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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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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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Nice work, classic "reverse engineering", I had to do a lot of that for my 2 projects. As you know, takes patience, care, and ability to visualize what would have been there originally. Look forward to next chapter.

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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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Around this time I started repairing some of the rusted sheet metal components, the first job was replacing the rusted out inner wheel arches of the rear quarter panels of the Tourer body, using “good replacements” (they were intended to go into the fibre-glass roadster rear section) that came with the parts car.

The irony of my situation struck me at this time, while fortunate to have “good replacement” inner guards to use, I suspect that the former owner removed them from an obviously good rear tub section, which was most likely destroyed because of his idea of converting a tourer into a roadster on the project car. Here I am turning it back to a tourer. I bet that doesn't happen everyday!

To fit the replacement inner wheel arches I removed the entire rusted inner arches from each quarter panel, cutting them out around the lower edge of the wheel arch bead, my thought was by cutting and welding on the lower edge of the wheel arch it would hopefully minimise distortion along the weld, because of the shape of the bead on the wheel arch.

Also, I made and fitted a new section for the lower part of each of the dog legs on each quarter panel to replace the rusted section of what was left of the original part.

 

While I was doing metal work I started repairing the better of the two front cowls. I made a couple of patch panels for the rusted out lower sections on each side of the front cowl. To make the bead on the lower edge of the patch panel, I made a jig to clamp the sheet metal in position, then by placing a pipe (the diameter of the bead) on the metal then using a very big hammer to coax the metal into the channel between the pieces of angle iron to form the bead, crude but effective. Finally I welded the new pieces in place.

Cheers Mark

 

 

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The timber sills that sit on top of the chassis rails on my car are 1&3/4 inches thick, instead of using a solid piece of timber planned down to that thickness , I laminated a one inch thick piece to a ¾ inch thick piece, after cutting out the shape required using my full size template on a band saw. The reason for laminating them together was two fold- 1, less chance of the timber twisting over time. And 2 By cutting the ¾ inch piece [top lamination] by that amount thinner in the places where the flooring would need to be recessed into, I didn't have to cut a rebate on the inside edges of the sills for the flooring.- [read lazy] . Next I bolted the completed timber sills to the chassis then I made and fitted the cross members. Finally I framed up the rear seat riser. Now I had a foundation to reassemble the previously made A and B pillars on, next job was to set the rear tub metal on the foundation and connect the rear quarter panel timber frames together across the rear of the body.

Cheers Mark

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Posted (edited)

G'day Mark, 

 

I'll be starting on my timber fame for my model 65 soon so a BIG! "Thank you" for your updates and photos it will be a great help to me when I start, keep up the good work.

Cheers Mate.

Edited by Sasha39
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Mark,

 

"Pictures might be helpful" Mate you're a Godsend, your work is fantastic and giving me a lot to think about.

Wasn't sure about the Body being a Holden as there was no badge but then when I pulled to body apart I found this on the back of the A pillars brackets 1768949054_ChryslerHolden.jpeg.90b15b748d5050ad1c78f146b9f52414.jpeg

 

So do you think it might be a Holden body?

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G'day Mark, 

 

Is your's a Holden built body? In some of the  photos of your Cowl it appears that the left side is showing to two telltale small holes where the Holden would have been screwed on, are you looking for any parts for your car?

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     G'Day Alex.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Yes, Holden body as well. Body #20

  Car # H121SY   Date 3/3/1930.   I was able to obtain a copy of the Build Sheet from the Chrysler Historical Services in 2012. 

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Still looking for one of these.😀

Cheers Mark

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G'day Mark,

Great job with your project, and thanks for sharing the details of your build!

Can I ask.....is the main timber support rail (running parallel to the chassis) one complete piece of timber from the cowl to the rear of the chassis?

Or, does the height change over the rear wheels?

 

At some point I need to make a start on my own project, and I am not too sure how the timber in the rear section will look, as my car is a roadster.

