Meet Gertrude: the Newest Morris Mopar, 1968!

EurekaSevven

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I tuned my 383 to 10 degrees initial timing with no issues, before it had a bit of spark knock on acceleration, and I have heard 12 degrees is fine with today's gas, but I wanted to split the difference between the factory spec and the 12 degrees so I chose 10. Have had absolutely no issues with it, although my 383 is a 2 barrel, I'm not sure if yours is a 4 barrel. 4 Barrel was 5 degrees if I remember.
 

cbarge

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I tuned my 383 to 10 degrees initial timing with no issues, before it had a bit of spark knock on acceleration, and I have heard 12 degrees is fine with today's gas, but I wanted to split the difference between the factory spec and the 12 degrees so I chose 10. Have had absolutely no issues with it, although my 383 is a 2 barrel, I'm not sure if yours is a 4 barrel. 4 Barrel was 5 degrees if I remember.
I agree that with todays gas factory specs are out the window.
Every engine reacts differently depending on mileage carbon build up, etc.
Tune to what makes it happy!
 

Gerald Morris

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I agree that with todays gas factory specs are out the window.
Every engine reacts differently depending on mileage carbon build up, etc.
Tune to what makes it happy!

I set it to ~ 9 degrees BTDC, but want to dial it back to 7.5, once I get my manual choke reconnected. I get some backfire when cranking it over at 9 degrees.

All in All, the engine runs very nicely. It needs a better cooling system for the warm weather and traffic here though. I'll put a new pusher fan on after I get the new alternator, and upgrade the wiring for that. I suspect this car originally had an OEM 35 amp alternator, with just 12 gauge wire running to the ammeter from the charging stud. I put the NAPA reman back on after the CRAP VatoZone alt died, and they GAVE ME ANOTHER DEAD ONE for their bullshit "warranty." That's a TRASH company, and I don't want another cent of our money going to them. In 5 years, I got 6 alternators from Vato Zone, TWO of which worked! What's the purpose of their warranty, aside from fooling people into giving them $? I'm going to get my $59 back from them tomorrow.

Hope to get the gauge array working by tomorrow evening. Temperature, oil pressure and voltage are quantities I insist on knowing and getting non-electrically when possible. I have some nice Stewart Warner and Clark Brothers gauges for this purpose, all made exclusively in the U.S.A. The tach should be in soon too.
 

Gerald Morris

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New year, time for some updates!

1.) The 383 transplant from Mathilda saved this car. I MUST get a decent pair of cylinder heads on THIS 383, or better yet, get another FRESH engine. The valve guides or at least the valve stem seals need replacing.* I don't mind killing mosquitos during the summer, but prefer doing so using proper pesticide and NOT my engine oil! At the very least, I reckon I can do the valve stem seals without breaking the seal of any cylinder head gasket. Just will need a little time to do that. I have Felpro umbrella seals on hand too.

2.) Brakes. Ditching the defective brake booster in favor of good old manual brakes sure helped, BUT, NOW I need to address WHY the nice clean brake fluid I poured into the nice clean master cylinder now comes up FILTHY! I suspect the wheel cylinders are ORIGINAL, likely with ORIGINAL RUBBER still crumbling in them. I bled the rear cylinders easily and properly, closing the bleeder valve which that Texas cracker flipper left half open, and at least stopped a nasty leak, but the FRONT drivers side cylinder isn't bleeding well. Time to check it out. TODAY

3.) Electrical. In addition to a nice heavy gauge wire run supplying the dash, bypassing the ammeter and safely handling the 95 amp capability of the shiny new alternator, I've restored reverse lights, rebuilt the map light switch, repaired a circuit board for the right turn signal indicator and other idjit lights, and have replaced many incandescent bulbs with LEDs, though NOT the turn signal indicators and NOT the headlights. Eventually WILL install headlamp relays, and I already have a nice 6 circuit fuse box up by the battery for several such auxillary circuits, leaving the intrinsic headlight breaker in the switch just the 16 AWG wires which will switch the RELAYs instead of the high wattage LOADs.

4. Suspension. ALL the suspension on this car MUST be replaced ASAP. Already have 95% or more of the required partsm and tools, just need TIME, WITHOUT MY LONG WEEKENDS GETTING SABOTAGED WITH FOOL APPOINTMENTS MADE BEFORE I CAN CHECK WHETHER ITS A GOOD IDEA! GRRR!

5. Muffler, What's on there still works VERY well, but I see its busted the seam on the left side. Will want a replacement sooner or later. Low priority. The rest of the pipe still very solid.

6. Seats. MUST REPLACE ASAP!
Seats are nothing but vinyl over springs now. The old foam rubber crumbles to bits every time anyone sits on it. VERY LITTLE LEFT. Probably will transplant the front bench from Mathilda for now, given that I have a nice cover over still good seating there. The back will need attention when the brats outgrow their legally coerced kiddy seats. DAMN ALL DO-GOODER FREEDOM HATERS! (Google tried to auto-correct that exclamation.)

7. Ragtop. Again, need to find time AND competent upholsterer to get the vinyl stitched, glued and stapled on competently. I PRAY I don't have to do this particular job.... or drive to Phx.

8. Rear end. Noticed how Gertrude had more low end SNAP, taking off from stops, and how the gas gauge went down a bit more rapidly than Mathilda. So, I counted revolutions, seeing how the drive shaft needed ~ 3.25 revolutions per tire revolution. I then scrubbed a half inch of grime off the pumpkin, found the tag, and sure enough: Its a 3:23 rear end! Good to know for sure. I thought for a LONG time Tilly had a 2:76, but it turns out she got a 2.93. Oh well, if Trudi's rear end starts leaking oil, making racket or such that tightening the axles won't easily resolve, then I can swap rear ends. Both are 742s.
 
