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1940 Plymouth Project, First ever Project car

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by CarDoctor886, Sep 13, 2020.

  1. CarDoctor886
    Joined: Sep 13, 2020
    Posts: 11

    CarDoctor886

    I like the hog ring seat idea, maybe I can finally put my old hog ring pliers to use, that gives me a lot to work with and a lot of ideas flowing


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  2. Mike Colemire
    Joined: May 18, 2013
    Posts: 1,394

    Mike Colemire
    Member

    There is a site that has all old dodge and plymouth parts, a friend used them on his 39 plymouth. I know it's Andy something, maybe someone on here can help, I can't remember what it is.
     
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  3. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,469

    goldmountain

    That coil has only one wire going to the distributor. The other one is on the back side through the firewall to the ignition switch. An early theft deterrent.

    Sent from my SM-T350 using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
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  4. Los_Control
    Joined: Oct 7, 2016
    Posts: 766

    Los_Control
    Member
    from TX

    People have converted their cars to 12 volt, run original 6 volt starter for years after.
    While the starter may be wore out, not likely because of 12 volts.
    Removing the starters from these engines is a special treat ,,, I hope you have a well stocked assortment of 5/8th wrenches in your tool box.

    Did anyone mention these cars are positive ground and not negative?
     
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  5. CarDoctor886
    Joined: Sep 13, 2020
    Posts: 11

    CarDoctor886

    So if I grab an extra 12v battery from work to test the system I would still hook it up backwards? Or if I hook my jumper box to the cables to test I would still hook red to black? I’m only 30 and sometimes at work I feel old and now this vehicles systems make me feel so young haha


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  6. loudbang
    Joined: Jul 23, 2013
    Posts: 40,111

    loudbang
    Member

    If you tear out the headliner to clean make sure to label the bows and keep them in the order they were in.
     
  7. Tetanus
    Joined: May 20, 2007
    Posts: 239

    Tetanus
    Member

    If u remove headliner I would carefully remove what's left of it and save the headliner and any other interior for patterns u may need it. And take a bunch of pics. Ya and like someone else said label the bows.

    Sent from my moto e5 play using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  8. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 3,469

    goldmountain

    Starters are not polarity sensitive.
     
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  9. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 2,622

    nochop
    Member
    from norcal

  10. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,613

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Andy Bernbaum in Massachusetts is the Chrysler parts specialist. Vintage Power Wagons has a lot of engine parts, they are the same as your Plymouth in many cases. Your local NAPA or Rockauto can supply most consumables, that is, fan belts, brakes, spark plugs, etc. It is surprising what is available from regular parts stores if you have a good part number.
    If you use a 12v battery hook it up positive ground and be sure the lights, radio etc are turned off including the interior lights.
     
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  11. F-ONE
    Joined: Mar 27, 2008
    Posts: 3,092

    F-ONE
    Member
    from Alabama

    I see more of what you have going on.
    As far as cleaning the interior......
    Remove all the loose debris and rats nests. I would not pull all the stuffings and fabric from the seats. I would just remove the really loose stuff and cover the seats with quilts or blankets for right now.

    The car has to be re-wired. It has to be. You have to be careful here. It's real easy to blow money (like straight up a wild hog's ass) with endless wiring repairs and cheaper universal harnesses.
    http://harnessesunlimited.com/new forms/plymouth web page.pdf
    http://harnessesunlimited.com/
    $855 no signals $975 with signals...
    I know this is priced high but it's a complete harness with all the looms. It's just like 1940 but better and out of better stuff. It's going to cost me almost that much to re wire the dash in my 51 Coupe. One advantage with a new harness like this is you are fixing it right. You are not having to build a harness from scratch or make do with a universal harness that you have to modify or tweak. With a OEM style harness, you are just replacing what the car originally had and with top quality stuff. In the end this approach actually will pay off.
    With that said Rebel Wire does offer a 6V harness. It's more expensive because it is 6V rated wire which is better even for 12V. The thing is with that, is you do not get it compatible with the special Plymouth stuff like the Speedometer lights that change color due to speed. You'd have to figure out how to wire that in. Stuff like that may be difficult to repair...but I would try.
    [​IMG]
    Below is what the dash is supposed to look like. Gosh, I love Plymouths.
    [​IMG]
    With some practice, you can recreate that wood grain. Maybe it's still there under all that white. I would try some Scotch brite pads to see. You could try the same on the outside.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Some Inspiration


    I shouldn't but I will.:rolleyes:
    Jumping in immediately and trying to crank the car, especially off of 12V reeks of impatience. Now, I would have done the same with my first car and I would have done the same at 30. I have more experience now. I want you succeed where I failed. You can crank it, but first get it ready to crank and run. You need to take your time especially on things like this.
    This is what I recommend.
    Change the oil.

