AF: Starting on a '55 Plymouth Plaza Suburban | Page 23 | Allpar Forums
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Starting on a '55 Plymouth Plaza Suburban

Discussion in 'All other classic cars' started by 71Charger_fan, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    659
    Likes:
    510
    I had someone on another forum express interest in buying the wagon. I went through everything I have spent on the car and realized I was into in for somewhere above $18,000. I was quite surprised. I would have guessed somewhere between $12,500 and $14,000. As I didn't believe the car to be worth $18K, I offered it to him for $15K. He passed as it was more than he wanted to spend.
     
  2. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes:
    507
    As someone rebuilding and modifying a '56 Plymouth Fury/Belvedere, I know there would never be a chance of recovering my investment. I'm already over $20,000 and it's not anywhere close to being complete. I've been at it for ten years and will be pushing or passing 30k by the time I turn a wheel under power.

    There are very few stock replacement parts for our models, and what I could find were horribly expensive, especially sheet metal. However, that doesn't really bother me. I've done 99% of the work myself and when it is done I can say I did it without the simplicity of working on a '57 Chevy where every single part is reproduced and available in several catalogs. Since I don't hunt, fish, bowl, golf, drink, smoke, gamble, do drugs, or chase women any more, my Plymouth is a cheap hobby! Yes, I'm boring, but I love every minute I get to spend on my Forward Look, Frankenstein creation!

    Dad's '56 Belvedere was the first new car I ever drove, and at my age I know my modified '56 will be the last fun car I'll drive...if I make it that long!

    My blog: Texas Tailfin Resurrection (at https://56plymouth.blogspot.com/ )
     
  3. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    659
    Likes:
    510
    I went to use the wagon to run some errands, but it wouldn't start. The fuel filter wasn't filling up. So, it was into the parts stash for a new fuel pump. Now, I just need some temperatures at least in the 40s with no precipitation to put it in.
    phpUhmGnDAM.jpg
     
    saltydog likes this.
  4. 85lebaront2

    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Messages:
    859
    Likes:
    287
    Looks like you have me by a few years, but great read on your blog! I sympathize with you on the wiring. Those 50s cars, other than Packards had horrible wiring, cloth and rubber insulation. At least a 1956 wasn't super complicated on the wiring. I worked for a Dodge dealer in the late 70s and before that had my own shop. I quickly learned to hate the early MOPAR column mounted ignition switches. Every one I worked on had either discolored or burned connectors. A suggestion, if you haven't moved beyond that area, get some Bosch style relays and use them for the high current items like wipers and fan motors. Another question, wasn't the 56 still a 6 volt system originally, or had Chrysler already changed to 12V? If they had changed, a lot of the real heavy (like 10 ga wiper feed) could be left over from the 6V wiring.

    I am doing somewhat the same kind of things on my project, which is 30 years younger but still had a bunch of wiring oddities like heavily greased male/female underhood plugs with 1/4" wide blade connectors. Mine is documented here on Allpar: T2K-CAR rebirth (at https://www.allpar.com/forums/threads/t2k-car-rebirth.169138/page-2#post-1085063999 )
     
  5. 85lebaront2

    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Messages:
    859
    Likes:
    287
    Looks like you have me by a few years, but great read on your blog! I sympathize with you on the wiring. Those 50s cars, other than Packards had horrible wiring, cloth and rubber insulation. At least a 1956 wasn't super complicated on the wiring. I worked for a Dodge dealer in the late 70s and before that had my own shop. I quickly learned to hate the early MOPAR column mounted ignition switches. Every one I worked on had either discolored or burned connectors. A suggestion, if you haven't moved beyond that area, get some Bosch style relays and use them for the high current items like wipers and fan motors. Another question, wasn't the 56 still a 6 volt system originally, or had Chrysler already changed to 12V? If they had changed, a lot of the real heavy (like 10 ga wiper feed) could be left over from the 6V wiring.

    I am doing somewhat the same kind of things on my project, which is 30 years younger but still had a bunch of wiring oddities like heavily greased male/female underhood plugs with 1/4" wide blade connectors. Mine is documented here on Allpar: https://www.allpar.com/forums/threads/t2k-car-rebirth.169138/page-2#post-1085063999
     
  6. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes:
    507
    Looks like your LeBaron is a challenge also. I once toyed with the idea of restoring and upping the power on a Rampage that I could have bought for a song, but gave it up when I started looking a little deeper!

    Despite spending thirty years in military and commercial aircraft electrical R&D and production manufacturing, the wiring of my '56 is driving me nuts. The '56 was the first year for a 12 volt system, but I doubt I could have salvaged even 5 ft of good wire, so the entire system was ripped out and re-made from scratch. Fortunately, some of the 6 volt '55 design was carried over to the '56.

    Much of my problem has been modifying the bundles by replacing with larger gauge wire where possible, adding more circuits to lessen loads, and installing relays where practical. I know about the bad design of the early seventies trucks, as I have a '73 that burned up the ignition switch when it was only a few years old. I replaced the original switch with one that mounts on top of the column in the eighties models and is activated by a rod. That was a much better design. Unfortunately, I have the old style switch on this one, but have modified the power leads with larger wire and split the loads by adding a second fuse bus. My redesign has yet to be proved, but I have my fingers crossed!

    The fans in the HVAC system are aftermarket designs and relay switched, and the headlights are operated by relays, so those should be fine.
    The wiper feed is 10 gauge, so it too should be okay.

    Yes, it's been fun, but I'm getting close to finishing the wiring, and it will be none too soon!
     
