Sactownog

Re introduction 1933 Dodge - can't we all get along

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A few years ago I put a 26% Mitchell OD in my 1925 Pierce Series 80 sedan with a 4.88 gearset.  This is a car with a 3,000 rpm redline.  It was comfortable at 36-37 mph, screaming at 40-41.  Now the final drive ratio is 3.61 and I cruise comfortably at 48-49.  Made it a totally different car!  If you did the same 26% Mitchell ratio, your 4.30s would become 3.18.  The OD itself is synchromesh.

 

You hang it behind your transmission and have two short driveshafts made up.  As Bloo mentions, they can be noisy in OD, not in direct, but if you only use OD above 35 mph in a pre-1938 car, you probably will never hear it.

 

If you're thinking seriously about a Mitchell, PM me for a discussion of controls to use.  Short version:  I had them drill the case for a flipped mounting so that the push-pull was on the right side.  Then a friend fabricated linkage to come into the passenger cabin through the floor-mounted hand brake slot.  Looks like a transfer case lever, so not stock in appearance, but VERY handy to use.  Their control cables are too thick and clunky, IMHO, so if I was going to use that method, I'd (1) use a hood release handle and bracket for a 1949-52 MoPaR with (2) a marine cable much stronger than a Bowden cable but not as large in diameter as the cables Mitchell sells.

 

Mitchell Manufacturing, Colusa, CA. I have no connection with them other than as a VERY happy customer.  Developed for Model As but beta-tested in a Chev 454 DRW pickup by the late Mr. Mitchell.

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3 hours ago, Sactownog said:

is this transmission a direct bolt in?

See Taylormade's post above. Do you have "floating power" like that? If you do, no. If not, maybe...

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In theory, drum brakes stop much better and more efficiently than discs because they have a larger contact area. They fall down because they cannot dissipate the heat quickly enough. Where discs prove MUCH better is in multiple stops and frequent use, or stops from very high speed. Many years ago, the drum brakes on my 57 Customline were absolutely brilliant for average use, but I distinctly remember trying to stop quickly from 100 MPH once. 100 to 40 MPH was fine but by then they were so hot that nothing else happened and it seemed to take forever to stop completely.

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25 minutes ago, Spinneyhill said:

See Taylormade's post above. Do you have "floating power" like that? If you do, no. If not, maybe...

I do have floating power

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I understand that this discussion can be productive, or it can be problematic, as AACA is about Restoration and Preservation of cars as they were originally manufactured. AACA does have a class for cars with bolt on modifications, the Driver Participation Class. The modifications being discussed in this are appropriate for DPC. 

 

There have also been some posts here that indicate that some inappropriate private messages have been received from some members. Typically, we don't allow private messages being revealed on the open forum. As such, those posts are removed as they have been in this discussion. 

 

If abusive messages are received, you can hit the report button on the private messages, which then allows the moderators to see the reported content and take appropriate action for any forum rule infractions in the reported private message(s). It is important for folks who want to talk about modifying cars to be polite and understand that the primary focus of AACA is restoration or preservation of cars as manufactured. It is also important for all of the forum members to remember to be polite in responding to any post, even if the person has expressed an interest in hotrodding an original car. It all boils down to the basic premise that this place is supposed to be a "G rated" family friendly forum for people interested in the Antique Automobile hobby. Please remember to play nice. If you can't say anything nice, it is usually best to say nothing at all.

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I don’t want to sound like the crabby old man yelling to the neighborhood kids to get off his lawn, but half the fun of owning a vintage vehicle is experiencing what it was like to drive one of these old buggies back in the day.  Trying to take halfway measures to make the car “drivable” usually results in a bad experience for the driver and the car.  These Dodges have Lockheed brakes.  If adjusted properly and up to specifications, they stop the car very nicely.  If you have to pump the brakes three times just to stop the car, there is something wrong with your brakes.  Are they adjusted properly?  Are the linings worn or oil saturated?   Are the drums worn?  Have you checked the lines and fittings?  Are the master cylinder and wheel cylinders smooth inside and leak free?  Are the rubber fittings soft and pliable?  How long since the fluid has been drained and replaced with fresh fluid?  You’re going to have to do all this if you plan on installing disk brakes anyway, so why not do it now and see what happens? 

