GM Futurliner 2000 Progress Reports
The following are Don Mayton's progress reports from the work sessions held in his pole barn. To read it in chronological order, start from the bottom and read up the page.
-- We woke up to 8 F and two inches of new
VOLUNTEERS -- Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Bud Dinger, Wayne Jackson, Don Mayton, Wes Myrick, Dick Saddler and Wally Snow.
Wes came back from Florida to celebrate Christmas with his children and grandchildren and spent the day with us working. Carol went to a Christmas Program for one of the grandchildren so Wes treated us all to lunch at a local restaurant.
MECHANICAL -- Del and Wayne installed the right front new bearings on the right axle spindle. These were previously donated to the project by Allied Industrial Technology through the efforts of Joe Lockhard. Wayne had some emery cloth work to do as a ridge was found on the spindle. They then hand packed with grease the two spindle roller bearings prior to slipping them on. The front dual wheel assembly is designed so that all lubrication is from one zerk grease fitting. The outer wheel hub has an access hole in it from which the wheel must be rotated to expose the zerk fitting. Del and Wayne proceeded to pump grease into this fitting which lubricates the bronze bushing that permits the dual wheels to turn independently. Once the grease fills the bronze bushing space it then has passages to lubricate the spindle roller bearings. Even though Del and Wayne had independently packed the roller bearings, just to fill the bronze bushing space and the passages up to the roller bearings took 1/2 tube of grease. This is a key lubrication point on the front axle assembly of the Futurliners. Del completed the day by taking home the two outer wheel hubs for sand blasting and painting. All the inner axle parts were originally painted black with the exception of these two outer wheel hubs and they were originally painted red.
ENGINE -- Sometimes we forget to mention the remote work that is occurring. Down in Ohio, Bill Bicknell is busy working on the engine. A recent e-mail that I received from him lists the work completed:
Thanks to Bill and Dean for this work.
BODY AND STRUCTURAL -- Jim continued to work at the rear both
fabricating and welding in new metal.
MAY PEACE BE YOUR GIFT AT CHRISTMAS AND YOUR TREASURE IN THE NEW YEAR.
GOD BLESS EACH OF YOU.
-- Sunday - Flashing on TV was a storm
warning about blizzard conditions with wind in the 35 - 40 mph and blowing
a drifting snows predicted for all day Monday.
Monday - It came and dumped 15" of snow with 2' - 3' drifts. For a change it was the #1 topic on the news instead of the election.
Tuesday - And those volunteers that could dig out made it (nuts, squirrels, crazy, or just the challenge to drive through this stuff ----- go figure! ).
VOLUNTEERS -- Jim Baker, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Bud Dinger, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton and Jerry Sigler.
We did get a late start due to everyone digging themselves out. Conrad helped two neighbors dig out. Jerry had a measured 23" on snow in his driveway. Jerry lives about 15 miles south of here and they always get more snow. Carol provided lunch on this cold snowy day.
Jim finished fitting a large horizontal body brace in the rear and proceeded to weld it in place.
Del had taken home all the brake drums and painted them along with the oil filter housing and brackets. Del and Wayne started the assembly of the left front axle and brake systems. Also they installed the wheel bearings on the right front axle.
Jerry disassembled the two small gear boxes for the right lower cargo doors, cleaned them, repacked them with grease and reassembled them.
This will be Jerry's last work session for the fall as he heads south for the winter. Thanks for all the help Jerry.
Bud worked at disassembling the right front passenger door. After getting all the lower aluminum trim pieces he found out that about ten inches of this doors lower section will have to be replaced.
Don continued to fabricate sections for the cab body and Connie welded them in place.
COMMUNICATIONS -- Jim Crame has added a scrap book section to our web site which is another 35 pages. We now have 125 web pages and over 400 photos. Thanks to Jim and all the Paraders and others, that have provided all this material. We will have the most comprehensive collection of material on the Futurliners, Streamliners, and the Parade of Progress. Dean is now working on our next newsletter. Again all the material that you have sent is valuable.
The magazine ":The Private Coach Enthusiast" (Volume One, Issue Six) just was published with two excellent articles on the Futurliner and the Parade of Progress. We want to thank Karla Jensen for an excellent job with the articles and promoting our restoration project. Thanks Karla. Check out their web site www.PrivateCoachMagazine.com All this communication has produced more information. Mike Ball has volunteered to catalog it and prepare it so that we will not lose it so that future generations can enjoy it also. Thanks Mike.
OTHER FUTURLINERS -- We received an e-mail from Stu Allen and he visited some junk yards in western New York State where some Futurliners were reported to reside years ago. He stated "The yard that appeared to be most promising had crushed most of its old busses." Again, we are dealing with owners of junk yards today that were not even born yet when the Futurliners were reported to be there.
We are still looking for photos of a reported Futurliner that was used as a vehicle hauling equipment for a race car team. It was reported that it was used by the "Square D" Corporation.
Today is December 7, as I record this week's work session. The snow
machine has really been cranked up here in Western Michigan the past three
days. As I look out the window, everything is white, white. Our pines are
sagging under the weight of the snow. It is like one of those Christmas
card scenes with everything pure white.
Sorry for the diversion, but it is so beautiful I could not resist.
Tuesday we were greeted with another 2-3" of snow accompanied with 20 - 30 mph winds. However our volunteers faithfully showed up. (What else is there to do?) Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Bud Dinger, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow, and John Wiltjer. Carol provided and served a hot chili lunch with Del bringing along Sue's delicious apple salad.
Del and Wayne continued the assembly of the right front of the suspension. They assembled the dual brake shoes and mounted them on the Futurliner. Also they sanded and prepared the brake drums for assembly next week. Del loaded his truck with the four front brake drums, the previously primed oil filter and its accompanying brackets and other left brake components for the final topcoat of paint. He will do the painting at home.
John stopped by and brought along the power steering slave cylinder that Weller Truck had completely disassembled, restored and painted. Again thanks. John makes a regular stop to check what we need.
Bud fabricated the vertical section at the left rear of the cab. Don continued to fabricate cab body side structural sections in the same area. Connie had plenty of welding to keep him busy today.
Jerry had made sketches last week of the left lower cargo door sheet metal covers. These are too large to bend in our brake. So, this past week they were dropped off at Sparta Sheet Metal. They have been very good about accommodating us on this type of work and have not charged us for anything. Since we have not picked up these pieces Jerry concentrated on disassembling the right lower cargo doors that we had not started on yet. Jerry spent the entire day with the air chisel cutting the two doors apart. All of us had to wear earplugs all day. Jerry managed to get them completely disassembled and they were dropped off at Dave's Sandblasting yesterday. Again here is another local small business (Dave is it) that has not charged us except for the entire day he spent sandblasting the lower half of the Futurliner.
Wally set up a small paint booth in the other end of the barn where it is heated. He painted on the top coat "Target Red" on the inner part of the engine access door prior to lunch. After lunch he then painted the outer part of this door. The paint flowed beautifully and everyone admired his work. His only problem was some dirt. He will wet sand out the dirt and put on the final coat next week. It is good see one part with the finish coat of paint. Again, we want to thank Wirick Products and Montana Paint for supplying us with all the paint products.
