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Messages - Old Man

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General Discussion / Re: Tyres
« on: December 07, 2012, 11:46:29 AM »
For what it's worth dept.= '28Q and '29U had 20" tires/'30U had 20" wood and later 19" wires /'31PA had 19" wires,the same tire dimensions(5.25-5.50X19") as Ford Model A/'32PB had 18"/'33PC/PD had 17" wires/'34 PE/PF had 16".  Notice the tire size went down an inch a year. (Yes there were other wheel sizes available but these are what came from the factory on day one.) 

General Discussion / Re: Repairing pot metal
« on: November 16, 2012, 11:31:30 AM »
I remember that '28 and '29 and possibly '30 handles had no steel core and broke easily. Closing a door hard on one of these cars today can result in the 'paddle' end or 'knob' end of the handle breaking off. In 1931 they put a steel in most of the handles on the Plymouths but not all. Now with cracks in these old pot metal handles slamming a door can result in the door handle ,inside or outside, breaking in half. I was in a movie shoot when they called 'Action' and I closed my driver's door,it was hot high summer, and the handle broke off in my hand. You should 'push' the door closed and keep the dovetail and latches well lubed to make the closing easier. The outside door handles on '28/'29 Plymouths are the same as Durants of the same years and the rear tailight bucket and arm are also the same. I believe someone in the Durant club used to recast the outside door handles. Maybe still does.   

General Discussion / Re: Battery Tenders - Any comments or recommendations?
« on: November 05, 2012, 11:16:33 AM »
SDGLENN I see you are in South Dakota? I'm surprised you have not had a burst baterry by now. Below a certain point in it's specific gravity a battery's electrolyte will freeze because it's returning to plain water. Sulphuric acid,if the solution is strong enough, read 'battery is at or near full charge', will not freeze. As all those who live in the freezing north of the U.S. and Alaska know. As you walk through auto wreckers you see discharged batteries split with their guts showing as the last winter finally froze them. I'm just surprised you were able to get through a winter. I guess my comment that a battery only discharges at a rate of 1% per month at 32 F. is true. If there is no leakage in the car's electrical system and the battery is essentially isolated then it would not discharge enough to freeze it. Assuming it was at a state of full charge before storage. Interesting.................... However I will still keep my trickle charger on as ANY discharge whether in the warm weather or cold will tend to sulphate the battery and shorten it's life. And as I say I get up to 12 years out of my 6 volters. Which are now $100 a piece.
  Also I just want to point out that a discharged battery cannot be tested with a volt meter per se. It will still read it's 6 volts or 12 volts as the case may be. 'Discharge' means for the battery's specific gravity to drop from about 1.26 to 1.1. ('1' is water.) So 50% disharge does not mean you will read 6 volts on a 12 volt battery or 3 volts on a 6 volt battery. They will in fact read almost normal. 50% discharge for instance means for the specific gravity to drop 1/2 way between full and the lower level. If you put a load on them they will 'collapse' to some much lower voltage. This is why the old batteries used to have exposed connectors between cells. The garage guys would put a forked device with a meter on it across the individual cells to load them and see what the cell was still capable of. Batteries are completely covered now and this test can no longer be done. Shops now have a larger device on a cart that loads the complete battery to see if it will produce it's rated 600/700/800 amps etc. Just wanted to point out that you cannot pass judgement on a battery with a digital volt meter. The other way of course is to use a hygrometer and test each cell for specific gravity. But many batteries today are sealed and do not have individual caps.                 

General Discussion / Re: Battery Tenders - Any comments or recommendations?
« on: November 04, 2012, 10:04:44 AM »
Have been keeping my 6 volters charged up when they are sitting idle and they last up to 12 years. Dont' EVER let a battery go low charge. It will start to sulfate and each time you do this the battery will never charge up to it's original maximum. Slowly but surely it will have a lower and lower terminal voltage resulting in 'brown' headlights and grunting hard starts. Keep it in a cold place if you can. A battery discharges by 50% per month at 70 degrees. At 32 F it discharges by a rate of 1% per month. So the colder the storage the better. You don't have to remove it from the car. But disconnect one of the leads. And keep the battery clean to prevent more self-discharge during storage through the dirt and leaked acid,if any.      

