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  1. 3 points

    Lets see pic of your trucks

    Here's my '49 B1B (with '52 doors) in the 2019 4th of July 2019 parade
  2. 2 points
    bob westphal


    A long time ago there was a fellow on the P-15 forum living in Tempe, AZ who owned a '46 Plymouth sedan woody. Does any one remember him? The reason I ask is that his is featured in the latest Hemmings Classic Car "Lost & Found".
  3. 2 points
    Wow....that is a beauty!
  4. 2 points
    I wonder if your voltage regulator didn’t disconnect causing power to back feed the armature. This would turn the generator into a motor. Since it couldn’t spin it is a stalled motor which can overheat the brushes and coils. It finally heated up enough to start smoking. Disconnecting the battery removed the current flow, but it would take a few minutes to cool back down enough for the smoke to stop. That’s my theory anyway... It probably wouldn’t hurt to have the generator and regulator checked by a professional.
  5. 1 point
    2019 was a very challenging year, in many ways. One of the most exasperating issues I had to deal with was the brakes on the QuadCab. A random ABS warning light was first noticed while borrowing this truck for a few weeks in 2015, but once I started driving the truck regularly in late 2018, the ABS light became more frequent and longer lasting. The truck passed the annual safety inspection in February as the ABS light did not come on during road testing, but by late March, the ABS light became a daily occurrence. It was about this time that a heavy trailer was pulled that required setting the trailer brake controller, and while pulling this trailer through stop-n-go traffic, a delayed release in trailer brakes was felt in the truck and observed on the controller. In April, the original master cylinder began leaking internally, and its defective replacement started an almost weekly trip to local parts stores, dealing with even more defective remanufactured parts. Replacement Remanufactured Component Defects Observed Master Cylinder: Original unit began leaking internally at 200k. OR replacement unit had a spongy pedal that could not be corrected after 20 bleeding attempts over 4 weeks and was replaced under warranty. HydroBoost: Original unit began leaking PS fluid into cab at 170k; OR replacement worked up to about 200k. OR units 2-6 would fail pressure test after bleeding, causing brake pedal to not spring back after being released. AA replacement delivered was wrong application; followup delivered replacement had Schrader valve installed to psi canister and was returned. AZ unit lasted for 4 months with gradually degrading performance until ultimately failing by not releasing brakes after hard braking, hissing loudly under dash, then releasing brakes. Pedal return travel would take 3-10 seconds; ABS warning light would illuminate. NAPA replacement worked immediately, and in sub-freezing weather. Steering Gearboxes: Original unit began having choppy operation around 204k. AA replacement had a mounting lug that stripped on final torque. Replacement unit delivered had damaged input shaft and was returned. Followup replacement unit delivered had damaged output shaft seal and was returned. Second followup replacement unit delivered had slightly damaged output shaft that was corrected with careful filing. Front Calipers: Original RF caliper not retracting fully, LF dragging at 206k. AA replacement units had loose bushings; NAPA LF replacement worked; RF replacement leaked at bleeder screw and was replaced under warranty. Rear Calipers: Original calipers dragging at 206k. AA (2), OR (2) & AZ (4) replacement units had very loose bushings; AA RR casting cracked at bleeder screw; OR RR casting leaked at hose; NAPA RR replacement leaked at bleeder screw and was replaced under warranty. Remanufactured Caliper Failure Summary The BR-series 2500 HD brake calipers are a floating caliper design, with bushings bolted to the caliper adapter that is bolted to the spindles up front and Dana 80 axle in the rear. The caliper has a rubber boot that encapsulates the bushing, requiring a rubber-compatible lubricant to be applied inside the boot and onto the bushing mounting bolts. This style of 4-wheel disc brake system was used from late 1998 through early 2004; subsequent brake systems grew in size to match growing rim sizes. Earlier disc/drum combination systems used similar components, but certain components (such as hydroboost, prop.valve, and ABS HCU) are not really compatible. Remanufactured calipers varied in quality, with evidence of pitting and scarring on pistons. Advance Auto and O’Reilly calipers were packaged in the same box, with the only difference in labeling of Wearever and Brake Best. AutoZone calipers (with and without brackets) were packaged slightly different, but of similar quality. None of these castings had any coatings, so clean grey castings at the store quickly rusted in the humid TX air. Bushings were visibly wobbly in their bores, suggesting that the castings had too much material removed during core cleanup. This could lead to the caliper not aligning properly on the bracket, causing a ratcheting action during brake release. Similarly, excessive boring could be causing pistons to wedge themselves in their bores during brake release. This was somewhat confirmed during caliper removal after road testing, when pistons were difficult to compress in their bores, then suddenly compressed smoothly. The cumulative effect was rear brakes that would not release after