McCormick-Deering Type M 6HP

The Right Power for the Bigger Jobs

Wherever power is needed, the practical and careful man buys a McCormick-Deering 6HP engine to do his work. The 6HP engine has water-cooled cylinder head and belt pulley can be put on either side. 

I believe it was the 2006 Shelburne Vt car show where I first met Gael. I was involved setting up a display of my Galloway engine belted to a Papec Silage blower. 

I had no idea who this gentleman was that ventured into the display but we introduced ourselves to each other and struck up a conversation. He seemed quite mesmerized by the displays our club was beginning to get operational. As words unfolded, he mentioned he had a few of these engines. Of course as with any hobbyist my ears then really “perked up” with the prospect of a new find. As memory serves me, he did not know what or how many he had or at least that was what he was leading me to believe. 

Eventually, the fateful question was asked by Gael Boardman. “Would you be interested in getting a couple of them running?” Somehow my nature of: shoot first ask later, did not kick in. The more rational Dave, answered Gael, “maybe but I would like to see what they are and what you have in mind.” He answered with if you get one running then I will give you the other as payment. That inner voice said: how could I go wrong? To this day, I am still amazed I stuck with my first response that I would need to see the engines before making a commitment. 

Again, memory is fuzzy but I remember that it took until November for me to get to Underhill for my first preview. As many of you know, visiting Gael and his collection was not a quick venture. Maybe it was a teachable moment, that it is not about the trip but the journey. I was beginning to understand Gael’s love for so much of our past through his diverse collection. I viewed his air-cooled Same tractor, Army Truck, WW2 bulldozer, memorabilia of all sorts, and a Chevy Coupe with overheating issues which was really perplexing him. Each piece Gael seemed to know where it came from, and what it had done, how long he had owned it, and a justification of it. 

Eventually, we got to the two engines he had in mind he wanted me to work on. Both were larger than anything I had or laid a wrench to. One was a McCormick Deering 6 HP (pictured above). I knew that, as I owned the smaller 1 ½ and 3 HP models. The other I was unsure of, other than it had a Fairbanks Morse tag. Both pieces were very complete and original engines from the local area according to Gael. It sure seemed like a sweetheart deal. Again, it happened, reason over excitement. My response, Gael let me think about it and I will call you. 

Needless to say, I soon called back and said sure I will get both going and Gael you decide which one you keep. It was not until the following summer that I made the second Underhill trip to retrieve both engines. My thinking that the loading process would be simple, quick and somewhat effortless, proved to be flawed as no tractor or other powerful machine Gael possessed was used. I soon realized Gael has ancestors dating back to the pyramids as we moved both engines onto my trailer using pipe as rollers and a come-a-long all the while he was saying: work like the Egyptians. 

I decided to work on both engines simultaneously but really concentrate on the McCormick as it appeared the quicker of the two since the Fairbanks had a serious issue with rust. 

My employment journey had taken me to be an instructor/aid role at Hannaford Career Center in Middlebury. The perfect situation, a great place to work, students to help and teach basic engine operation and the detail needed to restore an 80 year old piece and the use of tools I do not possess. Although to complete the engine still required a bit of work, in reality a lot of work. Tasks included; complete disassembly of all components, magneto rebuild, gas tank replaced, igniter refurbished, rings unstuck from the piston, valves and seats refaced plus the springs replaced, fuel pump and lines replaced, mixer rebuilt and the governor repaired. As most of you know, projects tend to take on a life and direction of their own. I decided this project should not just be a “just get it running” one but, a complete restoration including repainting and a period correct horse drawn cart to mount and move the engine on. 

Finally in the spring of 2012, Gael got a call from me asking if he would enjoy being at Hannaford for startup day. I think you all know the answer and the smile Gael had when he heard the engine run for the first time since he owned it. Later that spring, the engine returned home to Underhill where it still resides. 

Thanks Gael. 

