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Dennis Detweiler

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About Dennis Detweiler

  • Rank
    Senior Member, have way too much spare time on my hands

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  • Gender
  • My Project Cars
    1939 Plymouth 4dr Sedan

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  • Biography
    Play steel guitar in a band. Army 1970-72, coached club/rec/high school soccer, played in Branson.
  • Occupation
    Retired from partnership in painting and wallpapering commercial/residential business.


  • Location
    Solon, Iowa
  • Interests
    musician, old cars

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  1. I had to rewire my 39 Plymouth last Summer. Old wiring was rotted and spliced many times. Instead of an original wiring harness, I opted to buy spools of good quality wire in 4 different gauges and re-wire it myself. I used a schematic of the original factory wiring, and had to trace some of it because of some bad splicing and different color codes over the years before I bought the car. I added two fuse panels and have every ciricuit fused plus a master fuse. If a fuse blows, I can locate the problem immediately. With the old system, I would have to probe different directions to find the problem. As I proceeded, I made a schematic of the new circuitry. I added separate high/low beam relays which allows the headlights to have full amperage (brightness). The bulbs are now halogen. The horn barely had any volume and now it's very loud by being on a separate fuse and relay. I added braided ground straps from the engine to body to frame. In conclusion, it's totally custom modified and most efficient. If you're not getting it back to original factory specs and modifying for efficient improvement and safety, I'd recommend replacing wires one at a time with good quality wire and proper gauging and add fuse panels and individual circuits. Use the original factory schematic as a guideline.
  2. Success! I rebuilt the original master and did quick bleed with a vacuum pump and I got a solid pedal after engaging the brake pedal about 2 inches. I could never get the sponginess out of the Wilwood 1 inch bore after running 3 quarts of fluid through the system and using 3 bleeding methods. It must be a factory defective master? I'm sure the 1 inch bore wasn't large enough and that accounts for the longer pedal travel. However, the spongy pedal has to be a defective Wilwood master. The only thing I salvaged from the Willwood was the two remote reservoirs. I'm using one of the remote reservoirs with the original master. I removed the 6 reservoir top plate screws and replaced them with stud bolts and used nylon washers under nylon locking nuts to keep the fluid from seeping through. I installed a threaded brass nipple into the filler cap on the old master and connected one of the two Wilwood remote hoses. So far, so good. I'll do a two man bleed on the system and run another quart through it. Maybe find a 1 1/4 bore dual master next year or maybe not. I'll have to re-work the Wilwood mounting plate to fit something other than Wilwood. I spent most of the Summer trying to get the dual Wilwood to work and I'm burned out on it. Emergency brakes work great, so I'm not too concerned about single reservoir brake line failure.
  3. 70. My important rides that have passed away: 47 Ford Coupe, 51 Studebaker Commander, 59 Cadillac Deville, 49 Harley tank shift/suicide clutch, 61 Plymouth wagon, 69 Mustang fastback, various unimportant ones and now a 39 Plymouth 4 door.
  4. I've been reading posts on other forums on the pro's and con's of single piston single reservoir vs dual reservoir masters. Consensus and experience of losing brake fluid in either case is false security and the emergency brake is still the best at stopping a car with a broken brake line. The dual master has to be pumped a lot and quickly to "slow" the car unless you have a valve that shuts down the low pressure line break. Too many don't have that valve and too many drivers don't know that the valve isn't there. Also, the safest emergency or parking brake is the old drum style that wrapped around the driveshaft. If a rear wheel cylinder blows out on a cable to shoe style parking brake, the fluid on the brake shoe will only give you one wheel emergency braking. Hence, the driveshaft style still stops with both rear wheels. I can easily stop both rear wheels with my driveshaft drum/band emergency brake. Similarly, a quick stop with a dual master with pressure drop valve allows for a two wheel brake. There seems to be risk with either brake system. Less if you have the dual reservoir with pressure valve and a driveshaft drum/band emergency brake. I drove single piston/single reservoir during my younger years before the advent of dual reservoir. I never had to experience losing a brake pedal. I recall having a master cylinder getting weak and having to rebuild it on one of my cars (47 Ford or 51 Studebaker?) I had a 69 Mustang with shoes front and rear with manual brakes and terrible stopping ability. Dad had a 61 Olds 88 with power brakes that you had to barely touch the pedal and it would throw you into the windshield. I rebuilt the original master yesterday for my 39 Plymouth and will pull the Wilwood master and conversion bracket out today and install the original, at least temporarily while I tap the bracket for a horizontal bolt pattern dual master. This gives me time , probably all Winter, to decide which dual master to buy. I need one with right side ports and most have left side.
