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Ava, my grandfather's 1938 Dodge D8 Sedan


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Here are the seats. The thing that is difficult to describe is the smell.

It is my understanding that the stuffing in these is coir, which is made from coconut palm husks. At least the military history of Guadalcanal lists coir as the leading export, and I understand it was used in both seat stuffing and as the material that baby chickens were shipped in when delivered to the farmer.

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1930, You're the guy with the A&P. 120MM, keep plugging along---One thing I noticed in 120mm's pictures of the top of the block with head gasket, The gasket itself-- where it lays on the block, it seems the fire rings of gasket are exceptionally close together, telling me this engine has been bored out to it's max. I don't really remember if my '37 or '39 Plymouth head gasket fire rings being that close together, one was std. bore and the other was .040 over. Oversize head gaskets are purchased for larger size cylinders in many flat head engines, not only for a over-bore, but for heads that have had serious grinding done to them, either multiple grinds, or badly warped heads. If the head gasket is smaller than the cyl. bore, the piston will hit it. I would beg, borrow or steal an inside micrometer, or a "T" handle adjustable std. tool and find out what the story is with this block. It may be no good if it's a "run-out" and needs re boring. With a little bit of work, I think the engine is OK, bar no cracks in the cast iron, but they can be fixed too.

I took careful measurements tonight, and the bores (which appear to be round) consistently come out to 3.256". (Except the two in full compression, which I cannot measure, of course.

I looked through the Shop Manual and Parts guide, and cannot find out a table where it lists stroke and bore measurements.

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I am trying to figure out what you are saying here.
(Yer not alone. Don't feel bad. Happens a lot!)
As a toy, spending money on this doesn't make sense. 1938 Dodges are as collectible as belly button lint. I knew this going in. But as a car I could drive around town, with a connection to my family, it's actually not that bad. For $5000 or so, I think I can make it go and stop, and have a place to sit inside. For $10,000, it would make a really nice car. It's probably work $8000 or so completely redone, so I know I'm not getting my money out of it, whatever I do. But I am looking at it as a long term project, which hopefully I can enjoy as I piddle with it.

I've seen lint used for some pretty cool art! All kidding aside... This car is very close to one that could be saved as an "original example". There are things that need to be done for safety and run-ability, but none of those would take it out of the HPOF (Historical Preservation of Original Features) class (See: http://www.aaca.org/images/2012_Judges_Guidelines.pdf Page #52) of the AACA. This is getting to be an interesting class of cars! We all will have a better understanding of where your car stands once we get to see the interior photos.

Personally, I don't like to discourage anyone from working on their cars and that is the case here. I feel that you have a very interesting family heirloom here and it is bold of you to want to do this work and make it live again. I do understand that you have two main hurtles here. One is the stuck engine and the other is keeping the wife engaged considering the interior. Both of these are NOT insurmountable.

I think the way to go here is to start looking around in your area to find the engine shop that will do the level of work you desire. Do you just want it free, checked out and started up? Do you want it fully rebuilt while it is out? Only you can decide on that. (It's your pocket book.) Either way I think you will need to remove it from the car. But while you are doing this you will learn so much about your vehicle!

The other thing is the interior. We have discussed here before about t6he possibility of removing the interior and having an upholstery shop do some work where the original material is backed up with a fabric to just give the old stuff some strength and then putting it all back together. While the pieces are out they can be cleaned before being stitched to the backer (or vice versa - whichever seems to be safest for the original fabric).

By doing this process you preserve the "look and feel" of the original interior yet still have something strong and clean enough to use comfortably. (Hence the wife will appreciate that!) These are just some thoughts and will require some expert advice for both the cleaning and backer process.

The idea being to keep your car as original as possible (HPOF) without breaking the bank, and making it safe and fun to drive. But this is all up to you. We are just here to give support and suggestions once you pick a path.