The IHC/McCormick Deering Type M gasoline engine was debuted in 1917 and built until 1937. All M engines were throttle governed and both low tension ignitor and high tension spark plug ignition systems were used. A unique feature of these engines was a completely enclosed, but dry crankcase. The crankshaft main bearings and rod were still greased by mechanical grease cups and the cylinder oiled by a drip oiler. All timing gears were inside, while the remaining parts, including the cam, were outside the crankcase. No oil was stored inside the engine. 

“Right Power for the Bigger Jobs” was IHC’s motto. 
It furnishes plenty of power for the hay baler, feed grinder, corn sheller, buzz saw, cane mill, deep well pump and other hard work. 

Exhausted

When I pulled the Subaru in to take the winter tires off and wash the undercarriage I heard the unmistakable sound of a muffler leak. I was a bit surprised, as the car is only 5 years old. 

I looked at the muffler, and it looked like it was in good shape, until I saw the weld where the inlet pipe enters the front of the muffler. The weld was rusted through, but the muffler itself was fine. Replacement mufflers from Subaru are very expensive. Aftermarket mufflers only seem to last two or three years. I have had great difficulty having the “lifetime warranty” honored with premium aftermarket mufflers. Even quality aftermarket mufflers do not last as long as factory ones. Many mufflers are replaced due to rusted welds and flanges. 

I have replaced rusted flanges and joints, and repaired rusty welds and had the muffler last longer, than a replacement after-market muffler would have lasted. 

I just couldn’t replace a muffler that was still in such good condition, so I cleaned up the area with the broken weld, and re-welded it. Now, let’s see how long this repair lasts… 

I can talk to the people at the end of the road now

A few days ago when I turned the calendar to a new page, I noticed something that I haven’t seen in all my years of keeping a calendar. The page for May was blank. There was nothing written anywhere, with the one exception that there was a reminder to give my dog, Dixie, her heartworm and tick pills on the first of May. I promptly did this because the ticks are out in full force. 

There were no appointments, no reminders of meetings, dates to have my weekly and monthly breakfasts with friends, no community dinners at the church, not even a dental appointment. No Meals on Wheels transport, no Bone Builders classes, nothing. This is what my world is all about lately. I don’t have one of those phones, that everyone else has, where people text other people every five minutes. I’ve tried Zoom meetings without luck. Fortunately, most of my friends are older and we are still fine with e-mailing which has been happening a lot lately. Some include pictures which is great. 

Now that the weather has finally decided to show signs of spring, neighbors have been out walking and I can visit at a distance with them, find out what’s going on at their house, if anything. Someone rescued two miniature ponies, another spotted their first wildflower, someone else had her first encounter with a tick. The road crew working on the road and got the grader stuck, that was exciting!

When the snow is gone, I can use a back way (Class 4 road) to my house so now I can visit with neighbors on Lower English Settlement Road that I haven’t seen since last fall. This is always a sure sign of spring. I now can find out all the gossip on that end of the road. A few friends make a point of calling someone every day to check in and visit for a few minutes. My elderly friends have found someone to pick up a few groceries for them, take care of the trash and recycle bin for them, and just check on them once in a while. 

Once in a while someone sends me something in an e-mail that is timely…one such thing has several timely sentences. Here are a few that I found I could relate to and chuckled. Commercials in 2030 will be like… ”Were you or someone you know overly exposed to hand sanitizers, Lysol or bleach, during the 2020 Corvid 19 pandemic? If so, you may be entitled to compensation”. 

Not even a dental appointment

There were others like…. 

  • “If you thought toilet paper was crazy, wait until 300 million people all want a hair cut.”
  • “I’ve spent weeks hanging out with myself and I’m so sorry to every person I spend time with”
  • “After listening to Linda, his human, for 4 weeks while in quarantine as she complained for hours on end, Sparky realized he was not cut out to be an emotional support dog”
  • “Anyone else getting three weeks to a gallon?”
  • “My husband and I decided we don’t want to have children. We will be telling them tonight at dinner”.