 

To expect a car car of this age to perform like a modern car is ridiculous.  Ever seen the lube chart for your Dodge?  I’ve spent many an afternoon under my car lubing the dozens of fittings on all manner of moving parts.  There are no sealed bearings or permanently lubed parts on these cars.  You don’t get in and drive them 30,000 miles with no maintenance.  As I’ve tried to point out, you don’t just slap on a set of disk brakes in a couple of hours.  Although there are partial kits for later Mopars, I don’t believe there are any for our earlier cars.  So, be prepared to do an extensive search for a disk setup that will work on your car - correct diameter, stopping power, calipers - then find a machine shop that can cut out and drill your brake supports - after you’ve designed them and made up the cad drawings.  Then chose your master cylinder - after you have designed your new mounting system and how it will connect the the pedal.  After fabricating the new mounts and pedal linkage, properly shield the area and weld the mounts to the frame - after cutting off the old mounts and destroying the old system.  Now fabricate and install new brake lines since the old lines will no longer fit your new configuration.  Don’t forget to fabricate and install the mount for the proportioning valve you’ll need to keep proper balance between the front disks and rear drums.  Then take the car out and experiment, adjusting the valve until you get the braking correct.  After all this you may get marginally better braking which will still be limited to those four inch tire treads.

 

in my experience, unless you are a good fabricator, welder and designer, or have an excellent hot rod shop in the area, many of these “update projects” end up with the car sitting in the garage half apart until the owner loses interest and sells it as a project.  You seem to genuinely enjoy driving your Dodge.  Use it as it was meant to be used,  maintain the original systems and get them to spec if something is worn out or malfunctioning.  My 32 was my first car.  I bought it in 1965 and drove it daily up in Syracuse, New York during bitterly hard winters, deep snow and icy roads.  It always started and ran just fine.  It was my daily driver, all original and I wouldn’t (and haven’t) changed a thing, and I’m glad of it.

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http://www.srpmstreetrods.com/srpm/1933-34-dodge-plymouth-car-truck-front-disc-brake-conversion-kit-40288be855af76f9015604c064b1073f-p.html

 

this is the brake kit I would use, it is simple kit to swap to disk brakes. 

 

I do have to pump my brake 1-3 times to get proper pressure in the lines. I have been trying to figure this out for a month or so now, car stops but for sure does not brake well at all. 

 

the rear brakes were wet with rear end grease due to the outer seals going bad, I have only found 1 seal, I need to find the other, which is NONEXISTANT and is 99% the reason why I am looking into changing the rear end along with the gearing. because I don't want to spend my life looking for outer seals that may be NOS if someone maybe has them but most likely does not. 

 

what do you think the braking distance should be with 100% proper 4 wheel drum brakes VS front DISK brakes? 

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20 hours ago, Scott Bonesteel said:

If you are in San Diego (as I am), sign up for the event in Vista, first Sunday in August.  About 300 cars show up and they close up the old downtown streets.  While they call it the Vista 'Rod Run', lots of restored and lightly modified cars show up.  Good family event and opportunity to swap stories with owners.  Contact the Vista Village Association to sign up.  I will have your 33's cousin, my 34 PE four-door sedan, with side mounts, in attendance and would be glad to talk Mopar with you.  SMB

 

Good to know about that. I'll be out of the country this at that time this summer. But maybe I can drive my '33 Plymouth down next year.

 

17 hours ago, Sactownog said:

how do you stop so well on Drum Brakes? mine have to be pumped (I have bleed them 3 times) and I still feel like I cant stop for anything unless I plan for it. I may just be used to disk brakes in my normal new car's but the Drums are scary at times and I have a family to keep safe. 

 

Original drums, in good repair and adjustment, should be able to lock up the wheels if mounted with the original skinny tires. Probably not strong enough to lock up newer tires with a larger pavement contact pattern. A larger friction area on the brakes, either larger drums or going to discs would probably be needed to lock up fat tires.

 

The real issue with drum brakes is fade: The brakes become less effective when then heat up. If the drums are properly sized the only time that should be an issue is in rally or race driving. Or maybe if you drive like a maniac bouncing between full throttle and full brake on the freeways.

 

However Lockheed drum brakes are very sensitive to bad adjustment. It is possible to adjust them without proper tools but takes some time. They are best if the shoes are arc'd to the drums and installed/adjusted with the proper tooling.

 

I've got an Ammco 1750 adjustment tool. I also have, I think, some of the sticky back sand paper I used to arc my shoes (put the paper inside the drum and rub the shoes until there is continuous contact). PM or email me and we can work out a date where I can come on down to Oceanside and go over your brake adjustment.

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I have just replaced the inner and outer seals on my 1930 Dodge Brothers 8. The inner seals were found by size. They are NAK brand if I remember rightly and the part number is the size. Yours may be the same - do they have the same part number? The outer seals only keep the grease in, not diff oil and I replaced them too. The old leather seals were pulled out of the housing and a modern seal pressed in. The inner seal is a modern lip seal too. The reason my seals were shot is because the bearings were shot and allowed axle lateral movement the seals are not designed to deal with. Yours is likely to be like that too.

 

Have you read Taylormade's topic on Daphne? Read the bit about his rear axle reburbishment and learn from that. I expect yours will be pretty similar.

