Jump to content

Recommended Posts

I purchased this 1938 car in May. Sedans are great value in the vintage car market. I like 4 doors. I like classy sedans. Pre-war is a bonus. I am a Mopar enthusiast. This car suits me fine. 

 

I was unsure where to settle on a thread for the resurrection of this old car. The Plymoth section? This restoration section? Anyway, I‘ll let frequenters here also know what I’m up to. I could use some used  parts. So if anyone has some please chirp in or send me a personal message. 

 

I brought the car home in later May as mentioned. It ran, but certainly needs love. The interior is stock. The current engine in it is a 1954 Canadian built 228 CI. The original 200 CI engine came with the car too. I have yet to determine what I’ll do with the original engine.  The car is a Canadian build. 3 speed manual tranny. 

 

I’m poking away at the car having lots of fun. I am currently focusing on mechanical issues. I plan to make it driveable and reliable. Then decide how far to go on the interior and body. I’m not in a hurry. Just enjoying the hobby. 

 

So far I’ve been cleaning up some horrendous wiring. I installed a rebuilt starter. New heavy 1/0 battery cables. Inspected and set brakes. I’m rebuilding  the carb currently. I’ve installed new spark plugs, wires, cap, condensor, rotor, points and coil.  An engine Compression test turned out well. Between 95-100 psi wet or dry across the deck. 

 

I pulled the front seat to get good access to the wiring under the dash. The floor boards are in excellent condition. I am quite happy about that.  

 

I removed the headlights and pulled the headlight harness. It was in a very poor state. I am building a new harness. Much more wiring work to come. 

 

Current parts list wishes include:

Engine hood hold-open mechanisms. (Both sides, 2 pc split hood) Driver side aluminum foot area, door jam, panel trim. Engine Crank hole cover. Engine crank handle. Glove box pull open handle. 

 

Thx. Keith

 

 

 

F9DA9991-7B6B-4428-A5E5-B9FEA9907BCD.jpeg

 

 

E275B659-1FAA-4EFA-9921-565B8B147FA4.jpeg

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Towing it home. About 250 miles each way. Also a 1.5 hr ferry ride each way. Orignally sold in 1938 by Begg Motors on Vancouver Island BC. Begg was BC’s first auto dealer. The dealer tag is still mounted on the interior fire wall area. I may have taken it off Vancouver island for the first time. Long ownership on this one. Only  2 owners from 1938 to 2018. 

 

 

F6499527-7614-45F0-8431-059DFD18BB51.jpeg

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think I may have a crank handle for your car. I will check out my shop for one. If you could get a dimension from the crank fitting to the area in front of the bumper, it may help determine if it will work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

There is a plug in the bumper with a nut threaded on. It could be removed and I suppose the hand crank can slide thru. The car is new to me. I’m not 100% sure either how the hand crank is supposed to fit. 

39F96456-9836-4C0D-9C0A-9F0C460B71B3.jpeg

Link to post
Share on other sites

There's a point. Does the '54 engine have a fitting on the front for a crank handle to fit into? My 1939 Studebaker has no provision for a crank handle; maybe they were "out" that year?

Link to post
Share on other sites

You guys make a valid point. My '38 car has a 1954 engine in it. I'll have to check, there likely is no provision on the crank for a handle. I will check and report back.

Yes the engine has an electric starter, so did the original 1938 200 CI engine.  I thought about securing a handcrank for a back up.

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

I was reassembling the carb last night and had a problem with the step-up fuel metering rod. It broke.  Does anyone possibly have one they can sell and mail to me?

Carter BBS, single barrel. #22 in the photo. I'd be grateful, they don't seem to sell this rod. Thanks.

 

 

IMG_2205.JPG

 

 

IMG_2206.JPG

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

You need to have the tag number of the carburetor to get the correct rod. Carter made dozens of different ones. Without the tag number, you basically are at the mercy of your local machine shop to fabricate a new one from your broken original.

 

The rod is probably available, but not sold separately.

