Jump to content

Good old Chrysler Windsor?


Recommended Posts

Hello, I am possibly getting ready to purchase a 1950 Chrysler Windsor sedan and understand that it probably has a Prestomatic transmission. I understand that they were pretty bulletproof, but how are they for towing a light trailer. I have a little teardrop that weighs in at 1700 lbs and I would be driving mostly in the western NC mountains. Does anymone know if this is doable?

Edited by Bignosepicker55 (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites

You shouldn't have a problem.  The transmission is up to it as it is really a four speed syncro transmission with hydraulic controlled shifts and a fluid coupling.  You also should have a 3.73 rear end.  Expect to have to start in Low range and manually shift to High.  Also note that the transmission freewheels in the  lowest gear of each range, so you have no engine braking in first or third gear.  The owners manual explains how to force a shift from the lower gear to the higher gear if engine braking is needed at a speed below the governed speed for an upshift by depressing the clutch momentarily.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Great car and good funky transmission.

As I recall ,presto matic/tip toe shift is fluid drive .4 speeds divided in 2 ranges of low and high(plus reverse).

Even though it is 4 speeds you can only manually select 3 speeds at a time in any progression or just dump it in to high range on level ground and let the fluid drive do its thing and never touch the clutch.

 

You can select low postion and start off in 1st/,then back off the throttle and it will click(presto) into second with not clutch..

Then when up to speed ,back off throttle (with no clutch) and drop shift into high postion and hit 4th gear.It passes 3rd.

To get 3rd at this point ,for passing or down shift..press throttle to the floor and with luck it will drop to 3rd. 

To get 4th again,back off throttle and it automatically presto clicks back to 4th or high.

Or by starting off in low postion first, you  bypass second in the low postion,shift straight to high postion for 3rd.When ready back off throttle with out clutching and it will click to 4th high gear.

Basically your options are 

In low range 1st to 2nd...then high range 4th

Or

In low range1st..to high range 3rd on to 4th.

The pressing of the throttle to the floor  and hitting some electrical cutout switch on the carb coupled with some hydrualic mircale is what gets you 3rd passing gear when needed.

If not working.. When at speed you can only go from high range postion 4th back to low postion 2nd. There is no way to hit 3rd going progressing down or all at this point unless you start off in low postion 1st- first..skip 2nd and go straight to high range hitting 3rd then click to 4th.

Alleast thats my memory of it.

 

That era chrysler /desoto with its larger Spitfire? 6 with that trans. will easily pull a car load of 5/6 at 65/70 mph along the high way and up and down its grades all day and be fairly good on gas.

 

 

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

and then there is the educational film for RV's, The Long Long Trailer.

 

BTW if the teardrop is under 500 lbs, it probably does not have brakes, how old is it ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another thing you should consider.  Have you driven your Chrysler in the mountains like the ones you want to trailer around.  How did it drive and were you comfortable with it?  If so, you should be comfortable with a trailer.  Your brakes on the Chrysler should be in excellent shape including he emergency brake.  The comments above about brakes on the trailer are good ones.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it a flathead 8 Spitfire or a 6?

I know a guy with a 6 cyl DeSoto and it's very underpowered when climbing hills with no trailer.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Seriously, if you have a choice, look for a 1951, 52 or 53 Chrysler New Yorker or Saratoga V8 preferably with the Fluid Torque Drive. The V8 has some serious horsepower and torque, it has the 4 speed self shifter transmission, and the torque converter gives it a lot more punch off the line. If I were picking ANY car from the early fifties to tow a trailer, that would be the one.

The flathead six with fluid drive will pull a trailer it just won't pull it very fast. Especially if the engine is in top shape, which most of them aren't. Fortunately the engines are simple, easy to overhaul or rebuild, and parts are available cheap. In most cases a ring and valve job will restore the original power and performance for a few hundred dollars, and a full rebuild costs $2000 - $3000.

If you lived in flat country the six would be ok, but in the mountains I would want the V8.

Edited by Rusty_OToole (see edit history)
  • Like 3
Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Rusty_OToole said:

Seriously, if you have a choice, look for a 1951, 52 or 53 Chrysler New Yorker or Saratoga V8 preferably with the Fluid Torque Drive. The V8 has some serious horsepower and torque, it has the 4 speed self shifter transmission, and the torque converter gives it a lot more punch off the line. If I were picking ANY car from the early fifties to tow a trailer, that would be the one.

The flathead six with fluid drive will pull a trailer it just won't pull it very fast. Especially if the engine is in top shape, which most of them aren't. Fortunately the engines are simple, easy to overhaul or rebuild, and parts are available cheap. In most cases a ring and valve job will restore the original power and performance for a few hundred dollars, and a full rebuild costs $2000 - $3000.

If you lived in flat country the six would be ok, but in the mountains I would want the V8.

Take his advice! The original 331 Hemi will be so much nicer to drive.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi there ‘55 ! 
Go down to “Chrysler Products - General” under “CHRYSLER PRODUCTS”. You will find, near the top , a title “1948 New Yorker 2 year road trip”. Pulling more trailer than you intend. It is an extremely interesting topic with lots of info you will appreciate.    -    Carl 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I own a 1953 265 ci 6 cylinder Windsor Deluxe. Fluid torque drive with M6 semi-auto tranny. I have not towed a trailer with it, I'm sure it would, but it won't perform very well. I'd wager any hills would really slow you down. I agree a V8 would be better fow towing. I am rebuilding a different 1953 flat 6 Mopar engine now. I wouldn't call it a cheap rebuild. Parts and machining, if I do all the tear down rebuild labor it looks like it may cost me about $3800 -$4,000 or so, US funds. Not including addressing the generator, water pump, carb, starter. I am not done yet. I will keep a tally.

 

I have no experience with a 50's Mopar Hemi V8, but I am hearing complaints about rebuild costs for it.  Something to research further.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For nearly ten years, I drove a 1954 Chrysler New Yorker Wagon with the 331 Hemi V8 and Powerflite automatic transmission.  I did no towing with it, but I agree that, with the V8, it would have pulled a trailer of moderate size without too much difficulty.  I would be leery of considering using a flathead 6 for the same task, especially in mountainous areas.

 

But, my major hesitancy in considering towing with a vintage vehicle has to do with the braking systems, especially the single chamber master cylinders in vehicles of this era.  I would not have complete faith in the reliability of knowing that a firm brake pedal was always going to be there every time I needed it.  

 

I had far more issues with the brakes on my Chrysler than any other system.  Every single component had been replaced.  The brakes stopped the car reasonably well, but when you consider how much quicker the cars around you can stop, especially if you have a trailer in tow, that should be taken into consideration.

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...