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32' Oldsmobile Deluxe Convertible Roadster


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Got a call today from the plater with my dash panel. It’s all done and shipping out Monday. He told me the tape I recommended worked perfectly. Big difference now. First two pictures were the platers original attempt to have me accept it. The second two are his work now which is correct. 

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Don’t kill the messenger, but some of those lines look a bit wavy and not evenly spaced.  I know photographs tend to exaggerate certain features, and perhaps the factory jobs suffered from similar applications, but something doesn’t look right.  Feel free to stone me if you don’t agree.  Not trying to be overly critical, here, but this restoration is as close to perfect as any I have seen.

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At the level you have taken this car to,  I think I would think pretty hard about accepting this dash.  Look over the top of the large (speedometer?) hole and on the upper right corner.

I think the car deserves to be as close to flawless as possible, and this dash isn't.  You will be looking at those wavy lines every time you drive the car.

Just a beautiful, beautiful job on this car.

 

 

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11 hours ago, Taylormade said:

Don’t kill the messenger, but some of those lines look a bit wavy and not evenly spaced.  I know photographs tend to exaggerate certain features, and perhaps the factory jobs suffered from similar applications, but something doesn’t look right.  Feel free to stone me if you don’t agree.  Not trying to be overly critical, here, but this restoration is as close to perfect as any I have seen.

Nope, no stones. You are both correct. It is not as good as it could be but in all honesty, most will never see it as close up as we can in these pictures, not that it excuses inferior work. My dilemma is my time frame right now. I have two more dashes with this one being my best and the next best has a tiny dent in the bottom rounded edge that I believe we can work out. I am having that chromed and will attempt painting it with my RC plane buddy whom I’ve already talked to about it. He felt we should be able to accomplish the job. He already has 1/64” tape plus the larger tapes needed. He also felt we could use some of the blue Oracal stencil film I used to paint the sprocket patterns on the wheels. I gave him some of that film and he’s used it on model stencils with perfect results including the Dauntless that I posted pictures of here earlier and the pictures show he’s a master of the airbrush. It still comes down to the old saying, “If you want something done right, do it yourself!”

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Not to be overly critical, but there are 100 point cars and there are over the top 100 point cars (and both are great), but a long time ago someone said if not doing an over the top 100 point car that no one will notice tiny imperfections when the car is fully finished - and turns out they actually were correct (especially given my standards are generally higher than most peoples to begin with) - my point is perhaps just be happy with the dash and car is still very capable of winning every award on the globe with the dash  still being more nice than 99.99% of everyone else's.  

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I don’t disagree, but I think the issue is this dash was done by a purportedly top plater.  It’s not top notch work, and Chris tech says they charged top dollar.  Makes me wonder how they did it at the factory.

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On 7/16/2019 at 8:10 AM, chistech said:

Problem is, I don’t think the site will support a video. Another problem is I don’t even know how to put one on YouTube!

 

lol  took me a while to learn how to post on youtube, then link here :)

 

then the google take over, and had to learn it all over again. and if you embed it here, then the lil video window show, and people can click on it to watch.

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My self adhesive bowdrill cloth from Steele Rubber Products came in today. Tonight I put it on the four new T rubbers to what my research on my originals indicated. I used my tablesaw to cut the angles on the ends and the 80T carbide blade did an amazing job giving a perfect cut and not leaving any kerf marks in the rubber. I tried the table saw for the heck of it and it turned out working perfectly. 

     After I cleaned each T extrusion thoroughly with prepsol to remove any dirt or release agents, I let them dry. Once dry, I cut the BD cloth to an inch over length on each end and then peeled back about a 1/2” of paper backing down the whole length. I stuck the BD edge to the molded inletted line on the inside edge of the T rubber and made sure the BD was straight. I then pulled the BD over the tip of the T and started to work the BD down the outside face of the T rubber. I used a plastic window stick used to work glass into rubber to smooth the BD on the rubber as I worked it down to the bottom curve of the outside lower flange. Once this was done, I worked the BD around the bottom outside edge onto the back and the sheet metal strip that’s glued to the back. With a razor the ends were cut and the corners of the BD 45d cut as the originals were. Overall, happy with the results. Need to get a couple of 22ga strips made up for the upper window frames so I can glue on the rubber and finish the job.

