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Tony Moore

Mopar and Forum Newbie - ‘49 Plymouth Suburban

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Hi All,

 

I’m new to both Mopar vehicles and this forum, tho’ I’m not new to older vehicles and have been driving old air cooled VW’s for nearly 40 years.

 

I live in Southwestern Ohio and drive my old vehicles as daily-ish drivers until the snow and ice hits, and then start up again when it all thaws.

 

My wife “stole” my ‘62 VW single cab truck and turned it into her retirement “jobby”, a mobile bookstore. To console me, she “allowed” me to replace it. I replaced it with a ‘49 Plymouth Suburban.

 

It’s said to have been “restored” about 10 years ago, and for the most part, this appears to be accurate. 

 

I can’t speak for the condition right after said restoration, but it’s now in need of all the old car stuff I expect with braking, steering, suspension, and so on, etc...

 

Given that I’m new to Mopar vehicles, and of this vintage, where should I start to educate myself?

 

The typical mechanical stuff seems straight forward and it seems regular maintenance parts are relatively easy to come by, but are there “favorite” suppliers and sources I should first consider?

 

I do have some questions specific to this model and year that I haven’t yet been able to find by browsing and such:

 

- It’s still 6 volt, tho it is currently negative ground. I’ve read these were positive ground systems. Is it common for the ground to be reversed? I know I have some wiring issues to sort out as the brake lights are not working and the turn signals (aftermarket switch) also do not work.

 

- Mine has heater and air controls under the dash, but there doesn’t appear to be the heating and fan “unit” under the passenger side dash that I’ve seen pictured. I’ve attached pics of the dash area and under the hood for reference. Any insight would be appreciated.

 

- The wipers don’t appear to be functioning. Is it common for folks to replace with electric?

 

Thanks for any insights shared!

 

Tony

 

 

 

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The blower motor for your heater is clear up front to the left of your radiator and to the passenger side.

 

Under the dash you have a second small blower for the defrost function. It is pointed toward the dash on the back end.

 

Your under-hood heater duck has been repaired with?? Very,very common as originals were made from a heavy coated paper as are the replacements that have been avail. but thinner cardboard now.

 

Nice place to start!!

 

DJ

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Thanks DJ!

 

Where are the heater “vents” in the cabin?

 

I don’t see anything that resembles a “vent” where the duct leads to. BTW, that duct appears to have been repaired with fiberglass “tape” and then painted.

 

The fan/blower switch isn’t functioning, tho’ I don’t yet know if it’s the switch or a fuse or just the wiring. Time and a meter will tell 🙂

 

Tony

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Tony-

 

Depends on the model of heater installed -there were 3 optional heaters models.

 

I "think" you have the top of the line for Plymouths that year and you will have three heater outlets. One at each toe boards just in front of the doors about 8-10" up from the floor and a louvered look vent in the center of the underdash ductwork.

 

The defrost vents out the top of same underdash ductwork and up through vents right behind the front glass window frame if I remember correctly. I have 2 50 Plymouths and one has the system described.

 

DJ

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Thanks again DJ!

 

I think the ducting for the “toe vents” is missing and the vents themselves are now covered (pic attached).

 

I think I now know what you refer to as the “louvered look” vent under the dash (pic attached).

 

I’ve also located the defroster fan and ductwork you’ve referred to.

 

The wiring to all is a mixture of original cloth covered (with some bare wires now showing) and newer wiring. I have it on my “to do” list to assess along with other wiring to lights and such.

 

Thanks again,

 

Tony

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Tony........Welcome Aboard...........whilst I can't give any specific info re your questions I would certainly suggest obtaining a Factory Workshop Manual, an Owners Manual and a Parts Manual.....all these things are seen on ebay regularly and the reason I'd suggest getting a paper version too is that you then read from cover to cover and will pickup a lot more info than just have a CD to browse thru.............as for the car being 6 volt, negative earth I've not seen that before, its originally 6 volt Positive earth so I can't help there..........it looks like you have original wiring, some people like the original aspect of a car, me, well I like things to work and not burn out.........lol...........I'd be checking ALL the wiring if its original cloth covered as it gets brittle, and is a fire waiting to happen............there are a number of suppliers that specialise in Mopars but for me Andy Bernbaums, www.oldmoparts.com I've found very good over the years, the main thing is to know exactly what you need and also exactly what it is called, ie, what the factory calls the part as sometimes there are "local" names given that can confuse the situation....also a Parts Manual as I said can be very useful as not only does it show all the parts but in doing so allows you to see how and where things may fit................lol..............anyway Welcome aboard from Oz........Andy Douglas     

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Most electrical stuff doesn't care about polarity, but the coil likes things the way they were designed.  If when you do a polarity swap assure your coil is neg from ign, positive to points.  Assuming that it is still running a points style distributor.

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Good point (no pun intended 😉 ) Greg!

 

I haven’t gotten as far as looking into the distributor, but I’ll chase that path down as well.

 

I did have a Studebaker for a short time and it too was 6v positive ground. Some PO had installed newer battery cables and I finally painted big +’s and -‘s on the cables and battery to keep me from forgetting. I recall replacing the generator with a 6v  alternator to better handle a 12v wiper kit that had been installed in that car...

 

Thanks again,

 

Tony

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A factory manual is a must, imo. It’s not just useful, it’s quite entertaining, also.

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In answer to your question, no it's not common for owners to reverse the polarity of the 6 volt positive ground battery if they are trying to keep it original.  As far a getting a good education on your new Mopar car, I recommend the Master Tech filmstrips, which are available on Youtube.  check out my older thread on this:

 

Here is a direct link to the Master Tech filmstrips:  

http://www.mymopar.com/index.php?pid=117

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Nice ride! I've said a few times that I wouldn't mind having a Suburban in the stable. Where abouts are you in Southwestern Ohio? I go down 71 and 75 an pretty regular basis (I live just a bit north of Springfield on 70).

 

Electric wipers were an option as well as some aftermarket pieces currently available(I think 12V only). I know i am going to be putting in an aftermarket unit in my 48 Plymouth because the vacuum wipers are terrible and I don't really want to deal with them.

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Tony,

 

I found my reconstruction pictures of the underdash heater tube just for clarification

 

The outlets for driver and passenger heat to the feet are shorter than I remembered.

 

I built this one from fiberglass using the badly broken one as  a mold.

 

Hope this is informative.

 

Any other thing that I may help with-give a holler.

 

DJ

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Edited by DJ194950
add pics-??

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