GM Futurliner 2003 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.
|Aug. 13||Summer is almost over and in a few weeks the Futurliner work sessions will start once again. I have put together some of the things that I know must be completed for the Futurliner to be "COMPLETE". Our goal will be to have the Futurliner ready for installation of its windshield by April 15, 2004. That means number of things must be completed. Follow this link to see the list.|
are the events connected to the EYES ON DESIGN show that the Futurliner
was invited to attend.
June 20, 2003 - LOCAL AND NATIONAL TV
VOLUNTEERS - Ed DeVries, Don Mayton, Wes Myrick.
GM had arranged for several of their latest concept cars to be available to ride in by the local TV stations as well as the History Channel. In addition, Wayne Cherry, GM head of Design was available for interview and explaining the features of these vehicles. While each separate interview was taking place we had the Futurliner available for the same purpose.
As each TV crew had time they came over to the Futurliner and then proceeded to do their interviews with Larry Faloon (GM), Don, and Wes. They also requested to ride in the cab of the Futurliner while taking some of their videos. Ed had the experience of doing this with three different TV crews. In addition he had to ascend the stairs for one of the TV crews and do it three times before he got it right.
The History Channel was the last video crew to do their interviewing and taking videos. They spent over two hours with us and then strapped their video camera man on the back of a platform mounted to their Suburban. Then, with the roadway that GM had blocked off, they had Ed drive the Futurliner up and down the roadway taking rolling video footage.
This process was to start at 8 AM and ended at 11 AM. When we finally finished up with the History Channel it was 3 PM. It was a fun and interesting day, as we have previously had no experience with this process. We again thank Larry Faloon for arranging this and getting more exposure to the Futurliner, NATMUS as well and most importantly, the people that have been working on the restoration process.
After this event the Futurliner was driven back to the Patio for that evening's event.
June 20, 2003 - DESIGN ENGINEER'S RECEPTION
That evening we had to be back to "The Patio" where the Futurliner again had been positioned. Here many of GM and other concept cars had been placed. The event this evening was a reception and program for local automobile design engineers and designers. There were approximately 700 people in attendance. We had raised the Futurliner lighting fin about 1/3 of the way up. We plugged it in but kept blowing the circuit they had provided. After a few hours, the Tech Center electricians sorted out that they needed a 30-amp service and did supply it. Again, we had a another experience of interfacing with another group of people, educating them about the Futurliner, the Parade of Progress, and the restoration project.
This event was over at 9:30 PM and we then drove the Futurliner to the east side of the GM Tech Center for Saturday's event.
June 21, 2003 - INTERNATIONAL MEDIA
GM had all their past as well as current concept cars in place. In addition, they had some of their latest new vehicles available. The program today was to allow any of the media to ride in these cars with a GM Tech Center employee driving the vehicle. In some cases, the media was allowed to do the driving. After the program got started it appeared the longest line to drive a vehicle was the line for the 1938 "Y" Buick. Of course with the Futurliner present (static display today) we had lots of visitors.
Some of the folks that came to visit us included those responsible for the premier antique automobile shows of this country and abroad. This event lasted until about 4 PM.
By the end of the day, Del had managed to take a ride in the 38 "Y" job. I do not know how he managed this but it happened.
June 22, 2003 - EYES ON DESIGN
This was an outstanding show in an outstanding location. The show was centered in an area that bordered the lake on the west side of the GM Tech Center. The south border was GM's styling dome along with the GM Styling buildings. The north border was and the end of this lake at GM's Research buildings. Here GM had invited all the other automobile manufacturers. There were over 150 concept cars including private collections like the Joe Bortz collection.
Our Futurliner again was displayed in a very prominent location. Most of our volunteers and their wives were present. We needed every one as we had great crowds all day long. In addition, the "PARADERS" were present. Ray from the state of Washington was present with his wife as well as Jim Morris and his wife from Canada. I will later get a list of all the Paraders present from Jim so I do not leave anyone out. It is really great to have the Parader's present as they have been able to recreate the history of the Parade for the world to enjoy.
John Martin Smith (NATMUS Director Emeritus) and his wife Bobbie drove up from Indiana. The weather was perfect with clear blue skies all day long. GM has also created a 4' X 8' poster explaining the Futurliner, the Parade and a brief history.
At the end of the day Curt Sharpe from Merl's towing showed up. After removing the Futurliner's axles, hitching it to the wrecker, we headed back to Zeeland. After arriving back home, we reinstalled the axles and Del and I finished up about 11:30 PM.
Again it was a great day and we again thank Larry Faloon for doing all the legwork and arranging to make this such a successful first presentation of the Futurliner.
MOTORS TECH CENTER CAR SHOW
The Futurliner had been invited to this show since it was just a few days prior to the Eyes on Design show. Our team of volunteers planned to meet at 7 AM. Our volunteers for the day were: Michael Ball, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Don Mayton, Paul Prinzing, and Jerry Sigler.
The Futurliner had to be driven from the Patio area (west side of the GM Tech Center) to the southeast corner of the Tech Center. The GM Tech Center in Warren, Michigan is a 1 mile by 1 mile complex made up of many engineering, styling, and technical buildings along with lakes and ponds. Ron showed up and led us past many of these many buildings. We found out later that as the Futurliner came by these buildings people stopped doing their work and looking out their windows as the Futurliner passed by.
Ron had the Futurliner placed right in the center of the show. It was a great show with everything from antique cars, rods, race cars, and GM's latest concept cars. The six of us had a great time telling people about the Futurliner, NATMUS, the restoration process, the future of the Futurliner and what happens to it when it is finally done.
Remember this show was for GM employees and many of these people had never seen or heard of the Futurliner. Many had been following the web site, and some had read about the Futurliner in articles and magazines.
We had a special treat when Parader Thomas Raleigh from the 1939 Parade of Progress visited us. His son works at GM and immediately when he saw the Futurliner he called his father and had him come to the show. Thomas told us many stories of the events on the Parade. When he was in his story telling, Wayne Cherry, GM's Director of Styling came along and they had a great conversation. Del took Wayne and gave him a tour of the Futurliner.
Many people ask us to open it up but because we do not have the insides done we told them that we would do that at a later show when we finally have the inside done and a display to show.
I want to thank all the volunteers who have worked so hard to get the Futurliner ready for this series of public shows. They have spent many hours, their personal talents, and their own money to accomplish this task.
I also must at this time credit Larry Faloon for the in creditable organization that he has done to make it possible for the Futurliner to be at the GM Tech Center employees show as well as the up coming EYES ON DESIGN show. Larry visited our work site several years ago shortly after we started the restoration project. He saw the potential in the Futurliner's historic value and started the leg work at that time to include the Futurliner in future GM events. He also is the person that guided the process that ended up with GM making a financial contribution to NATMUS to facilitate getting the Futurliner ready for this show. We want to thank Larry for that vision.
The first public showing of the Futurliner will be the Eyes on Design show on June 22, 2003. In preparation for that show is some other necessary events that are described below:
VOLUNTEERS: Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Don Mayton, Art and Wilma Meidema.
The plan was to have a carrier, using a "low boy" trailer, hired by General Motors to move the Futurliner from Zeeland, Michigan to Warren, Michigan. This is normally a 3-hour trip. The carrier was scheduled to arrive at 8 AM and did show up at 8:15 AM. Prior to that Del had the Futurliner running and sitting in the driveway ready to be loaded. Al, as usual was there to record everything via photos. Art and Wilma were there to lend any hand required. Stan was to meet us at the other end in Warren.
As soon as the driver (Kevin) got out of his tractor he started measuring the Futurliner and then his trailer. Without even trying it was obvious that the equipment that he brought would not accommodate the Futurliner. For the Futurliner to be transported it needs to have a "low boy" type of trailer that has a goose neck detachment at the front of the trailer and the flat low section must be 33' long. The trailer must also accommodate the weight of 27,000# of the Futurliner plus the future display of 12,000#. In addition the bed height must be low enough to accommodate the Futurliner's height of 11'-7".
Kevin then spent the next hour calling his company's office trying to locate the correct equipment. After this hour, Kevin asked if there was someone around this area that could help. I called several of the local truck businesses and finally ended up talking to Les at Valley Truck. Les in turn contacted a local construction company. They called me and again determined that they had no equipment that could accommodate the Futurliner but suggested that we simply have a truck towing service tow the Futurliner across the state.
Our next call was Merl's towing service and we specifically ask that Curt Sharp be the tow truck driver. Curt has moved the Futurliner in the past several times locally. Within an hour, Curt pulled up with his wrecker. Since it was going to be a long distance tow Curt immediately recommended that the rear axles be pulled out of the Futurliner. Fortunately, Curt had all the tools on board his tow truck. For the next hour with Curt doing all the work and Del and I helping whenever the axles got pulled. Next the tow truck was hitched up and off we went. By this time it was 1 PM and Del and I were starved and our first stop was at the nearest fast food to get something to eat.
Curt drove the wrecker with Del and I following in my Suburban and the trip was uneventful across the state. We did make a stop to check the temperature of the rear wheel bearings on the Futurliner and everything was ok.
Once arriving at the GM Tech Center we contacted Rod Green and he directed us to what is called "The Patio". The Patio is a brick walled enclosed area next to GM's Styling Dome that is used to view, evaluate and photograph vehicles. The area is about the size of a football field and open to the sky. Here the Futurliner was unhitched, Curt reinstalled the axles and Del then worked at getting the rear transmission into its correct one-to-one gear. By the time we finished up it was approaching 7:30 PM.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Borgardus, Stan Bowers, Don Bratt, Del
Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries,
Ryan DeVries, Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Bob
Messenger, Paul Prinzing, Dick Saddler, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan, John
Wiltjer & John Wissink. GUESTS: Kaleigh Dornbush (Jeff's
teenage daughter), Earl Mulder, John Weller & Mr. Weller (John's
Since my wife was off teaching VBS at our Church Mike was pressed to service of getting us pizza for lunch. Al and Howard brought along our donuts for our coffee breaks.
OUR GOAL TODAY WAS TO FINISH THE TRIM AND CLEAN UP THE FUTURLINER FOR THE EYES ON DESIGN SHOW
|June 10||Del and Ron spent the day using parts that we received from Brad Boyajian in California to repair the left front wheel assembly. The Futurliner is ready to roll again.|
Mike Ball, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Ryan DeVries, Ron Elzinga,
Wes Myrick & Wally Snow.
Del pulled together a small crew to take the Futurliner out on its first road test. Since I was on a family vacation at the time I cannot give details. However if you look at the pictures on the web site for this days work you will see exactly what happened. I can only tell you that the left front outside wheel/tire assembly came off on the test run without any major damage to the Futurliner.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Bruce Beimers, Stan Bowers, Don Bratt, Del
Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Steve Cordes, Walt Davenport*,
Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ryan DeVries, Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Wayne
Jackson, Tom Kuhlman, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema,
Wes Myrick, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Arnie Seeger**, Jerry Sigler, Wally
Snow, Howard Sullivan and John Wiltjer. GUESTS: Stuart Johnson, Jim
Post, Jason Crame, Jim Crame, Wes's daughters, grand daughter, and great
* Walt flew into Vriesland International Airport where Wayne picked him up. He worked all day Monday and then left for home about 3:30 PM. He buzzed us 3 times in his Mooney airplane as he left for the east side of the state. Thanks Walt for your help.
** Arnie has been a financial supporter of this project from day one. In addition to that he has driven up once a year to work all day, but this time to work two days. Thanks Arnie.
On Monday Bruce brought all the ingredients for a hot dog roast with potato salad. Mike provided the desert. Al provided the donuts. On Tuesday the meal was provided by Carol, desert by Sue and salad by Wilma. Again Howard provided the donuts.
ENGINE - AIR COMPRESSOR - POWER STEERING - TRANSMISSION
Del, Stan, Don, Jeff, Tom and Wally continued to work at hooking up electrical wires for the instruments and checking them out.
They also worked at connecting the transmission cables. After a lot of fitting and adding springs to aid to return the cables to neutral position they had the transmission so that they could select the gears from the drivers position. On Tuesday the rear was jacked up and the engine started and Del shifted the transmission in all positions to check for wheel rotation as well as checking the brakes.
Steve came and sorted out the problem of why the air compressor was not generating air pressure. Again the engine was started and now we could generate sufficient pressure to operate the brakes. Several more leaks were found and corrected.
Next, the power steering was tackled. As the power steering system was being adjusted, a power steering hose blew spraying oil everywhere. We are just thankful that it blew in our shop with Steve present. It was then decided to remove all four power steering hoses and Steve volunteered to make them up at their business. He works in the evening and he took the hoses with him. When he finished his normal shift at 1 AM he started making up new hoses. He dropped them at the Futurliner garage at 4:15 AM. So when we started the first thing that went on were these hoses. After the hoses were installed Del made some adjustments based on instructions via phone by Steve. Later in the day the engine was started again and the air bled off the power steering system and we now have power steering on the Futurliner.
Because of all the work being done there was not time to take the Futurliner out for a trial run. Del has put together a small crew to accomplish that task next Monday when I am gone.
Although we cannot install the glass windshield until the interior of the Futurliner is completed we started working installing a temporary plexi-glas windshield. Larry Faloon from GM, supplied the material. Fred, Arnie, Wes, Wayne, Walt and Ken measured (measured twice) then cut and fit the windshield. Next after several fitting sessions, drilling the fastening holes in the body the windshield was installed. Next the 1/4 windows were worked on. Again both right and left 1/4 windows were cut. At the end of the session today the left window was 80% installed. In the next session it will be completed.
