​​​​​​​

Durant Motors Internet Forum

Our Purpose

  Preserve the automobiles manufactured by the Durant Motor Company, provide enjoyment for each member with meets, tours & technical assistance.


This forum is provided by the Durant Motors Automobile Club located at durantmotors.org





How to Add Pictures 

General Discussion Forum
Start a New Topic 
Author
Comment
Following a Star

Hello all:
Having joined the DMAC only a few years ago, I have meet many members and learned about many of their fine cars. Those who have talked with me have quickly learned about my restoration experience and Flint car knowledge. But it’s what I lack that surprises everyone, “No real knowledge about the other cars of the Durant line“.
Recently I was asked if I would be interested in doing a restoration to a 1926 Star Roadster? Why sure I said, “But I don’t know anything about a Star“! Well, it’s time to remedy that situation.


This Model M2 Roadster is a fine example of what I would call a mostly untouched original car with the exception of past cosmetics. The plan is to bring this car back to "Parade Car Status" while keeping within a certain budget.

Photobucket
Photobucket
Photobucket
Star M2 Roadster

For those interested, I plan to post pictures, questions and progress reports on this forum for everyones view and comments. With Carol’s help, others can follow this in the next couple of issues of The Durant Partner.
Yes Gary... there will be pictures of everything!
See Ya In Lancaster!
Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

And,,,, it will give you a great opportunity to observe the design similarities between the Star and Flint cars.
Besides, the snow's too deep to plant potatoes,,,,,,,

Re: Following a Star

OK... First question.
I recieved an e-mail telling that I have listed the model of this Roadster wrong!
I am told that this is an "M" model and not an "M2". What is the difference?

I'll need to know the correct model if I ever order parts from the Durant Factory (Ha Ha)!

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

The M was built in the first part of 1928 with the M2 succeeding it in the latter part of 1928. There were a lot of body design changes (frame, sheet metal, etc) but the engine, trans, and rear end stayed the same.
Frank's parts book would be an invaluable help when studying the differences between the various models.

Re: Following a Star

Jim this car looks familier. Does a certain lady we know own this or should I say have dibs on this?

Where Are You From? Oviedo (near Orlando) Florida

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1928 Durant Model 65 4 dr

Re: Following a Star

Thanks for the info Don. I ordered a couple of books from Frankwit.. outa be here in a couple of days.

Mike...It was kinda abandoned in my driveway last Thursday the day before the big snow storm that dumped nearly 2 foot on the ground so I pushed it on inside.
I think "she" ran out of gas?

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Hello all;
Monday saw this project get started with the dissassembly of the body and it yielded the results that I expected, "the wood, She's not so good"!
This seems to be the big downfall in this era of the cars, so I'll attack it first!
The wood in the pillar posts and around the roof area is in poor condition while the rear floor was stripped with 3/4" pine board before being covered with pieces of plywood.
Photobucket
Does anyone have any pictures of this rear floor area on a car with this type of deck lid?

I've removed the rest of the body wood (except the sills) and have decided to start by replacing the pillar, door and top area wood first with white ash.
Photobucket
Into the wood shop we go!

Photobucket
Don, thanks for the floor board pics! Can you tell me the width of each of the 3/4" floor board and if there are any type of "lap" joints between them?

Since I'll be replacing nearly all of the wood with the possible exception of the door wood.... Should I also replace the sills as well??

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Hi all:
I did get started this week with the making of both the "A" and "B" pillar posts. This white ash is definitely the way to go!

Photobucket

Photobucket
The biggest thing that I have noticed is the differences in the R/L sill woods. Not only are they different from each other in the areas where the pillars mount... The body to frame mounting bolts are different in location by as much as 1".
Next week, new wood for the roof area. Too much snow here to do much else!!

I'm still hoping for pics of the rear floor area for this model!
Thanks Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Jim
Excellent Job! I wish I had your talent. I tackled the wood on the top of my car and a few pieces in my doors that needed some replacement and it was slow going. It's hard to get Ash down here in the South so I had to replace the wood with Oak but I think it will be OK. Keep us posted on the progress I really enjoy seeing someones progress on their restoration. Some time ago on the AACA forum one member showed the restoration of his 29 Hupmobile and judging from the response everyone enjoyed watching the thing come together. Hey any of you Durantonians out there that need some work done, don't hesitate to give Jim a call. He's a perfectionist and it will be done right. Keep the posts coming.

Where Are You From? Oviedo (near Orlando) Florida

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1928 Durant Model 65 4 dr

Re: Following a Star

Thanks for the comments Mike!

