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Jchaidez

Just bought: 1947 Dodge 4 door

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Very nice car and worth getting going.  If it were mine, I'd try to get the original engine loose before trying to find a replacement.  I've seen engines saved that were in a lot worse shape.  For me, having a classic car that's in mostly original condition is way better than one that's been heavily modified, and yours looks like all of the important stuff is there.  Whatever you decide to do, welcome to the forum! 

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8 minutes ago, hi_volt said:

Very nice car and worth getting going.  If it were mine, I'd try to get the original engine loose before trying to find a replacement.  I've seen engines saved that were in a lot worse shape.  For me, having a classic car that's in mostly original condition is way better than one that's been heavily modified, and yours looks like all of the important stuff is there.  Whatever you decide to do, welcome to the forum! 

Thanks. Yes, I am working on getting it loose. Just trying to have my options ready also 👍

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Try cleaning it up, get all the dirt and crap out. I assume they all look the same minus lizards? I do not see any tell tale signs of rust where water got in.

The photo only shows a couple cyl though. Then put a light oil in the cyl's and let them soak a bit.

 

While soaking, I would install a battery. First you need to figure out what voltage you need. Is it original 6 volt positive ground, or converted to 12 negative ground?

Then use the starter to try and bump it over , just a repetitive tap  tap  tap ... give it shock and vibration to free sticky rings from the cylinders.

The nut on the crank & breaker bar is maybe a better idea, that is one large nut. I think mine is 1,3/4" going to need access to a 3/4" drive socket set. But maybe you have that already.

 

You need to be a bit of a detective with these old cars. What I see in the photos, does not look to bad, the engine is full of coolant, must be antifreeze or would have frozen and cracked leaked out. I am just guessing that it has not been sitting for to many decades. Not long enough for it to be frozen solid.

Can you tell when the last time it was registered and on the road?

 

Valves are notorious for sticking on a flathead when parked. Always a couple valves open when the engine stops.

Then years later when you rotate the engine, the valve just stick open and the spring pressure does not pull the valve closed. You get no compression on that cylinder, but the engine still rotates. You lube up the valve stem and lifters, rotate the engine and push the stuck valves back down. Repeat until they function again.

 

These engines will run forever. They used the same design from the 30's up into the 70's. Parts are available. When they stopped using them in USA cars and trucks, they were still used in cars/trucks in other countries. Also airport tugs used them for a long time. And other industrial applications. Currently on facebook market place, I see a 1945 trailer mounted welder, powered by a Chrysler  flathead 6. Not running, but turns over and has good compression for $600.

The problem with the engines, they do not like to be ran at high rpm's. They are rated for 3600 rpm. You do not want to run it all day long at that rate. The bearings will fail at high rpm.

Get the right gear ratio, you can cruise 70 mph all day at 2k-2500 rpm and be fine, zip her up to 3k to pass a chevy, then cruise again.

3600 rpm compared to modern engines is nothing. People do not understand, or just dont care.

 

That leaves us with what kiethb7 said.

I hate to say it, if the starter does not free up that engine, I bet you will find the issue with this step.

Not the end of the world, but if it is a bad bearing, then you would probably want to pull the engine to get the crank out. You would be getting into the engine at this point.

13 hours ago, keithb7 said:

pull the oil pan and some rod and main caps to investigate the bottom end. It’s all a great learning exercise. Pull one at a time, look for rust. Wipe ‘em clean and get some white 105 engine assembly grease. Put the bearings and caps back on greased up. Maybe just hand tight the fasteners temporarily. Try hand turning the crank again.

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24 minutes ago, Los_Control said:

Try cleaning it up, get all the dirt and crap out. I assume they all look the same minus lizards? I do not see any tell tale signs of rust where water got in.

The photo only shows a couple cyl though. Then put a light oil in the cyl's and let them soak a bit.

 

While soaking, I would install a battery. First you need to figure out what voltage you need. Is it original 6 volt positive ground, or converted to 12 negative ground?

