chistech

32' Oldsmobile Deluxe Convertible Roadster

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Brought some new parts to the machine shop today. Got new exhaust valves, guides, springs, and timing chain. The shop owner and I discussed how my rebuild was going and how everything looked. He showed me my intake valves (they looked brand new) and my exhaust valves (that were shot!). My main bearings and all journals, both the crank and rods, are in very nice shape and will only get polished. No other issues have been found and once he journals are polished later this week, he'll let Russ @ Paul's Rod and Bearing know the size so he can ream my re-poured rods to he correct diameter. Once the block is bored, Ross Racing Pistons will be notified so they can machine up 6 new pistons.

   When I disassembled the motor originally, I found the timing chain extremely loose to the point where you could almost remove the chain off the sprocket. When we checked my new NOS chain against the old one we discovered that the chain that was in the motor is one half link longer. We believe that at one time someone put the wrong timing chain in the motor. The new chain fits both gears perfectly and is a better fit than the chain that was in the motor. The machine shop owner told me he thought something was wrong as he has never seen an all steel chain timing chain like that, stretch so much. Now we know why it appeared that way.

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Worked more on the wheels today. Got another two scraped and then used the oxalic acid on two wheels. Quite pleased with the results. Now the spokes will get masked off and the rims blasted in the cabinet, then etch primed. Once the spokes are all sanded and finished, the finish paint will be applied to both the rims and the center hubs. Going to scrape more paint tonight. Will probably do all 6 of the red wheels and use them as a group so the color all matches correctly. As I said in an earlier post, I believe these red painted wheels were original to my all black DCR. In the pictures you can see the remains of a 1/16" white or "cigarette cream" pinstripe on the rim. This would be the correct pinstripe color for the all black DCR model. The rim and center hub w/sprocket painted pattern was also on these wheels under all the red and yellow paint.

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Been busy working on a 31' Chevy for a customer but have fit in some work on the Olds. Got three wheels completely stripped of all paint, blasted all the metal, and primed them. I will start stripping the 3 varnished wheels I have to make up the matched set of six. Took apart the two horns, blasted the horn frames and bodies, cleaned up the electrical sides, then blasted the tubes of the horn trumpets. Unlike other cars of the period, the Olds horn trumpets were not totally chromed, only the bells were. The tubes of the trumpets got painted the fender color of the car. The horn frame/bodies got primed and painted with the trumpet tubes getting primed. The bells will be chromed later and then the trumpet tubes will be painted when the car is painted. Put the steering box and column on the chassis, installed the driver's side engine pan, and installed the new lower chassis wire harness.  Ran new wire up the column and soldered the wire to the contact button. The driver's side engine pan had some rotted areas that were welded and restored to original condition for me by John Lima of Extreme Paint and Collision. I purchased my wiring harness from YNZ and opted for the hidden electronic directional controls. YNZ wires the harness so the front fender mounted parking lights will now operate as both directional and parking lights. The tail lights will also flash independent of each other. The Olds harnesses were advanced over other brands in that the area where the cowl joins the chassis, all wires plug in other than one single wire to the generator cutout. This allows you to remove the body from the chassis by simply unplugging all the wires and simply removing the single wire from the cutout. You can completely wire the whole body and dash of the car while the body is off the chassis.

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Took the fuel tank and radiator to get flushed, cleaned, and checked out. The radiator had no leaks, not dented fins, and seemed to be in great condition. The fuel tank had old dried up fuel in the tank and also had a couple pin holes that will be soldered up. Before I took the tank I realized that the rear corner on the neck side had a good size dent that also buckled in the side of the tank. I made up a knocking dolly out of some 3/4 round, worked on the lathe to round the corners, drilled and tapped at an angle to attach a 3/8" round shaft. Putting some specific bends in the 3/8" shaft, I was able to insert the dolly through the tank filler neck and hammer out the corner dent. I then bent the shaft again to work the sides of the tank with the dolly and hammer to get the side back out where it belonged. Using the sunlight coming in through my shop window allowed me to better see exactly where to apply the dolly pressure and where the light hammer the outside skin. I didn't take a before picture, only an after picture, but the tank corner dent is now gone and only a light crease or two are in the tank. Some light body work on the outside of the tank will clean up those small areas.

