DeSoto Frank

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Everything posted by DeSoto Frank

  1. Believe they first appeared in '49. GE pioneered the Sealed Beam; I wouldn't be surprised if that's what your Packard originally had. Also, Pre-WWII Sealed Beams did NOT have aiming-lugs ("gizmoes") on the face of the lens. Good luck !
  2. This is one of the reasons I refuse to watch B-J. It's garbage. The only commentator that knows what he's talking about is Steve Magnante, and they don't give him nearly enough air-time. B-J is fodder for the same ilk that watch "The Real Housewives of (fill-in-the-blank)..." Sorry for the vent; the time I would spend watching B-J could be better spent working on my antiques or organizing my basement and garage . Back in the early 1950's, Fred Allen, a well-known entertainer (with his own TV show), remarked: " Television is called a "medium" because nothing on it is "rare" or "well-done". " Still true, 60 years later.
  3. Hey Brad - Any news ? De Soto Frank
  4. Best to warm-up the car thoroughly before draining stuff... if it's driveable, run it around the block a couple times... If not, then let it idle in the driveway for about 20 minutes, last five with the tranny in High range with the brake set / wheels chocked ( this will warm-up the oil in the fluid coupling. Draining the transmission is straight-forward: remove the filler plug from the side, then place a 5 qt oil drain pan under the transmission, and remove the drain plug (square pipe plug at the bottom / passenger side of transmission case). Center the pan under the stream of oil, and go have a nice cup of coffee. Draining the Fluid Coupling is a little more involved... if it is convenient to do so, remove the lower pan from the bell-housing ( two nuts / bolts up front by the engine, two more back by the transmission. If there is a sheet-metal cover on the bottom center of the lower bell-housing pan, remove that instead.). This will expose the bottom side of the fluid coupling. Have a helper bump the starter until the drain plug is at "6 o'clock". (Warning: the cooling fins on the fluid coupling and teeth on the ring gear are SHARP - do not touch with bare hands !!!! :eek::mad:). Place your catch pan ( use a second oil catch-pan) under the Fluid Coupling and remove the drain plug using a SIX-POINT socket ( a 12-point socket may round the corners of the plug ! ), taking care not to lose the copper gasket. Center the pan under the stream and go have another cup of coffee. Once both units have completely drained, replace the drain-plug in both units and re-fill. Transmission is filled from the upper square pipe-plug on the passenger-side of the transmission case. Believe the capacity is about 3 pints ( or until oil begins to run-out of the filler opening. Fill slowly, so that the oil does not burp back out of filler hole.) Re-install filler plug. To fill the Fluid coupling, you will have to carefully fold-back the front carpet / floor mat - the OEM mats have a "flap" that reveals the metal access cover on the right side of the tranny hump, up by the firewall. Once the metal cover is exposed, vacuum-up any loose dirt, grit, debris, and spray some penetrating oil on the bolt. Carefully remove the coverbolt (7/16" head, again use six-point sockets. ). This bolt may be frozen; it threads into a "D-nut" (threaded insert) in the main floor board) - take your time. If it won't loosen easily, try tightening slightly, to break it loose. Use 1/4" drive socket wrenches on fasteners with heads smaller than 1/2", to reduce risk of break / stripping them. Once the floor cover is out of the way, you will see the cast-iron bell housing. Once again, scrape then vacuum any grease / dirt / crud from around the domed silver plug marked "Fill Here". Pop this plug out with a screwdriver, and you should be looking at the Fluid Coupling. Bump the starter carefully until the filler plug lines-up with the access hole in the bell-housing. ( You may have to have a helper