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Help needed with a 1939 Dodge D-11 Deluxe


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Hi What you have is very odd, the tank on my '38 is just that a tank, with no tricky valves or anything. You said that the gas tank looks new/refurbished??. I wonder if something has been done wrong and that is what has brought the car to a standstill.

Try this...put the drain plug back in, put the sender back in, leave the fuel line off and again presurise the tank, if not venting then stick the coat hanger inside the tank and see if that opens it. This may not fix any problem but it will tell you exactly where the issue is. Or as a wild card now that you have blown the rubbish out of tank and lines tip in some new fuel and see if the tank delivers it.

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I put three gallons of new gas into the tank, then took an electric fuel pump that I tested first to be sure it pumped, and hooked it up to the line and tried it. Nothing... would not pump any gas out of the tank. I wonder if there is a pick up tube or line inside the tank that connects to the gas tank outlet fitting? Perhaps this is the problem?

Dan

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Deluxe, does it look as though the tank may have been sealed? GAs lines rarely take gas from the botom of the tank.How far did you shove the coathanger inside the tank? Just trying to invision from your discription here, but if you took out the fitting they usually have a tube that goes up in the tank a short ways. Could the sealer, if it exists, have formed a tube that stayed in place when you removed the fitting? Or if wasn't sealed could crud have formed a sealed tube that your air can't penetrate? You have to remember by blowing in the tank from the gas cap side the whatever your air pressure is is only PUSHING on about a 1/4 square inch. Not much force. What was his name with the finger in the dike?

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I can push a coat hanger wire into the tank for a foot and half, about 18 inches. Then it bottoms out on something and I cannot get in any farther. When I pull it out, it is not wet with new gas, but rather looks like it has varnished bad gas on it. I'll be darned if I can figure it out? I bent a crank into the end of the wire so I could turn it around in there, it definitely does not feel like it is in the open, it feels like it is inside a tube inside the tank, and bottoms out at the end of whatever it is.

Dan

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OK, a foot and a half certainly rules out what I was thinking. How much pressure are you useing? Might be a baffle in there that is keeping you from getting a direct blast of air. Some gas in tank? How about a garden hose fitted up to the fitting in the bottom, kind of a enamouch.

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Hey Dan. All good advice you are getting here. Be patient, you are bringing the car back from the dead so there will be issues. Also try and buy some fuel tank cleaner, you will probably need to drop the tank out which is easy so that you can slosh the stuff around. I put a length of chain in mine and gently rocked it. If you put chain in do not roll the tank as you may end up with the chain tied up inside your tank !! Another reason to drop the tank is that it gives you the chance to replace the rubber pipe between the tank and the filler spout.

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Dan, I had a very similar problem with my 39 D11 a while back.. What i did was put a little rubber hose on the end of the fuel line coming from the tank and stuck my air blower in there and started with 10 PSI and moved up from there. It took about 35 to 40 PSI before i heard a pop and then it was clear. What i think happened was the gas makes like a hard varnish seal over the outlet line on the fuel tank.. Just be very careful, if the tank is weak somewere and you put in that much pressure if your fuel filler cap is not off you are going to blow a hole in the tank. Or if the little nipple from the tank is weak and the varnish seal is very stubborn you will again punch a hole in that hard line coming from the tank. Just work slow and use real small air pressure increases. I hope that helps!! Also by the way i used to run a little electric pump on the fuel line too.. I never got the car running right like that. I got a new mechanical fuel pump and the car ran like a champ. Also one last thing disconnect the line from the carb and run the air through the line that way as well.

