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New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Hello to all those out in Durant land!
I'm glad to be here!
It took me 41 years of antique autos to drag home a Durant car.
While looking for a Maxwell or Dodge Brothers open car , this car was offered to me at a modest price so it wouldn't have to be sold to a youngling looking to build a Touring " T bucket".
The car as it sits presents it self as a lower milage survivor type, being complete, unrestored, and basically original but for a 1958 repaint(over painted in and out ) , new top and 4 new Monkey Ward shoes! It had been used a bit and been kept running on and off since the late '50's but not maintained very well.
It was sold running and drivable some what. It starts easy but is horror to drive and a weak runner with low compression, wrong worn out distributor and a good deal of piston slap with loud yowelling brakes and a impossible transmission.
We would like to straighten out a few things(be for we get too involved ) to see if it would make a fun drivable car ,without doing a frame up expensive restoration(we are back yard low buck hobbyist) as my biggest interest in the old car hobby ,is not just to restore or preserve , but mainly to preserve the "antique mode of transportation". That means Rain or shin or snow, hot or cold under all conditions we want to DRIVE IT.
Out first issue is shifting. Motor running at a stand still in neutral one has to really force or jam the lever into gear, heavily grinding on the gears.(GURRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr CLUNK). The clutch I believe IS throwing out but is still dragging and spinning the tranny gears too much. We know this was a problem with the old owner as the oil Is more grease(or bannana peals) in nature then heavy non fluid oil and it doesn't help .
After reading the included orig. repair manual for clutch adjustments, which seem o.k. I read about the alignment of the transmission to engine via the dopey U-joint connection which in reality is only a mechanical coupling of the two.
Upon inspection I find the clutch shaft(out back of flywheel) is 1/8" higher than the out put shaft of the transmission, not on a straight and plane with each other...I suspect this it the cause of the clutch drag , not releasing the clutch as it always will have a drag form the miss alignment to a ,I'll use the term, "free float" situation. Plus the sliding spline butterfly drive piece was frozen on the clutch shaft.
I found there are shims. Maybe a 1/6" under the back engine mounts that when removed I hope will lower the motor to a more agreeable plane with the transmission and reduce the grinding of the gear selection from neutral.
Any thoughts would be appreciated and please excuse my long winded first post.
I'll leave the impossible and unsafe position of the shift lever for first gear for another time and worn out ,non original ,loose Distributor issues :)

My regards , David
Hopefully a long term Durant Star owner?

Where Are You From? Waterbury Connecticut

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 Star Model C touring car

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

David

welcome, while I am not the person that can answer your questions, I am the Eastern Regional Director for the DMAC, and if no one else has invited you to join, let me be the first. Elsewhere on the DMAC site is an application for membership.

Also, you are invited to the Annual DMAC Meeting in Minneapolis in September, the registration info and hotel info are also on the website. We would love to have you attend, and as we tell everyone, the DMAC is a big family with members all over the world, and being able to put a face to a name is great. So if you can please attend.

Now back to your questions, by Sunday, there will be several Star owners that will chime in with answers that will help, just be patient.

Again, welcome to the DMAC.

Charlie Spitz

Where Are You From? NJ/CA

Do You own a car built by Durant? yes

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Yes, you do need to have the transmission and engine aligned. And yes, it's done with shims. After doing that, check to see if the clutch still drags. If so, then the three "fingers" on it need to be tightened. I did mine finger tight and then 1/4 turn. The important thing is to get the pressure even.

When correct, there will still be an occasional crunch on shifting but not too often. Also, double clutch it.

My distributor is loose as well but the car runs well. I removed the small bolt that served as a limiter on how much it would rotate so I can pretty much adjust the timing while driving.

Low compression: well you know what that can mean.

Poor performance: Besides low compression, the carburetor may need to be rebuilt. You can pick up a brass one on eBay (Tillotson MV-1A or MV-1B)as well as a gasket set. The difference between the two seems to be that one has bolt to stop the throttle at idle and the other doesn't.

Finally, these cars are not very expensive so a frame-off restoration is not justified. Even if you did one, it wouldn't take much driving before the engine compartment, etc. was full of oil etc.

