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Joe,

I'm greatly enjoying following your restoration. Your "grill diamonds" are very similar to the ones on my 59 and I also contemplated having them re-plated during my restoration. I changed my mind after seeing a freshly plated grill done by a top notch shop. The four sharp lines (creases) in each tiny diamond are a very fine detail, and when the new plating material is added the extra build up that occurs pretty much obliterates that detail. Your grill diamonds look pretty darn good and I agree with Mike that it might be worthwhile (and a lot less expensive) to try polishing them. My guess is that they will turn out looking much better than a re-plated grill that might be shinier but won't look nearly as nice. I was fortunate to locate the left half of an NOS grill, the challenge was trying to get the used right half to match. After a lot of polishing the used half might not have quite the shine of the NOS side, but nobody would ever spot it unless it was pointed out.

Can't wait for your next update!

Edited by Electra 59 (see edit history)
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  • 7 months later...

My, how time flies....

Wow...summer's essentially over and it's almost embarassing to admit how little I have accomplished on the Caballero.

Inspection of the engine revealed corrosion that was too deep to clean up with a hone, so it needed to be bored .030".
The heads checked out great.
21109545881_f6f41110e3_b.jpg

20479214434_765501bdcf_b.jpg

21075636806_94a0d4befc_b.jpg

20913724730_e6d528b4a0_b.jpg
Engine assembly will begin soon (September).

Re-built starter and generator
19675840874_990e8248c4_b.jpg


All engine brackets and tin parts (air cleaner, rocker covers, heat shields, etc) were bead blasted and prepped for paint.
The air cleaner base will require some additional work to repair some rust pitting and pinholes.

The oil pan drain plug area also required some repair due to a significant dent just ahead of the drain plug.

I removed the fuel tank and got a very unpleasant surprise.
20480656723_753c468dfe_b.jpg

Apparently, someone tried to tow the car when the transmission had been removed. That let the rear axle basically stay at rest until the front of the gas tank crashed into the differential case. At that point, the gas tank became the push bar for the body and the forces were sufficient to put a nice imprint of the differential into the front of the gas tank.21109413581_f4dec86e76_b.jpg

I haven't cut it open yet, but the plan is to cut two large windows in the top of the tank so the damage can be worked out from above/inside the tank.

The dash has been removed and the steering column comes next.
20913811948_187edb1d94_b.jpg

Speedometer needs to be rebuilt. Cool piece; it shows a travelling red band in the slot to indicate vehicle speed.

I bumped out the dents and creases in the front fenders and they are at the media blaster to be blasted and primed.

Had to drill out all the spot welds an remove the front fender reinforcements due to corrosion below the headlights. I've seen much worse, but I was hoping this would not be this bad.
19647877176_06483053e0_b.jpg

19053169533_e474d09d27_b.jpg

All the front end sheet metal (core support, fender liners, fan shroud, etc) was disassembled, media blasted and powder coated satin black.
Looks great!
https://farm1.staticflickr.com/741/20914961219_bf7fae81c8_b.jpg

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5777/21109560051_209ede10aa_b.jpg

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5759/20913647830_0017b8dfcb_b.jpg

The radio was refurbished by Kim Kusluski in Grand Blanc, MI. Works great!

More soon.
 

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Joe,

Glad to see your progress. 

Man, you really went at that dash! Was it because of that red western dust that had gotten in?

 

Keep up the good work. :)

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Joe,

Glad to see your progress. 

Man, you really went at that dash! Was it because of that red western dust that had gotten in?

 

Keep up the good work. :)

Doug,

I am taking it completely apart before I pull the body off the frame.

This car will be as close to perfect as I can make it!

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 Nice to see such great work on your car. Going back a few comments, about replating the grille. I went through a similar debate when doing my '41 Roadmaster. I had got nearly perfect NOS, and couple of used pieces that were nearly as good, these were pot metal trim items with fine, crisp detail, and I decided to leave them, as I had seen others replated and they had lost some details. Sometimes quite badly, too.