I have more but I might save them for the next time it’s my turn to write the Softer Side, if things continue like this for three more months. Meanwhile, be lucky you live in such a great state, enjoy the spring, be thankful for good friends and neighbors and keep wearing your masks. They are colorful, aren’t they? 

Ford N Tractors 1939-1952

First there was the 9N, then the 2N and finally the 8N. Our history and the history of at least one of the 350,000 N-tractors made, have most likely crossed paths at some time 

ford n tractor drawing

When the idea of doing a story on the iconic Ford N tractors came to Wheel Tracks, the idea seemed great and the task seemed easy. Who does not have one of these tractors parked in their barn or retired to the stone wall, out back? We could find only two N-tractors, are they that scarce? 

Two N-tractors were found in our roster and one more revealed itself from the Wheel Tracks request in the April issue, which has resulted in two short stories. With our stay-at-home rules, the front page came from published pictures, Our photographer could not travel. 

Ford *N tractor

A coincidence did happen! On Wheel Tracks dead-line day, when our man with a camera had to make a trip to the village. There on a deserted main street, was a live 8N. A gent from Hinesburg had just purchased it in Montgomery and was heading home. The poor little Ford, pictured here, seemed to struggle under the weight of its over-sized bucket burden. Hopefully, it was heading for a nice new life, in the big city! 

Al and Judy Faust, of Winterport, Maine are long time VAE members and started coming to our August show 40 years ago. They, along with some neighbors and friends, in their old cars, make their way to the Vermont show every year. 

One of the two N-tractors in our roster is Al’s, a 1948, 8N Ford. Al said it is a “working tractor”, not pretty but ready to go anytime day and night. Its main job is unusual, it is used mainly to mow orchards of Chestnut trees. Al is the chapter president of the “Maine American Chestnut Foundation” and that is why he purchased his 8N about 12 years ago from an Uncle Henry’s classified ad. The tractor has had a few repairs over the years, a change from 6 volts to 12 and an engine rebuild. Al has used a brush-hog in the orchards in the past and this year will be changing to flail-chopper, in the hopes of better getting through the narrow rows without causing damage to the trees. 

chestnut tree orchard

The picture here, found on the net, is a Chestnut orchard in Maine, that Al and his Ford might be mowing this summer. The foundation sells seedlings and is the go-to group for advice on how to start your own Chestnut orchard. Just type www.acf.org/me into your computer, and see the great work the Maine chapter is doing. 

welcome to eden vt

The second Ford N tractor was found in Eden, Vermont. Ken Kelly has a 1952 8N that he purchased in Barre. It worked for him for 39 years until he semi-retired it 2 years ago. It raked, tilled, cut hay with its cutter bar, scraped with its back blade and brush-hogged faithfully over the years. Ken said he could think of only one task his 8N was not quite up to and that was bailing hay, but it tried. The bailer was just too heavy. 

Another tractor has taken over the duties of the 8N but Ken believes only one turn of the engine with the starter, and it would be ready to go back to work, any time. 

I have always had a fear of fires

When the cars go in to the garage for the winter, I have always believed they should be drivable and ready to be driven out quickly if there is a fire. I leave battery tenders on lead acid batteries (but not gel cell batteries, they have no static discharge) and always disconnect the batteries to prevent an electrical fire. I always make sure the snow is removed from the garage doors, so there is a quick easy exit. 

garage fire

Unfortunately, the events of two weeks ago taught me some things about garage fire safety. I will share what I learned.  

First, the fire department did a fantastic job, and saved a great deal of the contents of the building. Only two cars were totally destroyed. The firemen tried to drive the cars out of the building when they responded. As luck would have it, the cars at the doors were cars with push button or foot pedal starters. Firemen are too young to understand this. They pulled the battery tenders, connected the batteries and turned the key… obviously the cars did not start. 

