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I'm very pleased to have resumed reading this excellent thread and catch up on your awesome progress. Apparently the preservation vs. restoration debate didn't last long for you. Sorry, BuickJim, here's another non-convert to the "keep 'em running while you fix 'em" philosophy. Nice work, great photos, with a very literate play-by-play description.

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Rob McDonald wrote: "Apparently the preservation vs. restoration debate didn't last long for you."

 

No, it didn't take long at all to make that choice. I don't think it was a good candidate for a driving rebuild; just too many major repairs required.

If the engine had not been seized, it would have been a tougher decision.

 

When I realized how much I had to do to get it operational, I realized I wasn't going to be happy doing all that work and still having it look like an abandoned desert vehicle.

 

We'll see if I feel that same way in a couple of years.  :lol: 

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  • 1 month later...

December 30, 2015 update

We have been traveling again, so there hasn't been a lot of progress lately.

The frame is at the sandblaster's shop. It is being cleaned and then powder-coated satin black (excellent match to GM chassis black).
I got the ball joints and control arm bushings apart before we left on our trip, so the upper and lower control arms are also being powder-coated with the frame:
23122592335_1a842bf220_b.jpg

Here is the rear axle assembly, as removed from the frame:
24043799426_92158766c5_b.jpg

Disassembled the rear brakes and radius rods:
24069898305_671d578407_b.jpg

Removed the front section of the torque tube and the front prop shaft.
There is a U-joint behind this bearing. This torque tube design certainly was beefy!
23443097663_95ef267cfa_b.jpg

Hard to tell from the photo, but this front section of the prop shaft is almost 4 feet long:
23443099103_1b1f249690_b.jpg

The rear axle and torque tube housing assembly is being media-blasted, then I'll take the rear end to a local shop for assessment and rebuild.

"Sparky" (the guy at the radiator shop) bumped the dents out of the radiator tanks.
The radiator looks GREAT!
Here it is, with it's new core and freshly-painted tanks:
23702084499_9558d8bab0_b.jpg


Until the frame and suspension parts are done, I will be cleaning and re-finishing chassis and suspension parts.

Frame and suspension assembly should begin soon.

Happy New Year!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update: January 27, 2016

Frame is back from the powder coater; looks SWELL! (There's a word you haven't heard lately!)

23918147223_b865daabf6_b.jpg

24177255609_7510e842cb_b.jpg

It's so pretty, it seems a shame to put a body on it!


Used the 88 Electra Estate to tow the trailer; all in the (Buick) family!

24435941322_69df196beb_b.jpg


It's a great feeling to start putting things back together. Here are the front brake lines and junction blocks. The pretty, new lines are from Inline Tube; they fit quite well with only a little "massaging" required. I didn't even need the tubing bender. Junction blocks are the original parts.

24568938351_f7393f7307_b.jpg


Been experimenting with white vinegar for rust removal. Certainly worked well on these parts!

24241174199_844ed71fe9_b.jpg

24019370093_cfc3a0f22c_b.jpg


Rear axle is at "The Ring and Pinion Shop" in Mt. Clemens, MI for assessment and refurbishing. Should have it back in a couple of weeks, as long as there are no major surprises or big delays in part availablility.

Power steering pump is going back together with new seals, o-rings and gaskets.
Shaft and bushings checked out okay.

24289577549_537f235fce_b.jpg


Details, details, details....

24435938562_0e9e5bdc24_b.jpg

23831231339_c6f77ccaeb_b.jpg

This is when all those labels and zip-loc bags earn their keep!
 

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Details on the vinegar soak process please...  Looks like a good way to go.

 

Just soak the parts in white vinegar. Warm vinegar will work more aggressively than room temperature.

I use a scotchbrite pad or brass brush to scrub off the residue. If the part isn't clean enough, give it more time in the solution.

If you add salt to the vinegar (1 cup of salt per gallon of vinegar), it will accelerate the process.

When the parts are clean, keep them in the container and add 1 cup of baking soda per gallon to neutralize the vinegar and stop the process. Add the soda slowly; it does the volcano trick!

 

Great write-up here:

http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/113083/salt-and-vinegar-natures-rust-remover

 

I will be adding more photos over the next few days as I get more parts out of the tank.

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Thanks Joe for the vinegar link.

Have tried it on my backing plate and quite please.

I think it will be great for many small parts which I will be cleaning up and painting down the road.

Not getting in as deep as you yet but..... it's time for some attention to my cars.

post-80315-0-43657100-1454626189_thumb.j

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That backing plate looks great, Doug!

 

Update/tip on the vinegar process:

Instead of adding the baking soda to the vinegar to neutralize the entire batch, I have been dropping each individual part into a soda/water solution when it's vinegar bath is complete.

