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James_Douglas last won the day on January 29

James_Douglas had the most liked content!


About James_Douglas

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    Guru, have been a long time contributor

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    I am just a geek who likes old cars. We drive a 1947 Desoto Suburban as our daily driver.
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  • My Project Cars


  • Location
    San Francisco
  • Interests
    Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

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  1. I did my this way. Good for over a decade so far...
  2. The threads back to 2003 or so do not seem to show up...I went through an issue with Optima at that time. I love the batteries, but, be advised. This is the condensed version. SOME mechanical voltage regulators interpret the low resistance of the optima battery and "think" it needs charging. If you drive a 6 volt car with a stock voltage regulator you may well burn up your generator and kill the battery. After a year of running this down, Optima taking batteries back and cutting them open, we figured out that is what was happening. We had checked the charging system several times and all was within specifications. A couple of people on this site come to my place in San Francisco and checked my car as well to make sure I was not going mad! What the Optima engineers told me is that their batteries have very low internal resistance. Some mechanical regulators interpret that is meaning the battery needs charging when it does not. The bottom of the battery plates overheat and melt causing a slight short in the battery which causes more charging and the thing gets worse. This can take as long as a month or two. You notice your AMP meter charging a little more and little more each week. Looks as you may, you cannot find anything using the power. It is all in the battery. The big question is why is it not happening to everyone? One theory was that the majority of the people using the Optima batteries are not driving them all the time. The battery bleeds down just a little from sitting. So, one take the car out once a month for a run and it charges up. Then the cycle continues. Since one is not driving it daily and it charging daily the problem never manifests itself. After I figured this out with the help of Optima and others, I switched to a 6 volt positive ground alternator with the built in regulator. Problem went away and has been that way for 15 years. Interestingly, about a year later there was a big write up in one of my Antique Airplane publications. People in old aircraft were having issues when they switched to gel batteries. Generators frying themselves and high current draws. They ran it down as the FAA was starting to notice. Verdict. Some of the old regulators were not compatible over the long term with the new battery technology. Answer to the problem. Digital Regulators. James.
  3. Don, Call John at Big "M" Auto Salvage (530) 473-2225 as he has two limo's there. I was just up there. All had the doors on them. Same body. James
  4. Thanks folks, I went through my friends master parts book and it does not show it either... I am trying to find a photo. The gate plate is the thing that goes on the end of the steering column (I think) that allows the column shifter to go from neutral to reverse or drive. I am looking very seriously at just using a Powerflite and a Gear Vendors overdrive in the big Desoto as opposed to a GM modern trans....
  5. Hi All, Anyone with a 1954 Chrysler Parts book? I would like to ask if you can take a good photo of the page that shows, if it does, the base of the steering column with the "gate plate" that is used for the "new" Powerflite Automatic transmission. This is the part at the bottom of the steering column that the linkage goes to the transmission. Either what the lever arm (plate) looks like and or if they have a view showing the entire linkage. Thanks, James. PS. I am looking into using a 2 speed powerflite with a gear vendors overdrive as opposed to a 200R or 700R or the 4L60E. An old acquaintance who is 80+ used to work in engineering at Chrysler and he suggested I take a good look at this combination for a whole host of reasons that make good sense. His basic issue is the valve body and the governor weights of the 1954 unit with a six are optimized to the torque curve of the six that would take a long time to nail down if using a 200R or 700R. He said that yes one can do it with the 4L60E, but at a lot of cost. The Gear Vendors OD uses a pressurized pack so that once it shifts there is no parasitic drag. This is an interesting combination. I need to see what the linkage looks like to see what it would entail.
