Jump to content

How To Do A Frame On Restoration - Book 2 - The 1957 Riviera Estate Wagon - Model 49D


Recommended Posts

Hi Buick Team! Well, it's about time I started a new thread and how to. The is the second in a series of "How To Do A Frame On Restoration - Book 2" The subject matter of this version is the restoration of the newly acquired 1957 Model 49D Riviera Estate Wagon.

As a few of you know, I've been looking for a Long Roof 1957 for a while, and especially since I saw Buick5563's long roof 1955 at the Nationals in'12, I got the bug. Well, the bug zapper finally caught one. I just got this pretty little baby on Wednesday this week, and though she looks a little rough around the edges, she's in good shape to get the Frame-On Restoration System back in gear.

She's a non-runner (at least so I've been told, but have not tried to start her either), with good body and floors, usual rocker panel rot, and trunk rot. Pretty solid interior, and all trim is present and accounted for on the vehicle. My goal is 2 years to get her to a very decent runner, or maybe even judgeable at Nationals in 2015/6. I've got some pictures her posted below.

Well, in the immortal words of Jackie Gleason, away we go.....

post-65800-143142567432_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567392_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567399_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567404_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567408_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567412_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567416_thumb.jpg

post-65800-14314256742_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567424_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567429_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567392_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567399_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567404_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567408_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567412_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567416_thumb.jpg

post-65800-14314256742_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567424_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567429_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567432_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567392_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567399_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567404_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567408_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567412_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567416_thumb.jpg

post-65800-14314256742_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567424_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567429_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142567432_thumb.jpg

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

CONGRATULATIONS JIM!

That looks like a lot of car to work with there and those rear bumper ends appear to be in exceptional condition, which as you well know, are usually rotted through.

Looking forward to hearing how this one came into your hands.

Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, this type of project will definitely keep me out of those silly places, or maybe make me want to frequent them more...hahaha! I will post some more pics later tonight. The nice thing about this project is it will help me get rid of a bunch of restored parts gathering dust in my garage and basement!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Wow, power steering, padded dash, good rear bumper end (at least the one you can see) and good padding on the glove box door. What more could a '57 restorer ask for? I'm slowly doing a '58 model 49D. Looks like this '57 has the vinyl or fabric headliner, which is a real plus. The '58 has the perforated "boards", which are a real challenge.

I'll bet that rat's nest in back smells good! Whatever you do, don't inhale any of the dust or debris from that.

Pete Phillips, BCA #7338

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Pete. The rat's nest was cleared and no dust or debris was inhaled. I was wondering what type of headliner the car was supposed to have. The one in there will need to go, and I don't think it is original, so I was wondering about what type to replace it with. I do recall you talking about your "hard-board" headliner in your 58. The trim book for 57 doesn't really go into the headliner type and configuration too much. Any info would be helpful, for sure!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Boy, am I slipping up. I took me five days to catch this thread. I'm very pleased to see that you got your wagon home and that it appears to be a solid basis for your special kind of attention. Odd colour combination but I like it. Keep the posts coming and I'll try to get back in the habit of checking in daily.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...
  • 4 weeks later...
Helloooo...? We should remember that BuickJim does his work first and then reports on it, in a long fascinating thread. We should all be patient, although a few teaser photos now and then sure would be nice.

jim,how is the long roof coming along? been watching the forum for updates and pictures.. started working on my 57 super a coulpe of weeks ago.will be sending it to the body shop to get new dog legs.got to find a better inner fender for pass sige.good luck with yours,4 bufords from ct

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys, been a while so I thought is was time for a little update on the long roof..things are moving slowly, but surely. I am working on taking it apart, bit by bit. Started with the rear compartment on the teardown. It is interesting to see how this wagon is the same, but different than the sedan. Here are some pictures of the teardown in process. I do have a bit of a sticky wicket though, the passenger rear door will not open. It seems to be rusted shut -namely the mechanism in the door to the latch is rusted and nothing moves. I am not sure how to go about getting it to move. I have sprayed PB blaster on it until it runs out the bottom of the door, but cannot seem to get it to move? Any suggestions on how I might get that to unlatch would be appreciated. I was thinking of sawing off the door handle at the screws to see if I could get it that way, but to me that is a last resort. Anyway, I'll keep the team up to date. Further updates to come.

post-65800-143142702094_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142702099_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142702104_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142702108_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142702111_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142702116_thumb.jpg

post-65800-14314270212_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142702124_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142702129_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142702132_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites

If you can get the inside door panel off (even if you have to wreck it), you can use get better access to the latch assembly. Use a long screwdriver to try to move the door lock mechanism and cycle any of the parts on the latch that are intended to move. There might be room to tap the end of the screwdriver with a mallet or hammer to help force the issue. Get yourself a good light so you can see what you are doing. I have fought this problem (seems it happens more often with rear doors) on two cars now. You'll get it eventually. Joe

Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Jim, re the rear door. Are you sure it's the latch and not the hinges? Maybe they are preventing the door from swinging. As far as I know the latch is spring unloaded when activated but nothing actually moves in the latch until the door is pushed off the door jamb catch? Any chance of posting a picture or two of the latch and catch from the other rear door?

