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1936 Chrysler Airstream C-8 convertible In downtown building


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Continuing to wring out issues on the Chrysler.  After close to 500 miles of driving, I have developed a small seep on one of the freeze plugs so I will order a full set and replace all of them.  My convertible top ripped due to dry rot from me using it so much so I am looking for a cloth replacement.  Now that I have completely cured vapor lock (albeit with the assistance of aluminum foil that is still on the carburetor bowl), I have developed an interesting issue:

 

I flip on the electric pump and when the whine changes tone, I start the Chrysler.  It starts right up after one to two revolutions.  Usually less than five seconds of running the starter.  Once it is started, and while still cold, I will flip off the electric pump and after the fuel in the carburetor bowl is consumed, the car will die.  This is true whether the car is idling or running at speed while cold.  Once the temperature comes up, usually five or so minutes, I can flip off the electric pump and the car will run fine with no issues.  I cannot for the life of me figure out what could be happening while the car is cold.  It isn’t really a big deal, but I am seriously curious.  Any thoughts?

 

Other than these few small age-related issues, I am driving the heck out of this car and it just purrs along.  I could hardly be happier, and even the small issues do not bother me like they once might have.

 

Joe

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Thanks Jon.  I will check.  The last time I adjusted the choke, it seemed fine.  Are you thinking that the choke is staying on or not pulling off?  Any idea why it would work with an electric fuel pump and not the mechanical fuel pump?  I am on my way out to take a look at it now and will report back.  Thanks so much for taking the time to help Joe.

 

Joe

 

 

On 7/27/2020 at 10:25 PM, carbking said:

Choke not functioning???

 

Jon.

 

Edited by Joe West (see edit history)
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Update on the fuel pump issue.  Choke is fine, and the mechanical pump did not work for a short period today while warm.  It seems that this problem cropped up when I installed the fuel pressure regulator (one that is good for throwing at garden rabbits since I could not find a low pressure version of the one that Joe the carburetor guy recommended).  I wonder if there is a pressure drop across the pressure regulator that is causing the mechanical pump not to be able to flow enough fuel at the correct pressure.  I am going to test this theory this weekend by bypassing the fuel pressure regulator.  I will also check the flow rate of the mechanical pump with and without the regulator.  Everything still works perfectly on the electric pump.  I tested a cold start this morning and the engine fired up in about two seconds.

 

Joe

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  • 1 month later...

It has been quite some time since I updated this thread so here is a quick update.  I have received and installed two new emergency brake cables (boy do the small things matter sometimes), my new convertible top, and a complete set of wiring harnesses from Rhode Island Wiring are in transit now.  I had the Chrysler appraised and I am waiting to here back from the appraisal company next week.  I will use the appraised price to pay the gentleman who gave me the car.  

 

With respect to how the Chrysler is running, the only issue I am having is that it is still hard to start after a long drive and a 10 minute or so heat soak.  I can get it to start by slowly depressing the accelerator pedal to the floor and holding it while the car cranks... but it takes 10-15 seconds of cranking to get it to start.  I have a vapor fuel filter feeding excess fuel pressure back to the tank, and when I look down the throat of the carburetor, I no longer see fuel dumping into the intake manifold when the engine is hot and I shut it off... but still; no joy on hot starts.

 

I am getting ready to go on a drive to visit the previous owner; I am really looking forward to the drive.  The weather is amazing today.

 

Joe

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On 6/1/2020 at 4:12 AM, Joe West said:

The car has 48,000 miles on it.

 

Yesterday was a big day.  I started the Chrysler and after some puffs of smoke, it smoothed out and idled silky smooth.  I drove it around my property (from my house to my barn and back) and it drove very nicely.  Steering is tight, brakes are good (well... good is a relative term) and all the gauges work except the fuel gauge.  Today I am going to do some more undercarriage cleanup, make a new fuel line to remove the rubber hoses feeding an aftermarket fuel filter, purchase a new fuel filter and a carburetor rebuild kit, and order the factory wiring harnesses to replace the hack job someone did to the engine compartment wiring.

 

I have a quick question for everyone: Does anyone know what the chrome bracket is for in this picture?  There is one above both the driver’s and passenger’s wiper blade.

3AF574FA-1F4A-4646-99D7-D10D2AE60AB9.jpeg

Found this closeup....

DSCN3051.JPG.052edf30518dc07fc24bd3620c0ec23b.JPG

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2 hours ago, Joe West said:

Thanks so much Keiser31!  It appears to be much different than I expected.  If I were a betting man, I'd say it will take me some time to find these two missing parts.  🙂

 

Thanks again!

Not sure what year the item is I showed, but pretty certain yours would be VERY similar.

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  • 3 months later...

Keiser is, as usual, always helpful and seems always accurate. (And very much quicker than I.  Saw your post only today.)

I need a couple of these parts myself - and really wonder if I'll ever get them.

