DeSoto Frank

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Everything posted by DeSoto Frank

  1. That "slight pop", is it popping-back through the carb, or is it a subtle "puh"... "puh".... "pu-puh"... from the tail pipe ? If it's the second "puh-puh", that might just be idle mixture vagaries. I've had a lot of Chevy sixes that did that at idle, but they ran fine under load and at speed, and I gave-up trying to make the puh-puh-puh at idle go away. If it's popping back through the carb, then something's amiss. When did this behavior start ? Cams don't wipe "overnight" (unless the oil supply fails), even then it's a somewhat gradual process as the lobes flatten-out. While multi-carbs "look sexy", they can bring their own host of special gremlins to the picture, especially if they're "just dropped onto" an existing engine. Try the starting fluid trick I mentioned in my previous post... ( or WD-40, if you prefer).
  2. Places to look for original body color: Under door weatherstrip / strike plates Under hood lace / body welting Under headlight bezels ("doors") Under tail lamp moutings Under the edge of rubber window mouldings The firewall ( and under devices mounted on it, eg: voltage regulator ) This would be assuming the repaint was a "mask and respray", as opposed to a total strip-down/ front clip off, etc.
  3. Look into the "Brakeliter" third brake light, available from Model A suppliers such as Bratton's, Snyder's, and others. This is an LED strip light , about 10 inches long x 3/4 inch high. It attaches to the rear window either with suction cups or double-stick tape. They run about $55 each, and are available for: 6 -volt, positive ground or negative ground 12-volt, postive or negative ground The unit has four wires, and the LEDs are split into two halves. It can be wired a variety of ways: full width as brake light only; split Left and Right, to function as turn signals only; split Left and Right to use as both turn signal AND brake light, if you have a 7-wire turn-signal control (such as a Signal-stat 900). I just put one in my '28 Ford Coupe about a month ago ( bottom edge of back window), and I LOVE it ! ( Wired as full-stop light only). Part of the problem with original rear lighting is that the units are small, dim, and placed low on the body/chassis. The glass lenses used prior to WW II also do not transmit light as readily as the post-war plastic lenses, REGARDLESS of the light source inside the unit (Halogens probably give the brightest light inside an original fixture). The brake-liter puts the strip of LED's right up at eye-level ( or slightly higher) of modern drivers, and they are pretty hard to ignore. I've had no "glare" issues from the LEDs reflecting off the inside of the rear window when driving at night. Forgive me if this sounds like a shameless plug for brakeliter; I first saw them at Hershey about three years ago, and finally got one this winter; it's about the slickest, most un-obtrusive LED light I've seen for the antique DRIVER car. Bratton's also sells a fitted LED circuit board insert to fit inside the stock 1930-'31 Ford Duo-Lite rear lamps... look them up on the website - they might be close enough to work in your Dodge Brothers ? I prefer using the strip light, supplementing the OEM lights. I am thinking about getting a second brakeliter, to use as a split light for turn signals; will put the stoplight strip up top, and the turn signal strip down bottom of the rear window. Good luck ! De Soto Frank ( PS: I tried using a couple of Bell LED bicycle lights (clamps to the seat-stem) from Wal-Mart on the rear of my Coupe, attaching them to the end-bolts that connect the two bumper bars together... they have five different light setting: full-on ( which work well as "tail lights"), and a variety of flash / chase functions. They use three AAA batteries. Better than nothing, but they are too small and sit too low to be very effective. Since getting the brakeliter, I use the bicycle lights as "markers" / extra tail lights. )
  4. Back in those days, the body was usually painted separately from the fenders, so the firewall is "body color", the inner fenders (splash aprons) and lower engine pans (if equipped, go between frame rails and oil pan). The body was usually painted before being installed on the frame, and baked in drying ovens. Then the body was mounted to the chassis, and the finished fenders were installed as the unit moved down the line. For GM in that era, I think the underside of the hood was "body color", but it probably wasn't buffed-out and polished, so it would have had a satin finish. Chrysler Corp did have a special color for the underside of the body, inside the fenders, under side of hood - it was a bluish-grey.
  5. Did this ex-mechanic go to tech school ? Did he have certificates ? Or did he just have a big box full of shiny tools ? Good grief. what carnage those pics show ! With the heat that caused the blueing / melting of the end of the axle, I'm surprised something didn't catch on fire !!!
  6. Sounds like the idle circuit on the front carb is not working, or perhaps there is a vacuum leak. Try gently spraying a small burst of starting fluid into the front carb while it is idling... if things smooth out for a few seconds, that indicates the issue is most likely fuel-related. What kind of carbs are we running ? ( I presume this "235" is a Chevy six ?)