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cbarge

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New year, time for some updates!

1.) The 383 transplant from Mathilda saved this car. I MUST get a decent pair of cylinder heads on THIS 383, or better yet, get another FRESH engine. The valve guides or at least the valve stem seals need replacing.* I don't mind killing mosquitos during the summer, but prefer doing so using proper pesticide and NOT my engine oil! At the very least, I reckon I can do the valve stem seals without breaking the seal of any cylinder head gasket. Just will need a little time to do that. I have Felpro umbrella seals on hand too.

2.) Brakes. Ditching the defective brake booster in favor of good old manual brakes sure helped, BUT, NOW I need to address WHY the nice clean brake fluid I poured into the nice clean master cylinder now comes up FILTHY! I suspect the wheel cylinders are ORIGINAL, likely with ORIGINAL RUBBER still crumbling in them. I bled the rear cylinders easily and properly, closing the bleeder valve which that Texas cracker flipper left half open, and at least stopped a nasty leak, but the FRONT drivers side cylinder isn't bleeding well. Time to check it out. TODAY

3.) Electrical. In addition to a nice heavy gauge wire run supplying the dash, bypassing the ammeter and safely handling the 95 amp capability of the shiny new alternator, I've restored reverse lights, rebuilt the map light switch, repaired a circuit board for the right turn signal indicator and other idjit lights, and have replaced many incandescent bulbs with LEDs, though NOT the turn signal indicators and NOT the headlights. Eventually WILL install headlamp relays, and I already have a nice 6 circuit fuse box up by the battery for several such auxillary circuits, leaving the intrinsic headlight breaker in the switch just the 16 AWG wires which will switch the RELAYs instead of the high wattage LOADs.

4. Suspension. ALL the suspension on this car MUST be replaced ASAP. Already have 95% or more of the required partsm and tools, just need TIME, WITHOUT MY LONG WEEKENDS GETTING SABOTAGED WITH FOOL APPOINTMENTS MADE BEFORE I CAN CHECK WHETHER ITS A GOOD IDEA! GRRR!

5. Muffler, What's on there still works VERY well, but I see its busted the seam on the left side. Will want a replacement sooner or later. Low priority. The rest of the pipe still very solid.

6. Seats. MUST REPLACE ASAP!
Seats are nothing but vinyl over springs now. The old foam rubber crumbles to bits every time anyone sits on it. VERY LITTLE LEFT. Probably will transplant the front bench from Mathilda for now, given that I have a nice cover over still good seating there. The back will need attention when the brats outgrow their legally coerced kiddy seats. DAMN ALL DO-GOODER FREEDOM HATERS! (Google tried to auto-correct that exclamation.)

7. Ragtop. Again, need to find time AND competent upholsterer to get the vinyl stitched, glued and stapled on competently. I PRAY I don't have to do this particular job.... or drive to Phx.

8. Rear end. Noticed how Gertrude had more low end SNAP, taking off from stops, and how the gas gauge went down a bit more rapidly than Mathilda. So, I counted revolutions, seeing how the drive shaft needed ~ 3.25 revolutions per tire revolution. I then scrubbed a half inch of grime off the pumpkin, found the tag, and sure enough: Its a 3:23 rear end! Good to know for sure. I thought for a LONG time Tilly had a 2:76, but it turns out she got a 2.93. Oh well, if Trudi's rear end starts leaking oil, making racket or such that tightening the axles won't easily resolve, then I can swap rear ends. Both are 742s.
I am running 2.94's with 28 inch tall tires. Has some snap and still drive on the highway all day long. A lot of Imperials had 2.94's
 

70bigblockdodge

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MUST get a decent pair of cylinder heads on THIS 383, or better yet, get another FRESH engine. The valve guides or at least the valve stem seals need replacing.* I don't mind killing mosquitos during the summer, but prefer doing so using proper pesticide and NOT my engine oil! At the very least, I reckon I can do the valve stem seals without breaking the seal of any cylinder head gasket. Just will need a little time to do that. I have Felpro umbrella seals on hand too
Those 915 castings we're on a engine that was in excellent shape in the mid eighties. The block is in my Charger and no ridge and very round bores.
FYI
 

Gerald Morris

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Those 915 castings we're on a engine that was in excellent shape in the mid eighties. The block is in my Charger and no ridge and very round bores.
FYI

YEP! Those 915s ARE earmarked FOR this very engine! We were actually preparing for installing them last summer when that evil creature did her little insurance fraud job on poor Mathilda. Now that I've got Tilly's old plant running good in Gertrude, I pray I can get those 915s on this May, when the Babushka finishes her Spring shift for the City school district. From the look of them, I reckon I can plop them on with relatively little extra effort. I look forward to running with them!
 

Gerald Morris

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I am running 2.94's with 28 inch tall tires. Has some snap and still drive on the highway all day long. A lot of Imperials had 2.94's

Good to know! Yes, when that 383 is freshly tuned, it could and a couple times DID inadvertently scratch rubber on take-off. So, its a 2:94 eh? I couldn't make out the last digit on the old tag after cleaning it off with a powered wire brush. 'Twas a pleasant little surprise to me when I saw that. All along, I'd assumed my hand turning the tire to estimate the ratio simply was off, and that I had the tried and true 2:76 on that car. With new axle bearings and now, good clean axles, that rear end should serve for many many miles. I think the diameter of Mathilda's rear rubber is about 28" come to think of it. Gertrude sits on 26.5 inch wheels, which is about as big as can be got for 14" rims nowadaze. We're happy with that, though will be MUCH happier with new rear springs and shocks. Again, we plan to cannibalize Tilly to pick up Trudi's arse from the asphalt here...WHERE THERE IS ASPHALT THAT IS! Grrrr!
 
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