Monday, February 17, 2014

Docent Day at the Museum

by Willy Vinton

The museum recently helped celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Japan Airlines charter flights to Fairbanks with an open house. As with most events in the museum, we had to move several cars to accommodate the food and people. Our docents provide valuable assistance with this task. As we do on many of our weekly volunteer workdays, we started with a "quick" coffee break and discussion about the day's goals. Then, we were off and running in all directions to put the museum back in order after Monday's event. Above right is Steve overseeing the correct placement of ropes and drip pads for the 1911 Ford Model T depot hack.

Some of the cars get stored in the shop during events. Here Terry, Rod, and Mike get ready to skate the 1914 Grant out from under the lift, where we had to store it to make room in the shop. Otherwise, when we have six cars in the shop there's no room for projects. The skates are a great tool to use around the museum. One goes under each tire, then each is jacked up so the tires are off the floor and the car can be pushed in virtually any direction.

Once everything is put back where it belongs, it's time for another coffee break to wash down some cookies and discuss the next project. We decided that it was time to do something with the '09 Model T Ford, which developed a serious knock in the engine last summer. With only 20 or so miles on it, I think it may have been a very poor engine build from the start, so we will know before long.

We let Rod, the youngest of the crew, work on the easy-to-get-at things, while Mike, the oldest docent, got underneath for the hard-to-access parts. What's wrong with this picture???? I guess that's what happens when you get too many chiefs in charge! I noticed Steve gave them a hand, but it seems to be just resting on the seat...

With the hogshead ready to remove, we were able to check the 4th main. It seemed to be okay, so I suspect that we will find an issue with one of the main bearings in the engine. Next Tuesday we will pull the engine out of the car and proceed from there to find the problem, I think the guys are having fun with this project. I know we sure appreciate all the help that our docents give us, and hope they learn a little with each project.

The day ends with the firewall and the steering out of the way. We got a lot done during this docent work session! Even some of the floor got scrubbed, thanks to Paul and his floor scrubber driving skills. Be sure to look into the shop if you come by the museum on Sunday to see our progress on the Model T.

Coming to Fairbanks to see the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and other area attractions? Support the museum by staying right here at Wedgewood Resort. All guests receive half-price admission to the museum!

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