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Messages - PatrickSmith

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General Discussion / Re: New brake drums for my 1931 Plymouth PA
« on: August 27, 2014, 05:15:27 PM »
If anyone is interested here is the link to the step by step guide;

General Discussion / New brake drums for my 1931 Plymouth PA
« on: August 25, 2014, 04:53:33 PM »
New drums for my 1931 Plymouth PA

After a long summer of many major mechanical repairs my last project for this year was to address the drums. I searched high and low for replacement drums (11Ēx1.5Ē) with no luck.

My last option was to make something work as my drums were way beyond spec and not safe to drive with. I found the 1931 Model A drums matched the size but in order to make all this work would need machine work. I removed the hubs from the Plymouth drums, machined the center hole in the Model A drums to match the step in the Plymouth drums, machined new holes for the wheel studs and moved the hubs to the inside of the drum as on the Plymouth they are on the outside of the drum. Brake shoes are relined and all seals are new. I did have to add a small shim behind the backing plate to allow the new drum to make complete contact with the shoe, roughly .010.

This has been far from easy or cheap but the finished results were well worth the hours, dollars, and challenges.

Here are a few pictures for reference:

General Discussion / Re: Misc stuff this summer
« on: July 14, 2014, 06:54:44 PM »
Summer of fun! 1931 Plymouth PA main bearing, clutch, rear trans seal, parking brake, rear axle seals, and brake drum overhaul.
Once the Arizona temps started creeping above 95 daily I decided to take on some needed major mechanical work on my car.
I started by doing a complete teardown from the rear of the block to the rear axle. I replaced the rear main seal with a modern neoprene seal; install a new clutch plate, media blasted the bell housing, drive shaft, Trans, and every part I could fit in the box. New gaskets and seals to every part as I went along. Itís been a major project but once sheís on the road I believe it will all be worth the efforts.

One bit of saving grace is a family friend with a machine shop. He has allowed me to spend many hours using his shop on weekends and learning machine work along the way. Iím not wealthy so his guidance has helped me keep the cost to cents on the dollar.

Months ago I posted to a few forums that I was searching for brake drums (11í X 1.5Ē) for my car. I received no replies but continued day after day with EBay, Hemmingís, Craigslist (Nationally) and every website I could find.

Over the years all four of my drums had been turned to the point that they were three times over the limit for wall thickness. Not to mention the fact that when she was pulled from the family farm she was buried to the axle in the dirt and mud. At some point in the past the wheel studs were replaced and welded inside the drum.

Finally after some research I found the Model A Ford front drums were a near perfect match for size and width.
I removed the center hubs from my Plymouth drums and Machined the center of the Model A drums to accept the Plymouth hubs and fit the two together. New wheel studs were purchased (back to original size) as well. Shoes have been resurfaced with the softest material I could find; media blasted and repainted the backing plates.

Itís been a long summer with many long days invested on the weekends but soon she will be ready to hit the road once the temps get down to a bearable degree.  I have documented all my work with pictures in particular the brake drum process and will post in the future. I canít imagine Iím the only one who has had such a hard time replacing the drums.

General Discussion / Re: '28 Rear Main Seal
« on: May 29, 2014, 10:53:04 PM »
No oil loss but I have completely rebuilt the motor. Some very minor oil spots around the oil pan. Prior to replacing the rear seal it did leak enough to create a spot on the floor. All good now. Take care and good luck!

General Discussion / Re: '28 Rear Main Seal
« on: May 27, 2014, 06:04:54 PM »

I just completed the rear seal repair on my 31 Plymouth which may be similar to your car. I can tell you I did pull the trans, bell housing, and all other components including the interior floor boards. On my car the flywheel is connected with bolts through the end of the crank shaft and nuts between the flange and block. I personal do not feel removing the pan will give you enough access to the rear seal. I did have a machine shop drill my flywheel then tapped the flange. Now I bolt through the flywheel into the flange as opposed to a bolt and nut.In the future I drop the pan and remove the bolts in one step. I did find a few things on removal of the bell and flywheel: The bushing on the clutch fork had out allowing slop in the clutch arm. I machined in a new bushing and the clutch arm is tight now. The rear seal drops out below with two bolts. Mine was never sealed on the vertical. My engine rebuild kit included two cork vertical  gaskets which I reinstalled with gasket maker. I found a new rear seal by measuring the shaft and cross referencing at Summit Racing. I did not install the rope type rather a neoprene seal. Works perfect.
One thing I did not do during all this work was the front and rear transmission seals. This would have been easy with the trans on my bench. Once I started the car the rear seal on the trans did leak. I was able to access and repair from the rear of the trans without removal. I would recommend replacing the seals when the trans is out. Mine does run around the same oil pressure as yours. Good luck with yours!   

General Discussion / Re: Rear oil seal transmission 1931 PA
« on: May 21, 2014, 11:31:33 PM »
Sorry for the delay. Vacation with the wife took time away from my project! I did get it done. It was actually fairly simple. Pulled the drive shaft, removed the parking brake drum, and the seal was attached with three bolts. I found the shaft on the brake drum inside had pitted very bad over time. After media blasting all parts I machined the shaft, installed a speedie sleeve and a new modern seal. Reassembled and its as good as new! Here are a few pictures for future reference:

General Discussion / Re: Rear oil seal transmission 1931 PA
« on: April 29, 2014, 06:35:04 PM »
Thanks for the information. I believe your correct. I removed the hand brake assembly last night and unbolted the drive shaft. I found the castle nut but my largest socket is 1-1/4" which is to small for this nut. Today I will get a 1-5/16" which I think should do the trick. As long as the drum is not rusted to the spline it should pull out and allow me access to this seal. I did order the SKF seal you referenced yesterday via ebay ($20) so we will see if its the correct seal. A member on another forum called out this same reference so maybe I will get lucky! If not it should not be to hard to find a replacement seal. Im taking some pictures as I go along for future reference if this comes up again.

