keithb7

1938 Plymouth Sedan

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You probably already know this, but put the biggest muffler on it you can!

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Benefits of AACA Membership.

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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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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There ya go Keith.....pick up the radio, install it, turn it up good and loud and those noises you now can hear will certainly go away!😀😀😀!

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Posted (edited)

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. 

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)

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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. 
 

 

B453462B-55BA-43FA-8B2E-73096EA5AD73.jpeg

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Tires look great Keith, good choice on staying with blackwalls. 

 

And that light-up foglight switch is really cool!!

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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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Very nicely done video....as all of yours are. Looking forward to seeing the Plymouth on the road!

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It sounds like you have your pivot shaft problems solved but if it happens again you might consider a slightly longer shaft with grooves cut in to the ends to accept circle clips. In going through a box of fuel pump cores I found a few done that way. It may have been factory or a fix back in the day.

 

Nice car and great thread.

 

Dave

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Posted (edited)

So my wife and I were out in the car tonight. We picked up a tranny. She was on top. I was on the bottom. It was a bit of a struggle but we got it to settle in....Wait minute.

 

I was out in the garage working on my ‘38. I asked for her to help me guide in the transmission. I was under the car. She was up above in the cab. Floor pans out. The tranny wouldn’t line up. No way no how.  I had a spare pinion and it wouldn’t go through the clutch into the pilot bushing either. So out it all came. Tranny,  clutch disc, throw out bearing and pressure plate. My wife dropped the throwout bearing from above. It bounced off my nose. Now I was bleeding and head throbbing. I shook it off we carried on. 

 

 I used the spare pinion to line everything up perfectly. Bolted everything in place. Pulled spare pinion out. Tranny went in like a glove! Bolted a bunch of stuff down. Fired up the engine and tested all gears. Success! So far so good. Driveshaft will go back in Sunday evening. Maybe a test drive then. Gear changes feel tight and crisp so far!
 

Washing up to go to bed, in the mirror I see double black eyes developing. Lol. Nice!

 

She’s a good woman. Helped me many times out in the shop over the past 33 years. I tell her she has small Chinese sized hands. She can get them in places I cannot. We laugh. She’s a great “dropped nut retriever” too. 
 

 

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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Hope your face is feeling better, Keith.  I dropped a cast iron casserole on my foot and broke my big toe, so I've been watching a lot of old movies on TV.  I found your car today while watching "Gun Crazy," a great picture from 1950.  Here it is:

 

38plymouth.jpg.4a2f9ddd0ab8b4c79d725d03945cc36b.jpg

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Neil my face is feeling better today!

 

I fired up my car tonight to test drive after my recent new clutch gear replacement.  The tranny feels great. No grinding at all. Smooth clean tight shifts up and down between 2nd and 3rd gear. I can hardly believe how good  this '38 car feels as it keeps improving. Compared when when I acquired it. The tranny countershaft was sealed up with anaerobic sealant at the rearward end. Been full of oil for 4 days no leaks yet. Seems good. Finger crossed.

 

I've read lots of talk about different oils to use in the 3 speed tranny. I have heard that Redline MTL works really well in these old 3 speeds. I did a little more reading and researching. I decided to try Caterpillar TDTO (Transmission Drive Train Oil). SAE 50. I work at the local Caterpillar dealer. The old timers here tell me it's a great oil for my needs. Cat tells us to use it in many applications for axles, final drives, transmissions.  So I figured I'd give it a try and report my findings.  Early indications so far are I have nice smooth shifts. I also placed a very strong magnet inside the gearbox. Max distance from any moving parts. It is submersed in oil. It will collect any future metal wear particles and help keep my tranny oil clean.

 

So, the question remains did my shifts improve from the new clutch gear? Or from removing the GL-5 and putting in a better suited oil? I'm not sure I'll ever know, as I did both. I had some other odd noises going on that I seem to have quelled as well. I installed a new flywheel pilot bushing, I trimmed up the rear motor mounts so they fit properly, and I found & replaced a broken spring in the trunnion at the front of my drive shaft. I very carefully measured transmission countershaft end play. I swapped out various thickness washer to get it right in spec.  All drivetrain parts and systems should be aligned nicely at this point. I am happy with the results and feel good about the work accomplished. 

