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Posts posted by James_Douglas

  1. 21 hours ago, Sam Buchanan said:


    Wow....that would take some serious engineering and be much more complex than using a dual-chamber Wilwood or similar. I do have experience with two Wilwood masters in combination, that is what I installed on my Stalker kit car. They required a walking beam balance bar to achieve proper front/rear bias. But I have no interest in trying something like that under the P15 floor with the combination cylinder/pedal mounts!



    I actually tried this approach on the 1949 Desoto Convertible.


    Due to the "X" member I had to use a much longer rod from the pedal to the MC's than we have seen with this approach. We sourced Chrome Molly rod with a mill certificate and made the rod with stainless rod ends, bushed holes and precision shoulder bolts.


    The problem was that the brake had way to mushy a feel. Even with it over engineered there was just too much flex. I tossed it out and went back to a single stick MC feeding the remote midland ross power booster.


    Now for the 1947 Desoto Suburban, I have down in the shop the bracket from the frame rail (junk yard) and I am going to make up a jig and figure out how to make a custom bracket to take a remote tandem master cylinder that has the clutch and brake pedal in their exact factory locations.


    I will not get to this until late spring or summer. Of course when I do, I will make up a PDF with all the information.



  2. On 1/12/2023 at 5:36 AM, Sniper said:


    All it takes is once and you will never say that again.  I had that once happen to me in 1993 and your parking brake won't unclench your cheeks either.

    Sniper, I agree with you but only to a point. I have used a single MC on the big Desoto for 22 years on the hills here in San Francisco. I also have them in all my other cars. 


    I have only had one failure in a brake system in 45 years. After I purchased the '47, I had a leaking right rear wheels cylinder. I purchased a new one from NAPA. I put it in and about 3 months later it failed completely. it was a Sunday AM and I was heading down a hill from UCSF. A BIG hill here in San Francisco. Lucky it was so early as I mushed through a 4 way stop with the parking brake.


    Turns out that the wheel cylinder seal had a manufacturing defect. Something was in the mold and created a "channel" 98% of the way across the seal contact area. After a few months the seal wore in and that "channel" opened up. it could not seal.


    So, if one really ways the extra security then by all means switch to a duel MC solution. But, if one personally rebuilds each component and stays on top of the maintenance themselves then I would not be that worried about using a single.


    I mean, the statistical odds of a total failure are probably much lower then the statistical odds of some ***** hitting us in our cars without seat belts or crumple zones and getting hurt or killed form that.  


    It is all about relative risk and knowing which to worry about.


    Now all that said, on the newly purchased 1964 Chrysler 300K I am replacing the single with a dual. Why? because I suspect that Sondra will be using it a lot and she does not have the "feel" if something is wrong like I do. It also is a direct bolt on on that car and I need a new master on it with a rebuilt power booster in any event.



  3. I use ARP studs on my engines.  That said many years ago before they topped making them, some company in the south, I got their last stock of bolts. I have a LOT of them plus all the old ones from my many engines and spares.


    I hope in the next year to go through all my crap and thin it out. When I get around to that, I will let let folks know via the for sale section if they want any of that stuff.


    In the mean time if someone gets really jammed up, send me a private note and if I can find that box...I will send you a couple.



  4. Well,


    I tried the easy way out and put in a NOS heater blower in the off chance that was it. It was not. Interesting that the replacement blower motor made by the same company as the factory original and having the same part number, but a difference sub number has a much larger ground wire gauge.


    Well. I looked hard at the manual and it tells you that wipers stopping can be because of having the heater or other wire connected to the wiper breaker.


    The 1949 Schematic does not show well the breakers and their wires. The 1950 shows it better and it appears that that used the two breakers not only as breakers but as power distribution points. If you put everything on the "protected" side of the breaker it will overload. hence the comment "e" in the service manual about troubleshooting the wipers.


    I will have to pull the heater-defroster wires off the protected side of the breaker and move it to the power feed side. I am going to make up a short wire that will plug inline with the heater motor and the defroster motor with an inline fuse in it. That will solve the problem and still provide protection to the wiring.


    So much fun.





  5. If it needs to be surfaced, I would make a puller or barrow one from someone that has one. Take it off and have it surfaced and then put it back on. As long as one is careful it is not a big deal. If one is not careful then it can be.




    PS. The factory correct Miller Tool pullers show up regularly on eBay.

  6. What I fail to see in the photos is no blocks to keep the plate from rocking. There are a lot of threads about the blocking the plate against the coupling and the failure to do so can cause the carbon seal to crack. It often does and can start leaking immediately or a six months later.


    NEVER pull a trans out and/or handle a coupling where one has not made wood wedges and placed them between the plate and coupling housing with bailing wire around the wood blocks to keep them in place.


    Once installed with the transmission in, you cut the wire and pull the blocks.



  7. I have not confirmed it, but I think I know what is causing the failure. Why it is causing the failure is something I need to look into.


    In 1949 they started to use a lot of those little can circuit breakers. The ones that re-set when they cool off.


