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Everything posted by Loren

  1. Have you changed the gas cap? Most you can buy now days are not vented and are so labeled (at least they used to be). Your car should have a vented cap. A quick check would be to loosen it and take a drive.
  2. 0.002? I hope we all know the width of an average human hair is 0.004. As a rule of thumb once a head gasket is torqued down I have found them to be roughly 0.055 thick, or enough to loose the difference of 0.002 in. What is of note is when you get a crankshaft ground, the machinists have this nasty habit of trying to clean up the bearing surface with the least amount of material removal. A 0.010 divot in the journal becomes a 0.020 undersize crank journal if ground on center. So they use a little trick whereby they kick the centerline over to grind only the side that has the divot. The result is less stock removal and all journals the same size BUT, and you knew there is always a but, you could end up with a crankshaft with 6 different strokes! Rarely are the effected cylinders given longer strokes. The machinists don’t care because most mechanics do not have the means to accurately measure the difference. Besides the pistons rock in the bore at both ends of the stroke making it even harder to measure. Since there isn’t much you can do to change machinist behavior, this is one of those things I’ve stopped worrying about. Besides if the piston clears the head with no gasket, it will certainly clear with a gasket. Something one should worry about are the valves. You absolutely should check to see if they clear after milling the head or getting new valves or seats or a reground cam. I hope I didn’t spoil your day.
  3. That's what I call imagination! I'd walk across a parking lot to see that. Chevy V8 not so much. I've known guys with 240, 260, 280Z cars and they were all reliable long lasting engines. Surrounding one with 1950 Plymouth iron is a major improvement (to the engine. Datsuns were shall we say somewhat light weight). One guy I knew put about 250,000 miles on one in a surprisingly short time. Kind of reminds me of what the Cuban "Automovilistas" were forced to do when the original engines in their cars wore out. Maybe there's a name for your car, "El Cubano" It certainly will be the only one like it (outside of Cuba) and that accounts for something! I like it! Thank God you didn't choose another boring Chevy V8!
  4. Barney Navarro was also the guy who built the Rambler 6 that qualified for the Indy 500 many years ago. How many times have you heard Rambler and Indy 500 mentioned in the same sentence? Ed Winfield was famous for out running Arthur Chevrolet’s 16 valve DOHC Frontenac Model T, with a flathead Model T. Chevrolet made the comment, “I see it but I don’t believe it!” Timed speed 122 mph on a board track. The secret was the “Two up, two down” crankshaft which made the intake pulses 180 degrees apart and his “Hooker” roller cam. Tommy Thickstun, the designer of Plymouth manifold we like so much, was a student of Winfield’s 180 degree theories regarding manifolds. If we look at compression ratios over the last 100 years, the trend has been upwards until the 1970s when smog regulations forced a temporary drop. World War ll brought high octane fuel into popular usage and compression ratios followed. The L head engines were not made for good high octane fuel and could not take advantage of it. In fact there is a limit to how much compression you can get from a flathead. At a certain point they can’t breathe because you’ve made the combustion chamber too small. Navarro had an answer for that. The 6-71 supercharger. One of the guys who worked with Barney on it was Tom Beatty. I knew Tom much better than I knew Navarro. He had one of the early P 38 drop tank Lakesters with a blown flathead V8. That lasted until he started putting so much boost to it that he pushed the crankshaft out the bottom! Anyway, with electronic engine controls and turbocharging compression ratios are unheard of high now. Engines have grown smaller, more powerful and economical because of compression ratios. Supercharging or turbocharging used to mean you had to have lower compression to control detonation. No longer. Direct injection (like a diesel) keeps detonation under control and it makes for a denser charge. (The fuel doesn’t displace air in the intake charge) knock sensors assist and offer an extra layer of protection. I suspect we have reached the high water mark of gasoline engines. Electric cars seem to be gaining the edge. Still there is something about the sound of an engine that gets the blood pumping.
  5. I was leafing through an old Hop Up magazine from December 1952 and I came across an advertisement placed by Barney Navarro. Navarro knew what he was talking about as he made the best cylinder heads for the Ford V8 and was a pioneer in the use of the GM 6-71 blower on gasoline engines. What he was saying is universal for all gasoline engines, COMPRESSION is what makes horse power. Not Cams, not Carburetors, not Ignitions. One of his good friends (and mentors) was the great Ed Winfield who was a manufacturer of carburetors and the guy who taught most of the successful cam grinders how to grind cams. He could not have gotten away with saying this if it wasn't true (in fact this issue of Hop Up has an article he penned entitled "The truth about Cams" which Winfield approved). Anyway, Cams, Carburetors and Ignitions all work in support of the almighty Compression Ratio. You can if you want add them to a stock engine but nothing makes one come alive like Compression. Barney's ad used this logic to sell his cylinder heads and he made the case that adding Compression was a really economical way to get more power. So.... Think about it. When you go to make some big modification to your stock/original Plymouth, what is the cost benefit ratio? More importantly what does that mod do for your car and is it worth doing? Changing a rear axle won't add 1 horse power. (changing the ratio might bring up your highway speed but you can do that with an Overdrive or a ratio change, which is much easier with the stock axle) Changing to Disc Brakes can actually take away horse power through drag. (you do know those pads are always in close contact with the rotors and if they weren't you would be pumping the brakes every time you stop) Just sayn'
  6. Well I don't say this very often, but you should do your Mustang swap.....and sell the 265 engine to me! I'd happily pay to get rebuilt. A Windsor was a pretty nice car for a small Chrysler. Looks like you have a pretty nice example and I am envious!
