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Aussie 1930 Chrysler 66 Tourer Restoration.


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Being very much a newbie here its taken some time to get use to how the forum works [for me anyway and I am still learning ☺️] so with that being said I have nothing but praise and admiration for all the information freely given, that really helps guys working away in their garages and sheds on their projects. Personally I have gained so much information, tips on various aspects of body work, upholstery, correct period colours, sorting mechanical problems, the list is endless, so thank you all, for this wonderful resource. This brings me to the point of starting this thread - as the title suggests my  current project is a 1930 Chrysler 66 Tourer, in the interest of full disclosure it is currently fairly well advanced in its rehabilitation - so I thought it may be interesting for the one or two guys out there 😀 that may be interested in a 91 year old entry level Chrysler to see how I got to where I am now. I promise to keep the dribble to a minimum and hope that some may enjoy seeing [or laughing at ] my journey so far. To kick things off, todays post shows some of what followed me home eleven years ago. Lucky me !!!

Till next time 

Cheers Mark

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I know just how much work is involved in your project, built a series 52 from similar scrap years ago and now doing a G70 phaeton.

 Good luck and look forward to seeing your progress.

Viv

 

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    Thanks Viv                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Yes , starting with a pile of scrap metal is probably not ideal, or for everybody, but sometimes things look worse than they really are . I like a challenge.

Cheers Mark

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The trailer load of rusty metal came about because about 6 month prior to this I was looking for a new project to get involved with. Somehow I ended up with this. A 1930 Chrysler 66 Roadster project. Complete with a very well done fibreglass rear tub and about 80% of the  parts. I had known about the Tourer body for a number of years so buying the project car supplied me with a lot of the parts I needed to rebuild the Tourer. Who doesn't like a basket case restoration !!!

Cheers Mark

 

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 Well spotted Ron,    59 Model 220s  with a Hydrac gear shift. [semi auto trans, I may have spelt that wrong] it was Dads toy, served as the family car from around 1965 to about 1980 , Dad  restored it when he retired. .Thank you for noticing it.☺️

Cheers Mark

 

 

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 I decided to tackle the woodwork first. As my project was already in kit form I unfortunately did not experience the fun of carefully removing and bagging and tagging all the parts or taking lots of pictures of how thing went together so I just skipped all that and jumped straight in. First step was to set the chassis up to build the wood frame on - easy no problem. It was already sandblasted and primed in red oxide [judging by how faded the red oxide primmer was it must have been some time ago],  it must be good ! ....  I was aware of some cracking around the engine mount area and some damage to the area around the front left spring hanger. the extent of my new problem became apparent when I measured the chassis diagonally. it was not square.😐

So fixing the chassis became my first task.

So here are a few pictures to start with.

Cheers Mark

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Not only was the chassis out of square, it seemed to be slightly twisted as well..... That is, It would not sit flat when placed on the floor. Firstly I removed the damaged front cross piece, not only to straighten it ,but to also repair the tear in the left chassis rail where the cross member was riveted in. See pictures in previous post. As soon as the damaged piece was removed the chassis seemed to spring back to a more normal position. Also noticed that most of the twist was taken out and the diagonal measurements were much closer. The bent cross piece was straighten out  and the damage to the rail welded and ground flat. After this the cross piece was bolted back into the chassis using high tensile domed head bolts, serrated flange nuts and a little Loctite. Working my way back along the chassis the cracks around the engine mount holes were repaired by drilling a small hole at the end of the crack, then carefully grinding along the crack then welding. I also added some plate to reinforce this area. Also replaced a few loose rivets with bolts while I was at it. I ended up completely replacing the third cross member with a new U-channel that matched the old one exactly in size. After I removed the old one I found that it was slightly twisted as well and as it was close to the battery it was quite corroded. After the new piece was bolted in the diagonal measurements were close enough to call good and the chassis sat flat on the floor. Happy days!!!

The repairs to the chassis to about 3 months of spare time work to complete.

With the repairs done I brushed on a coat of POR-15 to seal things up.

Cheers Mark

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    With the chassis issues behind me, I turned my focus to working on the body, especially the woodwork. I must admit to enjoying working with wood and in particular using antique hand tools, that said my skill level is best described as average.

My first decision was what species of wood to use. I knew a guy who knew a guy who knew of a source of Coach wood. Its a native timber found in rain forests along the east coast of Australia, it's a close grained timber that is fairly easily worked and holds fasteners very well, also I believe it was widely used in car body frames here, back in day. As for glue I used a combination of West systems epoxies and Titebond woodwork glue. Just over 3 years was taken [very much part time] to get the body basically looking like something again.. During this time other stuff was taking place such as dealing with surface rust on the sheet metal parts and making patch pieces and welding them in, to allow progress with the wood......... I used an old wheelie bin that I filled with a mixture of molasses and water to remove the surface rust  off anything that would fit in it.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     It would have be nice to have more original wood pieces to copy, but I was fortunate to have what I had. So I started by duplicating the few parts I had to use as templates. First thing was to laminate some pieces together to make the A-pillars. I alternated the grain when gluing them up to hopefully even out the tendency for the wood to twist. After they had dried I marked out the shapes, using the old wood for templates and then cut them out on a band saw.

