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Old 11-01-2017, 02:41 PM   #1
callcoy
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Default Fires in Santa Rosa

I am back in Santa Rosa seeing friends and family, impossible to relay verbally the devastation here and I assume also in Napa and Mendocino counties' there were 7000 structures lost.

Five of our Calif. Club members lost their homes and 8 Model A's, one also lost two disassembled Deluxe Deliveries. The loss of dismantled A's, with or without registration, with or without individual car insurance may be interpreted as misc. parts. In his case the Insurance Co. has told him so far that they will not cover "his parts", if this remains to be true I will post the name of his carrier. You may if you have coverage with that Co. or with any other Co. find out if your valuable spare parts are covered.

I would like to hear from the Ford Barn experts their take on the possible survivability of a Model A engine and transmissions that have been in fires.
One of these friends had 3ea. Model A complete used engines and 1 Model B, several A & B trans. and 7 39 V8 trans.
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Old 11-01-2017, 04:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

After bad fires here a few years ago, I bought a gearbox that had been in a workshop destroyed by the fires. I think our fires probably burn hotter than over there because of the type of timber but never the less, I'm afraid those motors and gearboxes will be RS to most but don't give up entirely on them, even the '39 gearboxes (I'd kill for one of those - they are just not available over here). The one I had was black inside and the gears as soft as butter. I dismantled it anyway and took the internals to a heat treating business where they rehardened them to 60 Brinell (Henry hardened to 58). The heat treater estimated they had reached 600C (1100F) at least. A new set of bearings and I have a good gearbox again. I went to the trouble of doing that because the gears still had Henry's machine marks on them. I am quite confident the gear were original because the whole thing showed virtually no signs of use. Even the pattern on the pedals was pristine. I digress.
Before scrapping anything, I suggest you talk to those who know metals before scrapping it. Oh, and send one of those '39 coghouses this way!
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Old 11-01-2017, 08:34 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

Coghouse...I like that!!
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Old 11-01-2017, 10:45 PM   #4
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

Just purchased a chassis that survived a fire.it is in remarkably good shape,the garage fire burned the structure the concrete floor stayed cool,the Mitchell (aluminum!!) Is perfect,the engine got hot from the gasoline burning bit turns over nice by hand so I'm optimistic,the P.O. said the guy before him had it cut for inserts....the body is gone..she just had 1500 in brakes with cast drums,54 ford steering box,floatmotor and aluminum valve cover survived..dont count burned stuff out,especially if it was on concrete..
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Old 11-01-2017, 11:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

The Santa Rosa fire was pretty darn hot. The alloy wheels on cars parked in garages and
outside melted into rivers of molten metal.
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Synchro909 View Post
After bad fires here a few years ago, I bought a gearbox that had been in a workshop destroyed by the fires. I think our fires probably burn hotter than over there because of the type of timber but never the less, I'm afraid those motors and gearboxes will be RS to most but don't give up entirely on them, even the '39 gearboxes (I'd kill for one of those - they are just not available over here). The one I had was black inside and the gears as soft as butter. I dismantled it anyway and took the internals to a heat treating business where they rehardened them to 60 Brinell (Henry hardened to 58). The heat treater estimated they had reached 600C (1100F) at least. A new set of bearings and I have a good gearbox again. I went to the trouble of doing that because the gears still had Henry's machine marks on them. I am quite confident the gear were original because the whole thing showed virtually no signs of use. Even the pattern on the pedals was pristine. I digress.
Before scrapping anything, I suggest you talk to those who know metals before scrapping it. Oh, and send one of those '39 coghouses this way!
Synchro, I bought a 39 gearbox (with open driveshaft) 3 years ago from Healesville, not far from you

I thought it was missing the balls/springs/plates of the synchro, but they were in the sludge in the bottom of the case.


I cleaned it only and put it all back together, no new parts, then found out it had an earler shifter fork and it had been gound out to fit .

Then I found it had no second gear.

With the help of the barn and Van Pelt site, I found I needed the 39 tower.

Found one for $20 only 100 km from me.

(Lots of "founds" in this story,) but after dismantling it and reassembling it 10 times, I am somewhat a bit of an expert in fitting it all back up now.

Also with help of the barn, I modified the 3 ends of the shafts to make it leakproof.


Running nulon synthetic gl4 oil and it does not leak a drop and shifts flawslessly and runs dead silent and it does NOT jump out of second.


I am a very happy chappy....
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Old 11-02-2017, 07:13 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa





although the body looks like this, the chassis basically survived..anyone who doesnt believe you can straighten a ford wheel with heat should see how they warp..heartbreaking to shitcan straight ford sheetmetal too...but dont write off fire cars, grey iron takes heat rather well..
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Old 11-02-2017, 10:58 AM   #8
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

Bought a Dodge Colt engine from a fire job, even the carb was MELTED! Cleaned, re-sealed & painted it & it ran like a CHAMP, for years!
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Old 11-02-2017, 12:11 PM   #9
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

I need you guys to put your thinking caps on and come up with some ideas that will charge us up. I was at this site yesterday for a couple of hours with the owner and brought a friend along. It is very evident that at this site it was very hot, melted alum was common, houses around it in these 4 -5 acre settings are gone. But the 300 gal. propane tank is still bright green.

