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Thread: 55 Century Convertible project

  1. #51
    Senior Member Thriller's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    I love it...there is direction and goals in mind, not to mention some thinking involved....

    When Mike starts figgering though, this could turn into quite the project....
    Derek Thille
    BCA #39416, MBCC #1984, BGR #11
    88 Reatta Coupe / 76 Century Pace Car - "Spirit" / 75 Electra Limited 2 door HT / 66 Wildcat Custom Coupe - "Ellie" / 62 Special Convertible / 61 Invicta Convertible - "Vicky" / 56 Special 4-door Sedan / 54 Century Estate Wagon / 52 Roadmaster 4-door / 41 Special 41SE / 29 McLaughlin Buick Model 51 / 23 SD-4 Combination Passenger & Express (replica)

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  2. #52
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Ummm, let's see.
    I believe there are only a couple of things that need explaining:
    Left side in red #5 (Steal underpants). That was by the request of the underpants gnomes, of course.
    Right side in blue #1 D (Pull engine against desire of curmudgeon). Well, Willie didn't want me to pull the engine until I had tested it. (This is quite a while back). My wife wanted to be a part of the restoration, so she wrote the plan as I talked it out. Perhaps she embellished a bit, as I surely wouldn't ever call Old Tank a curmudgeon . Y'all lemme know if there are any other things that need clarification...

    After Bill and Willie left, I was able to get back to manly work and lift the body, build some stud walls and remove the frame, placing it on the trailer. I figured that way, I could pull it apart on the trailer, then NOT have to lift it up there to take to the sandblaster/ powdercoater. See, I'm thinkin"!!!


    And after looking at the blown up pic, I can see that there is a good view of the leak that my lift decided to leave on the floor. Bill said it was because I was working on a Buick, and it felt it needed to leak as well.
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    Last edited by buick5563; July 5th, 2010 at 23:46. Reason: Looked at my picture and saw giant leak!
    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

  3. #53
    Satisfied Driver JohnD1956's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Go Mike Go!

    John C. De Fiore BCA # 3757
    56 Super 56R: acquired September 1974 :D
    69 GS 400: Convertible Added in 2003 :rolleyes:
    69 Electra Limited 2 dr. bought 1995 or so. Sold March 2009!
    72 Electra Limited added July 2014...
    78 Estate Wagon: added 10-2008 :cool:
    95 Riviera Supercharged: added May 1998. Sold September 2006
    06 Lacrosse CXL Purchased July 4th 2006. Traded in Aug 2013
    2013 Regal GS acquired Aug 2013 ( thanks to the La Crosse)

    "Yes! I'd really rather drive my Buick!"

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  4. #54
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    got storage?
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    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

  5. #55
    Satisfied Driver JohnD1956's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Scary. Looks like you'll never find the parts you need when you'll need em.

    John C. De Fiore BCA # 3757
    56 Super 56R: acquired September 1974 :D
    69 GS 400: Convertible Added in 2003 :rolleyes:
    69 Electra Limited 2 dr. bought 1995 or so. Sold March 2009!
    72 Electra Limited added July 2014...
    78 Estate Wagon: added 10-2008 :cool:
    95 Riviera Supercharged: added May 1998. Sold September 2006
    06 Lacrosse CXL Purchased July 4th 2006. Traded in Aug 2013
    2013 Regal GS acquired Aug 2013 ( thanks to the La Crosse)

    "Yes! I'd really rather drive my Buick!"

    Member of the UPSTATE NY CHAPTER
    check it out at : http://unybca.com

  6. #56
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    I am labeling as many things as I can, and trying to stay organized.
    BUT...
    The problem I am finding is that I know that there is going to be a full template (my other 55) when I am putting back together. The advantage is that I DO have that template, and I have done many of these small 1955 individual projects. However, that is also a disadvantage, because I don't need to be as careful with documentation. I realize this, just being brutally honest with you, as well as myself. (Sure looks a lot more brutal in print).

