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1928 Chrysler model 52 will not go over 20mph

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I just purchased a 1928 model 52 at an auction. The car has an older restoration and is in very good condition. It starts great. I think it has been sitting for a couple of decades. I changed the oil and checked all the fluids. On a test drive it would only go to 15 mph. I jacked the car up and found the 4 wheel brakes and park brake were extremely tight. I adjusted those and was able to get it up to twenty mph.

Question: What is the normal cruising speed of this car?

Does the spark advance have anything to do with the power issue and how does that work?

Also the car spits out coolant at the end of a drive, is this normal?

I have never owned a car this old and know very little about them so any help would be greatly appreciated.

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I don't know much as to how the spark advance is accomplished on this car but I assure you it can exceed 50 mph. I believe that you are using retarded spark which will cause over heating

To start car retard spark when started advance spark fully.

Al

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You need to purchase an instruction book if you do not have one. The spark advance will definitely determine how fast you go. The number "52" in the model number means the car will do 52 miles per hour.

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so how fast does a Chrysler 300 go?

300mph.....with the right hemi in it...

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You need to purchase an instruction book if you do not have one. The spark advance will definitely determine how fast you go. The number "52" in the model number means the car will do 52 miles per hour.

Thanks for the reply. Do you know where I can buy an instruction book?

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Thanks for the reply. Do you know where I can buy an instruction book?

You can try Ebay. I see them frequently there. You can try Irv Bishko...

http://www.autobooksbishko.com/chrysler.html

http://www.ebay.com/itm/CHRYSLER-1927-Model-52-Instruction-Book-/121242088090?pt=AU_Clothing_Merchandise_Media&hash=item1c3a97729a

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)

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Thanks for the sources. I have found that the spark advance is not hooked up. The lever on the side of the engine was turned around so it would stay in one position retarded. The mechanism running form the bottom of the steering column to the control lever is missing. Now the question becomes is there a source for this, series of parts?

I am feeling a little retarded myself, but am learning.

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In top shape, your car will do 52 or a little more, which is plenty in a car like that. Normal cruising speed 35 or 40.

Spark is normally retarded for starting and can be adjusted to full advance once it is going. It is especially important to retard the spark when cranking by hand as a safety measure. Full advance is the normal running setting. Back in the day, you could back off the spark if the engine knocked or overheated when climbing hills but today's gas is so much better, this is not necessary.

You did the right thing to change the oil and check all fluids. I would go even farther and take off the oil pan and scrape out the sludge, and change the lube in transmission, rear axle, brake fluid, steering box, etc etc and lubricate everything.

There is no overflow jug, when the rad gets hot expansion will force water out. For this reason, you are supposed to leave 2 or 3 inches of air space at the top of the rad.

As for the speed. How is the oil pressure? compression? Spark? Is the carburetor opening fully at full throttle? I would go over the ignition, make sure the sparks are sparking at the right time, possibly clean the carburetor and then, go for some drives. Start by tooling around the neighborhood for a few miles. Work your way up to a 10 mile drive. Then 20, 30, etc until you can go out for a Saturday trip of 50 or 100 miles. You may find the engine runs better and better, stops burning oil, and develops more power as it runs more. You really need to get the engine fully warm and drive for a while to free up sticky rings, valves, etc.

Some Redex, Marvel Mystery Oil, Bardahl or similar in the crankcase and gas tank might help.

If the engine shows signs of stress, overheating, knocking or banging, STOP and get towed home.

If the engine does not come back to life in a reasonable time, do a compression test and see what is the matter.

Chances are it will run like a champion given some sympathy. But it may need a little work. If it starts and runs halfway decent, and has good oil pressure, there is a good chance all it needs is some running time.

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If it has been out of commission that long I would take the brakes apart, replace the rubbers and fluid and inspect for rust on general principles. Also make sure the handbrake is working at peak efficiency.

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My Dodge DC doesn't run well when started on a cold day. It will barely do more than idle - so it is only running on the idle jet. The problem is icing in the carburettor below the venturi. The exhaust heat valve is not connected - the lever is missing. So I run it for five minutes to warm up a little, shut down, go inside and get my lunch or whatever, and when I come back it has all warmed up and there is no more problem. A cold day is when it is less than about 10 deg. C.

Any chance this might be part of your problem?

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Thanks for the sources. I have found that the spark advance is not hooked up. The lever on the side of the engine was turned around so it would stay in one position retarded. The mechanism running form the bottom of the steering column to the control lever is missing. Now the question becomes is there a source for this, series of parts?

I am feeling a little retarded myself, but am learning.

As a temporary measure you might get a choke cable from the auto parts store and hook it up to the spark advance or maybe a lawn mower throttle lever. Anything to allow you to advance and retard the spark until you can get the right parts.

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