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Yellowriv

1947 Chrysler Windsor Highlander

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Bob, thank you very much for your help, I will do as you suggest.

Does anyone have any comment on the heavy steering?

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Thanks for your hepl guys.

The car has arrived in Australia and I registered and drove it home yesterday using your excellent operating instructions. The car is in excellent condition and there are only a few small issues that need to be attended to. I am disappointed that the beautiful passenger side swan neck mirror is next to impossible to see fron the drivers seat.

I drove using high range as advised and without the clutch but noticed that take offs are woefully slow. I'm not sure if its changing down to the lower of the high range gears when it comes to a stop. I need to drive around when theres no traffic and its quiet to check this.

The front end appears to have been rebuilt and in good condition. The steering is very heavy and doesn't self centre particularly well. Is this normal or an alignment issue? The car is on cross plies to correct pressures.

Regards

They do give the impression of being slow. Chrysler compared the takeoff with Fluid Drive to an airplane, that gathers speed slowly at first then takes off to a high speed. That, and a 100HP engine in a 4000 pound car. But you should be used to that, your Buick and Cadillac ought to be similar to drive.

When you take off from a dead stop, you must accelerate to 14 MPH (in High range) then lift your foot completely off the gas pedal. You will hear a soft *click-clack* as the transmission shifts. This takes 1 or 2 seconds. You can then step on the gas and go someplace.

If you tramp the gas pedal to the floor, at under 50 MPH, it will shift down like a typical automatic.

If the transmission is not shifting it is most likely 1) engine idle too high (it should be very slow, 400 RPM) 2) Transmission low on oil or 3) wiring out of order 4) shifting solenoid contacts dirty.

The steering should not be heavy, quite the opposite. It should be light and easy to drive although low geared.

Check your tire pressure. Are they radials? Radials have more drag than bias ply. If they are radials try pumping them up to 32 PSI. Steering should be easy except at a dead stop. If not, have the front suspension checked for wear and a front end alignment done. It is a good idea to replace the shock absorbers too, they are modern telescope type and not expensive.

Steering should be quite easy once you get moving. It is also possible the mechanism has not been lubricated properly. There are a lot of joints in the mechanism and they all need a shot of grease every 1000 miles.

Complete details of the lubrication service are in the owner's manual.

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Very beautiful car, wish mine were as nice. I have a 47 Chrysler Royal Coupe, with a 228 engine and 3 spd trans and regular clutch froma 1951 Canadian Dodge. I do have a 251 engine, fluid drive and M5 trans too, not sure I will ever install those back, as I enjoy the current set-up.

I find a regular 3 speed trans, no fluid drive coupler and 3.73 diff, gives decent off the line performance, but you have to shift, and none of the around town benefits of a fluid drive.

Chrysler built many Dodge, Desotos, and even Chrysler Royals with a regular 3spd trans and fluid drive coupler, those you could drive like a standard, or keep trans in 2nd or 3rd, and drive without clutch, like an automatic nothing like the M5 trans, no electronics, or special carb. So you were right in assuming some of the fluid drive set-ups could be driven like a standard trans.

Some pics of my beast, need to have chrome all replated, well maybe someday... My car was extremely rough, I did the entire fix-up myself......Fred

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Edited by fred (see edit history)

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Forgot to mention, if the front suspension and steering checks out as good, and properly lubricated, chances are you need a front end alignment. If properly aligned and in good condition, the steering should be light, easy, and with good self centering action. It may seem a little slow and wooly compared to modern cars, you just have to get used to that. As you already have cars from that era it should not be unfamiliar to you.

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Nice car Fred, well done.

Thanks for the advice Rusty, front end is good, played with the tyre pressures - after I found out the right front had a split valve stem - at 30 psi, she steers well. It drives similarly to my 53 Buick which is also on crossplys. Not as well as the 48 Caddy which you'd expect as it's on radials. A downside with the radials is heavy low speed steering and harsher ride. I wonder if we had access to crossplys of similar quality to the radials we can buy whether the tramlining and wander would be as pronounced. On balance I prefer my old cars on crossplys because of the more authentic feel.