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Took a nice long needed vacation away with the wife and now I'm back at it. Been working on the 31' Chevy 5 passenger mostly and fitting in small things for the Olds. One thing I've been looking for is parts for the free wheeling system on the Olds. My internals have been altered so that the free wheeling is no longer operational which is fine but I want all the exterior to look 100% original. I was missing the freewheeling lever and most of the linkage/lockout brackets. With the help of my good friend, Joe Pirrone, I was able to make up a wood lever out of ash. Joe supplied me with pictures of his original lever and all the exact critical dimensions. I have spoken with Greg Coleman and once Joe confirms my wood pattern to his original, Greg with be casting up my new lever. I will be machining all the holes and pinch bolt slot after the lever is cast. It will be made out of cast iron as was the original. While it took a little time making it out of the hard ash, it should hold up well to the molding process. The first three pictures are of Joe's original lever. The others are of my wood pattern, from initial band saw cuts to finished dimensions and shapes. Some further fine sanding to remove any file and knife marks was done after these pictures. While it might not be perfect, it should be correct enough to be fully serviceable and unnoticeable as non-original to most.                                            1932 Olds Free Wheeling.pdf

 

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Nice work!

A good friend of mine is what was once considered a pattern maker and was employed at Chrysler here in Windsor, Ontario and would truly appreciate what you have done here.

Today, with technology, he is re-classed as "quality control" but uses his skills learned from "the old days"?

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Thank you gentlemen. I have built scale radio control aircraft (WWII warbirds mostly) and that building/modeling experience helps with items like this. Will post pictures of the actual cast lever when I get it back and machined.

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Received my newly poured and machined connecting rods from Paul's Rod and Bearing. Russ did a phenomenal job restoring these rods. My machine shop said they are some of the best he's ever seen. When I was at the shop, he showed me my finished crank and the block. It was bored .020 over and it was in the boil tank getting de-greased.  The motor had .018 worth of taper at the top of the bores. The .020 cleaned the bores up to nice and straight. Things are looking really well and progressing quite quickly since the motor work started Jan. 10th. Ordered the pistons today from Ross Racing pistons and they are out approx. 4wks. The package from Ross includes the new forged aluminum pistons, rings, and oversize (.866) wrist pins.

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With the motor progressing, I made up the gaskets I didn't have or that I had, but were unusable. Turns out my NOS cork pan gaskets had shrunk beyond use so I made up new ones with 1/16" cork. I made the pan gasket as per the original, in four pieces with 1/4" tabs to interlock at the junctions. The motor has quite a few paper gaskets, more than some, with gaskets on all the oil pump pressure lines and the pump itself. There are also more gaskets on the outside of the motor for the oil cooler/water pump heat exchanger unit. Good eyes, sharp knife, and good small ball peen hammer, some hole punches, sharpened brass tubing in a drill, and patience are all needed to make quick work of the chore.

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The tubing works must easier and make much cleaner holes than a hole punch using a hammer. What is really good about it is you can put the gasket material in place under the item (like the engine pan) and cut the holes right in place while holding some down pressure on the pan. The holes in the pan guide the tubing. No need to mark the gasket and "hope" you get the punch in the right place on the mark. I use K&S brass tubing sold in RC modeling stores. I take one end and sharpen it on a bench grinder.