Connie purchased an air tool for punching out holes. We have been drilling many holes to facilitate welding. This speeds up the process 10 fold. Some time ago Connie also brought along a 3/4" drive socket set that was given to him. Everything was there except the handle to the Snap On drive head. Ryan DeVries machined us a handle to fit this drive head. Yesterday we also picked up parts to assemble another 4' X 8' industrial storage shelf. Ed DeVries donated this.
We are still looking for a local person to catalog all of our photos and written stuff. We are also in need of a narrow (2') roll around scaffold about 4' high. We are almost at the mid-level of the driver's cockpit (cab) and it would be a lot more convenient and safe working off of a small scaffold. We are also in need of a commercial type stand-mounted buffer. We have checked prices and will purchase one if necessary but maybe someone has one out there that they are not using.
working were: Jim Baker, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Bud Dinger, Wayne
Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Jerry Sigler and Wally Snow. Carol
provided another great lunch.
Del again brought from home the dust and splash shields for the front brakes that he had sandblasted and painted. Del and Wayne proceeded to install these on the right front of the Futurliner. This is a fairly complex system and after they had assembled and disassembled it three times they got it right. They had a little teasing about their short-term memory. They guaranteed us that they would remember the assembly sequence by the time they got to the other side.
Jim and Don did some extensive measuring to insure that as we add body structural pieces back into the Futurliner they are dimensionally correct. Jim then proceeded to fabricate and fit pieces at the rear.
Wally completed the surface preparation for the outer skin of the left engine access door so that the next step will be the color coat. Next he prepared the inner door surface area for the color coat. He then started to check the condition of the original aluminum bands that run horizontal on the lower portion of the door. He feels that these originals are in good enough shape once they are polished.
Jerry continued to work on the lower left cargo doors. We discovered that in order to latch the doors the mechanism to open the latches have to be operated in different directions from the front door to the rear door. We checked the right doors (which have not been worked on yet) and to open the doors both operate the same way. After seeing if we installed the small gear box up side down (which is impossible) and looking at every other option we discovered that when we had the gear boxes apart to clean, check and pack them with new grease we had assembled the worm in one of the doors backwards. Another learning experience. Of course just to take the door latching mechanism apart and put back together is a 1/2 a day job. Jerry is leaving for points south at the end of December and I hope he leaves us a forwarding in case we forget.
Bud and Don continued to fabricate metal for the structural members of the left part of the cab or cockpit. We go through the same procedure: fabricate hat sections, cut them part way through to be able to bend them into the right contours, clamp them in place, tack weld them and then Connie welds them in solid and then welds up all the slices we have made. That is a lot of welding. Connie welded for everyone today and he was kept very busy.
We discovered from all the material that everyone has sent us that the color coats were red (Target Red) and white (GM Commercial Fleet White). Wayne further found through his research that Target Red was a 1953 Chevrolet Truck red and he managed to find a paint chart sheet for 1953 Chevrolets that included these colors. I managed to find a second color chip chart with these colors. Each of these color charts were for 1953 Chevrolets but by different paint manufacturers.
Since Wally is getting very close to painting his door we asked Wyrick Products (Zeeland, Michigan) to see if they could get the formula for the paint. They could not trace the paint numbers on the charts but they sent the Target Red chip to the Montana Paint Company head office and just yesterday they were faxed the formula. Tomorrow I will pick up our first gallon of Target Red so it will be available when Wally is ready to apply it.
Again we want to thank Wyrick Products, Montana Paint Company and all our volunteers that make this project possible.
I woke up the first thing I did was check out the window to see how much
snow had fallen since they were predicting between 5" and 8". I
told Carol I had better get out right away and start plowing because there
is a lot of snow out there. As I walked out of the house to go and start
my plow truck (a 1979 Chevy 1/2 ton PU, full of the rust worm) I quickly
discovered that the snow was over my 12" boots. I then began to
wonder could the truck even push this much snow. After I spent the next
two hours plowing I finally got around to measuring the snow level and it
was 15" in most areas I checked. Just 15 miles south of here in the
little town of Allegan they received 24" of snow.
Believe it or not just as I was finishing up the plowing our volunteers started showing up. They also had to do their plowing and shoveling prior to leaving from home: Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Bud Dinger, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Wayne Jackson, John Wiltjer and Carol and Sue provided lunch. Thanks again for keeping us fed well.
Del brought with him parts that he had taken home the previous week that he had sand blasted and painted. Included was the powered steering pump that he discovered the original color was a bright red. It came back a bright red.
Wayne also had taken home front axle dust and dirt shields plus the oil filter assembly and bracket. These he had sand blasted. They will now have to be painted. Wayne discovered that stamped into the oil filter housing is the words indicating that it is a standard military version. So for our second engine will need the MILITARY version of the oil filter housing and assembly. The stamping indicating it is a military version is on the lid or cap of the oil filter.
Del and Wayne then proceeded to installed the right front spindle components to the axle. There are a lot of parts here including thrust bearings, dust and dirt shields etc. At one point they had to clear up the sequence of assembly. Our past volunteer (Basil Lewis) that has since moved way up to North Port, Michigan cannot come due to the four hour drive each way. So to clear up this technical question Del called him. Basil was able to tell us how the thrust bearing was to be assembled. Thanks Basil and we do miss your expertise. Basil anytime you are in the area stop in. Del again took home parts to be sandblasted and painted prior to next week’s work.
Bud and Don fabricated horizontal and vertical braces for the left part of the cab as Conrad welded them in place. For a change we kept Connie busy. Lots of work to do here.
John stopped by to check on progress and to see if there was anything that had to go to Weller Truck. Nothing this week. Thanks John for stopping.
The local west Michigan Club Mustang club held their monthly meeting at the location where we restore the Futurliner. It was one of those days when the weather was terrible with snow squalls and most local activities in the schools and churches already cancelled. However about 20 folks from the Mustang Club ventured out to see the Futurliner and have their monthly meeting. It is good to entertain the different clubs as it is always a source of new information. They were able to give us new contacts to make regarding:
+ One of their members restores steering wheels. Our steering wheel is in horrible shape.
+ A possible contact for the restoration of the large 220 volt alternator/generator.
+ A $100 check for the restoration of the Futurliner. This will be forwarded to the National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States.
We appreciate their interest and support of this project. Clubs are welcome, just call ahead.
SESSION for 11-14-00
Volunteers working were: Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Bud Dinger, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow. Visitors were PARADER Raffee Johns and his wife Esther.
Carol provided lunch for the volunteers working on the Futurliner as well as our visitors.
Del delivered the sandblasted and painted parts that he had taken home from last week. Then he and Dick began the assembly of the front spring assembly components. It took four of us to wrestle the parts in place and then using the largest jack we had and a come-along they proceeded to install the restored spring assemblies, and the axle. Although this sounds simple they were wrestling with parts that it you dropped them on your toes we would be transporting you to the hospital. But Del and Dick always work safe and I was not worried about them. In the process of the installation, they discovered that at some time the left front wheel had struck something so hard it had moved the axle 1-7/8" rearward. They corrected this. Next with the springs that John Wiltjer had found, they assembled the front brake shoes on the bench. At the end of the day, Del again loaded his truck for parts to take home, clean, and paint.
