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'51 Chieftain - On The Road


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Thoroughly cleaned the front screen tonight. Significantly better than it was, which will help looking though it. Also took the rear view mirror off because it wouldn't stay in the daytime position; the body is in the dishwasher because it was just nasty.. decades of grime.

Hopefully I'll be able to reassemble that tomorrow and get it to work, the lever was a bit slack on the mirror.

 

Phil

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Bought some more oil (lots of short runs and stuff just around the garage means it needs to be changed before going on the highway); antifreeze too, a new pot of brake fluid and a can of brake cleaner.

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Finished up cleaning the glass. One thing down off the list.

 

Phil

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I've had this for two years now. From an every day perspective, it doesn't feel like things changed, but this shows different:

 

 

A film I shot just after getting the car. It ran, but not well. The gears didn't change properly.

 

 

Compared to just the other day. That's an improvement.

 

I stopped earlier to take account of what's changed between those two films.
For one, all the dashboard works now. The switches work correctly. The clock works. The lights all work. The windows go up and down. The horn works. The gearbox changes gear properly. The engine no longer sounds like a bag of bolts. It's got a radio. The antenna works. The rearview mirror works. The wipers work. The screen wash works. All the locks have keys. The paint has a half decent gloss to it. The heater works.
Probably more that I've forgotten, too.

 

Phil

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25 minutes ago, PhilAndrews said:

What oil is meant to be in the rear axle? 

 

I need to suck the sludge out and refill. 100000 miles is enough for whatever is still in there.

 

Phil

 

85-90 Weight Hypoid gear oil or what came originally straight 90W Hypoid gear oil.

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Tonight, I made a proper for lock pin for the passenger front door. The previous owner's attempt beside it there.

The door locks properly now on the pin and with the key. Three locks down, one to go.

 

Phil

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I've always been curious about this one....the chrome strip or streak down the middle of the hood. Yours is all chrome and mine is painted to make 5 pinstripes. Do these 2 styles denote the year of make or are they all painted at the factory and some people remove the paint? I like the look of both but I refuse to change mine as to keep original. 

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4 minutes ago, Summershandy said:

I've always been curious about this one....the chrome strip or streak down the middle of the hood. Yours is all chrome and mine is painted to make 5 pinstripes. Do these 2 styles denote the year of make or are they all painted at the factory and some people remove the paint? I like the look of both but I refuse to change mine as to keep original. 

 

You can see where mine used to be painted and had been stripped and polished, there's a difference in the finish of the chrome in the valleys.

I think a lot of people look at the masking job required and say "naaaah" and leave it all silver. 

I like the waterfall, but I prefer it as the individual strips.

 

Phil

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I always thought the hood & trunk waterfalls on the 1949-1954 Pontiacs were painted in between to match the rest of the car. The in between paint wears off over time. I've owned two 1953's and painted the strips on both cars, just a matter of personal preference, I think they look better painted. 

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The factory intended them to be painted. If you were to have one of these cars in a AACA or POCI show it would be points reduction. IMO, the silver streak is too expansive and needs separation with paint, I'm sure that's why the factory painted them too. When I see them unpainted I'm thinking the painter or owner was just too lazy to do it right. 

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I think you hit the nail on the head.

 

Unfortunately, I can't find a decent match for this paint cheaply so silver it stays.

 

Edit: Plus, they had stripped the badges back to all chrome. I painted the backgrounds and lettering back in.

Edited by PhilAndrews (see edit history)
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4 minutes ago, PhilAndrews said:

I think you hit the nail on the head.

 

Unfortunately, I can't find a decent match for this paint cheaply so silver it stays.

You mean to tell me you can't go to TCP Global and order a pint of Starmist blue and some primer and shoot this with a touch up gun for under $ 150.00????

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23 minutes ago, Pfeil said:

You mean to tell me you can't go to TCP Global and order a pint of Starmist blue and some primer and shoot this with a touch up gun for under $ 150.00????

