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LeBaron

What are period correct speed parts for late '30s engine?

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I'm refreshing the engine and drivetrain of a 1937 Dodge coupe that my Dad and I restored over 20 years ago. I bought the car from the original owner who was 92 at the time under the condition that I wouldn't turn her car into a hot rod. I went in all original and used NOS components where we could, but now 20 years on I've noticed that there are far more speed parts available for the 218 than there were back in the 90s. Dual exhaust manifolds, dual carb set-ups, and high compression heads. I'd still like to keep the engine "original-ish" but would like to know if any of you could tell me what might be period correct for the car. If I could go back to the late 30s and early 40s and pop the hood on the Mopar hot rod of the day, what would I see in the engine bay? And don't tell me a Ford V8! Ha!

I'm also thinking about milling the head to boost compression so I can take advantage of the advances in gasoline octane from the past 80 years. 

Appreciate the advice!

 

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this was the exact "look" i was after when I bought my p15 sedan. I wanted it to appear stock, but have a few extra things that a highschooler would have done to the car that his dad gave him. So I went with the Offenhauser dual intake, and headers.  Installed finned covers on the galleys, but they really cant be seen from most angles. Last thing I did was the OD which I rebuilt end to end and swapped myself.  It's a sedan so alot of people walk right by it, but anyone that's an in-liner fan usually asks whats under the hood, which leads to some decent conversation. Some day I will tear down the engine and rebuild it, when that happens I will shave the head and swap out the cam for something with some pop, but for now the mods i did are perfect for a "highschool" driver, that graduated 33 years ago. :)

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It would really depend on whether you want it to look like an "hopped up" engine in the late 30's or the same car & engine in the late 40's/early 50's............from what I've garnered via various books(I'm not THAT old enough to have been there, lol) there may have been a twin or possibily a triple intake to suit the mopar 6 prior to WW2 but doubtful whether any finned alloy head, it seems that milling the stock head to increase the compression would have been the go, there may have also been an upgrade to the ignition via a twin point conversion or if a high dollar build maybe a Scintilla magneto conversion, but generally for a pre war build I'd say milled head & twin carbs..............BUT post WW2 into the early 50's there were quite a few twin/triple carb intakes, finned alloy High Compression Heads, Fenton and Edmunds are two that I've seen listed, also twin point ignition upgrades and magneto conversions, also Fenton at least had twin Outlet Exhaust headers that would have been available from maybe the late 40's, certainly by the early 50's..........I have various early 50's hot rod books and also the Rodders Journal reprinted catalog Set which has a number of 40's & 50's catalogs showing the mopar heads,intake, ignition  & header bits............also a finned Beehive Oil Filter would be a nice addition & is still available................heres a pic of an engine I was building(Edgy Finned head,finned valve covers, Offy intake, Split cast iron exhaust manifolds)  plus a pic of the engine bay(HEI Dissy and Beehive Filter) it was going to live in.............. anyway welcome aboard the forum, regards from Oz..Andy Douglas          

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Thanks everyone. Thanks Andydodge, that's the kind of info I was wanting.  Figured if I was going to soup up the engine I wanted to do it the way it would have been done before WW2. So no finned aluminum heads then...that will save me some cash! I happened to find on eBay today a guy selling an Edmunds dual carb intake he says is from the 1930's. I don't want to pay the price he's asking -at least not yet, but all this helps me know what parts were available back then and what wasn't. 

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Lebaron..........I wouldn't bet the house on it, it may have been that there were twin carb intakes before WW2 but I would think that they would have been very uncommon and I haven't seen any indication that they existed, however Tim Kingsbury would be the best person to confirm this...........from what I have read, etc the main hop up effort went into Ford engines as they were the cheapest and had the widest use........but from what I've read all the popular makes had various speed equipment developed ranging from just a bigger carby & exhaust pipe thru to Double Overhead Cam heads such as those developed by Frontenac, Miller and the like..........if ever you get the chance have a read of Robert Genats "The Birth Of Hot Rodding" , Mark L Dees "The Miller Dynasty" or any of the Don Montgomery Hot Rodding titles............all are fantastic reads and worthwhile additions to any library..............regards, andyd    

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On 1/4/2018 at 4:16 PM, LeBaron said:

I'm refreshing the engine and drivetrain of a 1937 Dodge coupe that my Dad and I restored over 20 years ago. I bought the car from the original owner who was 92 at the time under the condition that I wouldn't turn her car into a hot rod. I went in all original and used NOS components where we could, but now 20 years on I've noticed that there are far more speed parts available for the 218 than there were back in the 90s. Dual exhaust manifolds, dual carb set-ups, and high compression heads. I'd still like to keep the engine "original-ish" but would like to know if any of you could tell me what might be period correct for the car. If I could go back to the late 30s and early 40s and pop the hood on the Mopar hot rod of the day, what would I see in the engine bay? And don't tell me a Ford V8! Ha!

