Chronicles -November preparation

A collection of videos and pictures to chronicle the recreation of this transcontinental road trip.

The following collection of videos chronicle the preparation for this transcontinental trip.  Once the adventure starts additional videos will be posted to record the recreation of this trip 100 years after CW Tuthill and PG Scull made the trip in 1916.

November 15, 2016: We loaded up the Maxwell and headed to Newark, NJ where we start this adventure. Rained a lot on the way to Newark, but the Maxwell and truck did well and we arrived at the hotel safe and sound. Go Team Maxwell!!

Fun Note: Along the way we are going to leave a “bread trail” of gold stones. We will leave a stone or two in every state. If you happen to find one consider yourself very lucky. The look like this:

November 13, 2016: 100 years ago Grandpa loaded his tools in this tool box.


Today we loaded our tool box.


We will head to Newark, NJ on Tuesday, present this story to the Newark Historical Society and start the journey first thing Wednesday morning. Since we will be on the road on Thanksgiving we had our Thanksgiving meal this evening. Thanks Maria, it was delicious.

November 12, 2016: After putting in another thrust washer we were back on the road today. We even had brake lights today…. for a little while (need some more adjustment).

November 11, 2016:  We are pleased to do another interview with the Suffolk Times with Kelly and Christine while we make more fine tuning changes. We added a thrust washer to the timing gear, corrected out steering throttle linkage, and working on brake lights.

November 10, 2016: Fun day that started with a photo shoot at the Hallockville Museum Farm with the Wall Street Journal (thanks to Kathy). We will keep you posted when it is published. We continued with fine tuning changes. We took our first night ride. We easily were doing 35 MPH and had our first taste of Maxwell “wind chill”.  Brrrrrr

Doug and I getting a photo done for the Wall Street Journal

November 8, 2016: John, Doug and Rich take the Maxwell out for a spin. It is running great and we took it for an extended trip. We easily could do 35- 40 MPH. Leave lots of room for braking.

Then we took it out to Jamesport Auto to get our state inspection.

Yes we know we still need to put the hood back on.

November 7, 2016: The oil pan gasket needed 24 hours to set so we worked miscellaneous items on our punch list.  We set our gas pedal linkage in place (up to now we have been using the steering column gas lever).  Adding a missing nut to the sway bar turned out to a bit more complicated when we found out that end of the sway bar was badly striped and re-threaded with a different size nut.  Oh and we need to share a picture of our new oil level indicator.



November 6, 2016: Just 10 days away from a start. Today we worked on our oil pan leak and built the linkage to be able to control our rich/lean mixture from inside the car.  We also connected up our choke so it can also be controlled from inside the car.


November 5, 2016: With the new starter circuit method working we went back to working on the timing.  Using a timing light we identified TDC and correctly positioned our spark advance so we have room for retarding the spark on starts and advancing it while running.  The Maxwell is running smoother. We still need to tune the carb. We installed the last part of the floor board. We need to do some more road testing to see how much power she has but first we dropped the oil pan to fix a oil leak around the oil pan.

November 4, 2016:  We found the starter switch contacts melted and although we had spare contacts we decided to design a more reliable starting circuit.  Using a 12v battery we wired in a starter solenoid and push button starter.  The sole purpose of this battery will be for starting the car.  The rest of the car still uses 6 volts.

November 3, 2016: We put the Maxwell back together after moving the thrush washer.  Radiator, generator rod, distributor were all re-installed. We tried the Atwater-Kent distributor method for setting the distributor to firing #1 plug at TDC but did not see the spark we were supposed to see (according to the Atwater-Kent instructions). As we continued to work on the timing the starter switch failed.

November 2, 2016: We believe the oil leak by the distributor pulley is fixed. There was  a thrust washer on the distributor gear shaft that was misplaced causing excessive movement in the shaft. We also learned that Maxwell engines had two different ways the timing gears were oiled. Our engine uses the oil from the crank case. Other engines had fill plugs for adding heavy weight oil into the timing cover.

November 1, 2016: I want to give a shout out to some terrific folks that have helped us identify landmarks along this trip. First a big thanks to the folks in Lamar, Colorado.  They helped us find the location of the Savoy Hotel, seen in this picture:


We now know it is 1/2 block North of the rail station and Kathleen found it on the west side of Main St in this 1921 photo:


We will have to stop there for a photo… 100 years later.

We also give a big thanks to the folks at the Walnut Canyon National Park that were able to identify the location of this picture of our grandfather at the Cliff Dwellings outside of Flagstaff, AZ


Erin recognized it right away. This is what it looks like now:





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

pearls of humor, wisdom, and crazy ideas