angle is better that than what I've got.

 

Thanking you in advance.

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  • 1 month later...

Now I've decided this project is just going to be way to much fun not to share with the progress. Especially with anyone who likes the Brush Runabout. So I've gotten started on the motor. I've fully disassembled what I have and have cleaned everything. It's missing the connection rod, piston, one valve lifter and roller assembly. Plus some thrust washers on the crank, but more on that later. So I'm starting with the simple things first, make a new lifter. It's the one on the right in my hand. The lifters main journal area was .483  and a 1/2 bolt I tried was already too loose, so I used a larger 5/8" x 7" bolt to carve it out of. Why you ask, it's because I had it laying around.

 

The roller assembly and fitting the crank and such will have to wait. I've run up against the Christmas holiday season and anything else will be after the first of the year. And yes I will be sharing.

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going to be a novel?  Good work.

I replaced the piston with an aluminum piston from a rebuild to a Model B John Deere 2 cylinder tractor. Rings in the kit. wrist pin matched up fine for the stroke but the piston was as I  remember 5/8 of an inch to short....so we built up the height of the piston dome with block aluminum welded to it...worked fine. The key is I have a piston left from this kit.

 

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  • 1 month later...

Here is a 95% completed new valve, next to the material to make the other valve. I’ll get the other valve finished before I cut the 45% angle to match up to the valve seat. Then lap them together.

The valve stem is made from drill rod material and the head is high carbon tool steel. This stuff dulled my HSS cutting tools quickly. I spent as much time sharpening lathe bits as I did working on the valve head. The stem is threaded into the head then a small amount is peened over. The head will never un-thread and come loose. This is the same method used in building early valves. So why not.

The springs are early 80’s Chevy 350 exhaust valves used in buses and commercial trucks. I found them NOS on eBay. They were a bargain at 3 springs for $9.00 with free shipping. I had to make the lower spring retainer that keeps the spring centered with the valve stem. I made them from some 1.5” round bar stock I had laying around. I’m going to pin them in tension most likely using a small finishing nail cut to length. I’m going to leave the small head on the nail sticking out to enable easy removal somewhere in the future.


16 Million Model T’s used a small pin on the valves in a similar fashion. But most likely not a finishing nail like I’m going to.

 

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Well not having any dot markings to align for cam and crank timing like on Ford Model T's, A's and flathead V8's. So I carefully worked out the rotational sequence of the crank, cam, points opening, and valve actions with the motor rotating in a counter clock-wise direction. You know the ol four strokes thing. Then I inspected the cam gear and the identifier dot is now setting at 12:00 centered between the lifter guides. The best I can figure out is to align the casting line on the crank with the dot on the timing gear. Anyway I guess that's what was done back in the day, hopefully everything is set.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well here's version 2 of a replacement valve roller lifter next to the sample I had. It went something like this. Cut, heat, weld, grind, bend, thread, weld, weld some more and LOTS of grinding, then hammer on the ball bearing, then start over. The ball bearing is one I had laying around in my wrench drawer for years and it measures out the same as the solid roller on the other lifter. Cosmetically it rough but is sound and once I put on the lifter cover plate this group is the only folks that will know. I've installed it in the motor and it clears everything.

 

The first one suffered from cold welds when I used my wire welder. Which I found lucky, when I was gently pounding the bearing on to the press on shaft. The second time I use my bottle jack bench press, but the first time I just didn't want to walk back out to the shop again for something so easily taken care of with a big hammer. So I switched to my stick welder, turned up the amperage and this version is a keeper.

 

On to the next item which is trimming the valve stems to a workable length.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Well I made a milepost of sorts. After all the cold weather in I've finally gotten back to being able to work in my shop. So I cut the valves to length and assembled all the parts. Now the cylinder head has a cast in place tapered valve guide that is quite large. The 1980's era Chevy 350 bus engine exhaust valve springs weren't large enough to go around the casting and seat properly. But once again they were laying around in a parts box and will work just fine, after I made a couple of adapter shims out of thick flat washers. Here's the block setting on the lower unit. And yes those are nails being used as retainer pins on the lower spring support.

I'm currently building a jig so I can pour a Babbitt bearing for the connector rod.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update. Here's the first test fitting of the new shop fabricated connecting rod and adapted piston, everything fit as planned.

