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by HANK ELFRINK
World's Largest Publisher of Books Relating to Automobiles, Motorcycles, Motor Racing, and Americana
New digital edition of:
Plymouth Owner's Handbook
by HANK ELFRINK
© 1955 by FLOYD CLYMER
Copyright © 2017 - Edizioni Savine
This new Plymouth Handbook deals mainly with the 1955 Plymouth and Dodge models but some space has been given to other Chrysler products.
Although many components and repair procedures are the same for all Chrysler-built cars there are also many differences and it is of course impossible to deal with all these various aspects in a book this size. However, we have endeavored to make the best possible selection of subjects considered to be the most important to the average owner. Also many repair procedures on the more popular older models have been included and considerable attention has been given to the repair and adjustment of older type transmissions.
The Hy-Drive and PowerFlite automatic transmissions are discussed in considerable detail, but mainly with the object of familiarizing the reader with the operation and construction of these units. It should be borne in mind that these transmissions (the PowerFlite in particular) are highly complicated and adjustments and repairs should be left only to those who possess the necessary know-how, experience and equipment to perform these delicate operations.
To a great extent the same holds true for the Power Steering units and the electrical gear (starter motor, generator voltage regulator).
Many thanks are due to the Chrysler Division, Plymouth Division, Dodge Division and De Soto Division of the Chrysler Corporation who have been kind enough to furnish extensive service information and the material upon which this handbook is based.
Fig. A1—Sectional view of six cylinder Dodge engine (typical of Chrysler-built L head engines)
IN LINE L-HEAD ENGINES—This section covers the Chrysler-built L-head in line engines. The information contained in this section is typical for these types. Specifications are given in tables which accompany this section.
SIX CYLINDER ENGINE—Fig. A1 shows a section of the 6 cylinder side valve Dodge engine. Some models of De Soto, Plymouth and Chrysler are powered with a similar engine. Fits and clearances for these engines are given in the specifications.
CYLINDERHEAD—Always use a new gasket when installing the cylinder-head. The threads of the capscrews should be coated with sealer except the three screws that lead into the intake manifold ports (to prevent sealer to be drawn into the carburetor or valves). Capscrews should be tightened in the sequence shown in fig. A2 to a torque of 35 pound-foot the first time around. Then repeat the procedure and tighten to 65-70 pound-foot. Run engine until all parts are normalized and then re-torque.
Fig. A2—Correct sequence for tightening cylinderhead bolts
OIL PAN AND GASKETS—Fig. A3 shows the oil pan with the four gaskets installed. Before installing, clean pan and pan rail of block thoroughly and use new gaskets. Gaskets are fitted into fold over slots of the oil pan to secure a better fit. Right and left side gaskets may be installed with sealing compound applied on both sides. The end gaskets should be installed so that the ends stick above the pan at least 1/8 in. This will form a better seal as gasket is compressed.
Fig. A3—Oil pan with gaskets installed
CYLINDERBLOCK—When the engine is torn down examine the cylinders for wear and scores. Small scuff marks and scratches can be removed with a hone. Rebore cylinderblock if the bores are more than .005 in. out of round or if taper is more than .020 in. A slightly scored or worn block may be honed and .005 in. oversize pistons fitted. After honing, clean cylinder walls with soap and water and a brush, then wipe dry with clean cloth. Lubricate pistons and rings before installing in the cylinderblock.
CORE HOLE PLUGS—To remove a core hole plug (Welch plug) drive a center punch or chisel in the center of the plug and pry out. Remove rust and dirt and use sealing compound on the plug seat before installing a new plug. Install with convex side out then expand plug by flattening it with a blunt drift and hammer.
PISTONS AND PINS—Fig. A4 shows the cam-ground U slot type piston used in the Plymouth engine. The piston is also slightly tapered, the largest measurement being at the bottom of the skirt on the thrust sides. The cylinder top ridge must be removed (with a ridge reamer) before the piston and rod assembly can be taken out of the bore. For rebored blocks .005, .020, .030, .040, and .060 in. oversizes are available.