Ed, Ryan, Wayne and Ron completed the installation of the two large pieces of trim that are on the rear doors. Next, they completed the turn signal bezels that are located on the right and left front doors and installed them. Also two small pieces of trim on the side of the Futurliner was completed.
Connie and Art completed painting several areas of painting including the right front of the Futurliner, the inside of the cab, a section at the rear that required repair of white areas, and completed today was the final priming of both the front and rear bumpers. Also they wet sanded the red section of the two front doors.
Jerry completed the rubber trim and then went onto complete the installation of the 40 running lights.
Jim has completed the installation of the hardware for the installation of the rubber trim for the rear doors.
Al continues to make hardware, paint store, and auto parts store runs. Al is also working at getting a set of authentic Futurliner Parader shirts for the volunteers to wear when we are at a show with the Futurliner. Al continues to do the photographing.
Mike continues to work at researching our archives for information, planning the display for the inside of the Futurliner when it is at the "Eyes on Design" show. He also continues to make sure someone is scheduled to feed this group of volunteers and filling in by buying lunch when required. Mike is also our locator of parts we cannot find that we stored sometime in the past. He always comes up with them.
Jim Crame our web site manager made visit today with his son, Jason. Jim as usual took a lot of photos. He spends many hours keeping the web site up to day with my notes as well as Al's photos. Thanks Jim.
This vehicle would never have been completed without the time, effort, talent and dedication of each volunteer. We thank each of them.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Bruce Beimers, Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers,
Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed
DeVries, Ryan DeVries, Bud Dinger, Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Wayne
Jackson, Tom Kuhlman, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema, Wes Myrick,
Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow, Howard
Sulllivan and John Wissink. GUESTS: Larry Faloon, James Allen Eck,
Jim and Shari Hutton.
Sue Carpenter made lunch and Del set it up along with plugging in the electric crock-pot. In addition to Sue's salad Wilma provided a salad. Howard provided out coffee break donuts. Mike and Bruce set up lunch as well as did the clean up.
Today Wally and Jeff completed the final wiring connections on the engine. Next with Tom also helping they hooked up the Hydramatic Transmission selector cables. Unfortunately, they found that one cable had a broken end. Wally took it home to repair at the end of the day. Meanwhile Del, Don and Stan worked at the final items on the engine itself. The radiator was filled with water, the belts were all checked again, the accelerator spring was installed. Finally at 2 PM the battery cables were attached, Wally turned on the electric fuel pump, the engine was cranked and after no more than ten revolutions its started and ran great. All engine systems worked. The engine was run long enough to check all engine gages. Del wanted to see if the air compressor would build pressure but even though the pump was running no pressure built. A quick call went to Steve Cordes and he had Del switch some air lines. The engine was restarted and the tanks started filling with air. Del and his crew found a few more air leaks that will be taken care of with new fittings next week. Hats go off to those that have worked so hard getting this engine in place and it starting right up. Our hat also goes off to Bill Bicknell that restored the engine and to Dean Tryon who restored the carburetor.
TRIM - ALUMINUM RIBBED SIDING
Ed, John, Wayne and Wes completed all of the ribbed aluminum trim on the Futurliner today. It looks great, look at the photos on the web site.
TRIM - RUBBER
Jerry, Howard and Wayne now have all the lower rubber trim except one piece. This piece could not be put on as painting had to be done in this area.
RUBBER BUMPER - REAR
As mentioned last week the front rubber bumper is in final primer. Jim, Connie and Art worked at the rear bumper making further repairs.
Due to all the work that has gone on installing all the trim some of the lower black areas had to have repairs made due to nicks and scratches. Today those areas at the right front and left and right rear were painted by Connie and Art.
In order to properly fit the door handles new mounting pads were made by Ken. However to properly do the fitting these two doors were removed and he took him to his shop so he could machine the parts to make a perfect fit. Fred and Ken worked together on this and removed the doors for shipping to Ken's shop. Fred also did paint touch up work around the front areas as well as the sides.
Ryan made new rear lower trim for the rear doors. He machined these out of flat aluminum. These pieces were originally cast but Ryan was able to duplicate them by machining them out of flat aluminum stock. However to create the body curve Ryan constructed a manual roller mounted on a stand. He then shaped these trim pieces to follow the body curvature. Next he drilled and tapped the fastening holes. Today Ron buffed these pieces to a high gloss. The same operation was performed on the two front pieces that house the front turn signal lights.
Dick completed fastening down the hatch. He also assisted those in the cab with the final wiring and installing the transmission cables.
LIGHTING FIN DRAIN LINES
Howard completed the drain lines for the lighting fin with Paul helping.
Mike put together a slide and video show for the local Grand Rapids Antique Car Club. This presentation was made tonight by Don and Mike. Mike also continues to catalog all of our material. He is also putting together the material for the "Eyes on Design" show coming up June 22, 2003. Mike is also our financial person paying the bills.
PARADE OF PROGRESS SHIRTS
Al has been working with several vendors to re-make the type and style of shirt that the Parader's wore in the 1950's. It is the goal to have shirts for those that are with the Futurliner at all future shows. Al also continues to run for parts every time we work.
19 & 20
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Stan Bowers, Don Bratt, Del
Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ryan
DeVries, Bud Dinger, Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Wayne Jackson, Tom
Kuhlman, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing,
Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Audrey Snow, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan, John
Wiltjer, GUESTS – MONDAY: Bard Anderson, Marrvin Anderson, Bob
Messinger. GUESTS – TUESDAY: Robert Hadley, Dick Humphreys, Randy
Dorr, Rick Saddler.
On Monday Audrey and Wally provided sandwiches, salad, and cake as a result of Wally celebrating his 70th birthday with family and friends on Sunday. Mike also went out and completed the lunch menu with pizza. Al again provided donuts and more sweets showed up in the form of cookies from Sue. Also someone ?? brought along breakfast cakes.
On Tuesday Carol made and served lunch. Howard again provided donuts.
Again a big thanks to those responsible for feeding this large crew.
PARADER'S STEAMER TRUNKS
On Tuesday Dick Humphreys along with friend Robert Hadley arrived with two "Parader's" trunks. Dick had made the effort to make a pick up in Saginaw and then Royal Oak two of the Parader's trunks. Both trunks are in great condition. The original trunks were painted beige and red with the lettering Parade of Progress. One trunk has a number and the other has a place for a permanent tag.
Bill Mitchell was a Parader in 1941 and he has had his trunk stored in the basement since the Parade of Progress was terminated at the end of the year due to the start of World War II. His Parader's trunk was manufactured by Oppenheimer. These are upright trunks when open have drawers as well as a place to hang clothes.
Conrad "Connie" Vaughan was a Parader in the 1950's and his truck also has been stored all these years. His trunk was manufactured by Taylor Fiber Manufacturing. It is similar to Bill's trunk but with a few differences. In addition Connie donated a "Waterman" fountain pen, given to each Parader when they entered Canada for the 1955 summer tour. It is inscribed; "GENERAL MOTORS, PARADE OF PROGRESS, CANADIAN TOUR - 1955" to commemorate the event.
Connie also donated a "bologna" bottle used in the Parader's lecture on "compressive stress and residual tension". In this demonstration this glass bottle (looks like a clear glass vase with a round bottom) is used to pound a nail into a 2" X 4" piece of wood. Next a small hard object is dropped in to neck of the bottle and when it hits bottom the glass shatters. We do have a video of this particular demonstration.
Also in Connie's trunk was a 30 page pamphlet of the Dedication Program of the General Motors Technical Center that occurred May 16, 1956. A second 60 page pamphlet was in his trunk titled "the big road test" which is a story of Engineering at General Motors Proving Grounds. This pamphlet was dated 1957.
When the Parader's traveled the trunks were stacked in a truck and this truck went to the hotel where the Parader's would be staying. In the evening after the show setup the Paraders would find their trunk in their assigned room. When the Parade moved on these trunks would again be loaded into the truck to again meet with their Parader at the next town.
We want to first thank Connie Vaughan and Bill Mitchell for donating their Parader's trunks and Dick Humphreys for making the two pickups and then making a 3-hour drive each way to deliver them.
These trunks will not end up in a dusty corner but will be a part of a display featuring the PARADERS.
Del with help from Stan, and Don continues to work at getting the engine to fire up. After two days and putting the radiator in several times and making modifications to get it to fit. They still have some alignment to finish with the radiator. They also have managed to have all lines in place, 11 gallons of gasoline in the tank, oil in the engine, and fluid in the transmission.
TIRES - WHEEL ASSEMBLIES
On Monday Howard brought a flat deck trailer so that the wheels could be loaded. A crew loaded the wheels, strapped them down and then Howard and Al headed to Muskegon. There they unloaded the wheels and Bill Ginman took over. He had finished the process of taking eight new radial 10:00 X 20 truck tires and adding the white walls. Bill then took our newly painted wheels and then installed the flaps, the inner tubes and then these tires. This process took most of the day. Howard and Al then loaded the trailer with our new tire/wheel assemblies and headed back to Zeeland.
Today all eight tires were installed on the Futurliner by Del, Howard, Tom, Stan and others. They look great.
Wally and Jeff worked all day running wires and working on the transmission cable system.
LIGHTING FIN DRAIN LINES
Howard brought some copper lines covered with insulation and heating tape. Mike stripped all the insulation and heating tape wires from these copper lines. Howard then, using this copper tubing, installed the drain lines for the light fin pan.
LEFT FRONT DOOR
Fred installed this door so that the folks working on the aluminum trim could begin the process of installing this trim. Fred also installed the rubber seal frame on the right door. Fred is also working on the installation of the two front door handles. He has enlisted Ken to do some machining on these two front door handles.
HEAD LIGHT ASSEMBLY AND GRILL
Wayne took the head light assembly home and mounted all the head light buckets along with the head lights. Then on Tuesday Wayne along with Fred, Connie and Ed started the process of installing this assembly along with the grill. This grill must match up with the two front doors, the bumper, and the upper panel that holds the "GM" letters. They ran into fit problems and are still working these out.
Ron gave our repaired hubcap its final polishing and it is installed on the Futurliner along with the other hubcaps.
ALUMINUM RIBBED TRIM
The trim continues to be installed on the left side by John, Ed, Ryan, Tom, Ron, Wes and others when they need help.
Jerry and Wayne have all the rubber trim installed except the right front corner.
Ryan completed the shims for the hinges for the cockpit hatch. Dick now has the hatch in place with a temporary latch as we have not found a suitable latch.
Connie and Art have completed the front bumper with its final primer. The rear bumper section that Jim is working on is near complete. Today Jim and Art were starting the final finishing of it.
Jim has the rears doors fitted and Ken is completing the latching system.
The large GM letters on the front of the Futurliner was installed by Ed, Fred, Connie and Wayne.
12 & 13
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Bruck Beimers, Dee Beimers, Ken Bogardus,
Stan Bowers, Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Sue Carpenter,
Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Linda DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Wayne Jackson, Tom
Kuhlman, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema, Wes Myrick,
Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Audrey Snow, Wally
Snow, Howard Sullivan and John Wissink.
MONDAY'S GUEST: Chuck Ballard - Chuck drove two days on his motorcycle in driving rain and high winds (gusts here in Western Michigan of 55 mph) from Syracuse, NY. He then pitched his tent Sunday at the Holland State park on Lake Michigan. Then on Monday broke camp and showed up here and worked all day with the rest of the volunteers. After the work session on Monday, he started his two day trip back to New York. Thanks Chuck.
TUESDAY'S GUESTS: Steve Stablein ,Ken Saddler (Dick's brother), Ron Hines, Bill Rogers and Jim Steinborn. (Jim and Bill are from Fort Collins, Colorado and were traveling in their 1975 FMC motor home on their way to the Tin Can Tourist event in Milford, Michigan.)
On Monday Dee provided lunch and Bruce did the setup and serving. Sue provided the salad. Al provided donuts. Also, Linda sent along home made cookies. Again, Al and Mike setup the room for lunch.
On Tuesday Carol made and served lunch with a salad from Audrey. Desert came from both Audrey and Wilma. Howard again provided donuts for the coffee breaks.
TWO DAY WORK SESSIONS
We are having a wonderful turnout of volunteers. We are averaging about 18 to 19 volunteers for each of the Monday's and Tuesday's we have been working. Although the work is progressing, we still have a long way to go prior to the show in June.
EYES ON DESIGN
In addition to the Futurliner being invited, GM plans to have over 100 of its concept cars present. Many of these are currently owned by private collectors and are in every kind of condition from original, waiting restoration, and in perfect condition. Just the presence of so many past concept cars would be worth the trip to Warren, Michigan for the June 22, 2003 show on Sunday. Again, all proceeds go to charity. Hopefully we will see you at the GM Tech Center.
LOWER RUNNING LIGHTS
Paul has completed 15 of the last 20 holes for the running lights that are at the bottom of the Futurliner. The last 5 will done when that portion of the rubber trim is in place.
TRIM - RUBBER
Wayne, Fred, Jerry, Paul and Don continued to work on drilling holes and installing the rubber trim along the bottom of the Futurliner. At the end of the work session on Tuesday about 3/4's of this trim is installed. Finally all the holes are drilled.
TRIM - ALUMINUM RIBBED SIDING
Ed had several crews working to install the aluminum siding. I know I will miss some of the names working with Ed but here goes: Ed, Tom, John, Steve, Chuck, Don, Ron, Ken and Wes. By the end of Tuesday the remaining trim to be done was the left front door and the left rear 1/4 of the Futurliner.
TRIM - UPPER RUNNING LIGHTS
Ryan at home completely fabricated the covers for the four upper running lights. The next step is to get them chromed in time for completing the Futurliner. Meanwhile Ron and Dick worked fitting the housings in place. He also finished the polishing of the aluminum housings.
