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About Loren

  • Rank
    Senior Member, have way too much spare time on my hands

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  • My Project Cars
    1952 Plymouth Suburban


  • Location
    Dayton, NV
  • Interests
    Antique Cars & Motorcycles

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  1. Innovation is the hallmark of the automobile. Mechanically almost everything that could be tried was tired by 1905. Such as turbocharging which was patented in Switzerland in 1905. Where automotive engineering really took off is electronics. Electronics are the cheapest solution to the thorniest modern problems of emissions, power and economy. Those three issues work against each other in nearly every case. Emission controls of the 1970s used more fuel and caused power to suffer. Power concerns use more fuel and cause terrific emissions. One Mercedes Grand Prix car measured fuel consumption in Gallons per Mile rather than Miles per Gallon! Economy causes power to suffer and also emissions. Then there are the drivability issues. For collector cars I would think that is the number one issue. You don't care about economy and you certainly don't care about emissions. Drivability concerns include power. You'll want to keep up with traffic. Fuel injected engines can be the best starting of all. They have the ability to squirt fuel under high pressure into the cylinder in a way that no carburetor can. Ironically it has been found that Carburetors can produce more power and better fuel economy under certain circumstances. Why? Because in a gasoline engine air and how much of it you can get into the cylinder determines power. Fuel injectors are very efficient at atomizing fuel, carburetors are notoriously bad. Fuel enters the cylinder in clumps rather than fully atomized with a carburetor. Those clumps do not displace air like atomized fuel. More air, more oxygen to burn what fuel there is thus more power. So what we are looking at is compromise. An automobile is a collection of compromises to achieve an engineering goal. We love our old cars because we see the value of the choices engineers made years ago. We put up with some deficiencies to experience what we liked about them. There is no perfect car. There is only that which satisfies the driver/owner/builder. I am very interested in James' project. A modernized flathead 6 is an engineering exercise I find fascinating. Personally I am going a different direction. Mine is more of a snap shot of what could have been done in the car's era (if you can forgive the HEI ignition. I figure points one day will be impossible to find) I am not a purist but I do like the idea of a hot rodded car with the best that was done in it's era. It just adds a little fun to the equation. There's all sorts of different types and levels of sophistication with fuel injection. Every generation has it's virtues. The aftermarket is pealing away some of the compromises made for modern cars and getting back to basics. The injection system that I had the most experience (and thus success) is now considered hopelessly obsolete (no longer supported with replacement parts) but it sure worked good and was easy to diagnose and fix. That's a problem (or will be). A flathead committed to being modern will have to be continually modernized. Might be fun to put the two approaches side by each from time to time just to see how they fare.
  2. Off topic or not a 55 is beautiful car. My mother had a red and black two door hardtop I thought was pretty snazzy even then. When you go back and look at the cars of 1955, it was pretty special. Most Ford and Chevy offerings were kind of dead dull. Mom's Plymouth was exciting by comparison. The little V8 did its job with perfection. The only trouble she had with the car was the Power Flite transmission. Automatics were a new thing then and most mechanics had a real hard learning curve with them. Translation: some couldn't fix them when something went wrong. Mostly it was about a clean work environment. The 55 went away when a cousin begged a new Mustang from our Auntie. To make up for that, the Auntie bought my Mom a new 66 Fury lll. It was a nice very modern car but it was all white (like thousands of others) and not nearly as flashy as the 55. The Auntie truly enjoyed picking it out for my Mom and delivering it to her. It seems she knew she had cancer and wanted to do nice things for her loved ones while she could. Ironically the 66 was traded for a new 74 Mustang ll (another dead dull car which barely had enough power even for a V6) which was not nearly as nice as the now 8 year old Plymouth (which had nothing wrong with it, ever). I suppose I am venting, apologies.