I have always been creative in fitting cars in to the garage to maximize space. This usually means jacking a car on a floor jack and sliding it into positions that al-low one or two more cars to be squeezed in. I will not do that again. I learned the cars should have a straight shot at the door in the event they need to be evacuated from the building quickly. 

Fire blankets saved the cars. The fire was very hot, melting glass and PVC piping in the building, yet there was only minimal damage to 12 cars just inches away from the fire. When the firemen realized they couldn’t drive the cars out, they threw fire blankets over them. 

This fire was hot. All the cars were driven in to the garage, only two were drivable after the fire (both Saab’s B.T.W.). All the cars received heat, smoke and water damage, and also were damaged by falling ceiling lights and sheetrock. 

Oddly enough, the garage doors opened by themselves, somehow, the heat caused the door openers to short out and open the doors. 

So, what have I learned? First, I will ensure the cars by the exit doors are either newer, automatic cars or at least key start. I will leave an instruction note on the dashboard on how to start the cars. 

Second, cars will be parked with quick and easy access to a straight path out the door. No more jig saw parked cars packed tightly in the building. 

I will continue to do what I have always done, disconnect the batteries, and keep fire extinguishers in all the vehicles. I will also not leave gas cans or flammable objects in the garage. I will avoid using extension cords and not leave items plugged in to wall sockets unless they are being used. As bad as this fire was, it could have been much worse. 

The Upside…

There probably isn’t one of us who hasn’t said, “I wish I could do this or that but just don’t have the time”. Well, now, chances are you do – have the time. 

I have heard people say that they would like to make their own bread, make a quilt, or just finish those projects that you started ages ago. You know, back when you had more time, whenever that was! 

Some will have more time than others. Those of you who are still going into work everyday or working from home to keep things, out there, running – Bless You. 

For those of us who are just sheltering in place with no children to home school and no job, we have an opportunity to get those extra projects done. 

What have you wanted to do that you felt you never had the time for i.e… clean closets, wash windows (a friend of mine was washing her walls) that particular activity isn’t on my bucket list but may be yours. I am sure everyone has a different list but if you are having trouble coming up with one, let me help you. 

Make pasta, make a quilt, hook a rug, frame your pictures and posters, organize your ‘stuff’, make bread, read books and magazines that have accumulated, write letters, notes and cards, learn a language, write a family history for your children and grandchildren, paint a room, clean your oven, make calls to others that you haven’t talked to in a while or to those alone and just ‘check’ on them, make a book of favorite family recipes, plan the first big get together for when we are safe and released from home confinement We will see an end to this (hopefully sooner than later). These are only a few suggestions, I’m sure you all could add many more to the list. 

Look at this time as an opportunity to do something you have wanted to do or just to ‘catch up’ and maybe for some of us just to slow down. 

One thing I know, if you have a dog, they are thrilled you are home and in hopes of an extra walk or two. Cats, they are probably just annoyed that the routine has changed. 

Until we can all get together again, stay safe and in good health. 

1946 Ford Tudor

“I just really like Fords” was Dave Martin’s response to “Why a Ford?” 

1946 ford tudor show card

Dave Martin is a retired carpenter and now has the extra time to work in his home shop in Newbury, Vermont. He is very close to finishing up a 1940 Ford Tuder that started out with a broken frame and seized engine. Maybe we will see his restoration at our next Waterbury Show in August. 

He has been involved with old vehicles since fishing his first car out of stream bed, back when he was in high school at Bradford High. His friend had a 1931 Pontiac and the friends parents were not very happy about their son driving it. When the friend rolled the Pontiac into a stream along the road, the parents said that was it. Dave then bought the car, as is, for $5.00. Dave and his Dad rolled the car back on its tires and pulled it home. He never registered the car for the highway but later made a doodlebug out of it. 

Dave Martin's 1946 ford tudor
Dave Martin ‘s 1946 Ford Tudor is something he purchased only 2 years ago

He found it for sale at a restoration shop just down the road from his home at Darlings Auto in South Ryegate. 

