Sactownog

dang it the PURIST IN ME came out. now I cant decide.

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I knew there was no better place to vent than the PURIST NATION OF CAR'S the AACA web site. 

 

no one in these chat rooms like to hear that some guy who found a barn find all original car has decided to rip out the ORIGINAL anything and put in something modern. 

 

god forbid someone take the original motor out and put a fuel injected modern car and throw it in a 30s car. that is blasphemy.

 

however.

 

tonight while surveying my 1933 Dodge DP 6 which I found in a barn after 27 years as an all original car (motor is 1953 230 flathead) and goes a MAX of 60 mph  due to the 3 speed transmission. 

 

well, I have the feeling (after 3 glasses of whiskey) that the original transmission, drive line, and rear end should stay. 

 

A mostly all original car is very hard to find and no matter how long I keep this car, it will always go up in value (I hope). 

 

so I guess I want to vent, but I also want to get thoughts from others who have the original 3 speed transmissions and see what your thoughts are? 

 

my plan's have been for a few months to swap out the 3 speed and throw a 5 speed chevy T5 in with a new rear end. 

 

but as I sit next to my car in my man cave, watching old barn find video's, I wonder. isn't the car all original (as much as possible) be better than ripping out the tranny/drive line/and rear end and replacing it with updated material.  

 

or do you bite the modern bullet and get what is needed to drive 15-25 miles faster on the freeway....

 

thanks for listening. (the modern hot rod custom guy) 

 

 

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These are my thoughts only and what you do with them is entirely up to you. It is also your car, so what you do with IT is also entirely up to you. We live in different countries (Australia), although I am not sure that is relevant either.

Many, many years ago (like 46), I thought I wanted to build a Hot Rod. I hunted around for some time for something suitable to start with and eventually bought my DA Dodge. When I got it home and had a good look at it, I decided then and there that it would be restored, not rodded. I made that decision because I recognised that the Dodge was a “better” class of car (being a Budd body) than other locally built cars, including the Richards DA’s, with better upholstery, nicer door handles, etc. I also recognised that if I built a rod, it would never be as good a road car as the NEW car that I had recently bought (351 Ford Fairmont) and nothing has changed in those 46 years, except that new cars have got better and safer.

I have had a few “historic” vehicles over the years of varying ages and enjoy them for what they are, not what I could make them. For example, I currently have on the road, a 1976 Ford Fairmont. It has a horrible thin rimed steering wheel and vague power steering, both these things I could fix. But I don’t want to. When I go for a drive, it is like the (new) car I had all those years ago that prompted me to get the Dodge and THAT is what I want to remember and experience again.

A few years ago I had a historic pommy sporting car (1972 Reliant Scimitar) that went and handled very well. I really enjoyed driving it, particularly on winding hilly roads. Then the powers that be kept lowering the speed limits on those roads until I thought it only a matter of time before I got caught going quicker than THEY thought I should. So I sold it to remove the temptation.

So now if I want to drive something historic, I want to do so in something that represents what that car was all about when new. If I want to drive safely, comfortably, quietly and a quickly as I am allowed to (more or less!), I drive my wife’s current model Subaru.

Anyway, that’s what I think.

Best wishes and good luck with whatever you decide.

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I applaud your decision to stick with the original drivetrain.  I will certainly be doing that with my 1936 D2, assuming I ever get it driveable.  LOL

 

I look at an old car as a package and all of its parts should work together.  When you start changing parts of the package, especially using technology MUCH newer than the original stuff, you've changed the essence of the whole thing.  Add a more modern drivetrain to your car and it will go faster but how will the brakes and handling react to that increased speed?

 

As for changing just the transmission, that likely wouldn't be such a simple solution.  A lot of engineering thought goes into choosing the transmission gear ratios and making sure they work with the vehicle weight, tire size, engine power band, final drive ratio, etc.  An overdrive transmission may do no good if the engine doesn't generate the power necessary to take advantage of that overdrive.