turn the engine by the fan while you watch for the plug, if plug won't line-up from the starter...) At this point, disconnect the ground terminal of the battery, to prevent accidental operation of the starter. Remove the filler plug ( a socket with a magnetic insert is essential here: if the filler-plug drops into the bell-housing, then you will have to disassamble the bellhousing to retrieve it. ( I believe Sears sells "drop-in" magnetic socket inserts.) The filler plug opening is rather small, and most funnels won't fit. I rigged-up a funnel using some 1/4" copper tube ( or the largest tubing that will fit in the plug opening), some 5/16" rubber or vinyl tubing, and a funnel to fit the tube. The metal tube snout goes in the filler-plug opening. Slowly add your Tractor Hydraulic Oil a pint at a time, until it just runs-out of the filler opening. Once the coupling is full, remove funnel and re-install filler-plug and gasket, and tighten firmly. At this point, you might want to spray the filler plug area with some brake-kleen until clean let dry, then hit it with some orange or red spray paint, to help in locating the plug in the future. Recheck all filler / drain plugs to be sure they are tight, then reconnect battery, start engine, and go for a test drive.... This proceedure is a little different from modern cars, but is fairly straight-forward. If this is your first experience with a Chrysler Corp. car with Fluid Drive and a semi-automatic transmission, the most important thing to remember is that it is in NO WAY related to modern (1955 & later) automatic transmissions. ( Just accept this concept for now; there are many well-meaning shade-trees who might lead you to think otherwise). The Fluid Coupling is just that, a " 1 to 1 " fluid-coupling; it is NOT a torque-converter. The transmission is a MANUAL-SHIFT sliding-gear transmission that has been ADAPTED with a semi-automatic control system to achieve gear-changes. ( When I got my first Fluid Drive MoPar, in 1988, there was no "Internet", and I had no MoPar gurus handy, so I had to learn all this the hard way, pretty-much on my own.... I'm trying to save you some frustration and wasted time here, by explaining the MoPar Fluid Drive system. It ain't like anything else ! ) You will do well to find a shop manual for your car; factory re=prints are available from Roberts MOtor PArts and Andy Bernbaum, among others. Next best would be a MoToR's or Chilton's multi-make shop manual that covers your era De Soto - they turn-up at flea marts and swap meets for $5 - $20 each. Good luck - keep us posted ! :cool:
  5. Are any of the caps held to the distributor body with a wire bail that snaps-over the center of the cap ? If so, it is almost certainly for a Lincoln V-12 ( Zephyr, Continental )
  6. If you can't get enough rotation of the distributor body to correctly time the engine (using the "static method" - engine on TDC (by #1 piston location), turn dizzy until points just break), try "rotating" the spark plug wires on the dizzy cap one tower in the direction you need to turn the dizzy ( but can't because you hit the limit stop), then rotate th edizzy back the other way, and try again... I've had to do this with a couple of vehicles over the years. I can't remember of the Continental engines used by K-F have a "timing plug" in the head, but look at the cylinder head near #1 and / or # 6 spark plug for a 7/16" or 1/2" hex-head pipe plug, centered over the cylinder bore... if you find one, that is a "timing plug". Remove that plug, and use a rod or straightened-out coat-hanger to find TDC on that cylinder (keep an eye on the distributor rotor to make sure you're on the proper rotation of the cam). I used to have a Willys truck that had the same Continental six, but can't remember if it had a timing plug. The engine in my '41 De Soto still has one. Good luck !
  7. You might check withy some Model A suppliers, such as Snyder's or Bratton's... the Ford used a variety of high-crowned (fine -thread) bolts...
