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Author Topic: Rookie looking for pointers  (Read 825 times)

Offline KBMiller

  • Posts: 4
  • Name: Kyle Miller
Rookie looking for pointers
« on: December 17, 2021, 01:37:41 AM »
Hey everyone, I'm a new guy from Weatherford, Texas  that just joined the group. My aunt has a 1940 LaSalle. I believe it's a Series 51 but I can't find any info at all that a 51 even exists so I could be off, going back tomorrow to get a better look at the tag. She asked if I could look at the car and see if I could get it running for her, last she knew the battery wasn't hooked up but it's been sitting for a bit so I'm sure there's more than that that needs done. I have worked on older pickups and cars most of my life, but I'll be the first to admit I have no clue what I'm doing with this one. I have never worked on a flathead or anything with a flathead in it, I'm assuming the starters and everything are quite a bit different so I don't have a clue what to be looking for when I get under the car and try to figure out what goes where. Any chance anyone has a diagram showing which cables go where or anything like that?

Looking forward to learning from yall and thanks in advance for your help

Offline Michael Petti

  • Posts: 274
  • Name: M Petti
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2021, 07:35:49 AM »
If you are just interested in getting it running, a flat head is not that different from what you have worked on.  The principles are all the same. Gas, spark, choke etc. If you want to go further, I'd suggest looking for a shop manual for it. I have seen some on the internet but not sure about your year.

Offline Jim Miller

  • Posts: 284
  • Name: Jmiller
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2021, 08:35:54 AM »
If you are hooking up the battery, if it’s the same as my 41 Cadillac, it’s positive ground.
Jim Miller

1941 6219
1949 6237X
2021 XT6
Past:
1991 SDV
1999 DeElegence
2006 DTS
2013 XTS
2016 SRX

Offline Tom Boehm

  • Posts: 703
  • Name: Tom Boehm CLC #6750
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2021, 09:28:51 AM »
Hello KB, yes a 1940 Lasalle is a positive ground battery hookup. In 1940, Lasalles were either a 50 series or a 52 series. For now, it doesn't matter because the engine and mechanicals were the same. The 6 volt starting system will work fine but all the connections have to be clean. The battery clamps and poles, the positive battery cable connection to the frame, the negative battery cable connection to the starter, and the ground strap connections between the frame and the engine block on the passenger side all need to be cleaned of paint, rust, and corrosion. This will help the starter to turn faster and start easier. Even cleaning the rust and paint from between the starter and the bell housing will help.

This is a first step. There is a lot of knowledge of Cadillac flatheads and Lasalles on this forum. Just ask. How long has this car been sitting?

ps   If the battery cable from the negative battery post to the starter is missing, buy the thickest cable you can find.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2021, 09:33:21 AM by Tom Boehm »

Offline tripwire

  • Posts: 310
  • Name: Wes Paro
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2021, 09:37:26 AM »
Kyle,
Your aunt's LaSalle is either a 50 series or a 52 Series, the 52 is slightly larger, same engine & powertrain. If you look at the body tag under the hood it will tell you the series and the model. A quick identifier is the 50 series has a beltline molding that runs the length of the car and round taillights, the 52 series doesn't use that molding. I've attached a couple of photos to help. I hope the owner's of these cars don't mind my using the photos.

There's lot's of info here and on the web for these cars.

As already mentioned these are 6v positive ground. The starter looks pretty much the same as any other except the solenoid is somewhat different on compared to later designs.  One thing these 6v cars have in common is they require really good, clean ground & power cable connections. As well as cables big enough to carry the amps needed, 00 size cables, like welding cables are common, stay away from 12v size cables, they won't do the job.   
Depending on how long this car has been sitting you may find the usual age related problems of rusty gas tanks, deteriorated rubber hoses, bad fuel pump diaphragm, gunk in the carb, and on and on and on...

Good luck and don't hesitate to use this forum for help.

And we love to see pictures

Wes in VT
Driving now:
2013 CTS4 Performance Coupe
1940 LaSalle 5229 C4D

A few I used to drive:
1976 Cadillac Ambulance
1969 Cadillac Hearse, Superior Body
1966 Buick Wildcat Hearse
1957 Ford Thunderbird x 3, 1 E code, 2 D code
1956 Oldsmobile Rocket 88 Sedan
1949 Mercury Convertible
1949 Mercury Coupe, Mild Custom
1936 Buick Special Sedan

Offline KBMiller

  • Posts: 4
  • Name: Kyle Miller
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2021, 11:32:22 AM »
If you are just interested in getting it running, a flat head is not that different from what you have worked on.  The principles are all the same. Gas, spark, choke etc. If you want to go further, I'd suggest looking for a shop manual for it. I have seen some on the internet but not sure about your year.

For now that's the goal, but surely she's going to want more than that later so that was my main reason for joining this group. I was doing a little internet searching and just happened to stumble upon this page and figured might as well learn as much as I can while working on it.

Offline KBMiller

  • Posts: 4
  • Name: Kyle Miller
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2021, 11:35:28 AM »
Hello KB, yes a 1940 Lasalle is a positive ground battery hookup. In 1940, Lasalles were either a 50 series or a 52 series. For now, it doesn't matter because the engine and mechanicals were the same. The 6 volt starting system will work fine but all the connections have to be clean. The battery clamps and poles, the positive battery cable connection to the frame, the negative battery cable connection to the starter, and the ground strap connections between the frame and the engine block on the passenger side all need to be cleaned of paint, rust, and corrosion. This will help the starter to turn faster and start easier. Even cleaning the rust and paint from between the starter and the bell housing will help.

