Stooge

'37 Century Modest Restoration

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Hi MC, sorry it took a bit to reply, i was busy getting bombarded with about 2ft of snow yesterday. Those pictures are absolutely perfect, and between the ones you took for me and the ones Gary posted earlier, I have a much better idea of where i am headed with these. Much easier to decipher than trying to make out some points or reference from most of the pictures I was searching for, and especially clears up the underside of the boards and how the stock structure is set up. Thanks again!

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A slow few weeks, took a nice spill down some icy stairs so i've been hobbling around and taking it easy, as well as being busy with having dogs over , ( a good buddy owns a dog walking /boarding business and i help out taking his extras) so i couldnt pop out to the garage much lately.  Had a productive day yesterday and made some final changes and fittings with the driver side running board so i could make the template to make a copy of for the passenger side. Pretty happy with the fit, so i started and finished the sheet metal of the pass side, alot easier the second time around and didnt have to guess as much, still a little adjusting to do that will have to wait until i put some rubber body shims/mounts in and straighten out the body as it is off center of the frame by about 3/4". Also pulled the passenger side door off so i can start making the new lower skin for that. The outer looks worse than the other one, but i might be able to get away with using the inner section that i had to make on the driver side. There doesnt seem to be any holes or extensive rot in it, but i'll see when i get the outer cut out, but it should save quite a bit of work if i can use it.
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you can see the original.piece of blue tape where i had the front edge meet for how much it has been pulled in.
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The passenger side sticks out a little more than the driver side, but after the body is aligned on the frame, they will match and are the same distances/ dimensions from the frame right now.

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And cleaned up some of the heavy crust and paint to make it easier to reference mark for making the new panel

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45" x 6.5" piece cut for the new panel, a little.oversized  but i wanted some extra for the crimped edge as well as some side to side play for any misalignment when makin the shape. started adding a little shape but didnt get far yesterday.
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Off topic, got the interior of the '66 gto stripped out of the seats, console and carpets to figure out whas needed for new floor pans. Someone previously did a poor job on repairing them and just stacked the new over the old rotten ones and covered it in bedliner so im anticipating being pretty miserable soon. Also pretty close to finishing fixing the absolutely rotten and hacked together front windshield frame/cowl that was held together with JB weld, pop rivets and gobs of brazing.
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Some small but productive  steps on the passenger side door last night

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Starting to add some shape to it, I cut it longer than I needed as the sides will get trimmed but also folded over and crimped to the door structure as they are from the factory, so there is some unshaped edge that gives off a bad profile, but that is just the last inch or so on either side.

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the outer skin of the door was in worse shape on the passenger side than the driver's side, but the inner sill structure was in much better shape on the passenger side. I'm going to just try and repair the offending areas rather than make a whole new piece like I did on the driver side. even with having to repair it, it will still be a lot less work and a lot less risk of it losing some shape or having a fitment issue with the body.

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Pretty happy with the shape of the new panel, a little massaging here and there but not a million miles off. i'll start on repairing the inner structure in the next day or 2, then I will treat the rest of the inside, before painting it and starting to weld in the new skin panel.

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About as much as i can get done on the doors and running boards until i align the body/get some rubber body mounts in there and find some brackets for the runing board mounts.
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This was cleaed up more after this but i didnt take many pictures. Along with the corner puece, i made a new lip piece to replace the rotted one.

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Rust treated and some black paint before welding in the new outer.

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Few areas to tidy up, but most of its welded up and the edges are spot welded, folded and "crimped"  

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And started planning out the panels to fix the swiss cheese floor sections. Its worse than i was imagining so its going to be more involved aroubd the area where it meets the door sills but ill figure something out
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Edited by Stooge (see edit history)
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Stooge,  the radiator is definitely different.   The series 40 (248 cu in) radiator is only 2 cores thick.  The 320 engine is a 3 cores thick radiator.  (50% thicker)   If there is any question, have it re-cored with modern stuff.  Make sure the engine is completely cleaned out.   It seems to be a problem that occurred with most older systems.   I'm in Fla. and it is hot in the summer time so keeping the engine running cool is very important.   Engine boiled out, new water pump and new guts in the radiator.   That has solved most high temp issues.   You need to use  a '37'   320 radiator.  It has different mounting points to hook it up.    My '38'  320 radiator would not work.   I have both a '37' and a '38' coupe.  Both are small engines.   There is a book from a group in Michigan that is called   "Buick Technical Tips" .  That with a '37' service manual will give you ton's of info.   Especially when the year you need can be replaced with a later more available item.      