  7. My two cents-worth... If it's a trailer queen, that drives only from trailer to field and back, stay with the stock iron pistons. If you plan on extensive touring, then quality Aluminum pistons, properly fitted and balanced, would make for a longer-lasting engine. That's my humble opinion... I guess if you're asking the question, your engine is worn to the point that it needs a rebore ?
  8. I don't know if I'd go that far... but you'll probably have a little more lee-way than you would with a Model A Ford ( The "judging standards" for the '28-'31 Ford are incredibly detailed...) Visit and look at paint chips for the earliest cars they have, ie: Ford, GM, etc. Take a look at the color chips for Model A Fords, 1928-1931; Ford used a variety of creams, straws, and yellows for wheels and striping... would give you an idea, at least. When I redid the wheels on my '48 New Yorker, about 20 + years ago, I used Rust-Oleum "Antique White" in spray-cans, and the wheels turned-out a very pleasing creamy-buttery white, that contrasted very nicely with the dark blue body and brilliant white WWW tires... You might also seek out museums / collections of horse-drawn vehicles...Pre-Depression auto-coachbuilding evolved from the horse-carriage trade.... Good luck !
  9. For something small like cowl-lamp reflectors, the Caswell kit is probably a bargain. Please share your results with us !
  10. Hi Jeff, Don't want to chase you away from this Forum, however, you might also want to try your quesitons over at "" - the site for vintage Chevy & GMC trucks. Lots of good wrenchers there who have done a variety of drivetrain up-grades to their old trucks while trying to keep them as stock as possible. Is your panel an 1/2, 3/4, or 1-ton ? ( six-lug or eight-lug wheels ?) Generally speaking, the Chevy / GMC manual tranny "big" bolt pattern was the same from 1947 through the 1980's (?), and if your truck has an open driveshaft, then you be able to do some sort of tranny swap. One popular swap is the T-5 five-speed from early S-10 pick-ups... it's almost a direct bolt-up ( might have to use a different clutch disc, due to splines on the input shaft), and has the shifter towards the front. ( some T-5's have the shifter mounted farther back, and this becomes an issue with the floor / seat.) If you're looking for a driver, as opposed to a heavy-hauler, you could just continue to use the stock 4-speed, ignoring 1 st gear, and starting in 2nd. This was common practice "back in the day". Good luck - post a pic if you can ! :cool:
  11. Don't have it today, but I had my A out a couple times this week. Weather was very agreeable - sunny and warm, temps in low 50's... Very nice for March in NE PA. Even had the windshield open !
  12. What does "PCD" mean ? "Five on Six" is a huge bolt circle...
  13. "For drop-dead reliability, the '40-'41 Chevrolet." I'd put MoPar up against Chevy for reliability. The stovebolt was fine as long as the babbit held-out. That's always struck me as a strange paradox - Buick and Chevrolet both had one of the most advanced and best performing engine designs of that era, and yet they both stubbornly clung to poured bearings, into the 1950's. Also the conspiuous lack of an overdrive tranny... Chrysler may have had "asthmatic" flatheads, but they switched to insert bearings in 1934-'35, and never looked back. If the Stovebolt and Buick Eight had been built with insert bearings, you would have had unbeatable engines. ( Perhaps the Buick Eights held-up better, but most Chevy 216's that have crossed my path have rightfully earned the name "Babbit-pounder"... ) Both were very attractive cars !
  14. Rusty is correct about the silver finish. The reflectors are ( usually) made from brass, so that is probably the "yellow" color you're seeing where the plating has be polished away. There is a company called Uvira that has a process for coating reflectors with a vacuum- aluminum process, then the reflectors are encapsulated with glass. The result is a permanent, non-yellowing reflector that is as-bright or brighter than a fresh silver finish. While this is fairly critical for Headlights, cowl lights are more of a parking light , and are not required to throw a bright beam hundreds of feet in front of the car... they're more of a "marker light". So, if your reflectors have been polished down to the brass, and replating / Uvira are not in your budget, a stop gap might be to clean them up and degrease with brakekleen, then shoot them with "bumper chrome" - an aerosol touch-up paint for bumpers and other trim. ( Hey- it's only paint...) I use "bumper chrome" to increase the reflectivity inside stop / tail light housings, with good results. If your goal is a "points" car, then you'll have to have your reflectors replated.
  15. Okay, according to Tad Burness' "American Truckspotter's Guide: 1920-2000", this model Dodge Brothers was made for the 1933-34-35 seasons. This same grille and hood were carried on into 1936 on some trucks, but the name plate on the hood sides was changed to read "Dodge". This example was probably sold as a "Cowl & chassis" model, meaning the factory coachwork ended at the cowl / dashboard. From there back, everything else was added by the truck body builder of choice. In this case the rear fenders must also be Dodge, and were probably adapted from passenger models. So, the windshield frame and seat were probably NOT made by Dodge; since this is an open-cab, whatever seat was originally fitted might have been wider than the seat for a closed-cab DB truck. The original seats from my dear-departed 1934 International were built on wood-frame platforms, with "bed-springs", horse-hair padding, etc. If you can identify who the aftermarket fire equipment maker was that finished this tractor, you might be able to find similar ladder tractors and use them as a guide.
