Jump to content

36 Pontiac Cooling System (or "Tales of the DPO")


Bloo
 Share

Recommended Posts

Let's talk about water pumps. 1936 Pontiac water pumps. This thread wasn't supposed to be about water pumps, it was supposed to be about water distribution tubes.

 

Some time ago after a conversation in a thread with @Rusty_OToole, and a little testing with a thermal gun, I became convinced my water distribution tube is bad. My car likes to run at 190F, with a thermostat or without. It seems happy enough there, and yes these cars do have a reputation for running a bit hot. Still, it seems high. That might be because the temp sensor is in the top of the head in the back. That has to be the hottest part of the engine, and may not be representative. On the other hand, the symptom of a bad water distribution tube is the inability to cool the back of the engine properly.

 

If anyone is wondering what a water distribution tube is, and what has to happen, have a look at this:

 

IMG_5474.thumb.JPG.6255c37e90d1dd0febfa5

 

This isn't my picture or my car. It is @1964carlito's picture of a water tube job on his 1939 coupe. It shows you exactly what has to happen. His thread from back in 2017 is here:

https://forums.aaca.org/topic/290634-1939-pontiac-flathead-six-cooling/

 

I have spent the last few days trying to get my radiator out without disassembling the whole car, and it is not going swimmingly. It's about 105F outside, every single day. I can't even see my water tube yet. Let's talk about water pumps.

 

My car has 2 zerk fittings on the water pump. It shouldn't, or at least it probably shouldn't have any zerk fittings because Pontiac supposedly never did that, except in 1937 and then only one for a needle bearing at the front of the pump.

 

What Pontiac did use were oil cups, and sintered bronze bushings. The oil soaked through the sintered bronze bushings to get to the shaft. In 1938 they went directly from packing pumps with oil cups and sintered bronze to modern cartridge bearings and modern seals, with only that one exception for a front needle bearing in 1937.

 

Later on, Pontiac offered modern sealed cartridge bearing water pumps for earlier cars that never had them originally. Maybe the aftermarket made some from scratch as well. That brings us to this pump that was in the trunk when I bought the car. Apparently it had been on the car at one time. It was all rusted and stuck.

 

w44StJW.jpg

 

I think this might be a real GM part. It can't possibly be original. It is a more modern casting made to use a modern bearing and seal. I have seen others like it on Ebay. The remaining paint on it looks to be early 1950s Pontiac dark green. I never took this one too seriously, thinking I might rebuild it for a spare when I get around to it. Yes that is a bolt. Yes it is in a pipe thread hole. Yes it is glued in that pipe thread hole with black silicone. Unfortunately that was a harbinger of things to come.

 

A few years back there were a bunch of 1933-1936 Pontiac water pumps on ebay, all NORS from the same rebuilder. One of them had two oil cups on it and matched the picture in the 1936 shop manual. I bought it.

 

sbPLv6S.jpeg

 

I figured If I ever took the water pump off for any reason, I would just swap this out. Taking a closer look though, I decided to take it apart. The packing nut was loose and it seemed to turn harder partway around. Bent shaft? Maybe not, it was subtle. The back plate was no good, and I have a another thread going about possibly making some of those. Most of these 1933-36 remanufactured pumps are sold without a back plate at all so I probably would have had to make one anyway. The front impeller clearance was REALLY loose, about .080 or so If i remember correctly. I don't know what "normal" is but that sounds way too loose to me. I also noticed the oil cups were in backwards making them more difficult to reach, so I took this pump all apart.

 

aTi9Uqr.jpeg

 

And that brings us to the pump that was on the car. It works fine as far as I know. It had to come off anyway.

 

yOrbsLd.jpg

 

Seriously? Is that enough silicone? Excuse me while I bang my head on the table.

 

The bolts holding the fan on were three short and one long. That can't be good for balance. They were mangled. I think they might have been 1/4-28 bolts in 1/4-20 holes, but that is still unconfirmed.

 

4xOW7Sf.jpg

 

In any event they weren't what was holding the fan on. It wouldn't come off. Apparently someone pounded on the fan hub and mushroomed it.

 

l4yKhtn.jpg

 

It wouldn't even move. Excuse me while I go bang my head on the table some more.

 

BpvDQLC.jpg

 

A little work with a dremel sanding drum and some whacks with a brass hammer got it off.

 

This pump did have a better back plate. Not good by any means, but usable in a pinch. More silicone, and a gasket too. They must have bought the big tube.

 

NsQDN82.jpg

 

The measurements?

 

Impeller face clearance: ~.013"

Tip clearance: ~.020"

Back clearance (forward, no gasket): ~.022"

End play: .011"

 

The shop manual does not give complete specifications or really any good clues, but there is no doubt in my mind that this pump that came off of the car is way better than the other two. I will find a way to use it, but what about those zerks? More to come....

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ah, the “quality “ work we find done by other “mechanics “ makes our life so wonderful doesn’t it! I’ve actually seen “extra” silicone wipe out a motor by filling up the oil pump pickup screen. Automobile Silicone is a great product but probably the most incorrectly used one too!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

34 minutes ago, Bloo said:

I have spent the last few days trying to get my radiator out without disassembling the whole car, and it is not going swimmingly.

I was just able to slip the radiator out of my '38 Buick once the fan, water pump and hood was removed.  That's what the shop manual promised.  The top of the radiator had to be tipped back as far as it would go and then I had to stand on a stool over the grille, take a deep breath and grunt to lift it out of the car (still half-full of rusty sludge).

