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Loren

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About Loren

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

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  • My Project Cars
    1952 Plymouth Suburban

Converted

  • Location
    Dayton, NV
  • Interests
    Antique Cars & Motorcycles

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  1. I bought one too. I am still waiting for the new engine to come back from the machine shop to install it. One of the neat things you can add to it is a Multiple Spark unit. These (such as MSD brand or the Summit house brand) really get the fires burning. They cutoff and become single spark at 3,000 rpm which means on a flathead they are multi spark most of the time. The spark gap can be opened up to .060 which requires a pretty hot spark to jump. Langdon sells you Champion plugs but I'd rather have NGK or Autolite. There's a place for your Tach signal too. Every once in a while the General makes something worthwhile and HEI is one of them.
  2. Tapers can really hold things together...except when they don't. Driving around (slowly) with the axle nut loose will certainly work (don't ask me how I know). If you do get a good puller (and the eBay one qualifies) turn the axle nut around and screw it back on even with the end. The idea being that it gives the thread a little support and the end is less likely to mushroom, which could mess up your whole day. The bar that fits on the end of the puller is where you tap it with a really big hammer (do not use a little one. It has to be heavy) It has two effects, first it tightens the screw next a side tap tends to break loose a taper. You can tap the end of the screw as well. You might need all these tricks to get them off but they do come off, eventually.
  3. As I recall the Suburban had 18 inch wheels and a truck 4 speed (for the granny low gear). There was a video showing a 1940 Plymouth 4 door on a roadless trek thru Mexico and Central America with the same 18 inch wheels. That Suburban (in Colorado as I remember) looked like a very desirable variant. It even had a provision for mounting the spare in a vertical position because the 18 inch wheel and tire wouldn't fit in the floor well. I am thinking the 20 inch wheels were for trucks as the 18s really filled the wheel wells. They might have had an application for utilities on trucks used to check remote power lines. The price is way too high for something you might never be able to use. A set of 18s would still be too high even though you know they work. Speaking of roadless treks, I heard a story about the French in the 1920s going across the Himalayas (or some such place) in Citroen vehicles. At one point the lack of a road forced them to dismantle the vehicles and carry the parts (with the aid of local porters) around an impassible obstacle and then re-assemble them on the other side to continue!
  4. One of those "a friend of a friend of mine" stories: When GM decided to stop making 6.2 Diesel engines the government contracted with Navastar (Formerly International) to produce them. This factoid came from the engine builder for Rod Hall, when he was racing Hummers. And of course we know about the DeVal Chrysler engines, so this is not uncommon. The tire industry is famous for "Sublet Production" of tires. I don't know how they get away with it but they used to swap capacity all the time.
  5. No I did not. I know Chrysler bought Simca (which Ford had owned at one time) which made the Vidette which had the Ford "60" V8 in it. The French Military used Flathead V8s (59 AB) and had blocks made for years after Ford stopped. Simca sent the tooling for the Vidette to Brazil where they converted them to Hemi overhead valves like a mini Ardun. That didn't last very long in production. I know a guy who imported a set or two but he tried to put them on Ford "60" V8 blocks and had nothing but trouble. I heard it run and it sounded real good, until a mismatch of oil passages filled the water jacket with lube oil. If Chrysler made Flathead V8 blocks, I hope they did a better job than Ford did. These things really awful! I can only say that now because my Dad and his Hot Rod buddies are all dead. I would have caught hell if I said that within their earshot!
  6. I admit I've been a hoarder but I am trying to reform. If you just can't find a way to part with stuff, re-purpose it. Scrap prices are so low right now it's awful, so recycling is not justified. Re-purposing however makes good sense. Here's my solution for the pallet load of old Flathead Ford V8 cylinder heads I've accumulated. I used them as pavers, saving a ton of money! Oh and a couple of V8 blocks too cracked to use? They became a nice bench! Too damn heavy to move very far. lol No Mopars were injured in the making of this yard art.
  7. Noise from the rear? While it's hard to diagnose from afar, the change in note acceleration vs deceleration indicates a ring & pinion issue. The first thing to do is drop the driveshaft and check the pinion nut. If it's loose the pinion will shift back and forth causing the noise. A pinion bearing can be the cause of the noise (or the result of a loose pinion nut) as well. A wheel bearing does not change note on acceleration/deceleration, they just make a grinding noise that increases with speed. The difference being the pitch of the noise (pinion) vs the loudness (wheel bearing). Hope this helps. Mopar rear ends have an excellent design (for their time) so you might find a good used one. I would replace the center section (sometimes called a pumpkin) rather than the whole rear end. Go to NAPA for the pinion seal as the later seals are much easier to replace and do it on the bench. A nice afternoon job.
