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Need help/advice 1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe


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Posted (edited)

I have a 1949 Special Deluxe I inherited from my uncle.   It was running when I put it in storage back in 2016.  Tried to start today.  She cranks but won't fire up. 

  • I sprayed engine starter in the carb, no help.
  • Removed the fuel line and  fuel come out.
  • spark plugs are clean
  • engine ia PT1120803-5IMG_5834_HEIC.jpeg.517552db793c9804ff443cf90b25e169.jpegIMG_5855_HEIC.jpeg.054d528b0e45180b46297cf25ccef13b.jpegIMG_5854.jpeg.dd35dae53e41ba406b0485ac140f7d84.jpeg

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Edited by Mike 1949
added pictures (see edit history)
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Remove the distributor cap and see if you have a spark at the ignition points. If not clean the contacts with a point file and try it again. If I were you I would drain  all of the old gas out of the tank and replace with it fresh fuel. It will start much easier and run a lot better. 

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It ran 5 years ago. So what changed? 
 

Ethanol in the fuel may have corroded rubber parts in the fuel system. It also leaves scale and residue inside the carb. Plugging up fuel ports. Tiny opening called jets get plugged. Not allowing fuel to pass. 
 

Air moisture corrodes bare exposed metal parts. Ignition contacts like points, cap, rotor. Clean them up. 
Hopefully there are no engine valves stuck. It happens. 
 

Rodents may chew on wires. Especially important, is the wife from the coil to the distributor. If you have a mutil-meter, the wire from the coil to the distributor makes contact to ground only when the points are closed. Ensure this is correct. 
 

Remove the fuel line where it enters the carb. Put the end of it in a bucket. Have a helper crank the engine over. Is fuel spewing out at a good rate? 

I always like to perform an obligatory compression check on all 6 cylinders. That tells me a lot about the condition if the engine. 
 

These are a few places to start. Could be other things too. 

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Remove the distributor cap and see if you have a spark at the ignition points. If not clean the contacts with a point file and try it again. If I were you I would drain  all of the old gas out of the tank and replace with it fresh fuel. It will start much easier and run a lot better.  ---

So maybe I shouldn't ask here....   You running leaded or unleaded?

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Remove the fuel line where it enters the carb. Put the end of it in a bucket. Have a helper crank the engine over. Is fuel spewing out at a good rate?  Yes... good flow.   

My guess is maybe a battery.    I've had it on a trickle charger since it was stored but maybe its not providing enough amps.

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1 hour ago, Mike 1949 said:

 

Remove the distributor cap and see if you have a spark at the ignition points. If not clean the contacts with a point file and try it again. If I were you I would drain  all of the old gas out of the tank and replace with it fresh fuel. It will start much easier and run a lot better.  ---

So maybe I shouldn't ask here....   You running leaded or unleaded?

I am running unleaded ethanol gas that any convenience store sells. The octane I buy depends on what vehicle I'm filling up. You can use 87 octane gas in a 1949 Plymouth. 

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OK... todays update....

Made the mistake of taking my battery to O'riley.  They said it was bad.  Bought a new one $100.... Waste of money... same issue.... My guess the battery was fine....

 

Put a In-Line Spark Checker in and...  nothing... 

 

The55er - 'Remove the distributor cap and see if you have a spark at the ignition points. ' I removed the distributor cap...  All looks clean and new.  Last owner might have changed them out.   Do I crank the engine with the cap off?   Should I see sparks?

 

keithb7...   No rodents... 'If you have a mutil-meter, the wire from the coil to the distributor makes contact to ground only when the points are closed. Ensure this is correct' Do I put the multi meter inline?  am I checking for a voltage?

 

 

 

Off the wall question.....    We don't usually keep the battery in the car, its usually on a shelf on a trickle charger....   If someone was NOT paying attention to the + and - sign when they connected the battery could it have damaged the coil?

 

 

Thank EVERYONE for the help.

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Good for you being willing to jump into this very nice-looking project.

Some things that would make life easier for you with the car:

 

   You may want to look for a mentor with early to mid fifties car experience, they won't need to be an expert.  

 

    Maybe attending some local shows or even striking up a conversation with the owner of a car of the period.

  You also might do some digging on the net (even this forum) re  waking an old car from storage. Its not rocket science.

 

  Something else that would help ground you in basic automotive repair and maintenance of the period is a copy of 'Motors Automotive Repair'  which was targeted at the DIY-er of the period. They are usually available on Ebay or used book dealers.

 

  Also I'd recommend looking into Keith's Garage YouTube  videos, very informative and Mopar targeted.

 

Good luck.

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for the plug Jim! That’s my YT channel.  I try to keep the Mopar topics stripped down for beginners, where possible. 
 

Mike you need a digital multi meter. You could attach the positive lead to a good, clean rust free ground point on the car. 
 

