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The Hoke Family Stanley Steamer
Stanley Steamer SVCA 25030 Model 252

Well, I am way way (Months?) behind in keeping you up to date on The BettyAnne! Here is more than you ever want to know, but it is my little diary of the restoration.
Last Saturday night I finally completed the air system. When I bead blasted the tubing last fall, I lost some of the tags that indicated where things went. I got sloppy in getting the tags reconnected. Suddenly I had separated tags and tubes. So it took a while to figure things out, even with a hand drawn notes and lots of pictures. As someone told me when I bragged about having over 800 pre-disassembly photos, “you’ll still find things you didn’t photograph and wish you had.” Right!
So, now the air system is done and the pilot fuel system is done – as far as it can go until the burner gets installed – and the fuel system is done – as far as it can go until the burner is installed. I bent and installed my first piece of copper tubing. A short connection from the starting valve to the main fuel valve. Bob Wilhelm’s advice was invaluable.
Actually, the pilot fuel system is not complete yet. I now know that there was a valve on the bottom of the pilot fuel tank. It is apparently a standard valve, I just don’t have one yet. Here is the picture of the valve as it appears on another SV. If you have one in your junk box you’re willing to sell, call me!

Now, where do I get a flaring tool for 7/16” tubing? My current idea is to get some think copper or brass to wrap around the 7/16” tubing and then use the ½” hole.
When I started the piping, I decided to look through my junk to see if there was anything I might need. This included the material I bought at the Illinois auction two years ago. That was the auction where a condensing touring car sold for $90,000. (Did I mention that I have a Model 750 for only $75,000?) I bought almost all the parts and the seller had a business connection in Dallas and shipped them all for free! I found all sorts of short, cut-off copper pipe with fittings. I salvaged all of these, bead blasted them, and then coated them with lacquer. I am sure every other Stanley owner has a larger collection than I do, but now I do have a few spares. I’ve already used several 3/16th nuts. I also bought nuts from Art Hart.
I am still looking for the brass ¾” 18 nuts for water systems. Art Hart sent me two from his junk box, so I think I have enough, but I am not sure. I’ll know when I get the water tank back in the car and begin connecting water lines. No one makes these and I’ll take some samples to a local shop that does CNC work and get an estimate.
Don Bourdon is sending back the boiler ring that I made and gave to him at Hershey two years ago. It should arrive today or tomorrow, Monday at the latest. He is also sending stainless steel fittings for the blow downs. Then I can put the boiler in place, mark the blowdown holes, pull the boiler out, turn it upside down, put compressed air into it to blow out the chips, drill the holes, turn the boiler right side up, and then put the boiler back into the car for the last time – I hope. Don Bourdon is also making the super heater ring for the Cruban burner. That and the burner should be here by mid-February, I hope.
I also have the worm gear box back together – that is the box that changes rotary motion into linear motion in the pump pit. Red Hall made the gears and put in new bearings, but one was too thick. The old thinner bearing is not available any longer, so I added a stock exhaust gasket from O’Reilly’s Auto Parts and it worked just fine. So the gear box, air compressor, generator, and speedometer take off are now back together and installed. YAHOO!!! This followed the work on the jackshaft that comes out of the top of the rear end and runs parallel to the right side of the rear end before taking a 90o turn up to the pump pit. The bearing into the top of the rear end was too tight to push in. Someone told me to put the bearing in the freezer and heat the aluminum casting with a propane torch. The heat and cold expansion and contraction would enable the bearing to go it. It did, sliding in with absolutely no resistance. It was located in a particular spot – yes, I measured that – and it was perfectly positioned. Now it is in for good.
I also finally figured out the fuel piping. Your drawings were particularly helpful. I probably could have done it without your drawings, but you saved me three years of work trying to figure it out on my own. There are some after-delivery valves on the car that I don’t fully understand, but I think it is back as nearly as possible to the original. In my junk, I found an SV fuel pump. I did not know what it was when it came out of the junk box, but I do now.
John Packard gave me advice on installing the hand pump. The challenge was getting the shims correctly sized so that the two halves of the pump were parallel. I locked down one side, then added shims to the other side while trying to keep the two halves parallel. The problem is that the pump is attached to the sheet metal side of the pump pit, which is not very stable.
John also has a fuel pump that he is rebuilding. I’ll use it to pressure test the boiler per David Nergaard’s advice.
This morning I was at the body shop. They have one fender, two hood shelves, and one splash apron. All are ready for final priming. I also took up the light switch sheet metal and the sheet metal for the instrument cluster.
I disassembled the instrument cluster over the weekend. I am still trying to get the screws out of the air pressure gauge, but otherwise it is fully apart. The ring is off for plating and the screws and clamps are all bead blasted and ready for installation. I tried to gently wash the black sheet metal insert with the intent of polishing the original paint as I had done on the dashboard, but with the first touch of water, a huge piece of paint came off. So I bead blasted it and took it to the body shop. It will be back on Monday.
David Nergaard helped with advice on the gauges. I took two parts-gauges to a local clock repairman and he ran them through his ultrasonic. I should have run them through the carburetor cleaner first! They came through just fine, so I ran the duplex gauge and the steam pressure gauge through my carburetor cleaner and will take them back for the final ultrasonic cleaning tomorrow. Then it will be off to the calibration folks here in Dallas. For $35.00 each, they will give me an official certificate. The bezels are back from the plater, so as soon as the gauges are calibrated, the can go back into the dash. Eventually, I will follow David’s advice and get myself some calibration gauges, but not this week.
Speaking of the plater, the last bill nearly led to a divorce, but they do very nice work. Yesterday I sent them the ring for the instrument cluster, an interior foot light, and the two window handles from the rear of the car as well as the handle and fitting for the drip valve. The large batch of things that came back included the rear hubcaps, screws for various dash parts, the steering wheel support bracket, tail light parts, the light switch, and sundry other things.
I went to Western sheet metal this afternoon. They have made the small pieces for the hood latches. I only needed one, but I had them make a bunch on the theory that someone someday may need some. They are a little rougher than I had hoped, but that is what files are for.
The Johnson Bar is now installed, but it will have to be uninstalled so I can put in the return spring. I learned about this spring from Don Eckel while looking at his 1926 SV in December. Don’s (Eckel) car has a Johnson Bar and a spring that holds it in place. My spring was rusted off years ago, and I was trying to figure out what kept it in place. Thanks to Don (Eckel) now I know what to do.
I also built a temporary wooden seat for the car. This will allow someone to sit on it and turn the steering wheel and push the brakes.
That is most of the news from Dallas – old history follows if you have not already fallen asleep! Stay warm up there.