The piston pin should be a tight thumb press fit in the connecting rod at normal room temperature and a tight double thumb press fit in the piston. The piston may be heated in hot water to facilitate pin assembly. Make sure the circlips are well seated in their grooves.
Plymouth 6 piston
Fig. A4—Plymouth V8 piston
PISTON RINGS—Piston ring end gaps should be .010-.020 in. Measure gap with ring about 2 inches from the bottom of cylinder and make sure it is square in the cylinder bore. (see fig. A5 ). Fig. A6 shows the piston rings assembled on the piston. When a chrome plated upper compression ring is installed it is best to remove cylinder glaze with a hone. This will give quicker ring seating.
Fig. A5—Measuring piston ring gap in cylinder
Fig. A6—Piston rings assembled on piston
CRANKSHAFT—Fig. A7 shows the crankshaft. The radius fillets as indicated should be strictly adhered to whenever the crankshaft is being reground. A puller must be used to remove the hub and sprocket. Punch-mark No. 2 and 3 bearing caps so that they may be re-installed in the same position and location (fig. A8). The caps may break when installed the wrong way around.
When the crankshaft is fitted to the block, use new gaskets and oil seals. Lubricate the bearings before installing crankshaft. Bearing caps should be tightened to 80-85 pound foot torque. Crankshaft end thrust is taken by the rear bearing. End play should be between .003 to .007 in.
Install oil line from pump outlet to cylinder block connection and oil pump suction pipe and screen assembly. Install timing case cover back plate, timing chain and camshaft gear, timing case cover and engine front support. Make sure the seal is properly centered in the timing case cover. Install oil slinger (if so equipped), pulley, clutch cover pressure plate assembly and disc oil pan, clutch housing pan and transmission.
Fig. A7—Main bearing and connecting rod bearing fillet radii
Fig. A8—Marking No. 2 and 3 main bearing caps for correct installation
Fig. A9—Identification of main bearing journals with thicker wall bearing shells
MAIN BEARINGS—When the main bearings have to be replaced look for a stamped number on the center weight as shown in fig. A9. An M or an R followed by a number indicates that a main or connecting, rod bearing has a thicker wall bearing. For example M2 and R1 indicate that .001 in. thicker shells are used on No. 2 main bearing and No. 1 connecting rod bearing. These bearings are available in the following sizes: .001, .002, .003, .010 in., .012 in., .020 in. for mains and con rods. .030 and .040 in. inserts are available for mains only.
Main bearing clearance is usually between .001 and .0015 in. When the engine is not down a fair indication of the clearance can be obtained by the shim stock method or the plastigage method.
Note: When installing a new rear main bearing in Hy-Drive equipped engines, use a lower insert that does not have the oil drain back groove and hole in the white metal surface.
Fig.A10 shows the rear main oil seals on the 1946-52 models. If inspection indicates that the upper oil seal must be replaced, remove the flywheel.
Fig.A11 shows the rear main bearing oil seal as used from 1953 on. The upper oil seal is easily removed once the lower seal has been taken out. Push one corner until the other end protrudes after which it can be gripped with pliers and taken out. Before installing a new seal coat the contacting lip with grease. Push into place with a rolling motion.
Due to constructional changes in the 1953 model P 24 Plymouth engines the cylinder block, crankshaft, rear main bearing oil seal and cap gaskets are not interchangeable with engines built prior to 1953.
CAMSHAFT AND BEARINGS—Removal of the camshaft necessitates removal of the cylinderhead, timing case cover, camshaft sprocket, timing chain and fuel pump. If the valves are not going to be removed hold them up by inserting wooden wedges under each valve head as shown in fig. A12 Lift valve lifters with clothes pins as shown.
Fig. A10—Rear main bearing oil seal (1946-52)
Fig. A11 —Rear main bearing oil seal (1953)
Remove thrust plate bolts and rotate camshaft while pulling it out. Press off thrust plate and collar in arbor press. Camshaft end play is measured as shown in fig. A13 It should be .002-.006 in.
A special tool (C-536) is used to remove and install camshaft bearings. When installing the new bushes make sure the oil hole is in line with the passages in the block.
