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Projects Project 48 desoto...aka: Fernando

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by thrashingcows, Feb 1, 2010.

  1. Alright...I got my new universal fuel sender unit...it is listed as a 5 hole sending unit, with a 0 ohm =Empty, and 90 ohms = full, and good for a 6" to 24" deep tank. For a stock mopar gauge it is the opposite, 90 ohms = empty, and 10 ohms = full. But I will address what I did to remedy this, and how I made it work for my new tank.

    So here is the sending unit as I received it.

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  2. SO since this is a universal sending unit, I would need to modify it to fit the new tank. First I had to measure the depth of the tank. The tank measured out at 8", and with the gasket about 8.125". So according to the instruction sheet, it vaguely tells you what length to cut things. So I had to cut it about 4" from the under side of the top down to the pivot point. And then the float arm needs to be cut, and bent to about the same.

    So first of I had to disassemble the unit. Cut the tie straps, and unscrewed everything.

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    Then I measured down the 4" and saw that I would need to flip the mount around so the pivot point would be sitting at the 4" mark.

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    And since I wanted the ohm range switched around I just flipped it upside down and mounted it. Now it will read 10 ohms full, and 90 ohms empty....perfect!!

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  3. When I finished getting it together, I noticed that the sender was sitting crooked...it turned out since I flipped it around the upper screw was now hitting the solid center and causing it to twist up.

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    I thought about drilling a hole to clear the screw, but then decided to find a small nut that would space the screw out farther, but still allow it to mount properly. Hit my bucket-O-bolts and found one in short order.

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  4. Now I had to cut the excess off off the main body, and measure and bend the float arm.

    I measure 4" from the center of the float back and made a mark. Then I made another mark at 5", since I would have to cut the arm, and then bend it to 90* at eh 4" mark. As well as that extra goes through the center of the meter and fastens everything tight at the pivot point.

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    I put the float arm rod in the vise, and then gently tapped it until it was about at 90*....You will also need to file the end you cut to take off any rough metal edges, so it will slide through the meter easily.

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  5. I just had to zip tie the wiring tight, and out of the way, and it was all done.

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    It's a bit tough to snap the arm tight into place, but the use of so large channel lock pliers, and some finesse will pop everything into place.
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  6. Now to get it into the tank. I tried to get it to go through the hole in the tank with the float arm fastened securely in place...nope would not go. So I had to loosen the arm from the clips, but still keep it through the pivot points, and then feed it down into the tank carefully. Then once the float arm was down inside the tank I had to carefully snap it back into place.

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    Once this was done then it was just screw it down. I used the gasket, and screws that came with the tank. The sending unit came with a gasket and screws as well.

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    All done!! From start to finish probably took me about 30 minutes....not tough at all. Now to get the tank installed in the car.
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  7. Well a a fellow on one of the other boards I frequent asked a question about those zip ties I had holding the wiring tight on the new sending unit. He asked...."Wonder how those plastic ties will hold up to the ethanol, and gasoline, in your new tank?" Darn good question I thought.

    So a few of us bantered this thought around and finally came up with a suitable solution. Why not use stainless, copper, or brass wire, instead of plastic zip ties. Well it just so happens I have one of the old battery cables from Ol' Fernando...the plastic covering was mostly baked off. It was in my copper/brass scrap bucket. So out it came to donate a couple copper strands to the cause.

    Figured now would be the best time to take care of this...tank on the ground, and empty.

    Here it is all wired up...so to speak...[​IMG]

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  8. Well been busy trying to get the kitchen finished, so have not had much time to work on the old Desoto. But working on things here and there.

    I have removed the dual Heaters, and then got the dash and wiring out.

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  9. Then I had to get the fresh air cowl assembly out. Which was a bit of work since the hinges were seized, and the Phillips head screws holding things together had not moved in 60+ years. I had to use a lot of fire to get things apart. Eventually I got it all apart, did not burnt the car,, or garage down either.

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  10. Surprising everything was in good shape...no rust out. Scrapped out a couple pounds worth of guff from the bottom. Only minor pitting on some parts. Should clean up well and then I can re-install everything.

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    And here`s the dash with everything out. Just trying to decide what to do about firewall insulation. But I need to get the Vintage Air heat and AC unit installed, then I can start the re-wire.

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  11. Here is the 12V wiring system I got from EZ wiring....21 Circuit system, with the large fuses. I think it`s a great looking system, and should go in relatively easy. Comes with very good instructions, that pertain to all kinds of different makes and models.

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  12. Frankie47
    Joined: Dec 20, 2008
    Posts: 1,707

    Frankie47
    Member
    from omaha ne.

    4 pieces of advice I always trot out when it comes to wiring under the dash...
    Clean up the back side of the dash and paint it the whitest gloss white you can find......it helps a lot when the dash is in and you are under there with a flash lite.
    Always leave enough length in your wires to pull the instrument panel out with out disconnecting it....you'll thank yourself later.
    Star washers are your friends make sure they are in good shape so your wires don't work loose...and they are awesome for ground wires.
    Heat shrink all crimped connections.
    That's all I got fer now.
     

  13. Thank you I appreciate the advice. And I was actually thinking about the white paint on the back of the dash....nice to have a confirmation of my mullings.
     
  14. So been slowly plugging away on the Desoto....have the entire dash out, as well as the firewall insulation etc. Been working on getting the main fresh air assembly redone...clean, paint and new seals. Anyway last night I decided I better get off my duff and get the old bias ply tires off the rims so I can get them down for blasting. Then prime, paint and get my new coker wide whites installed.

