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PostPosted: Tue Mar 16, 2021 11:31 pm 
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I have finished with all the necessary steps needed to get the 4 cylinder engine in my 1923 Dodge Roadster to crank. The starter will turn the engine over effortlessly with two of the four spark plugs taken out. But, with only two cylinders firing the engine, it hits and smokes, but will not keep running. I have checked bearing clearances and found that the engine should turn free enough to start. But, as everyone knows, simply turning a oil pump in this engine does nothing toward lubricating the cylinder bores and continual lubrication of other engine components. So, I believe the pistons are equipped with the old style iron rings, and the cylinder bore has been newly honed, and never burnished in by having the engine run. I also think if I can crank it once, and shine up the rings, the starter should work fine for future starts. OK, my appeal is for someone, anyone, who has used some other method, short of using the cars own starter/generator to spin the engine fast enough for a first time crank, to let me know how they did it. I have heard a 3/4 HP electric drill, with a adapter to accommodate a modified hand crank shaft will do the trick. I am not sure how the drill would handle kick back if the engine fired and spun backward.....maybe some damage to both the drill and the operator. I have considered using the 6 HP gas motor off my pressure washer or chipper shredder to make a Jenny, but I stand the chance of ruining my pressure washer and my chipper shredder with nothing gained when neither had the torque to spin the engine. Any help in this area.......Please.
Jack


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:12 am 
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Jack do you have a hand crank for it? If you are anxious about the cyls being dry, I suggest pull all 4 plugs and put mebbe a tablespoon of Marvel Mystery Oil down each, then hand crank it some with no compression. Or you could just use the starter in modest short bursts.
Your "starter-ator" as some call it, spins very slowly. Not at all like a modern starter's RPM. The starter's pace is almost as slow as a hand crank rev.
You can also prime your oil pump at the check valve, is located just forward and inward of the water pump. An ideal method is to use one of those small metal oil cans with a trigger-pump and long nozzle. I've done that a couple times.
Texas Jim


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:57 pm 
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Hi Jim. I have two hand cranks, a fake left arm on loan from Madigan Army Medical Center, and a right shoulder which will soon also need replacing. Enough medical stuff. I have hand cranked the engine over by hand every day for the past two months. I have also dropped the oil pan, mic’d the bearings, checked the lower bores, checked the cam and it’s lobes for damage or wear, adjusted the valves, removed the front cover of the engine to reestablish cam timing, and verified the ignition has fire. I have also, with the head off, verified distributor timing and have replaced the OEM coil with a new one.The points are adjusted to book clearance and are in good shape. But, the oil system on these engines makes using a pressure lube tank, or even turning the engine over by starter or hand, a no brainer. The oil pump only pumps oil into a passage above the camshaft, and then it drips downward through holes in the bearing caps to lube the bearings. Some of the oil drips into troughs into which the lower rod bearing dip, and then slings the oil upward to lube the lower cylinder bores and further lubricate the engine bearings. I believe this engine, which has new pistons and a freshly honed.....and apparently rebored to accommodate the .030 oversized pistons, also has the old style iron rings, which are not as hard or smooth surfaces as the new style rings. I have dumped quarts of marvel mystery oil, STP/oil mixture, and straight 30W oil, in spoon sized shots, down the spark plug holes, but it serves no purpose other than to lube the bore for a single cycle, and foul the spark plugs. When all spark plugs are removed, the clutch depressed, and the starter/generator engaged, with a fully charged battery, the engine will spin freely at probably 50 or 60 rpm. And I suppose it would continue to spin until either the battery went dead, or the starter burned out. I can prime the engine with gas and install two spark plugs, and crank it by hand, and nothing happens. The starter, newly rebuilt, just doesn’t seem to have the guts to crank the engine when either the friction, or compression, of three or more cylinders are included. But, with only two spark plugs installed, when I engage the starter it does hit, only intermittently, and for a few hits......stops, and emits lots and lots of smoke....from that I’ve squirted down the spark plug hole. I have found that leaving the clutch engaged while cranking, either by starter, or by hand, slows the RPM immensely because, I suppose, the transmission main shaft, and its gears are included into the load required to spin the engine. I was provided enough 1500W gear lube to fill the transmission and differential, which I have done. But, it seems that the cold 1500W gear oil in the transmission is acting to slow the turning of the main shaft so I have since drained it out and replaced it with 95/145 modern gear oil. If, and when, I get the car moving under its own power I will probably replace to 95/145wt lube with 600W.....but I can’t foresee doing this in the near future. I apologize for the run on Jim, but trying to explain what I already have done is the only way I have of getting to what else I need to do to get this thing on the road...Thanks for the help you’ve already offered, it is appreciated as will any help you offer in the future.
Jack