 

When the service men test the brakes on my 1930 Dodge Brothers, on the rollers, they always express surprise at how good the brakes are. The are in good adjustment and have fresh fluid. Remember there are two adjustments with our brakes, the fixed anchors and the upper shoe adjustment. This is discussed in various places on these fora, including in Daphne's story.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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That looks like a quality kit, but you’re going to be close to 900 bucks once you buy all the accessories that are not included.  You can totally rebuild your original system for a little over a third of that.  There are virtually no mechanical parts that are not available for your car.  Ask me anytime - I’ve replaced all of mine. 😀

 

l guess most of us really admire your car and would prefer to see it kept as original as possible.  Still, you don’t have the original motor, so I guess it’s a bit hypocritical to insist on total originality.  A different axle ratio will get you a better top speed, but you will labor in hilly country.  A different axle will cost more than a rebuild of your current axle, and you may have to rebuild the axle you pull out of the junkyard anyway.  Then there is cutting off the spring hanger pads and welding on correctly spaced pads.  Then the adapters to match your wheel bolt patterns.  You’ll probably have close to two grand spent for a marginal increase in top speed, slightly better braking, sluggish starts and poor performance on hills.  Or spend five or six hundred bucks to rebuild the original brakes and rear axle.  I’m signing off on this argument.  You’ll do what you feel is necessary and right in the long run.   Feel free to ask any questions about your original stuff and I’ll be glad to chime in if I can help.

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13 hours ago, Sactownog said:

 

what do you think the braking distance should be with 100% proper 4 wheel drum brakes VS front DISK brakes? 

 

With your current tires, I don’t think there would be a noticeable difference.  I could always easily lock up my wheels with the original brakes.  If you have grease on the pads, there’s a big part of your problem.  If you have grease on the rear pads, the front disks are not going to help much - time for a reline of the shoes, which any good brake shop can do.  Or you can rivet them on yourself.

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14 hours ago, Sactownog said:

what do you think the braking distance should be with 100% proper 4 wheel drum brakes VS front DISK brakes? 

 

No difference. There could be a slight delay in the drums if you had floating anchor brakes, but you don't. The limiting factors on these old cars, at least for the first stab (the sudden panic stop during normal driving) are the tires, and the suspension geometry. The contact patch is small, and the tires are most likely bias. There is no anti-dive if you have a straight axle. The situation could be better if you have an independent suspension, but often isn't.

 

There could be an issue of having to stand on them kind of hard if you put stickier tires on than original. It is possible some cars might need a change in the hydraulic ratio, usually done by changing the master cylinder bore (slightly smaller). That has to be worked out on a disc system as well, also pedal ratio if you add a booster. I have a rusty old truck that I screwed that part up on when I converted it to disc in 1987. I really thought I had done all the math right. I see threads about disc conversions all over the place, and hardly any about how to get all the ratios right on the first try. I guess most people must just keep buying more parts until it works.

 

The difference with discs comes in fade resistance. An old car that is geared for 45mph, as you have probably noticed, when you let off on the gas there is a lot of engine braking. It is like being in second in a more modern car. If the engine is doing a lot of the braking, you wont get the brakes as hot, and they will last longer before they go away. It is definitely something to consider when you are gearing a car to go faster. Not only will it need to stop from a higher speed, but there will be less engine braking so you will use them more. Some cars have better drum brakes than others, so it may or may not be a big deal. Lockheed brakes, as I believe you have, were used up until 1962 by Chrysler, on a bunch of Hemis and so on, so they were adequate for that. How big they are matters a lot, as does drum material. Cast iron is better. Sheetmetal drums fade much faster.

 

If it were me, I would get the brakes really working right, get them hot and see what happens. If it is ok, try them out (carefully) in the mountains.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)

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I’m proud of you for staying stock, brother. Once you learn of the quality of Chrysler engineering of the day, it’s gives you confidence in the way it was. These cars need very little to be competent, roadable vehicles today. Learn everything you can about brake adjustment to get your car to stop well. My 36 does great but I had to figure it out by digging though internet and old charts to do a complete job. Keep the faith.

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On 6/7/2018 at 6:57 PM, Bullfrog_eng said:

In theory, drum brakes stop much better and more efficiently than discs because they have a larger contact area. They fall down because they cannot dissipate the heat quickly enough. Where discs prove MUCH better is in multiple stops and frequent use, or stops from very high speed. Many years ago, the drum brakes on my 57 Customline were absolutely brilliant for average use, but I distinctly remember trying to stop quickly from 100 MPH once. 100 to 40 MPH was fine but by then they were so hot that nothing else happened and it seemed to take forever to stop completely.

Not so in large trucks.

 

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5 minutes ago, countrytravler said:

Not so in large trucks.

 

 

Everybody knows those big rigs can stop on a dime.

That's why the kids cut in and hit the brakes.

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