 

The piston is out of a 1980's Chevy 350 bus engine which is a 4” bore. The best info I could come up with from some manual listed the Brush's as a 4” bore. Mine actually measured out as 3.96”. Not to worry the piston was out of a very well used up engine and fit with some minor adjustments to the skirts.

 

The connecting rod is the top half of the Chevy and the bottom half of a 1930's era Model A Ford just re-babbitted to fit the 1.366” rod journal. The rod mold was made from modeling clay and red high temperature RTV silicone gasket maker. This kept it stuck together and sealed any leaks.

 

Not having any official melting pot or pouring ladle I resorted to old school technology. I preheated the rod jig and mold in the BBQ grill and melted the babbitt material in a old soup can over some charcoal briquettes. Then I hand scrapping the rod to fit. Problem solved, on to finishing the valve train. 

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This is extremely impressive and i'm really glad you've been posting all of this!  I also own a 1909 Brush Model BC that is pretty complete except for a few components here and there (particularly the oil system is missing) so if you ever need photos of anything off my car please let me know and I'll try my best to help.  I will definitely be utilizing the information you've been posting on the engine as I try to get mine running again.  Mine is also very early in the process.  The thread I use for my car in this group is called "Brush Information Needed" which has a lot of good information on it and contacts who you can reach out to for help.  I have to admit that I haven't made a lot of progress on the car besides sourcing parts in the past couple of years but am hoping now that I'm out of college to start getting more done on it soon!  

 

Jonah

1909 Brush Model BC

1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 

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I finished fitting the rod to the crank and installed rings on the piston, then the piston in the cylinder head. Before I forget I safety wired the castled nuts on the rod journal. Then I adjusted the valve lifters. Installed the valve access plugs with anti-seize compound. Installed the exhaust and intake pipes. Did a lot of slow cranking to test for clearances, tightness and in general just listening to the mechanics of the motor. As a last check off item on the REBUILD FLOWCHART I put together in the beginning of this project I added oil and closed up the access door. Hopefully there is no reason to be back into the engine for a while. This is a Major Milestone for me. On to the next item on the flowchart.

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  • 1 month later...

Enjoying your progress , i must put my two bobs worth in though , I really do believe the valve springs you have used are far to strong  , and will cause you trouble ,  I think some springs from Dodge four  would be much better , if can't find any locally i would be happy to post you some from Australia ,

Looking forward to the next installment ,

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Look what I found in a very small car museum in DeLeon Texas population 2,246. There are around 10 or so very unique autos, all lovingly restored to mint driving condition. 

 

In the very back corner this little gem was labeled as a 1909 Brush Runabout. 

 

From extra blocks added to the frame on all four corners it makes me think it was a southern wide track model  similar to what Ford offered with  the Model T’s. 

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   Hi Robert,

                    I’ve been emailing you but somehow their vanishing into the ether. Transmission arrived all good thanks to your careful packing . It ended up on the slow boat from LA to Brisbane. I’ll phone you. 
                    Regards Rob 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Project update. I put together a temporary ignition system using a spare coil from my Model T Ford parts collection. Also I borrowed the battery out of my 1915 Model T.

 

A couple of squirts of starter fluid in the intake and I cranked away. Bam it starts, with a chug, chug, whizz, cough, sputter, chug, chug chug.  It runs. 

 

My project timeline had me attempting to start the motor this week. So I’m kinda on track. Although truthfully I’m behind on the running gear. 

 

I will say this is a major milestone on this project, I’m very excited. Listening to the sound of the motor is intoxicating. Now to work on lots of other part. Best guess the last time the motor ran was 70+ years ago. My son thinks 100 years is a better estimate. 

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  • 1 month later...

Progress update. I’m about 75% on my “Get her running” time line. I’m about 50% finished on the running gear.  Being gone for a month on Summer holiday has crimped my timeline. 

Next

Mount hood former to firewall. 

Brakes and linkage to pedal. 

Then on to the long list of little things. 

Install gas and oil tanks, dash oil sight glass and lines. 

Install throttle and timing levers and connections. 

Upper and lower radiator hoses. 

Install Ignition box and buzz coil. Build a battery bank under seat. 
 