  8. A good cooling system flush is a place to start. You'd be shocked at how much muck can accumulate in there. One thing I used to do in front of a customer was to take a volt meter and put one probe on the neck and the other in the coolant with the engine running. I've seen as high as 12 volts generated by the motion of the coolant and the chemistry of the corrosion! Try it. Then think about how the iron (the brown stuff) gets in the coolant...it's dissolving the engine block. Flushing the radiator and heater core go a long way to fixing the problem. The honey comb cores of the original radiators are very long lived and if clean work well. I'd try my best to keep it or find another to replace a finned one. Mopar engines also have a water distribution tube in the block. Its purpose is to even out the temperatures in the engine and it does a fine job of it as long as it is not plugged or corroded. If you ever have the head off, you will see how much more distance there is between the valves and the cylinder bore on a Mopar vs other flatheads. That space accommodates the water distribution tube. Its good design which promotes a long lived engine. Then there are the usual suspects, thermostats that stick, hoses that delaminate inside and block coolant flow, slipping belts and fan blades (for many reasons). Ignition timing can be too retarded and cause idle temps to go up as well. In the 1970s one of the easy smog fixes the car makers used was to retard the ignition. They did it so much that the car would overheat at idle on hot days. They prevented that by putting a thermostatic vacuum valve in line with the vacuum advance. When it got too hot it opened and the engine got a few degrees of advance from the distributor vacuum chamber thus reducing the coolant temp. The mechanics took about a nano second to figure out that setting the timing to the old spec and moving the vacuum line to the old place on the carburetor would yield the old performance and fuel economy. Just a few of my thoughts on the matter.
  9. Rusty and stuck are relative terms. I had a Ford V8 I was going to take apart. After three days of drenching in lots of good stuff and pounding I got out the cutting torch. Eventually I concluded the only thing I could reuse was the block...as one leg for a park bench. I had a pallet of Ford cylinder heads which became stepping stones in my garden. Then I got smart and started working on my Chrysler IND 33 265cid, with a much happier out come. Fords up to the flathead were the Chevy small blocks of their era. Certainly there were/are better engines, just not as cheap and plentiful.
  10. Yes you CAN do just about anything. The question always is SHOULD you do it? The answer is not in my car.
  11. My experience is with the B-W R 10 Overdrive from the 1950s & 60s. The cable is used to block out the Overdrive from engaging. It should only be moved while the car is stationary. And the only reason for its existence is the freewheel sprag clutch in the Overdrive. Without locking the Overdrive in direct drive (pulling the cable) parking the car in gear does not prevent it from rolling. Best to use the parking brake when you have an Overdrive. Next one of my pet peeves is not using the Overdrive wiring as designed. The Throttle Switch and Relay are vital to keeping your (now days) very expensive Overdrive in good shape. The governor is wired to signal the solenoid to shift the Overdrive (both up and down) the relay connects not only the throttle switch (for kick down) but (and this is the important part) the ignition coil to momentarily interrupt it thus releasing torque on the driveline. The interruption is so slight that the driver never notices it, but the Overdrive does and that keeps it happy. The Laycock de Normanville Overdrives on foreign cars had a switch which engaged it but no ignition interruption feature. So you had to use the clutch or endure one hell of a clunk with the attendant mechanical anguish. They were not "automatic" like the B-W. When wired and used as designed the B-W R 10 is a real joy to drive. First gear in a three speed is just to get you moving, second was intended for town driving 25-30 mph. High gear was for the open road around 55 mph. Final drive gear ratios were chosen based on this type of operation. When the Interstate Highway System was being built during the Eisenhower Administration the days of the 3 speed transmission and 4.11 gears were numbered. To reduce engine speeds and still provide good performance meant either a 4 speed with a lower numerical final drive ratio or an Automatic Overdrive. 4 speed transmissions were more commonly seen in trucks and they had a reputation for being awful. It was thought drivers would not buy them. An Automatic Overdrive didn't require shifting one more time and the same final drive ratio could be used. In a 3 speed or a 4 speed of the time high gear was direct drive. An overdrive top gear had to wait for the 5 speed transmission. Unfortunately for us in the 21st century the Overdrive transmission is still connected to non-synchro first gear three speeds. 70 mph highway speeds are just not obtainable with 4.1 gears even with an Overdrive. So we change the final drive ratio to something like a 3.73 or even lower (with an axle swap). Now first gear becomes a lot more important because you've got a real mountain to climb. That's why the B-W T-5 has become so popular, they are cheap and readily available. However, I can't bring myself to cut a hole in the floor of my car for a shifter, so I have an Overdrive.
  12. The issues with Jack Stands are many. You have to use good sense. The Harbor Freight ones have a characteristic that in order to keep them from suddenly retracting, you have to jack the car up beyond where you want it then slide them underneath. The ratchet and pawl have to be fully seated before putting any weight on them. You just can't guarantee that if you pull them up as far as they will go while under an axle say and let gravity set the pawl. I don't trust hydraulic jacks either because they may go up fine but they tend to leak and slowly go down. So I prefer to use jack stands with a floor jack. If at all possible I leave the wheels on and put something under them that won't get crushed. The old jack stands made out of tubing leave more to be desired than the H.F. ones. They don't just retract they collapse altogether if a side load is applied. I have some fail safe jack stands made from Model T Ford rear axle housing halves. Old time mechanics used them and never had a problem! No moving parts with a nice wide base.
