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Hot Rods 1931 Pontiac build - 22 years and counting

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by 31 B'ville, May 15, 2021.

  1. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
    Member
    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    A few days ago I had a request from clem of New Zealand to post a build thread of my '31 Pontiac Sport Coupe project, so I will attempt to show this 22 +? year project.
    I started this build in 1999 with a pretty complete car with a lot of rotten wood. The vision was to build a traditional '60's style hot rod , although a Pontiac of this vintage was not a normal starting point for this style. As disassembly progressed , we (my brother and I) decided to replace the wood body structure with wood and found an Olds J2 to power it.
    We removed the parallel-leaf front suspension and installed a Ford crossmember and drilled I-beam axle.
    I will try to stay in chronological order, but it may not be 100% because so much time has passed since day 1. 1931 PONTIAC (1999) 002.jpg 1931 PONTIAC (1999) 001.jpg PhonePics 106.jpg PhonePics 133.jpg 20170730_192108 (2).jpg
     
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  2. oldolds
    Joined: Oct 18, 2010
    Posts: 3,153

    oldolds
    Member

    Hold on guys. This is gonna be good. I have seen some pictures of this car.
     
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  3. I have a love ,hate relationship with wood !!!
    MORE , MORE !!!
     
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  4. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
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    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    100_3970.jpg 100_3971.jpg 20161122_214654.jpg 0206131821.jpg After bracing the body it was removed to work on the frame. Major improvements were done to reduce flexing as much as possible so we modified a Chassis Engineering 'X' to fit the Pontiac frame and then added 1/8" boxing plates with lightening holes in front of and after the 'X'. Also added the mount for a Vega steering box.
    Chrome reverse wheels (15 x 6 front and 15 x 8 rear) and tires were added to mockup stance and fender clearance. At this early stage of the build, Pennsylvania still required fenders, so my original plans were to meet the state requirements. Several years later the laws changed to allow fenderless hotrods and my plans changed accordingly. The rear had already been narrowed for fenders, so they could be added later if one would want to.
    The rear I chose is a '57 Pontiac housing with a '62 Pontiac 3:08 posi center section. I'm a Pontiac guy so that period Pontiac/Olds rear was a perfect choice.
    Pete & Jake's ladder bars were used as part of the rear suspension, as were the Aldan Eagle coilovers.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2021
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  5. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
    Member
    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    First engine installed, a 1957 Olds J2 with a Turbo 350 modified to fit the Olds.
    Next we chopped the top, 3" at the windshield and 2 1/2 " at the back window. 060711203226.jpg '31PontiacChop12.2011 004.jpg '31PontiacChop12.2011 011.jpg '31PontiacChop12.2011 020.jpg '31PontiacChop12.2011 021.jpg
     

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  6. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
    Member
    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    100_1518.jpg 0206131832.jpg 011912183742.jpg 0206131815.jpg 0206131817.jpg We removed the body and old wood after the roof chop. First pic is the body wood kit (not including wood for the doors) from Jim Rodman . Before I began assembly, I coated each piece with 2 coats (3 coats on the end grain) of clear epoxy to stabilize the wood from expansion and contraction from humidity changes.
    After making sure the frame was level and square, I assembled the wood structure for the body starting at the bottom.
     
  7. What year crossmember did you use to use the transverse spring and front axle ??
     
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  8. triumph 1
    Joined: Feb 9, 2011
    Posts: 575

    triumph 1
    Member

    Very cool build! The Olds rocket mill is killer. I’ve never really seen how much wood is actually in the body of early GM’s. Thanks for posting all the pictures.


    Sent from my iPhone using H.A.M.B.
     
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  9. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
    Member
    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    1932 Ford crossmember with a 4” drop 47” axle.
     
  10. Rckt98
    Joined: Jun 7, 2005
    Posts: 1,033

    Rckt98
    Member

    Holy crap that is a big project. Nice to see something different being built.
     
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  11. Have a 33 chev ,thinking of using a transverse spring and axle in it . Chev dropped axle is just way to much money to ship to and from SIDS.
    Also a 34 crossmember somewhere among my junk , LOL
     
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  12. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,355

    clem
    Member

    Thanks ! ( I just knew this was going to be neat ).
    I saw hints of your workmanship, chassis etc, in other photos that you posted, but had no idea about the wood frame. (And I guess that you had to chop the wood to suit the roof chop).
    There’s a lot of work and dedication there.
     
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  13. WB69
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,587

    WB69
    Member

    Wow, the wood replacement looks awesome. Actually the whole car looks awesome.
     
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  14. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
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    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    Thanks for the comments. I actually did not chop the wood myself, Jim Rodman made the affected pieces to accommodate my dimensions.
     
