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Thread: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    I was finally able to get out in the garage for a couple hours tonight. I got animated, and took the front end off so I can prepare to start cleaning the frame. Everything up front was pretty solid, have a couple dents to take out of the front fenders, but everything come apart pretty easily considering that it hadn't been apart in 60 years or so. I'm going to take the body off the frame within the next week or so, the floor pans are all gone and the trunk pan too. Any good, easy ideas on how to keep the thing together? I've purchased another car and will be putting another body on my frame that is solid. I just wanted to keep the old one together until I decide what its fate is.......repair and sell or what??
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  2. #2
    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Another night in the garage........removed the rear bumper,rear fenders,etc. Tomorrow I will start trying to get the convertible top folded back and ready to come out. I know I'm going to need help removing it.
    Question: How does the chrome trim that runs around the back of the car (where the tacking strips are) come off? I don't want to hurt it as it already has a couple dingers in it. I might start working on cleaning the frame tomorrow evening.

    Matt
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    Senior Member 48Super's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Matt,

    I can give you pretty good instructions on how to remove the moldings at the rear of the convertible top on your '47. I made detailed sketches of the attaching hardware when I restored my '48 Super back in 1993.
    The moldings are held on by a combination of thin sheetmetal channels and molding clips.
    There are 3 channels, one located behind each door opening an one centered in the rear. In between the side and rear channels, there are two molding clips on each side. The channels are long pieces that have a little flange on both sides that the molding "snaps" down onto.
    The retaining nuts for the clips are accessible through holes in the inner body sheetmetal. If you look in the top well at the curved area where the sides meet the rear, you should see these openings.
    The moldings can be released from the channels by carefully prying up with a putty knife to release it and then slide the putty knife along the molding channel to free it the rest of the way.
    If you are not clear on this or have other questions, please don't hesitate to contact me. These moldings are hard to come by and you don't want to damage them. I hope this helps.

    Mike Lawson

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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Thanks Mike. I'll try to see what I can try to remove tomorrow. I 'm pretty patient when it comes to removal of things, just have to take my time. I just had a little while tonight so just scraped on the frame. I keep spraying the body mount bolts so they keep soaking and hopefully will come loose without too many problems. Nice car by the way. I love convertibles!!!!

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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    I managed to remove the moulding and "WITHOUT" damaging it any more than it was. The mouting bracket on the drivers side came off with the moulding and is rusted beyond repair. The rear and the passenger side is in much better shape and I was able to take off easily.

    I also managed to lubricate all of the pivot points enough to fold the top back. As soon as I can get a hand, I'll pull it from the car.

    I have to start working on the body mount bolts so I can get it ready to take off the frame. Maybe next week I'll be somewhat ready to pull the body and roll the frame out.

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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Today I talked with a gentleman about soda blasting the frame and then the car after I get it mounted back on the frame. I'm getting really excited about getting the old body all the way off the frame so I can repair 3 or 4 spots that are rusted "a little too much" and then I'll get it blasted. Only bad thing is that he's 1.5 hours away. I guess I should order a rebuild kit for the front end so I have it here. Looks as if my daily driver is going to be nicer than I first thought. I figure that if I'm already there, better do what I can correctly.

    Question.......Does anyone have a pattern for door panels and the back seat panels for a 47 56C? I have one from the rear seat area that is kinda 50% there, but the other 50% is what bothers me.

    Thanks
    Matt

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    Senior Member 48Super's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Matt,

    I'm glad to hear you were able to remove the trim moldings without damaging them. Sounds like you are making good progress on the car.

    When I restored my '48 convertible, I installed a complete new interior from Hampton Coach. It fit great and looks great. I saved all the original pieces and panels for future reference. I would be happy to loan you these parts for patterns. I know the trim on the panels is different on a '47 than on a '48 but the sizes of the panels would be identical. Let me know if you are interested, I'm located just south of York, PA.

    Mike Lawson

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    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Matt,
    You are gonna want to make any body (rust) repairs with the body on the frame or the heat from welding can change the dimensions of the finished car. Also, FYI, they should sandblast the frame, soda won't remove rust.... AND while he is at it, see if he will powdercoat it for ya, mine was around $600 total for blast and coating "satin" black.
    Mike Middleton

    http://www.midtownrestorations.com
    Regional Co-Director South Central Region BCA
    Vice Director Alamo Chapter BCA
    Assistant Chairman BCA Driven Class

    1955 Special 2 dr. sedan (BCA Gold Senior Driver)
    1955 Century convertible (Updates at Me and My Buick http://forums.aaca.org/f163/55-centu...ct-272999.html)
    1955 Century Estate Wagon (Driven Hard and Fast)
    1948 Buick powered hot rod
    1931 Model A hot rod

