Gary W

1937 Buick Model 48: RESTORATION HAS BEGUN! (Photo)

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Gary,

 

You heard from my brother with his 49 Sedanette.  That car was made in Kansas City, KS at the BPO plant one month before I was born (Oct 49).  Flash forward to 2012.  I get a call from my brother, Geoff (in Defiance, Mo before he moved to Darden Prarie).  He found a 49 Buick on Hemming's  in LA.  I live in Carlsbad, CA about 85 miles south of there and agreed to drive up to see the car.  A few hours later, he made the deal.  Three years later, he called me to alert me regarding a 1936 Pontiac Master 6 Coupe that was on Ebay.  I had one in St. Louis when I lived there.  It had 11K original miles on it and was like new.  I left it with a friend while I came out to San Diego (1974) and he absconded with the car, never to be seen again.

 

This car needs complete restoration and I have started on it.  But like my brother stated, things "pop up" and it is on the back burner for now.  That is why I bought the 36 Plymouth.  It is mostly original and needed some work to make it roadworthy.  I drive this car all the time. 71K miles on the odo.  Engine has never been apart and runs like a top.  I did rewire it with a Rhode Island Wiring harness to make it safe.  And like you, I took the light switch apart, cleaned it up and re assembled it.  works like a champ. 

 

One thing about Chrysler Corp.  Their engineering was par excellence.  Like all the cars made in the 30's;  simple yet sound.  With maintenance, these cars will run forever.  No computers to crap out, and as most cars of later years, the components are "R & R".   No one fixes things any more.  Just swap em for a new component.  So sad. Most everything in my 36 Plymouth and the 36 Pontiac and your Buick are SERVICEABLE ! 

 

Gary,  Is your buffing wheel motor on a rheostat for speed control?   A decade ago, we had a large car swap meet here in San Diego and I got the 10" buffing wheels, the rouges,  (Green, white and black for all metals). but my motor is a fixed speed.  I have been buffing and polishing metal on it for some time CAREFULLY !  And when I buff, I certainly cannot wear a nice shirt and slacks as you do :-)  (I am sure that you were posing for the picture as the wheels throw a lot of compound and lint soon making what ever you are wearing very dirty).  I use an apron when I buff and I do it OUTSIDE ! !   It would be so beneficial to have a variable speed motor.  Can you share where you got your motor or rheostat switch?  What speed ranges does you motor run at?

 

Respectfully,

 

Randy

 

 

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I must stop visiting your report.  I'm mad at my wife for harping at me all of the time " Why can't you be more like Gary W?'  Now I must shed my scruffy t shirts and thread bare sweaters though you must help me with advise how to stay clean please.  First helping the kids fix their dad's Buick, then shovelling the whole driveway and piling the snow up and a lovely and quick restoration.   I'm tired.  Tongue firmly in cheek, I remain.  Gary V

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I wish you had a reality show on restoring old cars. I’d definitely tune in. It would be more interesting and educational than other car shows for sure. 

 

Thanks for the posts!

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Tuesday January 9, 2018:  Driver's Side of the Hood done!  ........ More prep work to get ready for the hood install.

 

But first....  A few  slightly "off topic" things:

 

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Mother Nature iced my car this morning!  Beautiful, isn't it?

 

 

 

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Answer to the bench motor:

My "Red Wing" brand bench motor.  I've had it since 1991 and it runs so smooth and balanced. 

  1/4 horse, 2-speeds.  1725 RPM and 3450 RPM.  I polish at the slow speed.  (No rheostat, just two speeds)

 

 

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And yes, that new wheel creates a mess, but I swear that photo was not staged.  I just stand to the side and let it belch it's mess onto the wall and floor.  

I wear a mask, gloves and safety goggles.  I usually prefer working outside, but it's just so cold out there, I moved to the basement.

 

 

 

BACK TO THE BUICK HOOD:

 

 

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This morning Bob was wet sanding the passenger's side.  1200 grit before machine compound and hand polish.

 

 

But the great news.............

 

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The Driver's side is done!  So I loaded it up into the truck, took it home....

