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Reconstruction of a '34 Chevy Master Coupe


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Pat,

The Ad and picture turned out great. The best part of your thread is the finished product, it inspires many of us to work towards the finish line so that we can enjoy the end product of our efforts too. I can totally understand the "I can't get tired of looking at it", the car looks great. Now to find that next project. Scott...

BTW, I did notice that the in the background of the "Weekly Gathering" photo is the Beer Store, coincidence or was it a planned celebration destination?

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Pat - that 33 Pontiac looks easy compared to your Chev project. If the Pontiac is owned by a museum, they have plenty of cars needing attention, judging from your pictures. They can let one go for cheap, to a good home. You'll have to use your charm and a few before/after pictures to convince them its a good plan. Happy motoring Pat! :)

Chuck

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Pat - that 33 Pontiac looks easy compared to your Chev project. If the Pontiac is owned by a museum, they have plenty of cars needing attention, judging from your pictures. They can let one go for cheap, to a good home. You'll have to use your charm and a few before/after pictures to convince them its a good plan. Happy motoring Pat! :)

Chuck

Chuck, that museum is full of original, unrestored cars. the core of the collection came from one man who donated his entire collection. I think that's why some of them may not be for sale. I know they've sold duplicates in the past. Here's a link to their site:Manitoba Antique Automobile Museum - Old Cars in Manitoba Canada

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Today I visited a local collector who just brought back some T-Birds from Florida. He has a 55, 56, and two 57's, one of which has the 2-4bbl option. While I was there I looked at some Keiser candy. Also, a nice 1959 Ford which belonged to the man who owned the store where we bought our 45's when we were in high school.

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Ok...now you are teasing throwing in those photos of the 34. If you go back there Pat, would you mind taking a lot of shots of the interior for me. Only if you go back though.

Wish my garage was like that don't we Keiser.

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Ok...now you are teasing throwing in those photos of the 34. If you go back there Pat, would you mind taking a lot of shots of the interior for me. Only if you go back though.

Wish my garage was like that don't we Keiser.

Ian , there is an original 34 Dodge sedan on ebay at present with some interior photos that may help you with your project.

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Ok...now you are teasing throwing in those photos of the 34. If you go back there Pat, would you mind taking a lot of shots of the interior for me. Only if you go back though.

Wish my garage was like that don't we Keiser.

Yes. I wouldn't even mind a '57 'bird.

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Today is an anniversary of sorts, I reached the milestone of 100 miles and it looks like we solved the hard starting when hot problem. It was the starter all along. Next is refining the adjustments in the steering, getting a balancing and alignment and try and figure out why it seems to want to top off at 45. It should cruise at 45, not be flat out.

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Thank you Pat for the museum link. My bucket list is getting longer for North-of-the-border stops. There looks to be many beautiful cars there. Hats off to those that donate the cars and those with the responsibility of taking care of them. ;)

Chuck

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Yesterday we had a rain shower that dumped a couple of inches. Hadn't seen that in a long time. Received the carpet kit. It has only one hole, however the other ones are marked at the back. Mr. Trimacar, if you see this, how do you suggest I go about slitting for the steering column and the pedals? The pedals aren't removable from their shaft. Of course, everyone else can guide me with this as well. :confused:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got around to installing the carpet. With the help of a photo a friend sent of his, I punched out all the holes and cut all the slits. Installed the black rubber strips along the seat sides with carpet tape. Looks OK. Went for another ride. Still doesn't want to go faster tan 40-45. It starts missing at 40 and tops off at 45. Someone at VCCA suggested I replace the condenser. Will try that next. I posted a few pictures I too last week as well.

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Re: the miss at 40-45 mph, someone suggested changing the condenser. Did that. No difference. Will change cap, rotor and points too as I got the whole kit. It might be something with the carb. Took it in to get the toe-in adjusted. The machine doesn't clear the fenders. He measured it by hand, 1/4 to 3/8. I'll try to bring it to 1/8. He did balance the wheels though. One of them took a 5 oz. weight.