  7. Decades ago I remember a magazine article that explained how piston rings are made. They are cast. From what I remember the photos looked like they were investment cast under vacuum. There is one exception, DEVES brand rings are cut from tube stock. Oddly some of the best engine replacement parts can be sourced from India of all places. Piston rings, bearings and pistons are all very high quality. I once did work for a company that made truck parts among them pistons. They closed their plant and sold the real estate because they could "buy" better quality pistons from India, cheaper.
  8. I have to toss my 2 cents in here. When I was in college I had a 49 Special Deluxe that got ZERO maintenance. I rode nicely and never gave any trouble. My friend had a 68 Ford Torino GT (which was 2 years old at the time). His car squeaked from the front suspension every time it moved. EEY EEY EEY. It sounded like two teenagers on an old spring mattress! It was so embarrassing, he did a lot of walking. Now the Plymouth had metal to metal bushings in its suspension, but the Ford had full rubber isolated suspension. Yet the old Plymouth was silent and so was every one I have ever seen. SO...before you "modernize" your Plymouth you might want to consider this. Just sayn'
  9. I love automobiles, always have. My view of what makes an "interesting" car is far different from most people. I spent a lot of my youth as a dealer mechanic, so my view is effected by that. My cars tend to be period correct within 5 years and are what a dealer mechanic would build for themselves. A dealer mechanic would put the best stuff from the MoPar parts book on their car, usually the lightest car with components from the bigger cars. That focuses on what was possible in the day. That I find entertaining. If I were doing an engine swap in my Plymouth it would be a 265 Chrysler flathead 6. (got one almost ready to go in my Suburban) Or if I really got kinky perhaps a Perkins Diesel as the factory did. (and only because the factory did and I happen to like diesel engines) It pains me greatly to hear folks doing "swaps" of well designed original components and in the process creating new problems for which they have no solutions. I've seen cars that could be driven and enjoyed laid up seemingly forever with projects that were well beyond the skills of the owners. It just seems to be a word to the wise that if it isn't broke don't fix it. Keep it simple. You'll get to enjoy more time with your car in motion. There is a certain "charm" to an old car. Seems a shame to change a car so much that it no longer has that charm. If one wants a car to perform like a Mercedes, perhaps they should buy a Mercedes. Sure seems like a lot less work. I mean just sayn'. A 49 Plymouth is never going to drive like a modern car or even a premium car of its era. That's what you sign up for when you get one. That's the charm of it. That's what I love about it. I want the best example of what it could have been back in its day. I want the car Lee Petty drove to work everyday. That's what seems like fun to me. Call me a purist, but do not call me an engineer, I don't qualify or pretend to.
  10. In regards to the "K & N bandwagon" I am reminded that everything is relative. For decades car makers didn't even bother to worry about ingesting dust. The primary worry was backfiring into the intake so they put screen like devices on the carburetor such as the accessory "Air Maze" for Model A Fords. Later on they decided that carburetors make a lot of noise and should be quieted down. When you think about the millions of miles run without any air filtration on dirt roads you wonder how those old cars lasted as long as they did! My feeling about K & N and other oiled gauze filters is they are better than nothing at all and nothing at all is what I have run for decades in places that are known for being dusty. Some would say the air doesn't stay in the engine long enough to worry about dust. Not too sure about that! lol I can telling you that a paper filter can plug up with dust so badly that a diesel engine can collapse it before losing power! I've seen paper filters run over by a truck not collapsed as thoroughly! So...without a filter of any kind you will never know how much dust the engine is taking in. Just sayn' So is ignorance bliss? You decide. For my money I want silence. If an air cleaner can give me silence and clean the intake air that's "A-Number One"in my book.
  11. For clarity the GPS I am referring to is an old Garmin that I used before "Siri" on my iPhone (actually Google Maps). I can't speak to a GPS speedometer as I've never used one. Since my old (at least 5 years old) Garmin is somewhat obsolete (seems like everyone has an iPhone except for the luddites still carrying flip phones) I figured I didn't have much to loose if I burned it up. The maps are totally obsolete but the speedo works very well indeed.
