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Projects The 48 Plymouth hits the slab... game on.

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by guitard, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This will be a build thread documenting the resurrection of my 48 Plymouth 2-door DeLuxe sedan. Some OT mods were made to it by the PO, but considering he was an old-school railroad man I can look past that. I won't talk too much about those things here, but suffice to say it drives & rides like an early 80s Regal. 'Nuff said.

    That tells you what the smoking, knocking little engine that's in here is too, which will be coming out. But don't tell me to "Keep it all MoPar" please; it's too late for that and I'm not a fabricator so I can't put a 318 into what this car is underneath. I'm a parts swapper and I just want to get this cool ride cruising again.

    One Mr. Rideout welded this all up in the late '80s and passed not long after, so refinement was minimal and then it sat & deteriorated.

    Going for a '60s look with concessions to long road trips and the daily driver I want this to be. It's the coolest thing I've ever owned and I'm going to learn a lot tearing into this. Unsure of the grand plan yet, but wanted to start this as it hit the slab today and it won't be long 'til it starts to come apart.

    Hoping this will inspire others of less-than-fabricator abilities to take something on & just chip away at it.
     

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  2. need louvers ?
    Joined: Nov 20, 2008
    Posts: 12,912

    need louvers ?
    Member

    Cool man! Always good to see other '48 Plyms about.
     
  3. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The Lone Star Roundup got me all revved up. This thing has been sitting here waiting on me. It ran & drove enough to take it into town a few times, but warmed-up oil pressure issues and a slippery trans meant that was as far as it went.

    I love this thing, I love all the art deco touches like the taillamps, and I love the hitch the guy welded up for it. I don't love that he used the ENTIRE wiring harness from the donor car. There is nine miles of wire in this car, eight of it wrapped, coiled, or hanging loose and going nowhere. I think two would run the whole buggy. The whole clusterfuck is coming out, I scored a wiring kit from a car buddy. That's near the top of the list once the big leaky lumps come out.
     

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  4. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 542

    GeezersP15
    Member
    from N.E. PA

    Take a gander at the P15-D24 website (if you haven't already done so). Everything you would ever want to know about your P15 can be found there, either in a search, or by asking a question to the forum members.:D
     
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  5. Shame you can't go back to Mopar, but I understand. With what I'm guessing is under there, nothing wrong with dropping in a nice SBC with finned valve covers, maybe a 3-deuce if you can.
     
  6. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    GeezersP15, I'm there... now if I can only remember my password.

    Don-vee, BINGO! Three 2s is a little pricey for me at the moment, but that's probably what's going to happen engine-wise. I at least want it to look the era. And it's a bolt-in, good for me honestly. I have a great running /6 I'd love to put in, but I'm not that guy. All my other OT Mopars are all Mopar... this one can just be what it is. And I'd love 3 2s eventually.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  7. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Had picked up these from an old hot rodder for the front, one wasn't salvageable and the good one won't hold air in the tire for long... but this is what I'm going for. Black steelies in the back. What interesting steering wheels (remember, GM column) would I have seen bolted into mild street cars like this in the mid '60s?

    Lastly, anyone know when the red white and blue Garlits tach came out?

    I appreciate the '60s detail help and info.
     

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  8. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    BTW if this isn't close enough for traditional, go ahead and move this thread wherever - I won't throw a fit like some other guys. Given the look I want I thought it may fit.
     
  9. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,100

    George
    Member

    SBC is rear sump, so are 318 & 360s in Vans & Pick Ups. So no good excuse there for saying you can't use a Mopar in it. When I bought mine it came with a Cutlass clip & a 455. When the tranny crapped out I pulled the 455 & tranny & dropped in a 331 Hemi & 727.
     
  10. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    George... did you make your own engine mounts? Did you fab the trans crossmember?

    I didn't say it couldn't be done, I'm just not that guy... and it's in my driveway.
     
  11. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,100

    George
    Member

    Yup! Used Chassis Engineering upper mounts & made my own lower mounts. Fabbed up a tranny crossmember too, all in my driveway.
     
  12. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Maybe next time around on this one I'll have the time - tools - skills for that, but right now I have a little of each and I think I can stretch them to get her running as I'm able.

    I'm going to learn a lot... but I think I'll start with floor metal and work my way into mounts & crossmembers when that's more realistic.

    Talked to a buddy today who's pulling a SBC out of his '56 wagon for a much hotter build. Perfect engine for me, and I'll have a rebuilt trans too. Main goal: take this old project of a good hardworking man long passed and finish the job; I feel lucky to be the guy that gets to enjoy it - rough as it may be now - in his stead. His grown son cried on the phone when I tracked the family down through a receipt I found in the car.

    Lots of big, blue-collar railroad guy welds in this. His dream. His labor of love. His sweat and - judging by some of the cutoffs - his blood. Rough, but he did his best, now it's my turn to do mine. Goal on this is next year's Roundup. I'll be the wierdo camping out in a 48 Plymouth in with the motorhomes and trailers. Then I'm driving it to Arizona to visit my father. He's the reason I'm into cars... life just took me elsewhere without a wrench in my hand for the first half.
     

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  13. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 542

    GeezersP15
    Member
    from N.E. PA

    Guitard,
    Just keep chipping away at it, and you'll "Git Er Done !!". Should be a sweet ride. And the SBC will scoot her along very nicely. Keep us posted.
     
  14. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Geezers, 10-4 on the chip-away method. It got my daily drivers (OT '60s-'70s) together and going, now I'm ready to tackle this one. I think it's good for a man to do something he loves but struggles at... it's what I've always preached to my students & clients. Now I get to kick my own ass...