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Can I just chip in about your engine if it's been bored out to the limit (I don't know if it has or not). All is not lost. Simply have it sleeved and bored back to standard. I have done this myself although in my case, I found that someone had fitted new standard size pistons to a well worn engine - hence very low compression. It worked out cheaper than a rebore and buying new oversize pistons.

And yes, that interior has seen better days!

All good fun,

Ray.

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I took careful measurements tonight, and the bores (which appear to be round) consistently come out to 3.256". (Except the two in full compression, which I cannot measure, of course.

I looked through the Shop Manual and Parts guide, and cannot find out a table where it lists stroke and bore measurements.

Cylinder bore was 3 1/4 originally and just for interest sake the export models carried a 2 7/8. Not sure on the stroke. What was the C.I. of the engine? Prob. google that to get the stroke faster than I can look it up.

If you have even the slightest noticeable ridge at the top of the cylinder than it is worn pretty bad. If not than who knows, maybe the engine has already been gone thru like suggested.

May want to stop trying to move those frozen pistons until you find what exactly is causing the problem, still could be a number of things like bottom end problems, something in the timing gears, ect.

There are alot of possibilities for what could be causing it to stick but the piston to cylinder wall is the most common maybe so that is why it is most often suggested.

The interior in places is pretty bad I guess but others not so bad. Whatever you decide to do at the least save every bit of interior that you can for patterns and reference to how it was originally. You might be surprised at how difficult it might be if you ever do decide to put a nice interior back into it.

Edited by 1930 (see edit history)
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(Yer not alone. Don't feel bad. Happens a lot!)

I've seen lint used for some pretty cool art! All kidding aside... This car is very close to one that could be saved as an "original example". There are things that need to be done for safety and run-ability, but none of those would take it out of the HPOF (Historical Preservation of Original Features) class (See: http://www.aaca.org/images/2012_Judges_Guidelines.pdf Page #52) of the AACA. This is getting to be an interesting class of cars! We all will have a better understanding of where your car stands once we get to see the interior photos.

Personally, I don't like to discourage anyone from working on their cars and that is the case here. I feel that you have a very interesting family heirloom here and it is bold of you to want to do this work and make it live again. I do understand that you have two main hurtles here. One is the stuck engine and the other is keeping the wife engaged considering the interior. Both of these are NOT insurmountable.

I think the way to go here is to start looking around in your area to find the engine shop that will do the level of work you desire. Do you just want it free, checked out and started up? Do you want it fully rebuilt while it is out? Only you can decide on that. (It's your pocket book.) Either way I think you will need to remove it from the car. But while you are doing this you will learn so much about your vehicle!

The other thing is the interior. We have discussed here before about t6he possibility of removing the interior and having an upholstery shop do some work where the original material is backed up with a fabric to just give the old stuff some strength and then putting it all back together. While the pieces are out they can be cleaned before being stitched to the backer (or vice versa - whichever seems to be safest for the original fabric).

By doing this process you preserve the "look and feel" of the original interior yet still have something strong and clean enough to use comfortably. (Hence the wife will appreciate that!) These are just some thoughts and will require some expert advice for both the cleaning and backer process.

The idea being to keep your car as original as possible (HPOF) without breaking the bank, and making it safe and fun to drive. But this is all up to you. We are just here to give support and suggestions once you pick a path.

Yes do not feel bad and take comfort in knowing that at least your intelligent enough to ask for clarification on what you dont understand and open to consider others opinions as just that, opinions, nothing more.

Edited by 1930 (see edit history)
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Just a thought but if you remove all the big end bearing caps and the crankshaft is free to rotate, you have narrowed down the problem to the pistons/cylinders. As Jason said, there could be other nasties which took the car off the road in the first place.

"Pissin in the wind" is maybe not the expression that I would use but it's to the point. He he! . Just pull the thing out of there and rebuild it.

Ray.

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You could probably find a rental shop in your area and get one. Hey, maybe go across the street and borrow one from the Nascar guys!

