chistech

32' Oldsmobile Deluxe Convertible Roadster

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Hi Tom. Black sheet metal including body and fenders. Brown leather and vinyl interior, tan roof with with interior contrasting trim, and the natural wood wheels. Cream white saddles on the door tops and all pinstriping. Lots of chrome that this car has should really make everything pop.

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Got more small stuff done tonight. Finished up the gas line and added my clutch pedal spring bracket and spring. Made up the freewheeling interlock rod that runs from the clutch pedal to the interlock cam on the top of the freewheeling unit. My rod was missing as my original freewheeling unit was disabled so it was removed at one time. Working off of a factory bulletin and pictures from joe I was able to bend and thread it up. Made the brake spring bracket up that also mounts on the top of the freewheeling unit because I was also removed when the FW unit was disabled. 

 

Because the wife wanted heat, I had to remove the 3/8” pipe plug that was in the back of the water pump unit. Well, it snapped off so out came the drill and tap. With the plug cleanly out, it was evident there was no way to screw in the new brass shutoff valve. The spout would hit the oil cooler cover when I tried to thread it in. A look at my spare pump and it appears they also had the same problem years back. They simply cut the spout short leaving just about 1/2” and no more lip to help keep the heater hose on. I bought a brass nipple and an elbow but didn’t like the look. I ended up milling a piece of 1” hexagon brass down to 3/4”. I chucked it in the lathe, then bored it, tapped one end for the shutoff, and threaded the other to screw into the pump housing. A walk over to my neighbor, and just a few minutes in his hands gave me a nicely polished valve and hex extension. Put some Teflon paste on the threads and mounted it to the pump.

 

Finished mounting up the exhaust system. Using the special grommets joe had cast from one of the molds I made, I fitted the hexagon mounting washers in each of the two hanger bracket holes. With a couple of fillister head bolts and nuts and the exhaust is mounted as it was originally delivered. Olds actually had not only a rubber mounted engine, but also had rubber mounted exhaust and engine torque rod. Olds was way ahead of many other brands.

 

Tommorow night I’ll continue prepping the hood panels to go to paint. The radiator apron had a few dents on the sides and the lower edge had a couple spots bent up. Tin knocked all those areas and now it will get blasted. Once done I’ll fine tune the areas with the dolly and hammer. I cannot believe how hard I had to hit the apron with the body hammer to get the steel to move. This car has some heavy sheet metal on it,

 

 

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Found out from my buddy joe that it’s very common for the throttle return spring to break on the 32’ and most don’t have original springs in place. He was quite surprised when I told him mine was and working fine. Because of what he told me. I got out some .080 music wire from my RC airplanes parts boxes and tried making one up. After getting the first one done using round stock clamped in my vise, I made up a bending jig and now I make them up fairly quickly with the jig and a pair of vise grips. Now to contact the other 32’ 6 cylinder owners and see if they need one. One in the last picture has a short loop due to me running out of material, but it will still work. The black spring on the bottom right is the original.

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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49 minutes ago, GARY F said:

Great job. That is one hefty spring.

I didn’t really think about but you’re right, it’s pretty stout. It is mounted on a shaft on the drivers side of the engine with the “L” shaped end sitting on a shelf cast into the engine block side. The hooked end pushes back on the lever directly connected to the gas pedal control rod. Part of the same mechanism is the starting throttle/idle speed linkage which the spring also pushes back on when the high throttle is lowered to idle. All this would explain the stoutness of the spring and probably why they broke over time. The picture just shows the spring mounted on the shaft and the gas pedal rod lever. I hadn’t installed the rest of the linkage in this picture. Will try and get a picture up of the whole assembly.

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Got the gas tank back from repair and not super happy with the job. The tank has more dents and even a crease it didn’t have before? It actually looks like something fell on the tank. I decided to try and work the bottom with the dolly on a rod that I made up a while back to remove some dents before I sent the tank out. Well the one area with a crease easily popped out so I left it as is, buffed the whole tank clean, hung it in place, cut the fuel line and soldered the fitting on, then put about two gallons of gas into the tank. I figured before I go through the work of painting the tank, I better test it first. Well, no leaks so that’s a good thing. I decided to try and fire up the motor so with the help of my brother, roughly set the timing and spun it over a few times. Well, it came quickly to life and sounds great though it only ran for about 30 seconds as there’s no radiator yet. Still waiting on the shutters to be painted. No pictures or video of it running but with a quick idle air bleed adjustment it sounded real good for the short time it ran. Here’s a couple pictures of the throttle spring with the complete throttle shaft linkage. The linkage includes the accelerator rod, the starting high rpm control rod, and the linked rod to the starting speed adjustment in the steering column. 