braking downhill in reverse without having to throttle-rock the truck. Also, an ABS warning light would illuminate when one of the sticking pistons would fully release at random times (sometimes while flying down the highway), causing a pressure spike at the ABS pressure sensor in the proportioning valve. By contrast, NAPA bracketed calipers had much cleaner, blemish-free pistons, and the bushings moved smoothly in their bores with practically no play observed. Castings had been painted black, so they would not rust right away like the unpainted Advance Auto, O’Reilly and AutoZone units. Cost was about 10% more than the competitors’ defective units that were all returned under warranty. NAPA calipers were not perfect, however, as a RF and a RR caliper were found to be seeping at the bleeder screws. Replacement units ordered seemed to be working as required. The irony here is that all units were found to be remanufactured by Cardone. The NAPA units had documentation from Cardone, whereas the associates at the other stores said that the units were rebuilt by Cardone and information on the internet seemed to confirm this. I did not attempt to measure any IDs or ODs as I had no specifications to measure against and I was trying to make repairs quickly as this was the only vehicle I had available for 2019. With the exception of the 4 caliper castings that leaked, all calipers worked well during brake application but not during brake release. Since the brakes need to be cycled rapidly for the ABS to work, the poor brake release would register as a pressure fluctuation outside of accepted parameters and set a fault code in the ABS module, which would cause the random ABS warning light. This failure mode is not directly outlined in the factory shop manual, but several symptoms of poor brake release are outlined as failure modes of other components, such as the ABS wheel sensors, the HydroBoost assembly, brake hoses, even the power steering pump and hoses. Root Cause Analysis This truck was driven and maintained regularly for its first 150k miles, then effectively parked in a barn for 10 years, driven occasionally to perform short-trip chores. Even though the brake system still functioned as needed, the gradual performance degradation went unnoticed as the truck was driven so infrequently and still passed annual safety inspections. But the random ABS warning light that started in 2015 became a daily occurrence as the truck began being driven daily in 2019. Each month, a new symptom would crop up, and consulting the FSM would yield a different repair for each symptom. As more original components had been replaced, I noticed a paragraph in the FSM that covered quality of brake fluid in the ABS. Aging brake fluid begins to break down rubber components in the ABS, turning the brake fluid practically black as the rubber debris saturates the fluid. This causes brake hoses to weaken and seals to break down. The FSM recommends replacement of ALL components that have any rubber when the system becomes contaminated, which is everything in the brake system except the hard lines and ABS control module. Reviewing this truck’s service records, the brake fluid had not been flushed in over 10 years, so that old dark brake fluid finally caused the whole brake system to bite the dust. Total brake overhaul time probably should take less than 40 hours, but chasing phantom symptoms and dealing with defective parts caused me to spend 155 hours overhauling the system. Countless hours of research were spent trying to solve this random ABS warning light problem by studying the FSM and doing research online, as well as all of the time spent dealing with defect returns. Back on Track After months of second-guessing and setbacks, gallons of brake fluid and power steering fluid (bought 32 ounces at a time), 3 ruined tires, 3 mildly flat-spotted tires, and way too much time spent reading about similar (but not the same) problems on various Dodge Ram 2nd Gen online forums, I finally got the brakes to function as they should, without leaks and with a firm and responsive brake pedal. This work was completed during unseasonal near-80° February weather, the day before a sub-freezing cold snap blew into the area. Test driving in the cold weather showed the brake pedal returned just as fast as it did in balmy weather. I could even tap the brake pedal rapidly to make the brake lights flash to alert following drivers, something I had not been able to do for years, which I had just chalked up to “oh it’s an old truck, it just doesn’t work that way I guess”. So the next day, I headed to the inspection station and the truck passed…a HUGE relief… I learned that aging ABS components have to be kept in tip-top shape in order to work properly. Just because the brakes “work” doesn’t mean they are working as they should…hence the random ABS warning light. Flushing the brake fluid periodically is paramount; deferring this maintenance can be an expensive headache in the long run. But above all, knowing how systems work can help determine what problems need to be addressed, especially if defective replacement parts are thrown into the mix. This requires patience and perseverance, much the same as with a decades-old buggy. As I told several of the auto parts store associates, I’m accustomed to ordering stuff and waiting a few days before I can do the repair…each different associate would look at me with some surprise at my statement, apparently patience is something they don’t see much these days in our everything-is-on-my-smart-phone society. Another