 

When I drive an antique or classic car I want to experience what the car was like when it was new (or as close to that as I can get).  That's the joy of driving an old car, at least to me.

 

I can understand your frustration at your 33's top speed if you drive it on modern freeways a lot.  You are likely putting yourself and your car in danger by running it at maximum speed and still not blending into traffic.  To modernize the drivetrain to go faster probably isn't the answer, at least IMO.  I wouldn't want to make a panic stop at 70 or 75 mph in a 1933 anything if I was driving in freeway traffic.  My D2 will be driven regularly but mostly around town here in SE PA and that means a lot of 25 mph - 45 mph driving.  There may occasional jaunts at highway speeds but almost certainly not "rush hour" traffic.  I've seen pictures of what happens to a 1930s car when it collides with a modern car at high speed and it's not pretty.

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There is an old saying.  "its only original once".

If you have the hankering to build  Hot Rod find an abandoned project, That's what I do.

Then someone else has already done the damage.

I am like you, I like to keep up the speed.

But more and more I see the journey just as much or even more fun than the destination.

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I love old cars. I love the feel of driving old cars. I love it when they challenge me to fix them correctly. Once you install a modern drive train, you will not get the "old car" feel. Sure, you will look great in your old "looking" car, but the feel is so different than an old car. Sometimes the challenges make it very difficult to get through, such as finding the correct old parts to fix it. I drive my 1931 Dodge Brothers coupe. It has the original stuff in it. It breaks down. I fix it. The reward is that I can still keep it on the road and driving it feels like it probably did in the 1930s (except for the modern roads). Sometimes I have to wait a while to be able to afford the parts I need. When I am driving them, it is the feeling of the primitive mechanicals I desire.

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You can appreciate this at Hershey where you often get to hear all eras of machinery being excersied.  1 and 2 cylinder cars zipping by (hoping all the while someone doesn't jump out or fall in front of them because they will get run over (I saw a few teens machines that were totally stock zipping at a pretty good clip in the flea market)  Would you even look if everything rumbled by with a 350 700R4 9 inch Ford rear combo with glasspacks? 

I do appreciate machines that are original more than modded ones,  that's for sure. 

I have been wondering if I found a 40's-50's White Super Power road tractor,  what to do with it?  Swap it out for a more modern cummins Set up or keep the old original flat 6.  I guess it would matter if someone else as stated above already dumped the original 6 or it was really worn out and not worth the cost of rebuilding. 

Now on most other cars I wouldn't even give this a consideration.  I guess it's all case scenario. 

The real shame is all the aborted attempts that litter craigslist that started as good original cars.  It takes alot of work and engineering to really take an old chassis and repower it completely.  Different story if you just dump an old body on a newer chassis ,bu that isn't much different than a boob job.  The only thing that keeps it from being a 1987 chevy suburuban is the older cosmetics you dumped on top.  Alot of those turnout about as good looking as Phillus Diller. 

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It is blasphemy ! I vote to keep it original obviously..lol

 

If you're a true purist and like originality then buy anything but a Ford and keep it all original...

If you are a Ford guy any year is ok to butcher except a 32 especially a Cabriolet .. again, blasphemy ! Model A's and T's are a dime a dozen and are open season.. doubt we'll ever see those disappear (unfortunately).

If you're conflicted because it's already been modified and if you want to do the right thing as a purist then go back with a time period correct engine. Easiest path for sure..

If you do go for an updated drivetrain the cost's for everything else needed will more than likely cause you to make more modifications than you expected in the end, if you want to do it right. 


From the sounds of your post I think you'll end up with a 350 with a 700R or T5 eventually.

That same whiskey that has you second guessing leaving it original will convince you to go for the speed in the end

( just heard the Eagles singing James Dean in my head...).

 

What ever you decide, make sure you are of a sound/sober mind or you'll regret it. 

Keep it original ?

 

Which one will be dated in a few years ? Custom or original. …

Once it's custom it's gone forever. 

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)

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A select crowd will flock to the custom and appreciate it and it will eventually sell for half the amount of money spent by builder. 

