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Re introduction 1933 Dodge - can't we all get along


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Let me start off by saying that when I originally got onto this forum in the beginning of 2018, I had just picked up my 1933 Dodge DP 6 that I found in a Barn that sat for 27 years and I made comments about how I planned to rip out the 230 Flathead 6, put in a Dodge 360 with new running gear and rear end, put new suspension on it to lower the stance and basically go for the FULL BLOWN HOTROD LOOK because well lets face it, it is a great platform to work with for a good looking hotrod. 

 

most of the comments on the AACA Forum were "don't ruin a survivor, leave it be, drive it and enjoy it" and for all accounts my primary goal while I stacked parts has been to drive it, fix the issues and cruise it around to local shows. 

 

Well now it has been 6 months and the car runs and drives great, I have won 2 awards "Best Vintage & Best of show at a local cruise night". and while I only go about 55 MPH (speedometer not correct so I always thought it was 35MPH but GPS says 50-55) I have decided that I will be keeping the 230 Flathead 6 for the look of the vintage old car, which I plan to rebuild in the winter and will not be lowering the car because the gangster look with the 4" white walls all work out with the stock stance. 

 

as for the drive train, I may swap out the rear end "I will keep old rear end" to get some speed for freeway travel and distance to shows, wineries, and events that are a bit further than a 55 MPH car can get me. 

 

I did come on here to get info and a lot of you have some good info. but I do want to say that while many are not open to the ideas of ANY CHANGE due to being 100% purists, I do feel that a bit of upkeep and upgrade is required on these old cars. so we will have to agree to disagree. I do want to say that I may have been a bit hostile in the beginning because as a person who has never owned an old car that is in such pristine condition, it can be frustrating to have a regular conversation with people about this or that when the only opinions that are thrown at me were do not do this or that.

 

so THAT being said, I am back on here and look forward to hopefully having some constructive conversations with you all in the near future. 

20180519_135850.jpg

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Beautiful car.  Could you put a later WPC tranny with an overdrive in it.  Lots of people with "CCCA" classics have gone the overdrive way with aftermarket units.  At least with a Dodge there were factory O/D's in the later 30's.

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Car engine has been swapped somewhere in the 85 years since its berth. I plan to keep it with the flat head 6, but since it is not NUMBERS MATCHING original, I plan to pump up the 230 with dual carb's, cam, headers, and make it look clean and neat. 

 

I need to find a transmission, the only idea I have found so far is find a 82-88 T5 out of an S10. 

OR

Swap out the rear end with a Ford 9" with better gears so I can cruise on the highway with a bit more speed. 

 

any opinions on that would be helpful since finding an old transmission with OD seems to be really hard to find. 

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I've heard that that a late 1930s DeSoto overdrive transmission is an easy (no cutting, machining, etc.) fit. Apparently you can swap the top cover and shift lever of that transmission with the original one. Then use the freewheeling control cable for the overdrive control. If all that is true then it would be a whole lot easier than fitting a T5 and you'd save having to worry about coming up with another way to get a parking brake.

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Just a word of warning... if you are in hilly country you might regret changing the diff ratio. I have had larger tires on my 1930 Dodge and it was good for speed and gas mileage, but not so good on the hills. With the correct tires it flies up the hills (and drinks the juice coz it is fun zooming up the hills). Your car has a little more power than mine and may not be affected as much, but it will be affected.

 

The overdrive doesn't give a penalty on the hills.

 

Did the Chryco cars with o/d have different diff ratios in them? My 1939 Studebaker would have a 4.55:1 standard and 4.82:1 w. o/d..

 

BTW, your car looks really smart. Love it! It has a long and low look already.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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I live in San Diego, not many hills to worry about, however driving the flat freeway would be nice at a speed fast enough to not have to plan an extra 1/2 hour + on any trip, also these idiots in California who drive on your butt while I cruise 50MPH are gona cause me to stop on the high way and choke a dude out because most new car owners dont understand our cars are classic and drive slower than their prius. 