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Maybe i need to go back and read all 36 pages of post to get my answer, but what is the gear ratio? 45 is nearing top end I would think. I have a similar problem with higher RPM on my Jeepster when cold, starts to miss. If i flip on the electric pump it straightens out. so I assume mine is starving for fuel. the Fuel pump has since died completely and needs a rebuild.

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Maybe i need to go back and read all 36 pages of post to get my answer, but what is the gear ratio? 45 is nearing top end I would think. I have a similar problem with higher RPM on my Jeepster when cold, starts to miss. If i flip on the electric pump it straightens out. so I assume mine is starving for fuel. the Fuel pump has since died completely and needs a rebuild.
The gear ratio is 4.10:1. According to the good people at VCCA, it should cruise at 45 not be flat out.
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Maybe i need to go back and read all 36 pages of post to get my answer, but what is the gear ratio? 45 is nearing top end I would think. I have a similar problem with higher RPM on my Jeepster when cold, starts to miss. If i flip on the electric pump it straightens out. so I assume mine is starving for fuel. the Fuel pump has since died completely and needs a rebuild.

My '33 Plymouth can cruise at 60. Despite my belief that back in that era Chrysler did a better job of engineering Plymouth than GM did for Chevrolet, I would assume that a Chevrolet could do better than 45.

The gear ratio is 4.10:1. According to the good people at VCCA, it should cruise at 45 not be flat out.

Is the advance mechanism on the distributor working properly? I used a variable delay timing light to check mine out. The light needed 12v so I just used a jumper from a modern car to power the light and then clipped the sensor wire to the #1 plug on my old car.

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Engine RPM Calculator check this out and see how busy the engine is.

Been there, done that. :)

Actually I wrote my own calculator a while back, its at Plymouth First Decade: How Fast Should I Drive?

45 MPH is an low value for the top speed of a typical 1934 car in "like new" condition. There are many reasons that you might not want to push it as hard now as the original owner did, but Pat has done what looks like an incredible job and the car should perform as new.

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Is the advance mechanism on the distributor working properly?
All I can say is that it moves when we apply throttle, Whether it does it right or far enough, or fast enough, I haven't a clue.
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possible. maybe that would show with a vacuum gauge? points could be an issue if they don't close fast enough. fuel starvation? Can you hook up a temporary tach to it? see what the engine is turning when it starts acting up.

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All I can say is that it moves when we apply throttle, Whether it does it right or far enough, or fast enough, I haven't a clue.

I don't know what is available nowadays but the adjustable advance timing light I bought in the early 1980s can be used to check the distributor advance curve.

1. Hook a tach/dwell meter up to the distributor. My semi-generic one seems to work fine on the 6v system, so I think most will.

2. Hook up a vacuum pump with gauge to the vacuum advance. (Plug the vacuum line into the carb.)

3. With no vacuum applied check the mechanical advance curve

3a. Adjust the RPM to a value in the spec list

3b. Twiddle with the advance/delay setting on the timing light to bring your timing mark back to zero. That's the amount of mechanical advance you have at that RPM.

3c. Repeat for other RPM values in the list

4. At some reasonable RPM, apply a vacuum to one listed in the manual, check the advance that occurs the same as you did for the mechanical. Repeat for all listed vacuum readings in the specifications for your distributor.

Someone just told me it could be weak valve springs. That could be as I reused the old ones.

It is my understanding that a vacuum gauge attached to the manifold (maybe use the line for the wipers?) can tell you a lot about the engine including weak valve springs. See any older Chilton's or Motor's manual for a chart showing different behavior for different conditions.

possible. maybe that would show with a vacuum gauge? points could be an issue if they don't close fast enough. fuel starvation? Can you hook up a temporary tach to it? see what the engine is turning when it starts acting up.

During the advance timing test above, check the dwell using the tach/dwell meter: Floating points will decrease the dwell.

