Author Topic: 1939 Cadillac Coupé in SoCal  (Read 1756 times)

Offline hudson29

  • Posts: 179
  • Name: Paul O'Neil
1939 Cadillac Coupé in SoCal
« on: January 08, 2014, 12:05:37 PM »
Hello everybody! I'm new to this forum but not new to the Caddie. I bought this 1939 Cadillac 6127 almost twenty years ago as a deteriorated driver and work on it in fits & starts as time, budget & other projects allow. It has been in storage for the last three & a half years. Around Thanksgiving I got it out and did some mechanical work to put it back in service.

Recent work includes a new fuel pump, insulated fuel lines, adding the insulation block under the carbie, carb clean & kit, new plugs, ignition harness, cap, rotor, Pertronix 6v positive ground ignition module with Flame Thrower coil and all new primary wiring right back to the switch.

The motor now runs better than ever with some flat spots in acceleration to work out in the future. It runs quiet and is very smooth. This car just whispers along at 70 mph. It will go much faster but I really don't see any wisdom in pushing things.

Items on the work list still to do include filling the shocks with oil, adjusting the sun visors to keep them from drooping and sourcing all of the plastic bits on the bottom of the dashboard. I have a new water pump to install also at some point. Many other items will need to be done down the road.

The motor has some features from a later model including the fuel pump, vacuum advance and the carbie. The motor number doesn't look like any Cadillac number I have been able to find. Possibly it might be a tank engine? How could I tell? How were those engines numbered?

Vintage Paul

These pics were taken a few years ago but do show how the Caddie appears now -
1939 Cadillac 6127 Coupé
1929 Hudson Town Sedan
1926 Hudson Anderson Bodied Coupé
1923 Ford Runabout

Offline Richardonly

  • Posts: 532
  • 1948 Cadillac Fleetwood
  • CLC Number: 26895
  • Name: Richard V. Pattison
Re: 1939 Cadillac Coupé in SoCal
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2014, 12:36:43 PM »
Hello Paul,

The car looks great and I wish you the best in continuing to bring it up to what you want.  Those old flatheads are not only what I call bulletproof, but whisper quiet!

Mine tends to run on the warm side in summer with temps hitting 95+.

Any pics of the interior and engine?

Regards, Richard
1948 Cadillac Fleetwood 60S
1995 Lincoln Towncar, Signature Series
1995 Jaguar XJ6
2001 Chrysler Sebring Convertible
1986 Yamaha 700 Maxim X motorcycle

Offline hudson29

  • Posts: 179
  • Name: Paul O'Neil
Re: 1939 Cadillac Coupé in SoCal
« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2014, 03:10:02 PM »
Thanks for the pic of your '48. I never used to like Cadillacs but I sure do now.

Mine also runs hot and has always had trouble with hot starts. Looking over the Cadillac factory material, it sounds like GM knew there was a problem and took great strides to deal with the issue. I added insulation to the fuel line to the pump and between the pump & the carb. Also, the insulating block which was missing on my car has been added. This gives a full inch of clearance between the fuel line fitting into the carb and the exhaust crossover manifold. These changes seem to have helped. The car now will start hot even if it sometimes grinds a bit on the starter if left to stew in the heat for a bit. This is winter, but we have been suffering a heat wave in SoCal and the daytime temps have approached 90°.

Looking at the CLC Authenticity Manual I see that GM lagged the exhaust pipe with asbestos to lower under hood temps. This may be worth trying in the future.

It was not unusual to see 200° or higher on the Stewart-Warner mechanical gage. The factory gage does not work – yet. After having done all the work recently, I have noticed that the motor is running somewhat cooler, perhaps 180° around town and 200° on the freeway.

I saw in the reprints of the Cadillac Serviceman that there was a procedure for cleaning the block of rust & scale. It involved removing some of the cylinder head bolts from the lower row on both heads and inserting a hollow rod down the hole with compressed air to loosen and flush the nasty bits out with water. I know my car has sediment back there because I was able to loosen some of it with a wire inserted in the drain holes years ago. I wonder how cool it might run with the water jacket good &  clean . . .

I'll post some pics of the motor in a bit. Below are a few showing the interior as it is right now. This is a largely original old car and there is much to do to bring it back to more original condition.

Vintage Paul


1939 Cadillac 6127 Coupé
1929 Hudson Town Sedan
1926 Hudson Anderson Bodied Coupé
1923 Ford Runabout

Offline las39

  • Posts: 355
  • CLC Number: 26157
  • Name: Mo Sleiman
Re: 1939 Cadillac Coupé in SoCal
« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2014, 05:24:03 PM »
What a beautiful model. Nice to see another 39er without spot/fog lamps.
Pics of engine?
« Last Edit: January 08, 2014, 05:26:34 PM by las39 »
1939 LaSalle 5027
1941 Chrysler Royal Coupe
1934 Oldsmobile F34
1976 Moto Guzzi Convert

Offline hudson29

  • Posts: 179
  • Name: Paul O'Neil
Re: 1939 Cadillac Coupé in SoCal
« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2014, 05:39:20 PM »
Thanks Mo, I believe that we share the same body along with some Buick, Oldsmobile & Pontiac Coupés. That is good as so few of the Caddies were built that few parts can be found. My trunk support struts quit supporting and I have a bit of plastic pipe sawed to size to hold it up. Any idea how to repair those struts?