 

If anyone knows weather I should leave 3 speed tranny and just do rear end or visa versa that would help. I think my rear end gears are 4.30 ratio and 3:55 would do better or maybe lower gearing

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If the 33 has the same type of Floating Power that my 32 has, putting in a different transmission may be a lot more difficult than you think.  My motor and transmission, as a unit, are suspended by two rubber mounts, one at the front of the engine and one at the rear of the transmission, on the free wheeling extension.  The bellhousing floats free, supported by a rubber pad on a removable crossmember.  The bellhousing does not attach to the frame with the usual ears found on most cars.  Trying to put something like a T-5 in is going to take some really creative engineering.  You would have to design a rear cradle rubber mount with the correct durometer rating that attached to the removable transmission cross piece, and the cross piece would probably have to be rebuilt or entirely redesigned and fabricated.  The Dodge 32 Floating Power has the entire motor and trans floating on rubber in a manner totally different than conventional  mounting systems and is not conducive to trans swaps.

Edited by Taylormade (see edit history)
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EDIT: Just saw Ply33's reply. Look into that!

 

Ok, well.... I'm gonna have to go on a few assumptions because I haven't seen under your car. I am also going from the point of view of changing as little as possible. That is because I have been investigating all these possibilities for my Pontiac, And I really like the Pontiac, and want to change it as little as possible, but my gears are just too low. You, I suspect, are at a huge advantage because I believe you have an open driveline. Also, Chrysler products had overdrive available quite early. This opens up some possibilities for you that just don't exist for me.

 

Lets start with overdrive. Overdrive is better. It just is. You have another gear, and 3 gears is far from ideal if you want to go modern highway speeds. It is common in Mopars just a little newer than yours to swap in a transmission with Overdrive. As I understand it, all you have to do is shorten the driveline.  Early transmissions like this with overdrive can be a bit hard to find. In the mid 30s, a Mopar transmission has shifter located WAY forward. They look like this: 

 

DSC05108.jpeg.06b53a15c47b4906b365032c31

 

As you can see, the shifter is eating into the bellhousing area. The emergency brake, not shown in that picture, is probably on the back of the transmission. I know of no other transmissions that look like this. If your transmission looks like this, there is a good possibility that you could get an early (1936-37?) Mopar overdrive trans in without much trouble. These overdrives are completely mechanical, and upshiift when they upshift. It wasn't as good as what followed, but WAY better than no overdrive. (Edit: Taylormade just posted about floating power. More investigation needed there.)

 

The next thing to come along was the overdrive everyone knows, with electrical controls. These are generally on the back of the BorgWarner T-95, T-96, a Mopar trans I don't know the ID of, and the Chevrolet/Saginaw 3 speed. This sort of overdrive is the greatest thing that ever happened to underpowered cars in my opinion. I could probably go on for paragraphs why... The trouble is, by the time they went to this, American cars had gone to column shift, and no floorshift examples exist. The only one that even has a top cover is the T-96. It is possible to convert a T-96 using a top cover from some other Borg Warner transmission, probably a Jeep. Not all combinations work. On some, the sliding parts of the shifter foul the overdrive case. You also have to leave part of the old side shift mechanism in place, as well as a cut off part of one of the old shift forks. It has been done successfully. Look around on the Studebaker Drivers Club forums. Here is a picture of a converted one.

 

IMG_0369.jpg

 

As you can see the shifter is back at the center (or slightly back) of the main transmission case. That may or may not help depending on how it is now. The overdrive adds length. Make sure you have room. There is also the e-brake (and potentially floating power) to deal with. It would also have to be adapted to the bellhousing and clutch (I think). There could be a fair amount of machine work here.

 

Keep in mind the T-96 is a light duty trans. Any of the others with this kind of overdrive are locked into the side-shift idea, and so you would need to have something like a Hurst shifter way back and to the left (or something else that works with a side shift transmission). It is likely to be WAY back.

