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  1. #1
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 57 Plymouth, 37 Dodge PU, 83 El Camino
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    57 Plymouth

     



    A few days ago I got a letter from my High School Reunion committee. I made my 25th reunion, and our 50th reunion is a couple of years off in 2020. It got me thinking what I would drive back.

    Back in 95 I built a 57 Coronet specifically to take to the reunion, fun car but the dual quad 440 sure liked premium fuel …..A LOT

    57 Dodge by M Patterson, on Flickr

    I’ve about decided that I may make some changes to the 57 Plymouth and drive that one back this time. The paint and upholstery have held up well over the 10 years since I’ve built it and I would have no qualms about jumping in it today and heading back to Illinois.

    57 Plymouth by M Patterson, on Flickr


    I usually don’t revisit cars once they are built, just drive them till I’m tired of them and eventually sell them off. The problem is I’m really not tired of the Plymouth and kind of like having one 50s car around.

    One of the issues the car currently has is the steering box is getting a little loose. I built the car with manual steering because I just don’t like the feel of the 57-61 power steering (had it on the 57 Dodge). The smaller manual gear also lets me run the better flowing 56 Hemi manifolds on the car and if I went with the factory style PS I’d either have to use the more restrictive 57-8 manifolds or custom headers. Anyway I ran into a friend at the car show Saturday who happens to have a buildable manual box that I’ll probably pick up this week and send out to be rebuilt. A while back I started reading about the electric PS units and as long as I’m going to have the box and column out anyway I think I’ll do a bit more research.

    The other major upgrade will likely be the clutch or transmission. The 57 has always had a pretty stiff clutch. It’s not horrible but the last year or so my left leg has started giving me a few problems……nothing major just old age. I’ve been kicking around changing over from the mechanical linkage to a hydraulic set up. Of course now that I’ve driven the 37 a little bit, building another 46RH overdrive automatic is starting to look like something that’s also an option (although a expensive one).

    At lastly I may change out the Tri-Power out for dual quads.

    Oh well it looks like it time to start collecting parts again



    .
    Last edited by Mike P; 11-10-2017 at 01:26 AM.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  2. #2
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 57 Plymouth, 37 Dodge PU, 83 El Camino
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    Yesterday was one of those ďI hate carsĒ days. Early in the morning I mounted a new pair of rear tires for the Plymouth. Iíve only got about 25,000 miles on the car since I built it 10 years ago but decided to take a peek at the rear brakes.

    57 brakes by M Patterson, on Flickr

    The shoes looked great, but the wheel cylinders were starting to weep a little. Fortunately I caught them before any fluid got on the shoes. The local parts store had a pair of cylinders on the shelf so I had a good excuse to drive the 37 into town to pick them up. Since the part store has moved to the other end of town, it now normally takes about an hour to get there pick up parts and get back home.

    As itís only the cylinders that needed to be changed I didnít have to disable the brakes, just take 2 of the springs loose. The first side took about 10 minutes and I moved over to the other side. While I was taking the springs loose I I bumped the lining on the rear shoe and realized the lining was coming loose from the steel

    It wasnít the fact that the part was failing, or that I now had to put brakes on both sides (and take apart the side I thought I had done), It was mostly that I had to lose another hour going into town to pick up the new shoes, especially since I had already made the trip once already .

    After I got it buttoned back up and did a road test I was pretty much over itÖ..something about going thru the gears on a 4 speed Hemi just seems to have a soothing effect on me.



    .
    NTFDAY, DennyW, 53 Chevy5 and 6 others like this.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  3. #3
    stovens's Avatar
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    Mike I have the same problem here, my new home is across the freeway from the other side of town, where all of the 3 auto parts stores are located. My favorite Napa is in the heart of the old part of town where I used to live to blocks from Napa auto parts. Even though the drive here can't be more than 4 miles, it can get like grid lock afternoon when people are out to lunch, shopping, or getting kids from school, to the point of a minimum of a 1 hour round trip. Lately I've had the pleasure of multiple trips a day for both daily drivers, that seem to enjoy the new code reader I bought, and feel the need to keep tripping new codes weekly!
    When it's not the MR@ driving it with the roof down makes the trip more fun! However with the fires and smoke nothing is fun right now, not to mention the heavy influx of refugees adding to the bad traffic situation, trying to get in and out of the two local mass evacuee centers. Poor folks!
    " "No matter where you go, there you are!" Steve.