 Keep up the good work!

 Keith

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  • 4 weeks later...

Still plugging away!

Finally got the time to remove the rest of the components from the firewall.
21525023488_e45dc5a491_b.jpg


Lots of firewall-mounted stuff waiting to be cleaned and repaired:
21541909360_5dc01c9feb_b.jpg

Wiring harness is quite filthy and brittle; will need to be replaced.
21500138590_1bb8b407a8_b.jpg

The shift lever could not be moved. Had to completely disassemble the steering column to get the transmission control tube and the column upper

head out of the housing. Now, I'm waiting for penetrating oil and solvent to free up the joint between the hub and the housing.

When I removed the shift control tube, I found that the felt anti-rattle insulator had caused significant corrosion damage to the tube. I

removed all the rust (chemically), fabricated a steel repair sleeve and welded it to the tube. Still need to replace the felt bushing, but this

repair should last for the next 50+ years.
21875571361_d91dea8151_b.jpg

21875592101_63a22e523a_b.jpg

21276827083_3417cc3fc9_b.jpg


I finally tackled the fuel tank. As I mentioned earlier, the tank was badly damaged and full of foul-smelling remnants of very old fuel.

I filled and emptied the tank a couple of times with plain water, then filled it with water again before beginning surgery.
I spoke with a sheet metal professional about the "right" way to fix the tank. He told me to cut a couple of large openings in the top of the

tank, leaving enough connecting structure to maintain the integrity of the tank.

21965679671_3325c27083_b.jpg

When I cut the openings, I used at the locations of visible spot welds to determine the position of the baffles and reinforcements. I cut along

beads and radii to provide the best surfaces for welding the access panels back in place after the repairs are complete. Here is the tank after

cutting the access openings:
21768048818_e7005e8502_b.jpg

The entire interior was covered with either a gooey, tar-like residue or "crust" that appeared to be rust, but turned out to be a heavy layer of
deposits. Luckily, it looks like the interior metal is solid under all this junk.


I also removed the rear seat and the rear compartment and load floor.
21881009371_83f815f559_b.jpg

The floor pans are worse than I thought; found more rust under the deadener pads.
21880481161_8d8e014eb7_b.jpg

More patching and welding in my future!







 

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Joe,

Nice to see your progress.  :)

With the work season soon to be slowing for me (although I hope not too slow) I hope to get back at mine too.  :unsure:

 

Yes you do have a bit of work on the floors but really, it is not as bad as a local car would be. But you knew that when you bought it right?

 

I'm watching your engine build with great interest. Are you doing the actual build yourself or are you using a shop?

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Doug,

The engine is being built by an independent mechanic who was recommended by one of the members on this forum.

Engine machining was done by IDJ Automotive Machining in Roseville, MI.

 

I hope to have it back in the next few weeks...but it's not like I need it any time soon.

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  • 3 weeks later...

October 23, 2015 update...
After bead blasting, here's what the exterior of the fuel tank looked like:
22170142678_eccd324a03_h.jpg

Badly dented corner where the differential case crushed the fuel tank:
22331852266_bfbb1e733d_h.jpg

The bottom of the tank is badly crushed; it is caved in about 3" in the center:
22344804062_9572c9b9d6_h.jpg
Looks like the result of an off-road adventure!

Luckily, the metal is excellent.
Baffles and internal reinforcements were badly bent, but easily straightened:
22170117438_8958651c42_h.jpg

I have started repairing the tank, but still have a long way to go.
Great training for panel beating skills...
This area had a 1/2" deep crease; turned out pretty well:
22171004599_98ccfd74da_h.jpg


Earlier this week, we were able to move the car to storage and prepare for removing the body from the frame.
 
Big day today: we pulled the body off the frame.
I didn't get a pic of the body on the body cart, but here's a photo of the body and frame after separation.
This was easy with a 4 post lift!

22396967296_235c3542b3_h.jpg

In the next few days, I will bring the chassis home.
It's my winter project this year.

