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Everything posted by James_Douglas

  1. James_Douglas

    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. James_Douglas

    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. James_Douglas

    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. James_Douglas

    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
  5. James_Douglas

    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.
  6. James_Douglas


    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.
  7. James_Douglas

    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. James_Douglas

    Starter Field Coils

    I am rebuilding a couple of starters. Remanufacturing may be a better term as I am making one with all new parts. One thing I have run across is that there are two different field coil arrangement's. One with two larger coils and one with four smaller ones. In theory I am told, the 4 coils generate more torque than the two larger coils. Anyone here an electrical engineer, as opposed to an electronics engineer :-), and can shed some light on this issue? Since we all shave our cylinder heads, more torque is not a bad idea on a starter rebuild if one can get it. The two coil field coils are actually still available.
  9. James_Douglas

    Re-Engineering a Flathead Six

    Re-engineering a Flathead Six. So, after talking with Flaming River and Uni-Steer and FatMan... It turns out that nobody makes a power rack and pinion steering that is engineered to work with a car over 4000 pounds. All their people advise against it. Since my '47 Desoto Suburban is much more than that...I cannot do a V8 conversion unless I want to rip out the entire front clip to get a V8 in with power steering. Yes it can be done with a center pull rack, but not be safe. So, back to the drawing board. I need more power. I had a talk with a guy who has built a lot of motors. We discussed a very far out idea. I thought I would bring it up here and see what the collective wisdom had to say. A turbo charged computerized fuel injected flathead six. To overcome the issue of Siamesed Ports on the intake and the resultant problem with injector placement, what about swapping the intake with the exhaust ports? With the turbo, the flow should work with larger intake and smaller exhaust. With the ports swapped, the problem of the injectors is overcome. Making a CAM is no big deal nor making the intake and exhaust runners. There may be a scavenging issue with smaller exhaust and the peak torque would move up the RPM range. But with a torque converter with a modern automatic, that may be a wash low-end power wise. Anyone have any thoughts to this concept? Best, James
  10. 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
  11. James_Douglas

    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
  12. James_Douglas

    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.
  13. James_Douglas

    Yokohama (Diamondback) RY215 {700R-15} Safety Issue

    See https://www.yokohamatruck.com/public/img/tires/31/bulletin_en.pdf James
  14. James_Douglas

    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
  15. James_Douglas

    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
  16. James_Douglas

    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.
  17. James_Douglas

    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.
  18. James_Douglas

    Seat belts

    In California front seat belts became the law in 1964. Front and Rear in 1968 because the feds required it. If the car has belts installed in it, you must wear them. If you don't have them, or take them out, of a pre-1964 car you don't need to have them. The child seat and belt laws are a gray area. All the child seat and child belt laws in CA are predicated, and under, the general seat belt laws here in California. Nobody has been able to get a directive from the State Attorney General's office to clarify the issue. Since all pre-1964 cars are not required to have belts, does that mean that kids don't need to be in a seat or belted? The safety of the issue is not in question, just the legality. I have asked and they refuse to answer. They only give legal responses to legislators and government agencies. If the State said all kids must me in a child seat, or belted, then no kid would every legally be able to ride in a classic car not so equipped. Even during a parade or a special event. James.
  19. James_Douglas

    How many miles on your flatheads?

    I use my 1947 Desoto LWB Suburban here in the middle of San Francisco every week. I also dive it a couple of times a month, about 160 mile round trip, to our place in a small town. That has a lot of 65-70 MPH running. I have over 50K miles on my rebuild which was done about 2005. I am noting some dropping of oil pressure. Just a little. I also have started to see in the last year some oil pulling by when going down Waldo Grade at 60 MPH and allowing the engine to compression brake down the hill in 1:1 gear. With the OD in and the RPM's lower not so much. I suspect that the guides are starting to wear and I am sucking oil under high vacuum - high RPM situations. When I had the engine open a couple of years back for the melted plug (see old posts), I did put in new rings and ground the valves. Although how good the hone was leaning over the engine bay is an open question. In about 20K more miles, I suspect that I will have to pull the block and rebuilt it. Given that this car is over 4000 pounds, only has a 251 six, see's San Francisco Hills, and long freeway runs on a constant basis, I think I am doing good. If you rebuilt a flathead WELL, as if you are doing a race engine, I see no reason why it will not go 50K to 60K without any issue. Mine has. James.
  20. James_Douglas