TRIM - UPPER REAR
Ron and Dick finished the fastening of the trim at the rear on both sides of the Futurliner.
As I previously mentioned the internal latching and lock mechanisms for the front doors was worn out. Ken took home a complete door and completely disassembled the components, made new components, installed them and today returned with these latching and lockings systems in fine working order. This was very detailed work that required a lot of machining making very small parts.
Dick and Marty completed the installation of the floor fasteners.
Art at home completed the work on the hubcap that was donated by Peter Pan Bus company. Today final wet sanding was done using 600 grit paper. Next week the final buffing will be completed.
FRONT and REAR BUMPER
Art and Connie completed all the repairs on the front bumper and have it in final primer. They also worked installing the right rear section of the rear bumper. Jim continues to fabricate the missing rear bumper section.
Art and Connie have also done some paint repairs on the right front area and it is ready for final paint.
INSTRUMENT PANEL AND WIRING
Wally has all the instruments installed and is running the wiring harness to the various locations in the engine bay. He also started the installation of the two-cable transmission selector but had to take it home for more work.
Don, Stan and Del continue to install components in the engine bay. All the bolt on accessories such as generator, power steering pump, air compressor, etc are installed. Today the last of all the "V" belts have been installed after Don made numerous runs to North Western obtaining the correct belt lengths. The exhaust system is installed up to the muffler. However, the complete exhaust up to the over head exhaust will not be done until this fall.
On the overhead exhaust is a stainless steel cover. This had been previously polished by Marge Carpenter. Today Howard and Don installed this.
LIGHTING FIN DRAINS
The lighting fin sits in a pan that has three compartments. Today Howard started the process of installing drains. He installed three of the six drain couplers that are required.
Although our goal is to have the parts available when we start in the AM we still have to run to the local auto parts stores and hardware stores. In the past two days we have had up to three people doing the running taking with them their cell phones to call in the last orders. In a couple of cases, on specialized hardware, we have had to have parts send overnight here. Mike, Al and Don have been doing an outstanding job of ordering by phone, running after parts and paying the bills.
5 & 6
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Bruce Beimers, Dee Beimers, Ken Bogardus,
Stan Bowers, Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter,
Steve Cordes, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Bud Dinger, Jeff Dornbush, Ed
Herman, Wayne Jackson, Tom Kuhlman, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema,
Wes Myrick, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow, Howard
Sullivan, John Wiltjer and John Wissink. GUESTS: Lill and Jim
Budzynski (Coopersville Museum)
Carol, my wife had commitments both on Monday and Tuesday. Mike had the job of coordinating who brought what for both Monday and Tuesday. On Monday, Dee cooked up barbecue and Bruce brought along all the other stuff. Mike picked up potato salad from the local deli. Al supplied donuts.
On Tuesday, Marge made up a big batch of chili along with salad. Paul brought along bagels and spread. Fred did all the serving. Wilma provided desert. Again, Howard brought along the donuts for coffee.
As usual Al and Mike did the setup and tear down for lunch.
On Monday, Steve provided a badly needed air regulator that is mounted on the top of the engine air compressor. Del and Don B. then installed this air regulator along with its plumbing.
Del, Stan and Don Bratt continued to install accessories on the engine. During the two days they installed all the power steering arms, slave cylinder, and belts. They also tried to fit the muffler to the exhaust pipe of the engine. However to make it fit correctly, the exhaust pipe was removed and Del took it home to put the proper bend in it.
Wally continues to wire in the instruments. He has most of the instruments installed and wired and continues to route the wiring harness down to the engine area. Wally solders every wire joint so we will not be looking for a good connection later.
BODY - RUBBER TRIM
To install the rubber trim around the entire perimeter of the Futurliner there are over 600 holes that must be drilled for the rubber fasteners. During the last two days to speed up that operation we had one crew laying out the holes, then center punching them (Bud, Don and Jerry), another crew drilling (Howard, Paul, Fred) and then another crew cutting the rubber, shaping the ends for fit, and then fastening and applying rubber sealer (Jerry and Wayne). We now have about 40 holes remaining to drill.
At the end of Tuesday the left side had all 18 pieces of rubber trim in place.
BODY - ALUMINUM SIDE RIBBED TRIM
The first thing Monday, Fred had to install the right front people door so that the aluminum trim could be installed. Fred and Ed completed the installation of this trim.
Again to speed up this process that is being led by Ed we had two teams formed for Tuesday. There are seven separate pieces of large (4" wide) trim with a small piece of trim (1/2") as a separation between each large pieces. By the end of Monday of the 28 pieces of the large trim on the right side only two remained to be installed. Ed and Howard had completed this on Monday.
On Tuesday, these last two pieces were installed and Ed, Wes, and Tom moved to start installing the aluminum trim on the left side of the Futurliner. Meantime the second crew started the process of installing the narrow 1/2" trim. This crew consisted of Connie and John. By the end of the day all right side narrow pieces were installed except the right rear of the Futurliner.
RIGHT SIDE UPPER CAP GRILL TRIM
Just behind the cab 1/4 windows is a grill that allows air to exit from the engine compartment for engine cooling. Dick and Marty completed the installation of this trim. Next they moved to the hatch to sort out the hinges as well as the latching mechanism.
Art, Fred, and Connie continued to work on doing the finishing work on the front and rear bumpers. Jim continues to fabricate the rubber bumper section that was missing.
Jeff has installed an industrial control panel. In addition, he has the push buttons for operating the side doors and the lighting fin now permanently installed. Today he has completed the upper and lower limit switches for the side doors. Due to the number of people working, he was not able to do their final adjustments.
The door hardware that operates the latch and lock on both the front doors are worn out to where they do not work. Fred spent a lot of time with the largest supplier of this type of hardware for the antique automobile business to locate new or better door latching mechanisms. The supplier told Fred he never saw a latching system like the ones on the Futurliner. However this supplier did send some parts he thought might be useful.
Today, Fred and Ken sat down to see what could be done. After reviewing all the parts that are worn out within the latching mechanism they agreed on a course of action to take the parts that we had, then using the old latching system, and by making a few new parts (machining), to completely rebuild what we had. Fred and Ken loaded one of the front doors into Ken's truck so he could work on the system at home.
SEALING THE DOORS
The Futurliner has 16 places that need rubber seals to prevent water entry. Today Ed Herman volunteered to come and sort out what had to be done to seal all these areas. He spent considerable time looking at the old rubber sections, comparing that with the Steele Rubber catalog, and measuring the depth the width of the areas that had to be sealed. Ed recently retired from GM with over 40 years experience working in many engineering disciples including the last 15 years in metal fabrication. By the end of the day he had sorted out what type of seals are required at most locations. In addition he designed a sealing surface for the interface between the cargo doors and the lower 16' stage door. While he was present we built a proto type of the section that he designed and checked in location to see how it looked. The proto type showed that this area can be sealed also. We originally thought that this area would be impossible to seal. Now we will see who will donate all this rubber material.
We have had requests to provide additional photos for various publications. Mike and Al have been taking care of this with Al doing all the e-mailing of this information. Both Al and Mike have had to do our errands with so many volunteers, running to all the local hardware stores, auto parts stores, our local paint supplier (Wyrick Products) and continually buying them out of certain fasteners.
In addition they have done the ordering of materials from fastener catalogs. Mike continues to write the checks to keep the suppliers happy.
Where we can, we ask for donations. Bond (Parker-Hannifin), and Wyrick Products continues to donate their supplies. Del managed to get a supplier to donate all the engine belts (North Western in Grand Rapids).
Al continues to take photo graphs of our work sessions, pass them onto Jim Crame, and he updates the web site weekly with them.
We need to be praying for Jim's wife Bonnie as she has in the last week developed some serious health problems.
EYES ON DESIGN
Last Thursday I met with Larry Faloon (GM Styling), Wendi Parson (GM Communications Manager) and Bob Campbell (Hass MS & L) about the "Eyes on Design" show on June 22, 2003. We worked out a lot of details. This is a show opened to the public and the charge to enter supports charity. This will be the first public showing of the Futurliner. Although most of the exterior of the Futurliner will be completed we will still have a years worth of work to do for final completion. Hope to see everyone there.
28 & 29
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Bruce Beimers, Dee Beimers, Carol Bowers,
Stan Bowers, Don Bratt, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed
DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema,
Paul Prinzing, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Wally Snow and Howard Sullivan.
GUESTS: Les Webb from Valley Truck (Their web site is www.valleytruckparts.com),
Len Gawron, Chuck Rossman, Ken Bogardus (Ken took home a part to work on.)
and Dorthy Bratt (Don's wife)
Lunch on Monday was provided by Bruce Beimers and his wife Dee. Bruce brought along all the materials and we had grilled sausages and hot dogs with the cooked baked beans provided by Dee.
Howard and Al again provided donuts for our coffee breaks.
On Tuesday Carol made and served lunch. Carol Bowers supplied the salad.
Wally continues to work at home and bring the completed items to the shop. He has mounted the limit switches inside the Hydramatic shifter that indicates reverse and allows the Futurliner only to be started in neutral. In addition, he continues to work on the transmission shifter cables that extend back to the transmission.
Although we have a new windshield, it cannot be installed until the interior is completed. The interior will not be done until next year. In the meantime, we intend to install a temporary windshield made of plastic. On Monday, Wayne measured the glass windshield so that we could get a plastic one cut close to the size we needed. He created a paper template that covered the windshield and then he laid it out on the floor to find out how large of a piece of plastic we would need.
DONATION - HUBCAP
I received an e-mail from Jim Stacy from here in Grand Rapids. He has been a faithful follower as well as contributor to this project. In the e-mail, he recalled attending the 2001 Bus Bash Memorial Day weekend at Springfield, MA. He spent some time looking at Peter Pan's Futurliner as well as time in their restoration shop. He at that time observed one of the original hubcaps hanging on the wall. To make a long story short after this e-mail I called Peter Pan and after talking to Mr. Peter Picknelly and their shop manager, Bill Sinico they donated this extra hubcap to our restoration. The discussion with Peter Pan about the hubcap took place on Thursday afternoon and on Friday afternoon the hubcap arrived. This hubcap does have some dents but we will be able to straighten them out.
Today Art took home the hubcap so he could start the process of bringing the hubcap to its original condition.
We want to thank Jim, Peter and Bill for making the donation of the hubcap happen.
Fred and his wife Marge, and Wayne and his wife Lois, each have booths at the spring Carlisle, Pennsylvania car meet. Fortunately for us they also spent time looking for Futurliner parts. Previously Wayne had found used front door handles for the Futurliner. Fred was able to match these with new reproduced ones. We were missing the glass lens for the four running lights that are on the top rear and front of the Futurliner. These lens were red in the rear and amber in the front. Wayne had previously identified that the 1941 Chevy truck fender light lens were the same except they were clear lens. On this trip Fred also found that the same lens were used on 1940 Pontiacs. Again, Fred hit pay dirt as he found three clear glass lenses. We have two original red glass lens that are in so - so condition that we will use unless we find more of the glass lens. We will use amber bulbs in the front with the new glass lens that Fred found.
One of the lenses came in a GM Parts Division box with the number 5932343. If there are more of these glass lens out there we would appreciate a contact.
Wayne in the meantime found a model of a 1953 Chevy tractor, red, just like the tractors used to pull the trailers for the Parade of Progress. He was able to match a model trailer. He then had stencils made and we now have a "Parade of Progress" 1953 tractor - trailer combination. It looks great.
DONATION - BATTERY
Adema Starter and Generator repair in Coopersville, Michigan again came through. Today Del delivered a new 4-D Deka battery donated by Deka but through the efforts of Adema. This is a large battery with over 1100 cold cranking amps.
DONATION - AIR LINE FITTINGS
Del stopped at a local supplier, Bond, to obtain the needed DOT approved air fittings we needed for the brake system. Bond counter person agreed to see if the boss would approve a donation of these fittings. To make a long story short they managed to get Parker - Hannifin to make the donation. Thanks to Del, Bond and Parker Hannifin.
On Monday, Del and Don Bratt installed the battery by modifying the battery box. Next they routed the positive and negative battery cables that Adema had previously donated.
With the donated fittings Del and Stan did a lot of changing of air brake fittings.
Art, Paul and Connie worked to install the rear bumper sections. Over the two days they managed to get the left section installed. Jim continued to fabricate the rear bumper section that must be built from scratch. Jim, last week, had also taken home a 1/2" drill motor that had finally quit running. Jim, for $5.00 in parts managed to bring that 20-year-old drill motor back to life.
RIGHT FRONT DOOR
Fred has both the right and left front door aluminum weather channels now installed.
REAR VIEW MIRRORS
Ron obtained stainless steel bolts for mounting the mirrors. He then took them to the buffer and put a high polish on them. Next Ron, Dick and Fred completed the installation of these mirrors.
RIGHT ALUMINUM RIBBED SIDING
On Monday, Ed and Howard spent the morning engineering the installation of the lowest (#7) aluminum trim. This piece, rather than being attached on the lower 16' door is attached to the top of the lower cargo door. The clearance between this aluminum trim and the #6 piece is critical. When the large 16' side doors are opened the bottom of these doors swing very close to the top of the lower cargo doors. After a lot of engineering they sorted out all the problems and started the installation of these pieces.
Tuesday, Ed, Howard and the addition of Wes continued to install the aluminum siding on the right side of the Futurliner.
Jerry, Fred and Don continued to install the rubber trim pieces on the left lower cargo doors. By the end of Tuesday of the total of 18 pieces required 16 pieces were installed.
