lancemb

My 1957 75R - Big Gray

Recommended Posts

2 hours ago, JohnD1956 said:

Something old, and something new!  Nice mix Lance!

Thanks!  These shiny bits keep me motivated to keep moving forward with the rest of it!  Plus, these small tasks are something I can do when I only have an hour or two.  If I don't have at least a half day to work in the garage, it's not really worth the time consumed getting dirty and taking the extra shower, getting out and putting tools away, and sweeping up.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Man, some of these front end pieces were the hardest bolts yet to get out!  

I don't know how I'll get the new spring in.  The fork from the spring compressor wouldn't even fit between the coils on the old one, so I had a heck of a time getting it out.  

Neat to see the big area of nice original paint color!20171105_214216.thumb.jpg.8721b3f058b0b3848e36b694a54bdbd9.jpg

 

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, lancemb said:

Neat to see the big area of nice original paint color!20171105_214216.thumb.jpg.8721b3f058b0b3848e36b694a54bdbd9.jpg

 

And as I noted on my all too short a visit, the car is really solid given it's 66,000 miles and will be beautiful when she is done! B)

 

Sadly for me, I think you will have yours done the way you are going before I get my Limited done...  

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, lancemb said:

I don't know how I'll get the new spring in.

Threaded rod in the shock location?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I did the springs on the limited with no front end weight, I made a spring compressor and used a combo of that and some orange ratchet straps from home depot.  It was scary.  I hate front springs 

Edited by Smartin (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, old-tank said:

Threaded rod in the shock location?

Well that's basically how the spring compressor works.  The issue is, unless the new coils have fewer twists than the original, the fork at the bottom, which has ridges to keep itself in place, will be too thick to remove from the spring once the spring is in place.  If I can find one that's lower profile it would work fine.  Wish I still had the ones from my dad's shop but I can't find any like them anymore!

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Smartin said:

When I did the springs on the limited with no front end weight, I made a spring compressor and used a combo of that and some orange ratchet straps from home depot.  It was scary.  I hate front springs 

Scary indeed...I nearly left the old ones since they weren't broken and am now regretting I didn't, but I'm past the point of no return!  I used ratchet straps to keep it from flinging apart when I disassembled it but have no desire to attempt the reverse.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, it's been awhile.  Between family time and minor house projects managed to make some progress.

 

Since last posting, I acquired a 2dr sed Special parts car and cut out some sheet metal, and resold it.  The main things I needed were the floor braces in front where it meets the inner rockers, and trunk pan.  This was a setback in time, but it was necessary for the sake of this car.  I also got the last of the major parts I needed (not from parts car) - a perfect gas tank and correct wheels!

 

My trunk pan wasn't beyond hope but the soft places were in highly contoured areas.  After a little measuring, I confirmed that although nearly no sheetmetal is shared between the cars, the trunk pans are the same.  The areas around the trunk and rear wheel wells are totally different though.

 

I have managed to complete the rebuild of the front suspension.  Next, front brakes will go back together and some wheels back on.  Then, it's on to the firewall and some further details on front chassis.  Gotta say, it's great to put a few new parts on finally!

20180414_174555.thumb.jpg.01ff1d89e15bb3c067bf3af98727a651.jpg

 

Also, got the trunk pan pretty much fitted in.  It's not welded yet, but from a few feet away it's hard to tell it's not original to the car!  I cut the whole rock-solid pan out of the parts car includimg the spare tire well.  The original perimeter where the old pan used to be has been flanged a bit where the replacement drops in; this will ensure strength and take stress off the weld.

20180414_175558.thumb.jpg.ba8289e1b039d241a18d209222bec2c8.jpg

 

The patching in the floors is complete too, but I didn't have time to clear the debris for a good picture before drop-dead quitting (dinner) time came!

 

More to come...slowly getting there!

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Was the tire well part of the replacement bed Lance?

If so, what have you done with the original?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a torturous route for that front passengers side brake line!  Looks impossible to install once an engine is in there. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, dei said:

Was the tire well part of the replacement bed Lance?

If so, what have you done with the original?

Yes, trunk pan and spare well were removed in one piece.  I had grafted a new lower section into the old well and itcame out pretty nice, but I didn't need it any longer so I sold it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
30 minutes ago, JohnD1956 said:

What a torturous route for that front passengers side brake line!  Looks impossible to install once an engine is in there. 

I have done it 3 time, but it never becomes more fun.  It will be pleasant to do this one beforehand!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We've got trunk!  All welded in and turned out as well as I'd hoped.

20180529_143427.jpg.a49004d3a63e73c9c78ba2c077c2fcba.jpg

 

But wait, there's more!  We've got floor!

20180529_155331.jpg.d0d147f52c6cb1f4e807663feb4ead38.jpg

 

 I have more pictures but can't post them with this silly new limit that's been imposed.

 

I also have had the under hood sheetmetal parts sandblasted and have been painting them.

 

Next steps include:

-Dismounting the body and rustproofing the frame and underside, and replacing the body mounts

-Stripping and detailing the firewall

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great project, and she's going to be a beauty. The car's Escanaba. MI origins explain the rust, which could have been worse, right? They use a lot of salt during the long winters in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. 

