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2006 Forester
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Discussion Starter #1
So we're looking into buying a 1950 Dodge Coronet 4-door sedan. It's got a flathead straight six with a single barrel Stromberg. The engine runs great and the body is straight with all the original chrome. It's gonna run me $500 to pick it up. It only has two real areas needing attention to be put on the road.

The first area is the interior. I'll need to weld a couple small patches in the floor pan which is no big deal. It also needs seats, as there are none. Also not much of a big deal, as I've got a couple nearby sources to get seats from.

The other area, which is the real concern, is the transmission. I'm not sure whether it's got the Gyro-Matic or the 3-speed manual. It ran a couple of years ago when it was bought and the owner started to work on it (project's been on hold for about a year n a half due to lack of time to work on it/divorce). Now the gears have locked up. I don't know how much of a task this is going to be to try to break loose or possibly find a replacement transmission.

Does anyone have any kind of experience in older Dodge transmissions? Know of any sources of information/parts/whatever else?

Hell, if you've got any kind of suggestions or opinions on the matter, throw 'em at me.

Thanks
Fish
 

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02 Forester L (sold) Manual
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1,220 Posts
Once you figure out what you have, I'd try posting here: AACA Forums I've found them helpful in the past.

Are you sure it's the trans that's locked and not the brakes are seized? That would be more common. I don't see why/how something would seize in a transmission while it is just parked. If it's a stick, perhaps the clutch has rusted together...I've had that happen before. Also, the column shift linkage may be bound up.

This is what the car looks like for those who may not know:

These postwar Dodge and Plymouth models aren't worth much because they made a bazillion of them, but they were good solid vehicles and lots have survived.
 

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2006 Forester
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the sources guys.

I know now that it has the Gyromatic transmission. I'm going by what the guy told me about the transmission. The battery was disconnected so I haven't started the engine yet, or else I woulda checked it out to see if it is a different problem.

I HOPE its a different issue than just being locked up, but we'll see. I plan on going to check it out again this week sometime, and hopefully I'll fire it up n see what the issue is.
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
Are you a purest or are you just looking to have some fun? If the trans is shot, see if anyone makes an adapter plate. Then you can just do a 727 or a chevy th350. Their plates aren't cheap, but they make a swap easy. I don't know much about the trans in old dodges, but I bet your problem will be somewhere else.
 

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2006 Forester
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Discussion Starter #6
I'm a purest for the most part unless there's not much purity to begin with.

When I was originally looking at the car my friend and I were actually talking about the idea of a 350 if the trans is shot, since it'd be pretty easy to find a set-up for a fair price. I'm waiting to hear back from the guy to find out more about the transmission, and to find out if I'm gonna be able to buy it.
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
I've done resto's, restomods, and full on driveline replacement. I find the restomod is the most rewarding. It will still "feel" like an old car, but be a bit more drivable:)

This is from the how many cars have you owned thread

in order:
54 chevy belair Will always be my first love. Also how I learned to wrench on motors
87 chevy spectrum
93 toyota tercel
55 chevy 210
97 chevy cavalier First custom interior, stereo, ect. Basicly a show car.
87 olds calais
99 chevy s10
95 honda civic
volks sandrail Bought this to learn how to fab/weld
00 ford f150
04 scion xb
38 chevy 2door sedan
06 kia sorento
51 chevy
another sand rail
99 fozzy still own
04 fozzy still own
92 SVX
and I have been babysitting a 95 civic for 2 years

oh, and I'm only 33. I think I may have a problem
 

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2000 Forester L NA auto
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576 Posts
I've done resto's, restomods, and full on driveline replacement. I find the restomod is the most rewarding. It will still "feel" like an old car, but be a bit more drivable:)

This is from the how many cars have you owned thread
I think we may need to get you on some medication...STAT! Ah hell, I think your fine. There are some pretty good choices in there.
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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5,462 Posts
OMG, I was just looking through my list and realized I forgot one! I actually owned one of these (a 49) for about two weeks. I bought it from a guy for $300. I spent 2 weeks in his front yard getting it to run. I never got it home though, thanks to bad brakes. I ended up selling it for $500 two weeks after I bought it.
 

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2010 FXT Limited 4EAT Sport Shift
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1,461 Posts
Really Captain Fish, there's just one question that needs be asked? Do you have about $10,000 that you can afford to throw down a rathole?
Not trying to be cute here, but you shouldn't set out on this journey thinking it's an investment that will yield positive (read fiscal) returns. If you can't immediately access 10 grand and set it aside for this project, I wouldn't recommend starting.
-Quick
 

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2006 Forester
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
If I was thinking about putting more than $1k extra into the project I wouldn't be doing it. $20 in sheet metal, $16 ignition coil, $0.70 worth of electrical wire, and seats that are already lined up to buy for $60... If I can get the trans running, I've got $600 TOTAL in the car...

I'm a purist, as in "leave it the f*ck alone unless the sh*ts f*cked up n doesn't work".

Old cars are cool... Rust is cool... Old cars with some rust is cool.

I couldn't imagine how many awesome old cars I would have (and running) if I was spending $10k on cars...



JGROTE
I'm so [email protected] jealous... A '38 Chevy n '51 Deluxe(?) (was it a coupe, 2-dr sedan, or 4-dr sedan?) are two of my favorite GM years EVER. I'm working on a '52 2-dr sedan engine swap right now with a friend.


I got some bad news this evening tho... The car is unfortunately not gonna happen, unless the guy he originally promised the car to sells it to me. Time to go check out the backup now... 1950 Desoto, which is practically the same car lol, for $1500. Gonna try to go look at it by the end of the weekend. I believe this one runs smooth, both engine and trans, so it might work out better anyway.
 

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2006 Forester
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Discussion Starter #12
I called about the Desoto this afternoon... The engine runs (new gaskets n tuned up 2 yrs ago) and so does the trans. The interior needs upholstered, the owner has all the upholstery. The only thing else that needs done is it needs the fuel tank emptied as the gas is about 2 yrs old. Other than that it's in running condition and in fairly good shape. It's owned by an older couple that are the original owners and they're asking $1,800 for it. Probly gonna go see it over the weekend if possible.
 

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2006 Forester
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Discussion Starter #14
The old man said "the chrome's gonna need re-done if you're planning on showin' her" lol... So far it seems that the only thing aesthetically on the exterior of the car that isn't in really good shape is a small amount of dusting rust on the chrome.
 

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2004 Forester 4EAT
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Have ever had chrome redone?:eek:$$$$$$$$$$$:eek:
 

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2006 Forester
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82 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
I will never have chrome redone unless I'm blowing tons of money on a 1950 Mercury.
 

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2006 Forester
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Discussion Starter #17
Went and looked at the Desoto today... The body is immaculate. I've never seen a body on a 60 yr old car that's had no work done to it as solid as this car. The chrome actually looks good for being 60 yrs old. The interior needs re-upholstered, but the new foam for the seats and the new upholstery is included. The only other thing that I may do is rebuild the water pump. It's not needed, but there's a gasket on it that will need replaced eventually. The engine and transmission run well. All the glass is really good. The brakes were redone 2 yrs ago with all new interior parts.

For $1,800 there's no way it can be passed up. We're probly gonna pick it up on monday or tuesday. I'll get some pics up as soon as we get it back to the house.
 
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