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Everything posted by Taylormade

  1. I spent yesterday at Ed's shop working on the DL. I got a lot done, but none of it is very visual. Since the body is coming off the frame I realized it was time to disconnect everything that would prvent lift-off. There turned out to be a lot of things attached to the body and frame. First I tackled the wiring. After getting a good look at it, I'm amazed this car didn't turn into a rolling fireball at some point in its life. Most of the original wiring still existed in place, but little of it was being used. Over the years, all of the wiring to the lights and ignition had been replaced with modern plastic wire in a very shoddy manner. Lots of twisted splices (no solder) with plastic electrician's tape. Wires taped to everything - struts, cables, old wires. It was a nightmare. With all the grease in the engine compartment it's a wonder an electrical fire didn't toast the old girl. The wiring was obviously changed when the Clum Switch on the end of the steering box failed. I hope I can restore it to working order. But the result was a jury-rigged mess that I finally just cut away to get down to the orginal wire harness. Luckily, former owners had left it in place and I could get good photos and make up some diagrams that will help me get the replacement harness back in it's original position and configuration. One thing that suprised me was the original harness was made up with fiber conduit rather than the expected wrapping in cloth tape. If you can see through the grease, you can see the conduit. This is available, so the job of recreating the harness should be easy. Once I removed all of the harness attachment points in the engine compartment - boy are there a lot of clips on the frame and firewall! - I tackled the dash area. It seemed the easiest way to approach this was to get the instrument pod loose to make access a bit simpler. Well, I can tell you getting the pod out is no easy job. I took out the heater to get more access and it's staying out - more room for Kathy and we're not driving in the winter, anyway. I got the three bolts along the bottom of the pod off, but something was still holding it in. I felt around the edge of the pod, but couldn't find any other bolts or nuts holding it in place. I finally got a mirror and tried to take a look at what was going on in the narrow area above the pod - this was no fun lying on my back (on a piece of plywood - no floor) and trying to get enough light up there to see what the problem was. I discovered that the three cables (throttle, choke and freewheeling) attached to three tabs that extended up from the back of the pod. Now I had to get those nuts holding the cable fittings in place loose. I would really like to know how the heck they did it at the factory. There is no room up there! Any wrench I could get to the nut would only turn it about a quarter of a turn. Ed helped out with a set of off-set wrenches that we finally used, but even then we could only turn the nut a half turn before we had to change the wrench out for one with a different angle off-set. After a half an hour getting the first two off - Ed doing most of the work - I reached around and found the last cable nut was finger tight and spun it off by hand! Now the instrument pod could be lifted out of the back of the dash - not the front. Taking the wires off was a simple job at that point. I think the 32 dash is one of the best looking units I've ever seen. You can see the three tabs that were clamped between the inner dash and the cable nuts. I have a temp gauge, but it has an incorrect black face. If anyone has a temp gauge (non working is fine), let me know. I took good photos of Phil Kennedy's gauge when I was at his place, so I can always have a printer make me up a new gauge face that should come close to matching. I now had everything running between the frame and the body cleared away - wiring, cables. Ah, one more thing - the sidemount braces. They run from the fenders into the side of the cowl. (See the post above). So they came out and it's clear sailing when we lift the body. Finally, I removed the starter and the generator. They'll be heading to Michigan for a full cosmetic and electrical restoration. Pictures when they get back in about three months. All this took the better part of 10 hours. I was bushed, but managed to get the water pump off before I left. Questions about that in the next post.
  2. Forum member RSayak asked for some information on converting his coupe to sidemounts. It turns out it's a bit more complicated than grafting a couple of wheelwells onto the fenders. Along with the wheelwells there is a brace that helps support the well and the tire and also provides a mount for the rod that extends up from the fender to hold the clamp for the tire. Here is the configuration from the underside of the fender. And from the top. As you can see a brace comes off the upright support rod, passes through the body and bolts onto an inner support in the cowl. This inner support is designed to accept the brace. I don't know if all cars have this support, or if non-sidemount bodies used a different configuration. To do this conversion, you need far more than just wheelwells. One could fabricate the brace with a little work, but the support rods, inner support and clamps would be a bit more of a problem.