Thank you,

General Discussion / Rear oil seal transmission 1931 PA
« on: April 28, 2014, 03:51:37 PM »
I just completed rebuilding from the block back on my 31 PA. Pulled the bell housing and installed a new bushing at the clutch fork, NOS pressure plate, clutch plate, throwout bearing, media blasted everything, and painted everything. Along the way I did replace the rear engine seal with a modern neoprene seal.
Previously I rebuilt the rear pinion seal and media blasted the drive shaft.
Looking below she looks like a new car.
Now for the question:
I took her out for a test drive and the both the engine seal and rear seal are tight, no leaks. I did find gear oil leaking from the rear of the transmission just before the parking brake housing. Iím aware an oil seal exist at the rear of the transmission but am asking for some info on how to get to it?
Does anyone have experience with this seal? Do I need to pull the transmission, parking brake housing, or can the work be done with the floor boards removed and the car on jacks? The books I have on her simply say rear oil seal with no direction for remove and replace.
Thank you, Patrick

General Discussion / Re: "New" Silver Dome Head
« on: February 06, 2014, 06:02:40 PM »
Very nice!!

General Discussion / Re: Newbe to this forum, 1931 Plymouth PA
« on: January 31, 2014, 04:54:32 PM »
Thank you for the reference photo! Amazing car! I do understand the differences you noted. My guess is my light bar was from a "thrift" model as these came with black light bars and black radiator shells. My car was exposed to NE Ohio weather for over 40 years. While in the "barn" the roof leaked, doors were not tight, and kids played on her. I have no doubt during restoration parts were picked up from other era cars. The family has done all the work on a tight budget so getting as close as we can we are very happy. I did see the Flying Lady Rad cap referenced at stating that the 31PA was low and 33 higher on the radiator. Years from now she may get closer to perfection but for now we will whittle away at the details. Thank you again and please send the light bar and headlights express ship:-)

General Discussion / Re: Silver Dome Head Paint
« on: January 31, 2014, 04:39:39 PM »
Regarding the head compression, I believe in 32 a option of a higher compression head called "Red Head" was made avail. From what I understand the head was clearly stamped RED HEAD. Standard head was: Silver.
 Optional high compression: Red (cast iron) or "as cast" (unpainted) aluminum and was painted red. Information from:

General Discussion / Re: Silver Dome Head Paint
« on: January 30, 2014, 07:24:50 PM »

I used a silver automotive engine spray paint I purchased at Autozone. I do not know how close to original it is but I think it turned out fine. The paint is holding up very well and cleans easily. They only had a couple of silver options so I just picked one. In my opinion anything is a improvement over the way it looked before.

General Discussion / Re: Newbe to this forum, 1931 Plymouth PA
« on: January 30, 2014, 06:29:49 PM »
No hard feelings on my end! Since I was not around 82 years ago when she first rolled off the line (Iím 47) I use these forums for advice and guidance from the world of knowledge beyond my own.
I was not on hand when the car was pulled from the barn so I can only go by what Iíve been told or have learned on various forums.
Some items may not be exact matches to the original. For example as my wife says her father said if the wheels were ever painted the original ďbaby puke yellowĒ he would come back from the grave and take the car back with him!
I do have the original build card from Chrysler. All numbers match. The Carb was good for many conversations on the Antique Auto Club Forum. Some for the fact that it is original and some against. I do know from photos on web that it appears to be correct in my opinion and better then that it absolutely works flawless. It took some time to find the original silencer/air cleaner. I do not typically drive with this as the K&N is far superior to the original.
I do doubt the headlights are original but do feel they represent fairly close to original and they work well. I will not chrome the light bar, dollars and my own taste decided this. The hub caps are not original. The caps on the car were purchased in PA years ago. My guess is the originals were used for target practice on the farm years ago!
I have no idea if the radiator cap is original. Every picture I have shows this cap as well as examples on the web. It could be your seeing the cap in a bit of a raised stance because itís not seated entirely. I will check this.
As time rolls on and my son receives this car someday we will continue to get her as close to original as possible. Every bit of work has done by the family from the body to the mechanics. I will adjust the wire loom as you recommended. I needed something to do this weekend anyway.
Again, I enjoy the discussions and feedback these forums provide and take it all as constructive criticism.

General Discussion / Re: Newbe to this forum, 1931 Plymouth PA
« on: January 28, 2014, 10:18:00 PM »
She has the original Carter 1bbl updraft. In the picture I have a K&N filter which I prefer since we live in the desert and have lots of fine dust. I do have the original air silencer / air cleaner (HUGE) but prefer the K&N. I will include a before pic of the motor before I did the tear down and rebuild.

General Discussion / Re: 8 Volt (contd)
« on: January 28, 2014, 05:19:46 PM »
New to this forum but for what its worth I have ran an 8 volt (tractor supply) battery in my 31 PA with no modifications since the day I first started her after the restoration. Never a fail to fire or any other problems. I do occasionally plug in an 8 volt battery minder, once a month for 24hrs for maintenance. All 6 volt systems operate perfect, horn, lights, etc. I prefer the peace of mind knowing I get a clean fire every time I hit the starter and she fires right up! I did notice on a recent trip to the $200 store or as my wife calls it, Costco here in AZ that they had a pallet of 8 volt batteries in the service area.

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