    Open up the oil filter cannister and replace the filter. (Believe it or not but the local parts store probably has the filter in stock.)You will likely need to sop out the oil in the cannister with paper towels. I have actually used a old spoon to dip out the oil. Some use old turkey basters. You can fill the filter canister back up slowly and carefully with the filter in it.

    Consider draining the gas tank. Do this, open the gas cap and sniff. Stale gasoline has a distinct sicky sweet varnish smell. If it smells like that you need to siphon the old gas into a gas can and properly dispose of it.

    You may want to do a lot of this outside the garage. Now we are back to the brake issue. Maybe you need to get to roll easy and stop first.

    I would pull the spark plugs and oil the cylinders with just a little oil.

    Do not try to start it off the old harness.
    It's just too risky with all the rotten wires. You can Bypass the cars original harness and just wire the engine to run off battery. You can DC the ignition switch from the cars and wire that up or even install a temporary toggle or universal key switch. You can use the primary leads (starter cables if they are clean and in good shape) but isolate them from the cars harness.
    Simply put, you are wiring the engine to run, just off a new simple engine harness. All the old stuff is disconnected. Refer to how engine crank stands are wired.
    Personally I would crank it off of 6V, it's just simpler. If that's your ultimate goal, a 6V positive ground car, you might as well start with 6V. If you decide 12V, you can wire this engine harness up 12V N ground. You'll need a coil and a ballast resistor.
    ^^^ A word about what I just wrote above. Think about his. It's going to be an expense to wire it up just to run. You know it runs you have a grainy video of it running. Maybe you need to properly wire the car first. This way it's not a back and fourth effort. This way you are headed in one direction.

    You have some decisions to make. 12V or 6V. Temporary work or permanent. OEM type repro harness or a good universal type. Rolling and stopping first or running first.

    Good Luck.
     
  12. Couple of things:
    You have a really good complete car for a great restoration. And they are good cars.
    You have had some very good advice. Please use it well.
     
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  13. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,613

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    To strip the white paint a razor blade scraper works. If you are careful you won't scratch the green paint. It should come off easy, it looks to be falling off already. Goes pretty quick once you get the knack of peeling off long strips.
     
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  14. Work In Progress
    Joined: Dec 14, 2010
    Posts: 173

    Work In Progress
    Member

    The previous owner of my 49 rattle canned it flat black. Lots of hours wet sanding got it off.
    Started out like this
    As purchased.jpg
    In progress
    Wet Sand.JPG
    Finished
    Side view.JPG
     
  15. gene-koning
    Joined: Oct 28, 2016
    Posts: 2,825

    gene-koning
    Member

    I'm looking at this with a little different perspective, this is a hot rod board after all.
    You have received some good advice from the guy presenting the "restore" group. I fully agree with the guys that are telling you you need to start by cleaning the bio hazard from the inside 1st, then you probably really need to replace the wiring.
    I believe the wiring it where I have a different view point. The 6 volt positive ground works OK, IF all the original electrical stuff on the car is good. By the pictures posted, the condition of the original gauges looks pretty questionable. They can be restored, and some new gauges are available, but the prices add up pretty quickly. Other then direct replacement parts, finding any modern gauges that will function on the 6 volt positive ground is going to be very hard. The positive ground has a unique twist on how the switches are wired and used. If your switches are good, you will be OK, if they are not, finding new switches can be a challenge and may be pricey also. The original 6 volt light bulbs worked (if they are still good), but are not as bright as modern 12 volt lights are. Replacement 6 volt lights don't seem to have near the quality the old 6 volt lights had. The other disadvantage of a 6 volt positive ground is that no modern electronics (cell phone charger, modern radio?) a family might want is not going to be available.

    Buying a wiring harness is expensive. You probably don't want to have to buy a 2nd one. Before you drop the money for a 6 volt positive ground, or even a 6 volt negative ground, you may want to be sure you are not going to want to add modern 12 volt electronic items to your cruiser. Personally, I would step up to a 12 volt negative system.