I used a chain fall from the rafters in my garage after beefing them up with a stack of two 4x4's about 12 feet long. Worked very well!

You will have to remove the front end - at least the radiator and probably grill shell. That would make it the easiest. I had the transmission in place (less shifter and brake handle) when I took mine out with the front sheet metal off. The front metal was on when I replaced it so it went in without the transmission or bell housing. Those were added later.

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Thanks for the interior pictures! Time and money is a real issue with me and I had a rough interior on a '31 Ford pick up a few years ago. I have a thought for your Dodge interior. Good 'ole J.C. Whitney was selling(not too long ago), headliner kits for older cars. They were very inexpensive. LeBaron Bonney Co. in Amesbury, Ma. will sell anybody any of their interior products. Luckily for me, they have the early Ford interiors made up as kits which I bought at a bargain price and my wife and I reupholstered the springs and did all the panels and so on. It came out very nice. Only needed a tack hammer and hog-ring pliers, scissors,etc... You have pretty good door panels for a pattern. L.B. will sell the backing board and your choice of material gets cut out and edges folded over and glued. cut holes afterwards for the handles when you're sure where the panel will exactly go onto the door frame. Clips are available. As far as the seat cushions, dowse them with plenty of alcohol out of a gallon can and let them really dry well, out in the August sun. Spray them with Febreze, or the like. Safety pin a pair of Southwestern Indian blankets over them and DRIVE. Worry about carpets or mats LATER. One of these days, I'm going to need a new folding top on my '25 Dodge touring. I am NOT looking forward to that.

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Well, I'm probably going to catch Hell from everyone here on the forum, but I think you can start the engine work without pulling the thing out. Get front end "up". Drop the oil pan, INSPECT... take your time and get the stuck piston/s out. Inspect the pistons. Buy new rings for them. HONE out the rusty cylinders. A good time to inspect worthiness of the oil pump. Check out the condition of the main bearings. Advance Auto has a tool rental program that can't be beat! It's FREE. Leave a deposit and bring the tool back when you feel like it. I needed a cylinder ridge cutter and brought it back the next day just out of respect for the next guy. They have cylinder hone tools too. Even if you need all new pistons with fitted pins, it shouldn't cost more than 100 bucks. Remove the valves and INSPECT all valve train parts. Keep everything in order. Just keep repeating, "This is FUN".

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Check out Harbor Freight, they have the engine stands and hoists dirt cheap and the last I knew the quality was not horrible.

Remove the front sheet metal ( everything ) take ALOT of pictures of how everything went, remove the engine and tranny together.

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Well, I'm probably going to catch Hell from everyone here on the forum, but I think you can start the engine work without pulling the thing out.".

No one will berate you Pete. What you are suggesting would be fine but if the mileage is over 80,000 then the chances are that there is wear to the crankshaft (although only 0.006 is nothing for the bores and this is a puzzle to me) and to avoid the possibility of low oil pressure - which I think Jason was also alluding to - after spending time and money on it, perhaps the safest bet would be to get the engine to a good rebuilder. It may cost more but if it takes the pressure off ....?

Ray.

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No one will berate you Pete. What you are suggesting would be fine but if the mileage is over 80,000 then the chances are that there is wear to the crankshaft (although only 0.006 is nothing for the bores and this is a puzzle to me) and to avoid the possibility of low oil pressure - which I think Jason was also alluding to - after spending time and money on it, perhaps the safest bet would be to get the engine to a good rebuilder. It may cost more but if it takes the pressure off ....?

Ray.

I am going to take a lens pen and clean up the odometer to get to the bottom of things. Also, I found a thread on this forum from 2007 where some folks claimed that the metal tag on the block indicated a replacement or rebuilt engine.

