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1925 Chrysler Speedster


Carsnz123
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So this is what I have started with, the remains of a 1925 Chrysler that dad bought a couple of months ago. The plan is to make a speedster capable of 150 - 160 Kph (90 - 100 Mph). this is not only going to be a very long term project but also a major learning experience for me as I'm 17 and this is the first time I have fully rebuilt a car.

So what have I got:

An 88 year old rolling Chrysler chassis including someone's crude heavy load rear suspension setup

A mostly disassembled Chrysler Flathead Six minus three rods and pistons but including the six cylinder Bosch magneto

A driveshaft

A gearbox that is minus a few gears and bearings

Two sets of front mud guards (I probably wont use them)

An intact radiator, slightly rotted shell and the winged radiator cap

A set of (as far as I can see) good Nash headlights

A slightly rusty scuttle and door pillars

After my end of year exams finished a week ago I cleared out a bay in the back of the shed, the two front ones already have vintage car in them, and pushed the Chrysler chassis in to strip down in preparation for being sandblasted. Stripping the chassis has proved no easy task with a lot of bolts being seized and cutting them off not being an option and removing the hydraulic lines and documenting where they go. Every nut and blot on the front axle is under a 2cm layer of hard grease and dirt has slowed progress as well.

For the power plant I'm going to use the original flathead six (my idea of a V8 went out the window with dad saying no) modified to produce (I hope) 90+ horsepower. I was thinking bore it out, alloy head (I know that only reduces weight), enlarge the intake and exhaust ports, free flow exhaust headers and I'm undecided whether to up the compression and run a multiple carb setup or supercharge it and run a 4 barrel Holley 350 I guess the price will probably decide.

I cant wait to get it running and road worthy, this is going to be way better than my friends '80s Toyotas.

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Edited by Carsnz123 (see edit history)
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Hey, welcome to the world of rust! Looks like you're off to a great start and I'm sure it will be a learning experience for you! I agree with your dad, a flathead six would be a great choice for motivation. Hot rods with small block Chevys are just belly button cars. Everybody has one and they all start to look the same. If you are planning to cruise this beast at highway speeds, I think good hydraulic brakes (even if it means cheating a little and hiding a power booster under the floor, and yes, I'm going to take flack for that one) and seat belts should be in the plan from square one. Glad to see a teenager looking at something besides rice rockets. Not sure about how much grief you can give that old crankshaft, but if you search Youtube, there is an experimental flathead six with a turbo on it

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Here's a link to one of the 2 vids on the subject.

He's never answered my question about whether or not that turbo was actually engineered for flow through though. Apparently they need different seals. I see what you mean about the butchered rear in your car... guess that's coming off?

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So now that you're drooling over that vid of the turbo six, I have to say I think you'll get on the road much sooner if you focus on getting a relatively stock power train up and running first, and if you still want to modify it, do that later. I've seen aluminum heads for the later Mopar sixes, but I have my doubts about those fitting your current motor. I don't know what availability is like for parts in New Zealand (and you obviously have some experienced restorers handy for advice) but around here it would be much cheaper to pick up a later six in running order than to fix an older one like yours with missing parts. I know that sounds like bad advice to be coming from a site dedicated to restorations, but it's the way life is here. I'm currently dealing on a flathead six and fourspeed out of a 52 Fargo truck that purrs like a kitten for $400 for a future project. I can't rebore an old block for that kind of money. Depends on your budget, parts availability and what you want your finished project to be.

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I'm his dad, and a regular poster here. The engine is definitely 1925, the casting dates are there. We have a few leads on spare engines so would like to do a correct year engine if we can. A later four bearing engine is always a possibilty though. We will see what turns up. The car serial number (36552) does not tie in with literature I have found but is, I think, early 1925 and the engine (serial 60883) is September. There was a cowl attached to the chassis which had Fisher body plates on it which dates it to before mid 1925.

