This is it. The day that has been a long time coming. Today was the last official work day on the car. After nearly nine months of planning and work the project has been completed.
For today all we did was wash the car and give the T a nice wax, making the Japan Black shine.
I would like to thank all my sponsors without whom none of the parts for this project could have been obtained.
A special shoutout goes to Tom Leonard for not only helping out a random scout in his time of need, but for the hours and effort he put into helping me restore this car and everything he has donated.
I would also like to thank my sponsor Arnie Guyot who has been very much a model to me and has taught me a lot about mechanics and machinery, and allowed us to use his garage and tools for the project.
A big thank you goes out to the Town of Somers for granting me permission to do this project and become active in our town history.
I am grateful to my Grandmother, Rosalie Cicogna, who helped me get this project off the ground by donating a substantial sum early-on so I could begin purchasing the necessary parts.
Finally I want to thank my parents. They have always been there for me since day one. Helping me out when I was stuck and encouraging me to go forward. Without them I wouldn't be where I am today and I am so grateful for them in my life.
This will be the last blog entry of my Eagle Scout project. Thank you to all those who read my blog updates and have supported me throughout this process!!
Today we have hit one of our final milestones of the car. We were able to successfully reinstall the new radiator into the car. After nearly three months of waiting it was finally delivered and has since been safely installed.
The old radiator which has major leaks and damage, will be given to the somers preservation society. We took off the original cover to the radiator and the radiator cap and have put them on the new radiator to help make it feel more whole as a car. This is one of our final pieces for the car.
With the radiator in the car and the car now on the ground again she's ready to roar to life. All that remains is to clean the T up and give her a fresh coat of wax.
Before I begin todays main blog I would first like to thank Mrs. Debbie Osborne Migliaccio and Mr. Ron Miller from the Somers 50 Reunion for their generous donation to the car and their involvement of the project.
The project has almost neared the end of it’s life. With a few more parts being shipped in and our deadline now only a month away we have begun to wrap up the project.
Today we were able to reinstall the front axle back into the car. This is a huge achievement because the front axle has been off the car for almost two months now. After reinstalling it into the car we began to prime it for painting next week. Because there is no more source of Japan Black paint we are going to be using black Rustoleum, the closest substitute that is currently around.
The front wheels have also been cleaned and put back together with new bolts and bearings. We still need to put the front and back wheels onto the car. Once we do that, besides painting the front-end and installing the radiator, the car should be set to go.
Of course we still have to give the car a good wash and wax, and tune the transmission of the car so it runs smoother.
I didn’t write a blog last week because it was only me working on the car. I removed the back wheels and brought them to my garage where I could work on them. I cleaned the back wheels of the car using a mix of different degreasers, solvents, hot water and soap. They were severely caked in grime and dirt and after two long hours of scrubbing and wiping I managed to remove most of the grease from them and even make the Japan Black wooden spikes shine a bit. Albeit they are still slightly dull from being one hundred years old.
Today’s work has been very subtle, yet substantial to the completion of the car. Today we re-assembled the back wheels of the car with cleaned, polished, sand blasted and newly painted hardware.
We reinstalled the rear hubs with new bolts that fit into place of the old ones.
We replaced the rear spring shackles on the car today. We also took apart the front wheels for the sake of washing the wheels and cleaning and painting the current hubs on the car.
A thank you goes out to Mr. Jim Daley, a Somers resident and Scouting Family. His company, Extreme Vehicle Builders in Danbury, NY is working on repairing the front end. They are donating their services to make the necessary repairs.
We are also (still) waiting on the new radiator to come in. Its being fabricated which takes time.
Today was a great day for work.
We were able to fully install the firewall back into the car along with everything that was attached to it. We determined that the wheels are fit for driving and that after some minor repairs and cleaning they will be going back into the car! This is very exciting news because had they needed to be fully replaced an extra $2,500 dollars would have been required.
We also started cleaning up the car, using some degreaser and cleaning solutions on the hood and the seat of the car. While the paint that was used (Japan Black) was extremely deadly and toxic at the time it makes for a great coat of paint that does not peel away easily, has survived and helped to keep the exterior of the car in very good condition.
Our next phase of the project will to be restore the wheels and axles to their appropriate places, greasing up the joints of the car, and giving the undercarriage of the car a much needed cleaning and paint job.
We have hit a few new issues with the car.
Today we discovered that most of the bolts holding the axles together are worn down to the point of them shifting and moving while the vehicle is running. This is a major safety issue and until this is addressed the car cannot be driven.
We also need to assess if the wheels on the car are compromised and will need to be completely replaced. Areas of the rims seem damaged and areas of the wood is cracking and breaking apart. We are concerned because it could set us back financially if we have to replace all four wheels completely. The cost would be about two thousand dollars that we were not planning to spend. However setbacks are part of the process and we will work to obtain the money and move on from this.
In better news we successfully replaced the old firewall on the car. The firewall separates the main cab of the car from the engine and under side with all the machinery. The old wall was very damaged and decrepit and we made a new one. We painted it black to match the color of the outside of the car and spent a good deal of time installing. It wasn't as easy as just taking the old one out and putting the new one in as we had to remove the buzz box that was connected to it and completely take out the steering column in order to take the old one out and fit the new one in. Luckily we were able to get the steering column back into place and we have begun to reinstall everything that was on the old firewall.
We have hit a huge milestone in the work on the car today. We got the car to run! Watch the video here . . .
This is so amazing due to the fact that the car hasn't run in 20 years and we didn't know what would happen when we started the car up.
We were able to install the radiator that Tom Leonard graciously let us use and is temporarily in the car for now. We drove the car about ten miles today and after the first mile and a half this car began to purr like a kitten with warm milk. We found that one of the spark plugs was misfiring and after re-cleaning the spark plug we had no problems. We also found out that the engine is in good condition since the car was able to run very effectively and no mysterious noises occured from the car. The magneto works as well and we were able to successfully reinstall the buzz boxes into the car under the dash.
However with all this success there is always more work that needs to be done. We need to replace the kingpins on the front wheels of the car and regrease the entire car at all the joints. The fire wall, which separates the engine and main machines of the car from the passenger seating needs to be replaced as ours is currently falling apart. We discovered that it is nothing more than plywood and we will be attempting to recreate our own firewall instead of purchasing a new one for a hundred dollars.
We will also have to work on the front of the car and scraping away the rust in the front. We will be adding a new coat of paint to the front that will hopefully make the car look like it had just left the factory!
Fun Fact- The original colour of this car was Japan Black. This colour isn't made anymore due to the high amount of toxic chemicals in the paint. However when it was still used to paint the car they would dunk whole pieces of the car if not the entire body into the paint whole rather than paint by hand so the process would go quicker.
Today was a big day for the crew working on the project. We were able to successfully remove both the carburetor and the radiator from the car in one piece.
After we took the Fan belt and track out we were able to get a closer look at the wiring behind the car. We discovered that 2 out of the 4 wires from the Buzz Box, which contains the Buzz Coils that buzz when they get electricity -i.e their name- were fried, and so we have decided to replace them. Also looking at the Buzz coils themselves it was determined that they should be slowly dissected and examined to determine if there are any internal problems besides oxidation on the outside. We found a lot of oxidation on much of the wiring, which has led us to believe is the main problem with the electricity. We have decided to replace the main wiring harness and get a new one.
We also received a used radiator that works to replace the cars original one for the time being. The radiator was lent to us by Tom Leonard. After today's work the Carburetor was successfully rebuilt and put back in the car. We shall also be heading down to a radiator shop with the hopes that they can repair the radiator so we will not have to buy a new one, which is estimated at over $1200!