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DeSotoStan

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About DeSotoStan

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  • Birthday 09/25/1969
  1. Matt (& Reid?), thanks for the perspective: I guess the combination of how much you "fall in love" with the car, & its condition, should ultimately be the deciding factors- regardless of type of engine. However, Matt, even though these are simple machines, isn't the knowledge of how to (for example) rebuild/tune a carburator becoming something of the past? Young mechanics haven't seen one. By the way, Tinindian, is the burgandy-colored car in the photo the one with almost 500,000 miles on it? Yes, at $1.25 per mile, it seems worth it. However, as a newer buyer of an old car, &am
  2. Thanks very much DeSotoFrank & Tinindian: This settles it: the flathead is good at more modest speeds,& should the engine need serious valve work, most mechanics can rpair it. The Buick valve in head, will eventually require expensive repair. Your discouraging (but realistic) comment also reinforce what I've wanted to supress: the knowledge that in order to drive one of these regularly, & in decent condition & repair, I'll need to find a much better paying job. ss
  3. Having received much invaluable advice on trying to keep my '49 DeSoto on the road, I'm currently considering another '49-early 50's car. 2 engines seem to be common, & I'm wondering if one is better than the other in terms of reliability, ease of repair, durability, etc: ONE engine is the straight-8 Buick with the valve cover on top, spark plugs on the side. The OTHER is on a straight-8 Pontiac Chieftan (currently on E-Bay), which looks like a rectangular box with the spark plugs sticking straight up on top of the engine. I'm sure there are terms to describe these 2 engine types, but
  4. DeSotoStan

    update

    Yes, I agree, the DeSotoStan moniker will have to go. Thanks, Rusty OToole for the advice. I couldn't agree more - except, I have also been considering Fords (specifically the Galaxie). My requirements are 1)Automatic transmission,& 2) (hopefully) 6-cylinders. I intend to drive it daily, & with gas prices what they are, a V-8 could be costly. I also understand that I'll need to spend some good money for a car in great condition. (A convertible would also be nice.) Will keep updating. ss
  5. DeSotoStan

    update

    Thanks folks. I should've been more explicit. I already sold the car a few days ago - for $2,000. You're right - I lost a lot of money. I'll do my HW first & make SURE there's a good mechanic/machinist in the Concord NH area before buying another antique car (anyone know of any?) One more question before I buy another: Is a tired engine (one that strains or wont go much over 50 mph) a sure sign that if I was to use the car as a daily driver, it would soon need major engine work?
  6. DeSotoStan

    update

    I can be stupid sometimes, but this was my first foray into trying to have serious diags/repairs done on an antique car. True, I probably should've gotten other mechanics to look at it, but with the 3 who did look at it, it was getting expensive to keep having the car flatbedded to and fro. On a personal note, I've ALWAYS loved antique cars (who knows why), & have spent the better part of the last 40 years salivating over them. Of the 2 I've previously owned before the Desoto, the 49 Buick Super I had to sell to afford a house, & the 53 Bel Air was totaled in a tragic crash in whic
  7. DeSotoStan

    update

    here''s the final, sad, chapter: Following the advice of a member who advised that rather than subjecting the car to possibly lengthy & expensive diagnostics, & to just get a new engine installed, a mechanic estimated that it may cost $5,000. minimum to get the new engine in. So I decided to sell the car. Since these old ('50's & earlier?) engines had serious problems after a few tens of thousands of miles, (although I've heard good things about the 40's & 50's Buick straight eights), I'll probably look for a car with as low miles as possible in the future. thanks again ss
  8. DeSotoStan

    update

    LATEST UPDATE: Just found a competent mechanic who is willing to take on this project, not too far from home. Hopefully, this will be the last time I'll need to have her (expensively) towed (on a flatbed). In an hour & a half, we'll bring her to his garage, & begin the diagnoses. I'll of course pass on to him all the advice you've given. Stay tuned . . .
  9. Rusty_OToole, I've listed the compression data in the "Technical" section, where I hope to make all future posts. Thank you very much for the link - 2 owners ago, the engine was apparently "taken apart," but beyond that, noone knows what was done. I don't know what I'd do if it wasn't for your and other members' helpful advice. Stan
  10. James and Coley, Thank you very much. I'll give this info to a mechanic I can find who'd be willing to undertake this. Until then, I have much more serious problems with the car, and am posting in "Technical". Incidentally, do you think that the loose steering is a serious safety issue, in that suddenly I may lose steering completely? If you could post your reply in "Technical" I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks again, Stan
  11. DeSotoStan

    update

    Several things: 1) Thanks Gary for the offer of your engine. If it comes to something this costly, I'll slit my wrists. (Either that or cut my losses). 2)A very competent mechanic, who knows about old cars, did the compression test, with the following results: 1st cyl: 65 psi; 2nd: 45 psi; 3rd: 10 psi (35 w/ oil); 4th: 10psi (25 w/ oil); 5th: 20 psi (35 w/ oil); 6th: 30 psi (45 w/ oil). I'd hope, CarbKing, that this guy did the things you recomended. 3) Maybe, Jim Edwards, having it rebuilt would be the best course. Can someone tell me how much this might cost - one thou, two etc?? 4) Final
  12. c49er - Bob-Thanks for the offer. I don't see myself moving to Seattle, but if you'd be willing to come over here to NH, dinner's on me. Yes, there are tons on miles - I don't know for sure, but probably well over 100,000. The engine is a flathead 6-cyl (in-line?). The compression was almost non-existent in some of the cylinders. Maybe it's not the timing chain after all. Thanks again. Stan
  13. DeSotoStan

    update

    Thank you RustyOToole & NTX5467. Although there's no way of knowing for sure, I think there are well over 100,000 miles on it. The engine is a flathead 6-cyl (in-line?). & there IS a timing chain, according to the shop manual. The compression was almost non-existent in some of the cylinders. Glad to hear it's a simple engine, & all parts are available at reasonable prices. Maybe it's not the timing chain after all. I'll pass on these remarks to the old, grey-haired (or bald) guy I find. Thanks again. Stan
  14. Glad there are others enjoying the DeSoto as much as I. Unfortunately, I'm now waiting tofind a mechanic willing to take on the task of replacing the timing chain. The car now sits in a rented garage, waiting. I think mechanics are reluctant to deal with an old car, since it must sit at their place, occupying space, while parts are searched for, ordered, difficult problems diagnosed, etc. Anyway, I'm waiting for a vacation from work to search around & find someone qualified. Looking forward to driving her again. Thanks for your inspirational posts. ss
  15. DeSotoStan

    update

    A long-overdue update: The Desoto is still sitting in a rented garage, while I search for a mechanic willing to take on the project of replacing the timing chain (if that's what infact the problem is.).
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