Re the budget; there are also other interests competing for time and family funds; radio controlled model aircraft and Paper Tiger catamarans, so as he said this will be a long term project. Most of the people who have restored cars of this era are of a much older generation and the available parts will be their leftovers.

Edited by nzcarnerd (see edit history)
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Here's a link to one of the 2 vids on the subject.

He's never answered my question about whether or not that turbo was actually engineered for flow through though. Apparently they need different seals. I see what you mean about the butchered rear in your car... guess that's coming off?

Yes that's defiantly coming off. I had the next door neighbour lined up to cut it off with his big disk grinder (the thing kinda scares me especially after he painted KILLER on the side of it) but he fell victim to hay fever and didn't feel up to it. it was very funny because he looked like Rudolph.

With the foreign body removal cancelled I decided to look at the breaks and correct me if I'm wrong but I think this has a built in break bleeding system. Judging from what I have uncovered if you undo the bolt circled on the break piston and turn the handle on the on the on the fluid reservoir it bleeds the breaks for you. The breaks are going to need one hell of a redo before they work again with everything either seized or filled with million year old fluid and water.

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Another thought I had was I could move the engine, radiator and gearbox back by 15 or 20cm to give it a similar look of Tom Laferriere's Buick speedster with the front axle ahead of the radiator and for open road running add an overdrive in the mix if that's possible.

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http://tomlaferriere.com/1922buickspeedster.htm

At the moment this what the car looks like. its 80% stripped all that needs doing is removing the diff, rear suspension, the running board brackets and the model A spring.

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Edited by Carsnz123 (see edit history)
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I have been looking around YouTube and of the likes and it seems that most of the performance parts are made for the later flathead six engines. This engine here

sounds awesome with the straight pipes and dual carbs. I was thinking that a cool setup would be run 3 double barrel carbs and a supercharger like the second video of the turbo one whtbaron mentioned except supercharger rather than turbo as I like the roar of an open pipe rather than the turbo whistle (
). I suppose I would then need to get a later model engine and get the word from the official bill payer.
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I don't have any experience with the earlier six, but I can tell you that the later ones were capable of propelling a full sized sedan at 55 to 60 mph all day and would get 25mpg doing it. They were also well known for doing that for 90to 100,000 miles. My concern is that you will take a very economical and dependable engine that you could enjoy for years and turn it into a grenade... it will be much faster, but it won't last long. A speedster is much lighter than that sedan and being an open car, it will feel faster. Focus on getting a car that runs and stops safely, and worry about the power upgrades later. I think you'll be amazed at what that six cylinder is capable of.

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Ha ha, yes dad agrees. The cheapest way to improve the power to weight ratio is to remove weight.post-59373-143142299395_thumb.jpg

 

It has been proven with the 1926 Pontiac. This pic is two years old and it has had a few improvements since but is not roadworthy yet. By the way this is probably the only surviving right hand drive 1926 Pontiac on Motor Wheel disc wheels - different from the Baker type usually seen on Chevs. I guess it was once a sedan but that is all that there was of it.

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Hey, that's pretty sweet, and the A/C appears to be working very good as well! If you look around this forum you will see a number of discussions on body designs that include the debate between what someone referred to as the "sit in" as opposed to the "sit on" look. Having had some experience with raising 2 teenage boys myself I would have to say I think you should be looking seriously at the "sit in" styling, as much as I think the wide open cars look very cool as well. Glad to hear you're already looking at those brakes... you definitely need good ones. There's also a very good reason those big electric grinders get the names they deserve painted on them. When I was in college I witnessed one launch a piece of broken disc into a cinderblock wall. I personally prefer to use an air operated one. They are slower to work with, but much more forgiving when things go south.

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Dad bought it to my attention that I should share the err... interesting drive for the magneto. So here goes and feel free to stop me if you get lost.