Link to post
Share on other sites

John,

I do think it is the latch and not the hinges. I cannot press the exterior door handle button in at all. The left side works ok as shown in photo, after a liberal spraying with PB Blaster, and after looking at how that mechanism works, it seems to me that it is the latch. The difficult part of it is that the latch mech is located way up in the end of the door, very difficult to access without a tri-bend arm. See attached photo.

post-65800-143142703224_thumb.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh, that is a nasty location. Since you are thinking of cutting the door handle off, I presume you have already whacked the button with a rubber mallet to see if you could break it free? And I suppose you tried wrenching the inside handle with some vice grips? Even if you had access to the latch, with it closed I don't know if there is much you could do to activate it . The screw/bolts holding it to the door are accessible in the jamb.

It may be a long shot but is it possible to disconnect the hinges and work the door free from the latch-catch?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Joe - the problem is the access to the wilkie button is not available because the door is closed. I only have access to the door mech from inside the door. It is a conundrum, and the hinges are not accessable because they are recessed when the door is closed. It's a real catch 22. I have not wacked it hard with a hammer, just because when I resort to force on stuff like that, bad things usually happen. I have taken the door panel on the inside and removed as much of the connection items (wires, inner handle mech, transition linkage) as possible. Hmmmmm.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks a whole lot like a 55 4dr ht. Things to try:

smack the outside door handle button with a rubber mallet alternately with the door lock up then down.

pry the door from the inside while kicking.

apply inward (closing) pressure to the door while banging, beating and kicking.

apply heat with a propane torch directed at the door lock...water on standby required...while banging, beating and kicking.

take the opposite latch mech off and inspect for possible ways it can go FUBAR.

cut another access in inner panel as close as you can get.

cut access in door skin around door handle after inspecting opposite door for location of bracing.

locate a replacement door and sacrifice this *&^%$#@ door!

Willie

Link to post
Share on other sites

Willie...always one to go the extra mile in getting 'er done! ;)

Y'all will be glad to know that with the can of PB blaster and using Joe's approach with a long screw driver - actually a screwdriver type pry bar, I was able to get the dang door free. Had to work the latch back and forth and figure out how to unlock it....all the lock mechanism connecting rods were taken off. After working the latch catch back and forth and comparing to the one side that works, I worked it out, using the pry and a gentle pry bar on the interior side of the door. got the lock mech loose and moving and then worked the latch spring and Voila! Door opened right up. Thanks fella's for the help...

Here it is...finally open after XXX years...

post-65800-143142705012_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142705016_thumb.jpg

post-65800-14314270502_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Hey Guys and Gals, time to post another chapter in the Longroof Chronicles - 1957 style. After some prodding from my old friend 4bufords, I think I need to post some updates on the project. In the words of Mike Middleton (buick5563) you need to get the car to stop first. Then run. Well, based on Mike's sound advice, I am working on getting the brakes done on the wagon. Suprisingly enough, the wagon had no brakes when it was rolled off the transport. Master cylinder - Bone dry. Pulled the front drums and lo and behold - not a piece of brake hardware behind them. No shoes, wheel cylinders, springs, hold downs...nothing. So...I figured that I better get some dang brakes on the machine. I took all the drums and had them turned (they had plenty of meat on them for that). Then purchased new wheel cylinders all the way around (rears were there, but so corroded I decided to get new instead of rebuild). Got new hoses for fronts, and center hose. New stainless lines from In-Line tube (after a few discussions and some re bending by them) and the rebuild master cylinder from Old Bessie. (manual brakes on this baby for now). The following pictures are some of the rear brake job in progress..And yes, David, that is the original 1957 Buick factory spare from Old Bessie. Still holds air 57 years later.

post-65800-14314286074_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142860746_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142860752_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142860756_thumb.jpg

post-65800-14314286076_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142860764_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142860767_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142860772_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142860775_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142860779_thumb.jpg