I've been playing around with different ways of driving the car, to alleviate the very slow take off if there is even a slight incline. What seems to work is to use low range until its in second and then change to high range. Frankly, its embarrassing in traffic if left in high range unless starting from perfectly level or a slight downhill.

I've been cleaning and attending to small jobs. when I took the drivers side scuff plate off I found this number, 1149096. I assume this is a Briggs body number?

xm0s2w.jpg

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I use low range on hills then quickly pull down into high range to over come this issue. You could install a down shift button to make split shifting easier.

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That number on the rocker sill is the part number. It's possible the rocker panel sill has been replaced because it shows the part#. Also there is the decorative aluminum sill plate that covers the area showing that part# and edges up to the rubber step plate. The T&C is shown but the same type of aluminum trim sill plate.

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Edited by c49er (see edit history)

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Have you done a compression test on the engine? It is possible it is down on power due to age and wear. Old Chrysler built flathead engines are foolers. They will continue to run without protest even when well worn. The only symptom is lack of power and eventually, hard starting. If the engine is in good nick and properly tuned up it should have enough power for all practical purposes. It won't win any races but won't embarrass you in traffic either.

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The car has arrived in Australia and I registered and drove it home yesterday using your excellent operating instructions. The car is in excellent condition and there are only a few small issues that need to be attended to. I am disappointed that the beautiful passenger side swan neck mirror is next to impossible to see fron the drivers seat.

I drove using high range as advised and without the clutch but noticed that take offs are woefully slow. I'm not sure if its changing down to the lower of the high range gears when it comes to a stop. I need to drive around when theres no traffic and its quiet to check this.

The front end appears to have been rebuilt and in good condition. The steering is very heavy and doesn't self centre particularly well. Is this normal or an alignment issue? The car is on cross plies to correct pressures.

Regards

I have a 1941 Windsor with Vacamatic Fluid Drive. The only difference between it and the '46-48s is that the shift is vacuum controlled instead of hydraulically, with no involvement by the driver, except for lifting the accelerator to signal the shift. My personal method of driving it is to simply hold,the foot brake while releasing the clutch and moving out. On occasion, I need to creep away at an idle and then I slowly release the clutch without use of the brake.

As to the slow take off, you might ensure that your tire pressure is as prescribed for the car. I find that also affects the easeof steering, which is quite light, for a heavy car. My acceleration from a stop is not neck snapping, but never a problem, even in rush-hour, heavy traffic. I am able to easily parallel park with one hand, while turned to look over my shoulder. My front suspension and steering are in excellent condition and both steering and re-centering are quite good.

good luck! I think you will really enjoy driving the car when you become accustomed to it.

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Thanks for your responses, I took the car to an annual All American Day yesterday where it won a trophy for 2nd Place in the Mopar Division, unexpected as I had already left.

As for the steering, there was a slow leak in one of the front tyres due to a perished valve stem. Once I fixed this and pumped the tyres up, no problem with the steering, no wander either and very little tramlining so this is good.

I have been driving it around, getting used to it and I now understand it better. As far as I can tell it has a small problem in that it does not always engage third gear when I come to a rest, hence the very slow take off. I have been depressing the clutch and it mostly changes down but again, not always. Low range all works fine. If it changed down correctly I can see how it could be mostly driven in high range.

Is this a matter of adjustment or more complicated?

Regards

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I Would suggest getting the applicable service manual, this will have a section for this trans, and will explain reasons and test procedures for the down shift problem when you come to a stop in high range.....

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Beautiful car! It looks a lot like my Chrysler which is a '47 Windsor Highlander. I've got the original black paint job and the car was made in Windsor, Canada. Enjoy!:rolleyes:

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Not changing down as you describe can be caused by dirty points in the governor. Over the years oil can work its way in and gum up the points. Take the cover off and spray with contact cleaner, and drag a strip of white paper between the points. Do not use a points file or sandpaper, the points are a soft silver based material, not tungsten like ignition points.

Do this every 25 years ha ha.

Could also be a fault in the wiring or control switches. If you do a search for the Chrysler Imperial Club they have a lot of original Chrysler service literature online, including how the Fluid Drive and Hydraulic Transmission operates, and how to troubleshoot and repair it.

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