Don't hesitate to contact me directly with any questions.

Vince

Where Are You From? San Francisco Bay Area North

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1925 Star

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Thanks for your thoughtful informative reply.
I will be getting back at lining up the engine and transmission issue within a day or so...If not tomorrow. I hope I can lower the Motor enough.
We will see what improvement I get?
D.

Where Are You From? Waterbury Connecticut

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 Star Model C touring car

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

All done yesterday in 2 hours including making up some replacement cushioning pads for that dopey coupling to get us by till we find a better grade of material we'd be more happy with for the long term.
Shifting now I call normal from neutral standing to any gear ...Barely catch a slow tooth at idle.
Why the shafts were off so much who knows? The condition had to have been this way for as long as the last folks had the car since the 50's.
I don't believe they ever had the Engine or transmission out to mess it up.


Regards, D.

Where Are You From? Waterbury Connecticut

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 Star Model C touring car

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

David:

That "Dopey" coupling that you speak of can be rebuilt using parts available through the club. Frank Witkowski sells the rubber balls and I believe Mike Butters is reproducing the "Pie" shaped pieces that the bolts go through. Works well as a coupler.

Gord

Where Are You From? Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1932 Frontenac built by Dominion Motors Ltd., Leaside, Ontario

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Gord,
Thanks for your comments.
Note: this is a second reply as I'm not sure the first one went through? Maybe it will show up later?

I'll repeat (In short) my '23 Star does not use the Spicer rubber ball type unit you mention.
It's much more crude....

I do have a Spicer unit in my parts...But I don't think it's simple change over as the securing of one end of the unit is different even the shafts size and spacing were a match.

Again my regards, David

Where Are You From? Waterbury Connecticut

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 Star Model C touring car

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

David-

I like your "sisu". My dad, Ray Keto, drove his Durant Touring to every show,meet, picnic or gathering he attended. I am sure he would have never restored his Durant if he wouldn't be driving it. From Maryland he drove it on separate trips to Detroit, Niagara Falls, upper New York state and Boston with many trips in between. He never trailered it. A week after Hershey one year he drove it to a meet in Norwich N.Y. Driving home, he said he had never been so cold in his life! Enjoy your Star. And, just consider breaking down as part of the experience!

Where Are You From? Smithsburg, Md.

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 durant touring

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

To hijack this thread only slightly, I'm having issues with grinding gears on my A-22. After all my work rebuilding and installing my engine, the car is almost undrivable. Double clutching doesn't solve it. Sometimes the throwout bearing seems to do the trick, and other times not. I thought it might be the adjustment in pedal travel, but tinkering with that made no difference. With the car off and clutch depressed, the u-joint assembly doesn't spin freely...unless I use a long screwdriver to pry on the u-joint bolts manually. It's like it 'breaks' loose and turns like it should. Then I'll start the car and it might shift like normal for a while, but then lodge in place and not release again.

So, my assumption is that the clutch is hanging up. When I installed the engine it didn't align very well with the transmission. It was less out of whack up and down than side to side. So, I shimmed the bottom two bolts that mount the transmission to the crossmember. This corrected the up and down alignment issue pretty well. I used a slightly bigger shim on one side than the other to try and correct the side to side inconsistency as well. However, I don't think it is perfectly aligned. There didn't seem to be any easy way to change the engine side of the equation. There were no slots in the bolt holes for the engine.

So, my question is, What should I do next? Should I attempt adjusting the fingers on the clutch? I sure would like to get this sorted out so I can bring my car to Minnesota!

Where Are You From? Marysville, Kans

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 Durant A22 Touring, 1924 Star 'project'

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Todd that's not my area of experience so I'll refrain from commenting on the cure. Hopefully you get it sorted out ahead of the meet. In the event you don't, be sure to bring the car and you will have a number of people there that can diagnose it and likely even roll their sleeves up and help you repair it on the spot. You have to bring the car no matter what.