Not sure how to check for fuel starvation directly. You can use the old disconnect the pump output and see how many ounces are pumped. I guess you could T in a pressure gauge and watch it while on the road too.

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I don't know if you have checked the main jet size in the carb, or if it was bought as a rebuilt...

I worked on a 47 Ply woodie that never ran good since the owner had work done at time of purchase. As soon as I drove the car in my lot, it seemed starved for fuel at any rpm over idle speed. I simply pulled the hand choke very slighty until it straightened out and came "alive". At that point I knew the jet was too small.

It was a NORS carb, and I found out that Mopar offered a leaner jetted carb for economy minded drivers. It took two tries at slightly enlarging the main jet hole, and it was perfect. The guy and his wife, who is the real owner, can't believe how much power it has.

Try pulling the choke a bit when it acts up. If there is no difference by 1/3rd choke, then the problem is elsewhere.

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I don't know if you have checked the main jet size in the carb, or if it was bought as a rebuilt...

I worked on a 47 Ply woodie that never ran good since the owner had work done at time of purchase. As soon as I drove the car in my lot, it seemed starved for fuel at any rpm over idle speed. I simply pulled the hand choke very slighty until it straightened out and came "alive". At that point I knew the jet was too small.

It was a NORS carb, and I found out that Mopar offered a leaner jetted carb for economy minded drivers. It took two tries at slightly enlarging the main jet hole, and it was perfect. The guy and his wife, who is the real owner, can't believe how much power it has.

Try pulling the choke a bit when it acts up. If there is no difference by 1/3rd choke, then the problem is elsewhere.

That carb was on the engine of the parts car I bought. It was rebuilt by a person in Toronto who does just that. I couldn't tell you about the jets. As far as the choke, it certainly speeds things up when I first start the car, almost like a fast idle when pulled out about 1". I've never tried pulling it out at 40mph. Something to try.
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The fellow who offered picked it up last night with a large utility tilt-bed trailer (the enclosed was too small) and brought it to his place about 60 miles away and stored it overnight in his Vauxhall nest. I think he has five or six of them along with a 61 Chrysler and a 51 Pontiac. I'll drive it about 7 miles to the old school I went to in the 50's where the reunion is taking place. It is possible that I get to take a photo of it on its old resting spot on the farm. Should be fun. We'll also find out if the new points help the miss at 40-45.

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Have a wonderful reunion. You might burst with pride but that will certainly be excusable. :)

Very much hoping you get to take the picture in its old resting spot. The car looks so happy and I know it would enjoy a trip out it to what it probably thought was its grave. I know if I had been resurrected I would relish the thought of dancing on my grave. :)

Vauxhall den looks amazing. I love the instructions on the bathroom door. :)

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Have a wonderful reunion. You might burst with pride but that will certainly be excusable. :)

Very much hoping you get to take the picture in its old resting spot. The car looks so happy and I know it would enjoy a trip out it to what it probably thought was its grave. I know if I had been resurrected I would relish the thought of dancing on my grave. :)

Vauxhall den looks amazing. I love the instructions on the bathroom door. :)

We had a wonderful reunion. There were about 150 of us spanning 4 generations. The old Chevy was a hit. I damn near did burst with pride. There was at least 30 people there who remembered it in the field or actually played in it as children. One guy actually rode in it in the 40's. I took a photo of him in it to match one of him sitting in his own '34 Master coach in 1950 when he was 22. He is now 85. It was uncomfortable for him to get his arm like he had it in the coach, but he was a good sport about it. Unfortunately, the old farm is gated and we were told the current owner didn't want anyone there. So no photo on the old resting spot. However, my new points seem to have cleared up the hesitation between 40-45 and I established a searing 55 mph run followed by the Vauxhall and the Chrysler.

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It's probably a good thing that you were not able to photograph the finished car where you retrieved it from. If cars had feelings (and I believe that they do), your car would have done everything possible to stall out in order NOT to go back to that field for fear of abandonment again.

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