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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Quote Originally Posted by buick5563 View Post
    Matt,
    You are gonna want to make any body (rust) repairs with the body on the frame or the heat from welding can change the dimensions of the finished car. Also, FYI, they should sandblast the frame, soda won't remove rust.... AND while he is at it, see if he will powdercoat it for ya, mine was around $600 total for blast and coating "satin" black.
    Mike,
    Thanks for the tip, but I am going to change out the body with another that is rust free for the most part. I was curious about "saving" the original body and working on it a little at a time as I find extra time after I finish the car. The other has no frame but is complete.

    I'll check tomorrow about blasting and powdercoating. I'm beat tonight and didn't have the energy to open the garage!

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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Donor body. Have to wait a month or so for it to get here. Gives me time to finish stripping the other and preparing the frame and mounting the motor/tranny. I'm so excited because this gets me closer with a whole lot less work.
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    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    How bout a big pic so we can see the car?
    Mike Middleton

    http://www.midtownrestorations.com
    Regional Co-Director South Central Region BCA
    Vice Director Alamo Chapter BCA
    Assistant Chairman BCA Driven Class

    1955 Special 2 dr. sedan (BCA Gold Senior Driver)
    1955 Century convertible (Updates at Me and My Buick http://forums.aaca.org/f163/55-centu...ct-272999.html)
    1955 Century Estate Wagon (Driven Hard and Fast)
    1948 Buick powered hot rod
    1931 Model A hot rod

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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Quote Originally Posted by buick5563 View Post
    How bout a big pic so we can see the car?

    Which one? hahaha BTW you can't be in the garage if you're on here either! The white rusted one is the original I bought. The black, less rusted one is my salvation! haha.
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    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Wow, you could hot rod the other one and have the best of both worlds.
    Mike Middleton

    http://www.midtownrestorations.com
    Regional Co-Director South Central Region BCA
    Vice Director Alamo Chapter BCA
    Assistant Chairman BCA Driven Class

    1955 Special 2 dr. sedan (BCA Gold Senior Driver)
    1955 Century convertible (Updates at Me and My Buick http://forums.aaca.org/f163/55-centu...ct-272999.html)
    1955 Century Estate Wagon (Driven Hard and Fast)
    1948 Buick powered hot rod
    1931 Model A hot rod

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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Well, the convertible top is ready to come out. I have it all unbolted and folded back. Hopefully will pull it this weekend. Tomorrow I'll work on the body mount bolts.

    I have a question, because now I know what my car was painted and the interior and all. Sienne Blue paint, Sienne Blue leather interior, Cord top. But, the scheme of the car when I got it was very "Patriotic". The paint was white the interior leather blue and the dash was Red/white (top half red,bottom white and the top of the door sills was red).

    Any ideas besides a very patriotic person?

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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Wow, after a couple of weeks of soaking the mount bolts with PB Blaster nightly, I managed to break all of them off. I tried heating them and all, but they were rusted beyond their unthreading abilities. Anyways, I have a couple more to break off tomorrow, then I'll see how to raise the body and see if I can slide it off to the side of the frame in the other bay of the garage.

    Good news is that the parts car will be picked up in the next 2 weeks or so. The bad news is I know I won't be ready to put it on the frame by then.

    I've been thinking that I should mount the body and get the firewall primed and painted before I mount the motor and tranny. Pros? Cons? Please help me out with this.

    Matt

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    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Definitely paint the firewall first. There will never be a better time.
    Mike Middleton

    http://www.midtownrestorations.com
    Regional Co-Director South Central Region BCA
    Vice Director Alamo Chapter BCA
    Assistant Chairman BCA Driven Class

    1955 Special 2 dr. sedan (BCA Gold Senior Driver)
    1955 Century convertible (Updates at Me and My Buick http://forums.aaca.org/f163/55-centu...ct-272999.html)
    1955 Century Estate Wagon (Driven Hard and Fast)
    1948 Buick powered hot rod
    1931 Model A hot rod

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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Steering wheel off and ready to pull the body........gotta get a hand to get the convertible top out of the car first.........I get more and more excited/scared every step I take now!

    All, Pros or Cons to dropping the engine and tranny in before the body? I don't think it will be too bad getting them in if the body is on and the firewall is painted.

