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The Ressurection of Daphne - a 1932 DL

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Those running boards are beautiful. I made a set like that with a buddy for my '31 years ago, but I got hard up for cash and sold them. There is still my own footprint on my rear end for selling them.

I'm curious as to how you folded the "creases" in the running boards you made up. Did you make it from one sheet of steel as per the originals? I know Ed and Jimmy had a devil of a time figuring out how to do it. I would love to hear your solution to the problem - and they probably would, too!

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I did it with a single piece of sheet metal.....it was a bear and the boards wanted to warp until I installed the braces. I will have to think about it because it has been over 35 years ago.

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Thanks everyone for your kind replies and support. I find posting the progress of the restoration helps me keep track of things. On many occasions I've gone back and looked at previous posts and replies to help me with a problem I've almost forgotten about. This is a terrific forum with lots of knowledgeable and very helpful members.

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Working on Daphne in between wiring my garage for 220. I really miss my compressor and it should be up and running by the weekend.

I finally finished the seat bottom. Aside from the roof insert, this is the only structural wood in the 32 DL. The old seat bottom developed some dry rot and was showing multiple cracks, so a new oak replacement was in order.


I'm no woodworker, but my daughter and son-in-law both work at the local high school so I was able to use the wood shop and make use of some tools I can't ordinarily get my hands on. It actually came out pretty good, if I do say so myself. I built it exactly the way the original was constructed. That's the adjustable seat mechanism sitting on top.


The joints weren't too complex and routing out the channels for the seat adjuster and the spring wasn't that difficult.



Amazingly, the new bottom fit like a glove!


Running boards, battery box, battery supports and the tool box are at the powdercoaters and should be ready next week.

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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I got my parts back from the powdercoaters today - semi-gloss black to match the rest of the frame.

The running boards came out great.



Battery box (one extra) and the box supports.


The tool box.



Man, it's nice to have new looking parts "painted" and with no grease/rust/holes/pieces missing. My daughter, who works at the local high school, has some seniors coming over this Sunday to lift the body off the frame so I can install these parts, my redone shocks and get all the restored Floating Power mounts in, ready to install the motor.

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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  • 1 month later...

Still working on the frame as I now have the body back off.  I'm getting ready to paint the motor and get it back in the frame and I decided to finish the differential before that major task. 









The major problem - wear on the tailpiece shaft and a shot seal for the shaft.




First I tackled the seal.  Early Mopars used these huge seals on the differential and the rear axles.  You can find them on EBay, usually at an exorbitant price, and being new old stock, they have a tendency to be dried out or warped.  The seals are rawhide and are "permanently" attached to the large metal piece that bolts in place.  Well, not so permanently I discovered.  After drilling through most of the top of the actual seal, being careful not to damage the housing, I managed to pry the old seal out.  It was totally destroyed in the process.  There was no number or any ID on the seal.  The felt seal at the top center was sandwiched between the seal and the housing and was in pretty good shape.  i believe it was mostly to keep dirt out of the housing and I put it back in place before installing the new seal.






After I cleaned up the housing, I measured in inside diameter of the area where the seal used to live.  It came out to 2.750   The shaft diameter of the tailpiece was 1.750.  I found a Timken seal, number 473447, by going through their applications charts online.  This seal measures 2.758 OD and takes a 1.750 shaft.  The interference fit seemed about right so I ordered a seal for my local bearing house. 






I drove it into place with my cheapo Harbor Freight  bearing race driver.  It seated nicely and I was ready to work on the tailpiece.








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The problem here was the groove worn into the shaft by the old seal.  Not a pretty sight.




To address this situation I also bought a Speedi-Sleeve from the bearing house.  This one was designed to work on a 1.750 shaft.  The sleeve comes with an installation tool.  The sleeve simply fits over the shaft and provides a new surface for the seal. 







You slip the installation tool over the sleeve and drive it onto the worn shaft.




The groove in the shaft was deep enough that I used a small amount of epoxy filler to fill it in.  Drive the sleeve on before the filler dries.






Once the sleeve was in place, I removed the lip used by the installation tool to drive it home as it wasn't all the way down on the shaft.  If the sleeve is long enough and seats, you can leave the lip in place..




Parts finished and ready for paint.






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Just when things were going good... :o


I just discovered one of my rear brake fittings is cracked.  If anyone out there has one, please let me know.  Off the rear brakes of a 1932 Dodge DL, but I suspect other Mopar products used them.  Attaches the brake line to the brake cylinder.  1/2 inch hole diameter.










Any help appreciated!

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What a brilliant fix for the shaft problem....the things they make ! Chassis is coming up nicely.......your probably thinking what I was at this stage, how nice it is to actually put things back on the car and get them off the shelf. I'll have a look in my brake stuff to see if I have a fitting.

