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1924DB

12-volt or 6-volt. Neg. or pos. ground?

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Okay, with the assistance of you guys and gals, I have finally got all my new wheels and tires changed out to 24" on my '24 DB coupe. Now I want to move on to trying to get the car started. My question is, is this car a 12-volt or a 6-volt? I seem to recall my father-in-law telling me the car had two six volts hooked together at one time? Also, is this a negative ground or positive ground system? I do note that, what appears to be, a 12-volt electric fuel pump has been added at some point. I really should have spoken to my father-in-law, now deceased, more about this car. Any help is appreciated. Ron

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It came from factory 12v pos ground.

I would suggest keeping it that way because I changed mine to neg ground to what I am more accustomed to and so I could wire in a modern radio. Now I find thay they used pos ground to keep the horn contacts from corroding. I am having a terrible time keeping my horn working. I am always having to disassemble to clean the contacts and armature.

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Having been doing some research since I posted my message, I finally found information indicating that the Dodge brothers started building their first cars with 12-volt systems and didn't use 6-volt until the late 1920s. The horn button problem is interesting as I recall my father-in-law telling me they always had horn button problems with the car. They were probably hooking up their batteries with a negative ground. The car was last cranked in the 1970s just to see if it would still run but was not driven. It was last used by the family in 1942. At any rate, thanks for the confirmation on the voltage and ground. One new 12-volt battery going in tomorrow.

DB_Coupe.JPG

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Ron:

Nice looking coupe. I am sure you are aware that the fuel pump is not original and the car should have a vac. tank. If you continue to run a fuel pump you will have to determine how the fuel pump was hooked up. I would go back to original and put a vac tank on it.

Have a nice day <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />

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Thanks Jan. In all the old car parts I was able to pull out of the west Texas old barn before my sister-in-law sold the property was a second Stewart vacuum tank whose condition is unknown. One of the tank assemblies is still on the car and the electric fuel pump appears to be pushing fuel through the tank. At the moment I just want to get the car running to see if I have any engine or drive train problems that need attention. I plan to restore the little car to as original as my abilities, and pocketbook, allow me to.

As an aside, just about everyone who comes into my shop wants to know if I will sell the car. They always look at me strangely when I tell them I could give it to them but I can not sell it to them. My father-in-law gave me the car under the same conditions he got it from his dad who bought it new at Clovis, New Mexico in 1924 or 25, i.e., we could never sell it. My daughter is now in line for the car but I fear that she will not have a place to keep it. My son-in-law talks about chopping and channeling the car. I've told him if tried such a thing in my lifetime, I will chop and channel him. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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I just put together a vacuum tank for my 20 touring. It had an electric pump and actually still does. I was hesitant to remove the pump until I knew the vacuum tank worked. It works so well even through the pump I am going to just leave it on there and if I ever need it I can just flip the switch on. It will NOT work to leave the pump running as it will just overflow the vacuum tank so I just leave it turned off. Surprised me that it would pull fuel through the electric pump but it does and we took it on a tour yesterday up very steep hills and did not falter in the least!

Dave

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1924DB, while you are looking for a fan you could just fill the vacuum tank from the top fitting and play with getting the engine running. It should run for quite a while on that much fuel, and will drain into carb by gravity. No need to waste time waiting for all the parts, besides we are waiting to find out if it runs. You can "jump" the igntion switch with a wire from the battery to the coil to make it work. The starter doesn't care if you have a key or not. Or hand crank it. MAKE IT RUN. BTW, have you tried Romar, Myers or Brister for a fan? My opinion is your car looks good enough to drive as is, have fun with it.

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I did note that some parts for the Stewart vacuum tanks are still available. I'll probably try my hand at reworking one of the tanks. Using the engine's vacuum to do work has always been interesting to me. More years ago than I like to admit I had a 1956 Ford Fairlane that had vacuum windshield wipers. Setting the wiper speed to match the beat of "Wooley Bully" was a thrill on a Saturday night. Oops! Now I've dated myself.

Ron

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I agree with what has been said in the earlier posts. Get the car out and drive it around the block. I have driven a car around several blocks by filling up the vac tank and then driving it. I recommend that you disconnect the line from the gas tank first and plug it at the vac tank to eliminate any vac leaks. Electric fuel pumps that are diaphrahm will all gas to be pulled through them when they are not running. If it is a vane type pump it will not allow gas through so you have a fifty/fifty chance of it working. Send me your email address and I will send you rebuild instructions for the vac tank.

Have a good day <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

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It's really bad weather here on the Texas High Plains today so I probably won't get much done today. Regarding finding a fan assembly, I've looked at Romar but didn't see one offered. I am unfamiliar with Myers and Brister. Do you have internet addresses for them?

I can tell you my desire to drive this car dates back to a summer day in June of 1968 when I first saw it sitting in the back corner of that dark old west Texas barn. Unfortunately my life's work took me all over the country and kept me from doing anything with it until now. I am really looking forward to driving it out of my shop.

Ron

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Hi Jan. I would really appreciate those vacuum tank rebuild instructions. You can send them to me at NOSPAMrmcclend@wildblue.net by first removing the NOSPAM part. As far as the worn out fan pulley, I'm sure the old leather belt will still work for a short drive. The weather is pretty bad out here in the Texas High Plains today so I doubt I will get much done today. I've added some Marvel's Mystery Oil to the top cylinders yesterday. I've found that this works well to prevent dry starts in my antique tractors when they've sat for several years without being run.

I can tell you I have family members on the other side of Texas who are also on pins and needles waiting to see the coupe run. Me too.