I'm also thinking about milling the head to boost compression so I can take advantage of the advances in gasoline octane from the past 80 years. 

Appreciate the advice!

 

I agree with the others.   Tim Kingsbury   has a blog on the site.  Its definitely not V8  or Ford or Chevy  focused 

Im a big fan of the split exhaust like AndyDodge has verses the Fentons.   Just as good with better outlet locations.   If you can find the 1937-1938  r6 overdrive that is a big help to make it highway ready.  Tim has a great blog entry on identifying period overdrives.  As long as your bottom end (bearings) are in good  shape you can easily shave your head to give you all the compression you will need.  Thats definitely a period performance trick.  Split the exhaust, get an Edmunds or AoK dual intake and without getting too deep into the engine you will wake the old girl up and be in keeping with the original owners wishes.   While I am not traditionally a bumper sticker guy it was with great pride that I applied this beauty I got from George Asche and Tim Kingsbury when I visited to pick up my intake, carb and linkage setup.

 

surgeon general bumper sticker.png

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On 1/4/2018 at 9:24 PM, LeBaron said:

Thanks everyone. Thanks Andydodge, that's the kind of info I was wanting.  Figured if I was going to soup up the engine I wanted to do it the way it would have been done before WW2. So no finned aluminum heads then...that will save me some cash! I happened to find on eBay today a guy selling an Edmunds dual carb intake he says is from the 1930's. I don't want to pay the price he's asking -at least not yet, but all this helps me know what parts were available back then and what wasn't. 

The problem here is that none of this stuff ever gets any cheaper. I am building an Olds Rocket for another project. To use one, you need a special lower housing that moves the starter from the left side of the engine to the right. Over the last couple of years, I passed on two that were "too expensive" and I'm still kicking myself. Unless the price is way out of line, I would suggest you grab something if you  want it. The nice thing about eBay is that you can search the actual "Sold" listings and determine what a reasonable price is.

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For info on speed equipment from the '30's checkout this site. http://www.hotrod.com/articles/1048srp-ford-flathead-intake-manifold-collection/

 

Vintage equipment for Mopar engines is really hard to find but it is still out there.  Edmunds was one of the manufactures of Mopar speed equipment. He started in the mid '30's making stuff for Ford flaties. I believe it was the '40's when he made high comp heads, dual intakes using Stromberg carb patterns and headers. The last Edmunds head I saw for sale went for $800. The manifold with Stromberg 97's was about the same.  Good luck in finding this stuff.

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Lebaron...........we have a WINNER!!!...........lol...........was just rereading my Rodders Journal "Throttle, January-December 1941, The Complete Collection" published in 2009 which is a reprint of the 12 issues of Throttle magazine that were published in 1941.............issue # 1, page 7 has an advert from Thickstun Manifolds that mentions............dah!,dah!..........Ford, Mercury, DODGE, PLYMOUTH, Chevrolet, Zephyr............although it only has a pic of a dual or twin carb intake for the Ford V8 it DOES mention Dodge & Plymouth..........so YES, it would be fair to assume that the 23" Mopar six did indeed get a twin carb intake before WW2, this is in the january 1941 or 1st issue of Throttle.................I knew I'd seen something mentioned somewhere.............lol..............regards, Andy Douglas    

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On 1/15/2018 at 11:03 PM, Andydodge said:

Lebaron...........we have a WINNER!!!...........lol...........was just rereading my Rodders Journal "Throttle, January-December 1941, The Complete Collection" published in 2009 which is a reprint of the 12 issues of Throttle magazine that were published in 1941.............issue # 1, page 7 has an advert from Thickstun Manifolds that mentions............dah!,dah!..........Ford, Mercury, DODGE, PLYMOUTH, Chevrolet, Zephyr............although it only has a pic of a dual or twin carb intake for the Ford V8 it DOES mention Dodge & Plymouth..........so YES, it would be fair to assume that the 23" Mopar six did indeed get a twin carb intake before WW2, this is in the january 1941 or 1st issue of Throttle.................I knew I'd seen something mentioned somewhere.............lol..............regards, Andy Douglas    

Fantastic! Thanks for the information. This has made my late night eBay searches more enjoyable. 

Now I guess the question becomes, what kind of carbs do I track down for my dual carb set up? Carter? Stromberg? I'll do some searching since I'm guessing this has probably been throughly discussed in a separate thread. Thanks everyone!

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Until and unless you can find a pic of a Thickstun twin carb Dodge/Plymouth intake it would be anyones guess whether the manifold was to fit the single barrel Mopar carb or more likely the twin barrell Stromberg 48/94/97 which would have been the hop up carby of choice due to its availability..........but this is only a guess.........the still available Offy twin intake is to suit the Mopar carbys and to be honest thats what I'd be using unless late 30's originality is 100% important............andyd  

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