 

Jon.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @carbking, sadly the ID tag is long gone. I have nothing to ID the exact model of carb. I am thinking of trying a little dab of JB-Weld epoxy. There is no stress on the part, it just hangs there. So fingers crossed it will work.

Link to post
Share on other sites

After studying the stock wiring layout and proper relay wiring, then comparing it to the actual wiring in my ‘38 today I can see that  I’m working with a real interesting rendition. 

 

Relays are wired up as anchored butt-connections. There is no horn relay. 6V right off the battery straight to the horn. The horn button grounded, with no fuse, gets all the amps it can take.  The hi/lo beam switch...I’m not sure I can describe how it was hooked up. It was totally ineffective.  Add to that all the bare exposed wires, overlander, and cut wires, it truly is a miracle the car did not burn up. 

 

I haven’t even gotten serious about the wiring up under the cowl yet. 

I am happy to fix this up and keep the car alive.  A pic of some old wiring is seen here. 

 

I am hoping you folks can make some recommendations on a quality fuse box. 4-6 fuses should do it. I can find lots of overseas junk. I’m Looking for better quality.

 

Is it acceptable to put the head light relay before the hi-low beam switch? So 6V from battery to relay. Then out from the relay to centre connection of hi-low beam switch. When pressed, switch directs the 6V from battery to either hi or low beam filaments. 

 

Thx. 

 

 

 

D324C8C9-3136-4E20-BD25-8C5EFFF78CF6.jpeg

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, keithb7 said:

After studying the stock wiring layout and proper relay wiring, then comparing it to the actual wiring in my ‘38 today I can see that  I’m working with a real interesting rendition. 

 

Relays are wired up as anchored butt-connections. There is no horn relay. 6V right off the battery straight to the horn. The horn button grounded, with no fuse, gets all the amps it can take.  The hi/lo beam switch...I’m not sure I can describe how it was hooked up. It was totally ineffective.  Add to that all the bare exposed wires, overlander, and cut wires, it truly is a miracle the car did not burn up. 

 

I haven’t even gotten serious about the wiring up under the cowl yet. 

I am happy to fix this up and keep the car alive.  A pic of some old wiring is seen here. 

 

I am hoping you folks can make some recommendations on a quality fuse box. 4-6 fuses should do it. I can find lots of overseas junk. I’m Looking for better quality.

 

Is it acceptable to put the head light relay before the hi-low beam switch? So 6V from battery to relay. Then out from the relay to centre connection of hi-low beam switch. When pressed, switch directs the 6V from battery to either hi or low beam filaments. 

 

Thx. 

 

 

 

D324C8C9-3136-4E20-BD25-8C5EFFF78CF6.jpeg

That, my friend, is a fire waiting to happen. Zeke

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I solved the idling problem. I located a vacuum leak. It's idling much better now. Purring nicely actually. 

 

Still a little more time needs to be spent fine tuning. I suspect float level may be set too low. It’s harder to start the engine after it’s fully warmed up. I also feel a brief flat spot upon acceleration, under load from idle.  Will go back in and check float level. 

 

Engine easily starts when cold. The choke is working well and backs off as bi-metal tension spring warms up. 

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

This past week or so I decided to tear down the orignal 1938 201.3 engine that came along with the car. It was pulled in the mid 60’s and has been sitting since. I was hopeful that maybe something could be spared. There was a lot of corrosion, dirt, bugs, mice droppings. Everything but oil was in the crankcase. It was seized. 

 

I quite enjoyed tearing down the old engine. I learned a lot. Rust took it’s toll though. I got all but the valve train apart. The valves were rusted in the guides quite bad. The cam frozen solid. After several days of penetration oil and tap-tap-taping, I managed to get three valves out. I assessed the situation and asked myself, “What I was attempting to accomplish?” By now I had little interest in putting the original, 201 engine back in the car. I felt that the 1954 228 engine that came in the car was a better choice for this project. I kept the old 201 crank. It maybe can be turned down. Maybe. Its got some pretty rough pitting though. Everything else went to the metal scrap yard for recycling. 

