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1951 Kaiser Drag'n build

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by NTAPHSE, Jun 13, 2008.

  1. Midwest Rodder
    Joined: Dec 7, 2008
    Posts: 1,768

    Midwest Rodder
    Member

    Damn! I dig your car, great job.
     
  2. KK Hickey Designs
    Joined: Sep 10, 2008
    Posts: 277

    KK Hickey Designs
    Member

    Without the numbers looks great, I'd say go for that. This build gives me faith in 4 doors, very nice job. :D
     
  3. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member

    Fellow HAMBer ChromePlaterJosh will be doing the chrome so I have been working on getting all the parts ready to ship out to him. I have been cutting and massaging all the stainless window trim this week. I made the center strip for the split windshield. I rolled it first, then put a break down the center so it would have some volume. I also made a prototype connector clip out of aluminum and now I need to make a stainless one. You can see that the stock one was too narrow.

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    Here you can see how poor the fitment of the stock trim is. Lots of careful cutting and filing to get them to fit nicely.

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    I had to trim the rear window stainless because it was a few inches too long. I made a little hammer-form from a piece of flatstock and reshaped the end.

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    Last edited: Aug 17, 2009
  4. Any time time frame on when it is supposed to be at Gene's shop for paint?

    I live about 7 miles from his place and really want to see this thing in person. Didn't you post a couple pics on Pirate4X4 a while back? If so I am digging the progress, I was wondering how this project was progressing. Keep It Up!!
     
  5. Lunatic
    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 1,199

    Lunatic
    Member
    from Carson,Ca.

    WOW really nice work
     
  6. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member


    Believe it or not the project is still progressing. I just finished the gauges last night and I'm about to upload pics. I have also been working on getting all of the chrome and stainless parts out to ChromePlaterJosh's shop and that has been very time consuming. Once all the chrome is out of my garage I am starting on the interior and I bought a 65 Thunderbird interior from HAMBer Eddie which I will be fitting into the car. I am shooting for having the car at Gene's shop by the end of the year but it just depends how things go and also on his schedule since he is an extrememly busy guy.
     
  7. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member

    Okay back to the gauge project, here is what I had posted on my tech week post:

    http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=366909&highlight=kaiser


    This is how I put 12v modern AutoMeter gauges in the stock cluster of my '51 Kaiser Manhattan. I used Pro-Comp Ultra-lite gauges because I like the brushed aluminum face, it is similar to the stock Kaiser gauges. It's uncanny how similar the speedometer is. 3 3/8" fits perfectly into the stock cluster, and the 270 degree, 0-120 mph sweep lines up perfectly. I used part number 4487, found here: http://www.autometer.com/cat_gaugedetail.aspx?gid=3115&sid=11

    Step1: Disassemble the stock cluster. I just used a small flathead screwdriver to pry the tabs back.

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    Step 2: Trim the sheetmetal pod until the gauges fit. I used tin snips and a right angle die grinder with a barrel sander on it. Take your time with this until they fit nice and snug.

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    Step 3: Fit the gauges into the cluster. I needed to adjust the depth of the gauges so they sat up against the stock lens. To do this I trimmed some material off the front of the AutoMeter mounting cups using my bandsaw.

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    Step 4: Now we have a problem, two sets of numbers.

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    I kicked around a lot of ideas and talked to Kris at Autometer and Shannon at Redline Gaugeworks and was able to come up with a solution I am happy with. As it turns out, on the Pro-Comp Ultra-Lite gauges I am using, you can use acetone to remove the screenprinted numbers. A little acetone and some q-tips and the numbers were gone.

    I ground a curve into a small flathead screwdriver to remove the Autometer bezel. These aren't meant to be removed so be careful.

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    The numbers are disappearing.

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    I also polished up the lens. It's amazing how 50 years of dirt can actually protect a part. This thing looks brand new with a little polishing.

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    Step 5: Drill a hole for the odometer button. This button is also used to program the speedometer. I used the old white grease trick to transfer the location of the button onto the lens. Make sure you use a dull drill bit when drilling plastic. A sharp one will catch the plastic and crack it every time. They make special plastic bits but I have always had good luck with a dull bit. If the bit is too sharp you can sand it down a little too.

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    Step 6: Install gauge...again. I used cardboard to temporarily shim the gauge forward. Once I figure out the exact depth I'll cut and form an ABS ring to permanently install. I also chose to leave the Autometer bezel off so the gauge can sit closer to the lens. I think it appears more "stock" that way, and less like there is an Autometer gauge stuck in there.

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    Look better?

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    Notice the small black dot near the "K". That is the programming button.

