Thanks to Jim Thwaite at Asphault Adventures, Sandy’s seized engine has been set free! It is too early to call the patient cured, but hopes (and pulse rates) are running high. A new head gasket will be applied shortly to facilitate a more complete diagnosis of the patient.
Stay tuned for Episode Seven – With The Turn Of A Key…
Apparently, Murphy continues to ride as an unofficial and unwelcome Third Horseman…
Looks like the engine in the Cranbrook has some…er… small… issues contrary to what was represented by the seller. Friend Jim Thwaite at Asphault Adventures is showing tremendous ingenuity (and patience) in trying to get thing moving again, but drastic action may be required if the Cranbrook’s “freely turning” engine proves to be anything but…
A couple of possible options being explored:
- Find a replacement running Flathead 6 engine and swap it in. While the most easily executed backup plan, these engines are not as pervasive as the Slant 6 and finding one could be a bit of a challenge. The team is putting word on the street to its many Mopar fans that such an engine is being sought… perhaps Murphy will look the other way for a moment and one will turn up.
- Rebuild the existing engine. This option looks costly and complicated, especially as compared to swapping in an identical replacement engine. However, if we can diagnose the exact point of failure, it may be a less-ambitious endeavor.
- Go Rat Rod-lite and swap in something other than the correct engine. On the plus side, this is potentially inexpensive and comparatively easy, especially since conversion kits for both Mopar and Chevy V8s are readily available. Finding a more contemporary replacement engine shouldn’t be a big deal, and would result in a far peppier Cranbrook than the Chrysler engineers ever intended. (For the record, a Slant 6 is not really a viable swap no matter how much we want it to be. We checked.)
- Go full-on Rat Rod and do a chassis swap. Friend Jim discovered that there is less than a 0.5″ difference in the wheelbase of the Cranbrook and of a Chevy S10 Extended Cab. While not an the least expensive or or complicated option, it would yield a Cranbrook-looking street rod with plenty of pep, modern brakes and suspension and possibly even air-conditioning. However, the team is just not sure how driving a Chevy in Mopar clothing will sit with the team’s Mopar fans…
Georgia Cool Cruisers‘ annual Cruise-In for Toys For Tots at the Galaxy Diner in Atlanta, Georgia was a resounding success! Dozens of interesting and exciting cars, hundreds of attendees, and a huge outpouring of support for a great charity made for an exciting Saturday. The final tally was 762 toys with an estimated value of $10,500 that will find their way to hundreds of needy and deserving children and over $2,500 in cash to help Toys For Tots acquire even more toys and offset the costs of getting those toys into children’s hands.
Many thanks to Georgia Cool Cruisers, Rick and Sharon Ellis, and the many volunteers who made this event happen. Two Horsemen of the Carpocalypse is humbled and honored to have played even a small role in it.
Enjoy pictures of some of the great cars that turned out for this spectacular event in the slideshow below.
Well, it looks like the instrument cluster definitely had a salt-water soak. Our guess is that all of the electric gauges will need to be replaced. The oil gauge temperature gauge should be OK as on this model, a tube actually brings oil to the gauge to actuate a thermometer rather than the contemporary method of having an oil temperature sender send current to actuate a gauge.
The magic question is whether it will be less expensive to replace individual gauges or buy a complete, working cluster.
The team’s new banger rally car Sandy has been delivered to her temporary home at Asphault Adventures’ southern New Jersey headquarters. Triage will begin shortly and a repair plan put together. The hope is to get the car running well enough to drive it back to Crash’s Atlanta pad… er… soon.
Many, many, many thanks to Asphault Adventures’ Jim and Kelley Thwaite for snapping up this Hurricane Sandy drowning victim and doing so much to help THOTC put her back on the road!
Thanks to a heads-up and feet-on-the-street support from our good friend Jim Thwaite at Asphault Adventures, charity rally team Two Horsemen of the Carpocalypse (THOTC) has rescued a Hurricane Sandy drowning victim and added it to the team’s stable. THOTC has run three other Mopar rescues (a 1989 Dodge Shadow, a 1973 Plymouth Valiant, and a 1969 Dodge Dart Custom) to varying degrees of victory in five rallies over the past four years — racking up over 10,000 miles driven and over $11,000 raised for charity along the way.
This latest acquisition — a 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook sedan — was mostly restored before taking an unplanned swim in the horror of Hurricane Sandy. Unfortunately, the previous owner subsequently developed medical issues and is unable to restore the car to its former glory. The previous owner wanted to see the car go to someone who would cherish it and restore it to its former glory, and THOTC is lucky enough to be that someone!
Here is what we know:
- The engine and transmission were pickled prior to the storm and seem to have escaped the worst consequences of a salt-water soak.
- Some of the electrical components did not fare so well… The starter, voltage regulator, flasher relay, condenser, points, and rotor (at minimum) will need to be replaced. Parts are being sourced and the hope is no additional electrical work will be needed to get the car running.
- The carburetor may or may not have been submerged, and so a rebuild or replacement may be necessary to get the car running.
- The brake switch, door-jamb switches, turn signals, and headlamps all likely were submerged and so probably will need replacement, to be determined once the car is running.
- The instrument cluster may have been submerged, and so replacement of the cluster may be necessary. Also TBD once the car is running.
- The wheel cylinders, drums, shoes, and brake lines all took a dunking and so may need some TLC before the car can be driven. Also TBD once the car is running.
- The interior needs a good cleaning, but is otherwise in exceptionally good condition.
- The body is in great shape except for one dent in the rear left fender. The hope is that the paint and chrome will again shine with some TLC. The dent may be left in place (after treatment with some rust preventative) as a battle scar from its Sandy experience.
- All the glass is intact and in good condition.
The car is being transported to Asphaut Adventures’ New Jersey headquarters (conveniently near to where the car was purchased) where triage and first-aid will begin. The hope is to get the car road-worthy so it can be driven from to Crash’s Atlanta pad for ongoing TLC as soon as possible.
THOTC would be grateful for some input from those with more experience with this era of vehicle than the team has:
- What other concerns arise from the car having been drowned in the storm?
- The car currently is still 6V positive ground. Keeping in mind this will be a banger rally car and so potentially may break down away from the convenience of auto parts stores that carry 6V+ components, what are the arguments for and against doing a conversion to 12V-? What are the devilish details associated with such a conversion other than the typical generator conversion (or swap to alternator)/fuses/bulbs/voltage reducer for the gauges?
- Any suggestions for an aftermarket wiring harness for this vehicle? An online search reveals a large number of generics — no two alike — that claim to be “compatible” with this car. While the team tries not to be stingy when it comes to making our cars road-worthy, please keep in mind we drive for charity and anything we spend on the cars comes out of our own pockets. In short, budget-minded recommendations are especially appreciated.
- The car came with a beautiful set of bias-ply wide whitewalls in good condition, and THOTC would like to keep them that way for shows and other formal events the car may attend. The team’s thought is to acquire a set of wheels that will fit the car and install a set of drab and boring — but more durable — contemporary blackwalls for the trip to Atlanta and for use on rallies. Any suggestions (other than junkyards, which may be hit or miss…) for where to get four wheels in working condition? Also, any suggestion about what size contemporary tires will be best on those rims for the stated purpose?
Please stay tuned for updates about the resuscitation of this beautiful classic Mopar, its new career as THOTC’s “southern” rally car, and the team’s ensuing shenanigans.
Thanks for reading. See you on the road!