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Discussion Starter · #1,541 ·
Finally got off my tired butt and got some decent weather today too! At least it was low 50's so no heat needed in the shop to work!
I got everything buttoned up, and ready to go, except for coolant. Going to let the RTV gasket maker set up overnight, and then I'll put the coolant in it, and adjust timing after it's warmed up.
Ready for the next winter project of putting the welting in the rear fenders.
 

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That’s a good idea Vall. I do that too. No sense in rushing things. Especially in the cooler weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,543 ·
That’s a good idea Vall. I do that too. No sense in rushing things. Especially in the cooler weather.
I know a lot of guys start them right up, but considering how some seals at the China walls have been blown out, I don't Of course I don't use end seals, and just seal the ends with RTV, but I want that to set up before it gets any pressure or vacuum on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,544 ·
Got a decent day today, and finally got the coolant in the engine, and put the coil wire back on. Of course the carb was dry, so engine oil pressure came up while cranking before the engine even considered firing. But to my delight it fired off, and ran great! Sounds a bit different with the Dart heads, and I think the increase in compression, and flow helps it grab rpm's a little quicker.
I did take the video camera out to record the event, and caught a few minutes of video, I thought. Seems my SD card was too full, so when I closed up everything and came inside to download it I only had 10kb of video. Just maybe 15 seconds looking at the engine running, and the rest wasn't recorded. So have to give it another try tomorrow.
But I am excited to have it all ready for spring, and some more driving now!
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,546 ·
Got out this morning and removed the aftermarket steering wheel. Went to install the '53 steering wheel and it wouldn't catch the splines. I thought that was strange since I'd had a '52 Pontiac wheel on this column when I first got it on the road? Got to checking and the back of this Chevy wheel had a raised ridge around the edge about 1/4" inside. I was going to just grind it off, but got to looking at my tilt column and it has a plastic dust shield that sits up above the outer edge of the column. I popped that off and the wheel went right on like it was made for it!



It's almost 2" larger diameter than the old wheel, so should make a little difference with my manual steering box.
 

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Cool wheel. I like the factory look. That’s why I have my original wheel on the coupe. Not to mention the steering box is a bear to turn.
 
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Looks a whole lot better than the aftermarket wheel did. The wheel alone probably made the trip to the swap meet worth it nice find!
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,549 ·
Cool wheel. I like the factory look. That’s why I have my original wheel on the coupe. Not to mention the steering box is a bear to turn.
Looks a whole lot better than the aftermarket wheel did. The wheel alone probably made the trip to the swap meet worth it nice find!
Yes, the '53 wheel isn't distracting from the interior like the other was. In fact it takes your eyes off the newer Chevy tilt column, so that's a good thing.
And it did make #1 on my short list of swap meet things I hoped to find.
I reworked the Hurst shifter today also. Cut the short 12" handle off, and after shortening the new Hurst handle a couple inches, I welded it to my fabricated shifter setup. With the extra height, and nicely curved shape it sits back closer so I don't have to lean forward. It also makes the detents between gears further apart so it's not as touchy and easy to not go too far when shifting it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,550 · (Edited)
Absolutely gorgeous 76 degrees here today, but for only one day, then back to rainy and low 50's tomorrow. But I got the '39 outside and gave it a good wash. Amazing how dirty they get just sitting all winter! Headed straight to the gas station after a wash to fill the tank, and gave her some premium since changing heads bumped the compression from 9:1 with the old heads to 10:1 with the new Dart aluminum heads.
No idea if I got the 60-65 HP gain Dart said I'd get, but I can say I feel a marked improvement in response at the fast pedal. It easily breaks the 9" slicks loose now, and before I had to punch it hard to do the same. I drove around for several hours on city streets and freeway, and gas needle never left the full mark, so it appears it will still do OK on mileage if I can avoid too much right foot action!
I stopped by DiOrio's Old Car Parts to ask if they had an old '53 Chevy horn cap to put on my steering wheel. Rod took me back to a bin full of them and I found a nice one with the Chevy bowtie in gold in the center for $10. Looks much nicer than the gloss black cap.