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The Crankshaft(not fitted but labelled)(1) drives the camshaft(2) and an intermediate gear(3) via a chain(couldn't find it). The magneto(4) is then driven off the intermediate by another chain(which I found after I took the photo). The intermediate gear(3 or 9 take your pick) rides on a fully lubricated shaft(7) which is solidly mounted and hollow to allow a flat paddle(8) through that fits into a slot in the generator shaft(6) which in turn drives the generator. The chain that drives the magneto (not pictured) is lubricated by a constant stream of oil coming off the channel(5). The crankshaft/camshaft/intermediate gear chain is lubricated by an oil bath which is filled by the runoff from the shaft(7) and the magneto chain. The oil then drains back into the sump. I think I covered everything, Confused? I am.

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I decided I needed some motivation (and I was a little bored) so I lugged the body parts down from upstairs (totally forgetting I could have used the forklift) and set them up on the chassis and propped a wheel up against it to give some reference of where the front axle might be. I think it looks best with the radiator set back 400mm which means the engine/gearbox will need shifting as well. That also means shortening the driveshaft by a third.

hopefully the chassis will go to the sand blasters next week all that needs to come off is that heavy load thing and the rear suspension.

a small question to people who have done this before, which parts of the front axle setup did you have sandblasted? and did you get the diff done as well?

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Edited by Carsnz123 (see edit history)
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To bleed the brake system you: unscrew the reservoir handle, open a bleeder with a hose on it and the other end in a jar with some brake fluid in it, push the handle down, repeat, repeat, repeat. When all 4 corners are done the handle put the handle back in the locked position.

Your project looks just like the 1926 Model 70 that I just started. My plans are to move the engine back about 3 1/2 inches or 9 cm.

Do you have any plans for a body ?

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Not sure yet what I'm doing about a body but I'm using the panels in post 14 to make it easer rather than starting from scratch. I was going to get a running and driving chassis setup before I do a body. I want to move the driving position back 300 to 400mm and shift the running gear as well so it looks a little better

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Looks like you have a little more room to work with than the average Model T or A project, but be careful how close you get the seat to the back tires or you'll be rubbing your elbows on the tires when you shift, depending on how low the car gets. Also a word or warning about sandblasters. A lot of industrial blasters know nothing about old cars and they use coarse sand with high pressures. Not a big issue with solid parts like axles (although the extra pitting will have you doing more priming and sanding) but it's death on anything made of sheetmetal. Coarse sand will warp it and blow thin spots full of holes. It's best to have them stripped bare because the sand will get into everything (and I do mean everything) and destroy seals and bearings. If you do the diff., have it stripped and plug the holes, and still be prepared to spend some time washing it out very thoroughly. I've been eyeing up a soda blaster that I will have at home just to avoid some of these issues.... slower to work with but it's much more forgiving on the 100 yr old metal. I've also heard of media blasters using plastic chips and walnut shells.

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Looks like you have a little more room to work with than the average Model T or A project, but be careful how close you get the seat to the back tires or you'll be rubbing your elbows on the tires when you shift, depending on how low the car gets. Also a word or warning about sandblasters. A lot of industrial blasters know nothing about old cars and they use coarse sand with high pressures. Not a big issue with solid parts like axles (although the extra pitting will have you doing more priming and sanding) but it's death on anything made of sheetmetal. Coarse sand will warp it and blow thin spots full of holes. It's best to have them stripped bare because the sand will get into everything (and I do mean everything) and destroy seals and bearings. If you do the diff., have it stripped and plug the holes, and still be prepared to spend some time washing it out very thoroughly. I've been eyeing up a soda blaster that I will have at home just to avoid some of these issues.... slower to work with but it's much more forgiving on the 100 yr old metal. I've also heard of media blasters using plastic chips and walnut shells.

After reading this whtbaron I did some research on media blasters and it seems like something worth investing in seeing as there are still plenty of projects lying round here. Soda blasting sounds like a good idea especially as the pellets are water soluble so any spots that they get stuck in can just be wiped with a wet cloth or blasted with a hose in extreme cases.

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It took a few hours of grinding, hammering and a little bit of fire fighting (sparks lit some dry grass next to me. I wasn't watching where they were landing ) but the heavy load spring set someone welded to the chassis is off. I discovered too late that I had only a mostly used grinding disk so getting rid of the rest of the welds is going to wait until I go to the hardware next. I'll remove the metal plates on the diff when I get it apart for cleaning up.