issue of note is brake caliper lubrication. Sil-Glyde is a silicone lubricant that is recommended for all brake components, including the rubber boots that encase the slide pin bushings. Permatex Disc Brake Lubricant specifically mentions that it is only to be used on metal-to-metal applications. Internet research found that several other disc brake lubricants that did not specify if they could be used on rubber components would actually cause rubber to swell, causing binding of the caliper on the slide pins. Oddly enough, Permatex and Raybestos training videos do not mention this issue, but Wagner does differentiate between metal-to-metal and metal-to-rubber lubricants. Following their instructions, the NAPA caliper bushings were lubricated, as well as the brackets for the spring clips, the contact points of the brake pads to the spring clips, and the brake pad back plates where they contacted the calipers. Most of these areas see very little movement, if any, but presumably the lubricant is to displace moisture to reduce metal oxidation at contact points, which degrades brake performance over time. I do not think I could have tackled this complicated brake problem on a truck that is 6 years shy from being classified as a Classic by TX DMV if I had not run into similar hard-to-diagnose problems on much older machines. As with most multi-component systems, each component has a certain operating envelope it can function within for the system to be robust. When multiple components operate outside their respective envelopes, diagnosing the problem area can be difficult as the phantom symptoms produced confuse the issue. The toughest issue to deal with was the defective remanufactured parts, as reman’d parts seemed to be the best available cost-effective means to deal with the declining brake performance. When buying these reman’d parts, the assumption is that they have been sold as meeting specifications required. Since these specifications are not available to the general public, trial-and-error was used to determine which parts were actually as advertised. And even then, it is assumed that this will be sufficient as the system is operating apparently as required, but not known entirely for sure if it is or not. So I reckon if that barn find has been parked for 10 years or 50 years, ya need to check them brakes and plan on just changing everything out, maybe even the hard lines…otherwise, you’re gonna spend a TON of time chasing down problems piecemeal and spend a fortune doing it…ain’t nobody got time for that
  6. 1 point
    I've been looking for sometime for a B Series truck in any California Auto Museum and haven't seen one yet. I know I've seen a picture of one every now and again, I believe its dark green, in some museum somewhere online. But I've decided to build a factory correct 1950 Dodge Pilot-House to either loan or donate to the museum in Sacramento. As many of you know I have several parts trucks and lots of friends to guide me through "Factory Correctness". Yes I'm taking about you guys. So I plan to begin this project at the 13th Annual Clements Tailgate BBQ. I'll roll the truck I have in mind for the build out, and put its "ugly iron arse" on display so we can all wish the B2B good luck. My love of racing has influenced my builds for many, many years. My love of history is just as long. My admiration for friends who build these trucks as close to original specs is on full display at the BBQ I throw every year. I will do my best. I look forward to a good outcome and see this as a gesture of love of all things Mopar and more specifically 1948-53 Dodge Trucks. Tim aka 48Dodger California Automobile Museum
  7. 1 point
    Yep, traces of rust left in the bore and take a look at the pitting on the intake valves. Surely had water in it at some time, for a fairly long time I'd guess. But, doesn't mean it's not a viable core, if the price right. As to the piston markings, I've seen a lot of overhauls done and done some myself where the cylinders were OK, but a piston or two had broken or worn ring lands . In my 230 that just got put back together it had 2 #3 rods on a set of .060 pistons. Old rebuild with a bad rod so they used one from another engine. Common in the rebuilder world. Just wish they had remarked it. Fortunately I have a habit of punch marking them anyway.
  8. 1 point
    Update on running hot. My 51 never ran hot, till today. In fact it ran cold, never got much above 150 degrees. I figured it was either the wrong thermostat in there, no thermostat or one that was stuck open. I was wrong. There was a thermostat in it, a Delco one rated for 180 degrees. It was installed upside down. Near as I could figure the water pressure was sufficient to unseat the valve and kept the engine running too cool. The valve was definitely seated when I pulled it. I swear the mechanic that maintained this car before me was a world class hack. Everything he touched was poorly and incorrectly done. While I had the coolant drained to change the thermostat I took advantage of it to pull the radiator so I could clean off the timing marks on the pulley and check my timing. It was too tight to do a good job otherwise. Timing was set to 30 degrees advanced, at idle speed of 550 rpm. Wow. So now I am running at about 200 degrees, on an 80 degree day. This was with a lot of low speed driving around a parking lot, teaching my son to drive. In a 51 Cambridge with no power anything, three on the tree. He did pretty well though I think I did pick out the smell of clutch.
  9. 1 point
    Vet Doc