    Shock absorbers

    Bingster, nothing I am selling...just LOTS of used and NOS-NORS parts. I have been around, although not that active, on this site since 2003 or so. I big Desoto I drive on a weekly basis here in San Francisco. So, I stock my own parts to some extent. I noticed in the master parts books that the valve's on the shocks for the larger cars were different. I suspect some engineer did the math to match the shock to the spring rates. That is why, I may go look into custom shocks with adjustable valves. I am curious, has anyone every taken apart a stock shock like they talk about in the service manual? James
  21. James_Douglas

    Shock absorbers

    This week I have been moving parts around. I found the box that had the shocks I took off the 1947 Desoto Suburban when I first purchased it and the 1949 Desoto Convertible when I took it apart. The shocks are MOPAR with the CDPD stamp on them and factory part numbers. They are Monroe shocks. 1947 Desoto S-11 Suburban: Front 1121207, closed 8.75", open 12.875," Dia max 2.125" Rear 1121208, closed 12.5", open 20.5", Dia max 2.125" 1949 Desoto S-13 Convertible Front 1311851, closed 8.75", open 13", Dia Max 2.125" Rear 1311852, closed 12.5", open 20.5", Dia Max 2.125 Interestingly the Monroe cross reference on the 1947 Desoto shows a front part number of 5752. On Amazon or Jeg's they are about $22 each. At NAPA or O'Reilly they show up as from Rare Parts at $200! What a joke... I may have a custom set made for the big Desoto. The shock valves were different according to the master parts book for the heavy Suburban. Custom adjustable shocks may be better for this daily driver than another set of modern Monroe's. The 1947 Shocks are know to be original to the car. The 1949 I suspect may have been changed once. Best all, James
  22. James_Douglas

    1949 Desoto Gear changing problems

    Unless you want endless problems with the M6 transmission, convert the car back to 6 volt positive ground. I have run my 1947 Desoto for 15 years here in San Francisco (proper not the burbs) and 6 volt works just fine. As long as it is maintained correctly. My 1949 Desoto is also 6 volt positive ground. Use a lithium 12 volt emergency starter battery with a radio, cell, or other in the car if need be. No need these days to convert unless you are changing the car over to a modern engine.
  23. James_Douglas

    gyromatic problem

    I wish that people would stop tossing around the recommendation that ISO-22 should be used in the fluid couplings without informing people of the issues. The fluid needs to be matched to the perceived state of the roller bearing in the coupling. Also, NOT ANY ISO-22 fluid will do. It MUST have anti-foaming agents in it. Most NAPA ISO tractor fluid does not. Read my old post in its entirety to understand the fluid that one should consider using in a fluid coupling. Best, James
  24. James_Douglas

    GM LTG Turbo 4

    To those of you new around here, I have been contributing for over 10 years...The Desoto has been my daily driver since 2003. It comes in at 4800 pounds empty. In a few years we will use this car to travel the USA. Loaded it is about 5500 pounds. I DO NOT WANT to change the steering or the front end. But, I need this thing to be much better for Sondra to drive as well as my left ankle. I have paid my dues with more flathead six miles than most. One I pull that out I could care less on who makes the replacement. My 1949 will have that flathead in it until hell freezes over in any case. Almost any V8 Conversion would require steering modifications. The steering box on the Suburban is about 30% larger then the other cars. A V8 would hit. I saw this engine at the car show a couple of years ago. It would fit the bill. But, no trans. Well, I just got a call from a dealer. In the 2017 GM performance catalog they have come out with a rear wheel transmission for this engine. The wiring is due out in six months for the computer to talk with the trans. The only issue is will it clear. They put the direct bolt on AC of the drivers side... This engine can be mounted at the front like a flathead. So, if the side were to clear, it may be a very good fit. I will keep moving forward investigating this. James
  25. James_Douglas

    GM LTG Turbo 4

    Hi all, In my ongoing quest for engines for the 1947 Desoto suburban I ran across some time back the GM crate engine that is the LTG Turbo 4. It is direct injection and the like. The issue is that GM does not have a matching kit for it using an automatic. Just a stick. After some looking around again, I found a company that makes an adapter to use a GM auto with it. What I like about this is that the size of this engine is about the same as the flathead. I will be looking more into this. James http://www.chevrolet.com/performance/crate-engines/ltg-four-cylinder.html