    Bearhawke likes this.
  7. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    659
    Likes:
    510
    Not sure if it will make any difference in the long run, but for the spools of wire I bought for the wagon to supplement what was in the American Autowire kit I went with marine grade.
     
  8. 68RT

    68RT Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2003
    Messages:
    5,889
    Likes:
    644
    I was "privileged" to rewire a Diamond T semi truck in the 60's and to replace all the fabric covered wiring. I used standard Balkamk wire and color coded each circuit. Upgrades included adding temp gauges for transmissions and axles (worm gear differentials). You can find amp draws for most any circuit you may come across and size wires appropriately. Switches can also be sized by amps. Relays allow use of light wiring in tight areas and shorter runs of heavy wiring. Dash areas have become so busy that anything to compact wiring is not an option these days.
     
  9. Fast Eddie

    Fast Eddie Valued Member
    Level III Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2014
    Messages:
    2,113
    Likes:
    2,354
    THAT'S WHY GOD INVENTED ELECTRICIANS ;).
     
    saltydog likes this.
  10. 85lebaront2

    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Messages:
    859
    Likes:
    287
    Shocking!
     
  11. 85lebaront2

    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2017
    Messages:
    859
    Likes:
    287
    My 1955 Packard had the Hypalon insulation and numbered wires on all the Packard wiring. The outsourced parts, light sockets, fan motors etc. still had the cloth/rubber insulation most of which had crumbled. I am convinced that Delco division of Generous Motors snapped up Packard Wire and Cable just to get the Hypalon insulation and their far superior plug wires (Packard 440).

    Be glad it's not British, in addition to the old style insulation (used well into the 70s) many of the British cars have like coloured wires with small identifier rings of matching colours at the ends. Middle of the harness, a bundle of white wires, loads of fun.

    On mine, part of the changes are for the later dash, and the automatic climate control system, the latter partially to eliminate a common turbo engine issue, low or no vacuum under many conditions. The other is to update the engine controls from the old two part system to a single underhood unit. I went to an SBEC for the sequential injection and the ability, to in the future possibly adapt a 41TE (A604) in place of the 31TH (A413). I even have the shifter for the manual up/down shift control.

    The intercooled factory system, limits the radiator size due to the intercooler and as a result the cooling fan size. Past experience with the 1985 car being unable to successfully convert to R134a drove the pusher cooling fan system and the lack of an internal transaxle cooler drove the use of the Durango cooler.

    I don't know if it would help on your project, but I made an Excel spreadsheet with my wiring information. This allowed me to pre-plan a lot of the changes, but, acquisition of additional harnesses and connectors resulted in some running changes. I eliminated all of the grease packed 1/4" flat pin connectors for the newer weatherpack style, hardest part was finding parts for the connectors. That coupled with Chrysler's arbitrary circuit color and number changes, some between different bodies in the same year, others from year to year on the same body. I am spoiled from German cars (Mercedes-Benz) and Ford products (same circuit numbers since the 50s) and even a Chevrolet truck I helped rewire, again, circuit numbers that did not change, they both use numerical only circuits and add additional numbers (I think my 2011 Flex has some 5 digit circuit numbers) but the older numbers, and in Ford's case the colors haven't changed since the 50s.
     
    Bearhawke likes this.
  12. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    659
    Likes:
    510
    Today, the weather finally cooperated and allowed me to work in the driveway to switch out the fuel pump. Not sure if the old one is worth keeping to rebuild it or if I should just trash it.
    phpqiaU2cAM.jpg
     
  13. dana44

    Ad-Free Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2002
    Messages:
    19,942
    Likes:
    1,576
    If you can find a rebuild kit, looks like it does unscrew to replace the diaphragm.
     
  14. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    659
    Likes:
    510
    It was strange. Never a hint of a pump problem. The car was running fine. I drove it home, parked it, turned it off, and that's the point at which the fuel pump decided it was done. I wonder if the period of unseasonably extreme cold we had somehow contributed to the diaphragm cracking/splitting.
     
    saltydog likes this.
  15. GaryS

    GaryS Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2004
    Messages:
    1,725
    Likes:
    507
    I recently replaced the fuel pump on my '73, 318 LA. It had less than 1000 miles since being replaced, and it quit like yours...no indication of pending failure...it just wouldn't start one morning. It was a surprise, since the pump was made in Canada, and their automotive products have always been top quality.
     
  16. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    659
    Likes:
    510
    I decided to run errands in it today but she refused to start. There's spark and fuel to the carb. I had too many other things to do to mess with it. I'm guessing either a stuck float or clogged needle and seat. It may be time to finally spend the money and get a new carb.
     
  17. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    659
    Likes:
    510
    saltydog and stroudtom like this.
  18. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    659
    Likes:
    510
    I took advantage of an unseasonably warm day to switch the carb. However, by the time I got the carb on and fished a wire for the choke, it was late, getting dark, and getting cold. Now, there's snow on the way. So, it's up to Mother Nature when I get around to trying an initial fire up.
    Plaza New Carb.jpg Plaza New Carb (2).jpg Plaza New Carb (3).jpg Plaza New Carb (4).jpg Plaza New Carb (6).jpg Plaza New Carb (5).jpg
     
    saltydog and Adventurer55 like this.
  19. 71Charger_fan

    71Charger_fan Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2014
    Messages:
    659
    Likes:
    510
  20. stroudtom

    Level 2 Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2012
    Messages:
    359
    Likes:
    91
    Is that a progressive 2 bbl?
    Thanks for all you have shown. I'm using this thread to help me restore my 66 PLY Sport Fury.
     

Share This Page

Loading...
 We are not affiliated with FCA. We make no claims regarding validity or accuracy of information or advice. Copyright © VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.