 

 

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I set it on my "hood table".  It fit right on there nicely.  It pays to measure first.

 

 

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Here you can see the layers under the hood to protect the underside from scratches while I attach all the chrome parts to the upside.

 

 

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I think I'll get the other side tomorrow.  First thing I'll do is slide the stainless hinge down the center to lock the two halves together.

 

 

Hood Related:

 

 

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I gave the "Special" plates another go.  I first covered the words with tape.

 

 

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Then I used a sharp pencil to first make a pencil tracing, then I leaned on the point to try to "cut out" the letters with the pencil point.

I really was afraid to use an Exacto knife for fear if it slipped a little, it would permanently scratch the chrome and ruin the piece.

But, alas, even after all this, the other side that is buffed out almost smooth could not be cut smoothly, and half the letters were still unreadable.

So, I've decided to leave well enough alone, and install the plates as they are...  just chromed.  (Sorry... I tried!)

 

 

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Then I finished these four special nuts that hold the chrome slat to the underside of the hood up front over the grille.

 

 

 

Today I started making some preliminary measurements of the hood opening.  

I know I have the 1/4" gap up top, but by measuring the sides, I found the front clip needs to be "rotated" as it is more "open" on the Left side than the Right.

So, I'll loosen the large nut under the front clip down at the frame, and loosen all 10 front clip bolts that bolt the clip to the fenders.

I may even have to loosen the fender bolts if I cannot get the "rotation" I need.  

(Obviously I'm having a little anxiety over this hood thing)

 

 

I really need to take a minute to address all the complimentary posts and private messages I receive.

You guys and gals truly are exceptional and it's such an honor to have my work being followed by members with so much more experience and skill, and graciously sharing their insight.

I appreciate all the support and thank you all for following along.  

 

 

Hope you all have a great evening, and the countdown is on for the hood!

Gary

 

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2 hours ago, victorialynn2 said:

I wish you had a reality show on restoring old cars. I’d definitely tune in. It would be more interesting and educational than other car shows for sure. 

 

Thanks for the posts!

 

Once this one is done, I can't wait to see what car he restores next! 

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34 minutes ago, 27donb said:

 

Once this one is done, I can't wait to see what car he restores next! 

I wish I could afford to have him put together my dad’s 48 Jeepster! I’d love to watch it come together! 

 

Gary, if either of your sons has an interest in videos, I bet you could put together a popular blog and make $$ selling ads on it. 

 

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Edited by victorialynn2 (see edit history)
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1 hour ago, Gary W said:

Then I used a sharp pencil to first make a pencil tracing, then I leaned on the point to try to "cut out" the letters with the pencil point.

I really was afraid to use an Exacto knife for fear if it slipped a little, it would permanently scratch the chrome and ruin the piece.

But, alas, even after all this, the other side that is buffed out almost smooth could not be cut smoothly, and half the letters were still unreadable.

So, I've decided to leave well enough alone, and install the plates as they are...  just chromed.  (Sorry... I tried!)

 

Fortunately, that's something you can revisit while the parts are on the car.

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13 hours ago, PlymouthPE said:

 

If you think back to the hood removal effort when an errant scratch may not have been that significant a doubling of the effort on the install errs on the side of caution.

Rustle up as many warm bodies to steady the 4 corners and one for front center to protect the rad/grill shroud etc.

 

Gary: This man speaks the truth!!!

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Gary, a good pin striper could probably paint your "Special" freehand with out masking.. Just a thought.. Tom

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17 hours ago, victorialynn2 said:

I wish I could afford to have him put together my dad’s 48 Jeepster! I’d love to watch it come together! 

 

Gary, if either of your sons has an interest in videos, I bet you could put together a popular blog and make $$ selling ads on it. 

 

FA868544-CE71-4E0C-9987-41BCE1394679.jpeg

 

That looks to be in great shape. :)

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23 hours ago, cxgvd said:

I'm mad at my wife for harping at me all of the time " Why can't you be more like Gary W?'