  3. The air cleaner is a Summit Racing house brand item. All cast aluminum it weights a ton. The makers give you two choices of 4 barrel sized bottom plates. Those were so thin and tinny I made my own out of 1/8" aluminum sheet. The manifold is a reproduction Thickstun for a 216 Chevy. I have no idea if such a design works any better than just a plain log manifold, but it sure looks wild. The holes at the front and rear port are thru holes. Reminds me of the old "Ski-ball" games at the beach amusement park back in the 1950s. I have to turn then mill some billets for the port runners, then weld them on the manifold. The outer ports are 1/4" closer together than the Chevy. This gives me the chance to line everything up and put the right flanges on the runners. For the photo the manifold is held in place by two big washers on the center port. I am not too keen on the Edgy head. You can see two deep voids in the casting thru the thermostat hole (with no idea of what you can't see). If I decide to use it, I am going to take the assembled engine back to the machine shop and have them run a ceramic coating thru the water jacket. As a backup I have two iron heads.
  4. I ran into a problem with the photos. Taken with an iPhone they were supposed to update to the cloud, which means all of my devices should have had them. Apple doesn't tell you but sometimes it's painfully slow. So let's try it again. B7B9F865-0A2A-44FA-98AC-6A1AAD356B17.heic 836F9A35-E10A-4ECC-A987-E5E53AEFDD79.heic
  5. E0DFD021-5299-4784-981E-3D46CC57D242.heic
  6. Covid 19 promises to slow my project. So...I thought I'd do a mock up just to keep the juices flowing and work out some issues.
  7. One thing I've used on rusty chrome pieces is a SOS pad. Sounds crazy but I've cleaned up parts I thought were kind of hopeless. The combination of high quality 00 steel wool and the soap they put in them really take the rust off and shine the chrome. On pot metal they will remove a lot of tarnish and smooth the surface making it seem a whole lot brighter. Worth a try for a driver and it's a cheap fix.
  8. I am a believer in the "Tapping" method of removing stuck threaded fasteners. The first time I saw it done was a way back in 1975. I worked at a German Car shop and the boss was removing an aluminum wheel from a Porsche that had alloy lug nuts. The hex broke off and there was nothing to get a purchase on but the tapered part remained on the lug stud locking the wheel on the car. He very calmly got out a hammer and chisel and tapped at it along the edge til it spun off. There were no marks on the wheel and all the alloy lug nuts were changed to steel. Since then every time I encounter taper headed screws (such as you find holding generator field coils) I take a hammer and chisel to them and replace them with new fasteners. It's just too frustrating to fight them with regular tools. Some times you get lock rings with detents which don't respond well to tapping. Those kind need a downward push and a twist to remove and replace. Notice the big handle on the one tools seen above. A shop manual picture of the factory tool will tell you what kind of lock ring you're dealing with.
  9. PB Blaster is my "go to" for loosening things. Walmart has it along with the usual auto parts stores. If it were me (and it might be soon) I'd make a tool. A piece of pipe notched with a file to engage the retaining ring would duplicate the factory tool. If you want to get all Guru about it you could weld on a small plate with a hole in the center you could file square for a 1/2" ratchet. I have a cheap set of Oil Filter cap wrenches that don't seem to fit any oil filters I have, that could be sacrificed for that tool as well. Better to engage every tab on the retaining ring evenly to save it. As Sniper says tapping with a brass drift (or a chisel when there's no fuel involved) really works well. The tapping replicates the action that makes an impact wrench work so effectively.
  10. I love the DeSoto/Chrysler 25" engine. Consider changing the cam bearings and using the small oil hole (there's two sizes to choose from in the bearings) If you've got it that far apart you might look for a 251 or 265 Crank and rod set. (the pistons remain the same for 237-251-265) I have a new Flywheel on order from Vintage Power wagons which uses a 10" clutch and they are cheap. They also have a Stainless Steel Water Distribution Tube.
  11. An update. Received the last 25" Edgy head for sale. I convinced myself I wasn't going to buy a replacement aluminum head but then I suckered up when I saw there would be no more of them. Have ARP studs for the mains and the cylinder head on order. $230 (thanks to James Douglas for the part numbers) Put in a good order with Vintage Power Wagons for bits and pieces I didn't have. One item that caught my eye was a Stainless Steel Water Distribution Tube. The machine shop is toiling away on the engine and could be finished soon. Rockauto has the reverse gear oil pump I needed for the gear drive cam (turns backwards to a chain driven cam) that's on it's way. When you look at their online catalog be sure to check every year of every model a part fit on. Somehow their application lists are incomplete. I bought a Thickstun Chevy 216 Intake Manifold (reproduction). The ports are the same size but the out board ones are 1/4" out of place. The idea was to make flanges with short tubes then weld them to the manifold. I am using 4" diameter stock 3" long for the outer ends and 4" x 2" for the inner port. This part of the project involves moving a TIG welder from my old shop to my house. Took some cleaning to make the space, so it's all good.
  12. Loren