    Progress on Ernie

    I used DupliColor engine enamel ceramic for both the primer and the final two coats. I picked the paint up from Napa and they had a variety of colors available. On the manifolds, I used a higher heat ceramic that after application I baked in the kitchen oven per specific temperatures and times. I would recommend that process for a weekend when the wife is gone. I have a couple of hours on the engine as a break-in period when it came up to heat for a period of time; it seems to be holding its color well.
  10. 1 point

    Making T-Shirts

    I bought one for the wife to use in her quilting. As far as I know it's also never been used.
  11. 1 point
    You mount looks similar to the one I made for my 40 plymouth. I had to heat the pedal arm to go past the master cylinder, maybe that and option for you too? Here's the link to my build the master cylinder upgrade is on the 1st page.
  12. 1 point

    from the driver's seat and other images

    Haven't contributed much to the forum lately so here's a few with the Plymouth from a trip I did with my youngest daughter back in September and a few with the truck from a Day in October that was much too nice to stay at work.
  13. 1 point


    I'm referring to the person who actually made the car before Charlie.
  14. 1 point

    YOM plate restoration odyssey

    Funny thing about paint, there is dry time and cure time. If you second or third coat within the dry time you will be fine. But you have to wait until after cure time- usually 48 hours if you want to add another coat. Otherwise it wrinkles. buddy just went through this on some signs. Then he read the can. had much better results.
  15. 1 point
    John Rogers

    Progress on Ernie

    The front wheel cylinders on both my B1B and my B2B rolling chassis have a copper washer between the front wheel cylinders and the threaded fitting of the rubber brake line. John
  16. 1 point

    The Windward 48 dodge survivor

    I bought another car! A 56 dodge royal lancer 4dr Hardtop. So much for more time to work on the 58. Anyway, the wife and I spent some time today cleaning the 56 up for a cruise in this evening. My son wanted to take the 48 so we took both cars. My son mentioned several times how he loves driving the 48. Starting to work on me a little.
  17. 1 point
    I think it starts with hey -
  18. 1 point

    Me and the Meadowbrook

    2-15-20: Taking off...
  19. 1 point

    Me and the Meadowbrook

    2-15-20: Cole and I ready to go. Recyclable bin next to him in the back seat.
  20. 1 point

    Me and the Meadowbrook

    2-15-20: Finally warmed up into the 30s today. The snowmobilers we're zipping by our place while Meadowbrook warmed up. Today's task: haul recyclables. 😋
  21. 1 point
    there are the 7 I never want to hear... Oh, I see you bought a Chevy
  22. 1 point

    Barn find 1953 Plymouth update

    Made some progress by installing Ford ranger rear end, drive shaft, muffler system, partial wiring, and the engine and trans.. I know the die hard Mopar guys will be upset on my engine choice but Im not building it for them.. If this offends the moderators, please remove thread.. I also have pics of the engine install and frame modifications if anyone is interested...
  23. 1 point
    ok.....sort of got it......I need practice...lol. 48D
  24. 1 point

    230 Oil Filter Lines

    If the filter is bolted to the engine then 3/16 th solid steel or copper lines are fine....if the filter is NOT bolted to the block then you must have some sort of flexible line, ie, stainless braided or rubber line between the filter and block and the oil pressure line also requires a flexible piece somewhere along its route from the block to the gauge.........I had a beehive filter with stainless braided lines.........andyd
  25. 1 point
    I have conflicted feelings about the necessity of a dual-circuit cylinder. I had a brake failure in my 1964 Beetle as a young heathen when a line turned loose and we rolled past a stop sign out into an intersection, the only thing that saved me was the lady coming from my right being alert and nearly getting stopped before caving in the passenger door. That experience has remained stuck in the recesses of my brain.... On the other hand, my dad bought a new '56 Savoy which I learned to drive nearly ten years later and was still running when we sold it after his passing in the late '70's. The odometer showed 144K+ miles even though it had quit spinning a few years previously. That Plymouth never gave us a moment's trouble with the brakes....we never even considered that it had a single-circuit cylinder. So...after being determined to install a dual-circuit cylinder in the '48 P15 when I bought it a year ago, (and an abandoned attempt to convert to a dual-circuit cylinder) I'm attaining a level of peace with the single-chamber cylinder. I've replaced the entire brake system so have confidence in the integrity of the lines and cylinders. I also have a parking brake that works pretty well after careful adjustment. I also try to drive with a similar mindset I used on motorcycles years ago.....be conservative and try to leave an 'out'. Driving any machine is a risk........even though the dual-chamber vision hasn't disappeared completely....I'm coming around to depending on components what worked quite well so many decades ago.
  26. 1 point

