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DonaldSmith last won the day on June 23 2018

DonaldSmith had the most liked content!


About DonaldSmith

  • Rank
    Senior Member, have way too much spare time on my hands
  • Birthday 08/24/1942

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Berkley, MI
  • Interests
    47 DeSoto Suburban
  • My Project Cars
    1947 DeSoto Custom Suburban

Contact Methods

  • Biography
    Technical detail sort of guy, nuts and bolts
  • Occupation
    Retired architect and specifications writer


  • Location
    Berkley, MI 47 DeSoto Suburban
  • Interests
    Fixing and improving things around the house

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  1. Here's a floor-mounted seat belt retractor. I had to cut back the rubber sill for the rear door, to anchor the retractor to the floor. The belt covered the hand grip and coach light, so I made a steel bar extender for the top mount. Not ideal. I could have located the retractor forward of the B post, if I had thought of it, but that would interfere with the seldom-used feature of getting to the back seat from the front door. like a coupe. (The post-war DeSoto Suburbans had coupe-style front and middle seats. )
  2. We are to assume that the 6 to 8 persons are painters? OK what's the point?
  3. As part of the power steering modifications to my 1047 DeSoto, I installed a Saginaw power steering gearbox in place of the manual box. The new box exerts considerably more force to the frame than the manual box. 2015: At the suggestion of James Douglas, who had witnessed frame cracking in similar applications: Added tubular reinforcements to prevent the bolts collapsing the sides of the box frame. Enlarged the openings in the outboard gusset, and added steel pipe sections. 2019: Experienced slop in the steering. Observed the steering box moving when the wheel was turned, deflecting the sides of the frame (both sides moving in unison). The tee-shaped gussets had not spread the forces to the edges of the box frame. Added quarter-inch steel gusset plates, inboard and outboard, to prevent deflection of the sides of the box frame. Deleted the inboard tee gusset. Retained the sleeve spacers and the outboard tee gussets, and added shims to fill in the surface reinforced by the new gusset plates. (Shims shown on the plates; installed behind the plates.) (The front plates could have been trimmed more closely; the rear plates did not need so much curvature.)
  4. I still have my bottle of lead additive from 18 years ago. Neophyte purchase. I soon heard that the valve seats are hardened, and lead additive is not needed, for the Chrysler family of engines. True for a 51 DeSoto? .
  5. See the pitman arm peeking out from a black metal panel. There is another metal panel on the other side of the engine. Chrysler had these panels on some of the cars. Were they an option? Were these more likely to be in the pre-war cars rather than post-war?
  6. I tried the usual peep mirror locations, fighting with the vent window and not giving me a good view. . I made a bracket to clamp the peep mirror to the top of the door. Now the mirror is adjustable to give me a view of the right lane with just a bit of the side of the car. (I painted the bracket to match the door frame, so it's not so ugly.)
  7. I'll chime in. Radial tires have a larger footprint than bias ply, and the boys tend to go with the widest tires. So manual steering at a standstill is virtually impossible, versus the "armstrong" steering of old. There are several ways to add power steering, none of them easy. All of them require disturbing the steering column, to connect to a gearbox or rack and pinion. I looked into the '50's Mopar units, but they had special steering columns, doubled fan belts and pulleys, and a pump mounted on the back of the generator. So, I found a Saginaw box with the same pitman shaft dimensions as the manual box,so I could keep the pitman arm and tie rods. I used the matching Saginaw power steering pump. Some of the boys have done rack and pinion, and some are looking into electric power steering boxes. (No need for a pump, but may need hefty 12 volt power.) My steering column alterations may be similar for whatever device is used. The shaft is a half-inch pipe, machined at both ends and wedded to the steering gear box. The jacket is clamped on. I bracketed the jacket to the firewall, cut the jacket south of the gearshift linkage, and added a bushing to support the shaft. I cut the shaft and had a splined end welded on. I used U-joints and D shafts to connect to the new steering box. And for the horn grounding circuit, I developed a brush contact on the column. I had to add a pulley to power the pump. I moved the radiator forward. I made new brackets to lower the alternator and to support the power steering pump. I'm glad I added the power steering, but it was no easy job. If I had to do it all over again, I would look into an electric power steering box. It still involves modifying the steering column. tI
  8. Post 1501 is the "Sir Vival", front end articulated, rear end '48 Hudson.
  9. Back in 2015, Pertronix offered two sources for the resister: http://www.digikey.com and http://www.mouser.com. The recommended resister was 7 ohm, 5 watt, but 7 ohm, 12-1/2 watt was acceptable. I bought a 71-RH10-7.0 resister from Mouser for 2.98 plus ^.99 shipping. I don't remember how long it took to receive it.
  10. That bolt that anchors the generator-alternator arm has to be loosened to adjust the generator or alternator. That might compromise its water-tightness. I used a stud instead of a bolt, with a lock washer and nut against the water pump. Then the arm. Then a self-locking nut, not tightened. (The arm is shown temporarily raised.)
  11. Not stuck to the bottom of the cookie batter bowl. Not in a chocolate chip cookie, although I am well into the search. The knifes are kept in a wood block, which has been slid around the counter top. The bottom of the block is very close to the surface of the counter. There is a void in the center of the block, to receive scissors. The void extends through the b lock, top to bottom. I surmise that either the ring was placed in the void from the top, or more likely, the block was tipped just enough to capture the ring. Today, the block was next to the cookie jar, but I must have tipped the block in moving it. In my diligent search for a ring in a cookie, I pulled the cookie jar forward, and then saw the ring sitting pretty on the counter. (Wood block- the void is hard to see, between the back feet.)
  12. Over a week ago, my wife lost her diamond wedding-and engagement ring. She was making cookies, so she removed the ring and set it on the counter. And it disappeared. Could the ring have been knocked off the edge of the counter and under the stove? Nope. Pulled the stove out (and cleaned behind the stove). Dropped into a drawer? Nope. Could my wife have absent-mindedly put the ring in the china cabinet or her jewelry cabinet? Nope. We searched the proverbial high-and-low, and couldn't find the ring. Today, we bought a plain white gold band, knowing from 55 years of experience that buying a replacement would be just the thing to make the ring appear - when we were not looking for it. The diamond ring appeared on the kitchen counter this afternoon. How could this happen? Magic. I'll let the boys mull on it for a while, and then I will explain how it happened.
  13. Here's a sketch showing the difference between standard ignition and Pertronix. (I haven't figured how to rotate it.)
  14. Yes, positive is ground, and negative is "hot". Now, in the typical system, as shown in the Post #45 diagram, the points in the distributor interrupt the ground side of the primary (+) circuit of the coil. In the Pertronix system, the coil is grounded and the Pertronix module in the distributor interrupts the hot (-) side. Confusing enough?
  15. I went through some trial-and-error with my seat belts. My DeSoto Suburban has coach lights on the B posts, and I didn't want the shoulder belts to obscure them. At first, I mounted the anchor at the belt line, but the belt was too far back for comfort. Then I mounted the anchor over the coach light, but that was not too happy. So I added a bar as an extender, to move the belt forward. I could move the retractor forward, so that the belt is parallel to the B post, but nah, too much work. Maybe at the bottom of my to-do list.
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