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I took a look through the miscellaneous brass brake fittings left over from when I did my '33 Plymouth and I don't see any of those banjo fittings. I did come up with a couple of pitted bolts that hold the fitting to the cylinder. And searching for SAE double flare brass banjo fittings has not turned up anything.


That type of fitting seems like it would be easy for a machinist or even competent home hobbyist to duplicate as long as you could make the seat for the flare.  I had a different brass fitting I wanted to replace a while back and looked into making it. I could not find the tool or instruction on making that seat with general machine tool techniques and finally found a usable old one. They make a zillion SAE double flare brass fittings every year so I'd expect that some sort of tap for that would be available but I've never been able to find one.

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I had to pull the steering wheel and didn't have the correct puller to handle the job.  The only puller I had was purchased to use on my 48 Plymouth and 50 Dodge.  It had threaded bolts that screwed into threads on the wheel.  Daphne has no such threaded holes so I had to improvise.  I made this puller out of my old puller plus some leftover oak scrap I had from my seat construction project and two long threaded bolts..









Once I had everything bolted together, I wound down the threaded shaft, hoping the wood wouldn't break.  After a few turns, there was a loud bang.  I thought the wood had gone, but it was the sound of the steering wheel popping loose after 84 years.  No damage to the wheel.  Occasionally my hair-brained ideas actually work!



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  • 2 weeks later...

Back on page 20 of this thread (Post # 387) I was wondering about putting spacers for the axle bearing clearance on the outside rather than the inside of the bearing containment area at the end of the axle.  Today I put in the new rear axle bearings (cones and races) and solved the problem.


Assembly went like this -


Drive in the inner axle seal.


Drive in the inner bearing race.  (The spacers are supposed to go in at this point, followed by the race.)


Insert the axle with the two bearing cones back to back on the axle.  I had a local auto shop press the bearings on for me to avoid damaging them.


Drive in the outer bearing race.


Place the gasket on the end of the axle.


Bolt on the brake backing plate.


I then measured the play in the axle - there was none, nada, nothing.


That didn't seem correct, so I though it over for a moment, then put the brake drum on the axle very loosely, put the axle nut on a few turns and pulled on the drum with several sharp raps.  Sure enough, this moved the outer bearing race out a bit until it hit the backing plate.  Now I had play in the bearings.  The secret was me driving the outer race on but forgetting that once the car was being driven, the wheel and hub would back off moving the outer race to the position it was now.


Once again I measured the end play.  I had .0235.  According to the owners book (they didn't offer shop manuals in 1932) the end play should be .0025 to .0050.  Not good!  The PO, my friend  Phil Kennedy, said he didn't remember seeing any shims when he took the rear axle apart back in 1970 or thereabouts, but I can't remember what I did last week, so there may have been some there at one time.  So now I had to decide if I was going to take everything back apart and probably tear up the new inner seal in the process trying to get the inner race out, or could I put the spacers on the outside between the outer race and the backing plate?


Must of the previous discussion last year centered on whether having the spacers on the outside would force the axles inward and cause clearance problems.  I couldn't believe .020 would make any difference, but I checked the differential just to be sure.  There was plenty of clearance.  The end of the axle protruded just slightly past the spider gear, but didn't come close to the center shaft.  I was safe.  This picture shows the end of the axle inside the red circle.  Sorry for the crummy photo but it was tough to get good focus back in there.




I found shims at Graingers, correct inner and out diameter.  I bought some that were .010 thick, figuring that two of them would give me .0035 clearance.  They weren't cheap at nearly 30 bucks for a package of ten, but I was lucky and didn't have to double the price by buying two packages of different thicknesses.




I placed the shims between the outer race and the backing plate, gave the drum another tug and checked the clearance - .0035, right where it was supposed to be.



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I bought some auto store brake lines and a cheap flaring tool figuring to save some money doing my brake lines.  Big mistake.  The steel lines were difficult to bend - my lines snake in and out of the frame and up and over brackets and spring perches.  Things did not go well in the flaring department, either.  I got one good one in three tries on average and the tool left ugly marks on the line.  Finally, the lines were black and looked really plain, an aesthetic disaster in every facet of the job.


So I bit the bullet and ordered an Eastwood flaring tool.  Expensive, but I figure I can sell it when I finish or keep it if I love it.  I also decided to go with Cunifer brake lines.  The original lines on Daphne were a coppery color, apparently some sort of coating over the steel lines.  The new Copper-Nickel lines have a really nice golden yellow shine to them and polish up beautifully.  They are supposed to be the easiest lines to bend and I hope they meet my expectations.  I'll post on the result of my adventure next week after I've attempted the job.  Since nothing ever seems to go exactly like I expect it will, it will be interesting to see how things work out.

