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On 3/31/2020 at 7:04 AM, Jeff Perkins / Mn said:

My cars I have to make like a monkey to get at the valves for adjustment. Yours look like a direct shot......

 

I commented earlier in this thread about the easy access to the transmission and clutch with the removable floorboard.  The "fender window" is another example.  Those MoPar engineers had real sympathy for the mechanics who would actually be working on the cars -- unlike the seeming attitude of the engineers who designed my Buick!

 

You are doing a great job and having a lot of fun, Keith!  Your enthusiasm really comes through in your video narration.  Thank you for sharing this project.

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Well done video and explanation of the crankcase area! Although I have “been there/done that” it is a good refresher for me to hear this from another perspective. I enjoyed it very much! Although opinions vary widely I too would go 10w30 oil for the driving season.

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Posted (edited)

I am feeling especially happy tonight as we approach another benchmark.  It's time for road insurance.

 

I rebuilt the mechanical fuel pump this week and it works. 6V pump has been removed.  I had to troubleshoot a few bugs in the fuel system. They are addressed. Tonight I feel like I have a car that is road safe (within 1938 safety standards LOL) and ready for some real road driving. The brake system, tires, lights, electrical, steering, engine, carb, clutch, tranny, diff, axles, bearings, seals,  emergency brake...I feel good about each system. I've put a few miles on it over the past few evenings just going around the block by my home. It's time to put my inhibitions and common sense aside and go for a real drive. I've said it before, I am a little shocked how far the car has come along in less than a year. Boy it ran rough and was stinky when I first set eyes on it.

 

 

 

 

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Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Mechanical fuel pump is acting up intermittently. I by-passed it this afternoon and installed a 6V pump.  Problems vanished. Will pull mechanical pump and see whats up. Suspect I’ll find foreign material in there.  In the mean time 2 days of cruising planned. Any weaknesses should show up over next 2 days. 
 

 

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Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

In my testing all this week week, I had some fuel system issues as mentioned. I rebuilt the mechanical fuel pump and it worked. I measured 3.5 psi.  Up to this point, all my earlier test driving had been done with a 6V fuel pump that I installed. I am a bit if an eager-beaver when it comes to learning and understanding the original systems. So I tacked the mechanical fuel pump. It too was a rewarding project, my first time in one of these pumps.  During local, close to home testing,  the car would stall after full warm up and not want to restart. One night I let everything cool down and it flashed up fine. I attributed the problem to vapour lock. I removed my fuel pump inlet line and made a new one. I re-routed it differently, away from the block further. I installed a heat shield over the fuel pump. That seemed to help as the car ran good again...For a while.

 

Then, the engine stalled again and would not pump fuel. I have a Mity-Vac tool, and it is very help full in trouble shooting the fuel system. I ended up getting into the float needle valve and found crap in there. It appeared to be some type of old grey silicone that was broken down by gasoline. I cleaned it up. I went through my carb again and put everything back to together. Still no go. Lots more testing. I decided it was time to drain the fuel tank and check the lines. Blow air through them. Perhaps settle on a place to install the 6V pump, closer to the tank.  When I pulled the fuel tank drain plug, a mere dribble came out.  Lol. I was out of fuel. I just learned that the fuel gauge is inaccurate, as most of the old mopar gauges are. I put in 5 gallons and the fuel pump primed and worked as it should....For a while. The next day I was test driving around the neighbourhood again. Ok for a while. Then the engine stalled again, right in my driveway.  In my 20's I would have been tossing tools by now, in frustration. Growing old has its benefits. 

 

Patiently I began trouble shooting. Again, I diagnosed fuel pump problems. I was not moving any fuel. No pressure. I quickly re-installed my 6V pump and voila. The engine ran fine.  That was yesterday. Then last night I pulled the mechanical fuel pump again to look closely.  I found my problem. The pivot shaft, the fulcrum point for the fuel pump lever. It is held in place only by swaging the pump housing around the pin boss. I had  punched the area with a hammer and punch. However, not enough. The pump's pivot pin began walking out of it's bore. The lever no longer functioning, meant no pump diaphragm action.

I took it all apart again and fixed it up. Inspecting the pump parts. Everything else looked good, and clean. I punched the housing real good in several spots around the pin. I made sure the pin was not coming out again. I re-installed the pump. Disconnected the 6V pump. The engine ran great. More test driving last night and all seems well. 

 

Cars are funny. Sometimes you make mistakes and you learn the hard way. These lessons are rarely forgotten. Other times, other s**t happens at the same, compounding symptoms. I had multiple things happening:

 

I had limited experience in my pump rebuild skills. 

