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Pete

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About Pete

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Vermont
  • My Project Cars
    1939 Plymouth P8 Touring Sedan
    1938 Dodge Brothers RC 1/2 Ton Pickup
    P15-d24 Forum member since 2009.

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  • Location
    Vermont
  • Interests
    Tinkering with and driving old cars

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  1. Hi all, There appears to be an unusual situation with my flathead six. My '39 Plymouth was manufactured in Detroit and has a 23" head. The build card indicates that this engine was installed at the factory. The engine serial number is P8 (star) 347550 (star). It should be a 201 cid (3 1/8 inch bore). It has been bored to 218 cid (3 1/4 inch bore). This may have been done at the factory. The engine is currently at the rebuilder who found some interesting things after disassembling and measuring the block and components. Here is what I think may nave happened: I've read that the second star in the engine serial number indicates factory modifications. I've also read that Plymouth would pull blocks off the assembly line that had imperfections in the bore, and would typically bore them a bit oversize. They put a mark on these blocks for the engine assemblers down the line, but I don't recall what or where that mark was. There is a sleeve in the #6 bore. If it was installed at the factory (hence the second star), that might account for the overbore to 218 cid. All cylinders were bored to 3 1/4 inch. All cylinders were bored again by just .005 inch, probably after the sleeve was installed. A .005 inch bore is so small you hardly hear of it. Best guess is that was done to clean up the sleeve. There was some engine work done about 1950, but the rebuilder says that the sleeve and related boring were done prior to that, and the 1950 work was only on the crank (turned). So, if my speculation is correct, I seem to have an original Plymouth 1939 engine that came from the factory with 218 cid. No problem with the overbore -- after all, that's what Dodge was delivering with the same block that year. I'm interested to hear what others think may account for this situation. It's interesting how good the condition of this engine is. There is surprisingly little internal wear. The crank, main bearings, lifters, cam, and all but one valve will be reused. The brass water distribution tube looks almost new. The crank will be balanced. Of course all new pistons, rings, etc. as the block will be rebored a bit to clean it up. Before disassembly the compression, vacuum, idle, etc. were pretty good. The original intent of this rebuild was to clean out the galleries and water jackets, address leaking gaskets, seals, freeze plugs, etc., as well as a general freshening up. The head is going to get shaved a bit to increase compression. I'm getting the transmission rebuilt too. I'm looking forward to driving the car next spring. Pete
  2. I got mine at McMaster Carr. Single unit quantities. I'm afraid I no longer have the part number.
  3. I'm currently getting my '39 Plymouth engine rebuilt. One of the reasons is that the freeze plugs were just starting to leak a bit. They were steel. The rebuilder told me that dates stamped into the various internal parts indicate the engine was last rebuilt about 1950. I'd say the steel plugs work well if you take care what you put in the cooling system. On another note, the brass water distribution tube came out looking almost brand new. I've also heard that brass reacts with aluminum, but not with steel or iron. Pete
  4. Many folks outside the hobby think these old cars are really heavy. Some were - I thinking big luxury cars from back then. Chrysler listed the weight of my '39 Plymouth touring sedan at just under 3,000 lbs. What's surprising is the new mid-engine Corvette is listed at 3366 lbs. Most people would think the Corvette is a really light car. Pete
  5. My '39 Plymouth runs best at 3 to 4 degrees BTDC. If you have a timing light, check the advance at higher RPM both with and without the vacuum advance disconnected and plugged. Pete
  6. I should add that Chrysler Historic said that dark blue was the default only for trucks. Car colors were not discussed. And all 1938 half ton through one ton trucks had ivory colored wheels, at least for the 16 inch size. Peter
  7. When I got my 1938 Dodge Brothers truck, it had been completely stripped and primered. I got the build card from Chrysler Historic which had the paint code on it. I wrote to them to ask what the paint codes meant, and they said they don't have that info any more. They did say the default color then was dark blue. Pete
  8. I bought a set of these pins on eBay. They were the same fit as the originals - at least they matched the ones that were in my car. Both old and new fit a bit loose when I reassembled. They wanted to slip out. That issue was resolved when I installed the inside handles and springs. That keeps the pins in their place. I've had no issues with them. Pete
  9. I bought this one to pull the banjo steering wheel on my '39 Plymouth. I needed one that allowed the three bolts that screw into the wheel to be very close to the center of the wheel. This worked well.
  10. Hi all, Thanks for your replies. I should have been more clear in my initial post and included more info. I'm familiar with running a one-wire 6v positive ground alternator. I've been running one for years in my 1938 Dodge Brothers pickup. In that case there was a two-stage regulator attached to the generator. Since this setup had only one wire coming off the regulator, all I had to go was install the alternator and attached that existing single wire to the alternator. I wasn't concerned with keeping the look original. What I'd like to do in my 1939 Plymouth sedan is to keep it looking as original as possible, but with the improvements an alternator brings. So I'd like to keep the old regulator, but only use it for it's Batt terminal. I've ordered a one-wire 6v positive ground PowerGen alternator to replace the generator. My current setup is strictly stock. What I'm thinking is I can disconnect the two wires at the generator and tape them off. Then replace the one wire from the alternator with a larger wire (8g or 10g) to the starter switch post. There is already a wire from there to the Batt terminal on the regulator. Pete
  11. HI Sam, Thanks for the nice drawing. A question: would it work to run the wire from the one-wire alternator to the lug on the starter switch and from there to the battery terminal on the regulator (keeping everything else the same as your drawing)? My '39 has: 1) The original foot operated starter, no solenoid 2) Right now only the neg batter cable and a wire to the ammeter are connected to the starter switch 3) Only the horn relay and the other terminal on the ammeter and connected to the regulator battery terminal Pete
  12. I did not have a good starting point for the headlight aiming when I started. I had complete rebuilt the whole setup - removed everything down to the buckets, NOS lenses, new seals, re-silvered the reflectors, etc. I put the LEDs at the time I rebuilt everything. So I'll see where things are when I put the LEDs back in with the aiming dialed in. They seem to work well for Richard Cope who is running the same bulbs. If there is still an issue with the LEDs, I'll likely go with the halogens which work well, but I would like brighter headlights. But if I go with the halogens I will need to go with an alternator for more amps. Pete
  13. The LEDs bulbs I'm using have only 2 LEDs - one for bright and one for low beam. The LEDs are located the same distance from the bulb base as the tungsten filaments in the original 2331 bulbs. Pete
  14. I had the same LED bulbs as Richard Cope from Classic Dynamo & Regulator Conversions in my 1939 Plymouth. Incredibly bright and barely moved the ammeter. I recently temporarily changed back to halogen. They draw a lot more power and really swing the ammeter needle. I'm running the original genny & regulator -- 28 amps hot. I changed back to halogen because the LEDs are so bright and have a more a diverse light spread that I found them hard to properly aim using the marks on my garage door method. Reminder - '39 are pre-sealed beam and have separate reflectors, lenses, and bulbs. I took the car to my local mechanic. He could not aim the LEDs because they do not generate enough heat for their fancy headlight aiming system. I changed from LEDs to the halogens and that system worked fine aiming the halogens. I'll change back to the LEDs now that I know they are correctly aimed. Pete
  15. Did he say he also did cosmetic restoration, like the dial, knobs, buttons, etc.? Pete
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