DeSoto Frank

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Everything posted by DeSoto Frank

  1. I vote for two new axle shafts: a right & a left, so that both are made from the same material. Machining operations for taper, key-way, threading and squaring are all basic machine-shop operations (easier than cutting splines as are found on later shafts, I would think...). Your bio indicates you're in Rhode Island; if you can't find an automotive oriented place to do it, try a machine shop associated w/ the boat-building trade... this shaft sounds a lot like the prop shaft in an old Chesapeake Bay oysterboat which my father owned (powered by a 4 cyl Palmer Bros. marine engine, made in Cos Cob, Conn.)... Not trying to spend your hard-earned $$$, but what kind of damage might happen to the rear-end/running gear in general if a repaired shaft broke, especially "at speed" ? It'd be a lot more $$$ to get ring & pinion (or worm gears, if applicable) made-up than a set of axle shafts.... Good luck to you!
  2. Thanks for posting the pictures, especially for those of us who came along after "My Mother the Car" went off the air. I have to say though, that is one hideous agglomeration of motorcar styles & parts! (I always thought that the 'Three Musketeers' -Zeder, Breer & Skelton- were the first to move the radiator ahead of the front axle, with the Aiflow!) Must've sent purists screaming, even in 1962!
  3. Really wasn't trying to knock the price in question (although re-reading my previous post might come off that way...); my main point was, I was really fortunate to have found my copy for a song; especially in a shop that tends to run 'high' on other antiques. (My secondary point is, sometimes you find good books in unlikely places...) For what it's worth, I just spent a little over $40 on a history of Chrysler Corp, a memoir by Carl Breer, which is much more a fond remembrance of Breer, Zeder & Skelton's triumphs in the early auto industry, than it is a technical compendium, and one of Barnes & Nobles on-line reviewers thought it "grossly overpriced"; but I wanted it and didn't feel like hunting, so there it is... At any rate, enjoy the Dykes- even if someone were to reprint them, I'm sure they wouldn't be cheap by anyone's standards! Cheers....
  4. Doug, Best of luck to you... I keep hoping to get enough spare time to liberate Dad's '30 Chevy Special Sedan from under in tarp in his yard and do a full resto on it... My wife keeps hoping I get enough spare time to finish a room repaint in the house by Thanksgiving. (I've only been at it for two years.....!) Good hunting to you- I'll keep my eyes open when I'm bumming around the countryside!
  5. Peter, I think when the vehicle first debuted in 1935, it was called the Suburban Carryall (both names!). I beleive that name continued through the '50s, and was eventuall shortened to just "Suburban" in the late sixties. If there was a distinction between the two, I would think it would have been during the 'Advance Design' period (1947-1954), when (i think) you could get the Suburban Carryall with either a station-wagon style rear gate or "ambulance doors". There were three basic vehicles on this enclosed type body: Panel Delivery (no windows) Suburban Carryall (side windows and rear seats) Canopy Express ( like the Panel, but had open sides in rear under panel truck roof- often used by grocers and fruit/vegetable peddlers. The Panel & Canopy express were available in 1/2 ton, 3/4 ton, and 1 ton chassis.
  6. First of all, I'm going to highly recommend getting some sort of shop manual that covers your vehicle, preferably a factory shop manual (many vendors have re-prints) or at least a MoToR's or Chilton manual; my 1935-'42 MoToR's manual has a good cut-away section view of typical MCs of the period. Having said that, usually the rubber washer (more of a dough-nut) goes in the bore first, and sits flat against the "blind" end of the MC, then the check-valve and spring go in, followed by the cup and then the piston. Dip all the internal parts in whatever type brake fluid you're going to use before installing. This is the higly condensed version of re-assembly. Good luck!
  7. Roadster Rich, I beleive the term "ribbon radiator" refers to the thin-profile radiator shell that Chrysler/De Soto/Plymouth used around '29-'30. As for type of core, there were two major types: "Fin & Tube" and "Cellular" or "Honeycomb".