  8. Two other thoughts: 1) Most pre-1948 cars have glass lenses in the rear lights... the red lenses do not transmit light the same way as plastic lenses, where the whole lens media tends to glow. 2) rear lighting on pre-War cars tends to be pretty small, and placed low on the body - difficult to see unless you're looking for them.... and believe me, modern drivers are not focused on figuring-out your 70+ year-old rear lighting ! One of the better old cars I have, in terms of rear safety lighting, is my '48 Chrysler New Yorker - in that era MoPars had a brake light on the trunk lid - the '46-'48 Chrylers had a plastic stop-light lens that was about 10 inches long by 1.5" high and mounted high enough on the trunk lid not to be obscured by the hood of a tailgating follower. I still vote for the LED striplight, mounted high-enough to be "in the face" of modern drivers... For a while, I considered getting a pair of "Unity" fog-lights, putting red sealed beams in them, and mounting them on the rear bumper for stoplights... ( "Can you see me NOW ?" )
  9. One more thought - SAE 10 oil is okay for the transimission, but the Tractor hydraulic Fluid is preferable for use in the fluid coupling (it's NOT a torque-converter... ), because it has anti-foaming additives that are not present in the motor oil. If you have a Tractor Supply Company nearby, they should have the ISO-32 Tractor Hydraulic Fluid, usually in five-gallon pails. Good luck ! :cool: ( PS: What model & body style is your De Soto ? Pics ? )
  10. White inside is better than nothing, silver or "Bumper-Chrome" spray is most reflective, almost like a mirrored reflector. I'm a big fan of the LED hi-mount thrid brake-light, such as the one sold under the name "Brakeliter", available from Model A Ford suppliers, among others. I put one in my '28 Ford, and it is a HUGE asset !!! It is a strip of red LEDs in a black plastic housing, about 10 " long by 3/4" high, by 1/2" thick ,and secures to the rear window either with suction-cups or double-stick dots (both are supplied). The unit is "split" into two halves, Left and Right, and has four wires ( two "hot", two "ground" ), so it can be wired to function in several ways: full stop only, left & right turn only, or Left & Right Turn & Stop, if your vehicle is equipped with a "seven-wire" turn-signal system. Mine is set-up as "full stop". I will be installing one in my '41 DeSoto, and a buddy wants them for his '51 & '55 Hudsons. Great suggestion from Jon 37 about running jumpers to check the efficiency of your original "hot" and ground connections to the lights (all lighting - Headlight, parking, stop & tail). My '41 De Soto is kind of crusty, after spending it's 69 years in Northeast PA; I had chronic issuse with dim lights / blown fuse, until I replaced the #22 bell wire used by a previous owner, and ran ground jumpers from the all lighting points to good grounds on the chassis. Got brighter lights and no blown fuses for over ten years / 25,000 miles. The high-mount LED brake light really does get the attention of modern (distracted) drivers...
  11. '46-'48 Dodge D-24 ( Not so strange... ) This goes in the center of the dash. The hole at the bottom center is where the ignition switch goes. The empty rectangle at the upper-left is for the radio ( or delete-plate), the rectangle at the upper right is for the ash-tray ( clock was in the glove-box door). Looks like it might clean-up nice...
  12. Drove my '28 Ford (again) today... Still working the bugs out, but it's covered 1,500 miles since January, and hasn't come back home on the flat-bed yet... Eighty-two years old and 80,450 miles....
  13. Hey TG - any chance of posting a video / audio clip of how your Roadmaster sounds with the correct exhaust ? :cool:
  14. I have had 6-volt DRIVERS since getting my license in the early 1980's, and have never "had" to switch one to 12-volts. Make sure everything with your stock electrical system is correct: proper size battery cables (#2 or better yet - #0 gauge), clean and tight connections (if some one has replaced original terminals with modern "crimp terminals", replace them with soldered-on lugs; get rid of any crimped butt-splices!). If your Buick still has the original starter-switch linked with the gas-pedal, make extra-sure your engine is correctly tuned, and the carb is working correctly. If your original generator is not capable of providing enough amperage to run all your accessories ( I believe 35 amps was the maximum output of the highest-capacity 6-volt generators...), you can source a 6-volt alternator ( GM "one-wire") in a variety of outputs up to 65 amps (maybe more), paint it satin black, and only the "purists" will notice. Certainly a lot easier than switching the whole system to 12-volts. My '28 Ford Coupe came with one of these alternators, and unless I plan on having the car judged, I don't think I will change it. Modern 6-volt Sealed Beams are just as bright as their regular 6012/6014 cousins ( have to meet SAE / DOT standards)... if your headlights are "dim" at road speed, make sure you are running modern 6-volt Sealed Beams (Wagner are best; Sylvania are dodgy) and that they are correctly aimed, and make sure ALL the headlight wiring / connections are clean and tight, ESPECIALLY the ground wires, which usually goes from the headlight plug to the headlight bucket for a chassis ground. On most 20+ year-old vehicles, chassis-grounds have gotten rusty (even if the body finish "looks great"), and there's a lot of resistance there... you can run ground jumpers from the headlight plugs back to a convenient spot on the frame or even the grounded terminal of the battery. I ran ground jumpers on my trusty-crusty '41 De Soto, and the lighting brightness improved dramatically AND it stopped popping the SFE-30 fuse on the headlight switch. Unless you want A/C, a properly functioning 6-volt system is entirely viable.
