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The Ressurection of Daphne - a 1932 DL

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I've been trying to come up with a practical way to mount my coil.  The 32 Dodge Brothers DL originally had one of those integrated coils where the ignition switch is built into the rear of the coil and the whole unit rests behind the dash as a single unit.  Some of these type of coils were mounted on three prongs that accepted bolts on the back of the dash.  My setup used a tubular mount that the coil and switch were clamped to.

It worked like this -




There is a company that still makes this type of coil, but they want almost three hundred bucks for the unit.  My original coil was long gone, replaced by an aftermarket ignition switch and a separate, standard coil.  I wanted to come up with something that would allow me to mount a coil under the dash, but still retain the ignition switch - since the key matches the key to my sidemount locks.  When I bought the car in 1965, it was set up like the graphic below.  Unfortunately, the ignition switch extends too far into the clamp to allow me to clamp an aftermarket coil inside behind it.




So I came up with this solution -






This way I can replace the coil without spending three hundred hard earned dollars.  It also keeps the coil up under the dash almost in the original position.  Now I have to figure out how to make the tube.  The inside diameter of the coil holder is about 2.5 inches.  The coil's diemeter is 2.25 inches.  I probably don't even need a stepped tube, just one that is 2.25 ID and 2.5 OD.  And checking, I found steel tubing with those exact dimensions.  An eight inch piece is under ten bucks.  My only concern is the combined weight of the coil and the tubing.  I do want to keep the coil off the firewall for an original look.  Any other ideas that might work?

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Are you concerned about the weight on the dash? Maybe a piece of flat stock just larger than the switch opening would strengthen the dash metal. Otherwise the fix you mention and post sure looks like it would work well.

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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Tubes are inherently strong. The polycarbonate is rigid and hard (R73-78) so should fit that side of the requirement. It also resists impact and repeated use so should have a good fatigue life as the coil shakes up and down inside it due to road vibrations. My immediate thought before reading the post on polycarbonate was aluminium tube.


I also ask about the strength of the dash and mounting to it. But with the lightweight polyc. and mounting the coil as close as possible to the dash, you should be OK. I think you have a shiny instrument panel covering the dash, so that should hide any flex in the dash. Also, is the new coil lighter than the original?


Nice solution!

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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Similar thinking to what I employed for my DA. I used steel tubing which really did not weigh much. Keep it as short as possible to minimise "leverage". I found the original coil was pretty heavy compared to the modern one, so I recon it should not be a problem.

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Since I’ve never seen the original coil, I can’t comment on it’s weight, but Bullfrog’s comments are reassuring.  The ignition switch is off to the side of the dash, not covered by the instrument panel insert.  Thanks for the comments, I’ll let you all know it works out.

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How about going to a muffler shop and have them swedge a piece to your specs, then drill your hole and cut a slice so it can be clamped.

I have a tool that does this with a couple of big wrenches but I never have to use it because I have a good exhaust guy..

I also thought about weight when reading this.

Edited by JACK M (see edit history)
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13 hours ago, frank29u said:

Ingenious method of attaching modern coil.  Think back to your '29 Plymouth.  I mounted my back up on the angle iron supporting the cowl, from passenger door frame to firewall.  Good and secure and out of the way.


It would be great, but my 32 doesn’t have the brace.


8 hours ago, ArticiferTom said:

My only concern with poly would be coil, over heating . Do they produce heat ? Metal would act as a sink . Muffler pipe would be ticket . Check out tractor Supply they or Advance Auto lots adapter available .


Not sure about overheating.  Maybe metal is a better way to go.

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Doing a few small jobs today.  I cleaned off the speedometer cable (it's a long one!) and was pleasantly surprised to find everything intact, still very flexible, and with both ends and fittings in good shape.  The cable pulls out of the housing easily. and I plan to clean it and re-lube the housing.  Any suggestions on the best way to do this?


The housing was caked with 80 years of dirt and oil, but it cleaned up nicely.