Wally continued to prepare the left front engine access door for painting.
Jerry finished assembling the latches on the front lower cargo door. Since we are short one latch, he had to disassemble one of the right doors to borrow a latch. Again, he had to drill, torch and chisel to get the right door apart due to extensive rust. We will either have to have a latch mechanism made (two cast pieces) or continue to look through all the parts we have. We originally thought that we had all these latches.
The vertical body frame immediately behind the left engine access door had been fabricated last week and just tacked in place. At the beginning of the work session Don and Wally installed his almost completed door to check this fabrication for fit and do some final fitting before Connie welded it in solid. Once fitted Connie proceeded to completely weld it in place. Every body section on the Futurliner consists of a formed piece of metal shaped like a hat section. We take a flat sheet of steel and with the metal brake make a hat section like the original. In order to get the various curves that are in the body we slice this hat section with many cuts. Once the piece is curved like the original body was curved then Connie has to weld all these slices. This is slow and tedious but we end up with a body structural piece that is stronger than original. Once the section is welded into the body then at the bottom of the hat a flat piece of metal is welded in place which stiffens the section so that it cannot be bent. Next Bud fabricated the lower horizontal section that ties the door opening to the rear of the cab. As we ended the day Connie and Bud had just started fitting this section in place.
PAINTING - 11-11-00
Painting cannot be performed while everyone is working on the Futurliner and usually parts are taken home or done between our Tuesday work sessions. Del took the steering tie bar home and the steering drag link which he sand blasted and painted. Bud had previously cleaned the entire front frame from the front of the cab back to the first cargo door. Don painted this with two coats of primer and followed up the next day with the final black chassis paint. The front frame assembly is now ready to receive the mechanical components.
present: Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Bud Dinger, Carol
Mayton, Don Mayton, Wes Myrick, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow and
John Wiltjer. Carol prepared and served lunch and Sue sent us a delicious
desert. We never go hungry.
Del returned with the front spring assemblies with a fresh coat of black paint. Then he and Bud spent the morning removing the remaining rust, grime, caked grease under the frame where the spring assemblies will be mounted. Next they fitted pins in bushings and prepared other front end parts for assembly. Del also took home the drag link for the front steering plus the steering arm and valve. He plans to sand blast and paint these prior to assembly.
Don and Connie worked at tearing out the rusted framework on the left side of the cab of the Futurliner. Again, all the framework will have to be fabricated. The rust was so extensive here that temporary braces had to be welded in place to hold the top of the cab in place.
Wes worked at cleaning up the drag link that Del took home for painting. Next, he worked at one of the rear passenger doors fabricating and welding a reinforcement in place.
Wally worked at the left front engine access door. He has done all the metal work and will be ready for final priming next week.
Jerry completed the assembly of the latching mechanism of the left rear lower cargo door. Then he repaired the latching bars on the left front lower cargo door and started to assemble them until time ran out.
Dick Saddler worked at fabricating the brackets that hold the brake and accelerator pedals in place in the cab. He also started measuring and fabricating metal for some of the rusted metal that Don and Connie had removed.
John stopped by to check on progress. Of course we gave him the opportunity to find new brake springs for the rebuild of the front.
Again it seems work goes so slow when all this hand fabricating has to be done.
As we look ahead to the future when the restored Futurliner is again on the road we would like to obtain some of the memorabilia that would show a little about the Parade of Progress. Some of these things are connected to the Paraders. It would be nice to have:
+ A Paraders work uniform.
+ A Paraders lecture uniform.
+ A Paraders traveling trunk.
We have had the Paraders already supply us with good photos of both types of uniforms. I have been given a verbal description of the Parader trunk. (All their worldly belongings had to fit in this trunk. It was like a steamer trunk of that era.)
If we received these prior to getting the Futurliner done, we would display them at the museum, the National Automotive and Truck Museum of the United States in Auburn, Indiana. Once the Futurliner is done, these items would travel with the vehicle.
GM Design has informed me that we will receive preliminary engineering drawings of the roof in about a week.
though in the past couple of weeks five of the volunteers (including
myself) were in Arizona participating in the annual Glidden Tour (for
antique cars older than 1942) work was still progressing on the
Futurliner. Also, following are additional needs for volunteer work. If
you have the skills, ability, or resources to accomplish the listed work
let us know. Or if you know of someone or some organization that can
accomplish this work let us know. My e-mail and phone number will be at
the end of this message.
Del met with GM designers Paul, Mark, and David at our Futurliner restoration location. They have been working on the redesign of the roof and all the supporting structure. The purpose of their visit was to confirm all their previous measurements, check additional measurements and review their new drawing to make sure it meets the design requirements that they are trying to achieve. Everything checked out and now they will complete the engineering drawings. Following delivery of the drawings, we will be looking for a VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION to fabricate a new roof structure as well as the body to roof supporting frames.
Through the Weller Truck organization, John Wiltjer and Del were able to take our front axle spring assemblies to State Spring Service here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. They took these two large assemblies and fully restored them with new bushings, pins, and shackles. Thanks to Rick for volunteering this work and getting them back to us in less than a week. Del and I then took the spring assemblies to his place where he started sand blasting them today. Tomorrow they will receive a fresh coat of black paint. Also the frame for the left lower rear cargo door was picked up at the sand blaster today.
MORE FUTURLINER PHOTOS and ARTICLES
Harry Hardenbrook (1950's Parader) just sent us a very large package of original photos, newspaper clippings and magazine articles. Most of the photos we have never seen before and they are new information. Many of the newspaper clippings are also new information. There is also original internal GM letter communications to the "Paraders" outlining their work day and schedules which is also new for the historical record. Included in the package is an original brochure that was used in Flint, Michigan when the Parade was visiting there August 13, 1953. Also included is an article in the March 1954 "Public Relations Journal" about the public relations impact of the Parade of Progress. Thanks to Harry for all this great new information.
In addition, Dave Mikol is sending us an original 1936 Parade of Progress post card that he purchased on e-bay in the past two weeks. Thanks to Dave for getting us this post card.
There is a lot of information that we have received from many sources and I want to thank all of you that have sent us this information. Again, it is the VOLUNTEERS that have found all this information. Keep up the great work.
Remember the Parade of Progress started in 1936 and ran for six years until the end of 1941 when World War II started. It then restarted in April of 1953 and ran through August of 1956. So you VOLUNTEERS keep looking in magazines, trade journals, and any place that has old publications.
Here is where we need some VOLUNTEERS with different skills. We need a VOLUNTEER with library skills to take all of our information and catalog it so we can easily retrieve it for future reference. This could be a history major, a student that needs a project, a class project or someone with good clerical skills that just needs a fun project to work on. I would prefer someone in western Michigan for the logistics of getting the material to him/her and for us using it since we constantly refer to it.