General Discussion / Re: I need some advise...
« on: November 02, 2012, 09:57:47 AM »
It's funny you used the term loosey goosey. I considered using it in my post. The wall point is quite handy because if you find the body is leaning you put an eye bolt in the wall  and a C clamp on the body. Then connect the two together using wire rope and you can pull the body straight and start to pin it there. Loosen any bracket and retighten it in the 'straight' position. Also applying your own brackets in places out of the way where they will not interfere with the upholstery etc. You can buy an assortment of small right angle brakects and 'T' brackets at any hardware store. Make sure you buy the ones with an additional small re-enforcement in the bend of the right angle brackets.
    Then you let the wire go and see if the body stays put. I've done this and it does work. I forgot to mention that you need a small gizmo called a turnbuckle in the wire so you can fine adjust the length of the wire. You would be pulling the body towards the wall so the car would have to be in a positon where it is leaning AWAY from the wall. Or if it's a small room,use the other wall of course. I did. You put the anchor point on the car up high for 2 reasons. Purchase on the lever from the fulcrum which is what the body is at this point and you want to keep the wire high away from you. (I'm 6' tall and still got hit.) As I say I have done this and it does work. I also hung a plumb bob down from the ceiling to the front of the windshield and marked the car when the car was vertical. Then every time I let the turnbuckle loose I would watch the plumb bob to see if it moved away from the mark. If it did,back went the turnbuckle until the car was back at the mark. You may want to loosen some of the metal panels and reseat their nails as well. I found it was better if you use wood screws in the panels,again out of the way of the upholstery, as the screws hold much better. If you can't use a screw then buy the same nails like they used originally but longer. If they used 1/2" you use 1" etc. Strike hard and straight with a good hammer. This is hard wood and although some of it may be soft at the surface it will still be hard underneath. And yes the correct word for straightening a body in a body shop is trammeling. They use lasers now to do it. You see vehicles incorrectly trammeled when you are behind them and you see they are 'dog legging' it down the road. It's because some part of the front or rear axle system is not square with the body. Instead of the 2 axles and the frame forming a square box they form a parallelgram. Drives me crazy. I want to pull them over and tell him or her to take the damn thing back to the shop and get it fixed! It's actually dangerous on wet or icey roads. The manufacturer and companies like Bear Alignment give out trammeling measurements to the shops to make sure the car or truck is straight and true after the accident repair. But many backyard shops dont' do it.         

General Discussion / Re: I need some advise...
« on: November 01, 2012, 02:46:18 PM »
These wooden bodies can be twisted out of shape. You need to trammel the body with the frame or some outside data point to see if it needs to be realigned. This isn't as difficult as it sounds. You can use a point on the center of the frame as a data point. With the floor boards off identify a point on the transmission in it's center. Usually on the cover. Loosen a bolt and place some kind of connector ,that will hold the end of a tape measure, under it and retighten. You may need two people to do this. With someone holding the start of a tape measure at the connector, run the tape measure up to the door openings, one side at a time, and mark down the distances. The points can be the corners of the door openings or any point you choose. Just use the exact same point on each side of the body. It will become obvious as you do this if the car is still true or not. If the door openings are square,which I believe they are, you can also use a carpenter's square to check. But be aware that the car body may be leaning to the left or right. It's most likely not leaning forward or backward because of the metal cowl. If you find any discrepencies, the fix is to use small shims of wood under the chines. These are the main large pieces that run down either side of the body on the frame. Of course it may also be obvious to you to push only one door post one way or the other to get want you want. If I remember correctly there were small steel brackets holding the door posts in place? You may have remove their screws and replace them with larger ones to get them to tighten. Also make sure the main body to frame bolts are tight. The problem is dry wood shrinks with time it does not swell. The doors on a '28/'29 are held by hinges in wooden door posts. I assume you have already made sure of the hinges and their screws?  
  The other way to trammel a body,or an airplane, is to find or make a point in the room in front or to the side and measure from there to the car. A common point on a wall is one of the best points. I used that. One last point. You should be doing this with the car off it's wheels and on axle stands which are under the frame at the 4 corners. The frame should be be level and it needs to the same height on each side and at the 4 corners. You don't want to introduce you own twist. The frames on these old cars are not very stiff.                      