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The radiator was something I've been thinking about lately, as cooling and overheating is a big nervous point of mine, and was thinking of having one made. Walker has a '37 buick radiator listed and will do custom configurations with their different levels of cooling gimmick. Listed at $650, I don't know what the custom add set up would be, but if it doesn't fit/ line up perfectly in the core support, I could always make some sort of adapter flange for it, but obviously would rather just buy the right one and not have to worry about it.

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Still plugging away over here, and making some progress on the floor. I had been looking for some possible patch panels to cheat a bit and make life a bit easier but didnt see anything worth buying that wouldnt have to be extensively modified. A few areas that could have been made easier with a few pieces of equipment i dont have, but its coming along.

 

Mickey mousing the the 4ft long bend, i used to have a small homemade sheet metal brake, but it wouldnt have been nearly big enough

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Marking out the differential recess

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and this probably would have been a good job for a step die on a bead roller to recreate the step on either side of the stock floor differential area on the floor, so i used a chisel tip stretching body hammer, a chunk of aluminum bracket and a handful of clamps

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still need to make some filler panels for the side pockets, do some trimming, final welding and pretty it up a bit, but starting to look like something atleast, and isnt a million miles off. I need to grab a few short sticks of tubing to brace the inside of the body to keep it square before cutting the old section out, but hopefully in the next few days that will be out.

Edited by Stooge (see edit history)
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Still plugging away and keeping busy over here! Aside from my Buick, I've ben trying to finish up the '66 GTO project so that can go to paint, not much left of me to do on it, just replacing some floor braces and patching a spot in the floors and the driver side door. Also started cleaning up and planning out the '58 Edsel Villager station wagon project, figuring out what is needed for the new drivetrain, what we can add as far as power brakes and power steering as he wants to haul the family around in it safely/ confidently,  and what we needed for patch panels for the floor/ what would fit as theres not much for aftermarket edsel stuff. And a smaller project, is buttoning back together a 64 impala SS, numbers matching 327 with the correct heads, after an engine cleanup/ refurb and making it a little closer to stock appearance / period correct upgrades regarding the engine cam, carburetor, etc.
 
Finally braced up and cut some of the floor out of the Century, enough to make sure the new piece I was cobbling together was going to work, and I am pretty happy with the fitment, nice and snug, although I still have some trimming of whats left of the original trunk divider/ axle bridge area . i'll need to pick up another large piece of sheet metal and get my hands on a bead roller to finish off the flat areas of the floor before I get much further so i'll probably be buying a budget friendly one this week,  leaning towards one of the Eastwood's ones since they are pretty reasonable and its not something I think I will use a lot. 1.jpg.11f9a37163b88fea8959b0a851f18cc5.jpg2.jpg.3ebe1d0eafef6a2a43d01c03bca22e27.jpg
 
The new piece is only very loosely cleco clamped into place, and has not been aligned, and nothing has been welded yet as I want to do some more adjusting and wait until I have a few more pieces ready to go in. I was also  able to retain the factory "tray" shelf bracketry from the stock floor, that you can see on either end of the new piece.
 
 
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Edited by Stooge (see edit history)

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He has new glass and the hatch back piece, but while its being worked on, he didn't want to risk any damage to it so he left the plastic wrap on that was there when we picked it up.

 

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Not as much progress being made, but im just about finished with the '66 GTO so I can start putting more time on the buick.

Slowly accumulating some vital parts, and my steering column for the Buick came in, along with the pitman arm and the brake and clutch pedals, so I have the complete steering set up for it, and I can figure out what im missing for the clutch stuff and brakes.looks like they might have sandblasted the pedals, but everything seems in good shape and the column is in better shape than I expected. I have the box temporarily bolted in place as I didn't have enough of the correct hardware and didn't realize beforehand that the gear box had threaded mounts rather than through holes, and the column is just ziptied in place until I get a column support bracket/ ignition switch.