We also need a VOLUNTEER or ORGANIZATION to take all of this information and put it on negatives so that it can be reproduced on glossy photographic paper and saved for posterity, I know that whoever takes this on will cost them money but almost all of our work is being done by INDIVIDUAL VOLUNTEERS , VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS and VOLUNTEER CONTRIBUTORS. This entire effort is being done to preserve an important part of automotive history.
volunteers were: Jim Baker, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don
Mayton, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler. Carol provided lunch.
Jim worked at fitting in the right rear horizontal body structural members that he has constructed. There is a lot of hand fitting here to get things dimensionally right.
The hinges for the four people access doors were all removed. They were very worn and prior to doing door fitting the hinges must be rebuilt to insure a tight fit. Connie took these home to get them bored and rebushed.
Del brought from home the front axle that he had cleaned, sand blasted and painted. Del and Wayne started laying out all the parts and how they must be reassembled for the front axle, brakes and suspension. This required fitting of pins and continuing to clean front-end parts. Del took the front brake shoes home in order to clean and paint them for future assembly. Also, some of the pins need cleaned up to fit better.
Jerry with Connie doing the welding completed all the structural work on the left lower rear cargo door. He then disassembled the small gearbox that works the door latching mechanism and repacked it with grease. It was dry of grease. He removed the door so it can go to the sand blaster.
Don and Connie completed all the structural work on the left lower front cargo door. The small gearbox that works the door latching mechanism was cleaned and repacked with grease. Like Jerry's door it was void of grease. However, the gears in these gearboxes were in great shape. New rods that attached to these gearboxes will have to be remanufactured. That is next.
Dick worked up in the driver's cockpit removing more rusted metal and fabricating new. In addition, he and Connie found the remnants of the clutch actuating system and other parts that were no longer in use. Remember back in 1940 these Futurliners had standard shift transmissions prior to being converted to Hydramatics in 1952. These, no longer used parts, were removed.
Jim Baker, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Bud Dinger, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton,
Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler and Wally Snow. Carol prepared lunch for
Jim completed the fabrication of a horizontal support and is in the process of fitting it into the rear of the Futurliner.
Del, Bud, and Dick decided to tackle removing the front axle and the monster leaf springs. Since the Futurliner has been jacked up on the front axle for six months they had to find another way to safely support all this weight. Our only priority was safety since to remove the front axle all the work had to be performed under the Futurliner. New 6" X 6" timbers were purchased cut to length (since we have no easy method to cut 6" X 6"). A crib of these timbers was built under the frame of the Futurliner where the engine is normally housed. In addition, two 12-ton jack stands were placed under the frame at the front of the vehicle.
Del had been soaking the eight bolts that holds the axle to the front springs for weeks with oil prior to trying to remove them. Today he brought his big monster adjustable wrench. (None of our wrench sets has a 1-1/2" wrench.) To break the four front bolts free they had to use an eight foot long pipe extension on Dels wrench . (No, we did not break Del's wrench.) For the back four bolts there was no room to get the 8' pipe in place. After heating each bolt with the torch, it took one man pulling on the wrench, one pushing with a foot and a third with a crow bar on the wrench. Still didn't break that wrench though. I asked Del whose brand of wrench and he stated it was a Cresent. Following that they removed all the shackle pins from the springs. Although these came apart easier, they are badly worn and will have to go to Weller Truck for rebuild.
Jerry continued to fabricate and weld metal to the lower rear cargo door. Jerry is getting better at his welding. He tacks everything in place and Connie does all the final welding.
Wally had finished all the metal work on the left front door, which is the engine access door. The door has been sand blasted and has its first coat of primer. He has done the finish sanding and a skim of bondo to remove small lows. It is starting to look like a finished product.
Connie and Don spent all day removing the left front worm assembly that raises the large 16' upper and lower doors. At first we had thought that we would not have to remove this assembly but we discovered the rust of the structural members behind this part was so extensive that there was hardly anything holding it together. This worm assembly was originally installed with the intention that it was never coming out. Each bolt holding it was behind another structure that was welded in place. To get to each bolt a hole had to be cut through the metal. This entire vertical support will have to be fabricated and welded in place. This is also the structural part of the left rear of the entire driver's cockpit.
were: Jim Baker, Bruce Beimers, Conrad DeJong, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton,
Wes Myrick, Dick Saddler, Wally Snow, Jerry Sigler, Carol provided lunch.
Jim continued to work at the rear of the Futurliner preparing it to weld in braces that were completely rotted away.
Bruce and Wes worked on both the rear people doors. They had already fabricated some metal, it was welded in place, and they refit the doors to the rear of the Futurliner to check for fit. They still have a lot of fabrication on these doors since the bottoms were completely gone and they are completely building new bottoms for about 12".
Wayne was at a retirement luncheon in the morning but he sure went to town in the afternoon constructing another workbench for us to use.
Wally worked at the left front door fabricating metal and having Connie weld it in place.
Jerry mounted the front left cargo doorframe. It has been decided to restore these doors in the mounted position since it will allow us to get accurate door opening dimensions. He then started fabricating and welding. Yes Jerry is learning to weld on this project.
Don and Connie have found major rust behind the left front screw mechanism that operates the large 16' upper and lower doors. Earlier we had thought this area was not deteriorated. This mechanism was mounted with the intention that it was never to be taken out as the interior sheet metal in the cab was welded in place, double thickness, over all the mounting bolts. Most of the day was spent burning holes to get to these bolts. In addition, most of the inner cab sheet metal had to be removed it this area because of the double wall construction. Although a lot of smoke, air chiseling, hammering, and grinding we will have to continue next time.
Dick and Ed fabricated and welded metal on the right side of the driver's cockpit
BEGINS AGAIN -- Volunteers were: Jim Baker, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Bud Dinger,
Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow and Carol fixed lunch
for the crew.
Del arrived with the rear braking backing plates all sand blasted and painted shinny black that he had done over the summer. He then proceed to install them. Next he burned for Jerry and then proceeded to prepare the front for removing the front axle.
Wally and Bud worked in the front left area fabricating a support in preparation for the left door when it is completed. Next Wally and Don had to get some measurements together for Paul the GM engineer working on the drawings for the roof.
Wayne worked all morning at assembling a work bench and vice that had been donated to the cause. He also started the process of disassembling the tow mirrors for the Futurliner.
Conrad brought the restored starter that a local firm (Lohrberg Sales) restored for us for free. In addition they have the generator and it should be done next week. We thank Jim Lohrberg for helping us with this restoration.
Jerry worked at the rear lower cargo door. These doors are in rough shape and he has got a long term project. Lots of fabricating and welding.
Jim continued to fabricate and weld metal at the right rear of the Futurliner.
At this time the progress seems slow with all the fabricating that must be done. One piece at a time.
Our special Futurliner work session was called to
provide weight and dimensional data to Paul Jackowiak (GM Design) so that an accurate
engineering drawing can be made of the roof. As a reminder the goal of an engineering
drawing is for the purpose of:
VOLUNTEERS: Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Ed DeVries, Bud Dinger, Paul Jankowiak, Carol
Mayton, Don Mayton, Wally Snow, John Weltjer, visitor: Bill Zwyghuizen. Carol and Sue
provided lunch for the crew.
