Trying to get the K 6-40 ready for the Early Ford and New London to New Brighton tours just became a little more difficult. The front wheels have a few spokes with hairline cracks, so I took a wheel apart to check more closely:
Two spokes were cracked, and not roadworthy.
So, I went to town looking for a talented woodworker with a lathe. As it turned out, an old friend that I hadn't talked to for years has retired from his business, and in his spare time does woodworking, and is well known locally for his lathe work.....
I dropped off the spokes yesterday. And viola, two new spokes are ready to go. I'll put the wheel back together today, shim it and fill the cavities with quick-poly.
New London, here we come.....
Same general size as a T? I mean did he modify a T spoke?
Charlie, no, the K roadster has 36 x 4 inch tires, or 28 inch rims. He made them from scratch, with hickory.
Isn't putting wood felly wheels together Fun?! (You usually need to take the felly out of the steel rim, assemble all the wood, then press the rim back onto the wood)
Drive carefully, and drive that thing! W2
Wayne, that is how I do it. I run a shim around the outside of the wooden felloes if it is needed and then heat the rim good and hot (not red) and push it on to place. Spray it with cold water when it is in the perfect position and peen new rivets in place.
This just sounds hard. It's really fairly easy and leaves a very rewarding feeling.
When I had my first 1913 T I had the same problem that Rob did. Instead of turning new spokes I was able to salvage a couple of spokes from a dead 1909 Hupmobile wheel... perfect match for the T!
Rob, I bet you know he should be using Hickory wood only. The turning looks great and the grain pattern is perfect!
Maybe you should just contract with him to make 12 new spokes. Safer and you won't be doing this same replacement job every 2 years as more spokes rot out. Then when you paint and stripe the wheel all the spokes will be the same color. Or are you going to go with the natural look???
I spent the afternoon sweating (me, not the rim) and got it back together.
Thank you or the p.m.. This is a short term fix to get us through New London, OCF and Hershey.
I plan on having new wheels built this winter. We plan to drive this car for years, and new wood is the only to go for the future.
It's back together, and I hit 52 mph on our gravel road. However, I think the wheel is out of round, so no new land speed records until we get new wheels:
Rob, nice job! The new ones are the two at the bottom, right?
oops, I meant 6:30 and 7:30 positions!
Rob,Will Dean Yoder be coming to the OCF with you?? Bud.
Bud I will have to miss OCF this year I plan on traveling the national park to park road August-September.
Will probably also miss Hershey also.
Dean,I'm sorry to hear you will miss the OCF!! I really enjoyed meeting you and Rob last year!!!!!!! Bud in Wheeler,Mi. Have a great trip!!
The road to New London update:
The short term fix on our front wheel didn't appear to work out. The up/down and side run out were both well over a quarter inch, and the car was about to go into a shimmy at anything over 35 mph. The other front wheel also had cracked spokes, and it just didn't look good. This morning I called a well known wheelwright and after explaining the problem they agreed to do the front wheels, and will ship them to Paynesville MN by the 1st of August for the Early Ford Tour followed by New London to New Brighton.
This afternoon I put the second wheel back together (had it apart to try to fix the cracked spokes), put the K on our trailer, and blocked up the front end, pulled off the tires and wheels, and they go UPS to Ohio tomorrow. Nothing like waiting until the last minute......
Taking off the left tire on the trailer:
Meanwhile, I have a gas tank to take off and seal (few seeping leaks), brass to polish (thank you Tim ), and a few other things to do, all from the trailer. Dean is building a few more coils, and hopefully we'll be ready to roll.
If driving old cars was easy, everyone would do it....
I have argued for many years that "The antique automobile hobby will chew up and spit out any ordinary person! It takes exceptional people to stick with them." This originally came up at a Santa Clara Valley Model T Ford Club meeting back around 1972 when club president John Bertolotti posed the question "We all know that antique automobile people are the best! But why are they the best?" After a couple of monthly meetings continuing the discussion? That was one of the final answers. Less than the best just don't stay with the hobby.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
If you get those wheels by the 1st, you must have a very good relationship with your wheelwright. I assume that means they won't be red until after New London.
Your wheels are interesting that they are not put together like Model T wheels. Can you explain that extra part that goes between the tire and the outer rim? I am sure others like me are interested in how they go together.
Better safe than sorry. Get new wheels and then see how fast she flies. We will have to put on an impromptu race some day.