Fig. A12—Method of holding up valves and tappets for removal of camshaft
Fig. A13—Measuring camshaft end play on thrust plate
VALVES—The valves can be removed after the cylinderhead and the tappet cover have been taken off. Whenever the valves are serviced, also check the following parts in the valve train: valves, seats, or inserts, guides, springs, tappets, tappet bores. If the old valves and guides are being used again place them in a valve board so that they may be returned to the original positions. Remove all carbon from cylinderhead, piston tops, valves, valve ports. The valve stem clearance in the guide can be measured with a ball or plug gauge or with a dial indicator. (See fig. A14). Valves that are cracked, burned or warped should be replaced. Reconditioning of valves and seats should be done with accurate equipment. It is important that the valve guides are true and clean and the pilot should be a good snug fit in the guide. Keep seat width between 1/16-1/32 in. A valve should be discarded when less than 1/32 in. is left on the valve head margin after cleaning up on the grinder. The valves and seats should be lightly lapped together. When the lapping is completed make sure that all the compound is removed. Oil valve stem to provide initial lubrication.
Fig. A14—Measuring valve stem clearance in guide
Fig. A15—Adjusting valve clearance
EXHAUST VALVE INSERTS—Inserts that are cracked, burned or pitted should be replaced. Old inserts can be removed with a special tool (C-732). If insert is loose in the block install a .010 in. oversize insert. The counterbore should be bored .002-.004 in. smaller than the insert and the same amount deeper than the height of the insert. The inserts should be chilled in dry ice to obtain maximum contraction.
VALVE GUIDES—Replacement guides are available with undersize bores which can be reamed to fit. Stem to guide clearance limits are: .001-.003 in. intake, and .003-005. in. exhaust. The intake valve guides should be installed with the counterbored end down. The exhaust guides should be installed with the counterbored ends up. This provides better heat shielding. The guides should be driven into full depth 7/8 in. below the cylinder block top edge.
VALVE SPRINGS—Valve springs can be tested in a testing fixture. Springs that do not have 40-45 pounds tension when compressed to 1¾ inches should be replaced. Valve springs can be installed with the close-coiled end cither at the top or at the bottom. Valve springs are available in four different colors: black, green, brown and grey. The colors merely identify the manufacturer and do not refer to spring tension.
VALVE TAPPETS—Valve tappets should be adjusted as a preliminary setting to .010 in. for the intakes, and .013 in. for exhausts (adjust tappet when off the quieting ramp). When engine is warmed up adjust to .010 for both the intake and exhaust valves. Valve tappet screws are self locking See fig. A15.
REPLACEMENT—The camshaft and oil pan must be removed to replace tappets. If new tappets fit too loosely in the bores install oversize tappets. Oversize tappets are available in the following sizes: .001, .008, .030 in. If a reaming tool is to be used, remove cylinderhead, valves, springs so that pilot can be installed.
Fig. A16—Sectional view of Chrysler V8 engine
Early Type Cylinder Block (Top View)
Fig. A17—Early type engine block
Late Type Cylinder Block (Top View)
fig. A17 A —Late type engine block
V8 FIREPOWER ENGINE—The 235 hp. V8 Firepower engine is shown in fig.A16 It is typical of the Chrysler built V8 engines and it is used in the De Luxe New Yorker and Imperial models. These engines feature hemispherical combustion chambers and a five-bearing crankshaft. The crankshaft is a steel drop forging, heat-treated for strength and durability. Crankshaft end thrust is taken by the center main bearing. Fig. A17 shows the difference between the early and later type engine blocks.
The chain-driven camshaft is supported in five replaceable steel-backed bearings. The camshaft contour has so-called quieting ramps and is designed for gradual acceleration.
Pistons are cam-ground aluminum alloy with a cast-in steel strut. The piston skirts are relieved diagonally below the piston pin bosses to allow clearance for the crankshaft counterweights.
Two tin-coated compression rings and one expander type oil ring are used. Piston pins are full-floating and retained by two circlips. Piston heads are relieved for valve movement.