Howard and Paul started drilling the holes for the rubber trim on the right side of the Futurliner.
Wally continues to install gages as well as run the wiring. He is trying to keep ahead of the crew working on the engine installation. It will be a close race.
Dick and Marty worked at installing the hinges on the cockpit hatch.
TRIM - RUNNING LIGHT HOUSINGS
Ron took the 1941 Chevy fender parking light housings and converted them into Futurliner running light housings. He disassembled the housings, polished the aluminum base, and now we have to get the nose pieces chromed. I just hope the chroming company has the sense of urgency we do of getting this project done.
Al continues to raid the hardware stores locally (both in Hudsonville and Zeeland) and run them out of band saw blades, nuts, bolts and even drill bits. He also makes frequent trips to the local paint supplier Wyrick in Zeeland. Even on our off days, most of our volunteers are stopping some place to purchase the next thing they need.
Not only does Mike do all the archive type work he has become the office manager paying the bills and balancing the books. He also keeps a schedule of who is bringing what meals or what part of a meal. Since we are working two days a week that has become a major job just to feed everyone.
We need to continue to thank Al for the photos and Jim Crame for taking the time to add everything to the web site weekly. We are getting a lot of people that are following it weekly.
We again want to thank all those that support this restoration whether it be volunteering, information, archive information or gifts, financial or just your interest.
21 & 22
Jim Baker*, Mike Ball*, Al Batts*, Bruce Beimers, Ken Bogardus, Stan
Bowers, Del Carpenter*, Conrad DeJong*, Ed DeVries*, Ryan DeVries, Bud
Dinger, Jeff Dornbush*, Ron Elzinga*, Wayne Jackson, Carol Mayton, Don
Mayton*, Art Meidema*, Wes Myrick, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed*, Dick
Saddler*, Jerry Sigler*, Wally Snow*, Howard Sullivan*, John Wiltjer and
John Wissink*. GUESTS: Mickey Sullivan (Howard's brother), Jim
Kemp, Craig Kemp, Kent Groothis, Doug Vander Laan and Nels Hansen.
14 & 15
Mike Ball, Al Batts, Ken Bogardus, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Marge
Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Wayne
Jackson, Tom Kuhlman, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema,
Wes Myrick, Phil Prinzing, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Dee Sigler, Wally
Snow, Howard Sullivan, John Wissink and John Wiltjer.
GUESTS: Paul Bogardus
LUNCHES FOR MONDAY AND TUESDAY
It may seen odd that I add this item each week but preparing lunches for this work crew is no small job. We appreciate lunch from the many that donate their services and culinary skills. On Monday Howard provided the funds and Mike went out to the local pizza place for our food. In addition, Wilma made a salad for this crew. On Tuesday, Carol made a served lunch with a salad coming from Dee Sigler and desert from Marge. Al and Howard also provided donuts for out coffee breaks.
Just to set up for lunch takes about a 1/2 hour and Mike and Al do this as well as take the tables down and clean up for everyone.
WEST MICHIGAN FLATHEADS (A local antique car club)
This group toured our work site this past Saturday. They were 30 strong and many of them toured the work site a year ago. Many expressed the fact that they could not believe the progress in a year working only one day per week (and not working June, July, and August). They were very generous in giving us a check of $100 to support the project. In addition, their members purchased $60 worth of posters as well as Futurliner hats. Thanks to the West Michigan Flatheads.
As I previously mentioned, we need $2,700 to purchase a new set of eight radial tires including flaps and inner tubes. Once these are purchased, we need to have the white wall portion of the tires added by Bill Ginman of Ginman Tires in Muskegon. Once the white walls are added then the tires, tubes and flats will be mounted to our painted wheels. The painting of the wheels was a previous donation by Cordes Trucking.
We have just received a donation of $500 towards purchasing these tires. We thank the donor and if there is anyone else out there willing to help this part of the project we would appreciate that donation.
Del and Stan took up their job of starting the installation of all the engine accessories in order to complete the engine installation. They were running oil lines today as well as getting brackets ready for the generator. Once the bracket was installed, the generator was installed. The transmission oil fill tube was modified to clear other components. The oil sender was installed. Next the air lines were all tested with a soap - water solution. All lines that showed any sign of a leak were repaired. Unfortunately it was discovered that one certain brand of fitting leaked no matter what repair was tried. Del intends to replace this brand with the type and brand that Benedix Brake shipped to us. The local hardware does not carry this style or brand.
Jeff worked at installing the electrical components that he mounted to operate the doors and lighting fin into an electrical enclosure.
FRONT RUBBER BUMPER
Connie, Howard, Art and Paul took on the task to start the fitting of the front rubber bumper to the Futurliner. These two large rubber sections are very heavy and two people are required just lift them in place. Paul had the task of drilling the mounting holes and after several fitting sessions they still had a long way to go. This has become a major task since these bumpers were in very bad shape.
TRIM - SIDE LETTERS
Fred continued to install the mounting studs in each of the letters. Then he started the process of making rubber washers that go between each letter and the body of the Futurliner. We priced out the rubber washers and Fred decided to make them out of an old truck tire inner tube that we had. The purpose of the rubber washer is to seal the inside from water at each mounting stud location. Next, Fred and Wally started the process of installing individual letters on the left side of the vehicle. By the end of Monday, the "GENERAL MOTORS" letters on the left side were installed. On Tuesday, they continued this process and the "PARADE OF PROGRESS" also went up on the left side of the Futurliner.
Once the left side was completed Fred, Dick and Tom started the same process on the right side and by the end of Tuesday we stood back and looked at "GENERAL MOTORS" and "PARADE OF PROGRESS" gleaming down at us.
TRIM - ALUMINUM SIDING
Ed, Wes and Ron's planning really paid off. They went right to work installing the siding on the right side door of the vehicle. They did come across some unforeseen problems but solved them as they proceeded. This included Ed making another trip to Sparta Sheet Metal for more material that they could bend on their 16 foot brake. Ed had planned to install this siding using pop rivets and they foresaw the need to purchase an air operated pop rivet gun. This proved invaluable and it made the pop riveting operation so much simpler.
By the end of the two days on the right 16' door there were 12 pieces of the wide and narrow aluminum siding installed, along with their respective end pieces.
TRIM - RUBBER SIDE STRIPS
Jerry and Don took on the installation of the rubber side strips. They started at the right rear measuring, cutting and triming the rubber sections that go in this location. Jerry drilled and installed all the fasteners in each of these three rubbers sections. However, they ran into a major problem in drilling holes for the fasteners through the lower frame. There are three thickness' of metal at many locations through the original frame. We do not know what kind of metal is in this location but as soon as a drill bit hit this spot it dulled to the point that is was no longer sharp. Even after Al making his run to the local hardware and buying Titanium coated and Colbalt coated drill bits they would dull to the point it took two drill bits per hole. We proceeded to then order carbide tipped drill bits from Granger and they should arrive before next weeks session.
TRIM - 1/4 WINDOWS
Mike, in addition to his archive work, took on the task of removing the remnants of the deteriorated rubber around the 1/4 windows. Finding a putty knife would not work he used some very strong paint remover followed up by a water flush.
Mike and Al also worked at gathering up all the rubber used to seal the various doors in order to start the process of identifying what and how much rubber will be needed.
TRIM - EXHAUST STACK
The exhaust stack coming out to the cab of the Futurliner has a ceramic liner with a stainless steel cover. Fred took this home to his wife Marge for her to do the polishing of this part. On Tuesday Fred brought this back, Marge had taken the evening and did all the buffing and polishing on this piece. We again thank Marge for taking on this work.
TRIM - SIDE
The 80 plus feet of side aluminum trim that separates the red from the white on the Futurliner was the project of Dick, Fred, John Wissink, and Tom today. They installed the four pieces at the rear section of the Futurliner. Next, they installed the long 16' pieces that are located on the upper part of the top door on the sides. Although these are now in place they still have the job of sealing all the fastener holes.
LOWER CARGO DOORS
Howard took on the task to install the lower cargo doors that had been removed for metal work. In addition he also did the shimming to align these doors to match the door openings. Howard welded on the support chain for these doors. Howard, after helping with several other jobs started the process of drilling all the holes for the rubber trim that Jerry and Don were working on.
Although the Futurliner is now in its final paint of Target Red and Artic White (check the web site for the latest colored photos) there are many areas that need completed. Art and Connie took on the task of preparing each door frame as well as the door lock and hinge faces for painting. By the end of the day on Tuesday the front people door sides as well as the door openings had been painted.
The head lights sit in a metal housing that is about 3' wide. Wayne worked on preparing this for the installation of the head light buckets as well as all the hardware that accompanies the head lights.
Fred has added another set of "Parade of Progress" playing cards to our collection that he discovered in an antique store. Mike continued to do our research as well as many odd jobs. Al continues to record the restoration of the vehicle and passed them on the Jim Crame who adds them to the web site.
GEAR SHIFTER CABLE
Wally has this assembly at home and continues to work on it. He stated today that it is now functioning properly and he will have it done shortly.
REAR DOOR LATCHING SYSTEM
Ken built and installed inside the rear step a rear door latching system. He brought it along today and installed the rear step.
As the volunteers continue to overcome each obstacle there is one item that still needs to be solved. With our white wall tires it would be nice to have four hubcaps. During the life of the Futurliners they had two styles of hub caps. The first type was plain with several ridges. The second series had in the center an atom type design. Photos of this have appeared on our web site. We have one hub cap of the first design and two of the second design. We either need one more of the first type (then we can put two of one kind on the right and two of the other kind on the left) or two more of the other type (four of the same design). The first design was made out of regular steel chrome plated. The first series tended to rust. Brad is sending us some very rusted first series hub caps. We are going to see if there is any way to reconstruct them. The second series were stainless steel.
We have priced out making new ones and just the tooling would cost $25,000. Since there were 12 Futurliners X 4 hubcaps/Futurliner X 2 types + extras = over 100 hub caps were made. Some of you that live near truck junk yards take a look!
WE NEED EVERYONE LOOKING FOR THESE HUB CAPS. If you have one please make a donation of it to this project.
Thanks again for your interest in this project. Don
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad
DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ron Elzinga, Wayne Jackson (back from Florida), Carol
Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema, Wes Myrick, Phil Prinzing,
Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Jerry Sigler, Audrey Snow, Wally Snow and
GUESTS: Chuck Rossman and Ken Bogardus.
Carol made and served lunch with salad provided by Audrey and desert provided by Wilma. Howard and Al again provided donuts for our coffee breaks.
Beginning next week we will be working two days/week. We have a dead line to have the Futurliner in complete trim by the middle of June. (I will discuss why at a later date.) My wife, with help from the other wives have faithfully provided lunch each of the Tuesday work sessions. I have told her that I would not expect her and the other ladies to provide lunch two days/week. (Wonder why!) We discussed today what our options are for lunch. Howard volunteered to provide a $100 for the next few lunches so we asked the group whether to spent it all at one time on steaks or spread it out and do peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Howard suggested we get pizza, so it will be pizza. Thanks Howard.
Sparta Sheet metal came through again. Last week Ed and others worked to develop a procedure to install the side aluminum trim that goes on the lower 1/3 of the Futurliner. There are seven wide pieces of aluminum and between each wide piece is a narrow piece that must be fitted. After many tries Ed's crew could not get these smaller pieces to fit. Ed took samples to Sparta Sheet Metal and they formed new narrow trim that would snap in between each of the wider sections. This was a big job to make all new smaller trim pieces as these go around the entire length of the Futurliner.
Ed and Wes worked again on further developing the process they will use to install the above trim. They sat down and ordered over $400 worth of fasteners today.
After the painting of the sides of the letters each letter had to have the overspray cleaned off with paint thinner. After that operation, each letter was given a coat of hard wax to stop the oxidation process. Working these operations were Wally, Fred and Paul. Next the process of installing fasteners to the back side of each letter was started. Some holes had to be retapped as a result of the painting operation. This crew took this operation on.
Each of our 500 trim clips had been painted but we discovered that additional grinding had to be performed on them to let them slide easily inside the trim pieces. So each of these clips were ground using the bench grinder. Wayne performed the grinding as Jerry repainted each clip.
We also started the process of grinding, sanding and then polishing some inside trim pieces. This was done by Don and Ron.
REAR BELLY PANS
These stone shields had been previously fabricated and needed to be completed. Dick and Marty completed these with Connie doing the welding and grinding. Next Art primed them and then painted them their final coat of black paint.
Howard completed the process of installing the permanent bolts that hold the rubber bumpers to a heavy curved plate that conforms with the front of the Futurliner. After this was done Connie and Art started to repair the badly damaged rubber sections. By the end of the day they were starting to really take shape.
Mean while Jim was cutting rubber sections as he builds the one read rubber bumper section that is missing at the rear.
CAP INTERIOR SECTIONS
Dick, Del and Marty sorted out the interior cab sheet metal today determining which pieces can be saved and which had to be made new.
Mike again continues to do our research as we try to sort out each detail of the Futurliner. We dug out the 1/4 windows that are in the back of the cab today and could not understand how they worked until Mike managed to find out some original photos. Mike also does the set up for the different antique car groups that come to visit the work site. This next Saturday we will be entertaining the local Ford V-8 club. Mike has taken on the financial responsibility of paying all the bills.
Al continues to be our photographer as well as doing the communication via e-mail of the information other organizations are requesting as far as the Futurliner. He also does the runs to the local hardware which is several times each work session.