Your biggest mistake was talking about the thread to your wife! :lol:

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Wednesday January 10, 2018:  Dressing up the hood for installation

 

I stopped by the shop early this morning and the passenger's side of the hood was wet sanded but not yet buffed out.  

But I had to take my son to JFK Airport at 10:30 ( If you haven't experienced the Verrazano / Belt Parkway traffic, consider yourself very lucky! ) so the hood pick up had to wait until this afternoon.

But...  at 3:00 me and my son Kyle ran down to the paint shop to get the passenger's side of the hood and bring it home:

 

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Remember yesterday when it was getting wet sanded.

 

 

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This morning the sanding was finished and the machine polishing step was about to begin.

 

 

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I first started by placing six drops of 3-in-one oil in the hinge groove.  Spaced the drops out about every three inches.

I thought it would help the hinge slide easier.

 

 

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Here the two halves are lined up and both have a few drops of oil in the groove.

 

 

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I installed the rear hold-down into the stainless hinge

 

 

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Then began sliding the hinge from the rear to the front.  I got half way and it was just impossible to move.  

So I withdrew it and used a touch more oil on the hinge, and it started going.

Finally it seated flush with the front and that was done.

 

 

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Next I installed the chrome trim piece that fits under the forward lip of the hood and finishes the upper grille.

I had the screws chromed along with the trim piece.

 

 

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Pretty easy installation.

 

 

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View from the top with those special nuts in position.

 

 

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Next the hood handles.  Just line them up and tighten the handles down.

 

 

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My question was whether a grommet of some kind fits in that recess between the handle and the hood?

 

 

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Then the hood vents.  These require a little finesse to get them in without scratching the paint anywhere.

 

 

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A little squeeze here and a slight bend there and boom.... it drops in place.

 

 

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I installed it using eight,  #6-32 X 5/8"  machine screws.  (It had rivets originally)

 

 

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Next, the trim molding that I polished up last night.  Slowly get all those clips lined up, again, so careful around the new paint!

 

 

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Bring it close, move the clips a little, pull it back, check again and again.

 

 

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When all the clips and screws are aligned, snap it in and tighten the nuts and it's on!

 

 

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So, the hood is ready for installation!

 

 

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I loosened the large nut under the front clip.

Then, I loosened all 10 bolts that hold the front clip to the fenders.

I think  (hope) that will give me enough wiggle room to get the hood properly aligned.

 

 

Have a great night!

Gary

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gary:

 Looking great! I used some "Door Ease" wax stick to slide the center stainless on my car. An old 1930s-40s tube of it was in the glove box of my 37.

Now the fun begins.

Edited by dibarlaw (see edit history)
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Thursday January 11, 2018:  One Year Ago TODAY this Restoration Began!

 

Today marks the one year anniversary of my restoration.  I really thought I would be done by today, but I think I need another six weeks for the remaining parts to come back.

All in all, it's been a wonderful learning experience!  

 

So, on this day, and as I get ready to install the hood, I took a few minutes to go over my hood related photos from last January 11.  It really is an amazing transformation!

And, it's incredible what you see in photos a year later.  I'm now looking at them with totally different eyes and noticing things I've never noticed before the build.

 

 

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The first thing I noticed here was the gap at the rear of the hood.  I thought the hood fit perfect!  I hope I can eliminate the large gap and keep them all around 1/8".

But this photo demonstrates exactly how I have to "rotate" the front clip a little to close that gap.  It is about 1/4 inch off from one side to the other.

 

 

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The hood is resting on the hood prop, but is also riding on the cowl lacing at the rear.  

Now I see what Matt Mc Hinson was explaining to me.  I never noticed it before.

It had no rear rubber bumpers.

 

 

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My front hood attachment had four flat washers under it to align the center stainless hinge to the clip center trim.

When I test fit the center hinge, it still needs those washers to raise the hood hinge to the correct level.

 

 

 

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The shroud rod was leaning to the back.  

 

 

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Now it stands up straight.  Maybe the new body mounts have caused the rods to sit a little higher?

 

 

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Driver's side radiator brace rod.  You can see it was cranked down quite a bit.