  8. Doug, I did some looking in one of my favorite books- Tad Burness' "American Car-spotter's Guide- 1920-1939", which I received for my sixth birthday, and is now falling apart after 29 years! It appears that Buick did use a 20" wire wheel in '29, with small hubcap and exposed lugs, but I can't tell from the picture whether it's a five or six lug wheel. It seems that that other GM marques used either a different size wheel(Olds), or had the lugs unclosed under the hubcap (Pontiac & Oakland). Some other makes that use a similar appearing wheel are Gardiner, La Salle, Studebaker, which are probably not any more common than your '29 Chevy wires! What adds to the shortage is that there seems to have been a tendancy for people who kept driving these cars after WWII to swap 16" rims onto their Fords & Chevys to take advantage of the more readily available 16" tires, so there's probably less 19",20" &21" wheels than there are cars to put them on. One possibility is to check around in farm country- sometimes you see old car wheels on farm wagons and in antique shops/barns- that six-lug wheel should be easy to spot... Hope you find 'em....
  9. Usually, the flat side goes toward the outlet end of the MC,against a rubber seal of some sort, and the spring coils around the "salt-shaker dome", which points back towards the piston. What car are we working on?
  10. If you can find one, the Signal-Stat 900 series unit is pretty good; not self cancelling or indiscreet (clamps on the column), but they've been around since the late forties-early fifties, and look at home in an old truck. Yankee also made a clamp-on unit that had a self-contained four-way flasher function backin the fifties...
  11. Unfortunately, I came along too late in the century to see "My Mother the Car"... But "Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang" was my favorite movie as a kid (except for those seemingly interminable musical numbers!). (I beleive there was a "real" Chitty-Chitty on which Ian Flemming based his book) A small correction- Fred MacMurray and the flying "T" were in two movies: "The Absent-minded Professor" and "The Son of Flubber". "Nutty Professor" was Jerry Lewis/Eddie Murphy. Here's a real obscure question, on "Green Acres", what make truck did Mr. Hainey (Pat Butram) drive?
  12. 56 Roadmaster, Not trying to brag, or anything, but I found my 1922(?) edition of Dyke's in a local antique shop for about $3.00, around eight years ago. It's hard-bound, with a blue cloth cover w/ white embossed lettering on the coverboard & spine. Sometimes you find a real treasure for cheap; I was really lucky that day! The same shop also had a beautiful multi-volume auto encycplopaedia set bound in red leatherette with gilt edging on the pages, beautiful marbled end-papers and beautiful color plates; I passed on it because it was from about 1908(too early for my interests at the time), and I felt I couldn't spare the cash at the time. I now wish I had dug deep and got that set too- ah well... Hope you find a Dyke's- there's a lot of "history" in them, as well as sound theory and practical data- wait till you read the sections on tire repair! Good Hunting! Frank
  13. Doug, Don't know for sure, but I think the smaller Buick for '29 or '30 might be similar. Many GM cars still wore wooden artillery wheels in '29-'30. These are similar in appearance to Model "A" Wheels, except for 6 lugs , and the "A" wheels were 21" ('28-'29), and 19" ('30-'31). Good luck in your search; I actually prefer these '29 wheels over the 19" enclosed-lug version that's on our '30 Chevy Special Sedan. (Don't mean to dissaude you from the wires, but I think I remember ad copy for the '29 'International' series 'Imperial Landau sedan' wearing the solid disk wheels (which don't seem to be very easy to find either!). Is that an option for you?) Good Hunting!
  14. Have seen these illustrated in Dyke's Manual, but not associated w/ any specific manufacturer like Knight and the sleeve-valve. From the cross section in Dykes (1922 edition) it looked like there were two valve shafts ("cam"shafts) running down the block, on either side of the cylinders (a la "T" head), near the top, with ports on either side, and a passage bored accross the diameter of said shaft, and as the shaft rotated(timed to the crank, like a cam), the passage would line up with the cylinder& manifold ports, and thus admit/expel gases. Dyke's also noted that this was a "poor breathing design". I guess in the early days of the internal combustion engine, poppet valves gave enough trouble (burning, sticking, swallowing) that designers looked for an(y) alternative. It seems that this might also derive from the Corliss-type valve from the Steam engine days. That's as much as I know about 'em... (Someday, I hope to be able to scan some of these illustrations out of Dyke's, and include them w/ my posts.) Nice weather this week end- hope to drive my "poppet valve" De Soto a bit!