Ends and fittings all good.




Then I fabricated a new carb linkage, as my new BB-1 updraft is different than my old carb setup.




Next, I went through my list in preparation of starting the engine for the first time.


Gapped plugs to .028.

Made sure the crankcase is full of new oil with a bottle of zinc additive for startup.

Radiator full - no leaks from hoses or radiator a week after filling.

Points gap set.

Plug wires checked for position on distributor cap and plugs.

Valve covers tightened,  new cork gaskets.

New coil (hopefully good) with positive wire to distributor and negative wire to negative terminal of battery (positive ground system).

Temporary oil pressure gauge and temperature gauge installed.

Remote gravity fed fuel tank filled with non-ethanol gas.

Fire extinguisher.

Fresh six volt battery with correct, large gauge wires.

The only thing I haven't done yet is to adjust the BB-1 updraft carb.  I'm searching for the correct information on initial setup after a rebuild.  As usual, I have it somewhere, but can't find it at the moment.

I just noticed in my linkage photo that i don't have the bolt in the exhaust pipe clamp.  That needs to be done.

Anything I may have forgotten?


I promised my youngest granddaughter that she could be there for the first startup.  At 13, she is exhibiting a real interest in cars.  Since she lives just down the street, this won't be a problem.  I'll take video of the first attempt.  hopefully it will be uneventful.

I know I've been promising to start Daphne for the last year, but it's actually going to happen - I hope.


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Well, I finally got Daphne started.  No real problems, she cranked for awhile but then took off.  There was some obnoxious noise from the fan or waterpump area that I think was a loose fan belt - you can see my worried and annoyed look on the video.  The first few tries nothing happened, and I thought she might not be getting a spark.  I loosened one of the plug leads and held it close and got a spark.  Then the motor wanted to start.  I snapped the plug wire back on and she started right up.  Not sure why that seemed to be the "spark" that got her going.  On a later try, I had to do the same thing.  My coil wires are all rather long at the moment, so maybe she isn't getting enough juice at startup.  There might be some lifter noise, see what you think.  The carb seemed to work fine and I got 50 pounds of oil pressure.  No leaks so far.  I am pretty happy with this, as I didn't have to adjust the distributor at all and actually had all the plug wires in the correct sequence..  Lots of smoke as I had Marvel Mystery Oil in the cylinders.  I noticed a bit of bubbling around the top of the manifold, but a quick tightening of the manifold bolts got rid of that.  The second shot has her running pretty well.  Still not sure if I'm getting too much lifter noise or if that's normal.  This really took a lot of stress off the restoration.  A little work with the motor and I can put the hood on and start working on the interior.



Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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Another annoying problem has reared its ugly head.  I noticed a slight engine oil leak this morning.  I filled the car with oil several months ago and have been monitoring for any leaking ever since.  Of course this was before I started the engine for the first time.  After the motor ran with full oil pressure, I discovered this tiny leak - in the worst possible place on my car.  The Floating Power feature on my DL has the front of the motor mounted on a single rubber mount placed on the top of a stamped steel cradle that straddles the frame.  You can see it in the picture below.  The rubber pad is just under the waterpump, with the cradle straddling the frame.  The cradle has a hole in the center so you can take it off over the front pulley, but this can only be done with the motor out of the car or the pulley off.




The front of the engine has a plate and the timing cover attached, held on by some common bolts and some exclusive to the plate.  Here you can see both the plate and the cover during engine disassembly.




This is what it looks like with everything in place and not covered by the cradle.




Obviously, once I got the motor started and running, oil was forced under pressure into the timing cover for the first time.  That's when the leak became apparent.

The very tiny leak is coming from right here on the bottom of the motor.  it's coming from the area between the plate and the motor, not from between the timing cover and the plate.




With the motor in the car and the mounting cradle blocking access, it's very hard, almost impossible, to get up under there and tighten anything.