Where Are You From? Oro, Ontario, Canada

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Hey Todd,

Just went out and took a gander at my '23 A-22 ...The transmission is as you say...It is bolted rigidly to the back of the crossmember, it also is pioleted through the crossmember so the transmission should remain in fixed rigid alignment...Now engine is also rigidly mounted...You have just mounted I believe a '22 A-22 engine in a '23 chassis...The parts book lists two different motor supports for the rear depending on Motor # 1000 to # 1190 P/n (1116) or Motor # 1191 to # 1515 P/n (1520) these rear supports are like a spacer with a stud at one end and They are of different lengths, (they list the lengths but that is a total length with stud part included) depending on serial numbers, Likewise the front Support block lists two thicknesses with the same serial # breaks....I am wondering if you may be mixing apples with oranges and are unable to align engine with trans...I don't know which Mounts that you would use...My '23 rear mount spacers measure 1 7/8" between block and crossmember....Now if you look through your crank hole there is a crank support bracket with crank alignment hole, that hole should align with hole in crank pulley if not I would say your engine is out of alignment,...For checking clutch shaft and trans. input shaft it may be helpful to take a piece of pvc pipe that would just slide over clutch shaft and having a pointer that would slide out of the pvc (something along that line) to find centers between clutch shaft and trans input shaft, or just a flat bar to lay along the sides of the shafts...Anyway, you gotta get that buggy going...Let us know how you make out.

If you don't have a parts book let me know and will see if I can scan you a copy.

Where Are You From? Leavenworth, WA / Yuma, AZ

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yes , several

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Bill isn't that what Sam McGee has on eBay presently ?
1921-1926 Durant Model A-22 Car Parts List Catalog Book 151787155504
1921 1922 1923 Durant Model A ILLUSTRATED Car Parts List Catalog Book 151787155467
1922 1923 1924 Durant Models A & B Car Parts List Catalog Book 381368727421
Plus
1922 - 1926 Durant Model A-22 Car Owners Manual Instruction Book 151787155347
1922 1923 1924 Durant Model B-22 Car Parts List Catalog Book 151787155308







Where Are You From? Ottawa Ont

Do You own a car built by Durant? Dominion built 1932 614 Sedan

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Bill-
I do not yet have a parts book, but I note the one Norm mentions on eBay and will try to grab that today. In the meantime, could you be so kind as to send me a scan of the motor support pages? I appreciate your help.

Based on my reading, my car is a 23 with the tag number L-24584 and so is the car the engine came out of with a T-4370. The casting date/number in the block is 2 16 23. Could the different factories make that much a difference?

Here are some pictures of my engine mounts, shaft alignment, and data tags for review. It's painfully hard to get an accurately lined up picture of the shaft, so it actually looks slightly worse in the picture than in real life. You can just see peeking out below the top lip of the crossmember the bottom two transmission bolts that I have shimmed out. Not sure if that is ill-advise or not as I do not think it's 'supposed' to be that way, but it did seem to make everything a little more aligned.

I am wondering if I really cannot do anything with shims if finger adjustment might be the only possible end-run solution, other than perhaps slotting frame holes. The crank whole lines up in the front.

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DSC_0556

Where Are You From? Marysville, Kans

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 Durant A-22 Touring

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Todd....

Looking at the pictures, is it possible that your car was T-boned at some time and it is the frame that is bent?

Just a thought......Frank

Where Are You From? Hookstown Pennsylvania

Do You own a car built by Durant? many

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Todd .. are you referring to vin numbers on the plates ? Don't confuse production versus model year which vins are. Billy's cars to 1930 go Aug 1 to July 31 of next year. CEO of Durant Motors finally said they were stopping that nonsense and model year would be next update to that model. So for instance the 614 vins are Jan 1 1930 to Dec 31 1930, Jan 1 1931 to Jan 31 1932, Feb 1 1932 to end. (two updates to the 614).

A22 1923 model year from Aug 1 1922 to July 1923
N-15,327 to N- 31,331
L-6,767 to L-29,806
T-2,660 to T-4,540
C-1 to C-4,841
E-1 to E-8,462

Where Are You From? Ottawa Ont

Do You own a car built by Durant? Dominion built 1932 614 Sedan

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Frank-
Hmmm. That's not impossible. Panel fitment is not great in some places, but I always chalked that up to the era of automobile.

