The Jalopy Journal
Discussion in 'Traditional Hot Rods' started by rwrj, Nov 21, 2017.
My given name is Elwood, it was a bitch in school till Blues Brothers came out.
Hahahaaaa. I imagine it was.
Boy, it's funny how things work out sometimes. My oldtimey fuel pressurization system is working real well, but this decidedly un-oldtimey gauge is bothering me.
I've been looking on the Bay of E for a sure-enough antique one, but they are all high pressure, and, anyway, they are real expensive. Anybody who's been following this deal should have figured out by now that I'm adverse to decoration for the sake of decoration, but I decided to make an exception in this case. Just wanted that gauge to fit in with the rest of the stuff on the car. It's been raining all morning, so I decided to do something about that situation. I took a pair of dividers and set them to the OD of the gauge, then started stumbling around in my junkpile to see if I could find something that would slip over it to be a purely decorative (ugh) rim. Turns out, the piston skirt from the mate to the SU carburetor that's on the car is a friction fit. That's the one of the pair that somebody (not me, I promise) had dropped and busted, so I didn't sacrifice a woking carb. Just chucked the piston in the lathe and separated the rim from the rest, flipped it around and champhered the new inside edge, then trotted out and pushed it on there. I was delighted with the result, but I still feel a little guilty for sacrificing the absolute "form follows function" integrity of the build. Oh well, it's not like I welded up a spider web from 3/16ths rod and stuck it on my radiator shell with self-tapping sheet metal screws. Hahahaaa. Anyway, here is the photographic evidence:
Before anybody mentions it, I know I need to clean that lathe off. I'll get around to it eventually.
Wow! Sooooooooo cool. I love how you use found objects to make this vehicle. I think you have nothing to be ashamed of, another good use of a part! Looks great!
Well, Rusty at Speedoservice.com (e1956v on here) got my new cable made and it and the speedometer came back yesterday. He's a good guy. No nonsense and a really fair price. Installation was pretty straightforward, so I took it out for a little test drive this morning. It works real well, no jumping or lagging. I'll have to get someone to pace me so I can see how slow those tall back tires make it. I'm guessing that it's about 5 mph off at marked 35 or 40. I'll tell you this, about 45 on that speedo (maybe around 50 real life?) is as fast as I feel comfortable going. Call me a wimp, but I really have to do something about the brakes on this thing, and I still have one slightly wobbly rim, driver's front, so no end in sight, I guess. This kind of project never ends. Not a bad thing, as far as I'm concerned. Anyway, here's a short, awfully amateur video.
I love it. How often do you have to pump the fuel up?
When the tank is less than half full, it will run for several miles if you pump it up to 3 psi (where I have the relief valve set) before it gets below 1 psi, where it starts to skip. Seems to run fine for the whole 2 psi range. That valve is essential, else the pressure will rise with the temperature and overpower the needle valve in the carburetor. With the tank almost full, like it was this morning, there's less air volume, so you have to pump more often. I think I had to pump it twice on that drive. I'd guess 5 miles, round trip. The trade off is that, with a full tank, I can pump it from 0 to 3 psi in about 10 stokes, where with an empty tank, it takes about 50 or more. So, driving with a full tank you have to pump more frequently, but just a few strokes gets you back up to full pressure. Less frequent pumping, but more strokes as the level in the tank drops. I hope that makes sense? That 3 strokes on the video took it from 1 to 2 psi. If I hadn't been fooling with the phone camera, I'd have pumped it on up to 3. It's really not a problem, though. If you forget, it reminds you by stuttering, like you're running out of gas, but it's quick and easy to just pump it back up before it shuts off. I like the system a lot. No clattering noise, and pretty foolproof so far. If I had designed it this way from the start, I would have left enough room under the rear body to have an air trap in the pump line. It's got a little stale gas in it from bumping and braking, but I can't see what real harm it can do trapped in that rubber tube. If it starts pooting gas out of the relief valve onto the floorboards, I'll have to take some steps.
Cool stuff. Lots of free GPS speedometer apps for your phone. Might want to have a passenger take the readings and run the camera, haha. That is why you put 2 seats in it, right?
Dammit. I always forget about apps. Hahaa.
Cool. Thanks for the reply! I am planning on a similar setup for my single seater once I get back to it. I'll have to go back through the thread to find the part about the check valve.
I thought I had solved that overheating problem by adjusting my timing and mixture, but when I got back from my little jaunt yesterday morning, it was steaming and bubbling again, so I bit the bullet and rodded out the radiator. Boy, did it need it. I wouldn't suggest this operation for a show car. but what you do is take a hole saw and some tin snips to the top tank and open up as much as you can.
Then, after you marvel at all the crap in there and clean it out some, you bend a little wiggle in the end of a section of stainless bowden cable inner wire and start jooging. I started with a simple 90 degree bend, but after the first time I pushed it through into the bottom tank and had to twist and cuss for a few minutes to get it in line to come back up, I went to a less acute angle. This self-aligns when you get it past the bottoms of the tubes. Much easier to deal with.
Notice how greasy it is. Somebody busted a block and filled this old radiator with oil at some point in it's life. I'll bet half of the tubes were plugged. I couldn't get to the ones under the shoulders by the cap, but all the rest are clear now.
