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1958 Limited Four Door Riviera


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hi rob, when i was restoring the 1954 pontiac factory air parts, i found new sheets of black closed cell foam to insulate, and restore the outside of the evaporator core, the outlet housing, and the 4" flex hose that routed the air from the evaporator to the three dash outlets. hope this will help. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor.

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MICHAEL, they didn't call them Buick Ordinaries. All Buicks of the '50s are Special, Super, and have un-Limited appeal right into this Century!

CHARLES, what was the original purpose of the closed-cell foam that you found? Is it self-adhesive and of a similar thickness to the original - about 3/16"?

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hi rob, the sheets of closed cell foam was for insulation purposes, not self-adhesive, i used a high quality contact cement to install the foam. when i get home, (OTR truckdriver) i'll take some pictures of the a/c parts with the foam, and of the foam sheet also. i think you're right about the thickness. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor.

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hi, here's pictures of the foam i used to insulate the underhood a/c parts, i couldn't find the extra foam. on the 4 inch flex duct, i also used black fabric tape to hold the foam in place. the 1954 pontiac a/c blower now has a 12volt motor, boy does it move alot of air.

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CHARLES, what am I seeing here - is the matte-finish material the insulation and the shinier surface the fabric tape, to hold the insulation snug? In the second set of photos, what's the crinkle-finish? It looks like undercoating but what do you suppose was its purpose? The shapes of the ducting and mixing boxes are quite different from what Buick was using in 1957 but the materials look very similar. Thanks for sharing these in-progress photos.

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hi rob, you're right on all three questions, the black closed cell foam has an almost flat black colored skin, the black duct tape is more glossy, and because the evaporator inlet housing and metal duct tubes are above and behind the right front wheel/tire is why you see the factory sprayed undercoating on those parts. charles coker, 1953 pontiac tech advisor.

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  • 3 weeks later...

It had been stupid hot for the last month. I've been working stupid hours, too. Not much free time between all my friends getting married or turning 30, either! Only 2 weddings and 2 bachelor parties left. I have a week of "staycation" coming up at the end of the month, so hopefully I can start getting a few other things buttoned up.

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  • 4 weeks later...

2 bachelor parties down, 2 weddings to go.

I decided to try to resurrect the splash pan from the dead this evening...I think I succeeded. Tomorrow is the bottom mounting area of the core support. I just want to get the radiator mounted so I can get the car started!!

splash_pan001.jpg

splash_pan002.jpg

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I had all this stuff done before the weekend started, but ran out of time to update.

I had a wedding rehearsal on Thursday after opening day of dove hunting season. Friday was a day spent with my family from CA. Saturday, my friend got married, and the evening was spent in good company at the party. Sunday, my sister got married to the coolest guy I know. This was one of the best weeks I've ever had. So many good people and memories. It helped that I had the most beautiful date, too:cool: We've been dating off and on for a while...she's amazing.

Ok, sorry...back to the car. Couldn't help it:)

Here is the finished splash pan. I thought about smoothing the pits out, but it's a freakin splash pan, and it will never be seen. I have enough time in reconstructing it, anyway. Good enough!

splash_pan003.jpg

Here is the finished core support...the bottom flange with the 3 holes is where the splash pan mounts, so it was almost completely gone... that was a fun fix.

core_support.jpg

I'm currently working on the other side of the front wheel house. I repaired the other one almost 3 years ago:laugh: but left this one for a later time...I have the triangle part welded in, but had to walk away from it when I got to the contoured part. I'll hit it again sometime in the near future...I have a 2-day golf tournament out of town this weekend, so no more progress for a couple weeks.

front_wheelhouse_rust.jpg

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Ah oh, this sounds like it could lead to a major slow-down of progress :D

Yea, sounds that way to me too. :) Adam mentioned this certain young lady to me during lunch at the BPG Nationals. I thought to myself rut-rogh, there may be a partially restored 58 Limited for sale someday soon.:D:D:D

Just jerking your chain a little Adam.;)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have conquered the front inner sheet metal, finally. I have some other parts coming out this weekend from CO Springs:cool: including a rust free battery tray/wheel house. That will save me from having to revive mine, although it's not THAT bad...it is very visible.

A set of rechromed rear bumper bars, temp gauge, NOS exhaust hangers, and a couple other bits are coming out as well.

Soon, she will run again!:D

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LOL! You guys are gonna have to send me a loan for the chrome bill if I need to have it done by next year!

There is NO CHROME at all on THAT car!!

A loan, huh ... I call Warren Buffett, may be he has enough to cover that bill.:eek:

Adam it's like that Johnny Cash song you might have to do it "One Piece at a Time!"

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I did find out that prepping my own brightwork will cut my chrome costs in half :) I just have to get it done...anyone have a machine that produces extra hours in the day? My job has been hogging no less than 12 hours every weekday...sometimes 14. It's a very physically demanding job, so the last thing I want to do when I get home is work some more. I'm headed directly to the shower or a plate of food!