General Discussion / Re: I need some advise...
« on: October 27, 2012, 09:21:25 PM »
I wish I had had this stuff back in 1977 when I started my '29U. It is actually called PolyAll 2000 because I believe it did not come around until then. I would never have disassembled my '29 to the bare bones the way I did. I spent many hours cutting up new hard wood and routing in the different designs. I could have taken out each piece alright but simply doused it with PolyAll and put it right back in. Pretty much what you're doing. I HIGHLY recommend to all and sundry to follow this restoration and learn how to use this stuff to restore the hardwood frame in situ. This is the only sane way to restore these cars unless you are going to spend several years learning to fashion new wood or have a spare several thousand to have someone do it for you. Kimmc is doing exactly what I would do today if I could set the clock back to that '29U tear down. I spent 5 or 6 years working on it only to sell it with all my work in it. This PolyAll will shorten this restoration down by years. Literally.   

General Discussion / Re: 'Shocks' on a '28,'29 or 30U
« on: October 24, 2012, 11:27:42 AM »
The springs and I would believe these shock eliminators on our old cars are slowly going down to mother earth. I would hazard a guess that all our old cars and trucks are lower because of their springs loosing their arch. I know all of my antiques have 'flat' springs now. In other words no arch left. They can actually start to arch 'backwards' with age. I would suspect these spring steel shocks have lost their arch too. Some more than others.
  If I have to store a car or truck for any length of time I place an axle stand at each of the 4 corners under the frame horns near the shackle. I lift the vehicle up high enough to let the wheels drop down and not touch the floor. This,theoretically, will save what little arch may be left. I'm not alone in doing it. In fact I was told by old guys to do it. I know you would be really surprised if you had your springs rearched. I understand they just rearch the upper 2 or 3 leaves. I had a price of $35 a spring quoted about 3 years ago. But you have to take the springs off and take them to the shop. Quite a job and why I'm yet to do it.         

General Discussion / Re: Help needed
« on: October 24, 2012, 08:28:48 AM »
I seem to remember a grease hole in the center of the pin and the housing in the shackle was reamed out inside to make an area for the grease to be held. The grease nipple was on the outside end of the shackle? The grease entered the nipple and ran into the pin filling it and then finally found the hole and entered the reamed out cavity to fill it. Grease in those days would run to a semi liquid in the heat and I assume they wanted the grease to run out of the pin cavity into the working cavity through the hole as the grease ran out of the shackle during use. Do I have wrong car? I know Plymouth spring shackles changed over the years. The '31 PAs were different than the early Q,U and 30Us. The '33s were VERY different again. (They are adjustable.)

General Discussion / 'Shocks' on a '28,'29 or 30U
« on: October 23, 2012, 03:48:43 PM »
I was rummaging around the site and came across a discussion about shocks. There are no shocks on Q,U or 30Us per se. Hydraulic Delco Remy,single and double acting, shocks came out on the '31 PA. And stayed until about 1937 when Plymouths got 'airplane' type tube shocks like we have today. What the early 4s had was a shock eliminator thing. It's an upside down bent piece of spring steel on the upper side of the leaf springs. It's been a while and I don't remember if it was only on the front half of the spring or not. It was to stop rebound which is what real shocks do. I really doubt they had any effect. They are held under one of the spring clips.          

General Discussion / Re: Help needed
« on: October 23, 2012, 03:38:41 PM »
There is no timing chain in a 4 cylinder Plymouth. The camshaft was run by a 'dry' fiber gear. Those red pressed gears you see on tables at fleamarkets. They're what is inside the front of all 4 cylinder Plymouth engines. They are dead quiet. Timing chains came out in the 6 cylinder Plymouth in 1933. (Which are also known for being quiet.)
  The only way to get out old pins in the spring shackles or king pins is to use an acet./oxy torch. The grease from 80 years ago has hardened into rock. You have to melt it down to get anything apart. Yes they do have a grease hole in the pin. Maybe a good high end propane torch like a plumber uses could do it,I use an acet./oxy torch. Couldn't live without it.    