  6. I will try to attach a PDF of the file I used to put in the parking brake on my 1949 Desoto. I converted the read to disc and used the Cadillac rear caliper with the mechanincal parking brakes in them. I took the one off the rear of the trans. The company I used to get the parts is in there and a couple of key measurements of what is needed at the parking brake handle. Your cable lengths will be different with a different car, but I think the bolts in the handle are the same for most of these years. James PS. Excuse the crappy welds. My long time welder and friend who died of MD a couple of years back wanted to do this weld as he had a couple of years earlier done all the serious welding on this car. By this time his health was real bad but I did not have the heart to tell him no that I would have someone else do it. I will never grind and over weld these as they are structurally sound, just look like crap. His previous work for 20 years was a work of art! E_barke_Cables.pdf
  7. The company that was the successor to Midland Ross stopped making them a couple of years back as a key part they got from a supplier stopped. I LOVE this MR remote power brake boosters. I first had them in my 1964 Chrysler 300K Ram Induction Convertible. The left AFB was in the way so Chrysler stuck on of the BR units under the front left fender. Fun to work on after 30 years of crap splashing on it! I got one from them for use in the 4 wheel disc brake conversion I did not the 1949 Desoto Convertible. I used the ECI kit on the front and I custom made the disc conversion for the rear. I used the stock master cylinder and the Midland Ross Unit. I put it in the trunk up on the shelf. I used a stainless steel oven pan and mounted it in that so that any leak would be contained. I also moved the stop light switch to there so I can get at it very easy. The car stops too good. Reminiscent of the late 1950's early 1960's Chrysler cars. You can hit your head on the dash if you stop to hard! These same units were also used on the Ford Thunderbird. The Thunderbird parts guys still sell them. For how long who knows. I do take some precautions however on the single master system. First, I use a remote fill to keep an eye on it and to increase the volume so I can get 2 or 3 pushed if there is a leak instead of one before all the fluid is gone. I also use Russell racing DOT stainless braded hoses at the wheels. Lastly, I NEVER install a MC or wheel cylinder without inspecting all the rubber in it. I have had brand new ones be bad. James.
  8. The front end alignment is spot on. One could feel the difference in the front end when turning the wheels by hand before and after I cut off the boots. Once I get time to finish putting everything together I will take it for a drive and see what the difference is if any. If it still does not come to center, then I will check for the 4th time the alignment. Basically, I went through the MOPAR service diagnosis that is in the "Tech" series (Vol.# No.4) on the subject. The specifications for second series 1949 are: Camber: 0 to +3/4 degrees with +1/4 Preferred. Castor: -1 to -3 degrees with -2 Preferred. Toe-In: 0 to 1/16 inch with 0 Preferred. Toe-Out: 21-1/2 degrees plus or minus 1 degree. King Pin Angle: 4-3/4 degrees to 6 degrees. James.
  9. Every since I restored the 1949 Desoto the steering has not been correct. When driving the wheel did not come back to center as it should. One would have to help it along. Also, out of the freeway the car felt twitchy. At one point, due to things not related, we had the engine out. I added a shim to the worm bearing pre-load plate and that helped a very little bit, but the problem did not go away. Because in 1949 they mounted the steering box on top of the frame, you have to pull the whole thing out to get to the end plate and the shims. You can pull the inner fender but that is even more work. The other day I decided to bite the bullet and pull the steering box and column out and checked the worm gear pre-load on the bench. It was at the high end of the specification of two pounds pull through the center of the worm. The range in 1 to 2 pounds with the Sector (cross) shaft in the box. I added some shims and dropped it down to 1.5 pounds of pull. The wheel drag through the center point felt a little better, but not enough to explain the problem. Since the steering was out, I jacked up the front end and tried turning the wheels left to right to see if the king pins felt like they were binding. The front end did not swivel as one would think. A lot of drag. I suspected that I got too greedy with the king pins. However, the pins were line honed on a sunnen machine and spun like a fine bearing. Perhaps I got the thrust washer shims too tight? Before digging into the king pins, I pulled the outer tie rods and tired each wheel independently. They were both fine and flopped around like a fish.. Hummmm. The tire rods are all NOS or NORS. They all took grease. When I got them, some of them did not have dust boots or the boots were very bad leather ones. When I had put them in I had used a set of urethane ones I purchased at the local speed shop. Hummmmm. I took a knife and cut them all away from the 4 tie rods and the two on the drag link. Everything moved MUCH better. The center bearing has no drag at all. The modern urethane dust boots were binding on the tie rods. I now have to see if I can find some old style leather tie rod boots. I suspect that the problem is one of "staked tolerances" where one item itself does not cause and issue, but the sum of a lot of little problems added up to more drag than the geometry could overcome and pull the wheel back to straight line with hold from the driver. I will finish putting it back together next weekend and see what I get. Just when you thought you had seen everything, something new. James.