The next job is to take it to one of the tame engineer friends we know and ask him to help shift the engine, gearbox and radiator mounts back and weld up some spots where the chassis has rusted through.

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Edited by Carsnz123 (see edit history)
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Yea, you'll still want the sandblasting option for some of the solid parts... the soda is for the painted sheetmetal. There's also some interesting Utube vids on soaking parts in a 90% water/10%molasses solution for rust removal. Looks promising but I've yet to try it myself, and obviously better suited to smaller parts unless you have access to a very large vat. Those blasters also require a lot of air, so you need a good sized compressor to run them. I have a very small siphon fed blaster that I can use with my 3 HP 9cfm portable, but anything bigger is probably going to require a 2 stage compressor... something on my shopping list for my new heated shop when I'm done construction. Temps here the last few nights have been into the minus 30's so I'm a little jealous that you can still work out in the back yard.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Looking back at your description of the magneto drive made me laugh. Check out some of the variations I found in the early Continental engines listed in that forum:

http://forums.aaca.org/showthread.php?t=361601&p=1238184#post1238184

It was common for the generator to be driven by the timing chain, and in turn, shaft drive the distributer, and water pump towards the rear of the motor.

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  • 3 weeks later...

the last few weeks have been a bit busy with paper tiger nationals over new year, I only got 39th and my younger brother did better with 28th http://www.navalpoint.co.nz/results/NZ_2014_PT_Nationals.htm. A couple of capsizes and the rudder tearing its self out of the back of the boat didn't do me any favours.

Today I went and had a look at a restored 1926 Chrysler and even scored a ride in it. I'll get a video of the ride on youtube soon I just need to do some editing.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Here is a good example of the potential of this Chrysler.

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I saw this car at the Skope Classic this today, its based on a 1929 Chrysler model 62. Its powered by a 1950's 218 Plymouth straight six that's been bored out, had the compression increased, its had rollers put on the camshaft, has a triple carb setup and headers that look awesome. An interesting thing is that you sit with the gearbox between your legs so you shift gears like a tractor.

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Edited by Carsnz123 (see edit history)
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LOL... better not miss a shift! Good looking car from the front, but personally I would have done something different with the tail section. I can see where that partial trunk would give him a little storage space though. It would be interesting to know what was involved with putting roller lifters in.

Edited by whtbaron (see edit history)
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LOL... better not miss a shift! Good looking car from the front, but personally I would have done something different with the tail section. I can see where that partial trunk would give him a little storage space though. It would be interesting to know what was involved with putting roller lifters in.

The trunk happens to be filled up with gas tank so he can go far but has to leave his food and drink behind. I think it looks a little silly on 16" wheels 18" - 20" would look better. The owner said there was a lot of work involved in getting the engine performance up.

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Get any pics of his manifolds?

Unfortunately not. It's very basic though. Each intake port has a length of stainless tube bent at a 90 degree angle with what I think was a Holley 94 on it and the ports are not connected so each carb works on its own to fuel 2 cylinders. Not too difficult to replicate. The car lives locally so if I do a bit of asking around I'll probably find the owner.

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  • 2 months later...

I have just been forwarded a link to this thread after trying to ascertain what sort of Chrysler chassis I have with the 66 body. I have had terrible trouble identifying it in particular the rear suspension mounts. From the pictures in your post it appears I have the identical chassis.

I would really appreciate having a chat with you in particular the centre to centre dimensions of the rear leaf springs. I feel I have the wrong ones as mine are the same length as the spring mounts and your appear shorter.

I would also like to pass on a link to a heap of Chrysler parts here in Australia that I have uncovered when buying my car. Mine is the opposite to your though I have from the chassis up.

