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The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

I bought my 1928 Model 65 in 2007 as a retirement gift to myself and brought it home from just north of Atlanta. It was born in Elizabeth in January 1928 and the engine just before that in December 1927. She lived her life mostly in the New York area and Long island until she was brought down to the Woodstock area of Georgia and placed in a garage. The previous owner who was in his 80's and other previous owners had started some restoration but never completed it. I borrowed a trailer and pickup truck at the time and Frances and I headed to Georgia from the Orlando area to get the car and head back all in one day. Long day since it's about 8 hours to Atlanta from where I live. It was fairly complete, some junky previous repairs to the roof wood that had the original ash replaced with cedar wood. I guess to keep the insects out but since it's soft wood it soaked in the moister, rotting the cedar. I replaced the wood, restored the frame, brakes, differential, front end, etc and progress was real slow due to life and other things pulling me away. Well I finally contacted a restorer in Tampa area to complete the restoration minus the engine which I took up January before last to a machine shop north of Cincinnati, Ohio. Couldn't find anyone in the Southeast that did babbit work, That should be either started or done in July of this year. Much of the nickel work has been sent off to Librandi's Plating near Harrisburg. Not sure how long it will take, but excited to see it finally done and able to drive. I'll post a pictures later on the progress as I get them. Color will be two tone green.

Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida

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

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

Great! All it takes is a lot of time and a little bit of money!

Where Are You From? Texas

Do You own a car built by Durant? Several

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

Yep two tone green :heavy_dollar_sign: :smile:

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Two-tone-green

Where Are You From? Ottawa Ontario Canada

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 614 sedan made by Dominion Motors

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

Don Welcome back.....

Where Are You From? Tucson, AZ

Do You own a car built by Durant? 4

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

This is how she looked in 2007 when I brought her home from the Atlanta, GA area. I took tons of pictures, then bagged and tagged everything as I took it apart. Wheels were removed, running gear and body was taken off the frame.


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Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida

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

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

One of the first things I did while the frame, springs, gas tank, differential was being blasted and painted was to restore the wheels and spokes. Here is a before and after photo.

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Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida

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

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

I'm not sure if everyone else has had problems with their restorations, but this is what has happened so far with mine.

1. When I took the running gear to the blaster it included my tie rod. Instructions were given to blast it and paint it. Well the shop lost the tie rod. Still don't have one, but I now where one is.

2. Took my differential to the shop to have it blasted and painted. They shop said he had s great guy that rebuilt all his rear ends for all the cars he has restored and rebuilt. This guy could put together corvette and muscle car rear ends blindfolded the shop said. So I said OK, have him take it apart so you can blast the pumpkin and parts and have him put them back together. Instructions were given to be very very careful as the parts were hard to come by. Well 8 months later when I inquired about the part he said it was painted and ready to pick up BUT the guy who rebuilt the rear ends had retired and moved to North Carolina and wasn't doing them anymore. The shop could not find anyone to touch the rebuilding of the rear end to put it back together. He handed all the parts to me in a box. I wasn't very happy that day! So after receiving all the help from the DMAC members, I put it back together myslef and put the newer style seals in it. Hopefully when I first run it I will not hear the sound of ping ping ping as the gear teeth break. Nightmare time!

3. The model 65 as well as the other 1928 Durant's have Bendix 3 shoe brakes operated by rods on each side of the frame. The two back ones were stripped and the threads were damaged. This is the piece that has a "Y" yoke on one end that connects with a cotter pin to the rest of the brake system and a threaded end that holds the mounting system to the actual rear brake drums. I took it to a local machine shop to make some new ones for me. This shop was instructed to get new rods, weld the "y" yoke on one end of the rod and put new threads on the other. Sounds simple right, well 5 months later after calling 4 times, I was told that the shop had lost the original rods and could not find them. Needless to say, I will never use this shop again either.

4. So as far as the engine goes, I wanted a machine shop to go over the engine and rebuild it. Check it out and replace what we needed to and also re-babbit the bearings if needed. I called all the machine shops in Central Florida to try and find someone that could work on the 15L engine or should I say WOULD work on the 15L engine. I was told that only one shop in Florida in the St. Petersburg area could work on these old engines properly. I called the shop and told the guy what I had and he said "sure I can work on that" and "bring it over". After loading it up and driving the hour and a half to the St. Petersburg area. The minute I pulled my truck with the motor around back to unload it. He said "I can't work on that, it has babbit bearings". Well Mr.machine shop man, why didn't you say that before I drove an hour and a half to see you, especially after I called you and specifically what type of engine it was and what it was out of. He referred me to another shop in town and I called them while I was there figuring I'd drop it off. Well I started to get worried when the young man answering the phone said with the phone down on his chest "What the hell is a babbit bearing, and do we fix those?" to the owner of the shop. I was told that only "Tom" could do that and he was out sick with a Heart attack and they did not know when he would be back. I searched the internet for anyplace in the Southeast United States to work on this engine but could not find anyplace. Finally finding a shop in Ohio when I was at Hershey manning the Durant Booth. In January 2021 I took the engine up to the Cincinnati area and dropped off the engine at Ron's Machine Shop and was advised that it would be around July 2022 before it would be worked on. 18 months, wow that seemed a long time for sure.

Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida

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

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

Many of the missing parts have been acquired over the years and many have been restored either by myself or professional shops.

The car had on it when I purchased it a old Ford carburetor. The model 65 used the Tillotson 13A or 13B carburetor on the 15L. It was 3 years before I could find one and thanks to Gary Kaufman he had one in his garage. Unfortunately it broke when it was delivered to me and I had to restore and rebuild it. The original 13B carb will be used for show and I'll obtain a Zeneth like many have used for driving and running around. Below is before and after shots of the carb.