REAR DOOR LATCH
From a donated rear door handle (Brad Boyajian) Ryan DeVries cast us two new rear door handles. One of our guests today, Ken, has a machine shop and he did the machining on the cast door handles. Ken and Chuck then proceeded to figure out how to make the handles operate. Jim Baker had previously built the latch system inside the doors. However no one has been able to figure out how to make the door handles operate this latch system. Our guests Chuck and Ken, now volunteers, have figured out how to make a latching system that ties into Jim's system and they are in the process of constructing it.
This is a big week at Valley Truck as the Futurliner is receiving its final coat of red and white paint. We discovered that some trim fastener holes had been covered up in the primer painting and metal finishing process. Since these hole defined the separation of the red and white colors on Wednesday, April 9 a crew of Ed, Fred, and Connie went to drill out these holes at Valley so the painting process could be completed.
Friday, April 11, 2003 the Futurliner had it final red and white color coat. We need to again thank Wyrick Products and Montana Paint for supporting this project with the donation of all the paint products. We also want to thank all of Les's crew at Valley Truck for getting this big job done in our time frame. They did an outstanding job.
WEDNESDAY, April 9, 2003
Since Carol and I had a commitment with a grand daughter for the spring break week I was not available for arranging the bringing home the Futurliner. Del took on this responsibility. He got a crew together of Jerry, Al, Mike, Wayne, Fred and others. They met at Valley where photos were taken of the crew at Valley. Next Merl's tow trucking service showed up. Del had requested Kurt Sharpe as their tow truck driver since he has moved the Futurliner before and can back it down my driveway without running off the side into the yard. The Futurliner was hooked up and made the 45 minute trip back to Beaver Dam. Kurt was able to put the Futurliner into the barn. Del and crew had to use a jack to slide the rear of the Futurliner around.
The Futurliner looks outstanding in its red and white paint. Now the big job of installing all that trim on the outside starts.
In order for the Futurliner to be ready for the 75th Anniversary of GM's Styling show and the "EYES ON DESIGN" show, both in June, we have decided that we must work two days a week on the Futurliner. Starting this Monday, April 14 we will be working both Monday's and Tuesdays on the Futurliner. Fortunately most of our volunteers will be back from Florida so we should have lots of help. I will be only making one report for the two days.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball ,Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred
Carpenter, Ed DeVries, Bud Dinger, Ron Elzinga, Wayne Jackson, Carol
Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidma, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler,
Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan and John Wiltjer.
Paul contributed for lunch by bringing sandwiches for everyone. Carol provided salad and desert. Howard and Al provided donuts for coffee.
Wayne and Wes returned from their winter stay in Florida. Wayne brought along a "GM FOLKS" magazine that he borrowed. He plans on copying it so we can have the Futurliner and Parade of Progress articles. We had to add wheels to one of our roll around dollies and Mike made up the mounting hardware at home. He also continues to work on the archives and pay the bills. Our photographer continues to send photos to Jim Crame so that they can be added to the web site. Al has also been e-mailing lots of photos of the Futurliner and the progress to date to several automotive type magazines at their request. In addition, Al is working on getting Parade of Progress work uniforms for the volunteers once the Futurliner goes to the various shows.
TRIM - LETTER
Today we continued doing the preparation of the letters for final buffing. Bud and Don did final grinding with the 320 grit DA. All final buffing was done by Ron. We discovered that after final buffing some scratches showed up on some of the letters and they had to go back to have the scratches removed by more grinding and then back to Ron. Ron completed the buffing of all the letters today.
Del and Stan then cleaned with solvent each letter (44 castings) in preparation for paint. The edges of the letters get a mat black paint. Next Art and Fred painted each letter edge starting with a primer and next with the final black paint.
TRIM - SIDE ALUMINUM STRIPS
Ed, Wes, Dick and Marty got out the side aluminum trim. They spent the day figuring out how to go about the process of installing the side trim once the Futurliner returns from the body shop. They tried several methods and discovered the small trim would not fit into the larger trim. We are still investigating.
The 350 trim clips that had been primed now needed their final coat of paint. Howard patiently dipped each clip into a container of black paint until they were completed.
FRONT RUBBER BUMPER
Howard and Wes worked on counter sinking the mounting bolts for the front rubber bumper sections.
REAR RUBBER BUMPER
Mike purchased during the past week all the rubber blocks necessary for Jim to begin the construction of the rear rubber section that is missing from our Futurliner. First Jim constructed a metal box to mount the rubber onto. This box has flanges in order to fasten it to the rear of the Futurliner. Next Jim started the process of cutting the rubber bumper sections. He had Mike purchase four different thickness' of rubber starting with 1" thick pieces. These he plans to cut out forming the letter "M" and using rubber adhesive stacking the sections to form the bumper section.
Paul sand blasted some driver's cab interior roof sections. He also assisted in the set up to start the process of preparing the tables for working on the trim pieces.
Del and Stan rounded up some steel sections that go into the driver's cab and sand blasted the rust off of these and then put a coat of primer on them.
Fred and Art sanded and metal finished the interior door that separates the rear generator area from the display area of the Futurliner. Next they primed this door on both sides.
HYDRAMATIC GEAR SELECTOR
Wally had taken home the Hydramatic gear selector mechanism. This is mounted in an 18" box that stands next to the driver's seat. Wally blocked out the "high - reverse" position mechanically and worked on installing internal limit switches. Today he gathered up the two original cables that attaches from this selector box back to the Hydramatic transmission. These he started the process of freeing up and lubricating.
Valley Truck has the body work almost complete on the Futurliner. It will go to their paint shop at the end of the week.
Today Howard picked up the last three whitewall tires. We now have four wide whitewall tires for the outside tires. Remember we have been trying for 4-1/2 years to find someone to make us wide whitewall tires (10:00 X 20 ) and only a few miles from here we got someone to make us whitewall tires (Bill Ginman @ Ginman Tires). We took to Ginman Tire an old set of donated tires to have this done as an experiment. Now that we know it works we need to do this on a new set of tires. We asked Bill Ginman to give us a quote on eight new tires, eight new tubes, eight new flaps, the tires then made into wide whitewalls and then mounted on our newly power coated red wheels.
The quote is very reasonable. Is there anyone out there that would like to sponsor this as we do not have the funds to pay for it. I would entertain any e-mail message inquiries for a specific contribution to cover this cost. Maybe your antique car club could contribute this item.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Sue Carpenter,
Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Linda DeVries, Ryan DeVries,
Bud Dinger, Ron Elzinga, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma
Meidema, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Howard Sullivan and
Carol made and served lunch. She had lots of help with food being brought in by the husbands of Linda (cookies), Wilma (salid), and Sue (two deserts). Howard and Al supplied the goodies for coffee breaks. We do take care of our calorie count every Tuesday. This is not a place for those that have diabetes.
DRAWINGS FROM MINNESOTA
Joel Dirnberger out in Minnesota again has come to our rescue. The break line between the red and white colors is defined along the entire length of the Futurliner by trim pieces except in the front. Here the red - white break line travels in an arc bending down below the "GM" letters and coming to a point. Joel, again using his computer, created a set of full size drawings that defines this line. Yesterday I delivered these drawings to Valley Truck. They will use this in creating this line.
Yesterday I visited Valley truck and they are making good progress on the bodywork. Final bodywork will be completed next week and then it will go to the paint shop.
In the front are very large "GM" letters. When the Futurliners were refurbished by GM in 1952 they changed the color of these letters from natural aluminum to "gold". I had thought these were anodized the gold color. Fred Carpenter, after last weeks work session, decided to find out who in the West Michigan area could anodize these letters. The first thing he found out was that the local people could not anodize aluminum castings. However he did find out that they could be powder coated with gold paint. He contacted the Reliance Finishing Co. here in Grand Rapids and then visited them. They immediately stated that they could powder coat the "GM" letters.
Later that day Fred, Al, Del and Don visited Mary Mosey at Reliance Finishing. They were very excited about powder coating the "GM" letters. Del picked out the correct gold color. Mary stated that they would do the job as a contribution to the project.
We thank Fred for doing all the "selling" as well as the foot work to not only find someone that could do the job but get the job done as a donation. We also thank Mary at Reliance for offering to do it as a donation.
Fred returned the pieces that he had taken to be welded by the TIG welding process. We also discovered one more piece that had to be TIG weld and at the end of the work session Fred again took this piece with him.
Today all the long pieces of trim made it through the final buffing operation that Ron operated all day. Again, to protect himself against the buffing dust and the black dirt that is produced by the operation he had his head completely covered.
Today the work was focused on getting the letters (GENERAL MOTORS and PARADE OF PROGRESS for each side) ready for the final buffing operation. Most of the crew took the same operations that they did last week with again Ryan doing the instructing and being INSPECTOR GENERAL. Those doing the hand filing were Paul, Del, Dick, Don and Marty. Next Fred, Bud and Ryan were using small air tools to prepare the edges of each letter. Marty also was bolting the individual pieces on plywood so the belt sanders as well as the DA sanders could be used. Once the final sanding was done the individual pieces were taken to Ron. At the end of the day each letter was completed through the sanding operation. Ron has a stack of letters waiting him for next week.
FRONT and REAR RUBBER BUMPER
The front and rear rubber bumpers are about 4" thick, 12" high, and 60" wide. They were mounted to the front and rear center of the Futurliner and have a curve that matches the vehicle itself. When we received our Futurliner all the rubber bumper sections were missing. The front is made up of two large sections and the rear four sections that make up the dimensions listed. Fortunately the donated Futurliner that Brad in California disassembled for us had most of the missing sections except one. Today, Ed, Connie, Art, and Stan constructed a frame to shape the rubber bumpers to the correct arc. They then mounted steel plates to the rear of the bumper and then using a mechanical press shaped the correct arc in the front bumper. They still have a lot of repair to make on this front bumper section.
Jim continued to work on the rear bumper. He has a made a drawing and plans to fabricate one one bumper section that we are missing by stacking various thickness' of rubber.
Howard prepared a section of channel that is used to retain the weather strip on one of the doors. Connie and Marty then primed these sections and then painted them their final silver. Howard also primed by dipping the 350 trim clips made last week. They had to be dipped without painting the threads. Fred had been in contact with a vendor in Cleveland, Ohio trying to located a door latching mechanism for the right front door. Unfortunately the vendor had never seen this type of latch. However he did ship parts that Ryan took home to try to construct a new latch system.
LOWER CARGO DOORS
Connie and Art painted the final black color coat on these doors at the end of the day.
Mike is pulling together all of our tapes and sending a set to Brad. Brad has volunteered to put together a professional tape for us. It will include some footage of our work sessions that Al has been making. Mike continues to do the research required as we work on various items. Al, in addition to making our hardware runs, continues to do the photography that ends up on the web site plus video work.
Sparta Sheetmetal continues to help us with this project. Sometime ago we were donated a lift of steel that was too thick for us to use and it was also galvanized. Sparta Sheet Metal agreed to purchase it from us to help us with our project. Today it was loaded into a trailer, one sheet at a time for transporting to Sparta Sheet Metal. Those that did this work were Howard, Paul, Stan, Al and Don.
IN MICHIGAN -- Warm weather finally
arrived. This past Wednesday we woke up to another 4" of snow. That
gets us to 87" for the season. So, the first job was to get the plow
truck out and pile it up again. Some of the places I have been stacking
the white stuff is 6' high.
This year for the first time in 25 years Lake Superior has frozen completely over. One of the results of that is the Bald Eagles, unable to get to open water to fish, have moved south to the rivers flowing into Lake Michigan in order to get food. Just 20 miles from here at Grand Haven where the Grand River flows into Lake Michigan over 45 Bald Eagles have been spotted.
However, all the weather stations were predicting a big warm up for the weekend. In Michigan when the weather turns warm in the spring, it is like releasing us from prison. Saturday the temperature climbed to 50 degrees. Driving around this is what I saw: (Remember 80 per cent of the land is still covered in 4 - 6" of snow here and in the UP of Michigan up to 50" of snow.)
+ People washing their cars.
+ Kids in bare feet playing in the streams of water from the melting snow.
+ Children and adults in shorts.
+ Adults driving in their cars with the sunroofs open.
+ A four draft horse team pulling a restored wagon with kids and adults sitting in chairs in the wagon.
+ Here on our street six folks riding their horses.
+ I saw the first birds of many kinds return on this day including Robins, Kill Deer, and Red Winged Black birds.
Spring really did return to Michigan. (Sorry about that diversion.)
VOLUNTEERS: Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al
Batts, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Ryan
DeVries, Bud Dinger, Ron Elzinga, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema,
Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Audrey Snow and Wally Snow.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Fred Carpenter, Marge Carpenter, Conrad
DeJong, Ryan DeVries, Bud Dinger, Ron Elzinga, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton,
Art Meidema, Phil Prinzing, Dick Saddler, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan and
Carol made and served lunch. Marge brought along key lime pie when she and Fred came to the work session. (Note Marge's contribution to the work effort today.)
Victor Garske and Tom Van Voorhis have again supplied us with more material for our archives. They have found more GM 16 mm film that has been converted to video tapes. The latest that they have sent us includes the following on one video tape:
GM Caravan of Progress (This is what the Parade was called in 1941) [ 19 Min. 57 Sec.]
1953 Parade of Progress Newsreel [3 Min. 37 Sec.]
GM Parade of Progress - 1953 [10 Min. 17 Sec.]
Parade of Progress Exhibit "AMERICAN CROSSROADS " when it was moved to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. [22 Min. 49 Sec.]
US Auto Industry Jubilee - 50th Anniversary and Parade in Detroit [18 Min. 29 Sec.]