Norm-
Thanks for that clarification. It appears both of my vins fall in the 8/1/22-7/31/23 ranges for Lansing and Leaside. I presume my engine casting number dates the block to February 16th, 1923.

Where Are You From? Marysville, Kans

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 Durant A-22 Touring

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

That block the Bancroft one with Feb 17 1923 serial 21623 ? Don't see a serial date or number for the orig in our Registry.

Don't know how much stock we can place in casting dates. Yes that's when cast but not put in a chassis and car rolls off the line. Don't know when in this process the engine serial is stamped into it.

Thought I could id my 32 by the engine info for year etc when I first got it and not all this info I now am into. Fellows involved, didn't know if 31 or 32, 614 or 618. First pic I got told me it was 32 614. First off the single blade bumper used only on the Feb 1 1932 and later 614 / 618 gave that away as a 32. Not same bumper and medallions as US 1931 619. J vin was second as 31 is B. However the 22A engine is head April 13 1931 and block May 13 1931. Steve noted I have the newest car vin wise but engine serials seem to go past mine on older 32 cars. Almost like they unloaded engines and used newer engines on older cars going back in the pile of engines. Just adds to the thoughts we used up US parts to create the Dominion cars. I don't see any 22A casting dates after 1931 for Durant or Frontenac.
Not that it has any bearing on it but 32A has alpha numeric alpha as casting dates what ever those mean. That's not been cracked yet.

Where Are You From? Ottawa Ont

Do You own a car built by Durant? Dominion built 1932 614 Sedan

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Todd,

Your motor serial # is located on left drivers side of the block toward the back just under the head, the piece of casting with motor numbers sticks out from the block....The motors with the lower S/N are 1/4" shorter on both front and rear mounts than the higher S/Ns.... I have no idea the reason for this...Measure your rear mounts and see if they are 1 7/8" or if they are 1 5/8" between block and crossmember they set on...Their should be no reason to need to wedge shim your transmission for alignment....To my way of thinking your transmission should be mounted tight to back of crossmember, the centerline of trans. input and output shafts should be in alignment with front starting crank bracket hole...The engine should be aligned to transmission (not the other way around) the engine has its own centerline through pulley/crank/flywheel/ and clutch shaft and must be installed on the same plain as the transmission...What I might suggest is to disregard your motor mounts for the moment, lower your engine in place and with some type of piolet shaft to align front of crank to crankhole...then lower or raise rear of engine until clutch and trans shafts are at the same elivation, and with a streight edge they should align from both the side and 90 degrees at the bottom...Then measure distance needed for mounts...If that don't check out than we need to come up with a plan B...I would try and get a correct alignment before anything else, especially since you have a new installation...Will see If I can Scan a copy on the parts required to fasten motor to frame.

Frank, You make a good point, the frame could be racked.

Where Are You From? Leavenworth, WA / Yuma, AZ

Do You own a car built by Durant? Yep

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Bill-
I did a little measuring. The height of the mount between the crossmember and the block is 1 3/4" (right between the choices you gave). The total height of the mount appears to be the 3 1/16 from the parts book. The serial number stamped in my block is 109060.

Even though I apparently have the taller mount, it looks like the back of the engine needs to come up since I currently have the bottom of the transmission shimmed out. I understand what your saying about aligning shafts I think. The side to side alignment could be a real problem.

Where Are You From? Marysville, Kans

Do You own a car built by Durant? 1923 Durant A22 Touring, 1924 Star 'project'

Re: New Star owner starting with transmissiom and Distributor issues

Thanks Todd we will add that engine number to the Registry on L-24584

Interesting to note we have a Lansing 1923 A22 about 1150 lower than your vin but engine is number is almost 18880 higher than 106090. On the other side of the coin another Lansing vin 2100 higher than yours but engine is 16,000 higher than the 106090. That one is approx 2900 lower then the first one. No rhyme or reason to match engine / dates.

Your Leaside info .. Car with vin 750 lower than 4370 has engine 170 lower than 21623. Closer but we made less cars (1880 in the 12 month span, compared to Lansing's 23,039)

Where Are You From? Ottawa Ont

Do You own a car built by Durant? Dominion built 1932 614 Sedan

 

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