I could.

 

But it's not Starmist Blue.

 

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From the locking pin deal last night, you can see the difference between what was originally on the car and what on it now (much more powder/baby blue).

 

Blue being blue, it has faded in the sun too, so I would have to get them do one of those color spectroscope things on the top of the hood and match it to that.

 

 

I would never win any AACA or POCI show points... But, the car escaped the scrap pile.

 

Phil

Edited by PhilAndrews (see edit history)
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I think you have done a good job so far on your car.  I don’t want to be part of the “correct police”, however the one thing I think that would really improve the appearance of your car is to get a set of standard bumper guards.  Someone must have taken them off your car.  The right front and the left rear are the same and vice versa.  The ones on the corners are called “wing guards”.  They are not interchangeable corner to corner.  Sorry, I don’t have any to sell you.

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I had looked into it- yes, they were fitted but have been removed. The bolts are in the bumpers for them.

 

Personally, I like the look of it without the overriders and guards, a little more plain. 

 

There's no accounting for personal taste though, is there?!

 

Phil

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41 minutes ago, PhilAndrews said:

I could.

 

But it's not Starmist Blue.

 

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From the locking pin deal last night, you can see the difference between what was originally on the car and what on it now (much more powder/baby blue).

 

Blue being blue, it has faded in the sun too, so I would have to get them do one of those color spectroscope things on the top of the hood and match it to that.

 

 

I would never win any AACA or POCI show points... But, the car escaped the scrap pile.

 

Phil

If it's not starmist blue, what is it?

1950-pontiac-pg01.jpg?7022

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Just now, Pfeil said:

If it's not starmist blue, what is it?

1950-pontiac-pg01.jpg?7022

 

The closest I have been able to find is a late fifties Ford color (Also called Starmist), but in all truth I have no idea what was mixed, dumped in the gun and shot on.

 

GM Starmist is a moody blue-gray, like a thunderstorm sky. This is much more bright, like French Blue.

At a distance, and with no other cars near ir for reference it looks close enough to be correct, with the roof in something near Navy but closer to Midnight Blue to compliment.

 

 

TL:DR;- I didn't paint it, not a clue.

 

 

Phil

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4 hours ago, PhilAndrews said:

There's no accounting for personal taste though, is there?!

It's all about personal taste! Like I had said, I'm a big fan of chrome so I like the look. If others had their choice, mine ride would have a V8, dual exhaust, 12 volt and disc brakes! I once built a bobber motorcycle and was unsure on what look to go with....someone said "make it the way YOU like it" and stuck with that philosophy ever since. 

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2 hours ago, PhilAndrews said:

Just ordered new brake shoes, wheel cylinders, flexible hoses and a few gaskets and stuff for the car.

I rather enjoyed doing the brake system. Just a heads up, when I installed the front flexi hoses, one of them inadvertently rubbed up against the inner rim when turning sharp and almost went through! I replaced it and paid more attention on the orientation and it's been fine ever since. Double check them by turning the steering wheel and noting the hose position after you're done. Didn't think THAT would happen.  

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2 minutes ago, Summershandy said:

I rather enjoyed doing the brake system. Just a heads up, when I installed the front flexi hoses, one of them inadvertently rubbed up against the inner rim when turning sharp and almost went through! I replaced it and paid more attention on the orientation and it's been fine ever since. Double check them by turning the steering wheel and noting the hose position after you're done. Didn't think THAT would happen.  

 

I remember that! They need a slight twist to get them to tuck in on full lock.

 

Phil

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7 minutes ago, Summershandy said:

It's all about personal taste! Like I had said, I'm a big fan of chrome so I like the look. If others had their choice, mine ride would have a V8, dual exhaust, 12 volt and disc brakes! I once built a bobber motorcycle and was unsure on what look to go with....someone said "make it the way YOU like it" and stuck with that philosophy ever since. 

You have to consider we are on a AACA site and what that means which is a lot different than Jalopy Journal. 

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1 hour ago, Pfeil said:

You have to consider we are on a AACA site and what that means which is a lot different than Jalopy Journal. 

Yup, and that is why I rebuilt the original gearbox in mine, technically it could go back to being 6V, it's got the original numbers-matching inline-8 and nothing I've done to the car can't be unbolted and put back as it was.

I can't say that for the previous owners, but the engineering made sense when it was new, plus you could order it without overriders...

 

Phil

 

Edit: The way I look at it, I can't please everybody with this car. There's no way. 

What's happened to it over the years tells a story, same as any other car, and looking at it, what it's had done to it likely ensured its survival. I'm trying to undo some of the poor work and put the car back to a nicely roadworthy vehicle that I can enjoy driving and others enjoy looking at. I'm not trying to play it off as something it's not, but conversely I don't think it would have made it much longer in the state it was when I got it. 

 

If it hadn't ended up in my custody, likely gone would have been the block and gears, probably rear end and the standard 350/350 treatment if it was lucky, sit down the side of a house for a few years much more likely.

So, concours it is not. In the spirit of when it was made? Yes. Slightly changed by the years? A little. Aren't we all? Could it be put back? Yes, it's only metal.

That's why is still got vacuum wipers (rebuilt), I sourced the correct AM tube radio for it (rebuilt), original fixtures and fittings or OEM equivalent where available? Yes.

Such is life? Yes. 

Am I happy with how it's turning out?

 

Yes.

 

I am here, not because my car fully fits in, but for the wealth of knowledge and overall general helpfulness that has been extended to me. Without that I wouldn't have gotten as far as I have, and that's the truth.

Edited by PhilAndrews (see edit history)
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Your Pontiac hits the right nostalgic note for me.  There were quite a few of these sitting in the driveways of my newspaper route around 1965-66.  The exhaust note from the straight 8 sounds very familiar, as does the sound of the abrupt shifts from the hydramatic transmission.  The color is somewhat familiar, also, though I seem to recall a green tint more than this blue one.

 

The work you've done means that you can have a lot of fun in this Pontiac - much more so than if it was going to be judged for points in an AACA show.

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No, I would probably have a head shaken at me and the Point Towards The Parking Lot but I look at it this way; is less competition for those who are fortunate enough to own a pristine, unmolested example of a car. 

I can't afford that, so I'm going for second best.

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I'll take a daily driver any day over the ones that get trailered in for the show! 

Lucky for me I don't get the finger point, there are far and few Pontiacs in my neck of the woods!

I find mostly Fords, Chev's and Dodges. 😐

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14 hours ago, PhilAndrews said:

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Pressure washed a lot of the caked on grime from the front suspension tonight because the weather turned slightly cooler.

 

Phil

Ah, I remember spending hours upon hours with a scraper, during the winter in a cold garage on my back, scrubbing inch by inch the decades of dirt and debris. I found a good sized rock inside the frame and wondered....in what state this rock got kicked up and how many decades has it been there? Probably the rattle the owner could never find. Those dash lights are pretty sharp!  

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12 minutes ago, Summershandy said:

Ah, I remember spending hours upon hours with a scraper, during the winter in a cold garage on my back, scrubbing inch by inch the decades of dirt and debris. I found a good sized rock inside the frame and wondered....in what state this rock got kicked up and how many decades has it been there? Probably the rattle the owner could never find. Those dash lights are pretty sharp!  

Pressure washer in the heat of summer is easier! I cleared a lot of pebbles and junk from the frame rails when I painted back behind the engine, too.

Those were fairly easy to identify; rounded and either ochre yellow or red sandstone meaning they were collected in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi area where those type of rocks are found either as road surface or dirt road topping.

 

I need some more grease, too.

 

Phil

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  • PhilAndrews changed the title to '51 Chieftain - On The Road

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