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Took my spare parts frame and made a body dolly out of it by welding on legs made from a weight lifting machine that someone discarded on the edge of the road. These weight machines and benches have nice sq. welding up tubing that makes good framing for things like this. The 32' Olds frame had been damaged and had rotted just in front of the cowl so it ended up being perfect for my dolly application. Put some HF casters on it so it move around easily. Got the body on yesterday and tonight I pulled a lot of nails. I got the car completely stripped of the sheet metal and have started assessing what will need to be repaired or replaced. I had purchased two deck rails from Bill Cartwright of KC Wood and while they are almost identical, they are just a little different and will require some small modification. It still beats trying to make them. I will be making the two latch pillars, the main sills, kickups, the belt line, the cross rails, the parcel shelf, and what ever other pieces might look questionable. Luckily, only one piece of the golf bag door framing needs to be made and it's the easiest piece there is to make. Lots of tracing, cutting, sawing, routing, planing, and fitting to do. This should be fun but I'm sure frustrating at times.

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7 hours ago, chistech said:

Lots of tracing, cutting, sawing, routing, planing, and fitting to do. This should be fun but I'm sure frustrating at times.

 

As you know, I am looking forward to this rewooding project for inspiration.  Seeing the bare skeleton, I am already thinking of how any small miscalculations could end up with the rear body skin not fitting precisely at all the important areas...(the many nailing flanges for the skin)

 

The B pillar seems not so scary, as you already know the width from left to right post at their very bottoms at main sill, but if they have splayed out at their tops over 85 years, then the rear door gap will be wide at the top, and OK at the bottom.

 

Then, as you assemble wood parts of the entire rear section, I don't know how it is possible to know if the skin will fit back on?  What I mean is, the angles of each and every wooden angled joint needs to be predrilled for screws first?...so what if the skin won't fit right at each of many nailing edges of the body skin flanges....meaning:  The rear lid "opening's" four edges, golf door opening, the random curve around the back of seat (the tulip panel), they all seem so critical to me.

 

This should be a very good thread... as far as spreading knowledge and any possible shortcomings.  I can't wait to see how this is done.

 

.

 

 

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1 hour ago, F&J said:

 

As you know, I am looking forward to this rewooding project for inspiration.  Seeing the bare skeleton, I am already thinking of how any small miscalculations could end up with the rear body skin not fitting precisely at all the important areas...(the many nailing flanges for the skin)

 

The B pillar seems not so scary, as you already know the width from left to right post at their very bottoms at main sill, but if they have splayed out at their tops over 85 years, then the rear door gap will be wide at the top, and OK at the bottom.

 

Then, as you assemble wood parts of the entire rear section, I don't know how it is possible to know if the skin will fit back on?  What I mean is, the angles of each and every wooden angled joint needs to be pre-drilled for screws first?...so what if the skin won't fit right at each of many nailing edges of the body skin flanges....meaning:  The rear lid "opening's" four edges, golf door opening, the random curve around the back of seat (the tulip panel), they all seem so critical to me.

 

 

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Were you in my dreams last night? LOL  I was thinking all those things myself. Width of the door openings is another. With the main sills dry, the dados for the pillars are wider than the pillars. Do you cut them tighter? I will as good joints mean a tight square frame and a good solid body. Lots of variables. I can say that even some of the factory joints were gapped way to big and there were large spaces. This is on the upper deck wood where the wood is still super solid. It's my first total, wood framing job so I'm glad it's my car and not a customer's. If I screw up and get frustrated, I can just roll it over to the side and catch my breath for a few days. The cost and time I'm out is my own.

.

 

 

 

Edited by chistech (see edit history)

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Were you in my dreams last night? LOL  I was thinking all those things myself. Width of the door openings is another. With the main sills dry, the dados for the pillars are wider than the pillars. Do you cut them tighter? I will as good joints mean a tight square frame and a good solid body. Lots of variables. I can say that even some of the factory joints were gapped way to big and there were large spaces. This is on the upper deck wood where the wood is still super solid. It's my first total, wood framing job so I'm glad it's my car and not a customer's. If I screw up and get frustrated, I can just roll it over to the side and catch my breath for a few days. The cost and time I'm out is my own.

 

 

I have only done complete replacements of wood done in structural steel square/rectangular tubing, but I am obsessive on door fit.