    My wife can never figure out how the project cars move around when she's not here. This one will run but I didn't feel like putting 2 quarts of tranny fluid in it just to get it to move 50 yards. So I brought out my secret weapon. Look closely who's driving the push truck...
     

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  15. Big-O
    Joined: Dec 28, 2012
    Posts: 119

    Big-O
    Member

    Very cool find. Don't blame your for going sbc, but a 230 flatty with a pair of ball in ball carters would be way cool. Good luck with your project.
     
  16. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Big-O, I know... too cool. Another car. This one in its current state and the situation just points me to the SB. Once I'm past this one I'll be ready to take on something I know even less about!

    Bright side, I can afford all the old pieces I want to dress it with... I'm just going to be happy to have it. The thought occurs to me of the Caddy conversions into the particular front end under this car that were popular years back... but I got what I got and I gotta work with what falls together this time.

    Car's name is "Red Dog"... tomorrow I start making the big list I'll be crossing off for the next several months. That's exciting all by itself!

    HAMBer Greezy posted this pic, not sure if it's his or not (and I hope it's ok I use the pic here) but if realistic circumstance leads me to SBCdom, this is about the prettiest thing to my eyes... I wouldn't mind having that under my hood at all, honestly.
     

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  17. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,730

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    Well guitard, your Plymouth is the first I've seen with the same heater I have. The Eastern cars all had a much bigger heater under the hood.
     

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  18. GeezersP15
    Joined: Dec 4, 2011
    Posts: 542

    GeezersP15
    Member
    from N.E. PA

    Here's another picture of a SBC in a P15 for you.:D
     

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  19. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ulu - is it? What can you tell me about it? It's something I'd like to have working for sure. Is there a 6v blower in there I need to fit a 12v in place of... any suggestions?
     

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  20. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,730

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    The armored conduit and Square-D electrical box is interesting. Doubt I've ever seen one on a car before.
     
  21. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,730

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    It'll be real obvious once you get it out. You can see the 6v motor from the top & the fan is visible from the bottom doors.

    It looks very similar to any 12v GM blower motor, from what you can see externally, so there are probably lots that will fit. I've got one stashed away somewhere for it, but I can't recall what it came from. Possibly from an old Chevy.
     
  22. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,730

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    Oh yeah, if you use a GM, check the rivet with the ground wire from the brush to the metal case. On many, it also went through a small insulation board. That wears from vibration, and the ground loosens up eventually on OEMs.

    I've seen aftermarkets do this in 6 mos! It took my Caddy several years.

    That insulator is only needed on the hot brush wire, but the ground rivet helps hold it in place at assembly. Anyhow, I've replaced those rivets on a few cars, to get the insulator out of the connection, and that fixed it permanently.
     
  23. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Ulu, you rock. Now where else would I get THAT info?! Going to turn the first real wrench on it this afternoon. I've got Chuck Berry's "Great Twenty Eight" cued up.
     
  24. Ulu
    Joined: Feb 26, 2014
    Posts: 1,730

    Ulu
    Member
    from CenCal

    Thanks bud. It's amazing the little things people pick up from working on cars all their lives.

    I think you're going to like the Plymouth a lot. It's one of the simplest to fix cars ever and they're really very solidly made; but there are about 5000 screws and bolts to deal with.

    Not like modern cars that snap together then fall apart when the plastic shrinks.
     
  25. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Well, round one went well. This thing is coming apart easy. The radiator was wedged in, held in place by the hoses & tranny lines. The elec. fans were held to IT by one piece of bailing wire. And on closer inspection, the inner fenders aren't doing much - they're not connected down low, just to the fender up top. They were intimidating me because of the tight engine compartment; five bolts later, that passenger side flop-fest is coming out. If the driver's side is the same (I'm betting it is), ie providing no support or attachment points to the fender, out it comes. To me, this means great airflow through the engine compartment and NO space issues. Cool.

    First pic is "Before" and my impression of twenty lines & gadgets coming off a carb, a hammering smoky no oil-pressure having greasy lump, and ten miles of wiring under the hood, most of it going nowhere...

    Felt great to be wrenchin' on my ride. This is by far the coolest car I've ever owned. If only it could talk.
     

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  26. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    This is the kind of stuff I love... long ago, this was one guy's project for his project. Probably had the cassette player going, maybe a dog lying in the shop. Probably a cold Coors in a can. And some scrap metal... and an idea of how to mount his horns in his ride. This was one man's evening in his shop. I'm honored to have it.
     

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  27. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    THIS is the stuff I DON'T love... all this probably seemed like a great idea in 1988. And I do have my work cut out for me with the floor rot... I've never welded anything in my life. Methinks that's about to change. Of course, I've never wired up a whole car either, so what the hell. Welding 101, wiring 101.
     

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  28. guitard
    Joined: May 16, 2012
    Posts: 198

    guitard
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I just can't wait to be looking over this dash, down the hood, on a road trip. One thing I'm definitely going to need is everything that guides & seals the windows in the doors. If anyone has suggestions, I'm all ears... at least that's what they told me in second grade. ~Scott in TX
     

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  29. harleyjohn45
    Joined: Aug 27, 2012
    Posts: 190

    harleyjohn45
    Member


    It will turn out better than you think. I've found some good deals on rubber seals on Ebay, Rock Auto also has some. Some of the big name companies can tear you up on rubber. As far as welding, by the time you finish this car, you will be an expert with a mig. good luck
     

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