On and on and on. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well I rolled the Brush out of the garage to clean and organize. What I’m starting next is all the hidden parts that make it move. With fall fast approaching and figuring my new timeline with all I need to build and repair. Moving under its own power is a Christmas target present to my car and myself. D5D3BC2E-B062-4235-9543-62160E3C7A65.jpeg.7ff5a32fc20329e0b5d42e82e75e7258.jpeg

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B and BC had square end fenders long running boards, wood cross supports for running boards, and flat top on fire wall.  The 10 hp model D had first counterbalanced engine, round ends on fenders, perforated metal running boards , stamped metal cross braces, and rounded top fire wall.  1910 model year

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Thank you Paul, very helpful info. I can’t believe in studying the few 1909 Brush Runabout pictures I’ve found in trying to identify features that made it that model. I totally missed that the 1909 was the only year that the top of the firewall is flat. 

 

So this morning I corrected that issue. As far as the other measurements it’s a wee bit bigger. It’s real close now on height but is wider.
 

I’m just going to shrug it off to how our waistline get bigger as we get older, and everyone would agree this car is older

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  • 3 months later...

Well it’s about time to post an update to this car project. The 1909 Brush had a 4” oil sight glass on the dash to monitor oil going to the motor. Any originals are nonexistent. It’s my car so it’s time to be creative. 

 

So I started with a 4” brass sight glass I scored off of eBay. BUT it’s set up to work in a totally different fashion. But it has the right look and I can easily reconfigure it. 

 

So here’s what i had to do.

Built a new long steel valve stem and transferred the brass knob. 

Removed the valve seat in the front of the body, then build a new brass valve seat and install it in the back of the valve body assembly. Now I can control oil coming into the sight glass and on to the motor. 

Then I sealed the original dropper outlet with a machine screw. It kinda looks like a bleeder screw now,  next I turned the whole thing upside down and installed a new 90 degree outlet on what’s now the bottom. This is where I will connect the oil line to the motor. The first picture is what I started with. 

 

I’ll send a picture of it mounted in or on the dash soon

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Well I am impressed with your work of building a copy of the oiler.  My efforts are humbled after viewing yours. I had a vague idea of what it looked like. So after seeing what a oiler should look like and how it works. 

Mine is up for a redo version 2.0 . I see the oiler also gives you an idea of the oil level in the oil tank. I’m going to do some thinking on this. 

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  • 9 months later...

1581F330-5B30-4140-9668-7A18FDEC7289.jpeg.6edc5a59c117bba7d55e4d54c6760477.jpegWell after working through a number of personal issues and items, plus holiday trips, two house moves and two workshop moves in six months. I’m finally back working on my 1909 Brush model BC Runabout. 

 

So after all that plus one computer failure I don’t seem to be able to find detailed information on the brakes. You know what’s inside the brake drums. Somewhere in the shop is a three ring binder of all the standard files you can find doing a wee bit of internet searching. But I don’t think I’ve ever had that type of info. 

 

Does anyone have a photo, tech sheet, diagram  or even a drawing on a cafe paper napkin of the brake bands, pads, shoes or whatever folks are calling them, on the 1909 model BC Runabout.  

 

Anything would be helpful. The one technical drawing in a very early Cycle and Automotive Trade Magazine, review of the car is way different. I’ve about gotten the car to the point of moving under its own power, but I would like to be able to stop.

 

Thanking everyone in advance. 

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  • 3 months later...

So it’s time for a update on this project. I hope this story is informative and mildly entertaining. 

 

After I got into this project, I liked to reference it as “An amalgamation of mismatched years, models  and completely worn out parts”.  A few times I thought why did I even purchased it in the first place. There never was enough of the car to restore in a reasonable length of time, if ever. The truth be told it was a parts car when I purchased it. But once I decided what I was going to do, and I had a plan I was fully committed. That’s when I sold what there was of the transmission to help a fellow Brush owner to hopefully get his car going.  I then adapted a different clutch and transmission combo into the car. This was my biggest deviation from originality in working on the car. I’m just going to refer to it as a aftermarket unit. 

 

You can see in the picture, what it was like when I picked it up. It previously had been converted to Model T spokes and rims, not a problem. It was a common change. 