 

Then there is the T-5. These are wonderful transmissions, 5 gears, Overdrive on fifth, lots of choices for gear ratios depending on which transmission you pick. You would have to adapt to the bellhousing and clutch. No doubt someone has done it, Aftermarket parts may exist. One potential gotcha: some of them are set up for an electronic speedometer possibly leaving you without a speedometer. Usually the S-10 case is used for old car conversions, as the shifter is the furthest forward and least likely to come up underneath the seat, but even it is quite a bit further back than you may want. It looks like this:

 

GW368H270

 

Yes, that is as far forward as you can get with a T-5. There is still the e-brake and or floating power to deal with. Four wheel drive rear cases exist for Jeep and S-10, the Jeep ones are way shorter in the tail, but are pretty much used up and impossible to get. They also required quite a bit of machine work to be usable at all. The S-10 is a lot easier to find, but is much longer. Both are used in conversions for torque tube cars (Chevrolet, etc.), so they arent just laying everywhere. It might get you a place to mount the e-brake? Not sure. You would have to set up the rear bearing/yoke/seal somehow If you went that route, more machine work....

 

S-10 s-l300.jpg

 

Jeep s-l300.jpg

 

Of course you could just change the rear axle to fix the e-brake problem, but then you wouldn't need to change the transmission.

 

Another possibility is a Mitchell Overdrive. These are cool little 2-speed (direct and overdrive) transmission you can purchase off the shelf for open driveline cars. This is a great idea. The only thing is, since it is an open driveline car, you would have to mount it in such a way that it did not transfer driveline (or overdrive) noise into the car.

 

Rearends in another post....

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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2 hours ago, Sactownog said:

Did they make replacement gears for 33 dodge back then

 

In your case, I would figure out EXACTLY what your axle is, how long it was in production, and hope that there is some newer car using the same axle design that had higher gears because it has smaller wheels. Off the shelf high gears were rare or non-existant because everyone drove slower back then, and they liked to always stay in high gear. Changing rear axle gears is the best way (other than an overdrive) if the parts exist. I won't hold my breath.

 

If you are going to change the whole rear axle (pretty easy in an open driveline leaf spring car), I would use a dropout-type rearend, but I would not use a 9 inch Ford. Any ratio is available, that is good, but they have a lot of pinion offset, and there is more drag than some other rearends. They also weigh a ton. There is an 8 inch ford axle with a ton of aftermarket support. I have not used it, but probably a better choice on a car with a little flathead 6.

 

Do not discount the 8 3/4 Mopar. Yes, they are more expensive. They are also smaller than a 9 inch ford and have less drag.

 

Either way you are probably looking at a custom housing and axles. Maybe not, but all Mopars from the 8 3/4 era have the whole engine and drivetrain set to the right in the car. I think Fords were like this as well. With a stock housing, even if you find something that almost fits, the driveline will probably be running at a goofy angle. That isn't the end of the world unless it hits a frame tunnel or something like that. Just make sure the u-joint angles are equal and opposite, plus a degree or two extra at the axle end to compensate for spring deflection under load. There is also the matter of your wheels. How do they attach? Wheel lugs? Is it the same bolt pattern as later Ford/Mopar?

 

For completeness I should mention that GM made a fairly stout dropout rearend from about 58-64 for Pontiac and Olds. It weighs more (I think) than the Mopar 8 3/4, and has less drag (I think) than any of them. Available ratios are fewer, and parts are expensive. This isn't likely to be a good choice unless it happened to be the right width, gear ratio, bolt pattern, etc.

 

P.S. that is a gorgeous car.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Studebaker Commander in 1939 had six gearbox choices! Yes, it is a real mess sorting it out in the parts book.

 

The first was the tail end of the 1938 box, standard and with o.d. - no kickdown though.

 

The third and fourth were the 1939 box with and w/o o.d., floor shift. I have an overdrive box like that. The fifth and sixth were the same boxes with column shift. But they weren't all the same either; some of the column shift boxes still had the floor shift upstand cast in the box but blanked off.