Loosen all spark plugs so you can turn the engine by hand. Take distributor cap and rotor off. Push the dizzy cap aside a little. Don’t unplug all the plug wires.  Clip the end of other multi-meter lead to the point on the coil, right where the wire that goes from the coil to the distributor, connects to the coil.  Set mutli-meter to continuity test. Turn fan blade. Watch points open and close. Muti-meter should produce a long beep when points are closed. No beep when points are open. 
 

A test light could provide similar results. Power from the battery. The light only comes on when points are closed. 

Edited by keithb7 (see edit history)
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I am sorry....  What is a 'Dizzy Cap'?

 

Replaced the ignition coil because the old one was cracked.  Don't know if it was bad just saw the crack and replaced it.  $16 was cheap enough...

Battery was replaced...   I believe O'Riley took me for a ride...   $100 was a learning experience.... NEVER SHOP AT O'Riley again.

 

 

To recap....  Car ran, was parked, and now won't start.

 

Inline Spark Tester had no spark at plugs...

 

Keith....   reading your instructions.... I may be over thinking it. 

  • I loosen the plugs
  • Remove the distributor cap
  • connect one end of my multi meter to clean bolt on the engine....
  • The other end is connected to the center post on the COIL???
  • Then turn the engine by hand....

 

 

 

 

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Sorry. Dizzy cap is short lazy slang for distributor cap. 
 

Not the center wire at the coil no. The smaller wire. It travels from the coil to the side of your distributor. It connects to the points. When points close connection goes to ground. 

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Thank you Keith

 

All new to me.   Above my comfort level, but I am in it to the end....  Me or the car .  Making me 'DIZZY'.   🙂

 

Heading to the garage.

 

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You have 5 year old ethanol gas in the car. Drain the gas and replace with fresh premium fuel. Throw in some Seafoam while you're at it (add some every time you add gas in the future, it helps fight the ethanol plague). Then spray some starting fluid in the carb and crank it. The ether (starting fluid) might just be enough to awaken the car from its 5 year slumber.

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Posted (edited)

anyone know how to connect a remote starter so I don't have to bother my wife?

 

took the starter coil off and tested it....  Looks to be working just fine

 

Also.  Keith...  got the engine to turn by hand.....   was a bit harder than I thought but possible

 

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Edited by Mike 1949 (see edit history)
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Fyi that little green wire going to the distributor base is crusty and corroded. This is the wire that travels up to your coil. The one that I’ve been talking about above, checking continuity. This is a good example of bad wires that cause trouble.
 

 In the last photo shown, it appears the points breaker arm is at or very near top of a distributor cam apex. Yet the points are not open. Are your points opening and closing as you turn the engine by hand?

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The contacts on your ignition points look very corroded. Please clean them up with a point file, a match book cover, something with a slight abrasive to it. Wipe them off with a cloth with a little solvent on it. Turn the ignition switch on with the key inside the car. Then get a screwdriver and jiggle the points open and closed and see if those contacts spark. 

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

No.  Still trying.  Problem is I don't have a lot of time to play with it.   Few hours every few weeks is all I got.

 

We put new plugs and electronic ignition in.

 

We had it running a few times, by pouring gas into the cab, sounded great, but it is a bear to keep it running.  I am in the process of draining the gas from the gas tank.

 

Sad part is, it was running like a champ before I let it sit. So this is all my fault.  My uncle, guy that restored it, is turning over in his grave.  My Aunt gave it to me after he passed, just before she passed and said I was the only one she trusted with it.

 

I am ready to give up.

 

If someone came along and gave me a reasonable offer it would be gone today.

 

 

 

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In all seriousness, if youre not passionate about this car it may be best for both you and the car to sell to someone that is. I know it has a close family connection but something that your uncle restored and loved doesnt mean that you have to love it. I know there is no one in my family that cares for my cars like I do, and if they out live me the cars will be the first thing to go! Be realistic about it. 

Good Luck with getting it running and what ever the outcome will be.

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I think the electronic ignition is going to be a mistake.   You replaced a very discrete known set of simple common problems with a completely new set of problems that is unique to your ignition and your installation.

 

I'm not lecturing because I've fallen in to the same trap before.  Got pissed at the ignition problems and said "I'll fix it all with electronic".   It was a mistake.

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To be honest I am not passionate about the car.  Not something I want to invest time in.   My intention is to get it running and sell it.

 

I don't throw anything away.  I keep it just in case...  Here are pictures of the old points.

Points were shot.  Nothing I could do about it.  I would have kept it original if possible.   Ordered points from Rock@uto and bought it from local parts store.  In both cases it was backwards/reversed.  Last picture is what I got.    Maybe the distributor is not original or maybe the parts companies have it backwards.   Anyone know where to get the right points for a 1949 Plymouth Special Deluxe?

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image.png.161f3207f95c70c7c486d736773b03a9.png 

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