Check this link out for parts http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/bankstown/other-parts-accessories/huge-lot-of-1920-s-vintage-car-parts-from-10-see-photos/1045138631

Hope to chat soon

mcgoo

gamcgoo@gmail.com

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If you've got some good pics of your frame, try posting them as a "need help identifying" thread under General Discussions on this forum. You will get a lot more traffic there than the Speedster section and there is a lot of experience around here with old car parts. Include pictures of identifying traits (like your rear suspension) and any parts numbers/serial numbers you can find. Pretty hard to give you an answer until we get a good view of the chassis.

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If you've got some good pics of your frame, try posting them as a "need help identifying" thread under General Discussions on this forum. You will get a lot more traffic there than the Speedster section and there is a lot of experience around here with old car parts. Include pictures of identifying traits (like your rear suspension) and any parts numbers/serial numbers you can find. Pretty hard to give you an answer until we get a good view of the chassis.

Yes thanks for that advice, I have received some great info so far from General Discussions and I was given a link to this thread, which has basically solved my problem of determining what chassis I have. I now have a 1925 chassis with a Holdens Body Chrysler 66 on it. As yet I have been unable to locate a serial number anywhere on the chassis but did discover the Holdens Motor Body Builders plate.

Every bit of info and help is greatly appreciated

McGoo

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I have just been forwarded a link to this thread after trying to ascertain what sort of Chrysler chassis I have with the 66 body. I have had terrible trouble identifying it in particular the rear suspension mounts. From the pictures in your post it appears I have the identical chassis.

I would really appreciate having a chat with you in particular the centre to centre dimensions of the rear leaf springs. I feel I have the wrong ones as mine are the same length as the spring mounts and your appear shorter.

I would also like to pass on a link to a heap of Chrysler parts here in Australia that I have uncovered when buying my car. Mine is the opposite to your though I have from the chassis up.

Check this link out for parts http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/bankstown/other-parts-accessories/huge-lot-of-1920-s-vintage-car-parts-from-10-see-photos/1045138631

Hope to chat soon

mcgoo

gamcgoo@gmail.com

Hey mcgoo it's great to hear the chassis is less of a mystery now. To awnser your question about the rear springs from the front grease nipple to the rear is 1250mm and following the curve of the spring it is 630mm from the front to the diff and 690mm from the diff to the rear of the spring. The serial number is located on the back of the left chassis beam. The 1925 Chrysler numbers ran from 32813 to 55800 so if you find your VIN then you can date it from that. Mine is a early one with a 36000 number.

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Seeing as I'm in a roll posting wise I might as well do an update on my car activities. I discovered one of my neighbours and his friends spend Wednesday nights working on cars so my younger brother and I have been going over there and working on our projects and also giving our 1929 Plymouth a birthday so it is ready to take on a rally through the Irishman creek rally in June. Also I have bought a 1954 230cui dodge truck motor to use as the power plant. It had been sitting for 30 odd years and had light rusting in the bores. I picked up some NOS .030 over pistons up for $20nzd each (bargin) and have dropped them and the block into the machine shop today. The motor was missing the flywheel, clutch stuff, bell housing and water pump so I got a '40s truck motor from the local vcc parts shed to get bits off. All I've got to get is a pump and then I have a complete motor. Ill get some pics up soon. Can't wait to hear the straight 6 roar.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Hey Carsnz,

I am having trouble finding anyone with a 1925 chassis that can help me with the rear suspension setup. Can I ask you to measure the distance between the holes in the rear shackle plates of your car and also how many leaves do your springs have, after chatting with you previously and finding the chassis number, Im now trying to sort the rear suspension set up out. The shackle plates that came with the car are about 9cm centres, which looks to big from all pics I have seen.

I have managed through another thread to get the specifications on the springs and they appear right dimensions and 13 leaves is for a sedan or coach

I have a distance of approx. 40cm from underside of chassis to top of spring is this about right on your car.