Vic and Tom as well as other Paraders have furnished us with a bountiful treasure of material for the Museum's archives. We used a previous film (that Vic and Tom supplied) at the Kalamazoo swap meet in February and you could not believe the people it attracted.
Thanks to Vic and Tom for another donation.
PARADE OF PROGRESS ARCHIVES
We have previously been loaned both the lecture uniform as well as the work uniform. Some day when we have enough cash we plan to reproduce these for those that go on tour with the vehicle. In addition we have been donated the official rubber rain coat with its rubber rain hat. These are real rubber and weigh a ton.
We are still looking for an original Parader's trunk. I understand it looked like a steamer trunk, red and white, and each had a number. It would be nice to add to our collection.
Recently there were original photographs of the 1950's Parade of Progress and the Futurliners auctioned on e-bay. Our California support BRAD BOYAJIAN not only got the high bid for these photos but then had negatives made and sent us two sets of copies. One set will go to Joel Dirnberger in Minnesota who is building a scale model of the Futurliner. Of course the other set will reside with our archives. The importance of these photos is that they give excellent detail of the interior of the Futurliner. This will help us in the restoration of the interior of the driver's compartment as well as the hardware for the hatch. We thank Brad for this generous donation.
Al continues to be our photographer for the weekly web site additions. He also does video taping weekly to add to the archives. Mike continues to add items to the archives as they arrived. In fact today while we were working the Federal Express truck arrived with the photographs that Brad donated.
Today was a different work session. We had no Futurliner. The Futurliner is at Valley Truck have the body finished. Can you imagine putting the large crew to work without a Futurliner but we did it. Ryan, who has a business of making one of a kind parts, antique fire engine bells, and restoring antique fire engines came with all the supplies to help us get organized to polish over 100' of body side trim that mounts on the front, side and rear of the Futurliner. This 100 plus feet of trim is made up of 16 different pieces.
To start this process Fred had e-mail me several days ago suggesting he and Marge bring along several portable horses for laying out the trim to work on it. He and Marge first set up the horses. With the existing work benches we had six places to layout trim pieces to work on.
Wally had the job of identifying each piece of trim to make sure we did not do too many. The reason for this is that years ago we were given the trim off of the Futurliner in Canada. They installed new modern trim. Wally had to substitute some of the Canadian trim as the rear of our Futurliner had been extensively damaged.
Ryan organized us in the following way. Howard, Fred and Phil had the job of removing all the rusted in place fasteners. The trim is about 1-1/2" wide with fasteners that are "T" shaped. The trim is aluminum and the "T" shaped fasteners are steel. So the corrosion that occurred between the aluminum and steel locked these fasteners in place.
In order to have new fasteners slide freely in the "T" slot on the back side of the aluminum trim the corrosion had to be cleared from the aluminum. Dick using the bench wire wheel and bench sander cleaned the back side of the aluminum trim. Fred using whatever tool would work including old hack saw blades cleaned up the rust on the back side of the trim. When Howard and Phil got caught up with removing rusted fasteners they then using hack saw blades cleared the remaining rust out of the inside grooves in the aluminum trim. This was slow and tedious work.
Marge did the hand sanding on individual trim pieces. She prepared the pieces so all the flaws could be seen as well as removing as many flaws she could. Dick later in the day also helped here when he caught up with his work.
Ryan in, addition to monitoring all that was going on, straighten out all the bent pieces, filed off bad nicks, and also hammered out dings. He also was chief inspector for quality.
The power sanding operation was done by starting with 150 grit, moving next to 220 grit and then finally to 320 grit. The power sanding was all done with orbital sanders. This was performed by Bud, Don, Howard (after finishing the other job he had), Dick, Ron, Connie and Ryan. After each piece was sanded with the 320 grit it was inspected by Ryan and he sometimes made a few corrections, passed it back for more work or put it in a stack for final buffing.
Mike, when he got caught up on his archive work started some of the hand work sanding and also orbital power sanding.
When we finally had a few pieces in the stack for buffing Ryan took Ron and instructed him on the fine art of buffing. Wally had previously had purchased a commercial buffer for this operation and mounted it to the floor. Ron proceeded with the final buffing.
At the end of the day all but four pieces had the finish sanding done to them. Eight (1/2 of the total) were completely buffed, finished. Only one piece was found to have corrosion that had eaten completely through and in only one spot. That piece was taken at the end of the day by Fred to be TIG welded by a friend of Freds. Also at the end of the day Ron looked like he came out of a coal mine.
I was amazed at how much of this work was accomplished in one day. Next week we will finish the side trim and then move on to the side letters: "PARADE OF PROGRESS", and " GENERAL MOTORS".
As a result of Brad Boyajian in California giving us rubber bumper sections off of one of his Futurliners we have every piece except one section. Today Jim took on the job to make a mold so that we can pour a rubber or create a fiberglass bumper section. He is building the mold out of wood so that we can use it on any of these materials.
LOWER CARGO DOORS
I had mentioned before that we had to change the location of five holes in each of four of the lower cargo doors. This involved welding us the previous holes and doing the metal finishing. Art and Connie completed the metal finishing today and put the final coat of primer on these doors. Next week they will do the final finish coat of paint.
There was no work session this week due to travels by others and myself.
However the work never stops.
The Futurliner is now at Valley Truck for the final body preparation getting ready for paint. Les, the manager is excited about doing the project. He has assigned one of his best, Rick. Rick is working long days to try to meet our time schedule.
Today I delivered some trim parts so that Les and Rick could take a look how these were fastened.
Al will be taking photographs while the Futurliner is at Valley. They will be added to the web pages in the future.
We have lots of trim to repair and polish while the Futurliner is in the body shop. Bud took some home to work on and started the buffing process. Next week at our work session the primary mission to start the process of sanding and buffing over 100' of trim.
Originally, the rear doors of the Futurliner had an operating door handle on the right door. It worked similar to an old-fashioned refrigerator door handle. It was vertical and when you pulled on it, it swung down unlatching the door so it could be pulled open. The left door had a similar looking handle except it had no operating mechanism. The right door held the left door shut. Jim Baker has rebuilt the door latching system on the interior of the right door. However, the only handle we had was the dummy door handle from the left door. Jim has designed the right operating handle and then he fabricated out of bondo the right door handle. Ryan DeVries has taken this bondo fabricated right door handle and will cast a pair out of brass. Then by machining each of these handles the right side operating handle can be fabricated. It will look exactly like the original.
Dean from North Carolina completed the two rebuilt carburetors. One was shipped to Bill Bicknell who is busy rebuilding the extra Futurliner engine. The other carburetor arrived today in a well duct taped box. Thanks Dean.
Our goal is to have a complete spare driveline for the Futurliner when it is completed. This spare driveline will serve two purposes. One purpose is to have it available for display and the second is simply to have it available for the future. When Bill Bicknell received the donated engine bolted to it was the military Hydramatic. This engine/transmission assembly came from a donated army truck from Tom Kuhlman. Tom delivered the engine transmission here and Bill took them both back to Ohio. Once Bill separated the transmission from the engine he dropped the transmission off at NATMUS in Auburn, Indiana.
Tuesday, John Wiltjer, borrowing one of Weller Truck trucks, drove to Auburn and then turned around and delivered it here. Next, this transmission will be overhauled for our spare.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Carol Bowers,
Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries,
Ryan DeVries, Tom Kuhlman, Don Mayton, Paul Prinzing, Martin Reed, Dick
Saddler, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan and Dean Tryon*. GUESTS: Bill
Chmielewski GM-PPO operations, Chad Seigle GM-PPO operations and Bill
Warren GM-PPO operations.
My wife Carol took a break today from making lunch to visit some grand children. Carol Bowers fixed the entire lunch and Stan contributed by transporting it from Kalamazoo, hooking up the electric to the hot plates, setting everything out with Mike and Al's help and then serving lunch. Howard again provided our donuts for coffee breaks.
If you recall about a year ago, the GM-PPO operations built the Futurliner roof at their Warren, Michigan plant. Once it was shipped, they sent over their workers to help assemble it as well as install it. These same folks showed up today to check on our progress. Of course, they could not stand around and the next thing we knew they pitched in helping wherever they could.
They also took measurements of the hubcaps. We are still lacking one hubcap to complete the four required. In addition, they took measurements of the rear section of a piece of rubber bumper. We are missing the opposite of this rubber section. Hopefully they can find a source to make this piece, as we have not found a source yet.
We thank Chad, Bill and Bill again for your help.
Dean, down in North Carolina has been working on two additional carburetors restoring them. Although we have one of his restored carburetors on the Futurliner engine he feels that he has found a better original to restore. Both are now completed and one will be shipped to Bill in Ohio who is restoring the spare engine, and the second one is on the way to Michigan.
I will just quote some of his comments in his restoration process and how he bench tests carburetors without the Futurliner engine.
" With the snow and ice outside today (why move to NC when you can get this in Michigan – editor’s comment), was a good day to get them (the carburetors) nearly done. Both are assembled and connected to the fuel line on the '16 (that's a 1916 McLaughlin) to make sure the floats are set OK, everything sealed, pumps work and no fuel leaks. If I can bolt them to the '59 (that's a 1959 Buick LaSabre) and run them, I'll do that later this week when it warms up and I can run it with the basement door open. I ran them with the top off (the air horns) on the '16 to watch the floats."
(A few days later.)
The ' 59 Buick came through again today. The 2 Futurliner carbs bolted right on (with a spacer that was in all the old parts from the military folks), and both ran just fine. I thought the spare carb had a weak pump but discovered I had not hooked up the link below to it so I found it would be fine."
Al and Mike were busy with lots of material being requested by folks from several magazines including a tow truck publication. They want a photograph of the Futurliner hooked to a tow truck. More about that later. Al just had an operation last week and he was still here. Mike is also answered requests for information from Sweden. This is in addition to them constantly researching information for our workers.
Tom donated a four drawer file cabinet that we needed as we are running out of space for storing all the documents that we have accumulated.
TODAY’S ENTIRE GOAL WAS TO PREPARE THE FUTURLINER FOR MOVEMENT TO A LOCAL BODY SHOP FOR ITS FINAL BODY FINISHING AND COLOR PAINT.
Jim worked on the door weather seal frame and then remounted the two rear doors.
Ed and Ryan had a big task of laying out the trim molding holes that go from the rear of the Futurliner, sweep up higher than the letters on the Futurliner and terminate at the upper grill next to the rear cab 1/4 window. The layout drawing that we received from Joel Dirnberger last week was a real aid in this process. There were many holes to drill and with help from Paul, Fred and Don all of them were completed.
Fred removed the weather strip frame from around the front doors. He also started the fitting process of the upper grillwork that goes behind the rear cab 1/4 window.
Wally drilled the holes in the front where the "GM" letters will be placed at a later date. Next he, along with help from others installed plastic sheeting over the front window for transportation to the body shop.
Howard drilled out the holes that are used to latch the upper doors secure. Next he welded some holes in the body that needed to be taken care of. He also helped Bud remove some of the lower cargo doors that needed some rework.
RUBBER TRIM STRIPS
Bud and Don completed the installation of the rubber strips that are along the front left corner of the Futurliner. Bud layout the next section for installation of these strips. Bud and Paul also removed the left front cargo door for further work. Connie then proceeded to repair this door where I had drilled holes in the wrong place. Measure twice, drill once.
ENGINE - EXHAUST SYSTEM
Tom had previously purchased a muffler for the Futurliner and Del had purchased 90 degree exhaust fittings. They with Stan then proceeded to check everything for fit.
Dick had previously fabricated a hatch for the cab roof. When we received the Futurliner this hatch was missing. Dick with help from others installed the hatch. Further fitting of the hatch will have to be done once the body work is done.
Today after all the work was done and all the tools were cleaned out of the Futurliner we hitched up Tom's pickup to the Futurliner. With Del driving (really just steering) Tom pulled the Futurliner out of the barn. Del had previously charged the air brake system with air to check out the air brakes. It stopped Tom's pickup faster than his pickup has ever stopped before. Next, Merl's trucking, with a large commercial tow truck, picked up the Futurliner and off it went to Valley Truck for its final body finishing as well as final exterior paint.
A LITTLE SIDE STORY
Last week when Dick arrived his truck stalled just as he arrived. He tried to start it but the starter would not crank the engine. Thinking that the battery was not being charged we put a charger on it for several hours. After several more attempts the starter was removed and off to the parts store for a new starter. Got the starter installed and after many attempts got the engine to run again. However within a few minutes the engine bogged down and stopped. Since the engine did not sound right the dip stick was pulled and no oil! We added four quarts and it still needed another quart. Dick then looked underneath and oil was everywhere coming from around the filter. Off came the filter and back on thinking it was the rubber gasket but it wasn't.
Remember we are working out in the cold with snow blowing and the wind howling.
Dick decided to leave the truck and got a ride with Stan to go home.
Dick picked up the truck the next day on his trailer. He took it to his mechanic and they found that the rubber oil ring on the filter bracket had blown simply blowing the oil out the bottom of the truck above the oil filter. They added oil to it, and today Dick drove his truck from Richand, Michigan over an hour away. Dick's comment; " The truck only has 297,000 miles on it and I expect it to make 300,000 miles." The truck has never had the engine worked on.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred
Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Ed DeVries, Linda DeVries, Ryan DeVries, Bud
Dinger, Joel Dirnberger*, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Jeff Miller, Martin
Reed, Dick Saddler, Dean Tryon*, John Wiltjer. *indicates working at home.
GUEST: Paul Prinzing
Carol made and served lunch with Sue providing a cake and a pie. Also Linda provided a cake. Howard again provided donuts for our coffee breaks. I must add that to set up each work session day an engineless car must be pushed out of the barn, chairs and tables set up for lunch, a general clean up and then afterwards this whole process reversed. Most of this work is done by Mike and Al with everyone helping to push the car back into the barn since it is an uphill push.