For the original, you notice all ages enjoy from 5 to 95 years of age that could care less about the $ and more about the nostalgia and history of it.

 

 

Image result for 1933 dodge  customImage result for 1933 dodge dp six custom

Edited by 30DodgePanel (see edit history)
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When I am doing wedding gigs, people (old blokes) often come up to me and say 'Do you own it?' and I reply by saying ' I am just a custodian who enjoys and looks after it for the next generation.'

 

Do you really own it?

Edited by maok
spelling (see edit history)
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When I first acquired our 1936 Dodge D2 RS Coupe, the previous owner had dropped a '53 Olds Rocket block and Hydramatic transmission into it. This was 1966. At the ripe old age of 18, my first thought was to swap that engine for a Valiant 273 V8. (at least it would be MoPar) Then I realized I was NOT an automotive engineer and whatever I tried would probably turn out badly. So I returned to the wrecking yard where I bought it and was able to get the correct 1936 Dodge engine and parts the last guy had removed. Thankfully he had only cut the cross member to allow the Hydramatic through and the yard had plenty of '36 Dodge parts cars .  The body was untouched. 

Since then it's been a rewarding journey, with the car returned to stock . We're hoping to have it finished and on the road next summer to enjoy the thrill of touring 1936 style :) 

So yes, the Purist Bug  bit me too .

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I have a suspicion the main reason for your posting here has more to do with fishing than fettling. I expect you think we will all start beating the drums and become terribly upset that you might even consider hotting up your original antique car.  Once everyone is against you and telling you how wicked you are to make any changes to the running gear you will presumably feel justified in doing it anyway.  I anticipate you will strip out the original drivetrain and replace it with something modern because that way you slap down the purists who you really can't stand.  No doubt we will be treated to a series of posts that you imagine will have the desired effect and attract even more criticism; thus giving you even more self justification for your actions.  I can imagine you saying  something like:  "How dare anyone tell me what to do with my car.  It's my money and my time and no one gets to dictate to me" etc. etc.

 

I can understand how frustrating it must be for you that cars built back in the 1930s were not designed to go more quickly than they do.  Perhaps they should have known better...?

 

Ray.

 

 

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I hope it's a legit question which I'll take the liberty of modifying (if I may use that word!) to:  Is there a way I can cruise at close to modern highway speeds without re-powering and re-engineering my 1933 Dodge?

 

I believe in DRIVING my antique automobiles.  In the four-week period of Sept 10 and Oct 7 of this year, I DROVE my 1918 Pierce-Arrow with 2-wheel brakes a total of 1,500 miles (that's one thousand five hundred) on three virtually back-to-back tours:  the Modoc Tour out of Alturas, CA; the 2018 Glidden Tour out of Twin Falls ID (850 miles in five days, all 90 cars were pre-WW2); and a 4-day Nickel Age Touring Club tour out of Truckee/Tahoe, CA.  On the Glidden, each day we usually returned to the hotel significant distances on US Hwy 30, 2-lane but busy, so I stepped up to 55 mph although I usually run 50-52.  Yes, it IS a Pierce and Pierces of that era were geared tall (mine has 3.53 factory gears) and the wheel-and-tire diameter is 37.5 inches--tall gearing rather necessary when your engine has a 2,500 rpm redline.  And 55 mph is as fast as I want to go with 2-wheel brakes on 5-inch-wide tires.

 

As I've mentioned in one of the OP's other threads, I have had since 1994 a driver-quality 1925 Pierce Series 80 (the junior varsity model) sedan which was cursed with 4.88 factory gears, assigned by where sold--in this case, San Francisco.  For years I put up with a comfortable cruise speed of 36-37, and the engine was screaming when I had to do 40-42 when absolutely necessary to travel on an interstate.  I stayed off interstates if at all possible.  Then I fitted a 26% Mitchell overdrive (Mitchell Mfg, Colusa, CA with whom I have no connection other than as a satisfied customer), which entailed only speccing out two short driveshafts and suspending the OD unit between the trans output shaft and differential.  Our member GLong did the work, and has the same unit on several of his vehicles.  Now that car is comfortable at 49-50 mph, and seems like a totally different car because now its final drive ratio in OD is 3.61.  Note that the 4.88 diff remains in use, and the original driveshaft is in a corner and can be easily returned to stock.  AND, unlike a diff change, the low range is available immediately for pulling hills.  The Mitchell OD is synchro, so no need to double-clutch the OD.  GLong fabricated a shifter handle which comes through the hand brake slot in the floorboards (slot widened only 1/8-inch), so there's a second shifter with a small one-inch knob.