General Discussion / Old man's '29U
« on: October 21, 2012, 09:34:51 AM »
This isn't a topic just a 'note' from me to the rest of the forum. I no longer have a '29U but did a ground up restoration on a 4 door many moons ago. I never got it together because of family issues,moving/job etc.,(I was MUCH younger then,now retired old man) but I've included a photo of it as I brought it home in 1977. It was a complete original but as you can see had conical '29 Chev headlights and painted over chrome. If my memory holds out, there isn't much I can't help the forum with. I lived and breathed the '29 before selling it,again family issues, and moving on. A few years later when the dust settled and the kids had grown up and I had more space and income I bought an original barn fresh 1931 PA 4 door deluxe 6 wire wheeler with the leather covered trunk on the back. It and the '32 PB were the ultimate in the 4 cylinder Plymouths. The PA was much much faster than the Ford Model A,my friends and I raced them, and at 65 hp. the PB was faster still. The Ford guys could not believe the acceleration of the Plymouth versus their Fords. "Watch The Fords Go By" my a**. The 6 cylinder Chevs were slower still. And the Chev owners carry spare axles under the rear seat because they snap at a moments notice. They have to push in the clutch going over railroad crossings because the on again off again torque caused by slipping traction on the rails will snap a rear axle. You don't know how good you have it with your Plymouths.    

General Discussion / Re: Issuses regarding cylinder head 1929U
« on: October 20, 2012, 02:15:29 PM »
Don't know. I knew about the timing hole. Chrysler carried it through to their 6 cylinders. It's on #6 cylinder and ,as frank and jonas say, it is used to find TDC on the 6s. The blind hole could be a mistake. But as you say it's in the gasket. Automotive manufacturers in those days didn't throw anything away if they couild help it. For instance there are '29 and '30 Plymouths around using rear tubs from the preceding years. The rear windows are different. Late '30 Plymouths can have the rear tub from the later '31 PA with the PA rear window. I've seen a 30U Plymouth with a '29 U thin ribbon rad shell but the car is an original. It always been assumed Chrysler used up a rad shell or two from '29 on the early 30Us. They would have to have used the hood too I guess. The car also does not have the 30U style hanging vibrator horn on the front headlight bar. It has a '28/'29 motor driven Klaxon inside the engine compartment. (BTW for anybody who wonders where the company word 'Klaxon' comes from it's French for 'horn'.) The blind hole in the head is curious though. Possibly meant for another car. Maybe the Maxwell that all the 4s came from?      

General Discussion / Re: Issuses regarding cylinder head 1929U
« on: October 19, 2012, 11:47:08 AM »
The small 'washer' on the outside of the head is part of the casting markings. It would mean something to the casting people then but actual meanings are lost to history. Some of the later casting markings will be a 'clock' which was set by the crew on that particular shift to show when the casting has been made. In case those castings had to be scapped and remelted. Ususally because of air holes. This went for all castings,transmission housings,bell housings,rear ends. All have castings markings of some sort on them for the quality control people. When were they made,who gets blamed,that sort of thing.     

General Discussion / Re: I need some advise...
« on: October 16, 2012, 10:18:18 AM »
This is the stuff you want to use on rotted wood. As it says it mixes like water,it does, and can be poured into wood and sets up to a biege plastic in about 5 minutes. You don't want to mix very much at any time because it does set fast. This container was about $50. I used it on dryed out hard wood and it worked wonders. Because of it I did not have to remake several pieces. I just used masking tape as a dam to stop it from running off. The tape just pulls off it like it would on paint. It comes with a can of talcum powder which you can use as a filler. When you run out you can buy kid's talcum powder at the drug store. It's on the internet. You can also repair cracked plastic knobs but you would have to paint the knob in it's original color. Black gear shift knobs can be saved with it. It also works wonders on rust. If you have a piece of metal that you can't clean all the rust off of and you are afraind of removing too much metal, you can pour or quickly brush Polyall on the remaining rust and it will seal the surface forever. Unlike paint it will not let go as it wicks right into the rust and underlying surface and then hardens. Then you just paint over it in chassis black for a finish. You have to buy throw away brushes at a dollar store because the Polyall hardens in the brush as well. I think it's so good because of it's thinness. It's like water and flows into places fiberglass resin and body fill can't. Fantastic stuff.     

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