cevensky

1948 Pontiac Streamliner 8

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For those of you who were watching my ‘33 Buick, I apologize for the hold... med school is a busy time and I’ll have to save work on it for larger breaks (also the carpenter is a hard man to pin down).

 

So, I got a project that I hope to be less time consuming and labor-intensive to get it down the road:

A 1948 Pontiac Streamliner “SilverStreak” with an in-line, flathead 8 cylinder. Buying this car is a STORY all its own but now I have it for the bargain price of *drumroll*....... $1500!

The look of this car, even in the current condition got my heart racing and then I saw the flat straight 8 and that was all it took. 

The worst news first: 1) thought I’d be able to get away with some basic engine cleaning cause it did do the briefest of turnovers (even with a totally nonfunctional carb); however, after removing the head, I have some burnt and bent valves. 2) there’s rust through at the bottom of the trunk lid and in front of pass. back seat. 3) wiring is a mess but it’d run with the current set up. 

The better news: 1) turn the key and press the foot starter, turns over smooth and gave some fire with starter fluid and gas. 2)  upholstery is redone (not a huge fan fashion-wise) and very intact. 3) doesn’t look like a total piece of trash and I like it so, here it is:

 

 

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The carburetor is already professionally rebuilt and the head will be resurfaced and magnafluxed and cleaned with the manifolds this week. I have new manifold and head gaskets and new plug wires. Valves are next to be ordered and although I’ve never replaced one, I'm hoping to convince a friend to help me (if it’s possible to do without pulling the engine). 

To be clear, my intentions with this car are to get it on the road. Period. I happen to find it presentable. Start, turn, stop. That’s all I want and I’ll be thrilled!

 

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Edited by cevensky (see edit history)
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With a little elbow grease it should look like this one out touring with us today (Oct.21). Good luck but don't give up on that awesome '33.

 

Jim

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Thanks guys,

The Buick takes up over half of my garage so if I ever want that back, it has to have work done to it!

Here’s a picture of the bad valves. They’re bent? No wonder it didn’t stay running. Things musta gotten pretty hot.

Oh, the trunk floor is also non-existent... but the spare is there and the trunk lid stays up by the proper mechanism!

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Edited by cevensky (see edit history)
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Great project. Now get started.  I just bought a L-37 Olds with the straight 8. I am waiting for the carb and fuel pump to come back from the rebuilders  to see if it runs  Everything turns over by hand freely.

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My first day out of school without rain after surviving the semester. I was outside all day and painted my manifolds and thermostat (1st coat), got all my valves out (minus 2, I’ll have to go get my battery back and turnover the engine to ease the process), cleaned up the surface, I also have my head, which looks brand new, and I got most of the build up off of the piston surfaces. Some of my valve guides are burnt to the point of crumbling and some were so tight that I could barely get the valves out. So I’ll have to figure a way to remove the old ones and install new ones with the engine in there...

Next up I’ll buy the valves, seats, and other parts for the head, paint the head, then hopefully slam it all together as fast as possible. I’ve been saving my money all semester to blow it all in this week off... on car parts.

Oh, and the color is Detroit diesel alpine green from duplicolor. It’s a very close match to whats left on the block. I think I’m just painting the head with this and leaving the block in it’s ugly overspray black rather than trying to do another ugly overspray. 

 

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Edited by cevensky (see edit history)
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Here’s some more pictures of finished parts. Luckily I live alone so I get to decide what the dining room table is for. 

My carburetor was done by mail in by Mister Carburetor outside of Dallas, look for yourself... I think it’s beautiful.

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Edited by cevensky (see edit history)
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Thanks! Additionally, if anyone has experience with removing valve guides... please give me some advice. I can’t afford to send it to a machine shop (nor do I have the equipment to remove this massive engine) so removing and installing guides will be done with this engine in the vehicle. 

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Well, I went to turn my engine to get the last two valves out but it seems like my engine has seized... I don’t know how. Is it possible that the pistons got locked up in the cylinders that fast? It couldn’t have been two weeks after I loosened the head bolts that this happened. Then, I thought it was an electrical/starter problem but I removed my starter and it’s fine! I need some advice for anyone that’s used some kind of liquid to unfreeze/solve this problem. Is there something I’m over looking? What else could be stuck?

 

next move would be stick it in a shop, which I literally cannot afford with just several hundred dollars to my name! SOS

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Are you using the starter to try and turn it over? I would put a socket and breaker bar on the front of the crank and move it back and forth to see where it is locking up.

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Gary- I did try to use the starter but it started to smoke as it met too much resistance and couldn’t turn at all. 

I tried yanking the fan belt, which has good traction on the crank pulley but no dice. I guess the next step is pull the radiator and try the breaker bar. It’s weird. The car sat for a decade and the engine was free as a bird. My luck. 

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You could use a bar/ big screw driver on the flywheel as well.   Easier to remove the cover on that than pulling the radiator. 

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mix some trans fluid and karoseen and put it in the cylinders to soak a day or two.

 

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No luck on the flywheel/screwdriver trick either, I’m familiar with that one. 

I did a little pb blaster to make sure things didn’t get worse if it is in fact the pistons. I’ll check when the weather gets better this week

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Boy you have an incredible amount of leverage if you use one of those pry bars.  Seems like more than you have with the front crank.  The clutch didn't stick by any chance did it?  I had one stick in one of my cars in short order once. 

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You stated you smoked the starter.. Could the starter bendix be hung in the flywheel?

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If you think the clutch is stuck just put it in 3rd gear and rock it to see if it will turn.

 

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Posted (edited)

I was thinking (hoping?) maybe it had something to do with the transmission but strange as it sounds, this millennial is very familiar with (built a couple) manual transmission/clutch setups and doesn’t know jack about how this hydramatic works... 

 

the starter was the first thing I took off because I’ve had a Bendix drive hang up before. It had strange linkage and I found that you actually push the gears manually forward with the foot lever into the flywheel and they are brought back by a spring... so it wasn’t a Bendix issue!

 

I want to pull it a little but it’s on a slight hill pointed at a street and it’s so big and heavy 😅

Edited by cevensky (see edit history)

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I thought it was an automatic trans. So i would think if you gave it a short pull in low gear it might work. I had a 48 olds. that i push started once by hand and started it in low gear. the car had broke down on me and the battery was bad so i just tried the push by hand and it worked and suprised the he-- out of me.

 

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Ben, that’s correct. It even gave as much fire as it could with trashed valves before I removed the head and manifolds.

When I get back out to the garage I’ll make a list of things that I cannot find mechanical blockage in and post it. Thanks for the ideas, keep ‘em coming!

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Rings might be stuck to the cylinder wall from cleaning pistons.  Stuff/cleaning fluid/moisture seeping down between piston and cylinder when cleaning?

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Stuck before cleaning back when I thought it was an electrical thing... amazing that it turned so smoothly when I saw how dirty some of these were. I’ve kept some kind of oil on the surfaces I’ve cleaned to prevent rust. Nothing heavy till I figured the pistons might be stuck.

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