 

I'm guessing the removal procedure for your Pontiac would be similar.  What (if anything) does the shop manual say?  Of course the wild-card in this is the condition of the radiator support and fender cushions/mounts.  A lot of things can happen through 80+ years, as you're seeing with the water pump.  If the front clip has ever been removed or 'tweaked' it's possible the clearance may not be sufficient.  One thing I discovered on my Buick is that the radiator support (and the front fenders that hang from it) are held to the front frame crossmember by one large bolt centered under the radiator.  I don't know how the front clip of your Pontiac is attached, but if it's like my Century you might be able to loosen or remove the bolt(s) holding the radiator support to the frame and raise the radiator support just enough to allow the radiator to be tipped back and clear the engine and top of the hood support.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If the front clip is held on by one or 2 bolts at the front, and 4 smaller ones at the cowl, it might be easier to take the whole front clip off if you have a couple of friends to lift it off.

As for the water pump plate - if you only need one it might be easiest to cut it out yourself with a cutoff blade and drill press.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I SHOULD have taken it apart that way. It would have been easier. As near as I can tell 2 bolts in front and probably more like 24 (for a guess) back at the running boards and cowl. I might still have to.

 

I dread making that part with a drill press. If it comes to that I guess I will do it. I'd really like 3 of them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't see what is so difficult in doing the work on a drill press. I would start with 3 pieces of steel or stainless, cut out roughly oversize. Trace the outline on one, and mark the center of the bolt holes with a center punch. Mark 4 holes at the corners of the square hole. Drill 2 or 3 matching holes in each piece and bolt them together. Now drill the rest of the holes, drilling thru all 3 at once. Finally cut along the lines to final shape and finish rounding the corners with a grinder.

If you have done this kind of work before this one is not very difficult but if not, it might be better to farm it out.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Bloo said:

Let's talk about water pumps. 1936 Pontiac water pumps. This thread wasn't supposed to be about water pumps, it was supposed to be about water distribution tubes.

 

Some time ago after a conversation in a thread with @Rusty_OToole, and a little testing with a thermal gun, I became convinced my water distribution tube is bad. My car likes to run at 190F, with a thermostat or without. It seems happy enough there, and yes these cars do have a reputation for running a bit hot. Still, it seems high. That might be because the temp sensor is in the top of the head in the back. That has to be the hottest part of the engine, and may not be representative. On the other hand, the symptom of a bad water distribution tube is the inability to cool the back of the engine properly.

 

If anyone is wondering what a water distribution tube is, and what has to happen, have a look at this:

 

IMG_5474.thumb.JPG.6255c37e90d1dd0febfa5

 

This isn't my picture or my car. It is @1964carlito's picture of a water tube job on his 1939 coupe. It shows you exactly what has to happen. His thread from back in 2017 is here:

https://forums.aaca.org/topic/290634-1939-pontiac-flathead-six-cooling/

 

I have spent the last few days trying to get my radiator out without disassembling the whole car, and it is not going swimmingly. It's about 105F outside, every single day. I can't even see my water tube yet. Let's talk about water pumps.

 

My car has 2 zerk fittings on the water pump. It shouldn't, or at least it probably shouldn't have any zerk fittings because Pontiac supposedly never did that, except in 1937 and then only one for a needle bearing at the front of the pump.

 

What Pontiac did use were oil cups, and sintered bronze bushings. The oil soaked through the sintered bronze bushings to get to the shaft. In 1938 they went directly from packing pumps with oil cups and sintered bronze to modern cartridge bearings and modern seals, with only that one exception for a front needle bearing in 1937.

 

Later on, Pontiac offered modern sealed cartridge bearing water pumps for earlier cars that never had them originally. Maybe the aftermarket made some from scratch as well. That brings us to this pump that was in the trunk when I bought the car. Apparently it had been on the car at one time. It was all rusted and stuck.

 

w44StJW.jpg

 

I think this might be a real GM part. It can't possibly be original. It is a more modern casting made to use a modern bearing and seal. I have seen others like it on Ebay. The remaining paint on it looks to be early 1950s Pontiac dark green. I never took this one too seriously, thinking I might rebuild it for a spare when I get around to it. Yes that is a bolt. Yes it is in a pipe thread hole. Yes it is glued in that pipe thread hole with black silicone. Unfortunately that was a harbinger of things to come.

 

A few years back there were a bunch of 1933-1936 Pontiac water pumps on ebay, all NORS from the same rebuilder. One of them had two oil cups on it and matched the picture in the 1936 shop manual. I bought it.

 

sbPLv6S.jpeg

 

I figured If I ever took the water pump off for any reason, I would just swap this out. Taking a closer look though, I decided to take it apart. The packing nut was loose and it seemed to turn harder partway around. Bent shaft? Maybe not, it was subtle. The back plate was no good, and I have a another thread going about possibly making some of those. Most of these 1933-36 remanufactured pumps are sold without a back plate at all so I probably would have had to make one anyway. The front impeller clearance was REALLY loose, about .080 or so If i remember correctly. I don't know what "normal" is but that sounds way too loose to me. I also noticed the oil cups were in backwards making them more difficult to reach, so I took this pump all apart.

 

aTi9Uqr.jpeg

 

And that brings us to the pump that was on the car. It works fine as far as I know. It had to come off anyway.

 

yOrbsLd.jpg

 

Seriously? Is that enough silicone? Excuse me while I bang my head on the table.