  3. Did some work on the front seat, stripping off the horrible black vinyl and getting it ready for the new upholstery. The metal seat frame looked pretty good - some surface rust on the inside back, but easily removed and repainted. The bottom wood frame didn't fare so well. The fire frrom the tailpipe that burned a hole in the floorboard also got to the seat. Nothing too serious, but ugly just the same. Since I have all the woodworking tools I need: bandsaw, router, sanders, I may just make a new frame. The cardboard/fiber insert around the top of the seat is pretty torn up, but I assume you can still get this stuff, and it's easy to replace as it's just held in place by metal tabs. Picking the fabric has been something of a challenge. We already determined that the color was originally brown that had been sun faded to tan. LeBaron Bonney has fabric that is the right shade of brown (or as close as I can get), and it came down to two choices. This one has the correct rib spacing - narrow - but the fabric is slightly thinner than the rest of the Broadcloth offered. But, I must admit, it is almost exactly the same thickness as the original fabric. The new stuff is obviously on the left. If you stand back from your screen a bit it's easier to pick up the pattern. This one has ribs that are noticably too wide, but the fabric is a bit thicker and seems a bit softer. Then, again, the thicker fabric may not fold and crease the way the original did and may look a bit too "puffy." I keep on going back and forth with this, but will probably go with the thinner, more original pattern. The door and window trim material is an almost exact match to the original. So lots going on. Looking forward to working at Ed's shop tomorrow.
  4. Thanks for all the kind words - and help - on this thread. My new hood top sections arrived from Canada in good shape. Thanks again RSayak! This will really help fix the hood area where a giant slab of ice slide off Phil's roof onto the car decades ago. The old... And the new... Ed will still have to work on the lower hood section on the driver's side, but not having to deal with the top will save time and money. I also got my repo tail light stalk from Verdonnes. It's a very nice casting, and the polished aluminium means I don't have to go through the hassle of trying to chrome the old pot-metal stalk. I will have to drill and thread the mounting holes, however. I also bit the bullet and paid an exorbitant amont on Ebay for a rather sorry tail light. I did get two good lenses (red stop and clear plate), a pretty good surround (a few small dents, but no splits), and the shell (dented and splits). That's when I realized I was in trouble - especially since I already had a good red lens, an undented surround with a minor split, and a repo clear plate lens... My shell has the mounting bolts placed horizontally, when, for a 32, they should be vertical. My light must be from a 33 Dodge. Oh, the humanity! Maybe if I had remained calm and paid attention to the photos, I wouldn't be in this mess. So, it's find another shell. or try to rework this shell to fit my car. Since it needs extensive brazing to repair the splits, plus some massaging to get the dents out, I may try to adapt it. If that fails, I'll put it back on Ebay - where the bidding was hot. I do have the missing piece along the top - another brazing job to be tackled. A pile of parts I removed and brought home. The luggage rack is in perfect shape. Somehow it survived all these years without a bump or dent. That's the radiator peeking out from the trash bag. My old-time radiator guy died a few month back and I'm on a search for a shop that can handle these old honeycomb, no-pressure radiators. If anyone in the St. Louis, MO area has a lead, let me know. I have a problem with my windshield. The two hinge extensions at the top corner of the frame are broken off. I have a painful decision to make. NC Industries makes a beautiful repo windshield - show chrome frame, new glass, new weatherstripping - just install it and walk away. But it ain't cheap! Eight hundred bucks. But by the time I take my frame apart, figure out how to replace the broken hinge pins, have it rechromed, replace the glass, find the weatherstripping and install it - how much will I have in my old windshield? And how much time and driving around will it cost me? Decisions, decisions. Tomorrow I head back to Ed's shop. The plan is to remove the generator and starter so I can send them off to Michigan for a complete cosmetic and electrical rebuild. 3 month turnaround, so I want to get them sent off as soon as possible. I'm also going to remove the wiring harness so I can take it back home and and make a new one. From the wiring diagrams I have it looks like Rhode Island Wiring has all the colors I'll need in braided cloth wiring. Their complete harness set-ups (which are excellent) would run me about $450. I should be able to reproduce mine for about $100 using their wires and connectors, which they sell separately. Ed is supposed to have my fenders pretty well finished. I'm hoping to get them home and over to the painter for prep work and priming. We also plan to remove the body from the frame so work can begin on the lower rust damaged sections that are being replaced. I'll have pictures for you of all that this weekend.