     How the system works is when you step on the starter pedal and it travels enough to engage the starter button, the linkage to the pedal advances the throttle to an adjusted amount. That amount of travel is held in place by a friction device at the bottom of the steering column which is connected to the throttle linkage with a ball linked arm. The friction device is connected to a shaft up the center of the steering column and that shaft connects to a cup under the horn button with two balls on it. The car has an automatic choke so depressing the starter pedal sets the linkage to the carburetor on high idle while the choke sets itself. As the car warms, the thermospring releases the choke and the driver rotates the cup to bring the car down off of high idle. Again, this was another “first “ in the automotive market brought by Oldsmobile. 

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  1. THEY MAKE A DOLLEY ON A LONG ROD FOR REPAIRING MOTORCYCLE TANKS,I BELIEVE THAT WOULD WORK FINE ON YOUR TANK IF YOU CANT FIND ONE I BELIEVE MICHAEL BREEDING IN NEW MEXICO REPRODUCED THEM,    DAVE

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10 hours ago, JustDave said:
  1. THEY MAKE A DOLLEY ON A LONG ROD FOR REPAIRING MOTORCYCLE TANKS,I BELIEVE THAT WOULD WORK FINE ON YOUR TANK IF YOU CANT FIND ONE I BELIEVE MICHAEL BREEDING IN NEW MEXICO REPRODUCED THEM,    DAVE

Hi Dave,

i actually made up a dolly on a rod a while back to knock dents out of the tank before I send it for repair. Because the tank was soldered and sealed with the real good red sealer I didn’t want to be doing any hammering on it. When I pushed the rodded dolly up against the crease, it popped down and a lot of the crease came out except at the area of the tank that curves up from the bottom. It stayed with a hard crease there but I didn’t want to damage the sealer so I left it as is. It’s not leaking and doesn’t look as bad as it did but definitely has many more dents than what it had before it went to the radiator shop. 

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Made up another mold tonight for the mid bow anti-rattle wedge pads. It seems these were only used on Olds as the Chevy, pontiac, and Buick didn’t seem to have them or at least no one can tell me they were ever on those brands.  I machined the mold up out of aluminum on my vertical mill and made the screw pins on the lathe. The mold also has two countersunk pins on it so the wedges will readily accept a #6 wood screw like the originals had. Going to get the mold in the mail tomorrow and out to joe so he can cast some up. He has a pontiac Cabriolet and he is going to install the same wedges as the Olds has.

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Got my new made rear roof bow back from Penn Dutch Restoration a couple weeks ago. Put on a few coats of spar varnish and took it out to the garage to mount the lower hinge irons to it. Each leg of the hinge iron has four counter sunk holes in it. The top three are for 1” #12 wood screws and the bottom hole originally had a split head forged rivet in it. The special split head of the rivet encompasses the outside of the bow, I presume to keep it from splitting with the shaft of the rivet passing through the bow then flattened into the counter sink in the bottom hole of the bow hinge iron. Not sure if these special rivets are available but when I removed the bow, I basically pressed the rivet through leaving a substantial amount of the rivet’s shaft intact. Rather than trying to heat the rivet and flattening it again, I ground the shaft shorter, clamped it in my miller vise, then drilled it just over 1/8” in diameter, 1/2” deep. I then tapped the shaft with a 10-24 tap. Installed the rear bow irons with screws and my hybrid rivets. Put the rear bow and mid bow together and put it on the car for a test fit then added my rechromed landau bars. Everything fit properly and looked good. Another piece of the puzzle done for later.

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As I’ve mentioned before, Olds made many changes through the model  year and often those changes had no rhyme or reason. One of the things that seems to have no reason why is the copper plated plates for the high idle device at the bottom of the steering tube. While the horn wire runs through a hole in these plates,  it makes no contact with it and there are no electrical contacts with these copper plates. The plates have two functions but none are electrical. First, the plate screwed to the steering box bottom holds in the lower oil seal for the steering box and the outer plate simply sandwiches the spring loaded arm that connects to the high throttle linkage. So why is it copper plated? Evidently Olds asked themselves the same question later in the production year and stop plating them. I have two steering boxes, the one from my car and the other from a very late production car. The plates from the late production car show just plain steel with no copper at all. Because my original plates were plated with copper, I had the redone. Today I installed the plates along with a new rubber center shaft seal made up by my friend Joe. First two pictures how the copper plates in plain the steering box and the other set from the late production car that were just plain steel. It does seem the softer copper finish has more drag on the on the high idle mechanism and possibly that is why it was added.