  5. Speedway doesn't sell a rebuild kit for the 91031440 master. So, I'm not going there. It's probably China built. I'm going to try Scarebird's original suggestion...."the original 39 Plymouth 1 1/4 master is a good match for the disc brake conversion." If it fails to be good, I'll have the conversion master cylinder mount out of the car and can drill it out for other master options. I don't see much safety advantage in the dual reservoir if a brake bleeder collapses the pedal. I broke a rear line on a 63 Chevy and I lost all brakes and had to limp home using the parking brake. The hand brake on my 39 locks up the rear wheels without a lot of effort. Right now I'm trying to find a master that will lock all 4 wheels. I have a rebuild kit for the original 39 master and the bore looks very good. Not pitted. Hone it and polish the inside and it should work like new. I have the original brass piston and a new aluminum piston. I'll mic them and see if one is larger than the other. I'll post the results.
  6. 14244 has a horizontal bolt pattern and my mount is vertical pattern. If I'm going to create more options I'll have to pull the mount conversion out and drill it out for horizontal bolt pattern, which is more common. Some are 3 bolt pattern. Speedway has a corvette style master specifically for manual disc/drum and is 1 1/8 bore. It is capable of left or right side ports. It's probably the exact master that I need. It has a horizontal two bolt pattern (#91031440). $60 plus shipping.
  7. I've been researching the above suggestions. Wilwood makes another model master that would directly replace the 260-7563 one inch bore. It's the 260-3380 1 1/8 bore. The mounting bolt pattern is the same on both of these (two bolt vertical pattern). However, the rebuild kit looks like a single piston? I can't get through on the Wilwood tech email. It keeps coming up as an error. I'll have to call them. Scarebird tech has been good about emailing replies to my questions.
  8. If I go back to the original single reservoir 1 1/4 master, I can keep one of the remote reservoirs that I already have installed on the firewall and remove the screw-in filler on top of the master and adapt the remote line. At least, I think that would work? I used an adapter on it previously to use a pressurized bleeder system to the master cylinder. That was before the front disc brake conversion. I see no advantage to replacing the original single reservoir 1 1/4 Plymouth master with a Corvette single reservoir 1 1/4 master? I'd like a dual reservoir master, but it would require another modification mount. Going to a 1 1/8 bore would be a trial run and not worth the expense and time if it doesn't work. I've got a whole summer's worth of time on these brakes as it is and it hasn't been on the road for 2 years when counting the complete new wiring and a few other upgrades.
  9. 76 - 70 Mustang is 1 1/4 bore and made for disc/drum. An option?
  10. Currently, the pedal is able to allow the full 1.1 inch stroke of the master. It bottoms out slightly above the floor when a bleeder is open.
  11. Early Vette master cylinder is single reservoir and 1 inch bore. Jeep Cherokee is dual master and 1 1/8 inch bore. My 39 Plymouth master is single reservoir and 1 1/4 bore. The Wilwood 260-7563 that I currently have in the car is dual reservoir and 1 inch bore.
  12. I have the free play at about 1/8 inch. Wilwood model #260-7563.
  13. The original 39 Plymouth master is 1 1/4 bore. The Wilwood that I used is 1 inch bore. Scarebird tech said, the original master is a good match for the disc conversion S-10 calipers and stock rear axle. However, it's a single reservoir. Would the early Vette be a single reservoir? Overall consensus sounds like I need a bigger bore than 1 inch. Anything that I use to replace the Wilwood is going to require a new mounting mod again and a couple of new brake lines. Or, I can go back to the original master more easily. I'll check out the specs on Jeep masters. I've been working on this car for 2 years. Last summer all new wiring and other parts. All of this summer, the brakes with no good results. I appreciate all info.
  14. I've gotten replies back from a couple of the on-line brake parts dealer techs. Consensus seems to be, the new Wilwood master isn't big enough (1 inch bore) for my system. The original master is single reservoir 1 1/4 inch bore. Looks like I may have to rebuild my original master, which doesn't look to be pitted. I can probably add a "T" to the output fitting of the original master and connect to my new brake lines and the in-line residuals? This has been a pain in the @$$.
  15. I can lock up the rear wheels when I pull the hand brake. The old brake strap around the driveshaft on my 39 works very good.
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