Fig. A18—"Shear Type" front engine mounting
Fig. A18 shows the "Shear Type” front engine mounting. This type mounting has a much greater vibration dampening ability. Action of rubber loaded in shear is much softer than when it is loaded in compression.
SERVICING THE ENGINE—In the workshop time and labor can be saved by mounting the engine and clutch-housing assembly in a repair stand as shown in fig. A19 (C-888). This stand allows the engine to be rotated 360 degrees. Care should be taken in removing the rocker assembly to avoid pulling the cylinderheads off the locating dowels, causing them to drop. Discard the cylinderhead gaskets. After high mileage the tappets might stick in the bores due to carbon build-up around the body.
If it is necessary to remove the crankshaft timing gear, use puller as shown in fig. A20 (C-3033).
Fig. A19—Engine assembly (less transmission) mounted in repair stand
Fig. A21 —Installing camshaft bearing shells with special tool
Fig. A20—Removing crankshaft timing gear with special puller
To remove the camshaft, unscrew the camshaft thrust plate attaching bolts and lift off oil trough. Be careful when pulling out the camshaft not to damage the cambearings.
CYLINDER BLOCK INSPECTION-Whenever the cylinderblock is completely stripped it should be thoroughly cleaned and inspected. Examine for cracks or fractures and machined surfaces for burrs or scores. Also check the various core hole plugs and replace if necessary. When installing new welch plugs, coat edges of plugs and hole with suitable sealer. Drive in place with special tool. Cylinder bores should be checked for ovality and taper. If out of round exceeds .005 in., or taper more than .020 in., block should be rebored.
Light scores or scratches can be removed with a hone. Only a few passes of the hone should be necessary. Block should be thoroughly cleaned after honing.
Fig. A22—Installing camshaft in block
CAMSHAFT AND BEARING SHELL INSTALLATION—New camshaft bearings can be installed with special shouldered adapters (see fig. A21). Make sure that the oil holes of the bearings mate up with the holes in the cylinder block. This is especially important for No. 2 and 4 camshaft bearing shells as the lubrication of the valve operating mechanism depends on the correct position of these bearings.
Carefully install new welch plug at rear of camshaft (use Mopar Perfect Seal Sealing Compound). Install camshaft thrust plate, insert key and press on hub. Correct end clearance should be .002-.006 in. Lubricate all camshaft bearings and install new oil seal rings. Insert camshaft and thrust plate as shown in fig.A22 Place oil trough in position. Install bolts and lock-washers. Tighten bolts to 17 lb.-ft.
MAIN BEARINGS—Main bearing clearance should be .0005-.0015 in. End play should be .002-.007 in. Bearing clearance can be checked with an inside and outside micrometer after bearing cap bolts are tightened to 85 pound-foot. Also check for taper and out of round of journals and bearings. Another clearance check can be made with a piece of .0015 feeler stock. (1/2 in. wide and 1 in. long). A slight drag should be felt when this shim is placed under the bearing cap.
When tightening main bearing caps, tighten No. 3 thrust bearing first, then work alternately to the ends.
PISTONS AND RINGS—Recommended clearance between thrust faces of piston and cylinderwalls is .0005-.0015 in, Finished pistons are available in the following oversizes: .010, .020, .030, .040, .050, and .060 in. Piston ring end-gaps should be .010-.020 in. for compression rings. Side clearance in the groove should be .002-.0035 in. for compression rings and .001-.0025 in. for the oil ring.
Fig. A23—Connecting rod assembly (Chrysler V8. Other models are similar)
Fig. A24—Checking connecting rod and piston in alignment fixture
PISTON PINS—Fig. A23 shows an exploded view of the connecting rod and piston assembly. The piston pin should be a tight thumb press fit in the connecting rod at normal room temperature. The same fit is required in the piston. Piston pins are supplied in standard and .003-.008 in. oversizes.