Having the originals allowed me to mark out and fit the door hinges in their correct positions as well.

Cheers Mark

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I too enjoyed doing the wood when I restored my 1931 Chevrolet Coach back about 10 years ago. About 50% of the wood was bad, so I used ash to make most structural pieces, poplar for the non-structural stuff. These are the pieces (set on my 300ZX) to go in the rear roof area, eventually the sheet metal and roofing fabric attach to these. The rear roof cross member would have been originally a single piece part of a complete carcass to which the sheet metal would have been fitted. But, I would not have been able to fit it in place due to shape of steel corner braces/brackets so I made the assembly in 3 pieces which I glued up and clamped together once they were in place. One needs to improvise when working on a sedan like this. 

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That molasses trick is one of the best methods ever.

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Now that the A pillars were made the next part needed was the mongrel piece that connects the left and right A pillars together behind the dash, For me it was probably the hardest part to make, only exceeded by the doors, it seemed to take for ever to get everything fitting correctly...[ curved timber pieces, angled joints, door hinges and the windscreen brackets to try and co-ordinate.]. I used the original pieces to trace their outline directly to the metal on the inside of the cowl, this helped me visualise their positions relative to each other. It originally was made out of three pieces, using finger joints to join them together, I joined them using half-lap joints. Once I was happy with everything I glued it up with the parts clamped in their positions inside the cowl. Modern glues are so much better than what was used originally, so I was happy with that. With it finally made I could start mocking up the body. So I temporarily fitted the completed wood sub- frame into the cowl and bolted that assembly on to the chassis. This assembly is more or less self-aligning, that is the first body mounting bolts locate this assembly on the chassis. At this time I also set up a string line to use as a datum line to try and keep everything straight and plumb. 

Cheers Mark

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Now that the cowl was temporarily mounted I also fitted the drivers side valance [splash apron], door sill metal and rear guard to give me an idea of the line of the body. Next I mounted the original B pillar complete with metal skin to a piece of scrap timber the correct thickness of the main timber rail that sits on the chassis. The cast bracket that screws and bolts to this piece is the third body mounting bolt position. Next the drivers door skin was tacked in place. Having these parts mounted on the chassis then allowed me to start making the template for the main chassis wood sills/ bearer. Once happy with all of this I made the new wood piece's for left and right B pillar's using the old ones for templates. Since I now had both B pillar's, I mounted them on what would become the second wooden cross brace. At this time I also framed up the front and rear door wood as they will be required to position the rear quarter panels correctly. The door frames are not glued at this time, I used 1/4" screws and T nuts to hold them together. Doing this allows the door frames to twist to suit the shape of the door skin metal and the door opening, the door frames are the last thing to be glued.  My main goal was to position the parts correctly so that I could complete the template for the main chassis wood sills.

Cheers Mark

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Now that I had a cardboard template for about half of the main timber sill, I realised I needed the rear quarter panel in place to allow me to know the position of the C pillar. To do this I cut the damaged rear tub metal into three pieces, cutting on the factory welds. My logic was, as both rear quarters were rusted out along their bottom edges and the rear panel was badly dented, it seemed easier to break it down into manageable pieces for the metal repairs that had to be done anyway. So with a rusty quarter panel bolted on I started framing the rear quarter panel wood. Problem was I had none of the original wood to work from, just a couple of very rusted metal brackets that attach the timber frame of the rear quarter panel to the main timber sills on the chassis. So I made wood sections to fit the brackets that I had.

Cheers Mark

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G'day Mark, 

 

you're doing a top job there, but could you do me a favour and slow down, I started my model 65 restore a year age and you're miles ahead of me, great job mate and keep up the good work I'm going to learn a lot by following your great updates, do you need anything for the car?

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Hi Mark,

 I'm busy with a B70 body and replacing what was left of the original wood, the pictures below show a typical layout of what was probably in the rear of your car.

 

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I also rebuilt 1927 Model 50 and 1928 model 52 tourers, the wood work was very similar to the B70 in design but different reinforcing brackets, below is some pictures of the Model 50 woodwork, copied from original surviving wood.

 

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Hope these pictures might be of some help,

Viv

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hi Viv

Thank you very much for posting these pictures of your wood frame work. Nicely done.   😊                                                                                                                                                                                     One of my goals for posting my efforts, is to present one option for the huge but rewarding job of re-wooding 20's and early 30's bodies,

Looking back on my attempt now, I realise I may have over-engineered it a tad.   At that time  [2013]  I was'' inspired '' by a mate who had re-wooded his sedan.

Here is a sneak peak of the rear quarter wood frame in "context'' with the brackets I had to work with. BTW I had to make the right side brackets as the originals were buggered.

Also, If  others  have  pictures of their body wood- work efforts, they are most welcome to share them here.

Cheers Mark

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