  10. Below are the photos of the installation. I have no connection to the guys who sell the PCV. I would go read over their site real well as they have the engineering on the subject covered well. It is expensive, you bet. But, if you have ever been on a road trip and had a PCV fail and start sucking oil...I figured I was better off spending the $130 plus a rebuild kit and tossing that in my travel parts bag. The thing is working MUCH better then when I tried the "stock" PCV which I had from an industrial engine. It worked like crap. James. PS. I do not show it the photo but you need a filtered oil filler cap that can allow a lot of air to enter the crankcase.
  11. I have been driving my 1947 Desoto for 20 years. We drive it back to San Francisco from Sandpoint Idaho. The only thing that went wrong was the speedometer cable end failed. I would do the following as a minimum: 1. Remove the master cylinder and all the wheel cylinders and rebuild them. Have them sleeved with stainless. Also personally inspect all the rubber cups and seals before they are reassembled. I have a new one, not NOS new production from NAPA, fail. The seal cup when made hade some crap in the mold and the lip of the seal was not correct. I lost the brakes on a Sunday morning on a hill here in SF. The only time in 45 years of driving old single master cylinder cars exclusively that I have had a hydraulic system failure on the road. 2. Have the drums checked to make sure that they are not turned out beyond oversize. If they are, contact me directly to discuss :-) 3. Replace every thing that is rubber, including the brake hoses. On the brake hoses, I also had a new NAPA hose develop a bubble in less than six months. Since then I get Russell Racing DOT compliant stainless braded lines. You do have to get a set of inverted flare to AN adaptors. 4. Check all ground points and add a some extra. Firewall to engine block. Engine block to frame. Body to frame near trunk. As a plus, I would do the following: 6. Remove and have the gas tank cleaned. 7. Have the car put on a lift. Remove the pitman arm and have someone who knows that they are doing check the tie rods and king pins to see if they have too much play. The control arms, if unloaded by the spring will move a lot, this is NOT wear it is how they are designed. 9. Check the rear spring shackles and silent block for wear. 10. Follow the service manual instructions and adjust the steering box while the pitman are above is off. Then finally, drive the car across the USA and visit P15-D24 members for lunch. James PS. I do not totally agree with Tod on the brake thing and here is why. Depending on how you use the car, traditionally when going down a hill you put it in low gear and go down slow so as to not heat up the drum brakes. With todays people not willing to wait, and the danger of them trying to pass you on a mountain over a double yellow line, when there is no place to pull over, I think the benefit of being able to go down hill at near posted speed and ride the disc's is better for safety. Also, we tend to drive these cars at modern freeway speeds. If you have to stop at 70 MPH in a hurry a front disc set up will provide much more directional stability. Now if it is a weekend or special event only car then no, keep the drums, but if you are planning on traveling with it, I would change the front to discs. I did that on the 47' as it has a GVW of 6000 pounds if loaded up all the way. I also did a 4 wheel disc on the restored 1949 Convertible. I also used an old midland ross remote power brake booster, although it is still a stock master cylinder. The thing stops too good like my early 1960's Chrysler 300's did. Six volt is fine if not making a lot of alterations requiring a computer for ignition, engine, or other.