 

Here’s a incomplete running list of missing pieces parts. It was missing the steering wheel, steering column, throttle and timing levers, radiator, all the fenders, both running boards, engine piston, connecting rod, both valves, valve springs, one valve lifter, spark plug, carburetor, all connecting linkage, any resemblance of a battery ignition coil, all most everything inside the transmission, most of the shifting linkage, the linkage that was left was broken, bent or from a different brand of car or tractor. I never figured it out. 

 

One motor mounting arm was broken off the aluminum crankcase, the crankshaft was solidly seized in the crankcase main bearings, there were no usable ends in the steering linkage, the cross tierod link was way to long, it must have been from a southern widetrack, one outer and one inner front wheel bearing raceways were beyond use,  a good number of the wheel ball bearings both big and small ones were missing, anything that remotely resembled a brake part was missing, every half moon, woodruff and square key was missing, But I did get both ends of the muffler. All six frame to fenders support  brackets were way to short and I had to reworked them. The taper connection where the wheel assembly clamps to the wooden rear axle were wallowed down and wouldn’t clamp, the replacement wooden Runabout body wasn’t built square, most of the 1/2” oak floorboards were missing, and the firewall was a hodgepodge of glued up planks with lots of hole plug patches, as none of them lined up with anything, I scrapped it and started over, both the gas and oil tanks were rusted through, all the holes were a step above pin hole but just short of “stick your finger into” size, I gave up trying to find any kind of gas and oil caps that would fit and made up something that will work, every brass bushings and felt grease seal through out the running gear was worn out or missing. 

 

None of this was a problem I couldn’t resolve and I did.

 

Here’s more story on my pertnear restored, rebuilt or recreated 1909 Brush BC Runabout. My approach to this toy will make a few car purists shake their head in discuss, anger or I can’t believe he did it. 

 

Nough said, I had the will power but just couldn’t resist the challenge of making it my oldest resto-rod. My feeling was as long as it had the proper “look, feel and function” of it’s original self I’m OK with it. I collected every online picture I thought would be helpful. As part of my research I reviewed three Brush Runabouts in museums, two in Texas and one in Nebraska. Much to the embarrassment of my wife when I crawled under two of them without permission from the staff. As I pointed out there’s no one around to ask, and I’ll have my pictures before I could even find anyone to ask anyway. 

 

The signs everywhere said “Do not touch the cars” and I didn’t touch them. As everyone who owns a Brush knows there’s plenty of room to just wiggle slide under it. And it was just so I could get some important pictures of the mechanics of the running gear, brakes and other stuff. Now I did have to explain myself to one Museum curator, but after I explained I owned one, they had more question about the car in their collection than I did, it was great.  I’m now listed as a subject matter resource with them on their Brush. And my wife got a great story to tell to fellow car enthusiasts every chance she gets, which she does with great enthusiasm. 

 

Covid business shutdowns, two house and a shop move made this project took much longer than planned.  I’ve spent the last six weeks repairing what I had left of some kind of hood that kinda fit, then making a set of fenders and running boards. As everyone knows there are no originals or usable sheet metal fenders available and I was unsuccessful in buying reproductions from anyone, I really tied. 

 

So I just built fenders myself, I did add a different swoopy profile to them as I like some of the vintage cars with the smooth flowing lines. Being an old car enthusiast, you can substitute nut if you please, and hearing the one cylinder chug, wheeze, chug, wheeze, chug, wheeze is kinda intoxicating. I think it made the project worthwhile, I love it. 

 

So here’s a set of pictures of what I started with and how it is today in all its new glory. I’ll admit to anyone at a car show or parade the parts that are “not correct” IF challenged or asked. Otherwise I’ll just enjoy folks reaction to the old car and getting a chance to tell a wee bit of automotive history.  I’ll show it setting next to my 1915 Ford model T touring car as the example of what forced the Brush auto company into bankruptcy. 

 

Next is to get the squeeze horn finished, make or adapt some hood latches, rebuild a dash oiler and acid etch some information ID plate before year end.  Them I’m putting this puppy to bed for the duration of the coldest part of winter which is the next two months, I do not have heat in my shop. I will start on another car in the spring. Maybe this summer I’ll build a top for the Brush. 

 

Well there you go, take what shots you must about what I did but after all it’s my toy and it now looks good and runs. 

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