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Projects `47 Chrysler 3 window-Adding complexity.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by lonestar395, May 4, 2015.

  1. lonestar395
    Joined: Dec 25, 2011
    Posts: 202

    lonestar395
    Member
    from Australia

    This purchase was going to be all about retaining the as-found exterior look as best I could, but having a reliable driver...something I have always struggled with.
    All my previous builds have always taken a Right turn and morphed into something more than I intended, and then become a liability that I couldn't park anywhere without stressing about it.
    My intention was to upgrade the brakes and steering, then freshen up the engine and transmission (it is a Spitfire flathead 6 and fluid drive)[​IMG]


    2015-04-29 15.35.29.jpg


    2015-04-29 15.36.04.jpg


    Since receiving the car, I have discovered the engine is stuck, which has changed the plan somewhat, and rather than rebuild it, I am now thinking that a 318 LA Mopar engine that I have would be a better option, then I read here that it would require an engine offset to clear the steering.
    In Australia, any engine upgrade like this would require a collapsible steering column fitted with column drop break-away mounting tabs incorporated under the dash, 2 speed wipers, disc brakes, heater/demister...all worthy upgrades, but...see where we are heading.
     
    Model T1 likes this.
  2. oldandkrusty
    Joined: Oct 8, 2002
    Posts: 2,101

    oldandkrusty
    Member

    Lonestar, do I understand your dilemma correctly? If you decide to change the engine, you must also do those other alterations because of Australian laws? Or are you saying that once you decide to change the engine, it just naturally follows that you would want to do the other changes? I'm hoping it is the later. The first scenario is
    scary - Big Brother is watching you!
     
  3. lonestar395
    Joined: Dec 25, 2011
    Posts: 202

    lonestar395
    Member
    from Australia

    oldandkrusty, First scenario is correct, to get licence tags, all those modifications must be performed, then a certifying engineer must sign off on them, along with a weighbridge ticket, roadworthy report (which may have to include emission test and decibel reading) and insurance documentation before it will see the road.
     
  4. Lots of headache,I'd rebuild the 6.
     
    aussie57wag and turboroadster like this.
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  5. choptop40
    Joined: Dec 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,597

    choptop40
    Member

    Just rebuild what you have.....parts are available....pour diesel in engine let it sit , usually its the valves that get stuck,,,,,
     
  6. flynbrian48
    Joined: Mar 10, 2008
    Posts: 6,471

    flynbrian48
    Member

    You'll be surprised at how well the original "Spitfire" six will pull the car. Rebuild it it (and ditch the Fluid Drive and "Vac-U-Matic
    Trans if that's what it has) and have fun!
     
  7. 73RR
    Joined: Jan 29, 2007
    Posts: 6,360

    73RR
    Member

    Agreed. Plenty of readily available parts for a rebuild. No, it will not smoke the tires in all gears but the L6 is incredibly reliable. Dual intake, split exhaust and electronic ignition will make a few additional ponies.
    There are several different ways to go as far as the trans is concerned, but none will be compatible with the fluid drive bellhousing so start looking for a 'normal' 3-spd bell. Yes, the same bell fits the 23" and 25" engines. If you want to do some fab work then there are a couple additional trans options that replace the oem bell for either manual or auto.

    .
     
    Flat Six Fix likes this.
  8. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,044

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    I had a 47 Chrysler Royal Coupe, with a flathead 6, and regular clutch and 3 spd trans, with 3.73 gears 65 mph all day long.
    If you go with the 3 spd trans, and a dry clutch, you can get a hold of an R10 overdrive trans that would be real nice for freeway cruisin.
    To convert to dry clutch you need the obvious the shorter clutch housing, then you move the cross member forward, shorten the clutch release bearing rod, and your in business.
    Now your car, is it a Royal or Windsor?
    You could have a 3 sp trans and fluid drive coupler like the Dodges, or the M5 semi-auto 4 spd trans. The M5 is very rugged, but ain't to quick off the line, and if it is coupled with the 3.54 diff, it is a 70 mph car all day long.
    Pleanty of rebuild parts for you engine and trans available, so not an issue....good luck and keep us posted
     
  9. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,044

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Here is a pic of my old beast. I had to sell it 2 years ago for financial reasons, I owned it since 1988. I did all the work, including the paint job....
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,251

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    If it is really stuck suggest you take the head off and look inside to find out why. It may be a simple matter to free it up.