  15. Ahem. In addition to accurate representation of the condition of a given vehicle, I am also sensitive to abuse of the English language ... Folks are awfully careless with their vocabulary these days... I have seen far too many "restored" cars which fail to live up to their promise; which is not to say that folks haven't lavished both time and money on what they have done to a given vehicle. When I purchased my '41 De Soto seven years ago, it had been re-painted and re-upholstered (neither to stock quality; the interior isn't even close!), but otherwise was a bone-stock 80,000 mile,50 year-old car. A "used car lot special". No one could justify calling it "restored", and I surely don't represent it as such. According the American Heritage Dictionary (Houghton-Mifflin, 1982): Re-store: verb, transitive. -stored, -stor-ing, -stores. 1. To bring back into existence or use; re-establish: "restore law and order". 2.(This one applies to our thread) To bring back to an original condition: "restore a building". 3. To put(someone)back in a prior position: "restore the emperor to the throne". 4. To give / make restitution of; give back: "restore the stolen funds". [Middle English: restoren< Old French:restorer< Latin: restaurare.] -- restorer, noun In every example, the dictionary implies returning to a state or condition that previously existed. It would not be correct to speak of a 1931 Ford Victoria street rod as 'restored', even if the coachwork were completely re-done to Dearborn stock, down to a Washington Blue paint job w/ Tacoma Cream striping on the belt line, since other parts of the car (such as the engine and driveline) would not be in "an original condition", no matter how well-executed. Part of the difficulty is that "restored" is a nice compact way to say "fixed-up", or "cosmetically improved", much in the same way that (my favorite example here:)"Victrola" has become a convenient "handle" to use when speaking of wind-up talking-machines, regardless of maker, type or vintage. I am not trying to challenge Peter H.'s defense of the first ammendment right to "describe our cars however we choose"; but I would encourage more careful application and interpretation of the term "restored", particularly by those buying or selling a car. I like clarifiers such as "AACA 100=point restoration"; not something you'd probably use in casual conversation(unless you were boasting), but if we're writing/reading ad copy, then such clarification helps assure us that the car in question isn't one of "Honest Sam's little old lady, only drove it to church on Sunday cream-puffs". Stan- even if your Buick (and my De Soto or any of my other 20 vehicles) isn't 'restored' by Webster's definition, it doesn't mean that our cars aren't loved, cared for , or enjoyed, and I like Peter's final paragraph about the reality of some restored cars becoming "too valuable to enjoy" from behind the wheel, driving down the road -which is where I get my greatest pleasure out of owning these old beasts. I like the patent reply of one of my fellow Chrysler enthusiasts: "It's not perfect; but it's nice!" Happy Motoring ('restored' or not!)
  16. How 'bout 'Elcar' -that's Spanish, isn't it? Then there was the 'Ogren', back in the '20s... Not to mention the 'Jaeger', which came with a bottle of foul-smelling hooch in the tool kit.... "Rockne", the Notre Dame car... 'Auto Red Bug'- what the heck ????! 'Terraplane' (?) Dad said they used to be nick-named 'Tear-a-parts' "Geronimo" - not popular with ranchers... Probably, the winner for "klunkiest name" would have been Hitler's concept of the name for the original VW: the KDF ("Stregnth through Joy")wagen ! Chew on these for a while; I'll see if I can come up with more...
  17. Regarding post-'29 use of nickel: The interior door & window handles of my '41 De Soto are still nickeled. All the "old-timey" Schrader stems & hardware that I've seen have been nickel-plated.
  18. When I replaced lower ball joints on my father's '62 Ford Galaxy, about 20 years ago, the factory joints were riveted to the control arms, and the replacement TRW joints included grade-8 hardened bolts in lieu of rivets. That has always stuck in my mind, and ever since, unless I'm using junk from Home Depot to attach a license plate, I've always gone with graded hardware when replacing fasteners on chassis and engines. Not sure about the "stainless vs. hardened" issue; just on gut instinct, I'd tend to favor the hardened stuff; besides are you really going to need the rust resistance of SS ? I'm looking forward to Peter's report on the vintage hardware analysis...