 

The bolts holding the fan on were three short and one long. That can't be good for balance. They were mangled. I think they might have been 1/4-28 bolts in 1/4-20 holes, but that is still unconfirmed.

 

4xOW7Sf.jpg

 

In any event they weren't what was holding the fan on. It wouldn't come off. Apparently someone pounded on the fan hub and mushroomed it.

 

l4yKhtn.jpg

 

It wouldn't even move. Excuse me while I go bang my head on the table some more.

 

BpvDQLC.jpg

 

A little work with a dremel sanding drum and some whacks with a brass hammer got it off.

 

This pump did have a better back plate. Not good by any means, but usable in a pinch. More silicone, and a gasket too. They must have bought the big tube.

 

NsQDN82.jpg

 

The measurements?

 

Impeller face clearance: ~.013"

Tip clearance: ~.020"

Back clearance (forward, no gasket): ~.022"

End play: .011"

 

The shop manual does not give complete specifications or really any good clues, but there is no doubt in my mind that this pump that came off of the car is way better than the other two. I will find a way to use it, but what about those zerks? More to come....

 

 

the one with the oil caps looks similar to my 35 Buick pump.I had a rebuilt pump with no oil caps or packing nut plus the backing plate was made of aluminum which caused it to corrode.I'm having my original one rebuilt,hopefully will have it next week.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Petcock rescue....

 

The petcock at the bottom of the radiator was almost impossible to turn, and getting worse due to a little spring at the bottom being all bound up with rust. I even thought it was leaking at one point on the Wisconsin trip (it wasn't). I had it out once before and it was pretty clear what was left of the cotter pin was not going to come out easy. Since the car was off the road, I gave it another try. Predictably the cotter pin broke off flush :rolleyes: and then refused to be driven out with a punch.

 

bzKKNnk.jpeg

 

What to do? Boil it in Alum.

 

6b8rAvR.jpeg

 

That is an old machinist's trick to rot steel without harming brass and a few other metals. According to the internet the steel will start bubbling like crazy right away and... and....

 

0TglZFw.jpeg

 

Nope. It is slow, so slow I wondered if it was working at all. After a few hours I was able to chip a few thousandths of each end and it loosened the remnants enough I could finally drive them out with a punch.

 

QHwLVRv.jpeg

 

Meanwhile, that little spring that goes on the bottom was soaking in evaporust. Then it and a new cotter pin went for a swim in the zinc plating tank.

 

3yEbJCC.jpeg

 

And then got dunked in black lacquer. That ought to slow the rust up. Much better now!
 

MBjqtRw.jpeg

 

What was this thread about? Oh yeah, water distribution tubes.

 

I still can't get near it. I did manage to get another piece of sheet metal almost off the car that should allow me to get the headlight mounts. Of course the last bolt is putting up a fight. If I can get the headlight mounts off, that might allow the radiator to move up enough....

 

It is 108F out there, right now. Let's talk about water pumps.  :lol:

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
  • Like 2
  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Bloo said:

Let's talk about water pumps. 1936 Pontiac water pumps. This thread wasn't supposed to be about water pumps, it was supposed to be about water distribution tubes.

 

Some time ago after a conversation in a thread with @Rusty_OToole, and a little testing with a thermal gun, I became convinced my water distribution tube is bad. My car likes to run at 190F, with a thermostat or without. It seems happy enough there, and yes these cars do have a reputation for running a bit hot. Still, it seems high. That might be because the temp sensor is in the top of the head in the back. That has to be the hottest part of the engine, and may not be representative. On the other hand, the symptom of a bad water distribution tube is the inability to cool the back of the engine properly.

 

If anyone is wondering what a water distribution tube is, and what has to happen, have a look at this:

 

IMG_5474.thumb.JPG.6255c37e90d1dd0febfa5

 

This isn't my picture or my car. It is @1964carlito's picture of a water tube job on his 1939 coupe. It shows you exactly what has to happen. His thread from back in 2017 is here:

https://forums.aaca.org/topic/290634-1939-pontiac-flathead-six-cooling/

 

I have spent the last few days trying to get my radiator out without disassembling the whole car, and it is not going swimmingly. It's about 105F outside, every single day. I can't even see my water tube yet. Let's talk about water pumps.

 

My car has 2 zerk fittings on the water pump. It shouldn't, or at least it probably shouldn't have any zerk fittings because Pontiac supposedly never did that, except in 1937 and then only one for a needle bearing at the front of the pump.

 

What Pontiac did use were oil cups, and sintered bronze bushings. The oil soaked through the sintered bronze bushings to get to the shaft. In 1938 they went directly from packing pumps with oil cups and sintered bronze to modern cartridge bearings and modern seals, with only that one exception for a front needle bearing in 1937.

 

Later on, Pontiac offered modern sealed cartridge bearing water pumps for earlier cars that never had them originally. Maybe the aftermarket made some from scratch as well. That brings us to this pump that was in the trunk when I bought the car. Apparently it had been on the car at one time. It was all rusted and stuck.

 

w44StJW.jpg

 

I think this might be a real GM part. It can't possibly be original. It is a more modern casting made to use a modern bearing and seal. I have seen others like it on Ebay. The remaining paint on it looks to be early 1950s Pontiac dark green. I never took this one too seriously, thinking I might rebuild it for a spare when I get around to it. Yes that is a bolt. Yes it is in a pipe thread hole. Yes it is glued in that pipe thread hole with black silicone. Unfortunately that was a harbinger of things to come.