  12. As much as I like your Crosley air cleaners I wonder if they might be causing an air flow issue. Oil Bath air cleaners were dropped when Karl Kiekhoffer found they restricted the air flow in his NASCAR Chryslers. A check could be made by plumbing a vacuum gauge to one of the carburetors under the air cleaner. If you see any vacuum then carburetor will run rich, like the choke is on. I have a pair of 32 Ford Detroit Lubricator Air Cleaners that I am considering opening up to install K & N oiled gauze filter inside for my 97s. It would be a no-brainer except for the fact they are so rare. The K & Ns have virtually no restriction to them, while even a paper filter has a lot. Once I had the great idea of using the engine air cleaner as a vent for the transmission. Well, the cloud of smoke that came from the exhaust told me two things. The transmission 90 wt oil was being burned in the engine and the air filter was too way restrictive. Just a thought
  13. Fuel pressure regulators were all the rage years ago. The idea being that if you wound the engine up in racing the pump could overwhelm the floats. What the racers figured out was that if the carburetors were in good condition and they were jetted right you didn't need a regulator. In fact the regulators proved to be the source of more trouble. So the "Keep it simple" principle wins again. It's not too hard to put a gauge on the fuel line to see what the pressure is at high rpm. You'd like to see about 2-3 lbs. I worry more about fuel starvation than over pressure and that was the main reason the racers got rid of their regulators.
  14. Some good news for you. You do not have to change to 12 volts to use a GPS or a phone charger for that matter. The power adaptor has a circuit which regulates the variation in automotive charging systems to 5.5 volts. That's a drop from 14.5 volts (12 volt system) or 7.5 volts (6 volt system). The one thing you have to do is change the polarity. I found out my speedo read 5 mph slow by using the GPS which was confirmed by the speedo repairman. So while I had the speedometer out for repair I used the GPS as my speedo. Easy peezy
  15. The vacuum line to the distributor is "Ported" vacuum and would not be suitable. There should be an 1/8th inch plug on the manifold which would work for "Manifold" vacuum. For cars with dual diaphragm fuel pumps designed to boost vacuum to the wipers, you can use the same port. The vacuum diaphragm connects here on its "pressure" side (the vacuum side goes to the wipers). It's not really a pressure side or even an "exhaust" side. Its function is to use manifold vacuum to boost the pump on start up.
  16. I learned my locksmithing skills as a dealer mechanic for SAAB. The model 99 & 900 had the ignition key between the seats and dirt used to get in the cylinder. Another factor was an anti-pick leaf in the ignition lock which meant the key was necked down next to the grip. You had to put the car in reverse to get the key out as well. So…valet parking attendants broke a lot of keys off. Mechanics who didn’t care about quality of workmanship, would simply put another cylinder in and call it done. Now the car had two keys. My M.O. was to remove the shifter and take the lock cylinder out on the bench. With the broken off key still in it, it wasn’t that hard. Once the cylinder was out you could poke the stub of the key out with a thin wire. The key code was on the side of the cylinder and the parts dept had the key cutter and code book. I found out only the ignition lock had the anti-pick leaf. It wasn’t rocket science to figure out that if you opened the lock you could remove that leaf and cut a new key that wasn’t necked down by not cutting the last cut. After that the owner never had another key problem again and they could still use an original necked down key. I’d ask the owner if they wanted the reverse locking device removed at the same time. Double sided keys use leaf type tumblers while single sided keys use pin type tumblers. If a locksmith says they don’t have the pins, that means they don’t want to take the time to do the job. There are two pins for each depression in the key. There are 5 depressions, so there are 10 pins 5 of which are exactly the same length. The combination is the 5 pins that are different. The DPCD locks have 5 different pin lengths. In my case I needed to make a key for the doors and the trunk. I could not re-key the ignition because the side grooves were different on a Pentastar key. So I had no need of alternate pins. However, if I did, I would measure the diameter of the pins and find some brass rod that diameter and cut it to length as needed. I think at least one existing pin would work and if you had any more that were too long you could file them down. Two or more working pins equal a working lock. I have no expectation that anyone but me would find making a key or re-keying a car lock fun and entertaining. However if you have a mind to do so, it can be done. Most folks probably should just find a locksmith willing to do the job. Locksmiths from my experience work pretty cheap and can use the business. Like shoemakers and mechanical speedometer guys, they are a dying breed.
  17. I'd bet they will fit. Might even be easier to install too. Have a look at the ignition lock as well. The door key should be the same. If not you could have a locksmith re-key the ignition. On my 49 I took the driver door lock out and made a key to fit it. However a previous owner replaced the ignition with one with a "Pentastar" key that has different grooves and the DPCD key won't go in the lock, so until I find an original DPCD lock I am stuck with three keys.