Did your friend make the spokes 1/32" or so longer to allow for compression in the wheel? That's what Ford called for on the Model T wheels.
(Message edited by touringtom on July 21, 2015)
Rob, You did the right thing. After all the hard work and money on such a fine car it would be a shame to have a wheel failure and damage your prize car. Keep up the good work and all the postings as we all wait for a new one. Its Ford history coming alive right before our eyes. Thanks, Scott
The wheels have been "modernized" for straight wall tires. The thicker ring acts as the outer rim and the thinner ring is a channel type that locks the rim in place. Once I caught on with the first tire the second came off in about five minutes.
They were a little longer. The problem is I didn't have any way to make sure they were round as I shimmed and glued spokes. My system worked on the other K, but they were rear wheels and probably just as out of round, just not as noticeable as fronts.
We could probably got along on the tours (New London/New Brighton and Dearborn/Lansing) as long as we stayed under 30 mph. But who wants to stay under 30, or 40, or 50......
It seems our car is going backward. Today I took out the gas tank for sealing, due to some seeping leaks, took off the steering wheel, and generally took things apart that need attention.
A (name the nationality or ethnic group you wish to pick on) gas tank dryer:
One of the holes showed up with Red-Kote tank sealer:
Before (with paint removed) and after steering wheel:
Don't feel too bad. I've got the rearend of the Maxwell all apart on the bench. It was a bit of a mess inside. Thankfully, I'm off Thursday through Sunday with no plans except to play in the shop. I should have the car back up and running with two weeks to spare.
Did you get your info packet and banner number in the mail yet? Mine arrived today. Somehow, I ended up with banner #21, even though I had mailed in my registration immediately when the form arrived this spring. I think they save the low numbers for repeat offenders.
Eric, mine went in the mail right away also and we got #30.
Good luck getting the rear end done if you need any help let me know.
Several early numbers are kept by participants who have been attending for many years. One or two are retired too, as I recall.
See you in a few weeks,
Gas tank back in, new floor mats and trim, steering wheel finished:
The gas tank cap looks like the one on our 1907 1-cyl. REO
My good friend Walter Burton stopped by this afternoon and teased me a bit about my assessment of the rearend. He assured me that we can make all of the required parts tomorrow before supper time. Since he's arguably the most experienced pre-T auto machinist alive, I'll take his word for it. He gave me a homework list to take care of before I show up at his shop and I completed it before coming in the house tonight. Looks like I will be up and running by Sunday after all.
I have no idea if this is the original cap. Maybe a Ford owner took it off a REO at some point....
Good luck. I believe you said you would join us in Paynesville for some of the Early Ford tour, is that right?
Working on trim and tidbits today. There'll be no "Mother-In-Laws" on this trip,,,,,,,
When you look at the steering wheel laid out on the plywood you can have the illusion that the wheel is sitting on top or it is a circle routed into the plywood sheet... Ok it may just be me so I'll stop drinking. Wait a minute what am I saying!!
It's laying on the trailer ramp, and does look unusual. Just keep drinking until it looks right.....
I'll continue to drink because you said I should. (That's the only reason) but if you stare at the wheel at about the 10:00 O'Clock position suddenly it looks like it is routed in the board rather then sitting on top.
I shudder to think what it will look like to you by 12:00.....
If I continue I don't know if I'll even see the plywood by 12:00!
If the pic looks any different now, it's time to stop....
I saw the same thing you did. I think Rob is pulling a fast one just to get us to drink. The last time I saw him he loaded me down with 2 six packs.
Well, since I don't have binocular vision, it looks normal to me, but I can see how it could fool some folks.
Once in a while not having 3-D vision is an advantage!
And I don't have to drink to see it!
She's looking kinda hot...would you please share her name and phone number. And ask her to bring another case of refreshments with her, my supply is getting low.
Now that I'm done (at least for now) causing trouble, how is the car running?
Still a lot to do. The front wheels arrived at the wheelwright yesterday. The engine is running well, but the carb float was sticking. Hopefully sealing the gas tank will take care of that. Dean is making a few more coils (K-W innards in early Heinze boxes).
Next week I hope to hook up acetylene lamps and sidelamps. One front outer bearing race is being made, and I'm sure a few more things will show up. We leave for the Early Ford tour and New London next Saturday. Never a dull moment.