Work Party at Larry’s Garage (Nov. 11, 2017)

Story and photos by Mark Wing (unless otherwise noted)

Larry held a work party at his garage in Corrales on Saturday, November 11th after the club breakfast at the Range Cafe’.  The weather was unseasonably warm (in the upper 60s) making for very comfortable working conditions.  It was a very busy work party with projects that included:  John Burnett (Socorro, NM) checking his 1926 roadster engine compression and doing a valve job, Dave Merewether correcting an oil leak and an engine knocking sound, Paul and Marilyn Duncan overhauling the front axle bushings on their 1927 pickup truck, Mark Wing working on his 1924 coupe transmission, and Kirk Peterson adjusting his AC brakes on his 1925 coupe “Buster”.

John Burnett was experiencing low compression on his 1926 roadster and a compression check showed three cylinders at 25 psi and one at 20.  Squirting oil into the cylinders didn’t raise the compression so Larry determined that the exhaust valves should be replaced and the seats reground.  As of Tuesday (Nov. 14th) all of the exhaust valves have been replaced and John has taken his roadster home to Socorro, NM (approx. an hour south of Albuquerque).

Dave Merewether’s maroon 1922 Centerdoor (with Model A crankshaft) was leaking oil from the Bendix area and was making a disturbing knocking noise.  Part of the knocking was solved by removal of shims on some of the loose rod caps whose gap to the crank journal had worn to 0.004″.  After the rod caps were tightened up and everything reassembled, the car still made a knocking sound when running.  After careful inspection it turned out that the Model A crank’s dipper was hitting the bottom of the pan!  This problem was solved by adding a second gasket to the pan, providing the necessary clearance and the sound vanished.

Paul and Marilyn Duncan had purchased an authentic 1927 pickup truck project in Colorado recently and have been focused on finishing the car.  Project completion included paint, upholstery, detailing the pickup bed, and on this work party – rebuilding the front axle.  The spindle hole was wallowed out as well as the threads in the lower part of the axle.  Larry had new bushings and helicoils for the spindle bolt threads, but no Steven’s Front Axle Tool, so the axle was removed and all of the machining done on Larry’s vintage Bridgeport mill by both Larry and retired master machinist Bob Hawk.  Once this was done, and the wheels aligned, the pickup truck steers beautifully!

Mark Wing had damaged the transmission on his late 1924 coupe on the recent Tin Lizzies of Albuquerque tour in Red River, NM.  The cracked low speed drum and worn out triple gears were probably caused by over revving the triple gears (starving them of oil) while driving Bobcat Pass, a steep mountainous road near the Colorado border.  Luckily, Larry determined that the other transmission bushings were in good condition.  While the transmission was apart, it was also a good opportunity to replace a ball bearing 4th main that had been leaking.  Prior to final assembly, the low speed gear had been removed and sent to Dave Nolting to have one of his ductile iron drums installed.  The returned drum with the original gear riveted on was beautiful!  To save time, a pre-babbitted 4th main (0.010″ undersized diameter) was ordered from Gene French to replace the leaking newer style ball bearing 4th main.  Boring the 4th main to the final diameter was done on Larry’s lathe.  After a few days of concentrated effort, the engine is now installed and the final connections are still in progress.

Kirk Peterson had recently installed a new set of Larry Sidmore AC small drum brakes on his 1925 coupe “Buster”.  At this work party, Kirk was removing some material from the brake linings where they were hanging up on part of the cast iron mounting hardware.  Kirk anticipates that this corrected the interference problem, but still needs to take a test drive to confirm it.

It was a busy and very productive work party.  As always, thank you to Larry Azevedo for his generosity and helping all of us keep our Model Ts running!