 

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Now I still need to find the correct transmission mounted master cylinder and hope I have the pedal hardware/ return springs and the linkage for the clutch fork.

 

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Also got a new toy in the form of the "new" eastwood bead roller. I don't have any bead rolling experience, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but for the price, I am fairly impressed. A handful of bead and flange/ step dies and an upgraded 4 spoke handle so it wouldn't be as clumsy to use by myself. I would have liked to get a nicer one from Mitler bros or someone, but a bead roller just isn't really something I see myself using a lot and didn't want to just have something expensive sitting for 1 year or 2 until it gets used again.

 

(Posed action shot

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And to connect the rear section to the new pans, I hand hammered out a 54" curved piece to mimic the stock floor set up. Not the greatest picture and everything is just cleco'd in place over parts of the original floor so it doesn't quite fit right yet. I plan on saving part of the torque tube tunnel and just

remaking the end piece that flows into the rear as that was pretty rotted. A handful more pieces to make and I can finish cutting the rear floor out and start tacking the new pieces in place. I would really like to get some primer on the body by August and some paint sprayed by the end of the year, so its going to be a lot of body work the rest of the year. After the floors are in, the front and rear fenders need to come off so I can repair the rockers/ door bottoms on either side of the doors on both sides that a previous owner tried to fix with self tapping screws and some roof flashing.

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Also cobbled together some running board brackets,  may not look like much and will never be seen, but they work and are pretty strong, at least enough to not flex at all when I stand on them ( a svelte 6'1, 225). just some 1x2 1/8 wall rectangular tubing, some weld nuts and some 90* bent steel plate, (slightly prettier than angle iron) I had from work, and the only place any money was spent on the running boards, some 1/2-13 weld nuts and flange bolts

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Some weld nuts for the bottom rails of the running boards. the rails are just quickly stitched in and will get final welded later on, this was just sort of a test idea I had and wanted to see if it would work.

 

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the front outside bolt mount will get a shim to kick it up a hair so it sits flush with the front fender and I still need to trim a few spots where the sheet metal of the board is hitting the bolts on the frame bracket.

 

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A big step in metal work progress over the weekend, although it did uncover some new work in the form of inner rocker panels/ bottom of the body structure behind the door sills which was a little worse than I was thinking, but theres not much left after that. I am aiming for spraying some high fill primer in august, so I have some time for the rest of the planned metal work, an am actually taking next week off from work, and aside from a few planned things, most of the time will be spent getting the Buick's sheet metal sorted.

 

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I still need to make a piece to finish off the torque tube tunnel end that I had to cut out due to rot, but that shouldn't be too bad. Overall I am pretty happy with the fit of everything. i added a few bead rolls to the lower pans on the rear piece, along with the stepped center and added a rectangular step across the top of the rear piece to give it a little more rigidity.

 

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Some forward progress on what is becoming rebuilding the bottom half of the car. I needed to start the inner and outer rear rocker repairs before I could get the flat floor pans welded in since it gave me a lot more access to the back side of everything with the floor out. The cheap eastwood bead roller is earning its keep, though it might need some reinforcing with stuff like this, but honestly if I can get what needs to get done on the buick, and the bead roller is complete trash afterwards, money well spent

 

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just held in with a few magents over the existing metal6.thumb.jpg.28ef6441c781d2a3ea515dc31fbae414.jpg

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Just a first pass, still need to fill a few areas and pretty it up a bit, but happy enough with it and the passenger side should go a little easier now that I have an idea of what to do

 

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Also remade the end of the torque tube tunnel and got the rear piece tacked in as well as the tunnel piece.

 

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Still plugging away on the Century, I had a little bit of a stall between an irritated sciatica, the heat/ humidity, working on a few other projects and I had been dragging my feet until I had some parts in hand so I didn't have to guess so much.  Firstly, the last big puzzle piece that's been holding up finishing the floor, a split bench seat that fit my price range. I knew I was going to have to have it reupholstered, so I had to figure that into the budget, but I am pretty happy with it. It will stay bare for the time being since its a ways away from being really needed and I would hate to mess up a freshly done seat while im still heavy into metal and body work. Getting this is allowing me to finally button up the floor, as I didn't want to finish it, and have to go back over it and change what I had already done.