The manual states not to stress these too much so the radiator is not ruined.

 

 

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Passenger's side brace rod.  Not nearly adjusted down as much as the other side.

 

 

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The front nose connections BEFORE

 

 

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Here we are today.  You can see the rods were not painted over the original threads.  I didn't want to lose the original mounting spots, but I have a feeling it's all going to change anyway.

 

 

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Look at the condition of the paint!

 

 

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And today.   

 

 

I want to express my sincerest gratitude to all of you following along throughout the year!

The support I've received from this forum is just overwhelming.

In a year, I've gone from "newbie" to where I am today.  (Whatever that is!!)

 

Thank you!

Gary

 

 

See you Saturday!  (10:00 am sharp!)

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The 1930 Dodge 8 has a wee plate under the hood hinge rod mounting so it doesn't sit on the cowl. Maybe the Buick should too? The system is different, but maybe the idea is basically the same. I would think something similar in shape and perhaps slightly longer than what is on the bolt inside the stainless at that point.

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Gary,

 

 A few posts back, you were stating that you were humbled by many other members who have more "experience and skill"  or to quote you;     "an honor to have my work being followed by members with so much more experience and skill".  Gary,  quite honestly, I have seen many restoration shops here in Southern California.  Only a few could come close to the exacting detail and efficiency that you are showing us followers of your thread. 

 

You dive right in and do not seem daunted by any of the tasks at hand.  When this Buick gets finished, it will be a 99 or 100 point car.  Not many can attain that level of perfection.  And the  fact that you are doing  this in your garage and not a dedicated shop where there is more room to work and move about says volumes of your abilities.    Quite frankly, that takes a keen mind for detail along with skill and organization to achieve what you have done here.  I don't know what kind of business you have but I bet you run it like you have demonstrated to us here at this thread.  Successful and high quality all the way.  

 

A day doesn't go by when I drop in to see what you have accomplished next.  It will be sad (for us) when you are done with the Buick.  No more news of your next accomplishment.  Guess you will have to get another car project.   :-)   

 

The fun of our hobby  (to me anyway) is  bringing back to life an old  relic that has been languishing in some old barn or garage  somewhere  and breathing new life into the vehicle.  It is like opening a book  to the early days of automotive engineering.  Disassembling a car gives me a great learning experience about how they designed and built the cars of yesteryear.  In many ways, they were so much better due to materials and workmanship.  Remember, this was before "Planned Obsolescence"  took a hold of Detroit.  

 

We all marvel at your skill and perseverance.  ONE YEAR later and the car is about 90 or 95% finished.  That sure humbles me and gives me a goal to aim for; Organization and be as neater as I work on my projects.  At the very least, I WILL CLEAN UP MY SHOP ! ! ! !    

Great job you are doing here.    

 

Randy                                                                                              

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Gary your car is looking really great. It's great to see the work of another member of the "crazy anal restorer" club! I am jealous of the company you've had while restoring your car. My son is 27, loves this stuff and would help me, but lives 1,200 miles away in central FL. I haven't yet had an old timer that's local stop in and want to come help and the only other guy I know who does the same thing as me is 94 yrs old and has his own helpers. He's got half a dozen cars of his own he's working on and has no time to come by my place. There hasn't been one young kid interested yet. Possibly there's still hope in the world but there's just not enough buttons and touch screens in these old cars to keep the kids wanting to "play" with them. So, other than my brother coming by and helping with a second set of hands when I ask for them, I work alone. I've even offered to put in a rug, AC, a recliner, and a TV in an office in the corner of my garage so my wife would at least sit out there with me to offer some conversation when I step back to take a break from it. The Wi-Fi from the house doesn't quite get out there and she can't get her books that she likes to read to easily so she's not keen on being out there with me. Perhaps I'll get the Wi-Fi working better this summer!

Edited by chistech (see edit history)
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Fortunately I have a great helper, Ben. He started with me when he was 10 and is now almost 13. He loves working on old cars and will definitely be getting one when he gets older - maybe mine! Here he is taking the head stud nuts off the '57 TR3 last summer.