SIDE ALUMINUM LETTERS
On the side of each Futurliner were cast aluminum letters making up the words "GENERAL MOTORS" and "PARADE OF PROGRESS". When this project started Charlie Glick in Paris, Illinois cast us new letters as our Futurliner had none. There are a total of 44 aluminum castings and this past week end Ryan drilled and tapped the mounting holes for these letters. There were a total of 194 holes to be tapped. Ryan brought the letters to locate them and drill the mounting holes in the body of the Futurliner.
In the meantime out in Minnesota, Joel using his computer, created a full size layout of the position of the letters on the side of the upper door. He priority mailed a large tube of drawings, one drawing for each side of the Futurliner. The drawings had a horizontal line for the bottom of the door as well as a vertical line for each side of the large upper 16' door. Ryan and his father Ed then using tape and magnets hung the drawings on each side of the Futurliner. Ryan had screwed into each tapped hole a transfer punch and then placing each letter (remember 44 castings) on the paper layout. Then using a hammer they were able to prick point the location of 194 places for holes to be drilled. Next the holes were drilled and then the letters placed into position to check for final location.
This entire operation was done in today's work session. Without the layout drawing this operation would have taken many days. We really thank Joel for taking the time to provide the drawings working remotely way out in Minnesota. Also we want to thank Ryan and Ed the process they developed to accomplish this task in one day. Ryan took the letters back to his shop to begin the polishing process.
Tom, Del and Stan started the process of bolting on the components of the engine. Today they managed to get the started installed as well as the generator. Also the linkage that goes from the accelerator pedal to the engine and transmission was installed. Although this sounds simple this linkage has to go from an over head cab down to the engine bay back to the engine and then also to the transmission. For those not acquainted with this vintage of Hydramatic Transmission the shift points in the transmission is partiality controlled by this mechanical linkage. Next Tom worked on the timing of this linkage and got it set up as best he could without a running engine.
Bud and Don worked at installing rubber trim at the front left corner of the Futurliner. Sixty six holes had to be drilled and again we asked Tom to set up his Arkansas drill press. At the end of the day one section of rubber had been completed.
I mentioned Tom's Arkansas drill press last week and received an e-mail about this device. I simply quote the return e-mail from RL McFarland. I got a real chuckle out of this and I think you will as well:
" I have to chuckle at the sound of the [Arkansas drill press]. Something tells me it might be it MIGHT be along the lines of a WEST TEXAS PETERBILT... In other words ... adapting something - using materials at hand - on a local as-needed-basis...
The WEST TEXAS PETERBILT (if it really ever existed) sounded like it was so far out in left field...I thought you'd get a chuckle out of its description.
I read one time that somewhere in West Texas - truckers who had to deal with underpowered semi-trucks (possibly homemade to begin with?) .... (probably overloaded as well) would mount a Buick straight 8 engine coupled to a Dynaflow automatic on the axle of their trailer! Then....when laboring up a long - slow hill...they'd hit the starter on the Straight 8...engaging it...and with the help of the engine...along with the slush-o-matic tolerance of the Dynaflow...they'd get an extra boost to get over the hill.
Fascinating (if it was true) and very scary as well!
I hate to think what might happen if the Straight 8 failed to shut off....once the hill was crested! "
Jim continues to work at fabricating the weather strip channels for the two rear doors.
ARCHIVES AND PHOTOS
Mike continues to assist all the workers in finding the necessary photos to correctly under stand how the Futurliner was originally. Taking of many photographs as we disassembled the Futurliner a few years ago has been so valuable. Also Al and Mike are getting some photographs together for a major antique automobile publication. Al also at each work session documents the work with his digital camera which he then sends to Jim Crame for the web site.
Howard finished aligning the cargo doors and then make a repair on one of the left doors. Our guest, Paul, pained the new bolts that Howard had installed on the wheel openings as well as on the bottom of all the cargo doors.
Fred has finished aligning the left front door. He has started on the right front door and has run into a latch problem. The inside of the latch is worn badly and he is working out how to restore it.
Marty and Dick worked at finishing up the two rear splash pans.
Wally continues to work on the installation of the components for the instrument panel.
Dean down in North Carolina (the snowy country) and Bill Bicknell in Ohio continue to work at rebuilding the spare carburetor and engine respectfully. They are sending me copies of their e-mails to each other and although they like others are working in their homes on the restoration of this Futurliner.
I cannot thank those enough that volunteer for this project. Someday I will list all those and where they live that have contributed to this project.
is a special Futurliner report to pick up a few things I missed in
VOLUNTEERS: Al Batts, Bruce Berghoff*, Jim Crame*, Ryan DeVries*, Joel Dirnberger*.
The *indicates those volunteers that are contributing to this project from their homes.
ARCHIVES, PHOTOS, & WEB SITE
Mike and Al continue to work on the archives weekly. In addition, Mike has been reading the adding to the first draft of the book about the Parade of Progress that Bruce has completed.
Al has developed a system of photographing the Tuesday work sessions, downloading the photos to his computer and then sending them off to Jim who in a very short time gets them on our web site. So if you want to see the weekly progress just bring up the web site and go to the latest work session report. This is an outstanding process to keep those following the project up to date.
ALUMINUM CAST LETTERS
Ryan is currently working on the side letters that make up the words "GENERAL MOTORS", and "PARADE OF PROGRESS". He will be adding the fasteners to the backside of these letters so that we can drill holes in the side of the Futurliner to mount them once final painting is done.
Out in Minnesota, Joel Dirnburger has been working on a model of the Futurliner. We have a link to his web site on our Futurliner web site and it has been recently updated. Go take a look. In addition, Joel is providing a drawing so that we can accurately locate the words on the side of the Futurliner.
Again, thanks to all our volunteers scattered all over the country.
Mike Ball, Del Carpenter, Bud Dinger, Tom Kuhlman, Carol Mayton, Don
Mayton, Art Meidema, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Wally Snow and Howard
Carol made and served lunch. Howard and Al contributed to our waists with donuts for our coffee breaks.
The day started with a 7 F degree day and with the wind howling and snow blowing horizontally. By the time we finished the day the weather forecast was for a winter storm warning with snow predicted to fall an inch an hour until after midnight. As I type this now that is exactly what is happening. Wonderful Michigan!
ENGINE & TRANSMISSION
The pilot bearing that we needed arrived last Friday evening via UPS. Del and Tom, today after installing the bearing, proceeded to couple the engine to the torque converter on the Hydramatic, then installed the engine on its motor mounts. They also hooked up the rear of the transmission to the drive shaft. Then they bolted on the flywheel cover. Once this was done they disassembled their chain falls, electric winch, engine hoist which had been set up into the inside of the Futurliner and all the other rigging necessary to hoist the engine and transmission into place. Next week they will start the process of installing the components that they had to take off the engine to snake it up into its bay.
RUBBER SIDE TRIM
Bud and Don worked at cutting to length the rubber side trim pieces. Next, they started drilling the holes for the rubber side trim that goes around the front left corner of the Futurliner. The drilling was slow as we had to drill through three thickness' of metal including the frame. Tom came along and rigged up an Arkansas drill press and speeded up our drilling process by 10 fold. (You can ask Tom what an Arkansas drill press is.)
Art continued to work at the left rear roof preparing the surface for painting. He has made great progress.
FLOOR & REAR SPLASH PANS
Dick and Marty finished the installation of the wood floor on the inside of the Futurliner. Next, they fitted the rear splash pan that shields the side motor that operates the left 16' doors from road debris.
Wally continued to work on this panel as well as the instrument panel. In addition, he completed the cross wiring at the rear of the Futurliner.
When we were at the Kalamazoo swap meet one of the vendors from Auburn, Indiana mentioned he had an original repair manual for an Autronic Eye. Arriving in the mail last week was this repair manual which not only included the Autronic Eye but also a section for the repair of GM's 1953 power steering system. However with John Oldenburg (he restored our Autronic Eye) only an e-mail away I doubt that we will need the manual for the Autronic Eye.
Howard drilled and installed the final bolts along the hinges of the left cargo doors. He now has completed both sides of the cargo doors.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Bud
Dinger, Ron Elzinga, Tom Kuhlman, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema,
Wilma Meidema, Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Audrey Snow, Wally Snow and
Carol made and served lunch with Wilma providing the salad and Audrey the desert. Howard and Al provided donuts.
The day started with high winds, snow blowing horizontally producing many snow drifts and with many local schools being closed.
Every one that came today saw cars in the ditches, and accidents. It only got worse as the day progressed. Still Stan and Dick drove over an hour to come and Tom over 1-1/2 hours each way.
Bill Bicknell down in Dayton, Ohio has started work restoring the spare engine for the Futurliner. He has dismantled the NOS engine down to the bare block, cleaned an reassembled to the short block stage. Several other parts have been taken from the parts engines and cleaned.
On this engine, Bill has found that three of the four cam bearings had been driven in place poorly and had been nicked up badly. These have been replaced. The rear main bearing shells were installed upside down so the oil supply hole was blocked. This engine would not have run long if this had not been caught and corrected. Thanks Bill, again for a great job.
KALAMAZOO ANTIQUE CAR SWAP MEET, February 1& 2, 2003
As previously mentioned we were able to obtain through the efforts of Dick Saddler a swap space donated to the Futurliner Project. Mike, Al, Howard, and Stan worked designing, then setting up the Futurliner display at our workshop here in Zeeland. Then on Friday, Mike trucked the display to Kalamazoo and he and Stan assembled it. I arrived early on Saturday to a great display with Stan already being there to help me. Part of our display was a video running of the actual Parade of Progress event in 1941 and 1953. This video came from our Paraders Tom VanVoorhis and Vic Garske. From that point we had a lot of volunteers (Stan, Del, Howard, Art & Wilma, Fred, John Wiltjer, Wally and Don) during the day each taking turns at manning the display both Saturday and Sunday.
Wally came with a list of Futurliner instrument panel needs including headlight and ignition switches, oil pressure and temperature gages (2", black face), horn and starter Delco relays. He not only found all his needs but managed to talk all the vendors into donating these items.
In the meantime Ed DeVries managed to sell some of our surplus steel (previously donated) to another business at the swap meet. In all, including our hat and poster sales, the steel sales, and Wallys parts donations we improved our financial position by about a $1,000. .
This does not get us out of the woods but will pay some of the bills.
Thanks to all the volunteers for all the hard work at the swap meet. We had a great crowd around our display the entire time.
Connie and Art started the metal finishing at the upper right rear of the Futurliner. Jim continues to fabricate the rear door weather strip channel.
LOWER CARGO DOORS
Howard continues to drill holes and add bolts and nuts to permanently attach the cargo doors to the body of the Futurliner.
Wally continues to work on the instrument panel and run out the wires from his wiring loom. He has started to make the connections at to such things as the fuel tank senders.
ENGINE - TRANSMISSION
In preparation for the installation of the engine and transmission, Al picked up 6" X 6" X 4' timbers so we could build a crib to support the front of the Futurliner. The front of the Futurliner had to be raised to allow us to roll the engine and transmission under it to allow installation. Although we have heavy duty jack stands under the front axle, we wanted the additional crib as a safety factor.
Next the crew of Del, Stan, Tom, and Ron moved the engine and transmission from the storage area. Next they took the engine off of the wheeled dolly it was on, rolled it onto its side onto a low wheeled dolly and rolled it under the Futurliner. Then using come-alongs, an electric hoist, with chain rigging the engine was lifted into its approximate location. From there it was moved forward so that the transmission could be slid in place.
The transmission, again using a wheeled dolly, was rolled under the Futurliner. The engine hoist was set up in the display area of the Futurliner, rigged to the transmission and the transmission was raised to its approximate location. The next order of business was to connect the transmission to the engine. However we discovered the carrier bearing was missing from the rear of the engine. After a few phone calls the closest bearing we could find was located in the Detroit area so it will be coming for next weeks session via UPS.
Dick and Marty continued to secure the floor permanently as well as add the fasteners to the three floor hatches inside the Futurliner.
SIDE RUBBER TRIM
Ron and Bud worked at installing the rubber trim on the left front cargo door. Due to all the activity of rolling the engine and transmission under the Futurliner their work was interrupted along with them helping this operation.
FRONT AND REAR BUMPERS
The front and rear bumpers of the Futurliner are large, heavy rubber castings. The front bumper is composed of two of these rubber castings while the rear bumper has four smaller rubber castings. With have the two front pieces but only three of the four rear pieces. We are missing the "M" portion of the "GM" from the rear. All these sections require extensive repairs as they are bent, torn, many cuts, and generally very poor. Connie has been contacting his old suppliers and today brought along some modern chemicals to try to start the repair process. Although he only experimented with one small torn out gorge it appears that we can repair all the sections that we have. We have yet figured how to make the section we are missing.
Randy VanderBrook from the State of New York has volunteered to make and install the upholstery. He plans to travel to Michigan when the time comes to do the installation. He has already found the material we need in the correct colors. Currently he is trying to get the material donated. Already he has convinced the material supplier to cut the cost in half but that is still over $1,000. Randy and I have spent hours on the phone in the last week discussing the interior requirements. We thank Randy for taking on this large project.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Bruce Berghoff*, Stan Bowers, Del
Carpenter, Sue Carpenter, Fred Carpenter, Ed DeVries, Bud Dinger, Jeff
Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Tom Kuhlman, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema,
Martin Reed, Dick Saddler, Wally Snow and Howard Sullivan. GUESTS:
Gerald Smith and Berrie Balder.