 

I do prefer all stock cars however in  this example its makes little financial sense to me. The engine was a great learning exercise for me. It was just too far gone. 

 

 

579C2021-F60D-4947-8DCB-E2A5F57DC66E.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Today I was fortunate to locate a used 25” running engine and a good 3 speed manual tranny. Plus some other spare parts. A 10” brake drum. An original oil bath air filter...And more. All this is good for my ‘38 project. Some good spare parts and some parts that I needed now.  I am happy to start amassing some good spares. 

 

 

8B4ECF4B-208B-4D6A-A7F9-7828EC4F28C8.jpeg

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

I am excited about my recent baby steps in my project. I have been working on wiring. We now have dash lights!  It’s cool to sit in the car, in the dark garage with only the dash lights on. Great for nostalgia. 

 

 

EE55AD99-2FF0-49A9-9809-AF04883B8B28.jpeg

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
  • Like 7
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Today we have actual working head lights. Hi and low beam! The headlight indicator jewel in the headlamp pull-switch lights up too!  Exciting steps as these items have not worked in what appears to be decades. The electron flow improvement-work continues. Sure is fun making progress. 

 

I’ll maintain a 6V system with generator and regulator. I am reviving this car. Not restoring it. I am not replacing wires with period correct cloth covered wires. Two 6V relays will be installed for ho/low beam head light circuits soon.  

 

As someone mentioned elsewhere on this form, I seem to fit into the old car hobby. Not the collector car hobby. 

 

4B8D1FCC-5B21-411C-84B4-D719EF9DB4D0.jpeg

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Those gauges look beautiful lit up like that, shows off the art deco look.

 

What did you end up doing with the broken step up rod in the carb? When I was looking back over page 1 of this thread, I was wondering if it could be soldered.

 

I like the path you are taking - fixing, improving, rejuvenating the car instead of a full restoration.

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, r1lark said:

Those gauges look beautiful lit up like that, shows off the art deco look.

 

What did you end up doing with the broken step up rod in the carb? When I was looking back over page 1 of this thread, I was wondering if it could be soldered.

 

I like the path you are taking - fixing, improving, rejuvenating the car instead of a full restoration.

 

Being 6V, the gauges are dimmer and more yellow in real life. I lightened the photo so the teeny light in the headlamp pull-switch would show up better in the photo. 

Regarding the broken step rod, I took a chance and bought a used  carb on E-Bay. My carb was missing the ID tag. I discovered that If you look at enough carbs, and scratch your head long enough, you can  pretty-well tell when the incorrect description of a carb on the Ebay, is the right one you need. The ebay carb was dirty, old, needed rebuild and was $15. I bought it and hoped that when I opened it up, the metering rod was inside, in 1 piece. Jackpot! The carb appeared to be an exact match to mine. The metering rod was inside and an exact fit. I mic'd and compared diameters too. A great fit. I got lucky.  I finished up the carb and re-installed it. The engine ran well, once I found a vacuum leak and dealt with it. 

 

I also dropped the fuel tank and had it gutted, cleaned and re-sealed , like new. Today I am attempting to hook up the original fuel system again with a diaphragm fuel pump. Having fun here now bending and flaring my own custom made fuel lines.

 

Other progress this week included working head lights again. The headlight harness was all replaced with new. We're making our own harnesses here. I am upsizing all the wire too for better amp flow in the 6V system. No 12V (16-18-20 gage) sized wire will be used anywhere. All minimum 14 gage. Some 12, 10 and 8 gage too. All crimp-on ends are completed with solder and heat shrink for long term reliability. Some of the original cloth wires in protected areas appears, good. In those instances I am butt-splicing  in wires in with a crimped ring for a connection, then solder and heat shrink too. I built a complete rear chassis harness.

 

Every day it gets a little better. I am excited to  finish up the fuel system so I can start it again and check headlight out put with the generator revved up.