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  15. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
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    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    PhonePics 067.jpg P1010818.JPG PhonePics 079.jpg The Olds J2 and Turbo 350 had been mounted when a friend informed me that he was selling a '69 Pontiac 428 out of a Bonneville and I couldn't resist getting it. After trying for over a week to avoid redoing all of my work to install the J2, I decided that my Pontiac should be Pontiac-powered. I had a pair of RA III exhaust manifolds from a '69 Firebird that fit inside the frame but had to fabricate new motor mounts. Also designed and built the A/C bracket.
     
  16. Very cool! Will be following along!
     
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  17. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
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    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    Near disaster struck in Feb. 2014 when a major snowstorm collapsed a good portion of the roof of my building. Luckily a non-load bearing wall stopped the progression of the collapse before it got to my car, but I couldn't work on it for 6 months while the structure was being rebuilt. 0217141540.jpg 0217141559.jpg PhonePics 033.jpg 0225141628.jpg
     
  18. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
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    from SE Pa
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    Back on track! Engine rebuilt, bored 30 over, #068 cam, low compression heads, Offy dual quad intake with Carter 500's, and NOS 1961 Weiand valve covers. About 400 HP. A Pontiac Turbo 350 was also rebuilt and a new driveshaft ordered from Inland Empire. P1010935.JPG P1020014.jpg
     
  19. blowby
    Joined: Dec 27, 2012
    Posts: 7,513

    blowby
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    from Nicasio Ca

  20. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
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    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    Repaired some rust and splits on the cowl and added a recess for servicing the distributor (with a lot of help from my brother). Next we nailed the cowl to the wood structure. 20151005_215317.jpg 20151013_200937.jpg 20160111_222454.jpg 20160113_190926.jpg
     
  21. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
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    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    We built an upper and lower baffle to optimize cooling by preventing air from spilling around the radiator. Picture also shows an early headlight bar mockup. 20151105_185254.jpg
     
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  22. Post 6 is great. They are indeed horseless carriages with some sheet metal tacked on. Great job and looking forward to more info. A cousin of mine in Iowa has a couple of Oaklands of that vintage.
    Cheers.
     
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  23. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
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    from SE Pa
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    Now it was time to put the body back on the wood framework. We removed the rear wheels and starting from the back, slid the sheetmetal forward onto the wood until it was positioned correctly, and nailed the whole perimeter of the body to the wood. Sorry, I have no pictures of the process, my hands were full. 20160229_212345.jpg 20160229_212415.jpg
     
  24. spudshaft
    Joined: Feb 28, 2003
    Posts: 469

    spudshaft
    Member

    Very cool car. Thanks for posting this.
     
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  25. Quite the woodwork craftsman,awesome work!
     
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  26. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
    Member
    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    With the body in place we addressed the poor fit of the rumbleseat lid. Adjusted as much as we could, then my brother removed a sliver of sheetmetal to make the gap more uniform. P1020053.JPG 20160502_204614.jpg
     
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  27. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
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    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    Time to deal with the doors. We removed all the original trim, hardware, upholstery and all the remaining nails holding the metal to the wood frame. Then we opened the crimp around the door skin to remove it to gain access to some blind fasteners when we assembled the new wood structure. While door skins were off, I coated the inside with POR-15. Also chopped the doors at this time. In order to make the doors fit properly, we did a thin pie cut on the skin and also modified the top hinge so it would line up perfectly with the other 2 hinges. A lot of time was spent to make the doors look right and operate correctly, P1010898.JPG P1010966.JPG P1010946.JPG IMG_0282.jpg IMG_0263.jpg IMG_0272.jpg 20150119_210540.jpg 20160921_221928.jpg
     
  28. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
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    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    P1010791 (2).JPG 20161207_221158.jpg 20170327_190902.jpg I tried to improve my original front upper shock mount design. First picture shows 1st style, second picture shows updated version.
    Also added a bolt-in crossmember connecting the motor mounts to strengthen the frame, but still enabling access to oil pan if necessary.
     
  29. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
    Member
    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    I wanted electric windshield wipers but I couldn't find a direct replacement to fit a '31 Pontiac, so I adapted a a New Port Engineering Ford Model A wiper setup and mounted it as high under the visor as I could. IMG_0395.jpg IMG_0394.jpg 20170524_192236 (2).jpg
     
  30. 31 B'ville
    Joined: Feb 7, 2009
    Posts: 298

    31 B'ville
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    from SE Pa
    1. All Things Pontiac

    I chose a 1965 GTO automatic shifter and used a Shiftworks conversion to make it work with the Turbo 350. Made a few cuts and modifications to make it fit where it felt right. 20170424_151132.jpg 20180110_184945.jpg 20180110_184955.jpg
     
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