Then use the starter to try and bump it over , just a repetitive tap  tap  tap ... give it shock and vibration to free sticky rings from the cylinders.

The nut on the crank & breaker bar is maybe a better idea, that is one large nut. I think mine is 1,3/4" going to need access to a 3/4" drive socket set. But maybe you have that already.

 

You need to be a bit of a detective with these old cars. What I see in the photos, does not look to bad, the engine is full of coolant, must be antifreeze or would have frozen and cracked leaked out. I am just guessing that it has not been sitting for to many decades. Not long enough for it to be frozen solid.

Can you tell when the last time it was registered and on the road?

 

Valves are notorious for sticking on a flathead when parked. Always a couple valves open when the engine stops.

Then years later when you rotate the engine, the valve just stick open and the spring pressure does not pull the valve closed. You get no compression on that cylinder, but the engine still rotates. You lube up the valve stem and lifters, rotate the engine and push the stuck valves back down. Repeat until they function again.

 

These engines will run forever. They used the same design from the 30's up into the 70's. Parts are available. When they stopped using them in USA cars and trucks, they were still used in cars/trucks in other countries. Also airport tugs used them for a long time. And other industrial applications. Currently on facebook market place, I see a 1945 trailer mounted welder, powered by a Chrysler  flathead 6. Not running, but turns over and has good compression for $600.

The problem with the engines, they do not like to be ran at high rpm's. They are rated for 3600 rpm. You do not want to run it all day long at that rate. The bearings will fail at high rpm.

Get the right gear ratio, you can cruise 70 mph all day at 2k-2500 rpm and be fine, zip her up to 3k to pass a chevy, then cruise again.

3600 rpm compared to modern engines is nothing. People do not understand, or just dont care.

 

That leaves us with what kiethb7 said.

I hate to say it, if the starter does not free up that engine, I bet you will find the issue with this step.

Not the end of the world, but if it is a bad bearing, then you would probably want to pull the engine to get the crank out. You would be getting into the engine at this point.

Amazing feedback. Thanks. I will look at everything over the weekend. 

 

I don't know how long it sat unfortunately. But I'm sure all this info will help. 

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I have to take off all the accessories( distributor , carb linkage etc) before I can completely take off the head? I ask because I didnt want to take everything off but it's probably best to clean it up. 

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1 minute ago, Jchaidez said:

I don't know how long it sat unfortunately. But I'm sure all this info will help. 

 

You can use a 12 volt battery in it, even if it is still 6 volt. might even give you more ooomph to the starter to pop it free.

You need to figure out if the electric is original or converted to 12 volts. Pretty easy to convert, and often done over the years ... look at a tail light bulb, see if it is a 6 or 12 volt bulb.

 

I have to take off all the accessories( distributor , carb linkage etc) before I can completely take off the head? I ask because I didnt want to take everything off but it's probably best to clean it up. 

 

Just whats connected to the head, not the distributor. Oil filter, linkage yes. But you will want to be able to set the head on the work bench and clean it, and clean the block before installing a new gasket and putting back together.

You do want to rotate it and oil the valve stems while the head is off. Make sure none are stuck. Head needs to come completely off at this point.

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So much info getting thrown at you here sorry...

 

Resist the temptation to clean up the block deck with a wire wheel. Or a wire brush. The tiny wires come off. They are prone to drop down horizontally between the piston and the cylinder wall. They can get wedged in place, maybe adjacent to a piston ring. Then the destruction begins the very next time you move that piston. Then expect a dead cylinder with no compression in short time. 

 

Seek out a brass wire wheel or brush. They have soft bristles.  Put shop cloths in each cylinder when cleaning up and de-carboning the area. Get a shop vac and suck up everything really well out of every cylinder. 

 

While the head is off be very diligent about keeping the area clean deck and covered up if possible. 

 

Good luck. Report back. Thx. 

Edited by keithb7

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41 minutes ago, keithb7 said:

So much info getting thrown at you here sorry...