 

These Studebaker gearboxes we "on their side" and had the hand brake on the rear wheels. This lying down configuration meant the floor could be lower with no tunnel. They are all T88 gearboxes as was the 1938 box, although 2nd gear and the main shaft are different. I think the governor came in the 1940 o.d.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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If you are in San Diego (as I am), sign up for the event in Vista, first Sunday in August.  About 300 cars show up and they close up the old downtown streets.  While they call it the Vista 'Rod Run', lots of restored and lightly modified cars show up.  Good family event and opportunity to swap stories with owners.  Contact the Vista Village Association to sign up.  I will have your 33's cousin, my 34 PE four-door sedan, with side mounts, in attendance and would be glad to talk Mopar with you.  SMB

smb34pe.jpg

1934-Plymouth-2.jpg

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1 hour ago, Scott Bonesteel said:

If you are in San Diego (as I am), sign up for the event in Vista, first Sunday in August.  About 300 cars show up and they close up the old downtown streets.  While they call it the Vista 'Rod Run', lots of restored and lightly modified cars show up.  Good family event and opportunity to swap stories with owners.  Contact the Vista Village Association to sign up.  I will have your 33's cousin, my 34 PE four-door sedan, with side mounts, in attendance and would be glad to talk Mopar with you.  SMB

smb34pe.jpg

1934-Plymouth-2.jpg

for sure I would like to talk with you, 

I am looking forward to the Vista Rod Run, I go every year, never had an old car like ours to take to it so my old custom truck always sat out on the street, now I plan to get there early and grab a good spot. I would be happy to meet with you. 

 

what part of San Diego are you in? I live in Oceanside. 

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1 hour ago, Spinneyhill said:

You may need to get the drive shaft that goes with that 1936 o.d. transmission. It will be shorter and may fit your car with the o.d.

is this transmission a direct bolt in? if so I would want to find one, I have been told I need a 38 or 39 from a chrysler or Dosoto. but I am open to all options to add a bit of speed and some syncro's to my drive, its a pain to only go max 45mph. 

 

I also am going to upgrade the brakes to Disk for the piece of mind that I can stop. 

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Disc brakes are fine, but remember the main thing....you only have about 4" of tread in each corner and THAT will determine how fast you actually stop. My 1931 DH6 stops on a nickel with the original brakes. Oops....here I go telling you to not change it up. Sorry.

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5 minutes ago, keiser31 said:

Disc brakes are fine, but remember the main thing....you only have about 4" of tread in each corner and THAT will determine how fast you actually stop. My 1931 DH6 stops on a nickel with the original brakes. Oops....here I go telling you to not change it up. Sorry.

how do you stop so well on Drum Brakes? mine have to be pumped (I have bleed them 3 times) and I still feel like I cant stop for anything unless I plan for it. I may just be used to disk brakes in my normal new car's but the Drums are scary at times and I have a family to keep safe. 

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3 minutes ago, Sactownog said:

how do you stop so well on Drum Brakes? mine have to be pumped (I have bleed them 3 times) and I still feel like I cant stop for anything unless I plan for it. I may just be used to disk brakes in my normal new car's but the Drums are scary at times and I have a family to keep safe. 

If I had wider tires, I could stop on a DIME! Maybe I should change it up to something like this?

180202_3672973341897_225010269_n.jpg

Edited by keiser31 (see edit history)
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A few years ago I put a 26% Mitchell OD in my 1925 Pierce Series 80 sedan with a 4.88 gearset.  This is a car with a 3,000 rpm redline.  It was comfortable at 36-37 mph, screaming at 40-41.  Now the final drive ratio is 3.61 and I cruise comfortably at 48-49.  Made it a totally different car!  If you did the same 26% Mitchell ratio, your 4.30s would become 3.18.  The OD itself is synchromesh.

 

You hang it behind your transmission and have two short driveshafts made up.  As Bloo mentions, they can be noisy in OD, not in direct, but if you only use OD above 35 mph in a pre-1938 car, you probably will never hear it.

 

If you're thinking seriously about a Mitchell, PM me for a discussion of controls to use.  Short version:  I had them drill the case for a flipped mounting so that the push-pull was on the right side.  Then a friend fabricated linkage to come into the passenger cabin through the floor-mounted hand brake slot.  Looks like a transfer case lever, so not stock in appearance, but VERY handy to use.  Their control cables are too thick and clunky, IMHO, so if I was going to use that method, I'd (1) use a hood release handle and bracket for a 1949-52 MoPaR with (2) a marine cable much stronger than a Bowden cable but not as large in diameter as the cables Mitchell sells.