He added directional lights, rear shocks and did a bit of engine tuning before driving it the 45 miles to the Waterbury Show last August. As you can see, it is a beautiful car. 

The Ford Motor Company shut down its automobile production line in Detroit and at its assembly plants across the country early in February of 1942 to take on the war effort. In the three month period after the US entered WWII, due to the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, a stockpile of cars was set aside for essential uses during the war; military staff car production continued. 

It would not be until three years later in July of 1945, and the war had ended, when the first 1946 Ford would roll off the production line ahead of its main competitor, Chevrolet. 

1940s ford motor company-factory-lot

“There’s A Ford In Your Future”, the sales promo that Ford created, when WWll came to an end.  Ford had a number of left over 1942 body parts that went into 1946 Ford models.

Henry Ford II got the first postwar car into production, and the very first one — a white Super DeLuxe Tudor sedan assembled on July 3, 1945 — went to President Harry Truman. Alas, only 34,439 more were assembled during the 1945 calendar year. However, there was no end of problems with the War Production Board, which controlled output and material supplies, and the Office of Price Administration, which put many controls on the price of parts and cars. Henry Ford II claimed that he was losing $300 per car because he couldn’t achieve volume production, and indeed the company was hemorrhaging about $10 million per month at one point. 

1946 ford tudor nose

The only notable mechanical change to the new 1946 Ford, from the 1942 model, was the adoption of the larger 239 c.i., 100 h.p. V-8 engine used in prewar Mercury and Ford trucks. The outward appearance of the revamped 1942 model, was essentially the same, except for a newly designed three-bar horizontal grille capped with a heavy tapered trim bar below the hood. In the rear, the deck lid received two added horizontal trim strips below the license plate. Roughly 450,000 of the new Fords were manufactured during the production run which ended part way through 1948. 

Some specs……. Rear-wheel drive, manual 3-speed on-the-column, V8 gasoline engine with displacement of 239.4 cui, advertised power:100 hp. Outside length: 196.2 in, width: 73.3 in, wheelbase: 114 in, 3370 lbs. estimated curb weight.  p speed:80 mph, fuel consumption average 18.7 mpg.

 

 

Ethanol Gas & Gas Mileage

Dave, 

I want to share, with you, my story on ethanol gas. As I recall you have done pieces on this topic in the past, however, I thought I would share with you my totally unscientific finding. 

I religiously try to use the non-ethanol in my old cars, lawn mowers, weed whacker, chainsaw, etc. 

Last summer, I had heard from a few folks about their using the non-ethanol gas in their regular driver and getting better gas mileage. My modern vehicle is a 2019 4WD Silverado Chevrolet. With about 10K miles on the vehicle and I was getting on average 21.9 mpg. I drove over 1,000 miles filling the truck with non-ethanol gas and my average was 24.9 mpg, an increase of 3 mpg. My cost per mile with purchasing the higher priced non-ethanol vs the regular ethanol cheaper, gas came out as a wash (depending on the price per gal purchased at the pump). So I figured if it is not costing me more, I am using 15% less fuel, and it should be better for my engine, I have stuck with buying the non-ethanol gas. I am a great environmentalist when it matches up with my cheap side! 

Obviously different drivers, different vehicles, different driving habits would change the results in either direction. Also this was not exactly an apples to apples comparison, because I was comparing regular ethanol to high test non-ethanol. I did not bother to compare how high-test with ethanol would fit in to this mix. Luckily for me I have a local station that carries the non-ethanol fuel. 

I wondered if you ever thought about the ethanol from this angle or not, regardless here is my unscientific sharing that I thought you might find interesting, if nothing else. 

