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OldMoparNutMONTE Harmon

1934 Chrysler CA engine

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Not many; because these were the last of the exposed water jacket engines, you need pre 33 / 34 Dodge/Plym/Des/Chry engines otherwise you will be messing around with clutch housing / starter mounting and then trans cross members and so on.

 

Essentially your engine, because of the rear block water jacket configuration, has the starter motor mounted close in to the block, so if you try a later flat sided engine (full water jacket) you will have to use a matching clutch housing which then means different gear box and mountings. etc. 

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We get this a lot. Amateurs who have no idea what it takes to swap a motor, think they can throw in a 'temporary' motor in an hour, to use while they rebuild the real engine.

 

Rebuilding an engine doesn't take as long as you think, and replacing an engine with a different one is not as easy as you think. If the rod is not sticking through the block and you have a rebuilder who knows what he is doing it should not take more than a few weeks to do the job. The actual work only takes a few days, the rest of the time is waiting for parts and waiting for the machine shop to get around to your job.

 

Don't waste your time and money on temporary repairs. Just get the engine done properly.

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16 minutes ago, Rusty_OToole said:

We get this a lot. Amateurs who have no idea what it takes to swap a motor, think they can throw in a 'temporary' motor in an hour, to use while they rebuild the real engine.

 

Rebuilding an engine doesn't take as long as you think, and replacing an engine with a different one is not as easy as you think. If the rod is not sticking through the block and you have a rebuilder who knows what he is doing it should not take more than a few weeks to do the job. The actual work only takes a few days, the rest of the time is waiting for parts and waiting for the machine shop to get around to your job.

 

Don't waste your time and money on temporary repairs. Just get the engine done properly.

I have to agree with this. Unless the motor is the same, it will be a giant pain in the butt to get it to fit and work well enough while you are rebuilding the original motor.

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What all is wrong with the original engine? Is it original to the car? If you are not sure give us the serial number. It is located on the left side of the block, near the front, up high stamped into a raised pad next to the second cylinder.

 

If the engine is  a wreck and not original to the car it may be necessary to find another 1934 engine, have it rebuilt and put that in. Which would be kind of what you want to do anyway but easier and cheaper.

 

But, if the original engine is in decent shape but worn it would be easier and cheaper to get it rebuilt.

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Hi, 

I nearly bought this car 40 years ago. At that time the engine was in pieces. I let the deal go, and found the car again last year. 

I bought it in April. It had been put back together and had not run for 20 years. The engine was reported to have been rebuilt.

Long story short, , I bought it as is. I got it running,no knocks, but it

had little or no oil pressure.  A quick check of the usual suspects turned up nothing. I took the oil pump out, the old gear type. 

i had a newer type rotary pump, but it is too short for this engine. I ended up using the longer shaft in the rotary pump. Back

in the car, i could now get 15-20 PSI oil pressure. Not enough! Ended up pulling the oil pan. found a cracked fitting on the

supply tube to the pressure relief valve. Aha! fixed that up, no difference. While I was in there, I plasti-gauged one of the mains.

.003" clearance. I think it should have been half of that. At this point, I think it will have to come out and apart. I have a good

running engine that came out of a 50 or so Dodge.My idea was to put it in as a temp while i check the  original. Wanted to see if 

anyone else has done this?

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1 hour ago, OldMoparNutMONTE Harmon said:

Hi, 

I nearly bought this car 40 years ago. At that time the engine was in pieces. I let the deal go, and found the car again last year. 

I bought it in April. It had been put back together and had not run for 20 years. The engine was reported to have been rebuilt.

Long story short, , I bought it as is. I got it running,no knocks, but it

had little or no oil pressure.  A quick check of the usual suspects turned up nothing. I took the oil pump out, the old gear type. 

i had a newer type rotary pump, but it is too short for this engine. I ended up using the longer shaft in the rotary pump. Back

in the car, i could now get 15-20 PSI oil pressure. Not enough! Ended up pulling the oil pan. found a cracked fitting on the

supply tube to the pressure relief valve. Aha! fixed that up, no difference. While I was in there, I plasti-gauged one of the mains.

.003" clearance. I think it should have been half of that. At this point, I think it will have to come out and apart. I have a good

running engine that came out of a 50 or so Dodge.My idea was to put it in as a temp while i check the  original. Wanted to see if 

anyone else has done this?

 

Sorry, if you go down that road prepare yourself for a lot of frustrating work, ask me how I know.

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Well, fill me in. This is precisely why I am asking for input. I am very concearned about what has been done to this engine. I am at the point where I would like to find an original, unmolested engine and start over. Problem is finding one. This is going to take time, time away from enjoying this car. It is a true survivor with only 59,000 original miles. I intend to keep it as original as possible, ignoring many suggestion of updating it with a V-8!