    Wire Gauge Over Time

    I just attended the Antique Automotive club of America annual convention and lecture series in Philadelphia this past weekend. Attend a lecture on car batteries. One of the points that this lecture pointed out is this: When jumping a battery and the hood has been opened on both vehicles you should wave your hand or used an object to make some air movement over the top of each battery to remove any sulphuric acid vapors above each battery prior to doing anything. Then connect the proper cable to the dead battery. Then go an connect the appropriate cable to the car that has the good battery and then start the jumping process. everyone should remind their wife's and children and also you about this safety factor. A lot of good information was provided about car batteries. The lecturer even stated that the biggest difference that he has found between a 3yr and a 5 year battery is the amount of space at the bottom of the plates to the case bottom. The 5 year battery has a great amount of space so the plate material can then settle to the bottom and has more distance or thickness than a 3 year guaranteed battery. Basically thy are the same but the amount of space at the bottom is the difference. Also there are only 4 major auto battery suppliers but he did not tell us those companies. Rich Hartung desoto1939@aol.com
  27. 1 point
  28. 1 point

    The Windward 48 dodge survivor

    My wife and I met in our 50s. Her father was always into old cars and was a judge at Hersey for many years. She went with him since she was about 10 years old. He had all kinds of old cars including Packards, a '38 Chrysler, Studebakers, a SAAB 3 cylinder 2 stroke (known as the "buzz bomb"). Unfortunately, he passed away just before I met my wife, so maybe I'm a replacement? She says if he had lived longer she would never see me as we'd always be in the garage working on old cars. She loves to go on old car tours when she can get away. Pete
  29. 1 point

    Interesting photos I have run across.

    As long as goats just carried rifles most likely more people would go. Free rifle, rug and meat for the table. lol
  30. 1 point

    Me and the Meadowbrook

    2-8-20: Pic 1: Leaving my brother's place under clear skies. The Meadowbrook is always fun for night cruising. Pic 2: Dropped off my daughter at her friend's house way out in the boonies on a dead end road.
  31. 1 point

    Me and the Meadowbrook

    2-8-20: Pic 1: The Elba Tower, Elba MN. Old fire tower on the National Historic sites list. If you ever want a work-out, climb up the stairs leading to it! Pic 2: Parked in front of my brother's house for a good visit. He hadn't seen the car since I had the engine rebuilt 3 years ago. We drove all over and had a blast.
  32. 1 point

    Me and the Meadowbrook

    2-8-20: Car running good. It gave my daughter and I great peace on our way to the Amish Market for lunch.
  33. 1 point

    Me and the Meadowbrook

    2-8-20: Daughter and I went out for a long cruise and a visit with my brother and his kids. It started out bad. When I flipped on the heater switch, I smelled gas. Dumped some floor dry down and pulled back into the garage. Jacked up the car. Gas was dripping out around the fuel pump. I tightened the inlet and hose clamp, and the bolts that hold the fuel pump together. Problem solved. Roads were clear. Sun was shining. Pic: Warming up before we left.
  34. 1 point
    Never underestimate the knowledge a father has and what they can accomplish.
  35. 1 point
    Get 2 bolts with the same thread as the trans mounting bolts but longer. Cut the bolt heads off and screw them into the bell housing on a diagonal (for example, top left and bottom right). Use the cut-off bolts as guide pins, slide the trans into position, and then install two original mounting bolts in open holes in the bell housing. Once they are in, remove the guide pin bolts and replace them with regular bolts.
  36. 1 point

    from the driver's seat and other images

    Out on the highway for a cruise. 2-2-2020
  37. 1 point
    Sorry for the tardy reply. The pic was taken just East of Ogden, UT on the way to Lexington, KY. The pic below was a coupla days ago with a few buds visiting from Canada. That's the Pacific at Oceanside, CA
  38. 1 point