Edited by 1957buickjim (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Guys and Gals, time to post another chapter in the Longroof Chronicles - 1957 style. After some prodding my old friend 4bufords, I think I need to post some updates on the project. In the words of Mike Middleton (buick5563) you need to get the car to stop first. Then run. Well, based on Mike's sound advice, I am working on getting the brakes done on the wagon. Suprisingly enough, the wagon had no brakes when it was rolled off the transport. Master cylinder - Bone dry. Pulled the front drums and lo and behold - not a piece of brake hardware behind them. No shoes, wheel cylinders, springs, hold downs...nothing. So...I figured that I better get some dang brakes on the machine. I took all the drums and had them turned (they had plenty of meat on them for that). Then purchased new wheel cylinders all the way around (rears were there, but so corroded I decided to get new instead of rebuild). Got new hoses for fronts, and center hose. New stainless lines from In-Line tube (after a few discussions and some re bending by them) and the rebuild master cylinder from Old Bessie. (manual brakes on this baby for now). The following pictures are some of the rear brake job in progress..And yes, David, that is the original 1957 Buick factory spare from Old Bessie. Still holds air 57 years later.

jim,those new brakes look good.ol bessies spare looks good as well.does this car have a name yet? god talking with you tonight,4 bufords from ct

Link to post
Share on other sites

That Mike is a smart guy. I totally agree stopping is the first place to put the effort. After that I think steering is the next best thing to stopping. But you already know that works. This really is a sweet wagon Jim. Glad to see the update. TX to 4 Bufords for giving you the inspiration. Now if we could just see some pics of 4 Bufords 57..... or Rob Macdonalds.....

Link to post
Share on other sites

Surprise, surprise, surprise! Two posts in two days! Just to show that I haven't been sloughing off on the wagon, there are a few more items to post as I dig into this beast of a vehicle. Today's show is taking more of the interior out to get to the basics on the inside. Got a lot of work to do to make her look good, but need to take her down to the bare necessities. This is about removing the rear compartment sheet metal and seats to get to base metal for the beginning of the assessment on how and what to do.

post-65800-14314286242_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862424_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862428_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862432_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862436_thumb.jpg

post-65800-14314286244_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862444_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862448_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862451_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862455_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862459_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862463_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862467_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862471_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862475_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862479_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862483_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862487_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862491_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142862495_thumb.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

Well, got a little more done on the old wagon! Finally moved her to the garage for the winter to get the project moving on those dark winter evenings. The car is up on jack stands, making it easier to get underneath to do some of the dirty work..Latest was to put the new brake lines in and then work on finishing the brakes. Got 3 out of 4 of the wheels done. New everything..wheel cylinders, Inline Stainless brake lines, new hoses, shoes, freshly turned drums, the whole shebang! Nice to have a little down time over the holidays to get some tasks complete on the car.

post-65800-143142910817_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142910822_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142910827_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142910831_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142910835_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142910839_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142910843_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142910847_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142910852_thumb.jpg

post-65800-143142910856_thumb.jpg

Edited by 1957buickjim
spelling (see edit history)
Link to post
Share on other sites
Well, got a little more done on the old wagon! Finally mover her to the garage for the winter to get the project moving on those dark winter evenings. The car is up on jack stands, making it easier to get underneath to do some of the dirty work..Latest was to put the new brake lines in and then work on finishing the brakes. Got 3 out of 4 of the wheels done. New everything..wheel cylinders, Inline Stainless brake lines, new hoses, shoes, freshly turned drums, the whole shebang! Nice to have a little down time over the holidays to get some tasks complete on the car.

jim,got the items for the tail lights you sent me,thanks.been working on the invicta vert so no time for the super and it is getting colder here in ct.will give you a call soon,4 bufords from ct

Link to post
Share on other sites

Jim: Your magic continues. Got to hand it to ya man, you keep going. One thought, the frame in this wheel well frame area and others as well, appears to be a good candidate for your magic touch as long as you have the patient opened up and accessible - Why not as it probably would not take all the long to do ?

Link to post
Share on other sites

David,

Agree, but I have a method to my madness..Going to get all the mechanicals done and working properly, then body work, then paint the vehicle, then interior, then engine compartment detail, then underside. I found out that if you detail engine and underside before exterior paint, you have a hell of a lot of work to be done in masking and touch up. Much easier in this order and less work.

Willie,

Yep..it's the OCD in me, and helps me from saying...'where the hell did it set those darn parts at? I just had them!!!" (even though I still go through that CRS stage on this project) Every little bit helps.

Doug,

It's all about keep plugging along...which you know well with your 58!

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...