 

TG

YM Hello From UP.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, TG57Roadmaster said:

What a great project, and she's going to be a beauty. The car's Escanaba. MI origins explain the rust, which could have been worse, right? They use a lot of salt during the long winters in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. 

 

TG

YM Hello From UP.jpg

Yes, there was a little salt damage certainly.  I think on this car though, most of the rust was from sitting outside so long.  It was probably in very good condition when it was parked.  Thankfully most of it didn't penetrate the surface.

 

The dealer (Poff Buick) wasn't around very long and dissolved sometime in the early 1960's.  I'd love to find one of the dealer emblems in better condition as I'd like to keep the emblem on as part of the car's history.  Mine will probably cost a fortune to restore.

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Escanaba had a Cadillac dealer, too, but I can't help but think your 75R would have caused quite the mild sensation there.

Makes one wonder who the original owner was.

 

TG

57 Buick Poff Escanaba 2 Springtime-1A.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TG57Roadmaster said:

Escanaba had a Cadillac dealer, too, but I can't help but think your 75R would have caused quite the mild sensation there.

Makes one wonder who the original owner was.

 

TG

57 Buick Poff Escanaba 2 Springtime-1A.jpg

Very cool ads, thanks for sharing! I'll have to make a nice print of these. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

… just caught up with your project  .. . nice work lance …. and it appears the above ad aired just about the time the model 75.s were rolling off the factory floors ….

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't believe how well these cleaned up.  Not show worthy, and fortunately I have new ones, but definitely good driver quality with tons of shine and an interesting case study on chromed pot metal survival! 

20180610_170801.jpg.72f0a2f7ebead2026795ca5625544dd8.jpg

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok after what will wind  up being a 6-7 month hiatus I am almost ready to get going on this again.  I finally got it back on the lift.  I don't plan to roll it off again until the transmission is in place, and I'm ready to drop the engine in place.  The little winch I put on the front of my lift a few months back was an excellent investment I think.

20181124_124922.thumb.jpg.93562d775ef04c4276535eca8ef033e1.jpg

20181124_130535.thumb.jpg.e5859c1abb57476305c0bf2118fd54c5.jpg

Next I want to lift the body off and finish some inner rocker repairs, clean up the weld on the bottom of the floors, paint underneath, and replace body mounts.  

I ordered body mounts as buick man suggested, and was going to use the same method to lift body almost, except all at once using jacks resting on my lift ramps.  

The main thing that has me nervous is putting too much weight on the rockers, since there are a couple portions that are not so great.  I don't want anything to buckle!  I have a few weeks to further ponder this before I get started.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

A month or two ago, I returned Lance's black Roadmaster to him and exchanged it for the coupe.  Unfortunately, I had to stick this one in the queue while I took care of another 57 Special that needed a respray after a bad experience with another body shop.  That project has to sit and cure for a while before I cut and buff it.  So, I got Gray into position for some advanced rust repair.

 

First thing I tackled was the body mount bolts and cage nuts.  Four of them were broken off, and a fifth one just spun inside the cage.  To fix this, the floor has to be cut open and the nuts have to be replaced.  Once they are welded in, the floor must be re-repaired.  I took care of all that this week. 

 

Next was the rear-most trunk floor brace where the rear body mount bolts go through.  When the trunk floor was replaced, there was an attempt to put a patch in one spot, but the rust was much more widespread than originally thought.  I had to lift the entire body up about 6" to access this brace and repair it.  About half of the brace was replaced with one from a good parts car.

 

Now, I'm onto the front rocker repairs.  I worked on the passenger side today and got it completed.  Tomorrow is the driver side.  Both of them are completely trashed.  Pretty much the entire nose of the rocker has to be fabricated.  I wish they made repair panels for these.  Most of the 57-58's I've worked on have issues like this here.

 

There are lots of spots on the inner and outer rockers to repair...just tackling one thing at a time, since my time with this car is limited.  I'm going to do as much rust repair as I can before the next monster project comes in.  I have a year to basically do a frame-off restoration on a 70 GS Stage1 convertible, and get it ready for MCACN 2020 in Chicago.

IMG_2801.jpg

IMG_2813.jpg

IMG_2821.jpg

IMG_2823.jpg

IMG_2824.jpg

IMG_2825.jpg

Edited by Smartin (see edit history)
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I realize there is sort of a gap prior to Adam's update.  Basically, I realized that I was going to have a hard time doing the proper repairs in my garage, even with help of course (since metal work is not my thing) any time soon.

 

I decided to try out a local restoration shop, and although they did a great job on what they did, I pulled it out before going further as they were very costly.  Not just from the hourly rate, but apparant lack of efficiency (which I would be paying for).  Projecting out the remaining cost would have set the whole project back another couple years at least due to cost as well as the time required to actually do the work.

 

Luckily, Adam was able to take the car to finish up at least enough for me to take over again while he embarks on his next major project!

Edited by lancemb (see edit history)
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now