Any Questions?

Gene was over on Thursday, and we worked a little more on the engine.  We installed the timing gear.  This part of the installation is known as “timing the camshaft.”  The two timing gears intermesh and must intermesh at exactly the right spot on each gear in order for the engine to fire properly.  What we had to do was turn the cam until the No. 1 piston was at TDC (that’s top dead center) and the N0. 1 exhaust and intake valves were closed.  At the same time this puts the No. 4 piston at TDC of its compression stroke.  In this position, the crank’s gear is slipped on, so that a “dot” punched into that gear falls between two similar dots on the cam’s gear.  I’ve got a lovely picture here where I show the two gears properly installed.  Note yellow arrows pointing to the dots.

If you look closely you will also see that the crank gear fits over a “key” slotted into the crank, thus assuring the proper positioning of the crank vis-a-vis the cam.  That’s all we did on Thursday, but this get together was Gene’s way of cheering me up during my shoulder funk.  I appreciated that, Gene.

We met again on Saturday and made more progress.  Saturday’s goal was to get the valves adjusted.  The manual specifications call for there to be a .012 gap between the end of each valve and its tappet.  You use a feeler gauge to measure the gap as Gene is doing in the picture below.

A set of feeler gauges contains many thin, metal strips of various widths.  In the photo above I’ve circled the area on the strip where the width of .012 (upside down) is indicated.  For each valve Gene had to first get the appropriate gap and second use two wrenches to tighten the valve tappet lock nut up against the tappet to hold the adjusting screw in position.  These parts are labeled along with the position where the gap is set in the second picture below.

While Gene was working on the valve adjustment, I was putting the final coat of red paint on the fan drive pulley.  This is something I could do that didn’t involve any lifting and that I was able to complete while wearing the sling.  Gene was kind enough to take a picture of me “working,” so that you could see that I at least did something.

Finally, through happy coincidence Gene and I were both wearing our Massey-Harris t-shirts, so we asked The Princess to get a picture of us posing with the engine.

Two smilin, retired guys, what fun!

I renewed my MLB iPad app this week, so that I can listen to Phillies games.  Preseason games are underway down in Florida, and the opening of the season is only about a month away.  Coincidently, I was going through some old news clippings yesterday and came across some that dated back to 1937 when my dad pitched for the Central High School baseball team in Young America, MN.  Dad, who passed on some years ago, was a pitcher and apparently a decent hitter as well.  The clippings I came across recount Central’s tournament victory over rival Glencoe.  Dad was the pitcher, allowed only 4 hits, singled and scored in the game.  By the fact that dad saved these articles and wrote on them “hold for Andy” (my son) you can tell how proud Dad was of his performance in that game.  Here’s a photo, well a scan of a copy of a newspaper article photo showing Dad and the team.

Dad spoke in general about the fun of playing on his high school baseball team.  I remember a story about one of his team mates.  He decided he wanted to try chewing tobacco like the big leaguers, put a big plug in his mouth and later passed-out in the outfield…hmmm, and thus the name…outfield? 

But I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t believe I showed the appropriate interest in my Dad’s baseball prowess.  Thinking back, it would have been nice to know what his “money” pitches were and what his batting average was.  Did he have a favorite team in the majors, favorite players?  

I didn’t get any special attention or tips from him when I was in baseball for about 10 seconds as a kid.  I admit, I wasn’t very good.  I did have one day though.  I remember hitting a fairly deep fly ball to center which dropped.  Then through a combination of additional errs by the opposing team I just kept running around the bases, slid into home and was called “safe.”  Not really a home run, but as close as I’d ever get.

Here are some quotes from the newspaper accounts of Dad’s “big game.”
“Superb pitching by Boehmke with air-tight support by his team mates combined to defeat Antil’s men 7-0.
“Boehmke, titian-haired Central hurler, was very effective…” 
“Merlin Boehmke, Central pitcher, held the supposedly hard-hitting Glencoe team to a mere four hits…”
If I could talk to you now, Dad, I’d ask those unasked questions and I’d tell you how impressed I am.  We could wonder together whether you were major league material, but for getting your head turned by Mom and your lifelong career at 3M. 

But you never gave up golf, which you really were good at too.  And this sport did allow us to share a lot of fun times over the years.  You paid for golf lessons, constantly analyzed my swing, and had tons of suggestions.  You were a master on the greens and you knew it.  Anything 8 feet or under was going in, after which you’d turn and say, “Any questions?”  I do kind of half-way blame you though for this golf-induced shoulder trauma I’m going through right now.  But what do they say, no pain, no gain?  Here’s to you Dad, I hope you’re enjoying another good season up there.

Thanks for reading.


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