Work Party at Larry’s Garage (March 26, 2016)

The work party at Larry’s garage on Saturday, March 26th was the busiest since Larry began holding regular work party events around five years ago.  Jim Glover brought his 1924 runabout for transmission band work.  Betty Housholder’s 1921 coupe had a catastrophic failure in the transmission that needed to be addressed.  The Lance family continued work on their 1919 engine/transmission.  Skip Dunn brought a set of wheels to be disassembled and the parts to be salvaged.  Mark continued assembly of his 1925 Model T touring engine.  Lorna, Donna, and Fran worked on the gel-filled neck scarfs for the upcoming national MTFCA tour.

Joining us for the first time was: Paul Musgrave who recently joined the Tin Lizzies and who owns a 1927 roadster; Eddy, a friend of Betty Housholder (who also attended the grand opening of the Firkin Brewrey the previous week); and Roman, nephew of Phil and Jessica Lance.

Jim Glover trailered his 1924 runabout from the Albuquerque South Valley to the work party because his car would either not move forward at all, or if the low band were adjusted tighter, would creep forward.  Jim had purchased the car recently and had driven it very little before.  After removing the transmission cover, the cotton bands were found to be falling apart and large pieces were missing.  Although the body is approximately a 1924, the engine/transmission is 1926/27.  Luckily, Larry had a Kevlar band set in stock and the bands were replaced with Jim getting guidance from Larry and assistance of John Hayne.  At the end of the day, the car was started and would have undoubtedly run but suffered from fuel starvation.  The gas level had gotten very low and contaminants probably got stuck in the needle valve seat.  This was an easy fix that Jim planned to do at home.  He was very happy that his problem was fixed in a day!

Betty Housholder was driving her 1921 coupe when she heard a loud noise.  Sticking part-way out of the hogs head was a chunk of magnet!  Michael, her son and a long-time club member, removed the engine with the help of Bob Ross, Bill Hansen, and Larry, and quickly dismantled the transmission enough to inspect the damage.  As bad as it was, Betty was lucky that the damage wasn’t more extensive! Michael was planning on converting the car to oil slingers and removing all the magnets sometime in the future.  This was a good choice as only two magnets in the entire car were still intact!  Although it has a hole in it,  the hogs head is weldable.  The engine/transmission was rebuilt over a decade ago by the legendary Rossi Morris and the transmission gears looked to be unaffected. Michael has his work cut out for him, but it’s unknown at this point if the engine itself needs any work. He may be able to adjust the shims in the main and rod bearings.

The Vance family had gotten their block back from Empire Engines and they were at the point of babbitting the main bearings and rods.  Joining Danielle and Jessalyn was their brother Zack, on break from his automotive restoration program studies at McPherson College.  Larry instructed them on babbitting techniques and also checked their flywheel for balance.

Skip Dunn brought a set of wheels for disassembly that had been used as props on an elongated  Model T by the Santa Fe Opera (2013 season) for OFFENBACH’S THE GRAND DUCHESS OF GEROLSTEIN.  Some of the wheel parts had been provided by Larry, the Santa Fe Opera prop department had put on Universal tires and inner tubes.  Although fine as props, the wheels would require restoration to be usable on a car again.  The wheels were to be parted out and will be pressed into service again – probably on a few Model T projects.

It was milestone work party at Larry’s garage with a lot club members with numerous and simultaneous projects.  Great progress was made and the new visitors to Larry’s garage came away impressed by Larry and Lorna’s generosity; the fantastic facilities at the garage; and sense camaraderie, helpfulness, and generosity exhibited by all the club members.  This workday, although it must have been very exhausting for Larry, really demonstrates why the club is so successful and why it’s so much fun!

Thank you again Larry and Lorna!