    It is not very difficult or expensive to put in new rings and bearings and grind the valves. This type of overhaul was common when your car was a current model.

    They are a good over the road performer in stock form. Although slow off the line because of the Fluid Drive. They had such modern niceties as aluminum pistons, insert bearings and full pressure lubrication.

    The brakes were state of the art for the time and work well in stock form IF in good condition and adjusted properly. Unlike the loose leaf brakes on cheaper makes, Chrysler brakes must be done right but when they are, they work very well.

    I know people who have similar flathead Chryslers and drive them regularly with no problems.

    The suspension and steering are OK for normal use. If they are in top shape. It is possible to firm up the handling by installing upper shock mounts on the frame, better shock absorbers, and fitting a thicker anti roll bar. I believe a Jeep Cherokee bar will fit.

    If it was mine I would get it running in stock form and try it out. Check over the brakes and suspension, possibly get an alignment and new shocks and drive it for a while. You might be pleasantly surprised.
     
  11. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,251

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    Incidentally, I would rather have a manual trans than Fluid Drive but not badly enough to change it. The stock setup is fine once you learn how to use it, and very rugged and reliable. I wouldn't change it.
     
  12. lonestar395
    Joined: Dec 25, 2011
    Posts: 202

    lonestar395
    Member
    from Australia


    Flat Six Fix...When you say R10 overdrive, are we referring to a Chevy S-10 ?

    My car is a Royal
     
  13. lonestar395
    Joined: Dec 25, 2011
    Posts: 202

    lonestar395
    Member
    from Australia

    Rusty O'Toole, What you are suggesting is where this project began, and I respect your comments. I am thinking the Hot Rodder in me is looking for something more than the factory provided...maybe therein lies the problem I have with pulling back on a build.
    So far all posters have suggested rebuild not replace...will see how that goes.
     
  14. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,044

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Nope, the Borg and Warner R10 1950s overdrive 3 spd trans.
    Your car is a royal, could have the fluid drive and 3 spd trans with 3.73 or 3.9 diff gears.
    post some pics of the engine and trans and we can help you identify what you have.
    1 clue for the semi-auto trans will be this, an electrical kick down switch on the carb.
    Go to this website for a lot of 40
    30s=50s flathead mopar info and technical advice. www.p15-d24.com
     
  15. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,044

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    These suspensions are great and were well ahead of their time, you can add a disc brake upgrade for the fronts, shock relocation, and you are good to go if all is in good shape.
    You are going to get all kinds of opinions, whatever way you decide is your choice, money and time. keep us informed...
     
    lonestar395 likes this.
  16. Beautiful car. Love those three window jobs....
     
  17. Hnstray
    Joined: Aug 23, 2009
    Posts: 11,562

    Hnstray
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Quincy, IL

    There is a simple way to convert this car to dry clutch/3 speed manual trans (+O/D if lucky). What is required is 1953 or 1954 Dodge or Desoto manual shift transmission, flywheel and related clutch parts including the throw out bearing. The '53/'54 Dodge/Desoto manual vehicles use the same long bell housing as do the Fluid Drive & Gyromatic cars, so all the mount points and clutch pedal operation and linkage are compatible. These transmissions are the same as the short(er) input shaft Mopar gearboxes, but have a quite long input shaft and front bearing retainer and loooong T/O brg collar.

    The big problem with this approach is FINDING a donor car with a manual trans. I have done two conversions in this manner, both of which were several years ago. But, if parts are available, it is an easy changeover.

    Ray
     
  18. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,251

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    The latest trend is to keep the original engine, trans, suspension etc and rebuild or improve them.

    47 Chrysler used some high quality parts. You can junk them if you like, but the parts you replace them with may not be much better, if any better at all. Using Chev S10 components would be like gutting a Rolex and installing Casio works. In other words less, not more than the factory provided.

    Now if you used Jaguar front and rear suspension and a late model Chrysler 300 hemi V8 and 6 speed you would have something.
     
    waynos likes this.
  19. lonestar395
    Joined: Dec 25, 2011
    Posts: 202

    lonestar395
    Member
    from Australia


    Point taken regarding the quality of the original parts...that is clearly the reason why I am now a Mopar guy.