  19. 'Can anyone explain the amazing survival rate of '50's De Soto four-door cars?' I'll try! People liked them?(and still do...) I'm not sure how 'amazing' the DeSoto survival rate is compared to other marques & body styles( I always feel like the mid-fifties departments at shows are dominated by Ford & Chevy); like most other cars, De Soto sold more four-doors than any other body style, therefore, that body-type stands a better chance of still being around today. Do we consider the term 'survival' to mean original or restored,and driving and seen at shows, or "retired cars" sitting in fields and back yards that just haven't been dragged to the crusher yet? I have to admit, even being the owner of a '55 De Soto 4-dr, that they're not any more rust-resistant than any other mid-'50s automobile, and probably not much less... so it's not like they're impervious to Mother Nature.... I will offer this hypothesis: De Soto owners seem to have been and continue to be a very "brand-loyal" crowd. A lot of present day De Soto owners have older relatives who bought De Sotos exclusively, and probably spoke very fondly of them to the younger generations; some lucky folks have inherited the "family De Soto".We're "programmed", perhaps "Genetically inclined" to own De Sotos! It was De Soto that set a 'first-year' sales record in 1928,(100,000 cars?)that stood until 1964, when it was broken by.... the Mustang. The terminology thing is frustrating; the "sliding scale" for applying an era term to cars seems to relate the issue most closely to ourselves and our personal perspective. It would seem that most folks who've been in the hobby any legnth of time (including myself, at 35!) don't believe a car can be called an "antique" unless it's at least older than themselves! I don't think I'll ever be able to take the Pinto seriously as an "antique", although it has been around for over 25 years! It's just my perspective about stuff like that- 25 years ago, what I would've considered an "antique car" would've had to have been pre-1950, at least. Perhaps this "25-year" thing is borne more out of convenience for those of us who desire an alternative classification for those vehicles that are hobby-oriented, not daily-driven, etc, so that we can "pigeon hole" the vehicle into a convenient group, and get special dispensation from our DMVs and insurance companies? I liked the preceeding reply that described the "true" Classic cars as high-end, among other criteria; that struck me as a pretty accurate descriptor; to my knowledge, there are no low-end cars (ie Ford, Chevy, Overland,Plymouth) that are "recognized classics", no matter how rare or unusual. Certainly, our American culture seems to prefer "generality", in its colloquial "speak", so often times our vocabulary is less than accurate and frequently mis-applied,as I mentioned before in a post on the old forum, such as the popular notion(probably employed by the same people that bristle at the description of a '55 Chevy as a "Classic Car") that every single wind-up record-player is a 'Victrola' ! Actually, "Victrola" is a very specific type and brand of "talking machine" (if you want an appropriate generic term!); but because of the sheer dominance of the talking machine industry by the Victor Talking Machine Co., between 1906 & 1929, the name became infused into our language as a common noun, and persists as such! Yes, it grinds my gears when I see an "Edison Victrola" advertised; there couldn't be a more ridiculous statement; and usually the seller thinks that their particular machine is worth 'a million, billion dollars', just like the pest trying to peddle a ragged-out '62 Biscayne as a 'rare classic'... Back to cars... when the AACA was formed in 1935, I don't know what the cut-off year was for 'eligible' cars, but I'll bet it wasn't later than WWI; so we're talking Horseless Carriages and Brass-Era. So does that mean that a 1935 Ford could never be an antique car, even though it's now 67 years old (older than any auto at the time of AACA founding!)? If you could poll any founding members today, they'd probably have the same difficulty accepting that '35 Ford as an "antique" as I do accepting a Pinto as such. Perspective. If that Pinto is an "antique", what does that make me? Perhaps we'd be happier classifying our cars with the era from which they came? Depression Era? Pre-War/Post-War? "Swingin' Sixties"? Or likening them with the accepted arts movements: Art Deco; Moderne; Atomic; Minimalist;Post Modern? (I guess I'm getting silly- must be too much radiation from my monitor!) Someone will come up with "a better idea..."
  20. Tom, The comment that the "smell gets really bad when the car is moving", makes me wonder if there's a mouse condo in the heater box. Most cars of the '49-'54 period (including my former 1950 Chevy Fleetline) had the heater core in a box out under the hood, on one of the fender wells, with a fresh air duct from the grille, and another duct carrying the heated air into the cabin. This is common hide-out for the little devils. I've found a number of rodent domeciles in the heater boxes of several of my vehicles over the years. As far as some of the folk remedies you mentioned, setting a couple of roaster pans full of charcoal (lump charcoal works best, avoid 'match light'!) in the car can help absorb some of the smell; acouple of big boxes of baking soda could do the same; but eliminating the source is the best bet! Good luck!
  21. I was a little buffaloed too by the new format; now I'm registered, and logged-in, and hopefully won't be anonymous any more I thought something was "up", when my last post appeared as "anonymous" instead of "De Soto Frank".... Hopefully, others will catch-on and we'll all be "famous"; or at least, 'infamous' Cheers!