Much easier and less wasteful of vinegar, plus I don't have to manage the volcano... :)

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I have used washing soda and electricity to clean off the rust, works great

 

Like all water based cleaners though, you need to get the oily stuff off first

 

I have a sand blaster and putting the parts in the bath first saves plenty of time at the blaster, but a rub with a scouring pad also works well after the bath

 

Just need a tub (I used a 50 ltr one) some leanths of rebar or any old scrap steel and a battery or a battery charger or both and some automotive wire

 

Stick the rebar in the tub (I used 4 pieces, one at each corner) and wire them together and connect to the positive (Important), then place the part in the solution and connect to negative, then leave it for a while, you know its working when you see bubble coming off the part

 

1 tip though, dont let the copper wire get into the solution, it makes a greeny black unpleasant mess :)

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I have used washing soda and electricity to clean off the rust, works great

 

Like all water based cleaners though, you need to get the oily stuff off first

 

I have a sand blaster and putting the parts in the bath first saves plenty of time at the blaster, but a rub with a scouring pad also works well after the bath

 

Just need a tub (I used a 50 ltr one) some leanths of rebar or any old scrap steel and a battery or a battery charger or both and some automotive wire

 

Stick the rebar in the tub (I used 4 pieces, one at each corner) and wire them together and connect to the positive (Important), then place the part in the solution and connect to negative, then leave it for a while, you know its working when you see bubble coming off the part

 

1 tip though, dont let the copper wire get into the solution, it makes a greeny black unpleasant mess :)

I really like the electrolytic process too!

But 2 weeks ago, I almost started the garage on fire.

The part that was suspended in the tank slipped and touched the sacrificial anode, creating a dead short.

I didn't have a fuse in the circuit.

Luckily, the copper wire melted before anything caught on fire.

 

The melted wire was so hot that it melted a slot in the side of the battery case, creating a battery acid leak.

 

If you use an electrolysis tank, please use current limiting protection (fuse).

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Yep

Being an auto electrician, I naturally assume some sort of circuit protection would be used :)

 

I was using a 10A battery charger (old cheap one) that has a built in auto reset circuit breaker, but if you use or add a battery to the mix, I would get another 15a auto reset circuit breaker to put in the supply line

 

The current draw of the de rusting does vary a bit, thats why the CB is better than a fuse as it will also (kind of) regulate the current used as well

 

This is all simple stuff though, actually similar to electroplating, but not as controlled

 

Mick

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  • 1 month later...

Pulled the Dynaflow transmission out of the parts car for rebuild.
It was well protected by years of oil leaks...
24695129676_b23bf1f08e_b.jpg

Pressure washed and ready for the attention of Jim Hughes in Perrysburg, Ohio:
24094505973_6f78517793_b.jpg

24153155454_356fec77e5_b.jpg


Jim has the cases and all parts chemically stripped before beginning the rebuild process.
24779359572_dbe4fd3c55_b.jpg

Continued working on other items; here is the assembled and painted power steering pump:
24270413123_dbdccd0cc3_b.jpg

I tried painting the backing plates to look like the original zinc plating:
24804427971_020fc0eea4_b.jpg

But I found I could get the parts plated locally so I had the backing plates, fasteners, hood hinges and hood latch components plated to match the original finishes.

24807422564_d86f546347_b.jpg

Picked up the rear axle and assembled the torque tube, brakes and brake lines.

25612821582_69e03afcdd_b.jpg

24936822694_716a6e6016_b.jpg

24936820264_b8bc4cd8d8_b.jpg

Meanwhile, the nailhead is getting assembled.
All main, thrust and rod bearing clearances checked out great.
Currently waiting for new rocker shaft assemblies.

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1643/25014556003_8f6cc9214b_b.jpg

I've also been preparing the body for media blasting. Almost ready!

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1716/25702321481_98fdba3108_b.jpg

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1606/25170784443_9cec740d9a_b.jpg

Busy times!

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Sorry about that; looks like I'm limited to 10 photos per post.

 

 

Meanwhile, the nailhead is getting assembled.
All main, thrust and rod bearing clearances checked out great.
Currently waiting for new rocker shaft assemblies.

25014556003_8f6cc9214b_b.jpg

I've also been preparing the body for media blasting. Almost ready!

25702321481_98fdba3108_b.jpg

25170784443_9cec740d9a_b.jpg

Busy times!

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LOOKING REALLY GOOD JOE!  :D

 

Funny, just this morning I was thinking, I wonder what has been happening on the Caballero?

Thanks for the update!

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  • 2 weeks later...

March 26, 2016

These inner fender covers were split and not saveable. It appears to be a grained vinyl sheet that was vacuum formed, then bonded to the inner panel. I'm not sure what I'm going to use to replicate them, but they had to come off in order to clean the inner panels.

