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Dodge Brothers help in Indiana


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Anyone near Terre Haute Indiana who knows Dodge Brothers cars?

I've got a 1923 coupe that I don't know much about. I would like to get it up and running again. I took it a couple of miles down the road recently. Then it died. Then the coil exploded. This is a 12-volt car, but it looks like the old coil says "Bosch 6-volt" on it. Can that be right? I put a new 12-volt coil on, with internal resistor, but it still won't start.

Anyone within driving distance who wants to volunteer some time to get this survivor up and running?

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Just take the head off and then use a valve spring tool that opens up(spreads apart). These Tools are plentiful and easy to find. Put this tool between the block and the bottom of the spring. The spring will compress and there will be 2 half shaped cones on the the valve stem that you have to remove. Be careful; they are easily dropped and will end up in the oil pan. Than the valve should pull up out of the block.

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Even before you start,take shop rags or even paper towels and plug all the oil return holes in the floor of the valve galley. Or Murphy's Law will indeed put the valve stem keepers in places you would never think of looking. If one does get away on you, a magnet dragged aound the galley can usually pick it up.

The valve spring compression tool is plentiful but 'young' people will not know what you're talking about because a different tool is used to collapse overhead valve springs to remove their keepers. You will have to be specific and tell them you are removing 'side valves'. It is a set of clamps with an open 'Y' on each clamp arm end and a 4 armed wheel at the other end for making the arms come closer together and further apart. This action crushes the valve springs and allows removal of the 2 keepers. (The ones that can fall throught the oil return holes and into the pan.)

Then the valve is removed upwards from the engine block and the springs are removed sideways with the spring tool. It stays captured in the tool until you get it to your bench at which point you turn the wheel in the opposite direction and the tool releases the valve spring.

You can then replace the valves and using valve grinding compound and an electric drill with a rubber cup on it, you spin the new valves around in place and 'seat' the new valves into the valve seats which are pressed into the block. These are VERY hard and can only be cleaned with the grinding compound. Most,if not all, the 'seating' takes place in the valve. Put lots of oil on the valve stem to keep it lubricated while it's spinning.

Make sure to get all the compound cleaned up. Number the valves with a black marker pen,1 to 12, so they don't get mixed up and keep to the place they are going to finally stay.

It's recommended that you test the springs for compression strength. You do this by using a tool like the valve spring tool but it has a dial on it which reads in pounds/square inch and after the tool crushes the spring down to ,say, 2 inches you read off how many lbs/sq. inch it took to do this. The factory supplies the specs and you should be close to this by so many lbs. The test determines if you have any 'weak' springs. Weak springs would not return the valve to it's seat as fast as new springs but I've never done the test because it really onlys keeps an engine from reaching it's max. revs. Weak springs tend to 'float',neither opening completely or closing completely, but hanging in the middle of their travel. But I've never thought we drive these old flat head 6s that fast and hard anymore.

That's about all I know about 'doing a valve job'. The tubes the valves run in,called 'guides',don't usually wear. You should notice a pronounced tightening up of the valve stem when you put in new valves. They cannot be made as leak proof as modern OHV engines because modern engines use rubber seals to stop oil bypassing the valve guides and entering the engine cylinders. I'm convinced these old engines cannot be made 'oil tight'and some leakage was expected at the 'mouth' of the guide where it is in the intake or exhaust manifold.

I've successfully rebuilt Chrysler side valve engines in the last 3 or 4 years so if you have any questions I may have the answer.

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I would disagree with your direction to spin the valve with a suction cup in a drill. You do not want to spin a valve in a constant circular direction. You want to rotate the valves back in forth. I start with coarse grinding compound and use three different grades. Use a valve seating/grinding tool which will rotate the valves back and forth. You can also use the suction cup type and spin it back and forth in your hand but it is a lot of work.

Your method will only work if the valves and seat are new and perfectly ground.


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