-Eric 

Dear Eric, 

You are correct. Ethanal gas has less energy than conventional gasoline, and you will notice at least a 5% efficiency loss with ethanal gas. My findings have largely aligned with yours. My Subaru has the H-6 engine, which has a 10.7to1 compression ratio, and requires premium gas. When I replaced the head gaskets I had the heads planned flat again, requiring .007” to be shaved off. This obviously increased the compression ratio even higher. (Subaru does not recommend planning these heads…. I have put 100,000 miles on the engine since with no troubles). I also use premium gas in my Saab Turbos. The Subaru and the Saab’s will burn regular gas, but the timing is retarded so far, to prevent preignition that the mileage goes way down, and it actually costs me more money to use the 87 octane gas, due to the decreased mileage. I was also amazed to see how much air conditioning effects mileage. It can drop by as much as 20%. 

Unfortunately, I have only been able to find 91 octane non ethanal gas. Even the non ethanal 91 octane gives better gas mileage than the 93 octane 10% Ethanal gasoline. 

I have had a number of problems with the ethanal gas, with not only the antique cars and small engines, but my daily drivers too. On the antique cars I have had fuel sending units, fuel lines, carburetor rubber parts, fuel pumps and even gas tanks dissolve. I had an exhaust valve burn in my wife’s Chrysler minivan, and I had a plastic valve on the top of the gas tank dissolve on my Subaru Outback. 

Ethanal fuel holds moisture in suspension, which causes the fuel to rust fuel tanks away. I have had gas tanks dissolve on cars that were in extended storage , while stored inside climate controlled garages. 

The only positive thing I can say for ethanal gas is, I don’t have to buy dry gas anymore, I haven’t had a frozen fuel line in years 

I was in the car the other day…

I was in the car, the other day, running errands and having a conversation with myself (Dixie, my dog, was not with me that day). 

I was muttering about the depressing state of affairs in the nation and world, when I found myself singing a song that just popped into my little brain, “Keep On The Sunny Side”. I felt much better after a few minutes. 

Then I started to think about all the songs that were written about sun, and sunshine and in just a few minutes thought of quite a few. How about these: 

The Sunny Side of the Street, Here Comes the Sun ( Beatles), Good Day Sunshine (Beatles), Keep on the Sunny Side (Carter family), Sunshine on My Shoulder (John Denver), You Are My Sunshine. 

Years ago, when Joe Kaelin would call Gael, they would often start singing OLD songs on the telephone and that would last for hours, it seemed. Fred Cook was another one that knew all the OLD songs. Fred and Gael would, again, sing at length. I have fond memories of Fred starting to sing without any notice…..a good memory. 

One of my favorits is… Keep On The Sunny Side which played a part in the recent Ken Burns series about country music. Years ago, when we would sit around a camp fire with neighbors, we always started singing and one song that was sung was “You Are My Sunshine”. I wonder if kids these days know that song. Do people sit around camp fires and sing any more? Maybe, maybe not, but I will continue to sing these songs, especially in the months to come. Singing, and humming, is good for the soul and it makes me feel a little bit better, if only for a short time. 

Can you think of any more songs that you could add to my list? 

PS… There is a good video on You Tube about dogs at the beach with the song ”Walking in Sunshine”. I think that’s the name of it, another sunshine song. 

1914 Cadillac Engine

rebuilt 1914 cadillac engine

“It is way too nice to put in my car, I am going to make a coffee table out of it…..” The words of engine owner, Bill Fagan, after seeing Fred Gonet’s beautiful work. Fred’s business is G&G Restoration of Proctorsville, Vermont. Many years are needed to reach this level of restoration ability and Fred has them.

According to “The American Cars” standard catalog, Cadillac’s engine numbers ranged from 91005 to 99999 in 1914. Does this mean Cadillac made 8,994 of these pieces of art that year? Bill Fagan’s engine number is 99618.

The engine is an in-line, Vertical L-head engine with cast iron cylinders and copper water jackets. Displacement is 366 cu. inches and produces 40 to 50 brake HP. The publication also notes that 1914 was the last 4-cylinder engine that Cadillac produced in the next 67 years. The company went to the 70 HP V-8 in 1915.

