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Everything posted by Loren

  1. 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.
  2. Yes you CAN do just about anything. The question always is SHOULD you do it? The answer is not in my car.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. One of the most basic tools in your tool kit should be a Test Light. It looks like an Ice Pick (with a clear handle and a light bulb inside) with a wire and alligator clip on the end. Without taking anything apart you can see if the points are working and even check the timing. Connect the alligator clip to the points side of the coil and the ice pick to the ground side of the battery. With the ignition on roll the engine over. If by hand you will see the light go on and off. If by the starter it will flash. When the light is on the points are open. When the light is off the points are closed and the coil is being energized. When the points open the magnetic field in the coil collapses and the secondary creates the spark. So you can check the timing by observing when the timing mark comes up and the light goes on. If you've removed the distributor and on replacing it you can't get it to start, it could be you are 180 degrees out. To check that take number one and number six spark plug out and use an air hose to blow air in the cylinder (at TDC). With the air cleaner off and the throttle open, if you hear air rushing out of the intake, the valves are on overlap and the other cylinder is on the power stroke. Needless to say double check your work. On distributors with vacuum advance (or in some cases retard) there are two plates to the breaker plate. These plates (one stationary, one movable) allow the vacuum chamber to change the timing independent to the centrifugal mechanical advance. That wire connects the movable plate to ground. The car may run without it but the point of contact with the stationary plate will begin to erode from the spark passing thru it. Eventually any time the vacuum chamber moves the breaker plate the eroded contact point will lose its ground connection and the engine will miss. I've seen breaker plates so eroded that even replacing the wire doesn't improve the way the engine ran. You had to replace the breaker plate as well.
  9. If you go to their website you can see how its done. One of the biggest advantages of Lock-n-stitch is that you don't have to disassemble the engine. A crack on the top of a flathead could be fixed without removing the engine either. In the pre-world war one days the savvy mechanics used brass rods they threaded themselves. Now days they use plugs made of steel. Keep in mind the repair is all mechanical. There is no welding, bonding or anything like that. If the section is thick enough (such as old car engines were) you can use their patented plugs which have a thread which pulls the metal together instead of pushing it apart like a standard thread would. In one video they repair a Chevy boat engine which had frost damage to the water jacket. A large chunk of the block was missing as well. The technician ground the hole out to a shape he could duplicate in mild steel plate, then "stitched" the piece in. It was about 4 inches around. Again, they didn't disassemble the engine. Some things are really good candidates for Lock-n-stitch but sadly some are not.
  10. When you get around to replacing the seal, check out some of the treads on this site. The original seals are almost impossible to replace under the car. They are very fussy. I recommend you go to NAPA for your replacement. They sell a modern seal that's a lot easier to install under the car. Further, if the yoke is worn NAPA has the sleeve repair for it.
  11. There are lots of older transmissions that specified ATF as the lubricant of choice, Mercedes comes to mind. ATF has cleansing effect on the insides of a gearbox that Gear Oil doesn't have. When I was going to rebuild a transmission, I used to drain the 90wt and refill with ATF. Then put several hundred miles on it before opening it up. The insides were always razor clean! Sometimes this inside cleaning made an overhaul unnecessary. The early SAABs had a sprag clutch freewheeling device. It was absolutely necessary on a two stroke but its use was optional on the four stroke engine. If they went unused for long periods of time they would collect gummy dirt and slip when you did try to use them. Most of the time mechanics would pull the transmission and make a big expensive deal out of it. I could change the lube and have it working perfectly in one trip around the block. SAAB hunted around for better lube for years. They found out that lighter oil actually lowered the operating temperature. They went from 90wt to 75wt which was like water. Sometime later they gave up on 75wt as it was too hard to find and settled on 30w Motor Oil. They didn't care if it was non-detergent or anything like that. You could use the same stuff you put in the engine. Current manual transmissions are using rather thin fluid which is supposedly very high tech. (and priced wildly high too) ATF is undergoing some changes too, and that's making it pricey as well. Standard old ATF is more than good enough for a manual transmission. If you're paying $15 a quart you're buying the wrong stuff. So will ATF (such as type F or Dextron) work in a FluidDrive coupling? Of course. Will it attack the seal? Now that is an unknown. If I had a FluidDrive car (and a spare coupling) I'd sure try it. That's not really a good test as if it fails it might have been on its last legs anyway, but at least it will be very clean on the inside. lol
  12. I've owned a 49 two door and now a 52 Suburban. I like my Plymouths, even with their old stock engines. They were as the banner reads great cars. Yes you can not go Autobahn speeds but that's not why you own one now days. My choice of engine is the Chrysler 265 (1952-54 model years but made as an industrial engine til 1968). In Canada Plymouths came with the 25 inch long blocks so it's not really an engine swap. My roots in the car hobby go back to the brass era so I appreciate what they did in the time the car was built. I want the best combination a hod rodder could put together within 5 years of the car's manufacture. In 1952 they had V8s of course but Plymouth didn't. So a V8 powered Mopar was not a Plymouth. In my mad mind a Plymouth is a 6 cylinder car and a Plymouth I own will have a 6 cylinder (albeit a really big one!). Without question of all the cars of the early post war period the Plymouth benefited the most from an Overdrive transmission. Surprisingly it took until May of 1952 for one to be offered. Chrysler must have realized this because they offered a dealer installed retro fit kit. So along with the 265 my wagon has an Overdrive and a 3.73 rear axle. I don't believe that's too big a mountain to climb with a 4.75 inch stroke. The idea is your car should be fun. It should take you to your happy place. There's no wrong way to build one if it does that. My Dad had a friend by the name of Doan Spencer (famous for a 32 Ford roadster among others) who bought a new Thunderbird in 1955. Over the time he owned it, he put just about every hot rod Ford engine known to man in that car. (and a few combinations less commonly known) The point is he had fun with that car. It was the best it could be for the era, he made sure of that.
  13. My very first auto repair diagnosis was a "night time side of the road" issue with a fuel pump on my Dad's 49 Mercury. I was about nine years old. When he took the glass bowl off to check for crud the gasket was split. He put it back together over my protest. I thought a gasket would be important to the function. When it wouldn't start and there was no fuel in the bowl, I remembered there was an old fuel pump in the trunk. He transferred the gasket and we were soon on our way. That car never had another fuel pump problem (lucky for us as there were no more spares in the trunk). I know my Dad loved me and he was sure glad I was around that evening.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. E0DFD021-5299-4784-981E-3D46CC57D242.heic
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
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