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The Ressurection of Daphne - a 1932 DL


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<quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate><quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate>Back home from Hershey, it was time to tackle the frame. Although we had powerwashed everything at Ed's, there is still a mountain of grease and dirt everywhere. I spread out the tarps and got to work.

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I made the pleasant discovery that the rear spring shackles looked almost brand new. I have the feeling this car was gone over mechanically some time before I bought it. Since Phil and I probably didn't put more than 4,000 miles on her, collectively, things seem to be in pretty good shape.

I began disassembly of the front axle. The biggest problem was getting the totally rusted cotter pins out. A real pain in the you know what. Everything else broke loose with a bit of muscle power and a long breaker bar.

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I got everything off the driver's side. The brake linings need replacing. I'm hoping the drums can be turned - they look okay, but I won't know until I get them into the shop for turning. The brake hoses were toast, the rubber rotten and the fittings corroded. The lines themselves, which I thought were copper, are actually copped coated steel and have rusted away to nothing. Total replacement of everything required, plus new brake cylinders and springs.

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Oddly, the driver's side kingpin seems solid and the spindle moves smoothly, while the passenger side pin is shot, with lots of back and forth movement. I'm not sure how that happened, but I'm replacing both with the king pins I got at Hershey.<quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate>

The Delco shocks still work, which amazed me. I'm hoping the shafts are still smooth and un-pitted. I plan to replace the seal, and, if the shafts are okay, it should be an easy rebuild. I need to source the rubber grommets for the arm mounting points.

Still lots of work to do on the passenger side. More details and close up photos when I get the entire front end apart.

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I need to get new bearings and seals for the front wheels. I don't want to make the same mistake that Phil did in 1980 and destroy the seals by taking them out and then finding out that I can't get new ones. :D Anybody have a good source?<quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate>

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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  • 2 weeks later...

We took out all the interior wood from the body in preperation for blasting. The only structural wood in a DL sedan is the floorboards. The wood around the tops of the door and rear window is there for attaching the upholstery. I restored the wood in a 29 Plymouth - it had all wood framing with the sheet metal tacked on to the wood frame. What a nightmare that was!

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Confirmed that my car is an original DL with black body paint.

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The DL's body then went off to Coberaa Custom Powdercoating in Aniston, Illinois. First all traces of old paint were removed from the body. this is a Delicate process that has to be done correctly or the body panels can be badly warped.

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Then the body was put through five cleaning processes to make sure all the grit and dirt was removed from the metal. It was then cleaned of all wax and grease and finally etched in preparation for the powdercoating. That's not water, but a chemical cleaning bath.

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Then the body was powdercoated with a special paintable primer coating.

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Now it's ready for a coat of primer sealer, followed by the final coat of black.

The other parts of the car have also been blasted and coated.

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Once I finish disassembling the frame, it will be blasted and powdercoated satin black.

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Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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Taking the frame apart this weekend. Brakes looked in reasonable shape. new wheel cylinders are available and will be purchased. The linings will be replaced and I plan to buy new springs.

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In another thread I asked some questions about the brake drums. I think they will work although a guy at a local auto store told me he thought they looked "thin." Some minor scoring that I think can be "skimmed" out by turning the drums.

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The drums have an inspection port so you can correctly adjust the brakes. Adjusting early Chrysler Corp. brakes has always been a tough job without special tools. These little inspection ports allow you to see the clearance between the pads and drums all around the drum. Now if I can only get the totally rusted screws that hold the port plate on to come free! I have the feeling I'll have to drill out the flat head screws and re-tap the holes.




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Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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<quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate><quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate>Back fenders in paint. still need to be color sanded and buffed out.

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Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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Looking very, very good!

I haven't heard of a powder coat that was used as a paint primer. Interesting concept. I guess you have to have the metal in good shape with no filler needed before you do that. . .

You might try the electrolytic rust removal method on those drums. Good chance the screws on your adjusting cover plate(s) will just come off after that.

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The progress being made is very impressive. Your target completion of early next year should be achievable.

As to the Chrysler brakes isn't the Ammco 1750 the brake centering tool and drum micrometer that could be used on a Dodge? The Ply33 website shows how to use this on the Plymouths. They show up on Ebay from time to time. I have one but it is missing the piece that enables it to be used as a drum micrometer. It can be used to center the shoes.

This restoration is a good inspiration to the rest of us.