 

Sactownog, if your Dodge has 4.11 gears, a 26% OD would give you a final drive ratio of 3.04.  If your diff is 4.3, your OD final drive ratio would be 3.18.  Taken another way, if your current comfortable cruising speed is 50 mph, the OD cruising speed at the same RPM would be APPROXIMATELY 63 mph; if your current comfortable cruising speed is 55 mph, the OD cruising speed at the same RPM would be APPROXIM,ATELY 69 mph.

 

The next question is, are your brakes and suspension components, including tires, up to those increased speeds?  Having owned a very original 1934 Chrysler CA 6-cyl 50 years ago, I'd be OK with MoPaR's excellent hydraulic brakes up to 60-65 but tire condition is very important.

 

This solution could work for you--consider checking it out.

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For what it is worth, I've had my '33 Plymouth up to 70 MPH as indicated by both the speedometer and a GPS, it was on a flat section of freeway posted at 70 so no laws broken. A bit scary thinking about the skinny little bias ply tires, tiny drum brakes, etc., but the most noticeable thing was that my talkative passenger became silent.

 

With the original 4.375:1 rear end, I figure the maximum sustained cruise speed is a tad over 60 MPH. If I had a coupe or standard model with the 4.11:1 rear end that would be a little above 65 MPH which happens to be the speed limit for much of the California freeway system. A couple years back I returned to the SF Bay Area from Tucson, a distance of about 900 miles cruising at 62 MPH the whole way.

 

I assume that a Dodge, especially one equipped with a 1953 engine, would be capable of equaling my Plymouth's cruise speed.

 

Back roads at 45 MPH are a lot more fun but longer distances on freeways should not be a problem with that car with stock running gear in good condition. Just allow lots of space as your small drum brakes are not as good a the four wheel power assisted discs of the car(s) ahead of you.

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I know the (rather pedestrian) British sport scar, the MG TC, can be transformed by fitting a supercharger.  The bottom end obviously needs to be in good condition but generally, this is a modification that can be done under the hood that keeps the running gear original and is eminently reversible - although no one who has done this would want to go back to the twin carb set up.  I don't know if there is a blower that would bolt on to a 1930's Dodge in the same, no hassle, way but it might be a consideration worth investigating.

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well it is an actual question / vent session when I wrote this. yes the whiskey had me thinking, drink a bit, stare at my vehicle (car sits behind me in my man cave/garage, so from time to time I spin around and stare at it). 

 

over the years I have built countless vehicles, modified frames, can weld mig,tig,arc and am pretty good at fabricating. so when I stare at vehicles I see what could have been or could be. 

 

the speed on the highway is not as much an issue to me as the rev of the engine as I am driving 55-60mph (via phone GPS). 

 

I would like to go a bit faster on the freeway, I live in San Diego, everywhere from my location is mostly North/ NE, and when I want to go to a show far away, the speed would help to get to my destination without leaving an extra 40 min earlier because I am slower. 

 

that being said, I have decided to take out the transmission/drive line/ and rear end and REBUILD THEM then put them back in the car and see how it feels before I decide to spend $$$ on modern items. yes they would be fun, but I wonder how the car will feel with everything rebuilt and restored as they were meant to be. 

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Grimys over drive idea sounds interesting.