We plan to get into the mess better prepared with plywood walkways and tools to do work in what was his shop. The 30 x 70 storeage area that was under the home contained the stow of parts and that will take more desperate measures.
It this point we will try to get to the engines and flip one upside down and pull a pan off. If it is full of babbitt then we will know how hot it got, if full of babbett and alum. then it is yard art.

What was left of the roof, main floor and the sheet rock ceiling of the storage area along with the big box store pallet racks that the heat collapsed over the engines and transmissions may have added to the demise or may somehow offered some protection to the engines.

Personally I have my concerns of finding salvage, the heat may have hot enough to distort the blocks beyond use. I will report our findings after we make progress. Appreciate the comments so far, keep them coming maybe there is something out there that we haven't given thought to or considered.
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Old 11-02-2017, 04:43 PM   #10
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

Not sure what your houses are built from, but I would be careful of asbestos in the ash. It was used in a number of building materials here. Also Vietnam vets sometimes brought home odd souveniers like live ammunition.

I hope people are being told this, but don't chop down trees that look burn't. Give then six months or so, it is surprising what comes back to life. Roses in particular seem to love a bit of ash.
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Old 11-02-2017, 09:41 PM   #11
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Heres to hoping your pleasantly surprised callcoy,My experience is its worth the effort.
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Old 11-06-2017, 08:44 PM   #12
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

I got a volunteer friend and we met with the home owner at the fire site to try to inventory the contents of his 8 Vidmar cabinets in the destroyed shop. Most of the items were trash but a few machine tools may be able to live on. These are solid steel lathe and milling machine tools that were never heat treated.

We were able to also dig into the storage room located under what was the main level of the house. At this point we were unable to turn any of the engines over so we could pull a pan. A few of the transmissions were excavated, all so far, have the front bell shaped portion warped. Tomorrow we hope to open the one that appears to have suffered the most heat damage. Hope to have a progress report after we get inside the box, I am not holding my breath!
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Old 11-06-2017, 09:01 PM   #13
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

My heart really truly goes out to you guys I had a fire in my shop 5 years ago although I got a new shop fighting with the insurance companies was a never-ending battle not only are you suffering a loss but you got to put up with her crap and it just keeps you mad all the time or at least it did me just thank God that your families and you are in good health it could have been much worse anyway my heart goes out to you and your neighbors

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Old 11-07-2017, 03:06 PM   #14
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

Quote:
Originally Posted by callcoy View Post
I got a volunteer friend and we met with the home owner at the fire site to try to inventory the contents of his 8 Vidmar cabinets in the destroyed shop. Most of the items were trash but a few machine tools may be able to live on. These are solid steel lathe and milling machine tools that were never heat treated.

We were able to also dig into the storage room located under what was the main level of the house. At this point we were unable to turn any of the engines over so we could pull a pan. A few of the transmissions were excavated, all so far, have the front bell shaped portion warped. Tomorrow we hope to open the one that appears to have suffered the most heat damage. Hope to have a progress report after we get inside the box, I am not holding my breath!
Please read post #2 again. It would be adding insult to injury to scrap something that could have been saved.
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Old 11-13-2017, 07:46 PM   #15
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

Well the two of us were able to get the box apart before I left for the final race at El Mirage Dry Lake, just now have time to post. The box was so distorted the clutch throw yoke shaft was seized in place preventing us to remove the input shaft. Some surgery allowed us access, the rear retainer was slam dunk but the output shaft was covered with burnt trans oil to a point that we had to dress it with a file to remove the rear bearing. The rest of the disassembly went smoothly. As syscro909 reported the gears are really soft, have some friends that send out a number of gears for heat treat, hope they can give us a lead on a good heat treating firm, so we can do a test run.
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:58 PM   #16
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Sorry to hear that,the engine from the burned coupe has turned out to be in excellent condition,as with the rest of the chassis,just have to change the soft parts.Hope you have better luck
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Old 11-14-2017, 10:51 AM   #17
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

Where do they dispose of all the burned DEBRIS????---Hope they don't dump it in the BAY/OCEAN.
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Old 11-18-2017, 08:35 PM   #18
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Default Re: Fires in Santa Rosa

Bill,
That is a good question, have heard that the debris will be taken to a site in Arizona, the amount removed from each site will vary on many factors. It will be an very large operation, the final count is not in yet but in Santa Rosa alone they estimate 5300-5800 homes were lost.

Back in Tenn. now so my friend and daughter will ship one set of gears to our friend, who ships once a week to his heat treater. He said we need to get the opinion of the experts. Our friend is concerned that the shafts may no longer be straight, I am hoping that because of the thickness of the input and output shafts will not be a problem. He uses the Rockwell C scale and aims for 58 to 62 as what is acceptable. We hate to throw away vintage iron and there are counting spares, Model A's and B's more than a dozen that have been damaged.

It will be awhile now that we have to ship and wait for results, will post results at that time.
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Old 11-19-2017, 12:02 PM   #19
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Where do they dispose of all the burned DEBRIS????---Hope they don't dump it in the BAY/OCEAN.
Bill W.
hell yeah,toss it over the side..they do it with bodies all the time..
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