Chris

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The Ammco is the tool of choice, but these view ports allow you to center the drums without using the tool. You can open the port and measure the clearance with a feeler gauge. I looked for an Ammco tool when I had my 48 Plymouth, but never found one I could afford. The instruction book for my 29 Plymouth said to use a cutaway brake drum ( a factory part) to adjust the brakes. I assume that my drums with their little view-port was the next step up in brake adjustment, followed by the Ammco tool.

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I just about have the frame stripped down - front and rear axles off<quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate><quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate>, springs removed and various bolt-on pieces loosened and ready to take off.

The springs look good and a simple disassembly, blasting and repainting should do. All the shackles - front and rear - are in great shape and will not need to be replaced. Good news as they are unusual and kind of hard to find. You can see the "studs" or whatever they are called are round, nor worn and not pitted.

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I got front suspension off and ran into a problem. The pitman arm is so close to the frame it's impossible to get a conventional puller in behind the arm to pull it off. The hooks or "grabbers" on my puller won't fit between the arm and the frame.

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Any suggestions? I was thinking about something like this: http://www.walmart.com/ip/OTC-8150-Conical-Pitman-Arm-Puller-for-Light-Trucks/16481266

or: http://www.matcotools.com/catalog/product/PA643/PITMAN-ARM-PULLER/

These don't work: http://www.harborfreight.com/tie-rod-and-pitman-arm-puller-1752.html

I hope I can find a local auto store that has a correct type to rent. Until I get the arm off, I can't take the frame to be power coated.<quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate>

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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Got the "new" radiator back from the shop Friday. It tested out perfect - no leaks, plenty of flow, all "fins" in good shape. Steve, the radiator guy at Al's Radiator in St. Louis, Missouri, said it took awhile to get some loose rust out, but once he hot tanked it and ran water through it for a bit, everything flushed out perfectly. My Hershey purchase turned out to be a good one.<quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate><quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate>

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Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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A shot of the wood framework around the back window. Mostly in good shape except for the passenger side "curve" that I'll have to remake. I plan to replace the screws as they are rusty, give it a light sanding, a quick coat of black enamel, and it should be ready to go.

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Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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That is a good one. You may try a gear puller if the others don't work....gets into really tight areas. I recall using a pickle fork on my '31.

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Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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I've used this tool when my Dad and I replaced worn out universal joints on center pivot gear boxes. I think Dad got his at NAPA. They were always almost up against a gear box. Because they ran in wet condititions, they were on that shaft for several years and really rusted on. These were made out of good metal. We would get them started wedging it in between the two and hit the end of the tool with a hammer driving it in. Wahlah...it's off! :)

Good luck

Rod van Pelt

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No cracks. In the photo, what you are seeing is a layer of grease that I partially scraped away with a screwdriver. The "crack" is a gouge in the grease. :D

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Thanks for taking the time to document this wonderful restoration. What sets your thread apart, aside from the wonderful car you're restoring, is your writing skill and the quantity and quality of pictures you have posted. While not as detailed as your thread, I documented the restoration of my 59 Buick (www.1fine59.com) so I know first hand the time and energy you are expending in sharing your story. Kudos to you for bringing us along on this very enjoyable ride, we all can't wait to see you get this car to the finish line!

Edited by Electra 59 (see edit history)
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Thanks Tom. after reading your thread I am truly humbled by the compliments. It's amazing how much cars progressed from 1932 to 1959! My old DL seems almost simple compared to your Buick. But, it's funny, every car seems to come with its own problems. Your story of the pot metal window frames hit home. Many of the parts on the Dodge were not designed to last 80 some years and I'm dealing with that repair/rebuild/re-manufacture business we all go through. I'm afraid my restoration will never meet the standards of your beautiful Buick, but I was glad to see you planned on driving the car, not letting it collect dust in your garage until the next car show. I, too, plan on driving the heck out of Daphne once she's finished. Thanks again for the kind words.

RT

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Work on the frame continues.<quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate><quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate> I'm still waiting for the delivery of my pitman arm puller so I figured to get the rest of the frame apart and get it over to the powdercoating shop. It's 60 degrees and sunny here today, so I assumed this would be a nice relaxing session out in the garage.

WRONG!

I removed the rear shocks rather easily and then tackled getting the rear springs off. I'd already removed the shackles and was delighted to find them in fine shape. I had soaked the bolt holding the front of the spring to the frame mount in WD-40 several times and expected the nut to come off without a problem.

WRONG!

It finally came off after I used a six foot breaker bar and lots of muscle. :eek: It was difficult to get a wrench on the nut due to its closeness to the frame, but I finally got one on it and wedged it inside the frame while I muscled the breaker bar. Job done, right?

WRONG!

