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Mild custom '48 Club Coupe, with work log


FarmerJon
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Hello all, 

Thanksgiving morning I purchased a '48 Plymouth club coupe. It is an older restoration with some mild '50s custom touches. This site has already been very helpful in researching these cars pre purchase, and with the little bit of maintenance I have begun. I looked at 3 of these cars in my area before deciding this one was my best bet.

 

I have had a fairly large variety of antique cars over the years, but mostly non running projects that haven't worked out. I have 2 young sons, the older (5) misses the last old truck I had, a fairly nice, low mileage '72 f-100 that I drove quite a bit the first 3 years of his life. I am hoping this Plymouth will fill that gap and provide many more years of good memories for my family.

 

Car runs and drives fairly well, but needs some electrical work, and a thermostat. Horns are disconnected, and sounds when connected. Relay is dangling with one wire unhooked from wherever it belongs. 

Heater, radio and clock don't work.

Brake light was replaced with an LED one, but never wired up. I believe it may be a 12V unit, it seems the company that makes them are out of business. I installed the sedan bezel and light that came in my box of parts to find that 1. It fits terribly 2. Brake light switch is bad. I have a "Hopefully OK" coupe bezel and new gasket on the way, and a new switch was in the box of parts, going to try to install it today. Need to flush out the muddy river water that is serving as brake fluid anyways.

 

 

IMG_20211129_173053068.jpg

Edited by FarmerJon
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No big deal,but those are Buick taillights.

 

Looks like you have dual exhausts,too.

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I could be wrong but I was thinking '50 Pontiac. Either way, I actually like them a bit better than the stock ones, which I have a very nice pair of in my parts box. Only problem is that they are not wired as brake lights, just tail and blinker.  I plan on figuring out how to correct that in the near future.

Also with them lower it doesn't leave room for the stock style reverse light. I will have to see if car is wired for one, but I would like to have something to indicate to others I am moving backwards...maybe a beeper!:lol:

 

As far as modification, the noted tail lights, Split exhaust manifold and matching dual exhaust, upholstery stock pattern but not style, a small chrome louvered air filter and the wire wheels with shorter radials are most of what has been changed. I have a set of original wheels with good radial white walls that I will put back on ASAP, but no stock caps. I will run the aftermarket 'Lancer' style caps that came with the car, since I don't mind the '1958 highschool custom car' look.

My box of parts also included a piece of trim to shave the hood ornament with (bolt on replacement). I guess it is a 'JC Whitney' type piece. The Wife and I are arguing over if we should run it or the stock hood ornament.

I like the lightly shaved look of early budget customs. She likes the stately-ness of the large, proud hood ornament.

Edited by FarmerJon
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2 hours ago, FarmerJon said:

Only problem is that they are not wired as brake lights, just tail and blinker.

Nice car.  

That's the way they came from the factory.  The brake light was the single light on the trunk.  I rewired the 47 P15 with a standard 6 volt wiring harness that included connections for turn signals.  Had to change out the pig tails on both sides from single contact to dual contact for the dual filament bulbs.  The pig tails are a standard size and I found them at the local auto parts store.

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Has the car been switched over to 12 v?  Originally it was wired for 6v with positive ground.  Horns operate by the horn ring or button pushed which completes the relays connection to ground.  This connection is a wire that is wired through the steering box, through the steering column and connected to the horn ring.  When you press, ground is connected and horns will sound.  I can't recall if the horns are hot all the time or if the key needs to be on.  Look closely at the bottom of the steering box.  You should see a short wire with a bakelite butt connector or a small hole.  The hole if for the wire.  If the wire is missing, it can be an adventure to fish a new 9ne op rhrough the column to restore the ground path.

 

Welcome, good luck.

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3 hours ago, FarmerJon said:

I could be wrong but I was thinking '50 Pontiac. 

Could be. They were very similar.

 

IIRC,and with chemo brain that is NOT a certainty,the brake lights on these cars was the single light on the deck lid. Two lights far apart is a MUCH safer setup.

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BTW,just had a random moment of clarity. The Buick taillights I was thinking of had chrome "gunsight" insterts in them,with a reflective center piece. They were also larger than the Pontical taillights.

 

I am guessing the Buick taillights are pretty hard to find these days,and most likley kinda "pricey".

 

I had a perfet pair I took off a Buick in a local junkyard when I was a kid,but my mother threw them away when I joined the army.

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Those Buick lights sound sweet!

