chistech

32' Oldsmobile Deluxe Convertible Roadster

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The reception the Olds has gotten since Hershey is still surprising to me. Today I got my notification that the Olds did win a National award and the envelope had all the information about attending the banquet and other festivities in Philadelphia in February. All I can say is thank you to everyone who supported me from those with positive comments and technical help to those who judged and voted for it. Michelle and I are on a pretty cool ride right now with “our little Oldsmobile “. We went out and had a nice celebratory dinner and drink tonight!

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Congratulations! I look forward to finally meeting you in person in Philadelphia.

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49 minutes ago, MCHinson said:

Congratulations! I look forward to finally meeting you in person in Philadelphia.

MCHinson, Ted and Michelle are great folks. Have a good time in Philadelphia. John

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congrats Ted on the win, now to see which one you get ;) 

you deserve any and all you get for all your hard work time and dedication on the Olds !!!

still would love to have you here in 2022 for our grand national hosting, car would look great with the rest of them, plus you have been here a few times picking up and dropping off a 19929 Chevrolet :) this time you could come to hang out and show off the ride. both of you !!

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I drove up to Syracuse NY this past week to pick up some 32’ Olds parts for myself and my buddy Joe. A guy in IN was parting out a 32’ 4dr and I purchased the radiator, the fuel tank, drive shaft, and some other small parts. Joe bought both axles for the brake drums basically. Because of the issues I’ve been having with my radiator and the few dents in my fuel tank (some of the points deducted at the Hershey show) I purchased both in anticipation they would solve them. Well I scoped the inside of the radiator and it looks exceptionally clean so I’ll give it a soak with the Evaporust then check it for flow. Once I do that I’ll take it to the radiator shop to be pressure tested and looked over for any issues. The fuel tank while exceptionally solid had a long crease along the entire back edge and one smaller crease on the bottom along one side. I decided to cut three side of a square on the top of the tank so I could lift up the panel enough to get inside with a hammer or dolly depending on how I might need to work it. Using a fine cutting wheel on the Drexel, I made three plunge cuts on each of the lines I needed to cut then finished them with a reciprocal hack saw. With the nice thin kerf of the hack saw blade, I should be able to tig the panel back fairly easy. At least that’s my hope. I was able to work all the creases and dented areas out fairly easily. The tank is virtually new with the inside having just a lighty dusted area of surface rust. Oh, and there was dead mouse inside! Once I tin knocked it to my satisfaction, I used both my shrinking discs to work the high spots out and I’ve got it just about done. I won’t weld up the tank until all the body work is completely done on the bottom to my satisfaction in case I need to work any part of the tank bottom from the inside. The shiny area on the tank in the second picture was all creased about 3-4” up from the center seam. You can’t even see the crease anymore. In the first picture you can see what little remains of the crease that ran along the bottom of the tank.

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I meant to say, "Nice to see you back on the Olds and posting again. John

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Drilled out the drain plug rather than risk breaking the fitting free of its solder joint in the bottom of the tank. Ran a tap through it to clean the threads. Knocked out all the rest of the bigger or deeper dents then sandblasted the bottom of the tank in my cabinet. Cleaned the inside of the tank by running a red scuff pad around then blew the tank out. Took the edges around the cut out down to bare metal to prep it for welding. Set up my tig and started to tack the panel in places. I was having lots of trouble because my helmet’s self darkening lense was not working correctly and I couldn’t see the end of the electrode or placement of my fill rod. All I could see was a big green ball as the arc was just to bright. I ended up using  my brothers helmet and a MiG welder. Welding in small 3/4” runs, i alternated areas to keep any warping to a minimum. Once all the welding was done, I ground all the welds down, screwed a air fitting into the bottom plug hole, put a spare gas cap on the filler neck, and attached the air hose regulated down to 7-8lbs. The gas cap leaked some so there was just the right amount pressure for leak testing the welds. Using a spray bottle of simple green, I sprayed all along the weld line finding about 10 tiny leaks. Some touch up welding, more grinding, more testing, some additional spot welding, and the tank was leak free. Because of the heat generated from the welding, the seam actually pulled down some which worked to my advantage. I put strips of masking tape on both sides of the welded line then applied JB weld with a body filler spreader. Once fully cured, it will get a light, fine sanding. The JB weld will help seal any leaks if there is any and the JB is resistant to gasoline so it’s a perfect material to finish off the job. I will start skimming the bottom of the tank with filler then sanding it out to get it smooth. It’s coming along. More to come.

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Done some body filler work on the tank. While it’s not my forte, I’m kind of getting it some. Hopefully the tank should look real good. Gilly is coming tomorrow to work more on it for me.