Now I had to get the bolt out. It would turn in the hole but would not unscrew or come out in any way. Because the other end is tucked in by the inside of the frame, it's almost impossible to get anything back there to force the bolt out.

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I got a bar wedged in and put a great deal of force on the end of the bolt while my wife turned the bolt head but the darn thing wouldn't budge. There may be a deteriorated rubber grommet in there holding it on. After a good hour and lots of cursing I still don't have the stubborn thing off. Short of welding something on the bolt head so I can get a good grip on it, I don't know how I'm going to remove it. I decided to come inside and cool off before I do something stupid and cause irreparable damage.<quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate> :mad:<quickprintreadystate style="display: none;"></quickprintreadystate>

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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You could also try heating the bolt until red hot and then try prying it out.The heat could soften the rubber enough to let loose.

Heat works wonders. If that doesn't work, a last resort: could you grind cut or grind the had of bolt of and drive it out with a hammer and punch?... Is there room to swing the hammer and room for the bolt to be driven out?

Good Luck!

Rod

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I agree with the heat. Do not burn the head of that bolt off unless you have room to drive it out towards the outside of the frame and it does not look like you do.

I can see a jack stand in the photo so I am thinking you have removed the "load" off the spring assembly. Can you move the spring assembly laterally side to side to maybe loosen things up a bit?

If you do not have an acetylene rig you can buy a plumber's burns-o-matic down at your local hardware store. This will get it hot enough.

There are some days when everything you touch on these cars goes "south" and you are right to take a breadth and tackle it later.

Chris

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May not be able to get enough force, but how about a piece of pipe or even a large socket to go over the head of the bolt and then a large C-clamp to apply force between the threaded part of the bolt and the socket. If you can get enough force on the C-clamp it would press the bolt head into the socket/pipe.

As noted above, might not get enough force to budge it, but I don't think there is much chance that the attempt would damage anything so it might we worth a try.

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I agree with you Dave. We used silent block bushes extensively in our cars. When I have had this problem all that heat does is separate the inner sleeve from the rubber. The bolt remains rusted into the inner sleeve and there is no way of holding it so it just turns with the bolt. Yes the bolt is case hardened so it can't be drilled out. What you need is an extractor tool but don't be surprised if the bracket gets bent in the process. Worst case scenario is to remove the rivets from the bracket and take the assembly off the chassis. Good thing the bracket is not welded onto the frame.

Ray.

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I'm going with cutting off the head and driving it through with a heavy hammer and punch. Cut the threaded end off as it moves to provide clearance between the mount and frame. If it still won't go and there's enough room on the outer side try drilling it out as these bolts are not hardened bolts. I always replace my spring bolts with grade 8 fasteners when reassembling.

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Sorry everyone, I haven't been ignoring all your helpful suggestions, I've been out of town on business.

I tried the C-clamp idea, something I dreamed up myself before your post. All I got was one very badly bent C-clamp. The Spring bolt turns freely so I don't believe it's rusted to anything and there are no apparent threads in the spring perch to help force it out. I had my wife turn the head of the bolt while I exerted all possible force on the other end with a large metal pry bar wedged between the end of the bolt and the frame. It wouldn't budge. Maybe it is rusted to the inner sleeve and that is turning, too. I'm getting to the point where, as jpage suggests, I may just cut off the head off the bolt, cut off the protruding end and try and force the shaft out with a punch and a sledge, cutting off the end along the way for clearance.

Everything else (except the pitman arm - I'm waiting for the puller I ordered) came off the frame quite easily, including the front axle U-bolts, but the rear end is giving me nothing but trouble. After soaking the U-Bolts for about a week and then applying heat, I got three nuts off and then promptly snapped the U-bolt on the fourth one. Luckily, I found a place that had the exact size I needed at only ten bucks a pair. They are almost identical with the exception that the nicely flattened tops on the originals are simply round on the replacements. Since I want to drive this car, rather than show it, I'm going with the new Grade 8 replacements for safety and ease of simply painting fresh steel. If someone crawls under the car and wants to complain - more power to them!

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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  • 3 weeks later...
..."Maybe it is rusted to the inner sleeve and that is turning, too."...

Exactly!

I was giving some thought to what "R.White" mentioned some time back about a product available in the UK that had penetrating oil in it along with a freezing chemical, and thought you could attack this from another direction.

You will need a good creeping penetrating oil (like "PB Blaster" or your other favorite), a few tungsten or cobalt drills in 1/8" size, an electronics parts freezing spray (available at Radio Shack or other electronics parts suppliers), gloves, eye protection and your big pry bar.