There are on a 37 Desoto conv - and the windshield bracket appears the exact same (?) as your bracket.  Peter

Peter1657231661_37Desotowipers.thumb.jpg.67418e6b72572e8a3aa45c62e2430ee3.jpg

Edited by 36 Plymouth 40 Dodge (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

Good morning everyone,

 

I thought I would provide another brief update.  I have determined that this car was originally painted black and had a red (burgundy) leather interior so I will be taking it back to its factory configuration.  Repainting the engine compartment complicates a few things for me.  I will need to remove the engine to do it properly, and if I have the engine out, I might as well do some sprucing up.  I have the factory wiring harnesses (from Rhode Island Wiring) but I do not want to install them before paint.  Ugh.  It feels like a domino effect, and no matter which way I look at it, I need to start the teardown.  I enjoy driving it so much that I dread not having it available.

 

One other problem now is finding someone to do the paint and interior.  In rural SE NC, business owners of all types are notorious for not being motivated to actually or meet deadlines, and I cannot even get anyone to return calls.  Ugh.  I hear horror stories of paint and body shops having cars for over a year... which is something I will not tolerate.  Perhaps I should find a good paint and body guy and pay him to come out and work on my property.  I can set up a paint booth and buy all the supplies and then at least my car will stay home.

 

For now, I drive it almost every day it is sunny out.  The only issue I have had is that my driver’s side door latch broke, but I have a replacement on the way.

 

That’s it for now.

 

Joe

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That's the slope of restoration.  Unfortunately once you start it's almost impossible to stop until you reach a bare sandblasted chassis and boxes full of rubber and new chrome with lots of delays in actually getting it back on the road.  It's the reason Craigslist and Facebook is littered with projects that people abandoned.  Atleast you are doing a convertible. It's even worse when guys do it to a sedan and find themselves at the bottom trying to sell a f=gutted sedan body no one wants.  I think there is a Chrysler sedan on here now in the early 30's that they are really having trouble rehoming.  I've vowed to only do small jobs on my cars as even I have started a few restorations early on that never got completed. 

 

Good luck and keep us up to date on how you are progressing.  I know a great paint guy that gets stuff done around here and he only does restoration work,  but he is busy a ways out and upstate NY is nowhere near NC.  He's very fussy in who he works for as well.  I am impressed with the speed at which he seems to turn cars out with the quality of work he does since he works mostly alone. 

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3 hours ago, Joe West said:

Good morning everyone,

 

I thought I would provide another brief update.  I have determined that this car was originally painted black and had a red (burgundy) leather interior so I will be taking it back to its factory configuration.  Repainting the engine compartment complicates a few things for me.  I will need to remove the engine to do it properly, and if I have the engine out, I might as well do some sprucing up.  I have the factory wiring harnesses (from Rhode Island Wiring) but I do not want to install them before paint.  Ugh.  It feels like a domino effect, and no matter which way I look at it, I need to start the teardown.  I enjoy driving it so much that I dread not having it available.

 

One other problem now is finding someone to do the paint and interior.  In rural SE NC, business owners of all types are notorious for not being motivated to actually or meet deadlines, and I cannot even get anyone to return calls.  Ugh.  I hear horror stories of paint and body shops having cars for over a year... which is something I will not tolerate.  Perhaps I should find a good paint and body guy and pay him to come out and work on my property.  I can set up a paint booth and buy all the supplies and then at least my car will stay home.

 

For now, I drive it almost every day it is sunny out.  The only issue I have had is that my driver’s side door latch broke, but I have a replacement on the way.

 

That’s it for now.

 

Joe

 

 

A restoration shop will take some number of years to paint that car.   If you get it done in 1 I would be impressed.    Figure 2-10.

 

If you have a local body shop that is willing to do it during slow season (not sure when that is in NC) then you have a decent chance of getting it done faster.

 

I have had a 1/2 dozen cars full painted the restoration shop way and can tell you it takes years and thousands of dollars.   Will never do it again.   Paint alone for your car is over 5k (to buy the paint cans).

 

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  • 2 months later...

Hey Joe,

       Some words of wisdom here.....  Leave the car alone..... I've restored many cars.  When they are done, you have spent some much time and money on them you don't want to even think about getting them dirty...  Keep it as original as you can without making it a trailer queen. Drive it and enjoy it.   Take care of it.  The worst thing in the world you can do is take it all apart then give up on it.    This, is all to common.  IF its not (completely) broke don't fix it.

           

           When it comes to Chrysler products of the mid 30's your car is by far the best of them out there. Its got lots of options many people never ever see.  I would rather see it needing some attention, rather than never seeing it again...

 

Your car has the wrong speedometer.  Your speedometer was used in non-overdrive cars only.  It could have been replaced.  On the other hand, maybe someone added overdrive to your car, and did not change the speedo?

 

 

 

Keeps up up to date....

Thanks for sharing this car with us..

