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Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Desoto A-Go-Gos

Old cars are money pits and need constant attention. I've known this since way back when helping my dad paint engines in the yard and pulling off transmissions in the winter in a gravel driveway. I fully understand what I'm getting into. And if you aren't rich and pulling out your credit card for everything, you need to do the work yourself. But doing that work brings on a warm fuzzy feeling of satisfaction when you are done.

When Lori and I moved to South City in January, I had my 53 Desoto Firedome and 63 Ford Galaxie. My buddy John drove the Desoto over from the East Bay while I drove the moving truck. He parked it in front of our house on the other side of the street. And there it stayed.

The mechanical fuel pump had long since konked out and it was running a 12 volt electric fuel pump on a 6 volt system. And I guess it had enough and died. So I ordered a rebuilt fuel pump and waited a month to put that on. As soon as I put that on the carburetor started spewing fuel and kept flooding. This was simply the motivation to to spend all summer working on my Desoto's engine.

Before


After


Total top end rebuild. New gaskets, hoses, belts, coil, points, plugs, plug wires, carburetor rebuild, generator rebuilt. In all it took me about 6 months to do. Clean up was the longest part of it. Paint is not original engine colors, but I like it. The engine is a 276 c.i. Hemi v8, affectionately known as a Baby Hemi. Transmission is a fluid drive, which is an early form of automatic.

She's running top notch. Next up is brakes and exhaust. And someday interior. It's one thing after the next with these cars. Trying to fix this, my 49 Ford F-1, and all my motorcycles is a drain on my sanity and pocket book, but in the end it's worth it.


1953 Desoto Firedome Gallery

2 comments:

Scott 53 desoto said...

Hey, Love your 304 pictures of your 53 Desoto. I have bookmarked your page I hope you don't mind. I've bought a 53 Desoto I have only 3 pictures that was sent me. I wont be able to see this car until spring. That will be the first time I will see it. Your pictures will be a great help to me over time as I will be doing a similar restoration. I'm told the car is solid but, it looks rough. Your desoto looks GREAT! Wish me luck. My name is Scott.

Adrian said...

hi! it's a very very beautiful desoto!!! it's a really good job on it! congratulation! i'm french and the mopar from 40 to 60 it's very my favarites cars!! the best it's the chrysler 48 club coupe.
i find near my home a dodge custom coupe 48 and i hope brought it in the next days, for the moment i have 73 buick century.

bye!