Well, here it is the end of the week already! The woodwork is steadily moving forward Thanks especially to Don Shilling and his "indepth" picture library!

I've gotten most of the body wood set up in semi-finished form while waiting to make the final surface trims until the entire body is aligned.

Photobucket

Working the wood around this trunk area is odd because there is no panel below the deck lid!

Photobucket

I've mentioned the fact that the r/l lower main body sills appear to be different especially around the A&B pillar (door/qtr. post) areas. A couple of places didn't even have pockets for the pillar bottoms to enter!
I've decided to remedy this!
I have designed the bottom of the cowl/qrt. posts to set INTO AND ON TOP of the lower sills. This should not only keep them in location but also never allow them to sag or lower! Next, I made excess clearence in the lower sills by removing wood at the post areas. Before installing the pillars, I applied several coats of paste wax.

Photobucket

After everything is aligned... I will fill in the area around these pillars with polyester (bondo) and it will form a pattern in the old sills to use when making the new sills! The wax job allows the pillars to be removed!

Those who attended the DMAC national meet in Auburn Indiana might remember Mike Linthicum demostating this procedure of forming a pattern with polyester during a tech session!

Next week.... re-fitting the doors and angle iron "X" bracing for temporary body support while removing the sills!

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Jim:
You are doing a fantastic job. I find it difficult working with the wood, especially when you have curves and radii going both ways.
It would appear that this is one of the "Convertible Roadsters" sold by Durant. Convertible in the aspect that the spare tire holder and trunk lid are removable and a box inserted to make the vehicle into an early type "pickup" vehicle. One of our members in Ontario has a prize winning Durant.
Gord

Where Are You From? Guelph, Ontario

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 Frontenac

Re: Following a Star

Thanks for the encouragement Gordon!

You are exactly correct, This car is a "convertible roadster" as it allows for a utility box in the trunk area. I once restored a '36 Hudson that actually had a metal box mounted in the trunk on rails which allowed it to slide in and out for loading.

I'm planning on having this car finished by September in time for the National meet in Lancaster Pa.
Hoping to see you there!
Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Jim:

Are you planning on making a "Utility Box" for the trunk area? Makes a very unusual looking vehicle.

Gord

Where Are You From? Guelph, Ontario

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 Frontenac

Re: Following a Star

Gord, It sure would be unique, but I don't think so? Heck,I'm just hoping to make the deck lid fit!

You see... I'm doing this car for a customer and I think they have other plans. Not even sure of the color scheme, yet?

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

I noticed that the wood behind the seat back is curved. It looks like you built up pieces to make this curve. Was it originally a single piece of wood bent to make the curve?

I'm working on a Model-T seat where the sides and front are all one piece of 3/4 stock. It's a big U with the corners having a six inch radius. I can't imagine how they got that hardwood to bend.

Also, what do you like about the white ash versus oak or maple?

Where Are You From? North of San Francisco

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1925 Star

Re: Following a Star

Hello Vince.... Good to hear from you.

To answer your question, no the wood wasn't originally built in 1 piece and was different from side to side. In this area as well as in the trunk side rails they used a "dovetail joint" and once installed into proper position they drilled and inserted a wood dowel securing the joint.

Photobucket


Since this wood will all be hidden, I built mine with a single dovetail joint (used in the later body styles) and got the proper upward angle by cutting the joint on an angle and adding a block to the bottom. This allows a square surface for sawing and installing. Once completely done... this bottom edge will be trimmed away last and proper screws installed.

Photobucket


Photobucket

As far as the White ash, It works, acts and looks the same as oak but I can get it rough cut for $5 a board ft.
Hope this answers your question? Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Hello again... been a busy week!
OK, Time for the squaring and bracing of the body before removing it to make new sills.

While cross measuring, X measuring and length and height measuring, We jack the body into position. Next, After removing the R/L door metal outer skins, I've reinstalled the door wooden framing while fitting it perfectly to the body using 1/8" wooden shims.

Photobucket

I noticed the doors are not flat or square!
Star owners, If you stick a square on the bottom of your door skin and check up the frt & back edges you'll see what I mean!
I added a piece of plywood to the inside surface for support as it will also be needed later while making new door wood.
Photobucket

With $25 worth of 1/8"angle iron, I constructed my bracing system so it's good in all directions while attaching it to the quarter roof braces and cowl at the w'shield post while resting firmly in the corners of the floor board areas of the sills.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Remember earlier how I waxed the bottoms of the A & B pillar posts? After double checking everything, I now mix and squeeze bondo into the sills at the bottom of the pillar post securing them and forming a perfect pattern in the sills to be used when making new sills.
OPPS... forgot to take this picture. I'll post it next week.