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I am going to take a lens pen and clean up the odometer to get to the bottom of things. Also, I found a thread on this forum from 2007 where some folks claimed that the metal tag on the block indicated a replacement or rebuilt engine.
A replacement engine would not have the full "Dx-xxxxx" Engine Number on the flat boss along side the tag though. A "rebuilt" engine "may" have the original Engine Number but should have the coded letters/numbers on the circular raised bosses ahead and/or behind the Engine Number to indicate how much over and under the rebuild was. I THINK the "before" dot was for the cylinder bores and the "after" dot was for the crank bearing surfaces as I recall. So the metal tag, being mounted through the "before" dot may indicate no material was removed from the cylinder bores??? but it is now considered a "219 CI" (which I also think is the same as original?). I can't see the "Dx-xxxxx" number on the last photo on post #89, nor can we see the second "raised dot". The tag is applied over the first "raised dot".

If the engine was a replacement, there would be no number (???) on the large Engine Number boss, or it could have been removed by a State Regulating Authority where they apply their own "Engine Registration Number" in its place. (Like WI did back in the '50's or so. My experience. See photos.) So, do you have a clearer (read cleaner) shot of the engine boss with the current Engine Number visible? I know you mentioned that you saw the "D5" number (I think I remember you saying), but the 1938 Dodge would have a "D8-xxxxx" Engine Number from new.

And speaking of numbers, did you ever get the chance to send your Serial Number out for your "Build Record" from Chrysler Historical Services"? That will give you a multitude of info about your car and some of its early history!

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I hope at least one of those is legible. The number I see is D8-100147

I didn't get a chance to use the lens pen on the odometer; will try to get that tomorrow. Was busy all day with other things.

I did get a chance to feel the ridge around the top of the cylinders; it is very, very shallow and jibes with the bore measurements. At least the top end that I can see looks promising.

I am probably going to clean up the engine compartment a titch before I pull the pan, and look at the bottom end. All the splash pans are there and intact, which makes doing anything around the engine from the bottom a royal PITA. I will most probably follow 1930's advice and pull the front end tin off and at least get it on an engine stand. It would be terrific to just have to do an overhaul, but the micrometers will tell the tale on that.

I am also going to sit down sometime soon and sort out what systems need to be replaced, what need rebuilt and prioritize them. I know that lack of organization will kill this project deader than anything. Plus my lovely bride informs me our budget will not support any major cash outlays until next month, so I have plenty to fiddle with til then.

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These photos tell a story. That number is hand stamped. It is not "machine made" factory stuff. The "second dot" (by the distributor advance line) is apparently not used.

This all makes me think this is a replacement block. The tag in the block, the hand stamping on a smooth flat boss, the double hit on the first "1", no indications of codes on the "dots", the limited amount of internal wear on the cylinder bores and once "120mm" checks, the possible total low mileage that would match the family story.

If my guess is right on this, you will have an excellent deal once the engine is free! A bit of cleaning up and checking things out and you may be good to go! Wouldn't that be great!

Depending on how far into it you want to inspect, you may be able to just use a head gasket, valve cover set, timing cover set, and water pump set and be confident and ready to go. What do you all think? Am I jumping the gun here? Either way, if he has 30,000 or 80,000 on the odometer it looks as though the engine could be much less than that. Cool!

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Here you can see the factory numbers are a bit larger, are on a straight line, have a dash in them, and the "1's" are "I's".

So that is an indication that "120mm's" engine is at least a block replacement and the original block's number was placed on the new, replacement block.

Edited by 1936 D2
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I agree with "D2" this is not the original block. One also has to remember that the oil of that era was nowhere near the quality we have today, shortening engine life. I think something...terminal...happened to the original engine. Assuming 80k with possibly a couple of ring jobs it should still be in the car.

The tip about removing the front is good - if you succeed! On my donor car the whole thing was like welded together with rust from water spilling over from the radiator. Eventually I used an angle grinder (sorry). Everything bolt together around the heavy U-profile where the radiator mounts, so you should expect surprises if you go in that direction.