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    That's how far I've gotten so it's all I can submit for Tech Week. I still need to finish up installing the small gauges and I might mess with fitting the stock Kaiser needle onto the speedometer for an even more original look. I'll post the finished cluster in my build-up thread here: http://www.jalopyjournal.com/forum/showthread.php?t=272171&highlight=kaiser
     
  8. Glen
    Joined: Mar 21, 2001
    Posts: 1,789

    Glen
    Member

    or at least just paint the needle black......You need to stop by sometime.
     
  9. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member

    After a lot of thought I decided to use the stock gauge faces over the Autometer gauges. Autometer does not suggest doing this, and I think they were honestly a little bummed about it because they spend a lot of time making their gauges extremely accurate and I just threw all that out the window by doing this. However, we agreed that this is a show car and the accuracy will be good enough.

    I removed the stock gauge faces and cut them down, then cut the plastic gauge cups until the faces fit.

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    Next I used double sided tape to temporarily attach the faces for mock-up.

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    I also picked up some PVC pipe and fittings so I could make spacers for the gauges.

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    Once I was happy with the alignment of the gauges I pulled it all apart and glued the PVC rings to the gauges and the stock faces to the Autometer faces.

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    Finally I fit the cluster into the pod and everything cleared.

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    Lots of gauges stuffed in there but they fit.

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    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
  10. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member


    Yeah I'm going to stare at the gauges a little longer before I decide what to do with the needles.

    I either need to get over to your place or we need to go to the hot rod dinner one of these Wednesdays. I haven't been out with those guys in a couple of months.
     
  11. lowsquire
    Joined: Feb 21, 2002
    Posts: 2,564

    lowsquire
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    PLEASE rub the auto-meter wording off the speedo....
     
  12. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member


    That wouldn't be very nice of me considering they sponsored the car....
     
  13. U.S.Kustoms
    Joined: Jun 18, 2009
    Posts: 39

    U.S.Kustoms
    Member

  14. lowsquire
    Joined: Feb 21, 2002
    Posts: 2,564

    lowsquire
    Member
    from Austin, TX

    OOPs, didnt read that part of it.. well i guess its fair enough then if you got the gauges for nix!
     
  15. attitudor
    Joined: Sep 28, 2004
    Posts: 2,975

    attitudor
    Member
    from Finland

    Wow that gauge conversion is something I haven't seen before! Very cool.
    --mika
     
  16. Looks great but I think you have the amp and oil guage mixed up. Keep up the great work. Very insperational!! Chad
     
  17. Pete
    Joined: Mar 8, 2001
    Posts: 4,548

    Pete
    Member

    Dam dude,

    What a bitchin' transformation! Love this shit!
    Pete-
     
  18. One of my favorite builds...just an awesome ride
     
  19. bbc 1957 gasser
    Joined: Aug 3, 2007
    Posts: 685

    bbc 1957 gasser
    Member

    looks sweet:cool: were did you get the new rockers at ?
     
  20. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member


    Oops, nice catch. I took it all apart anyways to send the face plate out for chrome, but I'll try to pay attention next time. :)
     
  21. smarg
    Joined: Nov 18, 2008
    Posts: 1,069

    smarg
    Member

    Dude that thing is bad ass.
     
  22. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member

    From Larry at the Kaiser Store. Tell him Keith sent you. (602) 373-1456
     
  23. low-lincoln
    Joined: Oct 28, 2008
    Posts: 220

    low-lincoln
    Member

    That thing is the most bitchin Kaiser ever! Great work.
     
  24. bbc 1957 gasser
    Joined: Aug 3, 2007
    Posts: 685

    bbc 1957 gasser
    Member

    thanks looks the same as my aero should work..
     
  25. J.Ukrop
    Joined: Nov 10, 2008
    Posts: 1,384

    J.Ukrop
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    this looks like a great build so far.
     
  26. poorboy
    Joined: Feb 8, 2003
    Posts: 1,438

    poorboy
    Member

    nice! dig what you did with the gauges!
     
  27. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member

    The seats arrived today. Big thanks to HAMBer Eddie for being such a great seller. He went to a lot of trouble to make sure these things got to me in the best condition possible and was in constant communication. All in all very accommodating and an asset to our community.

    Time to learn how to stitch!

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  28. BIGREDTODD
    Joined: Jan 9, 2007
    Posts: 2,841

    BIGREDTODD
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Perfect interior choice...
     
  29. NTAPHSE
    Joined: Feb 5, 2006
    Posts: 1,029

    NTAPHSE
    Member

    Thanks, I'm really looking forward to making it all fit. Fingers crossed.
     
  30. general gow
    Joined: Feb 5, 2003
    Posts: 6,270

    general gow
    MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    oh boy. this one is fun to watch.

    and i think all that hard work on the gauge clulster is totally worth it. especially once you get the flourescent orange dealt with...

    such a cool car.
     

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