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Sent an email to a friend who works at a local sheet metal shop and asked him if I could get a couple .80 x 25” strips made up. He replied yes and I picked them up late yesterday. I measured out the screw spacing and machined elongated holes like the originals had on my vertical Miller. I cut some T rubber just over length and clamped it between two boards. This keeps the rubber perfectly straight when contact cementing the metal on. Used a couple of car batteries as weight to keep it all under compression until it set. Die cut the holes in the rubber with my brass tubing in a drill, then covered them with the BD cloth. Put the drivers side in place so far and I’m very happy with the fitment.

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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15 minutes ago, weathered1 said:

Ted, that looks great. Does that material you covered with come in other colors?

Yes, but only Black and Tan, the two most common convertible roof colors. Steele Rubber sells the black in 2.5” and 5” widths. The tan only in 2.5”. I originally thought it would be somewhat difficult to apply the cloth but was pleasantly surprised how easy it went on. It is expensive but because I didn’t need that much, I opted not to go the bare cloth, spray on adhesive route. Very glad I bought the self adhesive cloth.

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Thought I’d mention a little trick I use to make the holes in the rubber for the screws. With the screw heads being much bigger than the milled slots, it’s normally hard to make the holes centered and good looking. The technique I used is to puncture the rubber through from the bottom with my small ice pick tool. I then use one inch lengths of different sized tubing, increasing size until I get to the size of the screw head. I then use the next size up, but a long piece in my drill. I sharpen the tubing and using the small pieces over the ice pick as a guide, I cut the hole down to the metal strip below. This trick works pretty slick and makes neat holes in the rubber.

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Ted

The quality of your work and attention to detail is so over-the-top impressive.  I love following your progress here.  Thanks for all your meticulous work and for posting your techniques.  

This will be one stunning automobile....  and knowing every single part is restored to such a high degree will bring you years and years of happy motoring.  

Gary

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9 hours ago, chistech said:

Thought I’d mention a little trick I use to make the holes in the rubber for the screws. With the screw heads being much bigger than the milled slots, it’s normally hard to make the holes centered and good looking. The technique I used is to puncture the rubber through from the bottom with my small ice pick tool. I then use one inch lengths of different sized tubing, increasing size until I get to the size of the screw head. I then use the next size up, but a long piece in my drill. I sharpen the tubing and using the small pieces over the ice pick as a guide, I cut the hole down to the metal strip below. This trick works pretty slick and makes neat holes in the rubber.

love it Ted, Ingenuity is what one must have in order to work on any older car. have to see a problem and figure out a way to solve it. 

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I've wondered just how the door window treatment was handled.

 

Dad restored his 1928 Whippet Cabriolet many years ago and since it was pretty rough when he got it he never really knew what to do for the windows. His amateur restoration answer was to contact cement a rubber section onto the top wood bow and the frame/door post.

I haven't moved the car since his passing and when I opened the door today found the glue has let go and the rubber was laying on the seat and floor.

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I would suspect these model cars would use what you have done wouldn't you?

Dad wasn't going for an award winning restoration but I would like to do something to at least keep the windows from rattling while going down the road (someday...)

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Any chance I could hire you to make up a set given some measurements???

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I can gladly help you out. Looking at your pictures it looks like you only need the top and rear edges. Looks like you also have wood you could screw into. The biggest thing is the dimension of the clearance of the window frame to the opening. Need to have at least 3/8” to clear the T rubber. Would definitely need to see some close up pictures of thewindow up and the rear/ top clearance to know. Could probably cut the T into an L shape also if we need to go that way. 

 

Nice car by by the Way!

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Thanks Ted.

 

Appreciate your willingness to help knowing your are full steam with your Olds which will be an award winner when it is completed!

 

My Whippet will show well once cleaned up but needs carburetor attention (and a new battery now...) to be on the road again. 

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Not to high jack your thread will send you a PM.

Doug

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Doug, don’t ever worry about hi jacking any thread of mine. I always enjoy seeing other old cars and other projects people are working on. We all learn by others and we learn something new every day. That’s why I enjoy this particular forum so much. Guys like JP and MM keep my technical juices flowing and guys like LC, G, and others keeps the creativity and quality juices satisfied. I spot something in each post I click on that I put in the back of my head knowing I’ll end up referencing it someday when it’s needed. 