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Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida

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

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

On the trailer heading to the restoration shop.

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Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida

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

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

Oh no, first report from restoration shop. more wood rot in the "B" pillar area and the dreaded previous owner had replaced some pieces of wood with pressed wood boards. As always more work than expected.

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Where Are You From? Oviedo, Florida

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

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

It's been awhile since I've posted to this, so I thought I'd upload some pictures. In February I took the car over to a restoration shop near Tampa, Florida. Frame and running gear had already been completed by me and body work and wood work had to be completed to get ready for paint. I decided that the car would be returned to the original color of Riviera Green and Ambatto green. Riviera green is the main body color which matches the fellows on the wheels and the accent dark color on the body is the Ambatto Green. You can click on the thumbnails to enlarge the pictures!

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Body was in real good shape with only two spots that needed metal cancer repair.

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To be continued.........

Do You own a car built by Durant? YES, 1928 Durant Model 65 four door sedan

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

Ah the wood, that's another problem. Some wood repair was done by my prier to the car heading to the restoration shop, but once they started to get into it, there was more wood rot found that I had no idea about. Also the roof had been rebuilt by some previous owner with cedar and plywood. I had removed the cedar and constructed roof side pieces from oak and hand rounded the edges. Instead of the wood strips that our cars had running on the top, a previous owner had used plywood sheet. Since it would not be seen, I thought I'd leave it, but after the restoration shop found that the roof was not shaped right and would not look or fit right, it had to be completely re-worked. Now it sports a correct looking and fitting wooden top area with Hickory wood strips, just awaiting the chicken wire, batten and top material. Click on the thumbnails

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Do You own a car built by Durant? YES, 1928 Durant Model 65 four door sedan

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

One of the front fenders had some rust and issues where it met the running board wood and trim piece. I had obtained two large planks of wood that DMAC member Tom Edmonds from Pennsylvania had given me. They were run through the plainer and cut to size. The restoration shop fitted the board to the front fender perfectly.

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The metal trim piece that goes above the door and gets nailed to the top wood above each door had to be made since the original ones had rusted beyond repair.

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Fenders were painted and only need cut and buffing some more.

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To be continued........

Do You own a car built by Durant? YES, 1928 Durant Model 65 four door sedan

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

Fantastic progress Mike.


Rick

Where Are You From? Fremont, CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1931 Model 619 and 1929 model 60 Roadster

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

Mike:
You are sure making great progress, Mike. I am sorry that you have had such miserable luck with some of the projects on this car. Losing parts is really rough when you just can't go to the wrecking yard and get replacements. None of our 6 - 14 or Frontenac parts are the same, especially the running gear.
All the very best to you.
Gord & Will

Where Are You From? Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 Frontenac built by Dominion Motors Ltd., Leaside, Ontario, Canada

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

While visiting Bill DeVries a number of years ago, I saw an bumper medallion on his Model 65 that I liked. He was gracious enough to go to a person he knew in Grand Rapids there who does casting and have a couple made up in bronze. I sent it off to Librandi's plating and had it nickled and then I painted the "D: with epoxy enamel. Ready to go when the car is done.


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Do You own a car built by Durant? YES, 1928 Durant Model 65 four door sedan

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

D for De Vaux, Dodge, Delahey, or Duzy the cost of restoring. :smile: Devil made me say it Mike.

Where Are You From? Ottawa Ontario Canada

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 614 sedan made by Dominion Motors

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

Earlier I spoke about the re-construction of the top area. Previous owner had repaired the rotted top section with Cedar wood and plywood. I had redone the side pieces of the top, but now the top is back to the correct strips awaiting the chicken wire, batten and leatherette down the road.

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Do You own a car built by Durant? YES, 1928 Durant Model 65 four door sedan

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

Yep Norm, your 100% right. Many other Durantonians have been through this adventure of a frame off restoration and some are lucky to be able to do 100% of the work themselves, including mahcine work, metal work etc. I'm good at woodwork and the restoration of parts, but I live in a community with an HOA and I can't do work outside on any car. So I must farm out what I can't do here. A man must know his limitations. Like everyone else, I feel I'm a care taker of this car and I'm preserving it as it came off the assembly line for future generations.

Do You own a car built by Durant? YES, 1928 Durant Model 65 four door sedan

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

You are lucky to have a place to work on it. We aren't allowed to build a garage in backyard or carport, can't park in front of your house so can't widen laneway. Built the shed in the 70's to hold a brass T I was building from parts all over the country side. Assessment came round all our homes back then to increase taxes if you modified your home by adding a toilet in the basement, or altered the basement into living space and so on. He asked Di what the shed was for and if a car in it. Di just said its a wood shed. Could he see inside. She said no my husband as the key at work. He said your sure its a wood shed. Again she said yes. So he left it at that and my taxes didn't go up. As she told me she didn't lie sort of. The T was in there and "Wood"n't go. ha ha. You should have seen us squeezing the 32 in there when we brought it home.

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Where Are You From? Ottawa Ontario Canada

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 614 sedan made by Dominion Motors

Re: The saga of my 1928 Durant Model 65

A couple of years ago I sent the generator/distributor off to Michigan to have it rebuilt and restored to factory specs. Took the shop over a year to get it back to me, but the results were stunning. The picture doesn't do it justice! It looks like it just came out of the box. During the process the distributor mounting was badly cracked as we all know the problem with the pot metal used back in the 20's. Thanks to Phil Peters and his 3D printing project of years ago, I purchased one of the first ones made by this process from him and it came out great. Phil still sells these.

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Do You own a car built by Durant? YES, 1928 Durant Model 65 four door sedan

 

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