1950Dodge

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  1. All the literature and classic car databases I have seen concerning drive lines for the 1949-1952 Dodge Coronet (mine is a 1950 D34) say that the axle ratio on the 3-speed manual models is 3.9. That is incorrect. All 1949 Dodges came standard equipment with Fluid Drive, which is NOT the transmission; it is a hydraulic (fluid) coupling that takes the place of the conventional flywheel. With the fluid drive, you had a choice of two transmissions: a conventional 3-speed manual that did not shift by itself, or a Gyro-Matic transmission, a so-called semi-automatic which was in reality a 4-speed manual unit that had two forward speeds, a low 2.14-to-1 gear, and direct drive 1 to 1. It also had a 1.75 reduction gear that would engage and disengage automatically with either the low gear or direct drive, depending on the position of the gear lever. According to my D34 Coronet 1950 Owner's manual, the D34 with the standard three speed came with a 4.1 axle, and if it had the Gyromatic, it came with the 3.9. My shop manual confirms this, as it lists the 4.1 axle as standard for the 3-speed D34, with optional ratios 3.73 and 4.30. It does not list the 3.90 as being available with the 3-speed. The shop manual shows that Gyromatic came with a 3.9 on the Sedan, and a 4.1 on the wagon.
  2. "How do you know if oil is actually going through the bypass filter?" Easy. After the engine is warm, feel the outside of the canister (side away from the engine block). If it is warm, oil is flowing through the canister. I would question the 50% in 60 minutes result. If you look at the link I provided in the original post, you will see that a filtration engineer did some tests, and his results showed a much better turn than that. My own observation is that the oil flows through pretty quickly, a sad lesson I learned when I did my first filter change on my old Dodge and the gasket did not seat properly. Within about 20 seconds, I had about a 1/2 quart of oil on my garage floor.
  3. Thanks for the response. My car has a cigar lighter, a clock, and integral (with the steering column--not tacked on) directional signal lever. All of these were "options" on this car, so I am guessing that that is what the Accessory group consisted of, because there is no listing of those individual items on the build card. "Heater" and "Radio" are listed as individual items, so those could be ordered separately, it appears. I have the Accessories and the Heater, but no radio, and that is how it shows on the card. I am going to guess that "1" under Transmission is the 3-speed manual, because that is what I have in the car, not the M6, which I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that was probably coded as "2." There is also a block that says "Special Order," so evidently they also had a provision for doing things to the car that were not catalogued.
  4. Finally got the build card and certificate from Chrysler Historical. The problem is, they can't furnish the "decoder" matrix. The only thing I know is that the color is "05," which is "LaPlata Blue." I know this because I do have a paint code matrix, but I don't have the chip showing me what kind of blue it is (light, dark?). So here are the other codes: Access Group 5, Transm 1, Stone SHLD 1, Spec Tires. Can anyone tell me what these mean? Thanks
  5. In 1954, you could still get a Dodge gyro-matic (the M6 so-called semi automatic transmission), same thing as the tip-toe shift. I think the last year for the M6 in the Desoto and Chrysler lines was 1953. You could also get the Plymouth Hy-Drive transmission in 1954. That was a 3-speed manual transmission with a clutch behind an engine oil fed torque converter. A high school friend had a '54 Dodge with the gryo-matic. The car had been his father's. He told me his father liked the M-6 transmission, but he had to special order it from the dealer because there were none on lots in his area. Only 3 speed manuals and powerflites.