Ron

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Tom and Cindy Meyers catalog says to contact them about fans. Their web address is www.meyersearlydodge.com .Phone 734-856-1207. Vern at ROMARS probably has them too, give Florence a call at 814-827-7601. These will be used fans so price will vary on condition and would be hard to list in a catalog or website. ROMARS web site is www.geocities.com/romardb/index.html .

Dave

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OOPS! sorry about the extra e in myers! but u don't need the extra stuff.

We all want to hear you have driven your coupe!

Dave

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">OOPS! sorry about the extra e in myers! but u don't need the extra stuff.

We all want to hear you have driven your coupe!

Dave </div></div>

Tom wrote me back tonight to say he had the fan and a belt. As soon as he gives me a total and tells me how to pay, I'll be set.

Didn't get anything else accomplished on the DB today. I went to the shop early this morning with plans to try to get the engine running but ended up working all day on a 1950 Ford 8N tractor that I've had sitting in the back of my shop for a couple of years. A fellow came by early and wanted to buy the tractor if he could see it run. No, I didn't get it to hit a lick but I've refurbed 15 or 16 of these little Fords as a retirement hobby so there are few places a problem can hide from me anymore. The DB coupe has been a refreshing break from the tractors. I'll get the Ford going tomorrow and get back on my DB. As soon as I get a fire lit under it, I will certainly let everyone know. You guys have been EXTREMELY helpful.

Ron

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This is not good, you guys don't have VWs too do you? Do you guys get the N-newsletter, it's full of great info? And what is the status report on the '24DB that started this mess, is it running YET?

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<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">This is not good, you guys don't have VWs too do you? Do you guys get the N-newsletter, it's full of great info? And what is the status report on the '24DB that started this mess, is it running YET? </div></div>

Nope not yet. Worked on the broken 8N this morning but after rewiring it, new points and plugs, I can still only get a weak spark. Could be bad ignition switch which was next on my list but I finally said to heck with the 8N and replaced the battery and starter I had cannibalized from my 9N. Just came home for lunch, checked this forum and my email and I'm headed back down to the shop to see what I can do with the coupe. Ron

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UPDATE: Well this afternoon I figured out how my father-in-law had started the car in the 1970s. It seems that he also did not have the key and had rigged a push/pull switch hung from under the dash. As it was connected, the switch powered only the electric fuel pump and I could not get any current at the coil even with the switch on. Further flash-lighting under the dashboard I found another wire connected to the outbound side of the ignition switch. Connecting thaat to the push/pull switch gave me spark at the points. PB Blasted the moving parts of the spark advance and the throttle until everything was working great. Sounds good so far, eh? Pushed the starter button and all I got was about a half turn of the motor. The starter/generator drags badly! However, the more I used the starter, the better the better it seemed to work so I am hoping that 30 years of west Texas dust and corrosion on the armature has a lot to do with the dragging although worn brushes are a distinct possibility. Back at it tomorrow. Although not in too bad a shape, I've got the fuel bowl soaking in carb cleaner tonight. We shall see what happens tomorrow.

Ron

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There's a cover over the brushes, you knew that. Clean the crud and whatever else is in there. Be careful what you spray on the armature. How about the hand crank? Watch the thumb. DBs start easy.

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I sort of ran out of time this evening but I'll check that cover over the brushes tomorrow. Although the car sat in a barn for the past sixty odd years, west Texas dust storms like we used to have have a way of getting dust into a light bulb.

I do have a hand crank for the DB but I have absolutely zero experience in cranking an engine with a crank. I've heard just too many horror stories about broken arms to try it without someone showing me how to do it first. I'm not even sure how to use the spark advance and throttle in starting the car but I'm hoping the shop manual goes into some of this stuff.

Ron

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Spark advance lever goes to retard, {down} position to start. You'll probably need the fuel enrichner {"choke"} pulled. PULL the hand crank UP from the full down position, making sure your thumb is on the same side as your fingers. Don't wrap your thumb around. I only pull up half a revolution, don't crank round and round. Do it as if you are trying to lift the front of the car with the hand crank, short, quick stroke. It WILL run.

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In for lunch but I just wanted to say thanks to all the help I have been given in this forum. The little Dodge is now [color:"red"] <span style="font-weight: bold">IS RUNNING AGAIN AFTER MORE THAN THIRTY YEARS!</span> This morning, after having soaked the carb overnight, making sure the new battery had a full charge, cleaning the battery terminal on the starter/generator, and filling up the old vacuum canister with gas, the starter struggled to turn at first, then took off. In a few turns, the engine roared, ah I mean "putted", into action! I only ran it for about a minute each time but I started it several times. The engine sounds great but I need to get it outside to really check things out. The burning Marvel Mystery Oil I had placed in the cylinders several days ago killed every mosquito in my shop and almost me. <img src="http://forums.aaca.org/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

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Hello--

I've been following this thread and rooting for you and the old DB. I knew it would start--The old DBs always do; and they give good service if treated with a little respect and common sense. I have a '24 coupe that I rescued from a forgotten corner of somebody's shop and it has brought me lots of joy over the years. I prefer it to the showroom-restored '21 that I spent so much money on. "Problems" with these old cars usually have more to do with the owners and operators than with the vehicles themselves.

If you're going out in the southwestern sun, you may want to restore your sunshade. Make an envelope of the material and sew around both sides of the metal frame. No big deal, since it appears that you have all the hardware. And restore the vacuum tank! The first thing I did with my coupe was throw away the electric fuel pump. Let's hear it for the Roaring Twenties!

--Roberto

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