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1930 Plymouth....what to do?


Guest daisymay6788

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Guest daisymay6788

My husband just inherited a 1930 Plymouth from my grandfather who recently passed away. The body is in great shape, just has surface rust. All the parts are there, and as of now it doesn't run. Everything is there but it pretty much needs totally remodeling. So I have a few questions. Where should he start?....should we try to salvage the original engine and get it running? or should he just buy a brand new engine? Do you keep it totally original? or does it make it that much more difficult? He is knowledgeable about cars, but he'll definitely need some help from someone more experienced. We live in South Jersey. Anyway to go about this?

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Guest Richie09

Hi, restoring to origional will make it an investment in time and money, but would be the only realistic option to recovering that investment if it were to be totally stock.

I urge you to go to the sticky of the Plymouth Owners Club at the top of this Plymouth forum and present your case. I think you will get great advice and may connect with some members in your area which will also be rewarding.

Rich, member POC

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The Plymouth Owners Club web site is at Home page of the Plymouth Owners Club Bulletin There is also a forum on that site but getting registered requires some email with the webmaster.

I have a little information on my vanity web site at Plymouth: The First Decade

I don't know where you are located, but if you are near a local region of the Plymouth Owners Club there may well be people who can help you with parts or suitable local craftsmen to do specialty work. Even if there is no local region of the POC in your area, there is likely to be a region of a national all-makes club like the AACA in your area with members that could help you.

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It is definitely easier, cheaper and better to keep the car original.

You need someone who is familiar with the old cars to go over it and assess the condition. Do not tear it up or start throwing new parts at it, that is the last thing you should do.

Start by cleaning the car. Save any odd bits of metal or rubber, or any parts you find. They will come in handy later. Do not throw anything away even if it does not look like a car part. You can throw away the old Lucky Strike packets and dried out ball point pens.

Meanwhile I would have a clipboard handy and note all the parts needed, repairs etc. Finally after going over the whole car I would assess what it needs, how long it will take and what it will cost.

Now take your estimate and double it.

At this point you must decide if you wish to commit to the time and expense involved. If not, STOP and sell the car right away. Do not attempt to do anything but make the car clean and presentable, do not do any work or waste money on parts or repairs.

If you wish to continue, you will need to map out a plan and get to work. The best procedure is to do the mechanical work first, then body and paint, upholstery last. New tires should be the very last thing put on.

This is the best plan based on years of experience. If you wish to go ahead, there is lots of good advice available on this board regarding parts sources, repairs etc.

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Guest DodgeKCL

Take lots of photos and measurements! That was the curse of my latest project. I thought I took enough photos,after not taking enough on previous projects, and I still did not have a couple of views I could have used. You can not take too many photos. Especially today with our virtually free digital camera photos. I skimped because I was firing 35mm Kodachrome and I guess we used to consider our pocket book then. And as everybody is saying, save any thing and everything. Especially if your're a novice. It may or may not be important but you can always throw it away later. But you don't want to have a conversation a couple of years down the road like "I wonder if that thingy we threw away really was part of this thingy?" Been there, done that. Also get a system going to label everything. Buy a package of cheap garbage bag ties and some kind of stiff labels from the dollar store. You will be surprised how much you will forget over the course of the restoration. BTW what you are contemplating is called a 'restoration'. A '30 Plymouth was just on the cusp of the end of the wood body days for Plymouth. Try NOT to disassemble any wood in the body area unless it is rotted. The floor is partially wood ,including toe board, but is plywood if memory serves. DO NOT take the wooden wheels apart. DO NOT take the bolts out of the center hub and pull the brake hub off. If everything appears well and good just clean and paint. Try to curb your curiosity and keep things in as big an assembly as possible. Don't let anybody on any of these sites get you to pull the car apart looking for problems that aren't there. They won't have to put it back together.

But I guess you can tell you've come to the right place. If you do decide to restore the 1930 30U, it's correct model designation, there is a lot of help here and at the Plymouth Owners Club Inc site. The Club also puts out a great mag called the Plymouth Bulletin. Join the Club and you can converse with the 30U guru in the Club. The back of the Bulletin has a lot of stuff for sale for Plymouths right from 1928 on up.

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Guest pyrodork

with mine, i assessed what i needed to make it safely drivable. new belts, hoses, lines, plugs, wires... it adds up quick. however, even though it had been sitting over 2 years, with my limited knowledge and income, i made my goal and drove it to a car show a little over a month later. with that said, it appears that a piston broke apart since then. i can't afford to fix it now, but i'm doing what i can financially to get parts i know i'll need (not necessarily want... but need); checking ebay and such, and doing inexpensive repairs and conditioning in the meanwhile. for me, a few cans of cheap spray paint are doing wonders for my mood and drive (no pun intended) to get this car fixed up to the way i want it.

i recommend checking the andy bernbaum website to get a general idea of what parts are readily available when/if you should need them. also keep your eye on ebay to see how common certain parts are and about what you should expect to pay for them. also... i can't stress this enough... just because it's on ebay doesn't mean it's going to be the best deal you can get! i'm always finding things on ebay that are NOS or used that are going for a considerable amount more than brand new or professionally reconditioned parts. or there's times that people bid unreasonable amounts for an item when they can get a better one for half the price. just do your research before throwing down your money. from a financial standpoint, that's the best advice i can give you. i make around 15k, and i'm making it work. just pace it out.

there's a lot of good people here to help you along the way. personally, i'd love to see you tackle the project. you have your own history with the car, and that means something. if you can't, you can't. prioritize. but you've got a great car there. and i'm sure i speak for all the other members by asking you to post pictures!

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I also own a 1930 Plymouth 30U. Having restored a 2nd generation Camaro, I will tell you that a restoration on a 1930 Plymouth will be EASY, as long as most, if not all the parts are already there. I'd be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about your car, although I'm no expert and have only had the car for about 6 months. Feel free to Private Message me.

For some of the other Plymouth guys, I joined the Plymouth Owner's Club about 6 months ago and I love the club, but I'm having problems registering to get onto the forum. I sent 2 emails to the moderator, as instructed, but never got a response or account. Does anyone know what's going on with that? I'd really like to get on the forum, but I never get a response. Thanks.

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