Jump to content

New member


Narfi
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I just joined the HH Franklin club in order to learn more.

My son and I (he turns 12 next month) have built a couple of boats(14ft canoe, 17ft powerboat, sailing trimaran conversion for the canoe) and currently building an aluminum airplane(Zenith 750 Super Duty), all from scratch from plans except for the trimaran we designed ourselves.

 

He wants to build a car, so we have started the preliminary research into what that would take. I have no experience or knowledge with cars, but have worked my entire carrier on small aircraft. I recognized the Franklin name as some of the planes I have worked on (Stinson) were originally built with Franklin engines in them, this lead me to reading the history behind the car company, its demise and then the aircraft engine company finally sold to PLZ.

 

With the membership I can see all the factory drawings and there is a LOT of great detail there, I will need to study a lot more to find out if there is enough info or if it is not a realistic dream. 

We live in a remote village in Alaska with no roads leading to it, there are two gravel runways and roughly 1 mile radius of gravel and dirt driveways.  We can barge or fly in larger vehicles, but there is a not insignificant cost involved, smaller pieces are easier and cheaper, and we enjoy the challenge. (I want him to grow up knowing he can build or do anything he puts his mind to, and provide him with the skills to make that a reality)

 

I am not a welder, but I have done a lot with wood, fiberglass and aluminum. 

We are not committed to a 100% replica, we just want to build a good-looking and functional vehicle with our own four hands :)

 

We would love any thoughts or advice as we start the research stage.

Thanks!

20210810_184656.jpg

20210328_135721.jpg

20210329_053333.jpg

20200824_070127.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wow this is incredible.  Welcome to the Franklin Family.  First I think we need a bit more information.  Are you looking for a project car to RESTORE, a chassis, or more of just bare parts such as an engine and transmission?  This is an exciting idea and we look forward to hearing and seeing more about it!

 

Scott Arnold

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

39 minutes ago, Scott in PA said:

Wow this is incredible.  Welcome to the Franklin Family.  First I think we need a bit more information.  Are you looking for a project car to RESTORE, a chassis, or more of just bare parts such as an engine and transmission?  This is an exciting idea and we look forward to hearing and seeing more about it!

 

Scott Arnold

 

Thanks!

Unless I can be talked out of it, I would like to build as much as possible from scratch. The chassis and body seem doable, but this is the time to tell me I shouldn't :)

The dimensions for the frame are laid out and easy to follow in the drawings I looked at so far in the members section, I would likely reinforce the laminate with unidirectional fiberglass and epoxy.

My bigger questions are certainly engine, transmission, axles, etc....

My two biggest concerns are practicality and affordability. Hopefully I don't offend anyone by not needing to be a purist. If there are available parts they would be great, if not, then I am not opposed to other routes....

Hopefully that makes sense? (again, I know nothing about cars (yet) let alone ones nearly 100yrs old) If there are parts available, what kind of budget should I be looking at? If not, are there known aftermarket kits for similar era cars that are known to work well with the design?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you perhaps buy a mostly intact engine, rear end, and front end do you have the machines you would need to restore the parts? A lathe, bead blaster to clean things off, air compressor capable of providing the needed air ( at least 80 lbs)

My suggestion is to look at the other forums especially the machine work of Joe Puleo in Rhode Island who is restoring a brass era Mitchell car. You will get a better idea of what is involved and what machinery you require.
Hard to determine what to suggest would be best for you unless we know what facility, machines etc you have to work on things.  The use of fiber glass and laminate I would avoid, I know you have had experience with it but especially with the machine work, rebuild of mechanical components that to me just does not make sense at all.