    Risky business mentioning Jaguar suspension and Hemi V8...it is easy to speak this stuff into existence, I have already been there...


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]


    My `34 Dodge has gone down that road.....Laser cut/TIG welded front frame rails/Jaguar XJ-6 front suspension/blown Hemi.




    [​IMG]
     
    texkbc and 1952B3b23 like this.
  20. lonestar395
    Joined: Dec 25, 2011
    Posts: 202

    lonestar395
    Member
    from Australia


    Flat Six Fix, Excuse my ignorance of the early transmissions, I still haven't managed to get into the pilothouse forum, haven't given up though. Rusty O'Toole has given an interesting analogy regarding substituting inferior parts into my build...
    I will post some images of the original driveline, perhaps you can identify them, everything is number stamped prefix C-38


    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
  21. firemansteve
    Joined: Jan 20, 2012
    Posts: 42

    firemansteve
    Member
    from AUSTRALIA

     
  22. firemansteve
    Joined: Jan 20, 2012
    Posts: 42

    firemansteve
    Member
    from AUSTRALIA

    Staying original sounds good,Stu. I might have the 3 speed manual gearbox with bell housing and clutch if you decide you want to go that way
     
  23. lonestar395
    Joined: Dec 25, 2011
    Posts: 202

    lonestar395
    Member
    from Australia


    OK, I need to do more research on this subject, however these parts are going to be thin on the ground over here, I think...
    BTW, I see in your linked web page that you are from Bend, Oregon...I believe this car came from the Bend, OR area.
     
  24. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,251

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    The model only came with one drive train... 251 cu in 114HP flathead six, Fluid Drive and self shifting M6 transmission. The trans is like a 4 speed manual that shifts itself using a tiny hydraulic cylinder and oil pump. Fluid Drive is a self contained hydraulic unit that acts like a torque converter except that it doesn't multiply torque. It slips at low speeds and gradually tightens up at higher RPMs. The control system is electrical with a governor, solenoid valve and switches, all quite durable. Any problems are usually due to broken or frayed wiring or dirty contacts.

    There is a knack to driving one but the technique is simple and can be learned in minutes.
     
  25. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,251

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    That electrical gadget next to the i in Spitfire is a block heater. It replaces one of the head bolts. I mention this because I doubt you see many block heaters in Australia.
     
  26. lonestar395
    Joined: Dec 25, 2011
    Posts: 202

    lonestar395
    Member
    from Australia

    Wow, a post submitted simultaneously, offering a transmission from just down the road, as I posted how difficult it would be to find one here...I will check that one out, thank Steve.
     
    turboroadster likes this.
  27. Rusty O'Toole
    Joined: Sep 17, 2006
    Posts: 9,251

    Rusty O'Toole
    Member

    The stock power train is fine if you are ok with gentlemanly, or shall we say leisurely performance off the line. In other words I doubt you could burn rubber on a surface of greasy BBs.

    On the other hand they are easy and pleasant to drive, and once you get rolling, cruising speeds up to 60 or 70 are not a problem if everything is in top shape.

    If you plan on a lot of high speed driving a lower numerical rear gear would be nice. The easiest way to get this is replace the rear axle with one from a late model vehicle. Like a Jeep Cherokee.
     
  28. lonestar395
    Joined: Dec 25, 2011
    Posts: 202

    lonestar395
    Member
    from Australia

    The only time I have seen block heaters here was in emergency vehicles, going from cold to WOT would be hard on an engine.
    The 110V cable laying in the engine bay was the clue to figuring out what it was.
     
  29. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,044

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    The Royal line came with a 3 spd trans and fluid drive as standard equipment. The M5 trans was an option, so not sure where you are getting your info from.
    I have seen plenty of Chrysler Royals with a 3 spd trans fluid drive and not the M5/6 semi-auto trans
     
  30. Flat Six Fix
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 1,044

    Flat Six Fix
    Member

    Again a lot of the Chryslers came with 3.54 rear gears, especially if it was equipped with an M5 trans, so not sure why he would need to swap in a Cherokee diff just yet.
    I would suggest the OP get this driveterain identified, beofre masking decisions, He is also still dealing with a seized engine too. BTW Rusty how may Cherokee diffs have you installed in these cars? I do understand it's fairly straightforward?
     

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