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

Well, finally I figured out where the bottom of the fuel tank is! Took me a while. I estimated that when the gauge was reading between ½ and ¼ it was time to get some gas. That theory has been working so far. Many miles of trouble free driving. Then tonight, it happened. The gauge was showing just around half. The engine sputtered for a second climbing a hill. Then it recovered fine. All was normal afterward. I thought, hmm. Interesting. I had wondered why it stumbled. A few miles later, dead.  I pulled the air filter to confirm... No fuel. Darn.  These sort of issues never seem to arise when I am out alone for a cruise. Tonight my wife jumped in to tag along, and we run out of fuel.

 

Fortunately I was in a safe area. We were touring our old neighbourhood where we used to live. By chance a guy from my work, lived 50 feet away from where the engine died. I rang his doorbell. He had some fuel in a jerry can. Enough to get us to a gas station.  So far, "knock on wood" every single time I have broken down in either of my old cars, I was able to address the issues and drive the car home. Getting to know the ins-and-outs of your entire car has its benefits. The back-up electric 6V fuel pump was awesome and quickly primed the system again.

 

I am glad now that the fuel issue is out of the way. With these old inaccurate fuel gauges, you sorta gotta figure out where empty really is. I generally carry a gallon or two in a gas can in the truck. I had used it last week for some -home garden equipment.  It'll never happen again in my '38. We know where "E" really is now.

 

My latest video from the shop today:

 

 

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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I had the same issue after I partially restored my ‘48 Packard. Yup, ran out of gas twice, both times wife was with. One of the most satisfying little  jobs I accomplished on that car was correctly repairing the gas gauge. Thanks again for posting another video....excellent as usual!

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As I'm sure you know, Keith, you CAN adjust and recalibrate your gas gauge so that it's reasonably accurate.  But maybe being out with your wife and "running out of gas" by mistake on purpose brings back memories from your youth! 😄

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Hi @neil morse, I figured there was some way to get the gas gauge accurate. I will get to that task at some point. I have not seen instructions yet for my specific gauge. In due time I will do my research.

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I ran to a local auto parts store this evening. Getting parts for my son’s car. Walking back out, a local kid  (20-ish) was doing a walk-around inspection on my Plymouth.  I walk up and say hi. 


“Nice car!”,  he says.  “Holy smokes. How old is it?”, he asks. 
I like to say, “82 years old”. That shocks ‘em...Then tell them its a 1938.  Big grins.  The kid says “Ya sure don’t see many of those around,  hey?” 
 

“Nope. Not around here. Just the one here in Kamloops that I know of.”, I reply. 
 

Just a typical day out in the old girl.  Not much new to share. Just letting you know were having fun over here. She’s running spectacular. Engine doesn’t  spin over 1 full revolution and its running. Smooth as silk. Just rolled to 98,500 miles on the odometer.  Can’t hardly wait to roll it over to zero. 

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1 hour ago, keithb7 said:

Hi @neil morse, I figured there was some way to get the gas gauge accurate. I will get to that task at some point. I have not seen instructions yet for my specific gauge. In due time I will do my research.

 

Do you have the shop manual?  My '48 Chrysler manual had a pretty detailed section about the gas gauge.  Assuming that the dash unit is okay (which it probably is), you need to pull out the sending unit and make sure it's working right.  Then you can calibrate it when it's out of the tank by temporarily running an extra wire outside the car so you can hold the sending unit near the driver's door so you can look at the gauge while you move the float arm up an down.  Then you can bend the arm so it accurately shows "empty" and "full" when the float is in the right position.

 

I'm hoping your Plymouth is like my Chrysler with an access hole in the trunk floor so you can remove the sending unit without having to drop the gas tank.  I was shocked when I found out that this feature was missing from my Buick.  In order to remove the sending unit, you have to drop the tank, which it turns out is pretty much standard for GM cars.  What were they thinking?  Who knows?

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Posted (edited)

I do have an original 1938 shop manual. I’ve yet to read anything in there about calibrating the fuel gauge. 
 

I don’t recall seeing a window in the trunk floor to access the fuel float mechanism. I’ll take a look. My’53 Chrysler does have access from the trunk. 
 

I will get to the calibration eventually. I’m having too much fun driving it in prime cruising season right now. 

 

 

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Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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That is a fantastic picture Keith! Almost surreal and spooky. Well done!

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