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Julian1v

Convertible top pump motor

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I am restoring a '53 Plymouth Cranbrook convertible ( now on 12 V electrical). The  top's pump motor has died. I saw an advertisement for a 12 volt motor for a '53 Dodge Coronet. My guess is that it's identical but I would like to be sure. Does anyone know whether they are the same thing or compatible?

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All old cars have their stories, but they often reluctant to reveal them. I'll add a little background to the car's story. I bought it a little over a year ago from a person in the far north of Queensland, Australia, living in a city called Cairns. How it got there is a little mysterious. I live in Adelaide, South Australia which is  on the center, south coast of the continent and about 2000 miles away. What interested me, apart from how rare this model and body type is in Australia, was that it had South Australian license plates and while researching Plymouth Cranbrooks on Wikipedia, found a picture of the very same car on the Wikipedia page, as an example of this model and body type. It had the same South Australian plates. If you look at the entry, scroll down about half way and you'll see it. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plymouth_Cranbrook

Anyway, I had some discussions and asked a few questions about its migrations. I didn't get a straight answer but it seems as though someone may have won it in a card game or some other sort of wager; somehow she arrived in tropical Australia. Whatever, we agreed on a deal and I bought her. I had to get her trucked down south in a hurry as there was a tropical cyclone ( hurricane ) on the way but we beat the weather and came down through the outback. I still don't know how long the car has been in Australia. I have a feeling it was shipped out from the USA some time in the early 2000s but I have not yet tracked down the previous owners to find out for sure.

I have had episodes of driving her and then having her worked on, whenever I get back from my job in China. She has been re upholstered and given a new coat of paint and some bright work done and now, is having steering, suspension and brakes improved.

As to the convertible roof. It stopped working just before I left so I left it in the hands of my trusty restorers. They have just got back to me to say that the motor is open circuited, and what's more, that the raising mechanism is cable, not hydraulic. Can anyone of you experienced restorers comment on  this? I always thought even the late 40s Plymouths convertibles had electro-hydraulic mechanisms. I have a workshop manual on the way from the USA but it had not arrived by the time I had to go back to work so I'm none the wiser. I'd appreciate any observations or thoughts on this.

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Nice car.

My 53 Dodge Coronet convertible uses an electric motor with cables (like overgrown speedometer cables) to drive screw jacks to operate the top.  I'd expect your Plymouth has the same arrangement.  My car was in storage (garage-find) for 45 years and a couple years after I rescued it one of the cables frayed, probably due to dried grease in the screw jack housings.  Was able to find someone to build me a new cable & now everything works, even with the 67 year old original top.

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Edited by CaptainGTX
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Here is a picture of the cable operated convertible top mechanism and screw jacks I removed from a '51 Plymouth convertible that was being scrapped. It consists of a reversible electric motor, two drive cables and two worm gear screw jacks. No hydraulics. I'm guessing that yours is similar. My 1949-1954  Plymouth Service Manual covers this mechanism briefly. I can copy and post the pages if you need them.

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Many thanks Captain GTX and Rekbender. Several  people in antique parts businesses were surprised (or wouldn't believe) that these systems were an alternative to the electric-hydraulic systems. These pictures are really useful to me. I managed to get the Redmond motor that drives the system rewound by a veteran auto electrician in his 70s and it's working well again. I have put new wiring through the car with resistance buffers to all parts to protect the remaining 6 volt components. The gentleman who imported the old girl some time ago just threw 12 v into the system and thought things would hold out. He was right to a degree but by the time I got hold of her, things began to fail. Interestingly, the auto electrician said the younger people in his field are just not interested in learning the rewinding skills but anyone who did would have the foundation of a profitable business as his generation "bows out". Thanks again sirs.

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