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 17, 2021 3:50 pm 
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If you put a bunch of MM down the spark plug holes as Jim said you are good. It should have seeped by the rings by now. As Jim suggested take the cap off the check valve, that out the ball bearing with a magnet, and fill it several times with an squirt can. Replace the ball bearing and start the engine. cast iron rings seat faster then chrome ones, I think that's better. You are not going to drive this hundreds of thousands of miles. AND, keep the 1500 wt. oil in both the trans and rearend. There are reasons for it, NOT 95-140.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:08 am 
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Hi Doug. I already drained the 1500 W out of the transmission, and put in the 95 145. The 1500 is almost like mud, and even cranking it with the starter,when I let the clutch out it really pulls down. I don’t know if I can find any more 1500 W, but I think for no more than I will drive it 600 W will do the trick for a while. Now, I’m cranking it over with no plugs in it, until the battery runs down. When I stop, recharge the battery and crank it some more. I think what you say about the cast iron rings seating in faster than the chrome rings is true. I sort of believe that if I could hand crank it, and hold the clutch in at the same time I may get it started. But, since I can’t be in the driver seat, and on the end of the crank at the same time, it’s only wishful thinking. I am convinced that it is tight rings causing the starter to hesitate. It is only a gasp away from turning over with the plugs in it, so maybe if I crank it Enough I can seat the rings. I disconnected the oil pressure line today, and it is feeding oil up from the oil pump. So I am getting the maximum amount of lubrication possible with starter only cranking. I really wish I could pull or push start the engine but I am drastically afraid that I’ll break something in the process. Thanks for your help and kind information.
Jack


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 7:57 am 
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You will not seat the rings by turning it over with the starter.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2021 12:49 pm 
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Hi Doug. Of that fact I’m absolutely certain. My hopes are that I can turn the engine over enough without compression, just to loosen it up the tiny bit it needs to turn over against compression on its own. I’m to the point of building a slave engine, modifying one of the cranks with a pulley, And starting it like you would a caterpillar diesel. I had suggested to another member that I take the motor out, tear it down, and begin to rebuild from the pan up.He says this it is a radical idea, and I shouldn’t do that yet, but I am at my wits end. I am going to use one of my clamps to clamp the clutch pedal to the floor today, and hope that this will free up the state transmission enough that I can hand crank it. I’ll let you know how it works.
Jack


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 11:20 am 
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I am at the same point with my DA 6. Still setting up engine. Cranking is a problem. If all else fails you can tow it in 2nd gear and pop the clutch.
The 1500 wt in my trans is used because the trans does not have seals and the heavy wt tar will not seep out.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 2:02 pm 
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Shermstake wrote:
I am at the same point with my DA 6. Still setting up engine. Cranking is a problem. If all else fails you can tow it in 2nd gear and pop the clutch.
The 1500 wt in my trans is used because the trans does not have seals and the heavy wt tar will not seep out.