 

On another note: Joe and I are not really happy with the large hole in the rubber shifter close out we made. While it’s a copy of an original, I also got sent a photo of an original the shows remnants of a boot that most likely encased the whole shift lever base and flexed with the lever as it was moved through the gears. Because the close out is low on the floor and close to the fulcrum point of the shift lever, the boot really doesn’t need to flex all that much. Joe has already drawn up plans for making the boot that will fit inside the large hole, fit tightly around the lever, and be captured by the square base of the close out and the floor, holding the boot assembly permanently in place. So I will be machining another mold. More to come on that. I included a picture of our new close out and a picture of the other original that was sent to me. You can see a “donut “ of rubber which is the remnants of a boot that’s been tucked down in the whole.

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Almost done with the mold for the shift lever close out boot. Need to machine the square in the main mold now which will make up the base of the boot and retain it in the close out plate. I made two plugs which will yield two different side wall thicknesses. Because this is a gravity/flow/pour type mold, we are restricted on how thin of a wall we can make but having the two plugs allows us a couple options. Your can see down in the mold cavity around the stepped center plug a milled groove. This will give a nice ribbed ring around the shift lever.

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Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Finished up the mold tonight. I’m very pleased with the way it came out. The more machining I do, the better im getting. This project I did with no outside help other than joe’s drawings. The main cavity was turned on the lathe and the curved part was made by using a tool bit I ground myself. I also turned a tool bit to turn the round on the two plugs. 

     Tonight i machined the flange on the vertical mill by working from the center out. Using good old math with paper and pencil, splitting the diameter of my milling bit in half, I worked all the measurements then milled the rectangle in stages to within .005 of the needed dimensions, then I milled the full depth all the way around enlarging the rectangle to its actual full dimension. The rectangle is 2.245 x 2.375. The reason for the greater distance even though the shift lever close out is actually square is the close out bends up in the center where the floor board meets the toe board. This bend increases the front to back length slightly. Joe has ordered two different urethane compounds that are softer and will flow better than the compound we used for both the shift lever and pedal close outs. Both of those need to be stiffer and much less flexible than the boot needs to be. I am mailing the mold to joe tomorrow and he will be making up both thicknesses and both compounds so we can test and determine which works best.

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Ted, being this is a gravity flow mold, do you have to warm the aluminum mold prior to pouring the rubber in the mold to keep it flowing?

This is really nice work!

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2 hours ago, Gary W said:

Ted, being this is a gravity flow mold, do you have to warm the aluminum mold prior to pouring the rubber in the mold to keep it flowing?

This is really nice work!

I will have to ask joe Gary but I don’t believe he puts any heat to the molds. He has said the large pedal pad mold gets quite warm on its own from the chemical reaction of the two part urethane curing. There is a fair amount of mold prep with the mold release agent to get a good flow into all parts joe has said. The two compounds he ordered for the boot are softer and because of the softer texture, it will take slightly more time in the mold to fully cure. I believe it’s supposed to be a thinner mixture too which should help with getting it all down the wall area of the boot mold. He should be running tests this week end and he will be bringing some with him to the AACA meeting next week and will give me the samples to fit. 

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joe sent me a picture of him and his almost done 32’ Olds Sport Coupe. Out for its first time running and driving since about 40 years! Purrs like a kitten.

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Got these pictures from Joe today. I believe this is the last part we’ll be needing to make for our Olds. The part you see is made up using the slightly harder soft compound and the plug that yields the thicker wall. The second one Joe makes up will be with the softer soft compound and the thinner wall. This boot has really finished the look off now.

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And the boot in place (not yet screwed down). Before the boot and after the boot pictures.

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Ted, your work is really clean and well thought out. The new boot looks great. John

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Well I’m not a body man but I seem to be getting better at it. I’ve been working on my fuel tank myself and I’m pretty happy with it so far.  Sanded down the old red lead primer that was on the top of the tank, cleaned the neck down to clean bare metal, then etch primed the top of the tank. When it dried, I went all over my body work and added some dolphin glaze in any place I needed it. After another sanding, out came the spot paddy then I etch primed the bottom. I was able to see a couple little ding dents and a low spot or two so I spot puttied those areas. Just a little more touch up then I’ll spray it with a couple good coats fill primer. Then some wet sanding and then I’m going to paint it with single stage black. It will be my first start to finish paint work. I guess I’m making progress. 😆 

 

 

in the pictures it looks looks like there’s a lot of filler but it’s just a thin skim coat .

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Ted, I have just caught up with your progress on the tank and the 'rubber' gearstick moulding. I've had to spend a few days in hospital without access to the internet. Perhaps I may have to ditch my year 2000 Nokia phone that I still use and get a smart phone! You may have mentioned it before, although I could not find it, what are the products Joe uses for moulding the 'rubber'. I would be interested in 'having a go' at the process. Keep up the great posts, I look forward to, and enjoy reading and seeing every one of them. Mike

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