    The last pic was really meant more as a "gee whiz", I'm glad I'm not doing this in my last (2 car) garage.
    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

  7. #57
    We have bigger avatars! Smartin's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Looks familiar...except all my parts are piled in a room downstairs
    Adam Martin
    BPG# 1358
    BCA# 39765
    1960 Buick Electra 225 Convertible
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  8. #58
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Spent the last few days hunting down some stuff. Got some Kraytex (sp?) sticks to try to remill the dash inserts. I have two sets (minus one glovebox door) so I plan on messing around with the worst of the two. I have an idea of how to set up my drill press to do this. I don't have a mill, and there's no way I'm gonna buy one just for this. I'll post pics if it's successful, and cuss if it's not. If I can figure it out, I may do the second one and sell it to pay for the project. Sure are a lot of "if's", huh?

    Tomorrow, I plan on pulling the rest of the stuff from the frame so I can get it to the powdercoater (hopefully this week). I've been taking a ton of pics, but they are just boring reference shots. I have found a few "makers marks" that I am going to try to duplicate. One of them is a circle with a line through it that says WIN above the line. The other one is 2Z right next to the passenger side vent. Both are in silver paint. The shots really didn't show up, but I plan on making stencils. Details!!!
    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

  9. #59
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Here is a pic of the WIN stamp
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    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

  10. #60
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Today, I had to cut off the angle iron that a trailer hitch was mounted to. It was welded to the top side of the rear bumper portion of the frame. I had to grind it to make it flush with the frame rail. I checked my other 55, and you won't be able to see the part that I couldn't cut off. Here's a question...How far do you go when restoring a frame. Mine is close but since it is going to be powdercoated, I can't use bondo. What would y'all do?


    I got the rear end pulled away from the body and rolled (muscled) down the trailer ramps. I rolled it off to the side then dropped the back of the frame on to the trailer. I then got most of the driver's side front suspension disassembled. The only part I couldn't remove were the two bolts holding the upper a-arm assembly. I have them soaking tonight with my buddy PB blaster.

    I am still thinking that I can get the frame to the powdercoater this week.
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    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

  11. #61
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Quote Originally Posted by buick5563 View Post
    Spent the last few days hunting down some stuff. Got some Kraytex (sp?) sticks to try to remill the dash inserts. I have two sets (minus one glovebox door) so I plan on messing around with the worst of the two. I have an idea of how to set up my drill press to do this. I don't have a mill, and there's no way I'm gonna buy one just for this. I'll post pics if it's successful, and cuss if it's not. If I can figure it out, I may do the second one and sell it to pay for the project. Sure are a lot of "if's", huh?

    Tomorrow, I plan on pulling the rest of the stuff from the frame so I can get it to the powdercoater (hopefully this week). I've been taking a ton of pics, but they are just boring reference shots. I have found a few "makers marks" that I am going to try to duplicate. One of them is a circle with a line through it that says WIN above the line. The other one is 2Z right next to the passenger side vent. Both are in silver paint. The shots really didn't show up, but I plan on making stencils. Details!!!
    I made a complete set of engine turned inserts for my 55. They are flawless. I made them on my drill press. Unfortunately I took no pictures but I do have some tooling and templates left over including the jig to form the glove box door, the spacing jig to get the correct horizontal spacing, and the pattern to cut out the pieces from sheet aluminum stock. I didn't bother trying to reuse the originals. Starting from scratch makes a better job and solves some of the problems re curved pieces. I also solved the problem of dealing with the raised radio and ash tray bezels. It's a demanding task but it is doable..........Bob
    Bob Beck
    39 Chev PU
    69 big block Corvette
    55 Buick 66C
    57 Buick 46C
    55 Olds S-88
    56 Chrysler St. Regis
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  12. #62
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    I sent you a PM, Bob.
    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