I had foreign material work it's way up to the carb needle valve, restricting flow

I unknowingly ran out of fuel

I was missing the heat shield, and figured it was causing vapour lock 

I had a failed pivot shaft pin in my fuel pump rebuild

 

Whew! I think I finally got this sorted out. I left the 6V pump in place in the car. I can hook it back up in about 10 mins, roadside if I need to today. I be will packing spare tools out cruising today!

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Glad you have the opportunity to drive you car out there.

Back here in Ontario we are restricted to only essential outings subject to fines till who knows when in the effort to combat this Virus.

Fortunately for me (at least looking at it that way...) my car is apart otherwise I would be challenging the fines thing (maybe).

 

Looking forward to your adventure.

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Today was a very successful day. My first ever cruise since I bought my '38. What an incredible feeling of accomplishment, when you do all this work and have a car like this to cruise in.

It's running awesome. It exceeded my expectations. The car never hiccup'd once. The temperature gauge stayed at 125F climbing the big hill home. It's up to an 11% grade in sections. I tried the hill in top gear. 3rd, direct drive. The 228 engine did very well as I never dropped below 30 mph. I never down shifted. I takes about 7 mins to climb the hill at about 30 mph. It's a great work out for the car. 

 

Going down the same hill, I kept the tranny in 1st for speed control. The original designed brake system with single reservoir master, leaves little room for forgiveness. 1st kept me at maximum speed of 12-15 mph. The brakes held up well and worked just as they were designed.

 

What new issues appeared today after a good work out?  Not much really. I was reassured I need a new exhaust system real soon. My pipe and muffler are riddled with holes. I was gas'd out in the cab, when idling at street lights. I knew I needed to address it. I will soon. The engine performs better than I thought it might. The fuel system issues are definitely sorted out. I see 1 rear brake cylinder weeping a little. I had cleaned it up and re-used it. I will order a new replacement ASAP.  On a positive note: I had used an OEM rear tranny seal. Cowhide type. It was weeping a little since newly installed. Gear oil was slinging off the output shaft up to the underside of the floor pan in the car. I had the floor pan out yesterday and degreased it. I see that the seal must be getting worked-in and softening up. Signs of oil slinging is much, much less today! I am happy about that. Here are a few pics of today's first cruise.

 

 

 

 

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I am experiencing somewhat similar gratification with my 1913 Ford as I spent the whole winter working on it. You have done a marvelous job with this Plymouth! Your relentless pursuit in finding and fixing things is to be admired. As I said in an earlier thread I am searching for a suitable Mopar candidate (‘49-‘53) to turn into a semi daily driver. Your blog has sure inspired me. Keep it up along with the great pictures and videos you post. Thank You!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the kind words @Jeff Perkins / Mn. Did you start up a thread on your Ford? I’d enjoy seeing it. 
 

I still have lots of work to go on my Plymouth. I am quite excited that the various mechanical systems have been improved to the point that its now road worthy.
 

There are so many hurdles to overcome. Some are little, like getting the dash lights all working again. Some hurdles are big, like rebuilding the entire  brake system. A massive line was crossed today when I took my first road trip. I’ll be working on improving this car for a long time to come. 
 

I may be a little biased about Mopar cars, but I think you’ve picked a good, next project.  If I had more space to store and work on more cars, I’d probably pick a big coupe.  The 47-48 New Yorker coupe with a straight 8 is very appealing to me for some reason. 
 

As I continue to progress thru my Plymouth I will still update this post. Any new, cool learnings, I’ll do up a video. 

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90 miles later the fuel pump pin backed out again. Dead on the road. I was prepared this time, and had the engine running again 10 mins later, it got us home...Time for some JB Weld!

 

 

 

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There is no retainer or fastener for the pin. You are to punch the boss around the pin. Swage it. The material expands from the punch and supposedly holds the pin in place. First time I punched it I was too light with a hammer. Lasted only a short while, then pin walked out. Second time to punched it several locations around the pin. It held up for 90 miles or so and failed again. I was thinking next I would use JB weld on each end to firmly hold it in place. I have an electric pump option. Just thinking for safety, mechanical would be better. For reliability? I think 6V pump might be better.

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Mechanical is more reliable once you get it sorted out. Electric brings more things to worry about, but might be unavoidable in some situations. The idea many others have posted here about setting up a switched electric just for priming and vaporlock is the best electric pump idea I have seen.

