1937-1938 four door eight cylinder touring car.

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Reanimator
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:22 pm

Re: 1937-1938 four door eight cylinder touring car.

Post by Reanimator » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:30 am

More pictures.
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Reanimator
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:22 pm

Re: 1937-1938 four door eight cylinder touring car.

Post by Reanimator » Fri Sep 11, 2020 8:32 am

The car had been sitting outdoors underneath a tree for an unknown number of years. The owner said the motor turned or I would probably have passed on trying to work with it.
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Reanimator
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:22 pm

Re: 1937-1938 four door eight cylinder touring car.

Post by Reanimator » Thu Mar 18, 2021 9:05 am

Haven't been able to work on my car for awhile because of too much other work. Haven't posted in awhile for the same reason, but I happened to be driving by and saw this.
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Thought someone might find it interesting.
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Reanimator
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:22 pm

Re: 1937-1938 four door eight cylinder touring car.

Post by Reanimator » Tue May 04, 2021 5:56 am

A couple of weeks ago I drained the old oil and put in fresh oil. The oil which came out was reddish and somewhat coagulated in places. I think it was "Marvel Mystery Oil" but i'm not sure. I put in regular 30 weight oil. Yes, I know these old engines are supposed to have zinc in their oil, but I will worry about that if I can get it running without a rebuild. I wonder if someone makes roller lifters for this old engine?

I did a compression test. Numbers were as follows.


60, 30, 60, 0, 40, 60, 10, 60.

Clearly I had some issues with the lower numbers. My best guess was some valves were sticking open or perhaps bad valve/seat surfaces. The last tag on the car was 1978, so i'm thinking the engine has sat for 43 years.


I knew it was a low compression engine, but didn't know what was the "normal" values for this engine. Did a search and found a few answers on this forum and on Packard Information. Apparently ~95 is in the ballpark of being correct. From what I can gather, this is for the standard aluminum head, but mine has an iron head, which from what I've read is a higher compression head.

Found a message thread in which someone mentions that the normal procedure for one of these old engines that has been sitting for awhile is to put 1/4 of a quart of oil into the cylinders and test it again. I did this last Saturday, and the numbers were as follows.

120, 110, 120, 75, 115, 120, 85, 120.

Apparently it was mostly sticking valves, but there may still be some issues with the valve surfaces and seat surfaces. I think these numbers are good enough to attempt to start the engine, so that will be my next effort. Had hoped to do this last Saturday but events worked against me.

Bluedevil
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:07 am

Re: 1937-1938 four door eight cylinder touring car.

Post by Bluedevil » Thu May 06, 2021 7:57 am

A jump in compression with the addition of oil (wet compression check) is usually an indication of a ring problem.

WET COMPRESSION CHECK[/b]

"To perform this test, inject about a teaspoon of oil into the weak cylinder through the spark plug hole and screw the compression gauge back in. Introducing oil into a cylinder with worn piston rings increases the cylinder's compression. The oil fills the gap between the worn rings and cylinder wall. If there's no increase in compression after running the test, an intake or exhaust valve is faulty."

I would put some 50/50% acetone/ATF, Kroil or some other penetrating oil in the plug hole and see if it frees up the rings any. A lot of times the rings may just be stuck from sitting. With all the oil you put in, be sure not to put the plugs in and try and turn it over as you may get hydraulic lock.

Another indication of ring issues is if all the oil has drained out of the cylinders after sitting.

Turn it over with the compression gauge in one cylinder and the rest with the plugs out, makes it easier to spin.

Good luck.

Bluedevil
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:07 am

Re: 1937-1938 four door eight cylinder touring car.

Post by Bluedevil » Fri May 07, 2021 7:08 am

In looking at your numbers a little more, I would venture that you might have a valve problem in #4 & 7.

Reanimator
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:22 pm

Re: 1937-1938 four door eight cylinder touring car.

Post by Reanimator » Mon May 10, 2021 6:06 am

Bluedevil wrote:
Thu May 06, 2021 7:57 am

I would put some 50/50% acetone/ATF, Kroil or some other penetrating oil in the plug hole and see if it frees up the rings any. A lot of times the rings may just be stuck from sitting. With all the oil you put in, be sure not to put the plugs in and try and turn it over as you may get hydraulic lock.

Another indication of ring issues is if all the oil has drained out of the cylinders after sitting.

Turn it over with the compression gauge in one cylinder and the rest with the plugs out, makes it easier to spin.

Good luck.

The tag that is on the vehicle is for 1978, and so i'm assuming it has sat for the last 43 years. I am indeed hoping that it is just rings stuck from sitting, and I am also hoping that running it a little bit will free them up. If they do not free up with the ordinary oil I used, I will try again with the mixture you recommended.


The good news is that I put my Frankenstein carburetor on it this weekend, (EE-14 built out of parts) cleaned the points, reconnected the decrepit old spark plug wires and with a little effort I got it running! It runs very smoothly. It Idles perfectly, but the throttle response is sluggish. Of course I didn't allow it to warm up because I do not currently have a cooling system hooked up to it and so I could only let it run for about 30 seconds. The choke was left open and I did not hook up the vacuum advance, so these things coupled with not allowing it to warm up are probably why the throttle doesn't respond quickly.

The accelerator pump is working fine, so I don't think that is it.

I used gravity feed to supply the carburetor with someone holding a small gas tank up above the engine. I'm pretty sure the fuel pump won't work, but first i'm going to get a cooling system working on it so I can evaluate the engine after running it for awhile.


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My water pump doesn't look all that great and I won't be surprised if the seals are gone. The generator has some issues as well and i'm going to have to do a little work on it just to get it useable as a belt tensioner. Someone has apparently swapped the pulley with a newer one and it looks like the little fan blades scrape on the generator body. There appears to be axial slop in it and so perhaps it has some bad thrust washers.

Alternatively the pulley may just be the wrong one, but I think I can face some material off the blades to give it sufficient clearance if everything else looks okay inside the generator.
Last edited by Reanimator on Tue May 11, 2021 4:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Reanimator
Posts: 25
Joined: Mon Aug 10, 2020 2:22 pm

Re: 1937-1938 four door eight cylinder touring car.

Post by Reanimator » Mon May 10, 2021 6:11 am

Bluedevil wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 7:08 am
In looking at your numbers a little more, I would venture that you might have a valve problem in #4 & 7.
Very likely. It may be that those have sat open all these years and developed some rust issues on the valve sealing surfaces or the seats.

I intend to pull the engine and go through it eventually, but right now I just want to see if I can get the car moving. If the motor was knocking or had low oil pressure, I would have had to pull the engine immediately, but since it seems to run smoothly and the oil pressure looks decent, I think I can put that off for awhile and concentrate on some other areas, like the brakes. All the rubber brake lines have rotted off, and I should not be surprised if I have to replace all the wheel cylinders. Possibly even some of the metal lines too.

I'm going to do another compression test later to see if running the engine has improved any of the compression numbers.

Bluedevil
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:07 am

Re: 1937-1938 four door eight cylinder touring car.

Post by Bluedevil » Mon May 10, 2021 10:26 am

WOW, that is great. A few starts with heat and cold cycles to loosen up the rings and you might be good to go

Good luck

Bluedevil
Posts: 245
Joined: Fri Oct 05, 2018 7:07 am

Re: 1937-1938 four door eight cylinder touring car.

Post by Bluedevil » Fri May 14, 2021 4:20 am

My car is an early '38 and your theft proof number is 30,000 before mine, which would indicate '37???

The Decal car tag is indicative of '38.

Perplexing

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