 

Mitchell Manufacturing, Colusa, CA. I have no connection with them other than as a VERY happy customer.  Developed for Model As but beta-tested in a Chev 454 DRW pickup by the late Mr. Mitchell.

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In theory, drum brakes stop much better and more efficiently than discs because they have a larger contact area. They fall down because they cannot dissipate the heat quickly enough. Where discs prove MUCH better is in multiple stops and frequent use, or stops from very high speed. Many years ago, the drum brakes on my 57 Customline were absolutely brilliant for average use, but I distinctly remember trying to stop quickly from 100 MPH once. 100 to 40 MPH was fine but by then they were so hot that nothing else happened and it seemed to take forever to stop completely.

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I understand that this discussion can be productive, or it can be problematic, as AACA is about Restoration and Preservation of cars as they were originally manufactured. AACA does have a class for cars with bolt on modifications, the Driver Participation Class. The modifications being discussed in this are appropriate for DPC. 

 

There have also been some posts here that indicate that some inappropriate private messages have been received from some members. Typically, we don't allow private messages being revealed on the open forum. As such, those posts are removed as they have been in this discussion. 

 

If abusive messages are received, you can hit the report button on the private messages, which then allows the moderators to see the reported content and take appropriate action for any forum rule infractions in the reported private message(s). It is important for folks who want to talk about modifying cars to be polite and understand that the primary focus of AACA is restoration or preservation of cars as manufactured. It is also important for all of the forum members to remember to be polite in responding to any post, even if the person has expressed an interest in hotrodding an original car. It all boils down to the basic premise that this place is supposed to be a "G rated" family friendly forum for people interested in the Antique Automobile hobby. Please remember to play nice. If you can't say anything nice, it is usually best to say nothing at all.

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I don’t want to sound like the crabby old man yelling to the neighborhood kids to get off his lawn, but half the fun of owning a vintage vehicle is experiencing what it was like to drive one of these old buggies back in the day.  Trying to take halfway measures to make the car “drivable” usually results in a bad experience for the driver and the car.  These Dodges have Lockheed brakes.  If adjusted properly and up to specifications, they stop the car very nicely.  If you have to pump the brakes three times just to stop the car, there is something wrong with your brakes.  Are they adjusted properly?  Are the linings worn or oil saturated?   Are the drums worn?  Have you checked the lines and fittings?  Are the master cylinder and wheel cylinders smooth inside and leak free?  Are the rubber fittings soft and pliable?  How long since the fluid has been drained and replaced with fresh fluid?  You’re going to have to do all this if you plan on installing disk brakes anyway, so why not do it now and see what happens? 

 

To expect a car car of this age to perform like a modern car is ridiculous.  Ever seen the lube chart for your Dodge?  I’ve spent many an afternoon under my car lubing the dozens of fittings on all manner of moving parts.  There are no sealed bearings or permanently lubed parts on these cars.  You don’t get in and drive them 30,000 miles with no maintenance.  As I’ve tried to point out, you don’t just slap on a set of disk brakes in a couple of hours.  Although there are partial kits for later Mopars, I don’t believe there are any for our earlier cars.  So, be prepared to do an extensive search for a disk setup that will work on your car - correct diameter, stopping power, calipers - then find a machine shop that can cut out and drill your brake supports - after you’ve designed them and made up the cad drawings.  Then chose your master cylinder - after you have designed your new mounting system and how it will connect the the pedal.  After fabricating the new mounts and pedal linkage, properly shield the area and weld the mounts to the frame - after cutting off the old mounts and destroying the old system.  Now fabricate and install new brake lines since the old lines will no longer fit your new configuration.  Don’t forget to fabricate and install the mount for the proportioning valve you’ll need to keep proper balance between the front disks and rear drums.  Then take the car out and experiment, adjusting the valve until you get the braking correct.  After all this you may get marginally better braking which will still be limited to those four inch tire treads.