  12. Adam, That is why I used the wagner PCV it is a two stage PCV with springs that can be changed to "tune" it to most engines at both idle and a highway speeds... James
  13. I used a PCV from: http://mewagner.com/?p=444 Great people to work with. Good product and good support. I used a Drafting Tube Filter which was a MOPAR accessory to stop oil dripping down the drafting tube onto your garage floor. One can also just cut the drafting tube and leave an inch or two on it as well. ebay number: 142591711656 I then ordered a chemical silicon plug and some bendable aluminum tubing from McMaster Carr online: Item Number: 9277K95 and 5177K72 I also purchased a Moroso Oil Separator : https://www.jegs.com/i/Moroso/710/85497/10002/-1 ..and a few fittings from my stash. What I did was to take the filer out of the drafting tube filter first, you could just cut all but an inch or two off of a drafting tube and put a couple of slits in the tube wall so you can later use a hose clamp on it.. Then drill a hole in the silicon plug so the aluminum tube fits into to it tight. Glue the plug into the tube or filter housing. Then cut and bend some aluminum tube to route the system where you want and to clear the exhaust manifolds. On mine, I ran it up to the fire wall just to the right of the hood hinge next to where the heater gets its hot water on a Desoto. Then stick it into the plug and put a little silicon on the outside to "hold" it and seal any vacuum leaks. Clamp the now short drafting tube (or the ebay one) to squeeze the plug onto the aluminum pipe. Then I attached it via some vacuum hose to a bib on the Moroso oil separator input side. I then cut a very short section of hose on the output side and attached that to the PCV. Then the output of the PCV runs down to the nipple on the base of the intake manifold below the carburetor. I will get a couple of photo's if you wish in the next day or two and post them. So the path is like this: Air Intake on Side of Block at drafting tube mount >>> Oil Separator >>> PCV >>> Intake manifold. One thing to keep in mind is that a PCV system is nothing but a controlled vacuum leak. Depending on engine and carburetor jetting, you MAY have to increase the size of the Carter BB main jet so that the engine does not run lean. You will have to re-set the idle mixture after you go through the multi step Wagner procedure to "tune" your PCV to you particular engine. It stopped all my blow by and the engine oil is staying much cleaner longer. Also, my plugs look 'just a shade' lean and I am keeping my eyes on it and may go up one size on the main jets. I get about a teaspoon of oil every months so far. What is interesting is I am getting about 2 to 3 tablespoons of water out. I also some folks at the US Energy Department that deal with fuels about how much water vapor does one get from blow by from the fuel with Ethanol. They really did not know. I winder if in older engines with a PCV, and not in warm places in the country, if fuel blow by with the newer ethanol fuel is depositing water vapor in the oil. I could also have a weeping head gasket as well, but the plugs do not have any tell tail "rust red" on the porcelain that one often sees with head gasket leaks. Have fun, James.
  14. I had it on for a while as I did not want to drill the stock neck for the back up temp gauge. Also, this unit can run a stock SBC thermostat which gives me more choices. On Carpet, I got the wool from Bill Hirsh for the '49 CV and love it. Expensive you bet, but with a 1/4 inch closed cell foam pad it is REALLY quiet. James
  15. Hi, Below are my2 cents worth... James. 1. I run straight 30 weight in a new engine and at about 40K miles I switch to straight 40 weight. 2. In a stock cam or close to it engine I never worry about adding Zinc. The guys/gals at the ANSI, when they tested the zinc no-zinc oil in production engines they maintain (which are as documented engines as they come) found that zinc did not do a thing. I also know some people who took cams/lifters, when this issue surfaced, and found out the cams and lifters were soft when they had them Rockwell tested. So chicken or the egg? With about 60K on my 251 in a car that outweighs everyone else around here my cam which was NOS looks just fine and never saw any zinc other than break in grease. 3. The ethanol in the gas can cause issues with the bore the brass plunger runs in on the Carter 1BBL's. Check it once a year. (search for my old thread on this). 4. Don Coatney has posted the mill chart on here a bunch of times. 5. If you decide to run more than 7 to 1, I run about 8 to 1 use Premium fuel. I have had evidence of some knock-ping under heavy load (again on a 5000 pound car) pulling up hills. It is VERY subtle. One thing I noted on runs up a big hill, on days with temp and humidity the same, is that I am getting a little more power with premium. Now theoretically that is not supposed to happen. However, if there is any unheard detonation then a pistons forward momentum will be slowed by the early flame front. So, if you add premium and pick up some power it may be due to detonation. One can always retard the timing and run regular. In my case I need all the power I can get. 6. Guide wear is more of an issue that valve problems in my experience. 7. I just set up a PCV after running the new engine for 15 years and 60K miles. The oil stays cleaner longer and there is no visible blow by at stop signs!
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