 

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Like Sactownog, my primary consideration was to reduce the high-rpm strain on the engine at speed, and secondarily to be able to cruise a little faster because of the 26% reduction in rpm at any given speed.  (Mitchell also offers a 36% ratio, and perhaps even more, but that is too much for these applications, IMHO.) That 1925 Pierce 80 has four-wheel large mechanical brakes so that wasn't much of a concern.  A group of us made a group buy from Mitchell of about 16 units--one is in the 1939 Cadillac 75 I owned for 42 years, another is in a 1937 Packard 12.  The Mitchell ODs are robust units, and reportedly the late Mr. Mitchell, a Model A collector, beta-tested the prototype in a Chev 454 dually pickup without breaking it.

 

The unit has mechanical actuation by a push-pull on the left front side of the OD.  The company sells control cables of big-rig thickness (marine cables might work as well without the bulk), and also a bellcrank lever that can be installed on the driver's floor;  if I went the cable route I'd attach a cable to a 1949-52 MoPaR hood release handle mounted under the dash as they are similarly robust.  For my Pierce, and on another I got at the same time for use in my driver-quality 1922 Paige with similarly low gearing, I had Mitchell flip the trans (and change the holes drilled at the factory) so that the push-pull was on the RIGHT side, so that I could run control rods through the hand brake slot in the passenger's floorboards.

 

The Cadillac and Packard owners mentioned above run theirs full time in OD without controls, and complain a bit about howl, which diminishes with time as the gears wear in.  In my 1925, I stay in direct (no howl) until 35 or so, then shift into OD, and in that car there is no OD sound discernible when you get to 38-40 mph.  The Cad and the Packard also use the optional steel plate (3/16" thick, I think) for suspension of the aluminum Mitchell OD case from the frame.  If you go that way, I suggest insulating the mounting bolts and even the length of the plate with (thin) rubber to minimize the transmission of sound.

 

Mitchell is a family-owned and operated company which I find helpful.  Again, my only connection with them is as a happy customer.

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I would like to have some sort of Overdrive, I have talked to some people who told me to get the OD out of a 39 CHRYSLER OR DOSOTO 6 CYLINDER WITH OD. 

 

but have not had luck finding one (have not looked that hard). 

 

however, If it is something that I have been told will BOLT RIGHT IN, then I may have to jump on that in the future. 

 

but for now, I will rebuild the 3spd and see how it goes. 

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As the owner of a 27 HP motor in a 1930 3/4 ton with a 3 speed I can only dream of reaching 50 mph but I digress... (zoom zoom ?)

 

Once it's complete there's no way I'll even attempt these freeways for shows or meets in the future..  Trailer it is ! 

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Hi Bill.  Are you going to fit it to your DB?

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Just trying to be a "Purist" Ray! It would be time period correct. The setup I'm looking at has some parts missing and I don't know if I have the expertise to fabricate the missing parts. This setup was way ahead of it's time! (And it's used today)

 

I joined the AACA so I could be pure......

 

Bill

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I was born pure. ? 

 

Don't know what happened.?

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4 hours ago, Sactownog said:

I have talked to some people who told me to get the OD out of a 39 CHRYSLER OR DOSOTO 6 CYLINDER WITH OD.

I know a smidgeon about Studebaker overdrives, which were very similar at that time. The '39 was the first with an electric kick-down arrangement. It is much more practical to use than earlier versions.

 

The overdrives are centrifugal. To change into OD, you make sure it is in OD mode, then lift off (above 28 or 35 mph) in 3rd and it will change (it can also happen in 2nd, perhaps at 20 mph - I can't remember). In the '38 and before, the only way to get out of OD is to slow below ca 20 mph and it will drop out, back into 3rd. In '39, they added the solenoid you see in the pictures elsewhere (e.g.

; that withdraws a pawl and releases OD. You also have to add a relay and kickdown switch; on the Stude the switch is in the throttle attached at the carburetor. When you press the switch (full accelerator) it cuts the ignition for a fraction of a second and the pawl is withdrawn while the load is off - the change down back to 3rd (or 2nd if you are in 2nd-OD) is done. A year or two later, a governor was added to the system to make it more tractable.)

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