    So yesterday evening after diner I decided to dig out my manual tire machine and get at it. The first 3 tires went fairly easily....first one was the 16" spare for the crewcab that blew up while in the back of the box. The next two were 16" bias ply from the 48 Dodge parts car...other two are on the desoto right now holding up the front end. Then it was on to the stock 15" rims and tires that were on the desoto....well things did not go so easily after this. These tires have probably been on the rims for nearly 30+ years. I fought and fought and thank goodness for my friend, and neighbor, coming out to see what I was up two. He's as hard headed and stubborn as I am, and a car guy to boot, so we worked together for the next two hours at these 5 rims and tires. We had to use addition bars and blocks of wood, and even had to use the truck to drive over the bead of the last one to break it free!

    So now a couple pics...The tire machine I paid about $40 for many years ago from Princess Auto. I have removed at least two dozen tires from rims with this little machine...paid for itself many times over!

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    And the pile of tires and rims....

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    And today I used a few of the old tubes from the old bias ply tires to make up some truck sausages...full of sand for weight in the back of the truck come winter season.

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  15. j hansen
    Joined: Dec 22, 2012
    Posts: 1,250

    j hansen
    Member
    from sweden

    Good job,great car.Subscribe!
     
  16. hillbilly4008
    Joined: Feb 13, 2009
    Posts: 2,713

    hillbilly4008
    Member
    from Rome NY

    Great car, lots of potential.

    I just put one of those EZ-harness' in a '37 Ferd. Very easy, and they give you enough wire to run the length of a bus.
     
  17. Well I'm long over due for an update...about 2 months over due.

    Desoto is in storage for the summer while the wagon gets it turn in the sun. Anyway here's what I got done before it went into storage.

    I had torn the dash and wiring out hoping I'd have tome to redo everything AND re-wire the car...well teh re-wire never happened. That is on the winter to do list now.

    Once I go the dash and under dash fresh air box out I dismantled the fresh air box.

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    Turned out to be in really good shape...which surprised me since the cowl vent had rusted open many years ago.
     
  18. Had to order a new seal for the interior door....last photo in the last post. Thankfully Steel rubber had one. And then a new cowl vent seal. Other then that it was just clean and reapint, and free up the hinges on box doors.

    I then cleaned up the groove the seal sits in on the cowl. Little sanding cleaned it up pretty nice. Only one or two very small pin holes.

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    Then mask and prime....

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    Then wait a day or two to dry and cure then mask and spray with flat black.

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    I didn't want a tape line so while the paint was still tacky I used some acetone on a paper towel and carefully wiped the edges close to the groove.

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    Came out great!

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  19. Once I got all that cleaned up it was time to clean up the cowl vent. Took a lot of PB Blaster and heat to get those screws loose to just remove it from the car. Then it was heat and more PB Blaster to free up the hinges. Once everything was moving properly I just sanded the under side and sprayed with some flat black.

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    I had marked everything so when I re-installed it the hinges and vent would go back together the way it came apart....well that was no good. After a lot of trial and error I discovered I had to loosen all the screws and get the vent sitting tight in the cowl. Then tighten everything back up...worked great.

    Had to do this before I installed the main fresh air box.

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    All done and working fine.
     
  20. Then it was time to get the re-done fresh air box in. Went fairly smooth...and glad I am that I took dozens of pics of this assembly before it came out. Getting all the braces and linkages back where they were supposed to go would have been a nightmare without those pics.

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  21. Ahhh I see by the pics I forgot to talk about the firewall insulation. The original insulation was made mainly from carboard! With a thin layer of jute and the tar paper top covering. I did not want to re-use it the way it was so I went with some stuff called mighty mat. This stuff is only about 1/4" think so I doubled it up.

    Original and new stuff compared...

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    Used the original cardboard as templates...

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    Then re-used the top tar paper covering so it "looks" mostly original once installed.

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  22. Then it was time to clean up the original wiper motor and mechanism. No Idea if this unit works or not, I don't have any 6V to test it. So I'm hoping for the best.

    Old grease was pretty hard.

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    Once I had it apart it went into the parts washer for a good cleaning.

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    Then re-assembled with lithium grease.

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    All done and ready to be re-installed. I will run a voltage drop to this unit once I re-wire the car to 12V.

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  23. Then it was time to re-do the dash. I stripped ot down to just the shell...then used paint stripper to re-move what little original paint was left.

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    Then gave it a coat of primer.

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    I guess I didn't snap a pic of the white paint I put on the back side of the dash. This was a tip from a guy on the HAMB. [​IMG] And I was in a hurry to get things done so I didn't grab any assembly pics either.
     
  24. I had bought a good used lower dash control assembly. This has machined turned detail and holds most of the cars switches and ignition.

    The original....

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    And the replacement. You can see that there is a lot of corrosion and dirt in the machined turned detail.

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    I tried many different things to try and clean it up. I tried all kind sof cleaners and brushes...even a pressure wash...just wouldn't come clean to my satisfaction. I was wandering around the garage trying to think of what else I could try when I spotted a new package of small wire brushes I had just purchased. In the pack was a brass brissel wire brush...I thought this might clean the little grooves without damaging anything. Well I was right!

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    All clean and looking better then it has in 60 years!

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  25. Then it was time to re-assemble the dash...again in a rush and didn't grab assembly pics. But here it is all back together and in the car.

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    I went with Satin Black since I will be re-doing the upholstery in Ox Blood red leather and I think the Satin black trim, carpet and headliner will contrast nicely with the red leather interior.
     
  26. And now Fernando outside with it's new Coker 7.60x15 Bias Ply wide whites.....

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  27. belair
    Joined: Jul 10, 2006
    Posts: 8,097

    belair
    Member

    Outstanding work and perseverance.
     
  28. And now a video of me driving up and down the street...with the new tires. What a difference having 4 new tires makes!!

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  29. Thank you! Slow road but getting there.;)
     

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