 

A few years back there were a bunch of 1933-1936 Pontiac water pumps on ebay, all NORS from the same rebuilder. One of them had two oil cups on it and matched the picture in the 1936 shop manual. I bought it.

 

sbPLv6S.jpeg

 

I figured If I ever took the water pump off for any reason, I would just swap this out. Taking a closer look though, I decided to take it apart. The packing nut was loose and it seemed to turn harder partway around. Bent shaft? Maybe not, it was subtle. The back plate was no good, and I have a another thread going about possibly making some of those. Most of these 1933-36 remanufactured pumps are sold without a back plate at all so I probably would have had to make one anyway. The front impeller clearance was REALLY loose, about .080 or so If i remember correctly. I don't know what "normal" is but that sounds way too loose to me. I also noticed the oil cups were in backwards making them more difficult to reach, so I took this pump all apart.

 

aTi9Uqr.jpeg

 

And that brings us to the pump that was on the car. It works fine as far as I know. It had to come off anyway.

 

yOrbsLd.jpg

 

Seriously? Is that enough silicone? Excuse me while I bang my head on the table.

 

The bolts holding the fan on were three short and one long. That can't be good for balance. They were mangled. I think they might have been 1/4-28 bolts in 1/4-20 holes, but that is still unconfirmed.

 

4xOW7Sf.jpg

 

In any event they weren't what was holding the fan on. It wouldn't come off. Apparently someone pounded on the fan hub and mushroomed it.

 

l4yKhtn.jpg

 

It wouldn't even move. Excuse me while I go bang my head on the table some more.

 

BpvDQLC.jpg

 

A little work with a dremel sanding drum and some whacks with a brass hammer got it off.

 

This pump did have a better back plate. Not good by any means, but usable in a pinch. More silicone, and a gasket too. They must have bought the big tube.

 

NsQDN82.jpg

 

The measurements?

 

Impeller face clearance: ~.013"

Tip clearance: ~.020"

Back clearance (forward, no gasket): ~.022"

End play: .011"

 

The shop manual does not give complete specifications or really any good clues, but there is no doubt in my mind that this pump that came off of the car is way better than the other two. I will find a way to use it, but what about those zerks? More to come....

 

 

Dose a 35 Buick 40 series have a tube like that?I hope not.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am still trying to get the radiator out. It has cooled off a little (99F now). I took the lower radiator hose off to get a little more clearance. It is one of those universal bendable ones. Remember those? Normally I consider those as a sign of bad maintenance. They hit the trash as soon as I buy a car. They are usually put in to replace a curved hose, and put a bunch of extra stress on the radiator nipple, which sometimes breaks off. Back when I bought the car I saw it and laughed. I decided to leave it alone because I haven't seen one of them in 30 years or more, and it was replacing a straight hose, and there was no pressure in the system, etc. It sort of fits with the old ratty used car look. But, for more room off it came and.... They didn't... They couldn't.... they wouldn't....

 

1Qs1Fw5.jpeg

 

They did. Look at the left side. They cut it off in the middle of the flexible part. :rolleyes:  How did that not leak? It didn't leak. Bonus points for the hose being hit by the fan belt at the other end. It wasn't hitting there recently, but obviously it did sometime. banghead.gif

 

I wonder what they used for straight radiator hose in 1936? Something like that wrapped hose they use on big trucks? That truck hose is pretty stiff, but this engine is mounted pretty solidly and does not move around near as much as a three point mounted one. Or maybe I should just go buy a molded radiator hose for something and cut a straight piece off. Hmmm...

 

I have the headlight mounts off now, and managed to get it to slide back, but, true to the shop manual the harmonic balancer is in the way. I thought it might be possible to snake the radiator out the side. I have even seen a picture of a 1936 Eight with the radiator out and the balancer still on, but this is a Six. Now I have to either take the whole nose off (relatively easy), or I have to get the grille shell out of the nose. I'm stubborn, and I don't want to take any more of the wiring harness out. I've already taken out so many rusty bolts I have lost count. What's another 20 or 30? :lol:

 

Where was I? Oh yeah, water pumps.

 

  • Like 1
  • Haha 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

WJMBiCE.jpg

 

So here they are, all cleaned up, in order of approximate age, I guess.

 

One important thing, because this is about to get weird, and I am going to post a bunch of details I don't quite understand in the hope that someday I or someone else will make sense of it. Hopefully someone out there has more master parts books than I do. Keep in mind is that all 1933-1936 Pontiac water pumps, for both the Six and the Eight, are completely interchangeable as whole pumps. It is the stuff inside that is different.

 

On the left is casting (or maybe stamped) 494951, the NORS "Peters" remanufactured pump with 2 oil cups I bought on Ebay about 3 years ago.

 

In the center is casting (or maybe stamped) 493297, that had 2 grease zerks (that can't be right). It was removed working from my car.

 

On the right is casting 184-496992, the rusty pump found in the trunk that had a bolt glued in it with silicone. I suspect 496992 is a Pontiac casting number or part number. This one uses a modern cartridge bearing and a carbon seal, like Pontiacs do from 1938 forward.

 

Speaking of the 496992, there is not much else to do other than find a kit for it if I am going to rebuild it for a spare. Well, that and figure out how high the pump flange should be. All three pumps were a little different as found. It has no back plate, but I hope to start pursuing back plates again this week or next. The threads cleaned up in it OK and you can see it has a proper pipe plug now. The threads were more damaged from rust than from cross threading. Those are new bolts in the hub too that fit, 1/4"-20. The other two pumps take 1/4"-28. The bolts I removed from the car were mangled.