    The spike I noticed in the summer driving the convertible with the heat on, San Francisco fog remember, may have been the heater motor causing the breaker to open.


    I just read the 1949 service manual on causes of the wipers not working and the last item on the list was, "heater wired to circuit breaker".


    I ran down the schematic and it looks like if the heater blower causes that breaker to open, the wiper will stop with it, then when the breaker resets in about 10 second, it starts up again.


    I may need to pull the heater circuit wires off that breaker and connect those wires with a fuse so that the two circuits are isolated from each other. One can do without heat if it is raining in a pinch, but not with out the wipers.


    Hope fully a NOS heater motor will solve the problem.




  8. 9 minutes ago, Booger said:

    Voltage Reg? Tapping on cover would sometimes open points in wet weather

    I do not think so as everything else is working fine. No flicker on the headlights. This is only happening when the heater blower motor is running.


    I just ordered a NOS motor. We shall see...


    I turned on everything, including the cigar lighter, except the heater motor and the wipers work without stopping.  I suspect an EMI problem.



  9. Today it is raining hard here in San Francisco. I got up to take Sondra to work in the '47 and the left front tire is flat. Ok, so I say what the hell I will just take the '49 Convertible for its first drive in real rain.


    We get a block from the house and the wipers stop. Crap. She jump and runs for the bus in the rain.


    I get the car home, in the dark and in the rain and park it. I go do to the garage a couple of hours later. I start the car and turn on the wipers and they work and they keep working.  WTF!


    I then turned on the headlights, which I had on in the dark and the wipers just keep working. I then turned on the heater fan which in a '49 is out by the radiator. After about 10 seconds the wipers stops working. I run off the heater fan and in about 10 second they start working again. I can repeat this over and over. The defroster fan which is under the dash, a separate motor, does not affect it. Nor does Turing on the radio.


    Now I did notice this last year that when I had the heat on that sometimes the AMP gauge needle would sometimes swing/spike. 


    I am wondering what could be going on. Since this is a near concourse restoration with all the wiring new and every ground and then some in place, I do not think it is a ground problem. Is it possible that the heater fan is causing an intermittent electrical short to ground or something to screw up the power flow? A armature induced spike of some kind that the motor on the wiper or wiper controller is sensitive to?


    If anyone has any ideas I am all ears. I am going to see if I can hunt down a NOS motor and swap it out and see what happens.


    A real weird puzzle.




  10. Hello All,


    I have been busy in 1964 Chrysler land taking that 92K mile original C-300K and going through it as the replacement daily driver for the 1947 Desoto Suburban. No quite there yet, in another month or so it should be ready for daily driving duties.


    Then, at some point I can take the '47 apart for a long needed rebuild from end to end.


    At least the '64 has air conditioning.


    I do hope everyone has a Merry Christmas, Great Hanukkah, Great Kwanzaa or just an opportunity to read a good book.


    I raise a glass to all of those who keep the Rolling Museum Pieces on the road and wish you a Happy New Year.


    James Douglas
    San Francisco

  11. I have a new pump on both the '47 and '49 and lucky no leaks. I also have two or three original pumps and I have bought a few rebuild kits for them off ebay. I also purchased the tool to ream the flats in the old pumps. One of these days I will rebuilt a couple of pumps to factory specs and yes, I have a small grease gun with water pump long fiber grease in it...



  12. I have a couple of second gears in my parts and one is a fast second gear. If you look at my old posts what I found was that the fast second gear works great in the lighter cars. In the big suburban, I found that the standard second gear and OD worked better in city traffic. Since I have run both, I had the opportunity to get a feel for them both.



  13. On 10/9/2022 at 7:55 PM, Loren said:

    Freewheeling was necessary on the two stroke SAABs because the oil was in the fuel. If you went down hill with your foot off the throttle ( not the proper way to drive a SAAB. The accepted method is WOT all the time…unless you chicken out ) the engine would starve for lubrication. An added benefit was avoiding skids in slick road conditions. The company retained freewheeling well after they stopped making two strokes ( 1967 the last year ) clear into the last 96 model in 1980, because the public expected it. Even the early 99 models had freewheeling. One neat thing about it is that if when you shift you let the rpm drop 1000 rpm, you can up shift or down without using the clutch. We always used freewheeling in off road racing to save the ring and pinion. Having it allowed the driver to down shift on entering a turn while he used the brakes to steer the car around the corner ( its a front drive thing ) then as the straight appears you could hammer down the throttle because you were already in the right gear, all without using the clutch. Done right and the car leaps forward exiting the turn. 

    Martybose has identified the one thing that worries me about Plymouth Overdrive. Parking on a slant.

    A fellow I knew was going on a date, so he washed his Plymouth then went in to shower and shave but when he came out the car was gone!

    The parking brake did not hold and he found the car upside down in the middle of an intersection two blocks away.

    Automatic transmissions have “Sprag Clutches” too and all modern ones have a “Parking Pawl” to prevent the car from rolling while in park.