Thanks McGoo

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Some pictures as promised.

post-96351-143142548521_thumb.jpg The engine When I bought it home.

post-96351-143142548539_thumb.jpgStripping the engine down for rebuild.

post-96351-143142548558_thumb.jpgI think number 6 piston is a bit buggered but there was no damage to the bore besides the rust.

post-96351-143142548574_thumb.jpg The remains of all 6 top rings

post-96351-143142548609_thumb.jpgThe block back from the machine shop all nice and clean and shiny

post-96351-143142548717_thumb.jpg nos 0.030 over pistons

post-96351-143142548679_thumb.jpg What do these numbers mean? the first pic is the bottom of the oil pump mount, the 2nd and 3rd pics are of the bottom of the block and the last is the intake and exhaust ports.

I'll Measure the springs tomorrow mcgoo.

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Edited by Carsnz123 (see edit history)
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  • 4 months later...

Looks like we're ending up with very similar motors... it looks like mine is a 228 from a 54 Dodge truck. Is that last pic of a number on the upper front left hand side of the block? If that's the block ID number, over here it should start with a T (truck) unless someone swapped it out. Not even sure what that letter is, maybe an M? Over here a T 334 would signify a 218 or 230 with the short 23 inch block. Oddly enough, although it's a smaller motor, my Canadian built 228 is the longer 25 inch block. You making any headway? I'm still trying to get the heated shop ready before winter but it's not looking good... already have snow flurries in the forecast.

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Looks like we're ending up with very similar motors... You making any headway? I'm still trying to get the heated shop ready before winter but it's not looking good... already have snow flurries in the forecast.

Progress is slow but steady whtbaron it all relies on me having spare time and money. as far as i am aware my engine is a T334 and i think someone failed with the 'T' stamp. your engine being a Canadian model will probably be a 25 inch head model and have slightly different bore/stroke measurements to mine I think. I wish I had a heated workshop but summer is coming on here in New Zealand so I wont have to worry about hiking through snow only making sure i don't get sun burnt. My engine is coming together with all the hard stuff done and now all I have to do is bolt the exterior stuff on and hope it doesn't blow up first run!

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the head has been into the machine shop and had 40 thou taken off. my plan is to build headers and a resonant intake manifold that will mount a Holley 450 economizer carb. The carburetor is designed as an economy option for big V8s and can be used as a performance option for smaller sixes around the 230 cui mark. designing the manifold is proving difficult though as the port that feeds 1/2 and 5/6 suck in at 240 then 480 degree intervals where as the port that feeds 3/4 sucks in at 360 degree intervals. Has anyone got some designs they are willing to share and save me the time coming up with my own?

my plan for a gearbox is to use a 1940s Dodge WC or WD transmission, the big gap between first and second should be interesting but with a 3.5:1 diff it should do 175 KPH (110 MPH) at 4000 RPM which I think will be plenty fast enough. it also means that it will cruse at 100 KPH (60 MPH) doing 2300 RPM.

progress is probably going to grind to a halt with end of year exams coming up in the next month ( Yay soon to be rid of school!!!!) and I have to find myself a proper job to fund my projects.

last of all a couple of questions

1, What is this hole for in number 6 combustion chamber? it had a bolt screwed into it from the top but it does not go all the way down.

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2, I have found more numbers stamped on the engine, What do the mean? the first pic is of the machines surface on the far right of the head and the second is on the surface there thermostat housing bolts on.

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Edited by Carsnz123 (see edit history)
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1) Do NOT put a longer bolt in that hole in #6. Originally it would have been a plug, and it's just an inspection hole... the one I'm going to have to remove to find out what my bore is. Any longer with that shaved head and you could hit the top of the piston. I'm not sure who would have access to the info regarding all those casting and assembly numbers, but I doubt they've been used since 1954 aside from the basic engine ID #. If that manifold is holding you back, maybe you could just make an adapter for the 2 barrel to go on the top of the stock manifold for now. I've seen aftermarket manifolds for putting 2 of the original carbs on ( I believe it was a Fenton), but I haven't seen one for a single 2 barrel. The only exception I can think of is the one used on later Cdn. built Dodges, but that would fit the 25" block, not yours.

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