 

C3REe8a.jpg

 

Before:

 

w44StJW.jpeg

 

The reason I think 496992 is a Pontiac number is that I have seen it mentioned on a couple of aftermarket rebuild kits like this one (picture shamelessly lifted from Ebay):

 

FjOjXg3.jpg

 

I think 504179 and 496992 will turn out to be Pontiac part numbers, because I doubt they would print that if it just referred to some random aftermarket casting. That is wild speculation at this point. My books do not go new enough to prove or disprove it. This pump is much newer (but made to fit the 1933-1936 application).

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I used this Gates catalog to find a modern molded hose that I could 'section' to make an upper hose for my '38 Buick.  I didn't want to cut my reproduction (wrapped-style) hose to install my Gano filter.  I don't see why you couldn't do likewise to come up with modern replacements for your Pontiac.

 

https://www.gates.com/content/dam/gates/home/knowledge-center/resource-library/catalogs/gates-molded-coolant-hose-id-guide_web.pdf

 

https://forums.aaca.org/topic/374822-38-buick-upper-radiator-hose/#comment-2333719

Edited by EmTee (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Early Times Chapter http://www.earlytimeschapter.org/ has a well researched article on water pumps. It is here:

 

http://www.earlytimeschapter.org/waterpumps.html

http://www.earlytimeschapter.org/waterpump2.html

 

1933-1936 pumps as I mentioned all physically interchange with each other. In 1937 the front of the block (and a few other things) changed, so the 1937 pump is different. 1937-1948 pumps also all physically interchange with each other, except some 6 cylinder ones for a couple of years that had a longer shaft, and in that case the longer shaft was the only difference. From 1938 on, all had modern bearings and carbon seals. 1937 though even though physically interchangeable with later cars, was still a packing pump for at least part of the year, but with a needle bearing out at the fan instead of a sintered bronze bushing. At some point during 1937 the 1938-1948 style pumps with modern bearings and seals appeared. See the Early Times Chapter article for details. They devoted a whole page to the 1937 weirdness.

 

Automotive technology was changing fast in the mid 30s, and GM had scads of mid year changes, and not just at Pontiac. In addition to the technology driven changes, GM had changes that seem almost random. The Chevrolet Standard got all steel doors near the end of the 1936 model year, on a body design that would be dropped a couple of months later for in favor of a version of the new wider all-steel body that would also appear on all Pontiacs, all Oldsmobiles, and smaller Buicks for 1937. There was also a floor with less wood in it for the old 1936 wooden body that appeared in Chevrolet Service news partway through the year. It is unclear what cars got that (if any). Not Pontiacs. There are early and late generators for 1937 Buicks, as I discovered while rebuilding a couple of them. What is the difference? In the early one, the shaft size at the rear of the armature is bigger, and the bushing is bigger. The end bell is also different to support that oversize bushing, which was apparently never used in anything else and nobody has for sale. The late 1937 Buick uses a smaller bushing back there that is the same one used in a whole bunch of Delco generators for decades. You can buy that bushing anywhere. Oldsmobile had 3 wildly different generators in 1937. Pontiac's mid year changes for 1936 included baffling things like changing the tail light shape from teardrop to round, changing the flanges on the rear axle housing and the brake backing plates to match the new shape while keeping the same rear axle design and the same brakes, and so on.  @Bob Shafto and Andy Lee's excellent document "A Guide to Restoring Your '36 Pontiac (What the Manuals Don't Tell You)", also hosted on http://www.earlytimeschapter.org/ mentions a few of these.

 

What was I talking about? Oh yeah, water pumps. Here comes the deep dive.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I mentioned this earlier, but the 1936 shop manual just shows two oil cups on the water pump, and says to use light machine oil. The oil has to soak through the sintered bronze. From the Early Times Chapter article:

 

Quote

The Durex bushings originally installed by Pontiac should be lubricated with light engine oil, they recommended S.A.E. 10W.  If your pump was professionally rebuilt, be sure to use what the rebuilder recommends with regard to lubricant.  Pontiac also recommended to their dealers that new bushings be kept soaking in oil prior to their installation and use, this insured the bushings remained saturated with oil.


There is no way for grease to soak through, so on the pump that was on my car, I figured it was an original type pump and either some previous owner just put zerk fittings where oil cups should be, or some rebuilder changed the design in a way the grease could get in to lubricate the pump. Either way I wanted to go back to oil cups. That's why I bought the Ebay pump. Here are the 2 water pump bodies, the Ebay one with the oil cups on the right.

 

HtsCZyz.jpeg

 

As it turns out they are quite different. Have a look inside the front bushing hole on the one with the oil cups. That groove is an oil reservoir. It's not for a wick or anything like that. In normal operation it would be full of liquid oil, waiting to seep through the bronze.

 

pqWdpox.jpeg

 

Now here is the pump that had the zerks. The bushing bore is larger, and there is.... no oil reservoir.

 

6LQKpLn.jpeg

 

It had a stepped shaft on the pump to fit the larger bushing at the fan end. Maybe this pump had a zerk on the outer position from day one. I suspect it did. The bushing I took out (at the right) had a pinhole drilled in it for the grease to get through.