 

ERIC

 

 

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Thanks Eric.  I will restore it in steps to make certain I do not get in over my head.  I have never once completely disassembled a restoration.  I appreciate your comments... too many cars are abandoned in baskets.  With respect to the speedometer, I JUST learned about this a week ago and now you noted it as well.  I am looking for the correct speedometer.  Right now, Chrysler Historical is not sending out build documents so I have no way of knowing whether my car came from the factory with OD or not.  The emergency brake system is correct for an OD car, but of course, the entire system could have been replaced when the OD was installed. 

 

I am not holding my breath on finding the correct speedometer.  I think it would be nothing short of a miracle.

 

Thanks again for your comments Eric.

 

Joe

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Joe,

     This is a very unusual speedo.   It was for one make and one model year only, and  only with overdrive..

BUT your in luck.  Its usually the last thing in  the car to be damaged by weather.   I can only guess that Its a little more common than you may think.   Out of all the C7 or C8 cars I've seen  over the past 30 years, more than half had

overdrive..    Keep you eyes on Ebay.  These part can go really cheap some times...  Very few people  want things like this.

Last the speedo is not that hard to take apart and rest the miles, as needed...

 

ERIC

 

PS..... I was just looking at all your pictures.  Again thanks for posting these... Your rear bumper must be off of a 4DR. sedan.   The coupe rear bumper is much straighter like the front.... 

Edited by VW4X4 (see edit history)
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Thanks Eric.  I will definitely keep my eye out for a speedometer and I will likely post in the part wanted area here.  With respect to the rear bumper, I never gave it much attention since it looked fine to me.  Now I need to go off and find some pictures to make sure I know the difference and then find the correct bumper... Ahhhhh... the joy of the hunt!  🙂

 

Thanks again for your sharp eye... this is a tremendous help.

 

Joe

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Joe,

    I was thinking about this last night, and I could be wrong....about the bumper...  The 4dr c7 and c8 cars had the spare tire in the (newly found) trunk.  The coupes obviously had issues putting the spare in the trump. The spare tire in my coupe is located behind the front seat.  This makes my rear bumper fairly straight  similar  to the front bumper.  Your car, (having a rumble seat) may have had the spare tire mounted outside on the middle rear of the car.  This may have required the bumper as is.   That's my only guess as to why its like that.    That would mean your dual side mounted spares tires are not original...

 

ERIC

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Hi Eric,

 

Thanks for the update.  My dual side mount tires are original or the body ID tag on the firewall has been changed.  The body ID tag lists the dual side mount tires as factory installed.  There are some images on the Internet that I can use to compare my rear bumper to several other C6 and C8 rumble seat convertibles.  I am working on the car today, but once I finish, I will do an Internet search of some images and post what I find.

 

Thanks again for helping me with this Eric.

 

Joe

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Joe,

    I went out and took a few pictures of the back of my car for you.... Unfortunately, its not very presentable at this time.

I'm fairly certain that entire rear of the car is the same with the exception of the trunk lid area.  Therefore I'm thinking your rear bumper should be the same...  I hope this helps...

 

ERIC

DSCF2354.JPG

DSCF2356.JPG

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11 hours ago, DLynskey said:

Des this help? Photo from 1994.

 

1563186761_Chrysler1936CoupeandConv2.thumb.jpg.0332ec1d41a817d335f2bd70bc523e08.jpg

 

 

 

Don

Don,

    Nice job ... thanks for the picture... This confirms my suspicions about the rear bumper...

ERIC

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Joe,

    Your rear bumper would be correct IF you had the rear mounted spare or rear mounted extra steamer trunk..  That's my point.   Who knows, maybe all the convertible coupes came with that protruding bumper..... Does the bumper brackets

have holes in it for the steamer trunk mounts? 

 

ERIC

 

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Thanks Eric.  The bumper brackets have the holes for the steamer trunk and I have been looking for the trunk and brackets to no avail.  This said, I did not know that the steamer trunk required a different bumper.  I assumed that there was only one bumper for my car and mine was correct.  Now that I look at my bumper, it definitely looks odd being rounded, especially after looking at the flat bumper.

 

Joe

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1 hour ago, Joe West said:

Thanks Eric.  The bumper brackets have the holes for the steamer trunk and I have been looking for the trunk and brackets to no avail.  This said, I did not know that the steamer trunk required a different bumper.  I assumed that there was only one bumper for my car and mine was correct.  Now that I look at my bumper, it definitely looks odd being rounded, especially after looking at the flat bumper.

 

Joe

This is a very valuable discussion.  It clearly shows all the detail Chrysler put into these cars. Specially since the 36 Airstream had so many parts that were one make, one model, one year only.   Its great to be able to see all these details.  Here's another interesting fact. All other standard Chrysler cars, (Dodge, Plymouth, Desoto) in 1936,  had a flat one piece windshield. The Airsteam along with the Airflow, had a split windshield. On your coupe, (maybe all converts.?) Chrysler went back to the flat windshield.   Now that being said I have seen a few Airstream cars that claim to be 1936 with flat windshields, but I think these maybe leftovers that went over sees...

 

ERIC

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