The taillights already have two wires running to them- one for tail light and one for blinker. I haven't pulled one off to see if it has a dual filament bulb or not, I am under the impression it does. 

Assuming that it already has a dual filament bulb, what would it take to wire the lights up to be twilight, stop light and blinker? I know where the wire comes out of the body to go down the deck lid to the center stop light, I could 'T' off of it to get power to each side, just don't know what to do when I get there. 

I plan on driving this thing as much as possible, often with my kids inside, 3+ brake lights don't seem excessive.

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I'm with ya on the 3 brake lights.

 

Your Pontiac lights SHOULD have the dual wires and dual contacts already inside them,and if they don't,installing them is a simple thing to do.

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2 hours ago, FarmerJon said:

Those Buick lights sound sweet!

The taillights already have two wires running to them- one for tail light and one for blinker. I haven't pulled one off to see if it has a dual filament bulb or not, I am under the impression it does. 

Assuming that it already has a dual filament bulb, what would it take to wire the lights up to be twilight, stop light and blinker? I know where the wire comes out of the body to go down the deck lid to the center stop light, I could 'T' off of it to get power to each side, just don't know what to do when I get there. 

I plan on driving this thing as much as possible, often with my kids inside, 3+ brake lights don't seem excessive.

Post a picture of your turn signal switch.  The brake light power from the brake switch will run through the turn switch, the turn signal switch does the rest.  The trunk lid brake light runs directly off the brake light switch and not through the turn signal switch.

 

Clear as mud? :)

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Certainly have enough wires going into the turn signal assembly. Then they go into this...

 

 

Found were horn relay wire goes- broken off bottom of steering box. May have enough to reconnect it... 

Also all the connections at the generator are in poor condition.

IMG_20211208_170734562.jpg

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Hi Jon.  Welcome.  Nice looking car.  Once you get the wiring sorted out, you can have 3 rear brake lights plus turn signals.  Regarding the brake light currently

on the car the Technostalgia company mainly made and sold 12 volt units.  However they did make a few 6 volt lights (I have one of them) but not sure how to

tell which one you have.  They appear to still be in business in Gibsonville, N C with phone of 866-258-5670.    They stopped making 6v lights as they did

not sell very well....they could probably tell you how to tell which light you have.  You may need to find a different turn signal flasher unit due to the current

usage of LEDs vs regular old fashioned bulbs.    I replaced my original flasher with a clear plastic unit which I had been given by a fellow from Canada.....the

writing on that flasher is rather worn off and I cannot read a brand name.  

 

I see you have a set of genuine Chrysler Corp chrome wire wheels.  Are they 14 or 15 inch?   I personally like them (and have a set of 15s on my car).....and they

are rather pricey these days.    If your horn gets re-wired and keeps honking when it shouldn't, you may need to remove the horn center and ring to check the

works in center of steering wheel where contact is made.  Good luck with all those "fun" projects.

 

My car

 

2_5_4_2_.jpg?width=1920&height=1080&fit=

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  The hood trim piece you referred to in your post about 

11 hours ago is called a "bull nose strip". Pretty common

60 years ago, I'd guess pretty sought after now. I'd surely

grab one if it turned up at a swap meet.

  In any case, you scored a really nice looking coupe.

 

 

 

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Thank you all for the wiring diagrams. The ones for the turn signal are very helpful, I didn't have those. Looks like when I replace the brake light switch, it will be a good time to track the path of the wires, locate the one (most likely) unused wire from the turn signal, and T it in. 

The car did come with a factory manual, although it covers several of the later models as well, so there may be a better version out there.

I tried to contact Technostalgia, their phone # is no good and no response from their info email. 

As of now I am set back up with a traditional bulb in the old Sedan housing/trim. My replacement Coupe one should be here today, fresh gasket due friday, and I will see how presentable it is. I gambled on one on eBay that was thickly painted white. Hopefully it isn't too pitted to use once stripped.

I am thinking of taking a piece of plastic mirror and making a reflector inside of the assembly to help with visibility.

Planning on buying a 5 or 10 pack of flat woven ground straps to install when I get the car up on the lift for initial maintenance.

 

Are 1/2" wide adequate?

Thinking two under the rear, body to frame and two under the front body to frame, and one engine to body? 

 

My friend is a watchmaker, he is nearly done with the factory clock, hopefully it will run like new. 

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  • FarmerJon changed the title to Mild custom '48 Club Coupe, with work log

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