 

I am still learning differences in some cars, but basically, if a car has non-suicide door hinges on the A pillar:  The cowl location and leveling it is the first thing.  It not only establishes the "level-ness" of the door, but you also now need to fit the radiator shell and hood!

 

If the back of cowl is too high for some reason in construction, then you raise the firewall to level the door...now the hood sides will not have straight vertical gaps on both ends.....because the hood is going downhill to the shell.  Raising the shell instead, may cause other issues later!

 

Once the cowl sits MINT,(settle for perfection only), and the doors hang level with PERFECT front gaps, (settle for perfection ONLY again, even more so), then the B post is next.  Like I said, if the B posts are splayed out, yes you could add a "twist" in the door to match, but the top gap to door will still be too wide.

 

I plan every step, but still have to constantly keep re-fitting.  My only point in all that long read, is each door gap, as you build along,  MUST be perfect, accept no less because if you cheat on the front gap, it could force you to do something "corrective" to rear body fitting...which then causes other issues elsewhere.

 

 

Edited by F&J (see edit history)

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After accessing all the wood in the car, I will be using some pieces. I've decided to just repair the lower ends of the deck rails rather than replace the whole rail. The rails are made of out two pieces laminated so I will be splicing in new wood in the same manner. I only have to replace about 6-8" of the bottom on each rail. The rest of the rails all the way up to the belt line is super solid so why mess with what is correct. I will also  be keeping in place the rumble latch rail and the three supports from the latch rail to the belt line. I decided to attack this project from the rear first to help shore up what was needed to be replaced working with the original main sills. Luckily the body of the this car is wood complete, it's just very fragile. Using each piece as a pattern, I first fabricated the kickups. Making them as a pair was much easier as they are identical except for a relief cut on the back side of each one. This relief cut was done with a hand back saw. The boring was done on my vertical miller which made straight holes much more easy. Marking each and every hole from the original allowed the rumble hinges to mount exactly where they were and this process of replacing pieces while keeping original wood in place, is keeping everything just like it was.

     I have a decent supply of ash, a thickness planer, table saw, band saw, hand plane, hand router, and a vertical miller. I recently purchased a tenoning jig for my table saw in anticipation of this project, and it's already come in quite handy. After I finished the kickups, I made up the rear cross sill and temporarily installed the knife edge support rail with the two end blocks I purchased last year, again in anticipation of this project. The two rear body mounting plates got blasted, primed, and painted, then they got installed pulling the kickups and rear sill together nice and tight. I then started on the sills. Just the planing of the ash takes me, working alone, an fair amount of time. I purchased a couple of Forstner bits to put the necessary recesses in the rails for body mounting bolts and seat bolts. I only got the passenger side sill done and will start on the driver's side tomorrow. I'm quite happy with how this project is progressing so far. Hopefully 5-8days more of spare time should have the body all framed up and finished but we all know how "planning" goes in this hobby.

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Finished up making both main sills today. Milled the hole for the tenon in each sill for the tool tray rail and used the vertical miller to true up the pillar slots. The bottoms got grooved for the seat adjuster threaded plates and the inner fronts of each sill got routed for the floor boards and tool tray front board. Just the sill lower doublers to build now. (those are for the lower edge of the sheet metal to nail into. With everything held in heir proper place either with pins, bolts, or clamps I measured it all out to make sure it was square and it all looked good. I put the floor metal in place and all pieces lined up perfectly. The rear pan is the original. The mid pan and he tool tray are new made. The rear pan fit exact and like a glove to the knife edge support wood. This re-wooding of the body is moving ahead nicely. More to come.

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Wow, nice plan of attack and such awesome work.  I assume it's a Fisher body?, but so similar to my Fleetwood in the rear body and sills and kickups and sheetmetal floor panel inserts!

 

I too, will try to save whatever wood is sound, but loose.

 

You are fast!

 

.

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On 5/13/2017 at 7:29 AM, F&J said:

Wow, nice plan of attack and such awesome work.  I assume it's a Fisher body?, but so similar to my Fleetwood in the rear body and sills and kickups and sheetmetal floor panel inserts!

