by Derik Price
© Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum
Since the weather outside decided to dip down to more normal temps (about -25 F) Willy had to put the Model T Racer away and get back to business. We decided to bring our 1914 Henderson out of deep storage with a goal of getting it running, and then assess it for restoration or refurbishment. Here's a picture of it when it arrived in Fairbanks in 2008. You may remember the background on the Henderson from our post last summer - http://fountainheadauto.blogspot.com/2014/07/a-dose-of-hendersons.html
The vehicle has been sitting in our backup storage since bringing up to Alaska in 2008. I visited the shop last week to get an overview of how it looks and what will be be required to bring it back to life. We started by soaking each cylinder in mystery oil and hand cranking the engine to make sure it rotates freely. It turned over fine, so the crew started taking turns hand cranking the engine to test the compression on each cylinder. Each one tested about 50# - woo-hoo!
The generator was working fine and making spark, so we double-checked the firing order and then set out making new plug wires. We also figured out how to turn off the engine once we eventually get it started. This nice little (metal) rod with what looks like a bolt through a thread spindle on the end is what you pull to disconnect generator. We'll draw straws to see who has to grab that thing to shut it off once we get it running. :-)
Up next: we'll check out the lower end, transmission, rear end, fuel and cooling system. A lot of work goes into checking everything out before we'll actually try to start the engine. But hopefully, if there are no big surprises, over the next few weeks we'll get to fire it up! I am taking video of our progress and toward summer will put together a YouTube video on the project. So stay tuned!
Coming to Fairbanks to see the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum and other area attractions? Support the museum by staying right here at Wedgewood Resort.