  18. My theory has always been, if you look at the oil passages you will see that the cam bearings get more oil than they should. As the engine ages the cam bearings wear and the pressure drops. This is not exclusively a Plymouth problem many engines need restricters in the oil lines to the cam bearings. The fact that your engine was recently rebuilt might mean that the cam bearings are nice and tight. Some Mopars have two sets of holes for oil in the bearings. The guys who know use the small ones. You might try replacing the bearings cleaning things up and see how it runs. Bearings are fairly cheap.
  19. My Dad had a 53 English Ford Zephyr Six with a Raymond Mays cylinder head on it. That cylinder head boosted the power to 90 hp, enough that all the english Zephyr police cars were equipped with them. At that time one of his pre-war buddies worked for Frank Millard (whose partner was Roy Rogers). One of the other notable employees was Ken Miles. Millard sold Porsche cars and Miles had one like James Dean. Miles also had a Pirelli tire sponsorship, so he got a new set of tires regularly. My Dad used to buy used tires from him because they were very sticky and cheap, but the wrong size. When the new Thunderbirds came out my Dad went to the Ford dealer and ordered 4 wheels. Now he could use Mile’s tires. Of course the change in gear ratio and the added torque of the hot rod engine put loads on the drive train the English Ford engineers had never anticipated. Some thing had to give and it was the axles. The Zephyr had very typical designed flanged axles that tapered down from the wheel bearing to the spline at the differential. In a space not more than 1/4 inch long all the twisting stress was concentrated. The axle would twist nearly a full turn before snapping off and they would fail at a rate of one a week alternating right to left. My Dad knew that he drove like a lunatic and enjoyed every minute of it, so he wasn’t perturbed by the failures in the least. By the time that axles became scarce the Zephyr was pretty worn out and smoking, so he parked it. Later I wondered about why they made the axles that way. I always figured it was to keep them from deflecting with side loads. Now I think it just had to do with the way they are forged. I suppose you could turn them in a lathe (or a grinder) and reduce the diameter to the 5% formula and get better life from them. But since the Zephyr is long gone and I haven’t broken an axle in any of my cars since, I haven’t had the need to experiment.
  20. Because so many folks have problems getting their ODs wired up properly and don't want to spend the big bucks on reproduction switches and relays, I've done some research on how to do it on the cheap. There are alternatives. I've found "modern Bosch style" relays in 6 volt which will do the job for about $8 and government surplus throttle switches for $6.50. I even found one source of "Bosch style relays" in 6 volt with a fuse on top! (but they are in England and want $18 for their's) A nicely made linkage mount for the switch and a color coded wiring harness would go a long way to get folks to hook up their OD properly. Just thinking out loud.
  21. So glad to see someone wise enough to repair an original axle rather than cause more problems by replacing it with an inferior worn wrecking yard axle from some other junk! Honestly there is a lot to like about the original MoPar axles. I've had to make axle shafts from bar stock for off road racing and I used Carrol Smith's (Prepare to win) ideas on how to do it. The first Plymouth axle I took apart had all the design features that Smith taught. The necked down shaft between the the splines (or in this case the wheel bearing) 5% smaller than the smallest portion of the spline. This spreads the torque load over the length of the axle rather than concentrating it right at the spline. Ever seen how a flanged "Modern" axle breaks? For my money I'd fix a Plymouth axle rather than replace it. They are a very good design!
  22. I have that Edmunds manifold. On the bases for the carburetors are bosses for a throttle shaft to pass through. You can get a kit from Summit Racing or Speedway that has all the bits you need.
  23. Regarding the Power Pack: I found both manifolds (intake and exhaust) but I had to pay a steep price for them. (hey it's a hobby right?) Then I cast about for information regarding the right code numbers for the carburetor. Found that too but at a reasonable price. So I am set. If you happen to have a photo of the linkage I sure could use that. I don't know what I'll use for an air cleaner yet, so a photo of that would be helpful.
  24. Chrysler Industrial Models 5 & 5A are basically Plymouth engines: Bore 3 1/4 with Stroke 4 3/8 or 217.8 cid. The nice part of Chrysler engines is that they were both (23 & 25 inch )designed by the same team of engineers. Their mandate was to save money while giving the customer value. So most things like pumps (oil & water) Timing Chains will interchange and some require a bit of machining (4 bolt vs 8 bolt flywheels). Bearings and other things will differ. So before you order you should check an interchange book. I could not determine the difference between a Model 5 and a 5A However, when used in forklift trucks the engines have Gears instead of Timing Chains. The gear driven camshafts turn backwards and require a different cam and oil pump gear (such as a Melling M37 for Timing Chain engines and a Melling M37R for Gear Driven cams). The purpose of the gears is to turn the hydraulic pump that Forklifts have.
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