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    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    I've done it both ways. It's easier putting the engine in first. I did that by myself, good luck doing that the body on. Oh, and definitely put it in before the fenders go on... you'll really be hatin' life then.
    Mike Middleton

    http://www.midtownrestorations.com
    Regional Co-Director South Central Region BCA
    Vice Director Alamo Chapter BCA
    Assistant Chairman BCA Driven Class

    1955 Special 2 dr. sedan (BCA Gold Senior Driver)
    1955 Century convertible (Updates at Me and My Buick http://forums.aaca.org/f163/55-centu...ct-272999.html)
    1955 Century Estate Wagon (Driven Hard and Fast)
    1948 Buick powered hot rod
    1931 Model A hot rod

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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Oh Yea I pulled and replaced my engine with the fenders on and it is a pain.

    Put it back in witrh as few body parts on that you can...

    Witgh a manual like you have, I found it easier to put it together 1st.

    Thats what I did on my 47.
    Bill

    Chief Financial Officer
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    1950 Buick Super Estate Wagon
    1947 4 Door Sedan
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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Thanks for all of the comments and suggestions. I think I'm going to put the body on the frame, then with everything off the front and the motor and tranny out of the way still, I think I can mask off and paint the firewall and cowl section. Then I'll install the motor and tranny. I've gotta try to get the body off the frame this weekend.........

  21. #21
    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Well, plans were to get the body off the frame this weekend. Looks like its going to come off in pieces.....
    I started lifting the body off and it folded between the front seat and cowl section. Also started to fold where the rear seat is. I have a wonderful Buick convertible accordian right now! Everything is loose so, I'll probably just cut the remaining metal across the section and remove it in 3 pieces. So glad I have the other car coming from "Rust-free Land"!
    I have to take some parts out of the firewall and I was able to get the convertible top out on my own. It wasn't that heavy, or I'm stronger than I think!

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    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Slow down Matt. Did you brace between the rear quarter and the cowl? How about side to side. There isn't enough stability with good metal, let alone a rusty mess. You need to add braces to the other body, or you will wind up with six pieces of two cars accordianed in your driveway.
    Mike Middleton

    http://www.midtownrestorations.com
    Regional Co-Director South Central Region BCA
    Vice Director Alamo Chapter BCA
    Assistant Chairman BCA Driven Class

    1955 Special 2 dr. sedan (BCA Gold Senior Driver)
    1955 Century convertible (Updates at Me and My Buick http://forums.aaca.org/f163/55-centu...ct-272999.html)
    1955 Century Estate Wagon (Driven Hard and Fast)
    1948 Buick powered hot rod
    1931 Model A hot rod

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    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Quote Originally Posted by buick5563 View Post
    Slow down Matt. Did you brace between the rear quarter and the cowl? How about side to side. There isn't enough stability with good metal, let alone a rusty mess. You need to add braces to the other body, or you will wind up with six pieces of two cars accordianed in your driveway.
    Mike,
    I wasn't really worried about this body, as it's really in bad shape. I would ask of someone, a good place to install bracing, without damaging anything or "correct" places to install some sort of brace without ending up with damage in the end. A diagram, or pictures would be very helpful to make the installation of the other body as painless as possible. Matt

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    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Check here. As a matter of fact you may want to bring this thread back to the top since more people check in over at the post war section...

    http://forums.aaca.org/f162/body-wei...ly-300624.html

    Also, yeah I know that body is a mess, but don't go breaking stuff you might need or can sell later.
    Mike Middleton

    http://www.midtownrestorations.com
    Regional Co-Director South Central Region BCA
    Vice Director Alamo Chapter BCA
    Assistant Chairman BCA Driven Class

    1955 Special 2 dr. sedan (BCA Gold Senior Driver)
    1955 Century convertible (Updates at Me and My Buick http://forums.aaca.org/f163/55-centu...ct-272999.html)
    1955 Century Estate Wagon (Driven Hard and Fast)
    1948 Buick powered hot rod
    1931 Model A hot rod

  25. #25
    Senior Member jackofalltrades70's Avatar
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    Re: 1947 56C Project "Can't finish unless you start"

    Quote Originally Posted by buick5563 View Post
    Check here. As a matter of fact you may want to bring this thread back to the top since more people check in over at the post war section...

    http://forums.aaca.org/f162/body-wei...ly-300624.html

    Also, yeah I know that body is a mess, but don't go breaking stuff you might need or can sell later.
    Mike,
    I've got all in the "accordian" areas taken off that could be of use. It looks to me that you bolted the rear bracket to the convertible top mounting point, what did you bolt or weld to in the front under the cowl section? I've got the material available to do what is necissary. How or where would one lift a convertible with an engine hoist? I always have the option of taking the car to work and lifting the body on with a forklift, but still need to have some accessible points to hook to.

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