I like your systems approach - if you go by the group index in the parts list you will have a pretty good idea what you're dealing with - and it can be pretty scary!

Tom

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[ATTACH=CONFIG]151012[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]151013[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]151014[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]151015[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]151016[/ATTACH]

I hope at least one of those is legible. The number I see is D8-100147

I didn't get a chance to use the lens pen on the odometer; will try to get that tomorrow. Was busy all day with other things.

I did get a chance to feel the ridge around the top of the cylinders; it is very, very shallow and jibes with the bore measurements. At least the top end that I can see looks promising.

I am probably going to clean up the engine compartment a titch before I pull the pan, and look at the bottom end. All the splash pans are there and intact, which makes doing anything around the engine from the bottom a royal PITA. I will most probably follow 1930's advice and pull the front end tin off and at least get it on an engine stand. It would be terrific to just have to do an overhaul, but the micrometers will tell the tale on that.

I am also going to sit down sometime soon and sort out what systems need to be replaced, what need rebuilt and prioritize them. I know that lack of organization will kill this project deader than anything. Plus my lovely bride informs me our budget will not support any major cash outlays until next month, so I have plenty to fiddle with til then.

In my opinion/experience if you can feel a ridge than thats not so good, I know you say minor and thats hard to judge ( on my end ) just something to keep in mind. Not saying that it would not run fine with a ridge just sayin that a ridge any ridge is a sign of mileage.

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These photos tell a story. That number is hand stamped. It is not "machine made" factory stuff. The "second dot" (by the distributor advance line) is apparently not used.

This all makes me think this is a replacement block. The tag in the block, the hand stamping on a smooth flat boss, the double hit on the first "1", no indications of codes on the "dots", the limited amount of internal wear on the cylinder bores and once "120mm" checks, the possible total low mileage that would match the family story.

If my guess is right on this, you will have an excellent deal once the engine is free! A bit of cleaning up and checking things out and you may be good to go! Wouldn't that be great!

Depending on how far into it you want to inspect, you may be able to just use a head gasket, valve cover set, timing cover set, and water pump set and be confident and ready to go. What do you all think? Am I jumping the gun here? Either way, if he has 30,000 or 80,000 on the odometer it looks as though the engine could be much less than that. Cool!

[ATTACH=CONFIG]151026[/ATTACH]

Here you can see the factory numbers are a bit larger, are on a straight line, have a dash in them, and the "1's" are "I's".

So that is an indication that "120mm's" engine is at least a block replacement and the original block's number was placed on the new, replacement block.

I dont know how they were done in 38, I am sure you know how they were done in 36 but in 29/30 the numbers were hand stamped and eratic, Dodge/Chrysler issued bulletins that would decode what are these little checks, extra digits and signs meant as far as how to tell what was done where ( sorta )

In a effort to learn something about the later stuff, is it safe for me to continue assuming that you feel the block was changed out by a Chrysler/Dodge dealer? I am also assuming that it would be safe to assume we can agree that if the block were changed out at say Moes garage then there would have been no effort most probably to mark on the block any indication of what was done by stamping numbers.

Safe to assume by your post that the original numbers on an original engine would have been machine stamped?

Has anyone checked the engine number to see if it corresponds with the cars serial number? ( maybe this has been done and I forgot )

Edited by 1930 (see edit history)
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In my opinion/experience if you can feel a ridge than thats not so good, I know you say minor and thats hard to judge ( on my end ) just something to keep in mind. Not saying that it would not run fine with a ridge just sayin that a ridge any ridge is a sign of mileage.

I am curious to do some measuring, but it appears that the "ridge" is actually carbon from incomplete combustion. Either that, or the bores were slightly undersized from the beginning. I am going to do thorough measurements, either way.

I will talk to an engine rebuilder later today to ask his advice.