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54 minutes ago, Daves1940Buick56S said:

Fortunately I have a great helper, Ben. He started with me when he was 10 and is now almost 13. He loves working on old cars and will definitely be getting one when he gets older - maybe mine! Here he is taking the head stud nuts off the '57 TR3 last summer.

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Alright!!  Early shade-tree, with an end wrench and cheater bar..

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Yep! I have taught him to use all manner of tools in all situations. Like this one, which was what do you do if you don't have a breaker bar and socket? Our forebears did a lot with just open end wrenches.

 

Cheers, Dave

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Saturday January 13, 2018:  Installation of the Hood

 

 

This morning Bob came over with his son and a couple friends and the five of us lifted the hood into position.  Once the "muscle" was done, Bob stayed for another hour with me to start making the adjustments.

I think we have it about 90%, but it still needs some fine tuning. 

 

 

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I was getting set up, covering the fenders and making some preliminary measurements.

 

 

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I placed towels over the front and cowl just in case it slipped.

 

 

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We actually had five guys here.  One on each corner and Bob at the front.  Here we are with the first lift getting the hood up and over the front clip.

 

 

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With five guys, it was much easier getting it lined up before dropping the bolts into the holes.

 

 

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Everyone was watching their corner as we slowly dropped it down.

 

 

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Here I was setting the rear hold-down bolt down into the cowl mounting hole.  I used one flat washer here so the sheet metal was at the same level as the cowl.

 

 

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And slowing closing the sides down.  

 

 

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Once that part was done, the gang left and Bob and I started making some adjustments.

First thing was to tighten down the forward and rear hold down nuts.

 

 

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The hood prop will hold both sides of the hood up so we can tighten up the rods.

 

 

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Bob stayed an extra hour with me, and we got it really close, but it still needs some finessing.

 

 

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I would like to close the rear gap a little. 

 

 

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Here's a side view.  It looks pretty good so far.  Like always, I set in place, made a few minor adjustments and will get to it tomorrow with fresh eyes.

 

 

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The biggest problem is the very front.  From this angle it looks OK.  But....

 

 

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You can see up front, there is a 1/16" - 1/8" gap on the passenger's side, and 1/4" on the driver's side.

 

 

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I have all the clip bolts loose, the large nut at the bottom is almost out and the outer fender bolts are loose.

I wish there was some way to just shove that clip over 1/8", but I don't know how.

Also, the lower bolt is supposed to slide "fore and aft" but how, exactly does one accomplish that?  It's buried up inside the front crossmember.

Do you think this discrepancy can be remedied by adjusting the rods under the hood?

 

 

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So anyway, here it is all buttoned up.  Looks sharp!

 

 

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A better angle of the hood in position.

 

 

 

 

Have a great night!

Gary

 

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Gary:

 I know on my car the horizontal gap between the chrome molding under the leading edge of the hood and the grille should be the same as the grill bar spacing. That will also close the horizontal gap above the headlight bucket. The grill to hood locator pin is meant to determine side to side hood placement at the nose. These are a "BEAR" to get adjusted.

My nose was hit at one time square at the emblem. The dent under the nose stainless was just filled in. I have since replaced the stainless with a straighter one and have a much nicer emblem and hood ornament. DSCF1789.thumb.JPG.1c39d5656ee61a2408918628c21fe3c4.JPG

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 I straightened out the bashed in bottom of the nose when I replaced the stainless. That is what the bottom molding looked like.

                                                                                                                       

 

Edited by dibarlaw
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Gary,

I have no personal experience with this subject (yet). Surprisingly, it is not in the Fisher body manual. It is however explained on page 11-2 of the 1937 Shop Manual.

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Wednesday January 17 2017:  Progress on the Trunk Lid and other stuff:

 

This week Bob has been working on the trunk lid.  Amazing transformation over the past five days.  

He stopped by Wednesday afternoon to make a few small adjustments on the hood.  It is sitting much better now, but still not 100%

I'll get on it little by little.

In the meantime, I've been finalizing the wiring under the dash and organizing the trunk parts for the install.