  5. Looks great! Did you sandblast the frame or just use the rust killer and paint?
  6. Leaking freeze plug? I'm not a Buick expert, but some engines have plugs on the rear of the block and it could be leaking.
  7. A slow slog for the last week. It's been raining here almost every day for the last month. My trip to Ed's shop was delayed as he had to finish an aluminium airplane tail for a client in Kansas. Now it looks like he will have my fenders ready next Friday and we'll take the body off for the rust repair then. I understand, but I was revved up to go yesterday and it was a disappointment to say the least. Crin is working on the woodgraining and I'm removing the old seat material and cleaning and painting the seat springs. One of the most boring and unexciting jobs in recorded history. I'm also taking off the starter and generator next week and sending them out for a complete rebuild and restoration. It's very frustrationg to have the car 200 miles away. Ed's was the best and closest shop I could find, but I'm used to heading out into the garage and working on whatever piqued my interest. I did get a nice set of upper hood pieces all the way from Canada from RSayak, who posts on this thread - he has a DL Coupe. This will make Ed's life a little easier as he doesn't have to mess with my damaged hood. Man, can you tell I'm bored! Sitting around able to do little or nothing is driving me nuts. You're probably just as bored reading this post. Sorry about droning on. I promise some pictures and something halfway interesting next time.
  8. Are the kingpins on a 1932 DL the same as those used on a DK, or are we talking different axles?
  9. Check Crin's site out. He takes pictures of all his customer's projects as he works on them. I live very close, so I can go over and see how things are progressing, but for his out of town customers it's a perfect way to keep up on progress on their cars. I also want to point out that although my pictures make this process look easy - it's not. it's comparable to handing someone a paintbrush, paints and canvas and expecting them to produce a masterpiece. I could tell at first glance that it had taken years of practice for Crin to be so assured in his technique. That's why I used him instead of trying it myself. You can check up on my woodgraining and upholstery on the site under Current Projects - 1932 Dodge.
  10. Took a trip to my woodgraining guy, Crin, yesterday. He uses the Grain-it system. I brought over the two last pieces of trim that I negelcted to notice and remove. They go on the sides of the windshield. They were a little crusty. Crin went to work with his cabinet blaster. And before long they were ready for primer. Crin had already primed most of my pieces. An original, he kept for color matching, isat the bottom. The primer lays down a nice, smooth surface. He uses two coats, sanding in between. The next step is to lay down the base color. My parts were not ready yet, so this is a frame from a mid-30s Packard. This base color is considerably lighter than the one used by Dodge Brothers. Once the base has dried for a day or two, it's time to grain it. A thick ink of the correct color is used. Then a plate with the correct grain pattern etched on it is covered with the ink. A rubber roller is carefully rolled along the plate, picking up the ink in the grain pattern. Then the roller is rolled across the part, leaving a perfect grain pattern over the base coat. Each section of the piece is grained. And the final result is amazing. This is how they did it at the factory. Once everything is completely dry, Crin shoots on the clear coat and sands and polishes everything for the final result. My stuff should be ready in a week or so. I'll post pictures of the finished pieces.
  11. Looking more closely at my original tank, I think the filler and sending units are soldered onto the tank, not welded. If that's correct, it will make things easier - at least for me. The only thing that bothers me about the tank ply33 mentioned is that the fuel line comes out of the top of the tank. I'm not sure I have room between the tank and the cover for that style pickup.