After remove all clamps, the door should fit and operate perfectly!


Next week, new door wood and then... new wood sills!

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Here's that picture I forgot yesterday!


Photobucket

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

OK... here it is Friday night and time to update our progress.
I got started on the doors this week and there are 2 problems. Do you remember me saying earlier that the doors are not square or flat?
1st problem, flatness: It appears that the upper rear inside corner of the door needs a 3/4" shim added to it before mounting the plywood to the inside of the door using our paste wax and bondo method to create a flat surface.


Photobucket

Remember... You must have 2 flat surfaces that are square to each other to be able to make the wood.

Next, I've cut the joints and assembled the door frames while always remembering where that 3/4" of "flatness stock" was added.
2nd problem, squareness: The doors are out of square by 1/2" at the bottom.
I've clamped 2 pieces of squared wood to a table at the proper distance and marked the offset. This jig will be used as an aid continuously while making the doors.

Photobucket

Meanwhile... we were sandblasting items for another job so we cleaned the undercoating from the inside of the door skin and sent them to the booth for a quick blast. New lower tacking edges will need to be fabricated and installed before the skins can be reinstalled.
Photobucket

Now the "real wood work" can begin.... next week!

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Jim
Your probably ruining the effort and time the Durant Engineers and craftsmen took putting the door 1/2" out of square. Ha ha. Remember this was an assembled car, maybe the assembler was cross eyed? The Star is coming together real nice. I know that the owner will be real proud of her when she comes home. A Star fit for a Queen right!

Where Are You From? Oviedo (near Orlando) Florida

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1928 Durant Model 65 4 dr

Re: Following a Star

Thanks Mike!
They could have been crosseyed, but I don't think so? When you look at the curves and angles of the rounded bodies, you'll understand about the flatness and squareness.

Well, I finished the wood work on the doors... more work than I thought! Then I shoved the skins back on temporarily and fit them back to the body. I waxed and polyestered all of the joints and pulled them into the proper position until they dried. Good enough for now!

Photobucket
Photobucket

Tomorrow.... preparing to remove the wood sills and rear body metal!

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

WARNING....
The following pictures might contain images that are of graphic nature and upsetting for some antique car people to view.
If you are one of these people...exit this forum immediatley! Otherwise... scroll down (Ha Ha)!



Photobucket

Photobucket

The complete bottom edge of body had been previously repaired and will need replaced so we just trimmed off the bottom inch to remove it from the wood framing!
Hey BoB.... you told me at Auburn when you saw the Flint wood sills that I just scared the Heck out of ya! What do you think now?
Monday, I'll make new wood sills!

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Jim
I'm watching, as you know I've never restored anything. However I do have a couple of projects. I have a few questions for you, as soon as I find a box big enough I'm sending them your way.
I like to think of these cars as only a pick-up load of wood that I can form with a wood chisel. At Auburn, it was more like a Bridgeport mill and Mt. Rushmore. Bob

Where Are You From? tucson

Do You own a car built by Durant? 6-33, a-22, b-22

Re: Following a Star

Hi All....

WOW !! Jim this sure is looking good. Almost a shame to cover this beautiful wood with sheet metal.

I don't think Jim has used any of his specialty tools so far. Most of what I have seen has been done with tools that most folks would have in an average shop. The real skill comes in the measurements and jigs that he is making and using.

Really enjoying "Following a Star"

Frank ---

Where Are You From? Hookstown, Pennsylvania

Do You own a car built by Durant? 16 Durant & Star cars & a Durant Dort buggy (one horse power)

Re: Following a Star

Good way to look at it Bob!
The main Flint sills I had at Auburn were only 2" longer than these from the Star, but the Flint had 30" extensions added onto the rear of them to complete the length!

Frank... your absolutely right about the tools. I have a nephew with access to a large planner, but the rest was done with small garage tools such as a 12" band saw, table saw, router and belt sander.
In a past life, I use to build jigs and fixtures for the auto tool and die industry.

The real question is how much time do you want to put into the your work?

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Well, Tuesday has come and gone and so have the old wood sills.
Not only have I replaced the sills but I have also made and fit a new cowl panel wood piece that mounts under the windshield.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


Next, some re-squaring of the wood and then I'll start working with the rear body sheet metal

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

The last couple of days I remounted the body sheet metal and re-squared everything while refining and securing the new body wood. Started to work on the floor and seat wood.