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Hi Joe,

 

Have a question for you:

When it comes time to paint your inner front fender panels, rad cradle and firewall, what are you doing them with?

Gloss, Semi Gloss, type of paint?

 

I have found some of my spares for both small and large series and thought I might redo them for 'down the road' and would like to do them correctly?

 

Thanks :)

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Really enjoyed reading this and I will be following along as I do up my special

 

I polished up 4 of my grill diamonds and they came out good, only another 156 to go :)

 

My engine is out and apart as well

 

I will be studying your pictures a lot

 

Mick

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Hi Joe,

 

Have a question for you:

When it comes time to paint your inner front fender panels, rad cradle and firewall, what are you doing them with?

Gloss, Semi Gloss, type of paint?

 

I have found some of my spares for both small and large series and thought I might redo them for 'down the road' and would like to do them correctly?

 

Thanks :)

Doug,

I had the inner panels bead blasted and powder coated satin black. It is the closest match the powder coat supplier has found to the OEM semi-gloss black.

 

21109560051_5c8b75a5e2_h.jpg

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Thanks Joe! That is exactly what I was hoping to hear and see!  :)

 

I have found a company here that did my ladder rack on my company truck in satin black after sandblasting it first and I'm happy with it. Wanted to confirm if it would be right for the car and thank you for the pictures.

 

Will you be doing the frame that way too?

 

Sure is going to be a beauty when it's done. :)  

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Joe,

Studying this a bit more, I noticed there are no nuts on the panels. Obviously you took them off but how are you handling them?

Are they powder coated separately and bending them back on later?

Are you having all the bolts done in silver?

 

Much appreciate this and your work.  ^_^

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I've been following along since you started your thread here with a lot of interest as I have always had a soft spot for wagons. I will for sure be following this to the end and look forwards to your updates. I do have a question on the powder coating, I think it turned out great by the way, if you wouldn't mind I sure would like to know who you had it done by as I have a few things I would like to get done. If you would rather shoot me a PM with that info that would be great. Thanks, Scott...

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Joe,

Studying this a bit more, I noticed there are no nuts on the panels. Obviously you took them off but how are you handling them?

Are they powder coated separately and bending them back on later?

Are you having all the bolts done in silver?

 

Much appreciate this and your work.  ^_^

Doug,

I'm going to have to replace many of the J nuts because they are not in great shape.

The parts that can be re-used will be stripped and plated.

Haven't chosen a plater yet, but I have a few friends who regularly get this kind of work done. I'm going to rely on their advice. If you're interested, I can let you know who they recommend.

Joe

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Thanks Joe! That is exactly what I was hoping to hear and see!  :)

 

I have found a company here that did my ladder rack on my company truck in satin black after sandblasting it first and I'm happy with it. Wanted to confirm if it would be right for the car and thank you for the pictures.

 

Will you be doing the frame that way too?

 

Sure is going to be a beauty when it's done. :)  

Yes, the frame will be done the same way.

Hope to have it to the powder coater by mid-November.

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Started by pressure-washing before disassembling the suspension/drivetrain to get to a bare frame.

22459010621_f646bd17e8_h.jpg

22422092266_38146a6afc_h.jpg

Then, into the garage:

21857665294_000b89a39f_h.jpg

That pile of crud on the floor is the first wave of junk that came out of the boxed area of the frame. Yuck.

Rear suspension:
22292700838_0f8a8c70c7_h.jpg

Front:
22467019962_45b9e95d43_h.jpg

Front shocks still have the sheet metal push-nuts:
21962760214_9a3d79c997_h.jpg

I was surprised to learn that the rear bumper brackets are attached with larger bolts than the front brackets.

Also surprised to find that the driver's front shock tower is welded to the frame. Got some work to do here...
22666337471_6189b09b66_h.jpg

I only broke two fuel line clips! Yee Haw!
22541922260_b0b8b9a0e6_h.jpg

Desert cars are great! All the brake lines came apart without breaking any fittings or tubes.
22703886506_3c282b822c_h.jpg

Got the call today (November 2); engine assembly starts tomorrow!

