Lisa P

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Everything posted by Lisa P

  1. Bill, I just installed the carburetor on the Franklin and am happy to say that the difference is amazing. Where there had been stumbling, loping and black smoke I now have a smooth and responsive engine. I still have to check the float level, but thanks to Paul, the car now runs as it should.
  2. Another issue discovered with the Franklin was the propensity for the starter to whirr, whizz, zing and grind on occasion. I found that the starter would fail at times to turn the engine but could be persuaded to by depressing the button more than once. One fine day when the starter button was depressed, the gentle whirr ended in a loud gnashing of something gone awry. Upon examination by myself and my mentor, he suggested that something wasn't right with the bendix. Pulling the starter revealed that the bendix had a couple of problems. First, the spring had been torqued and the locating tabs no longer were on the same plane. Second, the woodruff key on the shaft had been worn flush with the shaft thus allowing the shaft to spin but not engaging so that the engine would turn over. And third, one of the screws that locates the spring on the shaft had broken off. Luckily, parts were available and I was able to rebuild the bendix without having to send the starter out. What a relief! It was reinstalled in the Franklin and is working wonderfully. (If any of my descriptions or names are confusing, bear with me as I am learning all this on the fly).
  3. Wow, time sure flies when you're having fun! In case you all were still interested, the Desoto is running and on the road now. The tailpan was made and replaced by myself. It isn't perfect, but works well from 20'. The trunk floor and trunk extensions were not too bad to fabricate and replace. In fact, the worst part was trying to get the trunk latch catch welded up in the right place while sitting in the trunk with the lid closed! I ordered a headliner and installed it so the interior is coming along. The seats still need to be covered and a wheel or wheel cover needs to be picked but what a fun car to drive! I'll be installing a disc brake conversion in the front in a few weeks. Yes, I know that the factory brakes can work very well, but the adjusting cams on mine seem to move by themselves so that at times, the brakes are dragging so much they are smoking. In order to alleviate any tinker time that takes away from driving time, the front drums are outta here.
  4. Update from Paul regarding the Stromberg. He has found no less than 17 things wrong with the carb. As Tom suspected, the economizer was totally wrong. The original had been removed and replaced with an oversized tube. Also, the main discharge jet was never removed and cleaned. These are only some of the items found by Paul. His knowledge of these carburetors far surpasses that of the past rebuilders! Here is Paul's list, and he cautions that we cannot be certain who is responsible for the items that were wrong: 1. Throttle return spring was too short and fastened in the wrong position. It should be a longer spring (long-tailed NAPA throttle return spring close to original) that goes from the motor side throttle lever arm, back and hooks into a 1/8 inch hole in the top edge of the sheet metal holder of the felt dust seal that the brake pedal rod goes through on the fire wall. See picture attached. 2. Economizer syringe not original and way too over-sized to seal around the econo piston. 3. Spring cup missing from top of econo piston. 4. Sealing washers missing from top of econo syringe - inside and out - and bottom of econo piston. Replaced entire economizer syringe with a rebuilt one. 5. Economizer valve and seat faces eroded and couldn’t seal fuel leakage. Lapped faces to get proper seal. 6. Econo sleeve nut loose with screw slot chewed up. 7. Bowl gasket made out of exhaust manifold material. Made new one with correct Velmoid gasket material. 8. Three bowl screws missing lock washers. Installed new lock washers. 9. Original pot metal venturi still in place, showing usual cracking/chipping of upper edge. Replaced with aluminum reproduction. 10. Float level low and float pin bent. Float tested good for no leaks. Replaced pin. 11. Float needle tip eroded and couldn’t seal. Reground tip to seal properly. 12. Main discharge jet never removed and cleaned. Did so and installed new gasket. 13. Float level low. Re-set to approximate 9/16 inch. 14. Accelerator bell squashed out of round. Re-shaped. 15. Accelerator valve screw slot chewed up. Valve was removed and damaged by using pliers. Filed off burrs and lapped valve faces to seal properly. 16. High speed air bleed in wrong hole (lower). Was soldered shut. Being that it was below float level, to prevent fuel leakage ? Removed and installed in upper hole after drilling out incorrect screw plug in upper hole. Made new screw plug for lower hole. 17. Copper spark plug washer used for fuel inlet fitting seat gasket – over pieces of stuck-on original gasket. Cleaned off old gasket pieces and taped a new gasket to seat. 18. On Strombergs of this era the cast iron parts were paint gloss black, with cadmium plated steel parts – like second picture attached. Not all black oxide finish. Bill, did you sort out your Franklin/Carter carb? Lisa
