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1932 Pontiac Roadster


Stan Kulikowski
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My parents are considering purchasing a 1932 Pontiac Roadster. We've always been into post-war cars and this is my first experience with investigating a pre-war car. Is there any specific areas that should be investigated more closely due to lack of parts availability? Any other online resources would be especially helpful as well.

Thanks for your help.

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Now I have what I'm sure will seem like a dumb question, but forgive a 30 year old who wasn't around when cars of the 30's were built. Can you see the body wood when everything is assembled? I was over at a friend's in Oregon last week who has early 30's Chevy's and I could see the body wood but his cars were disassembled.

I did find pictures of 32 Pontiac's and I agree that they are neat looking cars. I find that in this hobby I am beginning to be drawn to earlier cars. I'll post pictures if they decide to buy it.

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Hey I'm only 29......

Check the doors for any twist.. if the door will twist, meaning you put one hand at the bottom and the other at the top and see if moves back & forth, that's a good sign the door wood is rotten.

Lift the floor mat and floor board and see if the wood subframe looks ok. You can also look underneath the car and see some of the subrails..

I grew up around my grandfather's car collection which had alot of 20s & 30s in it.. I'm more into the cars of the 20s & 30s as well. Even tho I have a '56 Ford which is my daily driver.

I'd like to find a 1931-32 Oldsmobile... but seems like they all vanished.

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On my 29 Oakland, the wood inside the front header over the windshield, and the windshield pillars (which actually go down to the floor) were almost completely rotted away, while the rest of the car was incredibly solid. The rot can be attributed to water that would pool in the front roof corners combined with a bad top.

A few pieces of ash and poplar quickly turned the problem around!

Look at the areas where water could affect the wood.

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In my experience the opnly part that is hard to find is a crown and pinion. In 48 years and 383,000 miles that I have driven my car (my Grandfather had it for 29 years and 99,000 miles) the engine has had three valve grinds, one overhaul and I am on my 4th differential. Every one of the pinions dropped a tooth opposite the last digit of the stamped part number. Interesting flaw???. The transmission has never been opened (but it is the same case as Chev but with different ratios so parts would be available. I had to replace an outer wheel bearing this year (first time). I think Pontiacs of this vintage are great cars. I still drive mine about a thousand miles a month hslf highway and half city. Last week I was up to allmost 70mph in order to merge onto the highway so she still runs well after 77 years.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Tinindian

In my experience the only part that is hard to find is a crown and pinion. In 48 years and 383,000 miles that I have driven my car (my Grandfather had it for 29 years and 99,000 miles) the engine has had three valve grinds, one overhaul and I am on my 4th differential. Every one of the pinions dropped a tooth opposite the last digit of the stamped part number. Interesting flaw???.

Very interesting indeed !!!. I wonder if you had of polished the area around the digit if it would have relieved the internal stressed area???.

Have you examined the area and seen that the crack started at the bottom of the number? This should have been the area that had the most stress from heat treatment. Do you have the parts still or have you discarded them?

What ratio do you have as they are according to my finding;

OAK-PON-053V-8B

ADDITION TO REAR AXLE GEAR DATA

REAR AXLE GEAR RATIOS FOR

OAKLAND AND PONTIAC V-8

FROM 1930-1932

51-13.……3.92 TO 1

38-9.……..4.22 TO 1

53-12.……4.42 TO 1

41-9.……..4.55 TO 1

52-11.……4.72 TO 1

43-9.……..4.78 TO 1

46-9.……..5.11 TO 1

52-10.……5.20 TO 1

According to the Manual it appears that all ratios are interchangeable from 6 cylinder cars and axles to the V-8 cars and axles.

M.L. Anderson

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Absolutely they do interchange. However finding one is nearly impossible. Last time around it took me 11 months all over North America and the used one I found is just usable. Twenty three used ones had the same problem as the one I was replacing. Every time the people opened the diff they found one tooth missing. If you know of one 3.92, 4.22, 4.42 or 4.55 I would love to purchase it new or used.

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This is somewhat a proof of a defect induced by the use of sharp point stamps. Most newer stamps are of a type that has rounded letters as opposed to ones that are sharp on the letters. You might have noticed that more modern stamping is the use of electo-acid etch that does not produce high stress concentration at high stress points.

Have you checked and seen if any ring and pinion gear manufacturers make any of these ratios. There are a lot of ring and pinion gears sales on the Internet but I do not know if any make gears that are Spiral Bevel as opposed to Hyperboloid Gears! They are not interchangeable.

It would be interesting to know just when GM stopped manufacturing products which had this type of defect.

Have you considered the reduction of the stress by polishing the stamping? A simple application of Dye Penetrant Inspection Check will reveal any cracks before and after polishing. You should be able to find this in a spray can package at a NAPA store.

http://www.artsautomotive.com/crackcheck.htm

http://www.cangroup.net/inspection/dpi.htm

http://www.ndt-ed.org/EducationResources...ngdetection.htm

http://www.custompistols.com/cars/articles/crack_inspection.htm

You will likely find that it pays to do this before it breaks again if you have not done so at this time.

Yours M.L. Anderson

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To Tinindian:

Quote from McGuire @ Atlas F1;

Maybe after the second or third identical failure I might get out a file and dress that up before installing it. Just a thought.

Guy goes to the doctor and says "it hurts when I do this." Doctor says, "Well, stop doing that."

Would love to see a photo of that ring and pinion, it does sound sort of interesting!

Tinindian, You might like to go to this address for some comments,

http://forums.autosport.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=96302

M.L. Anderson

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  • 4 weeks later...

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