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Hey, much appreciated. I've got the thing soaking right now, I sprayed some Chem Tool (like GUMOUT), into the line and I'm letting it sit a spell. Then I'll try some compressed air again. I would never do it with the gas cap on. Hopefully I'll have the good luck that you did and get it clear. Regarding the fuel pump. When I bought the car, it had an electric pump on it from the previous owner, but I too wanted to go back to the mechanical pump. I hooked the lines back onto the mechanical pump and it would not pump any gas, so I tried running the inlet line from a gas can, still wouldn't pump. Upon taking it off I saw why, the arm was missing, it was removed. It looks like when the previous owner put the electric fuel pump on it, he disabled the mechanical one so it would not be operating. I was able to find a rebuilt mechanical pump that looks like brand new, and pumps air when I operate the arm. I'm getting ready to install that one, I already removed the electric one. I ran all new lines from the tank to the pump, then from the pump to the carb, so I'm all clear. One thing I did was when I bent the new line from the pump to the carb, was to bend it away from the manifold, and tried to run it along the inside of the fender well to keep it away from the manifold heat. I was told by the previous owner that the car would experience vapor lock from the heat of the manifold vaporizing the fuel before it reached the carb. He told me this was the main reason he put the electric pump on it. He also wrapped the fuel line in heat shielding insulation. So I ran the new line away from the manifold and then back over to the carb, then I also wrapped it in heat shield insulation. Hope this does the trick. Did you ever experience vapor lock with yours?

Also in reply to Dave, I'm really hoping I won't have to drop the tank, but if I do I will definitely replace the rubber filler neck hose. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks all,

Dan

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Dan: I once had the same plug up line on a early Olds. I took the inside of a speedometer cable and chucked it in my electric drill and then ran it on a slow speed. It took a couple minutes but I ended up drilling through the plug and it ran fine after that. You might try it before you drop the tank.

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Okay, here is where I'm at today...

I tried soaking, I tried blowing air to no avail, then I tried the drill thing and it worked like a charm, I did not have a speedometer cable so I used my wire coat hanger, real slow like you said. I busted it up and it's all clear! Now... have you ever heard the phrase when one closes another door opens? Well, not in my world. When door opens another door closes! I'm all clear but still no gas pumping from the tank. I have a transparent fuel filter in line under the drivers side door, no gas in it at all after cranking the engine and running the engine on gas poured into the carb. Won't draw anything. I'm thinking perhaps this rebuilt fuel pump is bad? Before installing it, when I actuated the arm it did pump air, so I do not know?

Now a whole new problem has arisen as an added bonus to my current frustration; when I was running it on gas poured into the carb I noticed oil leaking under the engine. Upon inspection I found that the braided line that runs in between the steel oil line from the oil pressue gauge and the steel oil line that comes out of the block has ruptured at the fitting from pressure. My oil prerssure gauge reads fully pegged to the right when I run the engine on gas poured into the carb.

A blockage somewhere, or just an old fitting?

Dan

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OK, just because you got the fitting open doesn't mean the tank is clear. The crud that caused the blockage is still in there, but now it's in pieces. Think about removing the tank and cleaning it correctly. It also sounds like your oil pump plunger is stuck or the plunger spring is broken, causing too much presure. Do you have another guage to test with, maybe a higher LB. guage? Don't run it too long this way, could start blowing out seals.Sounds like good progress is being made.You also have a blinking flag that needs clicked at the top of the page.

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Regarding the tank, I flushed it out with the drain plug out. I'll try hooking the electric pump up again to see if it draws any gas. How would one go about fixing the oil pump plunger? I do not have another gauge here, but I think I know where I can get my hands on one. I'm not seeing any blinking flag? Not sure what you mean?