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Ordered a new Tig welder about 4-5 weeks ago. I searched all over the internet looking at reviews on a good machine. I didn't need a super high quality machine for everyday use but did want a higher end, hobbyist, type machine. Well, all the reviews are rating this machine better than the Lincoln, Miller, and Hobart machines. Because it wasn't in stock they took $70 off the cost. Delivered to my door with a 4yr warranty the cost was $700. 

    Had Argon gas on hand and had ordered tungstens to get prepared for delivery which happened yesterday. I set the machine up in just a few minutes and started practicing. After about an hour of practice on similar thickness sheet metal, I attempted to weld one of my running boards. Pretty happy with the end result and only had a slight warp in one area that I had to fill because I had burnt a hole when tacking it with the mig welder. A little tapping with the body hammer and dolly fixed it. Went over the whole length with a 4" shrinking disc and it's pretty damn straight and warp free. My body man will be happy when he goes to paint it. Sorry for the lousy pictures. I cracked the camera lense in my phone with off all things, the zipper in my coat pocket. Leaned on a machine and the metal pocket zipper lined up perfectly with the camera lense. I heard crackling and sure enough, broke the lense!

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Finished tig welding up the other running board tonight gotten pretty god at it will clean it up and hit it with the shrinking disc to level any high spots. Put the radiator in place and attached all hoses. I filled the system with water and chased a few small leaks and loose fasteners. Fired up the motor and let it run. Adjusted the idle mixture and got it running real nice. All of a sudden it just shut off. Determined we had no špark. Took the cap off the distributor and found the points shorting out just below the insulator on the pin. A closer look showed me that the base plate of the points were bent up slightly where they go around the base of the pin and close enough to arc a spark up to the arm of the points that pivot on the pin. After I removed the point base plate and flattened it, I replaced it and the point arm. I turned on the switch and broke the points to check for spark and the craziest thing happened. The spark from the points jumped to the cap close by and fired a spark plug in a piston that had an exhaust valve open. The cylinder was wet because we had turned the motor over a few times testing for spark and it fired into the exhaust manifold. Thought nothing of it so buttoned up the distributor and fired it up. Well it turns out that loud pop was the exhaust gasket failing at the manifold. Guess who forgot to have the manifold decked? Yup, thought I’ve done everything and realized I never sent the manifold to the machine shop and sure enough, the center of the manifold appears to be leaving some gap. I never noticed it when I mounted it. This is the reason I always do a “shakedown” run of the motor and chassis before I go any farther. Going to pull the carburetor, automatic choke, and exhaust off the manifold then will pull it off the motor to take it to be decked. I guess it’s actually good I had that crazy spark issue as it let me know that I forgot to deck the manifold and saved me from having an issue with it once the car was finished. I took a video of the motor running and while it runs great, you can hear a ticking coming from the exhaust. The video doesn’t do the motor justice. It runs super nice and really quiet. Here is a link to my google photos album. At the very end there is a video in the last three pictures. There is a lot of sound distortion when I throttle up the motor so it doesn’t sound anywhere as good as it actually does. You’ll see the gauges showing 30lbs oil pressure and the water as it drops when I throttle up from idle. The stromberg automatic choke is also working great and as it heats up, the choke automatically opens the butterfly. I originally painted the manifold with a high temperature silver gray paint then painted the Olds green right over it. Well the green has already been peeling off with the heat leaving the silver gray looking great! LOL 

 

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Haven’t been able to work much on the car for the past week, lots of yard work cleaning up after this winters storms. Cutting up downed trees, burning the brush, edging beds, the driveway, and spreading 8 yards of mulch took much of the past weeks spare time. Got to spend some time on the car today. Fitted the rechromed windshield frame to the cowl to test fit everything before the body gets painted. In some areas I had to sand away some chrome, copper, nickel where it was too thick. The insides of the windshield posts where they rotate on the lower frame and the small tab on the top of each post where it slides into the top header over the glass were the areas needing all the sanding and fitting. 

