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The Ressurection of Daphne - a 1932 DL


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The only metal in the floor is the front angled floorboard and the area under the back seat.  None of the wood floorboards are attached to the body in any way, they bolt to the frame.  You can attach them and then drop the body onto the frame.  I was very surprised to find all that wood myself.

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They must have refined it in 34 as mine has a "ledge" built into the floor where the timber sits and captive threads so the flooring bolts down. Mine too has a metal angled floorboard and the area under the back seat.

Richard, can you remove the flooring easily once the body is attached ? I assume it bolts through the wood to the frame and the timber floats inside cut out sections in the body.

Excellent work on the timber by the way !

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Yes, the floors come right out even with the body in place. No ledge on the 32 - the floorboards have square wooden supports screwed on the bottom of each edge. Long slotted head bolts then go through the floorboards and supports into threaded holes in the frame.

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The felt is sandwiched between the wood and the frame and it's a pretty tight fit. But it could absorb water if it was really exposed to a heavy drenching. All the original felt was In very good shape considering it's 84 years old next week. It won't see much if any rain while I own it, so I'm not too concerned.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finally got the garage cleaned up and ready for the winter.  Lots of small tasks to do, mainly woodworking, carb rebuild, wiring and completing the motor (distributor, generator, oil lines, install manifold.)  I test fit the luggage rack.  The rear pan still needs to be finished and painted, but that's for the Spring when it's warm enough to paint.

 

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Got about 60 percent of my chrome back - still waiting on the headlights, windshield frame and interior door handles.  Very hard to photograph indoors and show how great it actually looks.  First time I've ever seen these parts the way they must have looked originally.  They were pretty crusty even back in 1965 when I first bought her.

 

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I had the intake and exhaust manifold ceramic coated.  They were pretty pitted, but it sure looks better than before and should stay this way for a while at least.

 

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I'm taking my old exhaust system down to a local shop to get new pipes made up so I'd better get moving.

 

Merry Christmas everyone.

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Excellent work Richard and a Merry Christmas from down under ! It's 9am Xmas morning here and in for another warm day. The other day it reached 43 c on the back deck. Needless to say it was about 50 in the garage.

How cold does it get in your area ?

Have a safe one

Ian

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My neighbors and I were outside most of the night trying to clear roadside drains outside our houses as we got almost 7 inches of rain in less than six hours.  The water made it to within two feet of my garage, but I was lucky and it never got inside.  Other areas of central Illinois were not so lucky and we have widespread flooding in the region.  I hope everyone came out of this safe and relatively dry.  It's a bit disconcerting when you envision two and a half years of work on your car being swallowed up by flood waters in a matter of minutes.  I guess we should never take anything for granted.

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Good to hear no invasion. In 1976, I was doing a frame on resto on a  1963 Chev Impala SS 409 car. I had a one car garage with a wood burner stove. This took place in Detroit. I took a 4-week, no maps go anywhere vacation trip around the country by myself in a 1972 Chev Caprice. A real nice car to take a long trip. Went to upper MI. then up and down going west between Canada and the U.S. then down the west coast until I got to Dallas TX. Made a call to my folk to say I'm still alive. No cell phones or beepers back then. My folks said that they had a real bad storm and when they went to check my house, I had a foot of sewer water in the basement. I had all NOS bumpers, swirl Super Sport side and trunk moldings and grill that was ruined. I had my engine that was all machined ready to put back together etc. My interior was also in the flood. Sewer water is real nasty stuff. I was ready to throw the car out. All that time and money. This was a one owner car from a older couple with only 50.000 miles on it. People said I was nuts for taking it apart. The car was white and I wanted to do a color change and to do that correct, car has to come apart. Went to Hershey PA swap meet and there was a guy selling all NOS stuff for a 63, I hit jack pot. Car went together. Took 1st place ar the Detroit Auto Rama 1977. My 1st car show and you had to be invited. Sorry for being long winded.

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's been awhile since my last post.  Between the holidays and the cold weather, work on Daphne came to a screeching halt.  I'm gearing up again and plan to spend some time over at the local high school shop working on the floorboards and other wood pieces.  Another hold up was a problem with my garage lights.  I went out and bought a bunch of LED strip lights, as they are supposed to be good for 25,000 hours and to perform in cold weather.  WRONG!  I went out into the garage last week in ten degree weather, flipped the switch and...they strobed once, then went dead.  Since they are hard wired in place, it's going to be a real pain taking them all down and replacing them.  The big box store I got them from says they'll give me a refund even though I got them last June, but we'll see when push comes to shove.  At fifty bucks a pop, they'd better make it right.  By the way, until this debacle, I was very pleased with the brightness and quality of light these things gave off.  Much better than fluorescents, but if you live in cold weather climes, I'd stay away from them.

