A Model (A) of In-Efficiency

Posted: June 10, 2015 in Uncategorized

I HAVE MY ENGINE BACK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  It took me forever to pick it up.


Let’s go through the timeline since the last post…..

It is 4/10/15 and J&M has let me know that the babbitts are poured and the rods are balanced.  They are waiting on a clutch from the supplier.

Pour the Babbitts

Balancing Rods.  You would think the rods are balanced.  They aren’t.

Is this manly stuff?  Yes….but I have to keep myself from commenting that they are handling rods and playing “Girls Just Want to Have Fun”.

Do you know how to line bore a block?

IMG_2089 IMG_2090 IMG_2093 IMG_2094 IMG_2095 IMG_2096

Machining the Thrust so there is less leakage.

It is now 4/14/15 and there has been little recent progress on my Phaeton.  Even if all the pieces/parts were magically to appear in my garage tomorrow, I wouldn’t be able to reassemble the car until sometime in May or June.  So what is going on?

1)      I’ve been busy at work and haven’t been able to get to my to do list as I am working during the weekends:  What do I need to do:

a.       Address the front cross-member.  Sand it down, weld any found cracks, replace a rivet, prime and repaint.  I figure that this will take a couple of hours to strip/sand and a few hours of my cousin’s time welding.  To do the welding I need my cousin Robbie and some rivets from John Karal.

b.      Replace the rubber in the rear engine mounts.  This is probably a couple of hours of work.  I’ll also sand, inspect, prime and paint these parts as they tend to develop cracks according to John Karal.

c.       Clean garage from the parts piles that grew over the winter.

2)      John Karal, the local Modal A Guru, is having his knee replaced.  Len and I wanted to video John assembling the transmission and we all agreed that it would be awkward to do the video at the rehabilitation center.  The reassembly will likely occur in early May.

3)      Brattons

a.       Brattons is waiting on a pre-painted exhaust manifold.  They had the unpainted on, but I wanted to go with the painted one.

4)      J&M Machine

a.       J&M are now sitting with 8 Model A engines in various stages of completion.  Mine is in the works.

b.        The clutch is ordered and pending from the manufacturer who is behind schedule in delivery.  Once the clutch is received by J&M, they can reassemble the engine and I can schedule the pick-up.

It’s now 6/1/15 and the engine is in my garage.  J&M and I had some coordination issues related to the engine.  They had a delay waiting on their clutch supplier that pushed the engine completion date to the later part of their original time estimate (they estimated 6 to 9 weeks).  When the engine was done, I had neither a vehicle large enough nor the time to pick up the engine (so it sat at their shop).  John and Mike were great to deal with throughout the process.  They send photos of their progress and were around to answer questions and make suggestions. If you are considering rebuilding your engine, you will want to speak with them.

This past weekend I was able to borrow my mother’s Toyota Highlander and took a daytrip to J&M to pick up the shiny green rebuilt engine.  It is amazing how you can really see the casting flaws now that the engine is clean and together.  I removed the engine from the car solo.  Interestingly enough, the engine was easier to transport without the stand (I used a stack of blankets instead).   The solo removal was actually a lot easier than I thought.

I actually finished the removal solo.


Ok, back to the check list from April…. Items 4 is done.  Item 3 is done.  Item 2 (the transmission) is going to be reassembled by John Karal this week.  Len Spinelli is going to film this rebuild and we will post it online. Item 1, I’ve done none of this — but hope to do some of it this week.  Rob is going to be by this weekend to weld.

6/4/15 – Went to John Karal’s place to pick up the transmission.  We still need a part.  Filmed the whole thing. Told that they filmed a part before I arrived and John thought my car was a 1928 instead of a 1929 and announced that the transmission was a 1929/1930 version.  I’ll probably do a separate post.

6/7/15—more forward motion.  So today I removed the engine mounts (front and back) as well as tried to drop the front axle to inspect the front crossmember.  The mounts came off without issue.  The front mount .  I may or may not show this as a separate post.

  1. mark says:

    Hi Seth ,
    I have been watching your blog from Melbourne Australia. J &M rebuilt an engine (full long Block) for me over 12 months ago . It has done 1600 miles since the rebuild. It purrs along at 55 mph in overdrive and idles really smoothly. I am so glad I used the John and Michael , fantastic guys whose work is top notch.
    You made the right decision in using them to rebuild your Engine. You will be extremely happy with their work.
    I had my engine shipped 15000 miles and it was worth every cent.
    Regards ,Mark . Melbourne Australia.

  2. patrick martone says:

    Thanks for the updates, Seth!
    We all look forward to hearing how the engine runs.

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