    Northeast member check in please

    Fulton New York, sounds like fun. I haven't taken the car over a 20 mile ride yet. May not make it with the car
  39. 1 point

    dual charging setup question

    No don't know a source. But, a 12v will work fine, just be sure the lights are all off and jump direct to starter. actually it is a benefit as it will provide a hotter spark during cranking, just remember to remove quickly. been done many times. And, it is useful for all the 12v 'others' you may encounter, or the rest of your fleet.
  40. 1 point

    dual charging setup question

    Not all at once. I did swap a coil in a couple of minutes, 5 minutes to swap carbs, changed a tire in 3 minutes (use antiseize on lugbolts to make this possible) LOL I leave 10 minutes early for work just in case.
  41. 1 point

    Trouble in Paradise?

    I was able to use the original metal oil bath aire filter on my 39 Desoto and found a NAPA paper air filter that was the same size as my original oil copper mesh insert. So you only see the paper filter from the back of the air cleaner. I have kept the original copper mesh insert and put it in the oil bath airfilter when I am officially showing the car at a sanctioned event other than that I just keep the paper filter installed. Most people that come to the car shows do not even know the difference and all that the crowds of today are interested in are the high power cars of the 60 and more modern cars and all of the chrome add on ''s to the engine and chrome wheels. Even at that they do not have any knowledge of the cars and even lesser knowledge of the cars from the late 20's,30's40's 50's and possible the 60's. Most of the people that do ask any questions think it is a foreign car and do not know anything about the Desoto brand and even any knowledge that it was part of the Chrysler corporation. So I decided to make the car work for me and do what I want to do and not worry about the general publics. thoughts. They are not the ones putting out the cash to keep the car running. Rich Hartung Desoto1939@aol.com
  42. 1 point
  43. 1 point
    Pulled the pan and pulled the valve covers. Couldn't ask for better results! No sign of water damage anywhere. The best news of all is the crank does turn!! After taking the pictures I got to thinking about it and decided to try again. As I turned on the crank nut only the nut turned and then after thinking about it I suspected that I hadn't tightened the crank nut back when I was assembling the front of the engine. At the time I was really only test fitting things and then the move from Arkansas to Kentucky took place so progress stopped. So I tried turning a little harder and all of a sudden the pulley turned indicating the crank had as well. As you can see in the pictures there is an abundance of lube inside the engine that gradually moved south over the years. With luck sometime this winter I'll try and start the engine. Brad
  44. 1 point
    This might or might not help.
  45. 1 point
    Finished the exhaust this morning. Photo shows it all welded and ready for paint. Video shows it installed. Estimates for a shop to make the dual exhaust for my 47 coupe ranged from $900 to $1400. I did it for $400 and had parts left over from the bend kit that I bought. First part shows the exhaust without the splash pans. Shop said that there was no way to keep it. Second part show that I was able to do the impossible I guess. Not a very good video but can't expect much for only 18" of clearance, holding a light in one hand and the camera in the other. lol
  46. 1 point
    One of the quickest ways to get a quick health check on your electrical system is watch your ammeter! It will tell you all kinds of valuable information if you know how to read it! Most modern cars now use a voltmeter to provide limited information about your electrical system. Or even worse just a warning light to let you know your alternator has failed. Because voltmeters are now the norm the skill of interpreting the information the ammeter provides is becoming a lost art. Let’s walk through a driving sequence to understand what the ammeter will reveal about your electrical system. Entering the car your the ammeter should be reading "0", straight up. You may see a quick defection to the minus side if your have an interior light that comes on with opening the door. It's at "0" because you are not using any or generating any current (engine is not running). When you turn on the ignition you will see the needle move slightly to the minus (discharge) side indicating a discharge of a couple amps. This means your ignition system is getting power. When you hit the starter the ammeter will deflect sharply to the left (minus 20-30 amps) as the starter spins. The energy for the starter is being drawn straight from the battery. As the engine fires the ammeter will quickly move to the plus side (charging) of the gauge in the 20-30 amp range. The energy that was drawn down from the battery while starting is quickly being replaced by charging current from the generator. As you start driving the voltage regulator will manage the amount of charge needed to go back into the battery. After around five minutes of driving typically the battery will start to approaches full charge and you will see a reduction of charge rate down to 1-3 amps on the plus side. At this point the battery has fully recovered from the starter discharge and now the generator is putting out only enough current to maintain the charge. The voltage regulator manages the on-going charge rate.