 

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Great progress pictures Sir!  :)

 

If that front shock mounting plate is cracked/welded I might be able to help you out with one from my Limited parts car if you need it. Just let know.

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Great progress pictures Sir!  :)

 

If that front shock mounting plate is cracked/welded I might be able to help you out with one from my Limited parts car if you need it. Just let know.

Doug,

Thanks for that offer!

I've got a Caballero parts car and I think it has a good tower. I'll be in touch if it turns out to be not usable.

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Always good to have extra parts cars around isn't it?

Thought it might give me an excuse to drop over and see her in person and check on 57BuickJim's progress too. Have not heard from him in a while.

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Always good to have extra parts cars around isn't it?

Thought it might give me an excuse to drop over and see her in person and check on 57BuickJim's progress too. Have not heard from him in a while.

Doug,

You're welcome any time!

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  • 2 weeks later...

We unwrapped te block and spent most of a day washing it.
We discovered that the oil galley plugs had not been replaced. The block was hot-tanked but the original oil galley plugs were not removed because the machine shop couldn't locate the proper diameter plugs.
Luckily, Russ Martin (Centerville Auto Service) has the right diameter plugs.
We removed all the old plugs, cleaned out the oil galleys and installed the new plugs.
It will be a few weeks before we can get back to engine assembly due to travel and work conflicts.22141019314_5a4fc1f671_b.jpg

In the meantime, I continued disassembling the chassis to prepare the frame for sandblasting and powder-coating.
This picture shows the junk that came out of the boxed areas of the frame. No rust; just lots of dried mud, gravel and (apparently) mouse fur.
22787044036_94ff031a13_b.jpg

Removed the steering gear and made a temporary tie rod to allow the frame to be moved.
22394674538_35d7d92136_b.jpg

Lifted the frame off the rear springs.
22943362926_d945053750_b.jpg

Made up a small caster cart to be able to easily move the frame:
22968170735_8f9cfd348b_b.jpg

All components removed; bare frame resting on the cart:
23031042871_345b6cb528_b.jpg

More to come...
 

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In a previous post, I showed that the driver's side front shock tower had been welded to the frame.
Time to cut it off and repair the area properly.
After removal:
22374250354_ae12d58e46_b.jpg
LOTS of weld!

Cleaned up the frame and made up a small patch panel:
22983572162_a05ddcca0d_b.jpg

Welded a nut and a reinforcement to the patch, then welded that subassembly into the frame rail.
22604837859_2db4079f8a_b.jpg

23020776671_d86d4a6054_b.jpg

After cleaning up the welds:
22389357283_a77e34a52d_b.jpg

Looked over the entire frame for other issues.
Straightened out a few dents and dings in the cross-members. Somebody must have taken this thing off-roading in the desert; lots of rock damage!
Found that one of the mounting holes for the steering gear had some cracks around the bolt head. For some reason, the bottom bolt had no washer under the bolt head. Looks like the bolt head cracked the outer frame wall when it was torqued down.
I ground the cracks open and welded them up:
22594099838_ed5f25c1d6_b.jpg
After clean-up:
22390007394_ac86f7363e_b.jpg
This bolt will get a correctly sized washer when the steering gear gets installed!

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Great progress shots Joe!

I also like your ramp / hoist set up.

Would guess you have the body at another building?

 

Anxiously awaiting more reports. :D

 

Yes, the body is on a cart - in storage until I get the chassis done.

Then, I'll put the completed chassis in storage and bring the body home to do the metal work.

 

Current plan is to finish the underside of the body before I mount it on the frame, then get the exterior painted.

At this pace, I figure I have at least 2 more years of work to do...

Edited by 95Cardinal (see edit history)
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At least you are moving forward Joe.

I had planned to be on the road by now doing just a simple brake job and it is almost Xmas......

With the extensive work you are doing time will pass quickly but you are on the right track!

Following along with much interest.

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