  13. #63
    Senior Member Thriller's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    The dash on my '41 was done by the previous owner. It is far from a perfect job, but he used dowel in his drill press and double sided tape to hold on punched out circles of sandpaper. This way, he just replaced the sandpaper and tape as necessary. It is far from a perfect job (not always straight lines), but is fine for a driver, at least until I decide to give Doug Seybold a lot of money.
    Derek Thille
    BCA #39416, MBCC #1984, BGR #11
    88 Reatta Coupe / 76 Century Pace Car - "Spirit" / 75 Electra Limited 2 door HT / 66 Wildcat Custom Coupe - "Ellie" / 62 Special Convertible / 61 Invicta Convertible - "Vicky" / 56 Special 4-door Sedan / 54 Century Estate Wagon / 52 Roadmaster 4-door / 41 Special 41SE / 29 McLaughlin Buick Model 51 / 23 SD-4 Combination Passenger & Express (replica)

    2006 Buick Rainier - "Ruby" / 2005 GMC Sierra K2500 - "Max"
    Thriller's Out of Date Buick Page

  14. #64
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Quote Originally Posted by buick5563 View Post
    I sent you a PM, Bob.
    Got it. I'll take some pix and see what I have this AM............Bob
    Bob Beck
    39 Chev PU
    69 big block Corvette
    55 Buick 66C
    57 Buick 46C
    55 Olds S-88
    56 Chrysler St. Regis
    AACA, USHGA

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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    How far do you go, Get a body hammer and a dolly and get it straight. You can it very close using those tools. Then with powdercoating, you will be the only one who will notice (or look).
    Bill

    Chief Financial Officer
    Buick Club of America

    1950 Buick Super Estate Wagon
    1947 4 Door Sedan
    1964 Riviera

  16. #66
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Stoneberg View Post
    you will be the only one who will notice (or look).
    Ahhh, true.
    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

  17. #67
    Senior Member old-tank's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Quote Originally Posted by buick5563 View Post
    How far do you go when restoring a frame. Mine is close but since it is going to be powdercoated, I can't use bondo. What would y'all do?
    .
    Remember that when everything is assembled to only part of the frame that can be seen is the BOTTOM. I flipped the frame, straightened edges and used bondo to fill rust pits then painted. But like I told you before painting a frame is no fun. Ask the powdercoat people if there is a filler (if needed) that is compatible with the process.
    Willie
    http://forums.aaca.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=30648&dateline=124664  3804
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  18. #68
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    I'm fortunate that my car has no rust pits. If they don't have a suggestion for filling any nastiness, I may just have them blast and prime, then I'll just paint it. I just got the remaining front suspension parts off. I need to remove the rear rubber bumpers then it'll be a bare naked frame.


    I said bare naked...
    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

  19. #69
    Satisfied Driver JohnD1956's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Quote Originally Posted by buick5563 View Post
    Ahhh, true.
    Of course, now we ALL will be looking at it too.

    John C. De Fiore BCA # 3757
    56 Super 56R: acquired September 1974 :D
    69 GS 400: Convertible Added in 2003 :rolleyes:
    69 Electra Limited 2 dr. bought 1995 or so. Sold March 2009!
    72 Electra Limited added July 2014...
    78 Estate Wagon: added 10-2008 :cool:
    95 Riviera Supercharged: added May 1998. Sold September 2006
    06 Lacrosse CXL Purchased July 4th 2006. Traded in Aug 2013
    2013 Regal GS acquired Aug 2013 ( thanks to the La Crosse)

    "Yes! I'd really rather drive my Buick!"

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  20. #70
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnD1956 View Post
    Of course, now we ALL will be looking at it too.
    Just as I suspected. I spent some time unveiling inspection marks and the frame number from beneath the undercoating. I will duplicate the stencil for the frame number, and am considering doing the chalk marks at all of the body mount locations, I assume they were shim marks. There were one, two, or three chalk marks at each location. Kinda cool!
    BTW, I did straighten most of the frame really well. I had to do a bunch of grinding on the rear crossmember to make the welded flat plate look stock. Like I said before, it is above the frame member in the C channel and I couldn't "unweld" it. The extra metal can't hurt, but I wanted to make sure John D couldn't see it when he was crawling around looking for it.
    Last edited by buick5563; July 16th, 2010 at 11:41. Reason: spelling
    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

  21. #71
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Got the frame to the powdercoater yesterday. He is gonna call me to check it out after blasting, before priming so I can OK my own work.