 

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Absolutely gorgeous 76 degrees here today, but for only one day, then back to rainy and low 50's tomorrow. But I got the '39 outside and gave it a good wash. Amazing how dirty they get just sitting all winter! Headed straight to the gas station after a wash to fill the tank, and gave her some premium since changing heads bumped the compression from 9:1 with the old heads to 10:1 with the new Dart aluminum heads.
No idea if I got the 60-65 HP gain Dart said I'd get, but I can say I feel a marked improvement in response at the fast pedal. It easily breaks the 9" slicks loose now, and before I had to punch it hard to do the same. I drove around for several hours on city streets and freeway, and gas needle never left the full mark, so it appears it will still do OK on mileage if I can avoid too much right foot action!
I stopped by DiOrio's Old Car Parts to ask if they had an old '53 Chevy horn cap to put on my steering wheel. Rod took me back to a bin full of them and I found a nice one with the Chevy bowtie in gold in the center for $10. Looks much nicer than the gloss black cap.

wow, I should have you grab a nice one for my 51. mine is OK, but not as nice as that. What do you suppose they painted your wheel with? I am going to fill some cracks and paint mine, but not sure what to use?
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,552 ·
wow, I should have you grab a nice one for my 51. mine is OK, but not as nice as that. What do you suppose they painted your wheel with? I am going to fill some cracks and paint mine, but not sure what to use?
Didn't ask Dave, but I've painted mine with just gloss rattle can paint. I try to buy something in a quality brand like Duplicolor or Krylon, and they've held up good. Need to scuff the whole wheel good and apply a primer from the same brand as the paint.
DiOrio's had a box full of horn caps and they were either like mine, or with the red white and blue Chevy emblems like the cars had on the hood or trunk lid. Only one more like the one I got, but it had some signs of cracks starting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,553 ·
Duh. I realized yesterday I'd never tried all the shift positions with the new shifter! I assumed nothing would change from the short Hurst handle, but went to put it in 1st and it wouldn't go. Got under the car to check and the new handle was hitting the slot I cut in the floor. So I took the shift rod off, and readjusted the heim ends to lengthen it so it goes into 1st before hitting. All better now.

 

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Discussion Starter · #1,554 ·
I started my next project, which was to add in the line lock to my front brakes in case I take the '39 to the nostalgia drags this summer. Got it plumbed into the front brakes, and got under the dash to make sure all was OK with the pushrod from the master cylinder. That's when I noticed something looked odd about my brake pedal arm. The car has always stopped well with manual brakes, but took a fair amount of pressure. So I measured up the brake pedal arm, and pivot point, and came up with 4:1 ratio! No wonder it takes some foot pressure to stop it without a power booster! I'm a bit embarrassed that I never checked or caught the ratio when I was fabricating the brakes and installed this pedal. Pretty sure the donor car was power brakes, and I never even thought about it at the time.
So I pulled the hanging pedal assembly off the inner firewall, and proceeded to slice and dice it. Cut the pedal off first, and then made a template of cardboard to figure out how much to add to the arm. Cut out a 4" extension piece, and welded it to the existing arm to give me a 6.5:1 ratio now. I tossed the pedal that was on it as it was rectangular, and ordered a 40's Ford truck round pedal. So once it arrives I'll weld a 1/2-20 nut to the extended arm to thread the Ford brake pedal on. The round rubber pedal will look better than the large rectangle pedal that was original to the brake arm. Should make the '39 a lot nicer to stop, and not end up with one leg larger than the other from pushing so hard!
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,555 ·
Got family stuff done today, and when we got home I ran straight to the shop to weld my 1/2" nut on the brake arm, and reinstall the pedal in the car. It sits right where I wanted it, and feels much better than before. I'm happy with the brakes now, and the new round pedal.

 

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nice job Vall.
 
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Discussion Starter · #1,560 ·
Took the '39 for a little cruise the other day since we finally got a decent day here. Really miserably wet this spring! Along the way I began to hear a lifter clicking at idle, so today I pulled both valve covers to check all the lifters. Not sure how one rocker got so much free play in it, but #4 cylinder intake rocker was probably 3/4 turn loose? I have poly locks, and the allen setscrew was plenty tight. Maybe I missed it, but didn't hear any noise when it was cold.
Anyway I adjusted them all up this morning, and it seems to be great now. Also relocated my coil that's mounted on the firewall. My Brodix valve covers use tall 1/4" studs so I have to pull the valve covers straight up about 4" before they clear the studs, and my firewall mounted coil had to be removed to do that. Moved it to above the distributor so it wont need to be touched if I ever pull the valve covers again.
Supposed to be another good annual car show tomorrow, and they're calling for sprinkles and sunshine. If it's not too wet I'll go, but if it's more than sprinkles I'm not wasting my time.
 
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