       Steele rubber products sells a two piece windshield frame to cowl seal that fits a few different GM Cabriolet models including Cadillac, Chevy, pontiac, and Olds. Because it fits many models it needed to be trimmed to fit my DCR and I also got that done today. I also installed my latch strikers on the new pillars along with the door bumpers. Now the doors are closing and latching as they should. Will start working on the rumble seat wood to fit it to the lid better. All these things need to be done so I might as well get them done now while waiting for the body to go to paint. At least I can’t scratch any paint!

 

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Been doing a fair amount of work on the car now. Went to the paint shop and helped prep some parts. Moses painted them and I picked them up yesterday. Spent about three hours at the paint shop last night and prepped up two wheels by cleaning up any varnish that was on the metal, sanding the etch primer with 600 to knock off any dust bunnies, then went over again with a red pad. Taped off the spokes so I wouldn’t do any damage to the varnish finish. Just 4 more to go then they’ll be just about ready for paint. 

     When I got home I assembled the tail lights up with the standoff’s, license plate bracket, emblem badge, and the nice rechromed rims. My wife thought it was crazy how happy I was about the super nice paint on taillights! Only guys like us understand those things! LOL 😆 installed the radiator shutters in the shell and put my dash panel up in the spare bedroom for safe keeping. That didn’t go over that good either so I explained when I do the seats for the interior those also will be going in the bedroom. Again, she wasn’t real happy but in reality she’ll be fine as I’ve done it before and she knows just how important it is to keep these parts safe.

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One thing I’ve come to realize is coil spring metallurgy wasn’t that good 80+ years ago. I’ve had many of the original springs on this car broken when I got it or had them break when I started flexing them. Of course with the number of 32’ Olds produced so low, aftermarket parts or NOS parts are virtually nonexistent or in many cases, just never produced. In an earlier post, I made up some new accelerator rod springs as the originals always break. Today, I tackled my broken starter pedal spring. When I got my car it was broken and although the spare chassis I picked up had one, it too quickly broke when I flexed the starter pedal. I was a little leary of being able to bend one up as it’s made out of .156 (5/32) music wire and that stuff is not easy to bend, never mind tight coils with hooked ends. I luckily was able to use the same jig I made up for the other springs by just modifying it with a couple of pins to form over. The springs I made up came out great, installed one on the linkage, and it functioned the pedal perfectly with no failure as of 25 or so full motion cycles. The starter pedal spring is absolutely necessary as the starter uses no bendix spring and instead simply engages the bendix manually with the pedal through the linkage. The spring returns the pedal to the up position and disengages the bendix. Without the spring the weight of the pedal would simply keep the bendix engaged after the motor starts. Of course, I made up extras just in case!

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Edited by chistech
Pictures wouldn’t add at first (see edit history)
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Put some time in on the bigger items today. I completely tin knocked one of the running boards on the very ends where the mats don’t cover and the welded seam. Lots of hammer and dolly work along with a lot of hand filing. The beaded edge of the outside of the board had saw teeth like serrations from being formed so all those had to be filed out. Cleaned the whole board up with wire wheel and a DA sander then primed it. It’s ready to go to the paint shop. Also did the same to the front radiator apron. The gas tank apron had the two sheet metal tabs that go over the chassis ends and the bumper bolts go through broken off. My spare apron while in bad condition, has both tabs. Out came the welder and I welded on new tabs the using a large step bit, bored the hole. Tin knocked a few dents out of the apron and primed up the new tabs. Another piece ready to go to paint. 

    Removed the window frames out of the doors because they need more sanding and are too thick. My frames are the aftermarket SS one piece frames that are really nice but just a tad too thick. We sanded them some already and polished them back up but they need more. While I was working on the doors I fitted the two garnishes in place. 

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Thank you John. Sometimes it feels like I’m making headway, other times it feels like I’ll never get done. Worked on the other running board tonight. Lots of work getting it flat enough to send to paint. My hands and arms are killing me from all the filing and blocking to find the high spots. Not too much more metal work to go and it will be completely finished on my end of the body work.

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thanks for the update--thought of you the other day, hadn't seen any progress--i'm still fighting mine, the final assembly takes longer than the body & paint work--got the Potter Trunk finished & installed--went to install the inside door handles,but guess what the plater did the face & the back--so sent 2 down to Advance Plating--seems like I do everything twice---Tom

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My plater didn’t get the chrome into the bell of the horns good enough so I sent them back. They did a great job the second time but didn’t tape off the threads of the trumpets and chromed the threads and the jamb nuts all together. They won’t even think about screwing into the horn motors so back to the plater a third time! What the hell were they thinking 🤔.

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