Looking at the photo in "dc-8dave"s post #314, consider this: Drill four small pilot holes in the following manner. Center bore the head end of bolt (#4) at least 1/2" deep if not more. Drill another small hole at an angle toward the center of the bolt in the threaded area that was under the nut or lock washer. Try to angle this as much as you can toward the head of the bolt. Then drill another hole through the side of the thrust washer (#2) until passing through the inner sleeve of the silent block (#5) and just touching the bolt. The last hole will be done the same way into the thrust washer on the opposite end by the threads of the bolt.

The first two holes are for applying the freeze spray to the bolt using the supplied freeze spray nozzle pipette. Short one second sprays about 5 seconds apart may be a good way to get as much freezing action on the bolt as possible. BE SURE TO USE GLOVES AND EYE PROTECTION when spraying this cryogenic chemical! The idea is to get the bolt as cold as possible so as to shrink the diameter of the bolt, cracking the rust bond between the bolt and the silent block's inner sleeve.

Then, at the two holes in the thrust washers, spray a bit of your favorite penetrating oil (using its nozzle and pipette) into the fracture gaps you have just created in the rust between the bolt and the inner sleeve. Let this sit and soak for a while (as specified in the instructions on the penetrating oil label), and then repeat this whole process a couple times.

This expansion, contraction, and oiling should cause a decent amount of the penetrant to get into the rusted area and may then allow you to apply the pressure effectively on the threaded end of the bolt.

This is probably one of the most confounding rust issues you may encounter with your car. Good luck!

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Oh boy, how much fun would that be with the floor in and the rest of the car above you.

Does the problem still exist? If so, Looking at the bolt, inner sleve and spring eye. Perhaps try putting tension on the bolt and sleve by driving a wedge of some kind in between the spring eye and the eye bracket on the chassis. This should make the spring and sleve want to close the gap at the thread end where the rubber is visable, stressing the bond between the bolt and the inner sleve. With the head of the bolt held by the bracket, a decent nudge from a lump hammer, especially with a little bit of heat. It might be enough to crack the thing free from the inner sleve...........in theory........fingers crossed.

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I finally have almost everything stripped from the frame. Still have the steering gear and the battery box to remove. I have the frame on the cart I built for the body so I can move it around in the garage.

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I sort of resolved the problem of removing the rear passenger side spring bolt as addressed in a previous post. After all else failed, I ground the bolt head off and then tried to drive the shaft of the bolt out of the spring eye. It wouldn't budge, not even with a large sledge. I decided to try the driver side bolt, expecting the worse. First, it losened up much easier than the other side, although I still needed the six foot breaker arm to get it started. Then came the real shock - the bolt started easing out of the mount and came free with almost no effort. Just rotating the bolt with a little side pressure backed it right out.

Now I went back to the problem bolt. No amount of banging would losen it up. I was afraid I was going to bend or break the mount if I wan't careful. I examined the problem and realized that there were two rubber washers - one on each side - between the spring eye and the mount. Both were deteriorated - one was actually gone, which is probably the reason it rusted together. I broke out what was left of the other washer and realized that since the width of the spring was narrower than the width of the inside of the mount, I had enough room to cut through the bolt inside the mount with a cutting disk. I carefully cut through the bolt on the frame side, rotating the bolt to give me a clean side and not force the disk too deep into the bracket opening. I cut about a third of the way in, then stopped and rotated. After multiple cuts I was through. I could now swing the spring free since the bolt head was gone, and with a little wiggling, the spring came out.

As you can see from the photos, what's left of the bolt is still in the spring eye, and I think the only way to get it out is going to be with a hydraulic press.

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At least it's off the frame and I can work on it from both sides.

Now that I have everything stripped away, the amount of restoration I'm going to have to do has hit home. There are a lot of parts to clean, repair and paint! One step at a time is the only way to do it. I remember having the same feeling once I had my 29 Plymouth U apart, but I eventually got the frame and all components looking like new and this will be the same process.

A few of the piles of parts. Most of the suspension, minus the front springs. The front axle needs new kingpins and I plan to replace all bearings and seals, brake cylinders, brake linings and turn the drums.

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The front springs, transmission cross beam and the driveshaft. Everything here looks almost new under all the grease.

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I have yet to explore the rear axle, only time will tell what needs to be done. Certainly all new seals at the very least.

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Money is tight and I hope I'll be able to afford to have the frame blasted and powdercoated. If not, it's a future of lot of elbow grease and a fresh coat of paint.

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Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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Great progress! That spring bolt thing sure is a tough one. That frame looks to be VERY straight. Have you measured it on the diagonal to see if it is square? Are there any kinks to be seen at all on it?

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