Despite the cost involved I would be looking for a complete chassis - having front and rear axles, engine, steering box and column. With at least that as a minimum you may be able to have enough to work on while you seek other parts . Make a running , driving chassis then go from there.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

25 minutes ago, Walt G said:

If you perhaps buy a mostly intact engine, rear end, and front end do you have the machines you would need to restore the parts? A lathe, bead blaster to clean things off, air compressor capable of providing the needed air ( at least 80 lbs)

My suggestion is to look at the other forums especially the machine work of Joe Puleo in Rhode Island who is restoring a brass era Mitchell car. You will get a better idea of what is involved and what machinery you require.
Hard to determine what to suggest would be best for you unless we know what facility, machines etc you have to work on things.  The use of fiber glass and laminate I would avoid, I know you have had experience with it but especially with the machine work, rebuild of mechanical components that to me just does not make sense at all.

Despite the cost involved I would be looking for a complete chassis - having front and rear axles, engine, steering box and column. With at least that as a minimum you may be able to have enough to work on while you seek other parts . Make a running , driving chassis then go from there.

 

All fair points :)

Yes I have access to lathe, bead blaster, air, etc...

I will look up what Joe Puleo is doing, thanks for the suggestion.

 

Honestly, restoring an engine isn't high on my dream list. I think building the coach and frame, learning and figuring it all out would be a lot of fun.

Are there good engines around?

 

My thought process,

We like the looks of the v12 and longer hood, but they used a steel frame. So we are looking at probably series 12 seven passenger sedan or limo without the partition.

I would want to start with an engine and transmission, both axels and suspension as well as steering.

Then like you suggest get a running driving chassis, though unlike your suggestion, I do not see the advantage in buying and shipping old lumber when the drawings for new frames are so simple.

 

Then the fun part of building the carriage, it would be better to buy doors and fenders, but if not easily available then a new learning curve there as well.

 

Most likely, any parts I buy will be shipped to Anchorage, then flown out to me in a small plane at an additional cost of roughly $1 per lb.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 7 passenger sedan and limousine on the series 12 of 1928 had a steel chassis used a longer chassis. the shorter wheelbase 5 passenger sedan , coupe etc had the ash chassis still . You need to do more research before you start to seek to by anything. 1928 was the year Franklin had the transition, in 1929 and up all chassis were steel. I would suggest you join the Franklin club if that is what you are inclined to do . Also join AACA if you don't belong already. If you are going to use the knowledge, services of an organization you should support it with yearly dues. it is only fair to do that. The V12 series 17 Franklin was a totally different car engineering chassis wise, as was the Franklin series 18 Olympic that mainly used a Reo Flying Cloud complete minus the engine and hood,shell and hubcaps. As mentioned you really need to spend some serious time doing your home work .

If you want a great running engine then you can buy one and have someone restore it for you who already knows all the parts, methods, what works what doesn't etc.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I appreciate your time.

You might have missed it, but the opening line of my introduction stated that I had in fact joined the Franklin Club. I paid the dues and have access to the drawings that are not accessible without membership.

I also made it quite clear that I am researching, that I am aware of how little I know, and that is why I am asking questions. 

The internet is a poor place for portraying tone, so please understand why I am confused by your aggressive implications that I am somehow stealing from the club or cheating the system somehow. I am assuming that is not how it was intended :)

 

Factory drawing 47900(and in turn assembly number 47904) says it is for series 12 ALL models. This is why I ask these questions, because even though I am doing the research, there are things that are not apparent by reading through the factory drawings a few times.

Obviously, I am not going to buy a bunch of stuff until I have a good plan. That is why I am reading and asking questions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Aggressive implications ? Stealing from the club? I will say / state nothing further , hope you complete your project. When you look through the back issues of the Air Cooled News the Franklin Cub publication you may see that I have contributed history and information to that since the 1970s trying to help new people, and educate all about Franklin history . 40+ years ago I interviewed former Franklin employees , I also toured the Franklin factory and was there when it was demolished, have some bricks from that as well.  That is my tone.  I helped organize and run the annual Franklin Club meet in August in 1972-73 and was the chairman of that event in 1974.

WEG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I got off on the wrong foot.

I apologize.