CONNECTING RODS—When installing connecting rods be sure that the the bearing chamfer is toward the crankshaft fillet. Connecting rod and piston assemblies of one bank are not interchangeable with the other bank. The V slot to be seen across one bolt hole of each bearing cap is an oil passage for lubricating the opposite cylinder wall and piston pin. When installing bearing cap, always make certain that the V slot oil passage is positioned as shown in fig. A25
CONNECTING ROD ALIGNMENT—Alignment is checked with the fixture as shown in fig.A24 Top of the piston should be flush with the tool. (A .002 in. variation is permissible.) To check for twist, tilt piston as shown. Here also a .002 in. variation is allowed.
CONNECTING ROD BEARING CLEARANCE-Connecting rod bearing clearance should be from .005-.0015 in. with a side-clearance of .006-.014 in. Clearance can be checked with micrometers or by inserting a .0015 feeler stock, 1/2 in. wide and 3/4 in. long, between bearing and journal. Nuts should be tightened to 50 lb.-ft. A slight drag should be felt as rod is moved.
Fig. A25—Identification of connecting rod and piston assembly
INSTALLING CONNECTING ROD AND PISTON ASSEMBLIES -When installing piston and rod assemblies, the compression ring gaps should be diametrically opposite one another and not in line with the oil ring gap. Oil ring expander gap should be toward the outside of the V of the engine.
Ring gap should be toward the inside of the V. Immerse piston head with the rings in clean engine oil and use a ring compressor when installing rings. Install bearing caps and tighten nuts to 50 lb.-ft.
CYLINDERHEAD—Fig. A26 shows fixtures which facilitate the disassembly and assembly procedures. Fig. A27 shows an exploded view of the valve assemblies. It should be noted that the intake valve spring seats differ slightly from the exhaust spring seats. For the intake valves thin valve stem seal rings are used just under the valve locks. Check the lock grooves for burrs. Clean up with stone if necessary. Check valve stem clearance in guide with dial indicator as shown in fig. A28 (stems and guides must be clean). Indicator reading when moving valve in guide should not exceed .007 in. for the intake—and .015 in. for the exhaust valves. If readings are higher, new guides are in order. When installing new valve guides make sure that the oil hole near top of guide is facing up (see fig.A29).
It is important that the valve guides are correctly positioned. Exhaust valves should be driven down until the flat end of the guide is flush with the top of the valve guide boss. For the intake valve place a steel ruler across the combustion chamber. Drive intake valve guide down until the punch mark on the side of the driving tool (C-3150) is flush with the face of the cylinderhead. Each guide should be reamed from .374-.375 in. (see fig. A30 ).
Fig. A26—Cylinderhead fixtures
Fig. A27—Two types of valve assemblies used on Chrysler products (The four-bead lock type promotes valve rotation)
Fig. A29—Intake and exhaust valve guides installed in head (Chrysler V8)
Fig. A28—Checking valve stem to guide clearance with dial indicator
Fig. A30—Installing intake valve guide with special tool
VALVE SEAT INSERTS—Valve seat inserts should be renewed if they are loose, cracked or damaged otherwise. Special equipment is necessary to replace inserts. If an insert is loose, an oversize insert should be installed. Valve seat inserts are available in standard and .010 in. oversize. An oversize insert requires an enlarged counterbore. The insert should be an interference fit and .002-.004 in. larger than the counterbore. Before installing, inserts should be placed in a container of dry ice (solidified carbon dioxide) for approximately 10 minutes. Clean counterbore and install chilled insert with the valve side up. Quickly drive insert fully home. Seats should be reground with accurate equipment. Concentricity of the seat relative to the valve guide should be checked with Prussian Blue or with a dial indicator. (Indicator reading run-out should not exceed .002 in.). Width of intake valve seats should be between 1/16 - 3/32 in. Exhaust valve seat widths should be between 3/64 - 1/16 in.
ROCKER ARM ASSEMBLIES—Fig. A31 shows an exploded view of the rocker arm assembly. Rocker arm tubes are stamped "IN” for the intake and "EX” for exhaust rockers. Intake rocker arms are smaller than the exhaust rocker arms. The last bracket to install is the one with the cotter pin holes drilled through the tube bores. Also see fig. A32