Edited by 120mm (see edit history)
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Just discovered this thread yesterday and read all the posts w/ great interest. What a cool car, especially being from your family! Looks like you're having fun with it and will be enjoying driving it in the pretty near future. It seemed at first you might have to rebuild the engine and now possibly not as it may have had a rebuild at one point already within it's 80,000+ miles. I also noticed your 1st post was about 2 weeks ago. I too, had a seized engine, but it hadn't sat for as long as yours. My car is a '29 and I don't know if this will work on a '38. I was told to put Marvel Mystery Oil in the cylinders, let it sit at least 2 weeks and then try to turn the nut on front of the crankshaft w/ spark plugs out. Your '38 w/ a crankhole cover may have this nut exposed. I used a heavy duty socket wrench w/ a 6ft. long galvanized pipe that fit over the handle of the socket wrench for more leverage. After 2 weeks mine wouldn't budge, so I put more oil in cylinders and waited another 2 weeks. With that lever and a couple of pushes I felt a little "give" and after working on it a while longer I actually got the motor turning over. It sounded like your valves moved freely...I know Jason mentioned your timing chain might keep it from turning, but if this has been a rebuilt engine I just wonder if there has not been enough time for the penetrating oil to work on an engine that hadn't been run in about 70 years. I am no mechanic and from what this forum has to say as well as the mechanics in your area you'll get plenty of great advice. Just thought I'd mention something that worked for me...and really it was just patience w/ the penetrating oil.

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Just discovered this thread yesterday and read all the posts w/ great interest. What a cool car, especially being from your family! Looks like you're having fun with it and will be enjoying driving it in the pretty near future. It seemed at first you might have to rebuild the engine and now possibly not as it may have had a rebuild at one point already within it's 80,000+ miles. I also noticed your 1st post was about 2 weeks ago. I too, had a seized engine, but it hadn't sat for as long as yours. My car is a '29 and I don't know if this will work on a '38. I was told to put Marvel Mystery Oil in the cylinders, let it sit at least 2 weeks and then try to turn the nut on front of the crankshaft w/ spark plugs out. Your '38 w/ a crankhole cover may have this nut exposed. I used a heavy duty socket wrench w/ a 6ft. long galvanized pipe that fit over the handle of the socket wrench for more leverage. After 2 weeks mine wouldn't budge, so I put more oil in cylinders and waited another 2 weeks. With that lever and a couple of pushes I felt a little "give" and after working on it a while longer I actually got the motor turning over. It sounded like your valves moved freely...I know Jason mentioned your timing chain might keep it from turning, but if this has been a rebuilt engine I just wonder if there has not been enough time for the penetrating oil to work on an engine that hadn't been run in about 70 years. I am no mechanic and from what this forum has to say as well as the mechanics in your area you'll get plenty of great advice. Just thought I'd mention something that worked for me...and really it was just patience w/ the penetrating oil.

I tried this first. The first thing I noticed, is that even a little torquing on the crank bolt made it feel like I was "stretching" it. This scared me, as this stretching tends to precede "shearing", so I decided to approach it in a different manner. BTW, the harmonic balancer bolts keep you from getting a socket on the crank nut, so the harmonic balancer needs to be removed to do this.

I have a friend who has done this with success in the past. I'd think this technique would be better with a crankshaft turner. That way, if you shear something, it's just a crankshaft turner.

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Having un-stuck many old engines in my past, the penetrating oils and solvents work, along with the "big bar" method, BUT, the only problem here is the piston rings will most likely snap-crackle and pop under such strain. The rings are the sticking culprit in most cases, being of an iron or iron based alloy rusting to the iron cylinder bore. The scenario is like the old adage, you need to break some eggs to make an omelet. An old engine needs new rings anyway. Just be careful on a stuck engine that had a large re-bore at one time, the cylinder walls are very thin and they too, could crack and break through under a very heavy strain. I would worry about bending a rod too, if the "big bar" is used too hard. One good method to un-stick pistons is to use a 50-50 mixture of acetone and A.T.V., but it will only work at it's best if you cover the affected area with something like a cut up old inner tube or even saran wrap to trap the solvent's working powers in where you need them. Best of luck, Pete.