  12. ply33 that tank is very close - just an inch or so short. It looks like I would have to weld up their filler opening, then weld my filler and sending unit mount to the tank. My car (I think your Plymouth does, too) has a cover over the tank between the frame rails with two openings for the above, so I have to have those two openings in exactly the right place. At that price, it may be worth a try - especially with the free shipping.
  13. Took a look at the gas tank today. Lots of rust and varnish, weak metal. Vertict - I need a new tank. A light tapping on the end of the tank buckled the metal. This tank is toast. It's too bad, as some of the metal still looks good. Here are the levels from undercoat, to rust, to wirebrushed to sanded. I can salvage the fittings - the filler neck and the sending unit mount. They are in good shape. The tank is 38X15X8. The closest generic tank I could find is 34X13X9 for $185. A stainless steel tank to original specs is $740. I'm hoping Ed, my body guy, will agree to build me a new one. The sending unit was totally gummed up with rock-hard varnish. A little cleaning with a wire brush revealed the gears were brass, not pot metal. Whew! The ends do look a little iffy, though, and I may have to cut a new set from sheet brass - an easy, if tedious job. It's currently soaking in acetone and I hope things will loosen up enough that I can move the cork arm and see if the unit still works. it's always the little things that eat up time, but it's the only way to get everything working right.
  14. I'll try it. I've never had acetone react with brass in the past.
  15. My gas tank sending gauge gears are totally gummed up with varnish from 45 years of sitting. The stuff is hard as rock and I'm afraid I'll damage the brass gears trying to get it off. Is there anything that will dissolve this varnish without harming the metal parts of the unit?
  16. I'm about to try this also. What did you use to replace the rivets?
  17. Yes, it is amazing. But, I discovered it's also relative. As I was watching Ed work with my jaw on the floor, he mentioned he could never learn to operate the camera I was using to shoot the process. When I tried to explain why I was using a certain lens and a follow-focus shot I wanted to do and he just laughed and said it was way beyond him. Most of us can do something well, but it's just nice to see someone else do something we could never imagine.
  18. Just to follow up, I had no problems getting my Illinois title. They did send the paperwork back because I hadn't signed the form for unfettered summer driving. I signed it and sent everything back in and got my title about two months later.
  19. I don't know, Phil. It's a guy thing. I don't need no stinking directions. Well, maybe I do. I need to remember the manual, it's a very detailed little booklet.
  20. I figured it might have something to do with the steering or handling. Thanks, Phil.
  21. As I was disassembling my 32 DL for restoration I noticed something odd - at least to me - about the front springs. At the front of the frame, where the spring eyes attach to the frame, there are two different mounting systems on my car. The driver side, with some sort of snubber attachement. Sorry about all the grease, but you get the idea. And the passenger side with no attachemt. Is this correct, or have I lost something along the way?