 While your driving night time is coming and it is getting cooler. You turn on your headlights and start up the heater fan. Immediately you see the needle momentarily jump to the minus side, then come back to 1-3 amps on the charge side as the regulator manages the generator output to meet the increased demand. As you come to a stop sign and the engine speed drops, the ammeter will move sharply to the minus side, often 15-20 amps down. You notice the lights dim and the heater motor may slow. Right now your generator is not creating enough power to offset the increased load of the headlight and heater motor and is drawing backup power from the battery. This lack of sufficient power generation can fully discharge a battery if allowed to go for a long period. The short stop at the stoplight however, is not harmful. In fact, you can always bump the manual throttle to bring the idle up enough to stop the discharge. As soon as you accelerate from the stop the generator will again start generating sufficient current to replenish the energy pulled from the battery (expect a jump to 5-10 amps charge for a short period) before settling back to a trickle charge of a couple amps while driving.
So how can you use if for some basic troubleshooting? When you first get in and step on the break pedal, the ammeter should deflect slightly to discharge as the brake lamp lights. This lets you know the battery has some charge. No deflection? Battery is probably dead or disconnected. Also when you turn on the key if you don't see a slight discharge indication your ignition is probably not connected or functional. If when turning on the key and immediate your have a full discharge (minus 35 amps) you have a dead short that needs to be repaired. Immediately turn off the key and begin trouble shooting to find the electrical short. Otherwise you risk the very real danger of a wiring fire. Might start your troubleshooting at the headlight switch as they have historically been trouble spots due to corrosion resistance in the connectors. If you are running and suddenly see a continuous discharge usually this indicates a voltage regulator issue. Try tapping the regulator case with a screwdriver handle to see if a relay is sticking and it starts charging again. On teh other hand if you see a continuous rate of high charge (> 20 amps) that never goes down you may have a battery starting to fail (it's not taking or holding a charge) or a voltage regulator failing. Either way it's time to troubleshoot the generator and regulator charging circuit. 

By watching the action of your ammeter your can easily tell if your electrical system is functioning correctly. It will tell you if you have a short, your battery is full charged, how fast it is charging and how much current your are consuming while driving. Compared to a voltmeter which simply gives system voltage, ammeters allow you active monitor your electrical system. 

Share what on the road lessons have you learned by paying attention to your ammeter!
  47. 1 point

    1939 Plymouth Business Coupe

    On the ring gear, place a cinder block on end then lay the flywheel on top. Use a torch to heat the ring gear and when it expands it should come off easily with a couple of light raps of a mallet. Then wait until the wife is gone shopping and will be gone for a while. Wrap the flyweel in tin foil and put it in the freezer. Then put some more tin foil on the rack of your grill and fire it up with the ring gear inside. Let the flywheel freeze for about 45 min and the ring gear cook for about 20 - 30 min then back to the cinder block. Working quickly, lay the flywheel back on the cinder block, then drop the ring gear back on with the side with good teeth facing the block side of the flywheel. Because the flywheel has shrunken slightly because it was frozen and the ring gear has expanded slightly because it was cooked, the ring gear should simply fall into place. Once the temperatures have normalized the ring gear will be locked in place. At least that is the way I did mine and the wife never has to know what was in her freezer.
  48. 1 point

    52 Dodge Pilothouse

    T314 is a F or H 1-1/2 ton truck.
  49. 1 point

    Rust free 40 plymouth sedan

    More progress. My master cylinder install is now done, minus paint and plumbing. I'm pretty happy with the results. I ended up having to machine a new pin boss to weld to the brake pedal arm to get enough stroke for the ford master cylinder but the pedal ratio is still fine. More pics
  50. 1 point

    Rear transmission seal

    I do wish that people who go to all the effort to find a currently available matching part would post the Chrysler part number for the thing they are matching.... Am I correct in assuming that this Timken seal number 471827 is for the Chrysler part 600420 listed earlier in this thread? If so, I'll add it to my cross reference database. PS: That Timken number when entered into the NAPA Online advanced search gives a match CarQuest number for a manual transmission rear seal with nearly identical measurements. The NAPA number is NOS 15620 which is listed for $11.50.
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