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Finesse required.

30 Apr

New shift box in! Shifting has improved but it is almost 100% necessary to double clutch every shift and the trans still occasionally jams in 1st if you’re sloppy and try to shift too quick. I’m hoping that the rest of the bushing kit will cure the issue.

On that note, the gf lent a hand in the shift box swap. She was more than curious about everything I was doing and after explaining the 3OTT pattern and principles of double clutching, she now wants to learn to drive stick. Needless to say, I’m in heaven.


23 Apr

After driving around for a few days its apparent that the shifter box is toast. Its worn too far down and is allowing the middle tab to slip between the forks. New/rebuilt box ordered this morning.

Also figured out how to hook up the throttle cable … apparently it threads thru the throttle linkage rod where it attaches to the carb. Just have to pick up a cable stop somewhere.


11 Apr

Greg and I made a bit more progress on the ol’ girl tonight. She kept getting jammed in first so I pulled the shift box off the steering column, cracked it open, washed it in kerosene and rebuilt it. Still need to order some bushings and grommets for the rest of the linkage but this alone was a vast improvement.

BEFORE: …~60yr old grease is some nasty snot.


Happy early Xmas to me!

4 Dec

Drove to Indiana to pick up one of Nostalgia Sid’s 4″ drop axles from fellow Bolter, Dan S. While there, I took his 49’s tired old 216 off his hands along with it’s three speed transmission and steering box.

2011-12-03 15.09.46

Technically this is as plug n’ play as it gets with this type of thing. Mount the axle, connect the brake line, bleed the brakes and bolt on the wheels. Having come off Dan’s ’49 3100 though, the brakes are the Huck type while Bessie, being a ’51, has the later self adjusting Bendix type. From what I understand the Huck brakes are prone to fade more so than the Bendix type, and require more frequent periodic adjustment. Parts are a bit more expensive too. Lucky for me they only have a couple hundred miles on them after being rebuilt. I figure I’ll use them until they need another rebuilding or prove to be a pain, after which I’ll look into rebuilding my front Bendix drums or doing a disc conversion. Either way, I’m replacing the single reservoir master cylinder with a dual.

Plug for Nostalgia Sid –
Two plugs for Dan – –

1, 2, 3…

6 Apr

The clutch is in and she shifts like a 3OTT dream!

Shade tree repair #3:
Noticed the transmission mount is actually a cut of bias-ply truck tire tread with the bolt holes drilled thru. Decided to leave it be since the tread is way stronger and will last longer than the correct rubber mount ever will. Plus its one of those touches that give the old girl true character.

More work space and a new clutch.

30 Mar

Mr. Brown standing guard over the toys in the clean new driveway.

2011-03-17 18.22.05

Bad storm = big insurance claim = widening the driveway by almost 10′. I’m on the edge of the city and the driveways in the neighborhood are all roughly 10′ wide. Mine had retaining walls on both sides making it a bit¬†claustrophobic.

Bessy is getting hauled off to a friends shop. Didn’t want to crack her open for a clutch and transmission work and risk spilling gear oil and whatnot all over the brand new driveway. Its good to have friends with lifts and tow trucks. :D

2011-03-30 16.44.16

…pay no attention to the lawn. Its collateral damage from the construction.

And for shits n’ grins an artsy shot of the hood ornament.

First drive…

8 Mar

The drive home didn’t go so well… The shifter jammed and when I pulled over to try and fix it I found oil splattered all over the firewall, valve cover and air cleaner. Never having owned a vehicle of this vintage, I called the owner a tad miffed as he had sworn there were no issues and it ran fine. I later discovered that the oil misting is typical because of the vented valve cover and that the description,¬†“Running fine”, isn’t what most would consider it to be when you’re dealing with a 60 year old piece of farm equipment. So, with it stuck in first gear allowing a max speed of +/-10mph, I slowly made my way home across the city.