Work Party at Larry’s Garage (May 28, 2016)

Larry’s Garage was humming with activity on this Saturday.  Among the projects were a Model A engine being rebuilt by new member Scott Stuart.  The Lance family continued their 1919 engine/transmission rebuilding project.  Vern Willan was forming a patch panel for his 1926 pickup truck bed. Michael Housholder was working on his 1925 pickup truck muffler. Kirk Peterson was finishing installation of his newly rebuilt rear differential assembly. Vernon Armstrong brought his 1923 Model T coupe to correct a lack of power and a shifting problem.  Mark Wing continued working on his 1925 Model T touring car engine with the goal of starting it toward the end of the day.

Scott is a local Corrales resident who knew Larry through their involvement in the Pocos Quatros (Little Fours), the local Model A club. Scott owns two Model A’s and Larry has a very nice Model A roadster that his father restored.  Scott is in the process of rebuilding his wife’s Model A engine and Larry has the capability to check the condition of the crankshaft and to cast babbitt for a new center main bearing.  This particular bearing must have been starved for oil, got too hot and failed.  Scott has plans to build a Model T and is collecting the parts now.

Phil, Zack, and Danielle Lance were at the work party to continue on the family’s 1919 speedster project.  At a previous work party, Danielle and her sister Jessalyn line bored the engine block.  At this work party they cleaned the block, fit the crankshaft to the block, and continued on rebuilding the generator.  They’re making great progress on the engine and soon they can turn their attention to other aspects of their speedster project.

Vern Willan (we have three members named Vernon in our club!) owns a 1926 on which he recently lowered the pickup bed.  The differential housing is now sticking up around 1/4″ too high into the bed surface so Vern was forming a panel to cover and protect the housing.  Vern used a piece of mild steel and Larry’s English Wheel to stretch the metal and achieve a nice even curvature.

Kirk Peterson and Larry had recently assembled a new differential assembly for Kirk’s 1925 coupe “Buster”.  The new assembly includes a 10-tooth pinon and 40-tooth ring gear configuration to aid in acceleration and hill climbing.  With Bob Ross and Dave Ferro’s help, the brake rod linkages were reattached and adjustments made.  When complete, Kirk and Larry took Buster out for a spin around Corrales and it sounded and performed beautifully!

Vernon Armstrong recently bought a 1923 Model T coupe from fellow Tin Lizzie member Vaughn Rockafellow. Vernon has been making it roadworthy with projects such as adding a missing gas tank and, on this day, troubleshooting the reasons for poor engine performance and unreliable shifts into high gear. The rough engine turned out to be a bad contact in the coil box resulting in only three of the four cylinders firing.  This problem was corrected easily once diagnosed.  Adjustment to the “three fingers” in the transmission solved the coupe’s shifting problem.  Vernon was able to load the coupe up knowing that he had accomplished at lot at this work party and his coupe is running much better than at any time since its acquisition.

Mark continued on his 1925 engine/transmission rebuilding project – a project that has already taken over two years.  At this work party, items installed included: Larry’s test carburetor, starter, bendix, exhaust manifold, Anderson timer, and Champion X spark plugs.  Amazingly, this engine, with balanced SCAT crankshaft, hardened valve seats, Stipe 280 cam, and Z head, started up almost immediately.  It was the easiest starting post-rebuild engine anyone could remember!  The engine sounded great, and with the higher-lift cam and balanced crankshaft, it sounded a bit different than a typical Model T engine.  Larry was especially pleased with the test run as it ran very smoothly and promises to be an excellent engine for the touring car.

It was a great work party with a wide-range of projects and club participation – thanks Larry!