Dan

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I'm assuming the oil pump would be inside the oilpan. The bypass would be part of the pump, that's where the plunger and spring are. Some engines have the bypass in the block seperate from the pump. You need to look at a manual to find it. VWs have it seperate and being a steel piston in an alloy case they grow together and stick if the engine sits for a long time. I just guessing that is your problem, but it sure sounds like it. I'd try another guage of higher reading first.Try for the blinking flag again

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there is no check valve in the tank , but there is a built in filter .i suggest that you remove the line from the tank again a blow back into the tank with compressed air . it sounds to me as if the filter is blocked as it is located in a depression in the tank and every thing gravitates to it.before you apply the air remove the filler cap so you dont pressurise the tank

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Hi Delux. If your fuel line is disconnected from the tank and fuel does not freely run out the outlet no pump will help as you still have a problem. (I assume there is not a goose neck or similar in the thank) I would suggest you drop the tank out, this will take just 10 minutes and give you great access. Onec out the tank can be rolled and tipped until you remove whatever is in there which could be almost like tar.

Question to others about the oil pressure issue, should Delux also be checking the oil pressure release valve or is this what you are calling the bypass?

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Got another question regarding the oil pressure situation. I noticed today that the gauge in the dash is still reading all the way over to the right, fully pegged and the engine is not even running. In fact, I took the ruptured line off today so there is no pressure at the gauge at all. I am wondering if I broke the gauge?

Dan

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  • 2 weeks later...

Friends,

I got away from the engine problems for a little while and worked on the electrical system situation, I now have headlights, both high and low beam, tail lights, parking lights, dome (reading) light, high beam indicator, and wipers working. I still need to get the horns and dash lights working. Now back to the oil pressure problem, I have a service manual now and it shows an oil pressure relief valve down near the bottom of the block on the drivers side, just above the oil pan. I am going to unscrew that, and there is supposed to be a spring and a plunger inside. I am wondering if perhaps the plunger is stuck as one you already said. Once I remove the spring, if the plunger is indeed stuck how do I get it out and unstuck?

Dan

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I'd get there first, then figure out the plan of attack. It may be rusted in place, forget how long the car sat. It could just be gooped up, maybe some carb cleaner. I'm thinking it's really stuck or it would have pushed out. Didn't you peg theguage a few times? I know what the plunger in a VW looks like, never saw one of these. MAybe look at one from another engine like yours, maybe you can get a plan. They are usually piston shaped { hollow in the bottom}, I'm thinking like a machinist again, but you might be able find a tap that fits up in the bottom and put a few threads in it. Then screw a piece of threaded rod on and pull it useing washers and a nut. If it's not possible to thread it, maybe you could drill a hole up through it and thread it and pull, then replace it with a good one. I doubt they are hardened, but it may be? Lots of ways, hope it's easy and no big deal.

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Well I took out the hex head plug and spring, the plunger was pushed way back in. I took the oil lines off from both sides of the oil filter and made sure they were clear. Then I took them off at the block and blew air inside there as well. Then I sprayed PB Blaster into the hole where the plunger is, as well as the holes above it where the oil lines go in. I let it sit a bit then blew air in all the holes. I tapped the the block around the plunger a bit with a small ball peen hammer, then I put a small Phillips inside and tried to wiggle the plunger. I felt it moving. I blew air into the plunger hole and it blew out where the oil filter line goes in so I figure it must be clear now, as before I was not getting any oil to the filter. I guess we'll see what happens when I try to start it again?

Dan

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Good on you Dan, you are starting to improvise and just work your way around the problems. That is how it is done on these old cars, they are generally very simple (with a few exceptions) and very robust. Just keep at it you can not be very far off start up now. A few years back I was having engine problems with my 38, a very good and older mechanic said "if you give it fuel and spark at the right time it will go...the engines are that simple".

Keep up the posts !!!

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IT'S RUNNING !

I put a new flex oil line on this morning to replace the one that blew. It's running on it's own now, new fuel pump is working. Radiator is holding. Temp is good. Oil level is good. Oil pressure gauge is not working, need to get an aftermarket one to see what the true reading is.

Dan

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Okay, so it's running pretty smooth. I oiled the air cleaner and breather, new engine oil, new antifreeze with rust inhibitor and water pump lubricant. Now, next problem... I cannot put it in gear while it's running, the clutch does not disengage. Any suggestions?