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On 4/11/2020 at 8:50 PM, Bloo said:

The idea many others have posted here about setting up a switched electric just for priming and vaporlock is the best electric pump idea I have seen.

 

I second the motion.  That is absolutely the best combination.

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On 4/10/2020 at 6:42 PM, keithb7 said:

If I had more space to store and work on more cars, I’d probably pick a big coupe.  The 47-48 New Yorker coupe with a straight 8 is very appealing to me for some reason.

 

Not to divert your thread, but as long as we're all sitting around at home I thought I'd make a comment on your choice for your next car.  In 1946 through 1948, Chrysler made a limited number of New Yorker three-window business coupes.  It was kind of odd -- a sort of luxury version of what is normally the cheapest car in a line, something that was popular with salesmen.  Only one bench seat, and a huge trunk for all their samples.  But the New Yorker version is really unique.  I knew three people who have had them over the years.  Imagine a 19-foot long, 127" wheelbase car powered by a 323 ci straight eight with a single bench seat!  They are almost cartoonish (but in a good way).  But you would be very fortunate to find one for sale -- I think they only made about 800 of them during those three years.

 

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Neil, you nailed it. That is a dream car. I'd love own one. I think I'd prefer it in a manual tranny. Straight 8, big long boat. 2 door! Love it.

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Posted (edited)

A pic of a drive by selfie shot in a window on the blvd this evening. The old car is so fun to drive. I admit, I am surprised by the responses I get from the younger generation. 20-somethings. They seem to love it. I wonder if it’s because it looks like an imperfect driver? Flaws and all? Lots of positive feedback from the younger generation. That’s a good thing. They seem to like the slightly “run down driver” look. 
 


 

 

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Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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I've been following this thread since the beginning and I can understand the appeal. The Plymouth has a lovable mutt, a plucky underdog, almost a cartoon car kind of vibe. It is just so small and cute and unexpected to see, and appears to be friendly and approachable - unlike a more stereotypical muscle car or 1950s cruiser that everyone is used to seeing at every cruise-in, or some snooty and totally alien to a young person brass era car. 

 

This is exactly the kind of car I like, something that was once common and unpretentious, but now unusual enough to be interesting. I enjoy seeing it coming together and getting sorted out. 

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Fantastic cruise tonight. My confidence in the car keeps building. I hooked up my digital multimeter to the battery this evening. I placed it on the seat beside me to monitor the battery voltage. To see how the generator and regulator were performing. That was one thing that was an unknown to me. First couple of cruises I would not turn off the engine until I was back home in my driveway. Then fire it up and see if it would start again. It passed that simple test easily. Confidence grew and I started shutting it off when I went out. Tonight the multimeter confirms that the electrical system seems to be performing well. With no load on the system, driving, the battery is charged to 7.5V and held there. With every electrical item on, max amp load, driving and RPMs up, battery was charging and held at 7.0V. Does that seem reasonable? A pic from this evening's cruise:

 

 

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7.5 sounds wonderful. I would love to see that with everything on, too, but I'm not surprised it didn't. I see you have fog lights. What else do you have? Heater? Radio? Other stuff?

 

Is your car a standard or a deluxe?

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@Bloo My car is a P6 Deluxe. 3 speed manual. 4.11 rear end. Has a 1954 228 engine in it. My fog lamps are not wired up yet. Working on that this week. I hooked my headlights up to a fuse panel and 2 relays that pull right off of the battery terminal on the starter lug. I was hoping to get the brightest possible 6V lights this way. So when either low or hi beams are on. I am pulling right out of the battery. I assume that is why I am not maintaining 7.5V at the battery when everything is on? I have a heater. No radio yet.  I believe I have a 3rd wire type generator. It may be currently set for mostly daytime driving.

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Well, unless something is wildly different for Canada, since its a deluxe, you have a real voltage regulator. You should also have a third brush for current regulation, but I doubt it's adjustable.

 

The funny the funny thing about third brush current regulation is that the maximum output is at some given rpm, and if it goes slower or faster it falls off. How fast the engine turns will affect how much you have available. Yours should be a 32 amp generator (for testing purposes). Real life output will be substantially less.

 

When you have a voltage regulator, if the system keeps up, it will run at regulator voltage. That should be 7.65v@70F if yours is early, or 7.45@70F if it is after serial 8r-000001, according to my old Motor manual. Those values were often adjusted a little to match driving habits better. The regulators are also temperature compensated, and turn themselves up a little in the cold and down a little when hot. It sounds like yours is doing fine.