 

 

Headlights.jpg

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is the new headlight harness that my wife built. Rubber round grommets fit in the original round socket in the light pod. Seals up the wiring nicely. 12V head light harnesses were purchased. Wires and connectors extruded, and re-wired with 14 ga wires. The black ground wires solder to the inside of the pod. I'm not sure I like that. Any corrosion on the hardware that mounts the headlight pod, means poor grounding, poor amp flow, and dull headlights. I cleaned up everything for now and left it grounded as per original layout. I may run a ground wire back to the chassis somewhere to improve electron flow.

 

 

Head Light harness.jpeg

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

The car had an electric fuel pump on it when I bought it. There were no fuel lines for the mechanical pump present. I want to go back to a mechanical pump. I will likely have a backup 6V electric pump also. I had to get creative and come up with some type of rigid fuel line, connected to a hose to allow for engine vibration. I am not sure what stock looked like, however I came up with this. Hopefully it will work.

 

 

 

IMG_4975.jpg

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

Most of the work I am doing is somewhat new to me, so I am learning as I go here. I am humbled by the amount of time people put into restorating of their old cars.

 

The past few sessions in the garage I have been working on rear tail lights. Along with that comes 81 years of rust. Almost every bolt had to be cut apart and ground/drilled out. I restored the lamp parts, brackets, all new wires, rivets, all hardware. All ground mounts cleaned to new metal. Re-routed the harnesses. Covered them up with loom. Solder and eat-shrink at every connection. New hand cut rubber mounting gaskets. This takes a fair bit of time to do a decent job. It is very rewarding as the rear lamps are very bright and effective again! I hope the electrical work I am doing will be trouble free for decades to come.

 

 

IMG_5015.jpg

  • Like 4
Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like what you're doing here, Keith!  You don't need to spend a lot of money in this hobby to create a nice driver and have a lot of fun while you're at it.   And it's nice to see that your wife is involved as well -- the headlight harnesses she made look great!

 

(Also, your Chrysler looks beautiful on your avatar and lurking in the background in the garage.  How about a few shots of that as well?  Or is there a separate thread somewhere around here about the Chrysler?)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @neil morse. I do love the old Mopars. I bought the car for the love of the hobby. I was unsure how far I’d go with fixing it up. I dreamt of a beautiful spotless restoration. Then I looked at the sell prices for these cars that have been restored. Sadly much, much to little for the amount of time, parts and skill required to restore one. I do love the hobby however throwing money into the wind, I struggle with. If there was a family history or some other sentimental attachment,  I’d likely open the bank account freely. Today the goal is to revive the car. A solid, reliable driver. I very much enjoy working on them, and being rewarded by driving the old cars. Progressing while still being able to drive them is very appealing to me. Where I end up as far as a restoration in the future? Who knows? I may just keep progressing year after year. Then my sons will have to worry about sentimental value in the future. Lol. 

 

My wife is extremely talented. She has her mind set on doing the upholstery herself. I am pretty sure she’ll knock it out of the park. Tranny will be dropped soon too for a reseal. Inspect clutch etc. 

 

My Chrysler is a ‘53. It does lurk in the garage beside my ‘38. It gets out on cruises pretty regularly. It satisfies my desire to drive while the ‘38 is down and out for extended periods. 

 

 

410C9F38-9905-4088-92EE-E4F5E36CEFFE.jpeg

84739C36-8093-404B-B012-C4B236F7CA1C.jpeg

  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm a Buick man now, but I have a huge soft spot for the MoPars, having owned a '48 Windsor sedan about 30 years ago.  They are super solid and reliable cars that just keep running and running!  

 

I agree completely with everything you say.  Four-door sedans are not highly valued, no question, but to me the flip side to that "problem" is that they are readily available for projects like the one you are doing without requiring a big investment up front.  And they are just as much fun to drive and as satisfying to work on as the more "valuable" coupes and convertibles.  Too many people get caught up in the idea that this hobby should somehow result in making a profit.  How much profit to people expect to make from hobbies like golfing, boating, and fishing?

 

Thanks for posting the pics of your '53 -- she's a stunner with those wire wheels, and I love the crazy side mirror on the roof!

 

Neil

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...