This is a first step. There is a lot of knowledge of Cadillac flatheads and Lasalles on this forum. Just ask. How long has this car been sitting?

ps   If the battery cable from the negative battery post to the starter is missing, buy the thickest cable you can find.

Thank you for the explanation, that helps quite a bit. I'll be going over there today and getting a look at the tag in the daylight to have a better idea of what I'm looking at and see what else might need done. It hasn't been sitting too long, a little over a year, and it's been under cover the entire time.

Offline KBMiller

  • Posts: 4
  • Name: Kyle Miller
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2021, 11:43:46 AM »
Kyle,
Your aunt's LaSalle is either a 50 series or a 52 Series, the 52 is slightly larger, same engine & powertrain. If you look at the body tag under the hood it will tell you the series and the model. A quick identifier is the 50 series has a beltline molding that runs the length of the car and round taillights, the 52 series doesn't use that molding. I've attached a couple of photos to help. I hope the owner's of these cars don't mind my using the photos.

There's lot's of info here and on the web for these cars.

As already mentioned these are 6v positive ground. The starter looks pretty much the same as any other except the solenoid is somewhat different on compared to later designs.  One thing these 6v cars have in common is they require really good, clean ground & power cable connections. As well as cables big enough to carry the amps needed, 00 size cables, like welding cables are common, stay away from 12v size cables, they won't do the job.   
Depending on how long this car has been sitting you may find the usual age related problems of rusty gas tanks, deteriorated rubber hoses, bad fuel pump diaphragm, gunk in the carb, and on and on and on...

Good luck and don't hesitate to use this forum for help.

And we love to see pictures

Wes in VT

Thank you for the pointers I'll have to check out the molding when I get over there. I found the tag last night but it was hard to read in the dark so I'll have to go get a better look at it and get some pics for yall. After reading what you said about the battery cables I know I'll for sure have to replace them now, because they are your typical 12v cables.

It hasn't been sitting but just over a year since it was last drove, but I don't know how long it was sitting before then so I'm sure all of the above will need to be gone through. Her husband bought it and drove it a couple of times before passing last November and it's just sat since then. I don't have any pictures for yall at the moment but I will get some to post. I was very impressed when I seen it, they pulled it out of a barn and it's a very clean car and I didn't see any damage or rust anywhere so they may have gotten lucky with this one.

Offline Tom Boehm

  • Posts: 703
  • Name: Tom Boehm CLC #6750
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2021, 12:56:10 PM »
Sitting a year is not that long. Be sure to drain the gas tank and use new gasoline.

Offline fishnjim

  • Posts: 2422
  • Name: J. Bozin
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2021, 04:16:30 PM »
I don't do pre-war, per se, but it should be fairly straight forward if it ran within the last 12 months or so.  But memories fade too.   
Go through each system and make sure it's functional before you rush in to start it.   Or you'll be spending more time posting and getting opinions than making progress.  Doesn't take all that much time, but saves time tremendously.
Since they had 6VDC + grd past WW2, the battery cables should be 00, and not 12 V.   6V needs twice the amps to do what 12V does, so the larger wire gauge.
I get them from Pacer Group.   Very reasonable - before covid.
I'm not even sure there is a shop manual for these.   Maybe there's a Cadillac equivalent as the LaSalle shared common parts.    Garages used Motor's manuals and similar that covered all the models du jour, as they have common parts; brakes, clutches, carbs, starters, VR, etc and how to deal with.   I have one for '30s that I got at auction.   Good reading even if it's not all useful.

Offline Tom Boehm

  • Posts: 703
  • Name: Tom Boehm CLC #6750
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2021, 04:59:59 PM »
Yes there is a shop manual for 1939 and 1940 Cadillac and Lasalle. 1940 was actually a supplement to 1939. They are reproduced. Try Ebay. It would not be all that useful for just getting the car running. It would be more useful if and when you start restoring individual systems.

Offline wheikkila

  • Posts: 421
  • Name: Wayne Heikkila
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2021, 05:48:54 PM »
Hi Kyle
Glad to have you on the forum. We are almost neighbors. I live close to Austin. The battery is under the front drivers feet. You have to lift the carpet or padding. Then there are four bolts to remove the cover. I have a 1940 LaSalle model 52. There is a lot of good information and people on this sight. If you feel you need to, you can PM me on any question. Good luck on getting your Aunts car running.
                                                             Thanks Wayne     

Offline Jay Friedman

  • Posts: 2535
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2021, 06:11:01 PM »
A good source for cables is www.brillman.com
1949 Cadillac 6107 Club Coupe
1932 Ford V8 Phaeton (restored, not a rod).  Sold
Decatur, Georgia
CLC # 3210, since 1984
"If it won't work, get a bigger hammer."

Offline Tom Boehm

  • Posts: 703
  • Name: Tom Boehm CLC #6750
Re: Rookie looking for pointers
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2021, 09:09:11 PM »
Hello Kyle, here is a link to almost everything known to mankind about 1940 Cadillac and Lasalle. Specifications, accessories, production numbers, original prices, and owners manual. There are reproduction shop manuals available on Ebay from Faxon Auto Literature. Faxon also sells reprints of the Cadillac Serviceman Bulletins which are updates to the shop manual published after the model year. There is also the 1935-1949 Cadillac master parts book which is reproduced.

The information in this link and a shop manual for '39 and '40 is all you will need.

https://www.gmheritagecenter.com/docs/gm-heritage-archive/vehicle-information-kits/Cadillac/1940_LaSalle_VVI.pdf

« Last Edit: December 17, 2021, 09:20:06 PM by Tom Boehm »

 

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