    head studs

    Thanks to James Douglas for the part numbers! I ordered the above for my 265 today. I got somebody at ARP on the phone who acted like I was taking up his important time. He was very direct (which is to say short) but we got it done! He wanted to direct me to a distributer but I told him they only wanted to sell kits, then without a pause went right into my order. $230.
  13. I’ve actually considered changing the steering column in my 52 Suburban to get a cleaner signal direction switch and a way to install Cruise Control. There are numerous steering column combinations available, most with automatic shifters and tilt wheel options. I believe you can do the same thing with “Bone Yard” parts. I melded the column from a Ross manual steering gear with manual transmission shifter to a Saginaw Gear Power Steering and all I had to do was cut the original to length and add the “Rag Joint”. A ground wire was added later when the horn and turn signals required it. Once you’ve had one of the General’s steering columns apart it’s not a frightening experience. If I did it I’d use the original wheel and steering shaft then the upper GM column should be a slip fit (as in held by a factory clamp). At most you might need to make a bushing. Just pick a simple column with a turn signal switch that is real common.
  14. In 1964 SAAB replaced their single circuit system with what they called "Dual Diagonal" brakes. It used one front wheel and the opposite side rear wheel on the same circuit. Back then they had drum brakes on all four wheels. The fronts had two cylinders like a MoPar and the rears one. When SAAB went to disc brakes on the front they continued to use the same Master Cylinder. Their thinking was 80% of the stopping power was on the front and if you divided the system front and rear you might find yourself with only 20%. The diagonal system gave you 50% regardless of which circuit failed. The SAAB system was in response to a proposed government mandate and it was pretty well thought out. As a mechanic I've encountered many failed master cylinders. Both circuits exist in the same cylinder bore. One circuit is acted on by the pedal and it slides in that bore hydraulically pressing on the other circuit. Because fluid can not be compressed there is no "slop" between the circuits and action is as if there were only one circuit. The only connection between the pedal and the second circuit is hydraulic. Should there be a loss of fluid in one of the circuits, then and only then is there physical contact either between the first circuit and the second or the second circuit and the end of the cylinder. Thus a driver would feel the pedal drop half way to the floor on stopping. That's if everything goes right. On the early SAAB 900 models there were vents in the hood on both sides. On the driver side they put a plate under the vent to direct water away from the Master Cylinder. The passenger side had the HVAC intake there so there was a purpose for the vent. SAAB sold cars in England so they made right hand drive cars too and the design meant they only needed to make one hood. The problem was that when a car was involved in a wreck and the hood replaced, the body shops rarely moved the plate to the new hood. Water entered the reservoir of the master cylinder and over time rusted the bottom of the cylinder bore causing BOTH circuits to become inoperative. This lead to a recall which included an inspection to make sure the plate was installed and a plastic cover over the master cylinder. Later production cars only had the HVAC side vents and two different hoods had to be made. So if you ever wanted to know if a dual circuit system can fail on both circuits, here is an example of such a failure.
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