    Don’t worry about how involved I am with the Olds. I currently have a 34’ Chevy pickup I’m working on for a customer, a 30’ Chevy coming in for another customer, and I restore things like heaters for people in between all the other stuff. I like helping others when I can and enjoy seeing any old car back on the road. 

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1 hour ago, chistech said:

I always enjoy seeing other old cars and other projects people are working on. We all learn by others and we learn something new every day. That’s why I enjoy this particular forum so much.

 

I agree. It seems a shame that there are not more members of the forum willing to share their old car work and experiences, good and bad. On the other hand; maybe, I would then spend too much time reading the posts and not get any work done on my own restoration! I have only been a member for about a year and have learnt so much from a very friendly and helpful bunch of guys.

 

Writing the posts and taking the photos also helps me. When I choose the photos and write the 'blurb', you tend to notice different things and sometimes it makes you think of better ways to doing the job.

 

Keep up the excellent work you are doing.

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Everyone who post their restorations on this forum is helping so many of us with our projects. The education that you provide for all of us is beyond words. I have been working on cars my whole adult life, and I'm always  picking up tips and ideas that make my work so much easier. Ted, the work on you Oldsmobile always goes to the next level. Thanks. John

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Well I finally received my dash panel today. They ended up keeping it longer and I believe they fixed a couple areas that even they must have not liked. It is very nice and one would have to concentrate to find the not so perfect areas so for now it’s good. I know it will pass any judged show without issue. Installed all my restored gauges and installed the assembly in the car. Put in my restored coil that has the key that matches my door locks. With everything all wired in, I put in the shutter cable, the free wheeling cable, and the speedometer cable. I ended up removing the seat bottom, padding the frame with moving blankets, taking off my shoes, and layer on my back up under the dash with my bare feet up by the rear window. Think I have some toe smudges on the glass now! This is now like the third time I’ve contorted my body like this to get under the dash. I wired up a 6volt, 10 amp relay for my heater so I could use my key switch to kill power to it if I forgot to shut it off. The Olds ignition is in the coil itself and I didn’t want to risk too many amps through the contacts. So now, with the key on, the relay pulls in to close and supply power direct from the battery feed. I put a OEM style metal bayonet fuse holder in the power feed line to the relay so if I put anything else in ( like my Olds radio) I’ll just add it to the relay load side and it too will be fused.

      I’ve had a real aggravated pain in my left side for about a week that almost seems to be bothering my gut. Thought maybe I’d gotten a summer stomach cold but tonight when I went through my under dash gymnastics I realized I think I know what the pains are from. I’m getting too old and too out of shape to twist my body up like Gumby! Now my right side is hurting just like the left. Damn!

 

just thought I’d add: when I sent my gauges out for restoration I opted for the clock to changed to a modern movement. Glad I did as it’s working great and instead of having to turn the knob while reaching way up underneath the crowded dash to set the time, I simply push the same knob in and the arms move quickly to whatever time you need. Just take your finger off the knob and the time is set. Pretty slick.

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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lol, know what you mean by feet in the back window... how i did all my wiring and wiper routing under my dash. threw a towel on the seat, and sat in the seat upside down. head on toe board, shoulders on floor, but in seat, legs up and over. 

 

yeah its hard to get in that position and just as hard to get out of it. then your body reminds you  'hey i can NOT do that'

 

but hey, the things we do to get our cars done, and done right :)

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Funny you mention the getting out of the position. Twice last night I shimmied closer to the back of the firewall so I could see the back of the dash better. Ended up getting my shoulders stuck between the emergency brake handle and the passenger hinge pillar. I reached up and all I could feel was the flat windshield. Then I reached outside the car and grabbed the windshield post hinge knob. I was able to pull my self up enough to get my shoulders off the floor and with my stomach muscles, pulled my body back out from underneath the dash. My wife says as I get older I need to concentrate on strengthening my core. Looks like I don’t need any gym time, just more garage time!

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One of the advantages of working on brass cars is that you practically never have to bend yourself into impossible places. The ground clearance is so high you often don't even need jacks. I'm afraid I'm getting old for imitating Gumby...I can get in but then I may not be able to get out.