After the weighing was done, the templates had to be made of the contour of the
lighting fin as well as the contour of the end of the lighting fin that looks like a
|Due to summer vacations work session will be discontinued until the Tuesday after Labor Day. Other work will be going on and I will update everyone as events occur. Some work is already out to volunteers so work will continue in the summer.|
Volunteers participating in the work session were:
Jim Baker, Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Bud Dinger,
Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Wes Myrick, Jerry Sigler, Audrey Snow,
Wally Snow, Daena Vuyst and John Wiltjer. Carol provided lunch, Sue sent
salad, Audrey sent desert and Carol and Daena served. We sure do eat good.
Volunteers working: Jim Baker, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed
DeVries, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Wes Myrick, Deloris Sigler, Jerry
Sigler, Wally Snow, and Daena Vuyst. Lunch was provided by Carol and Deloris and helping
serve was Daena.
|Volunteers for the day
were: Jim Baker, Bruce Beimers, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Bud Dinger, Carol Mayton, Don
Mayton, Wes Myrick, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow. Carol provided lunch for the
For the first time we had enough welding to keep Connie so busy he was having a hard time keeping up. Four different crews fabricating metal for their specific project kept Connie moving his welder from work station to work station. At one point in the afternoon we took a coffee break and told Connie to stay behind to catch up on the welding. (We really let him take a break also.)
Wayne had taken a portion of the seat home for sandblasting in his cabinet. Wally took this piece and painted it.
Wally and Wes continued to fabricate metal for the left engine access door. They have most of the pieces for the bottom of the door fabricated. They mounted the door on the Futurliner to check the fit prior to welding. Everything looks good to this point.
Jerry continues to fabricate and have Connie weld the lower cargo door. It will end up that 50% of the metal will be replaced in this door.
Ed's project is one of the rear doors, which is completely gone at the bottom. He removed rusted sections and fabricated a lower curved "U" section and had it welded in place. In the process of accessing the extensive rust on the bottom of the frame of this door, we discovered we do not have any of the aluminum trim that encloses the turn signals, the brake lights or the license plate. This would be one large casting per door. However, Ed has already figured out how to fabricate this out of a 1/4" plate of aluminum. He has also removed the skin, which will have to be remade using an English Wheel. We already have a name given to us by Keith Silcox of Canada of a possible source for getting this type of work done. I have sent an e-mail to that person and am waiting a reply.
We had picked up metal that had been sand blasted at Dave's Custom Sandblasting and Dick took the steps, fabricated new replacement metal and had Connie weld them in. Two other sandblasted pieces he fabricated metal and had those welded in place. Next, he fabricated a portion of the driver's cockpit platform.
Don fabricated the inner fuel door area for the left gasoline tank. In addition, he had Connie weld in a splash shield near the left tank.
Jim completed the fabrication of a horizontal brace for the rear side.
Bud brought his son, Tom to talk about possible items with the Futurliner picture on them that we could sell at the museum (NATMUS) to help raise money for this project. It is something that we will explore in the future.
Jeff Miller stopped but could not work but gave us an update on his endeavor to obtain sponsorship for a new brake system. He has had one dead end but is now working with another business. For safety, we must upgrade the brakes to a modern system. I will let Jeff explain the technical aspects.
Volunteers working at
this work session were: Jim Baker, Bruce Beimers, Dee Beimers, Del Carpenter, Conrad
DeJong, Ed DeVries, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Wes Myrick, Dick Saddler,
Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow, Daena Vuyst and John Wiltjer. Carol, Dee, and Daena provided
lunch while our cook for the day was Bruce making hot dogs.
| Following is a report on the
Futurliner work sessions for 4-18-00 and 4-25-00. As you can note I am late on these
reports. Carol and I traveled to see Dean and Les Tryon down in North Carolina and then to
see family over Easter in Ohio.
Volunteers working were: Del Carpenter, Basil Lewis, Ed DeVries, Wes Myrick,
Dick Saddler, Stan Rakowski (Stan hails from Kalamazoo and has several old Buicks.
One being a 1925 four door sedan and the other a 1961 Buick Century convertible.), Jim
Baker, Bud Dinger, Wally Snow, Bruce Beimers (Bruce just got
back from his Florida winter vacation at 8PM last night.), Don Mayton, Carol Mayton,
Sue Carpenter. Carol and Sue provided lunch
for the workers.
Those participating were: Del Carpenter, Basil Lewis, Wayne
Jackson, Conrad DeJong, Wes Myrick, Ed DeVries, Dick Saddler, Jim Baker, Don Mayton, Wally
Snow (Wally has helped us before in inspecting the bearings. He is a retired engineer
specializing in bearings. He is also active in the old car hobby and in car clubs such as
the AACA, Buick Club of America, and a director of the 53 - 54 Skylark Club.) Dorothy
DeVries, Daena Vuyst and grand children Katie and Laura. Lunch was provided by Daena and
Dorothy. The grand children helped serve. (Carol was sick with the flu.) Dorothy provided
the birthday cake as it was Ed's birthday. And we did sing happy birthday to him.
Volunteers for today were: Dale Buttermore
- Dale had heard about the restoration and came out for a look and see. He is in the old
car hobby and is a retiree from the local General Motors Metal Stamping plant.
Volunteers present were:
Del Carpenter, Bud Dinger, Basil Lewis, Conrad DeJong, Jim Baker, Jeffery Miller,
Tom Kuhlman, Don Mayton and Carol Mayton. Again, Carol made lunch for the hungry volunteers.
Our volunteers for this work session were: Dick Saddler - Dick is a new volunteer and hails from Richland, Michigan which is
southeast of here near Battle Creek. It is approximately a little over an hour drive from
here. Dick has many old cars which include: 1929 Studebaker President; 1930 Model L29
Cord; 1940 Chevy Cab Over Truck; (plus others)
Del Carpenter, Ed DeVries, Jeff Miller, Bud Dinger, John Wiltjer, Basil Lewis, Conrad DeJong, Don Mayton, Carol Mayton, Deana Vuyst. (Carol and her daughter Deana provided lunch.)
Del , Basil and Jeff removed the right front tire and wheel assemblies. After lots of heat, one broken tool the wheel nuts finally were loosen. Del and Basil then moved to the rear of the Futurliner to work at removing the drain plug that previously broke off in trying to remove it. They had to drill out this plug in order to take it out. Next, they spent the balance of the day scraping off 60 years of grease and dirt in preparation for painting.
Jeff, after helping Basil and Del, moved to the right front and removed the two wheel and tire assemblies. Jeff continues to work at determining the needs of the braking system and working with a major brake company in developing the specifications.
John Wiltjer borrowed his nephews truck and picked up the overhauled differential and rear brake drums from Weller Truck. Not only were they overhauled but they were cleaned and painted with primer. Next he drove over to Parker Auto and Truck and picked up the brake shoes that had been relined and painted. Then he came out to Zeeland where we all pitched in and unloaded the newly restored items.