 

Bs3zbyP.jpeg

 

Meanwhile at the back, my suspicion turned out to be true. It was running without lubrication. These inner bushings are made of a solid bronze shell with a sintered bronze bushing inside. The groove around the outside forms the oil reservoir, and the 4 round holes allow the oil to soak into the sintered bronze.

 

EezK4Uf.jpeg

 

That is the bushing from the pump with the zerks shown at the top. No pinhole for grease or anything else to let lubrication in here, and in the next pic you can see where the unlubricated bronze was smearing on the face of the impeller.

 

vudmOIB.jpeg

 

Meanwhile, inside the bore this rear bushing was pressed into, the area where the groove lives has rust pits. This should have been submerged in oil, but instead water had apparently been soaking through the bronze and getting in here, making rust. This definitely should have had an oil cup of some sort at the back, not a zerk. The hole for the rear fitting is threaded, unlike the front where the zerk was pressed in, and unlike the other pump where the oil cups were pressed in.

 

9snlkAc.jpeg

 

From the Early TImes Chapter article:

 

Quote

In 1937 a hybrid water pump was released, it was fitted with a front roller bearing instead of a bushing, but the rear bushing was retained and so was the use of the “packed” seal.

 

Here is what I think the happened. I think Pontiac implemented the 1937 changes in the pumps early, before the 1937 model year change. This can't be a 1937 pump, because a 1937 pump does not physically interchange with 1933-1936. I think this pump had the 1937 needle bearing at the front originally, and as my car is a late 1936 this pump might even belong on it. Look at this step or relief at the back of the oversize front bore.

 

GKc1NOA.jpeg

 

And the pump with the smaller bushing bore and the oil reservoir groove does not have it.

 

9WIQ4qR.jpeg

 

From the Early TImes Chapter article again, a service bulletin from late 1936, early in the 1937 model year:

 

Quote

PS 112, No. 13,

October 28, 1936
Notching Rear Oiler on Water Pump   pg.92

  “It has been found that the cap on the rear oiler of the water pump, under some conditions, seals the oiler air tight which prevents the oil from entering the bushing.  Starting with engine 6-228874 and 8-84301 a small notch is being cut in the rim of the cup which breaks the air tight seal.  All 1936 cars having the large oiler at the rear bushing and all 1937 cars bearing an engine number lower than the about should have a small notch cut in the rim of the cup as these cars come in for service.” (emphasis mine)

 

Well that sounds like a slam dunk, except it isn't quite. It doesn't say anything about what sort of a bushing or bearing was in front. I'm guessing the 1937 needle bearing and a grease zerk. A "large oiler" could have been threaded in at the rear. It had to be an oiler of some sort.

 

From the 1937 Master parts book, effective January 1 1937 (so a few months into the 1937 model year):

 

IzG9ycb.jpg

 

Ok so there's a replacement roller bearing water pump for 1933-36. It existed. Part 546396, and that is probably what this mysterious pump is. From the manual again:

 

oGld4NW.jpg

 

This picture in the 1937 parts book is definitely of a 1936 or earlier engine. The cross flow radiator, the position the water pump mounts on the block, the pulley and fan, etc are all not like 1937. It doesn't really mean anything, because these pictures are only meant to point you to the right group number. Of interest here are 1.083, a truly huge oil cup, 8.984 which looks like a zerk in the drawing, 1.089 and 1.078 which don't exist on the original sintered bronze front bushing setup, and 1.074 which could just as easily be a roller bearing as a bushing.

 

NSkieBC.jpg

 

So 1.089 (488958) and 1.078 (494840) are probably what go in that little recess at the back of the front bushing/bearing bore.

 

b98kOmw.jpg

 

And 1.074 (493298) must have been the bearing. It must have had a hole in it to let the grease in. Interestingly, 3 pictures back no different shaft was mentioned for the roller bearing pump except for 1937. I would like to know the dimensions of that bearing. I'll bet the stepped shaft I found in this pump does not belong. I've seen shafts that look about like that in Oldsmobile and LaSalle pump kits, but so far never Pontiac.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Does anyone in here know what the measurement is from the back of the pump to the spot where the fan mounts on 1933-36 Pontiac? And whether it is measured with the backing plate on or off?

 

I guess I can work it out from measurements on the front face of the engine... If I ever get access to it. :rolleyes:

 

The picture below is for a 1949-54 pump but shows what I am talking about. No backing plate shown on this one. At 5-1/64", 1949-1954 pumps are much taller.

 

49psn040.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

23 hours ago, Bloo said:

I am still trying to get the radiator out. It has cooled off a little (99F now). I took the lower radiator hose off to get a little more clearance. It is one of those universal bendable ones. Remember those? Normally I consider those as a sign of bad maintenance. They hit the trash as soon as I buy a car. They are usually put in to replace a curved hose, and put a bunch of extra stress on the radiator nipple, which sometimes breaks off. Back when I bought the car I saw it and laughed. I decided to leave it alone because I haven't seen one of them in 30 years or more, and it was replacing a straight hose, and there was no pressure in the system, etc. It sort of fits with the old ratty used car look. But, for more room off it came and.... They didn't... They couldn't.... they wouldn't....

 

1Qs1Fw5.jpeg

 

They did. Look at the left side. They cut it off in the middle of the flexible part. :rolleyes:  How did that not leak? It didn't leak. Bonus points for the hose being hit by the fan belt at the other end. It wasn't hitting there recently, but obviously it did sometime. banghead.gif

 

I wonder what they used for straight radiator hose in 1936? Something like that wrapped hose they use on big trucks? That truck hose is pretty stiff, but this engine is mounted pretty solidly and does not move around near as much as a three point mounted one. Or maybe I should just go buy a molded radiator hose for something and cut a straight piece off. Hmmm...

