Work Party at Larry’s Garage (Jan. 30, 2016)

This last work party for January was abuzz with activity with club members coming from the extreme western (Milan) and eastern (Portales) parts of New Mexico.  Les Haley was also back in Albuquerque from his home in Amarillo, Texas to continue work on his engine and transmission.  We were also delighted to see an old friend (and new Tin Lizzie member) – Joe Fellin, from Apache Junction, Arizona.  Joe is a former MTFCA President and was a recent recipient of the Rosenthal Award for his contributions to the national club and the hobby.  Also joining us for the first time was new Tin Lizzie club member Jim Glover who lives in the mountains east of Albuquerque.  Jim has a 1924 Model T touring car that will undoubtedly make it’s way to Larry’s garage in the future.

Phil, Jessica, and Danielle Lance brought an engine for restoration.  The engine number, in the three million range, is a 1919.  The pedals are 1926/27, indicating that the engine had been rebuilt in the past.  Disassembly began with the removal of the starter.

Steve Suttle brought his beautiful 1925 coupe to replace a leaking Bendix cover gasket.  Larry’s hydraulic lift made the task much easier than crawling under the car.

Les Haley and Larry have been focusing on Les’ engine and transmission.  On the weekdays preceding the work party, the engine block came back from Empire Engines (where it was bored 0.030″ oversized and decked).  Les and Larry also babbitted the rods and the main bearings.  On this workday, Les, under Larry’s guidance and with Nick Serna’s assistance, was was fitting the rod and main bearing caps and removing excess babbitt from the oil passages.

In addition to the work on the engine, Les was also looking for a small drum Ruckstell axle, shift lever, and linkage for the 1916 he’s rebuilding.  Art Gebeau, our club member who lives in Milan, NM had all of these parts and a deal was struck.  The initial disassembly of the Ruckstell components looks very promising.  The 40 tooth ring gear was in excellent condition.  Larry is an expert rebuilder of Ruckstells so Les is a lucky Model T owner indeed!

Art Gebeau’s Rajo head speedster engine was ready for another run on Larry’s test stand.  It did run, if however briefly, at the last work party, but the late hour and the cold conditions prevented a proper test.  This Saturday was much warmer, (mid-60’s) and the engine ran wonderfully after Larry determined that the test stand coil was faulty and was replaced.  After the successful test run, Art, Phil, Kirby, and Jim Glover installed the engine in the speedster chassis that Art had towed to the work party.

Portales club members Tony and Patty Schroeder dropped in for a visit.  They were in Albuquerque to attend a wedding and had a few hours free before the wedding in the early evening.  The last time that many of us had seen Tony and Patty was the memorable tour in Chama, NM in 2015.

Thank you to Larry for another action-packed and educational work party!