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Congratulations on acquiring this car!  I had a 65,000-mile nice original 1934 CA sedan 50 years ago and remember it fondly.  Simultaneously, a good friend with whom I lost contact had a CA convertible coupe which he allowed me to drive occasionally.  And it's great to hear that you, unlike most of us, were able to get the One That Got Away so long ago. 

 

I never got into the bowels of the engine but did have to pull the transmission twice.  I know it's not what you want to hear, but the advice you've been given--that there are no easy substitutions--is likely correct, as you're getting opinions from very knowledgeable folks.

 

I think my course of action would be as follows:

1.  Pull your engine, tear it down, take measurements, assess what needs to be done to restore THIS engine.  The assessment will inform your next course of action.  You MAY be able to rebuild the engine within three months.

2.  AFTER the assessment, decide whether THIS engine is worth the expense and effort of rebuilding.  Are sleeves necessary?  Bearings and cranking turning necessary (cam bearings, too), or would shim removal do the job?

3.  IF this engine is borderline, begin your search for another engine.  CAs, and especially CBs, are pretty scarce.  Do you want to expend the effort to install a marginal or worn engine for the not-quite-immediate gratification? 

 

Only you can decide (1) whether you want to install a rebuilt engine that you'll never open up again in your lifetime, or (2) a "temporary" engine so you can drive this long-desired car, and spend money and time on the original.

 

Best wishes no matter your choice!  

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Thanks,"Grimy".

your advice is along the same lines I'm thinking. I am worried that this engine has been butchered and therefore is going took take longer to do. I envy the person who can stick to one car... having an assortment hinders getting things done!  It's why I am considering putting the other engine in for the meantime. Dimensionally, it looks pretty close but, the issues that hChris pointed out will need to be  checked closely. I have heard of someone putting a 50s Plymouth engine in a 1934 Plymouth with the short water Jacket.  In the meantime, if anyone else has had experience with this or knows someone that has, I would welcome further comments! 

Greg

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They made several significant changes between 1934 and 1950 even though they look superficially the same. The 1934 only had water jackets on the top half of the cylinders. You can see this if you look at the block. The 1950 has water jackets the full length of the cylinders. This made the block wider right where the starter goes. They had to relocate the starter, and change the engine/bellhousing interface to suit. I don't know exactly what all they changed but suffice it to say, the newer engine will not fit.

 

There were also changes to the front of the engine, to the water pump and to the engine mounting. I don't doubt you could lash up something if you had to. I have seen it done. A later flathead six in a 1934 Dodge. You could see it involved a lot of cutting and welding and looked like hell. I remember wondering at the time why the owner bothered. It must have taken many, many hours of work.

 

To put it in a nut shell, if you held a gun to my head and offered me unlimited money I could do it, but it would cost substantially more, and take substantially longer, than just rebuilding the original engine properly.

 

From what you say the old engine is in one piece and running. It is possible the crankshaft block valves etc are all good and it just needs new bearings gaskets and possibly rings. In other words an easy job that can be done in a couple of days for under $500 in parts with no machine work required. I wouldn't go off half cocked until I had the engine out torn down and measured the parts. It's not like you have to have it to drive to work on Monday.

 

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
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Thanks, Rusty

the previous owner told me the crank had been turned. And it had been line bored. He said there was trouble getting main bearings and was not sure what they ended up using. It got a new set of rings (std) and the pistons were knurled. Plus a valve grind. It worries me what I will find when I take it apart! That's why I considered the temp. engine. 

Greg

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Mains clearance you observed at 0.003 tells me that bearings will have to be addressed.  Loose cam bearings are also a major source of low oil pressure.

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There are very few engines that can not be rebuilt.  Have even seen engines, with holes in the block where the rod or piston came through, repaired and made to run like new. Putting a temporary engine in the car, that requires picking up a welding torch, does not make much sense in my opinion. All the cutting would need to be put back to original and any brackets you had to make would have to be removed, once the original motor is ready to go back in the car.  While the engine is being rebuilt i am sure there are things that can be done to the car while you are waiting.

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In spite of what you were told there is no way to know what is going on inside the engine until you take it apart. It sounds like the owner got the engine "rebuilt" by whoever offered to do it cheapest, and he got his money's worth. Now it needs to be done again properly. I know someone who had a similar (1941) engine rebuilt a couple of years ago, it cost $3000. That engine had broken pistons and needed to be rebored.

 

I will ask some of the more experienced guys to correct me on this but the parts for the 1937 - 1959 engine are still available and not hard to get or expensive. Vintage Power Wagons has a warehouse full of parts and was offering NOS pistons @ $75 a set of six. I know they changed the water jackets between 1934 and 1937. But if pistons, bearings, cams, lifters, valves etc are alike and interchangeable it should not be hard or expensive to rebuild the engine.

 

So, anyone with experience of early 30s Mopars what about it?

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I'll jump in.

The chief problem with scabbing in another engine so you can enjoy it is you might never get around to going back........ :wacko:

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