If I find a market, I may replace the 1500 W with the same weight oil when I finish up the car. Right now, I believe the resistance of the transmission main shaft, and maybe even the reverse counter shaft, trying to spin through the swamp like quagmire of mud is just putting to much strain on the already overworked starter generator. The 95/145 gear oil is heavy enough to handle the differential in a ten ton dump truck, so I don’t think it will hurt the transmission of this roadster during the amount of time it takes me to get the engine running. And, the problem of leaks is something that is expected with these old cars. I will probably go with 600 W for no reason other than it’s what I have had good success with in the gearboxes on my 1927 Willys. This morning I woke up with my brain stuck in reverse. In retrospect, when I bought the 1923 Dodge Roadster, we had to load, and haul the body parts separate from the chassis an engine. For the past six months I have been concentrating on finishing up the body work with tasks like assembling the windshield, doors, trunk and locks, and such, and I took a major turn away from the mechanics by starting to make a new top. My major distraction, and the largest consumer of my time was messing with the engine. In reality I should have been concentrating on making it a rolling chassis by connecting all of my brake rods and ensuring that the steering, and stopping, would work when I got the engine to a point that I can pull start the car. Today I will begin disassembling of the body, and putting it in a place to prepare it for painting, as I should have done when I first brought the car home. I do have the steering, complete with wheel and all of my engine controls, including the dash instruments installed. Had I done the chassis, and left the body alone in October I probably could have pull started the car months ago. But, hindsight is always better than foresight, and I agree that pull starting the car is probably my only option now. However I couldn’t do this because the body and fenders were being held on by only a few bolts. I understand that pressing the clutch is supposed to disconnect the transmission drive train from the engine. And, to a extent it does on this car. But, I’m not sure if it’s poor transmission clutch adjustment, or just rust crud or improper assembly. But, even though pressing the clutch does allow the engine to spin a bit more free, it still is a fraction of an inch away from spinning over against compression. So, beginning today I’ll strip it back to a rolling chassis, make her ready to paint and wait for better weather to do my paint job and finish the upholstery. Thanks a lot for your input, I really appreciate your help.
Jack


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 19, 2021 5:20 pm 
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Jack, you haven't listened to much advice yet but try this. Put it in gear and push in the clutch. You should be able to push the car easily. If not I would think one of the clutch plates is frozen to the flywheel. If so you will have to take off the top cover and free it or them with a screw driver. Your comments about needing to push in the clutch to spin it faster is what makes me think this is the issue.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 20, 2021 1:42 pm 
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Hi Doug. I do appreciate the help and information both you, and the other forum members have provided. And I do take the advice and suggestions very seriously. In the first photo you will see that I have restored the car to a state where I can, at least, roll it on its own wheels. When I bought the car it was a ongoing, body-off, restoration, which was began by one person in the mid 1960’s, and abandoned by a third person in the early 1990’s. When the car was trailered to my home last October it was little more than a frame, with a bucket and partially assembled engine setting loosely on it. The restoration of the body parts had began, but they had never been reassembled to see if they still mated with the adjoining body parts. I have been in the process of loosely reassembling these parts to see how much more hammering, shaping, welding, cutting and fabrication I need to do prior to preparing the body for painting. The car had no steering gear, the brakes and drive train are there, but have never been connected, and the car had no electrical or fuel supply system whatsoever. I bought the car solely as a hobby, and there is no great hurry, after all, it is already nearly 100 years old, to get it drivable. Being a mode of mobility, the engine does have about the same level of importance as the steering and brakes, and simply having a clutch pedal to push is helpful to the cause of restoring the car to some state of mobility. This car is my project, and I have no desire to have anyone else feel they have either the right or responsibility to dictate my work schedule on it simply because I had to ask for their help. In recognition of the fact that I have disassembled the engine, including the water pump and starter-generator drive system to methodically eliminate anything which is adding friction to the starting motor, or may break when I do tow start the car, says a lot about the level of trust I have in the advice offered so for. I now have restored the car to a point I do have a clutch to press, a electrical system to fire the plugs, and a instrument panel with a oil pressure gauge to ensure I’m not cooking the engine if it does start......when I do pull it. I am working alone and, considering that I too suspect the clutch, or transmission, as the sticky culprit, you will note that I have rigged a carpenters clamp to the clutch pedal so that I may hold it depressed while I hand crank the engine. And, in regards to the draining of the 1500W gear lube, and addition of the 90/145 WT gear lube.......perhaps, if they had a product as easily handled, with the enhanced lubrication qualities modern gear lube has over their 1923 vintage 1500W lube, maybe they would have used it too. Looking to hear from you in the future, and I do appreciate your information and advice.....but being 78 years old myself, and having a 100 year old project car to work on, I just may be a little tardy in taking it......Thanks again.
Jack


