Updated:10//2016

MTM's 2016 Friends and Family Open House
By Bryan Butler

 


The Unfortunate Acquisition
By Bryan Butler

Sixteen years ago, the MTM restored a 1912 Mack Stage for the Julian Historical Society. It was the first motorized stage to run from the end of the San Diego & Southeastern Railway near Lakeside to the town of Julian, a distance of about 30 miles over rugged mountain roads. Since its first appearance in Julian’s 1999 Fourth of July parade the restored stage has served faithfully in festivals and other functions. Over these years, wear and tear and some functional weaknesses have become evident so this handsome old horse was returned to the barn for some repairs and improvements.
I took on the job of completing the overhaul with the help of Andy Andrews of MTM and Bob Beers, Brian Steutel and David Rabbai.of Julian. Most noticeable among things that needed attention was that the engine was not running well had a tendency to overheat and sounded rather too clattery for comfort. At the back corner of the body, the steel bracket anchoring the roof support stanchion was broken.

Andy Andrews did a skilled repair of the steel bracket at the back corner, adding a hidden gusset to improve strength. There has never been a gas gauge on this vehicle so we made a bracket to hold an appropriate wooden dowel near the
tank-filler cap for convenient probing of the fuel level in the tank. I opened the valve chambers on the engine to find that the lock nuts on two of the exhaust valve lash adjustments had come loose defeating proper operation of the exhaust valves on two cylinders. All the valves were removed; lapping the valves verified they were straight and in good condition. Removing the valves also revealed that one valve spring was significantly mismatched to the others. A better match was scavenged from another engine in the yard.

We put in about three gallons of motor oil and ran the engine for testing. Road tests revealed more engine concerns. Prodigious fuel consumption has always been evident, but lacking experience, none of us were in a position to know what to expect as normal. Other troublesome characteristics have been low power and a tendency to run too hot. The combination of these things and the lack of other explanations began to make me suspect improper valve timing so David and I opened the front of the engine and found that there is no timing mark on the crankshaft timing gear. Careful study and measurement seemed to indicate the timing gears were meshed with the camshaft gear retarded by one gear tooth. The mesh was corrected and the engine front reassembled.

The 100-pound radiator was removed to expose the front of the engine for work there. The brass panels on the radiator were heavily stained by the spilling of hot cooling system chemicals over the years so we put significant effort into the tedious job of making the brass bright again. More road tests indicated some improvement in performance. We tightened some shaft packing’s to help control minor oil and water leaks. With the Stage running well again we loaded it up on Carl Calvert’s trailer and he took it up to the AGSEM show at Vista, CA and then to Julian for their summer festivities. It was good to see the Stage again and have an opportunity to fix its problems.
     
Attention All Members
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MTM Hours of Operation
The museum facility at 31949 Highway 94 in Campo, CA is open to the public every Saturday from 9AM to 5 PM. Special arrangements may be made for tours during the week by calling the Museum at: (619) 478 2492

MTM needs people like you to greet and educate our visitors. Being a Docent is fun and rewarding.
Anyone interested in helping on any of the Saturdays during 2010 please call MTM at (619) 478-2492 to volunteer.

We also need volunteer workers to help us prep vehicles for restoration or paint, and with construction and maintenance of the grounds.
Anyone interested in volunteering for any of the Wednesday and Fridays during 2010 please call Carl Calvert at (619) 478-2492