Bud and Dick cut, bent, and fabricated metal for the right interior wall of the cab of the Futurliner. This is a double heat shielding wall to protect the cockpit occupants from the heat from the exhaust stack. It will take a lot of work sessions to finish this area.
Ed and Connie continued to weld braces on the right wheel house area. They also repaired the wall that separates the cockpit from the display area in the area right behind the wheel house. Ed continues to purchase structural steel (angles and flat stock) every time we get low.
Don removed rusted metal from the left front engine access door structure area. As metal was fabricated, Connie welded it in place.
|You may be wondering why there have been no Futurliner work session reports in the last two weeks. Carol, my wife, and I took a vacation in Southern California. Of course while there we took the time to look up Brad Boyajian's two Futurliners and Mike Kadletz's Futurliner. (Please refer to the Mar. 17 notes section for an update.)|
Bud Dinger, Basil Lewis, Jim Baker, Conrad DeJong, Jeff Miller, Don Mayton,
John Willtjer, Tom Kuhlman and Carol Mayton.
|John Wiltjer has been a past
contributor to our Futurliner Project. This past summer John donated the plastic lens that
covers the fluorescence lights the fold out from the upper 16" doors of the
Futurliner. John is retired but has a part time job driving for Weller Truck (a local
parts, repair, fabrication, machine shop for large trucks). John had been talking to his
boss (John Weller) about the Futurliner Restoration Project.
On Saturday, John showed up at the barn where we are working on the Futurliner project. Shortly afterwards John Weller also showed up. We reviewed the project with John Weller and showed him completed items like the 3 speed/PTO transmission and who was doing each part of the restoration.
John Weller immediately took interest in the project and volunteered to take on several items. He looked at the brake drums and stated that they were in excellent shape. They had plenty of wear left on them and the brake surface did not need machined. He said that his shop would hot soak them for several hours and shot bead them.
He examined the differential and stated that they would take that, clean it up, check it out and do whatever repairs are necessary. He stated after looking at it the gears were in excellent shape but they would check out the bearings. John Weller also suggested where we might get new brake shoes for the Futurliner. John Wiltjer immediately stated he knew the owner of that business and that he would make that contact.
Again, all the volunteers are making this project happen.
|Today I picked up the two 45
gallon Futurliner gasoline tanks -- they were restored by East End Radiator in Holland,
Michigan. I talked to the young man (Don) who actually did the restoration. One of the
tanks had a large rip in it about 6" long by 4". It appeared an object got
thrown up from the road. Don said to repair this large hole they had to cut the tank
almost in two to straighten out the metal and weld the hole. The repair was so good that
he had a hard time showing me where the welding was done. Both tanks had to have their
insides sandblasted. Both tanks had baffles inside to prevent the gasoline from sloshing.
The welds holding the baffles had broken loose. In order to repair the baffles rectangular
holes were cut in the ends of the tanks and the baffles removed, repaired, welded back in
placed and sandblasted. The rectangular holes were then welded back shut. Once all repairs
were made the tanks were given special coatings both inside and out. Don stated these were
the heaviest gage tanks that he has ever had to repair.
The gas sender units were "toast." This will have to be another project.
Today the gas tank straps got primed. In addition four of the drive shafts were primed, and final color coat (black). Other small brackets and braces were primed, and given their final black coat.
following volunteers were present at this work session: Del Carpenter, Basil Lewis, Bud
Dinger, Jim Baker, Conrad DeJong, Don Mayton, Jeff Miller, John Wiltjer, and Carol Mayton.
| Volunteers working on the Futurliner: Del
Carpenter, Ed DeVries (Ed will be leaving for Florida next week so we will lose his
expertise.), Jim Baker, Basil Lewis ,Conrad DeJong, Jeffery Miller, Don Mayton and Carol
Carol provided lunch for the hungry workers.
Ed again brought angle iron and flat steel to replace structural sections. This is about the fourth load Ed has brought and we thank him for it.
Ed and Conrad completed the framing of the right front wheel house. They then tied the wheel house frame to the center floor section with reinforcements.
The cab (driver's cockpit) is totally rusted out including the inner and outer metal and all the body structure and reinforcements. Approximately 75% of all the metal must be replaced in this area. The reason that this area rusted so badly is that all the windows were broken out and the hatch above the driver leaked. That allowed rain and snow to enter this area. To tear out everything at one time would mean we would lose our reference points to keep everything in dimensional control. The plan is to leave the old outer sheet metal skin in place and fabricate a new one in order to maintain accurate dimensions. In order to start working on the cab they removed all the rusted steel sections from the right inner section of the stairway up and into the drivers cockpit. Then they proceeded to cut metal for the outer skin. This area has compound angles so it will involve a lot of cutting, welding and piecing.
Del and I worked at removing that second stubborn right rear brake pin that that would not come out last week. After a generous use of WD-40, heat from the torch with a larger heating tip, a 10# hammer, and a chisel, the pin was freed from years of rust. By this time, it was already lunchtime.
After lunch Jim, Del and Basil worked together to remove the left rear vertical worm gear section that raises both the top and bottom doors. This section had to be removed to get at rusted metal at the rear section of the Futurliner. Next they worked together to remove the differential gearing. This is a top drive differential so the input shaft and all the gears that drive the differential are attached to the cover. Using a chain fall attached to the roof of the Futurliner they were able to lift this 400# assembly vertically. Next, they attached this assembly to an engine hoist that was positioned outside of the Futurliner. Once everything was firmly chained to the engine hoist it was backed away from the Futurliner and differential-gearing assembly was lowered to the floor. It appears that the gearing ratio of this differential is someplace between 16:1 and 24:1. Next comes the disassembly of this assembly and replacement of bad bearings and parts.
Jeffery and Basil started disassembly of the differential. Jeffery started the disassembly of the engine braking air compressor. He loaded it with WD-40 for easier disassembly next week. He also worked in the driver's cockpit removing instruments. He continues to sort out all the electrical needs to make an accurate electrical diagram.
Jim Crame continues to update the web site with new information. I have noticed when it is changed the selections take on a different color until I have looked at them again. Every time he gets new photos and new information, he adds it. Thanks to all of you who are allowing us to accurately put this Parade of Progress and Futurliner history back together. Jim is listening to your comments and intends to include some restoration progress photos. Make sure you tell your friends about the web site.
In the future we will be including photos of all nine of the twelve Futurliners that we know of on our web site. As those that are under restoration, we will update the web.
Again, we thank all the volunteers for their faithfulness in working on this project.
| The following Futurliner Work sessions of
2-3-00 and 2-4-00 is from our volunteer working in North Carolina, Dean Tryon. Dean is
restoring the drivers seat.
| Our volunteer workers were:
Ed DeVries , Del Carpenter, Bud Dinger, Basil Lewis, Jim Baker, Conrad DeJong,
Don Mayton, Jeffery Miller, Carol Mayton and Sue Carpenter.
Dean, down in North Carolina in addition to being editor of the Futurliner News, is working on the carburetor, governor, and distributor. Just shipped, via UPS, was the four-way manually adjustable drivers seat and it has not only arrived but Dean already has it mounted on his workbench. Before it was shipped we found one of the aluminum brackets was broken, so it was repaired prior to shipping. As remote as Dean is from the job he has been a great contributor.