 

Just trying to learn and figure things out, I wasn't around then, so I have to ask people and read what I can find :)

 

Ultimately, I just want to build things with my son that he will enjoy during the process and be proud of when he is done, everything else is meaningless.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well back to my original intent, figuring out a practical plan :)

 

Perhaps I am too hung up on wood working and need to look more at mostly complete piles of parts we can clean, restore, assemble, etc..... If we are paying to ship axles and suspension and engine, etc..., the frame really won't make the pile all that much less manageable.

This opens up more doors of opportunity, perhaps?

 

I see a few projects for sale on the forum here, perhaps more around for those of you in the 'know'.

For example these look interesting,

  • 1931 Franklin Club Sedan - Disassembled. Rough. Not complete
  • 1934 Franklin Club Sedan - Disassembled. Rough. Not complete

Have any of you seen these specifically or talked to them to know what is there?

Is this a good path to look down?

Find a disassembled project like that, find most of what is needed to complete what is not there, and get it all trucked up to me at the same time?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 1929 Franklin model 130 4 door sedan for sale. It has a completely rebuilt engine and transmission. All the brakes are done . All new tires and restored wood wheels . Most bodywork done but not all. Car is running and driving and stopping. It needs paint , interior and to be put all back together . I have all parts to complete . If you really interested send me a private message and I can send some pictures. Thank you  Jim 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Laura S said:

I have a 1929 Franklin model 130 4 door sedan for sale. It has a completely rebuilt engine and transmission. All the brakes are done . All new tires and restored wood wheels . Most bodywork done but not all. Car is running and driving and stopping. It needs paint , interior and to be put all back together . I have all parts to complete . If you really interested send me a private message and I can send some pictures. Thank you  Jim 

Hello, I tried to send you a PM but do not have the required post count on the forums here to initiate a private conversation. If you send me a PM I can respond to it (I have been able to answer another member who messaged me) and I can give you my email address.

Thanks!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Ooops, I searched your car and found your add here on the forum. $20k +shipping is a bit further along on a project than we were wanting to go right now. Sorry

 

It does look like a real nice and clean example though :)

Edited by Narfi (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We got the introduction pack in the mail yesterday for joining the Franklin club. I am amazed at how much Landon has latched onto this idea. He loved every bit of it from the introduction letter to the magizines to the members only password for the website. (Which I already had access to by email)

He stayed up late reading and really REALLY likes the "The Last Airman" article and pictures in publication #200

 

Roumor is he even snuck a magazine to school today and was 'caught' reading it at lunch. (No rules against that :)

 

I have subscribed to other magazines for him before and the homebuilt aircraft magazine even comes with a comic book, but he never showed the interest he has in these.

20211006_200557.jpg

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

An admirable project. I wish you success with it and I'll add my two cents worth of general starting-out advice.

First, you are clearly going about this the right way doing the research first....

Franklin's were extremely well made cars and seem very much underappreciated - something I don't regret because alone among the so-called "Classics" they remain readily obtainable. I'd like to have one myself but not until my current project is much further along.

 

I'm not sure if the club information goes into this but the choice of ash for a frame was very dependent on the availability of the correct wood and it's milling by workmen who knew exactly how to orient the grain. The frame rails themselves were built up - I'm think of 3 pieces - with covering strips on the top and bottom...I only add that because it was not simply done although if you have built boats you'll be aware of those issues.

 

As to the mechanical parts...I really would want to start with a nearly complete chassis - even if it was in poor shape. Your son will be in his 20s or 30s before you're done if you have to try to start fabricating things like springs and it would take a real factory to make a transmission. I'm pretty well equipped but I'd have pause with that one. A rough but nearly complete 20s Franklin should not be much money and broken down may be easier to ship...I've no idea what that involves but you must have the needed experience.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello, interesting project to consider. The link below is to a history of a body company that made bodies for many companies including Franklin. I think the type of construction they used would appeal to you and your son.......without the need for many special metal fabrication tools and equipment. Detailed study will show you they were an interesting company that made many special and unique cars.......that lend themselves to being hand made.........good luck, Ed.

 

http://www.coachbuilt.com/bui/w/weymann/weymann.htm

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...