This 1914 Cadillac engine was started and ran for the first time in 65 years just recently. The sound is unbelievable!

Bill Fagan’s plan is to take the car to Fred Gonet’s Proctorsville shop in March to have the engine installed. Here is Bill’s “barn find” story…

A friend of mine in NH has the exact same Phaeton, being the rarer Sport model 4 passenger body, as opposed to the larger 5 passenger body with 2 jump seats in the back.

The story is, my friend was working with the Boy Scouts on a Soap Box Derby with another guy, got to talking about old cars and the guy said his father died and left him a very low mileage ‘14 Cadillac. It was in the barn and had not run since the mid ‘50’s when they tried to start it and burned up the rear main bearing. The father had bought the car in the late ‘30’s from the original owner in Maine and drove it all through the ‘40’s until the early ‘50’s when he got involved in Sports Cars, so the Caddy was parked in the barn and there it languished until 2006 when my friend struck a deal for it and some parts.

On a Brass Era Frostbite Tour in Mass. a few days later, my friend told me he had just run across this “barn find” ‘14 Caddy, and was I interested? Needless to say I was and drove to his place in NH the day after the tour and made the deal. Because the car sat in the barn with a damp floor, the fenders, splash aprons and wheel rims were quite rusty and had to be repainted. The body and upholstery are original and in excellent condition. I’ve gone through the running gear and the frame, painted them and the wheels and Nickel plated all the bright work.

1914 cadillac engine in the shop

Ten years ago I had pulled the engine, dismantled it and cleaned all the parts and painted where needed. After this 10 year hiatus, I brought everything to Fred and he started to work his magic, as I tried to remember what I had and had not done! The heads had to be removed from the jugs with a special high torque tool my friend made up and Fred modified. New valves and guides had to be made down in Mass. and the heads remachined. Fred pulled the copper jackets off the jugs, pounded out the dents and buffed them. Its a very delicate operation. 100 years of rust and sediment gets trapped in there and is the cause for these copper clad jugs to overheat, a notorious Cadillac problem.

Most owners are too nervous to try and pull the copper jackets off. Fred made up a jig to hold the iron ring that holds the copper jackets in place. The ring has to be heated up with a torch and slid down over the copper jacket. You have only one chance to get it right before it cools and contacts around the base of the copper. You will inevitably damage the copper jack-et trying to get it back off if you mess up! I had gotten new Arias Aluminum Pistons made 10 years ago, but got side tracked on other projects, so everything had come to a stand still. At this juncture, I am waiting for new tires and tubes back ordered from Coker, then I can get the car to Fred and hopefully get it on the road this Summer.

Fred Gonet told about the other items that he needed to do, to get the engine ‘sorted’. Part of the engine was together but he needed to be sure all tolerances were correct, so everything was disassembled. Once the copper jackets were removed, he used heat to anneal the metal and then hammered out the dents, then smoothed and polished them to what you see in the pictures.

The old coil was unusable so he re-engineered a motorcycle coil to fit into the factory assembly.

New plug wire ends were built to factory specs, the distributor was completely gone-through, all lower end bearings were re-shimmed and the timing was setup. Interestingly, the oil pan is built with two compartments but only one has a drain plug for removing the old oil. With Fred’s “modern touch” the ’14 engine now has two drain plugs and also oil-level plugs installed for both compartments.

1914 cadillac engine cone clutch
1914 Cadillac cone clutch

Surprising to many is the size of the cone-clutch. It can be seen in the picture to the left. The disc that you can see has an angled edge (cone shape) with a matching disc/cone outside of it. As the two cones are pressed together, the material in-between allows smooth vehicle movement. Originally leather was used, in this case a Kevlar material is used.

Some, have heard how drivers of these old cars have felt a weird jump while driving down the highway. When they look back “there is a snake in the middle of the road!”

The “snake” is the leather material that was kicked out by an unhappy automobile.