Ed brought structural angle iron for us to continue to replace rusted out structural supports. This is the second pickup load of angle and flat stock that Ed has contributed.
Del and Basil spent the day trying to remove two pins that hold the right rear brake shoes in place on the Futurliner. Although these pins were designed to be greased, including the holes in the pins for the grease to travel to the lubrication points, grease fittings were never installed. The pins were rusted fast. Using heat from a torch, the largest hammer and drivers available and lots of WD-40 the lower pin finally came loose by 2:00 PM. By 4:00 PM the 2nd pin had moved about an inch. So next week we know where Del and Basil will begin.
Ed and Conrad welded up the right upper floor support including added gussets. They then moved to repair the support for the right front angle gear that had rusted away. Next they reconstructed the rear lower support to the drivers cockpit. That had to be done prior to finishing the wheel-house assembly.
Don and Bud cut and fabricated metal for the lower two stairs that lead to the drivers cockpit. In addition Bud prepared the completed 3-speed/PTO gearbox for painting.
Jim Baker continued to remove sections on the rear interior to expose all of the rusted out areas.
Jeff Miller had business meetings and could only spend a couple of hours with us but continued to diagram the electrical requirements. In addition he was ready to start disassembly of the front air brake system but decided to wait until the front wheels are off to make the job a lot easier.
Jim Morris is one of the Paraders that was with the program from the fall of 1953 through the late summer of 1956 the end of Parade of Progress. He has just sent Dean slides of the Parade that Dean will get made into photos. Thanks Jim.
We still have lots of questions about the Parade of Progress, the Streamliners, the first series Futurliner (1940), the displays in each Futurliner from 1953 through 1956, and another information. Specific questions:
1) Streamliner specifications, engine type and size, transmission type, and photos?
2) Operation, maintenance or service manuals for the Futurliner?
3) A list of displays for the 1953 through 1956 Parade of Progress (We have a list for the 1941 Parade.).
4) There are two round 3" holes in the wall separating the drivers cockpit and the display area, what are they? We are guessing that they are air inlets for the air conditioner?
5) Any more Futurliner hubcaps out there? We have three. One that is the original style and two of the style that was used towards the end of the program.
|Those that participated were: Del Carpenter, Bud Dinger, Basil
Lewis, Jim Baker, Conrad DeJong, Jeffery Miller, Don Mayton, Carol Mayton and Sue
Carol and Sue provided for lunch and snacks for our coffee breaks.
Basil Lewis is from Kalamazoo, Michigan and is a new volunteer to our team. He had to drive over an hour to get here to work on the Futurliner. Basil is retired after working at Checker Motors the famous taxicab producer. Basil's career spanned 26 years at Checker and included Checker's decision to quit the taxicab business. Most people do not realize it, but Checker is still in the automobile business but as a subcontractor in the stamping and fabrication business. Most major automobile companies have, or did, have Checker make something for them. Basil has also restored many old cars. He is a welcome addition to our crew.
Del, Bud, and Basil tackled the rear axle again. On the left side they removed both the top and bottom brake shoe assemblies. Or course every bolt and pin came out very hard and the torch had to be used frequently. Next they went to the right side. On the left side, the dual wheels came off easy, not so on the right side. After spending about two hours with the largest wrenches that were available and no luck Bud drove home and returned with a monster sledgehammer. Finally with heat, WD-40 and "the hammer" the dual wheels were freed. Next they tackled the outer wheel bearings. Again, years of rust welded everything fast. Although they were able to free up the brake drum the bearing was stuck. By using the brake drum as a large hammer they drove off the outer wheel bearing. The inner wheel bearing was stuck just as bad. Necessity is the mother of invention and the three-brain-trust rigged up a bearing puller using a 4-ton jack and chain. It worked and they finally removed the bearings.
All the wheel bearings are bad and will be replaced. Del noted that it appears that they were not getting sufficient lubrication. He also noted that the oil fill point of the differential is at a point lower than these bearings. At this point we can only speculate that the action of the differential gearing throws enough oil down the axle shaft to lubricate the bearings. If, however, the oil level in the differential was neglected, no oil would get to these bearings. The oil fill is in a very obscure place for this differential.
Jim continued to remove metal panels at the rear of the Futurliner. He keeps removing these panels one by one and is making good progress.
Jeff continues to diagram the mechanical for the air piping for the brakes. He is identifying all the 12 volt electrical usage points, including the instrument panel, air conditioner, fuel pumps, running and head lights, etc. so that his final drawing will include everything. He is also communicating with a major brake company for the design and possible donation of the entire brake system.
Conrad completed the entire battery box. Next he started welding reinforcements in the top floor where there was considerable structural rust. I (Don) tried to keep up with him with the cutting of steel bar stock. Conrad can weld faster than I can cut. It probably will take another three sessions to finish the top floor section. With the battery box done, the lower floor is finished except for painting.
|FUTURLINER HYDRAMATIC TRANSMISSION
Just wanted to mention that the automatic transmission shifter which sits at the left side of the driver was completed this past Thursday. The final work that had to be done, was to paint the raised aluminum cast letters on the top of the shifter to indicate to the driver of the Futurliner what gear he had selected. Daena Vuyst (Carols daughter) who has a much steadier hand at painting 3/16" X 1/4" letters than those of us who are working with 5# hammers and 4-1/8" sockets completed the job. She did an outstanding job.
Let me describe this shifter. As I mentioned, it sits on the left side of the Futurliner driver who sits in the center of the cab of the Futurliner. On the right of the driver is the stairs to the drivers cockpit so the normal position of the shifter mechanism had to be placed to the left. The shift pattern is different than any other shift quadrant that I have ever seen. However if you ever drove a GM military truck of the Korean War vintage you would recognize this shifter.* The shifter itself sits in a box that is 18" high that is a rectangle of 4" X 6". Above the shifter box the shift knob sticks up another 6" or is 24" off the floor.
You the Driver. (Bolded are raised cast letters that Daena painted)
As you look down on the shifter (if you were the driver) the shift pattern is an upside down "U" with square corners. Confused yet? The right side of the upside down "U" controls LOW RANGE. Starting with the shift knob pulled back is R for Reverse. As you move the shift lever forward you come to F-1 corresponding also to HILLY. Push the shift lever further towards the front of the Futurliner and you come to F-2 corresponding to LEVEL. Pushing the lever all the way forward (top of the upside down U) and you are at N for neutral. Move the shift lever to the left and you are now in the HIGH RANGE. Since the shift lever is already at its furthermost point forward as you bring it back you travel through the selections in the reverse order starting with F-2, LEVEL then L-1, HILLY and finally R for reverse.
Mechanical Operation of Shifter
The shifter is controlling two transmissions the Hydramatic and the two speed gear box bolted to the rear of the Hydramatic. Although it appears complicated it is really a simple arrangement. Inside the shifter box attached to the shifter knob stick is a connection point that a cable is attached that goes back to the Hydramatic. As the shifter knob is moved in just the forward and back direction, only the Hydramatic is shifted whether in LOW RANGE or HIGH RANGE.
