View topic - What did you do with or to your DeSoto today?

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PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2017 5:53 pm 
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Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2010 11:04 am
Posts: 984
Location: Windom, KS
Congratulations!!

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1949 De Soto Custom Convertible (project)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 4:41 am 
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Location: Morgan Hill, CA
FredRoman wrote:
Congrats Doug, glad you got your "baby" home. Been following your posts but wasn't sure you were going to wind up with this one for sure.

Keep us posted with your progress.

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



Thanks Fred and Tim. I wasn't sure I wanted a pink car but it's growing on me. I like that it screams it's a 50's car. Will look better when I get the correct shell pink on it.

Was busy today but did find some time to start cleaning/polishing tail light lenses and chrome. Found a National DeSoto Club license plate frame so need to get that on too. I'm having lots of fun so far learning bout the car.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 16, 2017 11:14 pm 
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Today I cleaned up the back plate and put on the license plate frame.

Not sure if I'll get a 56 plate for this or leave it as is.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:14 am 
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Raining today so only did one thing.......got it insured and registered in my name.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 20, 2017 7:42 am 
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Sounds like a productive rainy day!

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 24, 2017 10:16 pm 
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Small steps....got it registered and insured in my name and also topped off the radiator. Was about a gallon low. Previous owner had the radiator redone so hopefully they forgot to fill it. Doesn't seem to leak or be coming out the tailpipe....I'll keep a watch on it. Ran it for about 10 minutes and the little lifter noise it had previously went away once it warmed up. Checked the oil and that was good.

This weekend I'll try and adjust the brakes and then take it for a ride. Only have driven it about 200 feet so far.

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PostPosted: Sat Jan 28, 2017 6:41 am 
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Got the DeSotomatic clock installed in the steering wheel. Also cleaned up the gauges and dash a little.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 8:15 pm 
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Last weekend I installed a new master cylinder and master brake hose on my 56. I now have working power brakes!

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 05, 2017 2:37 am 
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI United States
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I have been spending some time during the Michigan winter repairing a few parts on my '52 Firedome Hardtop that didn't work. The first one I tackled was the heater. It didn't make heat. The blower worked, and air came through the system, but the heater hoses didn't get hot, and there was no heat. I also noticed a little moisture around the heater valve.

First I disassembled the dash to access the heater valve. I drained the coolant down low enough to work on the hoses, and started disassembling things. I thought the valve might be plugged, but it seemed to be free and aside from the leak, just fine. I discovered to my astonishment that NAPA carries a repair kit for the seal in those valves- Part number 6601000. I bought two- an extra one just in case. I rebuilt the valve (photo attached). This valve is called a "Thermal Pill" design, and functions a lot like an automatic temperature control. It works fine with no leaks now.

The real problem was a plugged heater return line at the water pump. It was plugged with a green jelly from the anti-freeze! I cleaned that out, and now the heater works just fine. Turns out that jelly is common when fresh anti-freeze is installed, and the engine is not run at a high enough speed for long enough to circulate it thoroughly. It usually forms on aluminum or brass parts. So, with that fixed, I am 1 for 3. Still need to fix the clock and the radio. More on those later.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 11, 2017 11:03 pm 
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O.K., after fixing the heater, I thought I would fix the clock in my 1952 Firedome. Turns out this was a pretty easy repair. With the glove box door and lower panel removed to fix the heater valve the clocks three attaching nuts were easy to access. This clock is a two piece affair- the motor fits to the hands and bezel assembly via a twist-lock mechanism. With the motor removed, removing three screws allowed the cover to come off exposing the workings.

The workings were a typical escapement mechanism with an electrically wound mainspring. A set of contact points activate the winding mechanism as the mainspring approaches the unwound position. I dressed the contact points with a stainless steel point file, then cleaned and lubricated the mechanism with tuner cleaner/lubricant. I used "DeOxit Fader F-5" but there are others. When I connected it to power, it wound and started ticking. I reassembled it and let it run on my workbench for 2 months while working on the radio- but that is another story.

It was Doug Lyle's adventure with the "DeSotomatic" clock in his '56 that prompted me to relate my adventures. That is one intriguing piece. I have to believe it is manually wound, but it fits very nice. A little less intrusive than the factory clock which, as I recall, sat on top of the dash and looked a bit like an aftermarket tach.

So now I am 2 for 3. Just the radio left before I can reassemble the dash.


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'52 DeSoto Clock after install.JPG
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 13, 2017 5:26 pm 
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The Desotomatic can be manually wound but it is also self winding when you turn the wheel. If you don't drive the car it will run about a week maybe a little more on a wind.

On my 57 yesterday I spent some time cleaning and painting the wheel wells. Very messy work but is turning out pretty nice. I have the whole front suspension off for rebuilding and detailing.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:25 pm 
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI United States
Doug,

Hmmm. Winds when you turn the wheel.... does that use a weight on a shaft similar to self-winding wristwatches? That is pretty ingenious! It is amazing that I have never seen one of those before! I'm glad you shared that photo and explanation.

I know what you mean about messy work. Still, you get a feeling of satisfaction when you are done. There is something about a crisp black wheel-well that makes a clean car look cleaner.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 23, 2017 3:14 am 
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI United States
The last thing to do in my over winter repair adventures with the 1952 Firdome Sportsman was to fix the radio. I am sure there are a lot of club members out there who could fix an old tube radio as easy as tying a shoe. I am not one of them. I started calling around an found a repair shop in Ohio that came recommended. I was all set to send it to him.

I sent him some photos and a scan of the wiring schematic. When I called to make arrangements, he asked me if it hummed when I turned it on. I said no, and he said he was 90% sure I could fix it myself. He sent me a URL for a website that sells solid state vibrator tube replacements and good capacitors. He said to replace the buffer capacitor on the vibrator tube socket and the one on the rectifier tube socket, then replace the vibrator tube with the solid state part and see what happens. Oh, boy. I ordered some parts, fired up the soldering iron and got busy. Attached is a photo of the chassis with the new capacitors. To my astonishment, the radio worked when I was through.

I was so pleased, I took the car out for a spring inaugural drive in early April. Hmmm. I don't like the feel of those power brakes, and the power steering pump is leaking. Time for the summer season repairs......


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1952 DeSoto Radio Power Unit after new capoacitors.JPG
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PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2017 7:03 pm 
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I replaced the fuel pump on my 42 yesterday.
Whenever it would sit for a while, I had to prime it to get it started.
I think it was just the gasket on the fuel bowl leaking, but I changed the whole pump.
I hope this fixed my problem.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 2:58 am 
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Joined: Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:19 pm
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Location: Ann Arbor, MI United States
Dan,

I love that '42 of yours. I was so fascinated with the mechanism that ran those hidden headlamps last September, that I forgot to look close at the shift control electrical parts. Is that car still running the original M4 vacuum shift "simplimatic" transmission? I have always wanted to study one of those.

Did your fuel pump swap fix the hard starting issue after long shutdowns? My '52 does the same thing, and starting fluid is about the only thing that gets me through it. Now that I have rebuilt the brake master cylinder and fixed the vacuum leak in my brake booster, I am working my way toward figuring out that fuel system issue. I still have to get past the power steering pump leak to get there. All my DeSoto adventures involve wrenches! Speaking of which, I guess I should share the adventure of fixing the brakes on this '52 with it's unusual under-the-floor power brake system.

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