 

I have a sneaking hunch it might have creeped on up to normal voltage with the lights on after running a while.

 

The battery isn't a great place to connect headlight loads. You would do better at the battery terminal on the voltage regulator. I know they always pulled from the starter battery terminal on the old headlight relay kits, but it should really be connected to something on the other side of the ammeter.

 

With the headlight loads connected to the battery, all the current they draw registers on the ammeter as "charge" which it isn't. That is pretty misleading. The battery might not be getting charged at all.

 

The battery terminal on the regulator is the hottest place in the system (for brightest lights), as long as the generator is keeping up. if it isn't keeping up, your lights are going to be dim no matter what.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

Thanks Bloo, I assume I have the 3rd brush alternator. I thought this because I read about it in the 1938 shop manual. I do have and see a voltage regulator on the firewall.

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Again, a nicely done video! Time to put some miles on the Ol’ Plymouth. Give us an update occasionally as I need a Mopar fix once in a while.  Take good care of your buddy with the welder and fabrication skills. Everyone needs someone like that during any restoration, recommissioning or whatever the process is called. I am fortunate to have a son who is a machinist and makes knobs, levers and other doo-dads as I need them. He says this one is for my Model T..........in case I “fergit”!

 

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Edited by Jeff Perkins / Mn (see edit history)
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Hi, interesting thread on a nice Plymouth.

 

Read that as you have fitted or are fitting relays in the lighting system, you might be interested in the Quartz Halogen globes that are available for 6Volt lighting for vintage and classic cars.

 

Anthony at Classic and Vintage Globes supplied a set for my ‘38 Buick that have the same base as the original globes that are held in by three pins in each of the three mounting slots. They may draw slightly more current than original but the improved light output is worth it. 
 

We did an early morning (5.30pm) run to a country swap meet several months ago (just as the virus started) and was really pleased how we could drive at night/early morning at 50 - 55mph and still be able to see plenty on both beams. Anthony is in Australia but I believe he ships overseas, and given our Aussie dollar is worth almost nothing, might be a chance to upgrade. I bought three to have a spare I hope I never need!

 

No affiliation with him but a nice guy to deal with who loves his Pommie vintage stuff!

 

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello   ,  Plymouth in 38 changed their headlight mounting brackets mid year.  The new bracket lowered the headlight 2" and moved them rearward 2".  If you look at several   38's you can see both styles.  I also have a 38 factory radio set up I will be putting up for sale shortly.  

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Someone did give me an old period correct radio unit. The big box that bolts down under the dash. It's AM of course, and tube. I can rebuild a tune radio, however there is just one AM news radio here. It's pretty boring. So I gutted the old Art Deco looking radio box. My plan is to install a couple of speakers in it and a Blue-Tooth sound card amplifier. That way I can listen to modern music yet have it looking stock. 

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Posted (edited)

Finally got around to the fog lights. Took a while to fish out all the old crappy wiring and check everything over. I built all new wiring for the entire fog lights circuit. I ran ground wires back from the lights to a good known clean ground in the engine bay area. I took power off the ammeter over to an original dash mounted fused switch. I was able to revive it. It lights up too now. 
 

All wire connections tinned, crimped, with butt-splicer, or eye at ends. Soldered again. Then wrapped in heat shrink. Anchored and wrapped in loom.  Should be good for quite some time.

 

 A rewarding mini project.  From stone dead to great again with minimal cost!

 

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Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)

I’m happy with my decision on the Coker bias tires. The beauty rings. The red lettering on the hub caps. I think black-walls suit this car. 

 

I’ve been waiting quite some time for a part to arrive. Ordered it on May 12. I’ve lost a whole month of prime cruising season. I’m pretty cranky about E-bay’s Global Shipping program. in the mean time I’ve been driving my Chrysler. 
 

I’ve taken the down time to keep repairs going On my ‘38. Continuously improving things. Fog lights wired up. Other wiring improvements too. Driveshaft rebuilt. I found a broken spring in the front trunnion. I am hoping that solved my mysterious rattle. I bet it did. We’ll see soon enough. Driver door glass and winder system lubed up. Working better now.
 

Fingers really crossed hard my long awaited part shows up this week. 
 

 

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Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Great choice on the wheel/tire combination Keith! Doesn’t hurt to keep the Windsor loosened up while the Plymouth awaits parts. BTW, there is a ‘53 Windsor coupe for sale near me, it has a 3 spd. manual trans.......never seen one before....rare bird! I may look at it later this week.

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