Below are a couple of pics of the motor with the latest work just done. I do not believe this is the original motor, the number 8D5061 is not in the run the book says this car should have. Any idea what this motor might be?

Vintage Paul

1939 Cadillac 6127 Coupé
1929 Hudson Town Sedan
1926 Hudson Anderson Bodied Coupé
1923 Ford Runabout

Offline Richardonly

  • Posts: 532
  • 1948 Cadillac Fleetwood
  • CLC Number: 26895
  • Name: Richard V. Pattison
Re: 1939 Cadillac Coupé in SoCal
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 09:26:40 AM »
Paul,

It is almost natural for these flatheads to run on the hot side and what amazed me is what you wrote about it running hotter on the highway as compared to around town.  Mine does the same.

Some things I have done to keep it running as cool as I can.  I wrapped the exhaust pipe near the water pump, put the timing spot on, flushed it until only clear water came out ( about 4 times), installed an electric "push" fan with a toggle switch.  Everything helped a bit and on extended highway runs, I average around 210 degrees when the temperature is 90-95+.

On the starting, it is also natural for the car to start right up, when warm, if it is off for 5 minutes or less.  After that, the metal in the engine expands and it cranks slower.  I installed an Optima 6V battery that does help a lot and also an electric fuel pump.

Regards, Richard
1948 Cadillac Fleetwood 60S
1995 Lincoln Towncar, Signature Series
1995 Jaguar XJ6
2001 Chrysler Sebring Convertible
1986 Yamaha 700 Maxim X motorcycle

Offline CEC #20099

  • Posts: 184
  • CLC Number: 20099
  • Name: c. chleboun
Re: 1939 Cadillac Coupé in SoCal
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 11:46:15 AM »
Paul: My Military engine in my `39 is a 1945 Navy Engine, with a paper tag on it. It was new. One odd thing I noticed, is that the block does not have water drain plugs, for the water jacket.
If you want to contact CLC member #1800, he has further info on this batch of US Navy engines.
C.Chleboun #20099

Offline hudson29

  • Posts: 179
  • Name: Paul O'Neil
Re: 1939 Cadillac Coupé in SoCal
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 03:08:27 PM »
Getting the timing set involved a bit of guess work on this motor. According to the manual, there is supposed to be a vertical line like this: G|A. Timing is supposed to be on that line. The marks on my pulley had no vertical mark and looked like this: GA. Previously I had set the timing earlier on the vertical line that does exist. This time I set it in the center of the GA just as if the line was there. The motor picked up speed and seems happier.

Did you notice any difference after lagging the exhaust pipe? That might be in the future for me.

I too have a fresh 6v Optima. The first one I had in there last something like 10 years and always did a great job. I love where Cadillac mounted their battery. The cable runs are very short and easy to get at, important with 6v systems.

My car doesn't crank any slower after sitting and stewing. It does act like it is getting vapor lock issues if it sits any time hot. This does seem better right now after having freshened up the ignition and insulating the fuel lines and adding the carb spacer.

Vintage Paul
1939 Cadillac 6127 Coupé
1929 Hudson Town Sedan
1926 Hudson Anderson Bodied Coupé
1923 Ford Runabout

Offline Richardonly

  • Posts: 532
  • 1948 Cadillac Fleetwood
  • CLC Number: 26895
  • Name: Richard V. Pattison
Re: 1939 Cadillac Coupé in SoCal
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 10:29:17 AM »
The most noticeable thing I did was the flushing and the electric fan.  All the others helped a bit, but all together, they all helped in reducing the highway temp.  The "extra wet" coolant, I never tried as I was told it didn't do much of anything.

The timing made it run smother, but I did not notice a temp difference.  It was 3 degree off.

So come spring, I shall once again, flush, flush, flush.  ;D
1948 Cadillac Fleetwood 60S
1995 Lincoln Towncar, Signature Series
1995 Jaguar XJ6
2001 Chrysler Sebring Convertible
1986 Yamaha 700 Maxim X motorcycle

Offline hudson29

  • Posts: 179
  • Name: Paul O'Neil
Re: 1939 Cadillac Coupé in SoCal
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 01:10:48 PM »
I'll do the same thing when I put on the water pump later in the spring. I'm thinking of trying that compressed air & long rod trick to see some of that crud can't be knocked loose.

I was reading some of the old Cadillac Serviceman issues reprinted in that wonderful book Cadillacs of the 1940s. In the introduction to the 1949 models the serviceman was informed that the new OHV V-8 produced less heat than the old flathead and that as a consequence, the radiator was made smaller & the cooling system now had a lower capacity. I wonder why this should be so. Was the new motor more efficient because it had higher compression and other design features?

Vintage Paul
1939 Cadillac 6127 Coupé
1929 Hudson Town Sedan
1926 Hudson Anderson Bodied Coupé
1923 Ford Runabout

 

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