25790883806_8001a7b51a_b.jpg


A heat gun, a small putty knife and one hour of scraping....

25516304600_e973afddfa_b.jpg


Here's the body shell at the media blast shop. They are using walnut husks to remove the coatings, then more aggressive glass media as needed for corrosion removal.

25276741413_0611efb229_b.jpg

Meanwhile, the rocker shafts arrived and the engine is almost ready for paint.
Oil pump has been run and oil flow and pressure verified.

25357529113_2555db530a_b.jpg

Back in my garage, I've been working on the front suspension. New control arm shafts, control arm seals and bushings, new upper and lower ball joints and spring isolators should make this car drive like new.

25453995273_1ae25c1655_b.jpg

26030661886_b52e7ab0d8_b.jpg

Spring installation was a challenge. I compressed the springs as far as possible, then used a 1.5T chain fall to pull the lower control arms into position.

Took me a while to get the compressor fingers out of the springs after the spindles were bolted up. I used one of those twist-in coil expanders to spread the coils far enough to sneak the compressor fingers out of the spring.

Next up: front brake assembly, then install the rear axle and torque tube assembly. Should have a rolling chassis in a few days.

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2016.04.01 update

Discovered something surprising when I began assembling the front brakes.
The adjusters for the front and rear brakes are not identical...
The front adjuster "yokes" have a wider slot to accommodate the thicker, front brake shoe plates.

Had to disassemble both rear rear brakes to get the wider adjuster components for the front drums. Minor inconvenience...and a new lesson learned.

Front spindle with brakes installed and ready for bearing & hub installation.Each fastener is marked with a paint dot after final torque check is complete.

25864793710_649b0072c2_b.jpg

 

25575336864_a337b84d8d_b.jpg

 

 

All buttoned up with bearings adjusted.

Final brake adjustment will be done after the system has been filled with brake fluid and the e-brake system is complete.
26049612982_0f2253b2bb_b.jpg

 

New upper control arm shafts were installed with the same number of shims at each position; close enough to get it to an alignment rack.

26113750141_94acd87cd8_b.jpg

 

Mounted front wheels and tires to be able to move the frame as needed. No steering linkage is installed, just a length of tubing to keep the wheels parallel to each other.

Now for some fun...sliding the rear axle & torque tube assembly into the frame.

Connected to the winch and ready to roll off the ramps:

26158623315_649a0acd9d_b.jpg


Rolled the frame into the driveway and lifted the back end of the frame to clear the rear springs.

26158949025_be00d5d860_b.jpg


Jacked up the front end and pulled the wood cart out from beneath the suspended frame:

26133049756_42e7f6e542_b.jpg

 

A few minutes later, it's back on the rack and ready for fuel and brake systems:

25577436143_6c17d0f088_b.jpg

 

Changing the subject...pics from the media blaster:

26113819521_d7a56f0937_b.jpg

 

26180341515_a69fc69824_b.jpg

There are more floor pan repairs required than I anticipated, but I think it looks great!

Edited by 95Cardinal (see edit history)
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Beautiful job.  Almost makes me want to do one of mine.  But the 70* weather yesterday calls me to drive em another year, and let the kids worry about restoration when/if they get em. :lol:

 

 

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On 4/2/2016 at 9:12 AM, JohnD1956 said:

Beautiful job.  Almost makes me want to do one of mine.  But the 70* weather yesterday calls me to drive em another year, and let the kids worry about restoration when/if they get em. :lol:

 

 

John,

Yep, I understand that completely.

I don't typically restore my vehicles to this level, either.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 4/8/2016 at 9:47 AM, truth said:

can you please help me to understand how you tested your oil pump   im trying to test mine before i put engine back together    thanks

Sorry; I missed your question.

The pump was assembled with a rebuild kit. Clearances were checked and verified to the Service Manuals specs.

Once the engine was assembled, the pump was run with a drill motor to verify oil pressure and oil distribution.

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Update April 21, 2016

The passenger side rear shock mounting brackets were badly damaged; one mounting leg was completely severed from both the inner and outer brackets. Ground the mating surfaces to a "V" and welded the torn tabs onto the bracket body. Here is one of the repaired tabs.
26524265196_e435e40c66_b.jpg

 

 

Also found the beginning of a stress crack on another shock mount bracket. Ground out the crack and reinforced the part with weld.

Here is the back side after welding.
25614420953_301d99fb5b_b.jpg

 

 

The body comes home!

My grandson, Pete, helps check it out after it has been bead blasted and epoxy primed.
26270604426_45780f0de7_b.jpg

 

 

Floor pans and spare tire well are worse than expected.

