Classic/Antique Car Repair/41 ply


Hi Robert........
I recently aquired a 41 ply that hasn't run for 20+ years.  The motor was missing a starter but there was a starter in the back seat that had supposedly been rebuilt.  When I went to put the starter in I noticed the flywheel was missing several teeth so I took the car to a mechanic who installed a new ring gear.  But, when he installed the starter it wouldn't engage,  he says the starter is spinning backwards.
Is that possible?
Also,  I looked up the motor# and I think the motor is actually a 52 dodge,  but the motor, when it last ran, had a floor petal type starter, not a key-start.
Thanks for any suggestions you might have.......

Hello Gary,

Wonderful old Mopar you've got!

It is possible for the starter to reverse rotation if the polarity was reversed during "rebuilding".  The fact you've noted this makes me suspect the rest of the rebuild job. I'd recommend you take the starter to a reputable local rebuild or auto electric technician. If you don't know any, contact your local Plymouth or Walter P. Chrysler clubs for assistance. It wouldn't be a bad idea to go ahead and join one of these clubs if you haven't already. They will have a depth of knowledge valuable to you, particularly when it comes time to remove the rear drums from the tapered rear axle! Ask any one of them for the challenges you'll face for this relatively simple operation!!

Regarding your engine, it's not uncommon to find a later engine in 70 year old car. They were all interchangeable through 1959, even later (1962) for truck engines. So they all can be wired for either the floor start (they still had a key to energize the circuit) or the combined function key start. Whichever way you want to go, it's a matter of components matching wiring. In any case, the engine, by 1952, was originally equipped with key start anyway. Again, your local club can help you match starting circuit to components.

Hope this helps!



Classic/Antique Car Repair

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Robert Russell


Mechanical, Body, Historical, MOPAR, GM, Ford, Packard, 1930-1975


Former Chrysler Tech., Project Manager for Antique and Classic Car Dealership. Owner/Driver of Classic Cars Since 1972

AACA, North GA Mopar Club, Packards International, W.P. Chrysler Club

High School Auto Shop plus Adult Night School

Past/Present Clients
California Car Company, Roswell, GA

©2016 All rights reserved.