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I did find out that prepping my own brightwork will cut my chrome costs in half :) I just have to get it done...anyone have a machine that produces extra hours in the day? My job has been hogging no less than 12 hours every weekday...sometimes 14. It's a very physically demanding job, so the last thing I want to do when I get home is work some more. I'm headed directly to the shower or a plate of food!

Testify brother!

I too feel your pain.......

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I just had a visit from one of our resident 58 gurus...after some wheeling and dealing, I now have a pair of rechromed rear bumper bars, temp & oil pressure gauge, NOS exhaust hangers, and a totally rust-free battery tray/wheel house. My house is several pounds lighter, too...he too most of the Super parts I took from the parts car over the Winter.

It feels good to have some nice new shiny parts to add to the collection :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

NOW ADAM, if you're going to YouTube every time you start up that glorious boat anchor, your posts count is going to unfairly overwhelm poor Mike. Mind you, his convertible updates seem to be upstaged lately by his station wagon and those shop pests, known as paying customers.

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hahah! All is fair in post/view count wars :) I wasn't able to run the car very long last time, due to no cooling system or transmission fluid, etc...this time I was able to really run it and work out a few bugs, of which were very few. I only had to advance it 8 degrees to get it right. I'd say I'm either really good or really lucky it was that close to begin with! LOL

I've been destroying my garage today and installing insulation and drywall....finally. I have one wall nearly complete, and one wall and a ceiling to go. I feel this turning into a month-long project. Next weekend I am competing in the "Warrior Dash" on Saturday. Warrior Dash | Home Pretty fun stuff!

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Guest my3buicks

Hey Warrior Dash looks like fun, I'd be all in if I were half my age LOL - wouldn't be able to move the next day now, hell, maybe the next week.

Good to see the Gargantuan has a heart beating again!!

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Funny you mention the age thing, Keith....Pete Nathan, one of our local chapter members competed in this event in June with his daughter. He's over 60 years old and has pretty severe arthritis. The good thing about this event, is that you can take your time, and skip obstacles if you need to. He had a great time, and still talks about it when I see him.

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I did find out that prepping my own brightwork will cut my chrome costs in half :) I just have to get it done...

Adam - can you please expand on this statement? What exactly will you be doing and how? When I saw "cut my chrome costs in half", that really got my attention! Thanks

I hear ya on the work thing. I've been in the same situation. Makes it really tough to get anything done in the garage. Without work though, car projects not possible. Catch 22. :(

Edited by JZRIV (see edit history)
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  • 4 weeks later...

They were pretty pitted, too. These were replacements to the ones that were on the car, though. I would've gone broke having the original ones repaired. The taillight bezels will be interesting...

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  • 1 month later...

No need for the heater today...it was nearly 60 degrees outside!

I started stripping the body shell this week, and today was able to get the majority of the passenger side done. I have some spots to touch up, but this is good enough to move on to the top tomorrow.

pass_stripped.jpg

I realized that I never posted the underside of the car before it was put back on the chassis...so, here ya go.

underside.jpg

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Are you using an angle grinder to strip the paint? Your shop doesn't look dusty enough for that. Did you do it outside, so your neighbours could enjoy the show? Uh oh, here comes Bylaw...

I see you've chosen not to shoot the bottom with just a whiff of red-oxide primer, which is what the purists tell us was factory original. That also tells us why heroes like you have had to spend a whole year, stitching the many holes back together with tin. Is the dark grey you used instead an esthetic choice, because it goes nicely with a black frame?

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It's black, but I had to crank up the brightness on the photo so I could see the detail.

I know about the red oxide primer, but I don't like the fact that primer is porous...and will allow the metal to rust again. I'm sure this car will see rain at some point in the future, so I am building it to drive.

I am using a knotty wire wheel on my big 9" grinder you see sitting on the ground...then going back over everything with a DA and 80 grit. I still have the little nooks and cracks to do by hand. That's always a blast. The floor you see is also covered with a nice little layer of paint bits and dust. I have to wear safety glasses, a mask, and a face shield for this fun little project...and I'm still picking crap out of my eyes and nose.

I'm on my way to get body supplies and primer this morning so I can get it coated as soon as I get the stripping completed. I can't wait!!

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Hey, I'll bet if we analyzed the "primer" on the bottom of most high-point Buicks, we'd find a carefully crafted ruse of base-coat/clear-coat, dumbed down to look like red-oxide primer. It's like the Bare Metal finish that Eastwood sells; I actually like the idea of faux-painting things like suspension bits that weren't originally painted at all. They look so nice after they're wire-wheeled, it's a shame to hit them with black Tremclad.

It's good to see you back in the garage. I was afraid that "we" weren't getting anything done, Buick-wise. Keep it up so I don't feel so lazy.

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