|The PJ is a relatively easy model to restore given the fact that there were more than 350,000 units produced. While the supply of new factory original parts has become scarce there are several suppliers who are reproducing some of the impossible to find NOS parts such as the running boards and hood ornament. Youll find a list of these firms when you click Parts Suppliers on the home page.
There are several aids to help you in your restoration project but none so valuable as experience. Well cover these in the following pages, from parts books, literature, and factory photos to national advertisements.
Anyone wanting to start such a project should have the 1935 Parts List and the 1935 Maintenance Manual. These are loaded with valuable information clues to help you get the job done right but it must be read over and over again to understand just what went on in 1935.
Additional information can be gleaned from advertising and service publications such as PJ sales catalogs, accessory folders, the Plymouth Sales Promoter, service bulletins. There are many other pieces available. Watch for this literature at swap meets or contact one of the literature suppliers listed in the Plymouth Owners Club Bulletins. Major cities may have this information in their libraries.
An old Mopar Parts Supersedence List is a great investment as it will identify many parts, which were designed and used on later Plymouths but are perfect for the PJ.
The Standard Parts List is the final book for your restoration library. This covers Group 18, which does not appear in your parts book. It reveals the style, size, thread, material and plating of all the bolts, nuts, washers, etc found on the PJ. This means you can identify the correct bolt, screw, nut and washer for every part of your car!
The DaimlerChrysler Historical Collection has a good, but incomplete, selection of photos to help in the restoration of a PJ. While they do not have all the models covered they do have enough of a variety to identify the subtle changes between series and give the restorer a close up of some of the accessories we may never get to own.
PJ Owners wanting factory photographs or build cards for their PJ will need to contact: DaimlerChrysler Corporate Historical Collection, CIMS 410-11-21, 12501. Chrysler Freeway, Detroit, MI 48288-0001 Their phone number is 313-956-1109. There are charges for these services.
Disassembly is a learning experience but it can progress too quickly if youre not careful. Unless you are into your second or third PJ restoration you must make visual and written notes as you dismantle your treasure. Its important to make notes of the order in which you remove parts also. A good example is that you must install the grill surround molding, the grill and the ship ornament prior to installing the radiator. Some of you have made this mistake.
I have taken many photos and extensive notes but I could have done a better job with video. My best tip for a video user is investing in a tripod to help assure steady photography. Then allow the camera to remain on the subject while you narrate the scene and provide any zoom effects needed. Panning will always be too fast when trying to review any single detail later.
And, no matter how good you think your memory is now, identify those little parts so youll know where they go four or fourteen years later when you attempt to put it back together. Simply put, you cant be too careful.
The engine colors are often incorrectly restored on PJ models. Remember that this is the silver Dome era and the dome is the cylinder head. It and the thermostat housing are silver and most everything else is black. Please do not use the sales brochures as reference for color. These engines were painted gray just to bring out engine details in photography. If you choose to follow this example then would you paint the gearshift lever and knob, brake lever, horn, air cleaner, fan belt and plug wires silver too? However, these photos are great reference for engine assembly detail!
Heres where some restorers differ from original: all firewalls are black, not body color! The black runs to a point midway under the cowl lacing where it meets the body color. Youre right; in many cases the firewall would look better in the body color. This is one of those times the PJ owner has to choose between what makes him feel best and what gets him the most points. See the firewall photo under Firewall Fasteners for routing details and fastener use.
If your PJ came with an oil filter it was also black and it was the sealed type. Spark plug wires were black and were stamped with the manufacturers name; Belden. Three cad plated clips mounted to the cylinder head to support the vacuum advance line, radimeter tube and the oil pressure tube. Restorers usually miss at least one of these.