    This morning, I was trying the Cratex rubberized abrasive dowels on the old piece of dash trim I have. I needed to see how my set up in the drill press was going to work: i.e. pressure necessary, length of rod showing since it is a rubber product. I figured out that it needs good consistent medium heavy pressure to thoroughly swirl. The advantage, is there is no valve compound needed as there is grit embedded in the rod itself.

    Bob is walking me through some of the finer points and nitty gritty (no pun intended) to making it look great. I do believe that I will be starting from scratch as the curved pieces would be a real beeyotch to do well.

    This is a photo of my first attempt (freehand for pressure purposes, don't judge!)

    Sorry, it's fuzzy all blown up. Stupid iPhone (Sorry baby, it's a fine product )
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    Last edited by buick5563; July 16th, 2010 at 11:36.
    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

  22. #72
    Moderator MrEarl's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    do you have a picture of the set up you're using. or at least a picture of the dowell. I need to make a repair to about a 1 inch square of one of mine. could the dowell you speak of be mounted in a drill with a stong firm hand holding it and used on a piece of the trim still mounted? where do you get the dowells?
    Lamar in Athens, Georgia
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    1954 BUICK - THE BEAUTIFUL BUY
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  23. #73
    Proud BCA Member buick5563's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    You can google Cratex, the place I bought mine was a supply company on the interwebz. I'll bring a chunk with me to Ames. I would not necessarily advise trying to do it in place since you have to chuck it to about 3/4-1" so it doesn't move around. Bob said he did his with a pencil eraser with valve lapping compound which may be the way to go in your case since the pencil could be chucked out farther. Without a jig, however, it will not look as good, but for a patch...Maybe?
    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

  24. #74
    Senior Member Thriller's Avatar
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Quote Originally Posted by buick5563 View Post
    Bob is walking me through some of the finer points and nitty gritty (no pun intended)
    Perhaps not intended, but noted.

    Steve Jobs apologized for the iPhone, so you shouldn't need to be too overly cautious around the breadwinner

    So, is this essentially just abrading away whatever crud is built up, or are you cutting a new pattern?
    Derek Thille
    BCA #39416, MBCC #1984, BGR #11
    88 Reatta Coupe / 76 Century Pace Car - "Spirit" / 75 Electra Limited 2 door HT / 66 Wildcat Custom Coupe - "Ellie" / 62 Special Convertible / 61 Invicta Convertible - "Vicky" / 56 Special 4-door Sedan / 54 Century Estate Wagon / 52 Roadmaster 4-door / 41 Special 41SE / 29 McLaughlin Buick Model 51 / 23 SD-4 Combination Passenger & Express (replica)

    2006 Buick Rainier - "Ruby" / 2005 GMC Sierra K2500 - "Max"
    Thriller's Out of Date Buick Page

  25. #75
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    Re: 55 Century Convertible project

    Craytex is the way to go, Mike. When I did mine I was unaware of it. The eraser/compound system worked fine but raised a couple of problems that the Craytex will avoid. Long after I was done with mine I got hold of a rubber abrasive stick and tried it, worked good.
    Hey Mike, if you could post the pix I sent you of my finished dash I'd appreciate it. It's beyond my computer skills. Mite encourage others to do theirs...........Bob
    Last edited by Bhigdog; July 17th, 2010 at 10:29.
    Bob Beck
    39 Chev PU
    69 big block Corvette
    55 Buick 66C
    57 Buick 46C
    55 Olds S-88
    56 Chrysler St. Regis
    AACA, USHGA

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