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DonaldSmith last won the day on September 4

DonaldSmith had the most liked content!


About DonaldSmith

  • Birthday 08/24/1942

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Berkley, MI
  • Interests
    47 DeSoto Suburban
  • My Project Cars
    1947 DeSoto Custom Suburban

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  • Biography
    Technical detail sort of guy, nuts and bolts
  • Occupation
    Retired architect and specifications writer


  • Location
    Berkley, MI 47 DeSoto Suburban
  • Interests
    Fixing and improving things around the house

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  1. "Bolt has to be sealed..." I had to loosen the bolt every time I wanted to adjust the generator/alternator arm. I replaced the bolt with a stud, with lock washer and nut against the water pump housing, then a washer, the alternator arm, loose on the stud, another washer, and a nut to keep the arm from falling off, and a cotter pin drilled through the nut and the stud, to keep the nut from falling off. The arm is free to pivot when I tighten the belt.
  2. The car looks like the DeSotos that were made in the Dodge plant and badged as DeSotos. (Firesweep?) Or was it built in Canada? In either case, it would not be a far stretch to provide it with a 6-cylinder engine instead of the V-8, especially for export, where government fees would be based on horsepower among other things. What Identification is on the cowl and doorpost?
  3. Maybe more than one way to design a clock (besides the modern electronic quartz wonders). Our mantle clock has a seven-day spring, with an escapement to control the mechanism that moves the hands. Most automotive clocks from my youth had the occasional thump to rewind the mechanism for a few minutes. Maybe the clock in question uses the escapement to control a constant thrust from a solenoid. Still a puzzle.
  4. Loren is right on! My clock had the open connection that I had to re-solder. I never thought of the soldered connection as a safety link. There it is, off the winding and onto the points. All better, now, for the last several years.
  5. From what I know about car clocks back in the day, a clock did not have a transformer, but a solenoid to rewind a mechanical clock mechanism every few minutes. As the works run down, the points close, to power the solenoid for the rewind. Typically, the clock would tick contentedly for a few minutes, and then would be firm clunk. The clock pictured above looks quite a lot different than my DeSoto clock. The solenoid creates a magnetic field at its ends which attracts the "ears" of the winding mechanism. A real piece of work.
  6. I'm trying to imagine a pothole heading for ice cream. Heading for pizza, I could understand. (I'll go sit in the Andy D corner now.)
  7. These battery hold-downs look like they are coated with plastic, which would electrically insulate them. I wouldn't want a fabricated metal hold-down to contact the live post or clamp. Or, the metal could contact the grounded post. If I disconnect the ground cable from the post, some current could still get through. Of course, one could put electrical tape or other insulator over the part of the hold-down near the live stuff.
  8. What did you decide? Tell us, tell us!
  9. You'll have to take the left rear wheel off, to get a look at where the frame kicks up over the rear axle. Maybe one of the guys will post a photo.
  10. I had my alternator made up by a local automotive electrical service company, many happy years ago. The guy put the appropriate parts in the standard GM alternator. You could check your local auto electric shops, if there are any anymore. But you can search on-line, "6 volt positive alternator", and find some vendors. They also sell bracket kits. Tell them what fan belt width you are using, so they can put on the right pulley. Wiring was simple. I connected the Red? wire from the big post of the generator to the single post of the alternator. I abandoned and removed the Green? wire from the small post to the "F" post of the voltage regulator. At the voltage regulator, I removed the Red? wire from the "A" post and the Black? wire from the "B" post, and connected the two wires together. I removed the voltage regulator. (You could keep it for the vintage look. You could attach coils of wire to it, to confound the onlookers.) My car, the upscale DeSoto Custom, had a Brown? wire from the starter solenoid to the small post of the generator. This was to ground the solenoid relay through the generator. Chrysler's trick was that if the engine were running. the the generator would no longer provide a ground, and the starter would not grind. I gave up this feature, and grounded that wire from the starter solenoid.
  11. What does epoxy smell like when it gets too hot? Almost twenty years ago, with the manifolds removed, I had a hard time separating them, because the four bolts that connected them had rusted in place. Areas of the intake manifold that covered the bolts had broken away, probably from the expansion of the rusty bolts. I patched the areas with epoxy, probably JB Weld. No problem for years. Last Fall I removed the manifolds again, since I suspected the exhaust was leaking. I re-patched the old epoxy areas. (Incidentally, I found one hole in the block that had little usable thread left, so have no confidence that the bolt there is tight.) Since repairing the manifolds last Fall, I hadn't gone any distance until the car show last Sunday, a forty-mile trip each way. Maybe finally the manifold got hot enough to fry the epoxy. I'll see this Fall. This Fall, I'm removing the manifolds again, to check for exhaust leaks at the gaskets, to Helicoil the bad hole in the block, and to use the proper conical washers and brass nuts, once the manifolds are out of the way, I'll cold-set the valves. (My back won't let me adjust the valves from the wheel well.) I'll check he condition of the epoxy patches. (Maybe I'll be sure to use high temp epoxy, if I use it at all.)
  12. The starter relay is only powered when cranking the starter. However, the one post of the solenoid carries the main current from the battery to points downstream. I'll check it, although I sensed no loss of current to anything. No problem cranking the starter.
  13. Today I took the 47 DeSoto Suburban to the Orphan Car Show and back, 40 miles each way, mostly steady speeds, up to 60 mph. The car started and ran well enough for the most part. At various times we could detect a strong burnt phenolic smell coming from the engine compartment. (Phenolic products are like Formica plastic laminate or circuit boards. The don't melt. They char.) Possible sources? Alternator internal circuit board. Transmission relay circuit board. Junction board that I added? (It's molded plastic, with screws each side of the junction bars. No hot screws.) Any experiences with alternator circuit boards charring? What else could cause a strong burning phenolic smell?
  14. I have the 47 DeSoto with the semi-automatic transmission and the special carb (kickdown switch, and anti-stall dashpot). I've been prepping the car for the Orphan Car Show in Ypsilanti this Sunday. Earlier in the week, I removed the top of the carburetor to check for free play of the step-up piston. (The ethanol can corrode the chamber, stopping the piston movement.) I flipped the top back, without disconnecting the choke rod and the fast idle cam rod. Reinstalling the cover might have jammed the fast idle rod against the kickdown switch. I installed new spark plugs and fired up the car. Ran like stink, plugs heavily coated with soot. I think the jammed fast idle rod held the choke plate partially closed. Tweaked the rod to clear the kickdown switch. Cleaned up the plugs with brake parts cleaner and reinstalled them. Next problem; Running fast; would not idle. When I had the top off the carb, I must have fiddled with the throttle linkage, which raised the dash pot lifter link higher than it can go with the top on. This flipped the link to the throttle arm, jamming the throttle partway open. Reinstalled the top with the link in proper position; problem solved. Car running well enough to get me 40 miles to Ypsilanti and back. I hope.
  15. The sender and gauge should be for the same number of wires. The post-war sender and gauges, like my 47 DeSoto, have two wires plus ground. Later Mopar senders and gauges have only one wire plus ground. If you just want an under-dash gauge, you can go with the more modern one-wire system, but you would need to ground the gauge to the car body.
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