  5. Dwight, not that I'm aware of, but I will check that tomorrow! Thanks for your input.
  6. The Stromberg U-3 on the Franklin I've been working on runs way too rich. My mechanic mentor and myself are at a loss and thought we should ask for some advice. We can turn the Air/Idle adjusting screw all the way in and all the way out and there is no variation in the way the car idles. We have also checked for vacuum leaks and cannot find any. Could we be missing something on the carburetor? The carb was professionally rebuilt prior to installation on the car. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  7. I think we all love a running after a long time story, so it here goes. A while ago, my friend brought his 1931 Franklin over to my shop. It had been sitting idle since 1981 while life got in the way. We had a short list to do, adjust the steering, adjust the clutch and get the brakes working. Well, turns out that some of the valves were stuck in the heads due to some rodents that had made their way up the exhaust pipe and nested on top of the pistons. Anyhow, after much discussion with my mechanic mentor, he said it won't run right unless it is taken apart and at least the valves have been done. And so, I began the process of disassembly. My mechanic mentor, also a machinist, took the heads to regrind the seats and valves and returned them a short time ago. Upon completion of reassembly, including new gaskets, a rebuilt carburetor, rebuilt fuel pump and some new wiring, the car now runs, with good oil pressure as well! It has a tendency to idle unevenly but that should be sorted out in due time. I love the sound of it, what a neat automobile.
  8. Tom, thanks for the insight. The other pistons have the same knurling pattern on them so I guess that means they were all worn. The engine was rebuilt around 1974 and only has run about two hours since then, so that may explain the modern (knurling) vs. older (expander) repairs. The owner has the rocker arms and will drill those out as well as remove the flashing. I took a look at that Series 12 engine you restored/rebuilt. Wow, does that look great! thanks again for the help-I'll send an email with my shipping info. Lisa
  9. Tom, the owner had the cylinder measured at a machine shop. He was told the bore was 3.5" with 0.004" of wear at the top. Now I remember that there are instruments to measure bore sizes and I've actually used one before. Also, another one of the pistons has pins that go from the exterior of the piston (intake side) to the interior of the piston. Any idea what they are for? Would the be used to balance the piston? To add more weight? To hold it together?? And, the walking beams have bronze inserts that are not drilled where the small circular wells are on the tops of the walking beams. It seems as though someone else on here had the same problem and drilling them out was recommended so that oil could reach the pins on which they pivot. There weren't any felt pads on top of the beams either, but they are currently on order. I see that forum members recommend using synthetic oil on these. I can't wait to hear the Franklin run. The owner promises to give myself and my three little girls a ride when it is running.
  10. Ok Tom, I've measured the cylinder bore as 3.495 top and bottom. This is with an inexpensive caliper which is not calibrated (but was zeroed out). Does that bore size sound likely? Yes, I had read about machining the ring grooves out to accept modern rings. I have measured the third ring down from the top as having a depth of .154", however I could be off by a bit. My mechanic mentor has the equipment to do make the grooves in the piston deeper, but he has recently had cataract surgery and is waiting for new glasses...If there are any other measurements you need, let me know. I really appreciate your advice! And yes, it would be nice to just ignore the chip, but I would love to see this car run well for a very, very long time.
  11. Tom, I believe it is an original. The previous owner had the engine rebuilt due to a rod knocking but is not aware that any of the pistons were replaced. I had read that they are balanced, which is yet another reason I'm worried about the chip in the skirt. The piston has a large number 50 stamped in the top along with a smaller 0.0025 stamped into it as well. I can also make out the letter G. Does this help? As always, thank you again for the advice!