Dan

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dodge Deluxe</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Okay, so it's running pretty smooth. I oiled the air cleaner and breather, new engine oil, new antifreeze with rust inhibitor and water pump lubricant. Now, next problem... I cannot put it in gear while it's running, the clutch does not disengage. Any suggestions?

Dan

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This is a common problem with cars that have been off the road for years. The clutch plate gets stuck to the flywheel.

One way to fix it is simply to slide a putty knife between the flywheel and clutch plate. To do this you need access to the clutch. Is there an inspection plate on the bottom of the bellhousing?

Have someone hold the clutch down, or prop a stick between the dash board and clutch pedal. Drive a knife blade between the clutch and flywheel, rotate the clutch, repeat until the plate is free.

On a Nissan 4 WD pickup with no access I once drilled a hole thru the bottom of the bellhousing with a hole saw and successfully freed up a sticky clutch. Not that I am suggesting such a thing.

Have heard that spraying Brake Kleen spray on the clutch will help free it.

Others have reported success by push starting the car and driving around with the clutch pedal depressed until it comes free.

I recommend the first method (putty knife). The other ideas I am only reporting NOT suggesting you do them.

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Tried pull starting it and driving around the back field, would not break free, still frozen. Going to have to try the putty knife I guess. Got a new problem now too, running very hot, needle was fully pegged 212 degrees. Didn't blow any hoses, but I could hear it bubbling inside the radiator. The reason why the former owner parked it back in 1990 is because he was over heating and did not know why. Apparently the problem still persists. Coolant is full, thermostat is new, radiator does not seem to be leaking anywhere, hoses are all new. What else could be causing it to run too hot?

Dan

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Borrow an infrared and check all corners of the radiator. A cold spot will indicate a blockage. They are only about $40 if you can justify one. IS the water pump any good? Did you flush all the crud out when yoou changed the hoses? When it's hot would be a good time to take off a hose and flush it. And the timing will cause overheating. Advance working?? No vacumm leaks?

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I believe the water pump is good, I believe the radiator is good. I do have the tell tale white smoke exhaust I think though of coolant being burned. So I am thinking my head gasket may be bad. I have clouds of white smoke when it is running, looks like steam, so I think I'm burning coolant. This could either be the cause of the over heating or could be the result of over heating? Hopefully the head is not warped or cracked. I am going to start with a new head gasket I guess and go from there. I do not show any signs of coolant in the crankcase.

Dan

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dodge Deluxe</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Tried pull starting it and driving around the back field, would not break free, still frozen. Going to have to try the putty knife I guess. Got a new problem now too, running very hot, needle was fully pegged 212 degrees. Didn't blow any hoses, but I could hear it bubbling inside the radiator. The reason why the former owner parked it back in 1990 is because he was over heating and did not know why. Apparently the problem still persists. Coolant is full, thermostat is new, radiator does not seem to be leaking anywhere, hoses are all new. What else could be causing it to run too hot?

Dan

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I just went thru this on my 1951 DeSoto flathead 6.

It turned out the rad was full of shredded paper. It looked like those brown kraft paper shop towels shredded up.

My only clue was a few bits of the paper floating around in the rad top tank. I fished them out but the car kept overheating.

When I took the rad off I turned it upside down and set it on a milk crate. Then flushed it with a garden hose.

Out came enough shredded up paper to make a clump the size of a football.

I also took off the water pump and inspected inside the engine's water passages. But the clogging was all in the top tank of the rad. The water pump and engine were clean.

My theory is that someone drained the rad for the winter and left the rad cap off. Then, a family of mice built a nest.

You might check the rad for floating debris.

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: Dodge Deluxe</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I believe the water pump is good, I believe the radiator is good. I do have the tell tale white smoke exhaust I think though of coolant being burned. So I am thinking my head gasket may be bad. I have clouds of white smoke when it is running, looks like steam, so I think I'm burning coolant. This could either be the cause of the over heating or could be the result of over heating? Hopefully the head is not warped or cracked. I am going to start with a new head gasket I guess and go from there. I do not show any signs of coolant in the crankcase.