Photobucket

Meanwhile, Pat scraped the undercoating from the rear fenders and cowl...

Photobucket

And headed for the blasting booth!

Photobucket

Blasting reveals all the previous repairs and the true condition of your parts... good or bad!

Photobucket

It's 65 defrees in Ohio, Sooo.... off this Weekend and back at it Monday

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

The last week has been used to finish the floor wood and build the new wood for the seat area. Then we squared,secured, dissassembled and refined all of the new wood.


Photobucket

We also gave the rear body shell a first time through in the blast room.

Photobucket


I'll reassemble all of the wood on Monday.

Now.... here's the big questions??? All opinions are welcome!


1)What type of sealer should be used to seal the wood??
2)Was the original wood painted or just sealed?

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Hi Jim
I'm not real sure exactly how they treated their wood, but it seams that if they did anything that they used black paint which was thinned down a little to penetrate...On the last couple of projects I just thinned down some chassis black and painted, this also helped cover my imperfections until the wood was covered with sheetmetal or fabric...If you paint don't do like I just did and thin your paint with a urethane reducer as the oder will be in the wood for some time...I see you have a bridgeport, If it would be of help with your projects I have a method for building a finger joint cutter for doing steering wheels and the curved body pieces...Looks like you guys are doing a great job, keep up the good work.
Bill

Where Are You From? Yuma, AZ / Leavenworth, WA

Do You own a car built by Durant? '23 A-22 Touring / '29 Model 40 coupe

Re: Following a Star

Thanks for your reply Bill. I'm still not sure how I'm going to finish the wood as I still wonder what they originally did? How about it Mike, don't your AACA buddy's know this?

Monday was spent reassembling the body's complete wood skeleton. I also finished the seat riser and installed the correct screws everywhere. Rebuilding the door hinges, aligning the cowl & door and securing the front door( A pillar) posts happened on Tuesday.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Next I... ah...
"Whoa".... wait a minute... hold your horses... stop the presses!!!
I think I'm out of wood to build!
Yeah, there will still be the usual couple of little things, but it's basically done!

Time to switch gears and get out all of the metal working tools as the schedule "dictates" having the body ready for paint and to our upholstry shop by May 1st!
If we miss this appointment.... we will have to wait for the next opening somewhere around August!!!

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Old churches, old ships and old gunstocks were preserved with a Pine Tar mixture. Includes linseed oil and a drier. You can look it up.

Be extra careful with oily rags, they spontaneously catch fire. Many a rustic lake cabin has burned to the ground when it was almost completed.

Do You own a car built by Durant? yes

Re: Following a Star

Well, with the wood basically finished... it's time to switch gears.
These are the final pictures that I will post on this thread as it has grown too large for a quick refrence on some computers.
Stay tuned for a new thread next week that will begin with the next step in this project.... the repair of the body sheet metal and preparing for the upholstry shop.

Photobucket

Photobucket

Photobucket


See ya next week.... Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Jim
As you know I've been disassembling my Durant and re-doing some of my woodwork. I think most of mine is original wood in some places and I've discovered two things. Most of the wood is left natural it seems with no visible preservatives. I do have to say that many pieces are either painted body color or have an overspray on them. I've found no evidence of any shellac, tung oil etc on the wood that I've seen. I do know that I've put a coat of Polyurethane made by Minwax on mine to help seal and preserve it. I figure it really won't matter since most of it is not seen when the interior is in place.

Where Are You From? Oviedo (near Orlando) Florida

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1928 Durant Model 65 4 dr

Re: Following a Star

Jim
I bought my first star car in 1937. Changing a window I had to remove the interior panels and the only painted parts on the wood is what showed at the edge of the door frame. This was the color of the car.
From that I would presume that wood frames on Star cars are were not painted, except for the over spray that you meantioned.
Bob

Where Are You From? Long Beach , CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? several

Re: Following a Star

Thank you for all of the replys about finishing the new wood. It appears that leaving the wood natural with painted/oversprayed wood around the body panel openings is the answer.
Of coarse we will seal the wood..Thanks again,Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flint 80

Re: Following a Star

Hello All
With all of the questions I've been getting lately, I thought I would send this thread back to the top of the forum. Jim G.

Where Are You From? Ohio

Do You own a car built by Durant? Flints

Re: Following a Star

Time to bring the beginning of this saga to the top.
hope this answers some of the questions on "convertible roadsters"
enjoy.....frank

Where Are You From? Hookstown PA

Do You own a car built by Durant? too many

 

The Durant Motors Automobile Club