Very best wishes!


Late October 2008
Well, I’m a bit behind in keeping you up to date on The BettyAnne. As you know from the previous email, CJ and I scored some good parts for her at Hershey.
Two weeks ago, I took the dashboard into the house and spent two hours cleaning the original paint with a very fine rubbing compound. It cut the dirt and left a nice shiny surface, not perfect, but very nice. Sadly, while I was doing this, the Green Bay Packers lost their football game, but the dash looks very nice.
As you know, I put the tires on the car and now I can move it with a very easy push. This was a major psychological accomplishment. Somehow having the wheels on the thing made it seem as if it were becoming a real car.

I started to work on the headlights, primarily to get parts plated, and discovered that I had lost a nut, not a normal nut, you understand, but a nut that has two flat sides and a rounded back that holds it into the body of the headlight. I tore the bench apart – not there. I took everything out from under the bench (the wood pile is now nicely organized!) – not there! I was angry with myself for having lost a part, but my friend Don Axelrod at Hershey sent me a new one. I expect the one I lost to show up any time now.
Speaking of lost parts, when I emptied the carburetor cleaner bucket to recycle the old cleaner (NO, it does not go down the drain, it goes to the local Firestone store where it is recycled properly) I found a little brass spring, about the size of a spring you would find in a ball point pen. I had no idea where it came from, so I set it aside and figured it would come back to me. It did! When I was putting the air compressor together, I found that it is the spring that holds a little ball valve in place. Now the air compressor is done (except for the valve on the top) and the lost spring is back where it belongs.
The other major reassembly accomplishment is the Detroit Lubricator that feeds oil into the engine. It had been apart on the bench for some time and I finally got around to dunking the tank, cleaning it, and painting it. The paint job turned out very nicely. It took three nights to get it back together properly. I had to figure out the whole system, as I had forgotten exactly how it went back together. It is done now, with the exception of the little lever on the outside which is plated. It is at the platers now.
I finally got around to working on the flexible hose that runs from the lever under the driver’s seat to the drip valve in the engine. The original was very badly rusted and the outer layer was rusted through in several places. I had found a hose off a 740 or 750, and it precisely the same. The nickel-plated end that sticks through the front seat frame comes off with a little heat to melt the solder and it is at the platers, along with the handle and nut. I cleaned out the new one, bead blasted it, and put a coat of lacquer on it. I also flushed it with KROIL before greasing the inner part very liberally. It then occurred to me that when I heat it to re-solder the bracket to it that I will likely cook some of the grease. I’ll deal with that later.
I’ve spent a good deal of time trying to straighten the windshield that I removed from the body a few weeks ago. I have the inside frame nicely back to square – or at least as close as it can be. When the new glass is put in, it will be fine. The problem is the outer frame into which the inner frame fits. The inner frame is hinged at the top and swings out from the bottom to provide air flow inside the car. This is giving me headaches, but I’ll get it done eventually. I have not yet started to work on the damaged woodwork on the body.
I finally got the parts back from the plater a few weeks ago. I also sent him a new package of things to plate. Having taken the door handles and the curtain rods off the interior, I now have more things to send. The mirror also needs re-silvering but I think I can get that done locally.
As soon as I get the manual brake handle installed, the car will be ready for the brake guy. I’ll send the chassis to him and have him adjust the brakes and put in the new springs I had made for the rear end. I am sure I could eventually get the brakes done myself, but it is now a matter of time before May 23rd, 2009.
I polished the name plate carefully, but did not take it down to new metal. It shows its age. I also polished the aluminum cylinder oil cover I loaned you several years ago. I took the steel bracket off the back and bead blasted it, then sprayed it with lacquer. Looks very nice.
Somewhere in the garage is a plastic bag with the ferrules that came off the bottom of the headlights. I cannot find them to save my life! I have looked just about everywhere. CJ and I found one at Hershey and I had another one off a spare SOLAR 1130 headlight that came with the car from Charlie Vander Bush. I told CJ that now that we had bought new ones, the old ones would show up.
No, I have not started rewiring the car yet, although we do have the wire to do the job. I bought wire at Hershey to do the interior of the body.
I took one door apart to get at the hardware and see what the situation was. The door hardware is in good shape and will be relatively easy to rework. The handles will go to the plater. Somewhere I have a key to the door lock on the driver’s side.
The front bumper is now chromed. I need to have a couple of small parts made for it. They were so badly rusted that they fell apart when I disassembled the bumper. I’ll drop them at the machine shop soon. They are pretty simple.


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