10 November, 2009

Oversimplifying the Issue

As if you hadn't noticed, school has really put a damper on this blog. I didn't mean for that to happen, but when 90% of your time is taken by studying organic chemistry and sensations, it's tough to log on and type a piece about garage exploits. As it has been, I haven't even had a chance to work in the garage more than a couple of times in the past month or two. That hasn't stopped me from making progress on my projects, though.

The Maxwell has been in my mind the most during school. I'm a part of a Maxwell email group, and I must say that is invaluable to an amateur restorer of brass cars. The correspondence I've sought from these masters of horseless carriages has inspired me to work on this car as soon as I possibly can. The problem is, though, I don't have the time to invest in it. I'm hoping winter break will give me a little chance, but with that comes the challenge of working on a cold piece of metal in an uninsulated garage in the middle of a Midwestern winter. We'll see about that.

My overall plan for attacking the car has remained the same. After finding some wonderful pictures online (I'll try to post them here later) of a Maxwell's rear differential, I'm confident that I can get the rear end apart to inspect the gears. My concerns now lie in a couple of pieces that are affixed to the diff whose functions are unknown to me. Without that knowledge I'm a bit wary of trying to take them apart. Even so, my next concern falls with the gaskets and how the end is sealed. When I tilted the front of the differential (where the U-joints join the propshaft), some fluid leaked out of the front. This concerned me for a couple of reasons: 1. What kind of fluid is this, and will draining it harm the car in terms of its fight against rust? and 2. Should it have leaked out in the first place, especially if the car were actually going down a steep hill rather than being tilted on the ground? I'll have to address all of these issues when I tear into it, but even that is oversimplifying the issue.

What about the babbitts? Am I going to have to learn how to rebabbitt something in the future (I have a feeling that's a "yes")? And what about any gaskets that were used? Surely once removed the old cork/whatever gaskets won't be good, so I'll have to make new ones. That, as my father once said, is hit or miss when it comes to getting a perfect seal.

That's just one of the many issues that have been running through my head with this Maxwell lately.

Of course, I no sooner get started on this blog post than I run out of time to finish it the way I wanted to. Nonetheless, this proves that I'm not gone form the face of the earth, and I'm also still working on these cars (even though if it's in my head sometimes).

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