  4. #4
    40FordDeluxe's Avatar
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    Mike, nice work! I know where there is a 46rh set up that could be traded for a 4 speed set up for an early hemi.
    Ryan
    1940 Ford Deluxe Tudor 354 Hemi 46RH Electric Blue w/multi-color flames, Ford 9" Residing in multiple pieces
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    1972 Chevy K30 Longhorn P-pumped 24v Compound Turbos 47RH Just another money pit
    Tire Sizes

  5. #5
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 57 Plymouth, 37 Dodge PU, 83 El Camino
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    We may have to talk



    .
    DennyW and 40FordDeluxe like this.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  6. #6
    falconvan's Avatar
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 48 Plymouth, 48,54 Heap
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    Hey Mike, did you know your Avatar looks just like.......
    Mike P likes this.
    1 Corinthians 1:27

  7. #7
    Mike P's Avatar
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    ".....Hey Mike, did you know your Avatar looks just like......."

    Yeah, pretty much

    Cartoon 57 Sedan by M Patterson, on Flickr


    I actually found the original (bottom) picture on the net several years ago and just like my real cars just couldnít leave it alone I made 9 changes to the original picture. I used to (and still do) like the comparison pictures where you see if you can identify all the differences. I used to show these pictures to Cade, he could usually get 7 or 8 out of the 9.


    cartoon 58 Sedan by M Patterson, on Flickr

    Anybody else see all 9?


    .
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  8. #8
    mprevo's Avatar
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 1937 Plymouth Business Coupe
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    Think I found all 9. Want me list them?

    .
    It is easy to make a small fortune in Hot Rods. Just start with a large one.......

  9. #9
    Mike P's Avatar
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    "..... Want me list them?....."

    Sure


    .
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  10. #10
    mprevo's Avatar
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    Car Year, Make, Model: 1937 Plymouth Business Coupe
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    1. Hood Scoop added.
    2. Red tail light gone.
    3. Hood Ornament missing.
    4. Symbol in top left missing.
    5. Decal on rear quarter panel changed.
    6. Rear window one piece in lieu of two.
    7. Inside head lights changed to white in lieu of yellow.
    8. Rear bumper different shape.
    9. Writing in bottom left corner missing.

    .
    DennyW, stovens and 40FordDeluxe like this.
    It is easy to make a small fortune in Hot Rods. Just start with a large one.......

  11. #11
    mprevo's Avatar
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    I wasn't sure if you wanted to leave it up for a while before someone answered. Didn't want to give it way. lol

    I like the comparisons too.

    .
    40FordDeluxe likes this.
    It is easy to make a small fortune in Hot Rods. Just start with a large one.......

  12. #12
    Mike P's Avatar
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    Yup that's all of them. Most that have seen them miss the tail light.



    .
    stovens and 40FordDeluxe like this.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  13. #13
    mprevo's Avatar
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    Now I'm Jonny on the spot and can notice a tail light, hood scoop, emblem, etc. that has changed but...... the wife gets a new hair cut and I am blind as a bat.

    Gets me in trouble every time!!!!

    .
    Mike P, 34_40, stovens and 1 others like this.
    It is easy to make a small fortune in Hot Rods. Just start with a large one.......

  14. #14
    Mike P's Avatar
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    "......the wife gets a new hair cut and I am blind as a bat......"

    It's better to not notice than to mention you liked it better the way it was before. I don't do that......anymore.


    I picked up another steering gear and column for the Plymouth yesterday.

    sg by M Patterson, on Flickr


    A friend of mine happened to have it sitting on the shelf. He recently pulled it from a running 57 Dodge he converted to power steering. I was pretty happy that it was already out. They are a giant PIA to remove. The carpet has to be pulled up to access a floor plate thatís about 12Ē X 18Ē then after you get the gear unbolted the whole assembly (steering box and column) has to be threaded around the pedals and brought out thru the interior of the car.

    The down side is that it has as much play in it as the one in my Plymouth so it will still have to be sent out and gone thru. I got the column stripped off so itís ready to box up and ship out.

    rs by M Patterson, on Flickr


    Having the gear and column at least lets me leave the Plymouth together and driving until I get the box back and ready to install. I can also get some good measurements to see if electric power steering is going to be feasible.

    I spent some time up under the dash yesterday and have pretty much come to the conclusion that if I do go with electric PS Iím going to have to lose the clutch pedal to make room for it which would settle the debate as to whether to keep the 4 speed or go automatic.


    .
    mprevo likes this.
    I've NEVER seen a car come from the factory that couldn't be improved.....

  15. #15
    Bob Parmenter's Avatar
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    All that discussion seems reasonable to me.....................but has it really been 10 years???!!! I remember the discussions about the hood scoop in particular as if it were only a year or so ago. Now I'm tired.........................................
    Mike P, 53 Chevy5, randyr and 1 others like this.
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