  22. While Ed further massaged the fenders, I took off the back bumper - we removed the front before work on the fenders - and the luggage rack. I then removed the back fenders - Ed will work on them off the car. The driver side fender had been removed or replaced at some point. I could tell by the replacement bolts and the discovery of more modern fender welt between the fender and body. This fender was damaged when Dave Taylor, on of my fraternity brothers, backed the Dodge out of the frat house driveway and into a parked car. We lost the taillight with that mishap and pushed the fender in. After seeing what Ed has done to the front fenders, this should be a cakewalk. There is rust damage - major holes - around the tail light stalk mount. Also, the rusted area where the fender contacted the body may have to be replaced. We'll know better after the fender is blasted and we find out how deep the rust is. The passenger side is in better shape - just a slight crease near the back. The rusted area may have to be replaced on this one. too. The only body rust I could find was this small section in the passenger side wheel well. It's an easy fix - just a flat replacement section we'll TIG in. I forgot to show you this in the previous post. Ed has these 20s era fender tools for beading and other repairs. Very cool. We made some interesting discoveries along the way. The car was definitely painted black. But it's not the original paint job. We found sanding marks and other clues that this was a repaint - done sometime before I bought the car in 1965. Another, even more fascinating discovery involved the front fenders. Ed decided he'd need to take off the driver side fender to work the area along the frame. The rear of the fender is actually under the frame, but we figured we could just lift the front of the body slightly and slide the sucker out. That was when we discovered that the front fenders are riveted to the frame! There is one large screw-head bolt that apparently was used to line up the fender, then three rivets around that bolt and more rivets at the back of the fender. So the frame is coming off before we can resume work on the front fenders. This begs the question of how the fenders were painted. I can't see the factory riveting a freshly painted fender to the frame. So what was the order? Paint, rivet? Rivet, paint? Painting the fenders after they had been riveted to the frame seems like a stretch. Anway. we'll probably turn down some carriage blots to match the rivet diameter. The next step is for Ed to finish the fenders. By the time I make the next trip a week from today, all four fenders will be finished and the body will be loosened from the frame, ready to lift of and allow us get to work on the rusted area below the doors. The car looks a little like its been vandalized at the moment, but we are making good progress. More later.
  23. A huge day yesterday. I got up at 6 AM and made the 2 1/2 hour drive to Thomas Restorations and Fabrications in central Missouri. A nice, warm, sunny day. Arrived at 9 to find Ed Thomas and Daphne waiting for me on the lift. This was my first chance to get a good look at her underside. Lots of surface rust and more than enough grease to lube six cars, but everything looked very solid and intact. The frame appeared straight and the rust was surface only. We removed the gas tank and managed to get it off without damaging the two straps that hold it to the frame. The smell of varnish inside was overpowering. We took it outside and shook it - a mountain of red rust dest spewed from the filler. Although the outside metal of the tank looked solid, with that amount of rust inside, I fear some holes will appear once I give the tank the treatment. I took the tank home with me and plan to fill it with molasses to get the rust out. More on that later. I also removed two small side pieces by the windshield that I learned are supposed to be woodgrained. My grain guy has been waiting for them as he wants to do all the parts in one shot to keep the color accurate and even. With the busy work done, we tackled the front fenders. Well, Ed tackled them and I watched - and videotaped the process for a documentary I'm making on the restoration. As you probably remember from previous posts, they were in bad shape. I had smashed one in 1966 when I owned the car. We discovered lots of bondo from that repair. PO Phil Kennedy completed the carnage when he encountered the back of a truck after he bought the car. The amount of damage was something I was honestly worried couldn't be fixed correctly. Ed said he'd spent the last week just looking at the damage, trying to figure out the best way to get started. He says you just can't start banging away at the metal because if you make a mistake it does more harm than the original accident. With that, he pulled out a large hydraulic ram and began forcing the metal on the driver side fender back into shape. After spending a few minutes pushing out the major dent, he switched to the passenger side. He figured the damage was less severe on that side and once he had it back in shape, he could use the curves as a pattern for the drivers side. Amazingly - at least to me - he had the passenger fender pushed out and hammered into shape in about 20 minutes! He then made templates to transfer to the other fender. He then resumed work on the driver side fender. We had to remove the radiator and shell to get access to damage that occured along area where the fender met the frame. Ed then had to remove the thick coat of 50s era undercoating on the underside of the fender in order to work the metal. A soft torch and the heat made it easy to scrape the coating off. An hour later the drivers fender was totally roughed into shape. I really couldn't believe it. We did find some rust at the bottom of the fender above the frame. it's going to have to be replaced, as are two small sections along the front lip of both feners where the metal ripped away from the wire former underneath. Both fenders were starting to look pretty good at this point. All the fine work is next. Ed will remove all the paint and work both fenders with hammer and dolly. He says I shouldn't need any filler when he's finished.
  24. Apparently the guy who bought mine was more into flash than function, opting for the dual sidemounts and shunning the vacuum-assisted clutch. Average salary in 1932 was around 5 dollars a day based on a five day work week.