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2021 1:38 am 
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JackBennett wrote:
Hi Doug. I do appreciate the help and information both you, and the other forum members have provided. And I do take the advice and suggestions very seriously. In the first photo you will see that I have restored the car to a state where I can, at least, roll it on its own wheels. When I bought the car it was a ongoing, body-off, restoration, which was began by one person in the mid 1960’s, and abandoned by a third person in the early 1990’s. When the car was trailered to my home last October it was little more than a frame, with a bucket and partially assembled engine setting loosely on it. The restoration of the body parts had began, but they had never been reassembled to see if they still mated with the adjoining body parts. I have been in the process of loosely reassembling these parts to see how much more hammering, shaping, welding, cutting and fabrication I need to do prior to preparing the body for painting. The car had no steering gear, the brakes and drive train are there, but have never been connected, and the car had no electrical or fuel supply system whatsoever. I bought the car solely as a hobby, and there is no great hurry, after all, it is already nearly 100 years old, to get it drivable. Being a mode of mobility, the engine does have about the same level of importance as the steering and brakes, and simply having a clutch pedal to push is helpful to the cause of restoring the car to some state of mobility. This car is my project, and I have no desire to have anyone else feel they have either the right or responsibility to dictate my work schedule on it simply because I had to ask for their help. In recognition of the fact that I have disassembled the engine, including the water pump and starter-generator drive system to methodically eliminate anything which is adding friction to the starting motor, or may break when I do tow start the car, says a lot about the level of trust I have in the advice offered so for. I now have restored the car to a point I do have a clutch to press, a electrical system to fire the plugs, and a instrument panel with a oil pressure gauge to ensure I’m not cooking the engine if it does start......when I do pull it. I am working alone and, considering that I too suspect the clutch, or transmission, as the sticky culprit, you will note that I have rigged a carpenters clamp to the clutch pedal so that I may hold it depressed while I hand crank the engine. And, in regards to the draining of the 1500W gear lube, and addition of the 90/145 WT gear lube.......perhaps, if they had a product as easily handled, with the enhanced lubrication qualities modern gear lube has over their 1923 vintage 1500W lube, maybe they would have used it too. Looking to hear from you in the future, and I do appreciate your information and advice.....but being 78 years old myself, and having a 100 year old project car to work on, I just may be a little tardy in taking it......Thanks again.
Jack

A few days ago I had a friend tow my 1923 Dodge Roadster behind his pickup, and we did manage to get it started. The engine was really rough but smoothed out and ran really good for about five minutes. However, the oil pressure gauge never came up past zero, so I shut it down and towed it back home. For the first few hours the engine would crank over by the starter, try to start, but never did.
Today I wired another starter switch into the battery circuit and extended it like a remote starter by the fender. Now, if I connect a jumper across the remote start switch and, while the starter attempts to start the engine, I can use the crank, along with the starter, to crank the engine. But, It will not start, or continue to run with more than 3 spark plugs installed. It seems as though the compression, which measures 47+- 1 pound between cylinders is just to much for the starter to handle.
I am continuing to pump Oil/Marvel Mystery oil into the cylinders as the engine is spun, by the starter, with all plugs out.I hope this frees up the stuck rings or whatever is causing the problem with it refusing to turn against compression. I think the oil pressure problem may be solved by reseating the ball in the oil return check valve, which appears to have been stuck open. I’m not sure what advice would be helpful in this case, but I’d like to hear from some old (more experienced) DB cars with this problem.
Jack


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PostPosted: Mon May 10, 2021 12:28 pm 
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Hopefully, this is the final post alluding to a problematic engine. Following the advice of Roger (Dodger) Hadley, I treated the engine as though its piston rings had seized in their grooves, and was not moving as the piston did. For the past week I have poured some ATF mixed with a small amount of STP into each bore, let it set fr a while, and used the starter/generator to freewheel the engine with the spark plugs removed. I had already reset the camshaft/crankshaft timing, reestablished distributor timing, replaced the coil, spark plugs and spark plug wires. Yesterday I used the air chuck I’d fabricated from a old spark plug to inject pressurized air into each cylinder to ascertain TDC and verify that my intake and exhaust manifolds were clear of obstructions, and make sure the rats hadn’t made a nest in the muffler. Earlier this week I had found that the carburetor metering pin had came loose from the rack and was not lowering to allow the carburetor to work properly. My sincere appreciation is again extended to Roger (Dodger) Hadley for the replacement metering pin and rack he so thoughtfully provided to correct that problem. The engine did start yesterday, and ran perfectly so long as I added more gas to the vacuum fuel pump. I will remove the pump and repair it, but I also have a electric fuel pump and pressure regulator I will put in the fuel system as a backup. With luck, and perhaps a bit of Devine help, my future posts will be updates on the projects necessary to finish the upholstery and new top on my 1923 DB Roadster.


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