View topic - Suggestions for Awakening a Sleeping '53 Hemi

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2016 8:30 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:24 pm
Posts: 10
Proud new owner of a '53 Hemi, arriving home tomorrow, 51k miles, not power steering. Hasn't been started in around 2 years but my understanding is that it was driven regularly and well cared for prior to that. Engine turns freely. My questions are regarding fluids & fuel before I start her up:

1. Any suggestions on gas additives (cleaner, octane boost, etc) and type of gas itself? (I do have access to non-ethanol.)

2. Suggested oil and additives for motor? For Tip-toe trans?

Any other suggestions are welcome.... thanks.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:07 am 

Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 10:57 pm
Posts: 279
Yes, use gasoline without ethanol if at all possible.

Use octane booster only if needed like with pinging under acceleration.

Use a lead substitute if your engine has not been updated with hardened valves and valve seats.

You may have to drain the tank and clean it if its been sitting and a lot of contamination is present. Disconnect the fuel line ahead of the carb and turn the engine over to pump gas into a container and see how clean it is. I've heard SeaFoam is a good fuel conditioner.

Probably wouldn't be a bad idea to pull the plugs and squirt a little engine oil in the cylinders and turn the engine over a few times to lubricate the walls before trying to start it.

Any quality engine oil will work fine. If you can find any that still has zinc, that is a plus. I recommend at least a 30W oil or 10W-30. No additives unless there is a lot of burning of oil because of sticky rings, etc. and you need to try to loosen things up. Some others on this site may have better suggestions. I personally don't use any.

Same for the Tip-Toe shift............I have had no experience with this feature.

Congratulations with your "new" DeSoto, welcome to the forum, and keep us posted as to your achievements with the car.

"It's delightful, it's delovely, it's DeSoto"

"It's delightful, it's delovely, it's DeSoto"

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:46 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:24 pm
Posts: 10
Great tips, thanks Fred. Will see what others may have to add....

PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:11 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 09, 2010 6:43 pm
Posts: 975
No quarrel with Fred's suggestions. I've been using non-ethanol fuel for several years and drive 30 miles roundtrip to fill up. Definitely worth the drive and effort.


PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2016 3:11 pm 

Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 10:21 pm
Posts: 213
I would do the following:

1. Jack the car up.
2. Add a "draw through" electric fuel pump near the tank.
3. Add new gas to the tank.
4. Disconnect the line at the carb.
6. Turn on the electric fuel pump and push the entire tank of gas through and throw it away. (properly)
7. Pull the plugs, add several squirts of marvel mystery oil, let sit over night. do not put in new plugs yet. Then drain oil. Best of all worlds would be to take pan off and make sure it does not have a inch of sludge in it. Fill with new oil.
8. drain and replace oil in M6 Semi-Automatic with non-detergent 10W oil.
9. *** This assumes you have a "Fluid Coupling and an M6" not a "Torque Converter and a M6" also called Fluid-Torque Drive. That later system used engine oil. See you service book if you have that combination.

For a Fluid Coupling and a M6: Take off lower bell housing cover, turn fluid coupling fill home down, drain fluid coupling. Turn back up to 2 O'clock hole in floor pan and fill with Mobile DTE light circulating oil ISO 32 which you can get a pail of it at Grainger.
10. Open all the wheel brake cylinders and add fluid at the mater cylinder and push a gallon through until everything runs clear. Then close all of them and do a standard break bleed.
11. Fill up gas tank with new gas.
12. Add Marvel Mystery Oil to gas see Marvel instruction for amount.
13. Disconnect coil wire, turn engine over for four 15 second bursts with 2 minutes rest between each burst to not stress the starter.
14. Now put new plugs in.
15. Prime gas buy turning on electric pump for one minute.
16. Start car, go for a drive.

Comments. Drain the cooling and put in some anti freeze. I disagree with the person who put a premium of zinc additives or oil with zinc. I did serious research on this and it is snake oil for all but high lift race engines and breaking in new engines. Don't waste the time an money.

Chrysler used a slightly higher level of nickel in their castings than other until the mid-1960's. I would not bother with any lead additives or the like. Just use premium unleaded if your engines book compression ratio is over 8.5 to 1.

I have been running unleaded for over 50K miles on my flathead six's and had no problems with valves. If I take a long high speed summer run someplace, I put in Marvel Mystery oil in the gas.

Good luck, James

PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 1:00 am 

Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:00 pm
Posts: 405
Order 6V Optima battery from streetside auto.

File the points and start it up. No fire?? Replace condenser and cycle points with start it up.

Other advice valid. It is a nice easy running engine with no vices.

Good luck

PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2016 4:12 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2015 7:24 pm
Posts: 10
Thanks to all for the detailed suggestions. I performed some, but not all, and was amazed that the car started fairly easily and idled smooth as silk.

Drove it low speed around the driveway, so far so good, except for a loud squeel from front wheel when braking that I need to check out....

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