PhilAndrews

'51 Chieftain - Transmission overhaul

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No antenna right now, so that's a help.

 

I'll probably hold it up with string around the motor and have a go at the screws. They'll need a good soak in releasing fluid if that's the case, the fenders aren't bad but there's a bit of mud up back there.

 

Phil

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I've been working quite hard at things on the car lately. Lots of hours that go into not much to show.

 

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Removed the rust and gunk from the frame rails, firewall and underbody. Painted, undersealed then painted body color over the underseal. Started on the fender aprons. Yes, I know those aren't the right horns for the car but they were free and they have the correct tone.

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Cleaned out and filled the steering box with John Deere Corn Head grease. It's in need of rebuild but that have to do for now.

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Last night built a little table to put my gearbox on. My workbench has a stepped storage area underneath so I cannot lift the gearbox with the crane, so this was the alternative option.

 

Gearbox is coming apart. Somebody has used rubberized sealant on the pans and I have a feeling a part of that may have been ingested and become stuck in the valve block. I need to pull the torus off also to replace the seals, the front leaks like a sieve. 

I'm looking around for the shop manual- the torus has 3 holes surrounding the main shaft, those are to put the locking tool into so the nut can be undone?

 

Phil

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...and before anyone says, I do have the '51 Pontiac Hydra-Matic Shop Manual coming in the mail, courtesy of eBay. (eBay is still useful for some things).

 

--Phil

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2 hours ago, PhilAndrews said:

Removed the rust and gunk from the frame rails, firewall and underbody

I spent hours upon hours and days upon days cleaning those areas with the engine in it's place. Scrapers, wire brush and screw drivers.... it does eventually pay off!

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Agreed, the change it made was significant. It was an area that the previous restoreres didn't really touch.

 

Luckily there's very little rust in the area, the car appears to have spent its' life in areas where the roads are not salted in the wintertime. There was a lot of dirt and mud but no significant corrosion. 

 

Well, on the frame rails and body up front. rocker panels and door bases are a different story...

 

--Phil

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The rod that actuates the pressure relief valve and forces the gear changes later- should it have a bunch of free play to the unloaded end? If not that might be the problem I'm having, the valve may be stuck not coming fully back.

 

Phil

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... Never mind, the valve isn't stuck, but the spring isn't pushing it all the way through.

 

I'll take the valve block apart and measure the springs.

 

Phil

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Waiting for the manual for this gearbox to arrive, I found myself without things to do. So, I grabbed a piece of brown plastic and set to work.

 

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Drilled and filed to shape.

 

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Cleaned up the connectors (exterior of them didn't get much of a clean), and recreated the driver's side headlight terminal block.

 

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Bolted in place. Significant improvement over the old broken fiberboard piece that was there. Gotta make one for the other side now.

 

Phil

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And the other side. Missing a couple of pieces. Bullet connectors for the parking light and turn signal, then.

 

Phil

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Glad I took it apart. The nut that holds the torus assembly together was loose, being held on only by the tab washer.

 

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Circlip removed, and the rest of the device slides off the splines.

 

That's made the gearbox significantly more easy to move around.

 

Phil

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Can't find Brunswick green, Hunter green is horrible so picked the go-between of the original and what I have seen faded on various engines.

 

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Stripped the bellhousing off the gearbox and cleaned it up. Service manual stopped in Memphis this morning so hopefully New Orleans tomorrow and delivery Tuesday.

 

Phil

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Decided to take the radiator to a local place yesterday to see what they thought of it. It's a Harrison, and the guy said it's "not normal" in terms of construction and the leak would demand it being recored- with $460 of core and labor adding up to nearly $900

 

I thanked him and decided to go home and look see if there's anything in the catalogs to fling in there just between times to get it running but there's not a whole lot on offer that has the correct spigot sizes or cooling capacity.

I think I'm going to try clean up, locate the hole and solder it up to try get it to quit leaking. Was the radiator in the '51 Chieftain 8 automatic fitted to anything else?

 

--Phil

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You need a 1949-1952 Pontiac 8 radiator that's 2 1/2" thick. 

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Not many places make one that has both top and bottom hose 1 3/4", even fewer have the heater return spigot in the bottom tank.

 

--Phil

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Well, repaired the radiator cap.

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It had been leaking badly. Someone had thrown cold lead at it, ineffectually.

 

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Cleaned it up thoroughly. Fluxed too.

 

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Soldered in place. Doesn't appear to leak now (it leaked profusely before).

 

Phil

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Phil.... You might have just found your calling !!!!..   2 years ago, $600 for my 53 recored ... John

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Soldering clean metal is moderately easy.

 

Soldering dirty metal is less so and significantly less reliable. Trouble is, I'm not entirely sure of the construction of this where it joins the tank- so I'm blindly throwing solder at it in the hope that it's just the front lip that's leaking. My concern is I don't have a big enough torch to be able to desolder the entire thing and pull it apart, clean and redo it properly.

However, my efforts seem to be better than those of the previous person who attempted repair on it.

 

Phil

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Inspection showed the seam was cracked further along the top tank. Soldered it up. Getting better at this soldering lark.

 

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Pressure testing showed that the seam is now watertight, a small crack now showing up under test. 

 

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Cleaned that up and soldered it. High-tech pressure testing doesn't show up any more leaks, which is a start.

 

$42 for tools and equipment. Beats $900 any day.

 

Phil

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Good job Phil.... I know it's frustrating... Tried to fix mine but just kept making more holes. Core was brittle. So had to bite the bullet and have it recored... John

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The real test will be a number of heat cycles to see what happens. It may pop open like a popcorn kernel yet. However, I hope it won't.

 

Phil

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Today was less positive.

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Gearbox oil pan is full of some very, very unhappy swarf.

 

Disassembly continues.

 

Phil

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Well Phil, on to positive side, when you get it fixed you will be more confident about going anywhere with the car. I was hesitant at first about opening up engine or transmission, ( manual ) but I am glad I did. I found some issues and fixed them. My intentions are to travel cross country with this car, and should any issues surface, I now have the knowledge to be able to repair or diagnose most issues. And with the help of this forum, if I don't know what's wrong, there's enough people connected to it, to help me(or anyone) to figure it out.             Keep us posted... Glad to hear you are in your new garage . John

 

 

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True.

 

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I now have a collection of pieces. Need more trays.

 

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Case looks good.

 

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Next up will be to split the drums open and check the clutches. Hopefully all that swarf is just from that and not the center bearing.

 

Phil

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