  13. Thanks for that page! In my project car I am putting an overdrive transmission. One of the things that caught my eye was the "Drained, Flushed and re-filled" statement. What "flushed" is usually written up as is filling with Kerosene then draining (perhaps with a trip around the block). The Overdrive has a Sprag Clutch as part of its mechanism. My experience with the SAAB freewheeling was that they (the SAAB Sprag Clutch not necessarily the B-W Overdrive sprag) would pack up with crud and slip if not used regularly. A drain and re-fill with ATF (the cheapest B-W/Ford approved type F) would clean the inside of the gearbox like it was a brand new clock! Which made overhauling one much easier. So for my money any time I rebuild a transmission it gets the ATF treatment first. Kerosene doesn't sound like it would do the job as well as ATF and besides Automatic Transmissions have Sprag Clutches. Mercedes manual transmissions used to specify ATF and the rather fragile SAAB transmissions responded very well to it. I would not be afraid to use it in an older transmission especially if it leaks a little (show me one that doesn't) and you don't want to spend $15 a quart to fill it. When you finally get around to changing gaskets and seals you will be delighted at how clean it is inside. 6,000 miles is way too early and wasteful to change transmission oil now days. Modern oil does not oxidize like the old stuff did. Most transmissions on late model cars don't even have drain plugs so they are lubed for life.
  14. I've told this story before. I used to work as a SAAB technician back in the pre-GM days. While the VW guys changed engines every 40,000 miles we were changing transmissions. The cost to the customer was about the same but for me the SAAB gearbox was a lot less grubby work. The SAAB aircraft engineers struggled with transmissions (SAAB never built helicopters so they never really figured out transmissions). Every time they did a redesign they doubled the size of synchros, gears, bearings, shafts and it still wasn't enough. One place they did good research on was lubrication and the first thing they learned was that viscosity had a lot to do with the temperature the gearbox ran at. It's no secret higher temps lead to bearing failures. The spec originally was for 90wt gear lube but if you ran 75wt which is water thin, you could lower the temperature dramatically on the order of 20-30%. The change over to 75wt was troublesome as the factory had to stock it and ship it because it wasn't always available locally. More research lead to a much better solution which was the approval of using motor oil in the transmissions. Motor oil (of any type) did not attack the brass synchro rings or the special moly coating on some of them and it didn't attack the seals and gaskets. For off road racing we found that Redline had a lube that could stand high temperatures better than anything else and not generate them because of viscosity drag. The SAAB transaxle had a limited slip differential, an on center ring and pinion (non-hypoid) and a sprag clutch freewheeling unit (which we always used to relieve the back lash forces against the ring & pinion). We never had any transmission problems while using the Redline product. What would I use in a Plymouth transmission? Redline products are about as good as it gets and I am sure MTL is even better than what we used to use. I am certain a Plymouth transmission is way under stressed for power the engine produces and the weight of the car. From my experience you could use just about anything in it and you wouldn't hurt it. You have to remember they were designed at a time when lube oils were not very good at all so the engineers were very conservative.
  15. Just to be clear, the test light goes on when the points are open. It won't flash unless the crank is turning. If the points are in solid contact for some reason (such as being closed or so tight they never open from a worn rubbing block, or a "spike" of transferred metal) the light will not go on. If the light does not light you will get no spark. You can double check what is going on by manually opening the points with a screwdriver when they are closed. Be careful as the coil will spark each time you open them. If the light goes on steady then the points are not closing. That can be caused by dust turning to glass between the points from the spark when the points last opened. (rare but it does happen) The components on the primary side are the points, condenser and ignition coil. If the test light test does not light with the screwdriver method, put the test light on the ignition switch side and see if you have power to the coil. Worn points are the number one reason you don't get spark on the primary side. Assuming you've got a working primary side then you go to the secondary. A cracked rotor or cap will discharge the spark to ground. A bad coil wire will stop the spark before it gets that far. Spark plug wires usually fail one at a time unless someone has disturbed them, then they can all be junk. You can fix an ignition system one fault at a time but old time mechanics for customer satisfaction used to change everything for insurance. Points, Plugs, Condenser, Cap, Rotor and wires were pretty standard fare. The "Battery/Coil" ignition system is pretty basic and easy to deal with. Charles Kettering of Dayton Electric Company (Delco) invented it and when Billy Durant bought Delco for General Motors, Kettering came with the deal. Kettering also came up with the "Self Starter" and Tetraethylead anti-knock compound. We don't use that anymore because it is toxic in the extreme but you can still see its remnants in the bottom of the oil pans of older cars. That grey muck is lead. Something you won't see much of in the future.
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