Posts Tagged With: success

Good news, everyone!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

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


I just had my longest successful drive in the dodge.  I didn’t take it on the highway or anything yet, but I’ve got the carb almost perfectly adjusted.  I kept the choke out only about 1/4 the way out the entire drive and probably drove for a solid 20 minutes.

Engine never overheated.  Oil pressure never spiked, nothing.  It wasn’t smooth as silk as once I finally got to the 40 mph range she started shaking a bit.  Undoubtedly related to completely rotten tie rod ends and an axle that probably isn’t even slightly balanced.

I had a blast though.  That was fun.  I’m finally comfortable with the concept of taking it out of my neighborhood.  Maybe even briefly on the highway(although I suspect 55mph is going to be my hard speed limit with this old old 3 speed and aging parts all around me.

If I was content with just leaving everything as is, this wouldn’t be a terrible place to leave the old car.  But I’m not content.  First and foremost the tank needs to be replaced.  Secondly the water pump needs to be replaced, as it is leaking pretty bad.

In reality, all the hard stuff is still ahead of me.  I really want to take a stab at rebuilding this engine.  I keep looking at the gasket set that the car requires and I realize that I’ve already had half of them out and on my garage floor.  Might as well get the rest of them out and have some real fun.

Even as I sit here and type this post out in my garage I don’t hear a single sizzle or pop from behind me.  No water gushing out of the head, no gas pouring on the floor.  Not even any oil dripping, yet.

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The dodge lives! And leaks. But just a little bit.

The Dodge came to life today.  After an adjustment of the points and a change of motor oil I finally achieved the proper amount of compression and spark and she(he) just woke right up.

It was a fantastic day.

There was this one moment, when I got just the right amount of gas and starter fluid into the carb, it suddenly just took off.  And for the first time since it’s been in my garage, a giant stream of gas flew out of the fuel pump. And a big healthy backfire and there I was.

I reattached the fuel filter line to the carb and repeated what I just did, turned my camera on and just turned it over.  Not even a sweat this time, the car just started right back up.

Now comes the careful balanced juggling of throttle and choke to keep her alive.  I danced with the knobs and pedal for a few moments and let go the accelerator.  Idle.

It was idling.

Now at this point I still don’t have water running through the old engine block, so I shut her off.

That was too exciting.

I let it rest for a little bit while I immediately sent videos to Myrna and a couple friends.  I was beyond excited.  But oh no, I have to get ready for work.  So I let it relax a little bit longer and decided to turn it over one last time.  It didn’t even hesitate to start at this point and it was once again pouring white smoke into the garage, and making that oh so glorious kachug kachug kachug sound.

I work late, so by the time I got home I couldn’t turn her over again, that would cause a panic and a stir and at least annoy the crap out of the neighbors.  So when I got home, I went about reattaching hoses and bits and pieces.

I got everything back where it belonged and started filling the radiator up.  Woops, a leak, no its just a drain plug.  Drain plug fixed, moving on.  Ok, engine is getting closer to full, oh, now my thermostat housing is leaking, ok sort of fixed that.  Moving on. Oh I see all the old hoses are leaking, better buy new rubber.  Worry about that later.  Oh…. shoot.  There is a leak on the outside of the head gasket by the 4th and the 5th Cylinder.  Double shoot.

Nobody ever told me working on this car would be easy, or cheap.  And that’s just the way it’s going to be.  I opened up a few plugs to double check that there was no moisture in the cylinders and was in luck.  So it would appear my leak is just to the outside of the engine.  Relief.

Anyways, I figure I’ll refill her with water tomorrow, show the parents my progress and then proceed to start ripping the engine apart again, this time replacing every gasket in my way.  I also have a carb rebuild in my future and I’m going to take a crack at repairing the brake master cylinder.

I created an unrealistic but still not impossible goal earlier today to get it ‘road worthy’ in two more weeks time.  So lets see how I do.

Just add water.

Just add water.

Categories: 1947 Dodge Club Coupe | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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