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Gilly and his brother bob came this morning and really got into sanding and buffing parts. Did both doors and for some reason one door has some crazing or spider webbing look to the paint. Looks like the door will need a repaint of black and clear because additional sanding and buffing did not remove it. The got most the hood panels sanded down and bob started to buff one but he lost a fair amount on time working on that door. At least with the passenger door done, i was able to install all the edge windlace and the door panel. Installed both the window crank and door handle with escutcheons. The ashtray cutout in the interior cardboard of the door panel was off slightly to the cutout in the wood regulator board (which is an exact copy of my originally) so I needed to trim the panel accordingly. I installed the very rare 3 acorn Oldsmobile ashtray and screwed in the outer frame. I have pulled it out and will have my neighbor polish it up for me. What’s really crazy is the etched pattern on the ashtray matches the etched pattern of my reproduction door sills. It’s little things like these we don’t seem to notice much but when we do, we have one of those “Ah Ha” moments. I can’t install the door yet because we are touching up the paint on the passenger side hinge pillar. 

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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The other night while playing Gumby and installing my dash board, I couldn’t find a good way of tightening up the 7/8” nut on the back of the free wheeling ferrule. I didn’t like the fact that it would move some while trying to operate the cable even though I won’t ever be using the option. I had no room to operate a full size open end wrench and didn’t have a stubby one to try. Even with a short wrench, with the light switch in the area, it was going to be real hard if not impossible to move a standard type wrench. I took and old flat metal wrench for some old air tool I no longer have and ground the opening up to 7/8”. I then bent the shank at 90d and while it’s not the easiest to use, I was able to tighten the ferrule nut and now the assembly is solid like it should be. As Clint Eastwood says in Heart Break Ridge, “adapt and overcome!😂

 

The free wheeling cable pull is all the way to the left and sits in the bottom recessed edge of the dash under the instrument panel. A PITA to get at!

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3 hours ago, John S. said:

Ted, I don't know if you had mentioned this before, what are the production numbers on the Deluxe Convertible Roadster? Thanks, John

Hi John,

total production of F32 (6cyl) convertible roadsters was 723. 333 were deluxe wire wheeled versions. 249 were deluxe wood wheeled (my car). The remaining 141 roadsters were single spare (rear mounted) standard models. Those were also wire and wood wheeled with more wire wheeled produced than wood. No standard roadsters are currently known to have survived.

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I just checked in on your progress after not looking at this thread for a while.  WOW is all I can say!  What a fantastic job you are doing, and this thread contains a wealth of information for all of us about tricky and innovative techniques.  The dash and instruments look fabulous!  (Also, I'm getting ready to put in a new front wiring harness on my Buick, so I can really relate to your comments about the bodily contortions required for working under the dash!)

 

Neil

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I tacked the hinge pillar coping in place on the edge of the pillar. This coping gets tucked under the edge of the dash at the top and runs along the pillars edge to the floor. I installed the passenger door and tightened all the mounting hardware up good and tight. I noticed with all screws socked up tight, the door was slightly high at the dovetail so I pulled one piece of lead flashing that I was using as a shim, from the bottom hinge. Tightened everything again and the door was perfect so I adjusted the door check the started to install the passenger side front kick panel. This panel has a whole in it so small thin items can be stored in the space between the panel and the metal cowl side. The problem with this is at the bottom, there is a space between the metal and the main sill edge. It’s easy for smaller item to fall down in this area. I actually found a .32 caliber Iver Johnson revolver in another car in this very same gap. 

   The other problem is through the cutout in the panel, you see the bare metal of the cowl inside. I had gotten a couple spare yards of the same vinyl the interior panels are covered in so I cut a piece and contact cemented the top of it to the inside of the cowl. The bottom got tacked in two places to the main sill, the rear corner glued to the metal pillar to sill brace, and the lower front edge was glued and tucked into the channel that the bottom of the panel board goes into. This should prevent anything that gets put into the cubby hole from sliding down into a never to be found again spot. 

     With the vinyl piece all installed, the kick panel got put in position and tacked along the inside edge of the coping on the hinge pillar about every 2 3/4”. Because the cowl insulation pad fits so snug to the cowl sides, I used a piece of thin plastic cutting board material to help the panel slip in behind the pad edge. The plastic cutting board is the light greenish plastic sheet that can be seen in the picture. I then fit the really nice repopped door sill and screwed it down. I also installed my new sill data plate. I’ll end up taping off the data plate and removing the door sill to protect them until the car is finally done. I’ll be making up a nice paper pattern so I can cut my front floor mat soon. The interior is getting close to finished. The door fits really well sealing good around all edges and along the upper bowdrill covered T rubber.

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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