I did manage to get a wrench on the two lower bolts that hold the cover and plate in place.  I could tighten them slightly, but there still seemed to be seepage after I cleaned everything off.

Needless to say, if this doesn't solve the problem, I'm in trouble.  The only way to fix this seems to be a long a tedious road.  I'd have to remove the radiator and all hoses, support the front of the engine on a hoist, pull the front pulley, remove the cradle,

remove the cover and plate, get new gaskets, clean everything and put it all back together.  I'm strongly considering just leaving it alone and resigning myself to cleaning off the engine pan after each trip.

The leak is so small, if I can get it clean enough, maybe just a tiny bit of silicon rubber (ugh!) in the crack would fix things.


Daphne is fighting me at every turn, no doubt as revenge for leaving her all those years ago.  Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.

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Before the last post I tightened the bolts that hold the plate and timing cover in place - the ones  I could get to.  Checking two hours later, it seems to have helped.  Not sure if the leak is completely stopped, but it's definitely slowed.  A check after 24 hours should confirm if the problem is solved.


I'm currently working on the firewall insulation pad found on the inside of the firewall in the passenger compartment.  It's in pretty bad shape, and has come apart, the front "decorative" piece coming unglued from the pad.  I was surprised to find not just the expected jute padding, but a molded piece between the jute and the cover.  I suspect this molded piece is loaded with asbestos, as this was the material of choice for heat and fire protection back in the day.  It will be carefully disposed of. 


Here is a shot of the pad and cover, both facing into the interior.  You can see the molded section on top of the jute.




Here's a close shot of the jute and the molded piece.




I was thinking of buying this to replace the pad.




My only concern is that without the molded piece for support, would this pad tend to sag or distort over time?


The two removable front floorboards also have what I suspect is a similar material attached to the board, facing the

motor.  Again, this must be for heat protection - and probably contains asbestos.




It's disintegrating, and the fibers can get into the air.




I found this material that seems to be about the same consistency and is the right thickness, but I worry about its ability to handle heat from the motor.




I don't want to use something that might be flammable, and this may be.


Then there is this stuff that has the right properties and thickness if i use two layers, but it will hardly look original with the reflective, shiny outer surface.




Always something to try and figure out.  Someone, somewhere must have solved this problem at some point.


Maybe just paint the surface with hi-heat flat black and go with that.

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dcmclassics.com sell ABS firewall pads. They list '33-35 Dodge, but not '32. quietride.com also list a 33 DO but no '32. Hmmm, looks like '32 is the forgotten year.


You could ask the vendor of the universal pad if it will sag? You have a good number of screws with large washers to hold it to the firewall too.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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13 minutes ago, Spinneyhill said:

dcmclassics.com sell ABS firewall pads. They list '33-35 Dodge, but not '32. quietride.com also list a 33 DO but no '32. Hmmm, looks like '32 is the forgotten year.


You could ask the vendor of the universal pad if it will sag? You have a good number of screws with large washers to hold it to the firewall too.

Yes....1931 and 1932 are quite the scarce ones for finding anything new.

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I doubt that anything you see aftermarket will have the thick insulation like the original pad. I've  been thinking about glueing up several layers of the new "jute" material, which is really nothing more than a felt carpet pad, or glueing several pieces of homosote together as an insulator. The homosote should be available from any good lumber company. Then the outer panel board can be glued to the insulation. The insulation on my '36 is about 1 in. or 11/4 in. thick. Homosote also has a similar consistency as the original insulation. I would imagine that your firewall pad is held on by those split bubbleheaded push pins.

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I found Homosote at a Menards.  I live in a small town in the middle of nowhere, so it’s a 70 mile round trip, but they had some with a good fire retardant rating and it was the right thickness - 1/2 inch.  The pattern on the outer covering  matches that of the firewall pad, really lucky.  Thanks, jpage for the heads up, Homosote was the answer to my problem.  I’ll post some pix tomorrow.

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