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chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi SuperDork
11/6/14 11:12 a.m.

Drive it!

There is one of these on my commute every night and I'm going to stop and check it out.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/6/14 11:53 a.m.
tuna55 wrote: What would ma Mopar do? (ship it)

Much like your truck door gaps, I'm not entirely content with the general as-shipped quality of 60's and 70's American cars. Hence why this one's getting a thorough going-through before hitting the road.

chandlerGTi- Buy it!

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
11/6/14 12:00 p.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote:
tuna55 wrote: What would ma Mopar do? (ship it)
Much like your truck door gaps, I'm not entirely content with the general as-shipped quality of 60's and 70's American cars. Hence why this one's getting a thorough going-through before hitting the road. chandlerGTi- Buy it!

Valid!

I made an impromptu brake lathe once by taking the wheel off and putting the thing in drive while holding a file.

You could manage something along those lines I think if you wanted it to get a few good rotations to see if things smooth out.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/6/14 1:10 p.m.

That's an awesome idea for cleaning up brake drums. Remove drum, bolt on backwards, run car in gear on jackstands while sandpapering drum.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/10/14 11:07 a.m.

Saturday morning I woke up and realized that all I had to do to get the wagon roadworthy again was reinstall the rest of the rear brakes, fix the bad chaffed front brake hose, bleed the brakes, and put the tires on. After that, the engine fired right up and idled fine for about 3 minutes, before mysteriously dying. Before getting too crazy, I checked the easy stuff first; I disconnected the fuel line from the carburetor. Sure enough, bone dry. The fuel gauge was reading a bit under 1/8 tank....

Off the gas station in the wife's car, 6 gallon Jerry Can riding shotgun. 5 gallons into the tank, a splash down the carb, a quick crank and "VROOM"!

With everything put back together, I took the wagon for a drive down to the gas station to fill it up properly. Here's some pictures of the car in it's natural habitat, for posterity:

IMG-20141108-02526

IMG-20141108-02527

The wheels are actually more of a cream color, the photos make them look yellow though. And no, the fender skirts aren't on in either picture.

Some notes from the 10 mile drive:

a) The odmomoter and trip odometer don't work.

b) There's a noise coming from the dash as speed. I lubed the speedo cable, but it persists. It may be related to item a), above.

3) Without a tach, it's hard to gauge what the engine is doing. Pressing the gas pedal makes the car go much faster, without any appreciable increase in engine RPM, and no shifting. I had the speedo up to 70 mph indicated, though I think that may be a bit optimistic.

4) The power drum brakes work, and work well- the car stops nice and straight, with barely any pedal effort at all. That said, there's definitely a limited amount of retarding force available. It seems safe enough, though, even at higher speeds.

e) I'd forgotten what it's like to drive a 60's Chrysler with power steering. No on-center feel...no feel at all, actually. But if you pay attention, it actually handles rather well.

f) The front end clunks. I discovered why, though- a displaced sway bar bushing. An easy enough fix.

My plan now is to fix the speedo noise and the heater, clean the interior thoroughly (it's cluttered with various receipts and Auto Parts boxes) and then enter the car into my daily driver rotation (on nice weather days only, of course).

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi SuperDork
11/10/14 11:14 a.m.

Nice! That looks like a barrel of fun.

I stopped on Thursday at that car for sale and it was actually a mercury commuter. Never seen this generation of that before and since it was in a row with a polara, dodge dirt track truck, a cranbrook and a fury III I just figured it was a chryco product. Online I can only find the previous body style commuters.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/10/14 11:31 a.m.

Ah yes, the Commuter. Those are pretty cool. What year? Any idea what engine it had? Pics? Feel free to post them in this thread.

That sounds like a very cool row of cars.

chandlerGTi
chandlerGTi SuperDork
11/10/14 11:37 a.m.

It has to be the same vintage as yours, my grandpa had the previous body style that looks like a 58 ford Victoria with four doors and a long roof. Cool cars. I'll see about the pic, he has a private junkyard and pulls cars out by the road as he needs some money.

MailmAn
MailmAn New Reader
11/12/14 5:45 a.m.

What kind of condition was the Cranbrook in and what year was it? (They only made that car for like 3-4 years anyways.) That is a pretty cool looking car. Is it a 4-door sedan or a coupe? (They even made a convertible, but I doubt it is a convertible as those were probably pretty rare...)

Toyman01
Toyman01 GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
11/12/14 5:55 a.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse:

What a spectacular car! Very cool.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/12/14 1:42 p.m.

Any thoughts on spreadbore carbs? I think I'm going to get one for this beast.

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
11/12/14 2:23 p.m.

For your application a spreadbore is exactly perfect

RoadRaceDart
RoadRaceDart HalfDork
11/12/14 5:42 p.m.

These guys can help with the numb sterring and any sea sickness that may occure I miss my '66 TnC C-Barge suspension stuff

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/13/14 7:23 a.m.
tuna55 wrote: For your application a spreadbore is exactly perfect

GM did build probably the world's second most perfect carburetor, right after the SU.

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
11/13/14 7:36 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote:
tuna55 wrote: For your application a spreadbore is exactly perfect
GM did build probably the world's seond most perfect carburetor, right after the SU.

If you want a carb, distributor, transmission or engine, GM pretty much always did a decent job. Look elsewhere if you want a shifter or a rear end.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/13/14 8:07 a.m.

We'd argue about the engine part, but I'll agree with the rest of that statement.

That said, the 350 in Mrs. VCH's Camaro starts, runs, and sounds really frigging sweet. I suspect the headers may have something to do with that, though.