Dan </div></div>

When you have the head off you can check it for straightness with a feeler gauge and a straight edge.

Put the .003 feeler gauge in the middle of the head and set the straight edge on it. If you can slide the feeler gauge around you know the head is warped at least .003.

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I wouldn't doubt that mouse nesting isn't part of the problem, as I still pulled some out of the top of the radiator just this morning, but I still think there is a deeper problem. The previous owner did indeed leave the rad cap off all those years, and mice did indeed get inside the radiator, but the whole reason he had it off to begin with was because he was overheating. I still wonder if maybe the head gasket is bad. Even if I replaced it and it was not bad, it can't hurt to have a new one.

I've heard of the sniffer that you are talking about, I'll have to see if I know anyone who has one.

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Well then you definitely need to take the rad off and flush it out.

What else needs doing I don't know. Could be the rad is also clogged with deposits of lime or sediment. Could be a bad water pump. Could even be a plugged up exhaust, that can cause overheating too.

Maybe you should take the rad to a rad shop for a thorough cleaning.

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One other thing comes to mind that is unique to Chrysler made flathead sixes.

They have a water distribution tube behind the water pump. This is a metal tube with evenly spaced holes. It takes the cooling water and distributes it to each cylinder.

If this tube corrodes away all the water can stream straight up into the top radiator hose.

This results in the front of the engine running cool and the back of the engine overheating.

If you have the rad and the water pump off you should check the water distribution tube.

There is a picture of it here on the P15D24 web site along with instructions on removing and replacing it.

http://www.merc583.addr.com/mopar/framesets/techtipframeset.html

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We had a mystery problem on one of the race cars and it turns out that we did indeed have a leaking head gasket. The engine compression built up in the cooling system and the tubes in the radiator expanded and would not let any air thru.

Oh yea, if you accidently use an old ford 9N fan it will push air in the wrong direction, that one took us a while too, use a shop towel in front of the rad, it should suck up to the radiator at an idle. If it does then you have enough air flow and there is another problem. Plugged up radiators are common on these old cars.

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  • 1 month later...

Well, I haven't posted any updates in quite a while. Not much new to tell. I've got the 'ol girl tucked away safe and sound now in my barn for the winter. I ended up replacing the voltage regulator with a new NOS one and now all my lights are good. I have not addressed the engine overheating problem yet, I think I'm going to pull the radiator and completely flush it, and pull the water pump so I can see the water distribution tube and whether it is intact or not. I am seriously considering pulling the head and changing the head gasket. I'll see what I can do over the winter, but with no power and no heat in the barn it'll be limited. Will probably dive in again in the spring time. My goal is to have her road worthy by the end of next summer. We'll see... I went down to the Fall Carlisle show and found some things, a 1939 driving records book from Shell. That'll go good with my 1939 Mobil NYS road map, and 1939 Mobil NY Worlds Fair map, and a NY Worlds Fair key chain for my keys. I also found a nice tin light bulb box with new bulbs inside by Mazda, and some proper type hose clamps. I found an "America First" pin back button from 1939 reflecting the American Neutralisim feeling prior to Pearl Harbor. Then, a great find right here at home, a box of parts from the previous owner that he still had, which contained the battery cover that I had assumed was long gone, a set of original Mopar fog lights that had once been on the car, and an original clamp on side view mirror that had been on the car at one time. I appreciate everyone's help here on the forum. I plan on joining the AACA out here, I believe it's the Capital Region. One more question, what is a good way to keep the mice out over the winter while she's in the barn?

Regards;

Dan

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I put a couple of sheets of bounce dryer sheets in all of my cars. The mice dont like it and its easy. I also have heard that they dont like mothballs.

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