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James_Douglas last won the day on February 21 2016

James_Douglas had the most liked content!


About James_Douglas

  • Rank
    Guru, have been a long time contributor

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

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  • My Project Cars


  • Location
    San Francisco
  • Interests
    Planes, Trains, and Automobiles
  1. Has anyone ever had to deal with a aggressive neighbor?

    I can tell you that this is not always true. Living in the middle of San Francisco in a residential, high density, neighborhood, I have had less hassle with the neighbors than most of my friends in the suburbs or small towns here in California. In particular when it comes to working on my cars.
  2. water tube question

    I always flare mine to fit the block. More important is to look at the plate at the back of the water pump. It is most times so far off that it is not a good match at all. I "port match" the back of the water pump to the block so that flow will not have turbulence and most of the water will go into the tube. I even had my machine shop jet cut me a few stainless steel plates for the water pumps. It is amazing how after only 5 or 6 years the back plates start to degrade inside the water pump.
  3. Fluid Drive Stalling

    Hello, I would recommend that you sit down and read a copy of my post of many years ago. The fluid couplings work by the velocity of the fluid pushing the internal fins. They do not work passed on any pressure or on the viscosity of the oil. Also, if you do not have a dashpot in working order the car will stall often when coming off of a stop sign. In addition to all of that, I ran across a Chrysler tech note that said that a fluid coupling should not be left engaged for longer than 5 minutes at idle. So, if you are stuck in a traffic jam, put it in neutral until the traffic starts to move. *************** Technical Note on MOPAR Fluid Couplings (Fluid Torque Couplings are NOT covered by this Technical Note. Copy/Publish at will so long as you copy the entire note.) By James Douglas – San Francisco Having run several types of oil in MOPAR “Fluid Couplings” over the years and heard many recommendations, I decided to see if I could approach the issue of what lubricant to use in one of MOPAR’s Fluid Couplings by a more scientific method. As is well known, Chrysler instructed all owners to use “MOPAR Fluid Drive Fluid” only in their Fluid Couplings. Problem is, MOPAR stopped making it decades ago. My first stop was Chrysler Historical. After a month of looking, I was told that they do not have any of the original engineering information as to the specifications of the fluid. Then I headed off into internet land to hunt down anything I could find on the subject from ORIGINAL sources. I managed to find an original Chrysler Question and Answer sheet from 1939 about fluid drive from Chrysler Engineering. In it they stated: “…The proper fluid is a low viscosity mineral oil, which also servers to lubricate the bearing enclosed in the coupling. The pour point is such that the oil will pour at the lowest anticipated temperature, and has no corrosive effect on the steel parts of the unit.” All well and nice, but not enough to figure out exactly what they used as fluid. Later in the same document they talk about the types of metal used and the carbon-graphite seal. Hum, carbon-graphite seal. I did some more digging for a few months and turned up a can of unopened original MOPAR Fluid Drive Oil. An analysis of that oil, and some more literature I ran across, stated that the original fluid was a pure-base mineral oil with a Saybolt Viscosity of between 100 and 150. The fluid had a Viscosity Index of greater than 80. The fluid had anti-foaming and anti-oxidation additives. It specifically did NOT have any seal swelling agents as these can attack the carbon-graphite seal and the copper in the bellows. This last specification eliminates most modern transmission fluids. After finding several formulas to convert Saybolt Viscosities to Kinematic Viscosities, it appears that the best match to the original specification is ISO 22 or ISO 32 oil. However, the ISO 22 is just below 100 Saybolt and the ISO 32 is much higher than 100 Saybolt. Based on a period (c.1947) Lubrication Industry article on fluid couplings that had the following admonishment: “Contrary to popular supposition any attempt to use a higher viscosity fluid would actually reduce the torque transmitting ability of the coupling since torque-transmission is dependent upon a high circulation of fluid between the impeller and runner and is not caused by any viscous drag between the two.” During my continued research on the history of the Fluid Coupling, I ran across the fact that the original company that licensed the fluid coupling technology to Chrysler is still in business and still making fluid couplings for industrial applications. After a couple of weeks of digging, I found a senior engineer from that company that would have a long technical talk with me on fluid couplings. In essence, he agreed with the period information I quoted above. He added that the lowest viscosity oil that would still provide for bearing lubrication is the one to use in theory. However, he did say that unless the fluid coupling bearing has been replaced and is know to be very high quality then err on the heavy side viscosity wise. Just don’t over do it, he stated. I was also told that normal hydraulic fluid does not have large amounts of anti-foaming agents in them as they usually do not have large amounts of air in the systems to foam in the first place. A fluid coupling is only filled to 80% and as such has lots of air in it. Therefore, when looking for fluid coupling oil, one must look for an oil that is a “Circulating Oil” which has a lot of anti-foaming additives in it. I was also informed that the additives tend to have a shelf life in the can, or in use, of 5 to 7 years and it should be changed at that time. I was also told that the couplings are actually somewhat permeable and water vapor will work its way into and then back out, when hot, of a steel fluid coupling. Very little amounts, but apparently is does go on. I was also told to never use engine oil or ATF as both would cause problems in the long run. Based on the research and discussions I have come to the conclusion that ISO 32 hydraulic oil with the proper additives and VI (Viscosity Index) above 80 is a suitable replacement for the original MOPAR fluid drive fluid. ISO 22 would be a better exact match, but only if the quality and condition of the bearing is know in a particular coupling. The oil I have identified that meets the specification, with a higher general viscosity to deal with the age of the bearings, is: Mobile DTE light circulating oil ISO 32. This oil is available at Granger. I have run this oil for about six months in San Francisco city traffic as well as up steep mountains on very hot days. The coupling works well. I have noticed, and other car people have as well, that the car seems to move out from a dead stop to 10 MPH better with the fluid. Only a before and after session on a dynamometer would tell for sure, but I feel that it moves out much faster. Classic car owners are advised to use this information at their own risk. I am not a fluid coupling engineer, a bearing engineer, or a lubrication engineer. I have done my best to find out what was in the original MOPAR Fluid Drive Fluid. This effort is in essence industrial archeology and should be carefully considered prior to use. As a post scrip in 2014. I ran across and old Gyrol book that talks about the filling of the fluid couplings. In short, how much you fill it affects the torque-stall curve. Chrysler set that by the position of the hole in the bell housing. However, if one is to fill it a little less or a little more one can change the curve. Do so at you own risk and never fill it past 90% so it has air in it to compress less you blow the thing up!. James Douglas San Francisco
  4. Question: Bellhousing Profile

