Jump to content

1937 Century Coupe Issues

Guest orest

Recommended Posts

I recently purchased a 37 century coupe project and have been discovering things about it ever since. Initially, the engine seemed to be stuck so I poured diesel fuel down each of the cylinders and let it sit for a month. Yesterday, I went under the car and removed the flywheel cover and turned the motor with ease. I was relieved about that aspect. Further inspection of the exhaust manifold indicates that one of the sections just below the right side of the carburetor is cracked. Is this a part that I'm going to have allot of difficulty finding or am I just going to have to pay alot of money for a replacement?

On another note, I took off the valve cover to inspect the top of the valve train. Everything looked intact but I do have quite the buildup of sludge. Before I try to turn this motor over with the starter, should I try to remove all or most of the sludge. Methods to do so? Should I plug the holes in the head so that none it goes back down into the crankcase? What solution do people like to use to get this process done?

Anyway, some comments and suggestions would be appreciated.

thanks, Orest

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I would pull the oil pan off to clean the sludge out of it. I pulled mine last summer when I read a article that a guy ruined his motor when the sludge in the oil pan stopped up his pick up tube with sludge, good thing I did... you can get a new manifolds at Bob's

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Morning Orest,

I concur with Olbuick's response to your inquiry. In addition, when I did the engine on my Century, I discovered there was a huge quantity of sludge and debris inside the hollow rocker arm shaft. Removing the rocker shaft is not difficult, however note that the aluminum stands which support the rocker shaft are delicate, and easily broken. The good news here is that these were the only two areas of my engine where there were significant deposits of undesirable material.

Keep in mind that for most of these cars' lives there were no full-flow oil filters, so all of the crud in settled out of the oil into "low-lying" areas of the engine, where it remained undisturbed for years. With the advent of full-flow oil filters, the composition of motor oils changed significantly to include detergents which hold the crud in suspension in the oil so that it can be captured by the full-flow filter. I believe that there is a significant risk that restarting the engine with new oil will loosen up the crud in your engine, causing damage to bearings and other "delicate" surfaces.

Best Regards,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

There has been lots of discussion on oils on this forum, and I suggest you search for those discussions. My personal conclusion is that you can run any modern oil (which will be better than anything available when these cars were new) after an engine rebuild. However, as Jon said, you may actually damage an un-restored engine by running modern oils designed to suspend solids for full filtration oil systems.

I use "non-detergent" oils in my older Buicks because they do not have oil filters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...