    So when I park the Plymouth I am really careful about it. Using the “Overdrive” cable with the car in low gear and an extra tug on the hand brake are all part of the drill.

    If there’s a curb, I use that too. If you like your car as much as I do there are no short cuts.

    I use a wheel chuck here in San Francisco with the 5000 pound Desoto Suburban. Every time. One reason is to not allow the thing to roll back with the OD engaged, the other is so that I do not have to curb my wheels which is a PITA in parallel parking. Although once a meter reader gave me a ticket for not curbing my wheels and I had to go to court. The judge admonished the meter reader that in California by law a chock is acceptable in place of curbing your wheels.



  14. RNR1957NYer,


    I know the feeling. I went through and restored my parents 1964 300K coupe in the 1980's. They purchased it new. I even have the original window sticker my mom too off with a razor. I then got a '64 300K convertible and restored it.


    I then moved into San Francisco. The old buildings garage doors were just too narrow to get these cars in and out of. I stored them out of SF. But after many years of them sitting, and me paying to store them, I decided to sell them. What a stupid mistake. The CV I could live without, too much scuttle shake for me. But mom and dad coupe I should never have sold.


    So, now I will be doing more more of these cars over the next couple of years. I will also rebuild the 1947 Desoto.


    The car things we regret!



  15. What state are you trying to register it in? If in California, have a CHP "VIN" officer come out. Also, check with the DMV Special Processing Unit in Sacramento. If you have any family registrations from before non-op with your relatives name, they may process it without worrying about you having to go find the frame rail stamp.


    I have never gone looking for the number on the frame of my 1947 Desoto, but I can tell you that my 1949 Desoto Convertible has the number stamped on the top of the frame about 1/2 down the frame rail. No way to see it without taking the body off.


    As Tod mentioned,  sometimes engine numbers were as the VIN and sometimes used the body number on the door pillar. Make sure when you do the paperwork that you use the body number NOT the engine number as if you ever rebuild the engine and deck the block that number goes away.


    Of course any idiot can stamp the number back on the engine.


    Best, James

  16. On 9/19/2022 at 9:44 AM, Adam H P15 D30 said:

    I would not drive or park any car in SF especially a classic...

    I really do not know why not? I have been driving and parking my classic cars here in San Francisco for 30 plus years. I do not leave them out on the street overnight, but other than that I use them just like any other car.


    I have never had a car stolen, I have never had a car get hit.


    Given that San Francisco is more or less a classic grid, one can always find ways around to avoid the bad traffic spots.


    What would make one make such a blanket statement? In a few weeks six hundred of us will be driving our classic cars to the annual old car picnic in Golden Gate Park.



  17. I have had two 300K hard tops and two 300K convertibles. So, I know well what I am walking into. The big deal is the unitized body. The rust proofing from 1960 to about 1968 sucked and a lot of them are rust buckets under the skin and hard to fix. Not to mention expensive.


    I plan on rebuilding the 413. When I do, I may down tune it to 9.25 to one so I can run regular.  I may also put on fuel injection with a knock sensor.


    We shall see...


  18. After a lot of discussion we decided to not use the 1947 Desoto Suburban for our cross country retirement travels. The big issue is that we now live in an age where:


    1. People just have no patience on the freeways and in the mountains for slow 1940's cars.

    2. No trunk. We are seeing more and more reports of people with cars, both classic and not, getting broken into by bashing the windows to get to things in sight. The 1947 Desoto Suburban does not have a trunk. We do not want to worry about someone looking in and deciding to break a window to get to things while we are in some diner someplace.


    By dumb luck we ran across last week an 88 year old man that had a few cars. He cannot drive any more. One of the cars was a 1964 Chrysler 300K hardtop. It was his mothers that she purchased new in the fall of 1963. FACTORY paint still on it. The sheet metal unibody is perfect. A couple of small dings here and there but where it counts the metal is just fantastic. The car has a documented 98K miles on it.


    Now you have to understand that my mom and dad, in addition to the 1949 Desoto that a got back and restored, purchased a 1964 Chrysler 300K in the fall of 1963 as well. I restored that car as well a convertible. I sold them both in the late 1990's. I regret to this day selling the hardtop. Neither of the 300K's would fit into the garage space here in San Francisco at the time.


    So, we are going to rebuild a stock 265 for the big Desoto and not do all the fancy modification I was contemplating. We will use it for spring and fall cool weather trips in Northern California for fishing and the like.  The 1964 Chrysler will be completely rebuild for cross country trips.





  19. I have done several of these and I have not had any of them leak. I do however cover the recess with some silicon seal before I add any oil just as insurance.


    You could take the entire trans to a general machine shop and have them place it in a mill and create a step in the case around the hole, like the engine blocks.  Then place a flat style welch plug in with permatex. That should seal it up tight. I suspect that the case or the shaft is out of spec.


    The other option is to source a NOS shaft and tap it through and see if it seats better.



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