A Metal Stitch In Nine and the Pressure of Having No Time

Posted: February 21, 2015 in Uncategorized

As I sort through all the options being presented to me regarding my engine’s rebuild as well as the plethora of mutually exclusive recommendations from multiple folks “in the know” (all good suggestions and from well intending folks who know better than I), the Gulbankians haven’t stopped their rebuild process. The parts are cleaned and inspected and the nine cracks have been stitched. Prior to this process, I thought the stitching required some welding. Apparently this isn’t the case. It is a cold process that seems more mechanical than metallurgy.

These are the pins (locks?  screws?  whatever!) used for the job.


How do these pins become stitching? Apparently the metal stitching process is one where multiple holes are drilled into the cast iron and then a collection of screws (locks) are put in place then more holes are drilled into both the iron and the screws and then more screws are added.  All the screws are are overlapped and engineered in a way to pull together the cast iron.  Let me try to explain in a more visual manner.  Imagine that these series of letters Os are the screws put in place “O O O O O O” .  Now add a second set of “O”s that fill the spaces in between the “O”s and also overlap each of the first “O”s by just a little This creates a line (stitch) of materials pulling the sides together.

Here is what the results look like.

IMG_1744 IMG_1743 IMG_1748 IMG_1747 IMG_1746 IMG_1745 IMG_1749 IMG_1751

The following is a video from a third party (Lock-N-Stitch), showing the process. The stitching method seems similar to how secant pile walls are constructed in civil and structural engineering. Here is Lock-N-Stitch’s tutorial.

With J&M going at it full speed, I also need to make some quick decisions and start getting ready for putting the engine back in the car.  This is much more work than just putting it back in. While the engine is out, it sounds like I “need” to:

1) Rebuild the transmission
2) Replace the throwout bearing
3) Rebuild the starter
4) Replace the motor mount (or at a minimum checking them for cracks and remaining useful life)
5) Replace the intake/exhaust manifold
6) Rebuild the carburetor
7) Rebuild the distributor
8) Install a thermostat

I am arranging for some people “in the know” to stop by my place and look over the car to see if there are any other more immediate repairs that should be addressed with the engine out. Let’s not forget, I have no real idea what I am doing.  I am assuming there are several repairs related to steering, suspension, etc. This is where I can see repairs further snowballing. While I understand the logic of “while you are doing X it you really should do Y”, this logic doesn’t have an end point until a full frame off restoration is done.  I am NOT doing a frame off restoration at this point.  I want to do the “life safety items”. The car took 86 years to get to its present condition. I want to take my time bringing it back. This said, my desire to “be hands on” with each stage of the restoration is becoming increasingly impossible. There aren’t enough hours in the day.  With unlimited time, I could do things paced, but if I want to have the car back on the road this Spring, I have to send out some parts to respective part gurus… which isn’t something I was intending to do.

More to follow……………

  1. Ruth Hawkins says:

    This method of repair is extremely cost-effective when considering that the large components that In-situ Machining Solutions are usually involved in salvaging do not have to be dismantled and removed from the site for repair and saves castings from being reduced to the scrap yard.

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