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Everything posted by Rusty_OToole

  1. Credit card companies ding the merchant for substantial fees. Where do you think the cash back and air miles come from? I use plastic at major companies like Walmart but cash at small local stores. On a small purchase the fees could amount to 1/3.
  2. I used to think the same thing, I was 7 years old at the time.
  3. Does your car have the power steering pump driven off the back of the generator? In that case you may need a heavy duty generator or, some people add an alternator in addition to the original generator and remove the brushes to disable the generator. What kind of air conditioner, and do the makers recommend a higher powered generator? Air conditioned cars used to come with higher capacity alternators or generators but the newest air conditioning systems are so efficient it may not be necessary.
  4. When I was a kid 50 or 60 years ago you could walk down the street on a nice Saturday morning and there would be one guy building a picket fence, another tuning up his car, another working on his boat, or planting rose bushes. Everybody did everything for themselves. You don't see that anymore. It seems young guys today know whatever they do for a living just barely enough to get by, and professional sports on TV.Anything else and they are completely ignorant. But would be offended if you said so. I first noticed the difference when trying to sell some project cars in the 80s. Was surprised that some cars would not sell for $500 but would sell for $2500 if they ran and drove. I did fix some of them, doing $200 worth of work for $2000 is ok by me but did not have time to get them all going. Eventually sold them or parted them out but learned a lesson, times have changed, project cars today are very little in demand.
  5. Leave it alone and drive slower. They had a top speed of 66MPH or a little better but were happiest at 30 - 45. It might be possible to force one to go faster but the tires, brakes, suspension, body streamlining etc are not designed for higher speeds. If you really want to go faster you need a newer car that is made for higher speeds.
  6. I believe Model Ts had a similar arrangement. They recommended an oil level half way between the 2 petcocks! How you were to determine this, I don't know. My guess is, if oil comes out the bottom one and not the top one you are in the correct range. It might be possible to add a sight glass.
  7. Second thoughts on using a Plymouth block. You say there is a gaping hole in the bottom of the engine, this suggests the old engine threw a rod and that rod, and the crankshaft may be ruined. In that case you would not be able to use your old crankshaft and rods in a Plymouth block.
  8. Chrome T handle to the left of the steering column.
  9. They changed to 12V in 1956 so a 1945 - 55 model would be best. Newer engine will fit but you will need to use your old flywheel starter generator and coil.
  10. This may not be a concern in California but I have run into it here in Canada, and that is the block freezing and being split from end to end on the left side. That is because the block does not drain when you drain the radiator, you have to remove a drain plug on the side of the block and most people don't know this. Another thing that happens on old worn engines is broken pistons. They seem to be more prone to this than other engines. It usually does not harm the block and the engine even continues to run with broken pistons without excessive noise. Since we are talking about an engine minimum 60 years old whatever you buy will be a bit of a gamble and may need a rebuild. On the other hand there are thousands of them around in good running order and in most cases a ring and valve job is all they need to be good for thousands of miles of driving. If it was my car I would look for a suitable engine but would not pay too much, assuming it needs a complete rebuild, unless I definitely knew different, as in , could hear the engine run in a car, check the oil pressure and do a compression test. Value of a rebuildable core around $200 up to $500 or more for a known good engine. By the way the Plymouth engine is alike and interchangeable, the main difference being the longer stroke. Your crankshaft and rods will fit a Plymouth block. So you can turn a Plymouth engine into a Dodge engine. Later Plymouths used the 230 cu in engine same as your Dodge. Likewise Dodge trucks, they used the same engine, in some models up to 1962 or 3 years longer than they used them in cars. These engines are common enough that you should be able to find one within a convenient driving distance especially in California. It may take a few weeks but one will turn up if you advertise and/or look around. There may be one at the local Pik A Part, you never know your luck.
  11. If you are in Marina California there should be no problem locating a suitable engine. A lot of them get discarded when owners build hot rods.
  12. When diagnosing a heating problem a laser thermometer can be a big help. It allows you to check temp at the engine outlet to the rad, at the back of the engine, lower rad hose, and various spots on the radiator. If there are cool spots on the rad it indicates clogged tubes in that area.