  6. There is nothing wrong with wanting to convert a 6 volt classic to 12 volts. There are many good reasons for doing so. If you want to add modern conveniences such as air conditioning or a state-of-the art sound system, 12 volts is a must. A 12 volt upgrade is the best way to increase the power output of your system, and if you need to do that, I certainly recommend a conversion.<o:p></o:p> That said, however, if your intent is to leave the car stock without adding accessories, I vote for keeping the car 6 volts. An early ‘50’s 6-volt cruiser will not run any better if it is converted to 12 volts. If the 6 volt system is brought back to factory spec and grounds are added, it will work fine. The car will start easily and the headlights will be just as bright as a (non-halogen) 12-volt sealed beam unit. <o:p></o:p> When I got my car, it had an undersized 6 volt battery, 4 ga. cables, corrosion-laden battery terminals, a dirty starter cable, and a reverse-wired coil. The starter turned very slowly, and the car idled roughly and missed under hard acceleration. Many would attribute these conditions to supposed “deficiencies” of the 6 volt system.<o:p></o:p> I bought a new Group 2 780 CCA 6 volt battery (NAPA), new 1/0 ga. cables, cleaned the starter cable connections and added battery-to-body and starter motor mounting bolt-to-frame grounds. I switched the + and – coil wires (+ to distributor ground, where it belongs on a + ground car), and Voila! The starter now spins just as fast as any 12-volt car I’ve owned. My headlights are brighter my signal flasher blinks faster, my erratic idle smoothed out, and the high speed miss was gone.<o:p></o:p> What causes many in the hobby to convert to 12 volts is the poor or non-spec condition of their car’s 6 volt system. Fix what’s wrong, add extra grounds, and you will be in fine shape. <o:p></o:p>
  7. I’m tired of reading on internet blogs and forums about how “ineffective” a by-pass filter system is on our old cars. I’ve even seen posts and comments from supposed knowledgeable mechanics that advise against adding back the by-pass circuit when doing rebuilds of engines that have them.<o:p></o:p> I’ve got one of these systems on my 1950 Dodge Coronet, and all this “ineffective filter” commentary was counter-intuitive. Why did manufacturers add them? Cadillac, known for its superior engineering, used a by-pass filter on its new 1949 OV design, and did not change to full-flow filtration until 1962. Nevertheless, I wondered, “Is the filter on my car just an “appendage” that was added for marketing purposes, or does it really help to keep my oil cleaner?” After doing some research, I’ve come to the conclusion that not only is the by-pass system NOT ineffective, it actually is pretty effective, even if not as “good” as the full-flow systems that are standard issue today. Here is some good information on this Forum, from people who appear to be knowledgeable:<o:p></o:p> http://forum.studebakerdriversclub.com/showthread.php?46568-62-64-Studebaker-V8-full-flow-blocks-versus-51-62-by-pass-filter-blocks-a-discussion<o:p></o:p> An engineering friend came up with what I think is a good, non-technical common sense way to explain the effectiveness of by-pass filtering. He says to think of swimming pool filtration. That is essentially a by-pass situation, where a small portion of the pool water is drawn into the filter and then returned to the main (dirty) body of water. I’ve observed many times absolutely filthy black pool water, after having sat all winter, become crystal-clear and sparkling after 2 or3 days of by-pass filtering. I’d say that’s pretty effective filtration.<o:p></o:p> So, IMHO, if your oil supply starts out clean and you have a by-pass filter, you will come out OK in the clean engine dept. The only time a by-pass filter may not be effective is if the oil becomes suddenly contaminated, such as if you were driving in a severe dust storm with an open-crankcase ventilation system. A full flow would get 99% of the immediate contamination on a single pass whereas a by-pass might take 30-45 minutes to remove it. A lot of damage could result in that time. But, under normal circumstances where we drive on paved roads, the chance of the immediate contamination is remote. <o:p></o:p> I’ll stick with my by-pass filter, and I will continue to advise people who have no filters on their classic cars to add the by-pass circuit. Very easy to do, as opposed to trying to plumb a full-flow into a block not originally designed for it.<o:p></o:p>
  8. Biscayne, I agree with your analysis. 5 years ago, almost no FOR SALE signs on cars at shows. Now, they are commonplace. Older folks (like me) realizing that working on/maintaining the old iron becomes more difficult as time marches on. I'm 67 years old and on my last old car, a 1950 Dodge Coronet. I've decided to maintain it and drive it until either it or I won't go any more. Flathead 6, 3-speed manual transmission behind a fluid drive unit (Not the M6, a real 3-speed), on the original 6 volt system (works just fine, thanks), and not one breakdown in the 8 years I've had it. Drive it about 3500 miles per year, it functions as a 3rd "back-up car" so it doesn't get babied. It will probably outlast me.
  9. Apart from the 1973 Chevvy Bel Air, the 3-speed manual column shift car that surprised me the most was a 1970 Dodge, either a Monaco or a Polara, I don't remember which. It was a 4-door sedan with a 318, power steering, power brakes, and 3-speed manual coumn shift. Here's the story, which I got from the owner when I saw the car for the first time in late 1973: The owner always owned Oldsmobiles and always had 3-speed standards in them. It was time to trade in his 63 Olds standard shift for a new model so he went to the local Olds Dealer who told him he could not get the car that way. The literature said he could, so he went to other Dealers, but they all refused to order the car the way he wanted it. He went as far as the Zone Manager who also turned him down. In frustration, he walked into the local Dodge Dealer and said he wanted a 1970 full-size Dodge with the 3-speed manual and power steering, and he hoped that he wouldn't be given a hard time about it. Apparently the Dealer said something like, "Listen, it's going to be your car, and if that's the way you want it, we'll order it that way." The only thing the Dealer did was require a larger deposit for the car. He had the car for 12 years before it was totalled in an accident.