 

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I have the manifold installed and it looks good.  I wish it wasn't quite so pitted, but I am going to drive this car, not show it, so I'll live with it.  The ceramic coating helps.

 

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The chrome shop is having problems with my cowl spear.  After finally finding one to replace my broken original, it seems the pot metal has started to deteriorate from the inside.  Every time they clean it up and hit it with the copper coat, these bubbles appear.  I may have to make a "new" one out of steel.  A real pain at this point in the restoration, but these things always seem to happen.  Typical, as I never thought I'd be able to find another, then did for an incredible 30 bucks, and then this happens.

 

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Off to the hardware store to buy a sheet of 3/4 inch marine plywood and start on the floorboards.

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You will get more light if you paint the ceiling gloss white (ref. the photo of the light above). The dark finish absorbs more light than white does.

 

It is good to see you restarting Daphne's resurrection. All the best.

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Taylormade.....I did not know that you needed that piece. Do you need for me to see if I can pick up this 1932 DB cowl center trim piece for you???

So sorry for the crappy photo.

Yes, yes and yes.  I didn't think I needed either it until this just happened.  Thanks.  Anything else left of that 32?  I'm sure the roof is long gone, but I'm still looking for a set of sun-visor hinges and one can always hope.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I finally got the dead LED light situation sorted out.  Lowes gave me a complete replacement on the lights and since they were now cheaper, a 50 buck refund to boot.  Still a pain as they were hard wired into my garage ceiling, but the good new is they are now much better made, with the plastic ballast now being a metal box that is riveted to the main body of the light  rather than the former plastic clips.  The new lights work great, but I don't plan on turning them on when the temperature is below five degrees.

 

I got my grill center back from the powdercoaters and it looks great.  In 32, Dodge Brothers used this to hide the actual radiator and give the radiator shell a bit of bling.  Some cars had thermostatically controlled shutters instead of this trim piece, but my car didn't have that option.  It was first purchased in Maryland, and maybe they thought they weren't necessary or too costly at the height of the Depression, but I sure could have used them up in Syracuse during those long winters.

 

With the insert and the new chrome, the radiator shroud is looking good.   I painted the inside of the shell silver, even though most of it received a good coating of chrome, just to protect against any future rust.   I'm amazed that the trim piece is held in place by twelve screws, washers and lock washers.  What a labor intensive job and a far cry from today's plastic clips and industrial adhesives.  For some reason I have a very distinct memory of taking this piece out of the formerly rusted and dented radiator shroud over two years ago at Ed's place.  It was a very satisfying feeling to put it back together with everything looking brand new.

 

The inside of the shell.

 

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Attaching screws.  Tiny little guys that must have been a real pain for the guy at the factory.  At least he had a job in those hard times.

 

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The assembled radiator shell.

 

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And this brings me to a technical question.  Now I have to put in my freshly cleaned and painted radiator.  It attaches to the shell with flat head, countersunk screws.   But the screw holes in the shell are under the hood lace.  So, it's a chicken or the egg scenario If i put on the hood lace, how do I put the screws in?  If I put the screws in first, there is no room to install the split headed rivets that hold the lace on.  PO owner Phil Kennedy sent me some shots of his 32 so you can see my dilemma.  Anyone dealt with this problem?

 

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Second technical problem of the day.  My chrome plater informs me that my outside door handles are made up of two different materials and he can't chrome plate them with out taking them apart.  The top decorative part seems to be formed over the bottom piece.  I can see no possible way to take this assembly apart without destroying the handle.  Apparently there is a hollow space inside that traps some of the liquid chemicals used in the chrome process and they can't drain off.  When the part goes into the next tank, the residual chemicals cause a bad reaction.  I was lucky and the disaster happened on someone else's handles.  I have seen these handles rechromed on restored cars, so there must be a way.  Anyone dealt with this?

 

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My 1931 shell is nearly identical to the 1932 shell. The way I dealt with the hood lacing on mine is to install the hood lacing and pull it aside to install the screws. Then push it back into place. That is the only way I could see to do it.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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Second technical problem of the day.  My chrome plater informs me that my outside door handles are made up of two different materials and he can't chrome plate them with out taking them apart.  The top decorative part seems to be formed over the bottom piece.  I can see no possible way to take this assembly apart without destroying the handle.  Apparently there is a hollow space inside that traps some of the liquid chemicals used in the chrome process and they can't drain off.  When the part goes into the next tank, the residual chemicals cause a bad reaction.  I was lucky and the disaster happened on someone else's handles.  I have seen these handles rechromed on restored cars, so there must be a way.  Anyone dealt with this?