Next, I flushed it out, cut some patches to shape out of galvanized flashing, and tinned everything up.
About half a roll of solder and half an hour of filling, finding leaks, draining, soldering, repeating, and a dash of spray paint, I have this:
I'm not going to lie to you, it's ugly as homemade sin, but it holds water. Those streaks on the front aren't leaks in the tubes, just leftover from me having to fill and drain the tank so many times to chase down the leaks in the patch panels. I did create or uncover a leak in one tube. You can see the good old JB Weld patch down at the bottom left of the radiator. Have to wait for that to dry before I can see how successful this operation was. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday afternoon, though.
The way it was done " back in the day"
This is my set-up, for what it is worth. The black hose at the top is coming from the pump. The check valve is between it and the tee. You can see a little solder where I had to make a hose barb fit it. I can't remember where I got that check valve from, I just Googled it. The left arm of the tee has the pressure valve screwed in to it. It came from Graingers, I just searched low pressure relief valve and it popped right up. The bottom hose goes to the tank. That other black line is the speedometer cable. It's important to have the relief valve after the check valve. That way, when the tank heats up during the day and starts building pressure, the check valve doesn't keep the relief valve from doing it's job. Sounds obvious, but I hooked it up wrong the first time. If you have a real pump with a built in check valve, all of that will take care of itself. I had to improvise.
And yes, the tee really is just tied to that block of wood with string. The hoses pretty much support it, I just didn't need it flopping around.
The way it was done back in the day was to have the top & bottom tanks removed and the core rodded out, then the tanks reinstalled.
I agree, but I can't find a shop around here that still does that. They would also have had rods with the right cross section for the tubes, back then. My job is not as good, but I hope it will be good enough.
Looks pretty clean. I had an oil cooler on a Cat leak oil into the rad water one time. After replacing the cooler, I ran water and Dawn dish soap through it a couple of times. Really cleans out the oil.
The last shop around here that does it is closing the doors this Friday, the last day. The owner is retiring, and I assume he couldn't find a buyer, though that's just my assumption, but it's a sad day for sure. This guy would not only repair radiators, but would build a radiator for any application, good quality, brass/copper radiators that will last a lifetime. It was a great resource to have locally. Such a shame to see it go.
Same story here, except it was maybe 5 years ago. I'm 54, and that place had been open my whole life.
Well, I started on my brakes. The whole time I was working on the radiator, the drivers side rear hub looked like this:
Don't let the two wrenches confuse you. They are just spacers. There's a hell of a lot of tension in that picture. Glad I had sense enough to flip the axle nut and put it back on to save my threads. I had already tried the trick of loosening that nut a turn or two and driving around, didn't work. Three days of beating on it and spraying it with PB Blaster finally did, though. I had to straddle it facing away and take a two handed swing with my bfh on the end of that puller. Both tires off the ground so everything could move a bit. Bam, and it popped loose. The other rear hub came off easy, thank goodness. Fronts, of course, were no problem. Here's an idea of what 90 year old brakes look like:
What a mess. Under all of that, the pads are pretty thick, and the drums measure out ok, too, so I decided to clean them up and tear them all the way down. I'll spare you a detailed account of what a pain it the ass that was, but I'm glad I did it. Model A rear brakes have a little cam that engages a couple of rollers on each shoe. The cam is supposed to slide in a carrier so that the shoes get equal pressure. Those and the rollers were rusted tight on both sides. The adjusters at the other end of each shoe were also stuck. It all cleaned up fine with some careful wirebrushing. I have the drivers side back together. The through-rod for the emergency brake is siezed on the passengers side, so I'm in the middle of that, but I have finished the service brakes for that side. Still have the fronts to go. I'll keep you posted. Here's the drivers side back together:
I'm hoping those old greasy pads will still work. If not, I've done all the hard work, changing them out shouldn't be too bad. One end of the E brake lining is missing for a few inches, but I don't think its too big of a deal. It's the trailing edge, and it's just the E brake.
Did you try any heat?
I did. That thing was stuck to a fare-thee-well. I scoured this site and Fordbarn, tried every trick they suggested. Lifting the other wheel off the ground was key, I think. It took a really hard lick with the hammer to pop it loose, hard enough that I was worried about the gears in the rear end, but I've turned it by hand and I don't hear or feel anything weird, so I hope I'm ok.
Thats aged to perfection Patina...
That's one of those areas we all must be careful Brake lining made of the bad stuff...The Grunge may have
actually helped contain that crap...
No kidding? Huh, that's a new one on me.
Yeah, apparently it lets the axle move a bit more when you smack it.
My dad told me he used to just leave the weight of the car on the wheel, remove the nut and turn it around. Then a couple good licks with a 16 pound hammer and the hub would always come loose. Of course, the oldest Model A at that time was only 10 or 12 years old, not 90, haha.
You are a man of many talents! Sounds like you might be ready for the great American race!
Love this build!
Have you tried to true the wobbly wheel by tightening and loosening the spokes?
I have tried bending the long spokes, and it might have helped a bit. I think I just need a truer rim.
Don't bend the spokes. Tighten them with a wrench. The spokes will straighten the rim.
Lots of videos on youtube. How to true a wire rim.
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