 

 

TRUNK LID::

 

1. Underside

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The  underside of the trunk lid was sanded down to bare metal.

 

 

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Once all the paint was off, any loose edges of the insulation material were tacked down with adhesive.

Any rust remaining was removed with a wire wheel on an air driven motor.

 

 

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Self-etching prime first, then two coats of grey build up prime.  

Bob then masked off one of the openings to show me how the insulation will look once its painted "trim black"

All the insulation within the holes will be painted trim black, then covered for the base / clear paint.  The contrast will look nice.

 

 

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With the tape removed, it'll look very nice.

 

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Underside ready for paint.

 

 

Upside:

 

 

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After sandblasting.  The trunk lid was completely covered by this bonding material.  It is completely cracked and alligatored.

 

 

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Using a 24 grit disc on the wheel, Bob starts removing all the plastic.

 

 

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It comes off pretty fast, and it is a dusty mess.  He is very careful around the edges and is constantly changing the angle of the wheel to the contour of the lid.

 

 

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Again, like we've found throughout the build, the metal underneath is beautiful.  You can see there is some rust under the plastic which is why he is so fussy about getting all the plastic out.

 

 

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I had one dent just to the right of the handle.  I missed the tutorial how he pulled the dent out, but here is the tool he used to basically pry the metal back into shape.

 

 

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All the surface rust has been sanded out.  Notice how little body plastic is actually being used!  The original metal is really in great shape.

Those spots you see filled in is where he feels low spots with his hand.

 

 

 

 

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The trunk lid gets another sanding, smoothing out the filler before the primer is applied.

It got yellow self-etching prime, then two coats of the grey prime.

 

 

 

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Then the "guide coat" is sprayed in preparation for the final sand.

 

 

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So, it will get sanded out today, and I guess painted, allowed to cure over the weekend and wet sanded and buffed out Monday..

 

 

 

Back at the Ranch........

 

I've been finishing up some odds and ends

 

 

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I'm using a self-adhesive 1/2" thick "Dyna Liner"  under my rear carpet.  This will stick directly onto the Dyna Mat i put down first.

I used the rear carpet as the template, traced it out.

 

 

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Cut the outline

 

 

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Fit it into the car, making any fine cuts around the seat mechanism, battery box and making releasing cuts so it lays nice over the tunnel and the floor contours.

Then, starting at one side, pull the backing off while rolling the liner into the floor contours.

 

 

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It all lays down nicely and fits just inside the door sills.

 

 

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I worked this week finalizing the under dash wiring while the radio was out.  I soldered an eye to every end, then covered with shrink wrap.

There were a total of six wires that I had to solder the eye to.

 

 

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So, while the radio was out, and I had the extra room under there, I:

1. Finished the vacuum line to the wiper motor and tested them for proper operation.  

2. Ran the defroster tubes from the defroster motor and temporarily taped them to the underside of the dash.  I can't install the deflectors until the windshield garnish molding is installed.

3.  Wired the Trippe Lamps to the switch marked LITE.  I took the feed from the unused terminal at the top of the lighting switch.  Tested the lamps, all OK.

4.  Wired the Heater / Defroster.  I think I'm going to wire in a SPDT toggle under the dash so I can have either the heater motor OR the defroster motor running.  I fed this from the charge indicator behind the dash.

I'll still leave the switch marked HEAT, because it lights up and looks cool, but I'll use it to simply feed the SPDT,  where I can direct the current accordingly.

When I tested the heater, there were a few blades scraping against the housing somehow.  Another half hour of yoga under there and I got them all free and rotating quietly.

5.  And finally.... Installed the radio.  I fed the radio also from the charge indicator.  I had this radio completely restored using all modern guts and bluetooth technology.

I don't think it draws nearly the current the old tubes did.  The charge indicator deflects, but not much at all.  Not like the heater motor or headlamps.

 

 

I have all the trunk goodies restored and ready, so as soon as the trunk lid comes back from paint, it shouldn't be long until it's installed.

 

Have a great day out there!

 

Gary

 

 

 

 


 

Edited by Gary W (see edit history)
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