 

I too, will try to save whatever wood is sound, but loose.

 

You are fast!

 

.

It is a Fisher bodied car. Many told me it's the same as a 32' Chevy Cabriolet but while it's close, some of the wood is different. The olds has a longer rear deck, the bottoms of the deck rails where the meet the rear main sill, and the tenons of the rear sill, are all different, plus the whole golf bag door framing. The doors are basically the same though as far as the wood.  Time to start on the upper wood and latch pillars. Won't do the ends of the deck rails until last as all the metal bracketry has the wood in the correct placement now. Will not risk repairing the ends with the possibility of the rear band and latch pillars not in the correct alignment. 

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1 hour ago, chistech said:

Time to start on the upper wood and latch pillars

 

 

I can't wait... !!  this I need to watch. 

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With Mother's Day this past weekend, I got little done on he car. Got back to it last couple days. I pulled both main sills off the frame and finished them up. I installed the 1/4" ash mounting hole pads, all the lower sill wood (the nail rails for the bottom of the sheet metal) and the nut plates for the seat bolts. Put the sills back on the chassis and screwed all the joints together. I will be putting on some copper Naphthalene as a wood preservative and for the same "green" color that the wood originally had. A similar type preservative/insect repellent was used originally by the factory.

 

Started on the belt line wood. I have decent latch pillars so I am using them to work from and to be a reference point. The beltline on this car has some wood poorly replaced at one time so it's been a lot of pattern makings and figuring. Most the wood here is like the sills and laminated 3/4" wood that is also seam glued with tongue & groove jointing. I've decided to go with solid 1 1/2" ash pieces. One of the big issues I see is that most the screws in these cars end up being right in the center of the two boards glue joint. When the glue dried up and the boards separated and/or warped, the screws all get loose. Won't happen again with the solid wood.

 

The two side belt line pieces that go from the tops of the latch pillars back to the metal brackets at the sides on the fronts of the deck rails are identical. The good this is if you have at least one good side, you can usually make the pair of pieces except the bolt holes in some cases. I made up the side belt line pieces, the lower center belt line support, the mid belt line, and the two 7/16" filler blocks on the tops of each side piece. I routed the holes for the top of deck supports (from the front of the top rumble seat opening rail to the real of the lower belt line) on the vertical mill and made up the supports. To make sure the belt line wood was the correct shape, I put the rear sheet metal body back on the framework with the help of my neighbor. Using a piece of cardboard held in place by the bolts that go through the metal side brackets, I made my pattern. I simply rubbed a wet Magic Marker on the very edge of the metal, then by using a hammer, much in the way one makes a gasket, I tapped down on the cardboard right on the edge of the metal body. This gave me a perfect line on the cardboard to cut on and make a proper fitting pattern. The pattern was cut out and the shape transferred to my wood. It was then cut out and marked for drilling. All pieces MUST be drilled on a drill press and NOT in place as all bolts need to go straight. If you do not do this, you will never get the bolts to go through the brackets unless drilling oversize holes. Once the hole is oversize, you loose all rigidness to the framework. Still have the very top rail to make for the belt line wood, then it all gets cut at an angle on both corners, bringing the height down to the top of the side pieces.

 

With the sheet metal on and in it's proper place, I was able to check all my work to date. The sheet metal fit like all the new wood was original and not one area is suspect. No issues with the golf bag door, all metal fit snug on the lower nail rails and the inner wheel wells fit perfectly at the back edge of the main sills and kickups. All measurements are matching up another Olds framework that a friend has. Need to get the rear sheet metal and the cowl all dustless blasted so I can get it primed up, repaired, and all painted black on the inside. Once that is done, it will be ready to go back on the wood framing.

 

I just purchased a tool on eBay I hope will help me a lot with this car and others that I work on. I bought a router duplicator. I should have it by Monday of next week and I hope to make my new latch pillars with it. If all goes well, I should be able to make them up fairly quickly and most importantly, perfectly shaped. More to come.

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