 

Resist the temptation to clean up the block deck with a wire wheel. Or a wire brush. The tiny wires come off. They are prone to drop down horizontally between the piston and the cylinder wall. They can get wedged in place, maybe adjacent to a piston ring. Then the destruction begins the very next time you move that piston. Then expect a dead cylinder with no compression in short time. 

 

Seek out a brass wire wheel or brush. They have soft bristles.  Put shop cloths in each cylinder when cleaning up and de-carboning the area. Get a shop vac and suck up everything really well out of every cylinder. 

 

While the head is off be very diligent about keeping the area clean deck and covered up if possible. 

 

Good luck. Report back. Thx. 

 

Good advice.  I think that's what I did to my 230.  I used a wire brush on the valves and top of block and then not much more than a few weeks later my #1 piston looked like this and went from 110lbs compression to 50lbs.

 

1 new piston 1.jpg

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1 hour ago, keithb7 said:

So much info getting thrown at you here sorry...

 

Resist the temptation to clean up the block deck with a wire wheel. Or a wire brush. The tiny wires come off. They are prone to drop down horizontally between the piston and the cylinder wall. They can get wedged in place, maybe adjacent to a piston ring. Then the destruction begins the very next time you move that piston. Then expect a dead cylinder with no compression in short time. 

 

Seek out a brass wire wheel or brush. They have soft bristles.  Put shop cloths in each cylinder when cleaning up and de-carboning the area. Get a shop vac and suck up everything really well out of every cylinder. 

 

While the head is off be very diligent about keeping the area clean deck and covered up if possible. 

 

Good luck. Report back. Thx. 

So brass wouldn't ruin everything if it accidentally stays in a port?

Edited by Jchaidez

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54 minutes ago, Dodgeb4ya said:

You don't want any wires left anywhere "in" an engine!

 

True! Brass at least, will give a little. But yes, nothing belongs in there except an aif fuel mixture!

 

Clean shop rags in the cylinders offers a better chance yet again, of protecting things. 

 

@Jchaidez. If you are new to flatheads you might get something out of my latest You Tube Mopar featured video. See here:

 

https://youtu.be/RQNszFmHJHQ

 

Edited by keithb7

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24 minutes ago, keithb7 said:

 

True! Brass at least, will give a little. But yes, nothing belongs in there except an aif fuel mixture!

 

Clean shop rags in the cylinders offers a better chance yet again, of protecting things. 

 

@Jchaidez. If you are new to flatheads you might get something out of my latest You Tube Mopar featured video. See here:

 

https://youtu.be/RQNszFmHJHQ

 

Good video. Very informative. I liked the oil part. And good tip on the water distribution tube 👍👍👍

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see why I was suggesting to use the starter?

Once you know how, you can take the 12 volt battery from your daily driver and install it here.

And you wont need the special large socket.

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Pretty sure it’s not a 100M socket. I was trying break free on old rusty engine today. My ‘38 Plymouth engine needed a 1 ⅞” socket. 

 

The 12V battery idea sounds convenient. However you get no feel. If something is hanging up you risk tearing things up. At least with a breaker bar you get some feedback. 

 

Fyi my engine today had all connecting rods removed. All pistons removed. 3 main crank caps removed. Timing chain removed. With just one main crank cap in place, it still would not bar over. I eventually took the final main cap off. Bearings were rusted to the crank. Its amazing how strong the rust is. 

 

Hopefully yours is in better shape. 

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👱‍♀️  @Jchaidez , congrats on the car!  It's an exciting, scary feeling to be embarking on a new project.   But it's an adventure that is made so much easier by this forum!  I'm just reading through your posts and I'm so impressed by how helpful everyone is here. I'm also a new '47 Dodge owner. This being my first 40s car, I have a lot of questions! I never hesitate to ask the group, because I know but even if they have different answers, everyone is helpful and respectful.

 

Personally, I try to keep cars in as close to "survivor condition" as possible. If it were me, I'd be pulling the head to take a closer look at the innards. My car sat for 30 years but now runs and moves. Still working on the stopping part LOL. Tackling the brakes next.

 

Good luck and I look forward to seeing your updates!

 

Christine

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