Edited by Pete K. (see edit history)
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I think Bob Zetnick is on the right track here. It is mainly a matter of patience.

You may want to give some consideration to sucking out the "mixture" of chemicals you have in there now and pick one or a certain combination you think best (or can find) and let that stuff do its thing. That way you kind of know what is going on in there.

I also think you need to start working with those cylinders stuck at the top. They need some kind of intense treatment too, just like the others.

In ref to "1930's" comment/question, The style of numbers used on a '36 would probably be very similar to the 38's I would think. The "I" as a "1" thing is for security. I would suspect that they would use that until some better way was found. But I sort of doubt that was changed in only two years. I know that for the hidden Engine Number on the frame that they used a "jig" to hold all the stamps in a row and the jig had a locating pin on the face that went into a hole in the frame. That way the numbers were always in the correct location, were properly spaced and aligned and were easily applied in one quick operation. I would assume they used the same sort of technology to stamp the Engine Numbers also. When the factory sent out a new block it probably didn't have any numbers stamped on it because different States had different laws as to how these "Engine Numbers" were managed, especially thinking about a complete replacement block.

It looks to me like this engine block was a "new" block, either a "short block" or a "full block". It could have been dealer installed or "Moe's Garage" could have done it. Either way it came from the factory with the "219" tag and no numbers stamped on the boss. And that would explain a lack of other code numbers on the "dot bosses" because this new block would have been machined to the original standards of an original manufacture block, no differences. Those Engine Numbers were then applied to the block by hand (hence no dash, smaller stamps, "1's" instead of "I's" and misaligned) to match the original block's number. That sure makes sense AND seems to be a better way than WI did it where they applied their own series number! You may want to study Iowa's old State Laws from that time period to see how this was mandated to be done when the blocks were changed.

(An aside - WI also was a state that used the Engine Number for registration and titling purposes, not the Serial Number. If Iowa used the Serial Number, then this issue of "what number to put on the new block" would not be as big of a deal.)

Edited by 1936 D2 (see edit history)
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Is this one of those places where one might try Coca Cola ?
Don't think so. There are too many "other" chemicals in Coke that would be unproductive - like water and sugar. I think now that he has started with oil based products he needs to stay in that realm. "Pete K" back in #109 had it right when he said that moving to chemicals that are water based now would not work once the cylinders had oils in them. They are coated with oil now so the water based things just will not work at this point.
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Just an update; my professional life has just gotten really busy. I normally have one "customer" at a time and I find myself with three and another two possibly in the wings. Because of that, I've only done extremely limited things.

As of right now, all but cylinders #1 and #2 are letting fluids by. I settled on WD40 because that is what I could find in bulk at the local farm store.

I am starting to clean off the engine compartment, and preparing to remove the front tin, starting with the splash plates, but there is over an inch of old goo on the right side, and nearly that much on the left. The good news is that it looks brand new under the goo.

I took off the glove box cover, and it was extremely easy to disassemble and reassemble. Minor bad news, though and a warning: Alcohol or anything with alcohol in it will just destroy that beautiful wood grain finish. Mine is rather faded in one spot due to my carelessness. I will not make that mistake again. It is reassembled and cleaned up, now, and will hit it with clear polyurethane once I get to the store.

I've taken all the door panels off, preserved what I could of them, and removed the interior window frames. I will clean these up and reinstall for the glass makers. I will reassemble the left front door, which I took apart out of curiosity when I was 15. (33 years ago). Speaking of 15, when I was a young child, I used to enjoy reading the 1950s hot rod novel genre and then pretending to drive this car while it was parked in my father's barn. One of my favorite things was to raise and lower the cowl vent. When it arrived here this time, the cowl vent was frozen in the down position and I have coaxed it into functioning again with a judicious use of Mouse Milk.