  16. Here's a tidbit about historic pigments - prior to the environmentally-concious age, "white lead" was the primary colorant in white paints... while white lead is "white", it is not as brilliant white as the titanium-dioxide pigments now used to make "white paint". So, your 1919 "cream" would probably have been based on a white-lead base paint, with touches of yellow pigment added ? If you can find out what brand(s) of paint McLaughlin used in that era, you might find a stock color shart somewhere... Prior to the 20th century, many house painters made their own paint, using bulk oils / resins / driers, and adding pigment as necessary to achieve the colors that wanted; this made for LOTS of variety in color.
  17. And with respect to historic octane levels in gasolines, prior to WW II, standard pump-gas ran around 60 Octane. Stock Model A hada compression ratio of 4.1 : 1 , so it would tolerate very low octane fuels, even "distillate" or "squeezins"... just have to retard the spark enough to prevent detonation. We didn't start getting gasolines in the 70-80 Octane range until the 1940's, then the "High-Test" stuff in the late '40's early 1950's. High compression ( 8:1 and higher) DEMAND high-octane gasoline, or they will knock themselves to pieces from detonation. You can retard the ignition timing to prevent knock, but then you're losing some of the performance edge of the high-compression engine. On the other hand, lower-compression engines won't mind fuels with a higher octane rating than necessary... but its not essential. Your wallet may object though... Running a higher octane fuel should not require any changes to carb setting or timing, except to obtain maximum power from the higher-octane fuel. Sounds like you've got some crud restricting your fuel system, as Matt suggested.
  18. Yep - Ammco brake shoe grinder. Would be of interest to a pre-'48 Ford or pre-'55 MoPar person...
  19. "Back to Virginia tonight. Everyone says that my funny way of speaking (tongue) needs to be back in its neck town!" That's because there's so few native Southerners left in Florida - they're outnumbered by "transplants" ! ( Personally, I always loved the way my Virginia relatives spoke... Albemarle, Greene, and Augusta Counties ) Was that a stock T you were tearing around in, or did it have some period speed parts ?
  20. 1941 Chrysler / De Soto / Dodge - new bodies (longer, lower, wider), new revised front suspension, semi-auto matic transmikssion available, first use of "Air-Foam" seat padding (in up-scale models). Full-pressure oiling (since 1924), and insert bearings. Comfortable, reliable cars. Still very driveable today.
  21. Wow ! Open-cab too ! That's an uncommon hunk of truck... usually the only fire aparatus you see these days are pumpers and chemical-tanks... ( which are nice...) I would guess this at 1935, based on the grille. The rear fenders alone would probably be very desireable... Can you grab a pic of the dashboard ?
  22. Well, since you asked... I had my '28 Ford Special Coupe out today; washed some of the winter road-rash off of her... In the course of my errands, she rolled-over 80,000 miles... :cool: The weather here in coal-country has been very nice the last few days- sunny, with highs in the upper 40's... no precip until Thursday... Hope to get a few more driving days in with the Flivver before the weather turns wet. Still too much salt and "anti-skid" residue for me to think about taking the Rambler out...
  23. There have been a variety of accessory electric "ditch lights" and other driving lights since the late Teens... The Trippe lights that turn with the front wheels, and fog lights that are commonly seen on Packards & Caddys seem to have come into vogue around 1929 or so. I have seen period photos from the late '20's /early '30s of lower-priced cars, often with one accessory driving / fog light, mounted at center or slightly to the right of center, sometimes the lamp is oval in shape. The ubiquitous "Unity" fog / driving lights still available from Kanter and other suppliers date from around 1940 or so... supposedly pre-war cars wore 6" fogs, post-war had 5". I have some MoPar fog lamps circa 1940 that have a squarish body... Prior to the introduction of the shunt-wound generators with full voltage / current regulators (circa 1938-'39), cars charging systems didn't have a lot of extra capacity for things like radios, heaters, fog-lights... Personally, I rather like "Drum" headlights... some are more handsome than others... One of my favorite headlamps are the ones used by Locomobile from the mid Teens through about 1922... they are octagonal in shape with a rectangular parking lamp window on top... Another favorite is the 1922 Packard Twin-Six Special, with its huge drum headlights and classic Packard radiator shell... :cool:
  24. I believe the car on the left is a 1922 or earlier Chevrolet "490", going by : Five-lug demountable rims Bowl headlamps with nickel rims Hood latch The other Chevrolet of that period was the larger ( and more expensive ) FB, which had six-lug demountable rims.