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
11/13/14 8:11 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote: We'd argue about the engine part, but I'll agree with the rest of that statement. That said, the 350 in Mrs. VCH's Camaro starts, runs, and sounds really frigging sweet. I suspect the headers may have something to do with that, though.

Well, OK, the starters were never perfect, and they always leaked oil and the exhaust ports were weird, but the V8 lineup is pretty awesome, especially considering how interchangeable they are. Ma Mopar did pretty well with their engines too, but most of the ones that actually left the factory did a lot more "lasting forever" than they did "making power".

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/13/14 8:22 a.m.

I am a fan of how Chrysler pretty much developed one line of engines and used them in everything. So a 318 might go into a Dodge, a Plymouth or a Chrysler. Same with a Slant 6, a 440, whatever. GM made some great engines, sure, but you've got Buick engines, Olds engines, Cadillac engines...and then you've got engines that were even the same displacement, but different- Chevy/ Olds 350 and 307, etc. What a mess. And even GM knew the engines weren't even that different- they stuck Chevy engines in Oldsmobiles and then got sued for doing so (early 80's, I think). Even Ford wasn't as simple as Chrysler, what with their Windsor and Cleveland and M engines and "Ford Edsel" and whatnot.

head spins

Chrysler took their development money and poured it all into a few engines, and made them pretty decent. If GM had done the same thing, the 350 Chevy might have become the LSx a decade earlier.

NOHOME
NOHOME SuperDork
11/13/14 9:01 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote:
tuna55 wrote: For your application a spreadbore is exactly perfect
GM did build probably the world's second most perfect carburetor, right after the SU.

SU design is amazing. Execution not so much. It is the later that has perceptually relegated the SU to the crap-box section of the automotive world.

Understanding SUs is not very hard. Trying to figure out why a particular pair of them is not working as expected can be a lot more fun.Given 20 or more projects, it becomes much easier to know where to go looking for issues, but the first timer does not figure this out. The result is often a Webber DGV replacing the worlds greatest fuel leak.

MailmAn
MailmAn New Reader
11/14/14 6:15 a.m.
volvoclearinghouse wrote: I am a fan of how Chrysler pretty much developed one line of engines and used them in everything. So a 318 might go into a Dodge, a Plymouth or a Chrysler. Same with a Slant 6, a 440, whatever. Chrysler took their development money and poured it all into a few engines, and made them pretty decent. If GM had done the same thing, the 350 Chevy might have become the LSx a decade earlier.

Yeah, I have to agree with you 100% there. I love the Chrysler engines too. It's wonderful that all of the LA smallblock engines have the same identical block, so all of the performance parts available will fit any engine - a 318, a 340, or a 360 V8. The only time when Chrysler Corp did mess around with different engines in different marques was back in the 1950's when they first started rolling out their V8 engines. Since Chrysler was their top-of-the-line brand, they got the first Hemi V8 engines a couple of years before Dodge or Plymouth and they always had to have the biggest engines. So, when Dodge finally rolled out their version of the Hemi V8, the Red Ram, it had a smaller displacement and less HP output than the Chrysler FirePower. Then poor Plymouth, the "value brand", never got a Hemi of their own. They had to settle for a "Polysphere" knock-off Hemi with only 315 cubic inches and mediocre HP numbers at best. Thankfully by 1959-1960, Chrysler learned their lesson and developed one lineup of engines to put in every brand, starting with their development of the slant-6 engine to replace their old and tired flathead 6 and then rolling out their new line of LA V8 engines, followed by their big block 440 V8.

bmw88rider
bmw88rider GRM+ Memberand HalfDork
11/14/14 6:33 a.m.

I'm in the boat of loving the interchangeability of Chrysler LA series. I've got parts from 3 different engine types in my 340. I've got the crank from a 273 in my 340 block and then 360 heads. I had to do the 273 crank to get a forged crank and to get the small button torque converter mount.

The funny thing is that even the run forever engines are just a cam and some compression away from making some good horsepower.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/14/14 7:28 a.m.

The Magnum engines were a little different from the regular old LA engines, but even that's pretty understandable; mostly in the head and intakes. And 360's are externally balanced, unlike 273/318/340's

Chrysler made a de-stroked 340 in the 1970's that was like a 303 or something. It revved like a rotary, solid lifters and all. Whee!

The 2 bbl 383 in my Town and COuntry was rated 270 HP witht he 8.5 compression and 2 bbl carb. The "hot" version was (IIRC) 335 HP, with only a cam, compression, 4 bbl, and dual exhausts. With today's modern cams and a little head work on some stock 906 heads, 450 HP is easily doable on these engines.

The heads, BTW, are another amazing feat of engineering. The Wedge heads for the 361/383/400 engines (B Big Block) are interchangeable with the ones for the 413/426 wedge/440 (RB Block).

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
11/14/14 7:32 a.m.

I remember you telling me how awesome those more modern magnum engines were. Then I remember showing you a great view of the tailights on the GMC...

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse Dork
11/14/14 8:04 a.m.

Yeah, that 318 with 200,000 plus thousand miles coupled to a worn-out 904 trans wasn't exactly a great example of the breed. I'm not surprised your 350 beat it. The GMC was likely lighter than the newer Dodge, too. And I let you have a rolling start, so you didn't have to slip your clutch.

Dusterbd13
Dusterbd13 SuperDork
11/14/14 8:50 a.m.

I think you need a rematch. Ill let you use the duster to uphold the mopar torch. Tunas truck is still probably lighter though.

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