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1940's plymouth owners


buicknewbee
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I am thinking about purchasing a 48 plymouth and was wondering if plymouth owners could point out things to look for. Any help or info is welcome! I'm very unfamiliar with them and have no idea what to look for other than signs of rust and body damage. It has unfortunately been switched over to 12v electrics other than the dash gauges that currently are not working. Are most parts available for them? Is there a website that provides engine and body number info? Mention anything that comes to mind.

Thanks,:)

Darren

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Guest Jim_Edwards

A half way done conversion to 12V may be an indication of a lot of potential grief in attempting to either completing the conversion or simply returning it back to 6V. If you proceed with the buy try to get as much info as you can on what has and hasn't been done to the electrical.

As for the car itself, it is about as simple a machine as one can run into, and tough as a tank mechanically. Will be a lot of fun to own but be prepared to make an investment into things I call deferred maintenance. Remember virtually all vintage automobile sellers will think the car they are selling is in far better condition than it may well be. Meaning regardless of how good it looks, it might not really be all that roadworthy and could be unsafe to even consider driving around the block. Ran into a guy in a WalMart parking lot 3 weeks ago with a virtually 100% original '48 Plymouth that was dead in the water because of his deferment of maintenance. Had to grit my teeth to keep from calling him a D.A.!

Edited by Jim_Edwards (see edit history)
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Thanks for the posted tips so far. I haven't even seen the car just yet so not really sure what problems it might have. I understand that older cars require maintenance. I just don't want to end up with a car that has a motor deemed junk from manufacturer defects or similar problems that gave them a bad rap when sold new. I'll check out the web site. I like to hear the motor is tough as a tank. Is it comparable to the chevrolet stovebolt 6?

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Thanks for the posted tips so far. I haven't even seen the car just yet so not really sure what problems it might have. I understand that older cars require maintenance. I just don't want to end up with a car that has a motor deemed junk from manufacturer defects or similar problems that gave them a bad rap when sold new. I'll check out the web site. I like to hear the motor is tough as a tank. Is it comparable to the chevrolet stovebolt 6?

Depends on the vintage stovebolt six: All Plymouth "flathead" sixes have four bearing mains with full pressure feed lubrication to all bearings, thin shell (modern) bearing inserts, aluminum pistons, silent chain on the cam drive and hardened exhaust valve seats from the factory.

So if you're looking at an early Chevy with three bearing crank, splash feed lubrication, babbit bearings and cast iron pistons, the Plymouth engine is way better. If you are looking at the 1950s Chevy re-do, then they may be about equivalent.

The Chrysler L-6 designs were built up into the early 1970s for industrial applications too. Parts are pretty easy to find for the engines.

The hard parts to find for many year Plymouths are the trim items. Basically not popular enough to reproduce, so you have to find originals. I'd be a lot more wary of a Plymouth that has a good drive train (easy to fix) but was missing interior and trim parts than I would be of a car that had all the trim in good condition but a bunged up drive train.

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Thanks fellas for the replies! They have been a great help, exsecially the P15 web site! I have one question that I just can't figure out. This car is titled a 48, but has a serial 12070505. It doesn't seem to fall in the serial numbers of either a 46,47,or48. Anyone know why?:confused:

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Thanks fellas for the replies! They have been a great help, exsecially the P15 web site! I have one question that I just can't figure out. This car is titled a 48, but has a serial 12070505. It doesn't seem to fall in the serial numbers of either a 46,47,or48. Anyone know why?:confused:

From my serial number look up and VIN decoder

Serial Number 12070505

Found in range 11854386 to 12116123

Serial 216120 of 261738

Year 1948

Make Plymouth

Model Name Special DeLuxe

Model Code P15C

Plant Detroit

Engine 6 cylinder 217.8 cu.in. L-head

Wheelbase 117 inches

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From my serial number look up and VIN decoder

Serial Number 12070505

Found in range 11854386 to 12116123

Serial 216120 of 261738

Year 1948

Make Plymouth

Model Name Special DeLuxe

Model Code P15C

Plant Detroit

Engine 6 cylinder 217.8 cu.in. L-head

Wheelbase 117 inches

Is the serial number record wrong on the P15-D24 site? They show 1948 having numbers 11854386-12066019 which leaves 12070505 out!!

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Is the serial number record wrong on the P15-D24 site? They show 1948 having numbers 11854386-12066019 which leaves 12070505 out!!

Looks like a mistake on the P15-D24 site... I just double checked two different serial number lists, both published by Chrysler, and the number range I gave is listed in both.

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You may have an "early series 1949". The true 1949 models were not ready in time so they sold some 1948 style cars as 1949s.

I kinda wondered about that, but the serial numbers on this car didn't even come close to the web site numbers for 49. Also they stipulated that so many cars were built during 48 (forget the number of hand), but there weren't enough serial numbers accounting for them.

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