 

a few parts to make that I've been putting off. First tacked in the driver side floor pan, rear and inner divider facing edges overlap, and the forward and side facing edges are butt welded. Overlapping edges are primed and painted on the sandwiched edges, drilled holes in the top piece, and the marked off on the lower piece accordingly, kissed with a carbide bit to remove the paint from the lower for a poor man's spot weld.

 

in the vein of full disclosure, the seat is out of a similar year Lasalle, but was within a few hr drive and fits both the car perfectly, as well as my budget perfectly.  

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First was making a new rear outer rocker, same way I did the driver side rocker so I had a better starting idea. Left out the door sill steps on this one and will make them in a separate piece to make it a little neater, lesson learned from making it out of one piece on the driver side. Replaces the panel a previous owner made with a lot of pie cuts to make the body line rib and held in with a dozen self tapping screws. Looked to be made from galvanized.

 

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Next was making a replacement piece of the inner body structure that's affixed to the side of the floor pan. Seems a lot easier to replace this piece and get it and the inner and outer rockers welded in before the floor pan just from an accessibility standpoint. Driver side piece was in good shape and didn't require making a new piece.

 

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 Nice and simple, basically guessed some measurements since it was rotted apart in the middle and traced some of the original

 

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Edited by Stooge (see edit history)
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And I know this is the prewar buick section, but still something I've been working on in the shop and so you guys to think im too lazy, a few of the '58 Edsel project, and trying to save the driver side fender

 

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And the 'cavity' behind the driver side grill area, (fender is upside down on the stand in these pictures)

 

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Im leaving this area a little rough for the time being until I get to the outer headlight bucket. The headlight area is really falling apart and grinding and sanding this area will cause a lot of commotion and may cause further damage before I have a chance to copy whats left of the original.

 

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Edited by Stooge (see edit history)
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Very impressive work on both cars!  I really admire your persistence and courage in taking on projects like this.  Like trying to make a solid block of cheddar out of a few pieces of Swiss cheese!

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Some progress being made in an effort to start body working and high fill primer by the end of the year. Rolled the Century out of the shop to move a few cars around and also to spin the Buick around so I could more conveniently work on the passenger side. There's still some paint hiding around in some crevices around the front fenders, and I didn't touch the hood or trunk, but I did a solid first pass with some fairly coarse sanding discs to knock down the old paint and crusty surface rust, and started clearing a few dents that I've found. not many surprises around the body with the paint off, no surprise filler anywhere, a few spots of brazing on the rear passenger fender flange, and some more brazing around the tail pan but that will just be cleaned up as it was done well enough. a few small areas that will get cut out and replaced with new metal, but for the most part, some areas will be treated with a rust neutralizer after a few more sanding passes on the bare body.

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And started cutting out the passenger side door sill/ rocker areas. Had to make a handful of pieces, including the inner body structure, the inner rocker rail, a new outer rocker skin, and a new outer door sill piece, and have been busy getting those in and looking right, still have some massaging to do with the sill, and I ended up pie cutting most of the length of it to make for a better fit, so it looks a little

askew but will look right when done, as the sill corner isn't welded in yet, and the bottom of the sill hasn't been welded to the inner rocker so its just sort of hanging there.

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Not the prettiest of welds, just slowly tacked into place, but was cleaned up later

 

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Start of making the new door sill

 

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Added the weather stripping channel to the top, not a million miles off, just the front facing edge came out a little bigger than anticipated which later required some cutting and refitting, but not bad for the side of a table and some stuff I've collected over the years to hammer metal over

 

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First pass cleaning up the joining edges of the new and old outer rocker, still a few more passes to clean it up, but that's about where I am with it,

 

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Edited by Stooge (see edit history)
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And a little work on the edsel fender im still working on here and there, but started to fill up the large hole around the headlight bucket. Decided to make the raised body line in a separate piece of material to make it a bit more manageable for myself, but still need to make a wooden hammer form for it

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Don't mind the all over the place cleco clamps, the original metal in this area is pretty soft and I was having a time trying to find spots that they would actually hold. This new piece is further along than what I have pictures of, added a nice bead/ flange around the edge that goes to the other new piece to mimic the factory shape where the driver side grille seats up against that flange.

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