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Cleaning up the transmission, getting it ready for paint.  What a mess!  More oil and grunge on this one piece of the car than most any I can remember.  Maybe since everything else is now nice and clean, I don't recall all the gunk that is long gone.


I finally had to remove the top of the tranny so I could clean the shifting quadrants.  I was hoping for good news inside the case, and, for once, I got it.  The gears look very good, with no real wear, no chips or other problems.  The brown areas are old lubricant, not rust.






The shift levers look good and should clean up nicely.




After reading the owner's book about removing the Free-Wheeling unit, I'm not going to touch it.  Half a page of instructions on how to use shims and set clearances that I don't need to deal with.


Reading the maintenance section on transmissions in the book, it says to clean out the transmission case once every six months with "flushing oil."  This is a new one to me.  I was wondering if it meant kerosene, but a few paragraphs down it again mentions using "flushing oil not kerosene" to clean the case.  Any idea what flushing oil is?

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I ordered my Eastwood brake flaring tool and 25 feet of Nickle-Copper 1/4 inch brake line on Monday and they both arrived Wednesday!  Different vendors even.


The brake tool looks nice, now if it just works as well as the videos and reviews I've seen and read. 




Same goes for the brake line.  I love the copper color as it closely matches whatever coating they put on the original lines.  I plan to try everything out on the rear axle brake lines in the near future, and I'll let you know how it works out. 



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I've been following your thread recently, and not only am impressed with your fine work and dedication, but appreciative of the great resource the thread is for us neophytes just starting a Mopar restoration. Keep up the great work.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm tackling some of the last restoration bits on the frame.  Anyone want to guess what this is?  I'm sure all you Mopar experts will identify it.




That's right, it's the small leaf spring that runs from the motor to the frame and is part of the Floating Power system.  Here it is in all its grungy glory before restoration.




The large end of the spring attaches to the back of the bellhousing, and the spring runs across to the frame where the small end fits into this rubber mount.  By the way, those four threaded holes in the frame had me worried for awhile.  I couldn't figure out what could go in that spot.  Then I realized they were the extra holes for the pedal assembly on a right-hand drive car.




You can see the two large holes in the back of the bellhousing/flywheel cover where the spring mount attaches.  Nothing much special about this area, just clean and paint, other than having to have the rubber mount redone as the original had deteriorated into a puddle of muck.





Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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I'm also cleaning up the pedal assembly.  Boy is this thing complicated.  I'm sure the Dodge Brothers engineers had a reason for all this, but I can't believe there wasn't a simpler solution!




It was also a real mess.  Lots of nooks and crannies to collect years of road grit.




I was careful taking it apart, shooting many pictures and making notes, as getting this maze back together correctly is going to be a challenge.  We've all been there - does the thick side of the pivot shaft face toward the casting or away from it?




Once I got down to the basic casting, I went to work.




It came out pretty good for an afternoon's work.




This is just part of numerous levers and shafts that make everything work.




Basically very boring stuff.  Disassemble, clean, prime, paint, put back together.  I'm not sure posting this stuff is worth your time other than making me feel like I'm accomplishing something. :)



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Interesting about the extra holes for the right hand drive cars. I had the same problem only that the extra holes were for left hand drive cars. Still makes you second doubt that maybe you've missed something.

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My relined brake shoes are due back any day now and I was wondering which way the shoe with the smaller pad faces?  When I took the brakes apart, the longer shoe pad faced the front, the smaller to the rear, is this correct?



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Both my '33 Plymouth Instruction Book and my '34 Plymouth Factory Maintenance Manual show the shorter lining on the rear shoe in their illustrations. Different make and year but same factory engineers so it sounds like you have it right.


But that is backwards of how I'd have guessed, so now I have find some reference that explains their reasoning. At least my shoes were all relined with the same length lining so I don't have to go out and swap all of them.

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Most articles I found on the internet say that the short pad should face the front.  But several people mention that on "older" Chevy, Ford and Mopar, the longer pad faces the front.  The difference may be due to the more modern "self-energizing" brakes that appeared in more modern cars.  I dug out my Instruction Book and it, too, has the long pad facing the front.  I'll go with the book.

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Looking at the '34 Plymouth factory service manual, they give a different heel clearance for the short lining shoe than for the long lining shoe. You might want to check the documentation for your car to see if they were doing that for your car.

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They are called primary and secondary shoes. I get this theory wrong all the time so take it with a grain of sale.

If you think of where the force is when braking the wheel (tire) is slowing against the road, so the force would be against the front shoe as the tire would be pulling against the spindle towards the rear of the car. I may also be argued that the weight of the car would be pushing forward against the rear shoe when the brakes are applied.

Regardless of your train of thought I would go with the manual.

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