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55 Century Convertible project


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  • 4 weeks later...

I'm with Wildcat-what would it be like to have a facility like that! My friends are all saying that "I like the Patina look".....which translates into.....you can't afford the paint job...lol. Keep the pics coming...looks awesome!

Dale's Buick

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Gee, somehow my latest shop seems... inadequate.

Gee, somehow my planned shop seems... inadequate.

Jeeze Mike, I didn't know you lived at an airport. Is that clouds I see up top, do you have your own climate in there.

Seriously, what are the dimensions of that thing. And how do you heat it? and air circulation?

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Thanks everybody.

The shop is 30 wide by 60 deep. The full side length of the garage is covered "carport style". You can't drive around to the side, but I have my Model A pushed out there until I finish the convertible. (Ya know, the one this thread is actually supposed to be about ;) ) I also have a bunch of seating out there for "conferences". OK, for drinking coffee in the morning, beer in the evening, grilling burgers and my younger friends who still smoke...

The ceiling height is 28 feet at the peak of the Quonset set on top of 12 foot high cinder block walls. The windows are actually sliding glass doors. Ventilation is via a 5 foot industrial 220 volt fan in the back of the shop. Excellent cross breeze, but without the doors open in the summertime it can easily hit 120 (never checked the temp on the ceiling). Heat is just a couple of small space heaters. Obviously, we need fans more often than heat, but I have a few small space heaters that I drag around to wherever I am working. Last week we actually got down to 21 degrees, so I dragged the heaters around A LOT!

I bought my house ONLY because this garage was already here. The house was falling down when we bought it and is still only about 1,200 square feet after I remodeled it, turning it into a two bedroom, two bath pre-war house. The garage is architecturally interesting, but I would have preferred a slightly more weatherproof, more insulated and slightly wider place if I had designed it. There is more electrical than I would have designed which is nice for lifts, welders, compressors etc. I also would have designed a different door configuration so I could move a car out without having to move all of the cars. This was done primarily because the ramp that leads to the garage had to avoid a large live oak tree.

I feel very fortunate to have found it within the Austin City Limits (not in the country) in a good school district. I am going to try and continue working out of it until I have enough work to justify finding a commercial property.

Thanks again. Gotta get this dang convertible project rolling again!!!

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  • 1 month later...

Willie came up again to kick my butt into gear. We got the gaps pretty close all the way around with one exception. Ya know how 55's hoods split at the curve on the sides? Well, a while back I figured it'd be cool to weld the cracks. Whoops. The hood shrunk when I did that, so I am going to have to cut some slits and spread the front of the hood forward. Other than that, things are looking really good. I should be able to begin body work soon! Here is a pic of my Special above the convertible. I figured if it was the other way around, I'd never finish the convertible...

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I realized two things yesterday:

A) I have been away from this project too long. (I forget what I was doing)

B) Aligning body panels is really hard. (Seriously)

I just started that process also. Mud

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  • 1 month later...

Slow with customers, worked on the convertible today.

The hood was not lining up in the front, so I cut some pie cuts and stretched it. I will re-weld it after I am happy with the line at the front bar.

Also widened the gap at the rear of the drivers side door.

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I spent days, no weeks, possibly a month on the gaps on my Special. Then lifted from frame only to have all the gaps shift around. Seems to happen every time I lift the car from the frame and sometimes just driving on rough road will knock them out. Constantly adjusting. Maybe it is just mine but it does seem to want to bend around a bit.

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  • 4 months later...

Can any one please help an old fart that's in over his head? I'm in the process of or should I say attempting to reassemble a 55 Buick special convertible

basket case. After a few years of assembling parts it's time to put the old girl back together, the problem is I'm not sure how every thing is supposed to fit

What should the gap between the rear of the hood and the cowl be?

What should the fit between the front of the hood and the upper gril bar be?

Should the hood touch the grill bar, if not, about what should the gap be?

If any one could send me photos of how it should look it would be a real help.

Thanks, Rusty

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Rusty,

I don't have any photos of gaps right now, but in literature I have read, it says the gap is supposed to be an eighth of an inch pretty much everywhere. I know the front and back of my Special (which have really good gaps) are bigger than that. Anything less than a quarter of an inch with very little variation in any one gap will look fine.

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Rusty,

I don't have any photos of gaps right now, but in literature I have read, it says the gap is supposed to be an eighth of an inch pretty much everywhere. I know the front and back of my Special (which have really good gaps) are bigger than that. Anything less than a quarter of an inch with very little variation in any one gap will look fine.

Thanks Mike, questions, questions. With my fender to door gap good and hood to fender gap good my hood to cowl is more like 1/2 inch.

Next problem, how do you remove the round plastic disk on the speedometer, the one that takes the place of the needle, I would hate to brake it.

What did you use in place of the rivets on your top irons for your convertible top, yours look so nice I decided I have to try to do the same with mine.

These will keep me busy for a while

Thanks for your help

Rusty

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  • 3 months later...

Well shame on him for not giving credit to you for the picture... and I seem to remember that quote he made was from another post of which he gave no credit to. Shame on him. Uhmmmm, seems agitatin is contagious.... :D

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  • 1 month later...

As most of you know, I started taking in other wayward old cars to fix, repair and restore. The real disadvantage of that is that there is no time or more importantly, real desire to work on my cars. Even on light customer days, I'd rather regrout my tub than getting all greasy on one of mine.

So this project stalled for a while.

I have just been remotivated to work on it. Think of it as a light switch that once again got turned up.

Now the advantage of doing this for other people all day is that I am better and faster than I used to be.

I removed and installed the hood three times in the last two days and am finally happy with the fit. Tomorrow if the weather holds I will begin blowing it apart for paint.

Note to self. Order leather and send chrome away...

Had to use a come along to pull the fender to where I wanted it:

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Final fit:

9BBFF973-83C2-432B-B3AB-D7A833B87F9F_zpspnst8l5i.jpg

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Blown back apart as promised:

A35CD78F-C6A4-47A4-B769-6F77A09A4D9C_zpsylwflutv.jpg

BA8FB1CF-A991-4ACD-8594-5018F8A7A954_zpseizfvgvp.jpg

Love the stacks of wire wheels in the background. I'm always checking out the signs and stuff in your pics...

I just read this whole thing and I'm sure it will be very helpful when I get started on my car. Thanks for all the hard work it takes to document a build like this.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had to move all of my loose sheet metal outside in anticipation of a few customers coming in this week. All of the big work is done. I just need to smooth out 40 grit sanding scratches in the Filler, as soon as my help shows up.

Your chair is waiting, Sir

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Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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