    I may have run across a bell housing and flex plate off of a tug that has a Plymouth engine on it. I want the bell housing and plate to put an automatic in my car. James.

    That booster is a bitch to rebuild. I have two in a box that I took apart and was going to use on my 1949. The main valve in it is aluminum and it turns to crud. Part are very hard to get and several of the rebuilding houses would not touch it. The one that did wanted a small fortune to do it. So, all the parts sit in a box. James.
  6. Question: Bellhousing Profile

    Hi All, Is the rear of the smaller Plymouth-Dodge 230 engine the same as the larger Chrysler-Desoto 251 engine as to bell housing pattern? Do the transmissions bolt right up and can be swapped between them? Thanks, James
  7. 1946 P15 3-speed # 853880-29 teardown pics

    One thing to keep an eye on is the clearance when you stick the 2nd gear back on. It rides against a step the main shaft. Even with a new snap ring on mine, and a new 2nd gear, it was beyond the specification. That step face wears. I had to take the new 2nd gear to an industrial hard chrome shop and have them add a few thousands to the rear face of that gear to make up for the wear. It has run great for over 10 years now and I do drive this car a few days every week here in San Francisco city traffic. Also, pop out the little plugs in the case and clean out the little slider shaft, about a 1/2 inch long, that goes between the shifting rods. It is missed by a lot of people, even some so-called professionals who rebuild these things. James.
  8. Yokohama (Diamondback) RY215 {700R-15} Safety Issue

    I am glad to see you like the Coker tire. I have a friend with a '58 Cad Eldorado Biarritz Convertible that had bad luck with Coker tires. Are your tires that you purchased the "Coker American Classic Bias Look Radial" line? The American Classic Bias Look Radial is the only whitewall tire (760R15) I could find that is close in the size and load to the RY-215. I will order them later today. Best, James
  9. Yokohama (Diamondback) RY215 {700R-15} Safety Issue

    I have 6 inch rims. These tires had driven nice and been fine except for the new flat spot issue. I was planning on changing them out next year at eight year point. These are DOT approved tires. see https://www.summitracing.com/parts/yok-21501 I know at least a dozen people who use these tires. I have them on the '49 and I know someone who has them on a 1946 Chrysler T&C and a 1937 Cad. A lot of the Packard guys use them as well. In my case they get more "real world" use on the 1947 then most old cars. All of the dozen or so people I know who are using them don't put much mileage on them. I drive the car several times a week in the middle of San Francisco as well as 160 mile round trips to my place out of town at 65-70 MPH a couple of times a month. I have warned my friends to up the pressure to at least 55 PSI even if the ride is a little stuff and see what happens. In my case, I have to decide if I want to order another set from Diamondback or try Coker's new radial that looks like an old bias tire... James.
  10. Yokohama (Diamondback) RY215 {700R-15} Safety Issue