 

I have the headlight mounts off now, and managed to get it to slide back, but, true to the shop manual the harmonic balancer is in the way. I thought it might be possible to snake the radiator out the side. I have even seen a picture of a 1936 Eight with the radiator out and the balancer still on, but this is a Six. Now I have to either take the whole nose off (relatively easy), or I have to get the grille shell out of the nose. I'm stubborn, and I don't want to take any more of the wiring harness out. I've already taken out so many rusty bolts I have lost count. What's another 20 or 30? :lol:

 

Where was I? Oh yeah, water pumps.

 

Bloo,Where do you live? Sounds like Florida where I'm at and I'm having water pump troubles too on my 35.my 35 has a curved metal tube attached to the lower hose.I wonder if you're is supposed to.Greg.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Central Washington State. We are on the wrong side of the Cascade mountains to have the Washington weather everyone is familiar with. Hot summers and cold snowy winters here, and not much rain. The 100F+ stuff came early this year though, and last year too. I don't think I have any kind of a metal tube. That hose ran straight. My upper is curved but that is a molded hose.

 

I saw your pump rebuild thread. It sounds like you have a nicely rebuilt pump now, and things should be looking up very soon. I wouldn't use stop leak or anything. I hate it. It can be frustrating but keep chasing those leaks until they are gone. Well, all of them except the packing if it is still a packing pump. It looked like it was still a packing pump in the pictures. Let the packing leak at first while it breaks in. Later on make the leak really really tiny but never stop it 100%, because stopping it completely burns the shaft. It should be wet/damp underneath the packing nut or shaft. Indian head sealer will seal gaskets and threads from coolant like nothing else, and is worth a try if there is a gasket you just can't get to seal. It does make things very difficult to get back apart, so maybe it's not best as a first try.

 

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks,I think I got all the water pump related leaks stoped,hoses and all but now it looks is I have a small pin hole or crack leaking on my water jacket by the #1 cylinder. I dried it well and cleaned it and applied J-B weld and letting it cure 24 hrs. I figure it's worth a try.Good luck with yours.Greg

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

22 hours ago, EmTee said:

I didn't want to cut my reproduction (wrapped-style) hose to install my Gano filter. 

 Hey @EmTee, do you have a pic of the Buick repro hose? Was that one of Bob's?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Bloo said:

Hey @EmTee, do you have a pic of the Buick repro hose? Was that one of Bob's?

Yes, it looks like one of those 'wrapped' hoses that Bob's sells.  My upper hose is straight (lower is a curved typical molded hose).

 

rh118copy_pev021.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Straight or "stick" hose is available from NAPA, in varying diameters.  Used to come in 3-foot lengths, but the Gates website a few weeks ago listed 5-foot lengths.  I usually specify Gates Green Stripe and use lacquer thinner to remove the white lettering.

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The hose Bob's sells is supposed to look like a period-correct hose.  If the 'look' isn't important then the 'stick' hose from NAPA sounds like a good option.  (It's probably a better hose, too...)

  • Like 1
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can finally see the front of my engine!

 

cOHJCG5.jpg

 

Even more silicone! I think that guy must have bought the tube that goes in the caulking gun. And whats this?

 

Oh Look! It's our old friend JB Weld! :rolleyes:

 

nUVUvKD.jpg

 

 

i-cant-say-i-didnt-see-this-coming-moira

 

Well... its out of there... finally.

 

X94US6x.jpg

 

Not stuck, at least after I chipped the JB Weld off. I almost lost it inside once, but hooked it with a brazing rod.

 

There are several holes that shouldn't be there, but it is far from the worst I have seen on the internet. I think this hole at the bottom is probably pretty significant.

 

l5CGqrT.jpg

 

 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 minutes ago, Bloo said:

Even more silicone! I think that guy must have bought the tube that goes in the caulking gun.

There's no such thing as "too much silicone"!

 

Pamela Anderson Is Coming Back to the Baywatch Movie | Glamour

  • Like 1
  • Haha 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll have to see if my local parts store can come up with a stick of green stripe hose. As for Bobs, obviously I don't need Buick script, but are these wrapped things really what a 1930s hose looks like? I like Bob's but his pictures are awful, the absolute worst. Filling Station has this:

 

rw-545gm.jpg

 

And what about clamps? The ones on my upper hose look about like these.

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

I think Ford when I look at them. Did GM ever use these?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here are pictures of my actual upper hose with clamps:

 

image.png.6ea974ede2b62eac9411610d33c7c707.png

image.png.883f8fd3997a69207cdaf8d18ec0518a.png

image.png.67ec931d8a07e255b2fd774a15c42dd1.png

 

The hose is very stiff, which is part of the reason that I didn't want to use it with my Gano filter.  As far as I can tell, the clamps are copies of ones used by Buick, however, the original ones were not stainless steel.  They work OK, but they seem to apply uneven pressure; more so than the typical worm-gear style.  The slotted screw makes tightening them difficult in tight spaces, as the screwdriver wants to slip off the screw head.   I have worm gear clamps on my lower (molded) hose for this reason.  It's much easier to tighten the worm gear clamps in a tight space using a 5/16" nut driver.  The lower hose and clamps are not as visible as the upper hose, so I'm going to leave the clamps I have installed.  That said, I do like the style of screw clamp you pictured.  The one I have (above) has no nut and relies on the rolled section of the clamp to hold the screw threads.  I haven't stripped one yet, but it does make me wonder if it will eventually slip...