  15. "As far as heat in my '60, I'd say that I can smell it more than I can actually "feel" it! " "I have heard from a few independent mechanics, however, who really don't seem to like working on them (evidently have to take a lot of stuff apart in order to get at "common"wear-out parts, etc.)." Yeah, they can be very challenging to work on... one of the worst chores is replacing the battery... it's squeezed way up inside the LF fender... On the other hand, I replaced the brakes at all four wheels last year, and it really wasn't a bad job Riding around in one is another story... tremendous blind spots, and a full-grown adult such as myself (6'2") cannot sit upright in the back seat - the curves of the body force me to lean forward and to the center ! :mad: Definitely a "boutique" car for teenage girls, in my humble (jaded) opinion... One of the things I remember very strongly about my Dad's two '66 Beetles was the smell of the interior: the pleasantly "musky" (?) aroma of horsehair seat stuffing ! Both cars were "khaki" with the white perforated vinyl interiors... Sadly both are long -gone.
  16. I'm curious... do the Air-cooled Bugs growl, bark, and snap at the "New Beetles" ? ( My wife has has a 2000 neue Beetle for about seven years, and the only redeeming quality I find about it is that it has heat in the winter... ) Would love to have my Dad's '66 Bug... :cool:
  17. Delage, Delahaye... They're "all the same to me", read: "untouchable" Before reading Steve's explanation, I was figuring that the three cars depicted in the new logo were "artistic interpretations", designed to evoke an "era" rather than an attempt at a "realistic" (in the artistic definition) of any actual specific car, although that Delage Aerosport posted by TwistWrench does exhibit a remarkable similarity to "the car on the left". I think the "new logo" should have one more silhouette: a brass /nickel era touring car. :cool:
  18. E-bay - you will have the whole world at your feet. Or, get some pics and post on the Buy-Sell page here.
  19. Beautiful car ! I've always liked the "de Causse" Franklins. Thanks for sharing ! :cool:
  20. Well, we're trying... I'm "mentoring" my buddy, who has a real bad case of "Hudson-itis"... He has a '51 Super-Six Brougham ( big two-door sedan, not the "coupe") that's a solid car, but "needs everything"; then he picked-up a nice '55 Wasp Custom driver last fall, which is very presentable, mostly needing some driveability issues ironed-out. It's been fun helping him; I get to learn a "new" make... :cool:
  21. One of the last would have been the Willys Utility Wagon or Truck, that finally went to a on-piece windshield in somewhere between '57 & '59. I believe most US cars had one-piece windshields by 1953-'54.
  22. Had the same experience with a friend's '51 Hudson Super-Six last summer... car is un-restored, with 30,000 miles on it, but very weathered. Would not idle, and would not move w/o lots of stalling and goosing of the accelerator. We were fiddling-around trying to get the wipers to work, discovering there was no vacuum at the hose at the wiper motor. Traced the line back to the engine, to find it wasn't hooked-up, and there was a nice 1/4" NPT pipe-tapping in the intake manifold, sitting wide-open. We never heard it sucking air, because there's no muffler on the car right now. Found a pipe plug, and lo and behold, the car idled right down, and finally began to move around properly... Glad it was something simple.
  23. Mark, The light on the Buick is what I have seen refered to as a "spotlight" or "sportlight"... What I'm thinking of as a "ditch light", I believe I 've seen on mid '20s Willys-Knights, was a smaller version of the headlight (with the stylized bezel ), mounted down low (bumper), and a distinctive "half-mask" that kept the beam to the right-hand side of the road. I'll try to find a picture... De Soto Frank
  24. Good point ! For some reason, on the Chevy six, I frequently get # 2 and #4 reversed... Heaven help me if I ever get a V-12 or V-16 !