Author Archives: joelgather

Good news, everyone!

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Good news everyone!

So, here we are.  Literally six months after my last exciting and promising story.  I’ll officially classify that as a bummer.

January

Back in January we experienced some pretty intense lows and the dodge decided that after it hit -18 degrees that it was done.  Just done.  I then experienced what I can best describe as the worst case of Seasonal Affective Disorder I’ve ever experienced.(also I’m not exactly sure its a thing as much as just “it’s dark and cold all the time and I’m bummed out”)  So finally it got warmer and I was ready to get the dodge started again.  But it didn’t, and then I moved on.

Months passed. 

I would hook the car on the charger, charge the battery, turn it over, and walk away.  Each time making virtually zero progress and losing more hope, and more importantly losing interest.

Finally I got some time off of work, the temperatures increased and I set two goals for myself.  Get the Dodge started and fix a recently cracked sidewalk.

I charged the battery once again, turned it over, added gas, turned over again, added starting fluid and finally got the car started again.  But boy, it was running BAD.  I said to myself ‘these unknown aged spark plug wires need to go.” So off to the parts store I went, and purchased a generic cut your own spark plug wire set.  This is a new concept to me, I’ve never cut plug wires before, how do I even know if I cut them or crimp them correctly.  Who knows!  Lets give this a go.

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fresh new amazing spark plug wires. but will they blend?

Car started again, this time worse. But hey! Started!  I then proceed to call the parts store up again and special order a new distributor cap, they say it’ll be there on Monday.

MONDAY

Oh yeah, my car has a habit of being a Frankenstein.  The distributor never arrived(they had no records of it being ordered either, which was mysterious) but when I said “well, lets order it since I’m here” they say “there are four available, which brand distributor do you have”  … … I give up.

A month or so later

I just can’t stand looking at this poor girl every day and not doing something about it.  So I buy a new battery charger(deciding that my father’s loaner is just not up to the task anymore)  I plug it into one of the two batteries I have and it pops up a message (reversed polarity)  WHAT?  I plug the charger into the other battery, charge it for 10 hours and it reads 6.85 volts(that’s more than enough for a six volt car, right?)  Nope.  I now own two completely useless six volt batteries.

TODAY

I finally venture back to the parts store with a battery and say ‘I think this is broken, it won’t take a charge’  They test it, they agree that it is garbage and immediately swap my battery for a brand new one, free of charge.

Liam and I return home and enjoy some Popeye’s Chicken.  Which I should note was quite delicious.  But I don’t want to build up my excitement for a new battery too much, so I take my time.

Finally, I wire the new battery up and the darn car turns over like a champ.  It even starts.  The doggone thing finally started again.

But it is running bad.  Really bad.  Seems that a lot of the little things I’ve done to tweak the car in the last six months have just taken it back two steps.

After a little more fussing and feuding I actually have it up and idling.  The idle is rough as nails and somebody is going to have to come over and flip that magic switch that puts her back in her place.  But either way I’m past my winter blues and I’m ready to start updating again.

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I like how the winter made this brand new water pump look right at home, the patina was free of charge.

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Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Winter, Booo!

Poor Dodge.  She started when the temperatures were below zero.  She ran like a champ.  But now I haven’t been able to start the little girl for three weeks.  I haven’t tried every day, by any means.  But I sit down and turn her over once a week, add starter fluid, pour gas into the carb, everything.  No dice.  I know there’s an obstruction in the gas line, so I bypassed it tonight.  Created a little gas tank, plugged it into the fuel pump and turned it over.  Gas was sucked from the tank into the carb and spits and sputters happened.  She tried to start. But that’s as far as I can get.

Well, I wanted to do something this winter with the Dodge, keep it breathing fire and avoiding another month long resuscitation process in the spring.  But that’s just sort of looking like it’ll be the inevitable case.  I just hope my valves aren’t rusted open or shut again.

I’m still entirely brand new to this whole process.  To the idea of taking a near antique and keeping it moving smoothly and freely.  But that doesn’t change the fact that I’m a bit saddened by the fact that I just can’t get her going.

I really long for a nice spell of nice weather. Some melting and some puddles. Instead I keep getting layers of ice and snow.

Well, until next time, have a swell winter.

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | 1 Comment

She still has it at -8 degrees

In Minneapolis we are preparing for a long cold night. I opted to start the Dodge up and get her up to temp before I shut it down again for a day, or a week, or whatever.

Well, as some of you might have noticed, not much going on in the Dodge world right now.  I’ve just gone through a refinance on my home and also have had some less than routine maintenance done on my daily driver.  These things have coupled very well(or badly) with the fact that it is just too blisteringly cold outdoors.  I hope to start ramping up efforts on the Dodge again in February or so.

Cheers!

-Joel

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

Dodge took a trip, with hilarious results

Dodge took a trip, with hilarious results

Happy Holidays from the 1947 Dodge Blog

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | 5 Comments

Awesome… Wait… Oh Bummmmmmmer

Over the weekend, I installed the new modern water pump, thermostat and brand new rubber hoses on the old Flathead engine.  It all went together quick and painlessly.  The new pump uses a sealed bearing which should in theory be lower maintenance in the long run. And the thermostat brings the engine temp to 180 degrees instead of the previous 160(there are I guess pros and cons for each temperature, but the 180 degree one seemed like the one I should get.

I took her for a quick spin around the block and it sure ran nice.

I then got ballsy and gave it a long drive on Sunday night.  I got really far away from my house too, but still didn’t try out the highways.  But then she completely stalled and I decided that I was finally out of gas. 

Spare gallon of gas in the car and it popped right back to life.  I drove it around for another while and stopped at a gas station to refill the back up tank.  Still driving magnificently.  I drove about two blocks away from Lake Nokomis when it started to miss and ran out of power again.  So I decided to call it a night.

The drive back to my house involved a lot of careful acceleration and clever coasting, but I did completely stall the car a couple more times.  Nothing new to me, I’m still not a professional carb rebuilder(as I think the problems lie in my carb.) nor am I all that great at diagnosing issues that are not always there.  Give me a flat tire and I know it needs air, you know what I mean.

I parked her in the garage where it idled like a champ again and shut it off.

After I drive the car I like to give it a once over, look under the car, check the engine compartment, verify that I still have proper fluids, etc.

I opened the oil cap and found it was covered in foamy white sludge.

Dag nabbit.

I assume the head gasket has gone out on me again, but I cannot say at this point for sure.  It could be related to having the water pump off for a day, and engine internals exposed to the elements, maybe some water just snuck in there.  It could be the head gasket again, it could be something that I’m completely unfamiliar with.

More than likely it is the head gasket though, as I peeked into the radiator and found a tiny layer of oil in the radiator as well.  Shoot.

That urge to rebuild the engine from the top down gets stronger each day.

Oh well, I’ll keep you all posted no matter what.

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See ya later old parts, you did a great job.

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Rock-Auto.com – supplier of gorgeous new parts! Out of pure luck I ordered an additional gasket, the pump came with a broken one.

 

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Here’s the new water pump surrounded by a freshly painted pulley and fan. Wrapped in a nice little bow with fresh rubber hoses.

 

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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