  10. Great discussion. To Tomcarnut: your dad did not have the only 1971 full-size Chevrolet with a 3-speed stick. I had one too. It was a '71 Biscayne (entry level model) with a 250 cu in 6, 3 on the column, power steering and power brakes. I bought the car used in 1973 when I got out of the Army. It had 42,000 miles on it and I paid $975 for it from the local Chrysler-Plymouth dealer who had taken it in trade. That price included a new clutch disc and TO bearing. It was also the first car I owned with PS and PB. I believe the PS and PB came standard on the car, which is probably why Mr. DeLorean told your Dad that he had to take the car that way. To Biscayne John: The '73 Bel Air with the 6/3 speed I saw was a very nice medium/dark blue 4-door sedan. It was in beautiful condition.
  11. You could not get a 1973 Impala or Caprice with the three-speed (column) manual. Only the Bel Air, and only in 6-cylinder form. That is what the guy who had the '73 Bel Air told me.
  12. The last year for a full-size standard manual shift US car was 1973, and the car offering it was the Chevrolet (Bel Air model). Interestingly, that car was also available in six cylinders, and in fact, if you wanted the six, the only available transmission was the column-mounted three speed manual. I believe this is the only example of a 1970's US full size car that was available only with a manual transmission. What prompts this posting is that I actually recently saw a '73 Bel Air with the 3-speed/6 cylinder at a local car show. I would guess that less than 1000 of these were actually produced. That got me to thinking: Between the years 1955 and 1973, which Big Three full-size US cars offered the manual transmission (either 3 or 4-speed), and how many have I actually seen (I was 8 years old in 1955); not photographs, but the actual car itself. Here's my tally, showing the car and the years between 1955 and 1973 that I have not seen the car in manual shift form: Chevrolet: 1969, 1972 Pontiac: 1956,1959, 1960, 1965,1967, 1968-1973 Buick: 1955, 1957,1959-1962, 1965, 1967-1973 Olds: 1956-1973 Cadillac: 1955-1973 Ford: 1968-1970,1972,1973 Mercury: 1958, 1959, 1960, 1962-1973 Plymouth: 1968-1973 Dodge: 1955, 1956, 1958, 1966, 1969, 1971-1973 DeSoto: 1956-1961 (last year of production) Chrysler: 1955-1960, 1964-1973 Would be interested in the experience for other Forum members.
  13. I’m going to go with what Rusty said. They knew the car was for Truman, and it was specially supplied. K.T. Keller and Truman were acquaintences, Keller having served in the Truman Administration during WWII. When the ex-president needed a car in 1953, he asked Keller what he recommended from the Chrysler line. Following Rusty’s idea, and based on the fact that Keller was aware of Truman’s desire to buy a Chrysler, it is more than likely that when the order was placed it got special attention and probably the order from Keller was to install the PF transmission, which surely was available in February, but not yet released to production. I’m going to guess that Truman got the first PF-equipped Chrysler delivered to a retail customer.<o:p></o:p>
  14. If you follow the link below, you will see the dashboard/driver's side floorboard of Truman's Chrysler. If you look carefully and expand the image, you can see that the shift indicator on the steering column shows RNDL, clearly a Powerflite indicator. The M6 cars had indicators showing RLND. Further, look at the floorboard and you will see no clutch pedal, nor is there a hole where one should be. Further, the history I have says that both Harry and Bess had to be instructed as to the operation of a fully automatic clutchless car because every car they had prievously was either a standard manual or the M6 (their 1941 Chryslers were fluid drive/vacamatic models), all having clutch pedals. This is all proof enough for me that his 1953 Chrysler had the Powerflite. http://jalopnik.com/5791608/the-secret-of-harry-trumans-lost-1953-chrysler<o:p></o:p>
  15. In doing some research on early '50's Chryslers, I learned that President Harry Truman took delivery of a brand-new 1953 Chrysler New Yorker in late February 1953. I also learned through further research that this car was equipped with the Powerflite automatic. This appears to contradict what I've seen concerning when and how Powerflite was introduced to the public. Everything I have read says that the Powerflite was a late (May 1953) introduction on Imperial Models only, and then sometime after that, it began appearing on Chrysler New Yorkers. If that is true, how did Harry, who bought his '53 New Yorker from a Missouri Retail dealer, get his Powerflite-equipped car in February 1953? There is no indication that he did or said anything special when he ordered his car, or even that he was aware that the fully automatic transmission was available. The history I have says that both he and Mrs. Truman had to get special instructions on how to drive the car when they took delivery, because they only had experience with "clutch" cars up to that point. Can anyone shed light on this? :confused: