cevensky

1948 Pontiac Streamliner 8

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So I was tired of the exhaust and gas fumes and the inside looking like a trash can in general, so I took out the seats around noon just to do some (refined) redneck floor patching. Seven hours later, and I’m not sure how, I have new carpet installed. Basically, I wire wheeled and painted the pans as they were, then used various dealers and 22 to 26 gauge steel sheets from Lowe’s to patch it all up. None of it looked terribly structural, but I was careful to seal out moisture and leave no bare metal. All the patches I attached with self-drilling screws and then I used a bunch of that bubble wrap insulation. The carpet was $20 for 36 sq ft so I couldn’t resist. And here’s the proof. If you don’t like this kind of patching, the good news is, the car’s not on the market and it’s free to keep your mouth shut! I think it’ll hold up nicely though.

If there’s any input on removing the radio, I am puzzled. 

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1) you are keeping busy

2) you are having fun meeting challenges head on with your project

3) you are bringing a good old car back to useful life.

 

Keep up the good work (and posting)!!!

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Posted (edited)

Thanks for all y'all's kind words and encouragement. Due to my lack of funds I don't even know what a "door panel" is right now! If anyone has any left over interior materials I'd be happy to take them off your hands like card material and stuff like that. Door panels really are up next.

Took it around on a Sunday drive. Sometimes on take off (like at a stop sign) it stumbles and acts like it will stall (it did once). Maybe my mixture screws are too far out and the air/gas mix is too lean? I haven't timed with a timing light yet.. Anyone have any guesses? It was a good 4.5 mile drive. Thing never gets up past 150F although the engine compartment gets warm from the manifold heat, I'm happy at 150 and added some aluminum stop leak because I'm too lazy to pull my water pump right now.

It shifts through gears well and fast if I let off the gas every now and then, could the stalling problem and this be fixed by adjusting the bands? Maybe a good Lucas additive anyone has testimony using in an old, but maybe not worn, Hydramatic.

Cabin was a lot more comfortable today, some ambient firewall heat, thinking of using that thick thick foam/foil stuff to stop all that if it's the best?

And again, the radio, how is it in there???

Help!

Edited by cevensky (see edit history)

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Posted (edited)

I don't know how the radio is in there.

 

Keep driving it. It gets better the more it runs. Get your timing and dwell set right before you worry about any driveability issues. Pontiac often gives you a range on the timing. Make sure the engine doesn't ping, and that it is not exhibiting the "random miss-like" roughness of too much timing advance. If neither of those are issues, the advanced end of the "normal range" is better.

 

Almost everyone runs a bit more timing today due to the higher octane gas. I am an exception, i had to actually shorten the advance curve on my 36. I can't explain it, AFAIK nobody else has reported having to do that.

 

I don't know how transmission band misadjustment would play here, but I do know that correct band adjustment is extremely important for long transmission life in an automatic with adjustable bands. If there is any doubt at all, adjust them.

 

Keep after it. Things are looking up!

 

EDIT: For what it's worth on many radios of the period, you pull the knobs off and there are thin nuts around the control shafts holding the front of the radio tight to the dash. Also, if the radio is one piece (no separate control head), there will be at least one bolt at the back or sides for support. Probably more like 3 bolts on a big heavy tube radio like that if it is one piece.

Edited by Bloo (see edit history)
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Thanks Bloo! These are the kinds of comments I come here for, you rock!

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Your stalling/hesitation at initial  acceleration is PROBABLY due to a weak "accelerator" pump, or whatever Pontiac called it. An easy check is --with the engine not running,  air cleaner off, look into the top of the carburetor,. Jerk the throttle open , from wherever the linkage is accessible. Should see a squirt of gas . If not, the pump is not working properly.

  The idle screws you are adjusting on the outside of the carburetor are just that, Idle adjustment.  

 

  Ben

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Ben, the carb is all rebuilt and I know I’ve seen this squirt in the last month, but I’ll recheck. Fuel pump is also brand new.

Maybe timing, maybe the choke plate needs adjusting back down to the closed position at rest a little more. We had to play with that to get the idle correct. 
Come to think of it, it was running so rich when I first got it to start that it could probably stand to have the plugs removed, cleaned, and gapped again. One or more may be badly fouled.

Another source could be the junk in the inline filter constricting fuel flow, I need to check this too. 

Then I’ll find a fancy timing light to borrow. Thanks! 

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As for inexpensive door panel material, I gathered useful and thrifty advise on another site that has worked well for an old tight-wad like me. Use the large election signs seen around town, especially near voting sites. Just make sure the election is over, or candidate is out of the running! I have found they make great backing material for door panels, kick panels, parcel shelves, etc. They're far more water resistant than cardboard. You can attach the metal bands to them and upholster them several different ways including using a spray adhesive. Hope this helps others on a budget.

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Posted (edited)

Heck, just wish I could find the correct banjo steering like you have in these photos. Mines to far gone to repair.

Edited by jeff53
want to be notified (see edit history)

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Looks good, wish I was near this. 
Thanks for sheering pictures while the progress take place. 
 

Thore

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Posted (edited)

Well I was going to woodgrain the dash in the car... ended up taking it out. I also painted some of the stuff in the car that gets the monotone treatment, along with an offwhite epoxy paint on the steering wheel. It’s my first attempt and I’m happy with it. 
Also, my wire wheel shined up the steering wheel chrome without scuffing it. I still don’t understand it but I’m not mad. 

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Edited by cevensky (see edit history)
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Keep up the great progress! That wheel will just pop when the dash is installed behind it. Looks great!

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Looking good! Keep us posted on your progress. It's nice to see someone else working on a project with a tight budget. I just refurbished (as in yesterday) the dash on my '50 Chevy Fleetline, also on a budget.

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Can you talk more about how you did the wood grain.

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Wish I could find a reasonably priced Banjo steering wheel like that. My original- there's nothing left to fix and it has a metal hub ( on the back) with a hole. So far no one will touch it. Bought 2 others but the spokes are broken at the center where the hub is. and the hub is made out of neoprene so I can't find a welder who'll touch those either. I guess you can't use All-Metal or JB because of insurance.- I know they used them on other GM cars but nothing comes up. 

 

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The woodgrain really wasn’t hard. I do suggest using some test panels of cardboard first. Basically start with a lighter brown spray paint (maybe a couple coats, the wood stain melts and strips it if it isn’t totally set, too. Then follow up with brushing (not a whole lot) wood stain over it in a rough pattern of what you want. There’s various tools to do this but I went with cheap rough chip brushes from harbor freight. For dark grains I put little tiny drops over the almost dried stain and brushed it once to give streaks of “black.” 
It was fun. Alternatively, send me your bare metal and I’ll charge you a cheap price for average looking wood grain! 😄

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I spent today tweaking my still wet dash and glove box door. I dismantled the radio. I have neither the cash nor the desire to spend hundreds to get an AM radio restored. Instead, I’ve gutted the radio box (many of the internals were damaged, I’m not the first to poke around) and will put a small car speaker (or two) in there. I’ll leave all the controls and plates for looks. I’ll run a small marine Bluetooth amplifier in the radio box with the speakers on a 6 to 12v converter. I cleaned and painted the speaker faceplate and mocked up the dash. 
I also spent some time on the lucite wings. I flipped them over after sanding and Brillo padding the bad side with comet. I did drop and chip it but it wasn’t too bad. Just adds character. 
I also put some more bubble foil insulation on the firewall while the space is available. It went on right over the remarkably intact original pad. The more the merrier. I’ll screw some carpet up over this. 
Tomorrow I’ll do the clear coat on the dashboard and glove box, if they’re dry. They’re still tacky but I’ll leave them under the fan tonight.

 

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cevensky, You have come a long way on your Pontiac. Very nice work. John

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Posted (edited)

Well here we are.

Last night I spent further gutting the already thoroughly damaged radio innards.  I crammed two 80w speakers in there and have a 6v to 12v-10A step up converter on the way along with a 4-channel Bluetooth amplifier. The amp has an external, wired volume control that I’m going to bond to the “selector” knob on my original radio plate. Not only will it look completely original, it will serve some function too. I’ve circled in red where I bent the existing bracket to eventually use some JB weld putty to stick the volume control in place and to the control knob. 

Today, everything was dry enough to spray the gloss enamel on and seal it up. I had gotten the wiper motor working with some oil and no load on the arms, but putting it on the wiper blade arms made it stall so I’ll need a rebuild kit or new motor.

After the enamel had dried, everything went in after I finished carpeting the drywall. The sides have to stay unfinished until I get the windlace (which connects on some brackets there and is needlessly pricey). So here it is:

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Edited by cevensky (see edit history)
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WOW, that dash looks GREAT!! Really good work.

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Posted (edited)

A couple quick adventures:

Took it into the yard for a quick rinse the other day. I’ve been driving it up and down the street, my stalling issue on acceleration seems to be coming from the adjustment of the thermo-spring controlled choke being too open. Trying to hit the sweet spot of closed enough to not stall, but open enough to not have super rich exhaust.

My last radio components arrived and I got it installed. It’s connected to the accessory position on my ignition and can be controlled completely from my phone and there can be some control from the selector knob on volume if you’re driving. It’s nice and loud, sounds good, and I have connections for two more speakers that I have tied off for now. Again, if anyone is interested, I could definitely rig up most similarly sized radios for bluetooth as a side gig.

I accidentally broke a “Silverstreak” emblem taking it off to clean it. Snapped in three. So, I’m searching for that. 
upholstery material for door cards and 3 hubcaps are on the way. 
Also in need of a light switch! Accepting all donations 😆 

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Edited by cevensky (see edit history)
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Today I decided to install the plug wire harness from my spare engine I’d cleaned up. After it was all done, I tried to start the car. 
Nothing. 
I went through the ignition, tried different coils, pulled wires, sanded and reset the points, etc. 

Nothing. Over an hour of troubleshooting and still nothing. 
Looked in the carb and worked the throttle... nothing! Guess the last time I pulled in the garage was when I went through the five gallons of gas I put in earlier this month.

 

In other news, I pulled my water pump to install the rear plate to housing gasket, but I saw the weep hole is the problem, so now I’m in the market for a new water pump that doesn’t cost $200+ if anyone has any leads. 
Next item on the list is fixing my pickup tube on my gas tank and seeing if the sending unit works. Obviously I need it!

 

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Posted (edited)

So after trouble shooting my gas pump, which checked out, and seeing that a new fuel filter was already black and gooey, I decided to take my carburetor off. 
it was filled with something like the consistency of pudding so obviously what I thought was “cleaning” my gas tank wasn’t anywhere near that.

All hard lines are now installed to a 12 gal PVC tank my neighbor gifted me. It’s clean and I’ve installed a fancier in-line filter too. Carb is cleaned and put back together. 
I wanted to let it dry out a little (I left a component of the carburetor pump apparatus on my driveway, which resulted in a LOT of gas in and around my engine when I tried to start it again). 
Other than that, we have a full set of hub caps and I found what looks like a period turn signal in the trunk so I slapped that on. I’ll re-wire it when my wire gets here. Studying’s has me inside so I’ll go out and clean the plugs, fill up my new gas tank, and hopefully fire her up soon. 
I have bumper to bumper getting a water pump quote and am searching for a place to service my gas tank locally. I tried a type of fiber board at Lowe’s for upholstery panels but it was too brittle to hold nails, moving to plastic wall panels next. Coil spring? Taking her somewhere to have a new trunk floor fabricated? What do y’all think?

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Edited by cevensky (see edit history)
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