    Another distinct possibility is a brake system overhaul is in your future. The original brake system was among the best available in 1940, but it isn't 1940 any more. The original system in good condition is a marginal braking system these days, and can be down right dangerous in today's city traffic. If where you live you have no city traffic, you might be able to get away with the original braking system.

    The cost to rebuild your original system is pretty expensive. Most of the original replacement parts are available, the exception being the master cylinders, they were really hard to find a couple years ago, I can't imagine its any better today. Master cylinder kits are easy, but often times the master cylinder bore is no longer smooth and leaks are pretty common. Getting the original rear brake drums can be a challenge as well, but sometimes they come off like they were designed to. For about the same cost (maybe even a little cheaper) a modern disc brake conversion can be done, and a modern rear axle assembly with modern brakes can be swapped into your car, adding a more highway friendly rear gear choice and solving the brake drum issue.

    The brake system is like the wiring, the original stuff was OK for its time, but not so much for modern times. The cost to go either way with either system is about the same money spent. You get to choose which direction is best for you and your family. I just wanted to point out the different options. Gene
     
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  16. BuckeyeBuicks
    Joined: Jan 4, 2010
    Posts: 2,494

    BuckeyeBuicks
    Member
    from ohio

    Hey, it runs, has blue dots and fog lights. you have a good start there! Welcome to the H.A.M.B., old cars are great and you will find some helpful information and nice people to help you sort things out.
    P.S. You may need a new gallon of white house paint for touch-ups;)
     
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  17. hotrodharry2
    Joined: Nov 19, 2008
    Posts: 717

    hotrodharry2
    Member
    from Michigan

    If you haven't noticed yet, here on HAMB there are a variety of opinions! Pick what fits your budget and skill sets. Being your first attempt, I'd try to use the kiss method first..... (Keep It Simple Stupid) Not a slam, just sayin..... Good Luck! As you notice there is a ton of support for you and your project on this board.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  18. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,613

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    That is why I suggest going over the car and assessing its condition first, and if possible get it running and driving. The idea is to make informed decisions and avoid getting in too deep all at once. You don't want to tear everything apart then wonder what to do. A lot of decent old cars have ended up in the junkyard that way. You need to map out a plan first.
     
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  19. n847
    Joined: Apr 22, 2010
    Posts: 2,710

    n847
    Member

    Sounds like a lot of good advice on here. I'd say just get it cleaned up, then work towards getting it running with what exists already & try to make good cost effective decisions along the way. I think getting the engine running smooth off its own wiring is a good idea to evaluate what you have there, then as you hook up any factory wiring you can narrow down what wiring is actually causing you heart ache. I also think the process of getting the engine running smooth off the gas tank not just a can (not just running but running well) will give you some time to make educated decisions about how you want to proceed. It will help you evaluate your skill set which will probably come along pretty quick given that you already have some mechanical aptitude from dealing with later model stuff.

    For my .02 cents I'd start looking into the 12 volt conversion as Gene mentioned above. At the end of the day I just think it will make the whole process a little easier & cheaper to source parts if any of your gages/lights/etc wind up needing replaced.

    Just have to weigh out the pro's & con's of all the options as you go to determine if the juice is worth the squeeze. Long term you have a lot of options with these cars. On my 47 I am running the stock suspension with Aerostar coils & a home made ford explorer disc brake conversion that was mapped out on here a long time ago. My car had the master cylinder moved to the firewall before I bought it so that made that swap even easier for me. The front shocks on these cars do little to nothing so look into an upper shock mount relocation down the road & there are alot of people who have posted on here about running a jeep Cherokee sway bar on the front end too with little fab work. W

    I would just keep posting your progress & questions right here on this thread & I'm sure lots of guys will point you in the right direction which ever way you chose to go! Good luck & just remember to have fun. Treat each little project like a whole project on it's own & enjoy the process. Keep in mind if you half ass something now you may never have time to do it the right way later.

    I'll be following along!
     
  20. As others have already stated, go slow with this. When disassembling make sure you bag and label every nut, bolt, and screw. Also, keep all trim sorted and labeled as such things are difficult to find. That said good luck with your project, hope it goes well.