This is the left front floor pan:
26332337735_736049da4b_b.jpg

 

 

The spare tire well is solid at the bottom, but has perforations where some parts and trash were laying in the well area.
25729579193_a91b5e7c6f_b.jpg

 

 

Passenger rear floor pan needs some serious help:
26239916812_d1f166d9f8_b.jpg

 

There are several dents in the roof to be bumped out:
26306399586_7cd46a4b11_b.jpg

 

But...

Most of the body looks great!
26059489840_ba9f3e0c14_b.jpg

 

 

Found repair floor pans at Classic2Current Fabrication in Michigan. The parts are similar, but not identical to the original panels.
Rather than using the "close" parts, I chose to replace the bad areas.
Here's the portion of the driver's front floor that will be replaced:
25866390214_1473be67e3_b.jpg

 

 

Cutting and trimming the replacement piece; the small circles indicate where holes will be punched for puddle welding in the same positions as the origional spot welds:
26513736506_5fddbe1802_b.jpg

 

 

Stay tuned; more soon.

Edited by 95Cardinal
Revised spacing between photos (see edit history)
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  • 5 months later...

Update September 26, 2016
It's been a very busy summer, so not much progress to report.

I started on a couple of small, damaged areas of the floor pan. This is the rear corner of the driver's front floor pan, at the bottom of the B pillar.
26286112111_5a78fdce53_b.jpg

There were a couple of small holes; minimal rust between the pan and the underbody reinforcement.

Cut out the area and repaired/replaced all the rusty metal. It was the same under the driver's floor area; the upper pan is bad, but the cross-member is A-OK.
26405117071_8eb8c88140_b.jpg


Here's the repair patch welded into the floor at the bottom of the B pillar:
26481074686_82dfd6ca81_b.jpg

The underside of the patch was primed with weld-through primer before welding in place.

 

Jim Hughes (Perrysburg, OH) rebuilt my Dynaflow; great guy to work with.
Here is the transmission going into the chassis:
28434048983_cbf961d70d_b.jpg
And the engine being mated up to the transmission:
29040475751_e3690f3004_b.jpg

Still need to connect the cooling system, basic engine electrical and fuel system components so I can break in the cam.

I beat out the worst of the fuel tank damage and had some help welding the access panels back in place.
28559363096_3bdcbba254_b.jpg

 

Then took it to Gas Tank ReNu in Sterling Heights, Michigan for inside and outside cleaning and coating. The black coating is THICK! Looks like a nice job; I painted it to make it look more "correct".

Trans cooling lines went from this:
27660045803_f28b218364_b.jpg

To this:
28047277890_599c724c90_b.jpg

Finally got back to the floor pans; almost done with the driver's front section:
29506789110_b547063b94_b.jpg

Here's a look at the underside of the passenger, rear floor pan. Patches are about 60% welded in this image.29837138582_bd5f69102c_b.jpg

Edited by 95Cardinal
Corrected date (see edit history)
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  • 4 months later...

Update February, 2017    

I've been working on this car for about 2 years. Time flies when you're having fun...or not.


I finally got all the floor pan patches installed. Still need to fill in a few spots from beneath the car and repair the rear compartment floor and spare tire well. The rotisserie has been a great addition to my tools!
29488530954_02fdeb7554_k.jpg

30124238882_b07a4f31a5_k.jpg


Doors had to go back on before removing/replacing the rockers. The doors are banged up, but the metal is beautiful. Hem flanges, reinforcements and inners are all very solid.
31485923344_94b48ea1d4_k.jpg


Two of the hold-open springs on the front door hinges were broken. Luckily, the springs were easy to find. They are the same as the springs on first-generation Corvettes.

31951127740_56e3254b4a_k.jpg

I don't possess the tools or skills to fabricate new dogleg panels, so I decided to have a pro make the new doglegs and weld them in, along with the new rocker outers. After months of searching I found one repair panel for the passenger side, so only one side has to be fabricated.
31008677625_4a73b0c095_k.jpg

The rocker outers also need to be repaired or replaced. Another job for the pro...I expect he'll find inner rocker damage when the outers are removed.
30707088800_8444cf5d83_k.jpg

The rear crossmember needs to be replaced due to corrosion damage. Both ends look like this. The corroded areas are directly above the rubber body mount isolators. The rest of the part is like new.
31008685245_586488cdd6_k.jpg

 

Next step is to button up the engine and transmission and get ready for cam break-in.

Lots of plumbing and wiring to be done yet.

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

I have gotten major info from your notes and pictures. My 58 Estate Wagon is getting closer.   As there are several wagon-followers here I have a question.  Do you have any pictures of the front doors/exterior? I am looking to find what the original reveal trim looks like as mine was missing. And what filled in the gap between the ventilator chrome and the door itself.  I am thinking you have way better pictures than me. 

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