A second connection point is for a second cable. This second cable goes back to the two speed gear box on the back side of the Hydramatic. This cable is only moved when the gear selector knob is moved from right to left or from left to right. If you are not totally lost as the driver the only time the selector can be moved in the right to left or vice-versa is in N or neutral. So to go from high to low range you must stop. If you recall that is when the selector is at the most forward position. Now as a Futurliner driver you can drive this thing or at least shift it. Also as the driver you better plan your day since you must be stopped to shift from high to low or vice versa.
The restoration of the Hydramatic transmission shifter consisted of fabricating a missing cover, a lot of cleaning, freeing up the rotating mechanism inside, sand blasting, repairing the shift stick, replacing the shift knob, priming, matching the original color, painting with the color coat, and then Daena's painting the raised letters.
Although a lot of detail is given here it represents the entire restoration process and as one job is done that is another behind us. It also represents that there are many volunteers with skills that we appreciate and use.
* We have discovered that a lot of old army trucks of this vintage were used by Michigan farmers. The automatic transmissions of these trucks and their extremely low gearing allowed the trucks to match the speed of the tractor so that the harvesting and conveying the grain or potatoes into the trucks could take place.
| This was our coldest work session yet. The
pole barn is unheated and when we began working the temperature was 20 F. The good news is
that we are in a building and a least we don't have to contend with the wind.
Another good work session with the following volunteers present:
Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Bud Dinger, Jim Baker, Jeffery Miller, Carol Mayton and Sue Carpenter.
Again Carol and Sue provided snacks for our coffee breaks and lunch.
Conrad and Don continued to replace metal on the bottom floor. The battery box was completely rebuilt and the lower compartment directly behind the cab was rebuilt. Approximately 90% of the bottom floor is now complete except for painting.
Del, Bud and Jeff worked on removing the left axle. The first order of business was to jack the Futurliner up and get it off of its rear wheels. Our heaviest floor jack is a 2-ton unit and it would not budge the Futurliner. Del was able to safely lift each side with a 12-ton bottle jack and put jack stands under the rear. The axle came out fairly quickly with the large bar that Del brought from home. He was able to push the bar through the hole, left by the removed right axle and, with a few wacks with a large hammer, free up the left axle.
After the axle was removed the two large dual wheels were removed. The wheel nuts were found to be almost loose.
From last week Del knew that he would need a 4-1/8" special socket to remove the rear wheel-bearing nut. Since this size socket is not found in any Craftsman socket set at any price we had stopped at Dykema's Construction Company the previous week for a completely different reason. However in the conversation the subject of the Futurliner Restoration project came up and our need for a 4-1/8" socket. Jeff Dykema immediately said I think we have one and sent one of the employees out to get it. They freely loaned it to us.
Del and his crew had a terrible time loosening this nut. However with lots of heat from the torch, blows from a large hammer it finally was loosened. The outer axle wheel bearing obviously has not had adequate lubrication and will have to be replaced. Next the large brake drum was removed. Just to move it required the use of an automobile floor jack. The inner axle wheel bearing came off a little easier but still had to have lots of heat from the torch. It will have to be replaced also.
Next the brake shoes will come off. Lots of WD-40 was applied so that next week the work will be easier.
Jeff is working with a brake company to get the replacement brakes sized properly for the Futurliner. Here we are upgrading for safetys sake and will have a modern braking system.
Jim Baker continued to remove inner panels from the rear. He also torched out some rusted structural metal that will have to be replaced.
Over the past few weeks the automatic transmission stalk which is about 18" high and a 4" X 6" rectangle has been being worked on. This assembly has now been completed including its final color paint.
While we were working with had visitors from Dykema's construction. Jeff and one of his employees Jack came and like all visitors could not believe the size of the Futurliner. They took some pictures and also offered any special tools that we might need in the future.
|The following participated in today's work
Ed DeVries, Del Carpenter, Bud Dinger, Jim Baker, Don Mayton, Sue Carpenter and Carol Mayton
Sue and Carol provided lunch and snacks for the coffee breaks.
Del brought back all the universal joints that he took home to clean and sand blast. He then focused on preparing to remove the inside of the differential assembly. This is a large top drive differential commonly used on large vehicles such as cement mixer trucks in the 1950s. The procedure for checking out the differential is to drain it, remove the cover plate, then remove the right and left axles, hook a hoist to the differential gearing and pull it up through the top. He has made several attempts to drain the differential but the plug has not budged. Today he brought along big enough wrenches to remove it. However he only succeeded in breaking tools and broke the end of the drain plug off. Later when the gearing is out of the differential, he will drill out the plug. He then worked to remove the left axle. It is designed with tapped holes around the hub so that once the bolts have been removed two bolts can be inserted into these tapped holes and the hub now serves as a gear-puller. He quickly discovered that one of the tapped holes had been previously stripped and the axle would not loosen up. Next he moved to the right axle and found the same condition. However, the axle did loosen using the non stripped hole. The right 2" diameter axle is now out. Next week he will tackle the right axle.
Bud and Don continued to cut angle iron and sheet steel and weld in the lower flooring of the Futurliner. All sections were done except the battery box. It is completely rusted out so it will be a new construction.
Jim Baker concentrated on the right rear disassembly. He also prepared more rear sections to be taken to the sandblaster this week.
Ed DeVries worked on the construction of a new right wheelhouse assembly. He had to do some major repair of a vertical body support next to the rear of the wheelhouse before he could weld in the wheelhouse framework.
|Had another good work session today. We had a
total of eight people working on various projects.
Ed DeVries, Bud Dinger, Conrad DeJong, Jim Baker, Wayne Jackson, Del Carpenter, Jeffery Miller, Don Mayton, Carol Mayton and Sue Carpenter
Carol provided lunch and Sue sent salad over with Del.
Ed DeVries brought over four-wheel house rings that had been fabricated by a local steel company specifically for our rusted out wheelhouses. Ed spent the time cutting, bending, and notching these to fit in each of the four wheel house areas. Our next work session we should be welding these in place.
Del and Wayne took the five drive shafts and disassembled all the universals and removed the bearings to prepare them for sandblasting. All the needle bearings are in excellent shape and only need to be repacked upon reassemble. They did find that the carrier bearing is bad and it will have to be replaced. Del took all of the bearings home to clean and repack them.
Jim made templates for the rear braces that need to be fabricated. He also started cutting metal to begin fabrication of the braces.
Connie welded in 12 angle iron braces on the bottom floor. He then proceeded to weld in the sheet metal on the lower floor level. If fact he enclosed 1/2 of the lower floor. Don was his helper.
Bud removed the rusted metal from the lower driver compartment step. Then he cut a lot of the braces and sheet metal that Conrad was welding. We had a hard time keeping up with Conrad's welding.
Jeffery removed all four of the air brake actuating cylinders, the treadle valve assembly and associated plumbing. He took home samples of each to obtain new ones. He is a welcome addition to our crew.
We ended up with a large pile of parts to take to the sandblaster.
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