 

Edited by EmTee
typo (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, EmTee said:

I'll bet the paint on the timing cover is perfect!  ;)

 

cOHJCG5.jpg

Bloo, congrats on getting down to it, looks like the full 86 years of buildup. Bad seal or no seal? My `36 Buick small engine has no seals on the crankshaft, front or rear.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, john hess said:

I see a rebuild on the horizon..... besides, that transmission came out great !!!

Yeah, something is going to have to happen there. I need to first determine if it needs boring. If it doesn't I might attempt a 1930s style inframe overhaul. If it needs boring, well I guess it's time to make it all brand new.

 

I was going to pull the head as part of this water tube job and check the cylinder taper, but this is dragging out. Pulling the head might have to wait for better weather.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, EmTee said:

Are replacement water tubes being produced, or do you need to find a better 86 year-old part...?

I don't think they are being produced. Dorman used to make them. The tube design changed with the engine update in 1937, so 1937-1954 tubes are way easier to find. Also, for those 1937 and later cars you could get brass replacements optionally from Dorman. No more rusting out. Some automakers, Packard and maybe Chrysler in some cases used brass for the tube originally. @Kornkurt had a galvanized one for a 1936 Six and when I got home from the trip last year I bought it.

 

hE6aIvY.jpg

 

I doubt brass exists for 1935-36 Pontiac six. Dorman brass tubes for the 1937 and later show up on Ebay from time to time though. I toyed with the idea of making a brass tube, and with the steel one I bought from @Kornkurt I had a pattern.

 

I still wondered what they changed in 1937 though. Someone at the flathead reunion told me with a little finesse the later tube could be stuffed in on the Eights, and he had seen it done. He did not know about the Six, but the engine design is extremely similar. A 1937-54 water tube popped up on ebay for a reasonable cost and I bought it to compare. It was also galvanized.

 

j3Stqml.jpg

 

I looked all over for the difference and could not find one. The only thing that was different didn't matter. The plug in the end was steel instead of brass like the NOS one I got from Kurt.

 

6GwWgdc.jpg

 

It isn't a Dorman WT-3 1937 and later tube like it is marked. I was grinning from ear to ear when I realized that the guy had misrepresented it, probably unintentionally and without even knowing, and I had a second 35-36 tube. Then a 1937-1954 Dorman brass tube popped up on Ebay and I grabbed it. Now we can see some differences. The bell mouth is the most obvious.

 

YFLHtIp.jpg

 

But unfortunately it is also slightly shorter. That wouldn't be impossible to overcome if I decided to convert it, but it would need to be extended about 1/4" or a little more to insure it would fit and not bypass at the front.

 

dK6GsqN.jpg

 

Also the tail is longer. These is no obvious explanation for this as there are no more holes.

 

aMKKY4X.jpg

 

The hole pattern is exactly the same though.

 

cqZwAP6.jpg

 

No doubt it could be converted into a 35-36 tube with a little work.

 

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

16 hours ago, EmTee said:

As far as I can tell, the clamps are copies of ones used by Buick, however, the original ones were not stainless steel.  They work OK, but they seem to apply uneven pressure; more so than the typical worm-gear style.  The slotted screw makes tightening them difficult in tight spaces, as the screwdriver wants to slip off the screw head.   I have worm gear clamps on my lower (molded) hose for this reason.  It's much easier to tighten the worm gear clamps in a tight space using a 5/16" nut driver.  The lower hose and clamps are not as visible as the upper hose, so I'm going to leave the clamps I have installed.  That said, I do like the style of screw clamp you pictured.  The one I have (above) has no nut and relies on the rolled section of the clamp to hold the screw threads.  I haven't stripped one yet, but it does make me wonder if it will eventually slip...

This is the technique I use for installing new hoses with authentic but questionably-efficient clamps:  Put two authentic-style clamps in the center of the new hose, then use a worm-gear (modern) clamp on each end.  Snug up the as-yet-unused authentic clamps just enough that they don't rattle around and in such a position that you can reach and adjust them later.  Leave the modern clamps to do the job until after 20 or 30 heating and cooling cycles, at which time the hose has likely bonded to the necks.  Then, one at a time, unscrew a modern clamp until it's a "broken circle" and peel it out of the way.  Loosen the authentic-style clamp and slide it into place and tighten.  You may get a few drips during this process, but I've never had a gusher.  Follow up with a snugging exercise after a few heat/cool cycles.

 

The reason, of course, is that authentic-style clamps of many different kinds do not lend themselves to spreading and being brought back together.

Edited by Grimy
fix typo (see edit history)
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, pont35cpe said:

Bloo, congrats on getting down to it, looks like the full 86 years of buildup. Bad seal or no seal? My `36 Buick small engine has no seals on the crankshaft, front or rear.

 

That has never been really oily up there since I owned the car. I guess all that crud had to come from somewhere though. There is a seal. It is a cork thing that spins vertically against the inside of the timing cover. I think Pontiac may have used it in some applications as recently as the early 70s. At the back of the engine, just a slinger and drain system.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although you have that good galvanized replacement, I'd have a tough time resisting the temptation to modify the brass one...

 

I'd probably wind-up attempting to modify the brass tube with the galvanized one as 'Plan B'.  ;)

  • Like 2
Link to comment
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
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...