My next thing is to continue to mess with the engine short of taking it out (just don't have the time right now) and cleaning up the engine compartment/removing front end tin as I can afford it, time wise.

Otherwise, I am talking to all the old car people I can find. Thank you for the advice so far and I look forward to more in the future.

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A couple things come to mind:

- A wire wheel on a small electric drill does a pretty fast job on the "goo". Just be sure to wear eye protection!

- When spraying the polyurethane, be sure to do it in very light coats and give it time to tack up. You don't want to build up too much of the solvents in the spray on the decaled woodgrain or you may have issues with it lifting or bubbling. As I recall I sprayed my dash in the sun. The metal was a bit warm so the solvents would evaporate rather quickly for the initial coat. Then I did a bit heavier coats on the following ones. (But still not to the point of running of course!)

- The cylinders that had the open valves will probably be the ones with the most problems sticking. Makes sense anyway. (Another thought - considering the amount of mouse activity there was in the interior, I wonder if they have the muffler packed with "stuff" too???)

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A couple things come to mind:

- A wire wheel on a small electric drill does a pretty fast job on the "goo". Just be sure to wear eye protection!

- When spraying the polyurethane, be sure to do it in very light coats and give it time to tack up. You don't want to build up too much of the solvents in the spray on the decaled woodgrain or you may have issues with it lifting or bubbling. As I recall I sprayed my dash in the sun. The metal was a bit warm so the solvents would evaporate rather quickly for the initial coat. Then I did a bit heavier coats on the following ones. (But still not to the point of running of course!)

- The cylinders that had the open valves will probably be the ones with the most problems sticking. Makes sense anyway. (Another thought - considering the amount of mouse activity there was in the interior, I wonder if they have the muffler packed with "stuff" too???)

I hear you on the light coats thing.

I hadn't considered the open valves issue, but it appears to make sense.

A couple of my piston tops are goobered up pretty good. It looks as if someone took a screwdriver through the spark plug hole and tried to pry on the piston top.

I've discovered a hole in the exhaust pipe just prior to the muffler, so need to remove it anyway.

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So, have been piddling around with the front tin, and finally got the three splash guards off. Talk about a complete PITA. Clearance between the radiator frame and the forward most bolts is tight, add to that the cross frames, and its' annoying as heck. I am going to build a tool to do this in the future, as conventional wrenches or sockets just do not work for a tinker's darn.

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Yes, I did. Both flat AND angled. Problem is, the supporting metal doesn't permit those to move even one click.

What I did was use my best 1/4" pear head ratchet with a low profile socket, click it one gear tooth at a time. By that time, the head of the ratchet had backed into the radiator frame, and it took a hammer handle to flex the metal just enough to drive it out with another hammer.

What I'm going to do is get an el cheapo chinese ratcheting box end and clip the 9/16" head off, leaving a stubby with just the 1/2" end with just enough clearance to make it past the bracing.

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Yes, I did. Both flat AND angled. Problem is, the supporting metal doesn't permit those to move even one click.

What I did was use my best 1/4" pear head ratchet with a low profile socket, click it one gear tooth at a time. By that time, the head of the ratchet had backed into the radiator frame, and it took a hammer handle to flex the metal just enough to drive it out with another hammer.

What I'm going to do is get an el cheapo chinese ratcheting box end and clip the 9/16" head off, leaving a stubby with just the 1/2" end with just enough clearance to make it past the bracing.

Be carefull, you might end up making a few if they become popular

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I suppose a pneumatic wrench is too big?

I've seen an old timey one that might work, (basically has an open ended socket), but the pneumatic wrenches I have are all bulkier than my little pear head.

Either way, I have the shields off and will build a tool to reinstall them when it comes to that.

Edited by 120mm (see edit history)
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