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falconvan

1950 Desoto Custom

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I found my front seal to be leaking as well.  Rockauto shows a felt type seal (near as I can tell by the pics there) for my 51's 217.  But if I look up a 54 Belvedere 230 it shows a modern lip seal.  I am going to get a repair sleeve too since odds are that's messed up as well.  I probably already have the felt type seal in my engine gasket kit.

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I recently put gaskets in a 1958 230 and that one was a regular rubber seal. I haven’t bought a kit for this one yet

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Got the engine all tore down and everything looks pretty good. No sense in not freshening it up with rings, bearing, gaskets and a valve lap while I’m this far. Also going to do a firewall forward clean up; paint the front of the frame and under the hood. Also picked up my Plymouth trans and a good running 218. If anyone needs the motor shoot me a message and I’ll make you a deal.

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I love the DeSoto/Chrysler 25" engine. Consider changing the cam bearings and using the small oil hole (there's two sizes to choose from in the bearings)

If you've got it that far apart you might look for a 251 or 265 Crank and rod set. (the pistons remain the same for 237-251-265)

I have a new Flywheel on order from Vintage Power wagons which uses a 10" clutch and they are cheap.

They also have a Stainless Steel Water Distribution Tube.

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Did you go with the Dodge 3 speed manual transmission? Will it have a steering column shifter? If so, have you found a steering column with shifter?

 

I have a car with a fluid torque drive. So far so good, but a back up plan is reassuring. I picked up a 1949 218 with flywheel, bell housing, clutch. Also thrown in was a 1953 speed manual tranny and another bell housing. I think the tranny and 2nd bell housing came out of a 53 Belvedere. With the bell housing and clutch I may be able to make these parts work if needed in the future? I will follow along your tranny swap and learn how you do things. Thanks for posting.

 

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I did the same thing; got a Plymouth trans with the bell housing  and flywheel to eliminate the fluid drive. From what I’ve read the Desoto steering column will work. I did get the Plymouth shift linkage, too.

 

Finished the tear down today; from here it’ll be degrease, cleanup, paint, reassemble.

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Falconvan, as I posted to you on HAMB. Its a straight forward swap from FD to dry clutch.

You can then go with regular 3 spd or better yet R10 overdrive.

Other option is get another FD and flywheel and a 3spd trans. No moving of crossmember in that case.

I do understand you have bought the applicable clutch housing and trans to make this work?

I do find it amusing 1 follower of this post puts on the "sad face" over you getting rid of M6 but thinks a Chevy 200R trans is good...lol

with regular clutch way more grunt off the line. Trade off no more convenient FD in city driving...

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21 hours ago, keithb7 said:

Did you go with the Dodge 3 speed manual transmission? Will it have a steering column shifter? If so, have you found a steering column with shifter?

 

I have a car with a fluid torque drive. So far so good, but a back up plan is reassuring. I picked up a 1949 218 with flywheel, bell housing, clutch. Also thrown in was a 1953 speed manual tranny and another bell housing. I think the tranny and 2nd bell housing came out of a 53 Belvedere. With the bell housing and clutch I may be able to make these parts work if needed in the future? I will follow along your tranny swap and learn how you do things. Thanks for posting.

 

$_59.JPG

The Desoto shifter and linkage should work just fine.

In my case it did but who knows till he gets this started.

16 hours ago, falconvan said:

I did the same thing; got a Plymouth trans with the bell housing  and flywheel to eliminate the fluid drive. From what I’ve read the Desoto steering column will work. I did get the Plymouth shift linkage, too.

 

Finished the tear down today; from here it’ll be degrease, cleanup, paint, reassemble.

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Desoto shifter and linkage should work just fine. The operative word is should...

Now your clutch throw out fork will not and needs to be shorter.

You will find out soon enough on it all..

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I get it, some people are die hard restorers and don’t want to see anything changed from original. But at least I’m keeping it all Mopar.
 

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15 minutes ago, falconvan said:

I get it, some people are die hard restorers and don’t want to see anything changed from original. But at least I’m keeping it all Mopar.
 

Yes some are and to each there own.

Ive pretty well remain neutral on this these days.

I don't care what anyone chooses to do on there projects.

I think you are on right track with your project. And it can easily be reversed to OEM too if need be.

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So a couple smaller projects whilst I’m waiting for my crank to come back from the machine shop. First the brakes. One of the previous owners did a disc brake conversion and did the deal where you attach a second master cylinder by running a rod through the first one. Aside from the point that it was leaking pretty bad, it was also sticking up through the floor on the drivers side. So I’m building a bracket to get rid of the original MC and will most likely use a remote reservoir MC or find something lower profile. 
Next is the seat; this thing was completely junk with the slides broke and most of the springs collapsed. So after searching through the boneyard I found this seat in a 15 passenger Dodge van. I’ll have to lower it but the shape and length look pretty good, I think.  I may go back and get a second one out of the same van to use for a back seat if I can make it work. Thankfully the floors have been done and they did a pretty decent job so I don’t have to do any floor rust repair.

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Did a massive degrease on the frame with a power washer and several cans of degreaser; now just need to do a little wire brush and some paint to protect it. 
Thinking about doing a change of direction on the motor. The rebuild cost of the 236 is adding up and I’ve got this 218 sitting here with new valve seats. Seriously considering mothballing the 236 for now and just giving the 218 an exterior cleanup and dropping it in. Could always change back later if I end up keeping it for any length of time. 

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I think you will enjoy driving the 218......it's an eager little buddy that makes me grin every time......  😁

Edited by Sam Buchanan

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Yeah, I’ve had a few of them and I know it’s 15 hp less but really how much difference is it going to make in a car that probably tops out at 65-70? I’m thinking it’ll be fine.

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On the other hand...........IF the 236 is original to the car, it would be nice to keep it. I am such a big fan of keeping the original engine in a car if possible. I rebuilt the engine in my '51 Dodge D39 business coupe as it was original to the car rather than using a perfectly good rebuilt but very slightly used engine I have in the garage as a spare. I will keep it for another project if there is one in my future. Before and after pictures shown.

 

I knew the engine was original as it had D39 stamped before the engine serial number on the block.

 

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Nice! I’m going to hang on to it and may end up using it later; just going the budget route for now.

Broke out the POR 15; starting to get a look a little better.

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Not exactly the same color but close enough for  Krylon. Actually closer to the original color than the repaint.

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Finished up my master cylinder mount. Much better; sitting below the floor now. Just need to run the lines to the proportioning valve.

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Hey Falcon,  this is just a shout out that you really are doing a great job on that car.  You seem to work about ten times faster than most us hobbyists.  

 

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Did a test fit on the drivetrain. I tried it in the stock location for the 25” engine but as I suspected it causes alignment problems with the clutch z-bar and shift linkage. So I’m building some plates to set the engine back 2”. Also was going to try to cut the trans cross member loose and move it 6” forward but the pivot bracket for the shift linkage is there. So I notched the cross member to clear the trans and will build some plates to go from the bell housing mounts to the cross member. 

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Edited by falconvan

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Got the engine set back and made some extension brackets for the trans cross member. I’ll probably add another gusset for stability but they should work fine.

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