    See https://www.yokohamatruck.com/public/img/tires/31/bulletin_en.pdf James
  11. Hi all, As a rule, I do not use product supplier names on forums. But in this case I am as it is a safety issue. A few years back I had an issue with my diamondback tires. The splice where they vulcanized the white rubber to started to show a crack line. Diamondback was not too helpful, the whole time accusing me not checking the tire pressure or hitting it hard on a curb while parking. It was like they were reading a script! How the left rear would be hit...how many times does one parallel park on one way streets on the left side, even here in San Francisco. In any event, although I have spent almost $5K in tires with them in the last 7 years, I let it drop as it is just cosmetic and you really cannot see it unless you are right up close. About 6 months ago the car developed a "thump, thump,thump". It had all the earmarks of a bearing or universal joint going bad. Perhaps even a spider gear in the rear end. It has gotten worse as time goes on. Several professional mechanics in their 60's to 80's who all are long time classic car men could not fine it. I tried for months without any luck. We just could not hear exactly where is was coming from. Today we had the car on the rack at a gas station - shop (full service gas, old time shop, vintage 1930's gas station) that does my oil and full under car lubrication. While we had it up in the air we went over the car real good. We could not fine a thing. When one of the guys spun the drivers side front tire. In the daylight you could see a severe high/low spot. One the passenger side, we spun that tire and it had one about half as bad. That has to be it. These tires are seven years old and have about 25K miles on them, perhaps a little more. Now it is possible that the problem is due to under inflating the tires. When I purchased them, I called Yokohama and asked about the 60 PSI pressure. Yokohama told me that I could go down to 40 PSI as my car come in at a little under 5000 pounds. A few years back the outer edges of the tires had that look like they had some under-inflation wear so I increased the pressure to 50 PSI. These tires are rated at over 2000 pounds each or 8000 pounds total. I also run them on the freeway and at times have gone a steady 70 MPH and on occasions up to 75. The tires in the Yokohama catalog show the maximum speed as 65 MPH. (Which I did not find out until well after I purchased them.) So, the question is: Did I push the tires on pressure (too low) and Yokohama gave me bad advice that I could run 40 PSI? Is the freeway running up to sustained 70 MPH the problem? Is the once in a while 75 MPH the problem? Or, is there a problem with these tires in their construction? The rear tires show no problem. I know that a LOT of people have recommended these tires for the 1930's and 1940's cars. I did when I got them years ago. Heck, I like them very much as they are the same diameter, about 29 inches, and the same contact patch, at 4.5 inches, as the original bias ply tires. The contact patch at 4.5 makes steering way better. Plus the big white walls look great. Now I have to decide what tires to get. As this is the car I drive all the time, no new cars for me, I need tires that not only look correct, but function. Since I suspect that one or both of these tires could come apart in the future if I keep running them, the flat spot - Bulge is good size and producing a wheel trump that is very noticeable, I wanted to write up what is going on for others to be aware of. Best, James
  12. Wheel Stud Conversion

    One thing people should be aware of... On my Desoto's if you use rear studs it is hard, to impossible, to change a tire on the road. You have to jack up the body so high, to let the wheel hang, that if you have a flat on the road changing the tire is not an easy thing to do. The rear fender is just too low. James
  13. I have quickly became a Stromberg fan

    W.P. Chrysler was a cheep SOB. He was very focused on price and efficiency. In those days, the companies (Chrysler, Desoto, Dodge, Plymouth)were very distinct entities and had individual supplier histories. Dodge had a very long relationship with strongberg. Chrysler with Carter. I suspect that it was both price and relationship that drove a lot of decision making before 1950. In 1946-1947 however there was a disruption of Carter carbs due to a strike. Chrysler shipped cars without carbs. Then they shipped a kit to use a Strongberg in place of a Carter. I have the technical bulletin on this in my files with the part numbers and service information. The Strongberg is a more expensive carburetor back in the day when new compared to the Cater. James
  14. 1950 Wayfarer Trans Fluid

    "The literature I have seen from Chrysler does not recommend ever changing the Fluid Drive oil, just topping it up annually." I doubt that Chrysler ever thought that their fluid would be in a coupling more than 20 years. I think the above is bad advise. To see why read my very old post.
  15. KingPin Saga DONE

    I would take the spindle, the pin, the upright to a machine shop. A good shop will hone, not ream, the bushings and upright in a line hone to fit the pin. You should feel zero movement when done, but be able to spin the king pin like a top. If properly honed to exacting tolerance the pins will go in perfect and when you put the tapered pin in the side of the upright, the king pin will rotate nice to accommodate it with hand pressure locking the tapered pin in place. My machinist did not have the exact size hone he needed for his sonnen honing machine. I found one off eBay with stones and he did it for free and I gave him the hone. If ever need another, he will do it for free. Using a good machine shop sunnen machine to hone, not ream the king pin, results in a very nice job. James.