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  21. 1930artdeco
    Joined: Oct 25, 2011
    Posts: 304

    1930artdeco
    Member

    I will weigh in from another prospective. I don't drive a hot rod, I drive an original 1930 Model A. This is my experience in the stock relm. 6v is fine for everyday driving (they did it up until 54/55 I believe), is 12 v better for starting and driving at night-yep. Is it better for sourcing modern parts (lights, gauges etc.)-yep as things are now 12v. But-I am sure the parts are out there for 6v from Plymouth suppliers. So don't think YOU HAVE to convert. Many Model A's run 6v and are just fine driving across country. You just have to plan a bit more and know the limits of your car.

    The drive train and brakes are fine (obviously rebuilt to stock specs), YOU HAVE TO KNOW THE CARS LIMITS! You will not beat a modern car off the line, you will not stop on a dime-maybe a few dollar bills. Now, I don't know parts availability for your cars so you will have to look into that. Just remember, don't drive faster than your angle can fly and you will be fine. I drive my car on the freeway all of the time and gone to other states for our national meets. I just plan accordingly to limit the mileage per day and watch out for all of the other idiots on the road. And you will become a much better driver for it.

    Just my thoughts,

    Mike
     
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  22. CarDoctor886
    Joined: Sep 13, 2020
    Posts: 11

    CarDoctor886

    Had the day off today and decided to get started cleaning the interior , had some extra fishing tackle box inserts and have been sorting and labeling bolts with a paper insert going in each box, ordered a battery from work yesterday and I’ll install it tomorrow and see what I see,

    I changed my distributor cap because there was a brand new one in the car, and the old one looked brand new also, all distributor internals under the cap are brand new as well, the signal wire from the coil to distributor is homemade and poor crimps so I’ll make a new one tomorrow at work, I forgot to bring my meter and test the coil but I’ll see how that goes tomorrow,

    A friend from work gave me a free set of brand new tires , 215/80r16 I believe, my currents are 6.0x16

    I found a lot of posts online about good sizes and running radials and I believe these tires should be fine, But I am curious for your guys inputs , I have a friend who can sandblast and powder coat the wheels Friday , this way I have a excuse to pull the wheels and inspect the brakes,
    Do I need a special size valve stem? The ones on it are rough , I read about tube tires and I have no idea haha

    But this is my current update[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


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  23. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,613

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Good job cleaning the car up, man it is solid even the driver's floor is not rusted out and that is the one place they all go.
    Suggest you carefully store away the new tires until you are ready to put the car on the road. Wrap them in plastic bags and keep them in a cool dark basement.
    Tubeless tires debuted on Chrysler products in the early fifties. Before that, some wheels had oval holes for the valve. It is possible to braze a washer on the back side and use a standard valve, they used to make a special valve, they have not been available for years. But, it looks like your car has standard valve holes.
     
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  24. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,869

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    My friend Fred has this 40 Plymouth. It runs and drives beautifully. He built a real nice Chrysler flat six for it, along with an od trans. Those cars don´t need much to be cool.
    IMG_20170521_114811.jpg
     
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  25. I'm a huge fan of '40 Plymouth's (see below) my first car in '76 was a '40. To repeat what's been said before, PLEASE don't attempt to start that car until you've replaced all of the wiring - it's deadly. Or, if you really want to go ahead, please roll it outside so that when it catches fire you will have some distance between the car and your house.
    40Ply_03_zpspgajzmjx.jpg
     
  26. lemondana
    Joined: Feb 21, 2009
    Posts: 160

    lemondana
    Member
    from Lincoln NE

    Looks like you have a nice Plymouth there. You have a cute little helper there also. Keep her interested in helping on the car and turn her into a car girl. I'll be watching your progress, Good luck!
     
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  27. nochop
    Joined: Nov 13, 2005
    Posts: 2,622

    nochop
    Member
    from norcal

    I hope that’s latex paint, old house paint could contain lead
     
  28. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,613

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    If the wiring is really bad, you can disconnect it and hot wire the car for testing purposes with 2 battery cables,and a wire to the coil
     
  29. Baumi
    Joined: Jan 28, 2003
    Posts: 2,869

    Baumi
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I bet most of the white stuff would disappear with a good hot water pressure washer.

     
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  30. Work In Progress
    Joined: Dec 14, 2010
    Posts: 173

    Work In Progress
    Member

    I wish my floors looked that good when I started
     
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