 

in my experience, unless you are a good fabricator, welder and designer, or have an excellent hot rod shop in the area, many of these “update projects” end up with the car sitting in the garage half apart until the owner loses interest and sells it as a project.  You seem to genuinely enjoy driving your Dodge.  Use it as it was meant to be used,  maintain the original systems and get them to spec if something is worn out or malfunctioning.  My 32 was my first car.  I bought it in 1965 and drove it daily up in Syracuse, New York during bitterly hard winters, deep snow and icy roads.  It always started and ran just fine.  It was my daily driver, all original and I wouldn’t (and haven’t) changed a thing, and I’m glad of it.

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http://www.srpmstreetrods.com/srpm/1933-34-dodge-plymouth-car-truck-front-disc-brake-conversion-kit-40288be855af76f9015604c064b1073f-p.html

 

this is the brake kit I would use, it is simple kit to swap to disk brakes. 

 

I do have to pump my brake 1-3 times to get proper pressure in the lines. I have been trying to figure this out for a month or so now, car stops but for sure does not brake well at all. 

 

the rear brakes were wet with rear end grease due to the outer seals going bad, I have only found 1 seal, I need to find the other, which is NONEXISTANT and is 99% the reason why I am looking into changing the rear end along with the gearing. because I don't want to spend my life looking for outer seals that may be NOS if someone maybe has them but most likely does not. 

 

what do you think the braking distance should be with 100% proper 4 wheel drum brakes VS front DISK brakes? 

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20 hours ago, Scott Bonesteel said:

If you are in San Diego (as I am), sign up for the event in Vista, first Sunday in August.  About 300 cars show up and they close up the old downtown streets.  While they call it the Vista 'Rod Run', lots of restored and lightly modified cars show up.  Good family event and opportunity to swap stories with owners.  Contact the Vista Village Association to sign up.  I will have your 33's cousin, my 34 PE four-door sedan, with side mounts, in attendance and would be glad to talk Mopar with you.  SMB

 

Good to know about that. I'll be out of the country this at that time this summer. But maybe I can drive my '33 Plymouth down next year.

 

17 hours ago, Sactownog said:

how do you stop so well on Drum Brakes? mine have to be pumped (I have bleed them 3 times) and I still feel like I cant stop for anything unless I plan for it. I may just be used to disk brakes in my normal new car's but the Drums are scary at times and I have a family to keep safe. 

 

Original drums, in good repair and adjustment, should be able to lock up the wheels if mounted with the original skinny tires. Probably not strong enough to lock up newer tires with a larger pavement contact pattern. A larger friction area on the brakes, either larger drums or going to discs would probably be needed to lock up fat tires.

 

The real issue with drum brakes is fade: The brakes become less effective when then heat up. If the drums are properly sized the only time that should be an issue is in rally or race driving. Or maybe if you drive like a maniac bouncing between full throttle and full brake on the freeways.

 

However Lockheed drum brakes are very sensitive to bad adjustment. It is possible to adjust them without proper tools but takes some time. They are best if the shoes are arc'd to the drums and installed/adjusted with the proper tooling.

 

I've got an Ammco 1750 adjustment tool. I also have, I think, some of the sticky back sand paper I used to arc my shoes (put the paper inside the drum and rub the shoes until there is continuous contact). PM or email me and we can work out a date where I can come on down to Oceanside and go over your brake adjustment.

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I have just replaced the inner and outer seals on my 1930 Dodge Brothers 8. The inner seals were found by size. They are NAK brand if I remember rightly and the part number is the size. Yours may be the same - do they have the same part number? The outer seals only keep the grease in, not diff oil and I replaced them too. The old leather seals were pulled out of the housing and a modern seal pressed in. The inner seal is a modern lip seal too. The reason my seals were shot is because the bearings were shot and allowed axle lateral movement the seals are not designed to deal with. Yours is likely to be like that too.

 

Have you read Taylormade's topic on Daphne? Read the bit about his rear axle reburbishment and learn from that. I expect yours will be pretty similar.