 

Lambroast

 

(pm sent)

 

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G'day there Lambroast, 

 

I'm sure that Mark will reply to your pm, but in short the answer is yes the main runners are one piece from Cowl to the back of the body no matter what style of body, the rear part of the floor does raise up a step at around the high point of the chassis, this step up is achieved by screwing another piece of timber on top of the main runner to bring it to a height just over the high point of the chassis, if you look at Mark's photo you can see the bracket on the side of the chassis just in front of the fuel tank cover that's where the main runner is bolted down your chassis should have the same bracket. Good luck with your project.

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G'Day Lambroast

As Sasha said it is one piece of wood [assuming a Holden body] from cowl to rear ,with another piece laminated on it around where the dicky seat floor starts.

Here are some pictures of a 66 roadster I re-wooded.

Hope these help.

Cheers Mark

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Using clamps, scrap wood and a couple of ratchet straps I jury rigged the rear tub sheet metal assembly squarely on the chassis, using a string line to indicate the chassis centre  and a plumb bob to ensure the assembly was in its correct position relative to the chassis centre line. I started by clamping the top rail of the rear quarter panel frames in their position on both sides. Next I made the corner pieces and the top rail that connects the quarter panel frames together across the belt line of the body. As I didn't have any old wood for templates to copy, I had to make my own. I used a contour gauge to show me the shape of the metal that I had to make the wood conform to. Next I copied those lines obtained from the gauge to some scrap wood to mock up the shapes required before cutting into the good stuff. As the curve across the back of the body is the same on both left and right sides I only had to make a template of half of the body, mark out one side then flip the template over to mark out the other side. Once happy with the shape of the mock up pieces  I used them to cut out the actual pieces required in Coach wood. With those parts now cut out and in place I next made and fitted three upright members that connect the top belt rail to the rear timber chassis cross member, using the same technique as outlined  before, now that all the parts were in their final positions I reassembled the previously made timber frame of the rear quarters, this time gluing those parts of the frames together.

Cheers Mark

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Today's post shows the completed timber frame work, some door timber detail and finally a few photo's showing the sheet metal attached. Prior to painting the timber I brushed on a few coats of boiled Linseed oil thinned with Mineral Turps to help preserve the wood, I let this soak into the wood for quite some time before priming and painting the completed wood frame black. For those guys that might be contemplating doing their own woodwork here a a couple of books that I can recommend – Fisher Body Service Manual and also -Tips on Auto Body Woodwork by Don Marsh.

By some miracle it also appears from the photos that the rear tub has magically repaired it's self and all the sheet metal parts have been primed in epoxy primmer, how about that!

Cheers Mark

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Nice work, I know these 4 door tourers are not easy to piece together. I recently helped a friend put together his '28 Ford Model A tourer, from a disassembled puzzle he had bought. Getting door gaps and alignment close took us literally weeks, critically issue is getting steel subframe or chassis perfectly level for/aft, side to side and on firm jacks so nothing is moving (bolted down would be best). Amazing that a 1/16" shim in the wrong place can throw everything off. Please keep the photos coming.

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  Thank you Gunsmoke  for your continuing interest.

Yes, agree 100%. with your comments. 

Certainly was a challenge to get all the doors fitting decently. Quite a few curse words were used at different times.😀

Since those pictures were taken the body is back on the chassis and bolted down. Its starting to look like a car again.

 

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Most of the photos posted so far span work done between 2011 and 2015. That's when things came to a screaming halt.

Let's just say life threw up some challenges for me. ....... My Dad passed away in September 2015.

I must admit to debating whether or not to include this in this post, but I decided to, because it is part of my story and it did have a huge effect on me and the restoration. I lost motivation to work on the car, so it sat for nearly 4 years before I started back on it in 2019. As well as dealing with  Dads passing, and everything that went along with it, there was also a change of jobs that involved working very long hours, I got Shingles ( because of the long hours and stress) and I had a knee reconstruction as well.  Thankfully most things are back to normal now.                                                     The first photo today, shows how the car sat during that time and the next few show how it actually looks today. ( I took them this morning)

Apart from a few photos taken recently for some posts in ''What are you working on right now?'' ( Thanks to Jeff Perkins for starting that thread). Not many photos were taken of getting the car to where it is presently. Which I now regret.

From now on posts will be of actual progress as I continue along working at a brisk snails pace.😀

Cheers Mark

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