  12. A friend of mine dropped off his 1931 Franklin for some minor work (brakes, clutch adjustment and steering adjustment). That has since turned into an engine cleaning, complete with the removal of all cylinders. Why clean the engine? Well, when I was finally able to crank it over by hand, I found that two of the exhaust valves weren't moving. Upon further inspection, it was discovered that mice had set up residence inside the exhaust manifold. As the valves would not budge with any amount of penetrating oil and tapping on the top of the stem, we decided to remove the two cylinders with the stuck valves. After seeing the deposits, seeds, droppings, and nesting material, the owner decided that every cylinder should be removed for proper cleaning. I couldn't agree more. Ironically, the engine had been rebuilt around 1974, but the mice had been in there too long. At some time in the past, or perhaps I did it, a chip was taken out of one of the piston skirts. We believe that this piston will need replacement along with all of the piston rings. I see in past posts, there is a source for correct rings. Would anyone know where I can locate a piston? As for my background, I have a couple of DeSotos that I have rescued, along with a 1948 Kaiser, but nothing that comes close to such an amazing machine as the Franklin. Despite the fact that I currently live in IL, I used to live in Cortland County, the heart of Central NY. My grandfather and I used to go to Syracuse all the time to baseball games, and Cazenovia was one of the towns we'd like to go through on our Sunday drives. I've probably seen a few Franklins and never even knew it! I also am fortunate enough to have an older (>70) mechanic mentor that works on his aircraft engine when necessary. As for the Franklin, we appreciate all the advice you have to offer!
  13. Thank you! Lucky for me, the majority of the car was pretty solid. It was rotten from the sills down, including the floors from the sills to about the transmission tunnel in some places. The frame was rotted from the kick up back. I still need to replace the trunk floor, extensions and rear valence or roll pan behind the bumper...
  14. Thanks Rusty! Fortunately, I have located the piece of trim that I need. One other item I am looking for is a rear bumper that has all of its chrome left. The bumper is something that can wait as I've blown my budget for a while.
  15. Thanks Jack, I'm sure we'll have fun in it next spring! I have more photos of the work I did in my album on this site.
  16. Just an update. Since last posting I have: Repaired the floors by welding in new metal and seam sealing it. Constructed a new sill/inner rocker out of 14ga rectangular tubing. Repaired the front fender by sectioning a piece from Firesweep. Patched some rust-outs in the doors with sheet metal. Fabricated new dog legs. Procured a new frame and treated it with rust converter before Eastwoods Rust Encapsulator. Removed the body from the old frame by jacking it up via the new rockers . Removed the engine from the old frame with a borrowed engine hoist. Degreased the engine and painted it. Changed the upper control arms for ones that had good ball joints. Replaced upper control arm bushings. Replaced strut rod bushings. Put engine back in frame. Mated new frame to body. Rebuilt front wheel cylinders and put new ones in the back. Replaced both rear axle seals. Installed new leaf springs and rear shocks. Hooked up new brake lines. There has to be more but I can't remember. I have much more left to do, including make a rear quarter panel for the driver's side. Most of all I have been LEARNING
  17. Dave, it has the frames around both front and rear windows as well as the pillar between the doors. Does that make it a sedan?
  18. I appreciate the advice and take it to heart as I am new to the process of restoring rather than tinkering. I believe that this car is too far gone to even put on a rotisserie. The game plan now is to find one in better shape and use the best of both cars to make a daily driver. This project is one for me to become experienced in welding and bodywork as well as upholstery. I have no misconceptions that this will end up being a showpiece or worth as much as I put into it, but I have to start somewhere.
  19. Ah, thanks for the clarification. Yes it is a very undesirable 4 door family car then. But that's ok because I wanted something that I could afford and something that I could work on time and money permitting. I guess I achieved both of those goals! I was told it was pretty much a parts car but then again I am an optimist when it comes to old cars. Yes, I know it will never be worth as much as I put into it but I could never afford a true collectors car anyhow. I never give up without a fight so, where can I find a frame for this beast?
  20. Update-the Desoto now turns over, it is the neutral safety switch. I will put the plugs back in later and see if she fires. Anyone know what gauge metal to use in the sills? Thanks again.
  21. Jack that is a good point. Why is the Firedome not desirable? Like I said, I am new to these vehicles and personally love the looks and lines of the car. I am going to troubleshoot the electrical when I get time, the fellas I got the car from didn't even know if the engine would turn over so I was happy that it did.
  22. Hi all, I am new to this site as well as the Desoto vehicles. I recently acquired a '59 Firedome with a 383. The good news is that the car is complete sans one piece of chrome trim. The bad news is that it has sat outside too long and not only needs floor pans from the firewall back, including the trunk, but the frame is rotten and broken just ahead of the rear spring perch. I was able to get the motor turning over last night without the plugs in it but after putting the plugs back in and letting it down from the jackstand, it refused to turn over. I then removed all the plugs and put it back on the jackstand but it still refused to do anything. Anyhow, the question is, should I mess with it at all, or should I look for a buyer for it as a parts car? I was thinking about using it as a learning car as I need to learn how to weld and fabricate floor pans and such but this beast doesn't even have rocker panels left...Any advice is apprectiated. Thanks!