Posts Tagged ‘car’


So much has happened to the engine since the last post. The engine is in great shape. It has been cleaned, fluxed, machined, leveled, bored, honed, balanced and by the time I post this most likely poured, peened, balanced again, painted, and reassembled. Most of the work was done in my absence; however, the J&M boys were kind enough to send progress photos throughout the process. They also welcomed myself and Len Spinelli (President of the North Jersey Regional Model A Club, good guy, and camera man) to come to the shop for a day of fun/work/schooling. Len and I met up at the NY/NJ border at 6:30AM and hit the road to get to Southborough Massachusetts for an early AM start (targeted arrival by 10AM.  We arrived just before 10AM.

We started by leveling the head and the block. They are both placed on a level base on a milling/boring machine. The machine head then takes swipes If a swipe “shaves” off something from one part but not another part, then the head or block isn’t level. This is an iterative process. The machine takes swipes until the head is level, then the bit is exchanged for a finishing bit that shines the surface down a wee bit more.
J&M Machine Company Cylinder Head Resurface

Once the block is level, the machine is set to bore the cylinders. There is a complicated process to locate the “center” of each cylinder, as you don’t want to measure on one specific spot, as that spot may be warped or worn down. The cylinders are then subject to the same process as the head, but at specific bore sizes (which match piston sizes). All cylinders must be bore to the same size and must not have warps, rust, or groves that would impair the engine.

J&M Machine Company Engine Block Decking and Boring

Don’t forget to shape the valve seats

J&M Machine Company Cutting Valve Seats

Once all cylinders are bore and the valve seats are shaped, the cylinders are honed and finished with precision. J&M maintain that this is where many shops skip a step.

J&M Machine Company Cylinder Honing

J&M Machine Company Cylinder Hone Finish

Let’s not forget straightening the crankshaft

Here are some photos of my crankshaft that they addressed prior to the visit.  I know a bunch of cranks I would like straighted out….


(this crank in the video isn’t mine).

J&M Machine Company Crankshaft Straightening

…and then grinding it.

J&M Machine Company Crankshaft Grinding

They sent me home with the bellhousing.  They installed the pedal shaft on the bell housing and replaced/installed lower bushings plus installed new bushings in pedals.

.   IMG_1804

The block is now finished and honed.  Please note the crosshatching on the hone.

IMG_1817 IMG_1818

Here are some images of the pistons once they were made ready for the rebuild.  Apparently the heaviest was 2.2 grams off from the lightest.  They are now all within .2 grams of weight.

IMG_1864 IMG_1865 IMG_1866

You remember that dirty flywheel…. Here is the a before and after of it.

IMG_1765 IMG_1766

….. and in case you didn’t see it already posted on, here is a tour the Mike gave of the J&M Shop.

I’ve also decided, since spring is around the corner, that I would have J&M’s contacts rebuild the starter and the carburetor. I really wanted to do these things myself, but there are only so many hours in a day and I want to get the car back on the road this Spring.  If timing allows this Month (March), I will be taking apart and restoring the transmission with John Karal (the “North Jersey Model A Guru”).

This week I had the opportunity to pitch some work to two potential clients on the NJ side of the George Washington Bridge.  What better reason could one have to take a mini-road trip in an old car?

If I can get the video to embed, you should be able to see me driving in my suit and then hanging out at Strictly Bikes where I needed to make a quick repair to the malfunctioning electrical system. 
The car drove beautifully on the Palisades Interstate Parkway.  Today was one of those days that EVERYONE stopped to take photos of and with the car.  I am curious if any of these people will come across my blog.  It was fun on the PIP doing 50MPH and having car after car waving and folks taking video/potos.   It is only a matter of time for one of these people to post their photos to their Facebook page and for me to eventually get a call or an email from someone else saying “I just watched a video of you driving on the PIP in your car…. a friend posted it to their page”. 
The repair I had to do on the road was something odd.  The ammeter stopped showing positive charge.  To me, this would typically indicate an issue with the “cut out”.  The cut out is a device that shuts off the generator when the car is “off”.  Without it, the generator will start running like an electric motor, can overheat, start a fire and will burn down your car/garage/house.   Sometimes this piece can get stuck in the “off” position.  Sometimes they “fall off” the generator.  If you have an original one, you “tap it” and it typically starts working again.  I replaced the broken original one on my car about 6 months ago and do not have a back up, so if the one I have breaks, OUCH, I need to get the car towed.  The original cut outs are really neat.  They are basically small electro magnets that turn on/off a switch and disconnect the generator from the car.  My “newer” one is a diode version, which replaces a whole lot of cool mechanical things with one small diode that only allows electric current to flow in one direction.  It shouldn’t break down.  To fix the problem I was having,  I wound up cleaning connections and jiggling some wires between the generator and the ammeter.  Basically, I tapped things a little and hoped the gods of automotive goodness would smile upon me.   Special thanks to Steven from the bike shop for heading outside to help.
…. oh, and I landed one of the assignments I was pitching.  I just need to write an engagement letter before I can get started.  The second pitch was for something more long-term and I won’t know about it for a few months. 
In addition to the pitches, this mini-road-trip also included a stop at workfriend/client’s beautiful and historic Englewood Cliff mansion.  He has been hearing about the car for about a year and I told him that I would stop by and take him and his 5 kids for a drive.  Two of the  kids were so excited that they didn’t bother opening the doors to the car to get in, they just “dukes of hazarded” their way OVER the doors to get inside.  I am glad I have a “driver” level car that welcomes a little abuse.  It was surprizing that his other three kids had no interest in leaving their video game to even look at the car.   If this client sends me a photo of the two kids with the car, I will post the images.