  13. See General Discussion for answers to this question.
  14. One other thing. Canadian made Dodges used a smaller version of the Chrysler engine. So there is a slight possibility you have one of these. You do not tell us where you are or where the car was made but I get a feeling from your post that you may be outside the US. The Plymouth/Dodge engine is 23 1/4 inches long, measured at the cylinder head. The big DeSoto/Chrysler is 25 inches long. Otherwise they look practically the same.
  15. Chrysler made millions of these engines between 1936 and 1959. Most are alike and interchangeable. Rebuild parts are available and cheap. You do not state where you are but Vintage Power Wagons in Fairfield Iowa has warehouses full of parts including whole engines. If you are not near there, you should be able to find an engine locally even if it needs to be rebuilt. I live in a semi rural area of Canada and they turn up in junk yards from time to time, even now. In addition to cars and trucks thousands were used in farm equipment and as industrial and marine engines. Try advertising on Facebook or Kijiji or Craigslist for a Dodge or Plymouth flathead six 1946 - 1959. They are the same block only the crankshaft and rods are different for different displacement. The bigger DeSoto and Chrysler six will fit, but is 2 inches longer which requires some change of motor mounts and moving the radiator forward. But allows use of the bigger 250 or 265 cu in engine. No other engine or engine/trans combination will fit without major modifications. Your best bet is to find a good block and rebuild it, they are a simple engine and parts are not expensive. Complete rebuild including rebored cylinders, new pistons, crankshaft etc about $2000 but they seldom require everything. Check out Vintage Power Wagons for parts. The old Dodge Power Wagon used the flathead engine right up to 1968 in military versions.
  16. I don't see the point of buying tools when you might do a valve job once in 10 years if that. Unless you own a garage or auto machine shop you might as well hire it done.
  17. A magnet on a stick from the Dollar store is handy for taking out the keepers.
  18. What you have is a Model 61 sedan. This was Cadillac's smallest lowest priced car that year, and the only one that used the smaller B body usually seen on Oldsmobile and Buick. The other Cadillacs used the C body shared with Buick Roadmaster. Suggest you find a good mechanic who is familiar with the older models. Start by joining a local antique auto club or attending a meet or show if they still have any, and ask some of the old timers for their recommendations. As you work 60 hours per week this is probably the best solution. The problems you mention are mostly relatively minor repairs and adjustments that take time and skill but probably will not require replacing many parts. It can seem like an endless task to put a car back in commission after it has been off the road for several years. But once you sort out these problems it should be reliable as long as you keep up the scheduled maintenance like tuneups, oil changes, brake adjustments etc. The Cadillac was one of the best and most reliable cars of the time.
  19. The easy way is to hand over a stack of blank cheques and come back in a year.
  20. Would it be possible to take off the starter and generator and start with a hand crank? If not it may be necessary to push or tow to start.
  21. I've got 2 or 3 around here someplace, they are not rare in the old car world. Flatheads do not need stiff springs, the valve train is so light. The springs are easy to compress. One of mine you just squeeze like a pair of pliers. They used to turn up at swap meets for a few bucks. No doubt you can pick one up there, or from the popular auction site, or maybe your old car friends have some laying around. You don't need the big C clamp job in Tinindian's picture, that is for OHV engines.
  22. Essex was Hudson's popular priced offering, selling against Chevrolet and other lower priced cars. In those days Hudson was considered an expensive car, and some models sold for more than a Cadillac. Essex started out in 1919 as a four cylinder companion car to Hudson and got a six cylinder engine later. Essex big claim to fame, was the Essex Coach, the first closed car that sold for the same price as a touring car. In those days sedans typically sold for a lot more than open cars, in the lower priced lines the difference could be as much as a 50% higher price. In the early twenties Essex had considerable vogue, and was one of the best selling cars. For several years it was third in sales behind Ford and Chevrolet.
  23. It's quite true that hand stitching an interior is a slow laborious process. But if you price a new leather interior you may decide it is better and cheaper to resew the old stuff even if it takes you a week. Besides it should only be necessary to resew the bad spots not the whole thing.
  24. I saw an article on a diesel engine developed by Porsche for VW in the early fifties. It was a dog and they never built any for sale but the 2 piece crankcase became the basis for the Porsche engine.
  25. Look for junk in the filter. Dirt, rust particles or bits of sealer. You may have to cut the filter open.