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SLP5357

Need Restoration Advice 1957 46C

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Hello again! It's been about 9 months since I last posted, but I am finally starting on my 1957 46C. I had the presence of mind to start by taking high resolution close-up photos starting under the hood and working my way back so I can remember how to put this old girl back together. I've decided to do this the right way (frame off) and I'm looking for some guidance. I have a solid mechanical background, but limited body work experience, so any advice is welcome. My first question is how to safely remove the body from the frame without buckling the floor - i.e., should I weld temporary braces in place of the doors to keep the unit strong? Also, once the body, etc. has been removed, what's the best way to remove paint & surface rust - paint stripper, tank dipping, media blasting? I look forward to hearing from any and all who can give me some direction.

Thanks!

Steve

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Hi there, she looks like a pretty solid car especially for a convertible! How are the floors? I would recomend that you brace the body before removing it, be sure to triangulate the bracing both length ways and across the body.

You will probably get mixed opinions about paint/ rust removal, tank stripping and media blasting both have their drawbacks. Personally if the paint is still reasonable after 55 years I'd leave as much of it in place as I could and spot strip where necessary with a paint strip wheeel. I also use a product called Gem Rust killer thats made by a company in Houston that does an excellent job, and also works well as a etch for bare metal before priming.

Lastly and I can't stress this enough, take more photos, lots more photos from lots of different angles!! You cant have too many but you sure can have to few or just not quite right angle. Before after and during disassembly your camera is your most important tool !!!!!!!!! And we all like to see what your doing too ;-)

Chris

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Ditto what kiwi says on bracing... imperative , esp. a convertible.

Everyone works differently on where and how to start ....

For me, I've have had my last two restorations media blasted; on frame

before removing the body ... 1.) due largely, as a practical matter of being able to roll the things around and onto a trailer. 2.) because of Unseen and extensive floor and structural rust as well as unknown areas of previous damage or metal repairs; I prefer to keep them on frame until I know what's what under there.

My blaster guy does a good job of getting the whole front frame area and as much of the frame and under body as possible for me. This keeps cleanup to a minimum after body removal. (By the way, do not underestimate the mess media blasting makes! You do not want all that junk blowing around your garage, neighborhood, etc. It get EVERYWHERE! Take it somewhere ....)

Then when she comes home, get her braced up, and you'll have a nice clean pallet to work with & plan your attack on the bodywork and paint.

my opinions, of course!

Have Fun!

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I made my braces with right and left-hand all thread bar stock with nuts welded to a section of pipe. This allowed me to set and lock in place with a lock nut. At the time of assembly, this also allowed minute adjustments when remounting the body. The brace was mounted between the mounting of the door striker and the door hinge mounting. I placed the brace in place then spot welded the end plates. Then I removed the brace and finished welding. - Dan

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I am a strong believer in X CROSS braces, from the back of one door jamb across to the other door jamb. Such aids in TWISTING, and every shop I have been in does such when working on verts. IMO.

I just tack welded my braces in place, but enough to hold. I would also weld where the cross meets.

Dale in Indy

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Hi guys - thanks for the quick response! Chris - regarding the floor pans, they are very solid as this car has been in storage since 1963 or 1965 (not sure which.) I've owned it since 1975 and I've spent a small fortune in garage rent, but it's been worth every penny - the car is remarkably solid. I like everyone's input on bracing the body and I'll probably use a combination of ideas. Dan, I like your idea of an adjustable length and may try to assemble something using an "X"

design like Chris and Dale are describing. I'll start sketching something up this weekend. Roadmaster75, regarding you blasting guy, does he use sand or glass beads and is one better than the other? I've had some guys tell me that media blasting can warp sheet metal, but I don't see how based on the heavy guage steel used in 1957. One other totally unrelated thing - can anyone tell me what the O.E.M. carburetor was on a 1957 364? I have three different carbs with this car, 1 is a Carter and the other 2 are Strombergs. Keep me posted...

Thanks again!

Steve

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Steve:

Here is my recommendation. DO NOT TAKE the car apart and separate the body.

It it were my car, I would do whatever it took to get it running again. Engine Flush, Brake System, Fuel System, Cooling System Rebuilds, including dropping the transmission for a gasket seal/rebuild. That is all. . . and that is A LOT just in itself!

Why? A running car is so much easier to work on and you will accomplish the above soooooo much sooner. Plus these NEED to be done anyway regardless which path you choose on the restoration.

You can then evaluate the car then get into the interior and do what you have to.

Then get into painting the car.

It will be drivable AND moveable during this entire process.

THEN .... If and when you are convinced a complete body take-off is in the cards, it is easy enough to rig up a body lift system just like the factory and lift the body off of the car to get to the frame.

However, again if it were me I would, while the engine and/or transmission were removed along with the exhaust system, get under it and paint the frame and under carriage at that time. You can also easily replace the body rubber mounts at the same time. Most decent paint guns now have low cost adapters systems which allow you to paint upside down or in any direction.

Remember this is all done while the car is fully operational. A good point just in case you have to sell it or whatever else hits the fan of life.

I say all of the above because there has been way too many total restorations gone bad due to the magnitude of the operations involved and the time/effort constraints put upon the participants.

To assure success with a total frame off in a timely manner, one should source all parts and material needed before hand even if one is doubtful the item(s) will be needed or not. This includes data, how-to-do, etc sources.

Good luck!

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For what it is worth, I agree with David. I did this on my 1950. It would not win any TOP awards at a 400 point judging, but is a blast to drive. I did remove all the glass to replace the rubber molding. But I did not seperate the body/frame.

Ben

P.S.

I intend to drive it to Concord in June!!!

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Last months Auto Restorer Magazine agrees with Ben and David too. IMO it really would depend on the nature of the project. A 53-54 Skylark, then by all means, make it worth the 150K it should be worth. But for a car that would be worth much less, you gotta balance the cost of restoration to your long term plan. In other words, does it make sense for your long term plan to put 30K into a car that's worth 30K?

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For what it is worth, I agree with David. I did this on my 1950. It would not win any TOP awards at a 400 point judging, but is a blast to drive. I did remove all the glass to replace the rubber molding. But I did not seperate the body/frame.

P.S.

I intend to drive it to Concord in June!!!

Ben, Can't wait to see your Super!

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I'd still would like to see the Super. I missed Ames, regretably. But I hijacked Steve's thread enough.

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Steve,

I agree with David, Ben and John on their suggestions. I am in the final throes of doing a "frame on" restoration of my Model 48 Buick Special. By doing it this way, I can still drive it and enjoy it.

As for your question on the carburetor, either one is right for the Special. I have a Carter on my vehicle, but I do have a Stromberg as well. Just that my car came with the Carter, and that's what I kept on the car. Don't know how the Stromberg is in relation with the Carter, but I can't imagine that it is much different in it's operation than the Carter.

Keep up the posts! We are always excited to hear what is happening with your car.

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Just like to add an alternative suggestion some don't consider. You can check with a shop that does restoration every day and see how much they would charge to brace the body for you on frame. Great that it worked out well for all those doing themselves, however if something slips when your removing the body from the frame, getting it realigned might cost more in $/frustration, as apposed to someone doing it in the shop, better yet if they are the ones doing the repair afterward. Just a thought.

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