 

When the service men test the brakes on my 1930 Dodge Brothers, on the rollers, they always express surprise at how good the brakes are. The are in good adjustment and have fresh fluid. Remember there are two adjustments with our brakes, the fixed anchors and the upper shoe adjustment. This is discussed in various places on these fora, including in Daphne's story.

Edited by Spinneyhill (see edit history)
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That looks like a quality kit, but you’re going to be close to 900 bucks once you buy all the accessories that are not included.  You can totally rebuild your original system for a little over a third of that.  There are virtually no mechanical parts that are not available for your car.  Ask me anytime - I’ve replaced all of mine. ?

 

l guess most of us really admire your car and would prefer to see it kept as original as possible.  Still, you don’t have the original motor, so I guess it’s a bit hypocritical to insist on total originality.  A different axle ratio will get you a better top speed, but you will labor in hilly country.  A different axle will cost more than a rebuild of your current axle, and you may have to rebuild the axle you pull out of the junkyard anyway.  Then there is cutting off the spring hanger pads and welding on correctly spaced pads.  Then the adapters to match your wheel bolt patterns.  You’ll probably have close to two grand spent for a marginal increase in top speed, slightly better braking, sluggish starts and poor performance on hills.  Or spend five or six hundred bucks to rebuild the original brakes and rear axle.  I’m signing off on this argument.  You’ll do what you feel is necessary and right in the long run.   Feel free to ask any questions about your original stuff and I’ll be glad to chime in if I can help.

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13 hours ago, Sactownog said:

 

what do you think the braking distance should be with 100% proper 4 wheel drum brakes VS front DISK brakes? 

 

With your current tires, I don’t think there would be a noticeable difference.  I could always easily lock up my wheels with the original brakes.  If you have grease on the pads, there’s a big part of your problem.  If you have grease on the rear pads, the front disks are not going to help much - time for a reline of the shoes, which any good brake shop can do.  Or you can rivet them on yourself.

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14 hours ago, Sactownog said:

what do you think the braking distance should be with 100% proper 4 wheel drum brakes VS front DISK brakes? 

 

No difference. There could be a slight delay in the drums if you had floating anchor brakes, but you don't. The limiting factors on these old cars, at least for the first stab (the sudden panic stop during normal driving) are the tires, and the suspension geometry. The contact patch is small, and the tires are most likely bias. There is no anti-dive if you have a straight axle. The situation could be better if you have an independent suspension, but often isn't.

 

There could be an issue of having to stand on them kind of hard if you put stickier tires on than original. It is possible some cars might need a change in the hydraulic ratio, usually done by changing the master cylinder bore (slightly smaller). That has to be worked out on a disc system as well, also pedal ratio if you add a booster. I have a rusty old truck that I screwed that part up on when I converted it to disc in 1987. I really thought I had done all the math right. I see threads about disc conversions all over the place, and hardly any about how to get all the ratios right on the first try. I guess most people must just keep buying more parts until it works.

 

The difference with discs comes in fade resistance. An old car that is geared for 45mph, as you have probably noticed, when you let off on the gas there is a lot of engine braking. It is like being in second in a more modern car. If the engine is doing a lot of the braking, you wont get the brakes as hot, and they will last longer before they go away. It is definitely something to consider when you are gearing a car to go faster. Not only will it need to stop from a higher speed, but there will be less engine braking so you will use them more. Some cars have better drum brakes than others, so it may or may not be a big deal. Lockheed brakes, as I believe you have, were used up until 1962 by Chrysler, on a bunch of Hemis and so on, so they were adequate for that. How big they are matters a lot, as does drum material. Cast iron is better. Sheetmetal drums fade much faster.

 

If it were me, I would get the brakes really working right, get them hot and see what happens. If it is ok, try them out (carefully) in the mountains.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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I’m proud of you for staying stock, brother. Once you learn of the quality of Chrysler engineering of the day, it’s gives you confidence in the way it was. These cars need very little to be competent, roadable vehicles today. Learn everything you can about brake adjustment to get your car to stop well. My 36 does great but I had to figure it out by digging though internet and old charts to do a complete job. Keep the faith.

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