 

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Drill a small hole in the bottom and let drain?

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Edited by countrytravler (see edit history)
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My 1931 shell is nearly identical to the 1932 shell. The way I dealt with the hood lacing on mine is to install the hood lacing and pull it aside to install the screws. Then push it back into place. That is the only way i could see to do it.

That is how I did mine and everyone else I've talked to who had a similar car said they did the same.

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Thanks everyone.  That's what i figured, but the new lacing I got from Restoration Specialties seems pretty stiff.  I hope I can move it sufficiently to get the job done.

I think I used a masking taped putty knife to pull the lacing back gently.

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I was wondering if you could put the lacing on loosely, put the screws in then use a tool you will have fabricated to do the final compression of the rivets. The tool would be like a pair of pliers but made to suit the job: like a stapler anvil on one end and hollow on the other to not damage the rivet head.

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  • 2 weeks later...

WOW, I just stumbled on this incredible photo documentary! I have been restoring my 1931 DH for the past 40+ years(!) by fits and starts. What a great and enjoyable interaction you guys have had!

To keep this brief, mine started out about like Daphney and has made it about as far during those many years. (Tho not so thorough and elegant!) No upholstery or roof yet.

One challenge I could really use help with right now: I have not been able to pull the rear wood spoke wheels off the axel. Found a huge puller on eBay ($200) to fit the rim but no luck in spite of frightening pull (oak blocks in between), torch, dry ice several variants of Liq-wrench. I'm hoping a screw-on hub puller might work if I can find one to buy, borrow or rent. The hub is @ 3 1/3" (hubcap threads), looks like 18-20 threads/inch. Help?! Thanks!

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Welcome John , if you do a search on hub pulling you'll find lots of info and pics . Boils down to using the proper original or new reproduction tool . With the proper installation and directions being as important . A picture of your hub may help in sizing the thread of your hub . Maybe the 2 3/8"  x 16 tpi tapered .

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I was lucky to have the wire wheel option which made pulling the drums a lot easier since they aren't attached to the wheel. There is a guy that makes pullers of the type you need, and maybe someone will chime in with his name and contact information.

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Thanks guys. I found a.a.c.a. Buick site where others were having the same problem a few years ago. A Geo McMurtry 308-586-1930 was said to be able to make a wood spoke puller if one sends him a hubcap for thread size. I called and left a message. Also mentioned was a guy who comes to Hershey and offers to make these. John

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Here are a couple of pictures of the beautiful hub puller that George McMurtry made for me. The thread size is 2-7/16" X 16 TPI for a DB 4-cylinder car. I haven't met the rear hub yet that this puller can't remove, and can't recommend it highly enough. It's a real work of art cut from a steel block.

 

A very nice and useful touch is that Mr. McMurtry cuts a slot on the puller, and makes the threads one side of the puller's clamp larger than the other, so a large bolt can force the puller open a little bit if it is too tight on the hub. Then you use the smaller diameter bolt to clamp the puller tight, so it can't possibly slip off and destroy the threads on the hub.

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I have an "original" cast puller for my 1930 DC. Two things of note: the thread on the centre bolt is fine and the centre bolt has an inner that bears on the end of the axle and the outer (with the thread) that bears on a shoulder on the inner. This way, when you tap the bolt, the tap goes to the axle and is not partially absorbed by the puller and transferred to the hub. I'll try to find it and post a picture later.

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  • 3 weeks later...

For some reason, I can't send you a PM (says you can't receive them).  I need 30 of the darn things.  If that;s too much, if you could send me a few,  I'll try and locate a source based on one of yours.  Thanks so much for the offer.

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For some reason, I can't send you a PM (says you can't receive them).  I need 30 of the darn things.  If that;s too much, if you could send me a few,  I'll try and locate a source based on one of yours.  Thanks so much for the offer.

If a source can be found, I'd like to know about it too.

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Restoration Supply Co. have Screw Nails in 1/2" length, 0.080 body dia, 0.187" head dia, flat head, zinc finish. Is that what those are John K?

 

They also have them in 1" long with black finish.

 

They are on p. 35 of my catalogue. FAS022 or 041.

 

They also have drive screws on p41. More sizes but round or oval head (not sure which).

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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