Carol made and served lunch with Del bringing a salad that Sue had made. Mike brought our desert and Howard provided donuts for our coffee breaks.
VOLUNTEER Dean Tryon
As I mentioned in last weeks update I wanted to take the time to introduce everyone to our volunteers who have so faithfully spent their time and talents working on this restoration project.
Dean and I go back a long way. He and I met when we started college at General Motors Institute (GMI) in 1956. Dean was sponsored by the Rochester Products Division of General Motors. Dean received his BS in Mechanical Engineering from GMI in 1961 and then went on to receive his MS in Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1962.
Dean and I have been friends since we met in 1956 as freshmen at GMI and our families over the years have done a lot of things together.
Dean worked at Rochester Products in Rochester, NY in Product Engineering after graduation. He was involved there in carburetor design, testing, testing and development leading to the design of emission control products in the early 1980's. In 1982 Dean and his family was transferred to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg (Europe) when his division and other GM divisions set up an European Engineering Center. He spent four years in Europe and then returned to the GM Proving Grounds in Milford, MI for 3 years. From there, he was transferred to Delphi Energy and Management (the culmination of several mergers of AC and other GM operations) in Flint, MI before retiring in 1997. After retirement in 1997 Dean moved to North Carolina.
Dean has been involved in the old car hobby for years starting with a 1947 Pontiac Woody wagon (in which Dean completely refinished the wood on an excellent original car), purchasing a 1947 Truimph while in Europe and since then accumulating and restoring a 1959 Buick, a 1916 McLaughlin, and a 1932 Buick.
Dean also is the editor the 1916-17 Buick/McLaughlin Owner's magazine. He was a natural to ask to be the editor of our Futurliner newsletter from his hobby and his background while working for GM being a fuel systems expert. Fortunately Dean volunteered and does an outstanding job taking all the weekly reports and publishing a quarterly newsletter.
In addition Dean has restored the carburetors for both Futurliner engines, the drivers seat, and the distributor. Dean, although living in North Carolina is a vital asset to this restoration project. Thank you Dean for being part of this project.
THE BOOK - "GENERAL MOTORS PARADE OF PROGRESS"
I have mentioned before about author Bruce Berhoff volunteering to write a book about GM's Parade of Progress. Bruce borrowed all 13 of our 3" binders full of material and since the middle of November has been pouring over this material. Bruce stopped briefly at our work session and dropped off the first draft. In summary here is what he has put together:
+ Rough draft of 132 pages which would include 65 black and white photos.
+ Parader profiles.
+ Front and back to be full color.
+ He hopes to add a 16 page color section which would be an additional 30 to 50 photos and captions.
We will keep you up to date on Bruce's progress and let you know when it will be available. Up until "GMC - The First 100 Years" was published last spring (Krause Publications, Bob Gunnell, author) there have been few publications that hardly mentioned the Parade of Progress, the Streamliners, and the Futurliners. Bruce's book will be the only one dedicated to this subject. This is an exciting development.
The crew of Ed, Ron, Don and Bud worked at the installation of the rubber trim on the left first cargo door. Ed and Ron developed a fastening system for the rubber by installing a set of two fasteners every 4 inches into the back side of the rubber. Once the holes were drilled in the sheet metal the rubber trim was installed to check for fit. Next the rubber trim was removed and a rubber cement applied to insure a tight fit onto the metal door face. Except for a learning experience as far as getting all the measurements correct the installation on the door looks great.
Wally continues to fit the instruments and the trim around the instrument package. Our latest photos on the web site shows his handy work. Wally also fed more of his wiring loom into various points on the Futurliner.
Jeff continues to work on the electrical control section. Today he also had time to make electrical repairs on our wire welder as well as one of our electric drill motors.
LEFT FRONT DOOR
Fred and Art have finished the fitting of the left front door. They continue to work on the body door striker and now have it fit in place. They also have the door seal surface about ready for paint.
Jim is now fabricating the weather seal channels for the rear doors.
KALAMAZOO SWAP MEET
Mike and Al spent time today putting together our display for the February 1 & 2 antique car swap meet. They had Howard build a support frame for one of the display racks. At the end of the day they loaded every thing into Mike's truck. Mike and Stan will be setting up the display in Kalamazoo this Friday. Fred has been a great help in this process as he and his wife Marge have vended here for years. Dick was instrumental in getting us a free spot and we thank him also. Dick also has vended here for years.
PHOTOS AND THE WEB SITE
Al has been our recent photographer. He has been taking the photos, putting them into his computer and then passing them electronically to Jim Crame, our web site manager, and Jim then enters them into the web site. This web site is updated weekly. Thanks to Al and Jim.
Del, Stan, and Tom have been preparing the engine for installation into the Futurliner. They have installed a new idler pulley and bearing that Tom purchased. They have installed the rear cross brace for the engine. Del has taken home the jack shaft that goes from the front engine pulley to the power steering pump to make additional repairs to it and to paint it.
Inside the Futurliner Dick and Marty continue to permanently install the wood floor. Like last week they continue to break drills due to the hard Futurliner frame they must drill through.
Howard has finished up the installation of the rubber fender wheel well pieces. He also is doing the welding for those requiring his services. Now he has started the final drilling and installation of the lower cargo door hinges. These were installed with just a few bolts to hold them in place. Now that they are in their permanent place additional bolts and nuts have to be installed by drilling the necessary holes.
Mike Ball, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred Carpenter,
Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Bud Dinger, Jeff Dornbush, Ron Elzinga, Tom
Kuhlman, Carol Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Meidema, Wilma Meidema, Martin
Reed, Dick Saddler, Wally Snow, Mike Ball and Howard Sullivan.
Carol made and provided lunch with Art bringing a salad that Wilma made and Mike provided desert. Howard and Al provided donuts for our coffee breaks.
A lot of time and talent has been contributed to this project by each of the volunteers. In order to recognize their efforts I have decided to provide a brief bio of each one, once each work session report. I hope you appreciate their talents and dedication to this restoration project as much as I do.
MIKE BALL -- Mike grew up in Kalamazoo which is about an hour from our work site here in Zeeland. Mike currently lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan. When the Parade of Progress visited Kalamazoo on a summer day Mike somehow missed the show. He stated he must have been playing golf or caddying. Mike is a retired Librarian from the Public Library in Grand Rapids. He comes with excellent expertise for his volunteer job as Archivist for the Futurliner effort. In addition, he has become our photographer, our exhibit and display person, our host for visitors and our communications person for the media requesting information about the project. We end up with TV stations, newspapers and magazines asking him for information and photos. Mike has been our contact and guide for club car tours, auto company tours and family visits here at the restoration site. Recently Mike has got himself involved in the making of video presentations of the project. Just last week we had the GM Proving Ground out in Arizona request information. So, Mike's work has expanded so much he spends much of the week at home working on this project.
Mike was a photographer in the Air National Guard and an amateur photo/Journalist following auto racing. This back ground has also allowed him to look at all the photos that the Paraders have sent and find things on the photos that all of us missed. For example he is the one that discovered one of the photos has all the Futurliners shown in a mock up of a Parade of Progress event with each Futurliner numbered with its specific displays. This allowed us to tie our Futurliner with exactly what displays it contained. We had been searching for this information for years.
Mike is also a retro racing enthusiast. He has an old racer that he is restoring. In addition, he is a member of the Western Michigan Region Vintage Chevrolet Club of America as well as the Antique Automobile Club of America. Mike also owns a 1939 Chevrolet that we always see on our local car tours.
Mike's goal in this Futurliner project is in his words: "I hope to be able to preserve, organize, assign accession numbers and develop a simple index to the document and photos we now have and to prove that we are worthy of safe guarding and using additional material to tell the story of this part of American automotive history. A functioning Futurliner, restoration procedures, maintain manuals, operating instructions and a documented history of the Parade of Progress will be this legacy of this group of volunteers and their supporters. Futurliners will no longer be abandoned and forgotten."
Thanks Mike for being here.
Jim Baker, Mike Ball, Al Batts, Stan Bowers, Del Carpenter, Fred
Carpenter, Conrad DeJong, Ed DeVries, Bud Dinger, Jeff Dornbush, Carol
Mayton, Don Mayton, Art Miedema, Jeff Miller, Marty Reed, Dick Saddler,
Audrey Snow, Wally Snow, Howard Sullivan and John Wiltjer. GUESTS:
Paul Bogardus, Jr. and Nels Hansen.
Carol made and served lunch. Wally brought along a salad that Audrey made. Howard provided donuts for our coffee breaks. (Now that I have come back from my vacation in Australia they are called "morning tea" and "afternoon tea".)
Over the Christmas holiday, major work was done on the body. The four people doors were removed and two crews worked at installing the rubber weather strip frames, worked at finishing the door seal areas on the inside of the doors and final fitting. Fred, Bud, Connie, and Art started the work on the front two people doors. This final fitting of the doors is very important and must be done prior to installing the side aluminum trim.
Jim continued to work at building latches for the rear doors.
Ed, Don and Howard worked at installing the rubber wheelhouse trim and completed the two front wheelhouses. We also discovered that we had to change a small area of the contour of the right wheel house area. Howard took this on and completed it. Also the left rear wheelhouse trim installation was started.
Wally was another one that spent the holiday season working on the Futurliner but at home. He had taken home all the components for making the electrical panel that is housed inside the top of the left hand people door at the front of the Futurliner. He brought this back completed and started the installation in the Futurliner of this panel. This panel contains the Autronic Eye wiring harness as well as its controls plus a block of fuses for other components.
Wally also took home the instrument panel trim that Brad Boyajian (California) sent us from the donated Futurliner. He straightened and polished this and it is ready for installation. Today Wally also painted the insert section of the instrument panel.
Jeff Dornbush wired in the limit switches for the upper and lower travel limits of the right and left side doors. The two doors on each side is on a common mechanical system and this allows one set of switches per side to accomplish the task. Jeff designed the system, bought the materials, constructed the necessary brackets and installed everything. It sure is good to have an industrial electrician as a volunteer.
Jeff, Del and Stan sorted out the leak problem that has been baffling them when they tried the brakes. Jeff ended up calling Benedix Brake to get the problem sorted out as they designed the system as well as providing the materials for installation. A few more fittings and the brakes can be tested once again.
Next, they started preparing the engine for installation. They removed all the bolt on components, drained the oil and then removed the oil pan. Del took the oil pan home for some further work.
Dick and Marty had previously installed the plywood floor in the display section of the Futurliner. However, due to everyone else trying to work in this area they never got the chance to fasten it to the frame members. Today they worked at fastening each section. They will have to continue this next week.
Mike and Al are working on the display components that will be set up at the annual antique swap meet in Kalamazoo February 1 & 2, 2003. We have been donated a space and plan to have a display advertising the project and it will give us an opportunity to sell some hats and posters. For those of you following this project the baseball type hats as well as the posters are available from the museum. This helps support the project and gives you a piece of automobile memorabilia that will draw lots of attention. There is more detail on our web site about how to order the hat or poster. Each one is only $10.
Al also has been doing the photography in the form of video and well as photos to add to our archives. He also ended up running to Gemmens (local hardware) for fasteners twice.
We spent a total of $4,000 at the body shop over the holidays, an additional $200 for professional towing (cheap by any standard), and another $649 for supplies. Our local bank account is down to $150 while our bank account at the museum is around $1,000. We appreciate your past support however we could use some more support here. I will outline our future expected expenditures next week.
Work Report on Body shop work.
Following is the special work report of the body shop work performed on the Futurliner. We had made special arrangements with a local body shop owned by Ron Sall to have body metal finishing done on the Futurliner. This work would allow us to accelerate some of the work over the Christmas holidays since we normally do not work over this period. Since I would be gone until January 12, 2003 we still had volunteers that worked with owner Ron at his shop getting as much work done as possible with our limit being financial ($4,000 is all we had in the kitty). Again our volunteers were generous with their time (no pay) and showed up to help. Wyrick Products also supplied the materials as we required them. Following is the report that Mike Ball put together while I was gone.
Special work report for Dec 10 through Dec 27 2002.
Trip to Body shop on Dec 10. -- At the Body shop, volunteers were Bub Dinger, Con DeJong. Fred and Marge Carpenter. Art Miedema. Del stopped by with doughnuts. Volunteers reported a prodigious amount of filler dust in the air. I may have missed someone.
Trip back to Don's Shop Dec 27 2002. -- Volunteers were: Michael Ball, Al Batts, Del Carpenter, Bub Dinger and Conrad DeJong.
Del, Bud and Connie pulled the Futurliner out with Del's Truck. They loaded scaffolding, materials and what-not into Bud's truck for the return to Don's barn. Del had brought along his big diesel air compressor. They used it to blow out all the grinding dust that had accumulated during the operation. Merl's driver from the 10th returned to haul the Futurliner back and did so with no trouble. Practice makes perfect. Al took some photos at Dean Tryon's request. Mike settled up with the body shop and Merls.
The work crew along with Ron Sall got all the metal finishing done from the brake line down to the bottom of the Futurliner. This includes the work around the wheel well openings. The brake line is the area where the aluminum strips are mounted, that are horizontal, that go the length of the Futurliner. In addition to the metal work, final priming was done and the final black paint coating was applied. Some other metal finishing above this line was completed as well. The metal finishing on the two rear doors was 80% completed.
This work will now allow us to start the work of applying aluminum trim as well as the lower rubber trim that goes the length of the Futurliner.
|2003||The bottom half of the Futurliner has been painted and returned to the workshop. There the men will install all the trim and work on installing the engine. Work sessions will be starting up once again in January.|
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